Resisting the transition to homemade raw diet

catforce6

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After many months of research, I decided to start feeding my 6 cats a homemade raw diet. Today is the 7th day of a very gradual transition (we're up to 1/4 raw), and everything is going extremely well for 5 kitties, but Breezy, my 8 year old calico with a tendency to be stubborn, is refusing to eat her meals if I add even a tiny bit of raw food. I've tried sprinkling a bit of FortiFlora on her meals, but she doesn't like that either.

The raw diet I'm feeding is the recipe from Dr. Lisa Pierson on www.catinfo.org. I'm using ground rabbit with bones and organs (purchased from Hare Today) that has 15% bone content, and chicken thighs that I've deboned for the purpose of diluting the overall bone content to about 10%. Instead of adding each supplement separately, I've used the appropriate Alnutrin supplement, and I've added Icelandic Pure anchovy/sardine oil too. Four of my cats love the raw food and would prefer that I speed up the transition. Callie, who suffers from IBD, was reluctant to eat the new diet at first, but she seems to be revising her initial opinion. She's been finishing her meals the last couple of days, and she's not experienced any negative side effects. Breezy is my only cat who absolutely refuses to eat her meals if there is even a speck of raw food mixed in it.

Prior to this transition, my cats' diet consisted of canned Fancy Feast (chicken pate & chunky chicken pate) for breakfast and dinner. I also fed dry food (Purina Beyond) in tiny portions as a treat between meals, and because Breezy and Callie would sometimes refuse their canned food. I'm still giving some dry food as a treat, because even though 5 cats are transitioning as planned, they still want dry food between meals. Breezy is still eating dry food because she will literally starve herself instead of eating canned food that is mixed with raw. I want to stop feeding dry food completely, and i want to stop feeding canned food completely. I thought the transition to raw might be difficult for some of my cats, but even Callie is adjusting. I don't know what to do for Breezy, and I don't know how to explain to the others that they can no longer have dry food between meals. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

I included 2 photos of Breezy. The first taken in our old apartment in 2009, shortly after I adopted her, when she was one of just two kitties The second photo is recent.

 

roguethecat

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First, no dry food. Period. And no food between meals. Cats are not cows that need to graze! 


Digestion of dry food is different than that of raw meat. If you mix the two, someone's stomach might get upset.

Then feed two meals a day. Your homemade ground raw for those who eat it, and the same thing with Fancy Feast mixed in/ topped for those others.

Start offering Breezy freshly opened cans of Fancy Feast, your goal is to get her eating once every 24h. Try different flavors (fishy is most enticing).

Give her time. If desperate, try crushing a few dry pieces onto the fancy feast (this can also be done with treats).

If you want to do something for their teeth, start looking into this website.

Breezy is beautiful! 
 

minka

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How many meals a day are you feeding?
I would replace their dry snack with simply more raw or canned.
 

lisahe

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Give her time. If desperate, try crushing a few dry pieces onto the fancy feast (this can also be done with treats).
This is what worked well for us when we took our cats off dry food, shortly after we adopted them: first I cut back on their free-fed portions, then dry food was night only, then that amount got smaller and smaller, then it became a topper, then the topper got smaller and smaller, and then one night everybody forgot about dry food!

Our cats were young, around a year, and they'd been horrendously underfed in their previous household, but they had a very strong preference for dry food.

Good luck!
 

missmimz

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Some cats transition much slower than other cats. Just go at her pace. Def try the kibble on top trick and whatever other treats she likes. Bonito flakes worked really well for me. One side note about Hare Today's rabbit, both the whole body grind and the meat/bones/organs contain thyroid gland, and Alnutrin contains iodine, so ideally you don't want to use alnutrin with HT's rabbit grinds. You can check out these other threads that talk about it. 

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/319147/ht-whole-rabbit-grinds
 
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catforce6

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Some cats transition much slower than other cats. Just go at her pace. Def try the kibble on top trick and whatever other treats she likes. Bonito flakes worked really well for me. One side note about Hare Today's rabbit, both the whole body grind and the meat/bones/organs contain thyroid gland, and Alnutrin contains iodine, so ideally you don't want to use alnutrin with HT's rabbit grinds. You can check out these other threads that talk about it. 

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/319147/ht-whole-rabbit-grinds
Thank you for telling me about this Amnutrin and Hare-Today. I'm actually a little scared now though. I've actually succeeded in transitioning 5 of my 6 cats to their new raw diet, and I just made another 30 pound batch on Tuesday - with the Alnutrin! I have diluted the rabbit (3 parts rabbit, 1 part chicken thighs de-boned), but not by much. What should I do? Should I feed them the food I have already made, and have been feeding them for almost a month? Or should I cut them off, feed them canned food, and order more rabbit meat to prepare with different supplementation (not Alnutrin)? I fear that switching them instantly back to canned might make them sick after eating the raw diet. I have some other issues that have become a concern as well.

First, I want to say I'm grateful to everyone that has posted replies. I'm sorry I haven't responded to any before now. I had a hectic month, and I didn't realize I got these replies until today. And now I read this about Alnutrin and Hare-Today. I'm really anxious about how to fix this.

As for my Breezy girl, I have decided to just continue feeding her her long-time meals of Fancy Feast Chicken Pate canned food. But my other 5 cats have done extremely well transitioning to the raw food. Forti-Flora helped a lot. This is what's been going on:

The first 2 weeks I made a new batch each week, and then earlier this week, I made a large 30 pound batch. When I first got my rabbit meat from Hare-Today, I did notice some larger pieces of bone that caused me some concern, so I spent forever digging through it and picking out little bone bits by hand that I thought were big/sharp enough to hurt my kitties' mouths. After doing that twice, I decided to order a grinder and grind the ground rabbit again, through a 3mm grinding plate. That's what I did when I made the 30 pound batch, and the grinder took care of the bigger bone-pieces well. Also, I decided to briefly bake the chicken thighs (as suggested by Dr. Lisa Pierson) in an effort to kill surface bacteria while still leaving it mostly raw. I then de-boned it, and put it through the grinder. I didn't do that in the first 2 batches, I simply rinsed the chicken thighs with water, de-boned them, cut them up, and put them through my food processor (before I got the grinder). I also remembered to leave a few chucks of raw chicken to mix in the first 2 batches, but I forgot to do that this last big batch. Everything else stayed the same (except the he rabbit is a little more mushy since I put it through the grinder to eliminate the bigger bone pieces).

For some reason, my Rory girl, who LOVED the raw diet from the start, doesn't seem to like this latest batch. My other 4 raw eaters still think it's ok, so I'm confused as to why Rory doesn't want to eat it. After 2 meals of only taking a few bites, I offered her the canned food she used to eat, and she gobbled it up. Until this new batch of raw food, she was licking her dish clean and looking for more. I'm confused.

And now I'm scared that I'm hurting them. Do you have any idea what the best solution would be t this point? FYI: They all seem healthy and happy. In fact, since they've been eating this raw diet, I've seen improvements in energy levels from my 2 couch-potato girls, and all 5 are shedding less, with healthier looking coats. My Bella, who's suffered from dry skin and dandruff, has had vast improvements. Her skin seems healthier now than it has after numerous veterinarian prescribed remedies that failed.

I'd really appreciate any info or advice on this alnutrin issue. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
 

missmimz

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Thank you for telling me about this Amnutrin and Hare-Today. I'm actually a little scared now though. I've actually succeeded in transitioning 5 of my 6 cats to their new raw diet, and I just made another 30 pound batch on Tuesday - with the Alnutrin! I have diluted the rabbit (3 parts rabbit, 1 part chicken thighs de-boned), but not by much. What should I do? Should I feed them the food I have already made, and have been feeding them for almost a month? Or should I cut them off, feed them canned food, and order more rabbit meat to prepare with different supplementation (not Alnutrin)? I fear that switching them instantly back to canned might make them sick after eating the raw diet. I have some other issues that have become a concern as well.

First, I want to say I'm grateful to everyone that has posted replies. I'm sorry I haven't responded to any before now. I had a hectic month, and I didn't realize I got these replies until today. And now I read this about Alnutrin and Hare-Today. I'm really anxious about how to fix this.

As for my Breezy girl, I have decided to just continue feeding her her long-time meals of Fancy Feast Chicken Pate canned food. But my other 5 cats have done extremely well transitioning to the raw food. Forti-Flora helped a lot. This is what's been going on:

The first 2 weeks I made a new batch each week, and then earlier this week, I made a large 30 pound batch. When I first got my rabbit meat from Hare-Today, I did notice some larger pieces of bone that caused me some concern, so I spent forever digging through it and picking out little bone bits by hand that I thought were big/sharp enough to hurt my kitties' mouths. After doing that twice, I decided to order a grinder and grind the ground rabbit again, through a 3mm grinding plate. That's what I did when I made the 30 pound batch, and the grinder took care of the bigger bone-pieces well. Also, I decided to briefly bake the chicken thighs (as suggested by Dr. Lisa Pierson) in an effort to kill surface bacteria while still leaving it mostly raw. I then de-boned it, and put it through the grinder. I didn't do that in the first 2 batches, I simply rinsed the chicken thighs with water, de-boned them, cut them up, and put them through my food processor (before I got the grinder). I also remembered to leave a few chucks of raw chicken to mix in the first 2 batches, but I forgot to do that this last big batch. Everything else stayed the same (except the he rabbit is a little more mushy since I put it through the grinder to eliminate the bigger bone pieces).

For some reason, my Rory girl, who LOVED the raw diet from the start, doesn't seem to like this latest batch. My other 4 raw eaters still think it's ok, so I'm confused as to why Rory doesn't want to eat it. After 2 meals of only taking a few bites, I offered her the canned food she used to eat, and she gobbled it up. Until this new batch of raw food, she was licking her dish clean and looking for more. I'm confused.

And now I'm scared that I'm hurting them. Do you have any idea what the best solution would be t this point? FYI: They all seem healthy and happy. In fact, since they've been eating this raw diet, I've seen improvements in energy levels from my 2 couch-potato girls, and all 5 are shedding less, with healthier looking coats. My Bella, who's suffered from dry skin and dandruff, has had vast improvements. Her skin seems healthier now than it has after numerous veterinarian prescribed remedies that failed.

I'd really appreciate any info or advice on this alnutrin issue. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Are you rotating this rabbit with some other proteins? Personally I'd use up what you have, and then get your own supplements for supplementing rabbit in the future. Whatever you have in the freezer is good for a few months, so if you rotate it with other proteins I don't think it's a huge worry. The issue isn't black or white, but really you don't want to add iodine when there's thyroid already in the grind because there is a link between high iodine diets and hyperthyroidism, although I don't think it's a big enough worry to chuck a 30lbs batch of food. I used alnutrin a few times with rabbit before I realized it contained the thyroid too. It's likely that a LOT of people make this mistake because the rabbit is really the only grind of theirs that contains the thyroid. I don't feed rabbit that much, so when i buy the HT whole rabbit grind (with fur cuz its cheaper and honestly my cats don't care one way or another) I only add taurine and that's it. Did you buy the fine ground from HT? I've never tried the course ground, but I've heard it can be very boney. My cats don't really like any raw poultry, HT or otherwise. They do like RC turkey and chicken, but if i try and make it with alnutrin or EZ, it's a no go. 
 
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catforce6

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Are you rotating this rabbit with some other proteins? Personally I'd use up what you have, and then get your own supplements for supplementing rabbit in the future. Whatever you have in the freezer is good for a few months, so if you rotate it with other proteins I don't think it's a huge worry. The issue isn't black or white, but really you don't want to add iodine when there's thyroid already in the grind because there is a link between high iodine diets and hyperthyroidism, although I don't think it's a big enough worry to chuck a 30lbs batch of food. I used alnutrin a few times with rabbit before I realized it contained the thyroid too. It's likely that a LOT of people make this mistake because the rabbit is really the only grind of theirs that contains the thyroid. I don't feed rabbit that much, so when i buy the HT whole rabbit grind (with fur cuz its cheaper and honestly my cats don't care one way or another) I only add taurine and that's it. Did you buy the fine ground from HT? I've never tried the course ground, but I've heard it can be very boney. My cats don't really like any raw poultry, HT or otherwise. They do like RC turkey and chicken, but if i try and make it with alnutrin or EZ, it's a no go. 
No, I haven't been rotating any other proteins. I researched raw diets periodically for about a year prior to actually making the change, and during that time, I found so much conflicting info online that it was a bit intimidating.  I love my cats more than anything in this world, and I want them to live very long, healthy lives, so I kept researching. The one raw diet recipe (and raw info in general) that I kept being drawn to was Dr. Lisa Pierson's catinfo.org site. She seems to know what she's talking about and she said that she's been feeding her cats just rabbit and chicken for a decade, and she doesn't change the proteins at all. Because I had been feeding only chicken or turkey based fancy feast canned food (on the recommendation of my Callie cat's vet), I thought they would be okay sticking to same protein.  This is one of the areas where there are many conflicting opinions. I honestly don't know enough yet to form an opinion either way, but I'm open to hearing more. I just want to do right by my cats.

As far as the grind from HT, I have only purchased the fine-ground with bones & organs (no fur) - that was before I decided to purchase a grinder. The bone pieces weren't that big, but there were some sharp, pointy bits that made me uncomfortable. So, I put a large bowl of a few pounds in the fridge, and then I would scoop a handful out, put it in a smaller dish on the counter, and thoroughly sift through it, flicking bits of bone I deemed too large in the sink. This process took about 6 hours to get through 5 pounds, so I decided to buy a grinder and simply do my own "double-grind".  Now that I have a grinder (not a great one though - a Westin 575 #8), I was thinking about buying the rabbits whole. I was thinking without the fur, but I don't know now. 

If you have any ideas of other proteins, and why they would be good, I would love to hear. I'm not sure why some my cats seem to like raw poultry, but I know 3 of them really do enjoy it. Also, can you tell me what "RC" is? is it another supplier? I live in PA, about an hour drive from HT, so I haven't looked into any others (the shipping prices are really good being so close - about $22 for 50 Lbs.), but I would be open to another supplier if it would benefit my cats. 

I'm assuming EZ is another nutrient supplement like Alnutrin. I wonder if perhaps my cats would like their food better with the nutrients added individually.... I think that's what I'm leaning towards now.

Just for some history, all 6 of my cats were rescued from varying degrees of terribleness. I rescued my first 2 together (Rory and Breezy) because they were a bonded pair, so very attached to one another, living in a home of domestic abuse and violence (a neighbor in an apartment building where I used to live).  Neither had ever been to a vet in their life, and Breezy was on the verge of dying from a terrible oral infection.  I knew nothing about cats and had never had a cat prior to those 2, but when I saw my neighbor putting these 2 cats in her car while crying, I asked what was going on. She told me the situation, and that she was taking them to the shelter. I knew enough to know what would happen there, and seeing those 2 kitties snuggled up together, scared, in that box (Rory still a kitten at 6 month,, and Breezy 18 months) made my heart ache. I impulsively took them and promised this troubled girl that I would give them a home forever.  My vet took care of  Breezy's infection, and then, 2 days before their appointments to be spayed, Rory got pyometra and nearly died, needing emergency surgery and 3 days recovery in the hospital. Out of my 6 cats, those 2 had the least traumatic pasts.

I know I've digressed from the raw diet topic, I just wanted to give a little history of my cats, because I think their pasts are relevant when it comes to things like diet changes. My little ones all have feline PTSD to varying degrees, so changes are difficult for them. One of the reasons I've had success with their emotional rehab is because I make sure to keep their schedule extremely consistent in all ways. I work from home, so I'm with them all day, and we do the same things, at the same times, 365 days a year. And that's the way they like it. If it's bed time and I'm running a few minutes behind (like I am right now), Breezy tells me that it's time (like she's doing right now).  Because of their OCD tendencies (and my own - one of the reasons I get along with my kitties so well)  I try to introduce changes very slowly,  with very slow transitions to the new thing - whatever it may be. 

Anyway.... thank you for your advice, and for your time and consideration. I'll look forward to any other knowledge you can share.
 

missmimz

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No, I haven't been rotating any other proteins. I researched raw diets periodically for about a year prior to actually making the change, and during that time, I found so much conflicting info online that it was a bit intimidating.  I love my cats more than anything in this world, and I want them to live very long, healthy lives, so I kept researching. The one raw diet recipe (and raw info in general) that I kept being drawn to was Dr. Lisa Pierson's catinfo.org site. She seems to know what she's talking about and she said that she's been feeding her cats just rabbit and chicken for a decade, and she doesn't change the proteins at all. Because I had been feeding only chicken or turkey based fancy feast canned food (on the recommendation of my Callie cat's vet), I thought they would be okay sticking to same protein.  This is one of the areas where there are many conflicting opinions. I honestly don't know enough yet to form an opinion either way, but I'm open to hearing more. I just want to do right by my cats.

As far as the grind from HT, I have only purchased the fine-ground with bones & organs (no fur) - that was before I decided to purchase a grinder. The bone pieces weren't that big, but there were some sharp, pointy bits that made me uncomfortable. So, I put a large bowl of a few pounds in the fridge, and then I would scoop a handful out, put it in a smaller dish on the counter, and thoroughly sift through it, flicking bits of bone I deemed too large in the sink. This process took about 6 hours to get through 5 pounds, so I decided to buy a grinder and simply do my own "double-grind".  Now that I have a grinder (not a great one though - a Westin 575 #8), I was thinking about buying the rabbits whole. I was thinking without the fur, but I don't know now. 

If you have any ideas of other proteins, and why they would be good, I would love to hear. I'm not sure why some my cats seem to like raw poultry, but I know 3 of them really do enjoy it. Also, can you tell me what "RC" is? is it another supplier? I live in PA, about an hour drive from HT, so I haven't looked into any others (the shipping prices are really good being so close - about $22 for 50 Lbs.), but I would be open to another supplier if it would benefit my cats. 

I'm assuming EZ is another nutrient supplement like Alnutrin. I wonder if perhaps my cats would like their food better with the nutrients added individually.... I think that's what I'm leaning towards now.

Just for some history, all 6 of my cats were rescued from varying degrees of terribleness. I rescued my first 2 together (Rory and Breezy) because they were a bonded pair, so very attached to one another, living in a home of domestic abuse and violence (a neighbor in an apartment building where I used to live).  Neither had ever been to a vet in their life, and Breezy was on the verge of dying from a terrible oral infection.  I knew nothing about cats and had never had a cat prior to those 2, but when I saw my neighbor putting these 2 cats in her car while crying, I asked what was going on. She told me the situation, and that she was taking them to the shelter. I knew enough to know what would happen there, and seeing those 2 kitties snuggled up together, scared, in that box (Rory still a kitten at 6 month,, and Breezy 18 months) made my heart ache. I impulsively took them and promised this troubled girl that I would give them a home forever.  My vet took care of  Breezy's infection, and then, 2 days before their appointments to be spayed, Rory got pyometra and nearly died, needing emergency surgery and 3 days recovery in the hospital. Out of my 6 cats, those 2 had the least traumatic pasts.

I know I've digressed from the raw diet topic, I just wanted to give a little history of my cats, because I think their pasts are relevant when it comes to things like diet changes. My little ones all have feline PTSD to varying degrees, so changes are difficult for them. One of the reasons I've had success with their emotional rehab is because I make sure to keep their schedule extremely consistent in all ways. I work from home, so I'm with them all day, and we do the same things, at the same times, 365 days a year. And that's the way they like it. If it's bed time and I'm running a few minutes behind (like I am right now), Breezy tells me that it's time (like she's doing right now).  Because of their OCD tendencies (and my own - one of the reasons I get along with my kitties so well)  I try to introduce changes very slowly,  with very slow transitions to the new thing - whatever it may be. 

Anyway.... thank you for your advice, and for your time and consideration. I'll look forward to any other knowledge you can share.
I'm a strong believer in rotating proteins, not just for the different benefits of other meats, but because cats get bored really easily, so unless you're dealing with something like IBD, you need more proteins. The other issue is that you can trigger a food allergy by feeding only one protein for a long period of time. I understand your concerns, but I think you need at least one (ideally 2) more proteins. Some people like to go simple with chicken or turkey, my cats love red meat so I feed a lot of beef and venison. A lot of cats like pork, my cats don't. I like Catinfo, as do many other members here, but her site is out of date for the most part, so I don't really go off any of her stuff 100%. EZcomplete is like alnutrin, however you can only use it with boneless meats, and it does had more "flavor" to the meat, whereas alnutrin is mostly tasteless. EZ's flavor is loved by most cats. The fur in the rabbit grinds, at least the fine ground, is barely noticeable, and my cats didn't mind it at all. Most people say their cats like it more with the fur. 

Food fur life, the makers of EZcomplete, have a ton of great info on their site, so you might want to poke around there. Not saying you need to go with that pre-mix, it sounds like your cats like the bone-in grinds, so maybe stick with that for awhile. My cats like the beef/bone/venison mix from HT, although it doesn't contain organs I don't worry about that in rotation. The pork/bones/organs from HT is good too, mine aren't big fans of pork, but that might be a good next option for you. 

There's a couple good groups on Facebook that are very active with raw feeders (many former members here as well as some current ones) if you're looking to interact with more raw-feeders. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RawFedIBD/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/grouprawpet/

http://www.foodfurlife.com/
 

minka

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Some cats transition much slower than other cats. Just go at her pace. Def try the kibble on top trick and whatever other treats she likes. Bonito flakes worked really well for me. One side note about Hare Today's rabbit, both the whole body grind and the meat/bones/organs contain thyroid gland, and Alnutrin contains iodine, so ideally you don't want to use alnutrin with HT's rabbit grinds. You can check out these other threads that talk about it. 

http://www.thecatsite.com/t/319147/ht-whole-rabbit-grinds
Thank you for telling me about this Amnutrin and Hare-Today. I'm actually a little scared now though. I've actually succeeded in transitioning 5 of my 6 cats to their new raw diet, and I just made another 30 pound batch on Tuesday - with the Alnutrin! I have diluted the rabbit (3 parts rabbit, 1 part chicken thighs de-boned), but not by much. What should I do? Should I feed them the food I have already made, and have been feeding them for almost a month? Or should I cut them off, feed them canned food, and order more rabbit meat to prepare with different supplementation (not Alnutrin)? I fear that switching them instantly back to canned might make them sick after eating the raw diet. I have some other issues that have become a concern as well.

First, I want to say I'm grateful to everyone that has posted replies. I'm sorry I haven't responded to any before now. I had a hectic month, and I didn't realize I got these replies until today. And now I read this about Alnutrin and Hare-Today. I'm really anxious about how to fix this.

As for my Breezy girl, I have decided to just continue feeding her her long-time meals of Fancy Feast Chicken Pate canned food. But my other 5 cats have done extremely well transitioning to the raw food. Forti-Flora helped a lot. This is what's been going on:

The first 2 weeks I made a new batch each week, and then earlier this week, I made a large 30 pound batch. When I first got my rabbit meat from Hare-Today, I did notice some larger pieces of bone that caused me some concern, so I spent forever digging through it and picking out little bone bits by hand that I thought were big/sharp enough to hurt my kitties' mouths. After doing that twice, I decided to order a grinder and grind the ground rabbit again, through a 3mm grinding plate. That's what I did when I made the 30 pound batch, and the grinder took care of the bigger bone-pieces well. Also, I decided to briefly bake the chicken thighs (as suggested by Dr. Lisa Pierson) in an effort to kill surface bacteria while still leaving it mostly raw. I then de-boned it, and put it through the grinder. I didn't do that in the first 2 batches, I simply rinsed the chicken thighs with water, de-boned them, cut them up, and put them through my food processor (before I got the grinder). I also remembered to leave a few chucks of raw chicken to mix in the first 2 batches, but I forgot to do that this last big batch. Everything else stayed the same (except the he rabbit is a little more mushy since I put it through the grinder to eliminate the bigger bone pieces).

For some reason, my Rory girl, who LOVED the raw diet from the start, doesn't seem to like this latest batch. My other 4 raw eaters still think it's ok, so I'm confused as to why Rory doesn't want to eat it. After 2 meals of only taking a few bites, I offered her the canned food she used to eat, and she gobbled it up. Until this new batch of raw food, she was licking her dish clean and looking for more. I'm confused.

And now I'm scared that I'm hurting them. Do you have any idea what the best solution would be t this point? FYI: They all seem healthy and happy. In fact, since they've been eating this raw diet, I've seen improvements in energy levels from my 2 couch-potato girls, and all 5 are shedding less, with healthier looking coats. My Bella, who's suffered from dry skin and dandruff, has had vast improvements. Her skin seems healthier now than it has after numerous veterinarian prescribed remedies that failed.

I'd really appreciate any info or advice on this alnutrin issue. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Maybe I'm just not understanding what's going on, but why would Alnutrin need to be added to HT rabbit grind in the first place? Isn't it a complete grind, organs and all?
 
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catforce6

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Maybe I'm just not understanding what's going on, but why would Alnutrin need to be added to HT rabbit grind in the first place? Isn't it a complete grind, organs and all?
Yes, the rabbit is bone-in meat grind, but from what I had learned (from reading different online sources), I still needed to add nutrients. There are a different types of Alnutrin available, one type specifically says "for bone-in-meat grinds", and that was the one I purchased. If you have any different recommendations or thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them, as I plan to continue the raw diet forever. I still have much to learn, but I have read enough info to convince me that my cats have a better chance of long-term good health eating a species appropriate diet, and that's what I intend to feed them for the rest of their lives. I wish my Breezy girl would eat the raw food (I've tried many different methods to entice her), but she will not touch it. I haven't given up though. I may just need a different protein to convince her. And in the meantime, my other 5 cats are eating the raw diet, so that's something of a success. I just need to get this nutrient part right because I'm fearful of either depriving them of essential nutrients, or of giving them too much of something. 
 
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missmimz

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Maybe I'm just not understanding what's going on, but why would Alnutrin need to be added to HT rabbit grind in the first place? Isn't it a complete grind, organs and all?
The general theory is that any meat that's ground, even a whole animal, is that it needs supplementation because grinding degrades the vitamins in the meat. Unless the meat is specifically balanced just for cats, you need to supplement. HT grinds aren't made for cats, they're just ground meat you can feed to different animals. Since rabbit is naturally low in taurine you need to supplement at least taurine, but most people that feed rabbit often add more. When I feed HT whole rabbit I just add taurine, because my cats don't eat it that often they're not huge rabbit fans. In this case since the OP is feeding rabbit exclusively she must supplement. 
 
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I'm a strong believer in rotating proteins, not just for the different benefits of other meats, but because cats get bored really easily, so unless you're dealing with something like IBD, you need more proteins. The other issue is that you can trigger a food allergy by feeding only one protein for a long period of time. I understand your concerns, but I think you need at least one (ideally 2) more proteins. Some people like to go simple with chicken or turkey, my cats love red meat so I feed a lot of beef and venison. A lot of cats like pork, my cats don't. I like Catinfo, as do many other members here, but her site is out of date for the most part, so I don't really go off any of her stuff 100%. EZcomplete is like alnutrin, however you can only use it with boneless meats, and it does had more "flavor" to the meat, whereas alnutrin is mostly tasteless. EZ's flavor is loved by most cats. The fur in the rabbit grinds, at least the fine ground, is barely noticeable, and my cats didn't mind it at all. Most people say their cats like it more with the fur. 
Food fur life, the makers of EZcomplete, have a ton of great info on their site, so you might want to poke around there. Not saying you need to go with that pre-mix, it sounds like your cats like the bone-in grinds, so maybe stick with that for awhile. My cats like the beef/bone/venison mix from HT, although it doesn't contain organs I don't worry about that in rotation. The pork/bones/organs from HT is good too, mine aren't big fans of pork, but that might be a good next option for you. 

There's a couple good groups on Facebook that are very active with raw feeders (many former members here as well as some current ones) if you're looking to interact with more raw-feeders. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RawFedIBD/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/grouprawpet/

http://www.foodfurlife.com/
The IBD you mentioned... Unfortunately, that is something the Callie suffers from (the kitty in my username photo). Callie has a very sensitive stomach, as well as arthritis. She was physically abused for quite a long period before I met her at age 5. She had a plethora of problems, including being severely underweight. She should be about 9 pounds, but when I found her, she was under 5 pounds. Her past caused her a lot of issues, and she became overweight once she had access to food regularly. Nearly 4 years later, she still feels like she needs to eat until she's totally stuffed. I've managed to get her weight under control to where she's just slightly overweight, but ideally she should be a little bit underweight to help her arthritis. She has had 2 rounds of stem-cell treatments that have helped her immensely, but she is still unable to eat certain things because it will cause her to have painful symptoms. Amazingly, this raw diet has not caused her any trouble, but before this past month, she was only able to eat Fancy Feast Chicken Pate canned and Purina Beyond Chicken dry food. If she ate a can of a different flavor, she would have a full day of awful symptoms that I'm all too familiar with. Before I changed to the raw diet, I used to give my cats a daily multi-vitamin made by Vetri-Science that had New Zealand Green Mussel in it. Everyone liked it and did well on it, except Callie. If Callie ate one of those vitamins, she would have her awful symptoms. (The raw food has Icelandic Pure Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Anchovy/Sardine Oil in it for their Omega-3.) Her vet thinks it could possibly be the dyes and additives in certain things that cause her negative reactions. Since she's been eating raw she hasn't had any of those symptoms, but now I'm worried that I will eventually cause her an allergy. Do you think she should give her a different protein, or just leave her on the same thing due to her IBD?

When you say add 2 more proteins, does the chicken mixed with the rabbit count? Or should I make a batch of just raw chicken? My cats seem to like the raw poultry, so would that be an option? And how often do you rotate? (Sorry for all the questions.)

I will check out the facebook links you suggested. I've never been an active facebook user, so it's not a site I'm very familiar with, but I do have an account and I'm pretty sure I remember my password. I'm going to check out the foodfurlife site too. I wish I had more time to read and learn, but it always feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. I should actually be working right now. Thanks again for your time and consideration.
 

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My apologies 
 I don't usually gender posters like that but i was moving quickly this morning and defaulted to female. Sorry about that! 
 
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catforce6

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My apologies 
 I don't usually gender posters like that but i was moving quickly this morning and defaulted to female. Sorry about that! 
No problem. I've been called worse. 
  
 

missmimz

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The IBD you mentioned... Unfortunately, that is something the Callie suffers from (the kitty in my username photo). Callie has a very sensitive stomach, as well as arthritis. She was physically abused for quite a long period before I met her at age 5. She had a plethora of problems, including being severely underweight. She should be about 9 pounds, but when I found her, she was under 5 pounds. Her past caused her a lot of issues, and she became overweight once she had access to food regularly. Nearly 4 years later, she still feels like she needs to eat until she's totally stuffed. I've managed to get her weight under control to where she's just slightly overweight, but ideally she should be a little bit underweight to help her arthritis. She has had 2 rounds of stem-cell treatments that have helped her immensely, but she is still unable to eat certain things because it will cause her to have painful symptoms. Amazingly, this raw diet has not caused her any trouble, but before this past month, she was only able to eat Fancy Feast Chicken Pate canned and Purina Beyond Chicken dry food. If she ate a can of a different flavor, she would have a full day of awful symptoms that I'm all too familiar with. Before I changed to the raw diet, I used to give my cats a daily multi-vitamin made by Vetri-Science that had New Zealand Green Mussel in it. Everyone liked it and did well on it, except Callie. If Callie ate one of those vitamins, she would have her awful symptoms. (The raw food has Icelandic Pure Unscented Pharmaceutical Grade Anchovy/Sardine Oil in it for their Omega-3.) Her vet thinks it could possibly be the dyes and additives in certain things that cause her negative reactions. Since she's been eating raw she hasn't had any of those symptoms, but now I'm worried that I will eventually cause her an allergy. Do you think she should give her a different protein, or just leave her on the same thing due to her IBD?

When you say add 2 more proteins, does the chicken mixed with the rabbit count? Or should I make a batch of just raw chicken? My cats seem to like the raw poultry, so would that be an option? And how often do you rotate? (Sorry for all the questions.)

I will check out the facebook links you suggested. I've never been an active facebook user, so it's not a site I'm very familiar with, but I do have an account and I'm pretty sure I remember my password. I'm going to check out the foodfurlife site too. I wish I had more time to read and learn, but it always feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. I should actually be working right now. Thanks again for your time and consideration.
You should def check out the raw feeding for IBD group, here's their website, and the creators of it are former members here as well as the mods over at the raw feeding for IBD facebook group. I'm not a pro on IBD, thankfully none of my cats have it, but I know with IBD you have to be more careful about introducing new proteins, but it's still recommended to rotate at least 2 to 3 proteins. Does combining rabbit and chicken count? I'm not really sure, probably not, but I think it's a good start. I think you're doing a great job so far and that ideally at some point you should try and maybe add chicken or turkey in addition to rabbit, but do what works for right now, moving too quickly can can digestive upset, which you def don't want. Are you giving a probiotic too? (I can't remember if you said you were or not). 

http://www.rawfeedingforibdcats.org/
 
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