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Whole Prey

Discussion in 'Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food' started by Willow's Mom, Aug 29, 2019.

  1. Willow's Mom

    Willow's Mom Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    45
    121
    Aug 28, 2019
    Humble County (rural USA)
    I am lucky enough to have found a reasonable and very pleasant source of feeder rodents to supplement Willow's diet of mostly frozen prepared raw.

    I was curious whether anyone else here was able to do this and felt like answering some questions.

    Willow is about eleven weeks old by our veterinarian's estimate. She has never been feral, but she was born outside to an abandoned pet. I started her on pinkies. She has always recognized "mice on ice" as food and it honestly couldn't be easier.
     
    Azazel purraised this.

  2. dhammagirl

    dhammagirl TCS Member Adult Cat

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    108
    Dec 16, 2015
    Hi
    I give one of my cats, Zeke, adult mice that I get from Hare Today. He loves them! Started with the pinkies, but quickly moved on to bigger prey, even small guinea pigs and rabbits.
     

  3. goingpostal

    goingpostal TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Mar 11, 2011
    MN
    One of my cats will eat or try most anything, she can't quite figure out the fur thing yet so tends to gum mice/rats and then leave them which is super gross, thank goodness my dogs will eat anything lol. Pinks are gobbled down or anything larger if I remove fur on like rabbits. She loves birds so she gets day old chicks as treats sometimes and small/medium sized chickens and quail. I have snakes and ferrets that eat a lot of whole prey so the cats get offered anything they do.
     

  4. Willow's Mom

    Willow's Mom Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    45
    121
    Aug 28, 2019
    Humble County (rural USA)
    Thank you.

    I think it would be more cost effective to use larger prey, but I wanted to compare notes. We had a very bad experience at a pet store when I ordered three frozen pinkies and a frozen pup and they wound up giving me what looked like an adult mouse instead of a pup.

    I was out of prepared cat food and my kid was hungry, so I popped it in her bowl, hair and all, closed the crate and walked away.

    She ate every last bit of that mousie.

    I tend to offend people when I laugh at myself and explain that I don't eat or enjoy the smells and tastes of cooked meat. This is all very new to me--I need to be as conscious of food safety with dogs' and cat's meals as any ten year old taking Home Ec 101 in middle school and I honestly don't know the names of the cuts of poultry, beef, chicken., etc. that I should be watching for in the sale flyers.

    But whole prey has been a complete piece of cake compared to frankenprey. I open a vacuum sealed package, break off one or two pups, put them in her thawing jar, and feed the kitty.

    The package of 20 pups she just finished was sufficient for crate training. I put the bowl in her carrier, sing an old Attachment Parenting song from way back in the 20th century called "Baby First"[1] and/or cue her with the word "in" and the dogs with their word "wait", and in goes a very happy kitty.

    Since she associates her carrier with her favourite treat, it's fine to crate her just like the dogs for my guitar lesson, when I broke up a whole chicken for the dogs this morning, etc. This was a nice perk for "not wanting to look" or have to clean up little pieces of mousie.

    Her happiness is so contagious that I do look now. By the end of the pack of 20 mice, I was thanking the cat food for their lives and smiling at her excitement. It's how nature works. Nothing is wasted and life begets life.

    I'm still squeamish about factory farmed meat but these rodents are humanely raised, euthanized, and sold as pet food to support a breeder who is improving her lines for pet mice and rats.

    Willow is moving up to a rat pup tonight. It looks like it might be a whole meal. I'm also interested in seeing what she thinks of chicks and quail if I can find a good source. Hare Today looks great if I can't find a local farmer.

    I am so glad I am able to do this for Willow. She probably wouldn't have taken to whole prey as well as she did if she hadn't come from adverse circumstances or if I had been too squeamish to get her that first pinkie right away.

    The improvement in her health and general demeanor has been amazing. I've never had a kitten like this before. I would never go back to kibble.

    It's nice to find some other cat people who don't think I've completely lost my mind. :)

    [1]https://www.lesterfamilymusic.com/
     
    goingpostal purraised this.

  5. goingpostal

    goingpostal TCS Member Alpha Cat

    492
    458
    Mar 11, 2011
    MN
    My first cat loved mice, any size. I could never get her to accept anything else with fur or feathers on, she wanted her meat naked haha. That's more how my Highlander is, she likes chunked meat and any commercial raw but whole prey she pretty well turns her nose up at. Whole prey tends to be more costly but yes it is very grab and go. Both of my cats will eat in crates as well, it's a good way to keep everyone eating their own meals.
     

  6. Willow's Mom

    Willow's Mom Thread Starter TCS Member Young Cat

    45
    121
    Aug 28, 2019
    Humble County (rural USA)
    One of my dogs wouldn't eat her organs and was picking out pieces of kidney and liver and throwing them on the floor of her crate. I called Willow and she cleaned up the mess for me quite happily.

    I think this kitten is officially weird but I like her that way. <3
     
    goingpostal purraised this.

  7. MaineCats

    MaineCats TCS Member Kitten

    4
    4
    Sunday
    FWIW, I remember from my indoor/outdoor cat days that my boys would catch chipmunks, baby rabbits, moles and snakes, but they would only eat the mice and shrews (their favorite). They seemed to eat every part of their catch, except for the digestive tract which they always left behind. They were both Maine Coon mixes. Cats are so particular, so I don't know how or if this generalizes to other cats.
     

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