09-20-2012, 09:49 AM
Hmm. That's a good suggestion; I'll try dripping meat juice on their food and adding just a chunk at a time. I don't have much dry food left, though, and I really don't want to buy another whole bag just to transition them off, so I'm nervous about "wasting" dry food if they decide they don't want to touch it with stuff in it.
Genevieve feels bloated to me too, although she only weighs 10lbs. The skin on her back is super taut. With Octavia, you can literally grab an entire handful of back skin (and she loves it, too). On Genevieve, you can barely pinch her skin at all.
09-20-2012, 10:35 AM
Any way you can get a small bag? I feed my cat Nature's Variety (chicken is cheapest) and they have a few different bag sizes.
09-20-2012, 11:23 AM
I don't think so. I buy cat food at a gay-owned local pet shop near my house and they don't carry smaller bags of Blue Wilderness. Petco doesn't carry them either, strangely. The smallest bag I can get is 5lbs, and that's $25. If I have to, I'll just buy some wet. It'd be cheaper than buying more dry, and I really want to get them off that stuff.
Update: Genevieve ate pork chunks mixed with dry food. And she didn't puke afterward! Progress.
Also, I'm thawing chicken thighs for later. Genevieve slurped up a bowl of chicken breast trimmings a couple weeks ago, so I think she'll probably eat thighs.
09-20-2012, 12:41 PM
I love your cats names, btw.
$25 for 5 lbs? yeesh. Nature's Variety is $20 for 14 lbs. I don't know how it compares to Blue Wilderness though.
09-20-2012, 02:09 PM
Unfortunately, Genevieve is better known as Gentlebeeps (or simply Beeps) around these parts. Mostly because she never shuts up. I tried to give them both names that couldn't be shortened, but it didn't work.
Blue Wilderness is one of the best-quality dry foods, but it's still 40% carb, which I just think is unacceptable. My cats are obligate carnivores, but they eat significantly more carbs than I do, and it's all processed. That's just wrong. I wouldn't eat that myself, so I just don't feel comfortable keeping my cats on it. Now that I am able to spend the time and energy doing raw, I think it's imperative that I do so.
09-20-2012, 03:07 PM
Oof, 40% carb? Nature's Variety is 80% protein! I hope you can make the raw food thing work.
09-20-2012, 06:10 PM
Yea! Another cat owner going raw! I have one 100% raw cat and going raw saved his life - Rudi has been raw for about 3 years or so, and outside of some fluids for kidney stuff, is on no meds and gets around great...
Once your ladies are transitioned to the taste/texture/smell of raw, here is the formula for long-term raw feeding - first, you will need a source of taurine, and I use beef heart. I can get it here at the local beef processor for just one dollar per heart - maybe you can sweettalk one of those butchers at the West Side Market... Second, you will need to have a source of minerals - in nature that would be bones, but in a pinch egg shell calcium or no-salt skin-and-bones-included canned fishes will work. Third, you will need to add some kind of organ on a regular basis - just a dab will do ya' (mostly liver). And fourth, don't be shy about adding in fatty cuts of muscle meat and connective tissue (like gristly bits).
There is a place down this way in Columbiana called "A Place for Paws", and they make raw mixes for cats and dogs. They also ship frozen all over the place, but between shipping and the cooler charge, I don't think that is the kind of money you want to spend at the moment - but they give so much information on the web site you could make your own mixes just from their ingredient lists. When I wanted some hand-holding, I personally went there and they counselled me to no end - really nice people and really committed to raw feeding. A Place for Paws - Columbiana, Ohio - Home
When I transitioned Rudi to raw, he took to it like a duck to water. He had been trying to steal every bit of raw he could for his entire life, and when I finally found out about the oblicate carnivore/grains bad for cats thing, it made me sick to my stomach that I had been feeding my beloved cat crap all those years while he was trying to show me what he really wanted.
When I got tired of driving up there to buy frozen 2-lb containers, I started making my own, and would chop up a big package of chicken thighs and beef chuck (chopping the chix bones with my cleaver) along with some liver and heart, and mix it up in a huge bowl, portion in those little snack-size baggies that I then stored in a big gallon freezer bag in the freezer. Now after 3 years, Rudi is a bit cantankerous about his raw preferences: no veggie bits of any kind, no seed oils, no eggshell calcium (I have tasted it myself, and I don't think it tastes much like anything except chalk, but Rudi hates it), no chewing bones, no chicken skin, and beef preferred. Since he hasn't been eating bones, so I will be off to Columbiana for another couple of containers soon (they grind their bone so fine I defy any cat to find it...), just so his food stays in some kind of balance. His all-time favorite meal is simply straight beef heart.
There are neat websites about making BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) for cats, and as long as they have a mix of muscle/organ/bone/fat&connective tissue/heart you really can't go wrong for the long haul.
Hope any of this helps.
09-20-2012, 06:51 PM
Thanks, Crabbcakes. I have already read A TON about it, so I knew all that already, but it's good in case anyone else who reads here is interested. I tried to get my hands on some liver and kidneys this week, but the grocery store nearest me (which often carries "weird" meat cuts) was out of organs. So I will probably have to take a regular pilgrimage to the Westside Market for that stuff. It shouldn't be too expensive, but it won't be $1/heart, either.
I know about the proper 80-10-5-5 ratio and whatnot, but I'm not worrying about bones and organs too much at this point. I just need them to get used to the texture of flesh right now and off the crack --- I mean, dry food. They are not going to die of vitamin deficiencies in a week or two while I get them acclimated, you know?
I'm trying several different meats right now just so they can pick which one they like better. I have pork butt, sirloin steak, turkey wing, chicken thigh, and sardines for them right now. Beeps is eating the sardines with great gusto, bones and all, so that's good. Octavia won't even try them, but she likes egg yolks, so I've been giving her yolk when I don't feel she's eaten enough meat and she won't eat any more.
I'm starting a diary to keep track of what they eat and refuse every day so I can track patterns and see what to buy in the future. They still require a LOT of coaxing at this point to even try the meat. I have to sit on the floor and sing to them (which they love) while giving them tiny little pieces one at a time along with a few dry food crunchies, and go "GOOD GIRL!!! AWWW, GOOD GIRL!" every time they actually eat one. It should get easier. At least they're even eating it at all. It could be worse.
Octavia LOVES peanut butter, so I'm kiiinda tempted to get some and smear it on the meat to make her eat it. I think I've seen tiny individual serving packets of it at the store, so that might be an option. The main battle right now is getting them to even taste the meat at each mealtime so that they get used to the flavor and associate it with food. They really do not want to eat it, so I'm doing all I can to make it as tempting and as much of a positive experience as possible.
09-20-2012, 08:14 PM
I pretty much had the feeling that you already did the reading, but just in case you hadn't heard about some things...
In the case of my boys, a couple of them would rather starve to death than eat raw meat, after having kibble all their lives. If your girls don't go raw all the way for a while, don't be too surprised. But on the other hand, don't give up, either. If I hear of any new tips, I'll be sure to let you know.
09-21-2012, 11:51 AM
198 today. Yay. Scratched my eye in my sleep so now it won't stop watering. Boo.