Raw Cat Food Update: 1 year later

After feeding 100% raw for over one year I have learned a few things along the way. So here is an update:

Raw Cat food

1. Skin. In the beginning I left all the skin on the chicken because my cat was a kitten. As he passed 1 year of age I thought I should start removing the skin. The general recipe I follow from Dr Pierson says to remove about 50% of the skin, more if your cat is over weight and less if your cat is underweight or a kitten. However, this is very tedious and not fun to do. I decided since my cat is not overweight at all I will continue to leave the skin.

2. Feeding Bowls. It is best to feed your cat with glass or stainless steel dishes. Plastic can catch and hold bacteria and should be avoided. I have 4 glass dishes I got from a thrift store and I can easily put them in the dishwasher after each use. Ceramic can be used but be careful because the paint glaze can chip and harbor bacteria as well.

3. Temperature. Before starting the raw process I read over and over that cats do not like cold food and the temperature needs to be just right. Maybe I’m just lucky but my cat doesn’t seem to care about the temperature. Even if the food is still slightly frozen in the morning, he will still happily eat it.

4. Grinder Maintenance. After washing I disinfect it with a vinegar solution and then towel dry 100%. The most used parts: plate, blade and cap, I put a thin coat of vegetable oil on these surfaces to prevent rust.

5.  Grinder.  I wish I bought the bigger size 32 grinder instead of 22. My manual grinder still works great and I wouldn’t change it for an electric.
But if I needed to buy a new one in the future it would be this one: #32 Meat Grinder with Pulley

6.  Feeding.  I feed three times a day. Once as soon as we wake up, again when I return from work and a bit more just before I go to bed. The meal before I go to bed is key to help my cat sleep in a bit more in the morning. Otherwise he would be waking me up at 4am every morning.

7. Defrosting. Before I go to bed I move a food container from the freezer to the fridge. By the morning it is defrosted enough to eat. If ever its not defrosted enough (meaning I took it out too late) I can run the closed container under hot water until defrosted enough. However as I said above, as long as it soft enough my cat will eat it regardless of temperature. I do wish I had a bigger freezer though, it would be so helpful!

Frozen raw Cat Food

8. Commercial Food. When I run out of raw food I feed him a commercial wet food for 1-3 days to add some variation to his diet. I only buy rabbit and beef in commercial food as he gets enough chicken from my home made food. I think its important to change cats’ diet so they are used to eating different consistences, flavors and textures.

Select Gold Cat Food

This is what I use. I don’t know that its the best of the best. But its high in protein, no vegetables or grains and easily available in Europe. Most importantly my cat does not get sick from it and will eat it happily. Select Gold Website

9. Daily Serving Size.  I remember researching like crazy trying to figure out how much I should feed. Every cat is different and there is no one answer. You will quickly find out how much your cat needs. When my cat was a kitten he was eating 50% more than he does today as an adult. The containers I use hold about 160 grams of food or about 2/3 cup. He eats about this amount daily, a little less now and as a kitten he ate more.

If you are feeding three times a day, you should feed as much as they will eat during that meal. No food should be left on the plate. Whatever my cat doesn’t eat within 10 minutes I remove the food.

So that’s what I’ve learned this past year. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments.

 

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13 Comments

  1. May 25, 2015 / 1:30 pm

    Wow, that’s pretty thorough. We haven’t switched to raw though we do get a little freeze-dried raw mixed in with our canned food.

  2. pilch92
    May 25, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    I commend you on sticking with this as it is so time consuming. I have been contemplating it, but with 15 cats it would require a lot of work.

    • May 25, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      I physically would not be able to with 15. You saw the size of my freezer. I think would be big enough for 1.5 days of food at your house. So I understand. But with just one, its really not bad, and totally worth it for me.

  3. May 25, 2015 / 7:29 pm

    Do you know ANiFit (www.anifit.ch) ? It’s high quality natural food, available in Switzerland only. That’s what we eat as Mum is too lazy to cook for us. She gives us some Schesir and some Almo, but not too much because it’s not complete. We wish she would switch to raw one day… Purrs

    • May 25, 2015 / 8:51 pm

      No I’ve never tried ANiFit, I’ll look into it, thanks. How do you know if a food is complete or not?

      • November 29, 2016 / 3:29 pm

        It’s written in tiny letters beside the ingredients “aliment complet” (complete) or “aliment complémentaire” or “complément alimentaire”, which is NOT complete.

  4. August 22, 2015 / 7:55 pm

    Great post! :) Sadly, here in the Canary Islands (an autonomous community of Spain) it´s impossible to get anything like the Select Gold brand. It´s not even possible to order it online because meat products from abroad are not allowed to enter the islands, but even if it was allowed, shipping is always sinfully expensive. So I´ve been doing my own thing, grinding the meat myself or have the butcher do it, and then supplementing it with a vitamin/mineral powder called “Felini Complete” that I order from Germany (http://www.futterado.de/shop_content.php?coID=12)…. before that, my friend in the US was sending me her own supplement (“My Natural Cat” from http://www.felineinstincts.com), but again, the shipping costs were our downfall in the end. :(

    • August 22, 2015 / 8:11 pm

      I completely understand. High quality commercial can be very expensive. I also make home made raw. I order my supplements from iHerb It is much cheaper than pre-mixed. Also iherb has great shipping. I live in Switzerland and the shipping is only $7 from the US. It’s the bet international shipping I’ve ever found.

      • August 22, 2015 / 8:18 pm

        Ah yes, I use iHerb too for all kinds of things and their shipping is reasonable indeed. I love their range of cruelty free and natural products too.

        But I am too lazy to figure out all the quantities of all the different vitamins to get them just right – it´s enough for me already to make the meat and mix it with the powder, hahah. ;)

        However, it´s not just the shipping that is the problem here. Getting stuff sent to Germany or the UK (where I lived before) from the US was never a big deal, but the Customs here in the Canary islands are really strict and a lot of the time we get stung with a customs fee on top of what we already paid! Also, trying to get stuff from the mainland (Spain) is almost impossible because a lot of businesses there will not ship to the autonomous regions, mostly for tax reasons I believe – our taxes here are much much lower than the mainland – our local VAT here, for example, is only 7%…

        • August 22, 2015 / 8:30 pm

          ah I see. Your shipping problems are even bigger than mine :-) At least you live on a beautiful island :-)

  5. May 19, 2016 / 2:31 am

    I just wanted to post since I also have the same experience with my cats. They don’t care about temperature of raw food, however, one is finicky and will only eat his if I mix a small amount of tuna in it first. Luckily, the amount needed is minimal (about a half teaspoon per meal). But I do want to note that my older female, who is almost 18 years, was experiencing serious kidney failure symptoms about 2 years ago. She would constantly run to the litterbox, sometimes trying to urinate as much as 10 times in just a few minutes; she threw up at least 2 times daily, and even her eyesight was starting to go. I am so happy to report that after just a couple weeks of being on a good raw diet, both the litterbox issues and the throwing up diminished. Within a few months, those symptoms disappeared entirely. I had been feeding them before on a combo of canned and no grain dry, but i will never go back. It is a lot of work, but so worthwhile. I truly believe it has extended my cats life by years now!

    • May 19, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      That is so great to hear and inspiring! I’m so happy its working for your cats. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  6. Martin
    April 23, 2017 / 4:53 pm

    Bonjour, j’ose en français si ça vous va car cela m’est plus facile. D’abord je suis agréablement surpris de constater que j’ai développé sensiblement les mêmes habitudes avec mes 2 chats de 13 ans depuis qu’ils sont au cru (que j’achète tout fait cependant et que je supplémente) : heure et fréquence des repas, quantité. Ils mangent et digèrent beaucoup plus vite qu’avec les conserves ou les croquettes ce qui est bien. J’ai aussi constaté une amélioration énorme de l’état de mon mâle Jeff qui est diabétique et que je soigne à l’homéopathie sans insuline. Je vais bientôt me mettre à votre recette avec mon grinder. Vu que Jeff a aussi un cholestérol élevé, je crois que je vais enlever toute la peau du poulet. Est-ce que d’après vous ce serait encore mieux d’utiliser des parties plus maigres comme les poitrines? Avec l’os et quand cette coupe est en spécial au marché bien sûr! Merci :)