Mouse Temperature Raw Food

If you’re a raw feeder like me, you’ll know that a lot of forums recommend feeding the food at mouse temp rather than cold from the fridge.  Here’s how I do it.

The meat!

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into a metal bowl

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Hot water into another bowl

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Meat bowl over hot water.  I add tap water into the metal bowl so that the meat warms up evenly, remember we want to warm up the meat not cook it.  Also, notice someone is lurking underneath.

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Cut the meat

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let the meat warm up in the water.. I use my fingers to test how warm everything is.

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transfer meat into food bowl

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don’t forget the water / gravy

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Ready to serve!

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One hungry customer is waiting for his food

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Still waiting

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Dinner is served!

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And this is why we have a placemat

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A satisfied customer!

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Melvin’s raw diet journey

So Melvin has been on a steady diet of raw chicken meat, franken prey style which consists of 80% meat 10% organ and 10% bone. The idea behind this is to model what they would eat in the wild and if you think about say a mouse, the proportion of meat to bone to organ would be something similar.

After the last post on what to feed him, I thought more on the logic and the fact that as humans we also don’t, or at least shouldn’t eat that much canned / processed food. I also like the idea of knowing what exactly he is eating. The raw bit had me a little squeamish initially, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense, cats don’t eat cooked food in the wild.

I first started with just chicken fillets or boneless thigh meat mixed in his favourite canned food and slowly transitioned him to pure raw. It took him about a weekend to start eating raw and another month or do to fully get with the program. The tough part for me was to get him to finish his food within 30 mins cause bacteria multiplies rapidly after that.

After about 1 month I started adding liver to his meals. He loved that from the start. Then I started adding heart and kidneys. Again he didn’t seem to like it at first but I think he is starting to like it, or at least he finishes it.

After about 2 and a half months, I started adding bone to his diet. Took a while but he now attacks the bones most of the time. I’ve also started giving him bigger chunks of meat to force him to chew his food. This sometimes ends up with him throwing up his food immediately cause he was too lazy to chew, otherwise he seems to be adapting well.

Preparing his meals are relatively easy, I go to the wet market and get one whole Kampong (local free range?) chicken with some extra liver, kidney and hearts from the chicken seller. I get them to separate the breast meat, debone the thigh meat and chop the rest of chicken up into small parts.  Here are the two bags of chicken, one filled with bony bits, one with meat.

to market to market to buy a fat chicken

When I get home, I rinse the meat and spilt it into daily portions for the meat and weekly portions for organs.

i feel like chicken tonight like chicken tonight

I am currently feeding him 100 grams of chicken a day, split into two meals.  Each box you see is one meal. I will keep about 2 days worth of meals in the fridge and everything else, I freeze.

one whole shelf for melvin's food!

yes, melvin has one entire shelf for his food in my freezer. hahaha.  The other plastic bags are full of random bones / chicken necks/ chicken feet which i sometimes give to him as a snack outside meal times.

His poop (yes I examiner his poop everyday) was initially wet, soft and loose but over time it got better as his stomach got used to dealing with raw meat. At one stage he would have blood and reddish mucous coating it. I panicked the first time and brought him to the vet who said he was fine. I have.since learned not to freak out so easily.

I’ve noticed some behavioral changes in Mel since switching to raw – he is more alert and spends less time sleeping. His fur is softer and his poop less stinky. All in all I’m glad I took the plunge to change his diet.

If you’re interested here are some links on raw diets which I found useful.

http://www.catinfo.org

http://rawfed.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3wLTlqnMMg

http://www.rawfedcats.org/

http://feline-nutrition.org/

https://mymeowz.wordpress.com/raw-diet/


wet food, dry food, raw food, cooked food

I know, sounds like something out of a Dr Seuss book right?  It’s the many, sometimes heated, debate on what’s best to feed our cats.  After reading as much as I can, here’s a summary of the pros and cons

Dry Food

Pros Cons
  1. Can be left out all day (convenient for humans, kitty won’t starve if you go back late)
  2. Suppose to be good for their teeth
  1. Even the good ones are full of fillers, the crap ones are worse (don’t get me started on Science Diet!)
  2. Cats must drink lots of water when on dry food which goes against their natural instinct (cat are desert creatures so they get water requirement from their prey, not by drinking water directly)
  3. Dry food does not clean teeth! When a cat chews dry food, it shatters into small pieces. In order to promote effective cleansing of tooth and gums, the food must remain in contact with the teeth and gums for a period of time.

Wet Food

Pros Cons
  1. High moisture content (typically 70% to 80%), most have better protein / meat source (still have to read the label to make sure it’s not full of carbs or fillers but it’s a better bet than dry food)
  1.  Can only be left out for shorter periods of time (compared to dry food) which is bad for cats like Mel who don’t eat at fixed timings and tend to graze
  2. Uneaten portion has to be refrigerated and heated up to at least room temp when served again (not exactly fuss free)
  3. Gives cats bad breath/ teeth /gum issues.
  4. at the end of the day it’s still processed food and who know’s what is going into it (would you eat canned food everyday?)

Cooked food

Pros Cons
  1. You know exactly what you are feeding your cat, no preservatives, no fillers, just pure meat
  1. Can only be left out for a short period of time
  2. Quite a bit of work to prep food for cat, esp when some of us don’t even cook food for ourselves regularly
  3. Hard to know if what you’re feeding is enough, and what sort of food to feed, are they getting enough nutrients
  4. your cat may ignore it altogether cause it’s not smelly like their canned food
  5. cooked food loses a bit of the nutrients and taurine content, there is a study by Dr Fransis Pottenger that claims that cats fed on cooked food were weaker than cats fed on raw diets (am intending to go get a copy of the book and find out more)

Raw

Pros Cons
  1. Supposed to be the closest thing to their natural diet in the wild
  2. More nutrients, better for their health / immune systems
  1. Can only be left out for about 30 mins max
  2. cats can’t graze
  3. bacteria on raw meat (i know cats stomachs are more acidic so they shld be able to deal with this, but part of me is wondering if our raw meat source is of good enough quality and i’m not prepared to shell out for hormone free raw meat)

So, where do we go from here? The more I read, the more I want to transition to fresh cooked food and read up a bit more before I consider moving to raw food.  Mel is on mainly canned wet food right now.  I am feeding him a variety from wellness and monge.  He really loves the Monge brand, he will run to the kitchen and wait then when he sees us walking with it, he will run to the his food area to wait and then eat it like he hasn’t eaten anything in days.  Monge is fish based (mainly tuna) which isn’t great for him, so I try to make the meals more balanced by mixing in the chicken or turkey formula from Wellness.  Will prob try cooked food in the coming months and if i do transition to raw, I have found a nearby place that sells BARF patties for cats.

And since no Melvin post is complete without a photo of him, here is Melvin sitting in a totally unglamorous “ah pek” (old man) position