Friday, August 27, 2010

Crunch GROWL Crunch Crunch!

Well seeing as I referred to Shadow's Happy Food Growling in my last raw feeding update I figured I would post a video of this phenomenon.

It's embedded below (and in case you are unclear on what "raw feeding" means, I should warn that this is NOT something you want to watch if you are extremely squeamish about raw meat or the sound of bones crunching).

(Note that he did NOT catch the bird himself, it's from the grocery.)

Shadow is taking on about a third of a whole raw quail here (the torso section plus a wing, I think) and enjoying himself immensely. What's weird is that when I'm preparing raw meaty meals for the cats (which, in the case of the quail, basically amounts to "chop into thirds and serve") it seems completely disgusting, but as soon as I give it to the cats my brain flips into "ooh, Discovery Channel!" mode. Like I'm watching some nature documentary about miniature panthers or lions. Seeing those carnivore teeth and jaws in action is pretty astounding!


  1. One of my cats regularly supplements his diet by catching small birds and wood mice. He starts chomping at the head and works his way back, frequently stopping halfway. Even when he eats a full mouse he always, without fail, leaves the innards. Sometimes he merely eats the heads of both birds and mice.

    It's as though he is selecting his favourite portion at a restaurant. Either way, we have learned to carefully check the bottom of the stairs every morning!

    On a side note, he also collects live frogs for examination purposes. We return them to the garden to fight another day.

    Keep up the good blog - most interesting.

  2. Jennifer: Heh, yeah, what is it about the heads? So far Brodie is the only one of the kitties here who will actually eat mice, and he always goes for the head first. Sometimes he leaves the tail-end (maybe the anus doesn't taste as good as the rest?) but last night he ate the whole thing when I gave him a (thawed, previously frozen) feeder mousie. Which I was glad of because I do not particularly enjoy picking up unwanted bloody mouse butts!

  3. Hi, I found your blog in a kind of roundabout way--I was telling DH about Amanda Baggs and your blog is on her blogroll. I've been considering trying raw food for my cats, but I was concerned about bone splinters causing intestinal damage. Was wondering if you have any thoughts on that. BTW, I bet the heads of prey animals are preferred due to their high nutritional value and ease of access (compared, say, to getting marrow out of the leg bones).

  4. AbrashTX: Oh yes Amanda is a good friend of mine -- she and I share a very intense interest in cats. :D

    Regarding bone splinters: gah, that had me really worried too at first. And I still tend to hover over my kitties when they're eating (albeit not so closely as to make them too self-conscious to eat) just to make sure nobody tries to swallow anything too big or scary-jagged-looking. So far that hasn't been an issue, though -- I never really realized this before I started preparing raw meals for the cats how relatively "soft" raw bones are.

    In quail and game hens and even small to medium chicken wings, all the bones feel quite flexible. And even if the kitties snap the end off of, say, a quail leg, it might LOOK pokey but if I feel the pokey bit with my finger it sort of almost gives way. It's totally unlike the feel of a broken *cooked* bone, which tends to be hard and splintery. And cooked bones should definitely never be given to cats, because those CAN cause choking and perforations and other nastiness. Raw bones of an appropriate size are both chewable and readily digestible by kitties.

  5. That said, some raw feeders use powdered bone meal or eggshell in case of actual bone, e.g., if they've got older cats with teeth missing or cats who just refuse to eat bone for whatever reason (and we all know how picky some can be!). I am glad my younger cats will tackle bones because I am already seeing the dental more yellowish stuff up near the gumline, and everyone's teeth are brilliant shiny-white (plus nobody has Cat Food Breath anymore). But I would be shocked if Nikki (older cat) would so much as go near a bone, so if I ever manage to get her on raw (or at least part-raw) my guess is that she'll be getting the powdered stuff.

    In short, the chewing benefits of whole bone are nice but the really crucial thing is to make sure the kitties are getting enough calcium along with their meat, so that they're receiving the right calcium/phosphorous ratio in their diet.

  6. Thanks for the info! After I posted my comment, I did a little Googling about raw food, which confirmed everything you said about cooked bones being the problem, not raw ones. So... off to the market I will go for a few quail. This should be interesting.

  7. AbrashTX: Woot! Well good luck then! I can't wait to hear how it goes with the quail! :D

  8. I always figured that growling meant 'mine!'


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