...is something I've actually gotten up the nerve to try recently. There will probably be several lengthy posts about this, but for now here is a picture of Cora polishing off a quail:
I should also note that I am not doing 100% raw for the moment...I am still learning about and evaluating what research there is regarding this sort of thing. But the younger cats have been getting around 50-60% of their daily diet in the form of raw meat, bones, organs, etc., for nearly two weeks now. (Nikki won't touch the stuff but that's no surprise -- for the moment I am just glad she is back to liking grain-free wet food.)
Briefly I will also say that:
- Nobody has gotten sick
- Poop output and stink seems to have been reduced by at least half
- Coats are getting softer and shinier
- Brodie seems to have a lot more energy (which makes me wonder if he is just really, really bad, even for a cat, at getting any benefit whatsoever from carbohydrates, which even grain-free commercial cat foods generally have some of)
Hence, so far I would say things look very promising!
(And yes, I am supplementing with extra taurine -- technically cats "should" be able to get all the taurine they need from raw prey or prey-model food containing enough heart and dark muscle meat and such, but I don't want to take ANY chances with that particular amino acid.
One study in which two groups of cats were fed, respectively, a commercial diet and a diet of whole ground rabbit, resulted in one cat in the raw group suddenly dying of cardiomyopathy due to severe taurine deficiency. When examined, other cats in that group were also found to have signs of deficiency, so their diet was supplemented with taurine for the remainder of the study. So while I would guess tentatively that the process of grinding the rabbit was responsible for the loss of taurine, again, not taking any chances here.)
I also tried (in addition to the chicken, turkey, quail, and beef that the trio have been quite happy with so far) getting some frozen feeder mice at one of those pet stores that caters to reptiles. Yes, I know, kind of gross (and the mice were so cute despite being dead!), but in a way I sort of feel like feeding whole prey is a way for me to really come to terms with what a carnivore is. Store-bought kibble may come in cute little shapes reminiscent of children's cereal, but it still (if it's of any quality) contains dead animal bits and something in me finds it a bit unnerving to be so disconnected from the "source" of said animals. If that makes any sense at all to anyone.
In any case, so far only Brodie seems willing to actually eat the mice. Cora and Shadow played with them a bit, but didn't seem to recognize them as food. (Which I am sure Brodie is just fine with...he got what they didn't eat!).