Transitioning your cat to a raw diet using Raw Meow Mix may well be easy, but, in all likelihood it will be hit and miss to start with, with many cats flatly refusing to eat that meal you have lovingly prepared for them. We all wish we could just place the plate of raw food down and have our cats lap it up and ask for more, but the reality is, it will take you and your cat some time to get used to it and for your cat to happily eat their raw meals.
To help our customers understand the process, and to demonstrate just what the steps are and the reactions of typical cats, we have asked Samantha to transition her cats to raw using Raw Meow Mix and human grade raw meat
Samantha’s cats have been fed a mix of wet and dry commercial food and never eaten any raw meat at all. This blog will follow their transition from day one. Please join us on John McCartney and Ringo Starr’s (don’t you love their names!!) journey to raw
These are the instructions we provided to Samantha for the transition.
First of all we want you to be feeding only wet food. Remove all dry from the house, hide it away in the garage or somewhere they have no access to, if they smells it they may hold out for it. Feed their usual wet food plus start to introduce the raw plus Meow Mix
- Day 1 – Day 5 : Add 1 teaspoon of meat with Raw Meow Mix to kitty’s current meals, on the side, feed him his usual meal plus this. Please feed him on a flat plate. If they don't eat it throw it out, and make fresh at next meal. (It may be worth using minced meat at this stage as the portions will be small). Once they are eating the teaspoon full you can double that within this time frame
- Day 5 – Day 10 : Assuming they are eating the raw, make the meals one third raw and the rest their usual. Again once if they are eating that and if all good in the litter box then move to half and half
- From here you can slowly increase it to ¾ raw and ¼ usual meals. Please watch their toileting. If either of them vomit or has any diarrhea, stop and go back to just their usual wet meals for a day or two, then start again
- The freeze dried chicken is a tool to help you. You can use this as a topper, crumble it over the raw only, to entice them to eat it. Use this when required
“I have made the decision to change my kitties diet to raw food. I work in the veterinary industry and my cats have been on Royal Canin dry food and a few different wet foods since they were young. My lovely 8 year old ginger man is Ringo Starr and his little 2 year old brother is Paul McCartney. They have always liked their biscuits but I want them to experience the benefit of a balanced raw diet via Raw Meow Mix. Generally my boys can take some time to be introduced to something so I'm expecting resistance at first. Before dinner I'm going to play with 'Da Rat’ to work up an appetite (their favourite toy!)"
"I have started off my raw food transition by eliminating biscuits from my cats menu for the last four days. The raw meat I used for the introduction was beef mince (frozen four days ago). I started by laying out wet food they are familiar with, then placed a teaspoon of mince with Meow Mix on the side. Ringo and Paul both went straight for their usual favourite and ignored the mince this evening (as they generally do when offered a foreign food for the first time).
Actually Ringo seemed to like the Raw Meow Mix broth, I did watch him lick that up. He just had a tiny sniff of the mince. I might try the crumbled chicken breast tomorrow night”
“day two was much the same as day one”
Note how Samantha has plated the food perfectly. The normal food on one side and a small amount of the raw with Raw Meow Mix on the same plate but not touching the old food. This is exactly how it should be done. Using a flate plate makes this easier
“This morning was much better! I crumbled some freeze dried chicken breast over the mince with Meow Mix and Ringo ate all of his, Paul ate most. They both still went for their usual wet food first but I assume that's pretty normal at this stage”
Using a topper is a good idea. Raw Meow Freeze dried chicken breast pieces crumble nicely and are totally irresistible to most cats. Having this deliciousness over the new food can encourage your cat to try the food underneath it
“Mr McCartney ate the meat tonight, Ringo disappointed me!”
Cats will go at their own pace. Don't fret if one takes to it quicker than the other. This is normal and temporary
“This is the morning of day 5. I'm not sure if I should stick to the teaspoon of mince for a couple more days or move to the next phase. Paul is eating the mince consistently, Ringo is not. Ringo will sometimes eat a little bit of it, but he still seems a little bit suspicious of it still. He likes the mix though. Last night was the first time I saw him eat it all, but then he didn't this morning”
Evening of Day 5
“Tonight! Ringo even tried to steal some off Paul's plate! I was so excited!! Paul was just checking out to see if anything got missed. Will definitely move on to next step”
Day 6 : to the next step!
"Since the boys were doing really well I moved to the next phase. I used ⅓ raw and the rest their usual food. I used raw chicken with their favourite freeze dried chicken topper. Paul didn't disappoint and devoured his, Ringo ignored the larger portion"
"Today I tried again, the Meow Mix and Raw meat with their usual. Same result as yesterday from the fur children. Paul devoured and Ringo tiptoed around his raw meal"
"Today I did the same thing as the last two days, in the morning Ringo had a bit of a nibble at the raw (Paul devoured again). The evening is where I saw my persistence pay off, clean plates from both boys! I am beginning to notice them looking more shiny and it looks like they are shedding less as well. Both my boys are getting really excited for their meals too. It's an exciting change that I am beginning to see, even at this early stage"
The next 7 days
"All had been going really well up until now, I was bound to come across a hiccup at some point. Paul was lethargic one morning and not really interested in food, very unusual for him. I checked the litter tray and there was diarrhea. After getting him vet checked I went back a low residue version of his usual food in this time"
This is very normal and can happen. It doesn't mean the raw food is bad for them or that you should give up. Do what Samantha did. Stop, go back to normal food or plain cooked chicken, rest the belly. When things calm down, start again. Slow down. Take a step backward. It's not a race.
"Back to square one. I had to go back to the beginning so I didn't shock their systems with too much raw after a break. I used a teaspoon of raw with Meow Mix and chicken topper for both kitties with their usual wet food. I wasn't sure what would happen but little Paul devoured his raw and Ringo had a little nibble"
"Because yesterday I had success with Paul but not Ringo, I changed their meals slightly. I gave Paul two teaspoons of raw and kept Ringo on one teaspoon. I added the crumbled freeze-dried chicken because I definitely get better results with it. In both the morning and the evening both cats ate what was offered to them"
"Today I used the same portions as yesterday, one teaspoon for Ringo and two for Paul. In the morning both cleared their plates which was great to see. When I tried again in the evening however, they both left some raw behind. I am inclined to put this down to the fact I used roo in the morning and chicken at night- Maybe I am beginning to see their preferences"
"I fed the chicken again today as the raw, one teaspoon for Ringo and two for Paul. As usual, my little foodie Ragdoll ate his breakfast and dinner without any convincing. Ringo decided it wasn't a raw day and left his chicken untouched. He did still lap up his Raw Meow Mix as usual, that doesn't seem to be a problem for him. Tomorrow will be a red meat day instead"
"Clean plates from both cats, finally. I used one teaspoon for Ringo and two for Paul with Meow Mix and freeze dried chicken with their usual. The dinner time mayhem is continuing, they are definitely more excited for their meals"
The next phase (second take)
"This was ⅓ raw and the rest their usual meal. I poured on the Raw Meow Mix, crumbled some chicken topper and offered it to the kiddies. We had a play with a few of their favourite toys before dinner to get their appetites going. Both boys ate all their raw at both meals"
"One third raw, crumbled freeze dried chicken and Raw Meow Mix. Tonight was very exciting. I watched the boys as they began to chow down and, to my surprise, Paul went straight for the raw over Royal Canin! He liked the beef mince. I'm still using mince because it is an easier texture to introduce but I'll look at upgrading that soon pending their progress. By the end of the meal Ringo had eaten most of it, Paul had smashed it all"
"I fed ⅓ raw along with the boys usual food today. Ringo was inconsistent again today, choosing only a small nibble of raw roo with chicken topper between breakfast and dinner. Paul, the food bag, had no problem eating his raw and even offered to eat Ringo's (before I intervened)"
to be continued...
RAW MEOW- NEXT ATTEMPT
I had a hiatus from transitioning my cats for a couple of weeks due to some stressful events in my life. Because of this, I have restarted the day count.
Today was a small teaspoon of raw with their usual wet food- and freeze dried crumble of course. I have gone with chicken thigh today. From my other entries you can see that Ringo will often snub the raw. Today he devoured it! Little Paul, not so much. He just munched on the crumble. They have swapped roles.
I used roo meat today. Same portion as yesterday, one teaspoon raw with their normal food. Ringo ate it all again! Paul had a little chew on a couple of pieces and ate a couple more.
Chicken breast on the menu today, one teaspoon of raw with Raw Meow Mix (and their usual). Apparently, the chicken breast got the seal of approval from both boys. Clean plates
Moving up to two teaspoons of raw beef today with Raw Meow Mix and chicken crumble. Again, the boys did not disappoint at either meal.
I did notice my little vacuum Paul have a vomit today shortly after eating. I'm not willing to put it down to the raw. He tends to inhale food with such enthusiasm and I feel this is what leads to vomiting. To counter this I'm going to start feeding three meals per day so I can reduce the volume of food. I will also move him far from his brother, to reduce competition.
Three meals today, all the cats Christmases have come at once. Roo meat is on the menu (two tablespoons), Raw Meow Mix, freeze dried chicken crumble and their Royal Canin. All three meals I was presented with clean plates- and no vomiting! Litter tray also seems to be going nicely at this point.
I am moving on to ⅓ raw and ¾ normal food today. The boys seem to be doing well with the move to raw. I am definitely seeing them become more excited for their meals!
Clean plates today at every meal and no vomits after eating. The boys have definitely earned some play with Da Rat
Same portion today as yesterday. I nearly tripped over Paul while he was excitedly singing for his dinner. As you might expect from such a reaction, all plates were cleaned.
I added slightly more raw to their meals today, moving towards half and half. I am still using the freeze dried chicken breast crumble with the meat.
When I put the plates down at breakfast Ringo demolished his raw first. Up until now he has always eaten the pouch food first. This was a very exciting development.
At the moment I also feel the litter box situation is actually improving. There is less poo and definitely less smell (charming, right?).
I used about the same portion as yesterday. Nearly a half and half ratio. I used some beef and chicken today for their various meals. Good results again for the boys
Today I have used half raw meat with Raw Meow Mix and half of their usual food. Still crumbling freeze dried chicken breast. I definitely didn't imagine the boys becoming more excited about their meals, their enthusiasm is amazing.
The half and half went down well today, clean plates all around.
Day 11,12 & 13
I have combined these three days to avoid repeating myself. Over these days I just fed a mixture of half raw and half Royal Canin. I used a variety of meats including beef, chicken thigh, chicken breast and roo with freeze dried chicken breast.
The boys cleaned their plates at every meal. The transition this time has been going beautifully. No issues with diarrhea or vomiting and nobody is on a hunger strike.
Here is something I never thought I would say, I have replaced the freeze dried chicken breast…
Instead I have used some of the new Raw Meow Complete Meal (chicken flavour). A balanced crumble will be good for their transition. I'm also going to start reducing the amount of Royal Canin more and more and increasing the raw meat. Over the next few days I want to work towards ¾ raw and ¼ Royal Canin.
When I prepped my roo meat with Raw Meow Mix and chicken meal, I never expected such drama. The kitties went wild! They loved it! Very cool to see.
Today I added slightly more than half raw to their meal, I want to gradually increase this amount over the next few days. Chicken thighs were on the menu for breakfast and beef later on in the day. The chicken meal on top of the meat was a hit again and the boys gobbled up everything.
Day 16, 17 & 18
I joined these days together, to avoid repeating myself again. These days are a gradual transition from half and half to ⅓ Royal Canin and ¾ raw.
Each day I just added a tiny bit more raw and added slightly less Royal Canin. The boys tolerated it beautifully, no adverse effects with vomiting or diarrhea. I am still feeding three meals per day and using Raw Meow chicken meal as my topper.
Ringo and Paul have come a long way from being biscuit cats.
The excitement at dinner time!
Final excerpt :
The excitement at dinner time!
Today is officially ⅓ Royal Canin and ¾ raw meat with Raw Meow Mix. The boys are thriving at the moment, loving their meals and looking super healthy. Both of their coats look like their condition has improved and they are just generally healthy, energetic cats. I put their meal down today and (of course) they gobbled it up, raw first. Chicken breast and roo today
Day 20 & 21
Another couple of days as the ⅓ and ¾ and it is all getting very exciting. The boys are loving the menu
All raw today and the boys loved it, no hesitation or suspicion, straight in to it. This was all muscle meat, Raw Meow Mix and the freeze dried chicken meal. All in all, Raw Meow deserves its 'kitty crack’ reputation
The boys get so excited for their meals now (which is awesome to see). It did take some time to introduce the new food and I had a few hiccups. Regardless of this, it was absolutely worth the wait!
My advice for anyone thinking of beginning this journey- don't be discouraged if your progress is slow. I have tried lots of different toppers and proteins (and offered them relentlessly each meal). Not every meal was a winner, but it gets easier and your cats won't be disappointed
The End.. or should I say... The Beginning.. of a healthier happier life