To ensure a balanced diet you need to follow the 80-10-10 guideline. Meaning your meals or batches will consist of 80% muscle meat (if you have a cat 15% of this should be heart for taurine), 10% bone content and 10% organs of which 5% is liver and the other 5% should be another secreting organ, most popular is kidney and spleen but brain, testicles, pancreas, eyes are other options. Keep in mind this is a guideline not law. This is where "know thy animal” comes into play. For example Echo our Bengal, needed a little more food everyday, whereas our Domestic Short Hair, Remy needed less. How do I know? Echo was getting skinny but eat plates of food while Remy on her recommend amount was gaining extra weight.
How Much to Feed:
1. Calculate what your companions IDEAL weight should be. Consider the activity level. The higher the activity level the higher percentage you will feed. The guideline is about 3% of the ideal adult weight.
Example: Cortana's ideal weight is 9.2# on an average activity level.
9.2 pounds at 3% is 4.4 oz per day
Cortana should be fed between 4.4 oz per day. Since she has an average activity level I would feed 4.4 oz per day split into 2 feedings. As a kitten we did three times per day. Kittens are fed a little differently since they are growing. We will address this later. Keeping an eye on their body condition will tell you if they are gaining too much weight or not enough. You should be able to see the last couple rib bones and feel them with ease. There should be a nice "tuck" right before the hind quarters.
We can cheat as well by using google. Simply type in “% you want to feed of [pet’s weight] to oz"
Once you have this number take 80% of their daily requirement. This will give you the amount of meat you need to feed. This can be any combination of typical cut like loin, thigh, shoulder but also can include heart, gizzards, eggs, tripe, lungs etc.
If we use Cortana’s example above:
4.4 oz of food total per day
80% of 4.4 loz is 3.5 of muscle meat
Follow this method to determine how much liver and other secreting organs you need
10% of 4.4 oz is 0.4 oz
5% of 0.4 oz is 0.2 oz of liver
5% of 0.4 oz is 0.2 oz of other secreting organs
Finally determine how much bone you will need. Every bone has varying meat to bone ratios so the neck of chicken will not have the same amount of bone and meat as a turkey neck nor a set of ribs.
The average chicken neck (without skin) weighs 1.45 oz.
They consist of 75% bone and 25% meat.
To figure out how much bone is in a single neck multiple the weight of the neck (1.45 oz) by 75% (or 0.75)
1.45 oz * 0.75= 1.08 oz
We do the same to determine the amount of meat on the neck
1.45 oz * 0.25= 0.36 oz
*Note the amount of meat on the neck will be factored into the meat section required per day.
To determine how many necks you would need per day we take the bone requirement (for this dog it would be 0.4 oz) and divide by the amount of bone in one neck (1.08 oz)
0.4 oz/1.08 oz= 0.3 necks (you can round to 1/2 as the weight is just an average)
To find the amount of meat that you will be getting from the necks multiple 0.36 oz (the amount of meat on each neck) by the number of necks
0.36 oz * 0.3 necks = 0.1 oz
Than subtract this from the amount of meat to get the amount of meat you still need to feed.
For kittens they should be allow to eat almost as much as they want from a balanced batch in 3 or more meals per day.
With cats we want to be a little more careful as fasting can be dangerous so there are two methods we recommend
Method #1: Cold Turkey
Although yes you can feed cold turkey, this method involves stopping all commercial food including kibble and canned food and replacing with an almost balanced raw meal. In this method feed 85% muscle meat, 5% liver (note this is half the normal organ recommendation) and 10% bone for two weeks. This can help avoid stomach upset due to the richness of the organ meats. If there is no upset after 2 weeks you can feed the full organ recommendation.
Method #2: 7-10 Day Transition
If you are transitioning an adult cat especially one that has been fed a kibble diet most of its life and refuses to transition using the cold turkey method, using a high quality canned food is your best transitioning tool. It is recommended you transition over a 7-10 day period. If your companion eats a kibble based diet, now would be the time to transition to a canned food. Canned food is getting closer to raw feeding as it contains more meat, less carbohydrates, is full of moisture and easier to digest. Over this time period you will want to use 25% of the new food to 75% old food the first day, continue this for a bit, then move into 50% new and 50% old food. In a few days, transition to 75% new food, 25% old food. Than finally on the 7th to 10th day your companion should be consuming 100% raw.
The following is a list of good wet/canned cat foods to transition with if need be
Natural Planet Organics
Regardless of how you transition always eliminate ALL kibble in the diet. Kibble and raw not only digest at different rates which can cause digestive upset but because of the carbohydrate load (fruits and veggies are carbs in addition to grain) the stomach acid is not strong enough to break down bone or neutralize bacteria which can leave your companion open to illness
Supplements-We don't supplement unless there is an illness, allergy or some ailment that can not be aided with a whole food and natural diet. If we replicate what carnivores would do in the wild, they wouldn't be eating coconut oil, apple cider vinegar or kale. Fruits, veggies and grains are fillers and do not have much benefit to our carnivore companions who are unable to effectively breakdown these food Items. Some advocate for pureeing or cooking to make them more easy to utilize but this is at the expense of destroying vital vitamins, minerals, fats, enzymes and altering structure.
Feeding raw doesn’t need to be difficult. Remember these are guidelines. Keep it simple and you'll have less stress