Author Topic: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding  (Read 1289 times)

Offline Catgirl64

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How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« on: December 10, 2017, 03:20:54 PM »
I do have one question, and I am not sure where it should be posted, so please move it if it doesn't belong here.

Lola, you spoke of having to pick your battles, and one of mine will be the cost of the meats that I use as I switch to homemade/raw.  I have noticed that lots of stuff is marked as containing a solution of...well, whatever.  I assume it's there largely as filler, and I try to avoid it even when shopping for my own food, but this is not always possible.

Is avoiding these meats absolutely essential?  I know it's not ideal to use them, but they have to be better than any kibble, or even most of the canned food I can afford on a long-term basis. 

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 03:25:25 PM »

Offline DeeDee

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 03:43:45 PM »
Quote
Is avoiding these meats absolutely essential?  I know it's not ideal to use them, but they have to be better than any kibble, or even most of the canned food I can afford on a long-term basis.

Everyone's reminder: we do the best we can.

You might want to look around for specialty pet stores near you--or a food co-op. I was in a co-op, but now am not. Just too much garbage going on behind the scenes, so I quit in August. Now I drive to Murfreesboro, TN, and get what I need from Licker and Whine pet store. Same distance as where the co-op meets in Nashville without all the Interstate traffic and barely any price change. My Pet Carnivore also has deliveries down this way, but I've not used them yet.

But you might find a co-op near you on this list: https://keepthetailwagging.com/shop-through-a-raw-food-co-op-to-save-on-raw-dog-food/

Texas Tripe has also been expanding their delivery areas and is now up as far as Oklahoma, Kansas, and over into parts of Arkansas and Tennessee:  https://texastripe.wordpress.com/delivery-schedule/  I wanted to use them, but they meet in the same place as the co-op that I used, and my husband wasn't enthused at all about me going there at 7:00pm considering the area and the crime. The meeting place was high on the list of reasons to quit the co-op. He saw it one time this summmer, and the nagging didn't end afterward.
"In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn't merely try to train him to be semihuman. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming partly a dog." Edward Hoagland
"Thorns may hurt you, men desert you, sunlight turn to fog; but you're never friendless ever, if you have a dog."

Offline Middle Child

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 04:12:35 PM »
Yes, please don't feed any meat that contains any kind of solutions or flavorings.  Sometimes they are very sneaky about their labeling too. I have had to return meat more than once after getting it home and discovering it was messed with.

 The best way to be sure is to look at the label and check the sodium content.  If the sodium content "per serving" is less than 100 mg, then the meat is unlikely to be adulterated.

Those adulterated meats are much too high in sodium for cats, plus you just don't know what is in those "solutions".

That is a good question and I think the discussion deserves it's own thread.  Let me see if I can split it, without messing the whole thing up.  funny2

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2017, 04:28:00 PM »
Yes, please don't feed any meat that contains any kind of solutions or flavorings.  Sometimes they are very sneaky about their labeling too. I have had to return meat more than once after getting it home and discovering it was messed with.

 The best way to be sure is to look at the label and check the sodium content.  If the sodium content "per serving" is less than 100 mg, then the meat is unlikely to be adulterated.

Those adulterated meats are much too high in sodium for cats, plus you just don't know what is in those "solutions".

That is a good question and I think the discussion deserves it's own thread.  Let me see if I can split it, without messing the whole thing up.  funny2

Thank you.  I see labeling like this on a very regular basis, and I never am happy about it, but I sometimes buy it anyway.

It would be very interesting, indeed, if my quest to feed my cats a better diet improved my own health, too. 

Offline Middle Child

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 04:39:18 PM »
Thank you.  I see labeling like this on a very regular basis, and I never am happy about it, but I sometimes buy it anyway.

It would be very interesting, indeed, if my quest to feed my cats a better diet improved my own health, too. 

Well, it did me.  I mean, improve my eating habits.  For instance since Mazy cat has to have all organic non-GMO I discovered how much better tasting those meats and eggs are (and better for me I am sure). I also went to organic veggies like lettuce, celery, carrots and potatoes.

In addition since I have all these bones all the time I make home made soup way more often (cooking the bones for at least 8 hours to release the goodness!), and eat it all week for supper, every time I make it. VERY good for me! :)

So I would say you are on to something with that kind of thinking!  HeadButt

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 04:56:40 PM »
Well, it did me.  I mean, improve my eating habits.  For instance since Mazy cat has to have all organic non-GMO I discovered how much better tasting those meats and eggs are (and better for me I am sure). I also went to organic veggies like lettuce, celery, carrots and potatoes.

In addition since I have all these bones all the time I make home made soup way more often (cooking the bones for at least 8 hours to release the goodness!), and eat it all week for supper, every time I make it. VERY good for me! :)

So I would say you are on to something with that kind of thinking!  HeadButt

It's funny that you mentioned all the bones.  My first question to the people at Alnutrin was if it would be okay to use homemade stock instead of water when making the food, as I will have so much of it now!

I love soup, and it is my favorite thing on earth to cook. 

Offline Middle Child

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 04:59:58 PM »
I make two separate stocks.  Mazy cat's bone broth has nothing in it but the bones, water and ACV.  My stock has carrots, celery and tomatoes added, so I don't use it for the cats.  I have been known to snitch theirs, though.  Silly7

I love soup too, well my own anyway. x

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 05:18:52 PM »
I make two separate stocks.  Mazy cat's bone broth has nothing in it but the bones, water and ACV.  My stock has carrots, celery and tomatoes added, so I don't use it for the cats.  I have been known to snitch theirs, though.  Silly7

I love soup too, well my own anyway. x

Please forgive my ignorance, but what is ACV?

I am thinking that what I will do is make all of the stock with just the meaty bones, and then if I want to season it for myself, I can always pop it back on the stovetop with veggies, herbs, or anything else I want to add, and let it simmer until it tastes right for the dish I have in mind. 

Offline Middle Child

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 06:00:13 PM »
Please forgive my ignorance, but what is ACV?

I am thinking that what I will do is make all of the stock with just the meaty bones, and then if I want to season it for myself, I can always pop it back on the stovetop with veggies, herbs, or anything else I want to add, and let it simmer until it tastes right for the dish I have in mind. 


Sounds like a great idea Catgirl!

ACV= apple cider vinegar, sorry.  ACV helps draw the goodness out of the bones.  It has to be raw unprocessed vinegar though. "with the mother" should be on the label.  I prefer Bragg brand.  I have been forced to try other brands, because my local grocery stopped carrying Bragg.  I didn't like either of their other choices after trying them, so I had to look further afield for Bragg.

I was getting it on Amazon for a very expensive price, then recently discovered Walmart carries it.

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 05:06:05 AM »
Ugh.  I had mixed some cooked chicken thigh in with their food Friday night, partly to see if they would eat it, and partly because I was low on canned, and knew my delivery would come Saturday morning.  I just looked at the bag (they were those flash-frozen things that come in three-lb. bags), and the sodium was way too high!  I know some of the other meat I have in the freezer is the same, not sure about the stuff I bought from the butcher case and had wrapped individually.

Looks like I am going to have to be much more careful.  I can imagine the conversation when we next shop.

Me:  I have to get some meat for the cats.

Housemate:  What about all the stuff we have in the freezer?

Me:  We can eat it, but it's not good enough for my babies!

Oh my... :-[ 

Is there anything that can be done to improve meat like this?  Would soaking it in plain water leach out some of the solution?  It's going to be difficult to avoid it altogether, at least until I get a little better at sourcing affordable natural proteins.  I'm very good at finding bargains for people to eat.  I'm learning that this skill may not translate well to bargain-hunting for cats. 
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 05:22:23 AM by Catgirl64 »

Offline Middle Child

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2017, 05:43:54 AM »
It's all in the learning as you go.  It gets better as time goes on. Like I mentioned, I've been caught out a few times eve recently, not discovering until I get it home that the meat is "enhanced".

When I bring it back and the clerk tells me "we have to throw this away you know"  I say "yes I know.  Perhaps the store should be a bit more transparent about the fact the meat is adulterated.  Then I would have seen it and not bought it in the first place"

They make money off this kind of meat because the "injected solution" adds weight.  So the buyer is paying 3.99 a pound for "up to 12% injected solution" instead of meat.

 My personal choice would be to not use the meat for the cats, even in small amounts.

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2017, 07:05:53 AM »
It's all in the learning as you go.  It gets better as time goes on. Like I mentioned, I've been caught out a few times eve recently, not discovering until I get it home that the meat is "enhanced".

When I bring it back and the clerk tells me "we have to throw this away you know"  I say "yes I know.  Perhaps the store should be a bit more transparent about the fact the meat is adulterated.  Then I would have seen it and not bought it in the first place"

They make money off this kind of meat because the "injected solution" adds weight.  So the buyer is paying 3.99 a pound for "up to 12% injected solution" instead of meat.

 My personal choice would be to not use the meat for the cats, even in small amounts.

Our cost of living here is pretty low, so I know I can find solution-free items for less than that.  The thing is, I am on a true shoestring here, and the chicken I was talking about was about a dollar a pound.  I intend to avoid it as much as I possibly can, but if it comes down to choosing between adulterated meat and kibble, I'm thinking in terms of doing the least harm. 

It wasn't always like this, in terms of money.  Now it is, and I do the best I can.  I will avoid meat with any additives to the best of my ability, but I don't want to give up because I can't do it perfectly.

We have Sprouts nearby.  I think they will be a good resource. 

Offline Middle Child

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 01:08:00 PM »
The $3.99 a pound was a random number. :)  My point is, this is how they scam the customer. Whatever price per pound you are paying, you are not paying for meat, you are paying for "solution".

 However I reiterate I would not feed these enhanced meats to cats.  You do not know what is in these "solutions". What is safe for humans is not always safe for cats.

Offline Catgirl64

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Re: How to know what meat is safe for raw feeding
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 02:14:00 PM »
The $3.99 a pound was a random number. :)  My point is, this is how they scam the customer. Whatever price per pound you are paying, you are not paying for meat, you are paying for "solution".

 However I reiterate I would not feed these enhanced meats to cats.  You do not know what is in these "solutions". What is safe for humans is not always safe for cats.

Right after I typed that last message, I got on the Sprouts website and started looking around.  I will double-check, but I don't think they use enhancers in any of their meats, so that's probably where I will get the bulk of my cats' groceries.  At other stores, I'll just have to get in the habit of asking the butcher, and probably avoiding anything that has been pre-packaged.  Those seem to be the worst offenders. 

I've been reading some of the different threads on here, and I think I have been very lucky, in that none of my cats have any ongoing health issues.  I don't want to risk it, so I will stick to strictly non-enhanced.

One nice development I'm noticing with the canned:  less poop!  That is a very welcome change, and I expect it to get better still when they are getting raw.  It could be that I won't need to go through as much litter as I was before, and that's money saved that can go for meat.  Lots of changes for these guys, as they're getting a litter upgrade, as well - to sWheat Scoop.  Clay scoopable was breaking my back when it was time to change out all the boxes, and I've been reading it's not good for them, anyway.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 02:26:28 PM by Catgirl64 »

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