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Questions about Raw Diet for New Savannah Kitten

#1
On September 15th, I am finally bringing home my first Savannah. He is a 12 week old F1, and I'm beyond excited! My question is about his diet. I want to ultimately feed him a raw diet, and until I get myself eventually set up to make my own I am going to be feeding him raw food purchased from both Darwins and Rabbits4U. My question is if I should introduce any dry or canned food as well? His breeder does not have him eating either. He currently eats partially cooked hamburger with a little water added, and cooked chicken (dark meat). I know I should continue feeding him what he is used to so his tummy doesn't get upset . . . so do I just start adding a little of the raw into the hamburger and chicken? Over what time period should I do this? Also, should I leave any dry food out for him? Or not even introduce him to dry at all? What about canned? I'm grateful for any advice given. Thank you!
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#2
I hope the breeder is feeding something other than hamburger and chicken because that is not a properly balanced diet being devoid of bone and organ meat. When he gets home, feed him the same as the breeder is feeding for 2 weeks but buy a good vitamin supplement to add to the food. I like Mazuri. You would want the one for slab meat http://www.mazuri.com/CarnivoreSupplementSlab.aspx At the end of two weeks (and honestly, I'd start trying to balance the diet after 1 week), you can start adding in small amounts of raw (1/4 tsp per meal) for a few days then increase to 1/2 tsp for a week, then a tsp. If he eats the raw or better yet, starts picking out the raw and leaving the cooked, feed 1/2 cooked and 1/2 raw for a week and see how he does. If his stools stay normal, increase to 3/4 raw and 1/4 cooked for a week or two and then go all raw. If you want to continue using the Mazuri, you'll have to switch to the Mazuri for whole prey when you get the bones added to his diet. The slab meat mix contains calcium, the whole prey mix does not.

We always advise to transition to a new food slowly but if your fur kid is indeed getting only meat, I'd be worried about it and push a balanced diet on him quicker than normal. And, instead of just a quick check up at the vet when you get him, I'd have a PCR blood panel done to ensure all is ok.

FYI, my F1 was eating cooked chicken and supposedly kibble when he came home. He never ate the kibble for me and went through several pounds of cooked chicken thighs his first week. I added in raw meat and organs the 2nd week and he stopped eating the cooked chicken. I feed whole prey diet and after the 3rd week started adding in mice and rat pups. He was eating whole quail and small chickens by the end of his first month here. I felt ok doing this as he had a humungous appetite, normal stools, and transitioned to our house immediately after leaving his carrier. He ate like a pig for a year maxing out at 3 lbs a day from 6 mos old to a year old.

There is a FB group that has lots of good info for raw diets https://www.facebook.com/groups/rawcats/ and http://catinfo.org/ has tons of good stuff to know.

Are you adverse to a whole prey diet -- mice, rats, quail, etc? It's easier than a raw diet because you don't have to figure out the meat/organ/bone ratio but I understand that it's not a good choice for every human (it's always a good choice for cats :)).
 

DumaLove

Site Supporter
Staff member
#3
I completely agree with Witchy. Cooked chicken and hamburger are not even close to a balanced diet, which is essential for any cat but especially important for a young kitten.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#4
I also find the kitten's current diet concerning. You need to be especially vigilant of easily fractured bones if he is not getting any calcium, and lethargy and failure to thrive if he is not getting additional supplements.

On the bright side, I would love to see pics of your new baby! Does he have a name yet?
 
#5
Thank you all for your responses - and thank you "Witchy" for all the information. I ordered the mazuri today for both slab meat and whole prey so I can be prepared as we slowly switch over his diet. I don't know if the breeder was giving supplements or not, I've been away from my computer all day today and didn't have a chance to email her. I plan to send her a message tonight. I sure hope she was doing something. But I will definitely take extra caution with him once he arrives - and have him thoroughly checked by our vet. Is there anything specific I should have the vet look for?

So far, he appears very healthy in all the pictures and videos I've been receiving, so I hope we have been able to evade any health problems. But I will definitely follow your advice in the transition to raw food, and try to do it a little more quickly than normal if he is tolerating everything okay.

So far, for the raw, I have purchased ground chicken, turkey and duck from Darwins - which includes bone, organ, as well as added minerals and vitamins (including taurine) to their meat. They claim it is not necessary to give any additional supplements when feeding their ground meat, as it is a complete balanced meal. I don't know if it would hurt to give additional supplements as well? Can you give too many supplements? I also plan to add some ground rabbit from Rabbits4U or Hare Today.

I haven't decided on whole prey yet . . . I'm not totally opposed to the idea, I'm just not sure I'M ready for it right away. I hadn't even planned on feeding any raw until this last weekend, but I spent an entire day reading about diet and nutrition and realized how beneficial it is to their health. But I may need to work myself up to the raw prey - haha.

On another note - I will have one of our guest bathrooms set up for his 2-week isolation period, and plan to spend every moment I can in the bathroom bonding with him. My question, is it important to keep him in this room for the full two weeks? Or if he is transitioning really well, is one week enough time? And / or, is it okay to bring him to sleep with us in bed at night and then return him to the bathroom during the day? This is my first Savannah, so I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

By the way, his name is Sir Razi Matata (which means secret troublemaker), but we will call him Razi for short. Attached are a couple recent pictures of him. As you can see he has a serious case of the fuzzies :).

Thank you again for all your information. I'm so grateful for this forum. I've learned so much already just reading through all the past posts.
Razi Collage 10 weeks.jpg razi ocelli.JPG
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#7
What a beautiful boy!!!

As for the quarantine, you will probably get differing opinions, but my personal feeling is that if he is going to be the only cat in the home then you can fudge on the two weeks a bit, however you really need to take your cues from him. If he seems to be adjusting right away and cries when he is not with you, you can try letting him sleep with you after a few days, if your bedroom is adjoining the bathroom you will be quarantining him in. If you plan on doing this, I would actually start by letting him out of the bathroom for a few minutes at a time during the day so that he can become familiar with the room before spending the entire night there, but also to make sure he knows how to find his litter box, food, and water so that there are no accidents during the night.

If on the other hand he seems shy and scared I would definitely leave him in the bathroom until he starts to settle in, and starts bonding with you. This could take two weeks, but it could also take longer, so be prepared to have him in quarantine for more than two weeks if it becomes necessary to do so.
 

Connie P.

Savannah Super Cat
#8
Thank you all for your responses - and thank you "Witchy" for all the information. I ordered the mazuri today for both slab meat and whole prey so I can be prepared as we slowly switch over his diet. I don't know if the breeder was giving supplements or not, I've been away from my computer all day today and didn't have a chance to email her. I plan to send her a message tonight. I sure hope she was doing something. But I will definitely take extra caution with him once he arrives - and have him thoroughly checked by our vet. Is there anything specific I should have the vet look for?

So far, he appears very healthy in all the pictures and videos I've been receiving, so I hope we have been able to evade any health problems. But I will definitely follow your advice in the transition to raw food, and try to do it a little more quickly than normal if he is tolerating everything okay.

So far, for the raw, I have purchased ground chicken, turkey and duck from Darwins - which includes bone, organ, as well as added minerals and vitamins (including taurine) to their meat. They claim it is not necessary to give any additional supplements when feeding their ground meat, as it is a complete balanced meal. I don't know if it would hurt to give additional supplements as well? Can you give too many supplements? I also plan to add some ground rabbit from Rabbits4U or Hare Today.

I haven't decided on whole prey yet . . . I'm not totally opposed to the idea, I'm just not sure I'M ready for it right away. I hadn't even planned on feeding any raw until this last weekend, but I spent an entire day reading about diet and nutrition and realized how beneficial it is to their health. But I may need to work myself up to the raw prey - haha.

On another note - I will have one of our guest bathrooms set up for his 2-week isolation period, and plan to spend every moment I can in the bathroom bonding with him. My question, is it important to keep him in this room for the full two weeks? Or if he is transitioning really well, is one week enough time? And / or, is it okay to bring him to sleep with us in bed at night and then return him to the bathroom during the day? This is my first Savannah, so I want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

By the way, his name is Sir Razi Matata (which means secret troublemaker), but we will call him Razi for short. Attached are a couple recent pictures of him. As you can see he has a serious case of the fuzzies :).

Thank you again for all your information. I'm so grateful for this forum. I've learned so much already just reading through all the past posts.
View attachment 21943 View attachment 21944
Oh my gosh! I could just squeeze and kiss him to death! LOL


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#9
He's adorable. I agree with Patti that if you are not using your ensuite master bath as his quarantine room, I'd leave him in the guest bath all the time at least for the first week so he can get his bearings and you are sure he is using the litterbox faithfully. If after that you take him to your bedroom at night, you'll have to lug in his litterbox, crate, water dish and favorite toy/s so he has familiar things around him.

You have to depend on your gut instinct about a lot of stuff and I suppose it also depends on how much experience you have with animals. I have a lot of experience with them -- domestic and wild. When my F1 came home, I knew immediately after he came out of the carrier that he'd be ok having access to the master bath and bedroom. He swaggered out, sniffed my toe and claimed me as his human, then proceeded to explore the room. He exuded confidence and calm and this was after a bit of a harrowing plane ride. I had no doubt he could handle both rooms.

So just take it slow, observe his behavior, and go with the flow.

By the way, I love the fuzzies...I think it's the cutest stage they go through.
 

catsindogtown

Savannah Super Cat
#10
What a beautiful boy! Congrats!!!! Who bred that lil dude if you don't mind me asking? :)

Its crazy how many questions go through the head when adding another feline to the family! Again congratulations!