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Won't eat anything except raw turkey!

moondiamond

Savannah Super Cat
#1
Hey everyone!

Dexter is on a completely raw diet. We order his food from a local raw pet food manufacturer. It's called Big Country Raw; it seems popular and well-regarded here in Southern Ontario. They make tons of different blends of different meats, organ and bone included. The problem is, Dex literally ONLY eats the pure turkey blend. We have tried to get him to eat other blends including beef, other red meats (will not even take a bite of pork or lamb), and fish (didn't like salmon blends at all!), but he honestly will not touch any other food. He just smells it and walks away. After a day or so of not touching it at all, he might take a tiny bite. So, not wanting to leave him feeling hungry or at any health risk from his protest in not eating, I have caved in and have been feeding him only his favourite turkey. And he becomes a bottomless pit for turkey. We have recently started supplementing it with taurine, just in case.

My question is - if he only eats a raw turkey diet, is he at any risk of deficiency? I recall being told that a raw diet should include a combination of poultry, red meats, fish etc. Taurine will be supplemented so that is a non-issue. The raw turkey we give him contains, as per the package, turkey (65% meat and 25% bone) and 10% turkey liver. He hasn't had issues with constipation although I understand the bone content is a bit high. At a bit of a loss for what to do though since he refuses everything but turkey ;)

Sorry for the wall of text but wanted to provide info about his food. I would appreciate any advice or input you guys might have!
 

Rafiki

Site Supporter
#2
Most of the food that you purchase should be properly supplemented by the manufacture to contain what the cat needs. That is actually why many vets are opposed to feeding raw - the fear that the owner will toss a chicken breast into the bowl and call it a day without adding the bones, organs and supplements. I would not be concerned about the nutrition aspect.

What you do need to be concerned about is the lack of variety in his food. What if the manufacturer changes the formula? That happened to me with Darwin and the cats flat out would not eat the new formula. Cats that do not eat develop liver issues literally within days. Or, what happens if he develops an allergy to turkey? One of mine ate primarily chicken and developed an allergy. Fortunately he was also eating beef at the time.

So yes, he will always LOVE turkey but do try to get him to at least accept another form of protein. Try rabbit. Most kitties love that.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#3
If you think about the serval's diet which is primarily birds and rodents, it doesn't seem too surprising to me that a Savannah may not find beef or pork too appealing. As Rafiki suggested, try rabbit, duck, or quail - maybe one of those will appeal to him. If he likes freeze dried chicken as a treat you can try crumbling some of that over the new food to entice him to try it.
 

Jenniferlee

Savannah Kitten
#4
F4 ZuZu LOVED all types of raw meat when we transitioned him to raw. But now he will only eat chicken or turkey, and when we randomly buy lamb or beef he protests eating it until he's starving enough to deal with it, lol.
I just think most Savannahs prefer poultry in general. You could try sneaking another meat in his bowl of turkey, a little bit at a time and gradually make it 50/50. That way he can adjust in case the turkey is ever sold out/unavailable and he won't be so upset he can't eat turkey that day, etc
 

WitchyWoman

Admin
Staff member
#5
Dex literally ONLY eats the pure turkey blend. We have tried to get him to eat other blends including beef, other red meats (will not even take a bite of pork or lamb), and fish (didn't like salmon blends at all!), but he honestly will not touch any other food.
Transitioning to new foods takes time and patience. Add a tiny amount of the new blend into the old blend and mix it in well -- tiny as in half the size of your pinky finger nail. Do that for a couple weeks then add a full pinky finger nail amount for a couple more weeks. Continue to add in small amounts of the new until you get up to about a tablespoonfull, then start decreasing the turkey by a tablespoonful and continue increasing the new and decreasing the turkey by the same amounts until he's eating all new blend. It can take months and you may have to stop for a month or so and start all over again if he refuses to eat the turkey with any of the new food mixed in.