The good news is that a meat grinder is not absolutely necessary if you are implementing a raw feeding program for your cat or cats. Nevertheless, I definitely recommend acquiring a good grinder because it will save you both time and effort if you are converting adult cats from dry or canned commercial food.Raw food should be torn off raw bone
When I first adopted my cats from a shelter wet grinder, I was feeding them commercial canned food, so I assumed that when I switched to a raw food the meat would always have to be ground to the consistency of canned food. What a silly idea that turned out to be!
Cats in the wild rip chunks of meat directly off the bones of fresh kill. Your ultimate objective is for your little indoor kitties to eat exactly the same way. Chewing chunks and hunks of food not only strengthens cat jaws, it also maintains the health of teeth and gums. However, cats being super conservative and finicky will not be easily convinced to abandon their dry food, or canned meat pabulum in favor of tearing raw meat directly from a bone.
Using ground meat to switch your catsIf you have been feeding your cats “wet” commercial cat food from cans or vacuum packs, then gradually mixing ground raw meat into their regular cat food is the smoothest way to introduce your cats to a new food regime. The way your kitties react to a tiny portion of ground meat placed next to the regular food is a gauge of how easily they will adapt to the new way of eating. If they eat it immediately, the conversion process will be fairly rapid. If they ignore it, they simply don’t recognize that food in its raw state is real food. In that case, patience is the strategy, and you should plan on several weeks, or even several months for the conversion process.Ground raw meat for cats with weak jaws
Older cats and sick cats, fed a diet of either dry food or canned meat mush for several years, often lose the jaw strength to chew hunks of raw meat. Like any other underused muscle, weak jaws strengthen over time with exercise. For cats in poor condition, begin your raw food program using ground meat. Gradually add a few small chunks into the mix, increasing the size of the chunks as the jaws become stronger.Ground bone in the raw food program
When your cats are on a raw food diet, you want to ensure they ingest adequate calcium along with the protein. A recommended method for doing this is by adding raw bone to their food. Ideally, your cats will ingest bone and cartilage while they tear off chunks of meat. However, that is not likely to happen in the beginning of your raw food program. A meat grinder is useful for grinding raw bone into a sludge that is easily added to the food.
In conclusion, you don’t need to have a meat grinder in order to raw feed your cats; however you a good grinder will save you a lot of time and effort during the beginning phase of your raw food program.