All raw feeders loyal to the raw-way of life will wholeheartedly agree with the following FIVE important things to avoid with any cat and dog feeding, raw included.
1. NEVER GIVE CATS AND DOGS COOKED BONES TO EAT. This is a big one. Cooked bones are dry, brittle, and so much harder to break than raw bones. Raw bones contain fresh red bone marrow and moisture and even feeding these requires time, practice, and patience while the animal's jaw strengthens. Cooked bones are near-impossible to chew and break into sharp pieces when bitten. These sharp pieces will likely lead to choking, intestinal laceration, and digestive system impaction. Feeding cooked bones is similar to letting animals eat sharp razors, knives, or nails. It is extremely dangerous to give animals cooked bones to eat.
2. NEVER MAKE TREATS CONTAINING GRAINS, FLOURS, OR SYNTHETIC INGREDIENTS. While most pet parents feed cats and dogs twice daily (in the morning and in the evening, spaced 12 hours apart), some like to make treats for their furry pals. The art of feeding raw should not be broken or compromised by feeding cooked treats. Some examples of acceptable treats between meals include raw goat's milk, fresh catnip leaves, or 1-2 tablespoons of boiled and pureed pumpkin or butternut squash. Common treat recipes include ingredients that should never be used---rice flour, wheat flour, gluten, protein isolates, soy, corn, corn gluten meal, etc. If it's not raw or is/was a grain, don't use it!
3. NEVER GIVE TOO MUCH OF ONE THING. It's understandable that when starting out raw feeding, you'll be more prone to trial and error. Later on, when you have tried different proteins, educated yourself, and became an expert, you'll know what works and what doesn't. With us, we experienced firsthand that too much of one organ per meal led to diarrhea and too much bone per meal led to constipation. Also, the cats prefer a balance of all raw components per meal versus only livers or only hearts for that specific feeding. Organs are high in phosphorus, so they must be balanced/supplemented with feeding meaty bones for calcium. Livers are high in vitamin A and must be limited since too much vitamin A leads to hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity).
4. NEVER TREAT RAW FEEDING WITH THE SAME PRINCIPLES AS CANNED AND DRY FOOD FEEDING. Raw food is amazing and the only way animals should be fed, but raw guidelines are different from those of canned and dry pet food. Raw feeders abide by different rules.
Raw is raw. It cannot be left out all day for animals to snack on. It contains no preservatives. It must be frozen for at least 7 days prior to thawing and must be thawed in the refrigerator (as opposed to heated in a pan or microwaved) and warmed to room temperature when feeding. Raw pork must be frozen for at least 21 days before thawing/feeding and should NEVER be fed to cats. Cats should NOT eat cooked or raw pork, ever. Raw fish should be frozen for at least 3-7 days before thawing and feeding. In all these cases, most parasites are found in the intestinal tract (except in a few cases where parasites infect muscle meat or organs) and the digestive tract is not fed to cats and dogs. Most animals that eat whole raw prey will leave the entrails untouched. These dudes are smart. Raw meat must be cleaned up after properly and handled with care to avoid contamination. While these rules may seem foreign, they are actually quite amazing. Wild, primal, ancestral raw food that contains no preservatives and is the best food to offer is a blessing. Leaving dry or canned pet food out for the day is harmful and dangerous---pests lay eggs on it, feed off it, and contaminate it; snacking is detrimental to an animal's digestive system. Canned and dry pet food recalls are common (voluntary or mandatory), so don't let these fools tell you that feeding raw is dangerous. Feeding canned food and dry kibble is dangerous and has killed countless animals and left others with severe organ and body dysfunctions.
5. NEVER GIVE UP RAW FEEDING. Like anything else, when transitioning to raw, the whole system is new and different and requires learning and accustomization. You will find some raw proteins are more welcomed than others, especially amongst cats. They may favor raw turkey meat over raw chicken meat. Ours generally turn away from raw venison and for good reason as cats don't eat venison in the wild. Some animals like the taste of raw green tripe and others need to adjust. While all of our carnivores eat raw green tripe now, this was not the case from the very beginning. Even these days, there are tripe meals left unfinished. Different manufacturers/brands will vary in their raw sources/mix components that may be liked or disliked by cats and dogs. A couple of our cats won't eat raw chicken livers whole, but will when the livers are ground up. We found raw calf livers are preferred over raw chicken livers. Cats have an amazingly heightened sense of smell. Ours don't like raw beef liver from the grocery store (full of hormones and antibiotics), but they LOVE raw beef liver from Whole Foods (grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free). Their intelligence, while very much expected, is quite remarkable. It's important to experiment with different raw sources and make sure to learn and educate yourself at the same time. Like people, animals have different tastes and selectivity for raw food. We love the entire process of getting to know our carnivore and discovering the likes and dislikes of each one.