Many raw-feeding web-sites are of US origin, with suppliers based in the US. Here is a list of UK suppliers and stockists of raw pet meat and supplements:
There are many meat grinders on the market, but not all of them are equal! And don’t even consider a hand-driven meat grinder unless you are an arm wrestler! There is only one meat grinder I use – it’s the one that’s also recommended by many raw-feeding forums. About £85 (excluding delivery). There are cheaper brands on the market, but they can’t grind bone. This workhorse is made from aluminium and will last.
Electric Meat Grinder from Northern Tools (Item No.: 168620E)
I’m currently using the pet mince made from wild rabbit from Woldsway Rabbit. It’s ground with the bone-in for that important calcium content. It’s a richer red than the farmed rabbit mince. However, the quality of all Woldsway rabbit is always good. But go for the wild rabbit mince – your cat will thank you. I buy the mince and the farmed rabbit chunks, thaw slightly then mix with supplements and offal, and refreeze.
Woldsway Rabbit – http://www.woldsway.co.uk/
0800 298 5000. The meat is delivered frozen with ice packs.
General pet meat
Graig Farm Organics. http://www.graigfarm.co.uk/catalog/cat_11.htm
This is an award-winning organic-meat company. The pet mince is mainly from offcuts and offal and is of human quality. The mince is a dark paste, you cut a corner off the packet and squeeze it out. The meat is delivered frozen. They also sell chicken heart and liver.
Yeoman’s Meat Company: 01773712226. I’ve never used this company as they’re based in Nottingham and don’t deliver this far South. Some breeders have used them and like the quality. They do ox cheek, rabbit and general pet mince. [please see one of the comments left below – Yeoman’s has been taken over by http://www.back-2-nature.co.uk – I haven’t tried their products yet as I haven’t see it being sold in the London area]
Prize Choice from Anglian Meat Products: http://www.prizechoice.co.uk/.
Set up by some vets who were interested in bones and raw food (BARF). Some of their meat has the bone ground in. I haven’t really tried their meat. You will find them in large pet stores.
You can get this from any supermarket or poultry butcher. My favourite butcher is in a farmer’s market. I trust the quality of his free-range chickens, and he gives me free giblets because of the amount of chicken I buy. Please try to use free-range chickens because they don’t stand all day in their shit and therefore the risk of contamination from salmonella is lower.
Lamb/Beef: look in your supermarket and buy casserole chunks. Don’t buy the mince because (1) you don’t know how long it’s been sitting on the shelves (2) mince gets contaminated more easily with bacteria because of there is more surface area with mince. Don’t feed pork to cats – it can contain a parasite that is fatal to cats.
Often, many raw-feeding recipes call for offal to be added, namely chicken heart and liver. Now, chicken liver you can get from any supermarket or poultry butcher. However, the only places I’ve been able to source fresh chicken heart are ethnic butchers or Chinese supermarkets. As for kidney, try a supermarket or a butcher. If you make friends with your local butcher he may give you giblets (i.e. a pack made up of a chicken neck, liver and heart) for free.
You may like to give your little tiger a taste of a small chick or mouse. Livefoods supplies frozen food for people who keep reptiles as pets. Postage can be quite expensive as they use a courier. I usually order in bulk – if I order 400 chicks, then even with postage, it works out to about 4p a chick.
If you have friends or family visiting the US, beg them to buy vitamins and supplements and bring them back for you. Fact: Supplements are cheaper in the US: you’ll pay $ for what they charge £s for in this country. And you can’t get certain supplements, like glandulars (extracts from glands) in the UK due to EU regulations.
If you want supplements that are pre-mixed, then either Feline Future or Feline Instincts from the US are your only sources. These supplements often come with dried egg yolk in them. Note: not only will you have to pay shipping (i.e. postage costs), but also import Tax when it comes into the UK – anything over £18 is charged tax plus VAT. The costs can be prohibitive.
It might be more cost-effective to get each individual supplement itself. The supplements you will need to get are: Taurine, Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin E, kelp and dulse powder, fish oil capsules. I use Google to try to find the discounts. However, some of the sites I have used are:
Nutrisun for Taurine (Solgar) 500mg capsules, Vitamin A (Solgar) capsules, Vitamin B Complex (Solgar) capsules, Vitamin E (Solgar) 268mg capsules. Be careful when you buy Vitamin B – often manufacturers add herbs like alfalfa which they claim is synergistic in action. Maybe that’s so for humans, but not for cats.
Hellenia Health Foods has a Vet’s Choice section with good value kelp powder.
Another online source of supplements is Nutricentre.
Psyllium husk – this is usually ridiculously expensive, and sold in teeny packets, I’m not sure why. However, the best value so far is a brand called Maxicol. It comes in a large tin which contains psyllium husks together with pre-biotics and digestive bacteria.
I have not been able to find a source of reasonably-priced dulse powder in the UK.