Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
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Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

So, after weeks of research, I decided to go ahead with a raw diet when I got my Cornish Rex kitty (now 6 months old). I was following the 80-10-10 model, feeding mostly quail, chicken/duck organs (heart/liver/gizzard/kidney), smelt and an occasional frog leg or two. For the first week and a half, everything went great. Then her appetite began to diminish, poops became less frequent and about two days later the vomiting started. From that point onward, within about half an hour of eating any raw she would vomit everything up. Her bowels were affected to, she was constipated and it took a couple of days for her system to clear out. Her behaviour otherwise was unaffected - she was active and playful.

I switched to canned (small frequent volumes), when the vomiting started, offering raw occasionally just to test the waters. It was thrown up every time. After about 3 days, I gave up and switched over to 100% canned (Wellness, Felidae, Evo, etc). She's been eating this without any issue (except stinky kitty breath) for the last couple of weeks. Just to try one last time, today I offered her a chunk of boneless chicken thigh (about the size of my thumb). She ate it and within half an hour, threw it up. She doesn't eat unusually fast or anything, she gnaws it up into bite sized chunks.

So here we are...I have a little carnivore in my house that can't eat raw meat. The only exception to this seems to be pinky mice - I fed her 3 of those over the course of a couple of days (mixed in with canned), and she didn't throw them up.

So...can a cat live on pinky mice alone?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 11:14 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

No, I dont think a cat can live just on pinky mice alone, not to mention it would get boring for the kitty and you can't expect them just to eat baby mice for the rest of its life. Personally if I were you I would just stick with the high quality canned food. I know a lot of people on this forum do feed raw, but I personally don't agree with it. Yes, it is a cats natural diet, but they are fresh kill eaters, they eat the meat while it is still warm, not a cold chicken breast that was packaged and refrigerated at a grocery store. So unless you actually get a chicken or whatever and kill it at that moment (not saying you should, obviosuly), I wouldn't do raw. You don't know what kind of bacteria is on the food you are feeding your cat, and yes that can go for the same as canned food, but I feel safer sticking with canned then raw. And that is probably why your cat was vomiting after each meal, because it upset her stomach.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 11:24 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Is the food warm or straight from the fridge? That in itself can make a huge differance for some cats.

Some of mine can't have cold meat or they will throw up. Others prefer their's half frozen, it just depends on the cat.

Can your cat handle adult mice? Then you can try whole prey and try offer more variety.

As far as raw having "bacteria" dry food is more dangerous for that! It seems lots of cat food is slightly moldy even if it isn't visible. Plus this year the midwest was very damp - so the grains were worse and lots of it was moldy. Guess where it most likely ended up
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-24-2009, 07:28 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by furryfriends251

As far as raw having "bacteria" dry food is more dangerous for that! It seems lots of cat food is slightly moldy even if it isn't visible. Plus this year the midwest was very damp - so the grains were worse and lots of it was moldy. Guess where it most likely ended up
I was talking about just high quality canned food, I don't feed my cats dry food either. And the cans I feed them are grain free.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-25-2009, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by furryfriends251
Is the food warm or straight from the fridge? That in itself can make a huge differance for some cats.

Some of mine can't have cold meat or they will throw up. Others prefer their's half frozen, it just depends on the cat.

Can your cat handle adult mice? Then you can try whole prey and try offer more variety.

As far as raw having "bacteria" dry food is more dangerous for that! It seems lots of cat food is slightly moldy even if it isn't visible. Plus this year the midwest was very damp - so the grains were worse and lots of it was moldy. Guess where it most likely ended up
The meat is warm, I always thaw it in a warm water.

My main objection to canned food is the smell...it smells gross. And it sure doesn't help her breath (she's six months old and I can already see plaque building up on her teeth - argh!).

I haven't offered her adult mice yet - I was going to try that in January. She's quite small, so if she's chucking up chicken meat, I don't have high hopes for adult mice. I was surprised she could handle the pinkies...it makes no sense to me, frankly.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 05:10 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

I would try rabbit with ur cat just muscle meat not bone. It tends to be cool meat and be easier on the stomach.

Leslie

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-27-2009, 09:11 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyjak
Then her appetite began to diminish, poops became less frequent and about two days later the vomiting started. From that point onward, within about half an hour of eating any raw she would vomit everything up. Her bowels were affected to, she was constipated and it took a couple of days for her system to clear out. Her behaviour otherwise was unaffected - she was active and playful.
Just wanted to point out that, according to a bunch of testimonials from people on this forum, cats do poop less and have harder stool on a raw diet. Are you sure she was constipated, or were just unused to cat's BMs on the new diet?

I can't say anything about the vomiting though... I hope it clears up and kitty feels better.


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 10:10 AM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyMonster
Just wanted to point out that, according to a bunch of testimonials from people on this forum, cats do poop less and have harder stool on a raw diet. Are you sure she was constipated, or were just unused to cat's BMs on the new diet?

I can't say anything about the vomiting though... I hope it clears up and kitty feels better.
This is absolutely true re: way less frequent poops. That I wouldn't be concerned about. The vomiting is another thing.

It sounds to me as if you may have moved too quickly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyjak
I was following the 80-10-10 model, feeding mostly quail, chicken/duck organs (heart/liver/gizzard/kidney), smelt and an occasional frog leg or two.
What you list above (although neither heart nor gizzard are fed as organ--they are muscle and are fed as meatymeat) is the ultimate goal, but you shouldn't toss it all in at once. It's also possible your cat is allergic to something in there.

It's usually recommended that you start by feeding ONE protein. Rabbit chunks (see http://www.hare-today.com/) is a great way to start -- that's the first bone-in thing my cats would eat and most cats react very well to rabbit. Add in a small amount of boneless something -- maybe chicken, with no skin just at first. Be sure you are not overfeeding. Many people do this w/ raw. Feed just this stuff - no organs, nothing else - for a week or 2. If things are going well, THEN you add in a SMALL amount of liver every few days. If that goes well, try a SMALL amount of kidney.

Even better are mice. See below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyjak
So here we are...I have a little carnivore in my house that can't eat raw meat. The only exception to this seems to be pinky mice - I fed her 3 of those over the course of a couple of days (mixed in with canned), and she didn't throw them up.

So...can a cat live on pinky mice alone?
No. Why should she? Have you tried full-sized adult mice? Those are the perfect food for cats and a great thing to feed. You may have to cut them in half at first until she learns that they are food. You might find that mice can be your staple, and you can add in other things as she gets used to them. My Jonah (now 16 weeks, weaned right to raw) eats about 90% mice. He'll eat other things now, but prefers mice, and I do, too, b/c then I don't have to worry a BIT about "balancing" the diet, etc. Mice are the perfect cat food!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 03:21 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Kyjak, I wonder if your kitty needs closer to 5% bone, rather than 10%? The discomfort from the additional bone content could, maybe, make her throw up after eating... but I don't why she would be vomiting up raw foods only.

Hmmm, how big are the pieces you were offering her and how far down was she chewing them? You said she wasn't eating fast, but swallowing pieces that are too large will also cause vomiting.

If I were you, I think I might keep her on the canned for a week or so to let things settle down. Then choose one meat and try her on very small pieces of it mixed in with the canned for a few days. Then try the same thing with other meats and, eventually, organs.

If there is a problem with one particular animal source, this will help you identify it. If she throws up on all raw in general, then you know there's a bigger issue (there's a long-established yahoo group that might be able to help you in that case).

Let us know what you do and how it works, ok?

(KatBudz, most of us who feed raw know this, but you might not - in the wild, cats bury their breakfast leftovers and dig 'em up for dinner that evening, so fresh chicken from the grocery store is perfectly fine for them. Not to mention, their biology (short intestinal tract, specific digestive enzymes, etc.) evolved to process raw foods. Raw (handled properly) is absolutely NOT dangerous to cats, and is far, far healthier than any commercial product.)
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-28-2009, 03:24 PM
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Re: Attempted to introduce raw diet - and she vomits everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyjak
I haven't offered her adult mice yet - I was going to try that in January. She's quite small, so if she's chucking up chicken meat, I don't have high hopes for adult mice. I was surprised she could handle the pinkies...it makes no sense to me, frankly.
My undersized orphaned kitten Jonah was eating pinkies at 4 weeks, small mice by 6 weeks, and large mice by 8 weeks (at which point he weighed less than 3 pounds). So I VERY much doubt that your cat is too small. Mice are the #1 most natural food for cats, so she would probably surprise you!
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