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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Cat in transition from kibble to raw

Hey guys,

I have a question for you about a cat which is currently being transitioned from kibble to raw food.

She has terrible skin allergies and has been from shelter to shelter since no one can figure out how to deal with her. The current shelter she is in has been feeding her Science Diet food for cats with allergies, but it STILL has plant material in it (even the first ingredient!). Thus, my boyfriend, an animal caretaking student, took it upon himself to work with the kitty and get her on a raw diet (chicken only so far) to see if her allergies improve.

It is day three and she hasn't pooped since switching to her raw diet. Is this normal? Does it take a few days for the cat's digestive system to regulate? Or is this something we should be concerned with?

Just to give you an idea on her diet so far: on Wednesday, she ate two one-day-old chicks and a bit of chicken muscle meat. On Thursday, she again had two chicks, a bit of a chicken drumstick (she can't really chew the bone on that yet), and some chicken hearts. And today, she has so far had one chick. But no poops.

She has taken to the diet switch VERY well. She is 11 years old and has been eating a horrible diet of kibble her entire life and has been struggling with skin issues and moving from shelter to shelter. I find it so sad and I'm really hoping her new diet will help. Any advice you can offer would be fantastic.

Thank you from Caro, my boyfriend and myself.

"Good Kitty, Samhainy."
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 08:18 AM
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Hi there, tanyuh!

First off, congrats on deciding to make the switch to raw! Secondly, I have one question for you...only because it wasn't real clear in your post...are you switching directly from kibble to raw, or are you transitioning kibble to canned to raw?

If you are making the transition directly from kibble to raw, that is most likely whats causing your cats digestive problems. Kibble should never be fed within 12 hours of raw food. Kibble digests much slower than raw. Personally, I would never risk feeding kibble with any raw, ever.

But if you are making the switch by transitioning from kibble to canned, and then to raw, then you are in the right boat, and several things could be causing the lack of litter box use...perhaps the food is just not settling with your cat? OR, I noticed you are feeding whole chicks, and bone-in meats quite a bit...thats a lot of bone for any cat, and she may be constipated. Personally, I only feed bone twice a week.

If your girl really hasn't pooped since Tuesday (I read that right, right?) then I would suggest a possible vet visit as well...constipation is not something to mess around with, especially for that long.

This is a really great site to help shed some light on raw feeding, and you may find some answers: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health

Hoping someone else can get in here and give you some more solid advice. I with you and your kitty the best of luck!
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the quick reply! We are transitioning her right from kibble to raw food. The last time she was fed kibble was on Tuesday afternoon at around 5pm and then she got her first chick on Wednesday morning at ~9am. Thus, I'm rather certain the kibble was out of her system before eating the chick but I suppose it is possible that the kibble backed up in her system and is causing the problems. I think poop was last cleaned out of her litterbox on Wednesday morning so she last pooped on Tuesday sometime. She is at the shelter so my boyfriend is not with her the entire time; she is not our cat - yet, anyway.

I will read the article you've given me, thanks!

*****

I just spoke to my boyfriend and the local vet at the shelter isn't too worried - she (the cat, not the vet) has a history of not pooping for one or two days so it may not be an issue. If she doesn't poop tomorrow, they'll give her a laxative.

Sorry for wasting your time. I feel like everything I've done to help in the past two hours, while neglecting my other work, has been a complete waste and I'm annoyed myself.

Mods, if you want, you can delete this thread but perhaps someone has a similar issue and this may prompt an important discussion. I leave it to your discretion.

"Good Kitty, Samhainy."
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 08:48 AM
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Hey, don't ever feel like you are wasting our time! We all love cats here, and no matter the question, we will always try to get an answer for you. You were right to post here!

I'm kinda thinking it might be the amount of bone she's getting...like I said, I only feed bone twice a week, and it's very small pieces, such as one wing split three ways. Maybe try giving her a laxative in raw form...maybe a little chicken liver if she'll eat it? I'd definitely say if she hasn't pooped by tomorrow, give her something to help...as paranoid as I am, I'd already be worrying my pants off. XD
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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She pooped!

Thanks, TimeBandit!

"Good Kitty, Samhainy."
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 01:32 PM
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Hiya, Tanyu!

I just want to make a few points. First, not only is it most excellent of you to help this kitty this way, but you went straight to the very best diet a cat can have - whole prey! That is awesome.

Second, when feeding whole prey, you don't have to worry about any percentages, because the food's already packaged properly. As long as you don't feed a lot of bone-in meals in addition to the whole prey, you should be perfectly fine.

Third, drumsticks are a bit big for cats. That, plus the primarily whole prey menu, I'd recommend that next time, you just peel the meat off the drumstick for the kitty and throw the drumstick away.

And finally, raw fed kitties almost always poop every second or third day. Cats are so incredibly efficiently designed to eat what you're feeding her that she'll use a WHOLE lot more of the food than either a kibble fed or canned fed cat.

Best regards!

AC

P.S. Please don't ever feel like you can't or shouldn't ask a question. Cats can go downhill SO fast - far better to ask a question and get a "that's totally normal" answer, than not ask the question and have something minor become major. Also, the Feline-Nutrition.org site is another good resource for raw feeding and general nutrition-related questions.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 07:06 PM
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Yay, poop!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-12-2011, 07:17 PM
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Never think its a time waste. we all are here to learn from each other. And you will find people on this forum get amazingly excited about poop...

keep up the great work, the kitty will really benefit from it all. And yeah it seemed my cats when on mostly raw pooped less and no smell to boot. They also drank less.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Hey guys!

Aww, thanks for all of the support!

I just thought I'd update you all on Caro's progress

It's been five days and she seems to be doing better already. I went to the shelter with my boyfriend on Saturday and her coat already seemed to have more of a shimmer to it, and today my boyfriend said her scabs look better so hopefully she isn't scratching as much. She is a black and white tuxedo cat, but all of her whiskers are broken from scratching her face and she generally has scabs and missing patches of fur all over. She's in a sad state but I really believe this new diet will make her into the beautiful kitty I know she is.

She is intensely friendly and cuddly so I'm nearly certain that she will make a great cat for someone as long as they promise to keep feeding her this diet. If they don't have any luck adopting her, we will take her home. (We are reluctant to take her home ourselves because Caro is the first cat on my boyfriend's mini-crusade to change the kibble-culture here in Holland and we can't take home EVERY cat that has allergies or is obese etc. )

Caro is the shelter's most difficult cat (she's been there for YEARS...) and my boyfriend has volunteered his time (and food) to help her. The next phase of his project involves going to other shelters and helping their problem kitties. Eventually he wants to start his own foundation (non-profit) that will serve to educate the masses and help as many cats as possible, especially those that don't thrive on today's commercial diets. And someday we want our own shelter that caters to the "natural" cat much like a zoo attempts to cater to the nature of their animals.

So, helping Caro is stage one and she will be the poster child for our plan to overthrow the commercial petfood companies that are poisoning our cats by feeding them plants that they can't digest. Wish us luck!

P.S. I had a recent "debate" on another forum about the benefits of raw. She said she was feeding a "grain free" dry food and it was the best you can get because "many pets have died on a raw diet". She then gave me the ingredients list which contained many different plant products (granted, they weren't the first, second or third ingredient but they were in there) including CRANBERRIES. She claims that they are good for the urinary tract..... which they are - FOR HUMANS!

It is almost more difficult to get through to someone who thinks they know something than to get through to someone who knows nothing. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing....

"Good Kitty, Samhainy."
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-15-2011, 02:58 PM
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I applaud your vision, Tanyuh, and the mission you and your boyfriend have embarked upon. The Feline Nutrition Education Society has the same desire for America ('though they are going about it a slightly different way).

Good luck to you!!!!!!

AC
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