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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2014, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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Question About Beef

Sunny threw up his raw meal last night for the first time since I've been feeding him raw, which has been since around 12/28. Last night was also the first time I gave him regular beef, although from the beginning he has been eating beef heart and hasn't had a problem. Yesterday I bought a cheaper cut of steak that was on sale and he had some scraps while I was cutting it up and packaging it, and then a couple of chunks with his evening meal. It was about 4 hours after he ate that he threw up.

So I guess my question is whether he could be intolerant to beef? It doesn't seem like that would be the problem since he's been getting beef heart right along but maybe the steak is a different story. I gave him just pork with lamb kidney this morning, so we'll see how he does.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-20-2014, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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I also wanted to say that Sunny was still not very hungry this morning - he acted like he was, but he didn't eat nearly as well as he usually does. I gave him mostly pork as I know he doesn't have an issue with that, but ended up throwing some away as he didn't clean it up.

He was also acting a bit off in that he seemed like he was not as lively as he usually is. He hasn't had any diarrhea but I'm concerned about the fact that he hasn't been getting much calcium. If he is deficient in calcium would that make him nauseous?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 04:27 AM
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Is he an adult? You wouldn't see a calcium deficiency in less than a month with an adult cat. While nausea is a side effect of low calcium, I would be surprised to see it set in so quickly.

Midas has thrown up only once since going on raw. I wasn't home when he did it, but I found it on the kitchen table on my boyfriend's brand new (just arrived that day) textbook. I only feed him once a day, but by the next meal he was fine (and probably more hungry than normal). I wouldn't worry too much since Sunny did eat again. Sometimes cats just get an upset stomach, but keep a close eye on him. Wait until he is completely back to normal before trying beef again. If he has a similar reaction, beef might just not agree with him.

Some things to consider: was anything added to the beef, such as salt for plumping? You mentioned it was on sale, was it definitely still good, or one of those "we shouldn't really sell this but we will slap a sticker on it and see what happens" deals? You should probably try with a different piece of beef when you try again, just in case something was up with that particular one.

You really need to figure out how you are going to get him the bone he needs though. It needs to be 10% of the diet, no ifs, ands, or buts! It contains more than just calcium. If he is under a year old this cannot wait, or his growth might be affected. Consider getting some Nature's Variety pre-made raw, or other similar product. Many pre-made diets have 15% bone, which is a little high, but means you can easily add in some other meat. If he is over a year, you can spend a little more time trying to balance it out, but don't wait too long either.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for the responses. Sunny did well last night with his supper - ate the whole thing and seemed like himself again. He didn't throw up his breakfast yesterday or his supper last night. He is running around like a nut this morning trying to get his sister to chase him lol. As for age, the rescue said he is at least 3, and possibly older. They gave a range of 3-5. I haven't had him to the vet yet but he will be going soon so we'll see what she thinks.

Believe me, I know I have to get the calcium into his diet. I'm losing sleep over it at this point. I know why people don't feed raw at times like this - it would be so much easier to just open a can although with Sunny it would be useless because he wouldn't eat any cat food since I got him.

I am going to get a grinder today and see if he will eat the bone ground. I have tried him with every kind of bone I've had access to so far and he has not done very well with them. A little chewing of it here and there, but not enough by far. We have pounded up chicken necks, turkey necks, turkey wings, chicken wings and cornish hen wings. I have baked egg shells in the oven, ground and sprinkled some of that on his food but he didn't eat two of the four pieces I put it on. I don't know if he detected it and didn't like it or it was just coincidence. He has rejected egg yolk also. The only sardines I can find in water also have added salt.

I'm so worried about this cat getting what he needs. And I really wish I had a vet that really believed in raw feeding. Mine is 'okay' so to speak with me feeding raw, but I'm worried she is always going to blame anything that might be wrong with him on that because it's not what she recommends.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 08:16 AM
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I don't feed raw, not that I'm against it, I just don't feel like I'd get it right, but good for you for doing it, I do think it is better for cats.

I just wanted to tell you that my cat Beep is SO allergic to beef, but we did not realize it for years. I feed Wellness canned, and beef and chicken was one of the varieties I would regularly buy, along with chicken and turkey. Well, Beep threw up about 1-3 times a week for years, and we just figured she was a pukey cat. We took her to the vet many times over this, never could figure it out, even suspected a food but since we didn't always feed the beef and chicken, we just somehow (stupidly) never tied her puking to the beef and chicken. I feel so stupid when I explain it now, because it seems so plain, but what can I do now? Anyway, one day, they were out of beef and chicken at the pet store, so I stocked up on chicken and turkey, and then I noticed that Beep had not thrown up in 3 weeks. And I thought, wow, it's the beef! Then a few weeks later, we had a much needed overdue check up with blood work and everything for her, and my vet, (one at this practice) has a holistic approach and is very much into pet nutrition said that he saw beef allergies in cats quite a lot. My cat did not throw up for months after we stopped giving the beef. Then one day, by accident, my husband dropped a big dollop of dog food on the floor while feeding my dog, beef canned food, and she ate it, promptly puked it up within 2 minutes of eating, so that reinforced our belief she was allergic to it. Then a few weeks ago, we were eating chinese food and my daughter gave her a tiny amount of beef from her food, teensy amount, she promptly threw it up.

I just thought I'd pass it along to you, since my cat is HIGHLY allergic to beef and also since my vet said that he saw it a lot in cats. He did say he saw other protein allergies in cats as well, even chicken, but beef he saw far more of. I'd have to wonder if your cat is at least intolerant to the beef if not allergic, since he tolerated the beef heart.

I hope you figure it out soon enough so no more throwing up and he is all good
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 12:48 AM
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Sounds really good! Once you grind the bones, if he still turns his nose up at a mix of meat chunks and ground bone, try offering only ground bone for one meal. If he eats it alone, consider grinding all the meat, at least at first, or chopping up the chunks into really tiny pieces. As a side note: have his teeth been checked? Obviously he is managing chunks well, and didn't want to eat canned food at all, but when you do take him in, make sure his teeth are carefully examined.

If grinding the bones does not work, consider adding a mix to balance it out. There are a few options for you. First would be to just add bone meal. Catinfo.org does have a recipe for this, and if you are only grinding the bones and adding a wider variety of meats, you can probably add only the bone meal. Since you wouldn't be grinding the majority of meat, you probably wouldn't lose too much taurine, and pork is pretty high in B12. Even better for copper, B12, and something else I am forgetting right now are beef liver and kidney instead of chicken livers. Since he tolerated beef heart before, it could be worth trying those organs if you can find them.
The second option would be to add a mix like http://tcfeline.com/tcfeline-usa/ or Dog / Cat Vitamins and Supplements ? Wysong Call of the Wild?
Research those heavily though, as I have never use them and cannot vouch for them. I just know that I have heard other people have used them.

Good luck, and thank you for taking the time to help Sunny eat what he really wants!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, good suggestions. I know I could go with the premix but from what I've read they aren't ideal. Although granted it would be better than him not getting enough calcium.

Yesterday I ordered a grinder since they didn't have the model I wanted in the store, and I bought a mortar and pestle to grind the egg shells up finer than the food processor would do. Last night and this morning he ate the finely ground egg shells without a problem sprinkled on his food. And there has been no more throwing up since that one time.

He has eaten beef liver and beef hearts since I started feeding him raw, which is why I was wondering what would be different about the actual chunks of beef or if that was even the problem. Obviously I'm going to have to try him with the beef chunks again to see if the same thing happens but I hate to do it lol. For kidney so far all he has eaten is lamb kidney, although I did see some beef kidney in the store yesterday so apparently they do have it periodically. I'll try for that next time I need kidney. I am also going to try him with a frozen feeder mouse although my husband thinks it's disgusting lol. I figure that way he might eat the mouse bones too - if he eats it at all, I guess some cats don't seem to know what to do with it.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-22-2014, 09:22 PM
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His throwing up was probably/hopefully just a complete fluke then, just like when Midas did it. I've heard really good things about the first pre-mix I posted if you live in Canada and can get the mix from the original maker, but ground bones will definitely be better if you can get him to eat those!

As far as beef kidneys vs. lamb kidneys, I would say that they are both really good. Lamb actually has way more vitamin B12 (like over 900% of the daily value in 4 ounces to beefs 500%!), as well as some other things higher than beef. Maybe, if you have freezer space, throw in a little beef kidney sometimes, but the lamb actually seems superior to the beef in most aspects. Rotation is always good though, and both the beef and lamb are much better options than chicken. While not true for cats, at least not that I have seen or been told, a mostly chicken based diet for raw fed dogs will result in greasy coats, at least in part because of the lack of zinc in chicken. Coupled with the fact that chicken organs have less vitamins and minerals than others, but they are most easily sourced by people, I just generally recommend looking for beef liver/kidney whenever I see someone starting out. But you are doing more than fine already!

Good luck feeding mice! I don't think I could stomach it, especially because a lot of cats need them to be cut in half first. Ever since I was little and a cat left a mouse tail on the rug in the hallway, leaving me to wonder for days where the rest of it was (though now I know it was probably eaten), they kind of freak me out. Really good nutrition though, since you have the thyroid, brain, stomach, and other parts not normally fed in frankenprey.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd post an update of Sunny and the situation with beef. After his initial intro to it that prompted me starting this thread, I kept him totally off regular beef for a couple of weeks. When I started adding it back in in small amounts he tolerated it fine. He has not thrown up from eating it again, or at any other time since that first time.

However, just the other night I gave him venison for the first time. He loved it!! He went right for those chunks first and was smacking his lips while eating lol. About 4 hrs. later though, just like his first experience with the beef, he threw up his meal. I will do the same as I did last time - wait a while and then re-challenge him in small amounts. Hopefully he will tolerate it though because I got a good supply for free from a friend and it will be a good addition to his variety.

But I'm wondering if he has some kind of 'first exposure' syndrome going on here? Maybe if he eats something his stomach is not used to digesting he rejects it at first and then gets used to it. Has anyone else experienced something like this with raw feeding?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-20-2014, 04:41 PM
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It's possible. I'd suggest that the next time you try new food feed it as only 1/4 of his meal, with the rest being something he's familiar with. If that goes well you can gradually add more and more until he can handle a full meal of it.

I'll also add that I buy on sale beef from time to time for my guys (when I'm at the store) and I've thrown it out after coming home because even though it looks fine it smells off. I've gotten really good at telling when it's even slightly off. My boys both will eat it and not have trouble, but Jitzu's picky tummy gets set off by it every time!

My method is to stick my face right up close and give it a good sniff right after I open the plastic. It isn't pleasant if it's off, but rancid beef will get your gag reflex going even if it's only slightly off. Yay for adaptations, lol. IMO better that than my kitties getting sick!

As for the bone, I'd go with (preferably organic, but I'm like that, lol) egg shells powdered as fine as you can. Torri was on that for a few months after I switched to raw because she, also, refused bone. IMO that's better than bone meal from goodness only knows where. Keep trying the bone-in chunks though, once a month or so. Torri still won't take them all the time, but about half the time she will. (They do get some ground bone from the ground meat I buy locally).
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