Overwhelmed raw newbie - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-11-2015, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Overwhelmed raw newbie

Hi everyone! I'm new to the forum, new to being a cat mummy and new to raw! I have read quite a few resources (feline-nutrition.org, catinfo.org, etc.) about the dangers of dry food and am in the midst of transitioning my 4 month old Aggie into a completely raw diet.

However, the amount of resources is really overwhelming, especially in terms of getting the right balance of nutrients. Some say grind, some say you don't need to, some say add supplements, some say it's fine not to as long as you get good variety. At the moment Aggie is eating a breakfast of 20g dry (yes, I know it's bad for the digestive system but we are in the middle of transition and eventually will replace with raw), lunch and dinner of about 60g of raw food. Total raw = 120g

The raw I am giving her consists of mostly muscle meat (chicken thigh and breast with a little skin), a little bit of crushed bone and a tiny bit of liver and heart. She has taken to it really well but I am worried that she is not getting all the nutrients she needs, which is especially important at her age. Since feeding her raw, (started about a week ago), her stools have been more loose as well so I've reduced the organ meats.

Anyone have any tips on how to sift through all this info and create a balanced diet for my kitten? I also live in a country where it's a little trickier to get supplements and raw mixes. Really really really appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance

(Here's a photo of my cutie patootie!)
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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I'm quite worried. Aggie hasn't eaten her dinner (last night) and breakfast (though finally ate the dry very reluctantly). She's also not been herself, bitey and scratch-y and not her usual calm loving self. The vet said it's the raw food (which I already predicted she'd say)... and I don't know what to do... I am very hesitant about putting her back on raw but if it's making her sick then I don't know what to do Please help
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 10:19 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Aggie is so cute. I do not know much about raw, maybe someone else could help there. Have you tried to buy some wet higher end food?
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply

Nope I've not yet tried, the good brands are quite pricey where I live but I need to check out the specific ones available. (Vet said I should try to put her back on dry just to stabilise her and gave me some probiotics for her diarreah)

Hopefully someone with more experience can advise re: raw?
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 10:51 PM
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If she's not feeling herself it could be a number of things...but not the raw. IMO it's nonsensical for your vet to blame a behavior change on raw.

Since she's not being any help here's what I'd do.

- skip the kibbles today and tomorrow. Get some grain free canned food in a few flavors, if she's still not taking the raw you can sub in the canned.
- crush up some of the kibbles (hammers and food processors work equally well), then sprinkle some on her next raw meal. Set the food down and walk away, cats hate hovering when they're trying to eat.
- offer something she likes a lot: chicken heart, chunks of chicken breast, w/e she usually hoovers down.
- if that doesnt do it grind or chop whatever it is to small bits, add hot tap water and kibble dust.

Chances are her attitude is either unrelated (growth spurts can make grumpy kits), or is caused by hunger
as for the rest of it...IMO: chunks are better than ground, variety is KEY to raw feeding, and try not to over stress on it. My boys were both kittens when I switched them and i panicked at every little thing. Do your research and you'll do just fine. Kittens, as far as raw goes, are just smaller hungrier adults. There are no special mice for kittens to eat in the wild.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 10:53 PM
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aggie is gorgeous! I've always wanted a cat that looks exactly like her and just can't ever find one. I would try a higher end wet, grain free food if she can't tolerate raw or won't eat it. chewy.com usually has much better prices than pet stores like petsmart/petco.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 10:53 PM
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I do not raw feed my cats yet, however I raw feed my dog.

- From what I've read, cats can be very picky about what raw meat they eat. Some won't touch expired (or even near-expired) meats, others won't eat certain types of meat (usually things they'd never eat in the wild, i.e. game meat), etc. Is the meat you're feeding fresh? What type of meat is it? Has she eaten this type of meat before? What temperature is the meat? A lot of cats will refuse to eat food unless it's room temp.

- I believe I read somewhere that cats may need minor supplements on a raw diet (dogs, on the other hand, never seem to). My pup has a slightly sensitive digestive system, so I supplement her food with daily chewable digestive enzyme supplements. They help with her digestion and also have the added benefit of being packed with other great vitamins and minerals. Sadly, they are only for dogs, but you can check out this, this, or even this. You could probably find other daily supplements there as well. But, beyond the Omega fatty acids (which, I believe, is what cats need extra doses of when they're on the raw diet? But don't quote me on this), I don't think you'll need to worry too much her not getting enough vitamins/minerals.

- Regarding her loose stools; too much MM (muscle meat) can cause loose stools as well. I imagine it's harder for a cat than it is a dog to eat more bone, but if it is the MM causing the loose stools, then a digestive supplement/enzyme should hopefully help with that in the meantime. At least until your kitty is ready to eat small bones by herself.

Last edited by marie73; 03-13-2015 at 11:29 PM.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2015, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks very much for your help and thoughts Augustine, really appreciate it.

- So far I have been feeding her chicken (just started raw feeding about a week ago), with a combination of muscle meat, liver, heart and pounded soft bone. I take the meat out of the fridge to let it come to room temp before giving it to her. My worry is she might have caught a tummy bug from the raw, because although the meat was fresh for cooking, perhaps not for raw? Though I know cats are quite resilient to bacteria etc.

- I haven't added any supplements yet, as it is difficult to get a hold of those things where I live (SE Asia)... and am strongly considering getting some online but once again the prices with shipping are quite high for my budget

Thanks again!
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 02:25 AM
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How long do you leave it sitting at out for it to get to room temperature? A quicker method is to put the meat in a little plastic bag, and then sit the bag in warm water.

I would also be trying to sub out the dry food for a good quality wet food. Dry food takes a long time to pass through the system, and raw food is very quick and I've read that feeding the two too close together can cause some issues, but I'm not sure if the one's you've mentioned are included.

Is Aggie itchy and scratching herself, or do you mean that she's scratching you? It could just be a growing up phase as well. Given that she's only 4 months old, raw food can give a cat more energy, but isn't going to make them misbehave. How long had raw been in her diet before the changes?

Last edited by Azerane; 03-13-2015 at 02:27 AM.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-13-2015, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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I leave it about 15-20 minutes out at room temperature. Thanks for the tip about the warm water/plastic bag

Yes, I think that would be the second best alternative, to feed some good quality (grain free) wet food. What do you feed your babies?

She is scratching me... but she also scratches herself, but that's been around since I got her and she's been checked for fleas/lice and is clear of them according to the vet. Well I started her on raw exactly a week ago, it wasn't until last night (so after 6 days) that I observed stools becoming very liquid and her avoidance to eating completely. Thanks Azerane
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