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Discussion Starter #1
Hey! :catmilk

I have posted a very similar post on my ferret forum and have gotten some interesting answers (very few members know of cats and raw...), but I would love to see what people on here can suggest! :)

So, baby Jasmine LOVES the raw mush I prepare for my ferrets (ground up Chicken, turkey, pork and beef, with some chicken bones, bone meal, chicken hearts and chicken livers - all in balanced proportions). When I feed Meeko (my Juv. Lymphoma ferret) beside her while she's eating her canned Evo, she will repeatedly come over and try to take some from Meeko's bowl, even though her bowl's not empty yet from her canned Evo...

Only.... whenever I let her have more than maybe one lick at a time, she throws it up almost instantly. She wants more, and she'll eat her throw up, but it happens every time...

When I got her a a little less than a week ago, she would throw up anything she ate as she was eating too fast. We've worked a lot on that and now she hasn't thrown up her formula milk (almost done, not buying more after) in over 2 days, and she hasn't thrown up from her canned in almost 2 days (I feed her about 4 meals of canned, and twice of formula a day).

But whenever I try to give her what she REALLY wants (the raw), she throws it up every time. whatever amount more than a lick...

I have tried mixing the raw in with the canned, and that goes down very well.

Could it be that she's eating the canned and milk better, but she's still going too fast with the raw? Maybe because she sees it as a treat more than as a meal?

Or could it be that even though she wants to eat it, for some reason, her body won't accept it as food? She throws it up, I think, before it makes it to her stomach, or RIGHT after making it... Almost like regurgitating it, then she eats it up, and races me if I try to pick it up...

Finally, I know this will be pretty gross sounding, but.... is it "normal" for her to eat her throw up? I mean, I can understand her because of her past (dying left alone outside... she probably got use to eating her throw up as a strategy to help her to survive...), but is it normal for kittens to do that? Is it ok that I've been letting her to it half the time? Or should I prevent her from doing that?

I've also tried giving her some Pure Bites chicken treats. Again, she loved, but threw up, then ate again... I've yet to try and feed her some freeze dried from the ferrets, but I'm certain she's eaten bits from when Lyla (another ferret) leaves her crumbs after "killing" her meat outside the cage, but I've yet to offer some.

Should I first try it dry or re-hydrated when I do try it?

Thanks in advance! :kittyturn
 

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How old is this cat? Has she been to the vet about the vomiting (since she was doing it with her canned food too)? It sounds rather severe, it almost sounds like a partial blockage to me. How did you get her to stop throwing up her canned food?

I'd say eating too fast is a possibility but it sounds like she is vomiting with just tiny amounts of food. Are all of the foods you are feeding her commercially prepared foods? Perhaps there is a preservative or additive in those foods which she is sensitive to.


My first thought was that there are a LOT of ingredients in that food, maybe there are one or two ingredients that don't agree with her, it'd be better to just give her straight chicken or a different meat if you think chicken might be what she is sensitive to and see how she does with that.


Eating vomit is very normal, when she does this does she throw it back up or can she keep the vomit down?
 

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I agree--she's eating too fast. And that's happening b/c you're giving her "mush." There is no reason to grind up meat for cats OR ferrets--as carnivores, both have excellent teeth adapted to ripping up meat! My Jonah, who was weaned directly to raw, started w/ pinky mice (whole) and moved on from there. He had eaten primarily mice his whole life, and was eating full-sized ones by 10 weeks.

If you don't want to do mice, look for quail. Anything else is too big bone-wise for a kitten. You can also offer some boneless stuff (alternate meals bone-in/boneless, being sure to also include organ meat (esp. liver, which is essential) in small amounts. But let him chew his food himself! :) It will slow him down so he won't vomit and it will ensure that he has healthy teeth throughout his life.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Siameseifyouplz, Jaz is only about 6 weeks old. She was found dying outside, alone, when she was 3-4 weeks old. The vet treated her for many things, then she was placed with me to wait until my sister can take her in in September.

I noticed she stopped throwing up if I either spoon fed her, to control the amount she eats at once, or picked up the bowl after every bite to allow her to swallow properly, or if I squished and spread out the canned in the bottom of her bowl to get her to "work" for her food, instead of just biting off huge chunks. Only I think she's still eating too fast when I offer the raw alone...

I know it is not a sensitivity, because she is doing MUCH better than she did when she came with me a week ago. She is not blocked. I had a ferret show identical symptoms of a blockage in last october (not a blockage, ended up being extremely swelled up duodenum, causing a "blockage" from Juv. Lymphoma...), and what Jaz is doing is not at all what my ferret was doing before.

It's not the tiny amounts of food she vomits (though now she's doing much better), it's if I let her eat freely tiny amounts of food that she does. I think she's finally understanding that I will always be there to feed her, that she doesn't need to worry, and she's slowing down her eating, which has improved the vomiting lots. I feed her one canned that I buy, and some of the raw I make at home. I mix the 4 meats together, because other than chicken, the ferrets refuse to eat the others, and will starve themselves if I feed only one of the other meats alone... but they accept it if they're mixed in with chicken...

Yes, she usually keeps the vomit down once she ate it up again. She hasn't vomited from her canned in over 3 days now, and hasn't vomited from me mixing raw in with the canned for 2 days now. I've even given her a spoonful of raw in her bowl after she was done eating the canned and she kept it all down no problem...

HoofMaiden, I completely agree that giving her whole pieces would slow her down. I tried, but she bites off HUGE chunks, and makes herself sick from the size of what she swallows... I need to get her to slow down before I change her diet to larger pieces.

The reason I feed much to my ferrets is because of my JL baby, Meeko. She doesn't eat much on her own since her operation in October. She will willingly eat much from a spoon, but not chunks. I chose to postpone the chunks of meat for everyone until either Meeko's crossed the bridge, or she eats chunks on her own. I do not have time to prepare different meals for every ferret... :S But the plan is to gradually switch to coarse ground, then to chunks, and if I can get my hand of enough variety, whole prey (Raw and whole prey is still VERY rare here in Canada, and is extremely hard to come by, unless you wanna pay the shipping of frozen goods from far (which is too much for me to afford...)).

I tried feeding her little pieces (small enough for her to swallow safely so she doesn't vomit) of chicken meat, skin, liver and heart. She ate the skin and meat gladly, but wouldn't touch the liver or heart alone... we'll work on those in time :)

This morning, she threw up again, but not from the raw or canned. I offered her a treat of Pure Bites Turkey, and she ate it whole 0.o Of course, threw it up, ate that up again and chewed the piece in the process, then kept it down... We'll have to work of giving tiny pieces of those too to start...

Thanks for the tips :) Please give your thoughts on anything else, or anyone else with new ideas, please post! :D
 

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A six week old baby shouldn't be able to bite off huge chunks of a mouse-sized piece of steak or chicken. ?? Try pinky mice as well.

How many meals a day is he getting? At 6 weeks (too young to be away from his mother, let alone the litter!) he should be getting 6-8 tiny meals a day. If you're trying to feed him less often, he's likely too hungry at each meal, and desperate, so bolting his food down.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I would love for her to still be with her mother, but we're just glad she's still alive, poor thing's been through lots already... I try my best to act like her mother "would" for teaching her how to be a cat. I know I'm nowhere near as good as her real mother, but since she has only me, I assume it's better than nothing ;)

I feed her 4-5 meals of canned, and 2 of milk. her canned meals are increasing in size every day. I try and leave some food out for her for a later meal when I'm at work, but she usually eats it relatively soon after it's been put out... She's almost eating a can a day now. Is this too much or too little? I don't want to overfeed, nor underfeed.... last friday she weighed in at 780g, then two days later, on sunday, she weighed 850g, and I haven't weighed her since, but she's gained lots of weight. We can barely feel her spinal cord when petting her back now, and her bones are no longer visible when parting her fur :)
 

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Just wanted to add that my Jonah was also rescued at 3-4 weeks, so I've been through just what you're going through. I took him to work w/ me for a month so I could give him his formula, then food, many times a day. When I was sure he would eat this way, I got him an auto feeder:

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Mate-Bowl-Feeder-Packs/dp/B0002AR0D8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1343845354&sr=8-1&keywords=cat+mate+c50[/ame]


It lets you feed up to 5 meals a day while you're away. Was a lifesaver for me!

Here are a few old threads re: Jonah's growing up that may be helpful. :)

http://www.catforum.com/forum/62-raw-food-diet/127178-update-p-2-w-video-jonah-addicted-mice.html

http://www.catforum.com/forum/37-behavior/127267-jonahs-introduction-diary-cat-cat-cat-dog.html
 

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And idea about slowing your kitten down during meal time... I've heard it mentioned on here before that if you have a cat that eats too fast and vomits you can add some large (large enough that she definitely can't accidentally swallow them) rocks to their food. Then when they eat they have to slow down to eat around the rocks. I imagine if that works with canned food it might work with ground raw food too, so I thought I'd mention it.

I think I've even seen metal balls at my local pet store which you can use instead of rocks to slow a pet down - but they were kinda big so I think they were for large dogs :razz: Maybe they come in different sizes for small dogs, which might work for a cat. Oh or maybe you could try using a golf ball in her food. That would be about the right size. (Sorry just typing this out as I think of it LOL) If the issue really is eating too fast then at least you wouldn't have to stand there and offer her food one spoonful at a time, or stand there at keep taking the bowl away.

Anyway it sounds like you have a good idea why you're kitten is eating so fast. I can't blame her! But hopefully with regular meals she'll realize there's always going to be lots of food around and she'll slow down on her own. It's so great that she made it though her rough start and you were able to take her in and give her a great home.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does that feeder work with canned and raw?? I've never seen a feeder that isn't only for kibble! :O

Catinthemorror, I really like the idea of a ball to slow down the eating process, but... knowing her she'll take it as me trying to show her that food is also a toy! XD she loves balls, and the ferrets have some golf balls that she loves playing with... go figure! lol

Hoofmaiden, I would certainly enjoy some videos of cats eating raw, but could you PM me? I am still unsure of how the PMs work :p lol Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow! I'll look into finding one of those near me (I hate paying shipping costs that are over the price of the item *-.-) Thanks for the suggestion! :)
 

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Thanks Kitty-The-Cat, I hope that's not what it is, but if the vomiting of the raw doesn't completely stop in a little while, it's something I might have t consider, yes :(
 

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Hey! Yet ANOTHER member from Edmonton :) Glad to meet you!

I also feed raw and live in Edmonton, so if you need local tips I'd love to help out.

I have an idea that wouldn't work just yet, but might help in the future. You could freeze her food (raw or canned) into ice cube trays, then plonk one or two down and she can eat it as it thaws. That would force her to eat it slowly.
You couldn't do this until she's about 3 1/2-4 months old though, co9ld food for babies is a bad idea. But eventaully...

You could also buy one of those mini-muffin pans (I've seen them at save-on sometimes) and put a tiny bit of food into each cup. That would also force her to slow down.

The feeder Elizabeth is talking about has compartments, three I believe, with doors on top. Each day you would load the compartments, and set them each for a seperate time. When the timer runs out one of the compartments opens, allowing access to the food behind one door, and so on with the other two doors as well. (I'm pretty sure that's the one you have, right Elizabeth?) I've seen them at PetSmart occasionally, so maybe give them a call and see if they have them.

To PM someone go to the top right hand corner of the screen, there will be a line that says your username, and then two lines below it theres a link that says Private Messages, click there. Then, on the left hand side bar there's a 'send new message'; option. Click that, type in the username of the person you want to message, fill in the subject line, then type away.

You can also click on someone's username, and click 'send message' from the drop-down menu, whichever you prefer.

We'd love to see pictures of your new kitty and her ferret buddies! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kitty-The-Cat, I do truly believe she was eating too fast as I've given raw alone today and no throw up. She's eating her canned much slower now too, she doesn't gag anymore :) I've had a ferret with a sensitivity, and it did not look like what Jaz was doing at all. That's why I was leaving that option out for the moment.

Yay! Pleased to meet you, Librarychick! :) You're the first raw feeder I meet on forums that's from or near Edmonton! :D I would love to have tips. When you say you feed raw, do you feed commercial, or prepare it at home? :)

Thanks for the Ice cube tip! I've heard of people doing that for dogs, but I didn't think about it for a cat! :) She's slowed down lots for the moment, but if she starts eating too fast again in the future, it's a great tip to have! Thanks!

In PetSmart? I will try and head there over the weekend then! I would love to get my hand on one if they're not *too* expensive :)

In my original post, I added links to some FB photos, but they were removed... lol! I have pictures of the ferrets online that I can add, but none of Jaz, other than on FB for the moment...
 

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The feeder Elizabeth is talking about has compartments, three I believe, with doors on top. Each day you would load the compartments, and set them each for a seperate time. When the timer runs out one of the compartments opens, allowing access to the food behind one door, and so on with the other two doors as well. (I'm pretty sure that's the one you have, right Elizabeth?) I've seen them at PetSmart occasionally, so maybe give them a call and see if they have them.
It has 5 compartments, actually!

I would increase the number of meals fed (to 7-8 or more) a day, feeding VERY small amounts at each meal. 5 can be fed via the feeder while the OP is at work--the others when the OP is home.

It's important to keep in mind that if this kitty were still w/ mom and litter, she would still be nursing and only eating small amounts of prey that mom brought back. So trying to get her to eat larger amounts and no milk is potentially the problem. Are you still feeding formula, Smoogy? I would offer some formula FIRST, wait 15 min or so after she finishes, then offer a TINY bit of raw meat.

I agree about sticking to one protein--otherwise it's impossible to tell what might be causing a problem. I very much doubt that the kitty is allergic to chicken or whatever--that's very uncommon. Most allergies are to COOKED meat. But it's still always best (with animals and babies!) to start w/ one food, make sure that's OK, then give another food exclusively until you know that one is OK.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I shall certainly look into that feeder, if I can find one here.... amazing! :D lol

I finished the formula milk last night. You think I should buy some more? To keep her with milk for how long? Is there any difference if I get the already liquid or the powder? :)

She's doing pretty good considerably! If I feed her more often, she never throws up. I may look into finding that feeder tonight! :O Because I feed her her morning meal, then put more in her bowl for when I'm away, but I'm pretty sure she just eats it right away :( Though she's been doing good. I've been mixing some raw (1/4) unto canned (3/4), and no problem, but I haven't tried the raw alone again yet... :O

I shall try to make a small batch for her alone with starting only chicken then... See how that goes :) Thanks...
 

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Smoogy I've done both home-made and commercial. Right now I'm ordering from a great company that sells pre-ground and chunks, as well as some more interesting protiens than you can buy in a store. Also their customer service is awesome.

When I was buying the meat and packaging it myself it took about 3 hours once a month to shop and portion it out. It was costing me in the range of $80/month, and I could pretty much only get chicken, pork, and beef. That was mostly ok, and my kitties love their cheap cuts. Lots of pork tongue, beef heart, ect. I wasn't super happy with that amoutn of variety (once your cat is switched onto raw completely! In the beginning using one protien is key, like Elizabeth said.), and TBH I was getting lazy about it too.

A former client of mine (that I had convinced to switch to raw :) ) told me about this local company that you can order from, so all I have to do is go pick it up on delivery day, thaw, and feed. They get a much broader variety of meats: chicken, pork, beef, rabbit, fish (whitefish, not from the ocean), turkey, duck, bison, piglets (whole...ew, but once in a while it's a good idea if you can stomach it), and sometimes llama/alpaca. They also do ground or chunked, and have organ mixes, or meat mixed with veggies (for dogs). Overall I love them, it's cheaper ($60 ish, unless I splurge and buy lots of rabbit and other expensive stuff), and less work.

I'm not going to say I'll never go back to buying and portioning myself, but this works just fine right now.

Don't puree the raw for her, cut it into teeny tiny peices. Even with her eating too quickly small strips are still a better idea than ground. It's much easier to teach them to like ground raw later than it is to wean them onto chunks. Also make sure the chicken is at least room temperature when you're feeding her. Part of the issue may be the temperature of the food.

I mentioned in my last post that kittens shouldn't get cold food, it lowers their body temperature too much for them to digest it well. Make sure her food is always warmed a bit, even just by adding hot tapwater to it and mixing it in to take the chill off. Same goes for the raw food, but rather than adding water (which I do occasionally if Jitzu's not feeling well) put the raw chicken in a baggie and sit it in a bowl of quite warm water until it's at 'dead mouse' temperature, aka warmish.

This brings out the smell in it, as well as making it easier on her little tummy.
 
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