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Discussion Starter #1
My cat had gastrointestinitis a few days ago, so I brought him to the animal hospital.
Our of the 3 vets we have seen there, one said "we do not like raw" after we told them we are feeding raw to my 2 cats (the other one is healthy).

She also said "raw might not be for your cat, every cat is different." Is it possible that raw diet is not for one particular cat? That sounds pretty impossible for me, how can a cat survive in the wild if he/she is not good with raw?

Right now the vet wants my cat to be on low residue diet, dry and canned. My cat eats it, but when he saw his buddy's raw food, he immediately ran over and swallowing a few bites before I took it away.

Can cat recoving from gastrointestinitis take raw food? If they are supposed to eat a food that will digest better, why dry/canned, but not raw?
 

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The problem is that vets blame EVERYTHING on raw if the cat is known to be eating that way. Unless you were feeding something the cat wasn't used to or something very bizarre, I VERY much doubt the cause was the diet. Tummy troubles are caused by viruses in cats just as they are in human beings. Feed boneless chicken for a few days, let the problem pass, and then slowly ramp back up. Cats and dogs get tummy troubles on kibble and canned, too, but vets NEVER blame the food THEN, LOL.

Give us an example of your kitty's diet - say what he ate over the 5 days or so b/f he got sick.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The vet sounds like we are giving our babies meat from road side dead animal bodies or unidentified sources. :twisted:

I mix raw food to make a balance diet, and just scoop the mixture for my cats.

Days before sick / Food
1
Breakfast - Pork, chicken bones, duck liver, pig kidney
Lunch - Primal Turkey raw
Dinner - Pork, chicken bones, duck liver, pig kidney
2 same as 1
3
Breakfast - Rad Cat Turkey
Lunch - Primal Turkey raw
Dinner - Rad Cat Turkey
4
Breakfast - Rad Cat Turkey
Lunch - Dry (TOTW mix Orijen)
Dinner - Rad Cat Turkey
5
Breakfast - Chicken, chicken bones, duck liver, pig brain
Lunch - Dry (TOTW mix Orijen)
Dinner - Rad Cat Turkey

I know some say no to pork, but they have been doing fine with it.
Besides that, they also get quail. One cat is allergic to beef, lamb and rabbit, so there are not may choices we have here.

FYI, my cats are 9 months old, and they have been on raw for 4 months. The other cat is very healthy on raw.
 

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Never mix raw with dry food.

Dry food takes twice as long to run through the digestive system, it will stall the raw food inside and allow bacteria to flourish more than the length of time had there been no dry food in the cat's system.

Delete the dry food and try again with one single protein source.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
straylover said:
Never mix raw with dry food.

Dry food takes twice as long to run through the digestive system, it will stall the raw food inside and allow bacteria to flourish more than the length of time had there been no dry food in the cat's system.

Delete the dry food and try again with one single protein source.
There is at least 7 hours between meals, does that consider "mixing" too? Due to my work schedule, there are 2 days that no one will be at home for 13 hours, I need to give them something to eat. Is there a better way of doing it?
 

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koobe said:
I mix raw food to make a balance diet, and just scoop the mixture for my cats.
What do you mean by this? Do you grind the food? If so, I recommend NOT doing that. Cats CAN eat real food and grinding just exposes more surface area to bacteria.

All that said, you are feeding way too much variety IMO, esp. since you're mixing raw food, COMMERCIAL raw food, and dry kibble. Go back to basics. Stop grinding if you were doing that, and feed plain bone-in and boneless chicken for a couple of weeks. Quail or cornish game hen is better for cats than chicken, bone-size wise, but if you MUST feed chicken, stick w/ wings and breast. Don't feed too much bone--cats only need bone to be 5% to at MOST 10% of the overall diet.

Get rid of the Rad cat and the dry food.

I think your problem is too much STUFF.

Be sure to read carefully this website:

http://www.rawfedcats.org/
 

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koobe said:
straylover said:
Never mix raw with dry food.

Dry food takes twice as long to run through the digestive system, it will stall the raw food inside and allow bacteria to flourish more than the length of time had there been no dry food in the cat's system.

Delete the dry food and try again with one single protein source.
There is at least 7 hours between meals, does that consider "mixing" too? Due to my work schedule, there are 2 days that no one will be at home for 13 hours, I need to give them something to eat. Is there a better way of doing it?
Cats take 12 hours to digest food. That's why the caxperts in the forum frequently recommend not feeding raw within 12 hours of feeding dry.

It's okay not to feed a kitty for 13 hours. Just don't go longer than 24. Many adult cats do well on just 1 meal per day.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello Cat Addict,
No, I do not grind meat. I cut them everything into piece. It used to be smaller pieces, now bigger. I also cut bones in about 1/2 inch in length, they are not good about anything bigger than that now.

So I mix all my ingredients, so every spoon I scoop should be balanced this way.

I was under the impression that I should give my cats as much variety as possible. Maybe I should start reducing types of meat for now, and work my way up when they are bigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
straylover said:
koobe said:
straylover said:
Never mix raw with dry food.

Dry food takes twice as long to run through the digestive system, it will stall the raw food inside and allow bacteria to flourish more than the length of time had there been no dry food in the cat's system.

Delete the dry food and try again with one single protein source.
There is at least 7 hours between meals, does that consider "mixing" too? Due to my work schedule, there are 2 days that no one will be at home for 13 hours, I need to give them something to eat. Is there a better way of doing it?
Cats take 12 hours to digest food. That's why the caxperts in the forum frequently recommend not feeding raw within 12 hours of feeding dry.

It's okay not to feed a kitty for 13 hours. Just don't go longer than 24. Many adult cats do well on just 1 meal per day.
Thank you for your suggestion, I will try to increase the time between meals too see how they deal with it.

So bottom line is, it is impossible for a cat to be allergic to/not do well on raw diet. Do we all agree on this?
 

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It's possible for them to be intolerant of SOMETHING in the diet, perhaps one meat source, but I doubt a cat would be intolerant of food simply because it's raw, that doesn't make sense unless the food is very poorly handled.
 

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koobe said:
So bottom line is, it is impossible for a cat to be allergic to/not do well on raw diet. Do we all agree on this?
It is possible for a cat to be allergic to a particular type of protein, be it cooked or raw. Some cats for example are allergic to fish or beef (cooked and raw). But it is rare for a cat to be allergic to be ALL raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
straylover said:
koobe said:
So bottom line is, it is impossible for a cat to be allergic to/not do well on raw diet. Do we all agree on this?
It is possible for a cat to be allergic to a particular type of protein, be it cooked or raw. Some cats for example are allergic to fish or beef (cooked and raw). But it is rare for a cat to be allergic to be ALL raw.
Understood, just like my other cat is allergic to beef, lamb and maybe rabbit. But a vet should not conclude that raw is "not for" my cats.
 

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koobe said:
Hello Cat Addict,
No, I do not grind meat. I cut them everything into piece. It used to be smaller pieces, now bigger. I also cut bones in about 1/2 inch in length, they are not good about anything bigger than that now.

So I mix all my ingredients, so every spoon I scoop should be balanced this way.

I was under the impression that I should give my cats as much variety as possible. Maybe I should start reducing types of meat for now, and work my way up when they are bigger.
My screenname is hoofmaiden, not Cat Addict. That's my designation here (how long I've been on the forum), just as you are "Kitten." Just FYI. ;)

1/2" is WAY TOO SMALL for bone. Let the CAT chew the bone. 1/2" is too big to swallow and too small to chew. If they're having trouble w/ bone it's b/c you're feeding chicken bone. Look for quail (Asian markets) or cornish game hen--much more cat-appropriate bone.

Variety is fine, but you don't have to give EVERYTHING in one spoonful. In nature, cats kill ONE animal, not 6 at a time. You are looking to feed 80-85% meat, 5-10% bone, 10% organ (half of which must be liver) but you feed that OVER TIME, not all at once (unless you are feeding whole prey).

My own cats' diets (I'll give some non-mouse-day examples):

Day 1 AM: 1/2 quail PM: venison, beef liver
Day 2 AM: beef PM: venison, pork kidney
Day 3 AM: 1/2 quail PM: venison
Day 4 AM: chicken gizzards PM: beef, beef liver

Plenty of variety (which was introduced to them gradually, one new protein at a time, until I knew it agreed w/ them), but not all at ONCE. And not everything in one meal.

The Rad Cat stuff IS ground. And the kibble is possibly dangerous combined w/ raw.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
:lol: hoofmaiden, sorry about that. So you know I am a newbie here.

So I do feed quail, and I really like to feed quail because I cut the whole bird into pieces and they can chew the bone. And they are pretty good at this one.

For chicken, I cut up the ribs. I gave them a neck one time, one ate half of it, and one did not touch it.

Also tried chicken wings, or cut up drumsticks (1 inch+ pieces) and those do not work. So I am just taking it slow right now.

I use commercial raw: 1) it is my lazy fix 2) it makes me feel safer just in case my diet is slight unbalanced. Is there any commercial raw that is not ground out there?

I will make a meal with 1 or 2 protein source from now on. Thank you for your advice!
 

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First, Koobe, I want to say how sorry I am you're having these difficulties. :dis

There's a lot to address here, so I'm going to respond in bullet form:

- Your vets are out of their depth and I wouldn't give their warnings about raw a second thought (and Hoofmaiden is, unfortunately, correct, once they know you've been offering raw, they quite often blame everything on it *sigh*).

- When mixing the raw ingredients, how are you determining how much bone and organ to include? You've also mentioned using a calcium supplement, but considering how small a percentage of the total diet the raw meals are, I'm wondering how much bone or bone substitute you really need. Ditto the organ meats. From the menu you provided, it appears that frankenprey raw is barely a third of their total food intake - if that's accurate, I wouldn't really be messing about with bone or organs more than once a week, if that, and I wouldn't be using a calcium supplement at all.

- Have you checked to see if any of the commercial foods have been recalled or had issues? (The FDA site is one place you can look; itchmo forums is another very good source.)

- How do you know one of your cats is allergic to beef, lamb and rabbit? Is he allergic to the meats in raw, commercial raw or cooked form?

- While offering raw and kibble in the same meal isn't recommended, going 7 hours between is more than adequate, in my opinion.

- IT IS BETTER TO FEED AS MANY MEALS PER DAY AS YOU CAN, WITH A MINIMUM OF TWO OR, BETTER YET, THREE. Cats evolved to eat several small meals a day. Yes, they can go hungry for 12 hours, but it's not an optimal practice. A cat's stomach can (and, after 8 hours, often does) become acidic enough to cause the cat to throw up. Enough of that, and the cat can develop digestive upsets that might require a diet change to manage. I WOULD NEVER FEED A CAT ONLY ONCE A DAY.

- You are correct, there is no such thing as too much variety in an obligate carnivore's diet.

- If you need to cut bones to get the kitties to eat them, by all means cut them. Yes, the cats won't be receiving the full benefit of chewing through bone, but they'll get the benefits they need.

I have a couple of thoughts/avenues of pursuit -

One: On the two days a week that no one will be home to feed the cats lunch, I think, all things considered, I would lean toward letting them go hungry until you got home rather than feed them the dry food. You've got so many different sources for food (raw, commercial raw, kibble) that pinpointing any particular item that might be causing a problem is likely to be difficult. At only two days a week, I should think your cats could handle it... just keep an eye out for vomit and if it happens regularly, then consider going back to a kibble lunch, but only as a last resort.

Two: Go to the yahoo group and talk to them about this. Your experience is unusual, but I'm willing to bet someone over there can help you. Know in advance, however, that they don't like commercial products and they ESPECIALLY (and rightfully so) don't like kibble as a food source for cats.

All the very best of luck to you, Koobe. And please do keep us informed!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Auntie Crazy, I am so glad to see you here!! It is just wonderful to have so many people here supporting raw like me (not like the vet, or the friend who told me even canned food was not meant to be the primary diet, dry food is).

To answer your questions:


- When mixing the raw ingredients, how are you determining how much bone and organ to include? You've also mentioned using a calcium supplement, but considering how small a percentage of the total diet the raw meals are, I'm wondering how much bone or bone substitute you really need. Ditto the organ meats. From the menu you provided, it appears that frankenprey raw is barely a third of their total food intake - if that's accurate, I wouldn't really be messing about with bone or organs more than once a week, if that, and I wouldn't be using a calcium supplement at all.

They were on about 90% of raw before Cheetah got sick. I use 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% organ to make my raw. For example, I use 21 oz of chicken wing (will give about 10 oz of bone), then 69% of meat, 5 oz of liver, and 5% of kidney. Meat is not ground. Then I mix well and separate them in different containers, and freeze it. When I do not have bones, I make the batch minus bone. On the calcium supplements, there is a recommended daily amount by body weight, for example 1 scoop for 10 lbs. So I will mix 1/2 scoop of calcium in breakfast, and 1/2 scoop in dinner. If one of the meal is commercial raw, I will reduce the calcium supplement according.

- Have you checked to see if any of the commercial foods have been recalled or had issues? (The FDA site is one place you can look; itchmo forums is another very good source.)
I will check now

- How do you know one of your cats is allergic to beef, lamb and rabbit? Is he allergic to the meats in raw, commercial raw or cooked form?
I first found out Panther vomits after having beef baby food. Then when I transition them to raw, I started with chicken, then slowly introduced turkey, quail, Cornish hen, all in raw form. Then when I introduced lamb, Panther throw up. I was not sure if there was something wrong when I prepared the lamb, so the next time, I just gave him a few freshly cut lamb for lunch. Within 10 mins, he threw up all this breakfast too. Same thing as for beef, one time I gave a few pieces of beef for breakfast, he threw up those few pieces in 5 mins. Rabbit is tricky. The first time Panther ate it, he was fine. The second time he ate it, (meat from the same rabbit), he threw up again.

- If you need to cut bones to get the kitties to eat them, by all means cut them. Yes, the cats won't be receiving the full benefit of chewing through bone, but they'll get the benefits they need.
Yes, I would cut up what they need, sometimes they will skip the bone pieces too. Then I will throw a chicken neck as snack. If they eat it, that is great! If not, I might add some calcium next day.

Thank you for your suggestions, Auntie Crazy!
Based on suggestions from the vet, I put some dry out for the cats this morning (today is one of the days when I have to work). In the evening, when my brother laid out dry and canned for Cheetah to choose, and raw for Panther, Cheetah ran to the raw and buried his face in it. I had to take it away, just because I am not sure if he should have it.

Cheetah definitely wants to eat raw and is eating more when I give raw. Should I forget the low residue and continue to feed Cheetah raw at this time of recovery?
 

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koobe said:
Cheetah definitely wants to eat raw and is eating more when I give raw. Should I forget the low residue and continue to feed Cheetah raw at this time of recovery?[/color]
Personally that is what I would do. I don't see any point in "special" food. But I'd ditch the dry food and feed only raw.

Vets blaim raw feeding for everything. Its as rediculous as a human doctor saying that your sick because you eat a lot of fruit/veggies...
 

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koobe said:
They were on about 90% of raw before Cheetah got sick. I use 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% organ to make my raw. For example, I use 21 oz of chicken wing (will give about 10 oz of bone), then 69% of meat, 5 oz of liver, and 5% of kidney. Meat is not ground. Then I mix well and separate them in different containers, and freeze it. When I do not have bones, I make the batch minus bone. On the calcium supplements, there is a recommended daily amount by body weight, for example 1 scoop for 10 lbs. So I will mix 1/2 scoop of calcium in breakfast, and 1/2 scoop in dinner. If one of the meal is commercial raw, I will reduce the calcium supplement according.
I have a feeling the cats may be getting more bone sources than they really need. How are their stools: consistency, color and frequency?

koobe said:
I first found out Panther vomits after having beef baby food. Then when I transition them to raw, I started with chicken, then slowly introduced turkey, quail, Cornish hen, all in raw form. Then when I introduced lamb, Panther throw up. I was not sure if there was something wrong when I prepared the lamb, so the next time, I just gave him a few freshly cut lamb for lunch. Within 10 mins, he threw up all this breakfast too. Same thing as for beef, one time I gave a few pieces of beef for breakfast, he threw up those few pieces in 5 mins. Rabbit is tricky. The first time Panther ate it, he was fine. The second time he ate it, (meat from the same rabbit), he threw up again.
An allergy to either beef or lamb wouldn't be that rare, but an allergy to all three meats.... I don't know. If you're content with what you're currently offering, no worries, but if you'd like a little more variety, I wouldn't (under these conditions) be at all shy about offering these meats again. There are so many reasons a cat could throw up that have nothing to do with a potential allergy, you know?

koobe said:
Based on suggestions from the vet, I put some dry out for the cats this morning (today is one of the days when I have to work). In the evening, when my brother laid out dry and canned for Cheetah to choose, and raw for Panther, Cheetah ran to the raw and buried his face in it. I had to take it away, just because I am not sure if he should have it.
What did you give the cats for breakfast this same morning? Before he got sick, is it possible Cheetah ate some of the dry that was put out for lunch as soon as you walked out the door?

koobe said:
Cheetah definitely wants to eat raw and is eating more when I give raw. Should I forget the low residue and continue to feed Cheetah raw at this time of recovery?
Smart kitty. :lol:

You have to be completely comfortable in what you feed Cheetah, Koobe, because you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror later knowing you did the best you could do. Every single food source we buy for our cats is processed to one degree or another and has the potential for contact with an unlimited number of contaminants: biological, chemical and otherwise, so there is ALWAYS a risk. We make the best choices we can based on our knowledge of feline nutrition, our experiences with food companies and products, and our available resources.

There are no guarantees, there is only the best we can do.

If I were you, I would give Cheetah the raw food - and I strongly recommend removing the dry food from Panther and Cheetah's menu altogether - but the final decision has to be yours.

If you still have my phone number, please feel free to call me. If you don't have it and want to talk, pm me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Auntie Crazy said:
koobe said:
They were on about 90% of raw before Cheetah got sick. I use 80% meat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% organ to make my raw. For example, I use 21 oz of chicken wing (will give about 10 oz of bone), then 69% of meat, 5 oz of liver, and 5% of kidney. Meat is not ground. Then I mix well and separate them in different containers, and freeze it. When I do not have bones, I make the batch minus bone. On the calcium supplements, there is a recommended daily amount by body weight, for example 1 scoop for 10 lbs. So I will mix 1/2 scoop of calcium in breakfast, and 1/2 scoop in dinner. If one of the meal is commercial raw, I will reduce the calcium supplement according.
I have a feeling the cats may be getting more bone sources than they really need. How are their stools: consistency, color and frequency?
Their stools are like tootsie rolls, hard, deep brown. They usually have 1 stool each day, about 2 inches long.

Auntie Crazy said:
koobe said:
I first found out Panther vomits after having beef baby food. Then when I transition them to raw, I started with chicken, then slowly introduced turkey, quail, Cornish hen, all in raw form. Then when I introduced lamb, Panther throw up. I was not sure if there was something wrong when I prepared the lamb, so the next time, I just gave him a few freshly cut lamb for lunch. Within 10 mins, he threw up all this breakfast too. Same thing as for beef, one time I gave a few pieces of beef for breakfast, he threw up those few pieces in 5 mins. Rabbit is tricky. The first time Panther ate it, he was fine. The second time he ate it, (meat from the same rabbit), he threw up again.
An allergy to either beef or lamb wouldn't be that rare, but an allergy to all three meats.... I don't know. If you're content with what you're currently offering, no worries, but if you'd like a little more variety, I wouldn't (under these conditions) be at all shy about offering these meats again. There are so many reasons a cat could throw up that have nothing to do with a potential allergy, you know?
I am ordering some rabbit next month, so I think I am going to let Panther try rabbit again, because he did not throw up the first time. And Panther threw up drinking 1 teaspoon of kitten milk a few days ago also. :roll:

Auntie Crazy said:
koobe said:
Based on suggestions from the vet, I put some dry out for the cats this morning (today is one of the days when I have to work). In the evening, when my brother laid out dry and canned for Cheetah to choose, and raw for Panther, Cheetah ran to the raw and buried his face in it. I had to take it away, just because I am not sure if he should have it.
What did you give the cats for breakfast this same morning? Before he got sick, is it possible Cheetah ate some of the dry that was put out for lunch as soon as you walked out the door?
Before Cheetah got sick, I put down raw for breakfast around 5 am. Then I set the auto feeder to drop dry at noon. I bought the auto feeder because Panther is a kibble kid, and I was worried that he will eat kibble instead of raw.
After thinking over with all your information, I decided my cats should be on raw. So Cheetah had raw for dinner last night, and raw starting today. I was giving prescription dry and canned because I was not sure what is better for a weak stomach like Cheetah's besides listening to the vet. Now he is playing and active, I feel very confident to let him have raw right away. Just have to monitor him closely.

Auntie Crazy said:
koobe said:
Cheetah definitely wants to eat raw and is eating more when I give raw. Should I forget the low residue and continue to feed Cheetah raw at this time of recovery?
Smart kitty. :lol:
It's bad, but we always say Cheetah is the smarter one. I guess this is another evidence. So Panther loves his kibble....... :roll:

Thank you for your suggestions along the way. I think I am going to take the 10% dry out of their diet. I hope they will do well on those 2 days without lunch.
 
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