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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

I'm new to this site, and very new to cats. I picked up this little stray around 3 weeks ago (named him Nelson, after Mandela who passed away the day before)--- he must have been around 4-5 weeks old, accdg to the vet --- and immediately started him on a raw diet. He was doing really well for the first 2 weeks and ate anything I gave him --- ground pork, ground chicken, chicken gizzard, liver and hearts. No bones yet because I was unsure about whether he could handle it already. He was pooping every other day, which I figured was normal for a raw-fed cat, although it never had that dry, light-colored quality that I've come to associate with raw-feeding (I'm not a stranger to raw since my 3 dogs have been thriving on the prey model for years now). Then 2 days ago, he started getting the runs. Not so bad that he doesn't make it to his litter box, but yesterday he went at least 5 times. He seems ok otherwise, very playful and no signs of pain or discomfort, although he hasn't been very interested in food for the past 2 days.

I read somewhere in this forum that giving bones could help with diarrhea so this morning I crushed some sardine bones and mixed it in with his chicken chunks. It disappeared very quickly, so I guess his appetite is back. He hasn't done his business yet today, so I have yet to find out whether or not his diarrhea has resolved itself. In the meantime, any input regarding this will be greatly appreciated :)

Also, is it ok to give him bones already at this time (he's estimated to be around 7-8 weeks old)? What kind of bones? Crushed or left whole? I'm used to serving whole raw meaty bones to my dogs, but I expect that cats eat differently.

Thank you!
 

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Time for a vet visit. It could be anything causing this. I hope you are adding the additions vitamins and nutrients that are needed with a raw diet. Meat by itself is not nutritionally complete. Go to Catinfo.org or google feline raw diet for nutritionally complete recipes. The kitten may have worms or other parasites and needs a vet's care ASAP especially if he is not eating!!
 

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Agree, it could be anything. But if you have only been feeding meat without bones, that's very dangerous, especially for a growing kitten who needs all the vitamins he can get. That could also be causing the issue. Bone to cats is like fiber to humans.


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Organs tend to be too rich on a kittens digestive system (in my experience) and cause tummy upsets. I agree that it could be anything and please get him in at the vets as soon as possible - he probably will need worming.
I don't tend to offer raw to any cat under the age of 6 months to be on the safe side but that's just me.
By the way I love his name! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for your replies!

During his first vet visit 3 weeks ago, his stool and ears were checked for parasites and came out clean. He's scheduled to go back late this week for deworming. The thing is, raw-feeding is almost totally unheard of here; I have yet to find a vet that supports it. I'm almost sure she will blame the stomach upset on the raw diet and will insist on putting him on commercial cat food, which I really want to avoid.

Nelson is actually eating, although not as much as before (which was a WHOLE lot!). I'm not familiar with cat appetites so I can't say for sure if he's eating less than ideal, or if his appetite is finally normalizing now that he realizes that food will come on a regular basis. Oh, and he had only 2 diarrhea episodes today, a marked improvement from yesterday's five. And he still remains perky and playful.

Regarding the bone content in his diet, I'm unsure about how much bone, what kind and in what form I should offer it to him. He's very small... Should I crush it and mix it in with the meaty chunks? How much bone should a 7-8 week kitten have on a weekly basis? Should I already be giving him the 10% requirement for adult cats?

I've never cared for a cat before, and never had a pet that was this young. I want to do right by him, so advice from you experienced cat lovers is precious to me!

Thanks!
 
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