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Discussion Starter #1
I've been feeding my 12 year old cat raw for about 2-3 months. She is shedding like crazy, itching, and her poops are kinda half solid half soft/liquid. I'm going to give the menu that I feed her and I'd love for feedback on what I'm doing wrong.

Background info-
she was about 6 pounds but I think her ideal weight is 8 pounds so that's what I based the calculations on.
she's 12 years old and has been on dry food all her life before the switch
I'm giving her 200mg capsule of salmon oil squeezed out onto her dinner meal every day
I feed her twice a day (would like to do more but it's what my schedule allows right now). 7pm and 7am
all bones that I feed her come from cornish game hens

Weekly Menu-
Monday- .9oz bone, 3oz beef
Tuesday- 2oz pork, 1.5 oz chicken thigh, .5oz liver
Wednesday- .9oz bone, .5oz kidney, 2.5oz turkey
Thursday- 2oz chicken gizzards, .5oz liver, 1.5oz chicken heart
Friday- .9oz bone, 2oz beef, .5oz kidney, .5oz chicken heart
Saturday- 3oz cornish game hen, .33 oz liver, .66oz chicken heart
Sunday- .33oz kidney, 3oz chicken gizzards, .66oz chicken heart
 

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Hey there!

Sorry to hear your baby is having problems. Hopefully my information will help sort things out.

She's relatively new to raw, how long did you wait before adding in each new protein? Did you do a slow transition?

I would stop doing the fish oils daily, and make it once a week until her stools have normalized.

I would also feed her boney meals at the same time as her organ meals.

Make sure none of your meat is enhanced (added sodium).

Until her stool is normalized, I would add in a bit more bone. You can back off slowly.

If she is 6lbs, and you "think" her ideal weight is 8lbs (but don't know for sure) you could be over feeding her. It's uncommon, but not impossible to have a tiny framed female cat. Also, as cats get older they tend to need less (our 15 year old eats much less than the others).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I made sure that she didn't have any bad reactions to any of the meats. The only times that she vomited after eating was when I hadn't defrosted the meat enough.

I've been giving her the fish oil so often because after I started only feeding her raw meat on of her ears started to stink and look gunky. I found information online that said that some dogs can get chronic ear infections from not having enough omega 3s in their diet. So I started giving her the salmon oil and the ear stink and gunk went away.
Should I still cut it down to once a week?

I'll definitely try and give her the organs at the same time as the bone. Thanks for the advice!

How can I tell if it's sodium enhanced? Will it say on the package?

Okay, I'll redo the calculations for 7 pounds then. Thank you!
 

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I would still cut down the fish oils for now. If her ears get gunky again you can start adding it in twice a week, or three times. Our cats/dogs get it once a week and they don't have gunky ears.

For sodium I think I read that any more than 100mg per serving is too much, and it should say on the packaging.
 

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I'm wondering if it's food allergy related. One of the reasons I switched to raw, was due to some major itching, shedding, and biting at the paws my kitties were doing. The coat on my long haired kitty became flat, and greasy looking. My kitties issues, as I discovered, was due to chicken allergy. Without going into all the long gory story details, before I realized it was chicken allergies, I was thinking it was just a canned food issue. I did try feeding a whole muscle chicken based feed to them. The whole chicken actually made the shedding and itching much worse for them. Once I switched them to a rabbit raw protein, the itching and shedding really started to go away. They are doing much better on the rabbit.

Luckily for me, I figured out right away it was the chicken, but in my research, there are other proteins cats can be allergic to. Also in researching, vets will usually recommend to switch to a single protein feed in order to identify the source of the allergy.
 

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Allergies could be what are causing the itchy-shedding. It's also possible she is still detoxing (although I haven't heard of a cat taking that long to detox - our 15 year old took a year, but I thought he was weird- it took a year for him to fully stop being extra itchy and shedding his old, gross, coarse hair out).

It wouldn't hurt to stick to no-chicken for a while. :) You could just use quail for the bones.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't have a local source for quail and ordering online would cost an arm and a leg. I also haven't been able to find any heart other than chicken.
 

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I've been feeding my 12 year old cat raw for about 2-3 months. She is shedding like crazy, itching, and her poops are kinda half solid half soft/liquid. I'm going to give the menu that I feed her and I'd love for feedback on what I'm doing wrong.

Background info-
she was about 6 pounds but I think her ideal weight is 8 pounds so that's what I based the calculations on.
she's 12 years old and has been on dry food all her life before the switch
I'm giving her 200mg capsule of salmon oil squeezed out onto her dinner meal every day
I feed her twice a day (would like to do more but it's what my schedule allows right now). 7pm and 7am
all bones that I feed her come from cornish game hens

Weekly Menu-
Monday- .9oz bone, 3oz beef
Tuesday- 2oz pork, 1.5 oz chicken thigh, .5oz liver
Wednesday- .9oz bone, .5oz kidney, 2.5oz turkey
Thursday- 2oz chicken gizzards, .5oz liver, 1.5oz chicken heart
Friday- .9oz bone, 2oz beef, .5oz kidney, .5oz chicken heart
Saturday- 3oz cornish game hen, .33 oz liver, .66oz chicken heart
Sunday- .33oz kidney, 3oz chicken gizzards, .66oz chicken heart
I think you are over feeding the cat. For example, Tuesday you fed the cat 4 ounces of food.

I have a 20 pound dog that gets 8 ounces of food a day and you have this cat eating 4 ounces....seems a little too much for an 8 lb (ideal weight) cat.

Also, more bone, less oil. And you seem to be feeding a lot of organs...those are very rich meats. Maybe cut that down a bit to help the poos.

Also, if there is a food allergy, you're going to have to narrow it down by feeding one thing at a time.
 

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Our cat is 8lbs, which is his idea weight at 4 years old, and he eats max 3 ounces a day. Hopefully everything works out for you. We too have just started raw. Going good for the cat but the dog is having some major issues switching.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I've been using the calculations that are posted in the sticky:

(Quote)HOW MUCH OF WHAT TO FEED

To determine how many ounces to feed your cats on a daily basis, multiply the cat's weight by 16 to convert it to ounces. Then multiply that total by 2%, 3% or 4% (*N1). Divide that by however many meals you feed each day to get the ounces to feed per meal. Most folks feed three times a day, some feed two; never feed less than two.

That tells you how much to feed. If you're not offering whole prey, your next step is determining how much of WHAT to feed. You can do this using daily numbers, but it's easier to calculate by the week, so take that daily total from above and multiply it by 7 to get a weekly total. Now multiple that weekly total by:
80% = ounces of meat to feed each week (*N2)
10% = ounces of bone to feed each week (*N3)
5% = ounces of liver to feed each week
5% = ounces of non-liver organ (spleen, kidneys, etc.) to feed each week

That sounds like a lot of calculations, but you only have to do this once and after feeding raw for just a short time, you may even become comfortable estimating the weight by eye. The numbers don't have to be exact, they're just guidelines, although you don't want to go over too much on the bone (your cat might become constipated) or on the liver (Vitamin A overdose). Keep an eye on the body wastes - diarrhea means too little bone, constipation means too much. Also keep an eye on your cat's weight - if it goes up too much, cut the amount you feed per meal back a bit; if it drops more than you want (or faster than half a pound or so a week), increase the amount per meal. (Quote)

If 8 pounds is her ideal weight then it would be 128 oz and 3 percent of that is 3.84 oz. I feed her 1.33 oz of liver and 1.33 oz of kidney a week based on the 80-10-5-5 rule. Am I really overfeeding her? She's not gaining a bunch of weight and I can feel the ribs but not see them and she always eats all of her meals in a timely manner.
 

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It can take up to 12 weeks to notice any signifigant change once you finally make the switch, so don't get discouraged.

Also, in my research, if it is chicken allergies, even something as tiny as chicken eggs can still keep the kitty scratching and shedding. Some can handle eggs, some can't. My kitties all still itched when I fed Natures Variety rabbit, because they had eggs in the recipe. Some do fine on eggs though, you will just have to see how yours is.

I also recently read, when I had a heck of a time finding a source for rabbit meat, that if a cat is allergice to chicken, it will most likely be allergic to all fowl proteins.

If you are having problems finding food sources to fit in to the recipe you are currently feeding, you may have to go to a grind mix temporarily, and suppliment. The ONLY way you will find out if this is food related, is to change what you are feeding. You will need to go to a singular protein source. If the itching decreases, then you can pretty much assume it's food related. Start adding in to the diet one protein at a time, and if they start itching after you add in a particular protein source, you can pretty much assume that's the source of the allergy..........assuming this is a food allergy. It can't hurt to try this route.

By chance, is the kitty biting at it's paws or legs?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No biting at the paws or legs. She itches mainly around her neck and ears.
So I have another months worth of meals made up in the freezer that will just go to waste now? Also if I can't get hearts and bones without feeding chicken I certainly won't be feeding a complete and balanced diet. I guess if she's allergic to chicken I'll have to go back to canned. Which sucks because it's expensive and inconvenient for me to get. I'm sorry for my tone; I'm just frustrated.
She also ate chicken flavors of canned food and dry food before and she didn't have these itching issues. (she occasionally got soft food as a treat)

Thanks for the advice.
 

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Healthy Pet Journal - Natural, Holistic Health Care for Dogs & Cats I don't know if it will help but it is an article worth reading. For example, according to the article, cats that each around the neck could have flea allergies.

One thing, that in my opinion would be worth trying, is to give her probiotics. Little Big Cat has info about that. I use Holistic Select - Digestive Aid - Holistic Transition and just sprinkle a tiny bit on each of their meals like we would with salt and pepper on our food.

I guess it may just be me, but I wouldn't immediatly jump to the conclusion that it is food allergies. A few weeks ago, Rajah, my fifteen year old raw fed cat, started to get dry/thin fur as well as quite liquidy stools. I started him on probiotics (the Holistic Select brand) as well as giving him lysine and extra salmon oil. Now, the problem is gone and he is back to how he looked before the whole problem started. I don't know what he had that was bugging him, or what I did that helped, but something worked. Also, I didn't switch his food; I just added the probiotics/lysine/salmon oil to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I had found one flea on her in October and I immediately went and got some Frontline plus and put it on her. I haven't seen any on her since and she is a completely indoor cat.

Great thank you I'll make a trip down to the pet store to see if they have it. The website says it does but you never know. If not I'll get it from amazon. Thank you very much!
 

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Well, I've been using the calculations that are posted in the sticky:

(Quote)HOW MUCH OF WHAT TO FEED

To determine how many ounces to feed your cats on a daily basis, multiply the cat's weight by 16 to convert it to ounces. Then multiply that total by 2%, 3% or 4% (*N1). Divide that by however many meals you feed each day to get the ounces to feed per meal. Most folks feed three times a day, some feed two; never feed less than two.


(Quote)

If 8 pounds is her ideal weight then it would be 128 oz and 3 percent of that is 3.84 oz. I feed her 1.33 oz of liver and 1.33 oz of kidney a week based on the 80-10-5-5 rule. Am I really overfeeding her? She's not gaining a bunch of weight and I can feel the ribs but not see them and she always eats all of her meals in a timely manner.
If she has the problems you are describing, with her poos, you can cut it back to 2% which would be 2.56 ounces of food, per day. Also, how much bone is your cat getting? You may need to add more bone in meal and like I said earlier, organs are rich, you may need to cut back on the organs, and work your way up to more organs. You're feeding a lot of organs for only being in 2-3 months.

See if any of that helps.
 

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Using a calculating spreadsheet (to eliminate user error), I get the following percentages for an 8 pound cat at 3% of the cat's weight:

21.504 - Meat, skin, etc.
2.688 - Edible bone
1.344 - Liver
1.344 - Other organ

The op is feeding as follows:

22.320 - Meat, skin, etc.
2.700 - Edible bone
1.330 - Liver
1.330 - Other organ


I don't find anything wrong with your menu methodology, Plrs199 - you're feeding pretty much what I would.

However, all cats are different, and the general guidelines are only starting points which you must tweak to bring the menu into balance with the cat.

I think two things may be going on here - the first, there's not enough bone in the diet and that's the cause of the watery stools. Either because the weight given isn't all bone, or because your cat simply needs more than 10% bone.

When you say all the bones are from Cornish Hens, can you be more specific? Exactly what parts of the hens and how much, if any, meat are you pulling off the bones? Is that weight you gave us for the whole meal, or an estimate of just the bone in the meal?

Second, there's some kind of allergy going on, either with the foods or with something in the house. A flea allergy is a likely culprit, considering where the cat is scratching, but if that is ruled out, you'll need to look at the food.

Here's what I would do if I were you. First, as others have mentioned, stop feeding the salmon oil for a while, and increase your bone percentages to 1.25 ounces per bone-in meal. If that doesn't firm the stools up, I'd decrease the organ percentages just a hair. Keep tweaking these two numbers, working with the bone first.

If no non-food allergen is identified and the cat still itches after a week goes by without the salmon oil, I'd go on to:

- Drop the beef for a week and see what happens; if no change, drop the pork for a week and see what happens.
- If no change, bring back the beef and the pork and drop the chicken for a week (as much as possible) and see what happens.

Major vibes to you, Plrs199. I sure hope you figure this out soon - it can't be comfortable for you or your kitty!

<<<Hugs>>>>

AC
 
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