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In November I brought Ricky home at 12 weeks old. I put him on raw patties right away (meat/bone/organ) and he loved it, gobbling it all up. I thought I would start him on the patties and transition him to real raw over time as this is what I did with my dogs and it felt good to me to do it this way. Anyway, long story short, three weeks after I got him I reluctantly took him for his vaccinations and everything went downhill from there. He started vomitting and having soft stools almost right away. I tried cutting his food in half and giving him smaller meals throughout the day and this stopped the vomitting but not soft (stinky) stools. I changed raw brands and this still didn't fix it. I took a stool sample to vet to have it checked for worms and it was negative. Finally after tweaking his diet every way I could imagine I gave in and fed hims some TOWT kibble (after two weeks). Immediately his stools became firm, he stopped throwing up, his appetite increased. I am a big advocate of raw feeding so this was very, very discouraging for me.

I am wondering what your thoughts are about this? Do you think that he was too young? I had tried different proteins so I know it wasn't that it was just that. Do you think there are some cats that just "don't do well on raw?" Ricky was my first raw fed cat and I'm really not all that well versed on raw cats so any input you have would be appreciated.
 

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In November I brought Ricky home at 12 weeks old. I put him on raw patties right away (meat/bone/organ) and he loved it, gobbling it all up. I thought I would start him on the patties and transition him to real raw over time as this is what I did with my dogs and it felt good to me to do it this way. Anyway, long story short, three weeks after I got him I reluctantly took him for his vaccinations and everything went downhill from there. He started vomitting and having soft stools almost right away. I tried cutting his food in half and giving him smaller meals throughout the day and this stopped the vomitting but not soft (stinky) stools. I changed raw brands and this still didn't fix it. I took a stool sample to vet to have it checked for worms and it was negative. Finally after tweaking his diet every way I could imagine I gave in and fed hims some TOWT kibble (after two weeks). Immediately his stools became firm, he stopped throwing up, his appetite increased. I am a big advocate of raw feeding so this was very, very discouraging for me.

I am wondering what your thoughts are about this? Do you think that he was too young? I had tried different proteins so I know it wasn't that it was just that. Do you think there are some cats that just "don't do well on raw?" Ricky was my first raw fed cat and I'm really not all that well versed on raw cats so any input you have would be appreciated.
There are many, many reasons Ricky had these digestive upsets, but being too young is not one of them.

Which of the commercial raw products were you feeding?

AC
 

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I started out feeding him Spring Meadows and then tried Nature's Variety. By the time I gave in and switched to kibble he was turning his nose up at both. I was also giving him raw beef heart and chicken which originally he loved and turned his nose up at the more upset his tummy got. I hated to switch him but at that point I just wanted him to eat.
 

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I started out feeding him Spring Meadows and then tried Nature's Variety. By the time I gave in and switched to kibble he was turning his nose up at both. I was also giving him raw beef heart and chicken which originally he loved and turned his nose up at the more upset his tummy got. I hated to switch him but at that point I just wanted him to eat.
Good heavens, you went from raw to kibble? Why not try a canned food?

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Another Cat Forum member recently had troubles feeding commercial raw, too.

I looked up the Spring Meadows food and I think the reason your kitty may not have been doing well on it is that it appears to have a very low - possibly too low - amount of bone in it. This will naturally result in soft stools. It's hard to tell from their site, though.

If that's the case, and you were feeding plain meat meals in addition to the Spring Meadows food, that would further reduce the amount of bone Ricky was eating and exacerbate the situation, pretty much ensuring a soft stool.

The one time I fed Nature's Variety raw - way back in the very beginning when I was first researching raw - my little Yorkie has a terrible reaction to it. She gained a full pound (and she only weighed 4 pounds to begin with), she lost fur and began to have scaly, red patches of irritated skin. Nature's Variety raw medallions have a long list of non-meat ingredients (the Lamb, for instance, lists: Apples, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseeds, Chicken Eggs, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Kelp, Salmon Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Grapefruit Seed Extract and more!!!) and I don't believe it's all that great an option.

HOWEVER, other than that single attempt, I have never fed a commercial raw food, nor have I put that much effort into researching commercially produced raw foods, being more interested in fresh raw.

To be perfectly frank, after one of my cats was killed in the 2007 pet food poisoning, I did a lot of research into the pet food industry and the what / where / how of the ingredients that go into commercial cat food.... and I won't feed it to my own cats ever again (www.truthaboutpetfood.com or you can read the book Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food.) So I'm not the best adviser when it comes to feeding a commercial raw food. :wink

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If I were you and couldn't feed a fresh raw diet, then I would feed a canned grain-, fish-, veggie- and fruit-free diet (Wellness, Natural Balance, etc.).

In no way would I return to a kibble diet - it's entirely species-inappropriate and causes all kinds of problems for kitties (Species-Inappropriate: The Dangers of Dry Food).

Either way, good luck with Ricky! (What a cute name!)

AC
 

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I did a lot of research into different commercial raw brands before selecting one for my cats, and the one I came away most confident about was Primal. If you have access to that near you, I'd recommend trying it.

Both my cats do really well on it. One eats it consistently, the other eats it as long as enough variety is rotated in (although he did this with canned too. I feed him a combo if Primal and grain-free canned). I also had a friend who had problems with ehr cats refusing to eat Nature's Variety. When she switched to Primal both cats started eating it.
 

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I think Primal is a good choice. I would try chicken or turkey. Rad cat is good too. I like it because it looks fresher than primal. It does not contain any vegetable and always from single protein source which is good for allergic cats. but it is boneless recipe, calcuim come from bone meal.
I dont give my cats beef anymore because one of the cats don,t do well with it.
 

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Auntie Crazy, I am NOT a fan of kibble, all my dogs are raw fed. I went to kibble out of neccessity, Ricky was loosing weight and was refusing to eat. I do give him a mix of grain free canned and grain free kibble. At that point I just wanted him to eat, anything. Spring Meadows is actually high in bone content...Ricky's stools were white and chalky when he ate it, thus I was adding fresh meat to it.

Ccomaya and Saitenyo my local pet food store does not carry Primal. We don't live in a big city and our choices are limited. But I will definitely search Primal and see if I can get it somewhere close.

I do plan to return to raw feeding as it is what I believe is best for my animals. I don't have to be sold on the idea. I know that the transition back to raw will likely be difficult!
 

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you did well in my opinion. You can't starve your cat, unlike dogs which can go starving for days without getting ill, cats can very esily develop the fatty liver disease even after 1 day of not eating. So I think you can resume the raw diet later, you don't need to stress Ricky with something he's not yet prepared to digest.
 
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