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Raw Diet Advice

This is a dedicated place for all of your questions and answers about Raw Diets. There are also some really cool groups like "Raw Fed" on the topic you can join. This forum is for people who already know they like the raw diet or sincerely want to learn more. Please remember that you are receiving advice from peers and not professionals. If you have specific health-related questions about your cat's diet, please contact your vet!

  
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Marley

1198049
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 4, '11 5:10pm PST 
I have been feeding my cat a raw diet since I've had him for about three months now. He took right to it and was doing great with it up until a couple nights ago. Somehow something he ate got stuck in his throat. I'm thinking a piece of bone. He was not choking but was pawing at his mouth and making motions of gagging. He went on to eat the rest of his meal but went on with pawing his mouth occasionally throughout the night. He had no problems breathing and was still active. The next morning he was begging for food like always and ate as usual but he still continued with the gagging/pawing motions. I called my vet to bring him in but they had no openings that day. They told me that since we was still eating and breathing normally then I should just wait and see how he does. I called two other vets and they basically told me the same thing. That night he wouldn't eat and was very uneasy and just slept a lot. I brought him in first thing this morning to get checked out due to this behavior. They saw nothing in his throat but said it did look irritated and was slightly swollen. They gave me some antibiotics for him. He ate again tonight so he seems to be coming around again.

I am just wondering if this kind of thing has happened to anybody else or is normal. I am worried now about continuing with the raw diet if he doesn't know how to eat bones. I also can't get him to eat anything else other than raw. He won't touch kibble or canned food. Any advice on this matter?

Thanks.
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Lacey

Backflips are my- specialty!
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 4, '11 7:52pm PST 
Why would you want him to eat anything else? Raw food is the best for him. What is it specifically you're feeding him? What kind of raw food and how big are the bones? Also, never feed kibble at the same time as raw. Doing some canned is fine but why on earth go to kibble? He's got the right idea already. Feeding kibble and raw together or even within 12 hours of each other can lead to digestive problems and even other bacterial issues.
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Marley

1198049
 
 
Purred: Thu Aug 4, '11 8:47pm PST 
I want to continue him on raw but I am just worried about something like this happening again. The bones I feed him are wings, backs, necks from chickens and almost all the bones from a small game hen. He is good on chomping through them but I think during his recent meal a small piece had gotten stuck.
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Archer

You idiot...
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 5, '11 7:37am PST 
I really sounds like some random event... I wonder if it was an allergic reaction to something. Were you feeding him something new, or a different brand than you normally use?
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Olivia,- Tanner, &- Finn

The Dyna Cats!
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 5, '11 8:27am PST 
He may just be apprehensive because a bone poked him or got stuck the last time. They only need 10% of their diet as edible bone, so feeding bony pieces twice to three times per week is probably all that is necessary. Also, his mouth might just be sore, so don't feed him anything bony for a few days - just give him his meaty meat and organs and try some bony pieces again in a few days to a week. You have that rare cat who is a true and dedicated rawbie (cats who've had commercial food before in their lives are usually only too happy to get some when they can, mine included), so rejoice in that and don't worry about doing anything to change it. If you must, give him some Nutrical to ensure he keeps calories going into him if he is not eating as he usually does, but I'd bet that once his mouth feels better he'll be back to normal in no time.
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Marley

1198049
 
 
Purred: Fri Aug 5, '11 3:00pm PST 
Thanks. There was nothing new in his meal and was fine right up until he ate it. Starting last night he has been eating normally and acting like himself. I haven't been giving him any bones, I want to give him some time to recover.

I am happy that he took to raw so easily. The vet guesses he is about a year old. He was a stray and we feed him dry food outside for 3 months before we brought him in. I wanted to try him on raw since I figured he was finding stuff to eat on his own outdoors anyways. He took right to it.

I do notice that he eats very quickly and that also worried me with the bones. He once swallowed a whole wingtip without even chewing it. And once I gave him some small wings and basically broke them in two pieces and ate them as halves. He later threw them up probably because they were such large pieces. When I give him a game hen drumstick he starts from one end and eats the bone down to the other end.

When feeding him bones would it be best to give him the bone with meat attached as is or should I crush or cut the bone into small bit size pieces?

Thanks again.
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Olivia,- Tanner, &- Finn

The Dyna Cats!
 
 
Purred: Sat Aug 6, '11 4:56pm PST 
For wings and the like, you can give them a bash or two with a hammer just to break them up a little bit, but definitely feed them with the meat still on.
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Korbel

1198136
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 5:33am PST 
could you grind it, or grind it finer? That way the bone is still there but you don't have to worry about them?
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Karela

Purr-meow?
 
 
Purred: Sun Aug 7, '11 12:00pm PST 
Karela choked on a bone a while back - and this was with ground food. Scared the hell out of us, but she seemed to get over it as soon as she got the bone out of her throat. We watched her carefully with the rest of that batch and she learned pretty darn quick that she had to crunch up the bone chunks (although in retrospect, I think grounding up the big duck legs that we did might not have been the best idea, because some bone chunks came out just about perfectly kitty trachea sized.)

In any case, I assume that this was like when you swallow a piece of corn chip you didn't chew enough. It can hurt like crazy and feel like it's stuck in your throat. I think your plan to go lower bone for a while to let him heal up is a good idea and then I would just watch him in the future. It's probably a fluke, and he may very well learn he needs to be careful not to swallow chunks that are too big to go down properly.
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Chaucer

Purr Bug
 
 
Purred: Mon Aug 8, '11 4:04am PST 
Hi Marley. Something like that happened to Chaucer twice, but both times it appeared that he got a piece of bone stuck somewhere in his mouth; he was pawing at his mouth, but not gagging. This first time he let me look, but I couldn't find anything. The second time he ran and hid somewhere and he came back fine a short time later. After both incidences, he was hesitant to eat bone for again for a while, so I now feed him whole prey quail chicks in addition to small bones just to make sure that he is getting enough bone in his diet.

My other two have never had a problem with bones, except that each, in seperate incidences, got a chicken drumstick impaled on their canine teeth. Smudge got it off by himself, but Shade needed help.

I wouldn't worry too much about your kitty, they almost all figure out how to eat those bones. If you are really worried about it you can also small or grind the bones for a while.

Purrs,
Chaucer
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