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Ideas for a VERY Picky Eater?

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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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Tue May 1, '12 7:04am PST 
Hello Everyone!

First time posting, but I have been reading the forums for quite awhile now big grin

I am kind of at my wits end right now. I'm really hoping some of you have some ideas to help me keep one of my raw fed cats (Cinder) on a balanced diet. Not only is he a VERY picky eater, but he has a super sensitive digestive system, and will throw up a lot frown

I've had him on raw for about 8 months now. It's been quite a struggle finding stuff he will eat (and then what will stay down) as well as keeping things balanced. For the past couple months I've been adding in some canned food (Nature's Variety Instinct and Halo) so that he'll get some part of his diet balanced, and so I can hide supplements/ground in it.

Unfortunately Cinder seems to go through phases of likes and dislikes. He'll eat something with relish for awhile, then suddenly stop (even when I mix things up, although variety can be hard with him). For example, he would scarf down any canned food I gave him - now (even though its only a couple meals a week, and different flavors) he will only eat about half of what I give him (and NEVER leftovers) confused

All raw poultry is out - he won't touch any of it in any form, and when he nibbled it came right back out. (Tried all parts of chicken, turkey, duck, and pheasant)

His favorite used to be boneless pork chunks, but now its a toss up whether he will eat it or not. Same goes for boneless beef. Boneless lamb and rabbit he may nibble on, but isn't too keen on either and will leave most. He will not even lick any raw organs, and if I grind them and rub them on the chunks he refuses to eat. Ground raw beef kidney he throws up. I've only been able to get him to eat freeze dried beef liver chunks (some times) and ground raw pork liver (if mixed into canned food). I am also able to get him to eat ground raw green tripe and spleen if mixed into canned.

Cinder's favorite boneless meat right now is beef heart, and he enjoys pork heart as well. He also ate lamb heart when I had it. It's too bad he likes this best since he can't get it more than a few times a week! >.<

Bone has been by far the hardest to balance. Right now I'm sprinkling Calcium Hydroxyapatite on his boneless chunks and mixing a bit in with canned food. He nibbled a bit of ground pork ribs a few times, then refused. I've tried ground beef and ground rabbit (from Hare Today) and both he's thrown up. He also throws up the all beef Stella and Chewy's freeze dried. My next step is to try grinding some fresh rabbit bones and see if he will eat those, or maybe I can hide it in his canned food. He won't even consider chewing on a whole rabbit bone (I've tried many, many times) - even ribs cut into smaller pieces with meat on them!

For a couple of months he was absolutely in love with whole mice, but then he started throwing them up confused If he has one a week he is usually fine, but he started leaving the guts behind from the larger mice, and then stopped eating them all together. I haven't been able to make another order from Rodent Pro for small young mice yet as our freezer is too full atm frown

And finally, he used to get whole canned sardine once a week (Fishy Friday!) but has stopped eating those too. To be fair though, the other cats are also getting pick about them /sigh.

Any advice is greatly appreciated! Sorry for the long post, I wanted to get all the info out there lol. Like I said, this is getting very frustrating and stressful. I can't do more than a few canned meals a week or he gets the runs, so I'm trying to make raw work for him!

Edited by author Tue May 1, '12 7:16am PST

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Munchkin

Always up to- some kind of- mischief...
 
 
Purred: Tue May 1, '12 7:39am PST 
How much do you give your cat at once? I know that Munchkin gets a little too enthusiastic sometimes, especially with chicken heart and liver, so if we give her more than a table spoon of the mix at once, she will regurgitate it from eating too fast. The problem went away by giving her smaller portions at a time. Cats are meant to eat 8-10 small meals per day.

Other than that, I don't know... Good luck!
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Tue May 1, '12 10:41am PST 
I feed the kitties 3 meals a day, 2oz for breakfast and dinner and 1oz for lunch.

With the organs (liver, kidney, tripe/spleen, etc) I only give them a small amount (1/2 oz, 1oz max) with some boneless meat or ground bone to offset it. I did find out the hard way (back when I first started them all on raw) not to give them too much organ at once heh wink

Thank you for the idea, I may try more snacks for Cinder, but just finding stuff he'll even eat is getting hard frown
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Wed May 2, '12 1:21pm PST 
Oh Cinder, how frustrated you must be! I call BK a picky eater but he's nothing like that. He just decides some mornings that he doesn't want his breakfast and I've learned to just let him go without. He luckily always eats dinner.

I wish I had something good to suggest. You could look for more exotic meats but that can get time-consuming and expensive. You could try something like bonito flakes sprinkled on top of his food if he goes for fish.

I assume he's been checked and there's no physical reason for the regurgitation, other than food intolerances?

My only suggestion would be to feed ground meat/bones/organs since he won't eat bones. And try sprinkling something on top that he really likes.

Gosh, I'm just at a loss for other ideas. Anybody else?
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Thu May 3, '12 6:34am PST 
Thank you for your ideas BK! Any suggestions are good suggestions - I'm sure there must be something I haven't tried yet that will be the ticket, I just can't seem to find it lol thinking

I did take Cinder to the vet (back when he was throwing up every other day). They said it was a case of a very sensitive gut and to limit his diet, which I did (he had just boneless rabbit and pork for a month) but I've been trying to get his diet balanced since then and he isn't making it easy!

Cinder is super picky about ground raw, and turns his nose up at most of it (or throws up the stuff he tries). I did just get a bag of Venison NV frozen raw nuggets to try yesterday. He ate them for dinner last night and breakfast this morning (wasn't enthusiastic, but obligingly finished 1 nugget for each meal). I did find a small puke a little while ago, but I will try them again later if he'll eat them!

Unfortunately he's not into fish, so I can't use the flakes to tempt him (like I can with the other kitties). He's even turned his nose up at food if I put a little unscented fish oil on it!

I think he could win the award for world's pickiest cat lol laugh out loud I know when I adopted him from the shelter he was just skin and bones (you could actually see his ribs and spine), so they must of had a hard time keeping food in him also! Luckily he's nice and plump now from all the fatty pork and lamb wink

Edited by author Thu May 3, '12 6:35am PST

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Bella My- Beautiful- Angel

Mommys Kitty- Girl! I know- I\'m loved!
 
 
Purred: Thu May 3, '12 9:50am PST 
I am not a raw fed cat, but do have digestive issues, some due to always having had them, and some due to age.

Quite awhile ago, mommy was going to try us on raw, since I enjoy raw chopped beef meat....always have. However, my tummy is very delicate, I have pancretitis, and frequently have periods of upchucking, if not careful. (I got into some dry fancy feast food that I LOVE but can't have-and threw up 2 days in a row). It was suggested by someone here familar with kitties who have stomach issues that perhaps mommy should try to lightly cook the meat first...and she tried it with me, and I seemed able to digest it. In my case, I can digest the beef fancy feast I like and appear to have adapted to....vet says that 'if it's not broke, don't fix it' in regard to me....vet feels so long as I'm eating, keeping the food down, not to 'fiddle' too much.

You might want to speak with Finn and Lacey's mom. She has an IBD website, and there is a whole space dedicated to pancreatitis...not that that is what you have, but cats who have 'delicate' tummies' need to be watched over...

Mommy asked Big Vet why some of us never have tummy problems and others do. Big vet says it's like with people...some just do, and as we get older, most of us get less able to deal with too much variety in our food.

All the best and purrs,
Bella
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Thu May 3, '12 10:19am PST 
Sorry to hear about your troubles Bella frown

I found the IBD website and am going to read through the info on there. Thank you for the tip!
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Bodrouex

all you need is- love
 
 
Purred: Sat May 5, '12 8:58pm PST 
Dodges thrown rocks...with a kitty this sensitive, I might consider giving up raw feeding and feed quality cans instead, as it is more regulated to be the SAME every time and contains 100% of his requirements which can jiggle when strictly raw feeding (dodges MORE and BIGGER rocks!) And do feed 3 oz or less at a time, even if it means 2.5-3 oz before work, again when you get home, an oz or 2 2 hours later and then 2-3 oz at your bedtime.
If you are that icky, ask for foods a step down from the $2 a can stuff, and watch the unpickiness start...pm Meowma if you like as she is NOT into the 'food wars" just wants you eating, in shape, and not spewing from either end .
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BK

Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
 
 
Purred: Sun May 6, '12 4:19am PST 
Bodrouex, no rock throwing here! We all do the best we can to keep our kitties healthy and happy.

Cinder, I just wanted to clarify - I was thinking more along the lines of homemade ground, not premade. Only because you have more control over the additives and flavors. I don't mean you need to grind your own meat, but if you're on the East Coast you can get ground meat, bone and organs from Hare-Today at reasonable prices. They sell packages ranging from 1-5 lbs. so in theory you could try different meats without having tons of uneaten flavors left over. Just a thought.
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Cinder

1247021
 
 
Purred: Wed May 9, '12 6:21am PST 
Thank you Bodrouex, I feel the same way - I just want Cinder to be on a healthy balanced diet! I have him on some high-quality canned food (NV and Halo) but when I try to give him more than 1 meal of canned food a day he gets the runs frown I've tried other brands of canned food and these two are the only ones he can "handle" so far. He's also so picky he won't eat any left over food (even if I warm it back up!)
Maybe if I keep increasing the amount of canned food slowly his digestive system will be ok with it eventually. thinking

Ty for the input BK - that's also what I was talking about when I mentioned ground raw smile I order from Hare-Today, and I also bought my own grinder a few months ago just for Cinder (so I can try specific items). So far I haven't found any type of ground (homemade or commercial) that he will eat AND can handle frown Cinder likes chunks much better than ground, so its hard to find a type he will willingly eat confused I'm still working on it, and I'm going to try grinding up some rabbit bones later today (I cut most of the meat off already for his chunk meals).

I'm almost thinking his gut can't handle most raw bones, but he has eaten small amounts of ground pork bone and been ok (I ground pork ribs myself, but they almost killed my new grinder cry ) Will have to see how he handles the rabbit bone!
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