RAW & My confusing kitten

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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Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 8:15pm PST 
Hi all, I am new here, but far from new with cats.. i currently own 2 dogs and 3 cats.
A little background on the kitten I just saved that I am having troubles with:

My neighbors know I have alot of pets, and came to me asking some information and asking questions about a little of feral kittens that they came about. Mama kitty is a small, but not underweight, silver tabby. Neighbors have left food and water out for her for over a year now, so she is well fed. She looks like an indoor cat she is THAT heealthy. She had 5 kittens, which to this day I keep checking on, and they look healthy and are being fed as well. They were untamed when a neighbor knocked on my door because she was extremly worried about one kitten in particular. This kitten that the neighbors had watched wouldn't move her left front arm at birth, then when everyone was walking she was trying to use it but falling alot more than the other kittens. They witnessed her fall 2ft off a deck onto the concrete, then another time she fell forward and scraped her chin pretty bad and hit her head on a cement step. The kitten over the next few days became wobbly, but yet mama kitty was coming to get her and carrying her around, her siblings were playing with her, so nobody looked her over. My neighbor was in panic when she got me because the kitten was stuck in a very bad hail storm we had, out in the open. Her neighbor listened to the extreme crying out on her deck all night between mama kitty who couldn't get to her kitten, and the kitten being pelted and terrified and alone on her deck. My neighbor told me the kittens eyes were fluttering, she could only slide or flip flop to get anywhere, so she was worried and didn't know what to do except come and ask me.

I rushed down the street and when I saw her, her gums were white, tongue was white, she was hissing at me, but her eyes kept rolling into the back of her head and fluttering side to side, she couldn't hold her head up, and she looked underweight compared to her sister who she was playing with when I got there. I scooped her and brought her home. I hydrated her, gave her canned cat food and then milk replacer. I took her to the vet the next day and my vet wrote her off.. He took one look at the fact she was 4 weeks old and couldn't walk and claimed she had distemper, or her mom did and this little kitten and her whole family were dead. He wanted to euthanise right there, I disagreed. She has seen 2 other vets who also, just because she can't walk, have claimed distemper. It seems they refuse to LISTEN, and therefore she hasn't had a thourough exam.

I started giving her raw food slowly, took me 7 days to introduce it, and then she was walking! She gained weigh, etc. But then, she was pooping shards of bone from the premade storebought raw. (It says 10% bone on the packaging) So I stopped, put her on MOSTLY canned food, little raw here and there. For 4 days her constipation was causing her to vomit, and with each poop there was more and more bone shards until it was nothing but fur and bone with blood. So it was all canned for a week, in which she gained weight and lost her ability to walk, she seemed less energetic as well.

I decided to make my own raw diet without bone, the people at the pet health food store helped me., They gave me The Missing Link vitamins, and told me any raw meat and veggies would do. I did my own research and that, of course isn't true. So i made my own and put these vitamins in them daily, but everything I am reading is contradicting what I have heard or read before. Right now, she isn't even digesting fat pockets or grissel from the bison I feed her. Everything else seems digested, the veggies and meat. She is also creating nice movements, they stick together well. I even tried buying ground turkey and bison to see if that made it easier, and she still isn't digesting properly.It's been 8 weeks of this rollercoaster, and now I am wondering if maybe she isn't getting enough in the vitamin mix I have, there are no digestive enzymes in there, or if its a neurological thing that maybe her digestion etc is off. She does urinate more often, but I have to load her food with water because she runs from the taste of it, I think she probably drown not being able to be steady on her feet. She face dives and skids into her food, she is showing progress though.

Sorry for the length, but her backstory really helps..

A link to ingredients in her vity supplement:
http://www.onlynaturalpet.com/products/Missing-Link-Fel ine-Formula/168006.aspx

Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 9:55pm PST 
what exactly is the composition of your raw diet? did the vet say anything else about her? Is there a feline only vet in your area? what other symptoms is your kitten showing? (sneezing, swollen belly, ect)

I do not mean to discourage you, but there may be something wrong with the kitten. I don't know if its FIP or not. Can you please go into more detail? in the meantime, i would keep trying with vets and explain to them you mean to get to the bottom of her troubles and you are not putting her to sleep right now.

Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
Purred: Wed Sep 12, '12 10:00pm PST 
i just read what is in the supplements. I am seeing rice bran, carrots, ect. all these things can cause digestive upset and constipation. Also are you feeding ground bone plus the ground bone found in this supplement? it might be too much for her.

i recommend getting a copy of "your cat" and reading this website

i started feeding this raw diet when my cat almost died from mega colon. It helped her go from nearly dying and having to take 5 meds to being totally healthy.

also if you have other cats i would suggest keeping her separate untill you figure out whats causing her trouble.

Edited by author Wed Sep 12, '12 10:01pm PST


Merlin - An Angel- Forever

Purred: Thu Sep 13, '12 11:18am PST 
I'm sure the pet store people meant well but the way they told you how to feed a raw diet is wrong shrug

I don't think the Missing Link product contains all the important vitamins and minerals a cat needs in the right amounts thinking It's a supplement meant to be given if the cat is eating canned or dry food.

Veggies are not needed at all in the diet.

There is a good raw recipie you can use at http://catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood and at http://www.catnutrition.org/recipes.html

If you don't want to make raw food from scratch, you could use a pre-mix instead. The pre-mix contains all the vitamins and minerals your cat needs in a raw diet. You mix the pre-mix powder with raw meats of your choice. TC Feline is one brand of pre-mix you can use.

There are also commerical brands of raw pet foods you can feed, such as Nature's Variety.

It wouldn't hurt to get a second vet opinion on your cat's health as well.

Edited by author Thu Sep 13, '12 11:19am PST


Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
Purred: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:03pm PST 
to give you an example of my raw feeding, i feed:

Ground up whole chicken thighs including bone and 1/2 the skin (however, kittens should get all the skin for added fat)
chicken liver
chicken hearts
lite salt
B-Vitamin complex
Fish Oil
Added Taurine (aside from whats in the hearts since i can never find too many hearts)
Vitamin E

Thats it. just muscle meat, organ meat, some bone, and straight vitamins.(no casings or added stuff) Some raw call for eggs and i think that depends on the cat. i choose to not add eggs.

If you read the book or website, it explains that cats need a certain ratio of bone to muscle meat. Before i had my grinder, i used boneless chicken and powdered bone meal made for human consumption (not the kind used for gardening)but if you are able to get a grinder, i 100% recommend this. The only reason i would say it might be okay without is i know some people do not have the means to put that much money upfront.


Purred: Thu Sep 13, '12 12:58pm PST 
I cannot thank you guys enough for the responses. I was so sure from what i was reading that i am feeding her wrong. She has seen two vets, different clinics, and neither of them cared enough to do a thorough check on her. This after I have paid over $350 in vet care for her. At the end of this month I am taking her to the holistic vet. She's been integrated with the household now for 6 weeks, everyone is fine. She also got treated with an antibiotic shot to be safe, and revolution for fleas, worms, etc. She seems fine healthwise, just the concussion or neurological damage. She hasn't had diarrhea ever *yet*, se did at the beginning have mucous in her stool but that cleared up after 2 days of me owning her. She has never vomited either, until last week an episode of vertigo as ear mites are dying off. Small infestation, but enough to make a wobbly cat do circles.
Right now her diet is:
Ground turkey, venison, or bison (organic)
Veggies such as carrot, broccoli, mashed sweet potato, zucchini, celery, romaine lettuce
1/4 tsp of The Missing Link supplement
1/8 tsp slippery elm syrup (unless she seems not to need it)
A capsule of vita E 400

No bone. No bone meal. No organ meat. No added calcium. But, thats what the pet store told me when I had to make a split decision. I mix 3 equals parts ground meat, and add 1 part of the mashed, pureed vegetables. Then i add each different supplement to a meal separately, except her syrup.

Her constipation from not eating for two days is almost cleared up. Her normal is a movement every second day like clockwork. It is black after she has venison or bison, but thats to be expected no? I don't have a grinder yet. And I am scared to put bone in if she didn't digest it, and is normally passing the fat casings.


Ambassador at- the Kitty U.N.
Purred: Thu Sep 13, '12 4:09pm PST 
You got some good advice here. Ditch the veggies and get some organs and calcium in her diet. I recommend the recipe at catinfo.org too. I believe they tell you how much calcium to add if you don't use bones. It sounds like she may just be too little for bones and you can re-introduce them later. I would also stay away from commercial premade raw - some of them have too much bone which could have been her problem at the beginning.

It does sound like she has a neurological condition. It doesn't quite seem like CH but it could be. I can't believe 3 different vets didn't want to treat her but you need to keep looking. Can she walk enough to use the litter box? Any vet that has treated CH cats should be willing to treat her but she really should be seen by someone.

Good luck and keep us posted!


Purred: Thu Sep 13, '12 8:51pm PST 
It is reassuring to know my own plan was more on the ball than what others around me were feeding to me. I am NOT happy with the vets lately, I have a feeling the holistic vet will be quite helpful. I honestly do not think she is a CH cat, but if she is.. she is. She HAS walked in the past. After her vet visit, me rehydrating her and feeding her the pre-made raw with bone, she was walking on her own after a week. She had built some muscle in her legs and neck. Then, over a week on canned kitten she declined with the walking, and ended up gaining weight because she wasn't walking to be active but still eating wildly. So she doubled her weight without working on her back legs to build the muscle. Right now, she always makes it to the box we have only ever had 1 accident, she was litter trained in 2 days of me having her at 4 weeks old. She is brilliant.

A link to July when she was walking 4 days after I got her. You don't need to be logged in to see this: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=10152016119040317

I am going to make my shopping list tonight after I go to the sites you guys suggested. I was scared she wasn't being fed properly and getting enough proper vitamins and minerals. It didn't seem right to me, but a vet said it was, 2 books said it was. You guys have cleared up my confusion. Thank you all again!
So, that video shows what she is capable of.


Miss Tiny- Burr Burr

Love and adore.
Purred: Fri Sep 14, '12 9:31am PST 
honestly, and im not trying to be mean...but i do not agree with holistic vets. Unless they are very well educated on feline nutrition. It took me a long time to find a vet i liked and who was on board with raw. My feline vet is a huge supporter of catinfo.org and catnutrition.com diets.

plant matter can and will constipate cats. And cats/kittens do need some organs and bone. You can constipate a cat also with too much bone, but the do need some.If you are not sure, i would suggest calling Dr. Perison for a phone consult (she does charge for these, but she is extremely helpful and knows cats well) her info can be found on the above websites.

on a side note... i have learned the hard way that vets are not allways right. I was in vet tech school, worked at vets, so i had a ton of faith that they were allways "right" and we the owners were "wrong"

well, thats not true. And i nearly lost my cat learning this lesson. It is so important to find a vet who is knowledgeable about cats and not just dogs, and who knows their diet, and is current with feline medicine.

Edited by author Fri Sep 14, '12 9:38am PST



puke with a- ribbon in it!
Purred: Fri Sep 14, '12 9:34am PST 
bless her little heart! look at her trying so hard. You were right to not put her down, and i hope she continues to improve.

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