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Cat throwing up raw

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone!

I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on what could be going on with my kitty:

I have 4 cats; 3 of them are doing great on a diet of ground raw (bones/meat/organs) and boneless meat/organ chunks which they have been on for over a year. The 4th cat (2 years old) we adopted a few months ago, and it took awhile to get him switched over to raw (he was a kibble addict before). I found that he didn't care for the ground, but loved the chunks, so I decided to try a franken-prey diet for him, which I was a little nervous about (the bone-in meats) but read up about it and figured I'd give it a shot.

The first bone in meat I tried was a chicken wing. He was so excited about it, and ate almost all of it. The following day he threw up 3 times, the final time being mainly bile, but with some shards of bone (one being fairly large) from the wing he'd eaten over 12 hours before! He wouldn't eat for the rest of the day and just lay around. Luckily he was back to his normal self the following morning and has been eating fine since, however any raw (boneless meat or ground) he throws up.

I've had him on cooked chicken and turkey thighs for almost two weeks now, and any time I mix just a bit of raw chicken in he throws it up again. Any ideas what could be wrong? Does he just need more time to switch back?

As a side note, I checked with my vet, but she isn't a supporter of raw and said I should probably switch diets for him, which I would hate to do since I think raw is great (although I don't think I'd ever try bone-in meats again!).
post #2 of 12
She didn't want you to bring him in for an xray? That'd be my thinking here.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
My vet said to keep him on a plain diet of cooked chicken until his stomach settles, and if he continues to throw up (the cooked chicken) then we can do more (xray, or whatnot).

So far he hasn't been throwing up the cooked chicken/turkey at all, except when a bit of raw is mixed with it. I didn't know if there was a reason that raw in particular would be upsetting his stomach?
post #4 of 12
Oh gotcha. I wouldn't know. I'm sure Auntie Crazy or someone more familiar with raw will be around later to help.
post #5 of 12
You say he was excited about it... how fast did he eat? Eating any food too fast or in too great a quantity can cause upset in sensitive cats.

And not all cats have iron stomachs with high acidity (to break down larger chunks and those bone fragments which may have hurt the lining) and tolerance for bacteria (campylobacter and salmonella can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets; and also place you at risk during cleanup of the mess so be careful) and it can take a while for the GI to adjust to a drastic change in food type, but still not all will tolerate raw diets the same.

Ultimately though, you should take a step back and ask why you are feeding raw. If its for the cat's health, well, cooked food without taurine supplemented and vomiting is very unhealthy and can result in throat and gum damage. Why didn't the vet just say to put the cat back on a regular commercial chicken+rice canned food that is properly nutritionally balanced and contains required taurine, rather than just boiling some chicken?
post #6 of 12
Ducman, for a few days, boiled chicken & rice is fine. It can help settle an upset tummy and helps "reset" the system. Many vets recommend this when a cat starts a cycle of diarrhea or vomiting.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the quick responses and ideas!

He didn't eat the wing super fast since he had to crunch through the bones, and it was his first time with bone in meats. I was thinking that might have been the problem myself, but I assumed he would of thrown up sooner if so, instead of 12+ hours later (he'd had no other bone-in meals, so I know for sure it was the wing).

I'm feeding raw food because I believe it's the healthiest thing for my kitties. Currently I've been supplementing the cooked meat with taurine, b vitamin, fish oil and sometimes a cat multi vitamin, all of which stays down thankfully!

Perhaps his stomach isn't acidic enough so he can't handle the raw easily, although he was fine with it before the wing incident : /
post #8 of 12
Ritz throws up when she eats too fast. Temperature of food doesn't seem to bother her.
I've transitioned her to Frankenprey and Commercial Raw. She's only thrown up once during that time, and it was because she at too fast, too much. And wanted more food 20 minutes later but waited for another 10 minutes to pass.
My "go to" food when her stomach is upset is meat based baby food, the kind that contains only water and meat/poultry.
Hope your kitty feels better !
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omegacactus View Post
Thank you for the quick responses and ideas!

He didn't eat the wing super fast since he had to crunch through the bones, and it was his first time with bone in meats. I was thinking that might have been the problem myself, but I assumed he would of thrown up sooner if so, instead of 12+ hours later (he'd had no other bone-in meals, so I know for sure it was the wing).

I'm feeding raw food because I believe it's the healthiest thing for my kitties. Currently I've been supplementing the cooked meat with taurine, b vitamin, fish oil and sometimes a cat multi vitamin, all of which stays down thankfully!

Perhaps his stomach isn't acidic enough so he can't handle the raw easily, although he was fine with it before the wing incident : /
There are many reasons a cat throws up. Due to the length of time between eating and vomiting in this case, however, some of the most common - eating too fast, for instance - can probably be checked off the list.

How often and how much were you / are you feeding this cat? How long had he been eating chunks of meat before eating the chicken wing, and was this an entire wing, tip to drummette? Did he eat anything else between the wing meal and the vomiting incident?

As for why he's throwing up raw now, is there a temperature difference between the cooked food and the raw food you've been trying to offer him? Are there any bones in the cooked foods you're feeding? How long after offering the cooked plus raw does he throw up, and what is the percentage of cooked to raw (i.e. 50% cooked / 50% raw)?

My tentative recommendation, based just on what you've posted so far, would be to slowly start cooking the foods less and less, rather than trying to mix raw and cooked together. You might also try offering alternate raw meats (pork would be an easy one) at one of the daily meals.

AC

P.S. As I'm guessing you know, Omegacactus, unless the kitty's a mutant, it's highly unlikely his stomach isn't "acidic enough" or that he's "unable" to tolerate raw, as that's the natural food for an obligate carnivore (and the very act of eating raw animal-based meats causes chemical changes in the digestive process that further facilitate rapid and thorough digestion).
post #10 of 12
What raw meats has he had? If it has just been chicken, perhaps he is allergic to raw chicken. Cooking meat does denature the protien, which could be the reason he can handle cooked chicken, but not handle raw chicken.
post #11 of 12
Was he eating raw chicken before that ok? He may not be able to handle raw chicken, my cat can't do pork or beef, but she throws it up pretty fast, however she did have issues for awhile with chicken drumsticks, she would throw up a little when she ate them, just seemed like she couldn't quite digest it all but no problem now. She also threw up rabbit a couple times in a row after eating it fine previously, but now eats it fine after I took it off the menu for about a month. Hard to say, wings are heavy on the bone and I wouldn't have started with that for a bone in meal. Also going from cooked to raw or vice versa can cause tummy issues, it does in my cat, I can't mix, even stuff she can eat fine separately.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the responses, I appreciate all the help!

Cinder (the kitty with issues) was fine with raw chicken before the wing, and had been eating raw rabbit, turkey, duck and a small amount of salmon, mouse, and green tripe fine as well.

I had read on a site to start with either a chicken neck or wing, and previously none of the cats had liked necks when I tried them as treats, so I got a wing for him. It was a full sized wing (they had no smaller) but he only ate the tip up to the first joint and then ripped at the meat and chewed on the bigger bones but didn't eat them, although perhaps a shard came off? I threw out the rest when he was done. He did eat a boneless meal after, and that came out the next day with the wing.

Cinder had been fine eating ground raw (with bone) and chunks for a little over a month before I tried the wing.

Currently I feed all the kitties 3 times a day (7am, 1pm, 7pm), and I aim for about 5oz each since they are all around 10-11lbs.

I bake the meat on the bone if it came with it (thighs, etc) but cut all the meat off and don't feed any cooked bone. I try to feed all the cat food (raw and cooked) as warm as I can get it with warm water. The cooked boneless meat I might nuke in water for a few seconds if frozen and then let it cool down before feeding it. The raw is probably a bit cooler, but I aim for warm for all of it.

The last time I tried raw with his cooked was a spoonful of the ground meat and bone mixed with his cooked chicken (about 20% raw 80% cooked), and before that I had given him a few small pieces of raw gizzard mixed with his cooked meat. Both meals came back up within 2 hours of eating.

I am going to try the more gradual partial cooked meat and see how that goes! Is pork safe to feed cats? I usually stick to poultry/small mammals and the occasional fish
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