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RAW to dry/canned - a potential killer?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
We received 2 kittens last week. At the breeder they were eating raw food with the odd fancy feast put down.

When we got them home, they were both great & eating a mixture of Solid Gold dry & Performa Plus wet. To make a long story short, the male kitten got very sick - anemic to the point the vet wanted to give him a transfusion.

Because we was not eating, out of sheer desperation we fed him an improvised raw meal yesterday - ground turky & chicken liver. It was the first meal he ate all day & he continues to eat it. Today he seems to be bouncing around doing a lot better. (he is also on antibiotics & Novo-Prednisone).

Can the change in diet really cause this many problems? Both vets we took him to told us to stay away from the RAW diet.

We now how 3 cats all eating different meals which I would like to change as well. I know the kittens will have different requirements than our adult cat, but I would like to get them all eating the same thing in a year or so.

what a week.....
post #2 of 30
Did the breeder tell you whether the diet was Raw commercial or something they put together ???

Did you change there diet over the cource of two or three weeks???
Yes a diet change can do this or similiar ... I would suggest talking with the breeder ...what breed are the kitties???
post #3 of 30
My first inclination is that he is allergic to something in one of the foods you gave him. I don't know why it would make him that sick to change over (I guess it could. Hmmm). Try a wet food with no grains in it.

Keep in mind that vets are not feline nutritionists.
post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 
  • We changed them both immediately - we were not told otherwise.
  • It's a raw diet they get from a local source; someone who makes it in their home.
  • They are Maine Coons
  • The female seems fine with the immediate change

Thanks so much for your quick replies - my wife & are so stressed out over this.
post #5 of 30
Raw diet really is the best thing for them, and considering the problems you went through with your boy, I'd seriously consider putting them both back on it. Most vets I've met who are against raw are just against it because they don't understand it! They aren't nutritionists and the education they recieve on nutrition is very limited. I would talk to the breeder again and see about how you can get the kitties back on the food that's better for them!
post #6 of 30
I would just try transitioning slower. You can try weaning him over to just canned (do like 25% canned, 75% raw), then keep adding more canned and decreasing the raw. After he is switched over (and if he is doing well) you can do the same thing with the canned and dry. He may just be a sensitive kitty and needs a slow transition.
post #7 of 30
Thread Starter 
We've removed the dry food completely & picked up some Nutro Complete Care in the pouch - the breeder was feeding them this along with RAW & they both seem to like it. We will be picking up some packaged RAW tomorrow locally. I'll feed them both. I have asked the breeder for specific guidelines in feeding but she is not responding. I'm sure we have been a handfull for her & initally was sure that we received an unhealthy kitten......now I have no clue.

The more I read the more I think we need to keep them off dry. I'm sure the vet will tell us something different tomorrow & confuse us even more...

Things sure have changed since we got our first cats 12 years ago
post #8 of 30
Don't let the vet discourage you, they know NOTHING about raw diets (most of them). They will telll you how bad it is and why (blah blah) but please take what they say w/ a grain of salt. Raw is perfectly fine for cats (dogs is another story IMO).
post #9 of 30
Originally Posted by jlphilli
Don't let the vet discourage you, they know NOTHING about raw diets (most of them). They will telll you how bad it is and why (blah blah) but please take what they say w/ a grain of salt

Keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores. With that in mind kibble really isn't a healthy way to feed them!

There are lots of raw feeders here to talk to if you're feeling overwhelmed. Just keep in mind that you're going to be providing them with the healthiest and most natural diet you possibly can. It's exaclty what their little bodies are designed to process

This website may help to dispute anything bad the vets will probably say:
It's written by a veterinarian who has focused on expanding her nutritional education.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
The vet saw him today & thinks he may have FIP. She doesn't think it is food related. She is weaning him off the antibiotics & novo-prednesone over the next few days. If gets worse off the meds, he may have to be put down. After spending close to $2,000 we cant afford anymore.

As expected, she said to get him off raw asap. I got 15lbs anyway. This is the 3rd vet to see him to tell us he was a very sick kitten.

There is no way to know if his problems are FIP related until after death.

The breeder finally emailed & seemed concerned.

What a week.....
post #11 of 30
sending healing vibes and less stress for you vibes..
post #12 of 30
I am so sorry I hope things get better and nothing is horribly wrong
post #13 of 30
Thread Starter 
After some reading, there have been cases where cats with anemia recover when switched to a raw diet. We'll just have to wait & see how he does. I took a close look at the canned food we were feeding them - its full of grains, veggies & fruits. This is supposed to be "premium" canned food. The more I read though, the more information I find that leads me to believe grains, veggies & fruit should not be in a cats diet.

I really need to post pics...he has the biggest ears

Thank you all for your support
post #14 of 30
Lol. about the fruit s veggies and grains I have shock my head at that too... Raw works here quite well but make sure you get help with supplements///
post #15 of 30
after living overseas for sometime, I have found several places that feed there cats very different then we do here.

the place that comes to mind( cause i lived there for several years) is Indonesia. There it seems that people that do keep cats as house pets which is not many from what i could tell, cook for them!!!! every morning before work the SO would go down to the market and get some chicken or fish, and then cook it up with rice.
i thought it was strange. but several other people there did the same thing!!! hehe.

I guess it must work, the SO aunt and three cats that are over 12,15,16.
i noticed that dogs did not get the same home cooked meals. I know that does not answer your question,
post #16 of 30
Thread Starter 
I spoke to the breeder's pet & thinks all of this is due to worms - i am taking him in to deworm him.

Three vets, three opinions....
post #17 of 30
The anemia can be caused by a few things. I wish you luck!
post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 
Now the female wont eat raw....go figure - right after I buy 15 lbs worth. We had some fancy feast around for our older female & it was the only thing she ate. Now both of them are eating fancy feast.

When we got our cats 12 years ago, we never had this many problems with food
post #19 of 30
Fancy Feast isn't a very good food. Could you try mixing some Fancy Feast in with the raw and see if they'll eat that? You could gradually increase the amount of raw over a 2-3 week period.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
I need a good canned food - My wife is a vegeterian so dealing with the meat is a real problem. I like the idea of RAW, but if i can't get a vet to support it & help me through it, it makes it tough to get him treated. Does anyone in the Toronto area know a good vet who's first inclincation is NOT meds?

As I've said before two of the three vets we saw had him on his death bed & I'm concerned with the Nova-Prednisone we are giving him.

Hopefully this deworming will solve our problems & we get life back to normal. Thanks goodness I'm off of work on stress leave to be able to deal with this stress
post #21 of 30
I can't help you with a vet recommendation, but I can tell you there are some wonderful canned foods out there. Nutro, Natural Balance, Merrick to name a few. I went to the pet store and picked up 2 cans of each brand that had no by-products listed in the ingredients and tried them on our cats. The girl told me she would take back any unopened cans. Turns out our babies would only eat the Merrick food and then only the chicken and beef (they do NOT like fish).
post #22 of 30
Originally Posted by darincm
Does anyone in the Toronto area know a good vet who's first inclincation is NOT meds?

I've heard good things about this clinic in the past (no personal experience): http://www.queenwestvets.com/

Also, this holistic clinic is well known in Toronto:

You can also try Wysong foods. They have various products including a meat only canned food which you need to supplement. You can find Wysong products at Global Pet Foods in Toronto.
post #23 of 30
Please go to a different vet clinic for a second opinion. Also, have his bloodwork rechecked to see if he's still anemic. Anemia, FIP, and worms as the possibilities just don't add up! Sounds like this vet is having some serious diagnostic issues. Bring a fecal sample to the new vet so they can check it for parasites (this should always be done on new kittens/puppies; at the clinic I work at it's free with the first exam). Good luck! <<<Sending lots of healing vibes your way>>>
post #24 of 30
Thread Starter 
The vet saw them both today & he said they have parasites simply from viewing their coats. Our male has also been scratching like crazy & he believes that is a food allergy. He de-wormed them both & gave us a few cans of Medi-Cal. They both like it & we are watching the male for any signs of allergies with this new food. My wife & I noticed he only scratched his ear once or twice today instead of every 5 minutes.

He said the anemia could be caused by the original emerg visit vet drawing blood - he said kittens that age can have a hard time after blood is drawn because they have so little to begin with.

He was asounted by all the drugs & this poor kitten has had to endure & the expense to us. He didn't charge us anything for the visit.

I think we will stick with canned - we now need to find a good canned food for kittens that they are not allergic too.

I am going to be really peeved for all the expenses ($1,000) if all this time all he needed was a simple de-worming

I now have 15lbs of RAW in my freezer that I got from a local breeder. If there is anyone in the Toronto area who wants it, let me know. We've spent over $100 on different foods & I would like to recoup some of those costs
We paid $45 for the raw, but I'd sell it pretty cheap to someone who needs it.

I know a lot of folks will tell me to stick with the RAW, but it has really been a tough week. If he is eating & healthy I'll be sticking with what works. I may look into RAW again when they get older, but my concern now is that they both eat regularly & get bigger
post #25 of 30
Thread Starter 
quick note: all the different diganoses are because we've rushed him to emerg twice - 2 different vets & he saw our regular vet Monday & the Breeder's vet today.

The Breeder's vet was the first vet to actually put us at ease & didn't suggest thousands of dollars of procedures.
post #26 of 30
I'm one of those people who would encourage you to stick with raw, but in this case, one thing at a time. Give them some time to sort out what's going on. To many changes make it difficult to figure out which one is causing what. Once they are stable and healthy, I'd suggest transitioning them to raw again. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be.

Just because pop and snacks taste good to us, it doesn't mean that's all we should eat. We can make that determination, our cats can't.
post #27 of 30
It sounds like you finally found a good, knowledgable vet. Thank God! I'm so sorry you had to spend so much money at the other one. About the raw: One of my cats, Bella, is on a raw diet because of severe inflammatory bowel disease. Raw food has literally saved her life. However, I have 3 other cats that do excellent on a high quality regular food. The raw debate is a debate with very strong opinions on both sides. I've listened to people who are more opinionated about raw foods than they are about declawing. I've been both denounced and praised for the way I'm feeding my four cats (1 raw and 3 not). I fall somewhere in the middle of the debate. Raw food is great; it mimics the traditional diet of felines in the wild. There is no debating the fact that it works. However, there are some good high quality commercial foods out there that are just fine to feed. In the end it really comes down to a personal decision in which everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Just my Whew....
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
We may revsit raw in 4-6 months. Our concern now is getting them both stable & healthy
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
Izzy is sick again. He was eating SD kitten formula for a while & seemed to be doing better even with the remenants of a URI.

He is seeing the vet again today - needless to say I will never ever use or recomend this breeder again
post #30 of 30
Oh dear. I'm sorry to hear that Izzy is sick again. Good vibes being sent his way.... I hope he gets better soon. Keep us updated :-)
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