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Raw&canned Diet Causing Vomiting?

Discussion in 'Raw & Home-Cooked Cat Food' started by She's a witch, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. She's a witch

    She's a witch Thread Starter TCS Member Super Cat

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    I managed to transition my picky cat into commercial raw (Darwin's lamb, Natural Pet Pantry, Wild Coast Raw) but I don't feed it exclusively; usually my cats get raw during the week and canned on weekends (Rawz, BFF, American Journey, Instinct). However one of them started vomiting occasionally, and after observation the pattern emerged: she vomits when coming back to canned, but also she vomits when back to raw. So whenever she eats raw for weeks, she is fine, and whenever she eats canned for weeks, she is also fine, but as soon as I give her the other type of food, she vomits, usually first or second meal after the change (they eat 5 smallish meals a day), up to half an hour after eating.

    Does it ever happen to your cats?
    I remember reading something about different PH in the stomach when on raw food, if anyone can point me in the right direction, article, post, I'll be grateful.
    Also, do you have any ideas on how to mitigate this? I'd feed them raw only but my trusted pet sitter is reluctant, that's why they get canned. Also, sometimes it's simply convenient to give them cans. Maybe different pattern would work better, eg. if they get fed both raw and canned everyday?
    I'd appreciate any insight and your experience!
     

  2. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

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    I haven't had that problem but I haven't done that kind of switching back and forth.

    How old is she? Don't discount the possibility of illness. Throwing up is frequently a sign of illness especially in an older cat. Are you absolutely sure it is tied to the food switching? Or maybe there is an underlying illness and the food switching is triggering a symptom?

    Be sure to post if you find a solution. If it is the switching, I'm sure there will others who have the same problem and need a solution.
     

  3. She's a witch

    She's a witch Thread Starter TCS Member Super Cat

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    Thanks @mschauer , of course, I take illness into account, in fact I did speak with her vet over the phone and she asked me to observe and make notes to see if pattern emerges before I take her in for a visit. She doesn't have any other symptoms, she's as happy and active as ever. She is 2,5yo, asthmatic cat with herpes, and since we found her as 5 mo kitten that was only 1kg, I must consider the possibility that she may have some health issues from lack of nutrition in her early days. But so far that part of her was ok :) It seems to me this is strongly correlated with the food switching so for now I'm looking for information if there's any difference in digesting raw and canned that may cause some issues in otherwise healthy cat, but she'll have full check up done in a few weeks regardless of what I'll find out.
     

  4. mschauer

    mschauer TCS Member Top Cat

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    Good luck! And please do post again. I'm very interested in knowing what can be done to mitigate the problem.
     
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  5. darg

    darg Gizmo Adult Cat

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    If you are available to feed 5 times per day, I assume that you could feed the canned and the raw on the same days. That's actually how I feed. Some meals are homemade raw (well, lightly cooked) and some are canned. And some are canned mixed with some raw (usually with the commercial raw). I feed homemade plus some commercial frozen and freeze dried raw plus canned ... mostly, Rawz, Stella and Chewys and Hound and Gatos. Maybe mixing it up on a daily basis rather than on and off will stop the stomach upset that is causing the vomiting. One wouldn't think that 5 days on one type of food and two days on another would require a transition between food types when both foods seem to be tolerated on their own. But, every cat is different so it may be worth trying a daily mix of the different foods.
     
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  6. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    I think I'd try @darg's suggestion first, if that's practicable. We feed our cats raw, home-cooked, and canned every day (also five meals a day!) and that works well for them.

    We have a cat who does have a tendency to barf but the vast majority of those occurrences can be linked to either eating too fast, eating when she's too excited, and fur. The fur has been a big problem this summer, I suspect because the weather has been so weird -- it was so cool in early summer that it almost seems like the poor cats didn't know they were supposed to shed! Edwina seems to get hair gastritis, which sometimes results in "empty" barfs, more occasionally in hairballs or small amounts of fur coming up. Daily brushing helps a lot and I think the cats' toothpaste helps, too. Cats' motility decreases with age, which can make hair more of a problem over time.

    Good luck, She's a witch, this can be so frustrating!
     
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  7. LadyLondonderry

    LadyLondonderry TCS Member Adult Cat

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    @lisahe , yes, Sylvie has been shedding like mad lately, now that the warm weather has begun in earnest, and has barfed a couple of times in the past week (although one of those times was when I was away and the cat sitter put out her half-day's ration in one portion, which Sylvie is not used to). I need to get religious about the daily brushing!
     

  8. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    I know, it's so difficult to get into that brushing habit! And to catch the cat when she's willing to be brushed. Edwina really doesn't like having her belly brushed and that's where she's fluffiest. She gacked again today on the veranda, though who knows what bug or bit of something she might have licked off the floor there: both our cats will hoover up just about anything!

    Good luck!
    In solidarity,
    L.
     
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  9. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    I'm sorry your kitty is going through this! Maybe a food diary or your notetaking will pin down a particular canned brand or raw brand --or type of meat or fillers--, and that might solve the issue. I feed raw sometimes and usually it's commercial raw, but I do it like @darg suggested - more quick of a rotation, like different foods & brands on a daily basis (the same days). I also have a young cat with FHV-1 and asthma, like you, but she definitely reacts badly to chicken. Maybe it might be the same with your cat?

    I think that was more about if a person feeds raw food alongside kibble. This might be the source you were thinking of, RE: the mention of pH--
    https://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/raw-meat-and-kibble-dont-mix

    :goodluck::hugs:
     

  10. She's a witch

    She's a witch Thread Starter TCS Member Super Cat

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    Thank you everyone! She's been ok for the last week and a half but I didn't switch the food in that period, they are on canned. We're going for vacation so they'll be on cans as well. I'm tempted to try and give her raw to see if her stomach settled or if the change will cause throwing up again, but that will have to wait till we're back. I feel sorry for the other cat as he loves raw so much :(

    I didn't find anything indicating that the digestion of raw and canned is sooo much different, as opposed to kibble, which @PushPurrCatPaws indicated as well. I'm following your suggestion @lisahe that it might in fact be hairball, as she also shreds a lot this summer, in fact much more than ever. So hopefully it's just that and the food switch irritates her already irritated digestive track...?
    I'm also observing reaction to all kind of protein and additives like gums etc.. it seems to be unrelated so far.

    Going forward let's see, if that continues, I will either feed canned and raw daily, or I'll change canned to raw freeze dried - that might be ok with my baby sitter.
     

  11. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    You may already be traveling She's a witch, so may not see this post for some time but I wanted to mention something interesting to consider before I forget. It may be helpful for @LadyLondonderry, too...

    I'll try to do long-story-short here! Cats went to vet on Thursday. Vet asked about vomiting. We mentioned Edwina's recent barfing. Vet was concerned about motility and hairballs. In general, not just for summer, saying hairballs aren't normal, which I know. (Side issue: I also wondered if maybe she has an issue with Pure Bites since shards of those seem to stay in her stomach and come up with liquid. Very weird.)

    Today: Vet makes courtesy call to check on cats. (Very sweet of her since both had slight issues for the first time.) I say Edwina hasn't barfed again, that I've been brushing very thoroughly, haven't fed Pure Bites, etc. Stress that this is almost always a summer issue. Vet has big-time "aha" moment as we talk and says that when cat fecal matter is analyzed they find lots of plant matter, including pollen. Vet knows where we live: surrounded by pine trees, which put out notorious amounts of pollen. Cats use screened veranda, inhale pollen, ingest pollen that flies on fur. They're probably eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since it's in the air.

    I'm not sure where you live or what kinds of summer pollens you might have but that's something that might be causing issues, particularly since you said this is your cat who has asthma. That makes me especially wonder if there might be a seasonal connection -- it looks like you live in Washington State, no? (Our other cat had a small coughing episode the day before the appointment, too, so we talked about asthma, lungs, pollen, and Canadian wildfire smoke as well. It was quite a vet visit.)
     
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  12. LadyLondonderry

    LadyLondonderry TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Very interesting, @lisahe ! I don't have a screened outdoor space, but I love fresh air and do keep my screened windows open when the weather is not as obscenely hot and humid as it currently is.

    Sylvie is still shedding profusely, and I've gotten better about brushing her. We just had a nice "brushy-brush" session, in fact. :)
     

  13. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Pollen levels can be a little tricky to track and predict, too, making it hard to know when to be most careful about windows, brushing, and the like.

    Edwina is also still shedding profusely ("profusely" is most certainly the word!) and barfed again yesterday, bringing up a bit of fur and just a few tiny chunks of meat... of course that happened when a) pollen.com said the levels had risen and b) we hadn't been as thorough about brushing the day before. I do still wonder about other factors, though, since she almost always barfs at the same time, a few hours after the cats' EZ meal (making me wonder about the mussels in the supplement) and shortly before the cats' Alnutrin meal (making me wonder if Edwina's hungry, waiting, and nervous since she's still so insecure about her food). And, as always, I wonder if small amounts of hair irritate her stomach. The vet's not so into that explanation, though I still think it might at least part of the problem, particularly if there's pollen (and maybe nerves?) in play to cause further irritation.

    No matter what's behind the vomiting, very thorough brushing -- including the belly fur, which she's most hesitant to have groomed -- seems to help the most.

    Anyway, good luck to all with this problem!
     
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  14. Ori&Mia

    Ori&Mia TCS Member Kitten

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    I have heard that egg yolk lecithin is a good supplement to give, particularly for the prevention of hairballs and to aid in motility. Perhaps the egg yolk could help with the throwing up of hairballs and food.

    Another supplement you could look into is a pancreatic enzyme for helping with digestion of the canned food. Maybe your kitty gets used to having the natural enzymes in the raw food, and when you make the switch to canned, there is a lack of enzymes which could be a shock to her system. Just a thought, I could be wrong though.... A good probiotic could help too, if you're not already providing that.

    I agree with @PushPurrCatPaws on keeping a food diary and that a process of elimination might solve the issue. Could still be one of the canned food brands that you're feeding or an allergy to a particular protein. And as you've mentioned, you could also try giving canned and raw on the same day. Probably would be good to try that first ;)
     
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  15. She's a witch

    She's a witch Thread Starter TCS Member Super Cat

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    OK so we've been gone for 10 days and she was on canned food all this time, and she did vomit once - but their feeding schedule was different then normal and they received more food at once, so I'm taking into account that she might have overeaten, with too much enthusiasm (she's super passionate whatever she's doing). We've been back for a week and I implemented few things and something is working as she hasn't throw up yet. She's having canned in the morning and raw in the evening. I'm giving her egg yolk lecithin. I'm brushing her daily, although her skin is oversensitive in places and she hates it, but I'm trying my best to do it in the most pleasant way possible. She's getting some butter which she loves and should help with hair as well, allegedly.

    So yeah, hopefully it was/is the hairball issue. I noticed she actually sheds less, or maybe it's the result of brushing. Maybe it's pollen, @lisahe ? I live in a city, surrounded by buildings rather than trees, but this is Seattle, so trees are everywhere, and I keep my windows open.

    Anyway, I'll keep giving her both cans and raw for several weeks but eventually I'll experiment and will go back to feeding raw only on weekdays and canned - and/or freeze dried - on weekends. My ultimate goal is to have them off cans at all. If the issues come back, I'll be sure it has something to do with digesting these two types, maybe something to do with enzymes as @Ori&Mia suggested? It's weird though that I haven't found any info on that difference, although logically, there must be a difference in digesting (poops after raw and canned differs too much). I'll keep looking.
     

  16. Ori&Mia

    Ori&Mia TCS Member Kitten

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    Here's a good article you might find informative on enzymes: Digestive enzymes - IVC Journal It also mentions plant-based enzymes as perhaps a better all-round enzyme to give, unless kitty is diagnosed with EPI, in which case you would give a pancreatic enzyme... My kitties have been having occasional problem with loose smelly stools and throwing up too, so I'm going to be trying this product "florazyme LP" which has both pancreatic and plant-based enzymes along with probiotics. https://www.mypetsfriend.com/product-page/florazyme-lp-3-oz-85gm
     
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  17. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Maybe so... it's so hard to say! We've had a few more barf incidents, too: it's never been anything like this and I keep wondering if it's the combination of pollen, the weird weather (spring came late, which probably delayed the usual seasonal shedding, now summer has been ridiculously hot and humid and unpleasant for Maine!), and the cats are a year older. Today, with the temperature increasing again, diminishing air quality, and rising pollen levels, both cats just seemed blah and Edwina even threw up from on high, making quite a unique mess on a wall and a table. (@1 bruce 1, I thought of you!)

    We've always seen more barfing in summer than winter -- due, I suspect, to hair -- but this year has been thoroughly perplexing. Though I have to suspect that the heat has something to do with it since I've been feeling blah (and not very hungry) myself for the past several weeks!

    Here's hoping your cat does better soon!
     
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  18. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Isn't it interesting how they always choose to barf in the worst places they can?
    We notice a lot more barfing from the cats and more poop problems with our dogs in the summer than the winter. Even if you run the AC full blast, some how they know that it's hot out and it causes intestinal mishaps.
    And @lisahe, when you think of cat puke, think of me :crackup:;)
     
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  19. lisahe

    lisahe TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, this was a very strategically placed puke! And we humans didn't notice it right away: it was Ireland gingerly creeping over to the crime scene that tipped us off. (It was actually kind of funny.)

    That's very interesting what you say about summer heat and your cats and dogs, 1 bruce 1 -- I wish you weren't having this problem, too, but it does make me feel a little better to know that maybe there really is a very simple reason this is happening. @She's a witch, has it been hot in Seattle, too!?

    And done deal, 1 bruce 1, I will think of you when there's cat puke on my mind! Or on my floor. :lol: I really did think of you when we found Edwina's gack: I told my husband that she must have heard me telling him about your cat's high-altitude feat.
     
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  20. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    What I hate is when you find the pile but don't know who the culprit is because you weren't around to, uh, "experience" it.
    One of our cats barfed over night and I have no idea who did it, but everyone has been fine today so we're considering it an isolated incident. We hope anyway.
    For some reason, our cats think after dinner is the best time to play so sometimes I wonder if they just don't get themselves worked up on a full stomach. Vet said to keep them quiet after they eat, well....obviously they've never had 9 cats.
    That little cat we had was one of a kind. I've never known a cat to go out of her way to puke from the highest location she could find. I still picture little cartoon mice on the sidelines, holding up signs that read "9.9, 9.8, 10.0" ;)
    Also your comment made me think of this
     
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