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Old 05-29-2013, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Florida
7,196 posts, read 5,288,561 times
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We have two cats. One is a healthy one-year-old who seems addicted to dry food. I had always put out wet and dry from the time she was a kitten, not knowing how bad dry food was for them, and at this point, she goes almost exclusively for the dry. If I put down wet only, she'll lick it, then wait for dry food. The other is a 5-year-old with stomatitis who is picky, but will eat Friskies canned food, shreds only, chicken or chicken and salmon. (I never tolerated picky eating in my kids, and the laugh at me for tolerating it in the cats! ) His mouth is usually sore due to the stomatitis, so he rarely picks at the dry.

I'm trying to switch them over to a high-protein, grain free food, the name of which eludes me at the moment (I opened the large can and put it in a glass bowl with a lid in the fridge). I bought it in the "natural food" section of Pet Supermarket. I was going to buy Merrick's Before Grain, but this one had very similar ingredients and was less expensive, so I figured I'd start with that. It smells just as stinky to me as the Friskies, but the cats are appalled. I tried mixing a spoonful of that with a can of the Friskies, and both of them are very suspicious. (The ratio is probably about 1:6, just a little bit of new food with the majority of the old food.) I didn't put down dry yesterday morning, and Peanut refused to touch the wet food at all, so I ended up putting dry in her bowl last night so she wouldn't not eat anything all day.

We're on day three of this, me trying to balance offering them what they want along with what I want them to be eating, so that they'll try the new food but won't let themselves simply go hungry. Is this a feasible way of switching them over? They eat twice per day; I don't leave food out during the day, but I do overnight because otherwise they come in meowing at 3:00 in the morning. Should I pick up the food if they don't eat it after an hour and try feeding more often? Or will this just take a lot of time, which I'm okay with? Or is there another grain-free food that cats can't resist?

I'm hoping that switching to grain-free will help with Moe's stomatitis, along with the B-complex vitamins that I'm giving him. Even if it doesn't, though, it will be better for them both in the long run.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:56 AM
 
Location: In a house
13,251 posts, read 41,487,049 times
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There is no such thing as a singular cat food that ALL cats will not resist.

Trial and error is the only thing you can trust - and even then, you can trust equally that the cat will change his mind the third time you give him something that he couldn't resist the first two times.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:23 PM
 
9,897 posts, read 17,499,127 times
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It can be challenging, but can be done, has been done by many!

Don't be afraid to use toppers. Kibble crushed to powder, vets-best hairball relief crushed to powder, even forti flora. PureBites freeze dried single protein treats, crushed to powder, may also work.

Powder is better than pieces, because it can't be picked out.

Also try adding water to the pate. Some cats, when they won't eat pate (texture seems too foreign maybe) are not adverse to slurping up a gruel made from pate and water.

Congratulations on wanting to feed your cats better. Once all the transitioning is over, you'll feel it was totally worth the struggle. Having a rotation of brands and formulas is best, as the other poster said, a cat may eat something with great enthusiasim one day and turn his nose up at it the next. When you feed more than one brand there is not quite so much of that. Still may run into it sometimes, but not so often.

One of my favorite picture stories, if you don't mind me adding it to your thread. My boy is a Bridge Angel now, but he was a challenge to feed all his life.

"I have seen my Red Boy eat this particular food with great enjoyment many times, but it was not what he wanted this morning"

What IS that stuff?


Isn't there something better up there?


I'm NOT eating that.


(Even after fluffing it up)

Yuck. I know I won't like it.


I want what she's having


"Won't you try it Sweet Pea......?"


You have GOT to be kidding me!
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:31 PM
 
1,111 posts, read 1,661,964 times
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It seems mean, but they will eat it when hungry. They can go a while without eating. You need to live through the crying and guilt.
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:55 PM
 
9,897 posts, read 17,499,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregm View Post
It seems mean, but they will eat it when hungry. They can go a while without eating. You need to live through the crying and guilt.
This is not really a safe method for cats. It's not true that a cat will "eat when he gets hungry enough", if he really hates it or doesn't recognize it as food. He will get sick instead, and then he won't feel like eating anything. This is because cats cannot go more than 24 hours or so without food before their organs begin shut down.

A common problem with kibble addicts is they don't recognize wet food as food. However with lots of patience and toppers and trial and error, he can be converted.

Many recommend that you simply remove the kibble all together. Crush it, and top the canned food with it, but don't offer it as a meal. I don't know....I never had to do that...the transition I did was from wet to raw, and I took it very slowly and used a lot of toppers.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:28 AM
 
865 posts, read 2,015,126 times
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My parents gave me a couple of cups that they use for their cats. Mine wouldn't eat for 2 days with that in the bowl ... I only put a bit in.

She won't eat 'wet' food. She won't eat treats.
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Old 05-30-2013, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
18,866 posts, read 12,419,722 times
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catsmom21, I had to laugh at your picture story.

Nimbus is like that, we give him a variety of brands and textures and types, but stick to mostly chicken and turkey with some duck or rabbit, and the very occasional beef or venison thrown in once in a while.

One day I'm all like, "He loves this stuff! We've got a winner!" and then I buy a bunch of it and at some point inevitably he'll tire of it. But always at random. There is no pattern I can predict on what he'll eat happily and what he'll reject. He always eats at least a little bit, but some meals he scarfs up entirely, some he eats a few bites and then tries to bury (tastes like poop, Mom!) lol

My husband tried to tell me that he doesn't like pate, and who can blame him since it looks so mushy and gross? But even that isn't true, as some meals of that he'll go to town on...some he just won't. But he gets food like 4 times a day, and I honestly think his dietary requirements are probably getting to be a bit less than what I'm giving him. He seemed to eat lots more, like a teenage boy, during a growth spurt, as he is 9 months old he's about that age...

By the way, OP, there is a whole page of advice on transitioning kibble addicts to healthier wet foods over at www.catinfo.org.
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Old 06-02-2013, 05:30 PM
 
Location: California
369 posts, read 715,747 times
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I struggled for months to get my cat to eat wet food. His previous owners raised him on dry, I don't think he'd ever seen wet food until I took him in just shy of two years old. After a lot of trial and error I discovered Weruva is the only brand he'll eat, and only certain flavors. He won't eat pate (just licks the gravy off and then ignores it) or food with any vegetables other than pumpkin. I tried most of the tricks on catinfo.org (a great site btw) and they would work for a day or two and then he'd go back to not eating. What I'm doing with the Weruva that's working is I give him a treat when he eats the food instead of just licking it (He loves treats and the first time he chose to keep eating his food instead of eating the treat was when I knew I'd found a winner!), and after the food has been sitting out for a while (I give him half a can and he usually eats about half of that when I first put it out) I mix in some water and then he'll eat the rest. That didn't work with other brands.

Good luck in your wet food quest, cats can be stubborn little things!
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Old 06-03-2013, 09:59 AM
 
Location: NoVa
18,434 posts, read 33,038,154 times
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Kitty Katty didn't have a hard time switching over from dry to wet. I did find that he could not eat beef and that he likes the pate' the best. If I get him the kind with gravy and sliced looking foods, most of the time he will just lick out the gravy and leave the food. He is a finicky one but we just had to learn what he likes.

We do give him a little bit of dry here and there and if we leave for a couple of days. We have no problem getting him switched back to the canned.

I think it was hardest on his humans when we picked up the bowl of eat all day dry food. He acted like he was starving for a few days, but he wasn't. He was just used to having that snack food out for him all the time. Now he is just fine.
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Old 06-03-2013, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Near Nashville TN
7,201 posts, read 14,144,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by catsmom21 View Post
It can be challenging, but can be done, has been done by many!

Don't be afraid to use toppers. Kibble crushed to powder, vets-best hairball relief crushed to powder, even forti flora. PureBites freeze dried single protein treats, crushed to powder, may also work.

(brevity snipped)

You have GOT to be kidding me!
I love these pictures.
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