View Full Version : Spinoff: Cat Food

Jan. 5, 2011, 11:38 AM
I want to up grade my cats' food to a grain free, high quality dry food. I have been looking and talking to "boutique" pet food store people for the past month to no avail.

The biggest problem is that they just don't like the higher quality stuff. Seriously, I buy the small bags, mix a bit with their existing food, and they will eat around the HQ kibble!!!

Food suggestions and how to get them to eat it appreciated!


Jan. 5, 2011, 01:11 PM
My cats are the same way. I've gone through numerous different healthy brands with no luck. They won't eat the expensive organic cat foods but prefer the cheap stuff.

They are both rescues so maybe that's what they grew up on.

I hope someone has good suggestions.

Auventera Two
Jan. 5, 2011, 01:54 PM
Having gone through bladder stones with my indoor cat eating dry food, I couldn't recommend that anyone feed a cat dry food. Most of the "cat people" and "cat forums" (similar to COTH) really stress the importance of feeding cats wet food since their natural thirst drive is so low and they are prone to urinary tract problems.

My cat was eating Taste of the Wild dry when she developed the stones and I had to switch her onto wet. She was a serious PITA about it and refused to touch just about anything I put down for her. I just kept at it and kept buying cans and cans of everything I could find until I found that she loves the tuna and salmon Before Grain food, and an ocean fish variety from Nutro. She also loves the Whiskas Purfectly Fish pouches but that's crap food so I got her switched onto the better stuff.

It took a lot of patience and it was so frustrating. Cats are notorious for being picky eaters so you will probably have to just keep trying. I've read about people being successful soaking the new food in tuna juice, but my cat hated that too. LOL

So if it were my cat, I'd try introducing wet food and see what happens.

Jan. 5, 2011, 01:58 PM
Have you tried wet food? Wet food is preferable for cats if you can feed it. Most cats prefer it, too. Well, except two of mine who will only eat dry... They are on prescription food, though.

Jan. 5, 2011, 02:45 PM
I feed Wellness or Performatrin Ultra, wet food only. I had a cat with chronic cystitis (who eventually became blocked), and after being on steroids and antibiotics for a year on and off, I stopped feeding dry food totally and haven't had a problem since.

tabula rashah
Jan. 5, 2011, 07:27 PM
I just switched my allergy prone indoor kitty to Orijen and all of my kitties have taken to it like wildfire. It's really pricey but they love it and in a week it has stopped all of our allergy problems.

Jan. 5, 2011, 10:56 PM
Seriously, I buy the small bags, mix a bit with their existing food, and they will eat around the HQ kibble!!!

If they get hungry, they will eat it?

OK, I feel your pain. I used to mix half Royal Canin Maine Coon with half Core Wellness. I tried the RCMC as a bit of a lark. The breeder recommended a grain free brand for mature cats, but the queens and kittens were on RC because of high growth requirements. Whatevs. So I bought the bag of Maine Coon kibble, and I was 100% sure it was BS that "MCs like the larger kibble" ... Oh they made a liar out of me First thing gone from the dish. :rolleyes: Then RC made it easy for me and stopped making the MC kibble for about 4 months. Amazingly enough, they ate the Core wellness without the MC kibble. Nobody was more shocked than I (and when RC started back with the MC stuff... oh well, lost a customer). And when I switched them from CW to TOTW? Not even a disdainful sniff.

But canned food has been a challenge. EVO? Not bloody likely. What they really want is the cat equivalent of cocoa krispy puffs. They quiteliked the Iams chicken which is on one of the few I could find w/o wheat or gluten, but after trail runs with other grainfree canned they more or less can tolerate wellness chicken or turkey, but I heat it up in the microwave (yes, I am my cats' bitch) and add some water to it.

I also feed them "just enough. The food bowls are EMPTY in the AM and if you didn't finish it all, I adjust accordingly (uh, I'd also like one of them to lose a bit of weight). You will appreciate me and the fact that I buy freakin' expensive cat fud or ELSE..

Auventera Two
Jan. 6, 2011, 10:00 AM
You will appreciate me and the fact that I buy freakin' expensive cat fud or ELSE..

:lol: I was so mad at Ladybug (my cat - not the OP! :eek: :lol:) I would put down cans and cans of food and she'd cry and whine and scratch at the door. I was seriously about to go insane.

The Centaurian
Jan. 6, 2011, 10:19 AM
We have 3 cats. The oldest cat has had digestive problems his entire life, and the only food that he reliably holds down is the Solid Gold brand. Since we switched to that, he has put on a little weight, has more energy, nice glossy coat, even better breath. The other 2 cats looks great, as well, but they are young and look healthy no matter what we feed them. I am convinced that this food literally saved the elderly cat's life, though.


We have a "bottomless bowl" from Petco that delivers the food to our house every 10 weeks or so.

Jan. 6, 2011, 10:31 AM
I would say just keep adding more and more of the dry to the existing food until you're feeding all of the new food. They'll eat it eventually. Try to make sure they're hungry at each meal so they have more incentive to try it. I also always feed wet food along with dry. I've tried a lot of the different "good" foods, and my cats seem to do better (aka like it more :lol:) when I switch it up somewhat frequently. They're currently on canned Wellness and dry Taste of the Wild. When I buy dry the next time, I'll switch to Blue Buffalo for a little while. They're not big on dry Wellness right now (even though they ate it almost exclusively for almost a year) and they also went on strike against EVO. What I want to know is how they all know to do it at once? :confused: It's not like one cat will just become picky; all THREE will suddenly decide they're done with a food at the same time.


Jan. 6, 2011, 10:51 AM
A2 :lol: :lol:

I've tried the "eat it, your not getting anything else" They go on hunger strike!

I wanted to stay on dry because I free feed, but I have been thinking about either adding a HQ wet, or doing some raw. Does anyone FF wet?

My vet told me that wet has fewer calories, would I have to feed more? Or does the HQ wet have equivalent cals?

The stupid thing is, they will happily eat salmon, turkey, chicken, tuna, any human quality meat really, but want to eat the shite dry food???



Jan. 6, 2011, 11:39 AM
Personally, I would stop free feeding. I think that's part of your problem getting them to switch. Take the food up overnight and they should be good and hungry the next day. You could try to mix the wet food into tuna to get them to try it. Some of the raw sites recommend sprinkling some animal digest powder onto the new food to get them to try it (apparently a yummy ingredient of cheap dry food...I don't know where you get it and I've never tried it).


Jan. 6, 2011, 07:44 PM
Have you tried Wellness Core yet? My cat was always sort of 'meh' about the high-quality cat foods--would eat it for a while and then after a month or two refuse it. Well, he loves Core. Has been eating it for a year now (free fed) and still not sick of it!
I know the typical advice is to mix the new food with the old food, but I might try just feeding the new stuff and see if they'll eat it (unless they have super-sensitive stomachs or something). If they're addicted to the junk in the cheaper food, they'll never choose the new stuff willingly.

Jan. 6, 2011, 07:49 PM
I just switched my allergy prone indoor kitty to Orijen and all of my kitties have taken to it like wildfire. It's really pricey but they love it and in a week it has stopped all of our allergy problems.

This is great cat food. I feed it as well as Wellness Chicken canned for a cat that has had chronic UTIs in the past. It's been about 4 yrs with no issues at all so something has to be working.

Jan. 6, 2011, 08:35 PM
Cats...and their finicky appetites!!! :eek:

I (or rather my cats :lol:) can highly recommend Nature's Variety Instinct Grain Free Cat Food.


We switched to this about 3 months ago when we adopted a 4 month old kitten. We needed a food that was suitable for her plus our 19 year old cat (Instinct is an "All Life Stages" food).

They both love it! We're feeding the Chicken Meal Formula. In fact, the 19 year old is really picky and we had tried just about every food known to man and either he wouldn't eat it or he'd throw up (frequently). Since he's been eating the Instinct he has not thrown up and seems to really be enjoying eating.

The kitten is doing really well on it too.

Our other cat eats Blue Buffalo Chicken kibble. He loves it so we haven't changed him over to the Instinct (why fool with something that's working :lol:).

We also feed canned food but the only one they will eat is Evolve (maybe not the best, but certainly not the worst). It is all natural and doesn't have any of the "crap" that most of the cheaper foods are made of. My crew will not touch the *top of the line* brands. I went through I don't even want to count how many different brands and flavors - all were outright rejected! The Evolve Chicken was the only one they ate! So that's what they get.

Jan. 6, 2011, 10:15 PM
My vet told me that wet has fewer calories, would I have to feed more? Or does the HQ wet have equivalent cals?

wet food has a very high moisture content (i.e., water) hence the lower calories. That won't vary much between canned foods in the sense that regardless of brand, all canned = lots of water and all dry does not.

Jan. 6, 2011, 10:59 PM
I haven't tried the WC or the Nature's Variety Instinct Grain Free Cat Food. I will see if I can get them in the smaller bags, I'll also try the starve'em tactic;)

Of course being cats, the second the last kibble in the bowl is consumed they are officially "starving to death"!!!



Jan. 6, 2011, 11:11 PM
I feed Blue Wilderness dry & wet to my cats.

They also were unhappy about some of the high end cat foods although eventually they will eat it.

Jan. 7, 2011, 10:27 AM
Cats! Ugh.:)
I recently tried to introduce a higher quality cat food to my herd. Three of them will eat anything but my dd's cat is so picky. She went on a hunger strike for a week. She keeps to herself 95% of her time so when she started socializing all the time we thought she was getting ready to die (she's 13 and has always been a 'hard keeper'). After we figured out she would eat the food I went to the store and picked up her old cheaper stuff. She dove right in, man was I feeling guilty for not figuring out her issue sooner. Now she is back to being by herself 95% of the day. She also wont eat wet food of any kind, but she does love roast beef, which the other 3 wont touch.:lol: They drive me crazy sometimes.

Jan. 7, 2011, 11:43 AM
The cheap stuff has lots of added flavoring usually, so the cats will eat it more readily. I switched mine to Blue Buffalo, the Indoor Health type as mine stay inside. They didn't like it at first, but now they beg for it if I leave their bowls empty too long, lol. I tried switching slower, but they did the same thing yours did, so I just switched cold turkey. It took about 3-4 days for them to figure it out, but they love it now. The food has improved their coats, less pooh smell, and they're not quite as fat as they were.

I also feed them 1/2 can each of Fancy Feast wet food AM and PM as their "treat."

Blue Buffalo does have a "finicky cat" formula.

Jan. 7, 2011, 10:34 PM
Odd question, they really like vegetable oil, if I leave the bottle out they will lick it until I yell at them and put it away. yes, they jump on the counters where they are not allowed:rolleyes:. Do you think that drizzling a bit on the food would be ok? Or would that much fat make them ill?

I'll try the BB too, thanx!


Jan. 10, 2011, 07:41 PM
Don't know about adding vegetable oil, but a little bit of fish oil probably wouldn't hurt.

I would be careful about the "starve 'em and they'll eat when they're hungry" plan, though - cats can develop hepatic lipidosis (link from the Merck manual here: http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/23616.htm ) if they go without eating for too long.

I would try to stop the free feeding, if you can - why should they eat the "new" stuff if the good old stuff will eventually show up?

We successfully transitioned my parents' cat to a wet/dry diet after we found out that she only has one kidney, so getting extra water into her is pretty important. Miss Pickypants wouldn't eat wet food at all before (well, she'd lick the gravy off of whatever chunks were in the food), but we got her eating wet food quite happily by being really strict about when, what and how much food was offered.
When - twice a day (wet in the am, dry in the pm)
What - took a little trial and error, but we figured out that she only REALLY likes food that has fish in it and if it's a wet food, it must have a smooth consistency - chunks in gravy/aspic/water will be rejected (once the gravy/aspic/water has been licked off) - texture seems to trump flavor, however. She will eat a chicken based wet food if it's the right texture, but will reject chunky fish formula.
How much - we only offered a very small amount (about a teaspoon) of any new food at first. If it didn't get eaten, it went away, and she could have a light meal of dry in the evening (so she wasn't in any danger of starving). If the dry wasn't finished up in a half hour, any uneaten portion went away. The more wet food she ate in the morning, the more dry food we fed in the afternoon - I don't think she understood that particular connection, but IME, picky eaters often eat more willingly if you offer smaller portions...

Cats are such a pain. My dogs will eat just about anything as long as it's in their bowls (or on the floor, or if it once held food, or was in close proximity to food, or if some other animal ate it once before...) ;)

Jan. 10, 2011, 08:06 PM
Those that feed strictly wet food, how much food per serving? I have 4 indoor cats on Wellness dry and wet and since everyone is getting a bit older I'd like to switch to all wet.

Picked up a case of the large cans today - Do you feed canned a few times daily? How much per cat? Thanks!

Bank of Dad
Jan. 10, 2011, 09:35 PM
My overweight barn cats get a can of wet (Friskies, smaller size) a day, part at night and part in the am. They have been gradually losing weight, so one can a day per cat might not be enough food.