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  1. #1
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    Jan. 17, 2013
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    Default Better food ideas for kitty!

    I have a mid aged feline that belongs to the husband. Up until 2 years ago she lived in our old barn and was free fed crappy dry food. She wasnt really a mouser, but did on the rare occasion catch one. She looked in great health.

    Now, she has been transitioned to a housecat and for the first year she did great. We switched her to a tin/dry diet (she wasnt a fan of tin at first) and over time we have been able to switch her over to fully tin. I have tried offering her raw as well, and she is not interested at all.

    Now the problem is, she wont eat enough tin food to maintain her weight. She was 11 lbs at her vet visit in 2011 when we first moved her into the house. She has lost almost 50% body weight at 6lbs now. I offer multiple types of tin food (friskies, fancy feast and some of the premium brands) and she is fed 4x per day, but always leaves the bowl before she finishes. On average she eats 1/2 can friskies or 3/4 can fancy feast per day. I dont think its nearly enough. I dont want to have to force feed her.

    Blood testing was all normal, there is zero puking or squirts. Her teeth are excellent. Vet could find no reason as to why she wont eat the tin food.

    They offered her a handful of dry food and some wet at the vets to see if she was having difficulty eating and she went nuts for the dry, but didnt touch the wet.

    After reading so much about how bad dry food is for cats, should I go back to offering it to her? I do feed my dogs raw (except the one who is immunocompromised, she gets home cooked), should I just offer the cat raw and hope that within a few days she will eat it?

    I tried searching on a cat board... cat people are crazier than horse people.



  2. #2
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    Hmm. Can you feed her a high quality dry and dribble some broth/meat baby food/tuna in water or oil over it? If the drawback of the dry is that it is too dry maybe it can be moistened and she'll adjust? I'd feed her the best dry food you can find, myself. Does she drink water well or can you tell?

    Cat people, dog people, horse people, they (we?) are all nutz.



  3. #3
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Has she been dewormed since she moved inside?

    An appetite stimulant might also be worth a shot. I've used transdermal mirtazipine with great success. It only has to be dosed twice a week.



  4. #4
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    New thinking on feeding cats is no dry food at all. It's too dry for them; they need higher moisture levels in their food to stay healthy.

    This is a really good website www.catinfo.org. A good friend of mine who is a vet gave it to me.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
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    Jan. 17, 2013
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    OK I will stick with tin food. I hope she doesnt waste away to nothing though!! Vet didnt mention an appetite stimulant, but I would rather not put her on medication just to eat tin food

    She has been dewormed and has a clean bill of health. She just really does not enjoy the wet food.

    Are semi-moist cat treats ok?



  6. #6
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    There's something called FortiFlora that you can sprinkle on food that encourages them to eat. It's a nutritional supplement so it's not even bad for them.

    I used it when I was transitioning my cats onto tinned food. I have one very picky eater and that helped him decide it was safe to eat the new food. BTW, the ONLY food he will reliably eat is Wellness Core Turkey/Chicken/Chicken liver.

    http://www.amazon.com/Purina-FortiFlora-Nutritional-Supplement-packages/dp/B00164YL22

    Last edited by Bogie; Mar. 10, 2013 at 09:40 PM.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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  7. #7
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    Default

    OK so ignore my advice... thanks!



  8. #8
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    Rottimom, I hear you on putting her on drugs to get her eating better, but sometimes there can be a sub-clinical issue that makes them not want to eat, and an appetite stimulate can really aid that.

    I have a kitty who has *slightly* off kidney values. Really pretty normal, and should not affect her. But it made her just a little anorexic, and she would feel WORSE when she wasn't eating enough, which made her more anorexic, etc etc etc. Total viscous cycle thing.

    So we put her on mirtazipine and left her on it for about six months. I forgot to refill it, thinking I had more, so she came off of it and--get this--hasn't needed it since. I don't know if she just needed to get in the habit of eating or if consistently getting enough or something else completely caused the change, but she eats GREAT now (knock on wood!)

    It sounds like you have plenty of options to explore, but don't totally write of a little medical help.

    What food are you feeding now? Do you have Tiki Cat available? Tiki Cat is my go-to "have to get a sick cat eating" food and most go crazy for it.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 19, 2007
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    If she just HATES eating wet, give her a little of a really good dry. (They DO drink water out of bowls, you know, it's not like the only water in their diet is in the canned food.) There are lots of grain-free options available now. She is not going to die from eating dry food or treats.

    And you may just need to find a canned food she likes. Mine go through less flavor phases than texture phases. We can go months at a time where all they will eat are smooth pate formulas, and then all of a sudden they won't touch them and only want shredded. I don't buy fish flavors because I've been told they are sometimes not great for cats who've had crystals (one of mine did; he's fine on the TSC 4Health dry now) and also because I find those are the flavors most of mine won't eat. Beef is hit or miss, and NONE of mine like the ones with "cheese" in them. My coworker at one of my old jobs had a female Siamese who would ONLY eat one particular flavor of Fancy Feast, or canned white tuna. That was the only wet food she'd touch, and you could not fool her. Some of them are just really selective.

    None of my cats want a thing to do with raw anything. Of course none of them knew what to do with the mouse one of them caught, either.



  10. #10
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    Its great that you are on top of this, sounds like a lot of weight loss!

    And, what may be ideal does not always work! I have a cat who cannot seem to survive on wet alone. he just won't poop. not with miralax Not with lactulose. He loves his little dry crunchies so he gets some (not free choice and not a lot, but some), along with his grain-free wet.
    some people do add broth to the crunchies like cowboy mom suggested. At the end of the day, starvation is not ideal either.

    You could try A/D, which my cats do like (used for critically ill cats and can help with weight gain)
    and all the other suggestions here. Others on other forums have also said that Tiki cat can be like crack for cats

    For an appetite stimulant I had good luck with cyproheptadine. I also had great luck with an anti nausea drug Cerenia (sometimes a cat may have felt nauseous when eating and associated that food with nausea).

    But, in rereading, it does not seem like she is not eating, just not eating her wet food!
    good luck, hope you find something that works!



  11. #11
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    Yikes that is substancial weight loss. If truly there is nothing medically wrong with her, then the tin only diet is not working for her.

    So no vomiting, diarrhea or strange behaviour? Have you had a T4 run?

    If your cat willingly eats dry, but is not into wet (some cats this is the case), then do what you can to feed a good quality dry and ensure she is drinking lots of water. If she will let you soak the dry food in some water for 30 minutes before feeding this can help too...but not all cats enjoy this. Water fountains are wonderful too.

    I know a woman whose vet told her to ONLY feed her cat tin food, she quit feeding it dry and it wouldnt eat tin at all. The cat went inappetant for over a week and ended up being admitted to the hospital due to hepatic lipadosis from not eating. Hopefully this wontbe the case with your cat, but eating SOMETHING is better than eating nothing.

    Mirtazipine generally works fairly well on cats, but at the same time it wont make the cat enjoy what its eating.



  12. #12
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    Jul. 6, 2010
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    I havent read all of the responses (just a few) so I'm sorry if this has already been suggested.. But, could you mix the dry and the tin together and just slowly do less dry and more tin (but keep a little of the dry in there)? Or, you could talk to your vet and see if there is something similar for cats, but our Cavalier wouldn't eat anything hardly at all and he gave us this stuff called Fortiflora (not sure if it's just for dogs or if cats can have it too) but it's just a powder that you sprinkle on their food and makes them want to eat it--it works for our puppy. But, I think dry is better than nothing-- I've had cats my whole life and they eat nothing but dry (Blue or Iams) with a little tin mixed in sometimes and so far they have all lived to be at least 17 or 18 years old, so it can't be that bad for them...
    Last edited by Covergirl15; Mar. 11, 2013 at 09:15 PM. Reason: had there instead of their



  13. #13
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    They DO drink water out of bowls, you know, it's not like the only water in their diet is in the canned food.) There are lots of grain-free options available now. She is not going to die from eating dry food or treats.
    well, actually she might- cats don't seem to have a "thirst reflex" and never drink enough out of bowls of water, and yes, they often die from side effects of being fed dry food.

    It's not normal for an animal to starve itself to death in the presence of food; I would really wonder if your cat has an underlying health problem- hyperthyroid or a tumor? hyperthyroid is quite common in cats, and can cause weight loss.

    however, if an ill animal won't eat, sometimes we need to forget about long-term health and focus on getting calories into the animal, in any form the animal will eat. What will the cat eat? feed it whatever it will eat. Meat-based baby foods? liver? mice? chopped ham? stewed chicken? canned tuna? canned sardines? look for stinky, wet, protein-heavy fat-heavy foods.



  14. #14
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    LOL, my cats seem to drink plenty and I'm sorry but there is no research that proves cats die from "eating dry food"

    If the cat likes dry food why not put a good quality grain free dry food down and continue feeding her as much canned as she'll eat?

    It's certainly a better option then starving her to death on canned just because someone says cats don't drink water from bowls.


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by enjoytheride View Post
    LOL, my cats seem to drink plenty and I'm sorry but there is no research that proves cats die from "eating dry food"

    If the cat likes dry food why not put a good quality grain free dry food down and continue feeding her as much canned as she'll eat?

    It's certainly a better option then starving her to death on canned just because someone says cats don't drink water from bowls.
    Exactly. I have never seen a cat who doesn't drink unless they are critically ill unrelated to food and water. I have seen cats drink STUPID things (barn cats have a perfectly clean, daily-refilled heated-so-it-doesn't-freeze water bowl and what do they do? Drink out of the horse's bucket when it's on the floor in the aisle after he's dribbled grain in it. Or out of puddles. Puddle water apparently > bowl water.) But not skip the water. THIS cat was clearly doing fine eating dry only, suggesting she is perfectly capable of drinking and surviving without wet food. I'd get a high-protein, low grain/no grain dry food and keep trying canned until there's SOMETHING she likes, even if it's not $2+/can Super Premium food, or even if it is. (Which seem to get recalled more than ordinary brands as it is...) Even if you have to go to Canned 100% Duck Breast, or to Sheba Chicken Liver flavor, there's got to be a wet food she's interested in.

    Again, try texture changes, too. Mix the kibbles into it, try shreds/slices instead of pate. Cats can be weird about texture.



  16. #16
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    Jan. 17, 2013
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    Thank you for all the replies!

    Cat does drink, we have a cat fountain for her but she has never been a poor drinker. She eats dry food very well, but we had switched her over to exclusively tin food a year ago because its supposed to be better for them. Since the switch to 100% wet food, she has really lost weight and hasnt enjoyed eating it. I think she eats it only because she is hungry, not becasue she likes it. She has lost so much weight. I really thought once she became an indoor cat she would adjust to the wet food, but maybe because she was on dry food growing up in the barn that is what she enjoys most?

    I have tried different textured tin foods, literally I have bought one can of each brand in the store! Tried baby food too. Not a fan of mushy at all. Crunchy is good, the temptations cat treats she goes nuts for. She will occasionally eat cooked chicken if I break it up into small pieces. She will lick tuna juice and leave tuna. Maybe she has a brain tumor or is in a constant state of PMS...she loves salty crunchy, she hears popcon in the microwave and looses her mind and she eats cheezies too (even beat the dogs to it when the husband dropped it!). I will pick up a bag of dry and try mixing it with the tin, see if that makes the princess happy.

    While I dont paticularly want her to die from eating dry food, I do want her to enjoy her life. Quality better than quantity right?



  17. #17
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    *She's not going to die from eating dry food.* Was she dying before you brought her in? If you've tried everything you can find, and that's the ONLY thing she'll eat, that's all she's going to eat. Try and find a grain-free dry she likes.

    And I have a cat who likes salty snacks (he does eat anything cat-food-wise I put in front of him, he just begs if I have french fries, chips, or pretzels. Or, apparently, baked potato. He was begging and begging, so I gave him a tiny piece and he ate it. Weird cat. It was baked potato, without even anything on it, just potato...even the dogs weren't all that interested.) TINY pieces (like smaller than a pencil eraser) once in a blue moon won't hurt.

    And yeah. Princess. Think of it that way. Their Royal Feline Highnesses here decided We do not want the SLICES formula lately. Sometimes I like the dogs...they don't care what it is as long as it's canned food and they have a dry food they like (4Health Small Bites.)


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RottiMom View Post
    Thank you for all the replies!

    Cat does drink, we have a cat fountain for her but she has never been a poor drinker. She eats dry food very well, but we had switched her over to exclusively tin food a year ago because its supposed to be better for them. Since the switch to 100% wet food, she has really lost weight and hasnt enjoyed eating it. I think she eats it only because she is hungry, not becasue she likes it. She has lost so much weight. I really thought once she became an indoor cat she would adjust to the wet food, but maybe because she was on dry food growing up in the barn that is what she enjoys most?

    I have tried different textured tin foods, literally I have bought one can of each brand in the store! Tried baby food too. Not a fan of mushy at all. Crunchy is good, the temptations cat treats she goes nuts for. She will occasionally eat cooked chicken if I break it up into small pieces. She will lick tuna juice and leave tuna. Maybe she has a brain tumor or is in a constant state of PMS...she loves salty crunchy, she hears popcon in the microwave and looses her mind and she eats cheezies too (even beat the dogs to it when the husband dropped it!). I will pick up a bag of dry and try mixing it with the tin, see if that makes the princess happy.

    While I dont paticularly want her to die from eating dry food, I do want her to enjoy her life. Quality better than quantity right?
    My feline specialist vet has told me dry food for cats = potato chips for us. We love the taste, but they're not good for us as a steady diet.

    I have a cat who was diagnosed as a diabetic six years ago, and what keeps him off insulin (so far) is keeping him on canned, very low carb food... so this is something I've looked into quite a bit.

    My guy would *much* rather have dry food - ANY dry food - than canned. But most of it sends his blood sugar through the roof; cats are obligate carnivores and don't handle carbs well.

    IMO, the poster who said first and foremost you have to deal with calories is correct.

    If you really can't get your cat to eat sufficient canned food, there are several zero and low carb dry foods that may work.

    A few to look into:

    Innova EVO Cat & Kitten at 7% carbs: http://www.usbones.com/mm5/merchant....uct_Code=41402
    Wellness Core at 11% carbs: http://www.petco.com/product/119568/...-Cat-Food.aspx

    Young Again Zero Carbs: http://www.youngagainpetfood.com/10b...&category=cats

    Epigen: http://www.wysong.net/products/epigen.php


    There is a chart comparing various foods here, that you might find useful:http://www.sahjasiamese.com/index_fi...risonchart.htm
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  19. #19
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    Okay seriously, my parents cats have been on grocery store dry food of varying brands, but I think its usually Purina, their entire lives. They are ~16 and still going strong. They go to the vets for routine stuff and always come back with a clean bill of health. I know they drink plenty because when I lived at home I refilled their huge water bowl every day.

    SOME cats might not do well on dry food. But I know the research does not say that ALL cats do because guess what most people feed their cats? Dry food, or a combination of dry and wet food.

    If the cat wants dried food give it to her. If it makes you feel better, as others have said, find the highest quality dry food you can. Our rescue kitty dropped lots of weight and we found the best way to put it back on her was mixing canned food with dry food. I literally mixed it too, because as danceronice said, some cats are funny about texture.
    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
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  20. #20
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    I fed my cats dry food, too... never knew there was a thing wrong with it. Until I ended up with diabetic cats

    There is some very good info at http://www.catinfo.org, if you want to look into it further.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



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