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CorrieZ
June 4th 09, 07:51 PM
How does one convince a cat, who is supposed to be a carnivore first
and

foremost, that dry food is really not good for him? I've read the book
by Dr.

Hodgkins, and agree in principle with everything she says about
starting a kitten

off right on wet food, etc., etc. But she conveniently doesn't mention
how to

retrain a cat who has grown up on a diet of dry food.

When I adopted Bo, he was almost 2 years old, and had managed to
survive on

a diet of Kit-n-Kaboodle up to that point. When I brought him home, I
bought the

least objectionable dry food I could find, which he liked well enough.
I started

off by putting little drops of canned food on top, and he would eat
around them

and leave them sitting in the dish. After a week or so, he ate the wet
food off

the top first, so I thought we were getting somewhere. We eventually
got to the

point where I'm feeding him a small 3 oz. can in the morning, and he
will eat

most of it and walk away. He comes back in maybe half an hour, begging
for

food, but won't eat it until I sprinkle a few pieces of dry food on
top. Even at

that, he will eat the dry food and maybe a bit more of the wet food,
but he still

leaves it in his dish. Although he has fresh water available to him
all the time, I

noticed that he is lapping and sucking all the moisture out of the wet
food, and

holding out for the dry food. Kind of like the kid who eats just the
middle out of

a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

So do I just leave the wet food in his dish until he eats it? Somehow
I get the

feeling he can outlast me. How long does that stuff last without
spoiling? Or

more importantly, until it becomes very unappetizing to a cat? Do I
just give in

and buy the best quality dry food I can find? I tried the Wellness
Core food, but

he won't touch it. Do cats like a huge variety? My dogs always ate the
same

thing; the vet said it was better for them. When I find a food Bo
seems to like, I'll

buy a few more cans, only to have him turn his nose up at it 2 days
later.

Sorry for being so long-winded, but I would welcome any suggestions
for

solving this problem!

jmc
June 4th 09, 10:12 PM
Suddenly, without warning, CorrieZ exclaimed (6/4/2009 2:51 PM):
> How does one convince a cat, who is supposed to be a carnivore first
> and
>
> foremost, that dry food is really not good for him? I've read the book
> by Dr.
>

I wish I had some good advice for you. I've been fighting - and losing
- this battle for years. My cat *needs* to be on wet food due to
cystitis, but when she's on 100% wet she starves herself and gets quite
underweight.

Well, the first thing is to find some wet that he likes - try Wellness,
Fancy Feast, and MaxCat - those are the three Meep likes.

Currently, I'm just mixing in her dry mix into her wet mix, kind of a
compromise. She's gained 5oz in the last month, so this compromise
seems to be working.

Good luck, and let us know if you hit upon something that works.

CorrieZ
June 5th 09, 11:56 AM
> Well, the first thing is to find some wet that he likes -

He "likes" most of them, at least well enough to suck all the juice
out of them, and he does eat quite a bit, but he always begs for the
dry stuff. My quest is to find a canned food that isn't loaded with
carbs. I've found some, but they're few and far between. Most canned
foods have grains or "garden veggies" in them (cats aren't supposed to
eat spinach and potates!), and you really have to read the labels to
figure out what's in there. Then you're not really sure. I bet if I
gave him one of those carb-rich canned foods, he'd eat it right up!
He does love "tuna juice" - the water that you squeeze out of a can
of tuna fish prior to making a sandwich, but if a few pieces of tuna
get in there, he leaves them in the dish (foolish cat!).

dgk
June 5th 09, 01:54 PM
On Thu, 04 Jun 2009 17:12:21 -0400, jmc
> wrote:

>Suddenly, without warning, CorrieZ exclaimed (6/4/2009 2:51 PM):
>> How does one convince a cat, who is supposed to be a carnivore first
>> and
>>
>> foremost, that dry food is really not good for him? I've read the book
>> by Dr.
>>
>
>I wish I had some good advice for you. I've been fighting - and losing
>- this battle for years. My cat *needs* to be on wet food due to
>cystitis, but when she's on 100% wet she starves herself and gets quite
>underweight.
>
>Well, the first thing is to find some wet that he likes - try Wellness,
>Fancy Feast, and MaxCat - those are the three Meep likes.
>
>Currently, I'm just mixing in her dry mix into her wet mix, kind of a
>compromise. She's gained 5oz in the last month, so this compromise
>seems to be working.
>
>Good luck, and let us know if you hit upon something that works.


All three of my picky beasts like Pro Plan Salmon and Rice. - not
exactly grain free of course.

MaryL
June 5th 09, 03:16 PM
"CorrieZ" > wrote in message
...
> How does one convince a cat, who is supposed to be a carnivore first
> and
> foremost, that dry food is really not good for him? I've read the book
> by Dr.
> Hodgkins, and agree in principle with everything she says about
> starting a kitten
> off right on wet food, etc., etc. But she conveniently doesn't mention
> how to
> retrain a cat who has grown up on a diet of dry food.
>
> When I adopted Bo, he was almost 2 years old, and had managed to
> survive on
> a diet of Kit-n-Kaboodle up to that point. When I brought him home, I
> bought the
> least objectionable dry food I could find, which he liked well enough.
> I started
> off by putting little drops of canned food on top, and he would eat
> around them
> and leave them sitting in the dish. After a week or so, he ate the wet
> food off
> the top first, so I thought we were getting somewhere. We eventually
> got to the
> point where I'm feeding him a small 3 oz. can in the morning, and he
> will eat
> most of it and walk away. He comes back in maybe half an hour, begging
> for
> food, but won't eat it until I sprinkle a few pieces of dry food on
> top. Even at
> that, he will eat the dry food and maybe a bit more of the wet food,
> but he still
> leaves it in his dish. Although he has fresh water available to him
> all the time, I
> noticed that he is lapping and sucking all the moisture out of the wet
> food, and
> holding out for the dry food. Kind of like the kid who eats just the
> middle out of
> a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
>
> So do I just leave the wet food in his dish until he eats it? Somehow
> I get the
> feeling he can outlast me. How long does that stuff last without
> spoiling? Or
> more importantly, until it becomes very unappetizing to a cat? Do I
> just give in
> and buy the best quality dry food I can find? I tried the Wellness
> Core food, but
> he won't touch it. Do cats like a huge variety? My dogs always ate the
> same
> thing; the vet said it was better for them. When I find a food Bo
> seems to like, I'll
> buy a few more cans, only to have him turn his nose up at it 2 days
> later.
> Sorry for being so long-winded, but I would welcome any suggestions
> for
> solving this problem!

Basically, you need to "bite the bullet" and quit using any dry food at all.
You have already gone through the first part of the recommended process by
sprinkling dry food in with the canned food. It is now time to withdraw dry
food altogether. I went through that same process several years ago when I
switched from dry food to canned food. I truly felt guilty when I saw my
cats begging for food; I could hardly bear the thought of "depriving" them
in that way. However, it's sort of like saying that I wouldn't let a child
chow down on potato chips at every meal even though that might be what the
child wants. Put the canned food out twice a day (as close to 12-hour
intervals as possible), leave it out for awhile and then pick it up--much
like what you described. Your cat may go awhile without eating, but I
guarantee she will soon eat the canned food and will probably be satisfied
with it sooner than you expect (but only if you remove *all* dry food). The
recommended time is to leave the food out for about 20 minutes, then pick up
the unused food. I gave mine more time than they, and to this day Duffy
will eat a little and then come back later. I will leave it out for an hour
or a little more.

Be sure to use premium canned food with *no grains.* I alternate several
varieties of Wellness canned. Innova EVO and Nature's Variety are also good
choices. I like to alternate several varieties so my cats will continue
eating (and not have dietary upsets) even if one is unavailable. All of the
ones I listed are grains-free and nutritionally complete. They would
provide everything that is needed even without alternating, but I still like
to use several varieties.

Nearly all cats like tuna juice, and many will drink only the juice and
leave the tuna, just as you described in your follow-up. That should be
reserved only for an occasional treat and probably should be discontinued
altogether if it seems to prevent your cat from eating her canned food.
Tuna packaged for people lacks nutrients needed by our cats (such as
taurine), so it should not be a regular part of their diets. Once your cat
has adjusted to a canned diet, you could add in an *occasional* treat such
as Halo's Liv-a-Littles, but do not do that at meal time--make it a treat
reserved for some other time of the day, and only use a small amount.
Liv-a-Littles comes in several varieties. Holly and Duffy both prefer
chicken. It is freeze-dried all-chicken (or all-beef, etc.). It looks
about as appetizing as styrofoam to me, but my cats love it.

You are going to feel terrible guilt for awhile when you refuse to give any
dry food to your cat, but she *will* adjust. She's not going to starve, and
she will eventually be happy with her food--and much healthier as a result.
If you want to see a dramatic change in one cat, take a look at Duffy's
album and look at Duffy when he was eating dry food at the animal shelter
and the transformation in his later pictures after adoption. Of course, you
will also be looking at the difference in a cat that was locked up in a cage
for several months versus one that is now loved, pampered, and happy.
Duffy's album is here: http://tinyurl.com/cslwf. And you can see pics of
Duffy and Holly together here: http://tinyurl.com/8b47e.

Good luck!

MaryL

Netmask
June 6th 09, 12:20 AM
CorrieZ wrote:
> How does one convince a cat, who is supposed to be a carnivore first
> and
>
> foremost, that dry food is really not good for him? I've read the book
> by Dr.
>
> Hodgkins, and agree in principle with everything she says about
> starting a kitten
>
> off right on wet food, etc., etc. But she conveniently doesn't mention
> how to
>
> retrain a cat who has grown up on a diet of dry food.
>
> When I adopted Bo, he was almost 2 years old, and had managed to
> survive on
>
> a diet of Kit-n-Kaboodle up to that point. When I brought him home, I
> bought the
>
> least objectionable dry food I could find, which he liked well enough.
> I started
>
> off by putting little drops of canned food on top, and he would eat
> around them
>
> and leave them sitting in the dish. After a week or so, he ate the wet
> food off
>
> the top first, so I thought we were getting somewhere. We eventually
> got to the
>
> point where I'm feeding him a small 3 oz. can in the morning, and he
> will eat
>
> most of it and walk away. He comes back in maybe half an hour, begging
> for
>
> food, but won't eat it until I sprinkle a few pieces of dry food on
> top. Even at
>
> that, he will eat the dry food and maybe a bit more of the wet food,
> but he still
>
> leaves it in his dish. Although he has fresh water available to him
> all the time, I
>
> noticed that he is lapping and sucking all the moisture out of the wet
> food, and
>
> holding out for the dry food. Kind of like the kid who eats just the
> middle out of
>
> a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
>
> So do I just leave the wet food in his dish until he eats it? Somehow
> I get the
>
> feeling he can outlast me. How long does that stuff last without
> spoiling? Or
>
> more importantly, until it becomes very unappetizing to a cat? Do I
> just give in
>
> and buy the best quality dry food I can find? I tried the Wellness
> Core food, but
>
> he won't touch it. Do cats like a huge variety? My dogs always ate the
> same
>
> thing; the vet said it was better for them. When I find a food Bo
> seems to like, I'll
>
> buy a few more cans, only to have him turn his nose up at it 2 days
> later.
>
> Sorry for being so long-winded, but I would welcome any suggestions
> for
>
> solving this problem!

As an interim try Science Diet A/D with a few dry biscuits mixed in
gradually removing the dry food over time - cold turkey is not the way
to go IMO. Next after speaking to your vet raise the issue about
shifting her on to the correct diet for all cats - RAW FOOD, no dry food
or canned food. If we only fed our cats raw food then many of the
ailments we see just wouldn't happen. http://www.rawfedcats.org/

The same goes for humans, only the opposite - if we ate more raw
vegetables and less meat we would be a whole lot better and the alarm
bells should ring when we hear some people talking about a need for so
called "comfort food" that indicates a psychological problem that needs
resolving.

CorrieZ
June 6th 09, 04:52 PM
I think I may have to start over from the beginning. The past couple
of days he's turned his nose up at the canned food he used to eat,
even when I put a sprinkling of dry food on top. The link to the raw
feeding site was interesting. That is a long-term goal, though!

On Jun 5, 7:20*pm, Netmask > wrote:
> As an interim try Science Diet A/D with a few dry biscuits mixed in
> gradually removing the dry food over time - cold turkey is not the way
> to go IMO. Next after speaking to your vet raise the issue about
> shifting her on to the correct diet for all cats - RAW FOOD, no dry food
> or canned food. If we only fed our cats raw food then many of the
> ailments we see just wouldn't happen. *http://www.rawfedcats.org/
>

Rene S
June 11th 09, 03:04 PM
MaryL has given you some excellent advice. I too had some troubles
making the switch and found that getting RID of the dry food made a
big difference. They could not "hold out" or beg for crunchies in the
cupboard if there were none in there. I too use Wellness grain free
wet, Nature's Variety canned and raw, and Innova Evo wet.

One kind of silly thing that I did was make a really big deal when I
was preparing the wet food, like they were getting something really
special. Cats can sense your feelings and if you are excited about
something, they will react more positively than if you're nervous
about it IMO.

Rene

CorrieZ
June 12th 09, 11:51 AM
On Jun 11, 10:04*am, Rene S > wrote:
> MaryL has given you some excellent advice. I too had some troubles
> making the switch and found that getting RID of the dry food made a
> big difference. They could not "hold out" or beg for crunchies in the
> cupboard if there were none in there. I too use Wellness grain free
> wet, Nature's Variety canned and raw, and Innova Evo wet.
>
> One kind of silly thing that I did was make a really big deal *when I
> was preparing the wet food, like they were getting something really
> special. Cats can sense your feelings and if you are excited about
> something, they will react more positively than if you're nervous
> about it IMO.
>
> Rene

Well, since I last posted, we've been making progress. I started
adding pieces of raw meat to his canned food, and it wasn't more than
a day or so before he would pick that right out of the canned food and
eat it first. He doesn't hold out any more for the dry food, and he's
also on a more regular schedule. Before, I was so worried that he
wasn't eating enough, I'd give him something to eat whenever he looked
at me crosseyed! I found the site www.catnutrition.org through some
links from the rawfedcats.com site, and realized that I can't just
feed "meat." So I think I'll probably order some of their stuff and
see how it goes. It's expensive, but if it will save on vet bills down
the road, it might be worth it. Thank you all for your advice -

Corrie

Rene S
June 12th 09, 01:49 PM
> Well, since I last posted, we've been making progress. I started
> adding pieces of raw meat to his canned food, and it wasn't more than
> a day or so before he would pick that right out of the canned food and
> eat it first. He doesn't hold out any more for the dry food, and he's
> also on a more regular schedule. Before, I was so worried that he
> wasn't eating enough, I'd give him something to eat whenever he looked
> at me crosseyed! *I found the sitewww.catnutrition.orgthrough some
> links from the rawfedcats.com site, and realized that I can't just
> feed "meat." So I think I'll probably order some of their stuff and
> see how it goes. It's expensive, but if it will save on vet bills down
> the road, it might be worth it. Thank you all for your advice -

You're right, you can't just feed meat for a balanced diet.
Catnutrition.org is an excellent site. Another idea is to try Nature's
Variety raw nuggets. They are prepared and frozen in a medallion
shape. naturesvariety.com has a store locator if you're interested.
There are several other brands of prepared raw diets too, but I am not
familiar with their ingredients so I can't offer any opinions.

Keep at it! You're doing a great thing for the health of your cat!