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Author Topic: Need Suggestions For Getting Dry Food Kitty To Eat Wet  (Read 13488 times)
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Geff
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« on: October 05, 2007, 09:36:50 PM »

I'm trying to transition my cat to Evanger's wet due to issues I've described at length elsewhere.  He's eaten dry all of his life. Of the wet foods I've tried, other then Gerber the Evanger's seems to be his 2nd favorite flavor wise, but after eating a few bites he stops, though still obviously hungry. He also will only eat wet food for about the first 5 minutes it's set out (the house is not warm) & after that it's permanently unacceptable. There are at least 2 issues: (general displeasure with the situation may be a 3rd!).

1. He's a lazy eater. Even with dry food, he often won't eat until I move the food to the middle of the bowl.

2. (Probably related to #1) He has a really BIG nose, which seems to get in the way when he tries to eat.

Here's what I've tried:
I started with paper plates. The issues above became obvious when the plate slid around & he had nothing to brace it with. I've switched to a small paper bowl (I refuse to wash 4+ bowls a day & I think wet cat food is disgusting!) which has eliminated the dish moving, but from watching him & being his pet parent for over 10 years, my take is that he feels eating wet food is just too much work. He appears to get really frustrated trying to find a way to get bites of the food in his mouth.

Regarding the food I've tried scooping it into the bowl as is, breaking it up with a fork & watering it down into gravy as 1 pet store suggested (the gravy was by far kitty's least favorite).

He's not pleased with the situation, but he's also not acting out (I'm typing this with one finger because he's curled up on my chest like cradling a baby at the moment!). I'm still allowing some of his old dry food, but I have safety concerns with it (see the Innova thread for more info)

Suggestions anyone?
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 12:52:23 AM by Geff » Logged
Laurie
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« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2007, 04:01:50 AM »

   Geff, Your cat sounds just like my Tinker!  I have been trying to get her to eat more wet food for over a year now. She will take just a few licks and she is done. If there is a bare spot in the center of bowl of either the wet or dry food, she will not eat. Are there any other food items your kitty loves to eat? You could try mixing a little of something like that into the food. There are a few companies that make food toppers for pets. That may be something to look into. I know it can be frustrating, but don't give up. They say any cat can be transitioned from kibble to canned food. But I believe my Tinker may be the exception.
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Offy
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2007, 05:26:24 AM »

Geff,

I found articles by Lisa Pierson DVM that I'm using now to try and get MissKitty, dry food addict, over to wet.

Here's one Title:

FEEDING YOUR CAT: KNOW THE BASICS OF FELINE NUTRITION by
Lisa A. Pierson, DVM


That has a section: Transitioning Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food

http://www.catinfo.org/index.htm

I think I've formed the opinion that some of the byproduct/meal based proteins, even in wet foods, contain the same palatants as the dry that make the furkids "addicted" as is described by Dr. Pierson:

"One reason that cats like dry food so much is because the pet food companies do not play fair when manufacturing this sub-optimal food source.  They coat the kibble with extremely enticing animal digest sprays which are very pleasing to a cat - making a poor quality diet very desirable to the target animal."

What I had clues of, but hadn't retested for more confidence - my cats don't eat:

chicken -breast, liver, legs, thighs -raw or cooked. (do eat freeze-dried & KFC breasts)
beef- roast, hamburger, steaks - raw or cooked. (yes, even filet mignon was rejected)
turkey - legs, breast, liver, thighs - raw or cooked.

Give them a center cut pork chop - no fat, no extras, just the chop well cooked and seared until done - and they'll "protect" it to keep their housemates from stealing it from them. 

So, getting a pork chop with more fat & trimming the fat off and cooking the fat to liquid - lo & behold they eat whatever I drizzle it over. (That has not happened when I used beef or chicken fat.)

I don't know if this is similar to a "trick" spray formulation the pfcs use or not, but you can be sure that I'm going to repeat this several more times and see if it's part of the "addiction" (or my crews taste buds - we'll not address my cooking Smiley ) and therefore, will become part of the transition process I use to get my crew off dry and to better wet foods- sans byproducts, gluten & grains.

« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 05:34:35 AM by Offy » Logged
lesliek
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2007, 05:47:54 AM »

Geff- Sometimes its the texture or temp of the food. Try adding some kind of tasty liquid & puree it. Usually the water or oil from canned tuna will help get them to eat. You can switch to some safer liquid later. My Punkin is very large also & I did find a bowl that works for him. Unfortunately made in China & handwash only.It did test clean for lead.
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JustMe
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2007, 07:45:22 AM »

How about adding a little gluten-free Fancy Feast wet to the wet food you have chosen for your cat just until your cat will accept the food of your choice?  Most cats will eat FF. 

You could microwave it a few seconds to warm it slightly.  Very few seconds depending on how much is in the bowl.  Stir and test with your finger as one portion may be much, much hotter than another section.

If you have a dishwasher, you can always toss their feeding dishes in the dishwasher.  I just stopper my sink, put dishes and soap in, and hot water.  Let them sit a couple minutes to soften residue, wash, and put in drainer tray.  Doesn't take me long to wash 11 bowls, maybe 5 minutes tops.  Use rubber gloves if it grosses you out.

It takes a lot of patience to switch a cat who has been eating dry for years to wet.  Unfortunately, they no longer recognize the wet as food.  There must be something that your cat likes other than dry food.  Treats or tidbits of human food you could add on top of the wet food?

It seems like the stinkier the food the more the cats like it.   Undecided  I hope you can find the magical combination that kitty will accept.  Good luck.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2007, 07:56:34 AM by JustMe » Logged

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kittylyda
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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 09:50:59 AM »

I have a picky eater and what I do is sprinkle some of those bonito flakes on top of the wet food.  Brand names are "Kitty Cavier" and "Cat-Man-Doo."  She will eat absolutely anything if those fish flakes are sprinkled on top.  You can usually find bonito flakes in your local natural pet supply store.

I do the same thing with my cat bowls that JustMe described.  An actual bowl might make all the difference.
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catbird
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« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 02:36:49 PM »

One of mine, Phantom, I'd put in the same class as Laurie's Tinker. The only wet food that she would ever eat more than once was Iams weight-control chicken and rice canned, of all things, which hasn't been made in several years.  Even that was only about 25% of offerings.  Any "tricks" I have tried (including almost all of those listed above), she just gave me the evil eye and stalked away with that disdainful tail swish.  (She would eat FF occasionally, but I refuse to have it in the house, after bad experiences with EM.  Even with that she was not consistent.  I figure a good quality dry is better for her than that.)  I have not tried grease from meat since I don't eat it and don't cook it, but maybe I can figure something out along those lines, so thanks, Offy, for that idea.  Butter, maybe?  Melted lard?  (ugh)

Another trick not listed here that was suggested to me is putting a tiny dab of plain canned pumpkin on top of the food.  Most cats love pumpkin, or the wet stuff that you take out of a raw pumpkin or squash.  I know your kitty is very allergic, Geff, so the following may not be an option, but another suggestion given to me (again, didn't work for Phantom) was to get some of the freeze-dried raw food that comes as packages of flakes, start by giving little dabs of it dry, then gradually begin to add moisture.  Then, when they are eating that, mix it into the "target" food.

I also once had a really big kitty with a big nose.  What worked best for feeding him was a ceramic dog dish, which was too heavy to slide around.  Being thick, it also sat a little higher off the floor, so his face was at a little different angle.  Maybe you could borrow one from a dog owner to try.

I'd also have the vet take a good look at his front teeth, if you haven't.  Trouble picking up food was the first sign of Kalahari's dental problems.

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Geff
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2007, 08:56:34 PM »

Thanks to all for your thoughtful replies! I don't THINK with the Evanger's it's as much of a flavor issue (he seems to be attracted to it) as it is a problem with easily eating the food. I can't seem to get the food broken into small enough pieces for him. I did remember that this isn't an issue with Gerber's, which kind of has a pudding consistency

He doesn't tend to be overly fond of human food. Shrimp is the 1 exception, but he's allergic to it.

I guess one option is buying a mix of Taurine & cat vitamins & blending it with baby food.  Am I missing anything important with that idea?
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Geff
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2007, 09:00:09 PM »



Give them a center cut pork chop - no fat, no extras, just the chop well cooked and seared until done - and they'll "protect" it to keep their housemates from stealing it from them. 

So, getting a pork chop with more fat & trimming the fat off and cooking the fat to liquid - lo & behold they eat whatever I drizzle it over. (That has not happened when I used beef or chicken fat.)

I don't know if this is similar to a "trick" spray formulation the pfcs use or not, but you can be sure that I'm going to repeat this several more times and see if it's part of the "addiction" (or my crews taste buds - we'll not address my cooking Smiley ) and therefore, will become part of the transition process I use to get my crew off dry and to better wet foods- sans byproducts, gluten & grains.



I've got some pork chops in the freezer. I may try this one.
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Laurie
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2007, 03:54:39 AM »

    Geff, If you have a small food processor you could experiment with baked or boiled chicken and turkey and puree it with some broth. If you want to use baby food look for Beech Nut as there is no corn starch or onions in it. Just meat and broth. There is one thing my Tinker will eat and that is my turkey burgers. She begs for some everytime I make them. I buy organic and do not season them. They can be easily broken up into tiny pieces.
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Geff
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« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2007, 04:31:07 AM »

My Veterinarian (who I tend to trust) has told me that Cats require vitamins & Taurine or they won't be able to properly digest the food; which is why she considers baby food a temporary emergency food. Is she wrong on that?
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Laurie
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« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2007, 05:19:57 AM »

   If your kitty is for the most part still eating the CN, I would not be overly concerned about adding vitamins and taurine unless you find that she will consume a large amount of homecooked food. Feeding small amounts will not throw off the balance by much at all. I use NuCat vitamins for 2 of my cats. I have never heard that vitamins or taurine have anything to do with digesting the food. Digestive enzymes do that. Baby food can be a great emergency food but does not meet the daily requirements as far as nutrients if fed as a large part of their diet. Maybe that is what your vet was trying to express about the added vitamins and taurine, if feeding a large quantity of baby food.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2007, 05:30:38 AM by Laurie » Logged
Geff
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« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2007, 05:52:18 AM »

Laurie, the intent is to try to get him off the CN beacause of safety concerns with the "Natura grit". I wish I could trust Natura to be safe. I posted about the CN issues extensively in the 87+ page Natura Thread. I haven't reiterated them here because I suspect people may be getting sick of my whining about my frustration with Natura!
http://itchmoforums.com/news-recall-related/problems-w-innova-and-test-results-t1028.0.html

               
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Laurie
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« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2007, 06:14:45 AM »

  I know of your concerns with CN. I also know how hard it is to find a food for a special needs kitty, especially if kitty is not accustomed to a canned or homemade food. All you can do is continue to experiment and hopefully come up with something she will like. Have you looked at Weruva cat food? They have many new chicken formulas to choose from.
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Geff
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« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2007, 06:29:00 AM »

Thanks for suggesting Weruva. I hadn't heard of them. It appears they are wet food only. As far as wet food goes, I'm going to stay with the Evangers for at least a short time.

I am really frustrated.............. (-;
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