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Very frustrated with cat not eating

October 5th, 2007, 07:16 AM
Well I am extremely frustrated with my miss royal highness Puddles. She must change to a low phosporus, low calcium diet, no choice, her health demands it.

Well I have tried Wellness, Natural Balance, California Natural, Felidae, and NV Instinct. The first time I fed her NV Instinct (which was the last product I tried), chicken, she loved it, ate hers, ate Jaspers, great, finally I found one she likes! Then I tried her with the Beef, she ate that OK too the first time. Well for the last couple of days she decided she is not going to eat it, no way, it is only good for trying to bury! So I tried mixing her all time favourite Fancy Feast to tempt her with the Instinct. No still not good enough, she wants to go back to her old kibble. So then I tried mixing 50% of her old kibble with some NV Instinct kibble that I bought. Nope, not good enough.:wall::wall::wall:

Her life long routine is she gets fed canned twice a day, which she eats immediately, and is left kibble to munch on through the day. She is usually a great eater of canned, but the previous products are too high in phosphorus and she just can't eat it any longer.

She has always been very lean and I am so worried about her not eating. What do you suggest to be my next steps with this stubborn cat? She is 11 and her bloodwork is indicating that she will probably soon be having kidney problems and vet has said she needs to change her diet.

October 5th, 2007, 07:29 AM
What happens if you take away the kibble during the day? It's possible that with continuous snacking, she's not hungry enough when you offer the canned food. Is there a treat that she really goes nuts for? You could try grinding some up (or even use her old favourite kibble) and sprinkling it on top of the wet. When my cat decides he doesn't want to eat a particular variety of canned (usually after I've bought a case of it :rolleyes: ), I dust his food with some powdered freeze-dried chicken (Halo Liv-a-Littles or Real Food Toppers) and suddenly it becomes interesting again.

October 5th, 2007, 12:42 PM
Thanks Sugarcatmom, but she is not eating the kibble either. I took away her not very good kibble and replaced it with a mixture of her not so good and NV Instinct, she won't touch it. I even mixed her NV Instinct with Fancy Feast, her all time favourite food, but no way. It can't be that she doesn't like Instinct, she ate the first can I bought for her and in fact loved the first can. She is driving me crazy:yell:.

Where do you purchase the powdered freeze dried chicken, I would like to try that little trick?

October 5th, 2007, 12:47 PM
Oh I forgot to add. She is hungry, she has her own feeding room (it's like a walk through closet from the kitchen to the laundry room) and she goes in there, looks at the food dish, looks at me, looks at her food dish, sniffs her food dish, looks at me and says, "hey cook/maid/caregiver don't you have anything better to feed me?"

October 5th, 2007, 12:49 PM
if you ever figure it out, ill be watching. we have the same issue with Shadow.


October 5th, 2007, 04:23 PM
Where do you purchase the powdered freeze dried chicken, I would like to try that little trick?

This is what the Halo ( website says about availability:

Where to Find Halo Products
You can find Halo, Purely for Pets Products at Whole Foods Markets, Petco, Wild Oats Stores, Vitamin Shoppe or your local Health Food and Pet Stores. Or, you can always call us at us at 800-426-4256 and we will be happy to locate a store near you.

Not sure if that helps for your area.

As for the Real Food Toppers (, their store locator doesn't have any info for Canada :rolleyes:. I've only ever found them at one pet food store here in Calgary. It might be the kind of thing you have to get your friendly neighborhood store to order in for you.

What about Benny Bully's ( They make freeze-dried liver, clam and chicken hearts and might be easier to find.

October 5th, 2007, 06:24 PM
Thanks Sugarcatmom, I asked at the pet food store where I purchase my cat food and they would like to know the manufacturer too. They think your idea is wonderful and would like to carry it for those cat owners who are having problems switching cat foods.

October 5th, 2007, 07:43 PM
I feed mine kibble mixt with a bit (about a talblespoon) of canned food and I add warm water to it all. It makes a kind of soup , and they love it. Maybe she would like it ?

October 5th, 2007, 11:26 PM
L4H sorry to hear Puddles (Duffy's nickname has always been Puddle for puddle of purrs :D) won't eat, fortunately Duffy has never ever had that problem :D

Is she still eating the canned or not? Duffy was always a krunchie girl except this past couple of months will only eat canned - so I gave the krunchies to the SPCA & leave a 1/4 can out after her breakfast for her to snack on till dinner. I wondered if the krunchies were bothering her teeth but she never went to the bowl for snacking just ignored it totally.

You could try upping her canned food portion & remove the krunchies, CRF kitties aren't supposed to have krunchies if at all possible because of the low water content especially if they won't drink water separately.

Did you try warming the canned food in the microwave? or mixing a couple of tsp of warm water in with the canned? I'm thinking Duffy might not be too keen on the NV (old formula) Prairie Beef (which of course is the lowest phos :rolleyes:) but I have been rotating flavours every day for the last week & mixing varieties for her dinner. I always add ~ 4 tsp of warm water to her meal (cuz she's having a little water drinking issue now :rolleyes:)

I wonder if many cats are just not fond of beef? but prefer chicken or turkey :shrug: Perhaps she wants more variety of flavours? Duffy loved the Wellness Turkey:thumbs up
Did you try the NV Instinct Rabbit? I was quite surprised Duffy loved it & she had never had rabbit before.

The other thing is dropping a few krunchies on top of the canned - see if she will eat it.

:fingerscr Puddles eat already :goodvibes:

October 9th, 2007, 02:25 AM
How is Puddles doing? :fingerscr

October 9th, 2007, 06:41 AM
Persistance has paid off! After a couple of heartbreaking days of her looking at me begging for her old food back, she has finally learned that the best she is going to get is 50% old food, and 50% NV Instinct. She has also learned if she doesn't eat when the food gets put down, one (or several) of the 7 kittens may eat all her food when they get play time outside their room and she doesn't get any more until next feeding time. For the last couple of days she is eating when I put down her food.

Now to slowly increase the NV Instinct proportions.

Growler, I have always warmed their food for them, my cats have been very spoiled, which is probably why I have such feeding problems with them today.
The crunchies are more for my other cat, who does drink adequate water and is 14lbs of muscle so he needs the extra calories in hard food. Puddles has an extremely low thirst drive to the point that I force 3ml of water with a syringe each day. She doesn't mind and lets me know if she's had enough.

October 9th, 2007, 01:44 PM
Glad to hear you won the battle. :thumbs up But, Puddles deserves a hug for finally being co-operative. :grouphug:

October 11th, 2007, 10:09 AM
Well, she has decided she likes Wellness better than Instinct, even though on initial feedings, she loved Instinct (both Chiken and Beef flavours) and wouldn't touch Wellness. :shrug:. Don't understand, my fosters will eat anything I put in front of them, no hesitations, just appreciation that they are being fed a good quality food. Wellness is better for her anyway, less calcium and phosphorus.

October 12th, 2007, 01:59 AM
Duffy did the same thing initially she LOVED the NV Beef after 1 can she wouldn't touch it :shrug: she likes the Wellness much better too (Turkey esp & it's the least in phos)

It is also cheaper to buy the 12.5 oz Wellness cans & I have emailed Wellness - freezing the food is totally okay :highfive: that way you can rotate varieties & hopefully keep her interest in the food :goodvibes:

RE Hypercalcemia have you seen these?

October 12th, 2007, 06:58 AM
Thanks for the links, growler, I hadn't seen the first one, but did the others. The vet is not worried about cancer as her blood work does not show any signs of it, but is concerned about renal failure in the near future and wants her on a low calcium, low phosphorus diet. He even mentioned low animal protein, but am hesitant on this because the jury seems to be out on the effects of animal protein on the kidneys. I have been reading about this being a new condition that vets have been seeing since the 1980's and believe it is due to the acidifying of pet foods to decrease the incidences of urinary crystals. Of course high acid causes the bones to leak calcium into the blood. Best way to lower the chances of crystals: More water, no dry food.

Sugarcatmom, I purchased some freeze dried salmon "Real Food Toppers" put it in my blender to make a powder. I sprinkle it on her food and seems to work for a bit then she catches on, some is better than nothing and hopefully eventually she will get used to this food. She is eating Wellness Turkey canned now (sort of).

October 12th, 2007, 06:59 AM
Whoops, should have added the vet wants to redo blood work after she has a change in diet to see if it is helping.

Jim Hall
October 12th, 2007, 08:53 AM
I have been trying to get DU to eat" better" food also
Along the way i think i have discovered that she likes variety.
She will eat up a few cans of good and then want back to the old fancy feast. What the devil do they put in that that makes it so damn addictive?

October 12th, 2007, 10:02 AM
I have been trying to get DU to eat" better" food also
Along the way i think i have discovered that she likes variety.
She will eat up a few cans of good and then want back to the old fancy feast. What the devil do they put in that that makes it so damn addictive?

My coworker and I have been asking the same question. I did come across an article that discusses cats' appetite and they seem to prefer very acidic food and that some manufacturers actually spray an acid on the kibble to entice the cat's appetite. Wonder if Fancy Feast is adding a chemical to their food to do this :shrug:. It does seem to be the fav amongst the feline family.

I bought a sample of Orijen kibble for my male who drinks quite a bit of water (had every blood test done and vet says he is healthy must just have a higher thirst drive than other kitties) last night and he loved it! Not so worried about him eating kibble. Miss picky HRH Puddles must stay on canned, vet's orders.

October 13th, 2007, 01:14 AM
How is she with mixing varieties of Wellness & NV together? lil bit o'turkey mixed with chicken? Did you try the Wellness Beef & Chicken? Duffy likes that despite not liking NV Beef anymore :rolleyes: :wall: There are also the Wellness fish varieties but it's a no-no for CRF kitties except as an occasional treat - if she won't constantly bug you for the fishy ones you could try that

I too am not sold on the low protein for cats - yes it may possibly be less work for the kidneys to process less protein but it doesn't help if the cat won't eat the food to begin with :rolleyes: and since cats are carnivores they have a higher need for protein than other animals.

BTW the studies showing low protein is better have all (that I've seen) been done on humans & rats which have very different biological needs than cats :shrug:

:fingerscr :goodvibes: for Puddles :cat:

October 15th, 2007, 06:41 AM
Tried the Wellness Beef and Chicken this weekend, she didn't like it. I did buy a sample bag of Orijen for cats and she will eat that for a snack (controlled, I give her the snack, she doesn't free feed). So what I have resorted to is to mix about 30% her old canned (PC Salmon and PC Tuna & Chicken) with Wellness Turkey or Wellness Chicken and she will eat it. I sprinkle a little freezed dried Salmon on top and gently mix it in the top of the food to make it more enticing and she will eat it.

Next week I am going to reduce her down to 20% old food mixed with Wellness and sprinkle some freeze dried salmon and see if she continues to eat.

Jim Hall
October 15th, 2007, 10:04 AM
ive been trying todo the same with DU and her fancy feast salmon addiction
I swear its like trying to get a 4 yr old to eat his/her veggies:wall:

October 15th, 2007, 10:30 AM

low calcium, low phosphorus diet. He even mentioned low animal protein

oh please dont get upset with me but i need to rant here... a low animal protein?!?! they are obligate carnivores and freeking SOY is suppose to be better?!?! im constantly blown away by a vets desire to totally do away with any sort of reasonable diet for cats!! it never ceases to amaze me how humans cant event think past their own selves and see the other creatures in their lives but when it comes to dumb things like race and gender we are always thinking of it. :yell: cats arent just like us!!! if vets wanted to study people, they should have went to med school instead!! or heck, just go have babies... then you can feed them all the plant protein they want! squirrels eat NUTS!! not MICE!!

..... i feel a little better. im not yelling at anyone HERE... just in general. :frustrated:

have you thought about a home made diet?? how does she do with cooked or raw chicken? i dont know if i would suggest raw with itty bitty formerly sick kittens around but maybe thats a thought in the future?
have you tried any odd ball veggies/fruits? Shadow really loves mandarin oranges from a can. its liquid enough that it satisfies my need to keep fruits and veggies low but it acidifies his urine and will eat just about anything sprinkled with it.

sounds like yo uhave your hands full with picky eaters like i do. i have one that hoovers everything. another that will only eat fresh food (ie raw or cooked, doesnt matter as long as its meat and not commercial) and another who doesnt like fresh meat unless its chicken or fish raw or cooked and even then its not as good as kibble (of which he hasnt had in several months). too bad he has a low thirst drive AND a tiny crystals problem and then a 4th one who only likes the meat. refuses anything but chicken or fish meat in its many forms, no offal, no eggs... *sigh*


October 15th, 2007, 11:38 AM
I am not worried about the animal protein, doesn't make sense to me either, she can eat all the fresh meat she wants, the only problem she won't eat too much and from what I read, animal protein does not cause kidney failure, but is hard for the kidneys to process once they are in failure.

From all the reading I have been doing on high blood calcium, if it is not related to cancer or overactive glands, then it is a high acid diet. This is a new health issue that has steadily increased since the 1980's when commercial pet food manufacturers lowered the ph of food to decrease the incidence of crystals in the kidneys and encouraged kibble for teeth. The acid is suspected of leaching calcium from the bones.

Normally, high blood calcium is associated with renal failure and they don't know if the kidney failure comes first and causes high calcium or the high calcium is causing kidney failure. Puddles does not have too high of cre or bun, but the vet is warning me of near future kidney failure.

Does anybody know what manufacturers put in cat food to make it more acidic to eliminate urine crystals??

October 15th, 2007, 12:09 PM

October 16th, 2007, 12:37 AM
Does anybody know what manufacturers put in cat food to make it more acidic to eliminate urine crystals??

not sure about the commercial foods cuz it's hard to wade through all the chemicals but the holisitic companies (Wellness included) add cranberries & blueberries which will help acidify to eliminate crystals & UTI

October 16th, 2007, 09:31 AM
Thanks, Growler. There are a few studies being done in the US, Winn Foundation for one, that are studying the effects of high acidic diets in cats, believing that it is leading to high blood calcium and kidney stones in cats, kidney failure, and death. Making diets acidic is solving one health problem, but creating another. One recommedation on a website is a variety of high quality canned foods, to even out the ph in cat's urine.

My Puddles is now eating Wellness Turkey and Wellness Chicken, mixed with a just a little of her old food and with a tiny sprinkle of freeze dried salmon on top. She will eat hers and then go to my male's bowl and start on his. Man, this takes a lot of patience with picky eaters. My foster momma eats anything I put in front of her, felidae, wellness, california natural, natural balance, instinct, doesn't matter what flavour.

Puddles loves Orijen, but she only gets this for a treat, because it is dry.

Next step: Now that she is accepting Wellness, I will try EVO, canned so she gets a variety, if she doesn't eat it, my foster momma will:rolleyes:.

October 17th, 2007, 01:22 AM
L4H - on the Evo - the canned is great & Duffy loved it however the phosphorus level is too high for a current or early CRF cat - I think it should be okay for the occasional treat though as long as she is eating a majority of the others. Because of the high phos I took Duffy off Evo even though I love the ingredients & high protein level & she loves the taste except she wouldn't eat the Lite variety :rolleyes:. In the store I go to I only saw (or perhaps didn't look hard enough) the Cat & Kitten and the Lite - the Lite is no longer listed on their site

Evo Cat & Kitten Canned dry matter values (so you can easily compare to the NV & W in my thread)

Protein 50.94%
Fat 35.54%
Fiber 0.73%
Ash 8.86%
Calcium 1.73%
Phosphorous 1.38%
Potassium 1.00%
Sodium 0.61%

95% Chicken & Turkey canned

Protein 45.12%
Fat 46.55%
Fiber 0.49%
Ash 7.83%
Calcium 1.93%
Phosphorous 1.31%
Potassium 1.07%
Sodium 0.45%

there is also a 95% Beef but Puddles might not like that since she doesn't like the W B&C :shrug:

95% Beef canned (this one I need to look for good phos level though Duffy didn't like the NV Beef maybe she will the Evo :fingerscr)

Protein 45.60%
Fat 45.40%
Fiber 0.50%
Ash 5.9%
Calcium 0.99%
Phosphorous 0.95%
Potassium 0.99%
Sodium 0.62%

95% Venison canned(I'm gonna hafta look for this one check out that phos level :thumbs up)

Protein 46.48%
Fat 42.44%
Fiber 0.42%
Ash 8.33%
Calcium 1.90%
Phosphorous 0.77%
Potassium 0.91%
Sodium 0.49%

95% Duck canned

Protein 40.21%
Fat 44.28%
Fiber 0.43%
Ash 8.91%
Calcium 2.17%
Phosphorous 1.36%
Potassium 0.93%
Sodium 0.35%

October 17th, 2007, 09:16 AM
The beef actually looks good for Puddles because the calcium is also low.

Interesting that the cat and kitten canned has lower calcium and fat than the chicken and turkey.

I also have to feed my Jasper (he is a big approx 5 year old male) and my potental adoptee, Sweet Pea (she is a medium approx 2-3 year old female). He does not really like canned but gets it anyway (he gets same feedings as Puddles as they eat side by side) and he eats (loves, devours more like it) orijen dry but only gets it as treats. Sweet Pea is a stray and will eat anything put in front of her.

Sooo, now my goal is to give the cats a variety of canned to even out any potential "badness" one variety has over the others.

I do want to point out a couple of things:

Puddles seems to be more energetic since switching to a higher quality food.
Puddles will now eat some real meat, which I couldn't get her to do in her previous 11 years.

October 17th, 2007, 12:17 PM
Ack!! I walked all the way to the only pet food place that sells EVO in this end of the city and THEY DON'T CARRY EVO BEEF, just the cat and kitten and Lite (or now called reduced fat) formulas!

October 17th, 2007, 07:44 PM
:grouphug: yeah the store which is 2 blocks away from my apt has everything I need except they don't carry the Evo Venison or the Beef - not enough or any demand for it, but their larger store in the next city (where i work) does carry it so I can pick some up after work tomorrow.

Did you ask if they can bring some in for you? If they will it would probably have to be a full case to make it worth their time. :shrug:


October 18th, 2007, 06:41 AM
I did send them an e-mail when I got back to my office asking about carrying the different flavours. Haven't heard back.

The pet food store where I normally get my cat food from is not allowed to sell it because it is too close to the store I went to yesterday on my lunch. Very frustrating.:frustrated:

October 19th, 2007, 02:43 AM
L4H - check the DOG food aisle for the Evo 95% Beef & 95% Venison cans :thumbs up. The catfood of these is not yet availble in :ca: but the dogfood is & it's the same thing.

I went to the store branch in Vanc which is a larger store than the one in my city - when I talked to the girl there she mentioned because it is 95% meat the dog & cat food is the same thing. This store gets everything the second it hits Canada & she didn't know the catfood was on their website - so I don't think it is available yet here. But the DOG food is.

I did mention to her my cat has CRF so I was wondering if the phos level would be the same :shrug: I just compared everything in the nutrient analysis - it is EXACTLY the same right down to the phos/calcium/ even the taurine.

I have read on another cat forum one of the members there buys (don't know what brand) the large cans of dogfood for her cats (who do NOT have any health issues) cuz it's the same & it's cheaper :shrug:

October 19th, 2007, 06:30 AM
Interesting, thanks Growler. I thought dogs and cats had different nutritional values and couldn't feed dog food to cats? Should the dog food be mixed with her Wellness?

Last night I mixed a bit of the EVO Cat and Kitten with her Wellness (no old food or freeze dried salmon added) and she gobbled it up.

Update on Puddles: She actually came in the bathroom with me this morning and PLAYED with a toy. First time in a couple of years!:thumbs up. I did a happy dance this morning, she seems to have so much more energy now.

Jasper has lost 3 lbs in the last couple of months since switching from corn filled PC Nutrition 1st, to Wellness Core, Instinct, and Orijen. He eats about half of the quantity that he did before.

I am a reformed "feed your cat quality food" person!

Thank you everybody for your help! You probably have added a couple of years to her life!

October 19th, 2007, 12:14 PM
growler, you are right, they are exactly the same!! Have to e-mail them to ask about it. I am sure I read many times that dog and cat nutritional requirements were very different.

October 19th, 2007, 11:29 PM
From everything I've heard yes dogs & cats do have different nutritional needs especially taurine for cats - however I guess in the 95% meat there isn't a difference why I don't know :shrug:

I don't know about feeding them this as a primary diet or whether it should be just used as supplemental meals ie 1-2 times a week :shrug:

and like I said a member of another forum feeds her cats solely the dogfood version of ? brand because they have the same ingredients & nutritional analysis

The lady from the supply store also mentions she has customers who feed Evo 95% meat dogfood varieties to her cat

Let me know what the response is you get from Evo :)

October 21st, 2007, 11:16 PM
L4H - I picked up 2 cans of 95% Venison dogfood Duffy was not impressed with it. :frustrated: She has never had venison before so it might just be that, though when I mixed it with the Wellness beef & chicken she finished it :shrug:

:fingerscr good luck w/ Puddles :)

October 22nd, 2007, 07:19 AM
I picked up the 95% beef Wellness dog food on Friday and gave some to Puddles and her reaction was priceless. She sniffed, look at me and started backing up as if to say "What are you doing feeding me dog food, do you not realize who I am?", so she got some rare top sirloin steak instead. Much more to her standard.

She is eating Wellness Turkey and Chicken flavours quite well now. Got her a water fountain, but haven't seen her drink out of it yet. She is not much of a water drinker anyway and I have continued to syringe 3.5-7 ml of water in her mouth daily.

Her energy levels continue to improve with the higher quality food and her gums appear pinker.

October 23rd, 2007, 12:45 AM
I think we have a pair of "Princess Divas" on our hands for sure :D

Duffy will only eat the Evo 95% Vension if mixed w/Wellness but now she has decided she doesn't really like the Wellness Turkey :frustrated: wouldn't you know - the lowest phos of the 3 W varieties she's getting :rolleyes: