Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Portioning both wet and dry cat food daily for new cat?

CaseysHuman
September 6th, 2010, 02:34 PM
I adopted my cat Casey from a friend of a friend just 3 days ago. I've never had a cat before, so I'm unclear on quite a few things and I wanted to see if anyone can help me.

Casey is 10 years old, and he looks like a domestic mix of breeds. He has a medium length white and grey fur with a pink nose and yellow eyes. He's a very quiet friendly and self-sufficient cat, and he does basically everything by himself as long as his food and water bowls are full and his litter is clean.

I was given a bunch of dry kibble food and several cans of grain-free Wellness wet food from his previous owner and was told that he eats both and that I should give him half a cup twice a day.

I wasn't really sure what that meant in terms of the daily wet/dry food portion ratio.

The first day he ate a little over half a can of wet food and a half-cup of dry food and he peed once. The next day I gave him a half-cup of dry food to start with. That lasted him the entire day and night. Again, he peed once during the night. This morning he woke me up at 10am. His food bowl was empty, and when I fed him half a can of wet food, he wolfed it down. He hasn't asked for more yet, although I'm sure he'll get hungrier later.

Am I doing this right? I've had him for about 52 hours so far and he hasn't pooped yet. I've heard that cats pee 2-3 times a day, but he's only gone once a day so far. He appears to be healthy and normal and he's not acting strange or anything. He also drinks water regularly, especially after eating kibble.

Should I give him more wet food? Should he be peeing and pooping more often? I haven't taken him to the vet yet, and his owner hasn't replied to my emails.

mikischo
September 6th, 2010, 04:26 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum.:)

Congratulations on your new cat and thank you for rescuing this boy in need of a new home.:thumbs up Sounds like you are well on your way to being a responsible first time cat owner and Casey sounds like a sweet boy.

There is really no rule for portioning wet and dry food (many of us prefer to leave dry food out of a cat's diet). Truth be told, canned food is far healthier for cats than dry, and Wellness is one of the better quality canned foods. Given your concerns it would definitely be a good idea to give him more, if not exclusively, wet food right now. You might also want to seriously consider transitioning him solely to canned food in the future. If you want more information on healthy diets for cats there are a lot of knowledgeable people here.

My younger kitties each eat an average of one 5.5 oz can (half in the morning and half at night). My older one is being transitioned to a raw diet. If you are feeding half dry, I'm not sure what amount you would normally feed as I haven't used dry for several years now. Amount fed can vary with size, appetite and activity level of the cat. Some need more, some need less.

Cats do usually urinate 2 to 3 times a day. If he is drinking well and not showing any signs of straining to urinate and he is peeing a reasonable amount when he does, I wouldn't necessarily be too concerned at this point. Do watch for any signs of straining or unproductive visits to the litter box (those signs would definitely indicate a trip to the vet was in order). It is possible he may be going to his box less frequently right now because he is getting used to a new environment that he is not yet familiar with.

As for bowel movements, normal frequency can differ from one cat to another just like from one human to another. Some cats might normally have a bowel movement once a day or even more often while others might normally go every 2 or 3 days. If he goes over 3 days (72 hours) without a movement or you learn that daily bowel movements have been the norm for him, I would then be concerned that there may be a constipation issue. Again, signs of straining or unproductive trips to the litter box are things to watch for. Hopefully you will get a response from his former owner soon to find out what has been his normal pattern. Also when he does go, feces should be firm but not hard or dry.

Let us know how things are going. Hopefully by tomorrow he will have had a bowel movement. If not we will have other suggestions.

CaseysHuman
September 8th, 2010, 02:14 AM
Thank you for your help mikischo! Casey did indeed poop today, and I also got a reply from his previous owner. She says that Casey is quite inconsistent in his peeing and bowel movements, sometimes he'll go a lot in a day, sometimes very little.

I'm not sure what constitutes as healthy cat poop. Casey did little pellets, almost like pebbles, probably 7 or 8 of them, each about half the size of the average pinkie finger. They were firm, but slightly dry I think. Should healthy cat poop look like healthy human poop?

I also noticed that he licked and groomed his crotch area more today after he pooped. I'm hoping this is normal behaviour?

Also, back to the food portioning, I'm actually considering moving him to a mostly can food diet. He seems to like it more, and eats it all in one sitting. His old owner mentioned that he's a slight bit overweight (by how much, I'm not quite sure), so I think I'll start removing most of the grains from his diet soon...

Again, thanks so much for your help!

Love4himies
September 8th, 2010, 07:54 AM
At 10 years old I would have some blood work done just to get a base of how his organs are doing and especially because you are not familiar with this cat. Cats are notorious for hiding pain and sometimes owners don't know anything is wrong until it gets severe. ;)

It sounds like he is dehydrated so I would ditch all kibble, nothing better for a kitty's urinary health than good flushings twice a day. My cats pee at least 2 times a day, normally 3.

This is probably one of the best websites on cat food:

http://www.catinfo.org/

sugarcatmom
September 8th, 2010, 12:04 PM
I'm not sure what constitutes as healthy cat poop. Casey did little pellets, almost like pebbles, probably 7 or 8 of them, each about half the size of the average pinkie finger.

Healthy cat poop should be shaped like a Tootsie Roll, dark brown, and firm but not hard. Pebble-like poop such as your describing indicates not enough moisture in the intestines and could escalate into constipation. I would definitely stop feeding kibble, and perhaps add a tablespoon of warm water to the canned food.

BenMax
September 8th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Healthy cat poop should be shaped like a Tootsie Roll, dark brown, and firm but not hard. Pebble-like poop such as your describing indicates not enough moisture in the intestines and could escalate into constipation. I would definitely stop feeding kibble, and perhaps add a tablespoon of warm water to the canned food.

Sugarcatmom - this information is so valuable. You remember that little siamese I got for my daughter?? Well it was the food that almost cost her her life. Since we moved to can only, she is doing very well and actually has stopped gorging on her food. If you recall, she almost did not make it and required vet intervention.

I know that this is not my thread, but I thought I would add how important your information is. I am a believer now!:thumbs up

To the OP - take this person's advice. It saved my DD's cat!

cmartin
September 8th, 2010, 03:25 PM
This is probably one of the best websites on cat food:

http://www.catinfo.org/

WOW thanks so much for sharing that link. Just had a peek over it and we'll be switching to wet only food for our kitty. We feed our dog premium food, so why not our cat too