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Feeding wet cat food

kasey&roxie
March 22nd, 2012, 10:37 AM
Hi all,

I have been away from here for some time. I was on last year when my boy Kasey had elevated calcium and went off his food for a period of time.

He was being fed dry kibble and I was able to switch his food over to Performatrin kibble and he ate that for the last year and a half. I tried and tried to get him to eat canned food but everything I did was met with disappointment.

Back in February he started not eating all his meals again.. :(

So off to the vet we went and blood test later..his calcium was elevated again but everything else was completely normal. We also did a thorough examination and checked his mouth and teeth and everything looked fine. So the great food hunt began again..only this time with limited success. The only food I could get him to eat was a Royal Canin brand, Special 33 and he would eat a little bit of Wellness Salmon. I honestly went through over 30 types (kibble and canned) of food and not one would he even touch.

He seemed to be holding his own on the kibble so we waited two weeks and re-did the blood work and his calcium had dropped a bit. It originally came back at 3.17 (high end of normal lab range was 2.7). The new bloodwork came back at 3.04.

His food intake went way down one day so I decided to syringe him some canned food, Wellness Chicken. He didn't seem to fight me too bad and didn't spit any of it out while I was feeding him it. After I was done he sat in front of me washing his face and I reached out my finger to rub against his cheek and I must have still had some food on it as he licked it off on his own. :) So I took a few small pieces of it and made it into little balls and he gobbled them right up! I fed him about 10 little balls and he ate every one.

Now my kibble addict is a total convert..from that day forward (about 8 days now) he will only eat canned food. He will not even touch kibble, any kibble. He is eating approx 2 small (3 ounces each) cans a day. He is eating the Wellness Chicken now.

We had even booked to have an ultrasound done so I talked to my vet after he started eating the canned and we cancelled the ultrasound for now and we are going to re-test his calcium level in two weeks.

I am thrilled beyond believe that he will eat canned food :D In fact, it's like we have awakened the inner wet food monster in him..he is constantly wanting to eat now, he just started eating it and I'm already going to have to cut back the amount or he will be as big as a house before long!

We are stumped as to why he went off his food, in explaining to my vet when I was trying different food with him, it was like he wouldn't/couldn't smell the food. I would hold it in front of him or put it on the floor and he wouldn't even sniff most of it. Maybe his sense of smell is off/different and with the smellier wet food he can actually smell it. He was attracted somewhat by the Wellness Salmon dry and it is pretty smelly as well.

Of course, being a shelter kitty, we don't know his history and he could have eaten wet food in his before us life and it just needed to be awakened again..

Thanks for reading this far if you have made it, sorry for this long report but I do have a couple of questions..

1) I want to introduce some other brands/flavours as I don't want to get him stuck on just one. Should I start now trying to introduce as he just started to eat it or wait for a bit so I don't turn him off. I tried the Wellness Turkey and Salmon and he didn't care for it. I guess it should be the same as dry food, mix a little in with the old food and gradually over time increase the new flavour.

2) Since eating the canned I have not seem him drink from his water bowl. He is peeing very well and I know that an all canned diet will help him stay better hydrated than drinking water alone with kibble. Would it be considered normal for them to drink no other water on canned?

3) As we do go away on some weekend trips, how long can wet food sit out? My neighbour is our cat sitter and I have already talked to her about Kasey eating canned only. She usually comes over twice a day, if he ate while she is there could she leave the rest of the can out for the day for him to munch on during the day, then repeat at night as well.

I am keeping my fingers crossed :fingerscr that he will continue to eat the canned. I would like to know why his calcium gets elevated but we also talked about idiopathic hypercalcemia, which could be Kasey's case. His ionized calcium was not elevated so they say his calcium was not "actually" elevated. His thyroid levels are good, we checked for abnormal para-thyroid levels and did x-rays to rule out tumors/masses. The ultrasound was our next step in the search but we will see how his calcium comes back this time. The vet said the canned food with all the moisture should help to flush out his system and hopefully his calcium will drop. She had mentioned at one time about putting him on prednisone but without actually knowing what was causing it, I would be reluctant to do this.

Anyway, I have "talked" your ears off now..thank you for any insight you may have..

Karen & Kasey :cat:

Love4himies
March 22nd, 2012, 11:21 AM
Yay for canned food! He's probably feeling so much better not be so dehydrated. :thumbs up

Hi all,

I have been away from here for some time. I was on last year when my boy Kasey had elevated calcium and went off his food for a period of time.

He was being fed dry kibble and I was able to switch his food over to Performatrin kibble and he ate that for the last year and a half. I tried and tried to get him to eat canned food but everything I did was met with disappointment.

Back in February he started not eating all his meals again.. :(

So off to the vet we went and blood test later..his calcium was elevated again but everything else was completely normal. We also did a thorough examination and checked his mouth and teeth and everything looked fine. So the great food hunt began again..only this time with limited success. The only food I could get him to eat was a Royal Canin brand, Special 33 and he would eat a little bit of Wellness Salmon. I honestly went through over 30 types (kibble and canned) of food and not one would he even touch.

He seemed to be holding his own on the kibble so we waited two weeks and re-did the blood work and his calcium had dropped a bit. It originally came back at 3.17 (high end of normal lab range was 2.7). The new bloodwork came back at 3.04.

His food intake went way down one day so I decided to syringe him some canned food, Wellness Chicken. Good idea!He didn't seem to fight me too bad and didn't spit any of it out while I was feeding him it. After I was done he sat in front of me washing his face and I reached out my finger to rub against his cheek and I must have still had some food on it as he licked it off on his own. :) So I took a few small pieces of it and made it into little balls and he gobbled them right up! I fed him about 10 little balls and he ate every one.

Now my kibble addict is a total convert..from that day forward (about 8 days now) he will only eat canned food. He will not even touch kibble, any kibble. He is eating approx 2 small (3 ounces each) cans a day. He is eating the Wellness Chicken now.

That is wonderful!

We had even booked to have an ultrasound done so I talked to my vet after he started eating the canned and we cancelled the ultrasound for now and we are going to re-test his calcium level in two weeks.

My Puddles used to have elevated calcium and hers went down after taking her off kibble and onto canned/raw. It is still in the high normal, but better than being over the range
I am thrilled beyond believe that he will eat canned food :D In fact, it's like we have awakened the inner wet food monster in him..he is constantly wanting to eat now, he just started eating it and I'm already going to have to cut back the amount or he will be as big as a house before long!

We are stumped as to why he went off his food, in explaining to my vet when I was trying different food with him, it was like he wouldn't/couldn't smell the food. I would hold it in front of him or put it on the floor and he wouldn't even sniff most of it. Maybe his sense of smell is off/different and with the smellier wet food he can actually smell it. He was attracted somewhat by the Wellness Salmon dry and it is pretty smelly as well.

Or maybe he was telling you he just didn't want to eat it anymore :shrug:

Of course, being a shelter kitty, we don't know his history and he could have eaten wet food in his before us life and it just needed to be awakened again..

Thanks for reading this far if you have made it, sorry for this long report but I do have a couple of questions..

1) I want to introduce some other brands/flavours as I don't want to get him stuck on just one. Should I start now trying to introduce as he just started to eat it or wait for a bit so I don't turn him off. I tried the Wellness Turkey and Salmon and he didn't care for it. I guess it should be the same as dry food, mix a little in with the old food and gradually over time increase the new flavour.

You should really feed a variety of different manufacturers. If one makes a "mistake" in the formula, it won't be so hard on your kitty. I mix different manufacturers food all the time. I'll list my favs at the bottom of this post

2) Since eating the canned I have not seem him drink from his water bowl. He is peeing very well and I know that an all canned diet will help him stay better hydrated than drinking water alone with kibble. Would it be considered normal for them to drink no other water on canned?

My cats don't drink very much water, in fact 3 of the 4 don't. They should be getting their water in their food, that's the way nature intended (no glasses to drink from in nature so they can get enough ;))

3) As we do go away on some weekend trips, how long can wet food sit out? My neighbour is our cat sitter and I have already talked to her about Kasey eating canned only. She usually comes over twice a day, if he ate while she is there could she leave the rest of the can out for the day for him to munch on during the day, then repeat at night as well.

I've gone away overnight and left out canned and they all survived. It's the only time I don't mix any raw with their food

I am keeping my fingers crossed :fingerscr that he will continue to eat the canned. I would like to know why his calcium gets elevated but we also talked about idiopathic hypercalcemia, which could be Kasey's case. His ionized calcium was not elevated so they say his calcium was not "actually" elevated. His thyroid levels are good, we checked for abnormal para-thyroid levels and did x-rays to rule out tumors/masses. The ultrasound was our next step in the search but we will see how his calcium comes back this time. The vet said the canned food with all the moisture should help to flush out his system and hopefully his calcium will drop. She had mentioned at one time about putting him on prednisone but without actually knowing what was causing it, I would be reluctant to do this.

Sounds like you are doing and checking all the right things :thumbs up

Anyway, I have "talked" your ears off now..thank you for any insight you may have..

Karen & Kasey :cat:

Here are some of my favourite foods:

Nature's Variety, Instinct canned (all flavours are grain and potato free)
Wellness, grain free canned
Wernuva, the chicken flavours (all grain free)
Go, Grain Free canned
Organics, by Nature
Fromms 4 Starr grain free


Good luck with your kitty!!!

sugarcatmom
March 22nd, 2012, 11:35 AM
Hi kasey&roxie, nice to hear from you....


Now my kibble addict is a total convert..from that day forward (about 8 days now) he will only eat canned food.

Woohooo! :highfive:


1) I want to introduce some other brands/flavours as I don't want to get him stuck on just one. Should I start now trying to introduce as he just started to eat it or wait for a bit so I don't turn him off. I tried the Wellness Turkey and Salmon and he didn't care for it. I guess it should be the same as dry food, mix a little in with the old food and gradually over time increase the new flavour.

I think gradually mixing a new food in with the old is a great idea. You might have to start really small, like only a pea-sized amount of the new food, thoroughly mixed with the old. Another option is just leaving a small amount of the new food out on a plate next to the old food so Kasey gets used to the smell. I often have great success getting my cats to try new things by dusting the top of their food with some powdered freeze-dried chicken (PureBites, Halo Liv-a-Littles, Whole Food Toppers are some popular brands).

2) Since eating the canned I have not seem him drink from his water bowl. He is peeing very well and I know that an all canned diet will help him stay better hydrated than drinking water alone with kibble. Would it be considered normal for them to drink no other water on canned?

Totally normal. Except for Aztec (diabetic, CRF kitty), my other 3 cats rarely drink from their water bowl.

3) As we do go away on some weekend trips, how long can wet food sit out? My neighbour is our cat sitter and I have already talked to her about Kasey eating canned only. She usually comes over twice a day, if he ate while she is there could she leave the rest of the can out for the day for him to munch on during the day, then repeat at night as well.

Canned food is fine sitting out for many hours, unless it's unusually hot or you have problems with pests. I put a couple cans worth down every 12 hours and while it's usually consumed within about 6 hrs, there are days when I'll come home from work to find one of the kitty's nibbling on some crusty breakfast leftovers.

I would like to know why his calcium gets elevated but we also talked about idiopathic hypercalcemia, which could be Kasey's case.

Aztec has had slightly elevated calcium levels his whole life (19 yrs old now), for no diagnosable reason. His vet has never been too worried about it. Hopefully Kasey's is also not a big deal. Like you, I wouldn't be inclined to try Pred without another clear reason to do so.

All the best to you and Kasey!

kasey&roxie
March 26th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Thank you so much for the information Sugarcatmom and Love4himies!

Kasey continues to do well on his canned food. He is peeing well, a couple of times a day and I have not seen him drinking from his water bowl. He is more energetic and has begun playing (okay..harrassing :) ) Roxie again. Much..to her delight of course :D

As we are going away this weekend, I am going to try introducing some different brands next week so I can start rotating him onto different flavours and brands. I have some Nature's Variety, Fromm, Go - Grain Free and Blue Buffalo brands. Plus a couple other flavours of Wellness as well.

I will also be booking an appointment to re-check his calcium next week as well.

Is it okay to talk about poop here? :yuck: Kasey's stool on kibble was basically tubes of poop covered hair. He passed a lot of hair in his stool. He has a very thick undercoat and grooms himself quite a bit each day. I also brush him once a day. Since he has been on canned there has been hair in his stool, but it seems more dispersed instead of being in long tubes or rolls of hair. He has also had less stool and it is drier, almost breaks apart like dirt or sawdust.

He goes about once a day or day and a half. I know that with better food there will be less stool, less waste from more nutritious ingredients. But I have also read that canned food does not have as much fibre as kibble. He doesn't strain or seem to be distressed about going at all.

I was just wondering if adding some fibre to his diet would be beneficial or is it premature to do it now if he doesn't seem to have any issue. He has been on canned now for two weeks.

Would adding pumpkin be okay or are there other fibre sources that may be better?

:cat:

minnie's mom
April 19th, 2012, 10:17 AM
Yesterday I went to the vet with Minnie for her booster and I asked some questions about how we should feed her, dry food vs canned food and how many times per day. I adopted her a month ago, so I'm not very good in cat info yet. Because Minnie is one year old, they suggested us to switch to adult food, more specific Dental Royal Canin, to prevent teeth problems. We told them that we gave her also canned food, like Friskies that she did not really like, but Fansy Feast was a success. And surprise! they said this kind of food is like McDonald's food! "Do you really want to feed your cat McDonald's?" :confused: " Dry food is the best".
I came back home completely confused and I started to search informations on this forum, and I found this interesting web site http://www.catinfo.org/
Now I don't know what to believe anymore :confused:

zoemisha
April 19th, 2012, 10:45 AM
I totally understand difficulties with feeding.

I have a somewhat eating disordered kitty. She is nine years old and weighs under 6lbs. We just got her 2 months ago, and she was even smaller when we got her from her first family.

Zoe was raised on dry food alone (Actr1um from WalMart). When we got her, I started playing around with canned foods, but she showed little interest in anything healthy. The only thing she liked was the "Junk food" Whiskas pouches.

Since seeing the vet this week, who was very concerned about her weight, we have switched her to a high calorie Science Diet Optimal Care. And I have started her on Science Diet canned foods, not the pate ones, but the chunks in gravy that are similar to the pouches that she likes.

She is eating very well the last few days, seems much more interested in her food. Hopefully it will be worth spending about five times the money on her food!! I hope she is able to put on some weight.

As far as water goes, we bought her a drinking fountain, which is an amazing thing. The only problem I find with it is that it's hard to change the water in it daily (I end up just topping it off). Zoe still prefers the tap, as it is fresh, cold, and has oxygen. But hopefully now with the food changes she will be getting more moisture from her food as well.

My advice to others would be to let your kitty explore lots of foods: find a form of food your kitty likes, whether it is pate, chunks and gravy, kibble, soft kibble, etc. THEN worry about finding it in a healthy brand. You may end up paying more in the end, but you will have something kitty is willing to eat; the health value of any food is rendered useless if kitty won't eat it or doesn't like it.

chico2
April 19th, 2012, 01:02 PM
I know Sugercatmom,will come around and tell you,not to ask most vets what to feed your cat,most don't know much about food and will sell you their expensiv food.
For that money you could buy grain-free canned food that is actually good for your cats in a pet-food store.
Dry food does not clean the cats teeth,it's a myth..
I feed my cats a variety,Wellness,Go Natural,Natural Balance,Merricks etc...
SugarCatMom can explain better than I,so please stick around.

sugarcatmom
April 19th, 2012, 01:56 PM
Hi Minnie's mom!

Yesterday I went to the vet with Minnie for her booster and I asked some questions about how we should feed her,

Ya, chico2 is right. Vets are often the last people to ask advice on what to feed cats. The nutrition education they receive in school is extremely minimal, and is mostly provided by the very pet food companies whose products they then sell when they open up a clinic. Conflict of interest, no? Best thing is to do your own research (lots of links to follow), but also to take into consideration the evolutionary diet of cats, which is about as far removed from dry grainy nuggets as you can get. Think nice fresh juicy rodents, birds, lizards.

Ideally, our pet cats should be eating a balanced raw meat diet, but that's not always feasible. Next best thing would be a high quality (meat-based, low-carb) canned food (which isn't likely to be found in a vet clinic). Dry food shouldn't even factor into the equation except in extreme circumstances (like feeding ferals or shelter cats on a tight budget, or when trying to get an inappetant cat to eat something).

Oh, and dry food most certainly doesn't clean feline teeth - no more than you eating pretzels would clean yours. In fact, it can actually contribute to dental disease because of the sugary carbs (which feed bacteria) and the nature of kibble, which shatters when chewed (that's if the cat even chews it and doesn't just swallow it whole), lodging under the gum-line and between teeth.

Fansy Feast was a success.

Fancy Feast isn't the worst food on the market. I think there are plenty of so-called "prescription" diets that qualify for that moniker. But you can use FF to try to transition Minnie over to something with better quality muscle meat instead of by-products. Wellness, Nature's Variety, By Nature, Merrick, Ziwi Peak, Weruva, etc, are all worthwhile brands. You can rotate through several different ones to keep her interested and to prevent addictions or nutritional deficiencies.

Here are a bunch of links you might want to read in the meantime:
http://catnutrition.wordpress.com/2008/01/22/dry-food-and-vets/
http://naturalcathealth.blogspot.ca/2007/08/for-many-years-like-majority-of-pet.html
http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/does-dry-food-clean-the-teeth/
http://www.allourpets.com/holistic/dental-care.shtml
http://meowmeowmom.wordpress.com/2008/01/11/six-reasons-not-to-feed-dry-cat-food/
http://feline-nutrition.org/health/species-inappropriate-the-dangers-of-dry-food
http://www.celestialpets.com/fus_article.shtml
http://www.catinfo.org/#Transitioning_Dry_Food_Addicts_to_Canned_Food_

minnie's mom
April 20th, 2012, 07:51 PM
Definitely I have to try different brands of canned food. Yesterday we cooked for her chicken liver but she did't like it, she took only some bites, maybe because it's to soft and she's not used with the texture. Finally she ate it today, mixed with Fansy Feast.
Thank you all for your answers and for the links and I'll come back with news.

:cat: