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tiggy2 June 5th, 2013 08:39 PM

Do I give in to the Dry Kibble addict?
I'll try and make this brief. I've decided to take the plunge and switch my cats from dry to wet and then to homemade raw...that's the plan, unfortunately it's not going according to "the Plan"

My concern - 2 of my elderly cats are losing too much weight, close to a pound in less than a month. They are healthy cats as far as elderly go, some arthritis, no other illnesses that I am aware of. They all have been vet checked and are up to date with shots. They are indoor/outdoor cats in an enclosure. Only 2 of 8 cat still get outside the fence, working on that.

What I did was decreased the dry food and increased the wet food and this went well for awhile, then I took the dry food up and just gave them wet food whenever they wanted it as they are not big eaters being free fed for most of their lives. This is when I noticed the wet not being eaten and cats snubbing food, so I got "many" different types of wet food to see which ones they liked. Perhaps this was a mistake...too many options.

Out of 8 I have just the 2 that are losing weight, the rest are holding their own and ounce here or there is not a concern, at least they are eating the food. The 2 that are losing weight, I've been giving dry and then mixed wet and dry, but they are still not eating anywhere near what they need. I've tried all the tricks I've read about, expect baby food that's next. I do have 1 of the 2 that actually ate a frozen mouse (thawed), it was like Christmas to him, but when I presented a raw patty he snubbed it.

I'm at my wits end on what to do, I don't want to give up but I can't afford to have sick kitties either. ...Oh don't move the boy is licking some canned food. Ten licks later and he walks away. It's like he eats just enough to take the hunger away and no more.

So what do I do? Go back to all you can eat dry and start over when their weight is back to normal? Give them the dry and wet food? Try and get them on feedings only? Instead of whenever they want to eat? Lock them into separate rooms, leave them with food and hope they eat it? How longer before the fatty liver becomes an issue?

I don't want to give up so I need some help to get me and them over this hurdle.


pattymac June 5th, 2013 09:17 PM

Aren't seniors fun!! I fell for the losing weight thing from my one cat. Took him to vet, full blood work, both thyroid tests and urinalysis, he's fine...300.00 later!! I started giving them more crunchies, now I think the crystal problems are coming back in one of the other boys. So gotta cut back again on the crunchies and increase the wet. I got some kitten wet so I mix in half a can a can with their regular food. Everybody seems to like that. I have been getting them rabbit and they seem to enjoy that about the best right now, so keep trying!!

tiggy2 June 5th, 2013 09:53 PM

They are a blast:))

Would losing 1 pound on a 12 pound cat be too much in less than a month? She's a tad overweight as it is. As for the boy, he's thin now and can't afford to lose any weight. He's only 8.8 pounds down from 9.6 a few weeks ago.

I don't want to do the vet visit with the $$$$ of blood work if I don't need to.

Should I give in to free dry at night and just wet during day or just give those 2 dry? They are such small eaters. Rosie I fed almost every 2 hours yesterday to try and get some food into her..sigh I doubt I got a small can of wet in her.

Anyway I'm trying to hold out. Gonna go get my boy in, maybe he "found" something tasty out there:))

sugarcatmom June 6th, 2013 07:31 AM

Have you tried dusting the wet food with a topper, like freeze-dried meat treats? Not sure if you can get the new Orijen freeze-dried treats, but they come in a vast array of flavours (from duck to beef to lamb, etc) and my cats go nuts for them. I just crumble them on top of any food they start getting picky with and it encourages them to eat more.

What brand and flavours of canned do you feed? How often do you rotate the flavours?

Longblades June 6th, 2013 08:51 AM

Just came on to empathize. We went that route too, and of course the senior cat who most needed the wet food is the one who wouldn't go for it. The other two think it's great.

However, by chance I discovered that the one did like the canned recovery food at the Vet's so we bought some of that. It's very high in calories and quite expensive but she would eat it, though less than would be needed if it was regular wet food.

From there we were able to get her over to regular canned food but she never did eat enough of it and did lose weight she didn't need to lose. By this time she was an old cat, given her history old for her anyway, so if the continued weight loss was strictly due to the canned we couldn't tell. We tend to think not though, because by then she wouldn't eat much of the kibble we resorted to either.

Good luck.

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 10:05 AM

Is the Orijen a cat treat, not dog treats? I will have a look around and see if I can find them

What brand and flavours of canned do you feed? How often do you rotate the flavours?

Wellness - turkey and Salmon, some have had this before.
Wellness - beef and chicken grain free
Blue Wilderness
Nature variety grain free wet, try to find the raw to see if I can continue with the ones that are interested in raw
Hounds and Gatos
Natural Choice - Petsmart brand and their Nutrience
Fancy feast and Special kitty, I was feeding Special kitty fish ones as a once a day with the dry.

If they snubbed their noses at the food I would try another one. :cry: I'm a worrier, especially with my boy who almost died a couple of years ago due to not eating.

Today I just fed everyone Spot's Stew - Halo and of course everyone but my two weight losers ate it all up. But only a tablespoon each. How do you get them to eat more at each sitting?

Anyway I think I fed too many different choices, of course the kittens had a field day, they loved it.

I think I should stick with just a couple of ones, just need ones that come in larger cans:) feeding 8 cats with those little cans is very expensive, hence I'm trying to get onto the homemade food.

Any advice is appreciated and should I be worry about the weight loss?

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 10:09 AM

Thank you for empathy. It's tough seeing my kids not eat their food, lose weight and generally look miserable. I almost lost my boy to lack of food intact a couple of years ago, so I panic more when he does not eat. He's thin as it is and can't afford to lose any more.

Oh the stress..why do we do it? Cause we love them SIGH

pattymac June 6th, 2013 10:30 AM

I use those toppers when switching food. I only use about 1/2 of one of those little cans. So far I've Nature's Variety about the best for everyone to like. Before Grains is good to mix in as well. I wish more cat food makers made the bigger cans. Pet Valu's brand is in a bigger can but Bobee will throw it up. Wellness too, but no one really likes it. Nutrience is one of the few better ones and they have rabbit in a large can. I'd love to make my own food, would have to be cooked though. I think the biggest problem is they get used to that don't have to chew it texture and if they have to chew something they don't want it.

If I ever start out with kittens again, they're getting raw from day one!

Loki Love June 6th, 2013 11:16 AM

Have you tried warming the food up a bit or adding warm water? I know that helps with my picky eaters sometimes :)

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 11:17 AM

I'll try the toppers. So far my boy has eaten a few licks of wet and now he's decided that raw patty I offered yesterday is not too bad today....go figure. So I'll try the raw again in a couple of hours and see if I can't get some more into him. As for my girl, she going to be difficult. It's location location location for her. She has to be comfortable, no other cats around no kitchen noises etc etc. I'll be glad when she starts losing her hearing, she'll be much happier. I'm hoping the topper will entice her, she's the worst snubber.

As for the kittens, one loves the raw the other not too keen and the interesting part is the ones who love the kibble go for the raw. So my skinny boy wants kibble or raw, I di believe I read somewhere that it's not a good idea to mix them to close together.

Oh well I will persevere :thumbs up

Now if I could get them to stop growling and hissing at each other

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 11:20 AM

Yes sometimes that helps, it's best if its a new can, just opened get much better results, but of course can't do that all the time unless you go with those darn small cans.

Do you find location makes a difference? Almost need separate feeding rooms.

Loki Love June 6th, 2013 11:26 AM

[QUOTE=tiggy2;1058403]Do you find location makes a difference? Almost need separate feeding rooms.[/QUOTE]

We feed Molly (she's between 13 and 14 years old now) in her own room - breakfast and supper. The food left overnight is accessible by both her and Mr Miyagi. We started doing this to a) monitor how much she was eating (along with Mr Miyagi), and b) it was MUCH less stressful for her (Mr Miyagi is a bit of a bully at times). She eats very well on her own, while Mr Miyagi eats from the dish in the kitchen.

If you can find a separate area, it certainly wouldn't hurt to try!

pattymac June 6th, 2013 11:45 AM

Mine usually eat together but since Bobee needs to put on a bit of weight, I've been giving him first dibs on the food so he eats in the kitchen. He's getting used to having his food first so I'm hoping it's helping.

marko June 6th, 2013 11:58 AM

Although I too think an all wet food diet is best and I recommend trying SCM's dusting suggestion and keeping it if it works.
Our cats (adopted at 2 years and 7 years) love kibbles and especially one of them shuns more of the wet food when she gets less kibbles. So our cats are on a 2/3 wet 1/3 kibble diet. They are fed 3 times a day.

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 01:02 PM

Hi Loki Love

I'm finding Rosie, the old girl, she 13, seems to like the Basement, I've just given her almost 1/2 a can of halo and she's eaten most of it (2-3 ounces). I like to get her out of the damp basement as I expect it's not good for her arthritis, but 1 step at a time. There's a little hope today and less panic, I'll weight them later to make sure they are holding their own and I still have the 2 frozen mice for Tiggy, (ick ick ick) the skinny guy.

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 01:04 PM

Hi Marko

Do you give the 1/3 kibble separate or mixed in with the wet? This might be an option to get some pounds on. But I can't feed kibble and raw? A question on that one:)

pattymac June 6th, 2013 01:57 PM

do you find they eat the mice? I don't know why more people don't do that actually. You would think that mice would be the best food for cats, I assume that's what they would eat naturally. There's lots of suppliers of mice and rats for snakes. I assume the mice they sell are clean and not full of parasites etc like a wild mouse or rat would be. I'm surprised no cat food company has come up with a mouse cat food, I guess because people would think it was gross. They're probably alot cheaper and faster to raise than chicken or rabbits.

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 03:18 PM

Tiggy thought it was Christmas when I brought the first mouse and the second one, absolutely nothing left. If I do go this route I will have to find a supplier close to me as the pet food store charges almost $5.00 for 4 little mice.

I don't know why people should be upset with Mice farming and producing pet food from disease free mice, no different then the chickens or other animals. I'd buy a mouse food:)..hummm maybe a business opportunity:)

pattymac June 6th, 2013 06:05 PM

That's awesome that he enjoyed them so much. Years ago, the barn I used to ride at, they had this big old orange tomcat, he used to take down rabbits. He looked like a small version of those shows you see of a pride of lions laying around after having a feast. Half asleep, huge tummy full of meat. I don't think he could've run if he had to!

tiggy2 June 6th, 2013 07:24 PM

I have some positive news:goodvibes:

Rosie is now back to 12 pounds, so I can hopefully get her to SLOWLY drop some weight, and Tiggy is up .4 of a pound. Big yea!! Finally found a food they all like its called BFF and of course it only comes in 5.5 oz cans for $1.80

But I have somewhere to start, big sigh of relief I can sleep better tonight.

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement, gotta love this site and the dedicated people:))

I'll be back when I switch from the wet to raw, cause I'm sure there will be panic time again.

pattymac June 6th, 2013 08:01 PM

Oh I've seen that brand at Pet Valu. I haven't tried it. Glad it's working for you gang though!

Love4himies June 7th, 2013 07:45 AM

[QUOTE=tiggy2;1058415]Tiggy thought it was Christmas when I brought the first mouse and the second one, absolutely nothing left. If I do go this route I will have to find a supplier close to me as the pet food store charges almost $5.00 for 4 little mice.


Holy crap, do the math on that cost.

If each mouse weighs 25 grams, so that's $5 for 100grams or $50 per kilogram. :eek:.

marko June 7th, 2013 10:40 AM

[QUOTE=tiggy2;1058412]Hi Marko

Do you give the 1/3 kibble separate or mixed in with the wet? This might be an option to get some pounds on. But I can't feed kibble and raw? A question on that one:)[/QUOTE]

We usually give the kibble straight. I'm not a RAW feeder but I don't see any real reason why you can't mix.

pattymac June 7th, 2013 11:05 AM

Supposedly it has something to do with different digestion times and all that sort of stuff. Don't know if there's anything to it.

sugarcatmom June 7th, 2013 02:16 PM

Here is a great explanation of the kibble/raw issue:


pattymac June 10th, 2013 04:02 PM

AArrrrggghhh..I have the fussiest bunch of felines! So the first cans of Nutrience rabbit they ate fine, so thought ok try the other flavours, I think they've all given me the collective 'piss off' Mom! Then ok lets have no thanks Mom! So I found a recipe for chicken, which I'm going to try. I'll just make a test batch before going and buying the vitamins and stuff, they still have crunchies so they will still get what they need that way. As my Mom says maybe they're holding out for sparrow's milk. Not worried about Noella or Nino (he's a bit on the chunky side!) but Bobee needs to eat and I can't keep buying stuff they don't want! If I ever start out with kittens again, that's it, you're eating raw!!

tiggy2 June 17th, 2013 10:11 PM

WOW that sounds so much like my guys. Get this food open it up and yum yum can't get enough. Then the next day it's I don't like this stuff, why are you feeding me this crap.:wall:

I have found the BFF food is a big success, almost like kibble. Must do a little more research on it to find out why they love it sooo much. Almost getting addicted to that and at $1.80 a can I sure as ...can't afford that. I'm now trying to mix the BFF canned and raw to see if I can get them switched over.

At least I have a stray guy that I can give all the rejected food to...he's having a field day, never had it so good. Now if I could just catch him and have him neutered, that would be great. Maybe in a few months he'll let me near him.

pattymac June 17th, 2013 10:18 PM

Haha Tiggy! Well after trying Nutrience..yup that was a no go! The first time around they enjoyed the rabbit. Second time, not so much. No one was eating more than a couple of mouthfuls. Everybody was hungry. The dog was happy getting a little extra good stuff in cat leftovers. So got Friskies, everybody's eating....ugh, I guess I'd rather have them actually eating than not eating, loosing weight and getting sick that way and 4 unhappy hungry cats are not pleasant to live with as you no doubt know!! I slipped a little nutrience into their Friskies tonight and everybody ate, so I think I'll have to go that route with them!

sugarcatmom June 17th, 2013 10:40 PM

[QUOTE=tiggy2;1058744]Now if I could just catch him and have him neutered, that would be great. Maybe in a few months he'll let me near him.[/QUOTE]

:sorry::offtopic: Would you possibly be able to borrow a humane trap from a local rescue group? They might also pay for or subsidize the neuter. He'll be fathering an awful lot of kittens over the summer otherwise.....

pattymac June 18th, 2013 04:20 PM

I gave up, they want junk food, so they're gonna get junk food!! Bobee's gotta gain some weight and if he's not eating, he's not gaining. Even Coco may have lost a bit over this. Noella's young, Nino is good so they gotta eat and I can't keep trying everything, costs a fortune! I'll get good crunchies for overnight and today I bought a case of far there's been no throwing up. I tried mixing a bit of good stuff with it last night, and they left quite a bit, I'll try again with a little less good stuff.

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