Changing diet for a junk food cat

Musiaka

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Is it even realistic to teach an older cat (approx 8-10 years old) to eat a proper diet if he was on a junk food diet his whole life?
Have you succeeded with cases like that?
How long did it take and how persistant did you have to be?

I managed to take Musiaka off of kibble few months ago, but the only canned food he accepts is the one that is specifically made to be tasty and irresistable to cats. Anything else he will either try once and then ignore or not even give a try. When he doesn't like the food he goes on a

Surrouding new food with old, putting it on the side, introducing it slowly doesn't help. Toppings didn't work either, as he is not a fan of crunchy goodies. And he's too sus about lickable treats, as those I use to mix his supplements/medicine with.

What was your trick?

I need to get him from a saucy, delicious patè based food on to a drier, harder textured mono/hydrolized protein canned food. It seems impossible right now.
 
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StanAndAlf

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I have seen people transfer their 100% kibble fed cats onto completely raw diets, it just takes time, persistence and some trouble shooting. Some it took weeks, other 18 months.

Keep trying different brands. Fancy Feast isn't a horrible brand really, and lots of cats find it irresistible, so perhaps try that if you haven't already.

Can I ask why you are trying to go back to a dry diet after transitioning off kibble?
 
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Musiaka

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I have seen people transfer their 100% kibble fed cats onto completely raw diets, it just takes time, persistence and some trouble shooting. Some it took weeks, other 18 months.

Keep trying different brands. Fancy Feast isn't a horrible brand really, and lots of cats find it irresistible, so perhaps try that if you haven't already.

Can I ask why you are trying to go back to a dry diet after transitioning off kibble?
No, not a dry diet! A canned diet, but monoprotein food is very meat heavy and dry-ish
 
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Musiaka

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But wow, 18 months... :O
 

lisahe

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What are you currently feeding Musiaka? In my experience -- which includes lots of dietary limitations because of our cats' digestive sensitivities -- drier canned food isn't necessarily better: Tiki, for example, makes some really good brothy foods (that our cats currently hate!) but there are some drier pates that have thickeners that I can't/won't feed. (Last I checked, for example, Hound & Gatos had agar-agar, which makes both our cats barf.) I recognize that Musiaka (or you) may have very different limitations for his diet!

Depending on what it is that Musiaka is currently enjoying, maybe there are some other foods that are similar that we could recommend. No matter what, a variety of foods, a rotation, is a good idea. Cats often decide, very suddenly, that they won't eat a certain food. Or there can be recalls. And recipes can change.

S StanAndAlf makes some good suggestions. Fancy Feast Classics, for example, really aren't that bad. We used to feed a can of it a week to our cats until, that is, one was diagnosed with asthma and I took all fish, even small amounts, out of the cats' diet. Now we feed a couple meals of Sheba each week simply because the cats will eat it. Following up again on StanAndAlf's post, commercial raw foods are the cats' biggest favorites. They also like their homemade cooked food.

In our case, we were able to get our cats off dry food in a month or two. But they constantly change their minds about their canned meals, which means I'm constantly readjusting their menu. Tiki is currently in storage with Iams kitten food a favorite. A lot of compromise goes into this! 🤷‍♀️
 
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Musiaka

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What are you currently feeding Musiaka? In my experience -- which includes lots of dietary limitations because of our cats' digestive sensitivities -- drier canned food isn't necessarily better: Tiki, for example, makes some really good brothy foods (that our cats currently hate!) but there are some drier pates that have thickeners that I can't/won't feed. (Last I checked, for example, Hound & Gatos had agar-agar, which makes both our cats barf.) I recognize that Musiaka (or you) may have very different limitations for his diet!

Depending on what it is that Musiaka is currently enjoying, maybe there are some other foods that are similar that we could recommend. No matter what, a variety of foods, a rotation, is a good idea. Cats often decide, very suddenly, that they won't eat a certain food. Or there can be recalls. And recipes can change.

S StanAndAlf makes some good suggestions. Fancy Feast Classics, for example, really aren't that bad. We used to feed a can of it a week to our cats until, that is, one was diagnosed with asthma and I took all fish, even small amounts, out of the cats' diet. Now we feed a couple meals of Sheba each week simply because the cats will eat it. Following up again on StanAndAlf's post, commercial raw foods are the cats' biggest favorites. They also like their homemade cooked food.

In our case, we were able to get our cats off dry food in a month or two. But they constantly change their minds about their canned meals, which means I'm constantly readjusting their menu. Tiki is currently in storage with Iams kitten food a favorite. A lot of compromise goes into this! 🤷‍♀️
We don't have Fancy Feast in Lithuania, but we have Melting Hearts from Purina, which Musiaka currently eats and loves. But it's not a good food for his ibd and we need to either introduce a novel protein or a hydrolized protein. He has triaditis, so there's a lot of inflammation going on.

However all the novel protein canned food I managed to get hold of are not as saucy and moist as Melting Hearts, which isn't up to Musiaka's standard 😀
I'm pretty sure Musiaka would love a bigger variaty and rotation, but new foods can cause a flareup for him too. Finding 2-3 sorts that are ibd friendly and doesn't cause a flareup would be ideal and I have actually found good candidates, but getting him to eat it... gosh, this cat would rather starve, get acid barfs due to hunger and not have energy than eat something he doesn't find tasty. Maybe I need to be persistent, if, as S StanAndAlf says it can even take up to 18 months to get a cat used to a new type of food
 

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Have you tried adding water to make it a more appealing texture? You can use a fork or a stick blender to combine them.
 

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I feed Oreo Acana First Feast Kitten I wish the had canned
 

Catmom1234567890

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Need to read the ingredients. Even the most expensive, “healthy” canned food contain junk fillers like fruits and vegetables and most contain some sort of thickener.
 

lisahe

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We don't have Fancy Feast in Lithuania, but we have Melting Hearts from Purina, which Musiaka currently eats and loves. But it's not a good food for his ibd and we need to either introduce a novel protein or a hydrolized protein. He has triaditis, so there's a lot of inflammation going on.

However all the novel protein canned food I managed to get hold of are not as saucy and moist as Melting Hearts, which isn't up to Musiaka's standard 😀
I'm pretty sure Musiaka would love a bigger variaty and rotation, but new foods can cause a flareup for him too. Finding 2-3 sorts that are ibd friendly and doesn't cause a flareup would be ideal and I have actually found good candidates, but getting him to eat it... gosh, this cat would rather starve, get acid barfs due to hunger and not have energy than eat something he doesn't find tasty. Maybe I need to be persistent, if, as S StanAndAlf says it can even take up to 18 months to get a cat used to a new type of food
Ah, sorry, I didn't realize you're in Lithuania so have a whole different set of foods to choose from. I also didn't realize he has triaditis. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this.

Have you been able to figure out any of the ingredients that trigger Musiaka's flareups? What C Catmom1234567890 says about fruit, vegetables, and thickeners is very true for a lot of the foods sold in the US. There are lots of very common ingredients I just have to avoid: potato, peas, agar-agar... I could go on and on.

I'm just curious: Are these the Melting Hearts foods he likes so much? Here? They don't look bad in some senses (no wheat gluten is always a big plus!) but of course it's impossible to know what's in some of those broad categories, at least as they're listed here. Maybe there's more information on the can.

I've sometimes been able to convince our cats to eat something they don't like by layering something they do like on top of it. And adding water, like Maurey Maurey said, makes a lot of food more appealing to our picky cat. For some reason, she loves to lick up juice, gravy, and watered-down food. I hope you don't have to experiment with these things for 18 months.
 

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I have seen people transfer their 100% kibble fed cats onto completely raw diets, It just takes time, persistence and some trouble shooting. Some it took weeks, others 18 months.

Keep trying different brands. Fancy Feast isn't a horrible brand really, and lots of cats find it irresistible, so perhaps try that if you haven't already.

Can I ask why you are trying to go back to a dry diet after transitioning off kibble?
Some Fancy Feast recipes are not as bad as others, but all of them are junk food. It is specifically made for picky eaters. That's why the brand has always been so popular: cats need to eat and you can only make them eat what they like. Only cats who will not eat anything else should have it.
 

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Out of curiosity, is that the same thing? I've never heard of Melting Hearts!
I think Purina sell their Fancy Feast recopies under different names in different countries. In Japan they are called Mon Petit, but the flavours and ingredients are the same as those sold in the US. My cats really like them
Some Fancy Feast recipes are not as bad as others, but all of them are junk food.
No, that's not true at all. They're not junk.

Maybe it would be better if you stuck to the games threads in The Lounge. Sweeping statements like "all of them are junk" aren't very helpful in the other forums.

:)
 

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maggie101

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Ah, sorry, I didn't realize you're in Lithuania so have a whole different set of foods to choose from. I also didn't realize he has triaditis. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all this.

Have you been able to figure out any of the ingredients that trigger Musiaka's flareups? What C Catmom1234567890 says about fruit, vegetables, and thickeners is very true for a lot of the foods sold in the US. There are lots of very common ingredients I just have to avoid: potato, peas, agar-agar... I could go on and on.

I'm just curious: Are these the Melting Hearts foods he likes so much? Here? They don't look bad in some senses (no wheat gluten is always a big plus!) but of course it's impossible to know what's in some of those broad categories, at least as they're listed here. Maybe there's more information on the can.

I've sometimes been able to convince our cats to eat something they don't like by layering something they do like on top of it. And adding water, like Maurey Maurey said, makes a lot of food more appealing to our picky cat. For some reason, she loves to lick up juice, gravy, and watered-down food. I hope you don't have to experiment with these things for 18 months.
I haven't heard the word triiditis in a long time. My old cat had that among other things. Since she was a kitten,only canned. She ate koha limited ingredient duck. I couldn't stand the smell so I switched to lid instinct duck. 11 to 5 pds
My cat now,Maggie, sometimes needs extra flavoring so I mix in some fancy feast with her healthy food or by crushable treats at a small pet store. I even bought freeze dried minnows to mix in!
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IMG_0364.JPG
 
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maggie101

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One of her symptoms was constantly throwing up so no time to do trial and error to figure out the cause. Lid food usually duck or rabbit. No poultry,beef,or fish
 

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The one that comes to mind is a cat I fostered several years ago. She was a Whiskas junkie. It took me an entire month to get her off of that, very, very slowly adding Royal Canin senior food to the Whiskas. She went home on the Royal Canin with Temptations sprinkled on top, and her new human was able to get her off the sprinkles a couple of weeks later. Now she eats a wide variety of foods, including wet food, which I was never able to tempt her with.
My cat Kitty Fantastic is a foster fail. The first ten years of her life she ate the cheapest, Technicolor garbage going, and paid the price with her health. We let her settle in and then changed the diet. We were advised to use only wet food with her as she was morbidly obese and only had two teeth. Luckily, she took to the diet change and was able to eat a wide variety of foods as long as we stayed within her calorie limit for the day. Natural Balance Tuna and Shrimp and Science Diet Ocean Fish were her initial favourites, but she'll eat pretty much anything.
I failed with Anastasia, a cat from Animal Control we fostered. She was so, so tiny, and such a terrible eater. She's the only cat I've ever adopted out on Whiskas and Fancy Feast. Anastasia wasn't the kind of cat who could go into just any home, though, and the person she went to is well experienced with cats and someone we've all known a long time. It took her another two months but she was able to transition Anastasia onto Wellness.
 

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One of her symptoms was constantly throwing up so no time to do trial and error to figure out the cause. LID food usually duck or rabbit. No poultry, beef,or fish.
LID can also be venison or lamb. The key is to introduce a "novel protein" so Nature's Variety also offers turkey, which is less likely to be an allergen than chicken.
 

maggie101

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With triiditis duck or rabbi are more likely to have no tummy upsets. It is not just IBD, also pancreatitis and liver inflammation simultaneously. With a cat that was throwing up constantly, I would not take any chances. If something works, stick with it. She lived to be 18
 
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Musiaka

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Have you tried adding water to make it a more appealing texture? You can use a fork or a stick blender to combine them.
Yes, I have and I even slightly warmed it up to make it smell more. But Musiaka just ignores it
 
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