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Conflicted On Feeding Dry Food

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by mikameek, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. mikameek

    mikameek Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    So, I really want to get Mika's weight up. Right now, that's priority number one (aside from keeping her healthy and eating of course). She was originally 7.5 lbs when I got her and I really want her back up there or ideally to 8 lbs. Right now she's maintaining in the range of 5.6 to 5.7 lbs.

    I was reading (and correct me if I'm wrong) that dry food tends to have more calories per bite of food so they can eat less to get more out of it.

    My real issue is Mika isn't handling the dry food I give very well (I may just be giving her too much to handle at first after being on wet food for so long -- recommendations on where to start on that? I tried to mix it into her wet food and she ate around them). I've given her a very small portion (like maybe 20 kibbles) to eat over the night and she woke up to throw it up later. I haven't attempted again because I'm nervous about keeping calories and food in.

    Should I start her off even slower? Like a tablespoon to free feed over night? Maybe I need a different food (this bag has been open for close to a month without getting used because of her issues)? Should I be getting one easy on the stomach?

    Also, would anyone recommend probiotics to give her?
     

  2. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Wet food has more water so that is why it is slightly less nutritionally dense. However, dry food has more carbs so while your cat is getting more calories they are empty calories without much nutitional value.

    Which kibble are you feeding? It could be the specific kibble she dislikes (or her system dislikes). I'd actually focus on a wet food she really likes and feed that twice a day with a high protein/high fat/low carb kibble out between meals and at night.
     
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  3. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

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    dry food does tend to have more calories per serving. I dont mix wet and dry food together, bacteria issues, and my cats hate it. I do leave dry out all the time.

    What foods are you feeding right now, wet and dry? My favorite dry food is Dr. Elseys, chicken. I have several wet foods i like :)

    I feed two, sometimes 3 wet meals per day, High protein, moderate fat, and low carb. I think its important to get more protein in them than fat, and carbs. we want them to gain muscle weight, not so much fat weight.
     
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  4. mikameek

    mikameek Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Currently, I've been feeding her the dry food she was on before she got sick which is Whole Hearted Salmon. It's grain free and moderately high in protein from what I remember.

    Wet is a rotation to keep her eating. I'm trying to get her off fish because she was absorbed to that. I've been seeing it's not really healthy to have them on fish for a long time and I'm wondering if maybe her weight problem is fish protein related. Right now I have Merrick Chicken and Rabbit (will be trying beef tonight), Fancy Feast Chicken and Liver (will be trying out beef flavors as well) and their seafood (salmon and ocean white fish and tuna) which I'm using for intermediate flavors to wean her off. Dry is Whole Hearted Salmon which I'd like to get off because of the salmon protein.

    She's getting 3 meals a day, easily over 160 calories, I usually leave food out over night but she won't really touch it till morning, I would love to free feed dry in small amounts if I can, and I really try to feed higher protein because of her liver issues.
     

  5. Kieka

    Kieka Snowshoe Servant Staff Member Forum Helper

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    The food choices sound good.

    Since your goal is gaining weight, I'd just leave a bowl of kibble out at all times and continue feeding the wet as normal.

    My cats weren't big fans of the Whole Hearted. Maybe Evangers, the Dr Elseys, Merrick Before the Grain, or Taste of the Wild would be good for the dry? My girl did really good on Nature's Variety LID Rabbit and since switching she's lost happy a pound. I am actually thinking about switching back with hopes of her regaining some weight.
     
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  6. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

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    I might try bumping the calorie count up for her. maybe an extra can of wet, if she likes fancy feast its fairly high calorie, so yea!

    I would keep trying different wet foods with her, and just leave some high protein dry out all the time, I dont think you will find one that is higher protein and lower carb than Dr. Elseys.

    I try a lot of different wet foods with my guys, from the grocery store bargain brands, to the highest $ holistic foods, they like some, and hate some of all of it :) But i don't mess around with many different dry foods. For dry i feed only Dr. Elseys, or occasionally Farmina.

    I know there is a lot of bad information about feeding too much fish. I feed more than is recommended, I dont know. :dunno: The dry i use does not have fish, and i try to make sure all of them eat at least one of the two wet meals per day as a non fish food. some to look into might be ones like Chewy's american journey foods, they have a turkey and salmon minced food that my guys like, the salmon is not the first protein, so they get more turkey, but the salmon flavor?
     
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  7. Pjg8r

    Pjg8r TCS Member Adult Cat

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    If you want to increase wet just a little you could try 1/2 of the Sheba perfect portions. I also use Dr. elseys or American Journey in their puzzle feeder about every other day.
     
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  8. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Super Cat

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    I agree on feeding high-protein, low-carbohydrates kibble instead of just anything your cat likes. Simply gaining weight does not make her healthier. The sources of calories matter.
     

  9. 2BSH

    2BSH TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    What do you mean there is a lot of misinformation about feeding fish? I’m curious about your thoughts about it.
     
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  10. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

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    I Don't think i said "Misinformation" about feeding fish. I said " Bad information" about feeding too much fish. meaning most places i read say to stay away from too much fish, some go so far as to say no fish. I don't know, i can understand the fear of mercury, and the other contamination. But there is fear with a lot of things we feed. And i have always wondered, why is fish oil so good for them, but fish is not??? And fish is so well loved, and a very good source of protein. I understand the logic behind the reasoning to stay away from a lot of fish, and i do try not to make it the main source of calories for anyone. Just not sure where i really stand on the feed fish, cat food, or dont feed fish, cat food. I never feed fresh or human fish, im not a fish girl :) i don't buy it for me, so cats don't have access

    My little white girl has been a kibble cat for years, she will now eat some almo nature salmon and apple for breakfast every day. So, all kibble, or a wet fish meal once a day? :dunno: Rock, hard place.

    I choose to feed her the salmon and apple for breakfast, i still offer other foods as well, but she will only eat the salmon. So, sorry, i don't really have very clear thoughts on it, i am conflicted. let them eat more dry food, or let them eat more wet food that is fish? :headscratch:
     
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  11. Monk'sMom

    Monk'sMom TCS Member Adult Cat

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    If you want any animal to gain weight, you give them what they *love to eat* most, regardless if it's dry/wet/, low/
    high
    calorie. Only you know what your cat likes to eat.
    The specific suggestions regarding brands above are helpful to try for life long maintenance and optimal health. But if Mika doesn't like any dry food, you can leave it in a bowl at all times for her to have access, while making sure she gets the wet food she really likes thrice a day. Kieka's suggestion^ is spot-on: leave dry in a bowl all day & night, and also feed the wet she likes.
    What someone else's cat has liked will not necessarily be for Mika. All my cats were different, and one of them never liked any wet food including Fancy Feast, a brand all the others were crazy about.
     
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  12. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Is she happily eating 3 meals of wet a day, or is she picking at it and grazing?
    If she's happy to eat, I'd add in another meal if possible, same portions.

    If you find a dry she likes and does well on, I'd leave the dry down and maybe consider making it more "interesting", with treats or pieces of those bonita flakes or something. If you stumble on a treat she LOVES, you can crush them to powder, add into a little bit of dry separately and mix it up really well so she can't fish (no pun intended!) the treats out.
    If she's not handling the dry food, it might be the brand, the flavor/formula, or she might just not take to dry food well. Most cats do, some do not.

    With wet food are you feeding pates, chunks, grills, shreds, or any of the other "textures" available, or are you mixing and matching? Some cats REALLY prefer one to the other, no idea why.
     
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  13. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Super Cat

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    You can guess where I stand on that one. Water is too important to worry about if the fish has too much mercury. That said, I would not feed something with fish as the first or second ingredient to my cat.
     

  14. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Top Cat

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    I read in Dr Hofve's "What Cats Should Eat Book." I'm not trying to scare anyone off, I'm just sharing information as I read it. Below are the main highlights:
    • Fish in canned pet food contains a lot of bones, which is high in phosphorous and magnesium. This can cause urinary tract problems if they eat too much
    • Common allergen
    • Fish foods contain Menadione, which has potential toxicity issues
    • Fish can contain toxins like heavy metals like mercury, pesticides etc. Tilefish, or "Ocean Whitefish" are higher with this than salmon or tuna
    • Fish is addictive
    She recommends feeding fish only occasionally for these reasons, and she also said a little bit of fish or fish oil is not bad. I think some of her points are not very concerning (addictiveness and allergies if your cat isn't allergic) but I think the main points of not feeding fish is avoiding Menadione and the toxicity of fish in cat food in general.

    I tend to follow this same principle. A few of my staple foods have fish (Life's Abundance has shrimp as the 6th ingredient, and I've fed others with tuna a little but higher on the list). But if all my cat liked were fish flavors, I think I would do the same as you @duckpond and feed those flavors daily along with a non-fish kibble. I think salmon seems like a much better choice than Ocean Whitefish, and hydration I like all the information in Dr Hovfe's book, but she is almost impossibly strict on what to feed. I think if I tried to follow all of her guidelines my cat would starve and I would be bankrupt. :rolleyes:
     
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  15. Daisy6

    Daisy6 A cat's best friend Super Cat

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    Well, shrimp are not fish (crustaceans I think), so they probably present different nutritional concerns for cats. But Daisy does not like shrimp either.
     
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  16. duckpond

    duckpond TCS Member Top Cat

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    I do watch the brands of fish i feed. there are some that dont have bones, and the phosphorous and magnesium are not too bad, no worse than a lot of other foods without fish. it is hard to know what to do sometimes. I feed the salmon :) for breakfast for two of mine. and try to feed all 4 of them other proteins for dinner, with varying degree of success for 2. The other 2 are good with chicken, and beef, they are not much into fish. Weird i have 2 that LOVE it, and 2 that would rather not?
     
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  17. mikameek

    mikameek Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    She's always been kind of a grazer. She will eat really well at the foods when it's first set down (especially in the morning, she'll go ham which makes me think she isn't getting enough during the night) but typically won't eat all of it completely gone right away. She'll go back at finish her breakfast (typically given at 7) by 10 and then I give her another meal at about 12:30 which she'll seem super happy to go for. That will be something she goes back to at around 2 til 4 with her finishing it off and then at 7:30 or 8 she'll get dinner. She typically won't finish all of that and will kind of graze till we go to bed (that varies).

    I'm doing the treats right now on top of the food she isn't as excited to eat. Keep her interested!

    Pates. She won't eat anything else truly. She'll lick up all the gravy and all leave the rest of the food on everything else. I tried mixing a pate and a chunky together once and she only licked up the gravy, ate some of the pate and then ignored the rest.

    My problem is that feeding her what she likes (only fish flavored foods) isn't gaining her weight. She's been eating really well on the foods she liked for 2 weeks now and hasn't even gained an ounce. My vet recommended a diet change and we tried a LID diet but she refused to eat anything I gave her. She's had fatty liver before and we're still working on getting her out of the woods with that and her gallbladder so it's more important to have her eat than being on LID. I also asked if her issues could be keeping her from gaining weight and the vet told me it was unlikely since when most fatty liver patients put on some weight once they pick up eating well again.
     
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  18. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Just wondering, has the vet ever mention checking her for hyperthyroidism?
     
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  19. mikameek

    mikameek Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    No, right now the idea is IBD or her liver is really inflamed. Mika is only 3, how likely is hyperthyroidism in a young cat? The vet also noted her coat was super healthy, silky and beautiful (part of her reasoning as to believing Mika is still on the up-and-up despite not gaining weight). I also don't think she's peeing more (I'm reading the symptoms as I go here, hahaha!). She pees about 3-4 times a day and the only odd thing about it is that it's typically in the middle of her eating. The vet suspects ANOTHER UTI (can you hear my joy?) but she hasn't displayed any other symptoms of that either (still bought her some probiotics and supplements that are supposed to help with UTIs because we are not doing another round of antibiotics unless it's absolutely necessary).
     

  20. KarenKat

    KarenKat Kitty on the half shell, tortie power! Top Cat

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    Sounds like you do a lot of research and are well informed, probably negates most of the concern on fish foods. I think that's all we can do. I am bending over backwards trying to get Gohan to try more wet food, and will go towards fish soon if he doesn't find some he will eat. There is some preservative in many of the brands that literally makes him gag (Dave's, Wellness, Hound and Gatos have all done this). I have a gag column on my cat food spreadsheet just for him. :barf:And if he gags at a food, it is consistent that he will never try the food ever.
     
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