Getting feral cat to eat/drink

Babypaws

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I’m not sure if this is the right forum to post this in or if it should go under cat nutrition....

I have a feral cat who i brought inside last October for the winter ( on our enclosed porch) It’s took 4 months in order for her to let me pet her. I want to get her comfortable enough so I can bring her to a vet for shots (she was trapped and spayed last August and given rabies shot) and then let her inside the house with my indoor cats but the past several weeks I can’t get her to eat very much and I don’t see her drinking. I feed her wet food and have tried different brands and texture. When she eats it’s only about tablespoon and then walks away....I sit with her 3-4 times a day and when I do she’s more interested in being petted than eating..I would hate to let her outside after all this time....I’ve given her pouches like “delectables” and other types of toppers. She’ll eat them but they’re not considered nutritious, and are only 1.4 ounces and are expensive for that little amount.
ive tried putting it on other wet food and she licks it off and leaves the wet food. I try not to give her any dry food so she’ll eat more wet but at the end of the day I cave in and give some dry so she’ll get some food in her. I even bought a nice water bubbler but it doesn’t look like that helps her drink. My indoor cats love it. I’m at a loss on how to get her to eat/drink. I’ve also cooked boneless chicken for her...not interested.
 
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Babypaws

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I forgot to mention, I’ve given her the juice from tuna can poured over regular wet food, she’ll drink that but won’t eat the tuna
 

di and bob

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If she wants dry, which she is most likely used to, give her dry....There are many dry foods out there that are very nutritious, and give her the Lickables or gravy treats for more liquids. She may only drink at night......set several little cups around to encourage all your cats to drink. PS before I became more aware of cat nutrition I raised many cats for many years on dry that was not near as nutritious as todays. they lived long, happy lives.....
 

fionasmom

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I agree. If she wants dry with a topper, I would go with that. My pampered indoor cats actually want dry despite my best effort to make them eat wet. I also agree that generations of cats and dogs did not die early deaths because they ate dry food despite advice nowadays to feed wet if possible.
 
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Babypaws

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I know what you mean about dry food given to cats in the past but you have to admit things from the past whether food or items were a lot better Quality than what is offered today. Big business is out for the money, at least that’s how feel,
im probably a lot older than most here so I remember the good ole days. Lol
i still need to get her to drink since there’s not much moisture in dry. Earlier I tried putting some chicken bouillon in her food, she walked away... but I’m gonna keep trying
 

di and bob

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The quality of dry food back in the good old days is inferior to what is offered now. People are very concerned with ingredients and quality now, there are grain-free dry foods too. I don't feed the completely grain-free, there have been too many reports of bad reactions to what they are replacing the grains with, often vegetables that are not good for them. Many dogs have died, though there haven't been many reports of cats being hurt. I just feed a good, high-quality dry, like Purina Pro Plan.
 
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Babypaws

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I’ve been using the catfooddb.com to research the Quality of wet and dry cat foods and haven’t found any I completely like, some might have some good ingredients and then when I look further I see they have a lot of unneeded fillers.
 

shadowsrescue

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I have found that when you feed more dry food, the cat will drink more water. Some cats like water fountains to drink from.

I brought 3 feral cats inside 3 years ago when we moved. When they lived outside they ate both wet and dry. When we moved, they hardly wanted any wet food. I have a male cat who had a urinary blockage and since then removed dry food and use only as a small treat. Yet the feral boys needed to eat. I just fed them dry only for awhile. I then gradually started offering wet food again. Eventually they were able to transition back to all wet food. It was just more important for them to eat!

Also if she doesn't seem interested in the dry, I would wonder if a vet visit is necessary. I know how terribly hard it is to get a feral to the vet. Hopefully she will be just fine once she eats some dry food!
 
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