Help! New kitten food questions!

r00fattack

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Hello, all. My wife and I recently adopted two kittens (Mitsy and Bernadette) from the lgeneral mane society. We picked them up today.growing up, I had always had cats, and my parents just fed them dry Friskies. Most of the cats lived to be 15+Years old. Now, being grown and having the ability to buy these 2 little cuties the "best", I grabbed a bag of Blue Buffalo kitten chow after reading the seemingly impressive list of ingredients. This bag of food was stupid expensive (like 25 bucks). Anyway, got them home, let them get acquainted, showed them their box, both used it when I put them in there. Played a bit, and filled a water dish and a bowl of the Blue Buffalo. They snacked a little, and the wife and I went and grabbed some groceries. Gone for maybe an hour. Get home and there is diarrhea in our bathtub. Ugh. Ok, new environment, they may be a little stressed, yada yada. Took the hood off the box because I thought maybe they weren't understanding that they had to go through the little door. Cleaned up, watched a movie. Mitsy slept on my wife's chest, bernadette slept on mine. Bedtime rolls around, I decide to show them the box one more time. When I put Mitsy in, she played with the litter a bit and peed-but only the tiniest amount. Ok, small kitty, small pee. Makes sense. Then she went poop and it got messy. Very loose stool, loud farting noise (sorry to be crude), sounded like a human. Stuck to her fur, she stepped in it. Poor thing was a mess. She smeared it all over the floor, and I went into full red alert. Cleaned her up the best I could, she freaked the whole time. Now Bernadette goes in the box completely normal. WTH?

Been doing some checking, apparently Blue Buffalo is NOT what it seems as there are literally thousands of horror stories ranging from sickly bathroom sessions to death. Ok, no more of that. Glad I spen 25 dollars on that.

I guess here come the questions:

They were previously feeding them science diet at the humane society. Would giving them something different cause this? Its odd that only one kitten seems to have an issue.

Is the blue buffalo food just junk in general? That seems to be the concensus.

What should I feed them? How should I switch them?

Thanks in advance, and sorry about the long post. Figured the more info, the better.
 

raintyger

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Cats have sensitive digestive systems so any changes need to be made slowly, especially with dry food. In general, feed a mixture and increase every 3 or 4 days by 25%. So the first 3 days it's 25% new food, 75% old; the next 3 days 50% new, 50% old, and so on.

Blue Buffalo has had some problems. There were rumors that they reformulated about a year ago. My kitty rejected their canned food, which she had previously eaten. There are also lots of stories of pets going into kidney failure or dying when switched, and I have heard many stories of vets saying that there was a high amount of patients that came in who were fed Blue. There hasn't been any solid evidence, at least not that I heard of, to link the incidents, though.

I would definitely switch them from Science Diet. Science Diet is full of carbs and non-animal proteins. In general, you should switch them to wet food. Dry food is not good for cats because they have a naturally low thirst drive. Their ancestors came from the desert, so a low thirst drive was a survival technique. Instead they met their water needs through their food--fresh prey. The following website discusses cat nutrition:

http://www.catinfo.org

a shorter version of the same information:

http://www.fnae.org
 

dianamc

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Yes, giving them something different in dry food could cause this. It's also possible that they could have a parasite (this happened to me with a shelter kitten).

If it's food, chances are they would have adjusted to the BB if you had been able to do a gradual adjustment. (I'm not recommending BB but I'm justin saying..). You should be seeing your vet anyway so if you can't get this under control he can give you medication.  They sound darling.
 
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gravekandi

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Sounds like you upset their tummies. Cats have sensitive digestive systems and switching their food "cold turkey" like that is known to cause stomach upset with cats. Best way to introduce them to new food is to slowly mix it in. Start by completely switching back to what their just too and as your doing so check to make sure the stools look normal. After going back to the regular food and making sure all is well with their stools then slowly transition them. Start by giving them the regular amount of the science hills and then add a little of the new one and increase the amount. As an example lets pretend they get 1 cup of dry, give them close to one cup and about 1/8 of a cup of the new food and slowly increase the new food while lowering the old one. That will make sure they adjust accordingly. Not only to the taste but their tummies as well. 
Have you considered switching them over to wet? At least incorporating wet into their diets?
 
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r00fattack

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Thanks for the info! I am not planning on switching them to wet food. I'm assuming I need to make this change gradually, as well. Also, does anyone have any suggestions for a good wet food?
 

raintyger

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Thanks for the info! I am not planning on switching them to wet food. I'm assuming I need to make this change gradually, as well. Also, does anyone have any suggestions for a good wet food?
Well, you could switch them to wet food by slowly mixing dry and wet instead of switching to a different dry food and then switching to wet.

Lots of different options for wet food. In general, the pate style foods are better than anything with gravy (gravy is made with carbs). You'd want to stay 10% or under in carbs. The same website I linked to above has a nutrient content chart:

http://catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

Good budget brands are Friskies pate or Fancy Feast classic line (again, the pate style line).

On the higher end side, Wellness/Wellness Core, Evo, Hound and Gatos, By Nature are good brands, but there are many more. You can buy single cans for trial purposes from the online stores linked to in my signature.

You will want to rotate flavors and brands. With wet food you can pretty easily switch and not go through the gradual transition unless your kitty has problems. Avoid fish flavors (feed about once a week but not more).
 
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r00fattack

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Thank you all so much for your help! We have already started noticing huge improvement-no more messes. Happy kitties, happy owners.
 

laralove

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That's great, @r00fattack.

When I adopted Oliver, he was being fed some cheap, grain-filled dry feed. I almost immediately started feeding him wet (Fancy Feast Classics) for all of his meals and just left some dry in his other bowl for him to free feed from. Over the course of maybe three weeks, I gradually reduced the amount of dry each day and eventually only left a little out at night before completely taking it away. He took to it really well.
 
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