I don't think I can care for my 10 year old girl anymore

Robyn5678

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I give my crew only wet food and they never eat it all the minute I put it down. They eat some, go away and play, come back and eat more, go poop, come back and eat more. They usually have it eaten within a few hours. Sometimes faster, sometimes longer. I have always added extra water to their food so I’ve never had an issue with it drying out before they eat it.
 
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louisstools

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I give my crew only wet food and they never eat it all the minute I put it down. They eat some, go away and play, come back and eat more, go poop, come back and eat more. They usually have it eaten within a few hours. Sometimes faster, sometimes longer. I have always added extra water to their food so I’ve never had an issue with it drying out before they eat it.
That's very helpful to hear. I might have had cats for a long time but I'm a noob when it comes to wet food and meal times. The basic mechanics of how that works is something that still baffles me as well as what is normal for a cat. I always thought they needed to eat it in one go 🤷
 
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louisstools

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Nope! I haven't had a whole lot of cats, but not a one of them ate everything all at once. All of mine have been 'grazers'.
I knew I was un-educated in the ways of cat parenting and man yall are really coaching me up! Learned a whole lot from my handful of forum posts here than I have in six months of posting on a different popular internet site that has a cat section.
 
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louisstools

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Nope! I haven't had a whole lot of cats, but not a one of them ate everything all at once. All of mine have been 'grazers'.
I can't edit my post so I'll just give ya a double reply if that's ok.

So like how does one "mechanically" feed a cat wet food then? Prepare it however the cat likes, put in the bowl...then what? Just leave it out for a half hour or few hours? And if they eat it then they eat it and if they don't eat it you pitch it? And repeat for the next meal?
 

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So like how does one "mechanically" feed a cat wet food then? Prepare it however the cat likes, put in the bowl...then what? Just leave it out for a half hour or few hours? And if they eat it then they eat it and if they don't eat it you pitch it? And repeat for the next meal?
There is no one 'pat' answer to that (sorry). It all depends on the food and the preferences of the cat. For Feeby, she only wants pates, she also wants it to be re-scooped into a pile every time she 'flattens' it out when eating it. After a couple of hours, she also wants it to be 'moister', so I add water when I re-scoop it. I will leave wet food out for 8 hours or so before I consider it 'done'. But, I also am home all day, so I can do this little routine of hers. There are timed feeders for wet food so that multiple sections are filled with food, so they don't dry out as fast, and can distribute food on a timeline that you like.

Cats are weird, they will always be weird, and we humans are at their 'command', once/if we learn what they want. It would be nice if they could tell us. But, for some cats, I am not sure that they would even if they could!
 
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louisstools

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There is no one 'pat' answer to that (sorry). It all depends on the food and the preferences of the cat. For Feeby, she only wants pates, she also wants it to be re-scooped into a pile every time she 'flattens' it out when eating it. After a couple of hours, she also wants it to be 'moister', so I add water when I re-scoop it.
Sounds like my Missy. Has to be a loose pate...usually have to puree it. And it must be "fluffed" up
 
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louisstools

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Because she doesn’t like food on the edges of the bowl. Same with kibble she wants me to fluff it back into the middle and usually touch it. She vastly prefers me to sit with her while she eats if she can get me to do so.
 

Robyn5678

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That's very helpful to hear. I might have had cats for a long time but I'm a noob when it comes to wet food and meal times. The basic mechanics of how that works is something that still baffles me as well as what is normal for a cat. I always thought they needed to eat it in one go 🤷
Some cats may. Mine did when I first got them, because I think they were afraid they were never going to eat again. Now they know they have more meals coming.

i usually feed them somewhere between 6-8am (it’s become 4am lately because they surround me when I get up to use the bathroom!) and again around 6pm in the evening. If the wet food happens to still be there around 9pm or so, I’ll just put in a container in the fridge and heat it up mix it in when I use that flavor next. This has only happened 2 times in the 7 months I’ve had them. I have been very fortunate that they have eaten any brand and flavor I have given them (please don’t let me have jinxed myself). Some they do like more than others and let some sit longer than others.
 

Robyn5678

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I can't edit my post so I'll just give ya a double reply if that's ok.

So like how does one "mechanically" feed a cat wet food then? Prepare it however the cat likes, put in the bowl...then what? Just leave it out for a half hour or few hours? And if they eat it then they eat it and if they don't eat it you pitch it? And repeat for the next meal?
I use 1.5 cans of pate, smoosh that up, and I usually add an ounce or 2 of water, rinses the can too. I also add one can of non pate. Sometimes I mix it together and sometimes I just leave it side by side. I feed them in a glass pie plate so they just move around and eat what part they want.

The only time I sat with my cats was when I first got them and they were skittish and hiding. I’d sit in the same room and talk to them so they got used to me. Every few days I’d move closer. I did this til they stopped running from me. I would try putting her food down and walking away. She will come and go as she pleases

cats are really smart so she may be picking up on your emotions.I had to bring my girl to the vet the other day, I got dressed and she hid. She’s like, momma never gets dressed, something is up haha. I had to reschedule
 

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Sounds like my Missy. Has to be a loose pate...usually have to puree it. And it must be "fluffed" up... Because she doesn’t like food on the edges of the bowl. Same with kibble she wants me to fluff it back into the middle and usually touch it. She vastly prefers me to sit with her while she eats if she can get me to do so.
Yep, know ALL that! I even bring Feeby food, especially in the evening when it seems like she has run out of steam to bother to go find her food on her own. That is when she is most inclined to 'seem' to want me to watch her eat. People say no, but I swear sometimes she is eating for my approval - eats a bite or two and looks at me as if to say, 'is that enough', and then when I don't move, she eats some more. I do think there are health related issues behind this in Feeby's case because of her age; but otherwise, it is very hard to tell.

But there is a point to the above comment about emotions - I know mine are frazzled, so I am pretty sure Feeby knows that too. No answers from me - just support.
 

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So like how does one "mechanically" feed a cat wet food then? Prepare it however the cat likes, put in the bowl...then what? Just leave it out for a half hour or few hours? And if they eat it then they eat it and if they don't eat it you pitch it? And repeat for the next meal?
Sorry, I didn't mean to double post, but actually yes, this is what I did for my angel kitty Moffit, and do now for Poppycat with his chunky gravy type foods. (With the second dish of pate that has his pre/pro biotic mixed in it, if he doesn't eat that within a certain time period I'll handfeed it to him).
 
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louisstools

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The only time I sat with my cats was when I first got them and they were skittish and hiding. I’d sit in the same room and talk to them so they got used to me. Every few days I’d move closer. I did this til they stopped running from me. I would try putting her food down and walking away. She will come and go as she pleases
Yeah, mine will graze on her kibble as she wants but she's always preferred someone to be with her when eating kibble. That's about the only real consistent behavior since her brother cat passed back in December. Missy, while a small cat, will trip you up if you're heading in the direction of her food bowl to "herd" you over to it to stand guard, fluff the food, or whatever it is we do in her little cat brain. Sometimes if you're sitting on the couch with her a night she'll wake up and meow at you to go into the kitchen with her lol. It is nice to see that at least somethings haven't changed for my little girl.
 

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Yeah, mine will graze on her kibble as she wants but she's always preferred someone to be with her when eating kibble. That's about the only real consistent behavior since her brother cat passed back in December.
Totally bet this is part of the issue. She is feeling insecure with the loss of her brother. If they ate together, she's looking for you to replace her lost eating buddy. She knows it is not the same, but still...
 
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louisstools

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Totally bet this is part of the issue. She is feeling insecure with the loss of her brother. If they ate together, she's looking for you to replace her lost eating buddy. She knows it is not the same, but still...
Feeding times were the same but she was on the floor and he was opposite side of the room on the counter (so she's couldn't steal his food). They certainly had each other's backs. He was a one in a million cat. Definitely big paws to fill.
 

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vet update for yall. As far as the vet could tell the cat is perfectly healthy and after some conversation suggested we hold off on any more tests because she could not really see a need for it at this time.
She also recommended that I try not to stress out as much :)
Your vet sounds like a very reasonable and realistic doctor with good insight to your concerns. :thumbsup:

As other members have posted each cat is different and no two eat the same. We've had cats for over 40 years and each had their own routine and eating habits. I never really thought about what I go through for our present cat to get him to eat his wet food until I had to have a pet sitter come in when we went on vacation. Like Missy, he likes a pate with gravy or broth. I start out giving him half a can with half the broth then add the remainder to refresh it for him. I also add some warm water. He starts out eating in the kitchen but then leaves. Ok, you might think this sounds crazy but I refresh his dish and bring it to wherever he's sitting, e.g. the hallway, the bedroom, family room, etc. Yes, he's spoiled but it eventually gets him to finish his food. I love him to pieces and don't give it a second thought.

I'm glad your vet and you have a plan in place for Missy and hope it helps. Best of luck! :alright:
 
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louisstools

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I have a 10 year old girl and we're both relatively new to the world of wet food and meal times (6 months). For 9.5 years we did kibble free range but due to a turn of events from her brother cat's cancer related death she now is getting canned food. FWIW the vet and I would be ok if the cat went back to the old diet but the cat seems to want wet food so that's ok. (We actually tried that back in Feb/Mar but after a four week transition to only kibble the cat stopped eating the kibble. This transition was attempted to ease the stress from both of us because I'm near the point where I can't handle this due to the massive amount of daily stress feeding is causing me.)

Anyway, I've been having a lot of issues over the past six months trying to figure out how "wet food meals" work with my cat. With her kibble, she'll go up to the bowl, sit, and chow a bit, then leave and return. She's always done this and this is normal behavior for her. If she's ever not interested in kibble that's a trigger for a vet visit since it is so out of the ordinary.

With wet food:
  1. sometimes she'll sniff it and walk away. these foods i'll try a few times and assume she just doesn't like it and never offer it again
  2. sometimes she'll eat a little bit (like 10 licks) and then walk way, these foods i'll offer again and sometimes have better luck.
    1. usually she can't be coaxed into eating more (i.e. moving the bowl to where she is and offering it again)
  3. sometimes she'll eat a bit more (like ~.5oz) and then walk away, these foods i'll offer again
    1. usually she can be coaxed into eating more (i.e. moving the bowl to where she is and offering it again) but not always
  4. sometimes she'll eat the whole serving and that's that. this has happened consistently with exactly one food that is essentially discontinued due to covid supply chain ingredient changes.
Kibble is always given in the same place and again she'll walk up and sit down before eating it.
Wet food is always initially offered in the same place near the kibble but she'll walk up to it and if she will eat it she'll eat a bit standing up and then decide to sit down after a bit. If she walks away it is either before or after she sat down, it's not consistent.

Usually I'm dealing with option 2 or 3 at each wet food meal time. I can't figure out why. I can usually tell within the first five seconds of a meal how it is going to go based on her lick speed. Foods that she scarfed down in one sitting previously or maybe ate ok-ish the day before or earlier that day she suddenly won't touch for a given meal. If I prepare something else she'll usually scarf it down.

I'm completely at a loss as to what to do. I don't know what's going on with the cat. Is she not hungry? Is she a picky eater? Is it something medical like a upset tummy? How do I diagnose any of these things?

edit:
With kibble, she usually only eats it when I'm standing near her or watching her. She's always been like that if I'm in the house. She'll eat a bit over night when I'm sleeping but not always.
Wet food is given at 6:00 AM and 3:00 PM, kibble is free range all day in .8oz increments and she is allowed up to 1.4oz total kibble for a day, measured by weight.
 

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Take her to the vet. Hopefully she's ok. Since she is senior they might suggest blood work. It could be an indication that she's in pain or nauseous.
 
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louisstools

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Take her to the vet. Hopefully she's ok. Since she is senior they might suggest blood work. It could be an indication that she's in pain or nauseous.
She went to the vet Tuesday...and ~9 times this year. She's had all the work done and this has been her behavior since Jan to current. Medically vet says she's ok. Weight wise she's gained a smidge this year but that's likely due to me just being diligent about making sure she gets her calories but as I said that's exhausting me and I'm about at my limit to care for my little girl b/c I can't keep doing this twice a day.

A simpler question would be like how abnormal is this eating behavior? Do other cats just seem to eat all topsy turvey every day where its a crap shoot what she'll want to eat or if she eats it?
 
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