Looking for opinions on our cat's diet and appetite


TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Mar 1, 2023
I'll try to be brief to not bog the question down with details.
But I should preface this now with the following to just not waste certain people's time...
  1. We will not under any circumstances feed our cat dry food.
  2. We will not feed him commercial brands full of gums and nameless things like "whitefish"
  3. We will not feed canned foods that have fish, as cats shouldn't be eating fish at all.
If you're somebody that feeds your cats like us, then you're probably still reading. If not, that's ok, thanks for stopping by.

Starting off, we have a perfectly clean bill of health from our cat's vet. So outside of a sonogram, there is nothing more we can do and nothing showed reason for concern in both blood and urine checkups. And nothing according to our vet -- who we trust entirely -- necessitates further exploration at this point. With respect to us concerned about our cat not eating as much as we'd like, our vet simply said, keep trying to give him more and finding something he loves. Naturally, as much as we love them, vets aren't nutritionists or behaviourists.

So... this is where we are:
  • No food in cans, really, entices him at all. And the response is even worse to dry but as we've said we won't feed him dry anyway.
  • Commerical raw is something in our trials he doesn't acknowledge at all as food which is normal but getting him to start adapting to it and ultimately like it by way of using "his other food that he likes" is very difficult because there's no "food that he likes" for more than about 5 days before getting sick of it.
  • Just constantly swapping food works fine from one to another, but when you have to switch every 5 days it causes diarrhea.
  • Creamies (treats by Catit in a tube) were working fine for introducing bits of raw food until we realised the tapioca starch -- which cats shouldn't really eat -- that is in them was provoking diarrhea and upset stomachs. So that had to stop.
What have we tried other than what I've mentioned?
  • There are any number of wet cans, all good quality, natural ingredients that he likes, but again, rarely for more than 3-5 days.
  • Different methods of eating to keep getting his attention, which works, but it means staying on top of showing it and reshowing it to him, offering food on our finger for him to lick which hooks him back into his plate to eat on his own.
  • For a test, I tried giving him raw chicken thigh and boiled chicken meat (no seasoning, it was prep for a soup) and he devoured both instantly. He did the same to cooked pork.
  • He gets probiotics daily to balance good gut flora to aid in digestion.
Why the concern for his diet?

He should really be more like 13.5 - 14 pounds. He's at 12.8. According to any calorie based feeding guide he needs 280 - 310 kcal per day. He's getting on average about 270. There are days where we get him to a solid 290 but just as many where we can't get more than 260 and we can tell it's not out of a lack of hunger, but rather of interest because he looks for food and then walks away. Or we have to go through the finger tasting thing to get him to continue on his own on the plate.

FINALLY! Our question...

Any thoughts on what to try, how to turn that craving for chicken, cooked or raw, into a balanced meal? Any other thoughts? We're all ears. We're in Canada if you want to recommend products or foods. And we appreciate it.


TCS Member
Young Cat
Jan 25, 2020
I know you want no dry food but if you mix in some dry food just to get those calories in him I recommend taste of the wild. My cat cannot eat lots of chicken and while we give him one with some, the probiotics in the food help with the sometimes upset stomach he has with chicken.
I’m sure you have tried the tiki cat that has the quail egg etc but maybe try reveal they have minimal ingredients and while there are some with fish I believe there is a chicken one as well!! Good luck of the good hunt! I wish cats had a bit more options like dogs do


Cat Devotee
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Jan 9, 2018
Colorado US

furmonster mom

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Top Cat
Jun 14, 2013
Mohave Desert
I’m in a similar boat with a new cat.
I have been feeding raw to my animals for about 15 years now, and really want to get this guy on board.

Unfortunately, he was fed commercial dry food for years before we brought him home.
Transitioning has been difficult

We finally got him off the dry, and he is now eating a reasonably decent commercial wet food. But he lost some weight in the process, and he is still not eating as much as he should. Whenever I try to sneak in a tiny bit of raw in the food, he leaves it on the plate. So it’s more important at this point to get him to eat an appropriate amount before we start up another transition period.

I’m thinking of trying to add a little egg slurry (cooked whites chopped fine and mixed back with raw yolk) to get a little extra simple protein, fats, and omegas into him.
Fingers crossed he won’t turn his nose up at it. 🤞

As for appetite stimulation, I would normally advise a tiny bit of canned tuna or chicken juice (like the Costco canned chicken), or benito (? asian style fish flakes). But you said you don’t want to use fish. So maybe see if he responds to the egg yolks?

Otherwise, I’m at a loss. Maybe there are enzyme powders or sprays that would help?
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