My girl will only eat seafood.

Meekie

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I read somewhere, maybe on this site, that cats will become accustomed to what they eat as kittens and it's very hard to change their food flavors.

Well, Maple likes fish. Cod, shrimp, tuna or any mixture thereof. When I first got her she did eat a little chicken, but now she won't. If I try to sneak a little chicken in with her fishy foods she detects it immediately. I'm glad she's eating reasonable well, but is it okay for cats to eat nothing but seafood? I've heard it can lead to urinary problems.

As a side note, she does eat her chicken flavored kibble, but I think that has more to do with the texture than taste, and I'd prefer the kibble remained a small part of her overall diet.
 

LTS3

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No, eating nothing but seafood is not good for cats.


And yes, what a cat is exposed to at weaning age is what the cat will recognize as food. This is why kittens should be exposed to both canned and dry food at weaning age and up until the kitten is a year old or so when you can then ditch the dry or limit it to a very small amount. Getting adult cats to start eating raw or home cooked foods is often difficult because they don't recognize that the weird stuff in their bowl is food to eat.

Have you tried using toppers on non-seafood based canned food to entice your cat? Maybe use crushed up seafood treats. Or FortiFlora.

Have you tried canned foods that are, say, chicken but also contain seafood? Some of the Weruva / Soulistic foods will say chicken or other protein but also contain seafood of some kind.
 

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Hi. When you say you try to 'sneak' some chicken in her food, does that mean you are buying some food that contains both fish and chicken, or two separate cans of each that you try to mix together? If the latter, as mentioned above, try buying some combinations and then perhaps just add a little bit to her fish food to get her used to it, to start with. The closer to the top of list of ingredients that fish is listed, the more likely it will taste 'fishy'. So, look for those products initially.

Another thing to consider is buying human fish and adding a bit to her canned foods - baked, grilled, or boiled white fish without extra salt and seasoning would be the way to go. Anchovies are somewhat lower on the food chain and contain less mercury and other heavy metals from ocean pollution. Shellfish, shrimp, and prawns - cooked in the same manner could be added in small amounts to her combo foods as well. These would all be used in quantities small enough to 'please her fish palate'. They might be just enough to get her to eating mostly non-fish-based cat food!

In addition to toppers, you could also try mixing some salmon oil, or other fish oils, into other foods to help it taste 'fishier'.
 
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Meekie

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LTS3 and FreebysOwner: thanks for the suggestions. She's a picky eater, even with her fish sometimes. She passed up a can of tuna fancy feast last night! I've learned to suspect that some cans aren't as appealing even though they're the same flavor or from the same lot.

She will not eat her fish flavors if I manually mix in some chicken OR if they come already mixed. I wonder if, for example, in the chicken and trout food she scoffed at, the ratio of fish to chicken is always the same.

I feed her Bravo treats but they're basically just freeze dried meat. They're tough and may not mix well with wet food, but I'll try. I am trying to avoid adding commercial treats like Friskies or Temptations because what if she gets used to having her wet food mixed with treats? I always try to keep treats to a minimum. Same with Churu. It would mix well, but then she will expect it.

That link about the dangers of fish feeding is scary but I'm glad I know now.

I suppose it will be all about trial and error. And a lot of wasted cat food, which I hate to do, but I suppose there's no other solution.
 

FeebysOwner

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I feed her Bravo treats but they're basically just freeze dried meat. They're tough and may not mix well with wet food, but I'll try. I am trying to avoid adding commercial treats like Friskies or Temptations because what if she gets used to having her wet food mixed with treats? I always try to keep treats to a minimum. Same with Churu. It would mix well, but then she will expect it.
It is possible that she might come to expect treats/toppers in her food, but if it means that she will eat something outside of just all fish - would that be so bad? There are also tons of wet toppers (lickables included) so that she never gets to expecting just one type. Most of the wet toppers aren't as filled with carbs/calories either.

Re: the Bravo treats - ever try to chop them into fine crumbles? I do that with one of Feeby's treats to add as a topper when needed.
 
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Meekie

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I like the Bravo treats because they're just meat. I'll bet if they're crumbled they'll mix right in. I've heard too many bad things about treats like Temptations. I wouldn't want them to be part of her daily diet, even in small amounts.

Looking around at toppers now. Wondering if there are any with artificial fish flavors? It's not always easy to find ingredient lists on Chewy or Amazon.
 

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I like the Bravo treats because they're just meat. I'll bet if they're crumbled they'll mix right in. I've heard too many bad things about treats like Temptations. I wouldn't want them to be part of her daily diet, even in small amounts.

Looking around at toppers now. Wondering if there are any with artificial fish flavors? It's not always easy to find ingredient lists on Chewy or Amazon.
You could try bonito flakes as a topper. They’re simply dried pieces of bonito, paper thin. I buy them at a local Asian market, but they probably also have them with the Asian foods at the grocery store.
 
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Meekie

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You could try bonito flakes as a topper. They’re simply dried pieces of bonito, paper thin. I buy them at a local Asian market, but they probably also have them with the Asian foods at the grocery store.
I live in an Asian neighborhood so I'm sure they'd be easy to find.
 

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Freeze dried meat treats can be soaked in water until they soften. if the pieces are large, break them up into smaller pieces so they rehydrate faster.

Besides Bravo, there are tons of other freeze dried meat treats. I feed these to my cat: Raw Rewards Freeze Dried Treats for Dogs & Cats | Northwest Naturals

I would go with real fish instead of artificial fish flavor (chemicals). Chewy has an ingredient list for food items. It's in the "Nutritional Information" section you have to select under "About This Item".

Chewy has a whole section on food toppers that is separate from treats: Cat Food Toppings: Broth, Shredded & More (Free Shipping) | Chewy Some are broths / liquids, others are basically crushed up freeze dried raw.
 

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One of my cats sounds just like Maple, M Meekie ! We adopted her when she was 2 1/2 years old (she's now 10) and she was addicted to dry food and fish. We have tried SO HARD to change her diet, but she is a stubborn and tough little sweetie 😜 Here's what we do and I hope some of this can work for you and Maple. Her diet now is no more than 25-40% fish, and we even have entirely fish-free days now and then!

We do two things. One, we feed her foods with small fish, rarely anything larger than salmon. She really likes mackerel, sardines, shrimp and crab. She also loves tuna but we limit that to once or twice a month. Two, we use broths and gravy to entice her to eat non-fish or less-fish foods. And we've noticed she LOVES variety so we give her a different food every day. She won't eat the same food two days in a row; sometimes she doesn't want them two meals in a row!

(she'll eat just about any dry food so I use that opportunity to give her novel proteins, but we also try to limit her dry food in general)

Regarding the broths and gravy, she really likes Soulistic shredded foods in gravy (the Originals line, not the pâtés or the 'moist & tender' lines) as well as Tiki Cat broths. The Soulistic foods are great for us because they're a complete meal (i.e. vitamins & minerals etc), they're heavy on the gravy, and they offer a variety of small fish flavors. We switch between mixing Soulistic fish flavors with any other non-fish food, or Soulistic non-fish flavors mixed with other fish foods. Today she's having a 50-50 mix of Soulistic shredded chicken and gravy mixed with Weruva Lamb Burgini (which says lamb, but it has more tuna than lamb!).

Soulistic is made by Weruva exclusively for Petco
Soulistic Canned Cat Food | Petco
The chicken one is a favorite of hers: https://www.petco.com/shop/en/petcostore/product/soulistic-good-karma-chicken-dinner-adult-canned-cat-food-in-gravy

Tiki Cat broths, one pouch lasts us 2 days.
TIKI CAT Broths Variety Pack Grain-free Wet Cat Food Topper, 1.3-oz pouch, case of 12 - Chewy.com
 
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Meekie

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Freeze dried meat treats can be soaked in water until they soften. if the pieces are large, break them up into smaller pieces so they rehydrate faster.

Besides Bravo, there are tons of other freeze dried meat treats. I feed these to my cat: Raw Rewards Freeze Dried Treats for Dogs & Cats | Northwest Naturals

I would go with real fish instead of artificial fish flavor (chemicals). Chewy has an ingredient list for food items. It's in the "Nutritional Information" section you have to select under "About This Item".

Chewy has a whole section on food toppers that is separate from treats: Cat Food Toppings: Broth, Shredded & More (Free Shipping) | Chewy Some are broths / liquids, others are basically crushed up freeze dried raw.
More options. Thanks.

The reason I suggested artificial fish flavor is because I thought it might get her to eat chicken and think it's fish. I don't think they make that stuff anyway. I agree about the chemicals. They're everywhere. I try to avoid them as much as possible. I give her filtered water and natural cat litter for example.

I had some progress last night. I picked up a few things to hold me over until the toppers are delivered. I poured some chicken Friskies Li'l grillers on some chicken food and she ate some. FIrst time I ever saw her eat all chicken. I also found a can of flaked chicken and tuna and she devoured that in minutes. Not crazy about the tuna (although she is!) but if it's mixed with chicken I suppose it's not as bad.

She likes kibble, and her kibble is all chicken, so I figure her diet right now is about 60% fish and 50% chicken. Would a 50/50 ratio be healthy enough?

I also mixed some Churu in with some chicken pate and she literally gagged at it. I'm done with the pate. She definitely prefers the chunky or shredded flavors.
 
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Meekie

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One of my cats sounds just like Maple, M Meekie ! We adopted her when she was 2 1/2 years old (she's now 10) and she was addicted to dry food and fish. We have tried SO HARD to change her diet, but she is a stubborn and tough little sweetie 😜 Here's what we do and I hope some of this can work for you and Maple. Her diet now is no more than 25-40% fish, and we even have entirely fish-free days now and then!

We do two things. One, we feed her foods with small fish, rarely anything larger than salmon. She really likes mackerel, sardines, shrimp and crab. She also loves tuna but we limit that to once or twice a month. Two, we use broths and gravy to entice her to eat non-fish or less-fish foods. And we've noticed she LOVES variety so we give her a different food every day. She won't eat the same food two days in a row; sometimes she doesn't want them two meals in a row!

(she'll eat just about any dry food so I use that opportunity to give her novel proteins, but we also try to limit her dry food in general)

Regarding the broths and gravy, she really likes Soulistic shredded foods in gravy (the Originals line, not the pâtés or the 'moist & tender' lines) as well as Tiki Cat broths. The Soulistic foods are great for us because they're a complete meal (i.e. vitamins & minerals etc), they're heavy on the gravy, and they offer a variety of small fish flavors. We switch between mixing Soulistic fish flavors with any other non-fish food, or Soulistic non-fish flavors mixed with other fish foods. Today she's having a 50-50 mix of Soulistic shredded chicken and gravy mixed with Weruva Lamb Burgini (which says lamb, but it has more tuna than lamb!).
I've only had Maple for two months so I'm still learning about her eating habits. For example, she doesn't care for pate, but if I just plop it in her dish without mashing it up she will eat some of it.

I know she likes shrimp, but I've heard too much shrimp can be bad. I will try the Soulistic since it worked so well for your kitty.

I'm just going to try and keep going with the toppers. Trial and error. I'll try the Soulistic
 
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Meekie

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She just ate a can of Fancy Feast shredded chicken! She scarfed it down so fast I had to check the can to be sure I didn't mistakenly open a can of fish. Woohoo!
 
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