Reintroduce dry cat food

gaogier

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Hello

So, about 18 months ago, I noticed that one of my cats would be sick after eating his dry food, I didn't know why, but, I normally mix the old bag, with the new, and none of my other cats were being sick, okay, we get my cat checked out, turns out his teeth need removing, so we put all the times he is sick down to that, anyway, I carry on as normal, but this time, I got a bag of dry cat food, and again mixed it up with the older stuff, and strangely my other cats started to be sick, so, about to gather all the data for the vets so they know what to look out for, as all the cats are sick within 1 hour of eating the dry food, but mostly this would happen within a minute or 2. This is a really close relation to the dry food.

So, this time, I go to the store, (normally delivered), and brought a small bag, gave them the food from a different packaging (they are going plastic free or trying too), I did not mix this bag up with the other food, and my cats eat this food no problems. Now, I am getting into investigation mode... the both cat food are the same shape, same flavour, same ingredients (supposably), but the colour of the biscuits are different, one is lighter, so I show my mum, sisters to see if they can see anything, they couldn't see it. So maybe I am trying to find differences in something that is not different.

This time, I am now sure that its not a health issue, our vets are ready to run test, but they don't think its the cats health too, and agree something must be changed with the cat food, maybe the packaging or something I don't know, but what I do know is, I have switched to a different brand of cat food, one that they used to eat some 10+ years ago. I have been using this with the cats for about 10 weeks, and only one of my cats has been sick, he was sick twice, but that was mostly due to him having a huge drink of water, eat a bit of dry food too quickly.

So, I now have food that is making my cats sick, but have some dry food from before change over packaging, changed packaging and back to normal packaging. I contacted the people who make the dry food, and said they have not changed anything in years now, just the packaging, so they said they will test the 3 different samples of cat food, and see if there is any difference. The results came back as all 3 samples were the same product/ingredients.

As you may tell, my cats have seen eating dry food as a way to be sick, so, how is the best way to reintroduce the food that won't make them sick, they eat it, but no where near what they should for their sizes, age etc...?
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Sorry, but I kind of got lost. It sounded to me that you found a food that you have used now for 10 weeks and only one got sick twice but you think it was for reasons not necessarily related to the food itself. Is this correct?

So, the bottom line is that they are all pretty much doing OK with this 'new' food but eating less? Have you compared ingredients, calories, protein, etc. between the old food and the new food to see if the new is just more satisfying and fulfilling so they don't want as much to eat? Are they losing weight?

Please correct me if I am making some wrong assumptions.
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Sorry, I'm a little lost too. If they are not losing weight with the new food, then they are probably getting enough calories with it. If they simply aren't eating enough and are losing weight, then my guess is they really don't like it. If that's the case. perhaps try yet a different food altogether.
 

Alldara

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So my understanding, is you have old food and then you buy a new bag and dump the last of the old bag into the new bag?

And you do this every time.

So dry food does expire and go bad. You're constantly pouring the dust of old food all over the new food and this can make them sick over time. Some of that dust could be from many bags ago.

How are you storing it as well. Do you keep the bags or do you pour into a container? **THE DEADLY REALITY OF PET FOOD STORAGE CONTAINERS - Planet Paws

Dry food should always be kept in its own bag so you can see the expiry and lot numbers in case of recalls.

If you need to mix foods, you should mix it per each serving, still keeping each food in their separate bags.

Likely, that bag that you poured the old stuff over top of needs thrown away. Something in it has gone bad.


** When you store dry food in other containers, it scratches the containers and bacteria can build up in the containers. That can stay even if you clean it between uses. Further the dust from old bags can make new bags go bad faster. You should never mix old and new bags for the same reason.
 
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gaogier

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Hello

Sorry for any and all confusion caused.

A basic breakdown of events

Cat 1, 2 and 3 are all brothers, sadly we lost one (cat 1) in 2021. They all eat Dry Food A (cat 1 didn't eat wet food)
Cat 4 and 5 came later, cat 5 eat dry Food B and wet food.
Cat 5 died and kept them on dry food B
Got cat 6, all eat dry food A, and dry food B
Dry food B changed age target and recipe
Switched to Dry food C, both dry food B and C are owned by the same people.
We lost cat 4 in 2021, and cat 1 in 2021, both opposite ends of the year.
About 15 months ago, our cats started to be sick eating dry food C, the food people switched to eco friendly packaging.
Vets tested my cats, found nothing wrong
Got cat dry food C delivered and it was in old packaging, cats were NOT sick,
Vet suggests contacting the food people, and find out if they changed something that is upsetting my cats.
Meanwhile switched cats over to wet food only (very expensive), the food people said nothing is wrong from our sample we sent in.
We adopted cat 7 8 and 9 last year, they all eat dry food A when we collected them
Switched cats over to dry food A, they all eat the food and no sick
Cat 9 died due to heart failure

Problem is, they want more wet food, I know they eat and like the food, they eat it when I first put it down, (out of bowl - I will explain why in a few). However the cats will refuse to eat the dry food all other times, if I go out, its mostly for hospital appointments and I am out most of the day, and my cats are happy to eat the dry food, they ask other family members for dry food, so why wet for me?

Why do I give food outside of the bowl, first of, its quieter, allowing whoever sees the food they don't rush eat... this ties into the second reason, my cat 1, who was the big boss of the area, and not only did he fight and kill foxes (he was a pain) he eat first, so, whenever the cats eat food before him, it mustn't of been from the bowl. he died some 19 months ago.

Storage of dry food.

So, I get a monthly shipment of dry food, I store it in a cat food storage box - designed for cat food, we then fill up 2 dispensers, one downstairs and one up. One bag of dry food won't fill up the storage box, so I keep about 200g from the bag, normally topping up the box first.... at the end of each emptying of each box, it gets cleaned etc... (vet advised) Sometimes (a lot lately) they are not eating as much as they should, so I have some leftovers before next shipment arrives. This is how I still had some food from older packages and new packages. Either way, the company said there is nothing different between the 2 samples so I don't know why there are sick with the new bags.

They are currently on food they had when young, and are able and willing to eat it, but they don't (unless I am not here).

So, hope this clears some stuff up.


Any questions please ask...
 

mrsgreenjeens

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So from YOU they only will eat wet food, but if you aren't home they eat dry food? This sounds like a behavioral issue. I have a similar issue at my house. If I'm gone, my husband has no problem getting our cats to eat whatever he dishes up for them. When I'm the one feeding them, they are as picky as can be! He says it's because I cater to them and I'm sure he is correct.

You mentioned you have two dispensers, one on each floor. Are these so they can free feed whenever they want? If so, then how do you know they aren't eating enough? And I'll restate what I said above...if they aren't losing weight on the amount they are eating, then I don't think there is an issue. If they are hungry, they will let you know.

BTW, since you said they love wet food, is there a reason why you just don't feed them wet all the time?
 

FurryMonsters

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Also, you have no guarantee that the company you sent the samples to actually tested them in any meaningful way... I don't want to sound cynical, but I have heard that the "testing" is often "look at it, give it a sniff, throw it in the bin" :(
 

Kris107

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Are all cats getting sick? And is it regurgitation? Do they eat fast when they eat?
 
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gaogier

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Hello

So, When I am not here, my mum just gets the cats out, and they don't get any food, this is why they are happy to eat the dry food.

Other than saving a little bit of money, the main reasons is the smell and all the pests that come when I deal with wet food, from flies, slugs, snails, more birds... Of which I don't know why the birds keep coming back, my cats eat them all the time. I thought birds were cleaver animals... anyway, this is why I like to feed the cats at dusk, they can do what they do, then in the morning, if any want wet food, this is when I give them more. Otherwise I hate giving them more, as I said before pests are everywhere.

I know who and roughly how much dry food the cats eat (or used to eat), and I keep a very close eye on their weights, I have a set of baby weighing scales, as bubbles suddenly lost a lot of weight, and weighed him daily before he died... Vets were not sure what was wrong, but over the previous year, he started to loose weight, vet did checks, but asked if I could keep a close eye on his weight, then bring it in once every few days. Anyway, all my cats are healthy and keeping weight steady.

So, they don't eat fast, just a normal speed, it could be within 1-2 minutes of eating before they bring it back up, or could be 30 minutes, but every time they eat the other food, without any exception they would be sick, even mixed both the non sick and the sick kibbles, in different ratios, it was about 95% + non sick to 5% sick ratio before they stopped being sick. I have no idea why...

I assumed a big company making animal foods would just say nope, our food is good and not test it, unless several customers started to complain, for costs, as I think they may need to send the food to a different laboratory...
 

FurryMonsters

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Hi Gaogier,
If your cats are definitely not losing weight then you don't need to worry about how much they are eating. Cats are normally quite good at self-regulating with food, they may simply need less of it, especially if they are also hunting for food.
There can be many reasons why a specific batch of cat food is making cats sick. Sometimes it's a problem with some of the ingredients in that particular batch, e.g. mould in grains like maize or wheat. Sometimes it's too much MSG in the flavour enhancers that are sprayed onto kibble to make the food more appealing to cats. MSG can be quite irritating to feline stomachs...
It's happened to me before - as I switched from one bag of food to another, one of my cats started getting sick. Unfortunately, all you can do is throw away the food and get a new bag or switch to a different brand. If you can find a way to feed your cats more wet food and less dry, please do, you'll be helping them have healthier and hopefully longer lives.
 

FurryMonsters

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... Or donate it :)
Do you think so? I thought about it but immediately rejected the idea, because I would hate for some poor shelter cat to get sick because of eating the food I donated that made my cat sick 😔 I thought the only option was to bin it, perhaps I'm wrong :)
 

Furballsmom

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I would hate for some poor shelter cat to get sick
Not to sidetrack the thread :), but shelters have so many animals they can use everything they receive, and I assume they have something in place to keep an eye on any troubles...I always meant to ask about that but never have gotten around to it.
 
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