Switching Boo to wet food is making us both miserable. Is it really necessary, if he's a healthy cat

kitkaturday

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I had Boo and Shunra on a good routine of 1 wet and 1 dry feeding each day. Some time ago, Shunra became ill and eventually went on to cross the bridge (one day I won't cry as I say it out loud...).

Boo loves the dry kibble, and it was just easier to let him have that for both feedings. My conscience is nagging me and I'm trying to switch him back to wet, but he's not on board with it. Now I am wondering if I am making us both miserable for negligible benefit.

Boo is a healthy former feral. His kibble is Wysong's Epigen 90, which is starch-free, 63% protein, and seems to have a nutritionally impressive list of ingredients. He has a water fountain to which I add about 5-6 oz a day to replenish, so I think he is drinking enough.

The reason I want to switch him back to wet food is fear of future health problems. But is the transition worth the misery it's causing? As I write this, the only food he's eaten in the past 24 hours is about a spoonful of kibble I put on as a garnish for a plate of tuna cat food, which remains untouched. We have gone through this a few times over the past 3 weeks or so, but never got further than getting him to eat about a spoonful of wet food.

Should I continue to try to switch or just accept that he's healthy, well-fed and hydrated, and let him keep the kibble? 
 

nansiludie

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I would switch, as its dry, lacking moisture. I have switched all mine as most of them are related and ended up with two urinary blocked cats and one passed on. I do make my own cat food, raw cat food. I use Dr. Pierson's recipe. www.Catinfo.org She has it well-written out plus she has some tips for breaking kitties off dry food. Also if you don't want to make raw food, some is sold freeze-dried which I suppose you can re-wet. He might be healthy now but on dry food, he may not stay that way. I find that when fed canned, my heavy cats, lost weight, got more active plus even shinier,softer fur and less stinky litterbox deliveries.

http://www.catinfo.org/docs/TipsForTransitioning1-14-11.pdf
 
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robbie watson

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I have my Max on a  bit of both. Now, understand that I am not familiar with the cat food you are using, and I do not know if you have been advised to change to dry by a Vet.

However, dry food has zero moisture, and (for example) if he/she were feral and had killed a bird or mouse, the moisture would naturally be in the food.  I feed Max the moist food during the day, and dry for night feeding as it doesn't hurt to leave that out.

Good luck with the transition.
 
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kitkaturday

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Thank you so much for the thoughtful replies. I will check out Dr. Pierson's advice on how to switch from dry to wet and will try again. I think I will also try Robbie's suggestion of leaving the dry out at night and wet in the morning, because that makes a lot of sense.

I am kicking myself for this situation because it is my fault. I had them on a good regimen but after Shunra died, I went on automatic pilot for a while and it was just easier to shake some kibble into a bowl, especially because Boo loves it so much that he practically inhales it. But I want him to be healthy and stay healthy, so I will keep trying. 

Thanks again. I'll keep reading all the threads about this too, because there is a lot of good advice here on getting kitties to eat right, not to mention that misery loves company 
.
 

mingking

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Let us know how it goes! and I'm sorry for your loss. Shunra was loved and is still loved by you! 


You can try to add some water in the dry to get that extra moisture and perhaps get him back to liking the consistency of wet.
 

fhicat

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Should I continue to try to switch or just accept that he's healthy, well-fed and hydrated, and let him keep the kibble? 
This is a decision only you can make.

The dry food that you are feeding is of decent quality. If he's drinking enough water, it's great. Sure, wet food may be better, but if he wouldn't eat it, then it can never be better than a dry food that he will eat.

Many cats live long healthy lives on dry. It sounds like your kitty is perfectly happy with his dry. It sounds also like you're beating yourself up too much for not being able to transition to wet.

Don't.

Don't feel bad for not being able to make the transition. And don't let anyone make you feel bad for feeding dry. If you want to feed him wet, feed him because you want to, because you feel comfortable with it, because you can afford it, and because you've considered all viewpoints and decided that this is best for your cat. Not because some stranger on the Internet told you so.

We have an article on making the transition:

http://www.thecatsite.com/a/transitioning-your-cat-from-kibble-to-a-new-type-of-food-canned-raw-or-homemade

It can be tough, as your kitty has demonstrated. You will need patience, consistency and vigilance. If your cat is the kind who would rather starve than eat something he doesn't like, your job is all that much harder. Only you can decide whether it's worth it.
 

denice

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It is really much more important that your kitty takes in enough calories whatever complete food you give them.  Kitties need a bare minimum of 15 calories per pound of their ideal weight to ward off fatty liver disease.  I have a kitty that went through fatty liver disease and it is a long slow recovery.  The kitty has absolutely no interest in food but eating is the only thing that will bring them out of it.  My kitty had a feeding tube.

Switching a kitty to wet is a long slow process and some kitties never fully make the switch, my  kitties eat half wet and half dry.  I read Jackson Galaxy's book and the kitty that is central to his book was a dry kibble addict all his life despite Jackson's best efforts.  If Jackson Galaxy had a kitty that he couldn't get off of dry kibble than there are kitties that can't be switched from kibble.

If you decide to go the route of moistening kibble you still will need to have your kitty on meals.  The moistened kibble should not be left down for more than 1/2 hour because of the growth of bacteria in the food.
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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As other posters have commented, it's a decision only you can make. But I myself do think that the (albeit sometimes frustrating) transition is worth the temporary misery it often does cause. When I switched my cat over to a wet/canned grain-free, low carb, higher protein, higher moisture diet after she'd been on dry food for 10 years, it took several weeks of trying many different brands and flavors/choices of good canned foods to find the one or two which she adored (finally, at long last). I spent much time pulling out my hair and then laying on my bed doing relaxation exercises to keep me going, but my cat and I found a solution together. It could be something as easy to fix as a certain scent, a certain flavor, or a certain brand for your cat. Maybe your cat's tuna cat food just doesn't "click" with his feline sensibilities or personal tastes.

In the long run, what is important (if no other choices for fine-tuning their food present themselves), is that your cat eats regularly and well.

I will say that my regrets are that it took me 10 years of my human learning curve to realize what dry kibble was doing to my cat. (Overweight, onset of diabetes.) From then on, however, she lived four+ more years on her 2-3 favorite choices of wet/canned food. I am happy I switched her food. Only you can make the choice that is comfortable for you and your cat.

Good luck!
 
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mservant

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I share the view that the most important thing is that your cat eats enough to stay well and that what you feed works for both of you.  I also believe that stress is not good for you and it's not good for cats, and can cause much more rapid and (at the very least) equally serious health issues for cats as feeding poor quality food of any sort (wet, dry, what ever).  

If Boo eats well and is happy on kibble I would feed this as primary food for now and see if you can introduce other wet foods like treats or partial replacement once he is confident you are not trying to stop his kibble.  If his eating settles then you could try a gradual transition but if he really isn't interested in wet food think seriously about whether an ongoing battle and likely health consequences from that are what you want. I periodically try to get Mouse to eat small amounts of wet food but I can not imagine him ever managing to transition, even if his life depended on it - he simply has too many negative associations with it I suspect.  And it is harder to feed wet as a hunting game which helps to keep him interested and active.
 

Columbine

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If Boo really is resistant to wet, why not focus on getting him to drink more yo compensate for the lake of water. Remember that cats are designed to get around 80 % of their fluid intake from their food, and consequently have a very low thirst drive. Even a cat that appears to drink well will most likely not be taking on enough water to compensate for the dryness of kibble.

I find the easiest way to get cats drinking more is to make flavoured water. My guys love water that chicken has been poached in (zero seasonings, of course ;) ), and tuna water is also a big hit (get a can of tuna in spring water, add extra water and let it steep. Drain and serve).

This article has more great ideas http://www.thecatsite.com/a/tips-to-increase-your-cat-s-water-intake

It might also be worth getting some freeze dried treats/raw. I find that crumbling one small cube into a bowl of water makes a yummy, healthy 'gravy' or soup. Even my impossible to feed greyhound loves this trick.

Ok - last edit, I promise ;)
I know when introducing raw food it's ok to give up to 10% of the daily ration as unbalanced raw. I can't see why the same couldn't apply to cooked meat. I've yet to meet a cat who'll refuse fresh chicken or turkey!
 
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mservant

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.........I've yet to meet a cat who'll refuse fresh chicken or turkey!
   May I introduce you to Mouse. 
   Honestly, we've tried chicken, turkey, white fish, salmon, sardine in water, and the list could go on.   
   At best he'll take a nibble, at worst he scrapes and scatches and tries to cover it up like he does most of my food. 
 

snugglecat

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   May I introduce you to Mouse. 
   Honestly, we've tried chicken, turkey, white fish, salmon, sardine in water, and the list could go on.   
   At best he'll take a nibble, at worst he scrapes and scatches and tries to cover it up like he does most of my food. 
I got a good laugh at this.


I feed all my cats both dry and wet food, it works for us. Peaches does not care for wet food much anymore but she will eat a little 3 times a day so I can get meds in her.
 

Columbine

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:lol3: :rolleyes: Ah, I see you've found the exception that proves the rule mservant mservant ;)

As long as he's happy and healthy, then who cares?! At least you're spared 'vulture syndrome'. Cali was the worst - he'd sit next to mum at dinner and grab her hand to redirect her fork to his mouth! :lol3:
 
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bonepicker

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As other posters have commented, it's a decision only you can make. But I myself do think that the (albeit sometimes frustrating) transition is worth the temporary misery it often does cause. When I switched my cat over to a wet/canned grain-free, low carb, higher protein, higher moisture diet after she'd been on dry food for 10 years, it took several weeks of trying many different brands and flavors/choices of good canned foods to find the one or two which she adored (finally, at long last). I spent much time pulling out my hair and then laying on my bed doing relaxation exercises to keep me going, but my cat and I found a solution together. It could be something as easy to fix as a certain scent, a certain flavor, or a certain brand for your cat. Maybe your cat's tuna cat food just doesn't "click" with his feline sensibilities or personal tastes.

In the long run, what is important (if no other choices for fine-tuning their food present themselves), is that your cat eats regularly and well.

I will say that my regrets are that it took me 10 years of my human learning curve to realize what dry kibble was doing to my cat. (Overweight, onset of diabetes.) From then on, however, she lived four+ more years on her 2-3 favorite choices of wet/canned food. I am happy I switched her food. Only you can make the choice that is comfortable for you and your cat.

Good luck!
what were her favorite canned foods?
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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what were her favorite canned foods?
Well, she and I compromised... her mainstay during the 4+ years we managed her diabetes (along with using Lantus BID) was Nature's Variety Instinct Lamb canned, with some rotations of Nature's Variety Instinct Duck canned. She liked the Lamb best. There were a few other foods I tried during her last year, but she had pancreatitis as well during her last year, and the food she liked and dealt with best at that point was Wellness Core Chicken, Turkey, & Chicken Liver canned.
 

kkoerner

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There is a brand of canned food called Nulo. It has 2 versions that are the same, but different packaging for the stores they sell at: Petsmart has the "medalseries" and then at independent pet food retailers, that carry them, they sell "freestyle." I read the ingredients and couldn't find a difference so I think it's just packaging.

They do have some fish in them, though for the ones I give (chicken and beef) it is not the first ingredient.

This has been Cadbury's favorite food so far. He likes Wellness Core Chicken, and Weruva chicken, but he gobbles this down like it's candy. Maybe worth a try if you can find a can.
 

artyjill

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i Had a Persian and l had an awful time with her food, in the end l had to just give her a good kibble and she thrived on it. She wouldn't touch wet food at all what ever l did to it. Its not worth trying to get them on different food and l think they tell us what they like.

My BSH kitten l have has wet food and a good kibble dry food and she eats them both so she was easy to please,we went through a good few makes but then she was fine. The only thing which l wish l could change is the time of her second meal. She has the first  thing in the morning and l would like her to next at about 5 but she won't touch it so one night l forgot and it was 10.00 so l gave her it and she wolfed it down and has done every night. I leave her some kibble in the day down but really touches it she likes morning and night feeding.

Jilly
 
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