Switching to raw food with picky cat

mrbarryboy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
27
Purraise
30
So my cats have gained weight this winter. I have decided to switch to raw food for health benefits. My cat Larry is very picky and will barely sniff it. While my cat Kryptonite loves it and will eat Larry’s portion as well!

At first I thought it was the temperature that Larry didn’t like since it’s thawed from the freezer. Today I tried running the package under warm water to bring to room temperature. He sniffed it and looked at it today but still did not take a bite.

I don’t want Larry to starve himself, so I still feed them dry kibble in the morning. I’m hoping he will adjust eventually and eat the raw food for dinner. Do I just need more patience? Does anyone have any suggestions?
C79AF604-4E5B-492A-81D9-7DA5659DAD91.jpeg
55E8BE59-F970-42D1-B9A5-CBDE0BD4EEAC.jpeg
D244D949-762D-4D06-8C76-2D88593238DE.jpeg
 

LTS3

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
15,388
Purraise
14,137
Location
USA
You may need to do a slow transition to the raw. Do the cats eat canned food? You can try hiding a pea sized amount of raw into stinky seafood canned food and add toppers. Or try freeze dried raw first. Most cats will eat that over frozen raw because it's more like dry food when served as is. You're supposed to rehdyrate the food in water first but one dry nugget won't cause any harm.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

mrbarryboy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
27
Purraise
30
You may need to do a slow transition to the raw. Do the cats eat canned food? You can try hiding a pea sized amount of raw into stinky seafood canned food and add toppers. Or try freeze dried raw first. Most cats will eat that over frozen raw because it's more like dry food when served as is. You're supposed to rehdyrate the food in water first but one dry nugget won't cause any harm.
Yes they love wet food but pig out on it and will fight over it even. I will try mixing it into canned food. What are the toppers you mentioned?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

mrbarryboy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
27
Purraise
30
Stopped Krypto earlier from eating Larry’s portion of raw food and kept it in the fridge. Put it out late tonight and actually caught Larry licking the bowl!! 🙀😻 so happy. Hope he eats it tomorrow. I bought 3 boxes of raw hahaha I will update tomorrow.
 

Tobermory

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.”
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
4,711
Purraise
13,050
Location
Oregon
Here’s an expanded list of toppers you can try to entice Larry to eat his raw food. I always keep several on hand because I never know when one of the girls will decide she doesn’t like something. That’s happening right now with Lily and chicken.
  • FortiFlora — It’s a mediocre probiotic but it’s very appealing to cats because it has animal digest as its first ingredient, the same thing that coats dry food. Most cats love the taste of it.
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Crushed crumbles of dry food — There are some higher protein/lower carb/grain free brands such as Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein.
  • Bonito flakes — Can be found at Asian markets or sometimes in the Asian food section of a large grocery store.
  • Freeze-dried treats or freeze-dried raw food — Crumble into dust or small pieces over food. I use Pure Bites chicken treats and Northwest Naturals liver treats, but there are lots of choices. If you use Pure Bites, it’s actually less expensive to buy the dog treats and they’re the same thing. For freeze-dried raw, Stella & Chewy’s and Northwest Naturals may also work. Primal is another choice.
  • Pour a little water from tuna in water over food. Use no sodium added (I buy it at Trader Joe’s) as other kinds in water have veg. broth and I assume that means onions, which are toxic to cats. Also it shouldn't contain soy; check labels. I dilute the juice with more water, too. It’s more the smell than anything.
  • Baby food — Beechnut or Gerber Stage 2. You want a baby food that is a protein only although the Gerber contains cornstarch. It should have no onions or other additives. Please read labels carefully.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

mrbarryboy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
27
Purraise
30
Omg the toppers worked I put Parmesan cheese on top and brought the bowl down to him! He ate it right away! Thank you so much 😊 😸 041BE271-91C8-4285-9B0E-FD6E56727568.jpeg
 

Babypinkweeb

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
174
Purraise
213
I'm attempting to this in super baby steps right now. I have 2 cats, the older one who is picky and younger one who is less picky. Ironically the younger one can smell the raw rabbit no matter how many of his jackpot toppers I add (mackerel water, churu, bonito, canned food, crushed kibble, etc). The older one who is pickier with his normal food is fooled a lot easier if I just put crushed kibble and mix it up. The older one is adjusting to a 2 meal a day schedule, and his hunger between meals is probably what helps him accept the new food better. The younger one has always been on a 2 meal a day schedule so he's less motivated. I've been trying to offer them the topped mixture before every meal for a few days now, but will keep trying since I bought a whole bag of this raw!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

mrbarryboy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Oct 6, 2018
Messages
27
Purraise
30
I'm attempting to this in super baby steps right now. I have 2 cats, the older one who is picky and younger one who is less picky. Ironically the younger one can smell the raw rabbit no matter how many of his jackpot toppers I add (mackerel water, churu, bonito, canned food, crushed kibble, etc). The older one who is pickier with his normal food is fooled a lot easier if I just put crushed kibble and mix it up. The older one is adjusting to a 2 meal a day schedule, and his hunger between meals is probably what helps him accept the new food better. The younger one has always been on a 2 meal a day schedule so he's less motivated. I've been trying to offer them the topped mixture before every meal for a few days now, but will keep trying since I bought a whole bag of this raw!
It’s a struggle with 2 different personalities for sure!!
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3,996
Purraise
4,422
Location
California
Babypinkweeb is there anyway you can feed them 3 times a day with a snack (like a very small amount of dry food in a puzzle feeder?) It took we about 6 months to get my twerp onto mostly wet & I never got him completely off the dry. What I learned was cats want to eat 3-4 times a day (or more!), eating about 1/3 -1/2 a 3 oz can max in one sitting .... plus they want snacks. I’m home all day so feeding my cat 3 meals a day was no problem. He usually eats 1/16th of a cup of dry food every day.

MrBarryBoy years ago I had 2 cats (with different personalities & activity levels) who both lost a pound each in one year simply by drastically reducing their temptation treats to 3-5 treats max per week ; instead of 3-5 treats a day. So if weight loss is your reason for switching to raw, a healthy wet food can work to.⭐ I once tried removing my twerp’s dry food from him for 4-8 hours for a few months while I tried to get him off thd dry & onto a healthy wet. He starved himself as a hungry teenage kitten over eating it! 🤦🏻‍♀️ He only eats. Wet food that is half tuna.... so I gave up & let him have a little bit of dry food to nibble on whenever he wants. My picky eater won that war of the wills! I tried toppers, I tried mixing healthy wet food in with fancy feast, nothing worked. So finally I decided to feed him some healthy dry & wet food 3 times a day. So allowing your picky eater 1/16-1/4 cup of dry food every day might be a solution. If 3/4 or more of his diet is raw (or wet) it is still a healthier win & a drastic carb reduction. Good luck! 🍀
 

Babypinkweeb

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Feb 24, 2021
Messages
174
Purraise
213
Babypinkweeb is there anyway you can feed them 3 times a day with a snack (like a very small amount of dry food in a puzzle feeder?) It took we about 6 months to get my twerp onto mostly wet & I never got him completely off the dry. What I learned was cats want to eat 3-4 times a day (or more!), eating about 1/3 -1/2 a 3 oz can max in one sitting .... plus they want snacks. I’m home all day so feeding my cat 3 meals a day was no problem. He usually eats 1/16th of a cup of dry food every day.
I've tried the multi meals with varying success! I started out with 6 meals a day when first starting his transition, as I work from home full time, and eventually went to 3. The biggest issue is, he is very on and off with his eating. I'm not sure how everyone else's cats are, but he is like a person, one day he'll be fine eating half his supposed amount, another day he'll basically eat everything I set out. I give him the same amount daily by calculating calorie needs based on his weight. He has never had any health issues whatsoever, and since he's been like this his entire life, I assume it's just his habits. Like today, it's almost his dinner time, but he still has barely eaten half of his breakfast! I even played with him more today than yesterday, and he is absolutely happy, energetic, and same as always. I don't want to keep offering leftovers to him, but I also cannot afford to toss out so much. The one way Ive found to have him eat more eagerly is to do the 2 meals (with tiny snacks in between, or if he begs for food which is rare) because being hungry, he will actually eat more than a quarter of his meal at a time. I know he loves the food I give to him too, as when he dislikes something, he will actively avoid it on his plate, or even not touch anything in his bowl if there's one thing he dislikes.

Currently he is 11 lbs, so I calculate him eating 220 calories a day. Based on the wet and dry combo I give him, he should eat 2/3rd of a 5.5oz can and 12 grams of the dry (calculated based on the calories on the foods I feed them.) On good days, he will eat 90% of it, but usually on average he tends to hover between 50-70% of it. I try to get him as close to that as I can with healthy treats, but he also has very stupid mouth and cannot figure out how to eat a lot of the healthier stuff. He's a very troublesome boy but I try to do everything I can for his health haha!
 
Top