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Old 01-01-2010, 08:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

Hello to those who remember me; I know it's been a while since I've posted. I don't know what to do about my Niko. He is currently eating Wellness Kitten formula, soon to be switched to Wellness Core (dry). I KNOW he doesn't get enough water, and I also know that wet food is better than dry. I've tried convincing him of this and have obviously failed. I've tried several varieties of Wellness pouches and canned, and he won't touch them. I did Nutro Cat for a while, which he also didn't eat, until I read that it wasn't that great of a food. I wasn't impressed with the ingredients in Science Diet or Maxx Cat, either, so I didn't try those formulas. I literally tried every brand I could find at Petco that didn't have a bunch of nasty crap in it, and he would turn up his nose and go straight for his dry food. (Petco is the only pet retailer we have that is close to where we live.) Eventually, I even tried grocery store brands that were byproduct free just to get him to eat wet food. He'd eat THAT, but then throw it all up or poop it all out (forcefully) in a matter of hours. I'm sort of at a loss. He won't drink water out of a bowl, either; he uses the dunk, lick, and flick method. (He sticks his paw in his bowl like a cookie, licks it, then flicks off the excess before repeating.) Occasionally, he'll drink straight from the tap, but he is usually more interested in sticking his head under the water. I've heard good things about EVO, but we don't have a retailer close to us that sells it so that I can try a can or two to see what Niko thinks of it. On line retailers seems to only sell it by the case. He isn't a fan of chicken or turkey; he prefers beef. Plus, wet food that has turkey or chicken in it makes him have loose stools if he DOES eat it. Dry doesn't seem to make a difference with that. I'm kind of at a loss here. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for reading and responding.
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Old 01-01-2010, 08:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

Well what I would do is feed him a high quality grain free dry food. I also have a cat that I have tried almost every different brand of wet food I could get but she still throws up. Have you tried a cat fountain? If there is water availible at all times, how do you know your cat isn't getting enough water? I wouldn't worry about it too much if your cat seems healthy. It definitly isn't helpful to your cat if you keep trying different brands of food and he keeps getting sick.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

Any wet food, even if it is not a good brand, is better than the highest quality dry food IMO.

Its very rare for a cat to drink enough water to stay hydrated when eating dry. I think if they were drinking tons of water it would probably be a sign of a health problem...

Try things like meow mix wet even, I think there "wholesome goodness" wet food has a few flavors without chicken or turkey. Any wet food is better than none Or maybe some of the fancy feast fish flavors...they have a new brand, I forget what it is called, but it has just meat and water as the two main ingrediants - I'm sure they have varieties without chicken and turkey though it is only meant as a supplemental food.

Have you tried adding his favorite dry food to the top of wet food? Warming the wet food? Adding freeze dried meat treats to the top? Dropping a tiny bit of wet food on the floor "accidently" when he is watching you?
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

By your comment that he turns up his nose and goes straight to the dry food, it sounds like the dry food is out when you're attempting to feed wet. And I'm also assuming you're free feeding dry. The first thing you need to do is establish a mealtime feeding schedule using dry food...if he has a free choice of eating dry all day and you present wet, which he's not thrilled with he won't eat it...he's probably not really all that hungry. The dry food should not be available when you're trying to get him to eat wet.

To start mealtime feeding put down a specific amount of dry...about 1/4 cup twice a day. And that's it. Once you're on that schedule, replace the dry meal with wet food. If he's still turning up his nose, then you can try enticing him with 'toppers'. I've used kibble, treats, chicken, dehydrated chicken, baby food, parmesan cheese....basically anything he really likes. I've also smeared a little of the wet food on their mouth or top of the foot...sometimes they just need to taste it.

The vomiting and diarrhea may be due to the food being richer than he's used to and he needs some time for his system to adjust. When it's time to replace a dry meal with wet, try just giving him a small amount of wet. Once that's eaten, give the remainder of the meal in dry. Gradually increase the amount of wet and decrease the dry until you've made the switch...take 2-3 weeks to make the transition.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

Quote:
To start mealtime feeding put down a specific amount of dry...about 1/4 cup twice a day. And that's it. Once you're on that schedule, replace the dry meal with wet food. If he's still turning up his nose, then you can try enticing him with 'toppers'. I've used kibble, treats, chicken, dehydrated chicken, baby food, parmesan cheese....basically anything he really likes. I've also smeared a little of the wet food on their mouth or top of the foot...sometimes they just need to taste it.
I second that!
Having dry food available and tryng to introduce wet is often a losing battle. They need to be hungry enough to try it and get used to it.
Good luck!
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

I can say the wellness kitten formulia taste very good to them. and IMO You dont need the kitten formula when your feeding a food like wellness after 6 months old.

If you look at the Wellness Core protein and the kitten its about the same so after the major growing stages I think its a waste of money. Boss is 7 months old and is now on the red bag Salmon Formulia and doing just fine.

I would try to change the texture. Different brands of wet food have different textures.

But if you dont have a routine going for meal time its time to get one. Boss at 11 pounds get 3 ounces of wet a day and 1/2 cup dry and he is at a good weight. I put it all down in the morning but I know what he is eating because thats all he gets.

Boss will eat anything but we changed his flavors of food and wet so much as a kitten because we did not want a picky cat.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

Thanks everyone. Sorry for the slow reply. I will try the scheduled feedings and see if that helps. We're switching him from Wellness Kitten to Wellness Core because he is starting to get a bit pudgy, even thought the recommendation was kitten formula for the first full year. I figured there was extra calories in the Kitten formula to promote growth. He seems to like it okay, but boy does it STINK (the Core). I'd really like to get him a fountain. He's SO messy with water, I know it will be a constant mess, but it will make me feel better. I'm trying everything with the canned. He doesn't like the pate formulas. Does anyone know of a good chunky wet food that isn't full of byproducts? I know that Friskies and Whiskas give him raging wet poop and sometimes projective vomiting (not good) so it was promptly pitched. The higher quality stuff he was able to keep down, but he didn't nibble enough of it to keep a housefly alive. (Possibly because he was full from the dry. I can see where the free feeding is working against me!) Again, thanks for all of the responses. I know my original post was rather lengthy.
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Stubborn kitty only wants dry food

Yes, as doodlebug and others said, you won't get anywhere until the 24/7 gravy train dries up. He's not HUNGRY at meals, so of course he's not gonna try something new! IMO the easiest thing to do is to get kitties on a meal-feeding system using the dry (which they're used to) and once they're doing THAT reliably, then start mixing in canned and reducing dry. That way, you're not adding TWO new things (meal schedule and canned food) at once, just one at a time.
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