Will I always have to mix in canned?! Wahhh >:( - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Will I always have to mix in canned?! Wahhh >:(

Well, so far I've only tried chicken thigh meat, chicken gizzards and liver. They like the gizzards wayyyy more than the thigh meat, but won't eat either without something mixed in. I was using tuna and/or tuna juice but I don't want them to make a habit of just picking the tuna out and it's really silly and wasteful to only buy cans of tuna for the juice. I bought clam juice and they turned up their little noses.

I've also tried a few different types of wet food. I figured chunky stuff in broth would work well, but some of the cats would just pick the "good" stuff out and leave the raw chunks. I'm currently using Wellness Turkey and Salmon (but I bought a couple other flavors to try as well) and I'm using just about a half a tablespoon for the flavor. It works perfectly with chunks of gizzard for all four cats, they'll lick their plates clean. However, a couple of them will only pick at the thigh meat. I'm a little worried because chicken is a big staple of their diets since I buy so much for the dogs. The good things is, since they like gizzard so much, I can chunk liver into that and they'll eat it without a fight. I just don't want to have to rely on canned as an enticement forever... Wellness is expensive!

I'm going to try turkey necks with the dogs tonight and I'll cut some meat off of that for the cats. We're also going to be trying beef heart within the next couple of days, so we'll see what they think of that, too. Once they're used to using their teeth and jaws a bit more, I'll try to find an inexpensive source of quail. And what's a cheap cut of beef I can try?

Someone please tell me I won't have to use canned food or tuna or clam juice, etc. forever!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 02:15 PM
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Stick to it!! We switched four cats (ages 2 - 2yr olds, 4yr old, 13yr old) and it took us EIGHT MONTHS to get to eating just plain meat chunks.

I was persistent, let the least likely to switch set the pace and just kept sneaking in more and more ground raw until they ate it no problem (or if you wish, very finely chopped raw bits). At about 7mths they were eating pure ground raw with a smear of canned - so we ditched the canned food and started adding small chunks. This method worked well for us.

I think I remember reading you have a lot of cats, too.. so I would make large batches. First batch: however many cans of canned you'd feed between everyone and a few tbsp of raw between it all for a few weeks. Then when everyone ate all the raw bits, add in another tbsp or two for two more weeks... etc etc.

It's slow, but even the 13 year old was switching easy (and he was a kibble addict).


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-28-2010, 09:13 PM
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gizzards are a treat in cats' eyes, and no one likes liver (yuck!) plus thigh meat has a stronger taste than breast meat so here's what you may want to try.... go back to the beginning!

get a chicken breast and grind it to a mush (or just purchase ground chicken meat) mix that with 75% canned (the mushy kind, not the gravy and chunks kind) and 25% chicken mush. if they eat all of that then the next day go to 50/50, then down to 25% canned 75% raw. once they're eating full on raw start mixing the ground raw with chunks, then larger chunks, etc until they're eating what you want them to!

turkey and chicken have a pretty mild flavor, so does pork. Beef and lamb are a bit stronger tasting so it may take a little bit longer to get them to enjoy that.

the perks of mixing canned with ground is that they cannot pick out the canned food from the raw meat so they have to eat it. they will get used to it pretty quickly. however, it's not going to take 1 week... it's going to take a couple of months! so just be patient and perserve through and your cat will thank you later!

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 01:37 AM
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Between all of my cats there are only a few that will eat chicken thigh They will eat anything else but chicken thigh tends to be a no go. However they love any other parts of a chicken...

Try find what they like a work from there. It can take a while for them to build up the jaw strength but I think once they are able to easily eat the food they will love it!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-29-2010, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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The turkey was a hit last night and this morning.

I will try the ground chicken but if it's just that they don't care for chicken thigh meat, like furryfriends said, I don't suppose that'll help, huh? Like I sort of mentioned earlier, I buy leg quarters in bulk for the dogs. I have necks, too, but assume it'll be quite some time until the kitters graduate to those. Well, I'm just going to keep trying other meats. If they like something enough that they'll eat it in small chunks, that makes me a happy camper. I do suspect I'll have to use ground to entice them to eat chicken and eventually start buying a different cut of chicken. What do most people use, breast and wings?
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