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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
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Question From Kibble to Raw - stubborn kitties

I'm attempting to convince 4 cats that they really want to move to a raw diet instead of their favorite kibble. My oldest cat has had chronic diarrhea for 3 years. After multiple vet visits and lots of money we've never gotten a diagnosis just a guess that she's got IBD. Instead of dumping more money into diagnostic tests (which traumatize the cat and my wallet) I want to try a raw food diet.

The problem is that they really don't seem to like wet food.
I figured I'd start the easy way - canned food.
If they eat that, I can try the raw food (purchased from Rad Cat or similar source). And then finally transition to creating my own raw diet.

I'm stuck at step 1.
I put out the wet canned food (of which I've tried several varieties) and they look at me like I've lost my mind.
I give them a new batch twice a day and leave it out all day/night. And it's untouched.
They reluctantly will eat the Stella and Chewys dried raw treats so I've gotten some food into them.
I took away their kibble.
Now I'm afraid they are going to starve.

None of the cats is overweight. 3 of them weigh 10-12 pounds and one is only about 5.5 pounds. And the little one only is "allowed" to eat when the others permit it. She can't afford to lose weight. But she won't eat the wet food. And it's hard to sneak her extra food (kibble) without the others stealing it.

I tried cooked chicken but they won't eat that either.
I tried putting dried fish flake flavor enhancer on top. They licked it off and left the food behind.
I tried crumbling the stella and chewys dried treats on top of the wet and they refused to eat it.
I've tried switching brands of wet food. Didn't work.

Can anyone think of a way to convince them to eat this stuff?
I've read the raw food web sites but so far, no luck. And I really don't want them losing more weight.

It's only been 1 week so far but I had hoped I'd see some sign that we were making progress.

Thanks
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 04:22 PM
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They obviously are not seeing the wet food as 'food', no wonder they think you've lost your mind lol. Have you tried crumbling up some of their kibble and putting it on top of the wet food? If they are really refusing all wet right now, I wouldn't take their kibble away entirely, just put out a limited amount that you know is just enough to keep a little something in their bellies but still leave them hungry enough to push them towards the wet.

I'm concerned about your little one though - you've got to get her a safe spot to eat where the others can't steal her food. Feed her in a bathroom or bedroom separate from the others so she doesn't have to eat only what she is 'allowed'.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 04:36 PM
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MowMow has eaten canned for YEARS and last year when he got sick he suddenly decided he didn't want to eat it any longer. I had to give him kibble because he was already SO thin.

Once he felt better I started mixing his canned food and then topping it generously with kibble. Then slowly I started giving him a little less kibble and a little more canned each day until now he only gets about 10 kibbles per meal (3 meals/day) sprinkled on top of his food. I could probably back if off a little more now, but meh. It's not enough for me to stress about.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-21-2014, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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I actually tried putting their kibble on top of the wet food. I got that same look ("you've got to be kidding!"). So that didn't work either.
I've been doing my best to sneak food to Cleo (my little one) but it's not easy because even when alone in a room, she just stares at the food waiting....since she knows her brother will show up eventually.

Tonight 2 of them ate the wet food. Those two cats are my rescue cats. They may have memories of eating wild stuff. But Cleo and her brother Caesar have never eaten in the wild. So they are clueless.

Any idea how long a typical cat takes to adapt to new food? Is it normal to take a long time?
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