Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Southern California
17-year-old suddenly won't eat raw any more
I have a 17-year-old who has a host of the typical elderly-cat issues (Stage 3 CRF, IBS, hyperT). She's been on a raw diet since she was 14, and canned for several years before that. She was a lifelong kibble grazer before that (to my eternal shame). Luckily, she was a breeze to transition from kibble to canned, and from canned to raw.
She's been on commercial ground raw meat-bone-organs (Hare Today) supplemented with taurine and Alnutrin. I vary her proteins quite a bit - I give her several types of fowl, rabbit, even goat and llama and some of the more exotic choices from Hare Today (though I give the fattier and more exotic proteins sparingly).
I've noticed in the last few weeks, she doesn't seem interested in raw any more. She has plenty of appetite, as she will yowl for food, and will run over to her dish as soon as it's filled, will sniff/take a bite or two, but then won't finish or eat any more.
I keep a stock of canned on hand for any time I'm away from home and can't feed her (my family refuses to give her raw, but will give her canned) and for the occasional day when her CRF seems to be giving her nausea and all she will eat is canned.
Now, when I see she hasn't touched the raw and when I subsequently offer her canned (Dave's, Weruva, Ziwipeak), she'll usually eat it. Sometimes she doesn't even seem to want the Dave's or Blue Buffalo, her usual favorites, but she'll still hork down every last molecule of Fancy Feast Classic if I offer it to her.
I know the hard rule for CRF cats is "feed them what they WILL eat, rather than having them not eat at all", but I'm a little baffled by her more-or-less sudden shift away from raw. I'm prepping it the same way, warming it and mixing it with water, and I try several different meats on her when she refuses to touch one type. I don't know if it's just feline pickiness, if it will pass, if it means her CRF or hyperT is getting worse, or if it's a reaction to winter (not that it gets that cold in SoCal, but cold enough). She has no other symptoms, no vomiting or diarrhea, no decrease in energy, no changes in behavior. She's otherwise as chipper as ever and in great shape for 17.
Has anyone had experiences with a cat that suddenly doesn't want to eat raw any more? Should I keep offering it to her, or just switch her to canned for a while?
(*She's due for a senior checkup/bloodwork/urinalysis in January - she's been on methimazole for the hyperT since August.)
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