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Discussion Starter #1
Prince was on an all-raw balanced diet and he was eating with gusto. He hadn't touched almost any kibble in about a month. A week ago I spent almost a whole (exhausting!) day just cutting meats and organs and small bones and made freezer bags for almost 3 months.

Now suddenly he'll prefer to go hungry all day than eat his raw meat! And he begs for the kibble. In the end I give up and give him some kibble.

I feel so disappointed and sad today... He had a lot more energy, seemed a lot more alive, and I think he also grew in length (didn't put on weight).

Have any of you gone through this?

The only thing I can think of is he sees the strays eating kibble all the time, because he accompanies me to feed the strays every day.
 

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Maybe got tired of all raw?I've never fed raw myself but tried feeding all wet and Boo did the same thing so I just fed him wet/dry combo.
 

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Smelling the kibble when you feed the strays could be a factor.

Also, does he get the same kind of meat each meal? I've found Apollo stops eating his food unless I rotate flavors. He gets a variety of chicken, turkey, and rabbit. If he really goes off his raw, then I find sometimes mixing a little canned food into it helps encourage him to start eating it again, so I keep a stack of canned on hand just in case.
 

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I'm sure the kibble tastes pretty good to him. It's full of fat/fillers/and taste enhancers to make it more palatable.

Here is how I look at it. I have an 11 year old nephew. Given a choice he would *LIVE* on frozen pizza, sugary cereals and soda. Why wouldn't he? To him they taste a heck of a lot better than brussel sprouts and broccoli but it's up to my sister in law/brother to make sure he eats a balanced meal and gets the proper nutrients to grow.

MowMow would *LOVE* to eat lots of kibble every day but he just can't. It's bad for him and he can't live on it.
 

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And yeah, as MowMow said, both my cats go crazy for kibble. In the early stages of transitioning to canned, and then raw, we had a couple false-starts where I had to go back to kibble for a meal because they refused anything else. They make that stuff taste delicious with flavor sprays and stuff (because otherwise cats probably wouldn't recognize it as food since it's so removed from their natural diet).

Try not to let yourself get too discouraged. Just try to keep the scent of it away from him, because it'll probably entice him to want it again. Just keep finding ways to make his raw food exciting, and if you have to, mix in some canned. That's probably a way better option than reverting to kibble, if he likes canned.
 

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I would definitely stop taking him with you to feed the strays.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
saltenyo, I put the full variety - turkey, chicken, heart, etc. - a bit of each in each meal. Should I put all of the same variety in one meal?

Mowmow, maybe the issue is variety, because my strays go nuts for any meat I give them...?

Just now we had a battle of wits: he told me he was hungry and stood firmly by the kibble bags, having refused his meat. I stood firmly by his meat plate. We didn't say a word. In the end he came and ate a little bit of the meat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I forgot to say that indeed, till now I most always had the raw meat folded into a bit of some canned food, so maybe that's the issue. I'll add a bit of canned this evening if he again won't eat.
 

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Maybe because he can smell the dry food somewhere in the house, he thinks he has a choice between kibble and raw. You could keep the kibble in the fridge or outside of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unfortunately, I live in a tiny apt and the bags of 18 kilos are everywhere... This evening he ate a little more, with canned added... He loved the canned, of course. He's like his mommy - the doctor told me today that I MUST start eating healthy and drop the junk food, which is all I eat.
 

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I MUST start eating healthy and drop the junk food, which is all I eat.
Sing it sister. I'm perfectly happy to make all 3 meals some potato chips and a candy bar. If I put 1/16 of the time into my own diet as I do MowMows I'd be rockin' one hot body(and probably not feel like crap most of the time).
 

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After I started feeding my cats a raw diet I started to try eat healthier foods myself.

I haven't had any pop/soda for close to three years, any chips for 15 months, and now I'm trying to only have two donuts a month (eventually making it no more donuts). After a while, you don't miss those things:)
 

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saltenyo, I put the full variety - turkey, chicken, heart, etc. - a bit of each in each meal. Should I put all of the same variety in one meal?
That might help. It could be he's just getting bored with getting the same flavors every day. Getting a rotation might make it more exciting, like "Oo, I didn't get this last meal! This is new!" That's what seems to help Apollo anyway.

After I started feeding my cats a raw diet I started to try eat healthier foods myself.

I haven't had any pop/soda for close to three years, any chips for 15 months, and now I'm trying to only have two donuts a month (eventually making it no more donuts). After a while, you don't miss those things:)
Heh, it was actually the opposite for me. After gaining a bunch of weight in college (the freshman 15 ended up being more like the 4-year 30 for me) . After college, I got fed up with feeling unhealthy and unattractive, so I started really educating myself on nutrition and started homecooking with fresh veggies more (and reserving potato chips for a once a week treat, as they are my weakness) and I lost all 30 lbs! It took about 2 years total but it was well worth it. I feel fantastic. I have more energy now, rarely get migraines (I discovered I was hypoglycemic so cutting out most of the unhealthy foods that trigger that helped) and still eat a wide variety of delicious foods. :p

So it only made sense that once I got cats I would start nitpicking their nutrition as well. While obviously they have a different ideal diet, I apply a lot of the same principles (variety is good, fresh foods are better than processed, corn filler in everything is the sworn enemy) to their diets that I do to my own.
 

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At my vet visit where Merc was diagnosed with kidney failure and my vet told me no more kibble, she also told me that some cats will refuse to eat unless they get what they want. She said if this goes on for more than 3 or 4 days, the cat can actually die. So, her feeling was, yes, try to have the cat eat only canned food, but don't let your cat starve himself to death.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Maybe this thread inspired me, I'm actually sitting here eating a salad!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Prince is fully back to kibble. He was literally starving himself, totally refusing even the tuna and begging for kibble all day. He stopped sleeping and was nervous all day. I gave in, had no choice. I gave him kibble for dinner and he immediately calmed and down and now he's sleeping.

I'm going to try and find a way to store the kibble so he won't smell it, but anyway during the day when I go to the office all day, I have to give him kibble...
 

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Wait, I'm confused. I thought you kept the kibble around just to feed the strays? Are you saying free-fed kibble during the day is a normal part of his diet, or did you just start doing that after he stopped eating his raw?

If he has free access to kibble all day while you're gone, that is for sure going to discourage him from eating his raw food. Think about it this way: If you give a kid free access to cookies and chips all day, do you think he's going to be hungry by the time dinner rolls around? Nope, because he'll have filled up on all that delicious junk.

I'm not sure I understand why you have to give him kibble during the day. Many of us here are working adults, and we don't all free-feed. I feed my cats in the morning before I leave for work and again as soon as I get home. Sometimes I'll give them a third snack in the evenings right before bed. Young kittens need frequent meals, but an adult cat isn't going to starve without food for a few hours.

My advice would be to first stop free-feeding him. Make sure he only gets food at set mealtimes, and pick up the food when he's done.

If he's still refusing raw food, then mixing it with a little canned food would be a better option than just giving him kibble.

I've heard it can actually be dangerous to feed raw within 12 hours of feeding kibble because it takes so long for kibble to be digested. This means the raw is sitting in their system for a long period of time (since it's backed up behind the kibble) and has the potential to make them sick. A cat's ability to eat raw meat without being as susceptible to the bacteria that would hurt a human is the fact that their systems are designed to process it quickly. But feeding them something that slows down that process can create potential risks.
 

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What a mess this has turned into. I'm really worried.

Prince only eats the chicken breast lately and leaves the rest. He used to eat everything with gusto, even if he always preferred the chicken breast.

I don't free feed. If he's starving himself, I take out a little kibble, I have no choice. Then I try with the raw again. On days I go to the office, I leave a little kibble out for him because I'm out for 11 hours.

I have 2 brands of kibble, one for Prince and one for the strays. He only begs for his brand, but when he's desperate he will also beg for the other one.

I thought something might be wrong with the raw food, but I fed it to the strays last night when Prince kept refusing it and wrinkling his nose at it, and the strays swallowed it like a rare treat.

Mixing in a bit of canned or even tuna (his favorite treat) has stopped helping too. Warming the meat makes no difference.

I've read others have had this problem too, that their cats suddenly started refusing the raw. I wonder what the problem is, if they get bored of it or what. I have 2 months worth of ziplocs with assorted meats inside, so I can't now change the menu. But I have a goose leg in the freezer, so I'll try that one today to see if the problem is variety. Even though I don't think it should be, as cats eat pretty much the same everyday in the wild.

I hate the kibble. I always thought strays ate it because they didn't have anything else to eat, not because they like it. I'm a firm believer in raw food, have been all my life, for my own diet. I don't usually eat anything cooked, and I don't like any food that's cooked for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
He's eating the raw again with gusto. Even happily tackling the bones and chewing them easily, which he had always adamantly refused to do before. Beats me why...

It could be he was bored, because I give him the same assortment each day instead of rotating. When I prepare new ziplocs I'll take this in mind.

Maybe because I don't let him touch the food when I first take it out of the fridge. I keep it covered and play with him before his meal instead of after. When we're done playing, the meat is already at room temperature.

Or it could be that I keep a bit of kibble on the plate to attract him to eat at all, as I did when we were first transitioning. I'm aware of the dangers of mixing dry and raw, so I won't keep this up for more than 1-2 days.

It might also be that now I don't put the full contents of one ziploc on the plate. I put only the amount for 1 meal and separate the pieces, arrange them on the plate. Maybe it's easier for him to pick them up that way than when I had one big mass of food on the plate. Also, the food remains fresher, because I'm not taking all of it out of the fridge every time I feed him.

Or it may be that he was going through a phase when he needed to chew on hard things. I had noticed him chewing toys the last few days, which he hadn't done before.
 
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