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Discussion Starter #1
I just started the transition to raw food for my two cats and realize that it is a process. I am currently giving them a small portion of the raw food mixed in with canned food as they won't touch the homemade stuff at all alone. My concern right now is that both cats are not eating enough.

I think I read that they should be eating about 4 to 6 oz. a day but my cats are just not getting anywhere near that. They are being very stubborn about this new food. I have given them very small portions of kibble when a few times just to get them to eat something which I know is not a good idea. I have even given them the plain canned food a few times to make them eat. I am being too lenient I know.

My question I guess if they won't eat more than a little of the mix how long do I go before I give them another option. (A temporary reprieve so to speak because I am determined to see this through.) I don't want them to become sick. I know they have already lost a little weight, but that is a good thing since they both were a little overweight to start with. My asthmatic cat Mouth has only has two very mild coughing spells since I took him off the kibble. After the first few days I quit giving him his meds to see how it's working and he is so much better. He is the most stubborn about eating this new food too.

So if they won't eat, when do you offer them another option? And after you do how long to do you wait again?

Thanks!
 

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It took us EIGHT months of slowly sneaking in bits of raw to the canned food to transition our cats. I would get rid of the kibble completely, if they eat canned food well, and add just a tsp of raw to canned at first until everyone is cleaning plates. Then up to 2 tsp. Then 3. Then 4. etc at your cats speed. This isn't a race, it's going to take a while sometimes. :)
 

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Yup. The kibble just keeps them addicted. Get them on canned and then transition slowly. Try "real" raw food occasionally as well--sometimes cats don't like ground, even when transitioning, but will eat real food like 1/2 quail or a mouse cut in 2. Worth a try anyway! One of mine was like this--picked at mixture of ground raw and canned and then went, "OMG finally!" when I plopped down a chicken neck LOL. Since my goal was to eventually transition them to frankenprey and then whole prey, this worked for me!

But yeah--time is all. Cats are naturally cautious eaters (unlike dogs LOL) so it can take a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the encouragement everyone.

My cats won't eat "real" food, hoofmaiden. At least not yet. I tried it a few times before I started the whole transition but one of them sorta gnawed on it for a min then walked away. The other one just sniffed and walked away. LOL! Brat cats.

No one really answered my question though. If Mouth is being very stubborn, which he is, and only nibbles when he gets really hungry, when or do I give him another option of food? I worry that he is not getting enough calories in to keep him healthy.
 

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Sorry, I thought my post was more clear - stick to the canned food if he will eat it just fine, and toss out the kibble. Keep to canned only if that's what he'll eat, and take the raw transistion slower if you have to. :)

So - dont force him to eat what we know is best, because for a cat, that can be dangerous. HOWEVER, if he WILL eat canned food, there is NO REASON to have/give kibble at all - EVER. Kibble is garbage, canned is a step above, and raw the ideal (IMO) - so atleast getting rid of the kibble, IF he will eat canned okay, will eliminate one icky food. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry guys, it was just me I think. I didn't read the answers well enough I guess. I was just concerned that he wasn't eating enough. He nibbles at the canned food but he just doesn't seem to eat enough. One cat of food (about 5.5 oz) will last my two cats all day. That is with maybe a teaspoon of the raw food mixed in. That is just not enough food!

Thanks again for your help and advice! I really appreciate it.
 

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Sorry guys, it was just me I think. I didn't read the answers well enough I guess. I was just concerned that he wasn't eating enough. He nibbles at the canned food but he just doesn't seem to eat enough. One cat of food (about 5.5 oz) will last my two cats all day. That is with maybe a teaspoon of the raw food mixed in. That is just not enough food!
Are you leaving it available? Don't do that. Offer the cats their food (separately!) 2-3X a day and let them have access for 15-20 min. Take up what they do not eat. I would keep some kibble on hand so that if someone TRULY has eaten nothing at all you can offer a measured amount of kibble (for 15 min) after 24 hours.

Start w/ canned ONLY (no raw mixed in) and do not progress until they are cleaning up 2 meals a day w/in 20 min. THEN start mixing in raw.

More on all this here: Practical Guide
 

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You'll notice that the above link recommends first teaching the cats to eat meals (not free feeding) with kibble first, if that's what it takes. I think one of the reasons my cats' transition was fairly easy is that I have ALWAYS meal fed--I never left food available. So when they ate kibble they got measured amounts 2X a day and were fed separately. This means that they were used to eating up their food AND they were actually hungry at meal times. When I switched to raw I did it pretty much cold turkey--b/c they were used to eating up their meals and they were good and hungry, they just ate it.

So if you keep having trouble, try feeding kibble but on a meal schedule. Once they are hip to that, start mixing in canned food. When they're eating 100% canned, start mixing in raw. If that's what it takes, do it! :)
 

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Find out something your cats like to eat and it's healthy. Then use that as a topping to help your cats transition.

I have found a couple things:

1) Cooked chicken meat
Some cats like cooked chicken meat better, if your cats like that, then you can put cubes of cooked chicken meat with canned. Then reduce the cooking time to give it a raw center. Then eventually raw. Then slowly reduce the amount of canned. But this cannot be done for a long time, because only meat is not a balanced diet. So just use it as something to attract your cats to eat canned, or raw. If you find out they are going to eat a lot of things with cooked chicken, then you can hide some raw with cooked chicken, and slowly move on.

2) Stella & Chewy's freeze dried raw meal
This is a grid raw. The instruction said add water to the nuggets and make a complete raw meal. I give it to my cats as treats. And if there is some new meat they do not like, I put S&C on top and they will eat it all. So if they do not even like canned, try this one. Give them dry and make sure they drink water afterwards. Then slowly hide a piece of raw (or cooked chicken meat, then a raw center chicken etc). And slowly move on. The advantage of this is S&C is a complete balanced raw itself, so even if they eat nothing but S&C, it is still ok, just make sure they drink water.

The key is to find something your cats LOVE to eat. Then try to add raw to it while trying to maintain a balanced diet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You guys ae great, Thanks!

I did remove the dry food from day one but after going all day without eating I gave Mouth a small hand full on top of his new wet food to get him to eat some of it. I did that a few times but then the little snot discovered the pattern and decided not to eat but wait for the dry food. So I quit doing that all together. He hasn't had any dry food for about two weeks now.

I still don't think he is eating enough but at least he is nibbling when he gets hungry enough. I guess this is a game of who is more stubborn. LOL!
 
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