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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As you guys know, I've been trying to improve my cats' diet by removing grain and adding high-quality canned. They eat a certain amount every morning with great enthusiasm, although I still can't get them to eat more than 1/4 of a 5.5 oz can each in the morning.

The main problem I have is their evening meal. When I put their food down at night they start nibbling, but usually leave half or more just sitting there. Apollo will eat more than Athena, but Athena barely touches it.

As they're still growing kittens, I really want to make sure they don't starve, so I offer them some Core dry to make up for the wet they don't eat. But of course I'm aware that it's possible they're not eating their wet food in anticipation for the dry. The dry I put in their bowl (3/4 cup between the two of them) is always completely gone by morning so I know they're eating that. I'd rather they eat more wet but I don't want to take their dry away completely if they won't eat enough of their wet. And I had been hoping to at least keep them willing to eat some dry since it's easier on the occasional night/day I have to be away from home.

I'm wondering, could temperature be a factor? The food they get in the morning is a fresh can. The food they get at night is usually the second half of that can that's been sitting in the fridge all day. I've tried leaving it out until it reaches room temp and sometimes they'll eat more then, but sometimes not. From what I can recall, when I've fed them with smaller cans (since BB Wilderness only comes in 3oz cans) they seem more enthusiastic, since their evening meal is a fresh non-refrigerated can also.

Is there a better way to re-heat cold wet food? Can I microwave it a tiny bit? Or do you think something other than temperature is causing them not to eat in the evenings?
 

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I warm my girls' food in the microwave because they won't eat it cold. I buy the bigger 13+ ounce cans of Evo and Wellness and portion them out into small Tupperwares to freeze for the week. Each night I take out what I need for the following day and put it in the fridge to thaw, then microwave it for 15 -20 seconds to warm it up. The girls gobble it right up then!

Some people say warming the food in the microwave is bad, but this is the only way to go for me. I refuse to buy 3 ounce cans of food to avoid having to refrigerate anything, as it's ridiculously expensive to buy smaller cans. And the girls won't touch the food if it's cold.

I used to leave dry food out but Fern wasn't interested in eating all of her wet food, so I stopped leaving anything out. Now they get 2 wet meals and 2 dry snacks and all is well.
 

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I refrig an leftover food then heat it up in the microwave for 13 seconds and mix it up well so there are no hot spots. People like their foods warm or hot.

Kathy
 

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I have the same situation with my kitties. They love to eat the food when I first open the can but any leftovers they can be picky. What I found that works is letting the refrigerated can (which has a cover on it) sit in a bowl warm water for a few minutes. Once it is close to room temperature, if they don't eat it, I will some tuna flakes or some freeze dried treats over the food which entices them to eat it.
 

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If they're getting a half can of the food in the morning and the other half later that same day, then you don't need to put the food in the fridge. Canned cat food can be left out of the fridge for up to 18 or so hours, as long as it's tightly covered. I keep a few small tupperware dishes with lids. I give my girls half a 5.5 oz can of food between them in the morning and then put the other half in the tupperware dish, put the lid on and leave it on the kitchen counter. I then give them the other half in the early evening after I come home from work. I only put their food in the fridge if I won't be using it until the next day.

P.S. My girls rarely go on my counters, even if I leave food out. If yours do, then you might want to put the covered food in a cupboard!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If they're getting a half can of the food in the morning and the other half later that same day, then you don't need to put the food in the fridge. Canned cat food can be left out of the fridge for up to 18 or so hours, as long as it's tightly covered. I keep a few small tupperware dishes with lids. I give my girls half a 5.5 oz can of food between them in the morning and then put the other half in the tupperware dish, put the lid on and leave it on the kitchen counter. I then give them the other half in the early evening after I come home from work. I only put their food in the fridge if I won't be using it until the next day.

P.S. My girls rarely go on my counters, even if I leave food out. If yours do, then you might want to put the covered food in a cupboard!
Oh, if leaving it out is safe, then that sounds ideal. I have those little pet food can tupperware lids that fit right on the 5.5 oz cans. I'll try that tomorrow and see if they find their dinner meal more palatable.

Mine...sort of go on counters. Apollo was taught not to, but now Athena is big enough to jump up there and Apollo is following her up there again. Thankfully I've got a hall cupboard where I keep all the cat food and they can't reach that one.

Do you feed your girls just that wet or any dry with that? Because I was worried that half a 5.5 oz can between them each meal (so one can a day total split between them) wasn't enough, but they refuse to eat more than that. Mine do get some dry but I'm still trying to figure out how much of that to give them with the half 5.5oz can of wet a day.
 

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I always microwave the special renal diet food I give RayRay because it is more tempting for him to eat if it's warm. I figured if microwaved food is ok for humans then it should be ok for cats, too. This is the first time I ever heard anything about it not being good.
 

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Do you feed your girls just that wet or any dry with that? Because I was worried that half a 5.5 oz can between them each meal (so one can a day total split between them) wasn't enough, but they refuse to eat more than that. Mine do get some dry but I'm still trying to figure out how much of that to give them with the half 5.5oz can of wet a day.
Muffs and Abby also get 1/4 cup of dry between them as a bedtime snack. That might be a bit light for your two, since yours are younger than mine and so yours are still growing. Also, my girls are quite small (7.5 lbs and 8.5 lbs full grown).
 

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I always microwave the special renal diet food I give RayRay because it is more tempting for him to eat if it's warm. I figured if microwaved food is ok for humans then it should be ok for cats, too. This is the first time I ever heard anything about it not being good.
Microwaving will "zap" some of the nutrients out of the food.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I always microwave the special renal diet food I give RayRay because it is more tempting for him to eat if it's warm. I figured if microwaved food is ok for humans then it should be ok for cats, too. This is the first time I ever heard anything about it not being good.
I'd actually never specifically heard about it being bad...I'd just heard it can degrade nutrients further. And I worry about making it too hot for them. Last time I tried reheating wet food, even for like, 20 seconds, it kind of started bubbling and got super hot. But it sounds like a few seconds with sufficient stirring will be fine? I guess we just have a very potent microwave!

Also I'm not entirely sure how to tell if their food bowls are microwave safe. They're both plastic, no metal on them as far as I can tell. Are most plastic pet bowls microwave safe?
 

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I'd actually never specifically heard about it being bad...I'd just heard it can degrade nutrients further. And I worry about making it too hot for them. Last time I tried reheating wet food, even for like, 20 seconds, it kind of started bubbling and got super hot. But it sounds like a few seconds with sufficient stirring will be fine? I guess we just have a very potent microwave!

Also I'm not entirely sure how to tell if their food bowls are microwave safe. They're both plastic, no metal on them as far as I can tell. Are most plastic pet bowls microwave safe?
If it doesn't say it there is a test, not sure how accurate, but if you put the bowl and a mug of water in the microwave for incrementally increasing time...20 sec, 40 sec, 60 sec. After each time feel if the bowl gets hot, if it does it is not safe for microwaving. If after the minute the water is hot and the bowl stays cool it is safe.

I always use glass saucers, since they fit nicely in the dishwasher.
 

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I used to zap the girls food, but because it heats unevenly, I prefer to add warm water now.
 

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There's an easy way to find out if they won't eat the evening meal because it's cold...offer them a fresh can at night and see what they do. Offer the cold food in the morning and see what happens.

It actually seems like you should be having the reverse problem...you're loading them with calories at night...3/8 cup of CORE dry has about the same calories as an entire 5.5 oz can. Between the wet and dry they get at night, they're getting 3/4 of their entire day's food at night. You might want to rethink the food distribution. It probably has nothing to do with your current issue, but in the long run, more evenly balanced quantities would be appropriate.

Personally I wouldn't intentionally leave food out on the counter for any significant length of time. I rarely have leftovers to put in the fridge (I use an entire can at each meal) but when I do, I put it in the microwave for 8-9 seconds and mix it well...it's just enough to take the chill off but doesn't create hot spots.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
It actually seems like you should be having the reverse problem...you're loading them with calories at night...3/8 cup of CORE dry has about the same calories as an entire 5.5 oz can. Between the wet and dry they get at night, they're getting 3/4 of their entire day's food at night. You might want to rethink the food distribution. It probably has nothing to do with your current issue, but in the long run, more evenly balanced quantities would be appropriate.
I've tried putting the dry down in the afternoon, although they never seem to touch it much during the day. It's just gone by the next morning.

I actually did try opening up a fresh can tonight though, and they devoured it right away, so perhaps the temperature was just the issue.

I'd love suggestions on how to portion out their wet vs. dry better. Kind of uncertain of the best way to do it since I've yet to convince them to eat more than 1/4 a can each at each meal. The portion sizes I was using were the recommendations on the back of my Wellness package for combo feeding with Wellness Core. They say 1 3oz can a day and then based on their respective weights, Apollo is "supposed" to get 1/2 cup of Core and Athena 1/4 cup. But I'm wondering if that's too much dry.

I'd love to hear what other people do when combo feeding. I'm a little stumped on the best way to make sure they're each getting enough food, and getting a higher proportion of wet to dry. I'm open to not free-feeding dry and doling it out to them individually in smaller portions. The only time I'd ever "need" to give them dry or free feed them are times when I'm gone overnight. We tend to be gone Saturday nights to do laundry at my parents' house (as we lack a washer and dryer here) and while I can leave them with their dinner before we leave, I worry about missing their breakfast if we get home late the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hmm. Athena barely touched her fresh can of wet this morning, so maybe there's something else going on here.

It's possible she just wasn't hungry yet, as I had to work in the office today and thus fed them super early...but I think I may be noticing a pattern. I think temperature is still probably a factor as they're both always less enthusiastic about their evening meal, but I'm wondering if Athena's just super picky.

I think I've noticed her less willing to eat either when I feed her turkey, or when I feed her Merrick. Not entirely sure as a lot of my Merrick flavors are turkey, so it's hard to tell. Going to start taking notes on which flavors I've offered and how interested she seems to be.

But of course the one she always eats without fail, Blue Buffalo Duck, is the most expensive food I buy and only comes in 3 oz cans. That always seems to be the case, doesn't it? ;)
 

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I'd love to hear what other people do when combo feeding. I'm a little stumped on the best way to make sure they're each getting enough food, and getting a higher proportion of wet to dry. I'm open to not free-feeding dry and doling it out to them individually in smaller portions. The only time I'd ever "need" to give them dry or free feed them are times when I'm gone overnight.
When my girls were younger, I used to feed them two wet meals per day and then free feed dry...although they tended not to eat too much of the dry. Nowadays, I give them a wet meal in the morning and another when I arrive home from work. I then give them a dry "snack" just before bedtime (1/4 cup between them).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When my girls were younger, I used to feed them two wet meals per day and then free feed dry...although they tended not to eat too much of the dry. Nowadays, I give them a wet meal in the morning and another when I arrive home from work. I then give them a dry "snack" just before bedtime (1/4 cup between them).
How big are the wet meals yours getl?

I am beginning to think 3/4 cups dry a day between the two of them is just too much (I know feeding guidelines on the bags/cans often overestimate) especially if it's filling them up and contributing to their lack of interest in their canned food. I just want to make sure they're getting enough to eat since I can't seem to get them to eat more than 3 oz of wet a day currently. :(
 

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My girls usually eat a 5.5 oz can between them each day; somedays we might go through a bit more than 1 can, but not too often. Mind you, they are picky eaters, and they're not all that interested in food, regardless of what type of food.

I read on this Forum all about cats who steal food, break into cupboards, etc...but my girls can't be bothered with any of that. I've even left an open bag of treats lying around on my nighttable when I've gone to bed, and it was untouched in the morning. It's a plus in one sense, since I don't have to lock things up, but it's a minus in that I just can't seem to interest them in much of anything that's food-related!
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Ok thanks! I think I'll try reducing their dry to 1/4 cup then, with the same amount of wet they're getting currently and see if that improves their appetite for the wet, and see if warming the wet in the evenings also helps. I may still have to give Apollo a bit more as he's 10 lbs, but I think maybe little Athena is just getting way too much food (she's only 5 lbs).

They probably are just thinking, "Eh, I could eat this cold wet food that I had for breakfast already...or I can eat that whole bowl of crunchy kibbles later!"

I don't blame them. The Wellness Core dry smells exactly like the inside of a Japanese restaurant.

Edit: Also I just realized you already told me how much wet you feed earlier in the thread, sorry about that. I'd forgotten. I should have just gone back and re-read the first page!
 
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