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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the urging of AddFran and Dr. Jean (thank you!), we've realized that we need to add wet food to Skeeter's kitten diet. Contrary to what the vet told us and what we've read on other sites, kittens should have a good amount of wet food in their diet. Our problem is that, as students, we don't have enough in our "pet fund" to feed him wet food for every meal. So, I have a few questions:

1. How do we start introducing this wet food to him as he's been on only crunchy food since he was born? Is it alright to just start giving it to him?

2. What size serving should a 4.5 month old kitten get of wet food?

3. Whould it be okay if we fed him one serving of wet food every other day? Say, for dinner every other night and crunchy food the rest of the time?

Thank you in advance for answering. We just want to do the best for our little one, and are upset that our vet didn't tell us about the benefits of wet food rather than just shoving the bag of Science Diet at us.
 

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Wet food every other night should be fine. I introduced wet food to my kitten (at the time!) by giving him an ounce and a half every night. The tiny tins are 3oz, so half of that. Then after he was used to that I gave him a whole 3oz can for his dinner, and free fed crunchies while he was a kitten. Now both my cats eat all wet food, the only way I can afford it is because I work at a pet store (I'm a student too!) and they give me a nice discount.

So I suggest one night just try giving him a bit, and if he likes it increase the amount to whatever he can eat in a half hour....someone else might give you an exact amount. I'm not sure a 4.5 pound kitten could eat a whole 3oz can anyways!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you, Maleke, for your reply. I feel better now about making that transition.

By the way, your avatar is probably one of my favorites! It makes me smile every time I see it. Magic and Maleke look like they're little boogie machines! :)
 

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Hahahaha...those two kittens aren't Maleke and Magic! It's just an avatar I chose because I don't know how to set one up of Maleke and Magic! I should really get my boyfriend to help me with that.... :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I'll keep a look-out for photos of your real babies! I just recently made my sig and avatar with Skeeter's photos. Jim had to help me out with that, so I understand about needing help from the bf! We had to do a lot of Photoshop resizing and all of that. I did it myself in just a few minutes after he showed me the first time, so you'll get the hang of it. :) I'd kind of miss those dancing kitties, though. :p
 

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once you get going with a brand or something that your kitty likes, you can order by the case and save a decent amount. you have to pay for shipping, but the cases of food save you at least ten, sometimes 20 percent
 

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My kitties are posted in the Meet my kitty section somewhere...though it was a long time ago so who knows where they are! I am getting film developed really soon with new pictures so I will post more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
drjean said:
At least a little canned food daily would be best.

I found this during a search for Felidae. Does this sound about right?


FELIDAE Feeding Guidelines
All Life Stages Canned Formulation

* 13oz. Can - A can a day for every 16 lb. of Cat's Body Weight. (ME kcal per
13 oz. can, 437.45)
* 6oz. Can - A can a day for every 8 lb. of Cat's Body Weight. (ME kcal per 6
oz can, 201.88 )

To achieve a balanced diet, keeping teeth and gums strong and maintaining a firm stool, CANIDAE recommends a feeding ratio of 25% canned food to 75% dry food by weight.
 

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Sounds about right, an 8-10 lb. cat should get around 6 oz. of wet food if that is all they are being fed. Then adjust accordingly if feeding dry too :p
 

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I feel like such a mean cat-mommy...12 pound Assumpta is only getting about 3 oz of canned a day (though she's NOT losing any weight, I should add), plus a tablespoon of dry and a dental chew before bed.

Poor fat starving kitty........ :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Aww! I'm sure pretty little (chubby :) ) Assumpta is just fine! I was wondering, Gudewife, what sort of dental chew do you give your little one?
 

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I use the CET dental chews. I'd originally tried the similar Petrodex ones, but Assumpta chomped once and then swallowed them (she swallows almost everything whole, including dry food as big as the Hill's SciDiet Hairball Lite, which is pretty large...the Maine **** I had growing up was the same way, incidentally). The CET chews are about twice as long, so she does actually have to chew them. I had a hard time getting her to try the first one, but after I stuck a piece of Wellness dry food in each end, she had to gnaw the chew to get the kibble out, and she decided that she really liked them.

She is an absolute demon about having her teeth brushed (despite my best efforts), so I'm hoping that the chews will at least help keep the tartar down (then again, it's not like dry food was helping her teeth any either, because she never bothers to chew).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Gudewife said:
(then again, it's not like dry food was helping her teeth any either, because she never bothers to chew).
HA! Yes, that does seem to present a problem! Thank you very much for letting me know about those dental chews. We're about to start trying to brush Skeeter's teeth, but if that doesn't work, we'll check these out!
 

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Brushing is way better if you can manage it. Assumpta makes it so difficult that I can only get in there once a week or so, and often it ends up being "smear the toothpaste on and get out of the way," so I figured the chews might at least help on the other six days. The vet keeps a close eye on her teeth, too, and chips off any heavy tartar she can get to every time she looks at Assumpta...usually twice a year (it's part of the "limited office visit"). :)

When we got her (Assumpta, not the vet), she had one badly degraded incisor next to one that had apparently fallen out, and her gums were pretty inflamed. After a full cleaning, the vet suggested annual cleanings...but since then, her gums have stayed nice and pink, and her teeth haven't gotten bad again and the vet says a full cleaning isn't warranted yet; we decided that she might have been under so much stress (as an abandoned kitty), and somehow damaged the two front teeth, and together it might have triggered a whole-mouth response that hasn't recurred now that she feels secure and safe.

But I'm still paranoid....:lol:
 

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Of course the pet food companies recommend feeding more dry food than canned; their profit margin is much higher on dry food because it costs so much less to produce!

In my experience, any dry food remaining in the diet will prevent most of the weight loss benefits of a canned diet. I have a client who was giving about 6 kibbles of dry food a day to her diabetic cat, and he was totally unstable with insulin until she finally removed it completely (his insulin requirements have dropped from 2-3 units to 1/2 unit, and some days he doesn't need insulin at all!). So just a tiny bit evidently has a large negative effect. It really has to be "Catkins" diet all the way, for the same reason that eating carbs on the Atkins diet will prevent weight loss on that program.

I love the CET chews; have had great results with them!

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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Well, Dr. Jean, it's been a process of cutting back the dry food, bit by bit (it has been about three months to get to this point). She was on Hill's R/D for quite a long time, and Hill's SciDiet Hairball Light for about six months before we started adding wet, and instead of going cold-turkey to wet food, I started with small amounts of Wellness Light and started cutting back from there. For the last few weeks, she's been trying out a sample bag of Chicken Soup, and I'm just getting ready to open a bag of Regular Wellness Adult, at which point, I'll pull back to 1/2 Tablespoon a day (to maintain the amount of kcals/day at about 150-160) and try to taper her off from there. But I'm going very slowly, as she's had a very hard time going from a super-high-fiber diet (R/D) to wet food (loose, sticky stools).

The vet suggested that we start sprinkling her wet food with plain psyllium husk powder, and tinker with the amount until her stools were solid enough so that they didn't get stuck all over her breeches...it has worked out to about a scant 1/8 tsp per meal (twice a day), which seems like a lot to me, but we haven't had any more poopy pants, just a moderate increase in stool volume (though they are still moist and pass easily, unlike the little brown rocks she had on the R/D). Her hope was that it would help solidify her stool and perhaps make her feel a little fuller on the reduced amount of food.

We've just been loath to do drastic changes to her diet because she is so totally obsessed with food, and the vet said that, for Assumpta, we ought to err on the side of moving too slowly...the "as much wet food as she can eat in 30 minutes" does NOT work with her, so it's strict portion control, calorie counting, and designated feeding times. What I may do is start buying a few 3oz cans of something like Innova Light or something else with higher carbs, and gradually replacing her tablespoon of dry with that, then work down to lower carb canned, and taper the midnight snack off to just a dental chew. She has big food issues, so I'd rather do this too slow than too fast.

On the plus side, I finally found a place to store the kibble so that she can't get into it, so she hasn't had a binge-and-purge in quite a while.
 
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