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I recently put Riot on canned food. He started refusing to eat raw despite variety. So, I had to resort to cooking his meat 3/4 the way and then he would eat it. Honestly, I am to lazy to add all these supplements you lose cooking so I decided to put him on half canned. He gets his canned mixed in with some cooked meat.

But I cant stop feeling guilty about it. I feel I am not providing him with what he is meant to eat..raw. Sigh...
 

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My dog has been on the raw diet for almost a year, and I know several raw fed cats. Vets dont like raw because they know nothing about it and a healthy pet dont provide profit.
 

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Maybe Riot will go back to raw on his own. Or could it be that Riot is teething? The boys (Morey, Mitch, and Malachi) didn't want to eat much for a few weeks because it hurt to chew. They ate enough and I gave them some ground meat to make it easier for them. The ground meat was very

Mikey will still not eat organ meat unless I sprinkle the Holistic Select Transition Solution powder on it. It is a probiotic which cats seem to love but it doesn't have the nasty ingrediants that FortiFlora has.

Food Products has a large list of foods, most of which I feed to Nightmare. Nightmare refuses to eat raw so I feed him all canned instead. Of course I wish he would eat raw but since he won't I do the next best thing for him which is canned. Nightmare doesn't have IBD but it is a very good list of foods for any cat :)
 

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My veterinarian recommends against raw meat, even raw meat that is previously frozen, because it still contains eggs of parasites. The raw meat diet is advocated in Australia, which your culture may have some bonds with, but not generally in the US, from what I've experienced in interacting with vets over the years. We feed our cats poached chicken breast and cooked chunks of steak periodically, but never raw, and never with bones. Most of the time, they get canned catfood for dinner (dry during the day), and they do fine.
Most vets aren't very well-educated on raw because their nutritional education during their training is typically limited to a single course, usually taught by a representative of a major pet food company, who of course will teach them that raw is bad and dangerous because they want vets telling their clients to feed them the diet of the company they're representing. It's about product sales, not what's best for the cat.

Vets who are educated on raw agree that it's an extremely healthy diet for cats when done properly. Some are still hesitant to recommend homemade raw simply because it can go pretty wrong if you don't know what you're doing, but a cat on a properly balanced commercial or homemade raw diet will generally see some fantastic health benefits on it. It's what their bodies are designed to process.

They have very short, very acidic digestive tracts which means they need food that has readily bioavailable nutrients. Cooked food can put a greater strain on their digestive system. The more processed the food, the harder the digestive system must work to extract nutrients from it and the less of it that can actually be used. This is why cats on canned or kibble vs. raw typically have smellier, larger stools, and why those with already sensitive stomachs (like my Athena) will have chronic soft stools and gas which "miraculously" clears up on a raw diet.

You're also simplifying the parasite concern a great deal. Eggs of which parasites? Which meat? Are you saying all raw meat contains parasite eggs? Because that's certainly not true. If meats are improperly handled or manufactured, they can become contaminated with salmonella or e-coli, but of course this concern is not by any means limited to raw meat. We see it with kibble too, and with plenty of food intended for human consumption (remember the great e-coli spinach scare?). Healthy cats are less susceptible to a lot of the meat contaminants that would make us sick, such as e-coli, but also basic common sense in buying, handling, and feeding of meats helps reduce the risk.

I personally only buy meat or premade raw from manufacturers I trust to be concerned with more attentive manufacturing practices. I personally choose not to feed my cats pre-ground meat other than that specifically intended for animal consumption from a manufacturer I feel is reputable, I personally choose not to feed pork because I'm unclear on whether there's still a safety concern with that (I believe this is the issue you were thinking of when referring to eggs in raw meat?) and I also choose not to feed factory farmed meats. These are my personal safety preferences. But again, there have been just as many, if not more contamination scares with commercial pet food than with intelligently sourced raw meat, so I fail to see how the risk is dramatically higher. It's just a gut reaction that we have that raw meat is inherently more dangerous because it's less safe for us, given that our digestive system has evolved with a long history of food-cooking. But if raw meat were horrifically dangerous for cats, then they likely would have diet out long ago, considering how recent of a practice it really is to feed cats commercial petfood.

I am a US resident, and have spoken to my own vet about raw, for the record. The information I am relaying here is not my personal opinion, but information from vets in the US who are educated on the subject whom I have spoken to in person in some cases and read texts and articles by in others.

Some cats do just fine on cooked diets all their lives, this is true. Just as plenty of humans do just fine on diets that are not 100% nutritionally ideal for them. This doesn't change the fact that there are a great deal of health benefits to raw, and for a cat that has special nutritional needs (like a cat with diabetes or IBS) it's not just an option, but often something they need to be healthy. I tried many many different diet options with Athena. High-quality kibble, grain-free kibble, high-quality canned, grain-free canned. The only thing that she has ever had normal stools and no gas/bloating on is raw. That's pretty telling evidence to me.

I recently put Riot on canned food. He started refusing to eat raw despite variety. So, I had to resort to cooking his meat 3/4 the way and then he would eat it. Honestly, I am to lazy to add all these supplements you lose cooking so I decided to put him on half canned. He gets his canned mixed in with some cooked meat.

But I cant stop feeling guilty about it. I feel I am not providing him with what he is meant to eat..raw. Sigh...
As I said above, even if raw feeding is the ideal, some cats do just fine without it. I certainly understand your guilt. You want to do what's best for Riot and that's great! But of course it's more important that he eat something than eat the perfect diet. Some cats get finicky and decide they suddenly don't like something anymore.

One of my cats, Apollo, is like this. I have been trying to feed him a 100% raw diet but he keeps getting bored with it and stops eating it eventually, so I keep having to reintroduce canned. I've managed to put him on a rotating diet of raw and canned, so he still gets the benefits of some raw in his diet, while not getting sick of it. He seems much more willing to eat it after a day or two of canned. Perhaps that's something you could try for Riot?

Apollo's done well on any food I've given him, so I'm not too concerned. Unlike my other cat, he doesn't have digestive sensitivities, and I didn't see as much dramatic improvement with him on raw as I did with her, because he was already very healthy. If Riots like that, then he may do just fine on a rotating diet, or with raw being fed occasionally. And who knows, you may be able to reintroduce raw again in the future.
 

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The BEST food is one your pet will eat.

We can't *make* them and they need to eat, so just feed the best you can of what he *will* eat.
 

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The BEST food is one your pet will eat.

We can't *make* them and they need to eat, so just feed the best you can of what he *will* eat.
I was just about to say that, Heidi :)

I have had chats with our vet and his feeling is that although raw is great in theory for all cats, sometimes it's not for all cats. Some have digestive issues like my Egypt who can't tolerate a raw feeding at night, and some will just refuse to eat it. Why not try and find out if a compromise will work (1/2 canned, 1/2 pre-made raw or something similar)...that way you can both feel good about this choice.
 

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My cats will eat pre made raw, but they like canned much better. I feed them a bit of both, so they get what they like as well :)
 

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Don't feel badly. Like heidi says, you can lead a cat to raw, but you can't make him eat. Canned food is certainly better than dry, so you aren't harming him in any way.

If I hadn't had a finicky cat before (Kobie) I would be mystified by the number of people who have cats that refuse ANY kind of food. My Cats would eat me given the chance. They've never turned down food of any kind.
 

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My Cats would eat me given the chance. They've never turned down food of any kind.
hahaha...my cats are that way also and it makes me wonder when Lacey starts first licking and then chewing on my fingers when she smells something she really likes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have tried many things to get him to eat. I found, if I cook the meat and mix it with canned he will eat it. So I guess thats better then straight canned. Now if he stops eating canned and wants nothing but kibble, then I may consider killing him (hypothetically speaking of course) LOL
 

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I wish I could go all raw as well, but it's only a treat around here (no one wants a whole meal of it, unless it's once in a while). Rochelle is incredibly picky, and it took a long time just to her to eat something other than seafood flavored canned. Alice is my garbage disposal, and usually Samantha is too...until she gets bored. When Samantha gets bored, she flat out won't eat...sometimes she will only eat dry, sometimes only canned, most times I have to mix them for her. I always have several different types of canned on hand, because I never know when Sammy is going to change her mind.

I do feel bad about not being able to give my cats raw, but at the same time, I'm glad they eat what they do.
 

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Why are cats so picky tho, my dogs will eat anything you put in front of them. Well, one of my dogs swears rabbit isnt food. But will inhale anything else in front of them.

Darn cat lol. See mine isnt picky about canned flavors..just brand. I tried the higher quality stuff..nope. Will only eat cheap. Which makes me feel even worse.
 

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My one cat Bella (a fat cat) will only eat her dry food and any sort of cat treats. She goes crazy for treats... but will not touch wet food at all. The closest she ever gets to people food is licking the sides of a bowl after I've eaten some sort of chicken soup or something. She'll also lick any type of cheese snack (fritos, doritos, etc). Never eats anything else though, just licks.

The other new cat, Lala, will only eat her dry food. No treats, no wet food, nothing else. Just the dry food that I put into her bowl. I've even tried putting some treats in her food bowl and she'll usually just eat around them.

Kitties are weird.
 

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Squeekers, wow did you hit one of the red butttons. Next weeks folks lets talk about declawing! Trying to bring some levity here.

It is very true about vets do not know much about foods unless you have a vet which made it their mission to learn on their own outside of school.

Guilt is a worthless emotion. I have friends which swear by raw and the results show. And I have other friends whose lifestyles are crazy and they do what they can. Ive seen cats live to an old age on crap food and others which ate raw or high quality die young. Genetics play a part in it.

Give them what they will eat and maybe slowly try to give raw as just treats. You have to live by your own convictions raw or not.
 

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Squeekers, wow did you hit one of the red butttons. Next weeks folks lets talk about declawing! Trying to bring some levity here.

It is very true about vets do not know much about foods unless you have a vet which made it their mission to learn on their own outside of school.

Guilt is a worthless emotion. I have friends which swear by raw and the results show. And I have other friends whose lifestyles are crazy and they do what they can. Ive seen cats live to an old age on crap food and others which ate raw or high quality die young. Genetics play a part in it.

Give them what they will eat and maybe slowly try to give raw as just treats. You have to live by your own convictions raw or not.
Could you please enlighten me as to what you mean by my hitting a red button and I have to live by my own convictions...
 

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Could you please enlighten me as to what you mean by my hitting a red button and I have to live by my own convictions...
Bwahahahahahah! I think M&T meant the 'red button' of what cats may think they like, what vets may think they know and how better cat care in all areas of available information in this technological age is one of her missions that she battles on a daily basis with people who think they know what's best for cats when they really don't. :wink
I think she was telling you to stick-to-your-guns, Toots! Don't let 'em back you down! ...sometimes it is easier to appear acquiescent and agreeable to get what you want as you continue doing what you've always done. :p
Merry is *always* on the side of kittehs and the people who want to care for them in the best possible way. :cool
 

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While none of my kittens are particularly fussy I have a few ideas as to how picky cats are made. (dogs too, btw)

I have met very few actually picky animals. The vast majority of the people I deal with have created a picky pet. I'm not saying that's what anyone here is doing, just that when I'm dealing with people at work I've found that people tend to exacerbate the problem without realizing it.
That being said, once an animal reaches a certain age WHAT they are eating is of less importance than that they ARE eating.

With that being said, Becky's Rules for Picky Pets. (I have used this on my semi-picky kitty, Princess Torri. IMO it's why she's never gone past semi-picky)

1. Make sure your pet is healthy. The #1 reason for an animal to actually be picky IME is a health issue.

2. Think back to the last thing they ate regularly and happily.

3. Buy something YOU are happy with feeding to your pet. (This goes double for pets under 2 years...their behavior patterns aren't completely set so you can be a little firmer with them.)
If your pet is thin, or on the thin side try to pick something that's as jam- packed with healthy stuff as possible. That way even if they eat small amounts they'll get the most out of it. (Origen, Blue Wilderness, EVO, ect. Grain free high protien kibble or wet. Raw is my preference but I also know it doesn't work for everyone.)

4. Buy a LITTLE of the yummy stuff (they last one they enjoyed), alternately I've found my kitties think chicken baby food (organic please :D) to be the food fo the gods. If it's kibble you choose water works great. Buy the majority of the healthy stuff.

5. Plan to feed in meals. No goodies until they start eating properly again.
2 meals a day works well for adult animals, pets under 6 months should be fed a minimum of 3 times a day. (Of course for cats more meals is better, but it does have to be sustainable for you!)
Meals means you put the food down for 15-20 minutes, then take it away. If they are currently eating it let them, but if they have wandered off or gotten bored they obviously aren't hungry, so tough luck. (Part of why it's important your kitty is healthy. Many health problems require constant food.)
Leave water always avaliable obviously.

6. Excersize before dinner. Kitties need to work up an appetite/'hunt'. Get them a little tired before you feed them and they are more likely to be interested in eating.

7. Offer the food with a sort-of ritual. With my kitties they always watch me make their food. (seperate each portion onto a little plate, sometimes I add a treat, ect) Each pet gets their own space for eating, sometimes competition from another animal can cause them to leave their food area. I don't allow competition, so I supervise. (Jitzu can be a jerk about her food, she eats on the other side of the kitchen from the others. Torri Won't eat within 8 feet of another cat. She eats in another room with the door shut.)
I also make my kitties sit before I put their plate down...but that's just the dog trainer in me :D.

8. When they are done for a picky kitty sometimes a special treat will appear. They have to have finished the plate for the goody. And the 'desert' is something little; a kitty treat, small peice of cooked meat (I always cook meat treats, they like the smell cooking brings out.) ect.

9. If they are particularly bad I add/smear the healthy food with the yummy food. For example when Jitzu was getting over being sick one of her meds caused her to have a smaller appetite, and since she couldn't smell she just wasn't interested in eating. I fed her chicken baby food for quite a while, then I minced up her favorite raw food in the food processor and mixed some chicken baby food into it.
As she became more enthusiastic about eating again I gradually made the peices larger and the baby food less, until she was eating as normal again. All told she went from me forcefeeding her with a syringe, to eating as normal in about 2 weeks once she was feeling better.

With Torri, our princess, she has food she doesn't like. Specifically chicken. She hates white meat chicken, will grudgingly eat dark meat one day, but won't eat any chicken two days in a row. Oh, and she won't eat the skin. *eye roll*
How do I compensate? I don't. If the others are eating chicken that's what she gets served too...I do take the skin off for her as it's kinda unneccessary and she hates it. But that's it.
I try not to feed chicken two days in a row, but if I have to then that's it.
I NEVER feed it three days in a row, specifically because she won't eat it that much. But she knows that that's what she's getting.

I highly reccomend not hovering over a picky eater. Put the food down, and go away. Come back and check in 15-20 minutes. Hovering makes them nervous...I don't like eating when people are hovering either.
I also don't ever add goodies to their dinner once it's down. Sometimes I add an egg, or a sprinkle of parmesean cheese, but always during the prep. If you add to the dinner once it's down it's a bribe, and they'll try and wait you out.

I have developed these rules for a lot of reasons, but here are some common questions I get about picky eaters and my 'fixes'.

Q: My cat is 1 year old and won't eat unless it's Whiska's dry.
A: Pick something better and stick to it. Most cats at 1 year are too high energy to hunger strike. Their body won't let them, especially if you excersize them before dinnertime.

Q: My cat is 14 and will only eat canned tuna. (A question I actaully hear a lot...argh)
A: Canned tuna is in no way nutritionally sound for any cat. However, at 14 years old the habit of picky-ness is well ingrained. Try buying a fish flavored wet food, and adding hot water from the tap to make it warm. Sometimes making it warm will encourage them to eat. You could also add tuna juice to a food to make it more appealing to your cat.
(It is more important that a cat at 14 is eating than what they are eating. However tuna just isn't something that they can stay alive on for very long. Not to mention the health down-sides!)

Q: My cat is 3 and won't eat wet food. How do I get her eating it?
A: Buy her favorite dry food, and a small can of wet. Pour any juice from the wet on the dry. If that works and she eats it then the next meal mix in a small amount of wet, just enough to make the kibble shiny. Progressively add more and more wet and take away some dry until they will eat it no problem.

Q: How do I keep my kitten from becoming picky?
A: When you feed canned buy a huge variety. When they are kittens cats learn what is 'food' if they don't eat something as a kitten they won't easily recognize it as food when they are an adult.
If you feed dry buy a few different flavors of kitten kibble and mix them. I also always reccommend some wet.

I mentioned above that even if they don't eat it the meal should be taken away after 15-20 minutes. The exception is if your cat is overweight, in which case they NEED to eat at least once a day or their health could be at risk. Another exception is if your cat hasn't eaten anything in 2 days (48 hours). In this case feed a normal meal, but add something extra tasty to it (parm, tuna juice, water) and microwave it for 10-15 seconds to make it smell better.

....Ok, so I just relaized how long this was. *steps off soapbox* Needless to say at my job I deal with picky pets on a very regular basis. Most of my rules follow a 'tough luck' principle, but you have to have a basically healthy animal to do that.

Good luck, and be patient with those picky eaters, but don't give in!
 

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This is good advice. It clearly comes from experiemce.

None of my cats is a picky eater. They alll look at mealtime as a competition: "I'll eat this fast, then I'm coming over and finishing yours."

I don't know why this is, maybe because they go outside and get a lot of exercise?
 

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Librarychick - very good post - and I agree - I was on the raw food diet for my cats and dogs for a while but it got to be where I just couldn't afford it anymore...and I've thought about going back on it since I just have 1 dog and 3 cats... but your cat isn't going to let himself starve - and that's what they recommend you do - what librarychick advised you too...through some of the raw food yahoo groups that I use to belong to...

You have to be presisent... good luck!!!
 
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