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Jon and I adopted a shelter kitty who has spent the last year of her life at the Nevada SPCA. We named her Tilly.
My biggest fear with getting a cat (which neither of us have ever had before) was getting her to eat because I've heard the horror stories. We brought her home around 4pm yesterday.. and she has not eaten since. They sent her home with a bag of science diet (yuck) but said that she has been eating that as well as whatever people donate to the shelter, but mostly the science diet.
Here's my questions... and sorry, I'm a total cat noob.

1. We all know i despise science diet. Since she has been eating that "and whatever" would it be awful if I went out and got her something better? I know about phasing and whatnot, but her diet has not been consistent anyway.

2. She will not touch wet food either. I offered her some last night and she looked at me like I was totally nuts. It's my understanding that to get a kibble junkie to eat raw, it's easier to first transition to canned food, then try to go raw from these.

3. Or do I just keep offering her raw and eventually she will take it?

Her coat is terrible. We are taking her to a groomer oday to get a bath and get all cleaned up.. she's filthy, and smells awful. Poor kitty.
 

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yeah, we have sardines, mackeral, salmon, and tuna. I also have fresh salmon and talapia.
Do I just offer it all to her? I also have some canned food... all the different wellness grain free ones, and I can definately go pick up something else if anyone has a suggestion.


Since her diet wasn't set on the science diet before, will it hurt to try to get her at least to eat a better kibble if i can't get her to go for the raw or canned? (if so, which should I buy?)
 

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Is she eating the SD at least? Like I said before, getting her to eat is the most important thing right now. Once she is settled in and eating regularly, THEN I would recommend really trying to switch her to something better. In the mean time, just getting her to eat is the important thing.

Case in point: my fiance's kitten, Cassie, stopped eating yesterday after eating only one or two chicken hearts/gizzards. She wouldn't touch any food last night, not even tuna and she was acting sluggish and her belly looked a little distended. I offered her food again this morning and while she seemed perked up, she still wasn't interested. Begrudgingly, I picked her up a can of Friskies at the grocery store, added a little water to it, and microwaved it for 10 seconds and now she is gobbling it up like a hungry beast! Do I hate that she wants to have be a junk food junkie right now? Yes! But is it worth it to have her comfortable and not go into liver failure? Definitely.

Unfortunately with cats, you have to cater to their every whim and fancy. So just get her settled in and eating regularly, and offer her some other things too but always make the SD available to her. When she is finally eating normally, THEN you can really try to get her on something healthy. Good luck!
 

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We were lucky with the Kitah. She was so starved she ate anything we gave her. She'll even steal bread off the counter if she has a chance. She'd like to think she's an omnivore LOL

I don't have much experience transitioning a picky cat but here's what I personally would do...

Find something she'll eat. Tuna, sardines, ground beef, whatever. Then use that to introduce other things. Mix some chicken with whatever it is... (say tuna) and then start cutting back on the amount of tuna. Kinda like we recommend doing with searing organs... same concept. Cut back til she's basically getting chicken with a hint of tuna... Then do the same to introduce something else.
 

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Jon and I adopted a shelter kitty who has spent the last year of her life at the Nevada SPCA. We named her Tilly.
My biggest fear with getting a cat (which neither of us have ever had before) was getting her to eat because I've heard the horror stories. We brought her home around 4pm yesterday.. and she has not eaten since. They sent her home with a bag of science diet (yuck) but said that she has been eating that as well as whatever people donate to the shelter, but mostly the science diet.
Here's my questions... and sorry, I'm a total cat noob.
Don't be sorry, this is what we are here for :wink:

Ask all the questions you need to!

1. We all know i despise science diet. Since she has been eating that "and whatever" would it be awful if I went out and got her something better? I know about phasing and whatnot, but her diet has not been consistent anyway.
Not at all. Not every cat will take to raw food, I know this because one of mine starved herself (before I knew better) and got hepatic lipidosis. Cats are very stubborn and will not do anything that they didn't want to do in the first place. Its totally not the end of the world if she doesn't end up eating raw. In a way, you kind of have to trick her into eating raw, or make it her idea.

But definitely, by all means necessary...get her on a high protein diet and make sure she has plenty of fresh water available. Most cats like to drink "running" water so getting a cat fountain can be advantageous for her to get more moisture in her diet.

I personally think that most cats die of kidney failure because of having such a "dry" diet and the fact that they are evolved to be a desert species, so they don't inately drink that much water to being with. So making sure she gets as much moisture in her diet is essential to health.

2. She will not touch wet food either. I offered her some last night and she looked at me like I was totally nuts. It's my understanding that to get a kibble junkie to eat raw, it's easier to first transition to canned food, then try to go raw from these.
Like rann said, give her some time, but make sure its not too much time. Canned food is nutritionally better for cats. For two reasons: 1. They get added moisture to their diet and 2. Canned food is generally less calorie dense because of the added water (but that doesn't mean you can feed her all she wants!).

3. Or do I just keep offering her raw and eventually she will take it?
You definitely do NOT want to do this. Cats will, and do, starve themselves. They are very, very stubborn. There are ways into tricking her to eat raw. One of them is to mix canned fish into her regular food, adding only a very little amount at first, and then progressively adding more and more until she will eat exclusively meats.

The more meat you can get into her diet the better. The problem you face once she will eat meat exclusively is the bone needed in her diet. If she will eat whole prey items you are set, but if not you might want to look at getting a meat grinder so you can grind up fresh bones. Of course she will not get the added dental benefit, but that is not as important as overall health and diet...and her teeth should still be a lot better on raw, even if it is all ground up.

Her coat is terrible. We are taking her to a groomer oday to get a bath and get all cleaned up.. she's filthy, and smells awful. Poor kitty.
Don't hesitate to give her a bath yourself...unless you don't want to deal with claws and teeth :wink:

We have to bathe Kitah all the flippin' time. She is a trash diver and scrounges for all the food she can find. We found her INSIDE a gross, gooey chicken quarter bag INSIDE and UNDER a bunch of trash once. She looked like what a newborn looks like with all the meat juice all over her. We just use regular pet shampoo...

Good luck with everything, and really do keep us posted!

ETA: I had a cat named Tilly...she refused to eat raw (the one that went into hepatic lipidosis). She was a sweet little kitty but she couldn't handle all the dogs after Tucker died (my other cat... :frown: ) so I had to rehome her...
 

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Is she eating the SD at least? Like I said before, getting her to eat is the most important thing right now. Once she is settled in and eating regularly,
She won't touch even the SD, she shows no interest in it whatsoever. I called the shelter to see if they knew when the last time she actually ate was (I know she hasn't since about 1:30p yesterday, that's when we got to the shelter) and they're not sure because they free feed the cats... so I made no progress there. They also couldn't tell me how much of her diet was actually the science diet, and how much of it was random donation food. I understand, as they have over 300 cats and it's all volunteers, I just wish there was a way of knowing what she actually likes. Heck i'll go buy Special Kitty (wal mart brand) if it means getting food into her today.
Is there a tastier kibble I could go pick up? Heck, I'm open to going and picking up a small bag of everything at this point! lol.

Once she is settled in and eating regularly, THEN I would recommend really trying to switch her to something better. In the mean time, just getting her to eat is the important thing.
Oh, I know. I have the SD avaliable, which she won't touch. I'm just offering other things with hopes.

Unfortunately with cats, you have to cater to their every whim and fancy. So just get her settled in and eating regularly, and offer her some other things too but always make the SD available to her. When she is finally eating normally, THEN you can really try to get her on something healthy. Good luck!
I knew that before getting her, we've been wanting a cat since we got engaged, so we've done our reading. It's just hard to cater to her when I don't know her yet. I don't know what she likes. I'm open to working up from the bottom, even if it means working from SD to grain free kibble to canned to raw, it's that i can't find anything yet.

So far i've offered her:
The dry science diet
Halo salmon canned
wellness chicken and beef canned
raw ground beef
raw chicken

I'm going to give Grissom a little treat of sardines for lunch and i'll offer Tilly some of that.


in the meantime, I'm going to go to the store, and grab tiny bags of.. well, everything. Worse case scenario I buy way too much, and if that's the case I'll donate to the shelter what she won't eat, or throw some of it in our emergency food storage. (Jon and I always keep at least two weeks of non parishables for ourselves in food storage, and we always keep a big bag of canidae in storage for the dogs- just in case. I know, we're weird.)
 

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Don't be sorry, this is what we are here for :wink:

Ask all the questions you need to!
Thanks. I just care about my pets soo flippin' much, I want to do everything righ and make sure they're well taken care of. It felt great to take Grissom to the shelter yesterday to meet tilly, and every volunteer commented on how amazing his coat is.

Not at all. Not every cat will take to raw food, I know this because one of mine starved herself (before I knew better) and got hepatic lipidosis. Cats are very stubborn and will not do anything that they didn't want to do in the first place. Its totally not the end of the world if she doesn't end up eating raw. In a way, you kind of have to trick her into eating raw, or make it her idea.
Gurr, so she might never want raw? I'll find some way to trick her into it.
I know it's not the end of the world, but it's SOOOO much more affordable to feed her raw than it is canned food... and I'm aware of the importance of canned food which is why I am trying to get her to eat it.

But definitely, by all means necessary...get her on a high protein diet and make sure she has plenty of fresh water available.
okay, so I've had really terrible experiences with every grain free kibble i've tried with the dogs because they're too rich... do I need to worry about this as much with the kitty? I'm okay with going out and buying evo, bg, etc....


I personally think that most cats die of kidney failure because of having such a "dry" diet and the fact that they are evolved to be a desert species, so they don't inately drink that much water to being with. So making sure she gets as much moisture in her diet is essential to health.
Yeah this is what i kept reading before we got her. She has water avaliable to her at all times. I think she has drank some, but it's hard to tell.

You definitely do NOT want to do this. Cats will, and do, starve themselves. They are very, very stubborn. There are ways into tricking her to eat raw. One of them is to mix canned fish into her regular food, adding only a very little amount at first, and then progressively adding more and more until she will eat exclusively meats.
Okay, that's what I figured, just wanted to make sure i'm on the right track with that.
Hopefully grissom's sardines at lunch will interest her. The dogs think this is great. every time i open something she won't eat, i pass it off to them. lol.

Don't hesitate to give her a bath yourself...unless you don't want to deal with claws and teeth :wink:
Haha, nope. I'd rather pay the groomer $45 to take care of it for me. Honestly I'd rather wait and not even put her through the stress while she's adjusting to a whole new life, but she is so dusty and filthy I can hardly stand sitting next to her, so it just needs to be done. And she grooms herself constantly... and I mean CONSTANTLY, so I think she'd like the extra help because she seems to be beyond her grooming capability. lol

Good luck with everything, and really do keep us posted!
Thanks! i will, i'm sure i'll have questions every day for a while. I joined a cat forum, but it seems super slow, I don't get answers quick enough over there. lol. So sorry i'm taking over this section of dfc for a while. lol
 

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If you can get her to at least eat canned cat food, it will be cheaper in the long run to buy the larger size canned cat foods and just stick a lid on it and put it in the fridge. My three cats used to eat the canned cat C/D (I know, it was made by Hills but I worked for the vet and it was free!) and they loved it and it kept in the fridge for several days. She might like it if you microwaved it a little bit to bring out the smell and stuck it on a plate or saucer. Sometimes it can even be that the cat doesn't like what you are serving the food on.....some like to eat straight off the floor and some like to eat off a flat plate. Others like plastic bowls and some like stainless steel bowls. They are all basically insane little creatures so you just have to figure it out. Make sure you have the vet check out her teeth, too. She can have a tooth problem that limits what she wants to eat and what she wants to eat off of.

My cats ate kibble, canned food, and caught their own mice, squirrels, and bunnies so I guess you could say they ate raw, too. They lived into their teens (one was 17) and this was before I knew anything at all about animal nutrition except what was taught to vets (nothing) so I wouldn't worry too much about the kibble at this point and just let her get adjusted to the house and all the dogs first. Be sure you hold her and love on her a lot and make her feel secure and give her a safe place to get away from the dogs. Give her a box to hide in or a paper bag to hide in (cats love to hide in bags and boxes) and try not to worry too much about her. Cats can feel your stress and anxiety and get even crazier then they already are!
 

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I dont know if anyone has mentioned this, but sounds like shes adjusting to a new environment, a lot of cats get stressed when they are moved to a new location, keep her in a seperate room away from other dogs and all the chaos and just let her explore and settle down, I'm sure she'll start eating once she's comfortable. I would hold off the bathing until she feels starts eating and exploring the house, for now you can just use one of those waterless baths that you spay on coat and wipe off.
 

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Do you have any canned fish you can offer? Cats can be VERY difficult to transition...

Tuna, salmon, mackerel... any canned fish?
tuna is "ok", but try not to rely on it too much. not only does it have higher mercury levels, but it lacks a sufficient amound of taurine, which is essential to your cats well being. some cats also have been known to get "addicted" to tuna, and wont settle for anything else. salmon, mackerel are perfectly fine though. consider trying sardines.:smile:
 

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I agree with Unosmom, just get some bath wipes and wipe her off for now, no need to stress her anymore! Just keep her in the laundry room away from the dogs for now and give her some time. I agree with Chowder that microwaving the food can help if you're trying canned (10 seconds will do for room temperature canned food) and smash it down with a fork a little and add a little tuna (or sardine, salmon, etc.) juice to it as well. I like your idea of offering her anything and everything she might like. Try some grain-free, some Iams, and some of the cheapest garbage you can find in canned and dry. See if she'll eat any of it.

You may also consider taking her to a vet and asking them to give you a demo and some supplies (60 cc syrince with a wide opening and SD a/d) for force feeding her as well as a shot of B12 to stimulate her appetite. Unfortunately, they'll surely charge you for a vet visit for that, but it may not be a bad idea at this point. Did the SPCA give you a free vet visit voucher by any chance? I know some rescues do that and it's very nice.
 

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I agree with Unosmom, just get some bath wipes and wipe her off for now, no need to stress her anymore! Just keep her in the laundry room away from the dogs for now and give her some time. I agree with Chowder that microwaving the food can help if you're trying canned (10 seconds will do for room temperature canned food) and smash it down with a fork a little and add a little tuna (or sardine, salmon, etc.) juice to it as well. I like your idea of offering her anything and everything she might like. Try some grain-free, some Iams, and some of the cheapest garbage you can find in canned and dry. See if she'll eat any of it.

You may also consider taking her to a vet and asking them to give you a demo and some supplies (60 cc syrince with a wide opening and SD a/d) for force feeding her as well as a shot of B12 to stimulate her appetite. Unfortunately, they'll surely charge you for a vet visit for that, but it may not be a bad idea at this point. Did the SPCA give you a free vet visit voucher by any chance? I know some rescues do that and it's very nice.
i know this is a bit off subject, but by any chance is your dog a lab/pit mix? she looks a lot like my dog, who is a lab/pit mix as well.

your dogs very beautiful by the way. keep up the good work!!!!!
 

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I agree with Unosmom, just get some bath wipes and wipe her off for now, no need to stress her anymore!
Well, she already went to the groomer. They said that other than the actual water part she did very well, and that she loved being brushed out.

Try some grain-free, some Iams, and some of the cheapest garbage you can find in canned and dry. See if she'll eat any of it.
We just got back from the store, i didn't buy any garbage because we went to a premium store, I'll list what we got at the end of this post. If she wont take to it, I'll go to wal mart and get some fancy feast of something cheap.


You may also consider taking her to a vet and asking them to give you a demo and some supplies (60 cc syrince with a wide opening and SD a/d) for force feeding her as well as a shot of B12 to stimulate her appetite. Unfortunately, they'll surely charge you for a vet visit for that, but it may not be a bad idea at this point. Did the SPCA give you a free vet visit voucher by any chance? I know some rescues do that and it's very nice.
They did give us a voucher and a list of vets that recommend them. that's on my unemployed to-do list tomorrow is call around and see which vet I want to use it at.



Right now we have the following in little baggies in warm water to bring them to a little warmer than room temp because they came out of the fridge or pantry.
Ground beef
cut up bits of chicken
ground turkey
cut up turkey
sardine
mackeral
canned salmon
a piece of a fresh salmon fillet
tiny piece of chicken liver



We also went to the store and bought some food. I didn't know where to start, so I got a sample of taste of the wild (only samples they had)
And Felidae grain free was on special: buy a Salmon bag, get a Cat and Kitten bag free, so we went with that for now, we'll offer her both, hopefully she'll like one of them, but if not, at least one bag was free.


Now the canned list:
Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline
Felidae grain-free salmon
Felidae grain-free turkey chicken lamb & fish
Wellness CORE Chicken, turkey, & chicken liver
Weruva grain free chicken in gravy
Weruva grain free Polynesian BBQ
Wellness grain free beef and chicken
Wellness Grain free Turkey and Chicken (pouch)
EVO 95% Venison
Holistic Select Ocean Fish & Tuna
Chicken Soup Chicken, Salmon, Turkey & Duck
Natural Balance Chicken & Liver
Natural Balance Duck & Sweet Pea
Merrick New Egland Boil
Merrick Southern Delight


So this is what we have to work with, as well as the bag of science diet that we have. Hopefully... we make some kind of progress.
 

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i know this is a bit off subject, but by any chance is your dog a lab/pit mix? she looks a lot like my dog, who is a lab/pit mix as well.
Yep, that's our best guess. She's a little girl at only 45 lbs though. How big is your dog?

your dogs very beautiful by the way. keep up the good work!!!!!
Thanks, she is pretty much the most gorgeous dog on the planet, but I may be biased :biggrin:
 
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