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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Trying to Wean my cat off kibble and feed less

I'm trying to have my cat eat more canned food in his diet instead of kibble. He's had some hairball troubles and in the past has experienced a UTI/kidney stones once. In general I'm hoping to feed him only canned food and use kibbles as training treats or a light snack. Trouble is, he's a complete kibble junkie. There are days he only eats one of two bites of his canned food and doesn't eat anything until he gets his kibble. Although it's not bad food, I've been told and have been reading how canned food is a healthier choice. I've been reading this article: Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health and am determined to try and wean him off kibble.I usually try to mix some kibble in his canned food which seems to help a little, but it seems he looses interest quickly. He seems very fickle about his canned food.

Kibble he eats: Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Formula - Chicken and Rice flavor ( meal) and Hill's Prescription Diet - T/D ( food toppers/dental treats)

Canned Food he eats: Nutro Max, ACTR1UM Holistic Pet Food and sometimes Wellness. However he seems to have the same reaction to all of them: One Day he enjoys it and the other he could care less. I'm trying to consider other healthy, but relatively cheap canned food brands. Surprisingly he HATES Buffalo Blue canned food, Arcana and I think he even rejected Taste the wild. Unfortunately, his favorite to-die-for canned food is Fancy Feast Elegant Medley's ( horrible stuff). My mom gives it to him as his occasional junk food/ Mcdonald's treat.

Canned food I want to try: Felidae, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's soul, Holistic Select and Natural Balance. Ideally, I need a brand that will cost less than $1 each with my current financial situation with my husband.

At some point I would love to introduce him to raw feeding. This will have to wait until I move back to the states as my parents do not agree with the idea of raw meat. How I wish I could give him some chicken feet!

Starting tomorrow, I've requested for my mother to allow me to be the only one responsible for feeding my cat. In the past, it's been a war of food control. I'd feed small portions and she'd add more while I'm not looking and visa versa with me decreasing the amount. Let's hope I can keep some consistent control for at-least a week so I can make proper observations.

Anyone has any tips on how to encourage their cat to eat more canned food?

If anyone has had any experience with these brands: Felidae, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's soul, Holistic Select and Natural Balance please let me know how they have worked for you and if you'd recommend them. How much are each canned food? Reason I ask if because I have not encountered them at any pet store yet but I've found places to look. However I know Canada vs US prices will differ (I currently live in Canada with my parents but will be returning to North Carolina with my husband later this year) so price estimates will be helpful!

Question : How much should I be feeding my cat exactly? In general should I follow the 2% body weight rule? Or does that only apply to rawfed diets?

Here are the feeding portions my mom gives him:
-1/2 canned food morning. 1/2 canned foot at night. 1 cup of kibble through out the day + lots of treats( handfuls!).

This is what I've been working to modify it to:
-1/2 canned food morning, 1/4 kibble for lunch, 1/2 canned foot at night. Treats reserved for clicker training only.

I will be trying out this portion tomorrow. However, there are times he just refuses to eat his canned food, even when mixed with kibble.

Eventually I will work towards:
1/4 canned morning, 1/4 kibble lunch and 1/4 night. Treats reserved for clicker training only.

Also, is it possibly dangerous that my cat is loosing too much weight too fast? I was reading this article: How Much To Feed Your Cat that a cat should not loose more than 1/2 a month because it risks hepatic lipidosis! My cat has gone from 19 lbs to 16 lbs in 2 weeks. Should I be cautious?
 

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yes i deff would be VERY cautious about the amount of weight loss! 3 pounds to a person is no big deal but to a cat thats a HUGE deal

i would be upping the amount he is getting of food 1-2% is for raw fed becuase even canned has added stuff so theres more waste in each portion
with a raw diet more of each portion is used as energy theres no waste hardly in it while even canned has some waste.
if i were you i would up the amount of wet food per day.
 

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yes i deff would be VERY cautious about the amount of weight loss! 3 pounds to a person is no big deal but to a cat thats a HUGE deal

i would be upping the amount he is getting of food 1-2% is for raw fed becuase even canned has added stuff so theres more waste in each portion
with a raw diet more of each portion is used as energy theres no waste hardly in it while even canned has some waste.
if i were you i would up the amount of wet food per day.
Will do. Just hoping he actually takes the wet food. A lot of times he turns tail and sniffs around for his kibble. If left alone, he'd probably starve himself or go a day without eating it it means not getting is kibble. I guess I'd have to balance out the amount in kibble for the wet food he does not eat. I admit I was surprised how quickly he lost weight, especially when it didn't seem there was too much change in his diet immediately. He doesn't even feel or look that different. The only things I can think of are that I've convinced my mom to stop giving him handfuls of treats at one time ( like 7-10 pieces!) and I've been having him play chase games with me close to daily. I think I'll leave his current feed schedule as is and see how long he sustains his current weight with just the exercise. I guess I should hold off on decreasing his feeding portions until another 2-3 weeks from now to play it safe. I hope everything will be alright.
 

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For your future feeding schedule how you only want to feed 1/4 can morning and 1/4 can evening, I would feed more canned food then that. Both my cats eat almost a whole can of canned food throughout the day (and I do add quite a bit of extra water to their canned food too, to make it more soupy), with just 10-15 pieces of kibble morning and night to get their hunger going. My cats dont like cold canned food, they are picky eaters too, I find it helps when I mix the cold canned with with really hot water, because then it makes the food slightly warmer. I also squish all my canned food, they dont like eating the chunks, all they would do is lick up the gravy and leave the chunks behind.

Im glad you're looking into the holistic select and natural balance, as they are good for cats with past urinary issues. If you can find it, you should also add Nature's Variety, even just once a week. Since putting my cats on their canned food I have seen such a difference. Both of their coats are so shiny, and my female used to have dandruff but not anymore. And my male used to shed buckets, and now he sheds minimal hair. The lamb stew one they go crazy for, but it does have chunks so I squish them. And also the 95% lamb they love.

I find my cats are less picky when I add water to their canned food, its easier to eat for them, and I think it dilutes the flavour in a way they like. Iv tried feeding the food straight out of the can before but they wont eat it, they like it with the extra water.

What types of treats does your mom sneak your cat?
 

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For your future feeding schedule how you only want to feed 1/4 can morning and 1/4 can evening, I would feed more canned food then that. Both my cats eat almost a whole can of canned food throughout the day (and I do add quite a bit of extra water to their canned food too, to make it more soupy), with just 10-15 pieces of kibble morning and night to get their hunger going. My cats dont like cold canned food, they are picky eaters too, I find it helps when I mix the cold canned with with really hot water, because then it makes the food slightly warmer. I also squish all my canned food, they dont like eating the chunks, all they would do is lick up the gravy and leave the chunks behind.

Im glad you're looking into the holistic select and natural balance, as they are good for cats with past urinary issues. If you can find it, you should also add Nature's Variety, even just once a week. Since putting my cats on their canned food I have seen such a difference. Both of their coats are so shiny, and my female used to have dandruff but not anymore. And my male used to shed buckets, and now he sheds minimal hair. The lamb stew one they go crazy for, but it does have chunks so I squish them. And also the 95% lamb they love.

I find my cats are less picky when I add water to their canned food, its easier to eat for them, and I think it dilutes the flavour in a way they like. Iv tried feeding the food straight out of the can before but they wont eat it, they like it with the extra water.

What types of treats does your mom sneak your cat?
Thanks for the feed back. I wasn't too sure what were the ideal food proportions, I was often encouraged less lol. I think I'll stick with the 1/2 morning and night. I mix in kibble with his canned food and that seems to help encourage him to eat it. I never thought of mixing it with warm water! I think I'm going to give that a try! Not sure about the squishing, my cat seems to hate pate style wet food. He seems to favor sliced and chunks, though I may try seeing it I can break them down a bit more to make the mix more effective. Hopefully he won't mind lol

Today I just gave him his morning portion of half a can with mixed kibble. Wasn't interested in it for about an hour until I had to encourage him to, but thankfully he ate the full portion. So I hope he eats his dinner portion as well.


My mom puts in Temptations cat treats for him. I'm not a huge fan since they're not all that healthy, but I don't mind giving the hairball control here and there. I prefer to give him died liver treats and Natural Balance rabbit flavor. I was lucky to get a free sample of Natural Balance and he seems to really enjoy the treats and the food pouch. I just hope it's not too expensive lol. I'm about to go out and check Pet value and see if the ones near me carry any more or Natures Variety.
 

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When I tried feeding my cats only canned food (about 4 months ago) my mom would feel really bad for them and she bought a bad of whiskas temptation cat treats behind my back and was feeding them handfuls a day without my knowing. I started noticing that my female (the stressed out over groomer) was grooming even more and she even went at her front paws, which she never used to do. And my male got a weird rash around one of his nipples. I was at a loss for words what could be causing them do have those issues, and then I came across the cat treats and my mom admitted she felt bad for them so was feeding them. After I took the treats away, slowly but surely they got better. My male's rash went away, and my female eased down on the hair ripping around her front paws.

I dont know if maybe the sugar spiked her stress more, but I noticed a huge difference. With you wanting to drive back home to the States with your cat, I could stop the whiskas, in case the sugar spikes do increase stress. Feed a high quality treat, or like you mentioned before, feed the kibble as a treat.

Im pretty sure all pet valu's carry Nature's Variety. The ones I go to do atleast.

And, if your cat likes the chunks, by all mean keep them. Just I know with my cats they are too lazy to chew it or something lol, so I have to squish it for them. I wish they would eat the chunks, it would make feeding them faster. And I always leave their canned food bowl down for about 2-3 hours, sometimes they dont want to eat right away because they wait to see if I would offer them something else. Eventually they go to the dish and eat the canned food.
 
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Honestly- feed the junkier canned foods while getting him switched out. Friskies, fancy feast.. use the pate not the shreds and avoid anything in gravy if possible. You may have to do a couple graveies to get them switched over. Pates work best and are better ingred wise.

Once you get him eating canned introduce the higher qualities.

All my cats are kibble junkies. All my cats switched over to canned and then raw.

Good luck!
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health
 
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