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Why aren\\\'t they eating?

edited 27 May, 2009 in Food & Nutrition
Hi, first post here. My girls, Panda and Widget, just turned one. As such, I switched them over to adult dry food. They were on Iams Proactive Health Kitten Formula, and I switched to Iams Proactive Health Original with Chicken (the only one that had chicken as the first ingredient instead of chicken meal). First off, I\'m an idiot for not mixing for a while; I ran out of kitten food faster than I anticipated. I can understand them not being thrilled with the new dry food. But now they barely touch their wet food, too. They still eat treats, and they seem hungry (Panda pounces on my toes to let me know it\'s time to eat in the morning). I\'d love to get some input prior to switching their dry food willy-nilly, particularly when I\'d be stabbing in the dark looking for a new brand. Thanks!

Comments

  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 18 May, 2009
    Welcome to Catster, Panda & Widget. May I suggest that you visit catinfo.org - it\'s good reading for anyone who has a cat, and what I am hoping is that it will convince you to completely eliminate dry food from your cats diets, and also to switch to a different brand. Why? Well, here are the ingredients for the dry food (and I hope that by visiting the catinfo.org site you will learn and understand why dry food is NOT a species-appropriate food for cats and should be eliminated), but here are the ingredients anyway: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Chicken Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), DL-Methionine, Brewers Dried Yeast, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate). Of these ingredients, you have corn meal, corn grits, and byproducts in the first four ingredients. Corn is a common allergen, and as obligate carnivores, cats don’t need corn in their diet. Byproducts should be avoided in pet food. Any premium brand of pet food will not contain byproducts. You don’t mention what canned food you are feeding, but I assume it is Iams as well? Here’s what you probably don’t know about the Iams company: In a study done by the University of Wisconsin and the Iams company, bones in eighteen dogs’ front and back legs were cut out and stressed until they broke. (Source: Foods Pets Diet For, Third Edition, by Ann N. Martin, pg. 87). In a study done by the University of Georgia and the Iams company, twenty-eight cats were surgically forced into kidney failure and eight died during the experiment or were killed to study the effects of protein. (Source: Foods Pets Diet For, Third Edition, by Ann N. Martin, pg. 88). Grisly, yes? And there are seven other incidences just as grisly that are documented in that same book. Sorry to just throw that out there – I know it is probably shocking and disturbing, but the bottom line is this – since being purchased by Proctor and Gamble in the late 1990s, this company has gone downhill in more ways than one. Not only does the company experiment on animals in grisly fashion, but the food is not good, and there are many other foods you can buy from companies who don’t test on animals and who put out a superior product.
  • edited 18 May, 2009
    Tanner, I appreciate your input. My primary issue, however, is that they\'re eating neither wet nor dry food. They usually tear through their wet food, and now they\'re barely touching it. Also, I feed them Trader Joe\'s tuna for cats. It\'s specifically cat food, it\'s all dark meat (so no mercury buildup), and it\'s just tuna, water, and some vitamins and minerals; no salt, broth, byproducts, &c. Does anyone know what\'s going on here and how to remedy the situation? Has this happened to anyone else?
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 18 May, 2009
    Has their behavior changed in any way? My kitties do seem to eat slightly less when it gets warm out, even though we have air conditioning so they don't feel the heat that much. It's more like something in the air tells them it's summer. But they still eat a good amount of food... and their behavior does not change. I'd also check their poo. Sometimes if cats start developing diarrhea or constipation, they stop eating as much.
  • edited 18 May, 2009
    Behavior seems normal overall, and what poops I\'ve scooped looked pretty a-ok. I was thinking that less food -> fewer poops, but it could be the opposite, fewer poops due to constipation -> lower food consumption. Maybe the adult food stopped them up. Does that sound logical? These are my first cats, so I don\'t have a good frame of reference. Any suggestions on getting them going again? I fed them some Forti Flora (or however you spell it), and I guess I could make that a regular part of their diet until their eating returns to normal. If it helps, that is. Should it? Anything else I should try?
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 18 May, 2009
    Widget, how long has it been since they have eaten anything? How long has it been since they have eaten normally? Being that you have changed food, that sometimes does throw them off for a day or so, but if more than 48 hours have gone by since they have eaten, they need to be checked out by a vet. Also, did want to mention, I know nothing about Trader Joe's food, but tuna is something you want to feed sparingly. As you mentioned, mercury is a concern, but fish in general has been linked to FUS/FLUTD, so any fish is to be fed sparingly. Sorry if the information I gave was more than you were looking for - maybe I did get off track a bit, but it was something I did want to mention. Good luck!
  • Kerri ZimmermanKerri Zimmerman WinnipegMember Posts: 448
    edited 18 May, 2009
    To me it sounds like they do not like the new food?? And maybe the canned food has a similar smell or taste as the dry and they are turned off. Another possiblity is you made the switch too fast. And maybe they are turned off. Whatever you do you MUST get food into them. I would not just feed the Tuna food you mentioned. It could be fed in rotation once a week or so. I would try to find them a higher quality canned food with no grains. You can feed a few different types in rotation. Maybe you have picky kitties on your hands that need a rotation to stay stimulated? :? I feed my cats Wellness Core/grainfree canned flavors and EVO 95% canned flavors. I am also looking to add another brand into their rotation. I personally think your cats are smart - they know a crappy food when they see one :)):))
  • edited 18 May, 2009
    Ok, looks like my last post didn't go through. They're eating, but they're not eating anywhere near as much as they usually do. Bummer about the fish thing; that's the only food I've been able to find at a grocery store that doesn't have junk (broth, grains, byproducts, &c.) prominently listed among its ingredients. Anything decent that I can find at a grocery store? And any suggestions other than putting a bunch of kinds of wet food in front of them? I'll try that one, of course, but I wouldn't mind having a back-up plan.
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 18 May, 2009
    Widget, Bishop makes a good point re: the rotational feeding. For me, I feel that rotational feeding is the way to go because: 1) It prevents the cats from getting finicky. They get something different literally at every meal within about a 7 day period, so they have learned that what is set down for them at that time is what they have to eat. 2) In case brands of food change ingredients, suppliers, or are affected by recalls, you aren\'t so dependent upon one food that it causes problems (like you are having with your cats now). You can just switch over to another one. Personally, I think all cats should be rotated between at least two different foods (two different product lines, not just flavors, and at least two different proteins), to prevent food intolerances from developing, etc. Right now in the cat pantry, we have: Evo 95% chicken/turkey Addiction Summer Brushtail & Vegetables Wellness (various flavors) Avoderm (chicken & beef) Natural Balance (various flavors) Evanger\'s 100% game meats (rabbit)
  • Kerri ZimmermanKerri Zimmerman WinnipegMember Posts: 448
    edited 18 May, 2009
    In my opinion most grocery marts are stocked with pet foods that are much cheaper and filled with grains, fillers, by products as their first 4-5 ingredients. I am not sure where you live but do you have a Petco, Pet Valu, or small pet food stores near by that you can check out for higher quality foods? I would buy one or two different brands of canned food (one or two cans at a time). Some people make the switch cold turkey. Which can be hard on some kitties stomachs. Or slowly add it to the wet food they are eating now. Another thing you can try is dropping a bit of the new food on the floor near you when the kitties are waiting for their food. Let your kitties tell you if they like it. One thing you have to remember is they may not like one flavor from a brand. But they may like another flavor from the same brand.
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 18 May, 2009
    Our Mom went through a similar experience with me and my brother, Luke. I have always enjoyed wet food, but my favorite brand is Fancy Feast and Mom didn't want me eating that everyday so she kept buying different brands hoping there would be another one I would eat. She tried Wellness, EVO, Avoderm, Natural Balance, etc. etc. every brand you see listed by the cats on this forum. The problem was we turned our noses up at everything except the Fancy Feast. My brother, Luke, was a kibble addict, so for him, Mom just wanted him to eat anything wet. She thinks the problem was just too many changes in our diet at once and we ended up eating very little. That really upset Mom, even though we acted healthy and energetic. She decided on 3-4 brands and stuck with them because she thinks that foods should be rotated so that we don't get so picky about what we eat. Also, if there is a recall or problem with a food, you want to have something to fall back on. Mom also bought Liv-a- Littles freeze dried chicken treats and she sprinkles them on our wet food as an incentive if we are acting finicky - not a lot, just a smidge so we start chowing on the wet food. So far this has worked for us - hope you find a solution to your situation real soon! :)
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 19 May, 2009
    Widget, do you have a Petco or Petsmart near you? At Petco, you can look for: Wellness Natural Balance Avoderm Blue Buffalo At Petsmart, you can look for: Blue Buffalo By Nature By Nature Organics Another option is to order online.
  • Stephanie DejanStephanie Dejan Des PlainesMember Posts: 4,239
    edited 19 May, 2009
    Personally I don't think fish is evil, just that it should be used sparingly. I occasionally feed canned tuna or salmon in plain water with no salt. If they seem constipated and it's not just a matter of less in = less out, you can give an enema. My vet recommended them for Spooky after she got hurt and became badly constipated. The solution to use was a little dish soap (!) in water. You can get an enema syringe at the vet or probably at the pet store. Insert it very carefully and slowly, and squirt slowly. In Spook's case, her stool was so hard it absorbed the liquid entirely and nothing dribbled, but if you try it be prepared for some poopy liquid. Some cats really like the meat-only baby foods. I've fed Gerber's stage 2, which is pure meat and unseasoned broth. It's nice and wet, so if they like it, it will help soften the stool.
  • edited 19 May, 2009
    I stopped by one of the boutique-type stores on the way home from work and got some Innova EVO 95%, and they ate a little more of it than they ate of the TJ\'s food. I also got some dry food at Petco - I think it was Nutro Natural Choice - that seems to be more of a hit than the Iams adult food. So they\'re eating more, even if it still doesn\'t seem like they\'re eating as much as they were when I was feeding them kitten food.
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 19 May, 2009
    Widget, the Innova 95% is really great stuff. The Nutro ... well, since I just hit you with bad news on the Iams - maybe just Google Nutro and see what you think. There have been a lot of recalls with them, for example. If you haven\'t opened the bag, maybe try Solid Gold Indigo Moon or Wellness, if you feel you MUST give dry.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 19 May, 2009
    Widget we second what Tanner says about the Nutro, we do not recommend that food at all, you can take it back im sure. If you have to feed dry then how about Evo cat and kitten, or Wellness Core? Also there is one called Before Grain by Merricks.
  • Kerri ZimmermanKerri Zimmerman WinnipegMember Posts: 448
    edited 20 May, 2009
    The brands of canned food (I don't feed dry) that I have in my rotation for my cats are: Wellness grainfree/Core (multiple flavors) EVO 95% (mulitple flavors) and lastnight I bought a can of each flavor of the Nature's Variety Instinct to add into their rotation (I want to see the flavors they like the most and which do not go over very well=;) I opened the rabbit one lastnight and it was a hit!! |$||$| A few tips: * Buying the bigger cans (12.5oz) is cheaper * If you are afraid of wasting the canned food then freeze to use a week or so later. I do this all the time * Call the pet food company to request coupons
  • edited 20 May, 2009
    Bummer about the Nutro; they seem to like it more than the EVO 95% thus far. Maybe they're not used to pate-type wet food. I'll try a few more brands and flavors and switch dry foods.
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 21 May, 2009
    Widget, I know what you mean. It seems like every time you turn around, there\'s something else to worry about. Sort of like those whack-a-mole games at the kiddie arcades. Anyway ... if your kitties like chunkier style foods, the Wellness pouches are that way, and some of the Avoderm ones are as well. Another thing you could do (like with the regular Wellness cans, because they more or less hold the can shape when you dump them out, unlike, for example the Evo 95% which has a lot more water) is to cut the pate food into chunks and sort of separate it out a bit more.
  • edited 26 May, 2009
    I\'ll give those other brands a shot. I got them the EVO dry food, and they love it, so now I just have to try to tip the balance toward wet food, I guess. They\'ve had a couple of things they seemed to like, just not as much as they used to like the TJ\'s tuna. They are, on the plus side, pretty good about drinking water.
  • Cecilia CretaroloCecilia Cretarolo PortlandMember Posts: 267
    edited 27 May, 2009
    I can totally understand about having to feed dry. For Adonis, I just would not be able to afford to feed him an all wet diet. He weighs about 18 pounds so would be eating 3 cans of food a day of even the highest quality wet foods. Because of this I compromise. I give him 1/2 cup of EVO dry food and 2 ounces of wet food (I buy several brands) each day. I did a lot of research on cat foods and EVO is by far the best dry food on the market. It's spendy but you have to feed very little of it. This can lead to hungry cats so having wet food in the diet is required for peace of mind and your sanity. And like most foods, the bag suggestions are on the high side. I would only feed what the bag says if my cats were very active and almost too skinny. A normal housecat only requires about 3/4 of the amounts the bag suggests if not less. I would feed him raw but he went on a hunger strike with even a little ground raw in his wet food. My other 2 are on raw for health reasons so I'm alright with Adonis being on commercial food as long as he's healthy and happy. If he were an only cat though, I would be more than willing to feed him wet only. As it is, he has problems finishing his wet portion since the other cats hover around and will try to steal his even when I give them a small amount. It's frustrating but I feel it's worth it.
  • Kerri ZimmermanKerri Zimmerman WinnipegMember Posts: 448
    edited 27 May, 2009
    Adonis would not need 3 cans a day. The label recommendations on pet food is way too high. My cat Bishop was over weight at 19.6lbs. I have had him eating 5.6oz a day (roughly one can) for the last couple of months and he is "gradually" losing weight. It all really depends on the cat - Bishop would gain weight if I fed him more. Some cats need more to survive.... The Pet Centre Label Recommendations (half way down page) http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/catweight.html There is also a calculation formula where you can figure out how many calories you should be feeding your cat per day (someone may know it - I have seen it in other threads)
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 27 May, 2009
    Adonis if you are a Main Coon for sure your weight for a male is normal, you dont look fat at all.=; I will say though that you would not need 3 cans of food a day, according to your weight you need only about 315 calories a day. Now if you were to buy say Wellness grain free canned food there is 500 calories in a 12.5 oz can, so you would only need to feed just over half of that, also if you were to say feed Evo canned there is even more calories in it and that food I find is cheaper than the Wellness, but still a pretty good food. I would look into it Adonis :)
  • Cecilia CretaroloCecilia Cretarolo PortlandMember Posts: 267
    edited 27 May, 2009
    Even with that in consideration, Adonis is still my slowest eater. I would have to crate the other cats just to be able to give him his meals if I had him on all wet. As it is, I have to stand over him and shoo the other cats away while he's eating wet food and he doesn't even finish it most of the time. As it is, I have to expect that the other cats will try to bully him out of his food. I don't want to make the situation worse by feeding all canned.
  • Kerri ZimmermanKerri Zimmerman WinnipegMember Posts: 448
    edited 27 May, 2009
    Could you put Adonis in another room? I have to do this for Lexus. She is so cute.....when I go to make the cats food she will rub up against my legs with joy and then run to her spot in the living room on the rug and wait patiently for me to come. I do still have to keep an eye on the two eating b/c Bishop usually finishes before Lexus does and will go to her bowl if I am not watching.
  • Cecilia CretaroloCecilia Cretarolo PortlandMember Posts: 267
    edited 27 May, 2009
    I've tried and it doesn't work. He and Calypso have been together most of their lives so their hyper aware to each other. The second that Calypso's on the other side of the door Adonis knows it and will just stare at the door until I let her in.
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