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How do you get a cat from a dry diet to wet?

Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
edited 23 March, 2010 in Food & Nutrition
Macy was at the vet today AGAIN and they found he is loaded with Struvit crystals and want him on an all wet C/D diet. Number one he is my dry food eater and number two the only wet food he will eat is meow mix cups. When I informed her of this she told me to take all of his dry up and he will eat the wet. I am not so sure of this. She told me if he doesn't eat in two days then give him a little kibble, but all I have here is Iams since she refused to give me any C/D dry. I am really concerned about him not eating for two days so what should I do? I have tried mixing his meow mix into this stuff and he still won't touch it and is searching for his dry. Any ideas here?

Comments

  • Julie SongJulie Song Member Posts: 140
    edited 20 March, 2010
    go to catinfo.org -really great advice about getting dry food eaters to switch.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 20 March, 2010
    How much does Macy weigh? if she is not overweight then you can take up the kibble for just over 24 hrs but not more, though you would have to put it away in something that is glass, as they will be able to smell it otherwise. If she is overweight then she is more prone to get hepatic lipidosis, so withholding food for 2 days she is more prone to the disease. Have you treid sprinkling some of the dry crushed kibble on the wet? If your cat wont eat it in a 1/2 hour then you have to toss it, as bacteria can grown on the kibble. YOu can also try parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top, or some wet baby food that does not contain garlic or onion. This happened to Shadow a few years ago, and has been on a wet diet ever since, no more crystals, but she was easy to give wet to. As the other poster said there are other ways to transition that you can read about at the catinfo.org site Let us know how it goes.
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 20 March, 2010
    We went through this a few months ago with Cedes (not the crystals but switching) she LOVES dry food, she would eat a few licks of the wet food then walk away. Basically what I did was tough love, heating the canned food for a little bit in the microwave, mixing Beech Nut baby food (turkey or chicken only) in with her canned food, mixing tuna juice/clam juice etc, and not giving in to her cute little pathetic mews for dry food. It's even harder as I have one kitty who still gets the dry food because of a condition she has that makes it hard to eat wet....everyone still thinks they should have the dry food, but everyone loves the canned so they know that's all they get now. While wet food would be great Meow Mix has gluten and menadione in it so you should really try to find a different food that you will eat. Hard I know, have you tried Fancy Feast before? How about any of the Wellness foods, I know my kitties REALLY like the Wellness canned foods.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 20 March, 2010
    Macy ways 14.4 lbs but isn't really fat its all muscle. I guess I am more upset because she wouldn't give me the dry D/C which he has eaten before with no problem. I was going to try to put down just 1/4 of a cup of dry for my two cats to see if that would spark his appetite to eat the wet. He used to eat the fancy feast elegant medleys but doesn't seem to like it anymore. I don't know what I am going to do if he won't eat wet at all.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 20 March, 2010
    Ok still a bigger cat so you really need to be careful when withholding food. Trust me you do not want the prescription food, its just going to cause other problems in the long run. Do they sell the Royal Canin wet prescription food (this is better than the Science diet) Try hiding the food like I said and have all your wet foods ready, get a bunch of different ones that maybe you have not tried before. You could ask your vet for an appettite stimulant and see if that will help if your cat really wont touch the food. Does Macy drink alot of water?
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 20 March, 2010
    He seems to, I see him go to the water fountain about 3 times a day and I was adding 2 tablespoons of water to his meow mix wet and he would lap it all up. They said they could get in Royal Canine but I would have to buy a case of it, which seems it would be a waste if he doesn't like it. This vet is insistent on Hills and I have tried even the over the counter before and he will not touch it. I was going to ask her about an acidifier that I could give him to see if that helps or not. So if he still won't eat tonight should I break down and give him a meow mix wet with added water to it?
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 20 March, 2010
    Im rushing to get to work, but a quick answer would be to give the meow mix wet for now..The vet should be able to order in the Royal canin wet, and if your cat does not like it then they should take it back, if not then I would be really hesitant in seeing this vet again. I'll be back tonight and will show you the link to the food im talking about ok. See if you can go buy a small jar of baby food too.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 20 March, 2010
    Ok thanks! I went to the store and got some Halo wet and some blue wilderness to see if he would like that instead. Oh and broke down and got a bag of science diet natures best, I figured that might be better than the Iams, but only put a quarter cup down.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 20 March, 2010
    Nooo...... not the science diet, I would try and take it back and tell them Macy didnt like it. I hope that she likes the other wet ones you bought. I was just reading my "Your cat" book by Elizabeth Hodgkins, and she said to NOT withhold food for more than 36 hrs. Trying different textures and brands are your best bet. If you can find a food that does not contain fruits and vegies, and grain, cats will be more intrested in this kind of food, as it is more protein, and those other things can deter cats from eating them. I know that Merrick makes a before grain food (wet) but you just cant feed it, as it does not have all the vitamins in it. There is another one but I cant remember the name of it, it starts with an A, I will look for it, anyhow it comes in small 3oz. cans so you could just buy one to see if she likes it. Evo 95%, have you tried that? or Weruva? I cannot get Weruva here in Canada yet, but its coming. Here is a link to the RC canned I was talking about, though she does not have to be on this for life. http://products.royalcanin.us/products/veterinary/feline/urinary-so.aspx
  • Julie SongJulie Song Member Posts: 140
    edited 20 March, 2010
    Have you had a chance to look at catinfo.org? here is the part I was talking about: http://catinfo.org/#Transitioning_Dry_Food_Addicts_to_Canned_Food_ It mentions something called Fortiflora, made by Purina. the base ingredient is animal digest, which is what dry food has in it to make it so delicious to cats. You can put it on the canned food. Lucky for me, Toki loves wet food, but I had to transition my last cat Spooky from dry to canned after undergoing a kidney stone operation. She had very bad diarrhea from Hill's prescription diet, and I switched her to Wellness. Important things to watch out for with kidney and bladder crystals (depending on which kind of crystals) are the levels of phospherous, ash, and magnesium. Regular dry food has very high levels compared to wet, and even though the prescription diet is specially formulated to have low levels, it also has way too much corn, grain, which are bad for feline nutrition. I'm not a vet, but I feel that vets push Hill's prescription food too much. my opinion of course, so be sure to do your own research and do what you think is best. I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble, but your cat will be much healthier in the long run.
  • ann condosann condos Member Posts: 3
    edited 21 March, 2010
    I started feeding a feral kitty can food once a day then thinking that dry was better started feeding her Kitten Chow. Then I discovered that commercial food/dry was bad so I tried switching her back to wet. She would not touch it, she only wanted Kitten Chow. I tried better quality dry but she wouldn\'t eat it. Luckily, she liked Halo and few times a week, I give her Fancy Feast beef flavor without wheat gluten. Never thought I could care this much about a stray cat but after reading about health and nutrition on this forum, I want her to be healthy. This is the first time buying pet food and I couldn\'t believe the shelf space for Purina!! Shame on vets that peddle \"science diet\". I guess self education is key as a pet caretaker. Thank God for pet food companies that create quality food for dogs and cats. It took me almost a month to switch her over to better quality diet so don\'t give up. For a stray she was very picky!
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 21 March, 2010
    Thanks for all the info yes I did try some of the tricks from the site you mentioned but will ask the vet about the stuff from Purina. He obviously must not be starving since I broke down and gave him some meow mix wet that he is used to eating and he just licked it and walked away and ate only 2 pieces of kibble. I have a feeling that while he is outside he is catching critters, lol! Another fun thing to tell the vet tomorrow. My neighbor volunteered to help me give him subq fluids so I can flush him a bit more. He snubbed the halo, so that's a no go I guess. I don't know what I am going to do if I can't get him on a good quality wet food.
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 21 March, 2010
    Macy in all honesty the 'worst' wet food is better than the 'best' dry food because of the moisture content. Dry food is only about 10% moisture, while wet food is about 78%, the more moisture in the diet the better as it keeps the bladder flushed out so crystals don't have the chance to form. Did your vet give you pain meds? Munchie who is my CHOW hound wasn't eating very well when he was having the crystal issues because he was in pain, he got 2 types of pain meds and started eating MUCH better.. I am feeding my cats canned food right now, they are eating Wellness, but when funds are super tight I use foods off this list: Okay Wet Foods While the grain free etc is better, IMHO ANYTHING is better than the prescription diets which aren't nutritionally balanced for a cat to stay on long term, c/d causes potassium depletion, and Urinary SO has excess Sodium in it (basically make the cat drink more/pee more by adding SALT to their diet....hmmmm...).
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 21 March, 2010
    Thanks for the link....actually he was eating fine before this all started up again. eating 2 meow mix with water a day and eating dry at night. I know when we took him to the specialist for an ultrasound she didn\'t see any crystals at all, except it looked like he had debris or crystals stuck in his upper bladder wall. She believed that it was a birth defect that if it kept causing problems they would have to go in, remove the area and biopsy it, but she didn\'t believe it was cancer, since he is only 6 years old. The only reason we went the specialist was because my vet told me that he had bladder cancer and had less than 9 months to live and this was in November. Since then he has put on 2 lbs and has really good times. Someone told me that Iams caused their cat to have crystals, I wonder if that is what happened here? I only went to it because I thought it was a better quality cat food for him.
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 21 March, 2010
    Macy you might want to try Cosequin or another Glucosamine Supplement. It may help the inflammation/irritation in the bladder. It's helped my other cat DeeJay with her Interstitial Cystitis, the inflammation is WAY down. Cosequin fro Bladder Health We use Synflex now for the bladder/glucosamine and just mix the liquid in with their canned food
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 21 March, 2010
    Yep he is on cosequin but hasn't had any in two days because he won't eat the food the vet wants him on. Sigh:(( I am so not looking forward to this phone call to the vet tomorrow, they seem to be loosing patience with me. I am going to get his urinaysis and the specialist report from them and see if I can get another vet that is willing to work with me on this one.
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 22 March, 2010
    Macy, if he is "catching critters" that may be the best thing of all. At least you know he's getting enough fluids that way! And if the vet is "losing patience" then that may not be the right vet. I went through 3 before I found the woman we use now and we *adore* her. Obviously vets can't spend hours on the phone with everyone, but when there is a crisis they need to be available and patient. And no vet should be pushing prescription foods on you when there are better and cheaper alternatives out there. It's sad to say that you've probably gotten better food advice here than you've gotten from your vet. Hang in there - we know the switch from dry to canned can seem to take forever and be very stressful, but in the long run it will be so worth it.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 22 March, 2010
    Thank you BK and yes I have gotten tons of great advice here. I am leaning towards the vet change, I called then at 10 this morning and never got a call back about the Royal Canine. So for now I am feeding him 2 cans of soulistic cat food a day with water, he is eating it great and it has 84% moisture so I was able to get one of his cosequin down him. I know the Royal Canine will be expensive but I figure if he won't eat it I can give it to the local shelter. %:D%
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 22 March, 2010
    Macy, the RC may not be necessary if you're on a good quality canned. And the vet should certainly let you try a can without making you buy a case. Although I'm sure your local shelter would be thrilled with your donation! Also, I've found that practices tend to carry one or the other - Royal Canin or Science Diet - but rarely both.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 22 March, 2010
    Here is the information from the Soulistic site, it sounds like it is good to me, but any opinions? Ingredients We Leave Out: * Grain Free: No wheat or corn * No soy or glutens * No fillers, added artificial or natural flavors, or preservatives * No blended pate, what you see is what you get * No GMO (genetically modified) ingredients What's In: * Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids for healthy skin and coat * High moisture for hydration and healthy urinary tract and kidney function * Low Ash: Low magnesium, calcium and phosphorus to promote healthy urinary tract function * Low carbohydrates and low glycemic formulas to help maintain urine pH balance Our Guarantee: * Guaranteed – Highest quality raw materials in the industry * Guaranteed – Highest quality human food processing standards * Guaranteed – Highest quality, palatable base ingredients This is the one I can get Macy to eat: Sweet Salutations Chicken & Tuna Dinner - In Gravy Ingredients: Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken, Tuna, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Vitamin B12 Supplement Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein (min) 10%, Crude Fat (min) 1.1%, Crude Fiber (max) 0.5%, Moisture (max) 84%, Ash (max) 2.0%, Taurine (min) 0.05%, Calcium (max) 0.25%, Magnesium (max) 0.03%, Phosphorus (max) 0.25% http://www.soulisticpet.com/cuisine.html
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 23 March, 2010
    The only thing I worry about is that the second ingredient is Tuna, and because Macy is having Urinary problems I really cant say this is a good choice, as Tuna can make things worse. Is there another flavour of this food that Macy will eat?
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 23 March, 2010
    I've looked at Soulistic and it seems like 99% of their flavors have fish in them. But there is a plain chicken - will Macy eat that?
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 23 March, 2010
    I do have the chicken one here but he isn't impressed with it as he is the one with the tuna, but maybe I will try pushing that one a bit more and see if I can get him to eat it. I was a bit worried about that too with what I have read with fish and crystal formation.
  • Sophie VeilleuxSophie Veilleux Member Posts: 182
    edited 23 March, 2010
    I will tell you about my experience.. My vet tried to push Science Diet on my kitty and I bought the bag not knowing anything about it but trusted the vet. Then I did some research before opening the bag and found some pretty terrible stuff about it..I even told the vet and he was all.."It's AAFCO approved blahblah". Anyways I returned it and got Wellness dry food. I also later found out dry found isn't the best for cats, so I decided to do wet food in the morning and evening and dry during the day. Transitioning to wet was not easy for me either! I was not in a rush as my kitty had no issues, but I wanted to get her used to it while she was a kitten. So I tried everyday to put some down on a plate and eventually she would eat a little. Then one day she stopped. So I bought different flavours of Wellness and that helped. But then she would never eat much. So I decided to put it in my hand and OMC she definately finishes everything I give her now! She will eat a little on her own and walk away, but when I put it in my hand she eats the remainder. So maybe try the Wellness, there is chicken and turkey flavours that would be ok (like the other said, stay away from fish) and try putting it in your hand and hold it up to your kittys mouth. Also, microwaving might help with the smell, makes it more enticing to some..but not mine lol Hope all goes well with your kitty and keep standing your ground on the Science Diet! It is good that you are considering another vet because I never felt mine lost patience with me when my dog was going there almost every other day for her last 2 weeks of life, or when I would go in with a new problem about my kitten every week. Vets should be patient and caring! Good luck!
  • Heather ThompsonHeather Thompson BountifulMember Posts: 3,652
    edited 23 March, 2010
    My worries are the tuna as the 2nd ingredient and the Menadione (Vit K) Read About Menadione here Menadione can cause problems in animals, and it's best to avoid it.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 23 March, 2010
    Wow! Thanks for that link! I wish that they would be stricter on animal food regulations. ::o I got half the battle with the vet done, she has ordered in a Royal Canine wet that is for finicky cats so lets hope it works. I have to wait to get the dry though, they can only order it in 50lb quantities and they do have a few others that use it so I have to wait until they are ready to order. :(
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 23 March, 2010
    Macy is the wet food they ordered the prescription one? you only want to feed this in the begining, not for life. You want to stay away from the dry of this or any prescription food. Did the vet say that they would take it back if Macy would not eat it? I hope so.
  • Sally WaldronSally Waldron Member Posts: 1,257
    edited 23 March, 2010
    I'm not sure if it is a script one or not, they said it was a nugget and gravy one for fussy cats. I will find out tomorrow when I pick it up. I really don't want to get him on a prescription diet forever, and thought I was getting him better when I got the IAMS, but I think I was wrong because he had the calcium oxalate (?) crystals the first time and then was fine and now he has struvite. So I feel like I keep teetering on a wire here and can't seem to find the right balance. What gets me is that he is 6 years old and never had a problem before when he was eating store bought dry food, so who knows?
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