Converting a kibble addict

Catherine BogartCatherine Bogart San JoseMember Posts: 767
edited 25 April, 2013 in Food & Nutrition
Kyubey is being VERY stubborn about switching to canned food. He is definitely a kibble addict, he LOVES his crunchies, but is VERY reluctant to eat the good stuff. We've tried sprinkling it with kibble, waiting until he's REALLY hungry (no longer than 12 hours though), heating the food a bit, and an assortment of canned foods from the top end all the way down to fancy feast. Last night I put some shredded bonito fish on his wet food, and he actually took a few nibbles. This is the closest thing I've found so far to an actual solution, but he didn't eat more than a few nibbles, and then he stopped. This morning he got a fresh serving, and he ate the bonito off of it and stopped. We did allow him a few bites of kibble because I don't want him to wind up with hepatic lipidosis, but I'm concerned that if we keep giving in and giving him kibble he will NEVER get transitioned. Thoughts?

Comments

  • Laurel KowalskiLaurel Kowalski Gateway to the WestMember Posts: 486
    edited 22 April, 2013
    Now, tell me the canned food you are trying to feed. We need to figure out if it texture, flavor, etc. You ruled out room temp. vs. cold, so that is one marked off the list. Also which dry foods is he getting, brands & flavors? You bottle fed. Have you tried that cat milk like from Whiskas? I found Brownie likes that. (The milk was a bridge to pate style canned foods.) He licked the gravy off canned foods. Then I got out my stick blender and pureed all the canned food. I added a little extra water too and soup is on. He eats all of it now not just the gravy on the foods that are chunky style. Today it was Precise Holistic Complete chickens for us. It made a wonderful smooth soup with the hand blender. I had to fill the bowl twice for them as it was licked clean. (My one cup measuring cup is the perfect size to put their food into puree it with the blend with a touch more water to process.) If it is fish thing for Kyubey there is Soulistic at Petco made by Wevaru. Soulistic and Wevaru has chicken ones. Yep, I puree all the Soulistic for Brownie. There are brands of canned food that are like 94%, 95%, or 96% almost all meat.
  • Catherine BogartCatherine Bogart San JoseMember Posts: 767
    edited 22 April, 2013
    For canned food, we started with EVO, which he wouldn't touch. We have also tried Wellness pate, Wellness minced, Fussie Cat, Replenish, Friskies pate, and then I went and purchased one each of 24 different flavors of Fancy Feast. If a food has shrimp in it, he not only won't touch it, he tries to bury it as though it is poop. Right now he is eating Feline Caviar's indoor venison grain free kibble. I will never be able to get another bag of it, since the company is so hard to work with that no stores in my area carry it anymore. I haven't tried the catmilk, I think I can actually order that at work and have a go at it. I'll also puree tonight's meal and make soup to see if that helps. :)
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 22 April, 2013
    This is Delyte. Kyubey, if they give you shrimp and you feel that strongly about it, pass it on to me!! :D Our person didn't have too much trouble switching the Grays, who were all fed cheap kibble when they were ferals. They still adore any kind of dry kibble, and we give them a piece once a day as a cat treat. [They all seemed to have problems digesting actual cat treats.] Will Kyubey eat any kind of cooked or raw meat? That might serve as a bridge to canned food, or maybe you could switch him to raw? Have you tried pouring tuna water or oil on the set food? Does he like tuna? As long as he is getting some non-kibble food in him, you can go as slow as you need. Have you tried any of those weird foods they make for allergic cats with duck or trout or something like that? Purrs to you in your efforts! You are a great cat person! (^^
  • Laurel KowalskiLaurel Kowalski Gateway to the WestMember Posts: 486
    edited 22 April, 2013
    We wanted to that Feline Cavier venison. I thought of mail ordering for it but I almost never do that. Brownie does that covering of the food like poop scratching too!! What makes me mad is he does it three times. Then he and circles back and want some wet food that he finally eats it. He loves Before Grain #5 quail. It is so smooth and easy to add water! My girls prefer Fancy Feast pate fish ones.
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 22 April, 2013
    Here are tips on how to transition to canned food: http://catinfo.org/docs/TipsForTransitioning1-14-11.pdf Just keep trying =; I wouldn't try too many brands/flavors/varieties/textures/etc too often :-k Some cats get overwhelmed with too many new things and will snub everything :? Dry foods are coated in animal digest and other yummy stuff that cats get addicted to :? You can replicate that taste with canned food by sprinkling some FortiFlora on top =; Your vet sells it or you can buy it online from various places. A little sprinkle goes a long way. Do you like freeze dried meat treats? If so, crush up some treats and spinkle on top of canned food. You can even buy freeze dried raw food and crush that up and sprinkle over canned food. Some dry food addicts surprisingly love freeze dried raw food :) If your cat turns out liking freeze dried raw food, maybe you could feed that instead of dry food. It's a whole lot healthier :) Not all brands are 100% complete diets, though, so be sure to read the label. Stella and Chewy's is one good brand to feed :) It really should be rehydrated in water for a few minuets before serving but it can be fed dry. Some dry food addicts out there just don't like canned food :? but go nuts once given raw food. It won't hurt to offer a small piece or raw chicken or a little piece of frozen raw pet food :) Nature's Variety has trial sized bags of the small nugget shaped frozen raw food.
  • Catherine BogartCatherine Bogart San JoseMember Posts: 767
    edited 22 April, 2013
    Hi Delyte! You are more than welcome to all of the shrimp! -Kyubey Kyubey does not care for raw meat. I've tried several brands of pre-packaged raw, and I often put a little meat down for him when I'm cooking. He always snubs it raw, sometimes will take a nibble of it cooked...he doesn't even like tuna! (I've never encountered that before!) I haven't tried freeze-dried treats, but I'll bet he would like them. When I pull out the bag of bonito fish he practically trips me winding around my ankles until I give him some!! Perhaps I should try putting some wet food OVER the bonito instead of the other way around. Hmm... We did attempt some Honest Kitchen and Grandma Lucy's freeze-dried foods, but they were a no-go. Thanks for all of the ideas! We've been at this off and on for months, and I'm determined to win eventually!
  • Jennifer NovakJennifer Novak DC (But my heart is still in BMember Posts: 595
    edited 22 April, 2013
    Oh, do I feel your pain! It took me literally about two years to get my Coopurr off the kibble. When I brought him home as a kitten, I made a huge mistake. They say to give them some of the same "comforts" they had in the shelter. Start with the same litter. Food. Coop had both wet and dry in the shelter, although I"m a huge advocate for a wet-only diet. I tried to wean him off the dry, but he was SO stubborn. Eventually, though, I did just take up the dry completely. But that didn't work either. He would fuss and fuss with the wet food. Sniffing it. Trying to bury it. Walking away. And a lot of times, he just wouldn't finish his meals. He, too, got to the point where I had to bribe him -- putting his Temptations treats in his wet food to get him to eat. Then he gained two unnecessary pounds, and I got slapped on the wrists by our vet. I remember, we went home that day, and I decided that it had to be tough love or nothing. No more cookies during the day -- only a couple of treats at night right before bedtime. The first couple of days were rough. All he would do is bug me and badger me for treats. I stood my ground. By the end of that first week, he figured out that bedtime was cookie time and ran to his dish every night as I turned out lights. By the end of the second week, he was eating a wet-only diet. Just be firm. The bonito flakes are a good idea. Just use them in moderation. And I really wish you luck. I know how difficult they can be. And you're just trying to do what's best, but they don't understand that at all. Purrs, Coop's Mom
  • Catherine BogartCatherine Bogart San JoseMember Posts: 767
    edited 23 April, 2013
    This evening we made a mushy soup and poured it over a pinch of bonito flakes...and he ate maybe 1/4 of the food! That may not sound like a lot, but it's a BIG victory.
  • Laurel KowalskiLaurel Kowalski Gateway to the WestMember Posts: 486
    edited 23 April, 2013
    Yep!!! I'll add one more thing as weird as it sounds. I sit on the floor when I put the wet food on the floor for the first month. They loved the attention and wanted to please me and eat the food. You can brush or play while on the floor with him and then you give the wet food. I'd bet you he like the freeze dried white fish or salmon treats too. Mine do. I got my bonito at the Asian grocery store to get more for less!!! I got my bag in the refrig. That can of Precise is all gone in less than 24 hours! Most cans that are 5.5 oz took at least two days for them to eat. Everyone loved the Precise Holistic Complete chicken pureed, everyone. It is a first for all three of my cat to find one they loved & it was not fish. I'm getting more this weekend!
  • Lee Ann KoffinasLee Ann Koffinas OrlandoMember Posts: 346
    edited 24 April, 2013
    Yay! It is a huge victory that he ate some of at all!! I can't tell you the hell I went through when I tried to convert my kibble addict. My cat did not even take a bite of canned food for the first week. What I did was just offer a small amount, like 1/4 cup of dry food in the morning, and then put a small amount of canned food out. I just put small amounts out at first, since I figured it would most likely go to waste. So I made sure there was access to canned food all day, I periodicaly would change it out, but left just small amounts. After almost the whole week of this food standoff...lol, Beep finally broke down and took a few bites of the canned. By the next week, she was eating some of the canned food. We did this same thing, fed the small amount of dry and left the canned food out, for at least a month or maybe even longer, I can't remember the exact length of time, but she did start eating more canned. The funny thing is, now, 4 years later, I still give Beep about 10 tiny little kibbles of food at bedtime. It is more of a treat than a meal, but she looks forward to it so much, so I still do it. But she eats two meals of canned now, morning and evening, canned food with some warm water mixed in it, and then the 10 little kibbles at bedtime. She lost 5 pounds in a year after being off the kibble! Went from 14 to 9 pounds. She learned, and WE learned, that they don't need 24/7 access to kibble, but rather set mealtimes are better for their health. Also, I don't think it's so much the brand of food right now....although I think only die hard piggies who will eat anything will eat EVO, it has never been a favorite for my cats. When I was trying to convert Beep, I actually used (I know....this sounds shocking!) fancy feast classics, because that stuff is like crack to cats, LOL!!! I actually do not like ff, but for purposes of conversion, it might actually be an easier food to get them to eat than most. You might have luck with Weruva, the chicken ones, too. I feed my outside feral cat ff...the only thing she will eat, and on occasion when we have run out of Beep's Wellness, we give her a small amount of ff and she goes crazy now over it! This was the cat who would not touch canned food. She was very reluctant and over all ticked off for many, many months about eating canned food, you could see it in her face.....in fact, she would not touch the food if I was looking, only when I was not around to see her consume the food. Stick with it! THe important thing is DO NOT give in and start giving more kibble, other than two times a day, the small amounts, and that is just to make sure they do not starve. Once they start eating the canned food, for sure, even if it is only half the amount and you KNOW they are eating something....you start cutting back on the kibble. Then it's just a few little pieces in the bowl in the morning. It will happen, if you are persistent and you don't give in and start giving more kibble. Hang in there!!! I have been where you are, it is stressful, but it is SOOOO worth it in the long run!!!
  • Catherine BogartCatherine Bogart San JoseMember Posts: 767
    edited 25 April, 2013
    Beep, that's EXACTLY why we went with Fancy Feast after trying some of the higher end stuff. I have every intention of upgrading once he's consistently eating wet food! When I was a vet tech, we would use warmed Fancy Feast to tempt sick kitties who didn't feel like eating into taking a nibble. That was actually one of my favorite parts of the job, sitting after my "official" shift had ended and tempting the reluctant eaters one little lick at a time. I'm VERY good at getting sick kitties eating, but Kyubey is just stubborn! Brownie, he DOES eat much better if I sit with him and pet him, it's MY habits that need to change to make that happen more often! I tend to sleep late and flee out the door in the morning, I need to get up a few minutes earlier to sit with him while he dines. I do generally sit with him for his evening meal, we both love it.
  • Lee Ann KoffinasLee Ann Koffinas OrlandoMember Posts: 346
    edited 25 April, 2013
    It's good that you know what you need to do, having been the one to get the sick kitties to eat the fancy feast. I think it will happen. My cat Beep was the most stubborn cat ever to get to eat canned food. Honestly, I had tried many times before and just gave up when she wouldn't eat it right away. I think once you have seen them eat, even just a few bites of the canned food, it's safe to say that they will most likely eat more of it once they get hungry. I will never forget the angry look on Beeps face at first when she knew that the kibble was a thing of the past and that I meant for her to eat this other stuff every day....she was ticked! But she is so much better off now, I feel. Good luck to you. It is harder, more inconvenient to have to take the time to feed canned food, but when you love your babies, you want to do what is best for them. You are a good cat mama!
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