The whole "what to feed your cat" debate will forever go on. I have come to the conclusion that what you feed your cat has to be what you're comfortable with, what your budget is and also what your life is like - it has to work for everyone.
I still would like to try out this wet cat food sampler from Luke's to figure out the perfect wet food situation for us - it's a constant balance of figuring it out.
After reading about chronic renal failure when Rags was dying, I decided that when I got new kittens I would only feed them wet food. I failed at that. I gave Charlie and Trigg dry food and wet food up until they were about 1.5 years old.
I then read the article on Dr. Lisa A. Pierson, DVM's website, www.catinfo.org, again about the importance of not feeding dry food to cats, and decided it was time for the big transition.
My boyfriend, who is a teacher, has lengthy periods of free time, so over his spring break, I asked him to help me with the transition process - here's what he put together based off of the information he found on Dr. Pierson's website. This transition happened in March 2011.
Transitioning Feline Dry Food Addicts to Canned Food
Things to keep in mind
- Canned food is MUCH better for the health of our cats (Protein, Carbs, and Water Content)
- Transition process takes time, patience, and often times tricks.
- Pet food companies do not play fair, they coat their kibble with sprays to attract animal taste, creating an addiction in the process.
- Making the change is more important than the speed in which it occurs
- The single biggest mistake people make is to panic and fill up a bowl with dry food
- It is healthy and desirable to have a normal sensation of hunger.
- Do not withhold food for more than 24 hours, no food for 48 hours can be dangerous for an overweight cat (after 18 hours give approximately ¼ cup (or less) of dry food).
- Most cats will lose weight during the transition.
- Exercising your cat before mealtimes can stimulate his appetite.
- DON’T GIVE UP- all cats will eventually eat canned food if their caregiver is determined, methodical, and patient enough.
- Increase water intake with flavored water (Tuna water, beef or chicken broth, clam juice, etc…)
- Heat to “mouse body” temperature
- Establish set mealtimes
- When Charlie is excessively annoying about food, do not hesitate putting him in another room.
- Turn the feeding of dry food into a game (play fetch with it). Dry food only comes with exercise!
- Try dipping dry food in canned food juices.
- Average cat eats 4-6 ounces of canned food per day split between 2-3 meals.
- Caloric needs of a cat range from 150-250 calories a day,
- 3 oz (1 can) of wet food for each Charlie and Trigg
- Leave wet food out until next meal time
- Try playing games for ¼ of dry food if still not eating.
• 3 oz (1 can) of wet food for each Charlie and Trigg.
• Leave wet food out overnight.
• After 30 minutes, if Charlie still hasn’t eaten much, put out ¼ cup of dry food.
• Pick up dry food at 8:00pm.
- Fancy Feast Fish & Shrimp Feast 3 oz (1 can) 90 Calories
- Purina Pro Plan Select 3 oz (1 can) 95 Calories
- Blue Wilderness 3 oz (1 can) 135 Calories
- Blue Wilderness Dry ¼ Cup 150 Calories
- Hill’s Prescription Diet T/D ¼ Cup 70 Calories
- Wellness Indoor Health Dry ¼ Cup 120 Calories
I ended up tracking this process more poorly than I had originally planned, so I only made one video during the process. Here it is:
I am a big fan of the results of doing this - the only thing I am not crazy about is that Charlie has lost some of the depth of color in his coat - I am not sure yet if this is because of his food or the temperature from this summer. But I am ready for him to be as dark as he was before.
Charlie and Trigg are now at their ideal weights and the vet is pleased with their shape. Charlie has a lot more confidence in his jumping ability and doesn't "miss" when he jumps.
Exercise really builds their appetite, and when we come in from outside (please know the outside thing is controversial, I know, but that's where they get the most exercise) they are ready to eat.