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Cat that won't eat cat food.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
At the rescue we have a young male cat named Jake that refuses to eat any kinds of cat food. Whether it be canned or dry.
He lost a large amount of weight rather quickly. With 170 cats running free in a large building, its hard to notice that someone isn't eating until you see the weight loss. We tried him with several different brands of dry and wet food, and he didn't want anything to do with any of it.

So I gave in and went and bought some ground beef and cooked some rice and frozen veggies as well. Mixed them all together and froze most of it in ziplock baggies. He has been eating that for the past 3 weeks or so(make a fresh batch for him every week), but I know he's not getting enough nutrients from it.
While feeding another cat a can of the Sensitivity VR (Vension and Rice) he tried some of that.. but he will only eat that in small amounts, before he doens't want it anymore.

So I've been feeding him quite a bit of the Kitty Stew 3 times a day, and he is gaining weight.. but I still don't think he's getting everything he needs.

Now, I have been thinking about starting him on a raw diet, but there are a few issues to work out first.
One, I can't afford to keep buying food for a cat that isn't even mine. And I don't know if the rescue owner will let me buy chicken and fish for the little guy.
Also we have to think about future homes... I don't know how many people are willing to go this far.

Is there anything else I can give him for now to help suppliment him?

Here's a picture of him a couple days after he came in. I can't find a recent one where you can see how much weight he has lost.

post #2 of 3
well I know with a lot of shelters and rescues, all cats and dogs brought in are checked with a contract vet (I am sure you have a vet that does discount work for you guys?) anyway, has he been checked? I understand running a rescue, you can't just bring an animal to the vet whenever somethings not right.. but I figured I'd ask anyway.

The following link is on cat nutrition and raw diets. Just thought I'd post that in case you need to continue feeding it.

Do you know where this rescue came from? Is it possible that he has always been a stray, eating prey? Perhaps he is not used to eating kibble and cannot get adjusted. Just throwing some thoughts out there. Sorry if I am no help. Hope you can figure the little guy out, he's very handsome. Good luck
post #3 of 3
Unfortunately a raw diet does make you a bit of a slave. However, I know where you're coming from. One of our Bengals... we've had him for two years, a little over, actually. He did the same thing.. we've spent countless dollars on different kinds of foods.. dry, wet, etc. Two dry foods that he tolerated were... Meow Mix, and Innova Evo. If you're not familiar with it, the Innova is a "revolutionary dry raw diet". He tolerated those two, and would eat some of that when mixed with some sort of wet or "meat" dish.

Some of the things we did with him... we took dry food and rolled it under a rolling pin in a plastic ziplock bag to crush it down. This worked okay. He was extremely picky about *all* food. He would only eat certain types of wet, and then would turn his nose up at it a day later, or the next time you gave it to him. We finally tried Gerber Graduates meat sticks (turkey usually) and mixed it with the dry. He did better on that than anything else, until the kitten came home. She was raised on a raw diet.

Khan now will not eat anything but the raw. Forget it. Don't even think about it. Wet food is for inferior cats. His peasants should never even consider giving him peasant food... the guillotine is waiting nearby.

The link that puppycat posted is one that I'd recommend. It's where I first did all my research on raw. That being said.. while that is probably one of the best raw diets, it's been impossible for me to find organ meat that is pulled from the same chicken or cow, and I have been unable to find a grinder that will do bones effectively for a reasonable cost. You can do a bit of substitution.

You are right that you need to add some stuff. My store sells packages of hearts and gizzards, and also chicken livers. I mix them in with boneless, skinless thighs and breasts. I add some egg yolks for fat, and some salmon oil every so often. Also, if your guy likes beef, definitely use that (it's higher in fat content, which they need), but it's been our experience that absolutely all raw proponents recommend that you never, ever feed them pre ground foods raw. Cooked is fine, but not raw. So, you're going to be stuck food processing your own. Probably cutting them into small chunks would be find too.

Anyway... this post could get really long, so please feel free to email me. hddcaban@aol.com and I'll be happy to help you as much as possible. I've been the poster of novel sized posts today... ::cough::

Supplement with Wild Trax. It has everything.. think catnutrition also suggests something too. We do roughly follow her recipe, with some adaptations. Kelp and Dulse are a bit difficult to find. We found Kelp at the store. Dulse we had to special order off the internet. Salmon Oil is expensive. My breeder suggests that you add powdered milk for calcium, but we also considered using bone meal. Psyllium husks were necessary for one of my raw kitties. She gets constipated.

I have found, though.. it's less expensive than buying Evo. Much less expensive. And, if I were to tally up how much wet food I would have to feed them per day (according to the recommended servings by the manufactorer).. it's less work and nominally around the same cost. He should be eating 3/4 to 1 ounce of raw per pound per day. It's about 3.00 per pound, if you buy smart and get things on sale and freeze it.

Anyway.. if you have more questions, feel free to ask. I'm definitely not an expert, but I'm happy to share what I've learned from our research.

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