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How to get my cats off the crack??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I made the mistake some time ago and bought a box of wet food that I was not planning to feed to my boys in long term… and now they are hooked on it… How do I get them off Fancy Feast, it’s like they are on junk food diet and don’t want to eat the healthier stuff mommy puts on offer!!!?

We had been feeding mainly Merrick’s canned food as part of dry+wet diet but I was getting fed up because there were only 3 flavours boys like, and the only shop that carries Merrick was cutting down their line. I had to really hunt them down, and I fell short and grabbed a box Fancy Feast on sale. Well now my boys LURVE the Fancy Feast. They snort even at beloved Merrick’s New England Boil. Nearly any FF will do – fact that makes me very suspicious. How come nearly any flavour of FF taste good when with any other canned food there has been definite faves?? Is it just something like MacDonalds that you add the magical buffalo smear or whatnot and now my boys are hooked for life?? Argh…

It has not been easy finding wet food for my boys. There have been several wet foods that my guys have not particularly liked or not eaten at all. If I recall correctly California Natural, Evolve and Wellness belonged into this category. Innova’s wet food was just ok, and they don’t have much variety which is a negative IMO. Science Diet seems to be ok too but I don’t know if that is such a step-up from FF? I’d like either get them back on Merrick or try something new. Is there any gateway wet food anyone can suggest I could try to entice them back to the direction I want? Any products you have found yummy for kitties that aren’t quite so hot on wet food? Any methods that might work? I am not really hot on idea of mixing (the smell of wet foods does not appeal to me) but would that be a bad idea?

The wet food part of the diet has been just an add-on yummy this far but I am considering adding that portion a bit. At the moment, we free-feed dry food Innova and at dinner time we split 3oz can of FF 3-ways.

Boys are 3-3,5 years old, DSH/Siamese mixes, active and healthy but two do occasionally have some sensitive tummy issues, and our new adoptee has currently some greasy fur/dandruff issues. We aren’t planning on any special diets or diet foods even though our new guy is overweight (hoping we will shed his weight with exercise).

Flavours that boys generally like more are chicken and beef as opposed to seafood. With Merrick, in addition to New England Boil, they liked Grammy’s Pot Pie and Cowboy Cookout, and Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Turducken were somewhat Ok… Just in case anyone just happens to have a kitty with same preferences and knows some alternatives out there
post #2 of 11
Our two will only eat Thanksgiving Day Dinner and Granny's Pot Pie - no fish or seafood at all.

I would suggest you mix Merricks with the FF - gradually increase the amount of Merricks until you "wean" them off the FF crack. Once you get to the point where there is more Merrick's than FF, NEVER buy FF again.
post #3 of 11
Try mixing the FF with the other canned foods for awhile. Guess I'm lucky - neither of mine really like the FF that much
post #4 of 11
Mine want Fancy Feast all the time and walk away from most other foods, but I discovered this weekend they like Nutro Maxcat......at least for now (sometimes they like a new food for a couple days and then stop eating it)
post #5 of 11
It sounds like they may prefer the chunked foods over the pate--is that correct? Other chunky type foods include by Nature Organics cans and Wellness pouches. Usually the Innova EVO canned is more soupy as well and might be worth a try.
post #6 of 11
Riley used to love the same flavors of Merrick and then suddenly started turning it down a few months ago. Some of the brands he will eat are Chicken Soup, Authority, Evo, Avoderm, Solid Gold Tuna and Wellness (only the fish flavors). I still give him Merrick about every 4th can (I have 3 cases to use up!) and he will eat it now, just not often, and not as much as his other brands.

I would try mixing the 2 together for a while, maybe 1/3 Merrick, 2/3 FF then slowly add more Merrick until they will eat it, as well as try another brand or two that they might like better.
post #7 of 11
My cats won't eat anything but FF. I've tried many brands/flavors available at Petsmart/Petco but my boys will only take a couple bites, if at all, and the rest gets thrown out. FF, on the other hand, gets consumed in one sitting. I wasted enough money on food they refuse to eat so I've given in to FF. I know it's not a premium brand but is FF really that bad?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdgirl View Post
My cats won't eat anything but FF. I've tried many brands/flavors available at Petsmart/Petco but my boys will only take a couple bites, if at all, and the rest gets thrown out. FF, on the other hand, gets consumed in one sitting. I wasted enough money on food they refuse to eat so I've given in to FF. I know it's not a premium brand but is FF really that bad?
Are you also feeding dry? If you are feeding a quality dry, and FF is the only wet they'll eat, it's better than no wet at all.

It might be worth trying to mix the better wet with FF and try that method. You of course need to add just a little of the better quality to the FF and increase the better food gradually to wean them off FF.

If you go that route, I would also suggest you take the better quality food out of the can and store it in a plastic container in the refrigerator so that you won't have to waste part-cans. If the food is cold you can add a TBSP of hot water of do a couple second zap in the microwave to warm it up.
post #9 of 11
Yes, I am also feeding them dry. Right now they're getting a mix of Nutro Max Cat and Natural Balance. The NB alone gives Pierre diarrhea so once this bag's gone I don't plan on getting more NB. I do plan to try other quality dry foods.

The foster home they came from fed them Friskies (which they really barely ate and I no longer give) and FF. I tried Nutro, Science Diet but they only nibbled at some flavors of these. I really can't afford to give them anything that's more costly than these. FF I can get for 42 cents/can, and I use 2 cans/day for 2 cats. I plan to go to some other pet food stores in the area to check out my other options. I'll try mixing as you suggested. Thanks.
post #10 of 11
Try Nutro Max, they are chunky and my picky cat loves them.

Neither of my cats go crazy for Merrick, but of course they love Fancy Feast

You could also try sprinkling a little catnip or cheese on top of the Merrick.
post #11 of 11
My cats don't like the Merrick at all. I've gone to stores and bought 1 can of every decent quality food flavor and wrote down the ones they like. Their favorites (even over Fancy Feast): Wellness (any flavor other than boring plain Chicken or plain Turkey), Felidae chicken & rice, Evo, Authority (chicken, catfish formulas).
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