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Cat hooked on Wet Food

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi,
New to the forum...
My 12yr old cat, Sputter has just recently been introduced to wet, canned food.
About 4 months ago, he had a problem going #2, and as a result, had a pertruding rectum (rectum came out), so we rushed him to a vet. E.R...
Since then, we have been keeping him on a laxative, and on wet food. He will probably be on laxative for the rest of his life. After about a month, we started mixing his dry food (science diet) with his wet, canned food, so that its a little clumpy. If its too dry, he begs for more wet food. He has gotten very commanding, and a little obsessive over his wet food.


My question is, will it be okay to ween him off of his wet food? Also, how do I do it? I've tried, but he just won't eat his food if it is dry, even though he's eaten nothing but dry food for 11 years.
I've heard that wet food is better [and more natural] for cats, but it is all he cares about now-adays.
THANKS!

-Jacob
post #2 of 24
No harm at all in him eating just wet food, especially if he's had constipation issues and a prolapsed rectum.
Unless of course you cannot be there to give him meals, I would just give him canned 2-3 times a day.
And yes, wet is better, it has more moisture, and usually less fillers than dry.


Oh and welcome to the site!

Our resident nutrition guru, Sharky, will likely be along soon.
post #3 of 24
IMO if he's doing well, then keep him on the canned foods. Its really better for him in the long run But I'd be choosing other canned then the SD kind - Max Cat, Natural Balance, etc. are better.
post #4 of 24
There is good diet related info in this article about constipation:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...onstipatedcats
post #5 of 24
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick replies...
I'm aware that wet food is better FOR him, as a said before, but that isn't my question.

Again, as I posted above:
"He has gotten very commanding, and a little obsessive over his wet food...
...My question is, will it be okay to ween him off of his wet food? Also, how do I do it? I've tried, but he just won't eat his food if it is dry, even though he's eaten nothing but dry food for 11 years."


THANKS AGAIN for your replies!!!
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks, sharky! I will check out the link
post #8 of 24
Quote:
My question is, will it be okay to ween him off of his wet food?
If the wet food is helping him with the constipation, it will NOT be okay to wean him off. Weaning him off would be the worst thing you could do.
Please, don't.

Here is the article again, please be sure to read it:

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...onstipatedcats

Edit: I'd like to ask you, is money the issue here, or do you think eating wet food means a cat is spoiled?
post #9 of 24
The only way you can switch him back to dry is to go as you have already been; adding the dry to the wet, increasing the dry amounts as you go.
However, unlike dogs, cats will not eat whatever you put in front of them if they get hungry enough, they simply starve themselves.

So, as long as he is still eating, continue trying to mix him back to dry and ignore his protests.

It may also be that he simply doesn't like the dry he has, he never had a choice before, but now that he's tasted something better, well, you get the idea.
So you might want to get away from the Science Diet since it isn't that great to begin with.
For picky eaters, I've had excellent results with Nutro, Diamond Naturals, and Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul.
All are decent foods and won't break the bank.


It would probably be ok to wean him off the wet, if you give a hairball remedy daily, it could also be that he was simply not drinking enough water, try getting a cat fountain to encourage more drinking.
Good luck.
post #10 of 24
Wet food is preferable for a cat. Plus it has less calories because it's not filled with a bunch of filler and carbohydrates.

Chynna eats only wet food now. I've been trying to get Abby switched, but she doesn't care much for wet food, preferring dry. I have noticed the last few days that she's been eating the left over Friskies beef pate that Chynna leaves on the plate. So maybe she'll eventually make the switch too.
post #11 of 24
why would you want to wean him off wet food?
post #12 of 24
Reasons why to wean a kitty off wet food could be:

1) expense, DH and I can barely afford to pay for our own food these days.

2) time/availability - not everyone is home throughout the day to serve wet food (although I know you can freeze/thaw it) or just feed at random (late/early times).

I don't know. I just felt compelled to post because everyone does have their reasons. This poster knows the reasons to stay on wet and for some reason wants to switch, that is her choice and many kitties have done well on dry cat food for a long time.

I actually started my kittens off on wet food and they became a little obsessive too, ie. running into the kitchen at the sound of the fridge. They don't like their dry food as much and it is a struggle to get them to eat it. We have to drizzle chicken juice on it and divide it up into several meals. In the past we mixed dry and wet together to deal w/ expense (plus if we ever have to leave them with people (when we go on vacation) we wanted them to be able to eat dry food so it is easier. I ditto the suggestion about trying different brands of dry food for variety. I think that may help. My kitties are going back to 1/2 and 1/2 on our next paycheck. I feel a little guilty that they have no zest for food now and that they are in constant state of dehydration. but, my cat growing up lived for 17 years a VERY healthy life and was always on dry food, so................good luck if you decide to wean him/her. I think it is probably possible with a lot of experimentation.
post #13 of 24
When Elsa was recovering from surgery, we would use sodium free chicken broth and soak her dry food in it, which may be an option. Make sure no sodium broth is used.

Is he being demanding in the early mornings? (we have that trouble with Tigger) If so, you could try the broth/hard food in the morning until he realizes that you're not going to cave in on that point.
post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 
exactly right, luv2laugh...
thanks to everyone!





Topic is now dead, please delete.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubbadub9202 View Post
exactly right, luv2laugh...
thanks to everyone!





Topic is now dead, please delete.
topic s are not usually deleted ... they just get buried by topics with more current postings/...
post #16 of 24
I just have to say that cats fed on wet food are not "spoiled" - they are healthy. I'm not home all day either but my pets eat wet food morning and night - before I go to work and when I get home from work. In between they have a small amount of a quality dry food to nibble on (Orijen).

The SD is not a very good quality food, so if you insist on changing back to a dry food, please try to up the grade/quality.
post #17 of 24
I think wet food twice a day with a little dry to nibble on is a good compromise. They get the healthy stuff and you can still feed some dry. Why not consider what's best for the cat rather than just what's more convenient for the owner? (no offense.)
post #18 of 24
The poster has stated that he/she wants his/her cat to eat dry. He/she knows that there are benefits of wet food, but would like to feed dry, for whatever reason. I think that should be his/her choice. It's not like the cat is being fed arsenic - or even the lowest quality food possible (no, SD is not the best, as has already been stated). Telling a pet owner what to feed their pet is sort of like telling a parent what to feed their child. You won't go into a McDonalds and tell a parent to order them a salad, would you?

Yes, the OP asked for advice. But, he/she asked for advice on how to switch a cat from wet to dry. I think informing the poster that there are benefits to wet is fine, as is letting them know that SD is not the greatest food in the world. But telling the poster what he/she should be feeding their cat and judging him/her for making an decision that does not agree with your opinion seems unfair.

Sorry, I don't have any advice on weaning a cat off wet food. I can't get mine to eat more than a few nibbles of wet!
post #19 of 24
I’d like to start with an apology to everyone who may disagree with the importance of feeding a certain type of diet under certain special circumstances.

The big problem here is that the cat was switched to wet food for health reasons.

Quote:
My 12yr old cat, Sputter has just recently been introduced to wet, canned food.
About 4 months ago, he had a problem going #2, and as a result, had a pertruding rectum (rectum came out), so we rushed him to a vet. E.R...
Since then, we have been keeping him on a laxative, and on wet food. He will probably be on laxative for the rest of his life.

And then the owner asked:

Quote:
My question is, will it be okay to ween him off of his wet food?

Constipation is a very serious problem that can eventually become life-threatening, requiring surgery (a subtotal colectomy) to save a cat’s life. Even with an owner’s best efforts, feeding the “right†food and giving medication every day, in time constipation can become unmanageable, not responding to anything an owner and their veterinarian tries to keep the poor cat’s bowels moving.

From personal experience I can honestly say that the suffering of a poor, repeatedly constipated cat is heartbreaking. And the time comes when a choice has to be made. Putting an end to the hopeless, untreatable constipation with surgery, or euthanasia.

So, if a certain type of diet, in this case, a wet diet and a laxative, give the cat a chance to get relief, it would be a dreadful mistake to abandon the diet and go back to the previous diet that may actually have had a role in constipation developing in the first place. One important reason for this is that the problem that has been manageable so far, may become unmanageable if the cat becomes constipated again and again.

This article gives important information about diet and treatments:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...onstipatedcats

I hope with all my heart that the owner will reconsider and keep feeding the wet diet that seems to be helpful to the cat.
post #20 of 24
Violet, you put that very fairly!

If the cat was switched to wet food on suggestion by a vet, than it seems sensible to me that the vet should be consulted before switching back to dry food! Perhaps the cat will need to stay on wet food to prevent constipation, or perhaps they can find other ways to manage the constipation (laxative, increased water intake, a certain kind of dry food). While I don't think WE have the right to tell someone what food to feed their cat, I do think that the VET does.

For the record, I am trying to feed my cats both wet and dry. Wet because I know there are benefits, but dry because I can't be home to feed them as often as needed. Wet also costs a lot more. Also, I want the cats eating kibble to make it easier to go on vacations (I can leave kibble out for them, but I can't have someone come and feed them wet 2-3 times a day if that's all they are eating). Getting them to eat enough wet is a whole other issue.

My point is that I can see both sides of the "argument." If I was home all day and didn't ever expect to leave them alone for a weekend, I would probably put them on an all wet diet. That said, I can completely understand a person wanting to wean their cat off wet if they refuse to eat dry food. For most people, convenience and cost MUST be a consideration. I know that if cats were cared for only by people who were able/willing to feed the highest quality wet food, at the cost of convenience and financial feasibility, there would be a lot more cats without homes.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
The poster has stated that he/she wants his/her cat to eat dry. He/she knows that there are benefits of wet food, but would like to feed dry, for whatever reason. I think that should be his/her choice. It's not like the cat is being fed arsenic - or even the lowest quality food possible (no, SD is not the best, as has already been stated). Telling a pet owner what to feed their pet is sort of like telling a parent what to feed their child. You won't go into a McDonalds and tell a parent to order them a salad, would you?

Yes, the OP asked for advice. But, he/she asked for advice on how to switch a cat from wet to dry. I think informing the poster that there are benefits to wet is fine, as is letting them know that SD is not the greatest food in the world. But telling the poster what he/she should be feeding their cat and judging him/her for making an decision that does not agree with your opinion seems unfair.

Sorry, I don't have any advice on weaning a cat off wet food. I can't get mine to eat more than a few nibbles of wet!
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoeysmom View Post
Violet, you put that very fairly!

If the cat was switched to wet food on suggestion by a vet, than it seems sensible to me that the vet should be consulted before switching back to dry food! Perhaps the cat will need to stay on wet food to prevent constipation, or perhaps they can find other ways to manage the constipation (laxative, increased water intake, a certain kind of dry food). While I don't think WE have the right to tell someone what food to feed their cat, I do think that the VET does.

For the record, I am trying to feed my cats both wet and dry. Wet because I know there are benefits, but dry because I can't be home to feed them as often as needed. Wet also costs a lot more. Also, I want the cats eating kibble to make it easier to go on vacations (I can leave kibble out for them, but I can't have someone come and feed them wet 2-3 times a day if that's all they are eating). Getting them to eat enough wet is a whole other issue.

My point is that I can see both sides of the "argument." If I was home all day and didn't ever expect to leave them alone for a weekend, I would probably put them on an all wet diet. That said, I can completely understand a person wanting to wean their cat off wet if they refuse to eat dry food. For most people, convenience and cost MUST be a consideration. I know that if cats were cared for only by people who were able/willing to feed the highest quality wet food, at the cost of convenience and financial feasibility, there would be a lot more cats without homes.
I had to go back and re-read each post to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I could not find any post where someone told the OP what to feed his cat. I did, however, see plenty of posts indicating that wet food was a better diet than all dry food. That was given as information and advice which is what this forum is all about.

You are correct in suggesting a vet needs to be the one to advise this person since the cat has already had medical issues.

I think it is important that we read posts carefully and try not to put our own interpretations on responses.
post #22 of 24
I always thought that if a cat gets hungry enough they'll eat whats there, but I guess maybe not? This is my first indoor only cat, and this site is really helping me (Thank you). About wet food, I think the extra moisture is very important and my cat just started getting it once a day about two weeks ago. We leave dry food out all day too, and she isn't too demanding about it yet. I feed her SD, but am thinking about switching since I hear so much negative about it. If a cat is ok with getting some wet food only at morning or night (like I do) that sounds great to me.
post #23 of 24
I'm glad this site is helping you, Meowers! I have learned a lot from it as well. If your cat will eat one or two wet meals a day as well as dry food, that is great! You are right about SD...most here will agree that, in most cases, there are much better foods you could feed for the same price. There are a lot of threads about quality foods at all different price ranges!
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by rubbadub9202 View Post
Thanks for your quick replies...
I'm aware that wet food is better FOR him, as a said before, but that isn't my question.

Again, as I posted above:
"He has gotten very commanding, and a little obsessive over his wet food...
...My question is, will it be okay to ween him off of his wet food? Also, how do I do it? I've tried, but he just won't eat his food if it is dry, even though he's eaten nothing but dry food for 11 years."


THANKS AGAIN for your replies!!!
I think people have difficulty with the question because they are having the same reaction that I'm having: why try to do this when wet is better for him?

Most threads we see in here are about how to get a cat off of dry and onto wet. If your cat is 12 years old, this is a time in his life where wet is more important than dry for a lot of reasons: easier on their digestive system, easier to slip in meds that many older cats seem to need, good prevention for diseases like CRF, great if your cat starts to loose their teeth. A good quality wet food might cost more, but it also might save a lot of medical cost in the long run.

Anyone who has had to convert a cat from dry to wet is envious of you right now. I wish my 13 year old toothless cat with an auto-immune disease would be so easy.
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