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Switching to all wet: how to handle feeding when away from home for longer periods?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've switched my Abby from eating half dry, half wet, to eating all wet (Wellness and Blue Buffalo). I was feeding her a half cup of high-protein dry (Blue Wilderness) per day, but it's too calorie-dense for her, and she's been gaining weight. I've done a lot of research, and I'm sold on the benefits of feeding wet only. The transition went very well. She's still a little perplexed that dry isn't available all the time, but she eats her wet food with gusto. I also give a few pieces of dry every day as a treat.

My main question is about being away from home for a few days at a time. Those of you who feed all wet, how do you handle these situations? We've only had Abby for three months, and she's very skittish around people she doesn't know (which is pretty much everyone but me and my husband), and hides when strangers are in the house. This includes anyone who comes over once a day to scoop the litter and replenish the food while we're gone. She certainly won't eat in their presence, and any wet food would have to be left out for at least 12 hours at a time. Would it be detrimental to switch back to dry for a short period? Or has anyone here used wet food in timed feeders?
post #2 of 9
Get a cat sitter. That's what my dad does, she is a very nice lady & that's what she does for a living.
I'm sure you can find one online or in your local yellow pages.
Have fun!
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by wingss2fly View Post
Get a cat sitter. That's what my dad does, she is a very nice lady & that's what she does for a living.
I'm sure you can find one online or in your local yellow pages.
Have fun!
Do you mean someone who stays at the house the whole time? I think that would send Abby's anxiety level through the roof (she generally only comes out from hiding if she feels the coast is clear, i.e., the stranger is gone). I would, however, consider hiring someone to come by two or three times a day, instead of relying on my brother's [generous] once-daily visits.

I feel kind of torn, because I don't want to encourage her shyness, but I don't want to force her into situations she's not comfortable with, especially since us being away is inherently stressful already.
post #4 of 9
I can relate because I also have two cats who are afraid of anyone other than myself. They run and hide and don't come out until the stranger leaves. I feed dry to one of my cats only because he won't transition to wet, so he wouldn't be a problem, but the other one is on a raw diet, which cannot be left to sit out for any period of time. As a result, I haven't been away from home overnight for 3 years..............I'm trying to come up with a solution.

Here's my two cents and I'm sure there will be others who have some suggestions. I don't know what brand of wet you are feeding, but if she eats her wet food with gusto, I would think hiriing somone to come twice a day would be okay. If they see that she isn't eating all of her wet food when they come to take care of her, then a couple of days of mostly dry shouldn't hurt. Good luck!
post #5 of 9
I think it would be ok to just have someone come and feed her twice a day. I know my cats won't touch wet food if it's been left out for too long. I usually feed them wet before I go to bed, as full bellies make kitties sleep too and anything they don't finish right away is still there in the morning. I don't think a cat would eat food that is past the point of being ok to eat unless STARVING. 12 hours wouldn't be long enough to get a cat to eat dried out canned food. Leave small paper plates for your cat sitter to put the food on, and she can throw away the previous feeding's plate when she comes to do the next feeding. I bet as soon as your cat is sure "the coast is clear" and that the "intruder" has left, she'll come right out and eat. I've been doing the "put the food out and go to bed" thing for 4 years now and have yet to have a cat get sick from it.

Also, you could have the cat sitter put out a small amount of dry food in case she gets hungry between meals. I'd say no more than a quarter cup or so, just a little snack. It wouldn't be enough to make her gain weight, but would take the edge off if she got hungry before the cat sitter arrived again.

My 5 cats get a big can of Felidae mixed with bottled water (because our city water is nasty) and there is always a cup or two of dry Felidae in thier pan. My fat cats lost weight and are now at healthy weights since I started doing this. And if I put 2 cups of dry food out, it will last about 2 days, with them having the option of eating all they want.
post #6 of 9
there are timed feeders that are made for feeding wet food - here's one i found after a search:
post #7 of 9
I've been thinking about this myself. I'm leaving on a 5 day cruise on September 1st and my Dad's wife and my Dad will be feeding my cats. They feed their cats all dry food and don't really understand the practice of not feeding any dry food but they told me to just leave the cans where they can find them. I am hoping that everything goes well because I know they don't understand why I don't feed dry food. And I hope that my cats won't have a stressful reaction to someone else feeding them besides me and that my Dad's wife and my Dad won't find my feeding instructions complicated. I don't put out the full amount at once. I feed half the amount and after they polish it off I add the rest. My cat Spotty in particular doesn't like too large of an amount in his bowl at once.

But I'm going to write down the feeding instructions, stick to my wet food only rules, and tell them to call me if there is a problem. I know that even if my cats won't eat in front of them, they will eat it after they leave and I will write that down. I'm also worried about how my cats will handle me and my boyfriend being gone and just having people come twice a day to feed and scoop out the litter box but may not give them enough attention. It's normal to be worried. Once you successfully switch to wet, I would be very careful about adding dry again. Your cats might turn into dry food addicts again unless it's only a very small amount, but even then you're taking that risk.
post #8 of 9
I used to be against boarding my cat, but we found a really nice pet hotel and they feed her whatever we take so that would solve your problem of the wet food.My cat really enjoys going ther they have great condos and lots of out of cage play.
post #9 of 9
have your brother come in once a day, and hire the sitter to come in also, give them designated times, have your brother choose the time that best suits him, sitter comes in 6- 12 hours earlier or later.
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