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Help with Wet Food Conversion

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello Everybody,

I have a 1.5 year old Russian Blue named Pillow. Ever since I bought him, he pees on my bed very regularly, and I tried everything.

I live in Taiwan, the tap water here is not consumable for humans, so I give my cat RO Water (Reverse Osmosis Water), which is basically distilled water.

However, many of us here know that not all cats enjoy drinking from the bowl, and often enjoy the shower and the faucet. However, with fear of making him sick, I always refrained from letting him drink tap. I bought one of these (http://cache.smarthome.com/images/61862.jpg) but he wouldn't drink that either.

The entire time I've had him, he sheds more than my old cat. And WAY more than a Russian blue should (according to breed info). So I brought another urine sample to the Vet. The vet said that my cat was DEHYDRATED!!

The vet said it was ok for cat and dogs to drink tap, and tap is not as dirty as we think. Our piping system is way improved than when we were kids, and most citizens don't drink it out of habit. So I started letting my cat drink tap water and shower water, and what a difference it made!! His coat is much shinier, his mood is much more upbeat, and most importantly, HE STOPPED PEEING ON MY BED!!!

Upon further research online, I discovered the best way to hydrate my cat is actually switching to wet foods. And the health benefits are endless. So I am determine to switch my cat over the canned foods.

However, I don't have the major brands you have in the US. So I have a few questions:

1. What nutritional value should I look for in a canned food? (and what is better? Fish, guts, chicken, etc etc)
2. How much do I feed a day? (I will only be able to feed twice a day, and since the cans here seem smaller, can you give me the amount in weight?)
3. Do I have to transition him by weening out the dry food slowly?
4. Do I have to stop the dry food diet completely? Or Can I have a dry/wet food combination?
5. Does this mean I have to brush his teeth more often?

I am so glad that Pillow is healthier and happier, I hope switching to wet foods will take it to the next level!!

Thanks everybody.
5.
post #2 of 11
What a cute name for a cat. Pillow.
-Wet food is much much better for a cat. There is no need for dry food. The myth is that dry food cleans teeth but it is not true. That is like saying eat crackers they will clean your teeth! Dry food actually leaves a residue on the teeth. So you don't have to worry about that part. Cats tongues are not designed to drink water and you will notice that when you switch your cat may only take a few sips per day or drink more on hotter days. I would still leave the fountain available.

-You feed according to weight. If your cat is on the large side 2 cans. But then again it depends on the size of the cans.

-For teeth cleaning I give my cats raw(not cooked because it can splinter and choke them)chicken necks. Gnawing on the bone cleans their teeth. But if you go this route make sure you use proper handling for raw food and do some research.

1)you do not want to feed cats a diet heavy on fish. You want to feed a cat a food that had real meat as a source and no by products. Grain free is best if you can get it.
2)I answered that one above.
3)I would transition him slowly. Some cats can go cold turkey while others need time to adjust. A patient transition usually works better.
4)Personally I would forget the dry food since your cat is not a big drinker. Dehydration for a male cat can lead to a whole host of problems including crystals, blockages and infections.
5)I used to brush everyday until I discovered the necks. My cats have great teeth. My vet checks them every year and their teeth are fantastic. If you don't want to do raw necks then a brushing regimen is always advisable. Again dry food does not clean teeth.

This is what has worked for me.
Good luck with pillow.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
thank you so much!! The chicken neck is a great idea. How big of a portion do you give him? and how often?

They have fancy feast here, and the rest is a bunch of japanese I don't understand. I guess Japan is the only asian country that has a large enough cat enthusiast population to support a brand of cat food.

I can get 5 cans for about $3.30 US. That divides into about 66cents a can.

If I give him 2 cans a day, that's about $1.25, so I'd be spending about 460 dollars a year on kitty. That's quite a economical burden on me. But I will try my best, my kitty deserves it.

I was at a pet store once, and they said "The cat is only a portion of your life, but to your cats life, you are everything, so don't go stingy on him"

Of course that was a wonderful sales pitch, but there is so much truth in it. So thank you all for your advice!!

**On a side-note, almost every vet in Taiwan is against an all wet-food diet. Perhaps they don't have enough experience in feline, since most people have canines as pets here.
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hwangster View Post
They have fancy feast here, and the rest is a bunch of japanese I don't understand. I guess Japan is the only asian country that has a large enough cat enthusiast population to support a brand of cat food.
By my standards, most of the low carb Fancy Feast canned foods are pretty decent nutrition wise. Some people don't like any food that has "by-products", which FF does, but they don't bother me much. I think low carb is more important. But I pretty stay away from fishy flavors.

Here's a list of the low carb FF :

http://www.felinediabetes.com/printgluten.htm

As a quick rule of thumb, a food with at least 10% protein, 5% fat and 1.5% fiber will be fairly low in carbs.

More details on how to determine the carb content of foods can be found here:

http://www.catinfo.org/commercialcan...Carbohydrates:

I'm sure others will be along to give their take on what they think would be best for you to feed.

Also, congratulations on during your research and deciding to feeding your kitty wet! I believe he'll be much happy and healthy than on an all dry diet.
post #5 of 11
DO you cook>>>?? do you have access to "clean" meat s??



1. What nutritional value should I look for in a canned food? (and what is better? Fish, guts, chicken, etc etc)

I will allow NAMED by products ie chicken liver NOT chicken by products , look for meat at least the first five ingredients, grains are fine just not the main ingredients ... Fish likely is one you want to avoid or at least not in the first five ingredients because of urinary issues

2. How much do I feed a day? (I will only be able to feed twice a day, and since the cans here seem smaller, can you give me the amount in weight?)
1/2 oz to one oz per lb of kitty body weight

3. Do I have to transition him by weening out the dry food slowly?
Some cats will want that, others will go cold turkey still others, will want a nibble of dry out when you are away.. if kitty gets any tummy issues then go gradual

4. Do I have to stop the dry food diet completely? Or Can I have a dry/wet food combination?
NO .... Many on here with DECADES of experience will say that ... I do wet/dry combo ( separate dishes )and find it both $$ smart and easier ... of course mine get sorta a rotational diet with raw and homemade also

5. Does this mean I have to brush his teeth more often?
Discuss this with a vet ... I would suggest a CAT toothpaste all they need to do it lick it off

AS a general RULE ...WET foods contain low carbs many are under 15%
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
By my standards, most of the low carb Fancy Feast canned foods are pretty decent nutrition wise. Some people don't like any food that has "by-products", which FF does, but they don't bother me much. I think low carb is more important. But I pretty stay away from fishy flavors.

Here's a list of the low carb FF :

http://www.felinediabetes.com/printgluten.htm

As a quick rule of thumb, a food with at least 10% protein, 5% fat and 1.5% fiber will be fairly low in carbs.

More details on how to determine the carb content of foods can be found here:

http://www.catinfo.org/commercialcan...Carbohydrates:

I'm sure others will be along to give their take on what they think would be best for you to feed.

Also, congratulations on during your research and deciding to feeding your kitty wet! I believe he'll be much happy and healthy than on an all dry diet.
Good list except most of those are no longer found
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Good list except most of those are no longer found
I can't say for the fishy ones since I don't look for them but I find all the others at Petco and PetsMart.

Medora
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I can't say for the fishy ones since I don't look for them but I find all the others at Petco.

Medora
Must be regional then cause only three of those were at Petco and grocerys here...
post #9 of 11
Hi
Glad you are looking to switch to all canned.

1. What nutritional value should I look for in a canned food? (and what is better? Fish, guts, chicken, etc etc)

Something with a muscle meat like chicken is best

2. How much do I feed a day? (I will only be able to feed twice a day, and since the

I free feed canned and have no weight problems. Since Cats process food differently from each other just like humans. I would let them determine how much they need and then later on you can make any adjustments needed. I do have scehduked mealtimes roo when any leftovers go to the ferals and they get new food

cans here seem smaller, can you give me the amount in weight?)


A very very general rule is somewhere around 20-25 calories per pound of cat

3. Do I have to transition him by weening out the dry food slowly?

If you gave been feeing dry and wet, it should be able to be done reasonably quick

4. Do I have to stop the dry food diet completely? Or Can I have a dry/wet food combination?

Of course you can but I dont believe that there is any benefit to feeding dry foods and
my personal opinion is you are adding risk for no good reason. Canned can be left out all day

5. Does this mean I have to brush his teeth more often?
Dry food is not proven to be better for the teeth then wet food
Best of luck
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have kitty toothpaste that I will give him regularly. But I am still interested in this chicken neck idea. How much and how often?

I didn't know about this muscle meat suggestion and bought 4 cans of fish and 1 can of chicken. I guess I watched too many cartoons and thought fish was best (low calories and high on DHA for kitty memory!!)

Thank you all so much... I gave my kitty a watered down canned meal yesterday, and he slurped it all down quite quickly. And still ate his dry food afterward. What a good kitty.
post #11 of 11
My vet said necks about once a week ... mine wont eat YMMV ..


For those needing calorie info page 7 and 8 of this link have some easy numbers .. 20-25 calories per lb ... would seem right for an over wt cat ... as the ave daily need for a 10 lb is 240 cal or 24 cal per lb.. but the lean ( ie normal ) is 280 or 28 ....

All charts will be different as the goal of the research was different ...

the "old" school rule was 20-30 cal per lb... for a ave cat

http://dels.nas.edu/dels/rpt_briefs/...tion_final.pdf

the example they use for calories and nutrients is a 9lb cat eating 250 calories a day which is 27.7 cal per lb

http://www.geocities.com/jmpeerson/CanFoodNew.html

easy guide for many common canned foods... with % of protein , fat and calories
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