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Kitten stopped eating wet food!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ally, my 9 week old kitten, started eating Science Diet Kitten Original dry food over the weekend. She loves it, which is great, and is eating it frequently throughout the day via a Petmate Pet Bistro 2lb dry-food feeder, also great... but the problem is that now when I go to feed her wet food, she's not hungry and just leaves it.

She also has a Petmate Pet Bistro 2qt water feeder next to the dry-food feeder, and drinks from it frequently.

Does dry food have all the nutrients she needs? If I leave the wet food sitting there, eventually she'll have a little bit here and there throughout the day, but I don't like the idea of having wet food sit there so long.

This morning, she asked for wet-food (or so I assumed thats what the meow meant) and I gave her some. She ate maybe a tablespoon worth, much less than usual and went over to the dry food and started munching away.

Should I just let her eat the dry food and only give her wet food if she asks for it? Or is it ok to let the wet-food sit until she wants it? Or... well, what should I do?

She's got a healthy appetite. No problem there. I'm just want to be sure she is getting all of her nutrients so she can be healthy and grow properly.
post #2 of 17
Hmm...it's tough. Yes, dry food should have all the nutrients our cat needs in it (although, you might want to consider a food other than Science Diet...), but the added water cats get from wet food is valuable.

My girls are like yours. They pick at the wet food throughout the day. I give them a serving in the morning before I go to work and then another at dinner time.

The tough part is that kittens are supposed to be free-fed. BUT...perhaps you could put Ally's dry food away overnight so that she is hungry in the morning and give her some wet food in the morning. And then, put the dry food out during the day for her to free feed. And then perhaps put it up again in the evening and feed another serving of wet before bed.


When I first got the cats, I pretty much gave up on them eating wet food. I stopped even trying for a while and then once I gave it back to them, they seemed much more appreciative and actually ate it. It was a matter of finding the perfect food (for me, Authority chicken and lamb), the perfect amount (1/3 a can twice/day...anymore and they hardly eat any) and the perfect preparation (mixed in the blender with some hot water to make cat food soup).

It may just be that your little girl thinks her new kibble is just the "cat's meow" and the novelty will eventually wear off!
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Is Science Diet not quality?

I've been getting it because the vet has recommended it for years with my dog as a quality manufacturer, so when I had to get food for Ally I just went with a company I knew.

Is there a better brand that TCS members prefer?
post #4 of 17
I liked Chicken soup for the kitten's soul. oh and the kittens liked it too.
post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
Is Science Diet not quality?

I've been getting it because the vet has recommended it for years with my dog as a quality manufacturer, so when I had to get food for Ally I just went with a company I knew.

Is there a better brand that TCS members prefer?
Sorry to burst the bubble, but no... not good... The first ingredient of SD is usually a by-product, following by a lot of grains... You want to definitely be away from by-products and watch out for grains... Especially corn. You also want to stay away from the flavors (i.e. chicken liver flavors) - should be the real deal.

Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Brewers Rice, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Soybean Mill Run, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, L-Threonine, L-Arginine, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Soybean Oil, Cysteine, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, minerals (Manganese Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Magnesium Oxide, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.
post #6 of 17
Try mashing the food up with water to make it soupy. That is the only way I could get Nora to eat wet food, and now the only way she will eat it. *sigh* lol

When I was trying to get Nora to eat wet food I would let her free feed a set amount during the day (the amount suggested on the package) and then put it up at night so she was hungry the next morning. I started out with just a small amount, offering 1/4 of the small 3oz cans at each feeding. At first she would only taste it, it seemed. I would feed her first thing in the am and not put her dry food down until she walked away from the wet food, and then again before bed.

It finally got to the point where she likes wet food and actually asks for it now even with the dry food in her bowl. Now she will eat 1/3 of a big 5.5oz can at a time, and I feed her that 2-3 times per day, along with 1/2c of dry food per day. She loves wet food now, but still prefers it to be soupy on a flat plate so she can lick it up rather than chew it. She cleans her plate just about every time now.

Nora gets Wellness Core dry and Wellness wet.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
Is Science Diet not quality?

I've been getting it because the vet has recommended it for years with my dog as a quality manufacturer, so when I had to get food for Ally I just went with a company I knew.

Is there a better brand that TCS members prefer?
My understanding is that vets recommend foods like Science Diet because:
a) they don't get a lot of education about pet nutrition
b) the information they do get often comes from or is sponsered by companies like Hills (company that makes SD)
c) they get kickbacks from the sales of the products they sell in their office

Here are the ingredients:

Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Chicken Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Soybean Mill Run, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, L-Lysine, Vitamin E Supplement, vitamins (L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, Iodized Salt, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, Magnesium Oxide, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, L-Arginine, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

I'll let Sharky do the detailed analysis, but....the first ingredient should be a meat...which, while it is, it is by-product meal, which is not great. A muscle meat would be much better. Then, in the next 4 ingredients, there are 3 grains listed, which quite likely account for more of the make-up of the food than the actual MEAT listed first. Some grains are OK, others prefer to feed grain free - but it seems very grainy to me.

I got suckered into the Science Diet trap too. I was feeding a science diet knock off (pet store brand), and then when Zoey got sick, the vet tech suggested that it wasn't the best food and that Hills foods would be better. So, I started feeding Science Diet. Once Zoey got really sick, I started doing a bit of research and realized that SD wasn't very good...especially for the cost (you could probably get a grocery store brand with similar ingredients for much less $$).

As for what folks recommend, each person has their own opinions, and each cat has their own tastes. Here's a thread with some suggestions:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=137404

The main thing is to know how to look at the ingredients lists on foods and what to look for, what to avoid.
post #8 of 17
I've been feeding royal canin but I discovered that is very grainy also. I didn't even know there was grain free wet food...I have to do more shopping around. I happen to have the opposite problem, my kitten will usually barely touch the dry and only eat wet food...It's strange that your kitty is preferring dry when, at least I thought the wet smells better to them...If you are worried you can always just go to free wet feedings and measured dry.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
I didn't even know there was grain free wet food...I have to do more shopping around.
Most of Wellness canned is grain free, but there are a few flavors that aren't. It is cheaper than RC also.
post #10 of 17
My kitten was also on Science Diet when I first got him. That's what he ate at the shelter, so I picked up a couple bags. He seemed to do okay on it, but I switched him to Wellness Kitten dry about a month ago. He really likes it and his coat is noticeably softer and shinier.
post #11 of 17
Oh I meant grain free dry...sorry
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
I've been feeding royal canin but I discovered that is very grainy also. I didn't even know there was grain free wet food...I have to do more shopping around. I happen to have the opposite problem, my kitten will usually barely touch the dry and only eat wet food...It's strange that your kitty is preferring dry when, at least I thought the wet smells better to them...If you are worried you can always just go to free wet feedings and measured dry.
UtOpia, it is actually quite common for cats to only eat dry food... My two kitties only eat dry food; won't even touch wet food. Drys are coated with fat and condiments, which makes them more palatable (in general).

There are quite a few grain free dry foods in the market: Wellness core, Orijen and Inova EVO are a few examples.
post #13 of 17
My cats have eaten nothing but wet food for over two years. However, the flavors they will accept routinely changes. What that routine actually is, they're not telling, so every now and again, I end up with several cans of a food no one will eat.

Historically, I've been dropping it from the rotation for a while and trying it again later (I feed anywhere from 10 to 21 different flavors in a two-week period), however, I recently found the most awesomest trick.... I now sprinkle Whole Life's freeze-dried Pet Treats over their food. They are single ingredient treats that crumble very easily and come in Chicken (this is what I'm currently using), Beef, Turkey (probably the only other one I'll try), Liver, Cod, and Salmon Fillet.

The cats now lick their dishes clean. Of course, YMMV, but I definitely recommend giving it a try if you've got a picky eater, or three.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
She started requesting wet food again today.

So, you guys think it's safe to just use up what I have of Science Diet (like maybe 2 weeks worth) and then transition to a better food?

I looked at the ingredients for the first time in my life and turns out you guys are right.
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by LawGuy View Post
She started requesting wet food again today.

So, you guys think it's safe to just use up what I have of Science Diet (like maybe 2 weeks worth) and then transition to a better food?

I looked at the ingredients for the first time in my life and turns out you guys are right.
I think that's definitely okay. What I did though, was mix what I had left from the old food that I was feeding with the new...it's up to you.
post #16 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kara_leigh View Post
She loves wet food now, but still prefers it to be soupy on a flat plate so she can lick it up rather than chew it. She cleans her plate just about every time now.
that's the way i serve my wet, too. dry is in bowls, but wet's on a plate.
LawGuy - it'd be better to transition her to the new food. i usually mix new w/old [kibble-wise]. some cats have intestinal issues w/fast switches, & there's no way for you to know if she'll be one.
of my 5, 1 has this problem.
here's a good [albeit long] thread all about food: what food do you use & why?
post #17 of 17
Good luck with whatever you choose Lawguy. There is a lot of controversy in the pet food and pet owner and vet worlds about pet foods. It is interesting to read about if you have the time. I did learn a lot, and it does seem like veterinary schools don't cover nutrition for most of their students, or the nutrition classes are funded by Hills (Science Diet) or Purina (as well as the research) at a lot of schools. Veterinary departments are not often the best funded departments, so they take money where they can get it. A lot of veterinary students go through school just assuming that those foods are good... but they are a product for the companies to make money. Unfortunately, just because your vet says a food is good, that does not mean that it is (even if your vet is awesome otherwise!). I don't mean to say to ignore a vet's advice, but if your kitten doesn't have a medical condition that needs a prescription food... IMO, I would not feed her Science Diet. Too much corn! Cats are carnivores.

I feed my kitties Taste of the Wild dry, which I found on Sharky's recommendation. My local pet supply store orders it for me. I also feed every flavor ever of Wellness wet foods, cans and pouches, with occasional other brands for variety (I have picky cats with wet food, but they love the dry... too bad I want them to eat more wet!). Wellness also have several varieties of dry food that many of our members like.

Lots of the people here could probably link you to good websites about crappy ingredients in pet foods. I won't dig mine out of bookmarks right now, but I may come back and link you to some if you are interested!

Good luck with everything. Whatever you end up feeding your kitten, it is more important that she is getting regular food, that the food is right for HER, and that you are happy and so is she. Some people just can't afford some of the grain free foods! But Taste of the Wild runs similar in price to Science Diet, and so do some of the others.
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