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Finickiest kitteh ever? How do I get him to switch?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Greetings everyone.

I am trying to get my 2-year old rescued used-to-be-a-feral-now-he's-a-pampered-housecat to try new foods. Problem is I am having no success!

This is what Plucky will eat now:

Dry kibble:
Royal Canin formula 33 (for fussy cats).

Fancy Feast (junk food, given rarely just as a treat).

This is what I have *tried* to get him to eat...without success:

Dry kibble:
Science Diet T/D (vet says he has a tiny bit of gingivitis).
Royal Canin Oral Care (same as above).
Science Diet Maintenance formula.
3 other Royal Canin formulas (cannot recall which...).
Innova EVO (My latest attempt, I tried this week...I was SURE he would pounce on this!!)

5 different types of holistic/natural canned foods, including duck, venison, rabbit et al....
3 different types of "commercial" garbage (as snack replacements now and again).

I have tried to mix a tiny bit in with his usual Royal Canin 33, but he will just ignore the whole dish of food at that point. I have tried removing the Royal Canin entirely and putting out just the new food, but he still eats nothing. And I mean nothing. He went almost 3 days without eating before I caved in and fed him his usual Royal Canin 33 out of worry.

Is there any trick to getting a kitty to switch foods, or will Plucky forever eat only this one type of kibble?
post #2 of 9
You need to switch foods very slowly... Start by adding just a little of the new food into the old one. Once he is eating well, pooping is ok, etc., increase the amount slowly, by adding a little more every few days. It should take at least a couple of weeks to switch completely...
What I do is:
week 1: 1/4 new food, 3/4 old food; week 2: 1/3 new and 2/3 old; week 3: half and half; and so on... I do it very, very slowly.

Unless the kitty has an specific health problem, I would stay away from Science Diet - IMO Very expensive junk...
Is there an specific reason for the formula 33? If it is, you might want to consult your vet. If the kitty has no problem, and is only finicky, I would suggest transitioning into EVO - IMO from all those choices, it is the best formula. How old is the kitty?
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
His age is approximate only...about 2 years. When I found him lying near-dead under a bush, I fed him outside for 2 weeks before he trusted me...and then I put him in a carrying case and brought him to the vet, who (when I asked if his age could be estimated) pried his mouth open took a look at his teeth and said, "About one year old".

That was on may 2nd, 2008.

If I remember correctly, I started feeding him the Royal Canin 33 because it had a high fat and protein content relative to the other foods my local petshop had. He has thrived on it frankly, and was one REALLY active, muscular, strapping 13-pound kitty with no flab whatsoever.

Since I had him neutered however, his weight has changed a bit and although he is still very healthy..he lost 2 pounds in 2 weeks after his neutering, but his weight has since stabilized and he is eating normally.

I want my little guy around and in top-top health for as long as I can keep him that way. From reviews and descriptions of the food, Innova EVO sounds like the way to go. I tried the 1/4 to 3/4 ratio trick with the EVo...but Plucky just sniffed it, pawed the floor around his dish (as if to bury it), and walked away. Never touched it.
post #4 of 9
I would advise contacting the vet about this weight loss - it is too much of a loss for a 2-week period... That's almost a 20% body weight loss in 2 weeks.

Anyway, if he wouldn't eat with a 1/4 ratio, try adding less at the beginning - 1/8, or a few kibbles on the first day, and start from there. Once he is comfortable with the scent, it will be easier for you to increase the amount of EVO.

Here is the thing though: if your kitty is thriving on RC 33, that's what matters... It's a bit too grainy for me, but not at all junk... Pretty decent, the only thing is that you can get superior food for the cost.

In the end, the food will only be good if your kitty eats it, and thrive on it... It seems to me that this is the case with RC...
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
The vet was made aware of the weight loss and attributed it to stress (Plucky also had his tail clean-shaved due to a very bad case of stud tail). Since then, Plucky has been eating, drinking, and playing normally.

Well, eating normally until I tried to slip some EVO into his dish.

Thank you, I will try and add just 6 or 7 pieces of EVO kibble to his usual dish of Royal Canin and see if I can get him to munch it down progressively!
post #6 of 9
Do you have any feed and seed type co-op stores close by? Many carry brands like "Taste of the Wild" and "Chicken Soup for the Petlover". Taste of the Wild goes over well for most cats and it is also grain free. They usually have samples large enough to taste test.

You might also want to contact web sites of those and other brands for free samples.

As long as he is doing well on RC, you can take time and try different foods occasionally.

Some that my crew really liked were Taste of the Wild, Orijen, California Natural Chicken and Rice (biggest hit with all 7), Chicken Soup and Solid Gold.

Canned brands I use are Wellness, NV Instinct, Natural Balance, Before Grain and Solid Gold. You can sprinkle a tiny pinch of Parmesan cheese or Bonita flakes on top to help get them to try the canned. Works for some.

Hang in there. He's very lucky to have you.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well he is definitely not a fan of the EVO (not that I am really surprised). I don't think it's anything with the food itself, as it seems like a really good kitty food. Its only flaw seems to be that it's not Royal Canin 33.

I put about 6 pieces of EVO kibble in his supper dish along with a bit over 1/3 of a cup of his favorite. He ignored the dish all day. His appetite also seems to be affected by the Clavamox he is taking (antibiotics because he was "scooting" along the floor after being neutered).

I am going to keep at it and see if there is ANYthing I can do to get him to try the EVO, but he seems really really deadset against it...and I really really want him to eat better food and be my l'il wingman for many years to come.
post #8 of 9
I would suggest asking all the pet stores for samples and seeing if he likes any of them
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well, of a sort. I have Plucky now eating a 50-50 mix of Royal Canin 33 and Innova Evo. Over the past 2 weeks he went from completely ignoring his food dish (pawing the floor around it as if to cover it up) to trying to "sift" through it and eat only the RC 33...to finally accepting that this strange new brown nugget is not going away, and eating it!

He is going through roughly 2/3 cup of EVO mixed with 2/3 cup of RC 33 per day right now. He has rebounded handsomely from a bout of moderate skinniness following his neutering, and now feels firm and muscular when I pick him up and cradle him. And the energy levels seem to be through the roof...he is literally tearing around the house and batting his toys around like a wild beasty!

Thanks for the advice all....I went very very slow and gradual, and now I know I am on my way to getting him to eat only the EVO. It's a good food from what I have read about it, and I am happy he will be getting some quality vittles in his belly now.
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