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The Cats will not touch the new dry food we have, help!!!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
So, as much as I *thought* I knew about cat food........when I got my first ever Puppy, a Yorkie named Poppy and was researching different healthy food choices for her, I came to realize that I have been duped several times.

Just because it says "natural" on the package, clearly doesn't mean it's not chock full of fillers and by-products. I was purchasing Nutro but lazily started purchasing all the new "natural" supermarket brands coming out, thinking they compared.

WRONG.

So anyway, I went food shopping and found the healthiest food I could find....and not only is it healthy, the store had it on sale running a special promotion, so instead of paying 26.99 for a bag, we paid 16.99. SCORE!
It is the "By Nature" brand. I'd never heard of it before going on this expedition and decided to buy it *before* we got to the store and realized it was on sale!

The problem is....the cats refuse to eat it! I've tried every food conversion possibility. Mixing in the good food with the not so good food slowly....taking more and more of the bad food away...but my cats are smart! They will take out the bits of the bad food and pick it apart. It's SHOCKING to me how sly they are at this. They've tasted it. I have noticed *some* of it missing. But it's been months and the bag is still pretty much full.

We feed wet twice a day and due to economic times (my husband's company gave the option of "salary cuts or laid off" several months ago) , have had to cut down the wet to about 1 oz of wet twice a day.

I really need them to eat their dry and I don't want to have them eating crap, you know? Since they no longer will free feed on the dry, because they don't like it, I have to feed them 2oz of wet twice a day to supplement for the extra dry they're not eating.

Any suggestions?? Is there anything else I can do?

Thanks in advance!


EDITED TO ADD::: I've also noticed they nibble at the Nutro Naturals dry puppy food....is this going to hurt them? Is nutritional value for cat food vs. dog food very much different?
post #2 of 23
Oh yes, sounds familiar. I had to take my guys off wet due to financial issues. I am now feeding Natural Balance dry. Once in a while they get wet food to make me feel better about giving dry. I realize you like the brand you are feeding, but if they are not eating it, you are wasting your money. I guess just try another brand. Once in a while, to keep them interested, I warm some beef or chicken boullion and mix it up with the NB. They really lap it up then when it is coated with something tasty. It is such a science, trying to find good, healthy and tasty food for our fur kids. Why can't they be like dogs and eat everything including the kitchen sink?
post #3 of 23
Yes, they should not be eating the dog food at all.

Dog and cat nutritional needs are very different. For instance a dog's body manufactures it's own taurine, so it is not usually added to dog food, or if it is, not enough. Taurine is crucial for a cat's eye health. Lack of taurine can cause lesions on the eyes, and blindness.

So, don't let them eat the puppy food.

In my experience cats will not eat what they don't like. They would starve to death first. (and that doesn't take long, kitty's organs will start to shut down after three days with no food) There are other good quality foods out there besides the Natural Balance. ( I wouldn't feed Nutro at all ever). Eagle Pack is a pretty good food, for instance, and has a frequent buyer promotion, after a certain number of bags, you get a bag free.

Wellness doens't have anything like that, but if you go to their website and fill out a form they'll send you a $10 off coupon.

Cat food is so complicated. Eagle pack and Wellness are at the lower end of the price range for the "premium" foods. Evo, Innova and Orijen, while good foods, are way over priced IMO.
post #4 of 23
Could you get samples of the high quality foods and see which type your cats pick?

I think that most of the higher end food companies will send you a sample upon request.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by furryfriends50 View Post
Could you get samples of the high quality foods and see which type your cats pick?

I think that most of the higher end food companies will send you a sample upon request.
My kids refused to eat the By Nature brand I can only respect their advanced scent abilities and trust that whatever is in it, their bodies object to
I use Innova - they eat less, there's less waste in the box. I feed JC the Royal Canin Maine Coon Mix and ALL the cats go after it - next to FF wet, it's their favorite, although the kibble is large and can therefore be a choking hazard to kittens.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsknowme View Post
My kids refused to eat the By Nature brand I can only respect their advanced scent abilities and trust that whatever is in it, their bodies object to
I use Innova - they eat less, there's less waste in the box. I feed JC the Royal Canin Maine Coon Mix and ALL the cats go after it - next to FF wet, it's their favorite, although the kibble is large and can therefore be a choking hazard to kittens.
I agree .. animals have senses way better than ours .. maybe there is something that would have made them sick ( allergy )
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
I agree .. animals have senses way better than ours .. maybe there is something that would have made them sick ( allergy )
One of my fosters has stopped eating some of the wet foods I have been feeding- mostly Authority. He cries for... for -- something else, Mom?

I experimented and gave him a can of Tiki Cat Sardine Cutlets. OMG - I have never seen this guy eat this fast!! Gobble, gobble!! The problem is that the little 3 oz can is 75 cents! It's ok for a once in a while treat...

He also liked the Meow Mix Tuna and Salmon. I have MM wet b/c of another foster who doesn't seem to like anything else.
post #8 of 23
Since you still have some of the old and new stuff. I would try and mix some bullion or tuna water with a mixture of both. Then slowly (or as you run out) keep removing the old and adding more and more new, but still keep adding the bullion or tuna water to it until it's all new stuff. Then I might suggest when you run out of the new stuff try the Eagle Pack instead like someone mentioned earlier. I totally understand about needing to use all of what you have before you can buy more. Hopefully things will get better for all of us.
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BABZ View Post
Since you still have some of the old and new stuff. I would try and mix some bullion or tuna water with a mixture of both. Then slowly (or as you run out) keep removing the old and adding more and more new, but still keep adding the bullion or tuna water to it until it's all new stuff. Then I might suggest when you run out of the new stuff try the Eagle Pack instead like someone mentioned earlier. I totally understand about needing to use all of what you have before you can buy more. Hopefully things will get better for all of us.
Please never add any type of liquid to dry food. This causes bacteria to develop in the dry food and is not good for cats.

As others have mentioned, cats are smart and have a powerful sense of smell. If they are refusing to eat the new food, there is something in it that they don't like or is not good for them. Keep your receipts and get a refund. You can't get a refund on canned food that has been opened, but you definitely can for the dry and unopened cans. Bring back what's left of the dry and tell them, I can't get my cat to eat this, I've tried and tried, etc. you'll get your refund.

Let me give you an example of how cats, their sense of smell and their smarts. We moved to a new place. Turns out the water is not good to drink. I have to use bottled water only to cook & drink with etc. How did I find out? My cats smelled it and refused to drink it!!! So please don't "assume" your cat is just being "picky".

Cats *will* starve themselves rather than eat something they don't like. So you really don't have a choice, you have to give in and try something else.

Lastly, I know the economy is bad, but for those of you taking your cats off of canned completely or just giving it to them occasionally to save money is not a smart idea, at least not in my lowly opinion and experience. Why? because then they develop all kinds of health problems down the road and that not only hurts your pocket book, but more importantly, your cat's health. We all know how costly those vet visits can be and how quickly a cat's health can deteriorate.

I'm in a bad financial spot too, I'm currently unemployed and I have a ton of medical bills. My husband was making a very good salary and we were well off. But he just got diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, and now he can no longer work. He is on disability, but it's not a lot of money coming in.

So I want and need to make sure to continue feeding them what is best for them, even if it means, I have to sacrifice. I'm sure everyone is already making sacrifices and that's it's not an easy situation for any of us, but that is just me and how I feel about it.
post #10 of 23
Just want to comment about a cat eating puppy food. No, it's not an optimal thing to feed your cat but there isn't harm in a little nibble here and there. I have a 14 year old cat that has had an auto-immune disease for the last 12 years, the last 3 years with stomatitis so bad that he's had all of his teeth removed. He has decided that he prefers dog food over wet, and since he started eating that, his stomatitis is finally under control, his coat is as shiny as it's been in 4 years, and he has regained all the weight he lost when the stomatitis kicked in. He's thriving on it. I wouldn't recommend this diet to anyone here, but in the case of my cat, he's already a few years beyond his life expectancy in the first place, and because he loves the food so much, it's extending his life. It is very good quality dog food btw.

My lesson with this: as long as it is a decent food and they love it, feed it to them. But there's more harm in them not eating than eating something that might not be the best.
post #11 of 23
Momofmany, meaning no disrespect to you, you ought to clarify more strongly that your cat is a unique case. Perhaps for your cat, it is better that he eat at all, rather than what he eat, but many people may take this to mean it is okay to feed their cats dog food on a regular basis.

I will repeat: It is not okay for cats to eat dog food.

Dog food does not contain the proper balance of nutrients for cats to maintain good health.

Dogs and cats have very different nutritional needs. The labels may even appear identical, but the ratio of contents are not
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
Momofmany, meaning no disrespect to you, you ought to clarify more strongly that your cat is a unique case. Perhaps for your cat, it is better that he eat at all, rather than what he eat, but many people may take this to mean it is okay to feed their cats dog food on a regular basis.

I will repeat: It is not okay for cats to eat dog food.

Dog food does not contain the proper balance of nutrients for cats to maintain good health.

Dogs and cats have very different nutritional needs. The labels may even appear identical, but the ratio of contents are not
where are you getting this info?? if you read things like the Merck manual you will find very minor differences in the needs of dogs and cats.. NO Dog food should not be a sole food. But it is okay for either to nibble on the others foods
post #13 of 23
FYI new studies have shown that dogs need supplemental taurine as well, and you will find it added to most of the better brands.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
where are you getting this info?? if you read things like the Merck manual you will find very minor differences in the needs of dogs and cats.. NO Dog food should not be a sole food. But it is okay for either to nibble on the others foods
If you go into a pet food website, Wellness for instance, you can see a breakdown (guaranteed analysis) of each food. Side by side you will see some obvious differences

One obvious difference is the protein. dog foods usually contain about 22% which is not nearly enough protein for a cat, cats need at least 30%, most cat foods contain between 30% and 38%. Taurine: .2% in cats .09 % for dogs. (based on Wellness foods) Big difference for both these crucial nutrients between dog and cat.

Just these two items are enough to make a difference in a cat's health. But if you go further and breakdown every single vitamin and mineral you will find even more discrepancies. Why would anyone want to take the risk?

Frankly I am quite surprised to find advocates for cats eating dog food in a cat forum. Yes, I know you clarified that it should not be the sole food. But when a cat nibbles on dog food, the dog food is taking up space in the cat where cat food should be.

(my info comes from the Wellness website)
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by otto View Post
If you go into a pet food website, Wellness for instance, you can see a breakdown (guaranteed analysis) of each food. Side by side you will see some obvious differences

One obvious difference is the protein. dog foods usually contain about 22% which is not nearly enough protein for a cat, cats need at least 30%, most cat foods contain between 30% and 38%. Taurine: .2% in cats .09 % for dogs. (based on Wellness foods) Big difference for both these crucial nutrients between dog and cat.

Just these two items are enough to make a difference in a cat's health. But if you go further and breakdown every single vitamin and mineral you will find even more discrepancies. Why would anyone want to take the risk?

Frankly I am quite surprised to find advocates for cats eating dog food in a cat forum. Yes, I know you clarified that it should not be the sole food. But when a cat nibbles on dog food, the dog food is taking up space in the cat where cat food should be.

(my info comes from the Wellness website)
I am going on the BIG picture and NOT the one painted by the PFC s .. If you do some ACTUAL research ( ie more than three sources of completely different types you will learn the reality of what a cat and dog truly need.. Do you even know the AFFCO standards for each?? I do

NO one said FEED DOG FOOD.. just more a little is not an issue.. and truthfully many of us"old " folks know what the dogs and cats ate prior to pet food being in a bag( no I am not truly that old but I learned in later yrs grandma knew alot about feline / canine nutrition.... I have also had this discussion with my vet who has a MS in companion animal nutrition and we went thru the affco book and compared

many senior cat food s have 25-30% protein yet have passed affco feed tests the taurine in wellness dog IMHO is too low for either but I do believe it is on the low end of acceptable by AFFCO stds for a cat...
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Oh man.

A few things because, although I'm sure it wasn't intentional....some individuals here are coming across as VERY snobby and judgmental.


1. I know many many MANY people who only feed dry food to their cats. I've had vets and veterinary students tell me that wet food is considered "a treat". These may not be the vets you are visiting or the information you find vital (and as I've stated I feed wet because it is important to me, although I guarantee you will not be happy with the brand ), but my grandmother's cat lived to be 19 years old never having tasted wet food and my first cat lived to be 17 on only dry her entire life. And both cats were fed only supermarket brands. *gasp*! Yes, wet is good and we all know the reasons why, but it astounds me how snobby people can be. There are unfed and starving cats all over the world, what you feed your cats is your prerogative and I can respect that and your advice, but being so adamant that wet is the only way is very condescending to those of us that may not be able to afford wet despite what sacrifices we make. My animals eat better than we do...and honestly, I don't know if in a few months (if my husband's company goes under) if we'll be able to feed wet at all...in fact, I know we won't)

You shouldn't make anyone feel guilty, especially anyone posting on a cat board, as clearly they love and care for their cats and that is ALL THAT MATTERS!

2. On the subject of sacrifice, I really loathe brand snobs. I asked for advice on how to figure out what to do with the brand I was using and my cats.....and I appreciate the advice, I sincerely do......BUT for anyone to put down a brand that is certainly better than a supermarket brand and tell me or anyone else that they would never let their precious pets touch such a brand is once again, VERY condescending.

We all know the premium brands are better. I guarantee you, however, that the majority of pet owners in the US (I'm not sure about other countries) are feeding supermarket brands such as Purina and Iams. (Most of the pet owners I personally know consider those to be "premium foods" because honestly, pet food made for pets is just that and not everyone takes their pets as seriously as most on this board do).


My last point:

I found Wellness on sale at Petco for 9.99 for a 2.5lb bag. I am pretty sad about the fact that I'm even going to do this, but I'm going to buy the bag. I signed up for the coupons mentioned and have yet to receive anything. I also requested free samples and never received a response. This is my last attempt at a premium brand and I pray that it works out.



Thanks to everyone who answered this post...and especially to those who are feeling the economic crunch as hard as we are. I worry every month about a roof over our head and if we'll have utilities... my family and friends think I'm crazy because I *DO* insist upon wet and I *DO* insist upon healthy foods for the animals, even though they are more expensive...and that is the over-all opinion here. Even my husband resents that I can't just buy the cheapo stuff because we spend more on our pets monthly than anything else, except for rent....and right now, we have 30% less income coming in than we always have with the same amount of bills (even higher in this economy).

So I'm going to check out the Wellness and I sincerely hope what is said around the net is true that they will eat "less" of the food and have less waste because I cannot afford to be spending this much on the pets.


Lots of love to everyone!!!!!
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMarie View Post
Oh man.

You shouldn't make anyone feel guilty, especially anyone posting on a cat board, as clearly they love and care for their cats and that is ALL THAT MATTERS!

Well Said!!! I think many of us feel bad enough not knowing if were going to be able to pay our bills or even feed anything to our family/animals.

I hope everything works out for you!
post #18 of 23
I just called the 800 number for Wellness and they said that they do not send out $10 coupons anymore. And when I asked about free samples, they requested that I fill out the form on their website and that I'll get a monthly newsletter which will include where they are offering sales for that month.

If anyone knows of something different or where I could find these $10 coupons could you please post or pm me?
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BABZ View Post
I just called the 800 number for Wellness and they said that they do not send out $10 coupons anymore. And when I asked about free samples, they requested that I fill out the form on their website and that I'll get a monthly newsletter which will include where they are offering sales for that month.

If anyone knows of something different or where I could find these $10 coupons could you please post or pm me?
the newsletter always has a few $$ s in coupons /// try your local store?
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
the newsletter always has a few $$ s in coupons /// try your local store?
How often does the newsletter come out? I signed up for it a couple of weeks ago and got the confirmation and everything, but haven't received anything yet.

I can't wait to get it!!

I seem to get every form of advertisement in the world that I don't need...and the ones I actually anticipate never come.
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaniMarie View Post
How often does the newsletter come out? I signed up for it a couple of weeks ago and got the confirmation and everything, but haven't received anything yet.

I can't wait to get it!!

I seem to get every form of advertisement in the world that I don't need...and the ones I actually anticipate never come.
It is either monthly or every two weeks ( I want to say monthly
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
the newsletter always has a few $$ s in coupons /// try your local store?
I found a $10.00 coupon!! (kinda)


I tried the feed store that has Wellness like you suggested and low and behold....they had them by the Wellness food! If you buy a 5lb. bag you get a $5 coupon off of your next purchase and if you buy a 11lb. bag you get a $10 coupon off of your next purchase. Exp. of 1/31/2010
post #23 of 23
Nobody is trying to be "snobbish" - they are just trying to educate. If you do some reading of past threads, you will find that we advocate feeding what your cat will eat. Having your cat eat is more important than what they eat. It doesn't matter if you pay $25 a can for food - if the cat won't eat it then it is not a "good" food. Bottom line - the only good food is the one your cat will eat.

Also from the above reading you will see that Sharky (our food expert) has often said and shown that because a food costs more does not make it a better quality food. There are quality foods out there that will not cost more than the lower quality foods. It is a matter of education and that's what this site is about.

Some folks feels strongly that raw is the only good food - we do not advocate that here but have a forum to allow folks who do to express their opinions and experiences. Nobody should feel guilty that they don't feed raw.

Many cats have lived many years on dry food alone - yes, that is true but isn't it nice to know that we have learned and evolved to know that a wet food diet is healthier? Does that mean we should all run out and buy only wet food and force it down our pets' throats? Absolutely not. It took me a long time to find a wet food that Bijou would not turn his nose up at but I was determined and spent that time. It is expensive and I know not everyone could afford it so we do the best we can with what we can afford.

It is important not to take offense when the "suggestions" get a bit zealous - it's simply that we all want what is best for our pets and folks like Sharky that have studied nutrition for 10+ years are just trying to educate which is good for both us and our current and future animals.
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