or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Picky cats & shape of kibble
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Picky cats & shape of kibble

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Ever since we brought in a kitten (and that tasty kitten food) my older cat has become extremely picky. Kitten is now big enough for cat food, and she'll eat anything that isn't nailed down, so there's no worries there. The older cat is a 5 year old Siberian female, 16 pounds. So I want to make sure I'm keeping her healthy, as she is a big girl. When she started out in the bachelor pad with my husband, she lived on Friskies alone. Since I came along, she's tried Taste of the Wild, Wellness, Wellness CORE, Acana prairie, HealthWise, Innova... all have had short-lived success and generally are only tolerated when they're mixed in with junk food. &$*%@!!!!

The only one she doesn't completely reject is HealthWise, and she'll only give in to it when she's gone hungry and I refuse her wet food. I'm wondering if it's actually the shape of the food. The little Xs and Os like Friskies and CatChow rather than the pellets and flying saucer shapes of the higher end brands. I would really like to transition her to a better quality food and maybe grain-free, as I suspect allergies are afoot. (She loves to chew her mane, grooms compulsively, and occasionally has runny eyes) Has anyone found a good food that's not bunny-pellet shaped?
post #2 of 16
They aren't grain-free, and aren't super top-of-the line (but are decent). . .4Health has Y-shaped kibbles and Chicken Soup has X-shaped kibbles. Those are the only decent foods I can think of that aren't pellets/discs.
post #3 of 16
Cats do not care about the shape of their kibbles. (*laughs because she can't help it*)
Your cat likes the junk food, because well, it tastes better to her. The junk food is sprayed with animal digest and artificial flavors to make it taste great. The higher end foods either only have natural flavors, or none at all. If a kid could pick between McDonald's and broccoli, which would they chose? :P

Just like she will only eat HealthWise if you withhold wet, you have to withhold Friskies until she eats the food you want her to. Old habits die hard, and cats are stubborn. Don't let her go without food for more than 12 hours, but other than that, don't put Friskies down. Ever.

If you think she has allergies, I would see a vet however. Allergies will not go away by switching to a better food (like Innova), but instead a food formulated either hypoallergenic or L.I.D. (limited ingredient diet).
post #4 of 16
Actually some cats do seem to care about shape/texture...
When I've used a food that has different shapes in the bag such as X's and O's (before I started using the higher-quality foods with no shapes) I had a cat who would pick out one shape and eat that, and leave the other shape in the bowl (my family's dog when I was a kid did that too, she'd eat the "Bits" but leave the "Kibbles".)
The same cat, when switched to a food with only X's, would bite the X's in such a way that she would leave all the tips of the X's in the bowl, so at the end there would be a bowl with just little X tips in it, which she wouldn't eat.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
Actually some cats do seem to care about shape/texture...
When I've used a food that has different shapes in the bag such as X's and O's (before I started using the higher-quality foods with no shapes) I had a cat who would pick out one shape and eat that, and leave the other shape in the bowl (my family's dog when I was a kid did that too, she'd eat the "Bits" but leave the "Kibbles".)
The same cat, when switched to a food with only X's, would bite the X's in such a way that she would leave all the tips of the X's in the bowl, so at the end there would be a bowl with just little X tips in it, which she wouldn't eat.
There are explanations for both these things. ;-)
The different shapes also tend to have different colors or flavors. So if one tasted different than the other, that would make it seem as though she is 'choosing shapes'. And as for the x's, that would have to do with the way they fit (or don't fit) in her mouth, and by the time she ends up with a bowl of dots, she either is full or doesn't want slightly damp kibble.

Find me a study that proves cats like shapes and then I'll believe you. ;-)
post #6 of 16
I think the big pet food companies have done studies on "mouthfeel", but I don't know if they've made them public. But anecdotally, some of my cats prefer certain shapes, definitely.
post #7 of 16
I have no clue with dry, but know for a fact that these two have definite preferences on the shape and texture of their wet food, but it does make sense that flavor/smell still comes first and foremost.

Personally, I always get the dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets and make stomping and roaring sounds on my plate and then bite their heads off which establishes me as alpha predator.
post #8 of 16
It seems to me I read somewhere that flat faced breeds like persians tended to have more difficulty picking up certain shapes/sizes.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
LOL to dinosaur chicken bites! I wholeheartedly agree.
Yesterday I gave them a little side dish of Nature's Variety Instinct, which is supposed to have a more palatable coating on it. They are tiny little pea pieces, (like Wellness Core, but smaller) and Mowzers did take a few bites before a few bites of Healthwise and then meowing at the treat cabinet. No treats for her! I mixed a teeny bit of the NV into their bowls today, so we'll give that a try for a while.

In past attempts to integrate another food, she leaves the blobs and only take the lucky charms. She hasn't had any of the grocery store food for over a year (Friskies, Purina One etc); Healthwise has stuck the longest. The pickiness started about two months ago. I guess the kitten is easier because she's never had the junk food. (Also she eats just about anything. For her first few months with us, she liked to carry my underwear around in her mouth.)

If this food doesn't change anything, we're definitely going to head to the vet. Poor Mowzers has been grouchy, matted, and sleeping ALL the time.
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minka View Post
There are explanations for both these things. ;-)
The different shapes also tend to have different colors or flavors. So if one tasted different than the other, that would make it seem as though she is 'choosing shapes'. And as for the x's, that would have to do with the way they fit (or don't fit) in her mouth, and by the time she ends up with a bowl of dots, she either is full or doesn't want slightly damp kibble.

Find me a study that proves cats like shapes and then I'll believe you. ;-)

Now Minka, I posted either this article or a similar one some time ago. Obviously you do not read any of my posts with scientific information. Anyway, FWIW I did find this:

http://www.petfoodindustry.com/The_s...enhancers.html

Excerpt:

"In Kristopher Figge's 2011 Petfood Forum presentation, "Kibble Shape and its Effect on Feline Palatability," the AFB International senior scientist and technical services manager shared some of the palatant company's latest research. Unlike dogs, cats tend to avoid spoilage aromas, while surface texture and size of kibble play a large role in what foods felines find palatable. AFB then researched whether or not kibble shape affected the palatability of dry cat foods.

AFB researchers used common kibble shapes like the cross, triangle, flat disc and cylinder as the variables in the study. Figge and his collegues found that kibble shape was the primary driver for palatability while texture across a given range was not. The flat disc had mid-range texture scores and was the most preferred shape by cats. The cylinder was outside the range and was least preferred. The highly preferred disc-shape is not only easy to extrude, it is also durable, has less fines than other shapes and also has a greater surface area."
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NutroMike View Post
Now Minka, I posted either this article or a similar one some time ago. Obviously you do not read any of my posts with scientific information. Anyway, FWIW I did find this:

http://www.petfoodindustry.com/The_s...enhancers.html

Excerpt:

"In Kristopher Figge's 2011 Petfood Forum presentation, "Kibble Shape and its Effect on Feline Palatability," the AFB International senior scientist and technical services manager shared some of the palatant company's latest research. Unlike dogs, cats tend to avoid spoilage aromas, while surface texture and size of kibble play a large role in what foods felines find palatable. AFB then researched whether or not kibble shape affected the palatability of dry cat foods.

AFB researchers used common kibble shapes like the cross, triangle, flat disc and cylinder as the variables in the study. Figge and his collegues found that kibble shape was the primary driver for palatability while texture across a given range was not. The flat disc had mid-range texture scores and was the most preferred shape by cats. The cylinder was outside the range and was least preferred. The highly preferred disc-shape is not only easy to extrude, it is also durable, has less fines than other shapes and also has a greater surface area."
??? I do not avoid your posts in any way, I just don't read Every thread on TCS. I miss a lot of things here.

Now, what this shows, is not that the cats prefer the shape itself, but instead that because the disc shape's surface area is greater, the tongue touches more of it and so it tastes more flavorful to the cat.
So if the flavor was not on the outside, a cat would not prefer one shape over the other.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Minka View Post
??? I do not avoid your posts in any way, I just don't read Every thread on TCS. I miss a lot of things here.

Now, what this shows, is not that the cats prefer the shape itself, but instead that because the disc shape's surface area is greater, the tongue touches more of it and so it tastes more flavorful to the cat.
So if the flavor was not on the outside, a cat would not prefer one shape over the other.
LOL, I was just kidding Minka I don't think anyone could keep up with every single post around this busy place
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I guess the jury's hung on this one... whether it's the shape or not, these new Nature's Variety turds sure are crumbly. Kitties are tolerating a 75/25% concoction of it, but I'm not crazy about the daily dump of the crummy mess left in their bowls!

No biggie really, just hope this one will stick.. and I found a $3 coupon on the NV website!
post #14 of 16
The barn cats get dry food for barn cats and they changed the shape but not the formuia - they wouldn't eat it; it went from a medium sized kibble to a smaller, rounded pellet shape. Have also noticed that Da Lip will/can only eat certain sized dry food - he loved the pelleted stuff because it was small. The barn cats also prefer looser tinned food, the sloppier the better
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
My cats LOVE the canned wet food. Once they see that can opener they flock to me, singing my praises and standing on their hind legs to get at the countertop.
post #16 of 16
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Picky cats & shape of kibble