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I fed my cats canned food, now they won't eat anything else!

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I made the mistake of telling my wife to "treat" the cats to some canned FRISKIES a couple weeks ago. After only two days of that, they turn their nose up at the hard food I've been feeding them! I've been feeding them Tractor Supply Pro Cat Feed. I know I know, all you cat-lovers out there wanna stone me for feeding my kitties such inferior food but hey, they've never passed it up and always munch it down! Anyway, since the canned food disaster, I've tried 9-Lives, Meow Mix, Deli-Cat, Friskies, Purina One, and even Fancy Feast Gold bagged food. They'll eat a few bites then walk off. I thnk they're actually turning to the wild for help now (they're outside cats) because I've seen a few mouse carcases and the female loves eating beatles, helgramites, spiders, etc. Either way, what's a good food choice? I like the 9-Lives and Meow mix type food since it's so cheap, but they won't EAT it any more! Just FYI, one cat is a male (black/gray/striped/long-haired/fixed/7 yrs old) and the other is a female (black/white nose, white feet/fixed/3 yrs old), and the latest addition to the family is a little orange female kitten that has picked up on the grown cats' eating habits. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thanks!
post #2 of 23
Honestly, it's better for your cats to eat mostly wet food so I wouldn't try to change their habits at all. Cats are very prone to kidney and urinary tract problems and eating mostly canned food protects them against this.

However, it is really important that they eat good quality food no matter what they are eating. Think of it this way: McDonald's tastes great and it's cheap too but no one will say it's healthy to eat all the time! Just look at the ingredients label of the cat food to know if it's a good food to feed your cats. By-products from unidentified animals, "animal digest" (scary to even think about!), corn gluten meal - these ingredients may be cheap but you get what you pay for. Buy food with better ingredients (no meat by-products or any ingredients where you can't tell exactly what animal/plant it came from, and no ingredients you can't pronounce or letters like BHT where you don't know what the letters stand for) in big bags and cans and you will have healthier cats and cheaper vet bills in the long run. Plus if you buy bigger containers you will be surprised to find that you aren't spending as much as you feared you would be.
post #3 of 23
You want to stay with quality food and not cheap foods. The commercial brands you mentioned are heavily dyed, and the dyes are not good for the cats. It is also not a good idea to keep switching foods all the time, can cause tummy problems and diarrhea. Find one good quality food and stick with it. I feed both wet and canned and my cats used to be inside/outside cats but now they live inside an enclosure. It is a lot safer for them and I get better sleep knowing they are safe. I feed Royal Canin, and Iams for my crew as well as Fancy Feast.
post #4 of 23
Okay, second try to post my reply. I agree - let them continue to eat a canned food diet, it is better for them in the long run. To the list of "to look for" and "to avoid", I'd add avoid artificial colors and flavorings, any sugars, ground or cracked or whole corn (corn gluten is okay by me so long as it is not the sole or most prevalent protein source). Real meat (or meat or poultry meal) should be the first ingredient...plain and simple ingredients list is best You know...ingredients one can pronounce and recognize.
post #5 of 23


where do you buy the cats food??? many "feed" stores have premium foods at low prices.. canned is good for kitty
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
THANKS! Yea, I buy from a feed store, or farmer's market. As I said, they always liked the Friskies hard food until they ate the canned stuff. IF I'm gonna stay with hard food (takes less time to feed 'em - I know, I'm more lazy than even my cats) are you saying that Friskies, 9-Lives, etc. are bad-news? Iams is available at the feed store, but is costs twice as much. I'm not a cheap-skate, but is Iams and Fancy Feast really worth two or three times as much as the other name-brand foods? One more thing, I feed my cats once in the morning, and once in the evening. Am I spoiling them by feeding them too much and would that be why they've become so picky? I want them to be happy, and I know that eating makes me happy, so if Iams is really worth the premium price, I'll do it. THANX again for all the replies!
post #7 of 23
Hi, no twice a day if you are not free feeding (which if you are not feeding dry food, you can not really do) is not too much at all.

Iams is not worth the expense, if the ingredients include by-products..however not all the formulas do (i.e. their canned beef and their canned catfish do not).

Just do a good browse using the avoid and look for lists we gave you, and then buy the best that you can afford.

Fancy Feast also uses by-products in some (not all) of it's formulas, but there is simply something about this line of foods, it's usually well received
post #8 of 23
My babies eat Fancy Feast canned food and they love it. To me it is most definitely worth the cost. I also pay to have Petsmart ship their dry food here and they will nibble the dry food at night while we sleep and a couple times a day they get canned with their dry. They love both their dry (Nutro for kittens) and the Fancy Feast canned food. The cost to me is well worth it.
post #9 of 23
Iams isn't worth the cost - its ingredients are better than 9 Lives (which is absolute frightening garbage), but still not good. But at a pet specialty store, you can buy much better quality food for about what you would pay for Iams. Now that is well worth the price.

Pretty much everything you need to know about cat food, you can tell by reading the ingredients. If an ingredient sounds scary, you can safely bet that it is scary.
post #10 of 23
What I would do is try mixing the canned food with the wet food and increasing the amount of dry food being added or moistened the dry food and see if they eat it. I agree in feeding a better quality food they will actually eat less as it is more filling. Plus the Grocery store stuff has all those dyes in them to make them appealing (cats are color blind) and the dyes stain the carpeting if they vomit!!
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, fellow feline-freeaaaks! I bought some Iams dry food yesterday and here are the results: Gray (the 7yr-old male) ate for a total of five seconds. Blacky (the 3yr old female) sniffed and walked off. Brownie (the kitten) ate one or two kibbles, walked off, and came back eating a cricket (I got the hint!) Out with the Iams, in with Purina One. Same derned thing. They just aren't digging the hard food any more. They ate almost all of the hard Fancy Feast I gave them, but not at one sitting. The Friskies caned food I bought was ultra-well received by all three of them. They eat until its all gone. I've noticed the Fancy Feast comes in a lot smaller can than Friskies. Is it just as filling or is it just less bang for the buck? Also, should I feed them each a whole can of food each time I feed them (twice a day?) THANKS again for all your help, folks.
post #12 of 23
The Fancy Feast is more expensive...some of it's flavors are actually quite good, but many have by-products, which Friskies does as well. I would say the main reason folks feed Fancy Feast is the tremendous variety of flavor combos and textures that they offer, cats seem to love this brand.

The amount you feed each at each meal depends on the food itself - each food should have a recommendation (i.e. with Fancy Feast it's by weight - I believe one can for every 3 lbs. the cat weighs - so a 9 lb. cat would be fed 3 cans per day - which could be split into two feedings easily.

I don't recall what Friskies feeding guidelines are, so you'll have to just check the can label, and get a weight for each cat (or good estimated weight).
post #13 of 23
Wet food is better for the cat than dry food; therefore, if your budget and lifestyle can afford it, I say let 'em stick to the wet stuff!

Here are two links from the Little Big Cat website explaining why wet food is better:

Why Cats Need Wet Food

Does Dry Food Clean the Teeth?
post #14 of 23
I wouldn't feed each of them a whole can. I would divide one can between the three of them (morning and evening) and leave the dry food out for them to eat if they get hungry in between.
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thankye! I would divide the food up and leave the dry out for them but there's a BIG problem - I live out in the woods, a couple hundred yards off the road. There's coons, possums, bobcats, etc. (that's right, BOBCATS) that would just love me for leaving all that food out for them. The problem is that I can't satisfy every animal out there, racoons & possums are ungrateful punks, and bobcats are like "Arnold Schwartzekitties." That's why my wife feeds em' in the morning, and I feed 'em in the evening when I get home and usually hang out with them while they eat. I've observed something in the last few days. Fancy Feast is their favorite by a long shot (dry or wet). They loath Iams dry and about everything else besides Friskies wet. Something else that blows me away is that the kitten eats as much if not more than my full-grown cats! She'd eat the CAN if her teeth were sharp enough! Thanks again!
post #16 of 23
Dear jacobs454,
You will actually save money in vet bills in the long run if you feed your cats
"human grade" cat food such as Wellnes, Prairie, and Wysong. Check out
local healthy pet pantry stores in your area. They often give discounts
to frequent buyers and you will keep your cats healthy for years! It will really
make you sick when you see the vet bills come if you keep on feeding them
junk food in the grocery store.

Wishing you and your cats the best
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobs454
Thankye! I would divide the food up and leave the dry out for them but there's a BIG problem - I live out in the woods, a couple hundred yards off the road. There's coons, possums, bobcats, etc. (that's right, BOBCATS) that would just love me for leaving all that food out for them. The problem is that I can't satisfy every animal out there, racoons & possums are ungrateful punks, and bobcats are like "Arnold Schwartzekitties." That's why my wife feeds em' in the morning, and I feed 'em in the evening when I get home and usually hang out with them while they eat. I've observed something in the last few days. Fancy Feast is their favorite by a long shot (dry or wet). They loath Iams dry and about everything else besides Friskies wet. Something else that blows me away is that the kitten eats as much if not more than my full-grown cats! She'd eat the CAN if her teeth were sharp enough! Thanks again!
Young kittens need to eat 3-4 times a day. They are growing and have a fast metabolism. Did you know the best food for a cat is mice? They have
the perfect ration of nutrients for cats. Grown cats eat twice a day.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Something else that blows me away is that the kitten eats as much if not more than my full-grown cats! She'd eat the CAN if her teeth were sharp enough! Thanks again!
It's normal for your kitten to eat more than your adult cats right now. Kittens need to be fed 3-4 times a day while they're still growing. When your kitten is about 6 months old you can go to 2 feeding a day though. I can remember when I brought one of my cats home from the shelter (at 6 weeks old). I was feeding her canned food 4 times a day (plus dry kitten food in between). She would eat 1/4 of a 5.5 ounce can 4 times a day and still be hungry! I couldn't believe that a 1.5# kitten could eat that much! My adult cats only get 1/4 of a can twice a day (and they don't even finish all of it). The eating will slow down though once your kitten is done growing. I think they're kind of like growing teenagers when they're kittens (always hungry).
post #19 of 23
If you can find some of the Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul food, you might try a small bag of that to see if your cats like it. It is an excellent cat food and not as expensive as many of the better quality foods.

From what I've seen and heard, cats either really love it or don't like it at all, but spending a bit on a small bag to find out would be worth your while.

I just purchased some Life's Abundance Food for my cats to try and this is the first time I've had something that they all seem to really love.
It can be found through the following link.
http://www.healthypetnet.com/product...lname=10075438

The funny thing is, I ordered some Innova Lite from my usual place and they are no longer allowed to sell it out of their area because of the Natura Pet rules for distrubutors. I called and asked them if they couldn't make an exception because there is no one near me with a store or online site I could purchase from and I like shopping online where I can print up my receipt rather than phone orders. They refused so I said I'll just have to buy Wellness or another brand then.

I ended up getting a large bag of Felidae, (pretty well received), Wellness which I know they like and decided to try the Life's Abundance. I am thinking of writing and asking the Life's Abundance people if they have put some sort of drug in their food to entice the cats to eat it because like I said I've never seen them all chow down on the same dry food with such relish.

I will surely be putting myself on their auto-ship program the next time I order.

My cats have always been little pigs for wet Friskies and I am in the process of cutting them back on the wet a bit. I am still giving them wet, but down to two cans in the morning, (for 8 cats), and two in the evening instead of the 3 - 4 twice a day they had been eating.

Ever since I joined TCS I've been on a quest to find a good quality food that they all would like and I think I've finally realized my goal.

My new goal is to help my Nugie get some of the fat off that he's acquired since moving in. Hopefully before his next vet appointment so I don't have to be entirely embarrassed. LOL

Anyone looking for a good cat food.... give the Life's
Abundance a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Excuse my ignorance, but I always thought the ONLY place to buy cat food was at grocery stores and feed stores here in Mayberry! Of course I knew it was available at pet stores, etc., but I thought it was all pretty much the same. As long as the cats liked it, I bought it. There aren't any big pet stores around here, so I'll probably go on-line to try some of these "human-grade" foods out. By the way, is it a bad idea to feed the cats tuna every day? Every time in the past when I would treat them to a can, they'd scroff it up faster than you could through the lid away! As for the kitten, I have a problem there...I'm not home all day. I only have time to feed them when I leave, and when I get home. So how can I feed the kitten more than twice a day? PLUS, Gray or Blacky steal the scene when its feeding time (she's kind of intimidated by them), so either I feed all of 'em, or none of 'em. Thanks again!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobs454
Excuse my ignorance, but I always thought the ONLY place to buy cat food was at grocery stores and feed stores here in Mayberry! Of course I knew it was available at pet stores, etc., but I thought it was all pretty much the same. As long as the cats liked it, I bought it. There aren't any big pet stores around here, so I'll probably go on-line to try some of these "human-grade" foods out. By the way, is it a bad idea to feed the cats tuna every day? Every time in the past when I would treat them to a can, they'd scroff it up faster than you could through the lid away! As for the kitten, I have a problem there...I'm not home all day. I only have time to feed them when I leave, and when I get home. So how can I feed the kitten more than twice a day? PLUS, Gray or Blacky steal the scene when its feeding time (she's kind of intimidated by them), so either I feed all of 'em, or none of 'em. Thanks again!
Cat food with tuna fine everyday... for the most part ... human tuna no it can cause viatimin deficiencies ... I do some "human grade " but find a good natural food that can be readily found works as well if not better since some human grade stuff is grain heavy or has by products ..
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
I read earlier about CHICKEN SOUP hard food. Is that a pretty good brand of food? I don't care what it costs, as long as they'll just EAT it!
post #23 of 23
chn soup is good a bit grain heavy but good... figure out what flavors of wet they like and find a dry in that ...
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