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Should I give my Kitties snacks?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello!

I'm sensing that my cats need more nutritional foods than what I'm giving them. I have two adult cats. I give them a half a can (3 1/2 onces) of Iams each morning before I go to work and then the other half when I return at around 6:30 p.m. I often give them a half of cup of dry food before I go to bed.

Is it not-so-good to leave them during the day without more food?

I've never given them snacks or table scraps because I believe that it is bad for them and would create more "begging" behavior than they already have.

For years I gave them just dry food, but my one kitty had chronic diaherra. Once I changed to soft food, a miracle happened and she was right at rain.

The reason I'm asking is because one of my cats who never gets sick was vomiting up her food 3 nights in a row starting last week. One night it was just water. She hasn't vomited since but I'm concerned. I don't know if I should take her to the vet.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

post #2 of 18
Do you mean you give both cats 3.5 ounces in the morning or half of 3.5 ounces? I put out one 5.5 oz. can in the morning for the 2 kitties to share and about 1/4 - 1/3 cup dry food for them to nibble on during the day. (I've found that they usually eat the wet food and very little of the dry, but they do eat some of the dry.)

If your cats are begging for food, then I think they may be hungry and you are not feeding enough. The better quality food you give them the less they need and the better for them. Look at the foods your local store sells and check for by-products. I've recently switched our cats over to Merricks because it has no by-products. I tried several different kinds and Merrricks turned out to be the one they preferred.
post #3 of 18
I would leave dry food out for them to nibble on during the day.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Do you mean you give both cats 3.5 ounces in the morning or half of 3.5 ounces? I put out one 5.5 oz. can in the morning for the 2 kitties to share and about 1/4 - 1/3 cup dry food for them to nibble on during the day. (I've found that they usually eat the wet food and very little of the dry, but they do eat some of the dry.)

If your cats are begging for food, then I think they may be hungry and you are not feeding enough. The better quality food you give them the less they need and the better for them. Look at the foods your local store sells and check for by-products. I've recently switched our cats over to Merricks because it has no by-products. I tried several different kinds and Merrricks turned out to be the one they preferred.


foods without by products or excessive grains will often keep them fuller.. How much do your cats weigh??

slow down the transition ..
post #5 of 18
Was there anything in the food she spit up? i.e.. hair balls or something unrecognizable?
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Do you mean you give both cats 3.5 ounces in the morning or half of 3.5 ounces? I put out one 5.5 oz. can in the morning for the 2 kitties to share and about 1/4 - 1/3 cup dry food for them to nibble on during the day. (I've found that they usually eat the wet food and very little of the dry, but they do eat some of the dry.)

If your cats are begging for food, then I think they may be hungry and you are not feeding enough. The better quality food you give them the less they need and the better for them. Look at the foods your local store sells and check for by-products. I've recently switched our cats over to Merricks because it has no by-products. I tried several different kinds and Merrricks turned out to be the one they preferred.
They get one 3.5 onces per day for the both of them. Half of the can in the morning and then other half at night.

I think you're right. I need to start giving them a little more. The thing is that they don't get their wet food right away and I notice it will start to get dry. I guess I should just always make sure they have some dry food in the morning as well to balance them out throughout the day.

Thanks!
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky


foods without by products or excessive grains will often keep them fuller.. How much do your cats weigh??

slow down the transition ..

My one cat Chloe weighs 11 1/2 pounds and Gabby Girl weighs about 8 pounds. I will look into foods w/out by products. Do you have any food suggestions?

And what do you mean by slowing down the transition? Do you mean the times that I feed them?
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabby
They get one 3.5 onces per day for the both of them. Half of the can in the morning and then other half at night.

I think you're right. I need to start giving them a little more. The thing is that they don't get their wet food right away and I notice it will start to get dry. I guess I should just always make sure they have some dry food in the morning as well to balance them out throughout the day.

Thanks!
The food is probably spoiling then, that could be what made your cat sick. Wet food should not be kept out for long periods. I keep Dori's out for no longer than 20 minutes. Personally, and I do this with Dori, I would put the wet food down before you leave in the morning and then pick it up before you leave. Then keep dry food down during the day while you are at work. Give them the other half of the wet food can before bed, but pick it up before you go to bed.
post #9 of 18
About treats and begging:

Treats don't have to be bad things. I actually use wet food as
"treats" - and a small amount of tuna or chicken. I also make my
own chicken broth (just bones and water, no spices, no salt) and
use that as a treat (when cold, it's a gelatin.) I'm talking VERY
small bits and not necessarily every day. Treats can also be
the kinds of things you only find at vets and pet stores, rather
than the grocery store, that are designed to provide extra nutrition
and vitamins.

Treats are "loving" things to give. I also use them as rewards for
taking medicines well, etc. It makes everything run a bit smoother.

As for begging: I always train my cats to understand that unless
something is presented to them in their food dish or their "treat" dish,
it is not for them. I have a small set of saucers I use ONLY for
treats for the cats. I can put my dishes on the floor, and the cats
won't even sniff them. They know the words "I'm eating," and
they go way until I'm done eating. I can't stand it when animals
beg.

When we were first married, my husband didn't know about the
"treats only" dishes, and he used one for a sandwich. As soon
as he took the dish out, the cats came running -- they knew the
sound of THEIR plates. The sat there, looking at him, so clearly
saying "But ... you PROMISED!" that I had to laugh. Needless to
say, they got their treat, and he used a different plate.

Seriously, it can be done!

Carol
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by squirtle
The food is probably spoiling then, that could be what made your cat sick. Wet food should not be kept out for long periods. I keep Dori's out for no longer than 20 minutes. Personally, and I do this with Dori, I would put the wet food down before you leave in the morning and then pick it up before you leave. Then keep dry food down during the day while you are at work. Give them the other half of the wet food can before bed, but pick it up before you go to bed.
Half a 3 1/2 ounce can of food doesn't seem to be enough for me for 2 cats per meal.

I put the whole can out in the morning along with the wet food. The food is in a fairly cool place so I don't pick up the wet food before going to work. My cats haven't been sick so perhaps it isn't spoiling as fast as some others. They don't eat the whole can in 20 minutes - more like 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and I don't have time in the mornings to wait until they finish it so I just leave it as I go off to work. In the evenings I just leave it down until they are finished and have had no problems with that either. I would think it would take several hours for the food to go bad so I don't sweat it.
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Half a 3 1/2 ounce can of food doesn't seem to be enough for me for 2 cats per meal.

I put the whole can out in the morning along with the wet food. The food is in a fairly cool place so I don't pick up the wet food before going to work. My cats haven't been sick so perhaps it isn't spoiling as fast as some others. They don't eat the whole can in 20 minutes - more like 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and I don't have time in the mornings to wait until they finish it so I just leave it as I go off to work. In the evenings I just leave it down until they are finished and have had no problems with that either. I would think it would take several hours for the food to go bad so I don't sweat it.
I misread what was said.. I thought it was both cats getting that amount.
I give Dori 2.5 ounces of wet each morning and I free feed the dry.

As far as it spoiling though, I actually learned about that here on the site. I only keep it down for about 20 minutes or so and Dori usually finishes her food. Our kitchen is in direct sunlight for most of the day and I don't want to take any chances with the food spoiling. I did do a Google search and found that wet food shouldn't be left out in temps over 65 degrees for more than 30 minutes, and where we are the house never stays that cool Of course that's not to say all wet food will spoil, but when she mentioned the cat had an upset tummy the thought just came to mind.
post #12 of 18
If you are talking about cat treats not wet food as a treat, there isn't a whole lot of nutritional value in them. One member described treats once as potoato chips for cats which I htink is an accurate despription
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black&Tan
Was there anything in the food she spit up? i.e.. hair balls or something unrecognizable?
No, nothing I noticed. Just the wet food and then one night just spitting up water.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cflynt
About treats and begging:

Treats don't have to be bad things. I actually use wet food as
"treats" - and a small amount of tuna or chicken. I also make my
own chicken broth (just bones and water, no spices, no salt) and
use that as a treat (when cold, it's a gelatin.) I'm talking VERY
small bits and not necessarily every day. Treats can also be
the kinds of things you only find at vets and pet stores, rather
than the grocery store, that are designed to provide extra nutrition
and vitamins.

Treats are "loving" things to give. I also use them as rewards for
taking medicines well, etc. It makes everything run a bit smoother.

As for begging: I always train my cats to understand that unless
something is presented to them in their food dish or their "treat" dish,
it is not for them. I have a small set of saucers I use ONLY for
treats for the cats. I can put my dishes on the floor, and the cats
won't even sniff them. They know the words "I'm eating," and
they go way until I'm done eating. I can't stand it when animals
beg.

When we were first married, my husband didn't know about the
"treats only" dishes, and he used one for a sandwich. As soon
as he took the dish out, the cats came running -- they knew the
sound of THEIR plates. The sat there, looking at him, so clearly
saying "But ... you PROMISED!" that I had to laugh. Needless to
say, they got their treat, and he used a different plate.

Seriously, it can be done!

Carol

This is good advise. I'm going to try it. I really think that I need to "mix-it-up" a bit. Thanks.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
Half a 3 1/2 ounce can of food doesn't seem to be enough for me for 2 cats per meal.

I put the whole can out in the morning along with the wet food. The food is in a fairly cool place so I don't pick up the wet food before going to work. My cats haven't been sick so perhaps it isn't spoiling as fast as some others. They don't eat the whole can in 20 minutes - more like 1/2 hour to 45 minutes and I don't have time in the mornings to wait until they finish it so I just leave it as I go off to work. In the evenings I just leave it down until they are finished and have had no problems with that either. I would think it would take several hours for the food to go bad so I don't sweat it.
Oh, okay, thanks. I do notice that i take a good 45 minutes to eat there wet food too. They take a break and then go back for more. I'm going to start getting higher quality brands and mix it up. I'm definately going to start leaving some good dry food for them to snack on during the day
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom
If you are talking about cat treats not wet food as a treat, there isn't a whole lot of nutritional value in them. One member described treats once as potoato chips for cats which I htink is an accurate despription
I have to disagree! There are many wholesome, nutritious treats out there, good sources of quality protein with no junk such as colorings, artificial flavorings etc.
Treats can be used as part of a dietary regimen for cats with diabetes, as appetite stimulants for cats (i.e. I used a human grade chicken treat today to get Patrick eating on his own...was wonderful to see!), as rewards for training.

It just takes reading the ingredients list and/or looking for treats that list themselves as all natural, organic or human grade.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
I have to disagree! There are many wholesome, nutritious treats out there, good sources of quality protein with no junk such as colorings, artificial flavorings etc.
Treats can be used as part of a dietary regimen for cats with diabetes, as appetite stimulants for cats (i.e. I used a human grade chicken treat today to get Patrick eating on his own...was wonderful to see!), as rewards for training.

It just takes reading the ingredients list and/or looking for treats that list themselves as all natural, organic or human grade.
ITA! When Tigger first was diagnosed with CRF and we needed to
get nutrition into her, I was steered to my pet store for certain treats
that were high in taurine, since she was eating so little, what she
was eating was necessarily lower protein (for the kidneys) and taurine
is so vital!

Carol
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabby
This is good advise. I'm going to try it. I really think that I need to "mix-it-up" a bit. Thanks.
Oh, indeed! My cats have taught me that the "finicky cat"
syndrome is as much about boredom as it is anything else. What
Tigger would consider a great "treat" today was "meh" tomorrow,
while something "meh" last week was tomorrow's favorite. We
started getting things in small quantities so by the time she had
had something for a week it was done, and we could switch
to something else.

The tuna packets in envelopes that hold no more than 2-3 oz are
really nice! When I made my chicken broth, I would take empty
Lactase pill bottles (my husband is lactose intolerant and goes through
them) and fill them with the broth and then freeze them, so I could
defrost them one at a time. One bottle would last about a week.

The only thing that never grew old for Tigger was TUNA. But even
then, variety was the spice of life to her.

Good luck!

Carol
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