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Dietary Overhaul

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Kesai, May 5, 2019.


  1. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    I will be getting a 12 week old kitten soon. The breeder will start her on a wet food that I don't want to use. Practically I will need to feed her a combo of wet and dry food. For the dry food I will go with Acana. For the wet I will go with Animodo Carny Kitten (just meat and calcium carbonate) and ZiwiPeak. I have also considered going with a raw food Mush Vaisto but I am not sure at what age you can safely introduce raw food. When can I start to transition her to the new diet? Should I start by introducing the wet or dry food first? And how long do I wait between? Can I do it at the same time?
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @Kesai and welcome :)

    Always introduce one new food at a time, and don't introduce a second new food for at least 3 weeks after the first new food you introduce.

    My advice is to keep the kitten on the food she is used to for at least several weeks so she has time to settle in a little bit to her new home. Otherwise there are too many changes going on at once and it can be overwhelming to the little one, with the risk she may get diarrhoea.

    When you introduce the first new food, give her a teaspoonful of the wet (less than that if you start off with the dry) and serve it on a separate dish to her usual food. If she eats it and there is no upset tummy then increase the amount of the new wet food next day to 2 teaspoonfuls. If she is OK then next day give her one tablespoonful of the new food and reduce the usual food by the same amount. And so on, until the usual food is gradually discontinued.

    If you're experienced with raising kittens you'll be prepared for the fact she may not like the foods you hope to feed her (A/Carny, Ziwipeak and Acana dry). It is often trial and error finding foods each kitten will eat with enjoyment. But persevere :)

    Some people feed their kittens raw food from a few weeks old. There's no reason why you couldn't transfer her onto raw after the few weeks required for her to settle in. I'd introduce raw the same way as I introduce any new food, i.e starting with a teaspoonful, alongside her usual food. etc
     
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  3. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the tips! Do you think it would be better to introduce the wet or dry food option first? I think my husband would say dry for the sake of convenience but I am concerned that the breeder's intended food contains sugar and I am afraid that could put her off healthy choices just like it does with children. Finding a healthy brand of wet kitten food here is very challenging so I will have to order those online. There is, however, a really good raw food option available locally which is why I wondered if I shouldn't start with it because I have easy access.

    I have never raised a kitten myself. I had kittens as a child but then I was not the primary caregiver. I do know that our cat Garfield was addicted to the cheap, dry food my mom used and wouldn't eat anything else. We had a different cat that was like a vacuum cleaner if you dropped anything edible or potentially edible on the floor he would suck it right up ( that was a different sort of challenge and probably a result of being raised with dogs). As for my myself I have cared for both finicky eaters and adventurous ones (not cats though). I have several healthy back up brands encase the first ones fail to entice. My options are somewhat limited by location. The goal is to offer her healthy choices and the hope is that we will find some foods that she enjoys.
     
    #3 Kesai, May 6, 2019
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  4. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    Also I should mention I looked into the food she will be using not only does it contain sugars it is not even a kitten food to begin with it is for ages 1-7 so I am confused to say the least.
     
  5. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Why feed any dry at all? It's that bad for cats, I don't see the point in even getting started with it and having to deal with the addiction and the health issues that come with it.

    If you need to feed meals at times you aren't home use a timed feeder that keeps the food fresh and pops open when you want it to. Train kitten to it first of course.

    Raw can be started at any age after weaning.
     
  6. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    If the raw is okay I think I would like to simplify to just the mush. I don't really want to use dry myself but there is concern about smelly food (my husband has serious problems with his appetite and stomach) and just dry food can be left out if ever there is a reason for that.
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Well, raw doesn't smell at least. But you don't need kibble for needing to leave food to fill in a gap of time. That's what the timed feeders are for. They come with ice packs, or you can use your own :)
     
  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    As well as the timed auto-feeders that lorilu recommends, there is also a motion operated feeder called the Surefeed sealed pet bowl that would be useful in your circumstances. When closed it is tightly sealed and no food smells escape. (I can vouch for that, having a sensitive nose myself :)). It opens as the cat goes to it and closes after the cat moves away. If you have dogs, you could feed the kitten on a worktop out of reach of the dogs.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C49G...&pd_rd_r=11ba3201-6ff0-11e9-a05f-4f45dc04a7a8
     
  9. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    Oh thank you I did not know there were such advanced food dispensers available! (I am living under a rock) I will definitely check those out ASAP =) I don't have dogs or anything I do have an 11 year old daughter but somehow I don't think she would eat the cat's food.
     
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  10. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    :JoyfulLOL.

    Just to add, if you get one of the motion operated pet bowls, note that it will open when anyone goes past it (cat or human) so place it in a spot out of the way of the human 'traffic' to stop it constantly opening and closing.

    Once the kitten is microchipped you could get her a Surefeed microchipped feeder which will read your cat's microchip and only open for her when she is right up to it.These feeders are also very tightly sealed when closed.
     
  11. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    The breeder will have a microchip implanted before I bring her home =) I am reading some reviews right now. I want to be able to use it with the raw food so well-sealed, back up batteries, and ice packs are all desired features.
     
  12. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Batteries - no worries there, the microchip feeder takes multiple batteries and the power lasts for about a year. You get a warning when the battery life is low (a red flashing light on the feeder) and this gives plenty of time (days) in which to fit new batteries.

    They don't have ice packs with them, but you could put ice packs around the sides. A friend of mine feeds her cat room temperature raw food for his breakfast and puts frozen raw food into the microchipped feeder for later on, so it takes an hour or two to defrost.

    The autofeeder battery (it's one AA) lasts about a year, but there is no warning when it is about to run out. I check the level every week, with one of those battery tester things. :)
     
  13. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    What are the brand names of the feeders that you are the most impressed by?
     
  14. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    The SurePetCare feeders are brilliant, and have excellent customer service (should you need advice). I have had these feeders (one for each cat) since they first came out about 4 years ago. This is their website, but shop around before buying as there are licensed sellers (e.g. amazon or Fetch ) selling it cheaper.

    https://www.surepetcare.com/en-gb/pet-feeder/microchip-pet-feeder

    The autofeeder I have had in regular use for my cats (past and present), for about 25 years and it is still going strong. It is made by Cat-Mate. They also make one that comes with ice packs.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cat-Mate-C20-Automatic-Feeder/dp/B0002YHUPC/ref=sr_1_3?crid=38M2G8895MLYL&keywords=cat+mate+c20+automatic+pet+feeder&qid=1557148953&s=gateway&sprefix=Catmate+C20+,aps,134&sr=8-3
     
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  15. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    So I have decided I want to offer a variety of high quality wet foods. I know that when switching between brands you have to introduce the food gradually but when it is the same brand of food but a different flavor do you also need to gradually introduce it?
     
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  16. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Yes. Great decision! Once the food is introduced over a week or so it can be added to the rotation, then start on the next.
     
  17. SbanR

    SbanR PetForums VIP

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    Yes, because the recipe will vary slightly
     
  18. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    Okay thanks! Just wanted to be sure =)
     
  19. Amanda Sturdy

    Amanda Sturdy PetForums Member

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    Oh gosh I did'nt do it with flavours of the same brand.I got Bobbie off royal canin dry quite easily I just counted them and gave her less and less every day plus I did not let her free feed I put her wet down first also royal canin and then dry after that.Yesterday she ate macs for breakfast ,ziwipeak for brunch and granatapet for supper.I find crumbling or grating freeze dried treats on top works you could grate the kibble on top.
     
  20. Kesai

    Kesai PetForums Junior

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    I have read that switching between different high quality wet foods doesn't cause the same level of GI distress as going from wet to dry or dry to wet because the main cause of stomach issues is grains. Some cats can be allergic to like beef or fish but once you've established that they don't have an allergy the transitions probably are a little more straight-forward. Anyhow it sounds like everything worked out for you. I have a hard time believing that they could ever survive on the same exact meal everyday. I can think of some healthy meals but not one that hits every single requirement so I think variety is best. Also I think variety helps prevent some allergies and probably keeps them from developing an extra sensitive stomach in the first place. Growing up my mom fed our cat exactly the same brand and flavor his whole life and then when he needed to switch for medical reasons he was unable and died shortly after =(. I am planning on using 2 of the 3 foods you are using. Are you happy with them? I have never heard of Granatapet so I am guessing it isn't available in Sweden. Is that your kitty in the image? I am getting a Scottish Straight. Royal Canin is huge in Sweden and I am not impressed by the ingredients I just don't get it but all the breeders use it.
     
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