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Help please as getting confused - Feeding advice needed please for my 4 month old kitten

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Annealise, Feb 19, 2019.


  1. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    The times I’ve had food my cat didn’t like they have suggested I give the leftovers to a shelter and they just refunded me the cost of the food :)
     
  2. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddy.

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    Smelling a rat?
    Compared to the fees most vets charge and the fact that most decent practices are always busy, I could be wrong but I would have thought that the profit on the sale of RC or any other wet or dry food for cats for that matter would hardly substantially swell a veterinary practice's coffers and I personally would never think of buying Jasper's food from his vets. Like most people with animals, I will shop around for the best price on a specific brand of food and I'd doubt that vets would be very competitive given the relatively low volume they would sell.

    I'm just not convinced that probably a substantial majority of vets across the veterinary industry are ALL ill-informed on nutrition and unaware of the alleged dangers of feeding cats dry food as is claimed by the wet food enthusiasts or that vets in general would recklessly recommend dry food solely for profit! It would be somewhat disingenuous to on one hand seek their help and advice for medical matters and then claim they don't know what they are talking about on the other with regard to nutrition/diet.
    If one is to infer that there is a conspiracy going on with regard to vets being in league with dry food manufacturers by recommending their products, then one has also got to include the possibility that wet food manufacturers are through wet food enthusiasts, also promoting and planting the seeds of doubt and concern that dry food is bad for cats.

    I confess I have a personal leaning toward feeding wet food where possible but I remain open minded and so far I've found insufficient in-depth scientific evidence to support the argument that dry food is entirely bad for cats and given that probably at the very least 100 million cats are fed this way throughout the world daily without issue, most of the arguments for feeding wet as opposed to dry are primarily anecdotal. I'm not saying that anecdotal evidence is entirely wrong as very often this type of evidence can be correct even if not supported by formal scientific evidence but caution should be applied.

    The issue for me is that by claiming that wet is better than dry without unequivocal evidence, it leaves those who perhaps like myself have no choice but to feed dry food to their cat, with the feeling they are abusing their cat by not feeding wet. The fact is that not all cats are alike...some may thrive on one type of food whilst others on another and so far, given Jasper's penchant to eating only dry as his primary food source, alsong with some supplements he is without issue and arguably thriving.
     
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  3. Saffy Cat

    Saffy Cat PetForums Member

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    @jasperthecat as for being judged for feeding dry, this is a valid concern. I would hope that others here would be supportive of your interest in feeding wet and understanding of the difficulties you face with a cat who only likes dry. When I look on other cat threads on other forums like like mumsnet, money saving.com I see the tone can be different so I might feel judged for spoiling my cat with what is sometimes referred to as posh food.

    My concerns with dry are actually about low moisture levels, low quality meat and content, sugars and indigestible fillers which are issues present in all the commercial dry foods such as Royal Canin etc.

    I don’t think the large pet food manufacturers are at arms length away from vet training during a vets university degree studies and further professional development. I believe this directly influences vet thinking more than any commission on sales (which I don’t think is a factor). Here are some example links on corporate sponsorship between RC and two universities and the BVA. I have just looked at Royal Canin in this instance (but others may also be involved).

    http://www.luvs.org.uk/royal-canin.html
    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/requ...3/120828 Response PetFoodAndTeaching.pdf.html
    https://www.bva.co.uk/professional-development/vets-tv/veterinary-view/tackling-dog-and-cat-obesity/

    @chillminx said that dry is about 10% moisture and that seems right to me. She also said raw chunks was about 60% moisture and that ground raw might be 70% moisture.

    She also said a mouse (which is the cats natural source of food) is 75% moisture.

    I imagine that dry food for cats is like a human who really likes eating toast, cereal, rice, pasta, bread, fries and crisps!

    I googled what the minimum moisture percentage that cats should be consuming in food and I came across a published source (book) that said that below 61% moisture content, the food is not hydrating for a cat. I can’t find that source now sorry.

    Commercial wet food is normally 80% moisture. If you have a cat like mine that doesn’t drink additional water than I think commercial wet food is the most appropriate option and then I have ingredient quality and budget to consider. Plus my cat (like many) has a preference for certain textures. If you have a cat that is happy to drink some water than maybe raw works, if your cat has no problems drinking water frequently then maybe they are fine with dry and won’t get dehydrated. My sisters cats had been eating dry for about 15 years until I told her about what I had learned about cat food. She is lucky because her cats were happier with the switch and she loved the softness in their fur. But I believe it’s common for others to be resistant and want only dry.

    I have been on a nutrition course run by Cats Protection (a nationwide charity) for staff and volunteers and they will in the vast majority of cases feed dry food for convenience, cost and hygiene in the shelter environment but their own stance is that wet food is encouraged wherever possible and that owners should feed the best that they can afford. As an organisation they don’t judge people who walk through their doors and their literature is neutral.

    https://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/block/EG04_Feeding_and_obesity.pdf
     
  4. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    I think also dry food for dogs and cats is part of western culture. We grow up with it in films and books, even if we don't have a pet, the pouring of dry food into a bowl is normal.
    I started with Biggles, half wet and half dry with a bit of raw, then reading concerns about dry, switched him to wet and supplement raw.

    I am not fully happy with commercial wet and try to mix it up to avoid too much of what may not be great in various brands, BPA in cans, vegetable oils etc.

    I don't feel I can go fully raw yet but I hope I am minimizing risk by variety.

    I think many who feed dry leave it out and if cats have that always available they may not make the switch. The additives to dry make it enjoyable to cats.
     
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  5. Saffy Cat

    Saffy Cat PetForums Member

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    Totally derailing this thread but I also want to add that if you google who manufactures the majority of supermarket food and the big commercial dry foods then you will see they all owned by massive international companies with huge market dominance and marketing budgets. Profit margins must be sizeable and profits are obviously going to be very important.

    Quality wet food is usually made by small independent companies. They supply to a growing and very profitable area of the pet food market where nutrition is being more important.

    Royal Canin = Mars Incorporated
    Hills Science Plan = Colgate Palmolive
    Purina = Nestle
    Whiskas = Mars Incorporated
    Felix = Mars Incorporated
    Sheba = Mars Incorporated

    Edit: probably quite concerning that these brands all add sugar to their cat food (or maybe not if their core business is known for confectionery!) when cats don’t have the taste buds for sugar but a cats brain responds to the addictive qualities anyway. I have written to a manufacturer before about glucose in their food and they say it is for palatabilty reasons.

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/strange-but-true-cats-cannot-taste-sweets/
     
    #45 Saffy Cat, Mar 14, 2019 at 10:28 AM
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 10:43 AM
  6. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddy.

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    Thank you for a balanced reply and I can't really disagree with your logic.
    I would however just add that I have been told unequivocally by posters on here in no uncertain terms that Jasper is and must be "chronically dehydrated" simply because he doesn't have an issue with drinking water. His fluid intake as far as I can see and according to his vets is ample for his needs and I would worry if he didn't drink sufficient water for his needs given his diet so I think that propagating a myth that a cat which drinks sufficient water must be chronically dehydrated is unhelpful and patently wrong to say the least.

    I also sometimes wonder if those who claim that cats which drink a reasonable amount of water must be dehydrated, are those same owners who let their cats roam and use their cat's fluid intake as a benchmark?
    I have several cats ( mostly unwelcome visitors but that's another story :)) regularly coming to my garden, each drinking substantial quantities of water from my pond...it could well be that their owners would believe wrongly that their cats don't need to drink very much water as they don't see them take a drink, when in fact they do drink water regularly but it's often from other unseen sources.
    The only real way of telling if a cat drinks sufficient or too much water is if they are house only cats and their water intake is measured accurately with no other access to fluid. We know how much Jasper usually drinks as we sterilise his feeding bowls twice per day and top them up with fresh food and water.

    Only in the early hours of this morning we caught Jasper sneaking a sly drink from my tea mug on the bedside table which I took to bed with me last night but didn't finish. Again he will often pop into the shower after we've used it and lick up a few drops. He has access to plenty of his own water or kitten milk so it's not as if has a raging thirst. He simply likes fluids. He has a dual bowl feeding station...on one side is his dry and the other his water. He will eat sufficient of his dry and then invariably have a drink to wash it down which is pretty logical really so cats drinking water is not in itself an overwhelming indicator of an underlying issue though it could be in some instances.
     
  7. Saffy Cat

    Saffy Cat PetForums Member

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    Litter box output (if the cat goes indoors) is a good indication of whether they are hydrated enough and expelling normally. Apparently two times daily, medium output. My cat does this, the clay clumps are normally half the size of my palm. The quality of the poo is also important

    https://www.pethealthnetwork.com/ca...ventive-care/cat-pee-101-my-cats-urine-normal
     
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  8. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddy.

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    Jasper is fairly regular with regard his poo which is usually once every 24 hours and while it is very consistent in texture, I would think it would be considered to be maybe slightly on the dry side by those who feed their cats wet food but he is generally in perfect health and extremely energetic and he also appears to urinate sufficiently when we occasionally use clumping litter and observe his output and is about consistent with the amount you describe.

    I think it all renders down to the fact that some cats will do better than others when fed on wet food just as some cats will thrive better on a diet of mainly dry food.
     
  9. Arny

    Arny PetForums Member

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    Cats on the whole don't have much of a thirst drive, that is a fact and why many will say a cat that is drinking is already dehydrated. I've read a cat needs 250ml+ on an all dry diet.
    My current cats are indoor and haven't drunk from their various water sources in the 10 months I've had them. Obviously I have fresh out at all times around the house but if I notice them actually drinking from them I know I'll have to monitor them as more often than not, for a cat on all wet, it'll indicate a health problem.

    I don't think anyone can say their cat is doing well on any food until you've looked long term and even then various health conditions may not be attributed to diet.
    Until the last few years of my last cat's lives I always fed felix and whiskers. 3 out of 4 of those cats developed hyperthyroidism. It may have affected so many because they were all related or it may have been their diet, particularly the relatively high sugar in these foods or a combination of the two.

    I'd always only fed wet purely for knowing the importance of the moisture content, it was only when I found the forum (which started me feeding better foods) that I found the other issues that can come with dry, high carb etc.
    Obviously you're in a tricky situation as your cat won't eat wet so of course making sure he doesn't starve is the priority.
    You say yourself you'd feed wet if he'd eat it so you agree to some degree that wet is beneficial.
     
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  10. Saffy Cat

    Saffy Cat PetForums Member

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    Your cat does seem to fall into that often cited category where they seem to roll along with dry and resist a different texture. It’s probably his personal preference and his personality may well be fixed now only on dry. I disagree with the word thrive sorry, as mentioned I think it’s like a human who only likes eating a carb laden diet. If dry is the only option then maybe you could look at higher quality kibble options if he can accept it gradually over time.

    For example, my friends cat throws up on wet and will only eat one type of dry. I hope that they don’t encounter issues with recipe changes as this can really limit options further. Cats normally like a bit of variety but I accept not all cats handle change.
     
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  11. Saffy Cat

    Saffy Cat PetForums Member

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    Domestic housecats are descendants of desert dwelling cats, most closely to the African Wildcat (which is almost indistinguishable from a tabbycat). Their biology hasn’t really changed.
    https://news.nationalgeographic.com...in-traced-to-middle-eastern-wildcat-ancestor/
     
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  12. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddy.

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    I would clearly prefer it if Jasper would eat a mix of foods rather than just mostly dry but he seemingly has a loathing for wet food. He loves raw minced steak and other cooked meats such as turkey or ham which we occasionally give him in small quantities so he isn't entirely a dry food only guy, but from his reactions he simply doesn't like the smell of commercial wet food and nothing will induce him to try it.
    He's actually the same if the mince we give him shows any sign of even marginally turning brown which is common when meat is exposed to air for even a short time. He's super sensitive to smells but surprisingly would eat cooked meats from currys or stews that we've cooked so it has to be something in the processing of wet food that he doesn't like. He'll often come to us for a taste of what we're eating and we'll maybe wash the cooked meat from our meal and he'll eat it with no problem.

    At the moment we have two kittens living with us as we are frantically deciding as to whether or not Jasper will accept another cat in the household and those kittens will eat virtually anything put in front of them which is an eye opener for me.
     
  13. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    How is Jasper getting along with the kittens @jasperthecat ? ;) Are you tempted to keep both the kits? :D I bet they are gorgeous!
     
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  14. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddy.

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    Ha...tempted yes but whether Jasper would approve of having another companion on a permanent basis we still aren't sure. One minute he's ok with them, then the next he will leap on them and start slapping them and holding them down. He's unpredictable and you just don't know how he will be with them. I would rather not keep one if it upsets Jasper as he was there first and comes first in our household and while we think he would benefit from another cat in the household if they could become friends, it wouldn't be fair on the kitten if it was always being intimidated and threatened by Jasper.

    One kitten will definitely be going over the weekend as there is a "suitable" potential owner coming to view them tomorrow or Saturday. My daughter is very strict about who she will allow her kittens to go to and the female sibling of the two male kittens which we have with us presently went last weekend to a lady who'd travelled nearly 7 hours each way just to get her. She was absolutely delighted and keeps sending my daughter daily updates.

    Either kitten will be an excellent choice for anyone...they have beautiful temperaments and very sociable indeed. When we first brought them home one was all over me but the smaller of the two was very timid and not comfortable with us but within two or three days he was much more confident and now as soon as we walk in where they're kept he is the first one to greet us and comes to us for cuddles and strokes when at first he wouldn't let us touch him. He even gets jealous if we stroke his brother.:D
    To compound the issue of choice, my OH and myself are divided on which to choose...she likes the originally shy one while I like the other and to make matters worse, Jasper can't make up his mind which if any he likes as he keeps changing his mind too.
    This is one of the hardest choices we've had to make...we love both and if we choose one, we will regret letting the other go as they both are so lovely but it's just not practical to have more than two cats or we would have kept both.:confused:

    Whatever happens, we are going to have regrets after this weekend.:(
     
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  15. jasperthecat

    jasperthecat My best buddy.

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    With respect and without wishing to be remotely adversarial, I would argue that you are in no position to state or disagree that Jasper isn't thriving unless you've visited him and he has been medically examined and assessed by a competent veterinary practitioner to confirm whether or not he is or is not thriving which as he has 6 monthly checks by his vet, has not been the case up to now.

    Jasper was the runt of the litter, not even expected to survive due to being so tiny at birth and had to be hand fed until he was strong enough to manage to feed himself as he was unable to feed from his mother. His siblings once capable, were all fed both wet and dry and had no issues but Jasper wouldn't eat wet food from when he was able to feed himself, though he would eat raw minced steak. He simply doesn't like wet food..
    He certainly hasn't just rolled along and resisted different textures, he's been like that virtually from birth and there have been literally 100s of occasions since then where we have tried and failed to tempt him with wet food and given his very difficult start to his life, he has grown into a perfect example of a healthy cat with no health issues whatsoever which if the wet food argument holds true then it is a complete miracle that he has survived, the idea of which quite frankly I simply don't subscribe to!

    The fact is that not ALL cats enjoy eating wet food and it is arguably wrong without evidence, to suggest that a cat isn't thriving just because it eats dry food as opposed to wet food and unless there is evidence to contrary, stating that a cat can't thrive on dry food, it is nothing more than speculation.
     
  16. Saffy Cat

    Saffy Cat PetForums Member

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    I still disagree about the use of the word thriving in relation to nutrition. Sorry if that pushed your trigger. I’ve not seen your cat just picking up on your descriptions.

    Unless I read incorrectly, I thought you were feeding him Royal Canin? The ingredients in Royal Canine are the equivalent of fast food for cats. Which is why I included links about sugar earlier...

    Anyway, not to worry. I will bow out of the conversation
     
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  17. Amanda Sturdy

    Amanda Sturdy PetForums Member

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    Have you tried grating some of the dry food on top of wet.I use thrive or cosma treats to tempt mine who is going through a somewhat fussy stage.I think if you can put it in simpler terms what raw and wet food do is try and mimic a cats natural diet working off the 80-10-10 ratio. I think this is why a lot of cat owners advocate raw or wet. I don't feed raw but I am a member of the crap group and it's got a lot of members. A lot of these have transitioned to raw because of health issues and the success stories show a dramatic change. It's worth joining to read all the different stories I find it really interesting from people from China,USA all over one word of advice don't mention kibble
     
  18. Annealise

    Annealise PetForums Junior

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    ‘ I smelt a rat’ : to be suspicious. It was ‘ a tongue in cheek’ jokey comment.

    I was informed recently by a good source, not long after my first visit to the vets that they are given incentives to promote and stock certain brands of dry food and that concerned me that’s all. I didn’t mention it previously as I didn’t want to get caught up in ethics. I don’t think there is anything wrong with feeding a cat a diet of dry food - RC is just not what I would personally chose based on my research and I didn’t like being advised that it was the ‘best’.....

    I am glad your cat has thrived and is healthy after being the runt of a litter.
     
    #58 Annealise, Mar 15, 2019 at 1:19 AM
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 1:41 AM
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  19. Annealise

    Annealise PetForums Junior

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    That’s very decent of them! I had visions of me paying to return heavy tins back to them
     
  20. Annealise

    Annealise PetForums Junior

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    Is it essential to have a grinder in order to prepare raw food?
     
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