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Help! Tuna Junkie

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by minch, Mar 29, 2011.


  1. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    I am new to this forum and urgently need some advice. I have always been feeding my cat Almo nature dried food during the day and a tin of Almo nature chicken mornings and evenings. I eventually started giving her a tin of Almo Nature tuna every now and again, which very quickly turned into a regular thing as she decided she didnt want to eat the chicken anymore. Now my cat just picks at the chicken and usually doesnt even finish the small tin (70g) And I have given in to feeding her a tin of the Almo Nature tuna almost every evening. My eyes have recently been opened to the fact that I could be killing my cat with this diet and I am desperatly trying to get her onto a high quality complete wet food. But I think I have created a monster!

    I have been trying to mix a bit of new food in with the tuna, starting very slowly with a teaspoon at a time, but she either won't touch the tuna/new food mix at all or she will just eat around the area where the new food is and leave that bit behind. She will still eat a bit of the Almo Nature chicken but rarely finishes the tin and if I mix the new food in with that, she wont touch the chicken/new food mix at all and just walks away. This has been going on for a week now and my cat is barely eating. I am also trying to replace the Almo Nature dry with Applaws by adding ittle bits of Applaws at a time to her dried food. But she really dislikes this as well and is not eating enough dry food to get enough nutrition and calories.

    From reading through these forums I can see that I am not alone with this problem. Has anyone successfully weaned a tuna junkie off of tuna? How did you manage to do it? Does anyone have any advice how I should go about it, is there any particular brand of food that is a nice, smelly tuna replacement?

    I have tried the Bozita crab and the shrimp flavours. She doesnt like it mixed in with the tuna but she will eat about a tablesppon of Bozita on its own but after that she walks away and wont touch the stuff again. I have also tried Sheba, Animonda Carney, and Grau. She is not happy with any of them. Am i just confusing my cat by offering differnt foods all the time, should I rather just stick with one type of new food and hope she eventually gets used to it?

    Perhaps I am also overdoing it by trying to change her dried food at the same time? Eventually I would like to get her off of the dried food alltogether but for now I would like to at least get her onto a grain free dried food.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I really want to wean my cat off of tuna as quickly as possible but dont want to starve her either.
     
  2. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Hello Minch, welcome to the forum. :)

    Personally, I think you are trying to change too many things at once. Considering that she eats the Almo Nature Dry I would leave her on that while you try to change her wet food over to something that is complete. At least that way she is getting nutrients in her.

    My hunch is that she is probably now stuck on both the tuna taste and the shredded meat texture. Still I am surprised that even a slow change over is not fooling her. The other thing you could try is to make up some tuna water and drizzling some of that on her food. You can make this water easily using a tin of tuna and a tuppaware. Just decant the tin of tuna (ideally in spring water not oil) into the tuppaware, add some more water, and store in the fridge. When the water gets a little low just keep topping it up. If that ruse works then over time just use less and less.

    The other solution would be to use something like Porta 21, which is also mainly tuna based but it at least is complete (apart from not having enough taurine and not having enough fat - but you can add both). The texture is more fillets, not shreds like the Almo Nature but it may still appeal. They also do a couple of chicken ones, a kitten one that is perhaps the most complete of them all, and a holistic range is also good in terms of nutrients and analysis.

    Once you have her on that then you can try moving her over to some other food. I just think that the change over from tuna shreds to something pate is a step too far.

    Once she is eating the wet food you want her to eat - which might well take a while - then change the dry.
     
  3. Chez87

    Chez87 PetForums VIP

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    Hobbs, what about Smilla tuna flavours? They are very tuna-ey but still complete?
     
  4. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Oh good thinking Chez87 but the texture may be a bit iffy. Worth a try though!

    Minch, before you splash out on trying some Smilla Tuna, I am sure we have a tin or so floating about amongst members of this forum to send you to try. :)
     
  5. Doolally

    Doolally PetForums Senior

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    Hi-life is 60% fish and the tuna one is the same sort of texture as almo nature I think - as is pets at home purely tuna sachets and both are complete.

    My cats like the above (and almo nature) but they don't like smilla :rolleyes::
     
  6. Chez87

    Chez87 PetForums VIP

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    I used my last can on the weekend! :( But it's quite popular so hopefully somebody has one spare, worth a try I think.
     
  7. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Gosh, I keep forgetting about HiLife! And then I guess there is also the tesco one - finest or luxury or whatever it is.
     
  8. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much! Trying to find the right food, besides being stressful, is such an expensive excersise! Might as well be flushing money down the toilet. But it will be worth it if I can get her on to a healthy, complete food.
     
  9. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    Hobbs thanks for the advice. I will try the tuna water trick. I am also astounded that she immediately spots if there is even a teaspoon of something else mixed in her food. She almost seems offended. All I can think of is that the smell is just too different. Hence I am looking for something more "fishy" smelling. And you are right. It is probably just too much for her to have to deal with a change in dried food too. Think this is going to take a lot of patience. I have just been reading loads of horror stories on giving too much tuna to a cat so am worrying quite a bit about giving her tuna every day.

    Will keep you posted how it goes with the tuna water ruse!
     
  10. Cloudygirl

    Cloudygirl PetForums VIP

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    you could also try the purely tuna I believe thats complete too or how about feline fayre. My cats are absolutely crazy for the tuna and white meat pouches. With feline fayre black pouches are complete, green aren't.
     
  11. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    Well, I went to pets at home this afternoon and picked up some Purely Tuna and some Hi-Life tuna flakes. Decided to test out the Hi-LIfe first as Doolally mentioned that it is a similar texture as the Almo Nature. And wow, she just went crazy for it! I actually then gave her a tablespoon of the High-Life on it's own and she gobbeled it right up! What on earth do they put in that stuff?

    Doolally, thanks for the tip! I would never have thought to try out Hi-Life. Although it is still Tuna and looking at the ingredients, "tapicoa starch" sounds a bit suspect, but at least it's a complete food and my kitty is eating it. Hope she doesn't turn into a Hi-Life Junkie now :p

    Hobbs, I had a look at their website for the 170g tin of Tuna Flakes and they list the following, what do you think?

    Sunflower Oil, Vitamin & Mineral Supplements, Tapioca, Fish Oil, Seaweed Extract, Chicory Extract, Green Tea Extract. With natural antioxidant (EC
    additive)

    Protein 20.0%, Oils & Fats 2.5%, Fibre 0.5%, Ash 2.0%, Moisture 78.0%, Vitamin A 2,200 IU/kg, Vitamin D3 250 IU/kg, Vitamin E (as Alphatocopherol) 50.0 IU/kg, Copper (as Cupric Sulphate) 1.0 IU/kg
     
  12. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Yay, great news. The challenge at the minute is to find a complete food that she likes eating. Commercial cat food that is fish based is actually not that different from meat in terms of the vitamins, minerals etc and the possible problem of heavy elements (which is one of the reasons why people advise against feeding raw/cooked fish more than once week or once every two weeks) is controlled for.

    However, tuna is still a problem because it is a strong tasting one, which makes the fussy eaters.

    So, you hopefully have overcome the first hurdle by finding a complete tuna food (yay to doolally!). The next step will be to mix in other flavours to wean her off the tuna. Then it is up to you whether you want to work on changing the food to one that is even better (but probably a different texture, such as pate).

    The info Hilife provide is fine (though they don't mention how much calcium/phosphorus etc it contains). Perhaps a little low on fat but you are still feeding her some dry food too, right?
     
  13. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Hobbs and yes, at this stage I am still leaving dried food out for her during the day. So hopefully that should take care of the fat content then. I Definitely do want to eventually get her eating a high meat content, quality food and take her off the dry completley. But I guess it's one step at a time and for now just need to hope she keeps on eating the hi-life. :)
     
  14. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    This cat is driving me to drink! I was so pleased that she seemed to have accepted the Highlife. Yesterday morning she quite happily ate about two tablespoons of it mixed in with her tuna. In the afternoon, I came home to see that she hadnt touched her dried food and and she turned her nose up at the tuna/highlife mix;wouldnt touch it. I offered her plain tuna and she wouldnt touch that either; offered her plain highlife - no go. Then tried highlife with the Tuna-water ruse. That didnt work either. :mad:

    I then just left various different bowls out for her. By 9pm she hadnt touched any of it and just nibbled a litle mouthful of dried food. Before bedtime I tried again, this time with some Bozita with a bit of the tuna-water over it. She would only eat it when i offered it to her on my hand. She ended up eating about 30g of Bozita hand fed. So in 12 hours she had only eaten about 90g of wet food and a mouthful of dried. This morning again, she would not touch the highlife or tuna in any combination. All she would eat was again about 30g of Bozita with Tuna-water and only by hand.

    This afternoon I picked up some of the Sheba tuna and shrimp in the dome as she sometimes likes that. Mixed a tablespoon of Bozita with Tuna water in with it and she wouldnt touch it from the bowl, but ate a bit out of my hand. What is up with the hand-feeding? Should this be nipped in the bud? And I am worried about the small amounts that she is eating as she doesnt seem to want her dried food either. (have stopped putting the applaws in it) So far today she has only eaten about 60g of food.

    I have read that a 8-9 pound cat needs to eat about 30 calories per pound per day in order to avoid hepatic lipidosis but cant really find the calorie content of the foods. Is 80 - 100g of wet food per day and about 20g of dried enough?

    So to make a long story short, is my cat just being a prima donna? Should I be worried about how little she is eating and pander to her whims or just leae the food down and hope for the best? I'll be an alcoholic if this goes on for too long!:cryin:
     
  15. Dante

    Dante PetForums VIP

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    Sounds like my two about a month or 2 ago.. Had one that refused to eat completely what they'd been eating happily since they were tiny and the other would refuse until I offered it to him on a spork. Soo frustrating!

    Thankfully for me changing the food helped though, so I truly sympathise at how annoying it must be getting for you :(

    Sorry I can't offer any advice regarding calories etc. Hopefully someone will be along who can :)
     
  16. minch

    minch PetForums Newbie

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    *sigh* I really didnt realise how frustrating and difficult changing my Maia's diet was going to be. I have been reading that one just has to keep at it. Even if it is only a teaspoon at a time, even if a bit of the new food is just put out on a plate next to the old food. Apparantly the goal is to get the cat used to seeing and smelling the new food. Eventually the new food will become more familiar and the cat will be more inclined to try it. This process can take several weeks and in some cases even months. In the meantime Maia is eating her dried food again and sometimes she accepts the tuna with a teaspoon of new food mixed in other times she wont. I think patience and perseverence is the key. I have decided to persevere and keep at it. Am determined to get Maia onto a healthier diet of quality wet food. And it's good to know that there are some understanding people on this forum who won't mind if I throw a wobbly every now and again :)

    Here is a link to a very interesting article on transitioning cats to Wet Food.

    Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health
     
  17. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Sorry, just caught up with this thread - not sure why I didn't see your update.

    TBH, it was probably too much change too quickly - they can start dragging their paws. Go back to the start and make any changes slowly. And yes, there is loads of good advice on that site.

    It will be a struggle to get her off the tuna but take it easy, persevere and I'm sure you will get there. :)
     
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