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I'm weaning my cats off of wet food. Any advice? I'm really scared. I've

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 05:59 PM
Original message
I'm weaning my cats off of wet food. Any advice? I'm really scared. I've
been attacked and bitten twice already today. Yup I have a cat with anger issues. LOL!
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deucemagnet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. My advice would be "Don't!".
Cat's don't take in enough water when they eat dry food alone. This can lead to urine crystals, especially in male cats.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 09:38 PM
Response to Reply #1
16. Good point
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TZ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Why?
My vet says that wet food is MUCH better for cats than dry food..dry food leads to more dental problems, weight problems etc.....
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Guava Jelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
3. Don't do it.
Edited on Sun May-25-08 06:20 PM by GoPsUx
Dry food will fatten your cats up.
It is unhealthy.
I'd say cut back on dry and feed them even more wet food
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sammythecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Why not give them both?
Edited on Sun May-25-08 06:20 PM by sammythecat
The dry food can be kept out all the time and use the wet for "mealtimes".

Also, sometimes a cat can have dental problems that make it painful to eat the crunchies.

It's not that expensive to give them canned food and for most cats it's a favorite. Hell, they don't need or ask for much from us. Let them have some wet food every day.

If you don't mind my asking, why are you doing this?
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Financial reasons. I'm going to be on a tight budget in a few weeks.
I'm quitting smoking too.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. I totally understand, but let me tell you that wet food is way less expensive than insulin.
This I know from experience. There are ways to make your own cat food that are less expensive and better for your cat than dry food. Recipes are all over the internet.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Yep. Since L, U and UL insulins were discontinued
Edited on Sun May-25-08 08:45 PM by China_cat
(at about $30 a vial, and N is not useable on this cat) we are now having to use PZI...at $96 a vial. And, from what I've seen from around the country, we're getting a really good price on it. Some people are having to pay up to $150/vial.

If we hadn't fed so much (especially the cheap stuff) dry food, we probably wouldn't have this problem with Moe and wouldn't have lost his brother a few years ago. He'd been diabetic a long time before we caught it.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. I got lucky when my second cat was diagnosed with diabetes.
As I said down thread, I lost one cat to diabetes 5 years ago. It was devastating and he was only 10. When his brother starting showing symptoms a couple years later, I recognized them more quickly and got him into the vet right away. Luckily, my vet is really invested in the study and treatment of feline diabetes and had some exciting news. He started Frankie on Glargine (aka Lantis), which is actually a human insulin, immediately. Apparently, many cats who are given this insulin first often kick-start their pancreas and can ultimately go off insulin altogether. After only a few months, I was able to wean Frankie completely off insulin and he is now symptom free. But I am extremely careful about his diet now, because I don't want the symptoms to return. If any of your cats are diagnosed in the future, ask your vet about this treatment. Unfortunately, they don't have the same results with cats who are already on another kind of insulin.
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China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 04:08 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. When Moe was diagnosed, Lantis wasn't available.
He's now 18 and we've been very, very lucky. He's never had a full-blown hypo episode and only one where we saw he was starting and got some food into him to avert it. A little neuropathy but not bad for his age.

But he's my roller-coaster boy. As little as 3 pieces of dry food pushes his glucose levels through the roof. N insulin kept him in rebound. He did real well on L and I was really pissed when they discontinued it and we had to start all over with regulation. Luckily my vet believes in home testing and even prefers that you do as much as possible at home. He's one of the few in this area that recognizes vet stress and what it does to bg levels.

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Madrone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 10:24 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. That's WAY too much!
I started out on that - but it didn't budge my cat's sugar levels. We finally went to Vetsulin 2x per day at under $40 / vial. As for the PZI, my vet hooked me up with this place in AZ and they shipped it to me for something like $36 TOTAL. CALL THEM - http://www.diamondbackdrugs.com/vet.htm
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:29 PM
Response to Original message
5. echoing what others have said-- GOOD QUALITY wet food is much better...
...than dry food, which is usually grain based.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
6. Most dry cat food is crap.
They produce dry cat and dog food by making the kibbles mainly out of grain and some sort of nasty meat by-products and then soaking them in a kind of gravy so they taste like meat. Canned food (if grain-free, like Wellness) is much better for them. A dry-food diet is too high in carbs for cats and makes them susceptible to diabetes and tooth decay. They also poop more because there's so much indigestible waste in it. Your cat is biting you for a reason. ;)
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm not getting into the wet/dry debate,
but keep in mind a good quality dry good isn't much cheaper than a good quality canned food, so you'd probably be better off just looking for a better deal on the food you feed already, if you can.

Cats tend to go on feeding strikes and get GI issues from sudden switches in food, which can lead to expensive health problems, as can switching to a lower end food with more filler. Changing your cat's diet without a medical reason is generally a bad idea, quite often doing so means you'll be making your vet's next car payment, which is pretty much the very definition of penny wise and pound foolish.

If you're really in a bind, try doing a mixture of wet and dry food.
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khashka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:18 PM
Response to Original message
9. Bad idea
A dry food diet can lead to dental problems, weight gain, diabetes, urine crystals, kidney problems. A mixed diet (wet and dry) is OK, but only dry and you're looking at some problems.

There are some good healthy wet foods for as little as 49 cents a can. Shop around. Although I think they all taste the same. (Yeah I've eaten cat food. To freak out my nephew.)

A lot of the water they need is in their food (true of humans too).

Khash.
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spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
10. If I were you...
...I'd beg their forgiveness and open a can of tuna immediately.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
11. My vet specializes in feline diabetes. He feels very strongly that dry food is a huge
contributing factor in the incredible upswing in feline diabetes cases in recent years. Cats are carnivores, not omnivores like humans and dogs. The carbs (rice, corn, and fillers) in even the best dry food (even some formulated for diabetic cats) are too overwhelming to a cat's system.

Feline diabetes sucks. I lost one cat to it five years ago. Luckily my vet discovered the connection since then. When my other cat was diagnosed a couple years later, we got him treated and got him off dry food completely. He no longer even needs insulin shots and shows no symptoms. He's fifteen now and the vet sees no reason why he won't live several more years.

Sorry, I don't mean to lecture you, but I thought you should know that.

One last note, not all wet food is created equal. Lots of wet foods have way too many carbs as well, but there are many that are very good for cats.
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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. Trader Joes cat food is rated very highly
It's not "the best," such as Wellness, but it's a good way to go for affordable cat food. One of mine will eat anything and the other will eat only the tuna. As for the dry food, I use Chicken Soup for the Adult cat. No corn, no meat by-products.
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #13
28. Wellness is price fixing
I'm glad I didn't put my cat back on it, now.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
15. Be careful the cat doesn't reject it. One of my cats starved herself nearly to death.
I had one stop eating when I changed her food, and she developed fatty liver syndrome, and cost me a lot of money and time to save her. Probably won't be a problem for you, but just so you'll know, if yours goes a couple days without eating, it can be a problem.

As for this whole can/dry thing, I've never heard all that before, and I've had many cats. I have five right now, and I've spent time at vets and pet stores and online doing cat food research. I once had a male cat who kept coming down with urinary crystals, and his vet blamed canned foods, not dry. Once he blamed tuna, which I fed him for just a couple of days when I ran out of food and money. I kept trying canned foods because his teeth were weak, and every time he got sick, and the vet (actually, vets, since there were more than one) told me to stick to dry. This poor cat was a Persian, and he barely lived ten years. I think he was just weakly bred.

I've had fat cats and thin cats on dry food, and cats that got too fat and then got back down to a regular weight when I controlled portions and access to the food (you'd be surprised how much good can come from putting the food supply on a table instead of the floor, where the cats have to make more of an effort to get to it). I've only had one cat whose weight I can't control (the one who tried to starve herself--Minnie).

My mother's cat is twenty, and has always lived off dry food, although she's an outdoor cat. That cat survived Katrina outside in Gulfport Mississippi, five miles from the beach, at seventeen years. She's as active as any five year old cat, and still jumps on the table while people are trying to eat. I have a fifteen year old cat who also still jumps on tables, and has been dry her whole life.

There may be something to what the others are saying here, about benefits of canned over dry. I'm not a vet, I don't know, and I'm not dismissing it. I'm just saying to keep it in perspective. Cats can be quite healthy with dry foods--I've seen plenty of proof of that.
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barb162 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
17. Do it slowly if you must but I wouldn't do it at all.
I think when they have a variety of food, they're better off.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
18. For more than 25 years I've fed all of my barn and house cats, dry Purina Cat Chow.
Free choice with plenty of available water.

My 2 barn cats are 19 and 12 years old, my 3 house cats are 15, 13 and 2 years old. I haven't experienced any urinary, diabetes, allergy etc. issues with any of my cats and they are seen by vets regularly (the barn cats RUN to the field service vets who visit my farm every week so they get loving - and an informal exam - pretty much every week!)

They are shiny, healthy and exude energy. I've got 40 clients at my farm who also see them daily and if there was even the tiniest problem I would be informed instantly. The cats are monitored that closely.

I can't even get my cats to eat straight tuna - I know, I've tried when I have to medicate them and they won't touch any wet food, ever. It's crazy.

I've "owned" many cats over the years as we get a lot of country drop-offs. I'll let any barn cat that's wandered into my life go to a suitable home but all of them have also been exclusively fed Purina and they all eat it like mad while they are with me.

I won't comment on anyone else's experiences but wanted to assure you that there are loving long-term cat owners, who feed dry food exclusively so don't let anyone "guilt" you. Do what you need to do to ensure your cat(s) stays with you while you get through financial rough patches. When you are feeling low, there's nothing quite like having your feline friend snuggle against you and I believe that sanity saver is hugely important... You'll get through this. Your cats will eat when they are hungry enough. PM me if you need any further help.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. But don't your barn cats kill and eat mice, etc.?
If so, they aren't living entirely on Cat Chow, and maybe they aren't getting such an overdose of grain. The fresh meat they catch for themselves is probably the best thing for them.
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riderinthestorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Yup, the barn cats do. But the house cats don't.
at least not to any significant degree (!)
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-25-08 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
23. Well, not every cat who eats dry food is going to get diabetes (or other diseases), but
Edited on Sun May-25-08 10:40 PM by grace0418
there has been an enormous increase in cases of diabetes since people started feeding their cats exclusively dry food. I imagine also that at least your barn cats get a great deal more exercise than the average house cat, which would probably help keep diabetes at bay. As for your other cats, well, I would just consider yourself lucky.

I'm not trying to guilt anyone, truly, I'm just telling people about my experience and what my vet told me. He has specialized in feline diabetes for years and has let me know new information whenever he gets it. It was really hard giving my little guy two shots a day for years only to watch him die when his kidneys gave out at 10 years old. When his brother showed symptoms a couple years later, my heart broke all over again, especially when I found out the expensive dry food I was buying him could very well have been the culprit. I just want to save someone that heartache if I can. I agree that nothing soothes me better than my Frankie purring on my lap. He is my heart and soul. The day I was able to wean him off of insulin for good was a truly happy one in my house. And if I have to make him food from scratch every day to keep him around as long as possible, I will do that.

I guess what I was trying to say to the OP is that I totally get the money thing. I do, believe me. When those two cats came into my life I could barely afford to take care of myself. But I fell in love and was determined to keep them. Then they got sick and the treatment was expensive as hell. I would like to help someone avoid that if I could. They are free to take or leave my advice, I mean no ill will.

:hi:


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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #23
30. I'm taking this all seriously. Thank you for your advice. I suppose I'll
have to weigh the pros and cons. My brother feeds his cats exclusively dry food and they seem allright.
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Monk06 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 04:46 AM
Response to Original message
25. Look for Admiral Flaked White Tuna on sale. I've bought it at case


lot sales for as little as $0.80 a can regular
$1.79 there about.

Actual real fish with no additives. At a buck
a can that's $7.00 per week per cat.
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. Be careful there --
Cats who eat a lot of tuna can get really sick:

"Tuna does not contain significant amounts of vitamin E, for example, so too much of the fish can lead to vitamin E deficiency, resulting in yellow fat disease, or steatitis. Symptoms include loss of appetite, fever and hypersensitivity to touch, due to inflammation and necrosis of fat under the skin. Felines who are fed too much tuna can develop other nutrient deficiencies, too, because most de-boned fish are lacking in calcium, sodium, iron, copper and several other vitamins.

Mercury, frequently present in tuna, also presents a potential danger. "At low levels, this may not be a concern," explains Bough, "but if tuna is fed nearly exclusively, it could pose significant problems."

http://www.lenhumanesoc.org/Tips/ASPCA-Tuna.htm
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LostinVA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #25
29. A diet of pure tuna is really bad for a cat
There's plenty of healthy cat foods for a buck a can. We use EVO/Innova.
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dmr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 05:04 AM
Response to Original message
26. When we adopted Isabelle, she pee'd in the dry food bowl
Edited on Mon May-26-08 05:05 AM by dmr
She let me know that there was no way she was eating that crap!

We still laugh at that story.

Anyway, I still keep a bowl of dry available for the munchies, and Isabelle will nibble at it; mainly, I think because Eddie does and Izzy can't have that. But their diet consists of both. It's better for them.

I lost the most beautiful (character and tabby-ness) cat in the world from urinary problems. It was the most heartbreaking experience.

I hope all works out well for you and your baby.


Edit: grammar
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-26-08 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #26
31. My baby had unrinary problems. But I was overfeeding him with cat treats and
I think that was the issue because they are not meant to be regular food.
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