Going cold turkey on dry food?

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SarahT1 [PLLE]
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Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:13 am

Hi, has anyone attempted withdrawing all dry food from a multi-cat, allowed to graze, household? Our new little girl so favours it over wet food, even raw food, that I would like to change her preferences sooner rather than later, but with three other cats, 2 of whom like to graze on good quality dry food between morning and evening wet food meals, it would mean withdrawing it from them all at the same time. Has anyone managed to get their cats off all dry food? Or does anyone think this is a bad idea? My interest is in cats who have had regular dry food as well as wet, or who have transitioned from all dry to all wet, not in those who have never had dry food - although I wish we had gone down that road from the start!

Thank you.

Sarah and gang

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Ruth B » Mon Sep 19, 2016 7:28 am

As long as it is a good quality dry cat food that includes all the vitamins and mineral that a cat needs, then I don't think there is a problem with a cat just eating that if it is what it enjoys, as long as there is plenty of fresh water available.

The only thing I would warn about is making sure you adjust the amount of wet food to compensate for one not eating it. Blue our old Ragdoll always prefered the dried food, even when he didn't have any teeth left. As he got old he also lost a lot of weight, we kept putting more wet food down to try and keep the weight on, but he wasn't interested and we just ended up with a very tubby tabby cat. (Since Blue was pts, and the introduction of two youngsters she has lost most of the excess weight and is much better for it).

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by alanc » Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:34 am

I certainly tried to withdraw dry food from Badger and get him to eat wet food. Total flop, so can't give you any advice on how to do it successfully!

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:01 am

Thanks both. Neither of your replies surprise me! Fortunately, Bella does drink well - not excessively, so no worries there - so she is well hydrated, and the dry food is good quality - we're on Bozita at the moment. I have read so much about dry food being inherently bad for cats though, particularly linking it with chronic conditions and obesity, I am constantly in a state of confusion about it. I am the only furbabe guardian among my close circle of crazy cat mums who allows free grazing too, so feel that I need to get this particular act together. But I may be over concerned. Be glad of any/all replies!

Thanks

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Kay » Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:57 am

I wouldn't personally knock feeding good quality dry food, as apart from anything else it has far more variety of prescription recipes than wet food, and from hearsay cats tend to reject a lot of prescription wet foods anyway

for that reason I offer mine a couple of varieties of RC for seniors, on the basis that if they are used to RC they might take to an RC prescription food if they had to - the same would apply to Hills, the other big supplier of prescription dry

they eat Felix senior too, but are more sure to finish their bowls of dry

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:56 am

SarahT1 [PLLE] wrote:Thanks both. Neither of your replies surprise me! Fortunately, Bella does drink well - not excessively, so no worries there - so she is well hydrated, and the dry food is good quality - we're on Bozita at the moment. I have read so much about dry food being inherently bad for cats though, particularly linking it with chronic conditions and obesity, I am constantly in a state of confusion about it. I am the only furbabe guardian among my close circle of crazy cat mums who allows free grazing too, so feel that I need to get this particular act together. But I may be over concerned. Be glad of any/all replies!

Thanks
Hello there Sarah, I think we must belong to the same 'dry food cat club'! I have always allowed free grazing and it's suited all my cats. I have read the warnings about dry food and granted, my beloved Cody did pass away from CKD but neither ourselves nor the Vet blame that on providing dry.(She was found half starved and very dehydrated). She ate lots of her wet food, drank loads all her life but in between, enjoyed a mouthful now and then during the day of Purina Chicken and Rice Sensitive, as did Armand. They also enjoyed occasional lunches of fresh cooked chicken breasts and white fish. Neither were overweight. My remaining big grey cat Gandhi, has Megacolon. As my friends on this forum are aware, greedy sod eats Felix non stop but I mention because he also enjoys grazing on Royal Canin Fibre Response dry food 24/7. He hasn't painfully cramped or thrown up a fur ball in months. My only caution would be serving up dry food containing wheat, a cheap filler and not all cats respond well to it. Why are you worrying? You have happy, well fed, contented cats that like to graze, the majority of cats do. Dry food has come a helluva long way since it's introduction in the early 1970's. Incidentally, look up any food, wet or dry on your computer... I guarantee you will find people slagging it off. Relax, enjoy, just as your wee pets are :) .

Issi

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Lilith » Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:08 pm

Oops sorry, this is a post that turned into a blog...errm, what IS a blog? Anyway apologies.

When I think about how picky my lot (two elderly and arthritic ex-ferals and a spoilt madam of 5) are about wet food and meat in general, I'm thankful for dried food though I agree it's important to choose a decent brand. I too let them free-graze - I'm very lucky in that nobody has chronic illness or weight problems (paws crossed!) or has to be on a special diet of course! But, if possible, I like the notion of free grazing, that is how most animals prefer to eat (if feasible for their health.) AND - and this is a big 'and', it's much less work for the owner, let's be honest :)

I leave bowls of Purina upstairs and down, refill as required, job done. I feed a tin of Butcher's Classic meat in jelly for their 'supper', as late on as possible because of flies; sometimes they clear the dish, other times they hoover the jelly off it and nibble a chunk or two...oh they'd gobble tuna till it came out of their ears, same with ham (but not bacon) freshly cooked chicken (posh bits only; we don't eat any skin or fatty bits; well neither do I) and little Molly will yell for a strip of raw beef to chomp on if I'm making a stew (sometimes in winter) and they quite like fried liver. But none of these titbits are a balanced diet. Fill up a bowl of dried and they're there!

One of my feral toms who moved in with me was a poorish-looking chap; he was white with ginger patches, grey at the edges from sleeping under cars, thin and basically nothing to shout about in the looks department. He would NOT eat wet food, unless it was cooked chicken breast, which I bought from Netto (sadly missed, Netto) and fed to him by hand as part of the bonding process (he was fierce.) He stuck to dried food which in those days I'm afraid was Whiskas Dental. After stuffing himself on that stuff (and being neutered too of course) and sleeping on the bed instead of under cars, he grew into the most magnificent healthy glossy 'hunk'...a neighbour couldn't believe he was the same cat.

I too am confused about the pros and cons of dry food; in the 70s it was getting the most awful press as Issi has said, and I remember discussing it with a vet and calling it 'convenience food', he replied, 'yes, that's just what it is.' In the 80s there was a big advertising drive by Iams, claiming that theirs was a revolutionary new 'concept', totally complete diet, just feed the kibble and nothing else, and the cat will love it. Now Iams seems to have been outstripped by Purina, RC, Bozita etc.

Dried food IS a convenience food; I sometimes feel as if I'm giving them cornflakes instead of a 'proper meal', but I think the brands and varieties are so sophisticated and well-researched these days that I, at least, couldn't attempt to provide them with an alternative diet...even if the fussy little gits would eat it! It isn't a 'natural' diet, but cats LIKE dried...

So, this is just my personal view, please excuse the long post and TMI but I feel, if they're happy, and keeping well on it (a rescue worker I know was impressed with their condition, especially in the case of the oldies) I for one wouldn't change what seems to work well for them, but every owner and every cat is different; I'd hate to preach and so again I'm sitting on the fence, paws tucked under me, yet again.

But that is my personal experience with dried food and free grazing :)

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by lilynmitz » Mon Sep 19, 2016 1:27 pm

I've got my two 3 year olds just on dried food at the moment. Zig shows no interest in wet food and will only lick the gravy off Felix AGAIL, (they have one pouch between them per day). He much prefers his Hills dried with chicken. Elsie is a terrible glutton and eats the rest of Zig's felix and her own, and the dried food. After a life-time of slender free-feeding cats, Elsie is a pudding! So we've got her on "low calorie" dried food for fatties (luckily she prefers it to Zig's full fat food), which might have been helping a bit, but in the last week or so she was being sick a lot so we took her off the Felix to see if that was part of the problem. And she's even fatter now!

So I suspect we'll put her back on the wet food to try to get her weight down again, but I'm loathe to change to fixed meal times, as Zig is a skinny little lad and really doesn't need rationing.

TBH, given how fussy cats are, imposing a feeding regime on them is usually doomed to failure and results in a cupboard full of different foods they refuse to eat. At least the rescues do ok out of our failed attempts to improve their new diet!

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:31 pm

What super replies everyone! Thank you so much! It's great to see that many of you folk, for whom I have great respect, are not as violently opposed to dry food as I expected! I have read some practically abusive articles about it recently and I was horrified to find that my new little girl, who when she came to us as a very poorly little foster in early August ate anything I gave her, now that she is well and happy, won't touch the lovely wet food my other three enjoy. As I type, a bowl of cooked chicken sits untouched nearby! But now I am less anxious. We only use prescription and high value dried foods and definitely no cereals - I got all my guys off those a long while back after some great advice on this forum.

I will introduce the little one properly soon, but it's still a little sensitive as she was removed from a very sickly multi-cat household, and I've been on tenterhooks that she will have to be returned if the 'owner's' kicked up a stink with the vet about her being fostered out to us to get well, but I think we're safely a happy 4 cat household now. Lilymitz - that's why I haven't properly presented her on Facebook yet!

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Crewella » Tue Sep 20, 2016 4:46 am

I can't advise on withdrawing dry food as I feed all my lot half wet and half dry, though I do try to keep the cereal content down. I've never been able to free-feed either, as several of my gang are ex-strays who would just keep gorging on it until they were completely round!

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Janey » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:15 am

I’m another who allows my cats to graze, and I feed them mostly what they want (including dry). I’ve never had any overweight cats. They seem to prefer the more expensive, better brands of wet food ;) but often cheaper dry. We’ve looked after many ferals over the years aswell, and still do, eating the same food as our resident cats, some of them have even lived on dry, preferring it to wet and they’ve all been pretty healthy.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:00 pm

Thank you so much everyone for your helpful replies! x

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Ruth B » Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:17 pm

i do remember that a certain dry food brand, and not one of the cheap ones, were allegedly linked to kidney problems and crystals in the urine, I think this was back in the 90s. I don't remember it ever having been proven and the company concerned did their best to deny it, but one of the family vets did mention that he had noticed a correlation between what the cats were being fed and the ones that had problems.

Like so many other food scares there possibly was something to it, but the value of a scare story to the media often far out values the true facts. Its odd though, even though mentally I know there probably isn't anything to worry about now, I still won't buy that brand.

The other one to remember is that different countries have differing regulations regarding pet food, and what is considered a high quality one here can be classed as a bottom shelf brand elsewhere. Fortunately the UK does have fairly good regulations about what can go in pet food and what claims the companies selling it can make.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by MarkB » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:28 pm

I think it may have been Burns Sarah?

I am a bit confused with it anyway, as I read about brown rice being a no-no for cats and that is what they use. I also remember reading about IAMS not being good - not that I would buy it after reading about the terrible experiments they did on cats and dogs.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Crewella » Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:35 pm

I won't buy IAMS either, same reasons.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by MarkB » Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:29 am

I have heard of Hill's being linked to obesity - in fact my old vet switched from Hill's to RC after realising that most of their patients that were overweight, were fed Hill's. It makes sense to me. Kylie was fairly chunky when I adopted her in 2002, when she was two. After trying various food, we settled on Hill's (thinking I was giving her the best food I could) - she was gradually gaining weight, so we switched to Hill's light. The weight was still piling on over the years, so we switched to the obesity version, but we still couldn't get the weight off. She wasn't really keen on other brands, so I tried encouraging her to eat more wet. She did start losing weight, but it was around the time she developed chronic diarrhea, so hard to tell how much of her weight loss was down to diet and how much was down to health (she hit 7.05kg and her heaviest and as low as 2.5kg when she was sick)

One thing I would add is that I have seen various 'light' foods advertised as containing X% less fat than their standard food. As we know, cats bodies are equipped to process fats (at least, animal fat) and it is the carbs that they struggle with -ie cereals.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Lilith » Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:23 am

MarkB wrote:I think it may have been Burns Sarah?

I am a bit confused with it anyway, as I read about brown rice being a no-no for cats and that is what they use. I also remember reading about IAMS not being good - not that I would buy it after reading about the terrible experiments they did on cats and dogs.
OMG

I never knew about this

http://www.uncaged.co.uk/iams01.htm

I couldn't read it all; I read enough...dead ashamed that I used to feed the stuff; fortunately my lot just took a dislike to it and I've heard of it not being liked by other cats too...karma catching up with IAMS maybe?

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by SarahT1 [PLLE] » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:04 pm

Oh, thank you so much for the last replies.

Our vet gives away samples of Burns and I used to grab them up, but stopped doing so after I realised that brown rice is not good. How terrible about the IAMS experiments. I don't buy it, but would never even consider it now.

Ria has suggested we try Arden Grange and is kindly sending me a sample. She also jogged my memory about a microchip feeder and I will have a go at encouraging our new girl to use it as now any wet food I leave for her gets hooved up later by Edgar, whilst she was poorly and in her own room, she would eat wet food overnight.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by MarkB » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:17 am

Sarah, If you are buying the Surefeed, Petplan customers get 30% off all Sureflap prices I don't know if you are with them, but otherwise I can post a link. I'm not sure if it will work for everyone, or if you need to enter a policy number at checkout - worth a look though. Also, I don't know how 30% off list price compares to other sellers. Given that full price is £99, worth a few minutes detective work :)

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:19 pm

Lilith wrote:
MarkB wrote:I think it may have been Burns Sarah?

I am a bit confused with it anyway, as I read about brown rice being a no-no for cats and that is what they use. I also remember reading about IAMS not being good - not that I would buy it after reading about the terrible experiments they did on cats and dogs.
OMG

I never knew about this

http://www.uncaged.co.uk/iams01.htm

I couldn't read it all; I read enough...dead ashamed that I used to feed the stuff; fortunately my lot just took a dislike to it and I've heard of it not being liked by other cats too...karma catching up with IAMS maybe?
Hiya, just spotted this post. Can't comment on 'Burns', never heard of it to be honest or 'brown rice'. So why am I posting do I hear you cry? Well, cooked white rice is a very useful tool for helping cats with sensitive digestion and illnesses such as Megacolon. I don't mean feed them rice pudding, although I'll have a bowl if there is one going, but the cooked rice in such wet food as R C sensitive chicken and rice is easy to digest, swells slightly into a soft gelatinous mass in the stomach, moves along gently cleansing the sides of the intestines, unlike bran which is akin to pushing a scouring pad through a nylon stocking in both cats and humans. How do I know this? My Gandhi's intestines tend to 'fur' up like lime scale in a kettle until he is in real painful discomfort but the chicken and rice suits him fine from time to time and I've also had serious digestive problems myself some years back, rice pudding etc. being the only thing I could digest. As for IAMS, well the manufacturers swear blind no cruelty is used and all the cats go home with staff every weekend!(??) I do know that a couple of the local cat charities feed malnourished 'incomers' IAMS, allegedly it is very calorific and helps fatten them up. Interested in your Vets comment Lillith, about 'convenience' food. These days, whatever brand we feed our pets falls under that category, lift pouch, squelch, tear open, plop in bowl.. if only making our own dinner could be that easy. We do live in a topsy turvy world of nutrition .. put chemicals in lemonade but real lemon juice in washing up liquid!

Issi

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Lilith » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:27 pm

Lol, Issi, ain't that the truth; it's a mad world :)

Mind you it's easier for humans, as omnivores; can soon rustle up a Braunschweiger sarnie or Waldorf salad, but I could cook a banquet for the cats and myself but even if they ate whatever they wanted from it, it probably wouldn't provide them with a well-balanced meal. A well-balanced meal, for a cat, would be a whole pigeon, head, innards and all, or one of my python's frozen rats, defrosted of course...I think they might prefer the Purina! :lol:

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by issiandarchie+68 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:25 am

Lilith wrote:Lol, Issi, ain't that the truth; it's a mad world :)

Mind you it's easier for humans, as omnivores; can soon rustle up a Braunschweiger sarnie or Waldorf salad, but I could cook a banquet for the cats and myself but even if they ate whatever they wanted from it, it probably wouldn't provide them with a well-balanced meal. A well-balanced meal, for a cat, would be a whole pigeon, head, innards and all, or one of my python's frozen rats, defrosted of course...I think they might prefer the Purina! :lol:
A what sandwich? A python? Frozen rats? I'll just pretend you have done a 'Basil Fawlty' and are 'all out of waldorfs' , so don't be offended if I refuse your invitation to pop over for a coffee! Not sure about cat eating pigeon. Know all friends of mine had never had a cat, then landed themselves with 3 of the furry critturs! Of course she was an expert(!?) on feeding. Ordered natural products online, cost about £60 p.m. but apparently consisted of the whole animal, skin, bones, innards.. uumm..delicious ..well not according to her pets, they just ate the tender meaty bits, shoved bones, skin etc to the side of the bowl. T'other day I saw pain in the **** pals in the local co-op buying good old fishy Felix. Did I sidle up behind them, point finger and go 'I take it that's for your own tea?' Of course I did, I'm not a very nice person. ;)
Sarah my dear, did someone mention a blog? I think you have started a very enjoyable one. I hope you have stopped fretting over your obviously contented cats diet and found the combination you are searching for. It's all about balance isn't it? As I tell my reprobate grandkids.. you want to wolf down 4 choc bars/slice of fudge cake/teeth breaking toffees.. make sure you have a kiwi fruit for afters :)

Issi

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Lilith » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:16 pm

issiandarchie+68 wrote:
A what sandwich? A python? Frozen rats? I'll just pretend you have done a 'Basil Fawlty' and are 'all out of waldorfs' , so don't be offended if I refuse your invitation to pop over for a coffee! Not sure about cat eating pigeon.

Issi
:lol:

The Waldorfs are lurking in the fridge ... :o :)

Yup, a cats' rescue worker told me that feral mothers often wean their kittens by bringing home a whole prey such as a pigeon, 'right, kids, get yer laughing tackle round that'. Rats, too, judging by the pressies my (then) ferals left me in the gutter when we were making friends. Trouble is, due to cars, the street was full of flat rats. When in '85 I moved to a rural area, my lad George, the 'Beast of Bodmin' lost no time in going out and finding a nest full of fledgling pidgies...he waited of course to come home and be sick on the kitchen carpet...eyes, beaks, the lot. He enjoyed whole baby rabbits too. Good nourishing stuff!

I have a royal python called Shahi (Urdu for 'royal' - very original.) When I can't sleep at night he comes and does a war dance and stares at me from the window of his vivarium, which is next to the bed (where else?) and I bring him out to sit on my lap underneath the duvet. He eats rats, though it can be a bit chancy defrosting them, as if little Molly finds the plastic bag she thinks it's a new toy and bats it about.

LOVE the story of the 'knowalls'! Sounds like the cats trained them pdq :D

Ah, the Braunschweiger sarnie (please forgive me, Sarah, for going off-topic.) There are numerous recipes but this is mine:-

Butter 2 thick slices of really good wholemeal bread, spread Dijon mustard on one slice, mayo on the other. Place slices of liver sausage on the mustardy slice, season to taste, cover with a couple of slices of processed Dutch cheese (Leerdammer is good) and cover cheese with lots of very thinly sliced red onion, then put the whole thing to bed under the mayo slice.

I used to slice big sweet pickled gherkins into the sarnie but that's a faff; also I prefer a sandwich that doesn't argue when you cut it in two, or eat it. So I have a bundle of gherkins on the side (let my teeth do the slicing) and with a salad, I reckon that covers all bases nutritionally for this Braunschweiger tiger! :D
Last edited by Lilith on Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Going cold turkey on dry food?

Post by Nikki C » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:05 pm

George used to be on dry food only and then i put him on a combination as he's on a diet (bless him)
Now he's primarily on wet with a tiny bit of dry just to tie him over during the day.
He's stubborn though, as are most cats, so I just rode it out with him and now he just eats what is there.
My theory was that, if there's nothing else, he''ll eat what's available.
There is some chuntering from him as he's hungry at breakfast and tea times but I've sat it out with him and he's ok with it now...to a degree!

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