Best way to quit dry food? Just go cold turkey?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by paige, Dec 31, 2009.

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  1. paige

    paige Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I am ready to quit the dry kibble for all four of my cats now thinking that this will help Webber even more. What are your experiences with quiting the dry food when it has been the primary food source for all their life?

    FYI - they all do eat wet food, but the two youngest prefer the dry.

    Thank you
  2. Elizabeth&Julia&Margaret(GA)

    Elizabeth&Julia&Margaret(GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I tried to do it gradually for Margaret. I'd sprinkle dry on top of the wet. This went somewhat okay for just under 2 weeks. Then one day she wouldn't eat anything. After suggestions from the board (Vic especially helped) I got her eating a "milkshake" of wet food. It was a can of wet food with 1-2 tbsp of water put into the blender for her "shake." Mind you, she wasn't eating at all at this point so I was trying anything. After that meal, she went to low carb wet and hasn't looked back. She ended up making the switch in just under 1 day and basically quit dry "cold turkey." Every cat is different. I've read that it takes months for some cats to make the switch. What is most important is to consistently check a diabetic cat's BG levels throughout the change of food. The insulin needs can change drastically and quickly. Three days after our food switch, Margaret was off insulin. Granted, she had a fabulous response to the food change. This will not happen for every cat. But it is possible that insulin requirements will change so testing is important.
  3. Victoria & Sundance

    Victoria & Sundance Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Yep, some are lucky and just take to it. Sundance ate dry food from the time she was four and the vet said that Science diet low calorie was the best for her... :x

    Until she was diagnosed... The vet then gave us diabetic kibble but she wouldn't eat it. Desperate and not yet fully understanding FDMB and low carb needs, I bought fish Fancy Feast for her Christmas breakfast... she ate it and was off insulin in 6 days. Thank God for home testing....

    Make sure you are home testing if/when you make the switch as it can drastically reduce the need for insulin.

    So, you can try them on wet right away and if they take to it, great... Expect some softer poops for a week. Might happen, might not.

    But if they don't take to it, try what Elizabeth has suggested... or try half and half. Some people find they have to start with a tiny bit of wet with the kibble, then every few days add more wet and take away a few kibbles... gradually increasing the wet and decreasing the kibble until it's all wet. That can take two weeks or two months... But it's so worth it. Do it at their pace and you'll be fine.

    Barclay was only 5.5 months when we got him... He'd been on dry kitten food for as long as he'd been eating food. I let him have that for two days after we got home... then gave him canned... he loved it... then we tried raw and he loved that... The transition from dry to raw was about 10 days for us... He'd have gone faster but I didn't want to upset his tummy.
  4. Lisa dvm

    Lisa dvm Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I have switched many cats (street rescues) from 100% dry to 100% canned - cold turkey - without any problems at all.

    The cats that take longer to switch are the ones that will NOT eat canned food so time is needed to convince them that dry food is simply not a diet that a strict carnivore, with a low thirst drive, should be eating.

    Other cats that would benefit from a slower switch (over 1-2 weeks) would be a cat that ended up with watery diarrhea from the switch. Honestly, this is a rare cat in my experience. In fact, I can't even think of a single cat in my care that ended up with diarrhea when switched to canned from dry.

    As has been mentioned, some cats will end up with soft stools but I ignore this and just 'ride it out'.

    For any cat that has been on part canned and part dry, I switch cold turkey - but being careful to make sure that they are consuming enough calories - especially when they are diabetic.
  5. Venita

    Venita Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I tried a mixed switch with Maxwell, but he just wouldn't take to wet. He would eat the dry out. So after about 4 months of that nonsense, I'd had enough and told him no more dry. He rebelled for about a day, but then figured food is food, and went to all wet.
  6. Brenda and Morris

    Brenda and Morris Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    You can't just go cold turkey with a diabetic cat...they need to have food with the insulin. With Humulin N, I always made sure Morris ate before he got his shot. With Levemir, it's not so important that he eat right away, but I make sure he eats within the next 2-3 hours after his shot.

    A non-diabetic cat you could try going cold turkey but guess what? They are a lot more stubborn than you think and can go on food strike for days.

    I transitioned Morris over to raw from Science Diet Light, which he had been on his entire life (and ended up at 26 pounds so so much for Light :x ). I started out mixing just one Tablespoon in with the dry and just kept upping the quantity until he was eating all Raw. He loved it but it didn't agree with him sometimes, he would often throw up after eating...could have been because he was pigging it down though. I ended up switching to canned, same way, just mixing the two together until it was all canned. He loves his Fancy Feast!

    Hope this helps you!
  7. Connie & Em (GA)

    Connie & Em (GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    since they all eat wet, yes, you can go cold turkey. You need to worry about transitions when they only eat dry food and have little to no exposure to wet. GI upset happens when you bring in a foreign food

    I tend to have a tough hand when it comes to food for cats that have no health issues. For your diabetic you need to be more cautious

  8. Hillary & Maui (GA)

    Hillary & Maui (GA) Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    I wrote about what happened when I was transition back in April, and for me it was a huge wake up call. ... ?8,1636600

    I have noticed that my cats vomit less now than when they ate dry food and while Maui was the easy one to transition and I struggled with the other two, when I went "cold turkey", I haven't looked back.

    All these months later, everyone eats canned or raw food. (Yes, one of my holdouts now prefers raw food over canned) and everyone loves real food (meats and cheese, etc).

    I do know if they are given the opportunity to eat dry, they will happily eat it, once an addict always an addict.

    Good luck and remember if you do have hold outs and cat(s) refusing to eat anything, try the tricks Dr. Lisa suggests on her website, to transition the cat, because it's important that they eat (even if it's dry).
  9. Patticass & Tyler (GA)

    Patticass & Tyler (GA) Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Before Tyler was diagnosed my cats ate 90% dry and had a tiny bit of canned food each night. When I decided to transition over I started giving 90% canned and 10% dry. Although they ate the canned, they HOWLED for more dry when the bowl was empty. It was clear to me that since they would eat canned I need to cut them off cold turkey.

    Was there drama? Yeah, for a few days I had lots of whining and complaining. If you have ever met an Abyssinian you understand what I mean about drama and it was times three of them here. But they did eat their canned and it was only a few days and they accepted things.

    If your cats will eat the canned, I would attempt cold turky.
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