Thursday, March 8, 2012

changing foods

Buddy is very particular about his food. If he doesn't like it, he's not eating it, regardless of how hungry he might be. He's very stubborn! I have tried all sorts of healthy wet and dry foods, but he refuses. The only food he consistently gobbles down is junk food! But not just any junk food he insists on Friskies Shreds. He also likes Fancy Feast, Grilled style but he won't touch the Pate!

I don't like giving him a consistent diet of junk, but I'm not sure what else to do. When he's on a hunger strike, he never gives in.

The next most picky eater in the clan is Oliver. He turns up his nose at Friskies Shreds and the Fancy Feast Pate style. He'll only eat a few select flavors of the Fancy Feast Grilled style. He's also rather choosy on what dry nuggets he'll eat. I suppose he's not a starving stray anymore!

Meanwhile, I've been working on converting the indoor cats (except Buddy) to dry grain-free (Taste of the Wild). After a few weeks of mixing the old food with the new, the kitties have taken to it just fine. However, the litter box tells a different tale. Several of the cats have been having fairly loose poops since the conversion.

In the past, when I switched Theo's food he had some nasty diarrhea for quite a long time. After much medical testing, it was decided to give him a regular fiber supplement, which helped. Since it worked well then, I have since restarted that fiber and again it appears to be helping him. But with other cats showing some poop-consistency problems, I'm wondering what to do. I don't really want to switch back to the old food, but at least it agreed with their innards. 

Has anyone else out there had troubles converting over to grain-free? I would love to hear what you did to solve the problems?

In other non-poop related news... last weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing a real Battlestar Galactica Viper Mark II up close! I was dying to hop inside and fly away.

The Viper was at the Battlestar Galactica exhibit at the Experience Music Project, in Seattle. They had two full-sized Vipers (Mark II and Mark VII) from the show, a full-sized Cylon Raider and tons of other props and costumes. The level of detail in these items is absolutely remarkable.

In June, another sci-fi exhibit opens at the EMP which will feature an Imperial Dalek from Doctor Who, Captain Kirk's command chair from Star Trek and lots of other great props from other classic sci-fi movies and TV. Certainly something to look forward to!


  1. With grain-free kibbles, it usually means a higher protein content which may cause loose stools for some cats. Could that be the case with yours? With grain free food, there would be a need to feed less.
    One way that may help would be to stop the kibbles for now and put them on a bland diet (steamed chicken breast is good) for at least a week (by then the loose stools should have stopped) then starting them on the kibbles again.
    Good luck!

  2. Oh I could write a book on kitty likes and dislikes, not to mention the results from both ends! Our last cat was the limit. After him we went without a cat for a year even though we'd had cats for more than 30 years. But we gave in at last. Got one from the shelter. He had been there for three months and was eating Science Diet. I had checked him out pretty thoroughly before adopting. We continued with the Science Diet. But after a few weeks he started throwing up. The dry food Blue was recommended because it has no wheat and has mostly good meat not by-products. So we went for it, tho it's twice as expensive. However he only throws up once a week or so now, which I think we can live with. Unfortunately we have carpet throughout the house. One thing I have learned is that once you find something the cat likes and which does not produce problems (and of course is healthy), stick with it. Don't get drawn into that trying different flavors game. It becomes a complete headache because then you have to start trying to read the cat's mind and they have an innate ability to make you feel guilty. Having said that, you may find you have to feed each cat separately -- their own bowl, their own food and their own eating place !!! But we would do anything for our cats wouldn't we?

  3. Cats and sci-fi in one post? My day is now complete:)
    The kitten I am fostering now is very picky about what he is going to eat.. and often I find the wet food intact when I come home from work. I feel terribly guilty of course so I decided to give me and him a break. I know he loves tuna, so I buy him Almo Nature tuna, tun with shrimps, tuna with chicken just to make him and me happy. I am tired of feeling guilty. My older cat is also a very picky lady but I've learned in the past 11 years that I've had her that she is so stubborn she could go on for day without eating, she is not picky about kibble though. I have tried going grain free and I haven't noticed any change in the stools...

    That Viper ... being so close and not able to jump in.. that must have been hard!

  4. I love the Taste of the Wild grain free. That is what I feed mine (along with their Fancy Feast Pate) ...I have a diabetic kitty and grain free is preferred.

    Your best bet to avoid alot of diarrhea is to make the change slowly. Add some of the new kind with the old kind and gradually reduce the old kind. Cats digestive systems can be very sensitive with food changes.

    If you made the change too abruptly, sadly I think the diarrhea may be unavoidable...HOWEVER, your vet may be able to recommend some "safe" home treatments for the diarrhea if it persists.

    What cures my kitties is Metronidazole, every time...but it is by prescription only and only your vet and you can decide what is best for your kitties.

  5. Are you going to the Sci Fi show? Will you be taking photos?
    If you post photos of Daleks, please warn me ..they scare me to death!!
    Jane x
    PS I had the shock of my life when the Daleks were able to fly!!

  6. From my experience and knowledge of kitty intestines that in most cases more protein would tend toward constipation not diarrhea..

    Yes, cats do get digestive upset, and often diarrhea, when changing foods over, but that is because they were designed to have a pretty limited variety of foods, and their digestive tracts become specialized to what ever food they are eating. To minimize this you have to introduce new foods very slowly.

    Another problem getting cats to eat new foods when they are 'picky' is that you are working against their ingrained nature. Cats learn as kittens what is food. In the wild this serves them very well. What ever mom brings home is food, everything else isn't. so if they weren't introduced to it as kittens, they don't recognize it as food. You have to 'trick' them by introducing it very slowly so that the new smell of the new food is hidden by the old food. Small bites under the old food, then mixed in with the old food, then once that is accepted, adding more of the new. Some cats do just fine with a 25% new to 75% old, but some cats need even less to accept it. has some great tips for transitioning a cat..

    There have been some spectacular exceptions in my life... like the kitten who shunned all meat and canned food and went right for dry.. she was quite the oddity..

    as for Daleks.. oh how I would love to see that!! Sadly I'm on the wrong side of the country.

  7. My two cats won't eat pate food. Must be chunky. Right now they are on Max Cat - favourite flavour is duck. They like the chicken one too. For treat food they get BFF Tuna & Chicken which is just a big juicy blob of food.

    My husband once bought fancy feast and the cat gobbled it up. About 5 minutes later he was in the litter box - darned stuff went right through him and the smell just about killed us.

    Mine are mostly okay with changes in flavours and types of food as long as the texture is consistent. They only get a tablespoon of dry Taste of the Wild each day.This is the only dry food one of them will eat.

  8. I'm giving mom a hard time because I throw up so much. She is trying to find one and stick to it. xox

  9. A few months ago thinking I was doing a good thing, I changed the food in the house over to a very good brand of cat food. Well, for doing that I made Abby so sick. The vet said it was IBD, but I think it was simply the food. After $600+ vet bill and lots of anxiety and worry and praying Abby would start eating again, we worked through that and she's back on her Meow Mix (wet and some kibble) it's what she tolerates and she has not thrown up or had an upset stomach since. So she is nearly 13 and this works for her, and from now until whenever that's good enough for me.
    (I don't believe she has IBD)


  10. I worked at an alternative pet food store (ie natural, raw, healthy, etc). Try some pure pumpkin puree, not canned pumpkin pie. It has fiber in it and helps regulate stools, either way you need it to.

  11. You may want to look into getting some digestive enzymes for the kittehs. I give mine enzymes every time I give them wet food, and it has helped my Maine Coon TREMENDOUSLY, when nothing else did !! Picture this, IBS and a LONG haired cat.....NOT pretty ! My husband has a nick name for ...since the poo would get stuck in her hair, and then plop out wherever she "carried" it :( One night ( about 2am ) I woke up to him cursing his head off, he had stepped in some poo that was on the stairs ( he was trying to make it to the bathroom ) and he was stuck...he didn't want to track it all over the house ( which I did appreciate ;p ) so I had to get up, clean up the poo, off the step AND his foot, and then clean the cat ! I have to say...even thinking about the story makes me laugh again. I told him to wear his slippers !!! sells some pet enzymes, and we've seen them at our local vitamin store. We too have switched to 'Taste of the Wild" for dry kibble and for canned we use "Solistic" since my cats tested well with it.

    Good luck !! You are an EXCELLENT kitteh daddy :D Keep up the awesome with with your pride and the blog ! REALLY love your blog !!!

    1. That is such a funny story!! Although I can imagine at the time, he wasn't laughing! There is something to be said for always wearing your slippers!!

  12. I have tried them all with my foster cats. I have found that a grain free food with a unique protein source (other than chicken, turkey or beef) is best. Some cats develop allergies/intolerance to those proteins after eating them for a long period of time - no clue why. Maybe consider something like a fish, venison or rabbit food? Good luck to you!


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