A Conversation for Cat Food

Beware of changing foods

Post 1

Classic Krissy

Different brands of food use different percentages of artificial and natural ingredients. As an animal gets used to one kind of food, their stomache learns to produce the appropriate amount of enzimes to digest the food. Switching foods suddenly or often can upset that balance and make your kitty's tummy hurt.

Vets suggest mixing food in increasing proportions to switch a cat to a different brand. Strangly enough, vets also suggest picking one kind of food and sticking with it. Changing foods to often can either make a finicky eater, or a cat with an upset stomache that shows incorrect signs of being a finicky eater. Would you it if everything you seemed to eat makes your stomache hurt?

The best way to test cat food is to check the stool. Solid, uniform, relativly innocuous-smelling stool means that your food is probably fine (double check with a vet), loose or very foul smelling stool will often indicate a digestive problem.

My Maggie is terribly allergic to all foods that aren't fish-based. Of course, I didn't know what was causing her diharreah at first, but because I was paying attention she didn't have to suffer to long. (I have digestive allergies and they HURT. I hate to see her going through it.)

Another thing to stay away from is people food. We're all tempted to break bread with our babies, and I have broken that rule more than once, but it's very VERY unhealthy. On the behavioural side it encourages finickiness and begging, which may not bother you normally, but having the cat repeatedly stick you in the shins with it's claws for food loses its charm really quickly. Healthwise a cat can be allergic to many many things. Often, if you don't stick to one food or if you feed your animal people food and your animal gets sick you may wind up with a VERY ill animal and no way to know what caused it. The biggest health problem is obesity.

Maggie has been on the same dry food most of her life. (Pro-plan Salmon..kitten then adult) She is allergic to a lot of things, so changing her food once we found something that didn't upset her stomache was not a good idea. Once Andy started feeding her people food though, we wound up with immediate behavioural problems at the dinner table. On just the regular food she regulates her own eating habits. I always keep the bowl full, but she is well within a healthy weight range.

I really don't reccomend switching foods and I'm against wet foods because of serious teeth problems and frankly, those tins are expensive.

/two cents.

Beware of changing foods

Post 2


This is all very true! I read a lot about this stuff when I got my cat, cos hey, what do I know about it? And the info was always like this.

Unfortunately the one problem I have with Amber is that she doesn't self-regulate her eating. I have to measure out her food or she'll eat too much. She went from kitten food practically straight into less active formula. smiley - winkeye (All Iams brand, which used to be supporting a good little company, but now it's been snatched up by Proctor and Gamble in what must be an interesting experiment for them. Ah well.) I also feed her dry food only, and it seems like the deal with this is if you're feeding decent-quality food, this is okay. She hasn't (in nearly 4 years now) had any problems related to having only dry food.

Poor Maggie, allergic to foods! I can't imagine, I mean, I'm allergic to a bunch of stuff myself, no foods that I know of, but it's damned annoying. I've always resisted the temptation to give her any people food, at least, on the same advice that it's just not a good idea. It doesn't seem to stop her from wanting to take it of course! Amber is one of the most stubbornly inquisitive cats I've ever seen, at least at times. She can open most of the kitchen cabinets, for instance (which has resulted in me getting locking devices meant to keep out children. smiley - winkeye)

Beware of changing foods

Post 3

Classic Krissy

Well, another thing about Maggie's weight staying down is that there is always The Game. I raised her like a cat, which means we did TONS of pounce training when she was a kitten. I got fake mice and fake birds and The Game behaves a lot like a bug. She spends a lot of her time jumping and running and pouncing. That probably helps.

I also got her interested in fetch. She's really good at it. I got to the point where I could wing a foam ball through the air as fast as I could and she would spring up from all fours and snag it in mid-air.

One time, she brought me a REAL mouse. I haven't had any rodent or bug problems in my apartment since then. smiley - smiley

Beware of changing foods

Post 4


Amber runs around a fair bit too, but I get the feeling that when I'm not there she mostly doesn't. Amber got a chance to chase a real mouse too, but all she was able to do was corner it (she got it into a place where it wouldn't go out of, but she also couldn't reach it either). She catches bugs it seems like, sometimes.

I need to try "The Game"; guess I'll have to order it online. Apparently it's rare that they don't like it, but then again this cat's already 4 years old. smiley - winkeye Wonder if you can teach an old cat new tricks... Anyway, so far with other interactive toys, after a minute or two she only wants to play by hiding and then stalking the thing, which is a lot less fun for the human. smiley - winkeye It takes ages for her to attempt to pounce on it again after that.

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