Changing Cat Foods

My cat was started on a diet of a rather expensive cat food a while back and I want to try and start him on a slightly cheeper, but still nice food (fancy feast versus friskies if it makes any difference.) I have tried to just give him the new food and this is apparently the wrong thing to do seeing that he brought it back up. Is there any way that I can make this easy on his stomach and easier for my cleanup?

Thanks,
Sara from CT

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February 25, 20070 found this helpful

Forgive me if this runs long but I have a few things to say on this subject as I am the mommy of 3 kitties, one with a "horking" (that's what my 6 yr old daughter calls it) problem.

1st off neither of those foods are "higher quality" I've found out, they are both full of fillers and basic

crud left over from the cutting floors of hundreds of meat processing plants. When you see the words chicken by product (or any other meat with by product) we are talking anything from the feathers, poop that they excret and lips (ok, chickens don't have lips but the pigs do!). And then the foods are filled with lots and lots of carbohydrate fillers, essentially the leftovers of grain milling too.

I found this out after having just 1 cat that was just happy being 1. Then I got another, the 1 was NOT happy but adjusted, but was stressed, so I looked into changing her diet. Well then another kitty came walking by my house and never left (the other 2 are strictly inside) he lives outside, but the 1 was really NOT happy. She started licking her tummy a lot, bald to be exact, so I started her on Natural Balance (Dick Van Patten, yep, THAT Dick) food. It cost about $13 a bag, BUT I went through a lot LESS in the months I used that than I would have with the cheap food, they have more nutritionally sound food they eat less of it. Neither of them were 100% going bananas over it, but they both looked good (the 2 kitty was fat and starting to slim down some). But alas, the horking continued.

So after some $500 later turns out my 1 needed to be switched to an even more expensive food, that is only vet prescribed!!!! I have a call into the vet to ask her if I heard her phone call wrong, either 1 has IBS for cats or the food can cause symptoms that mimic IBS. Either way, this new food is just about only rabbit and peas and is twice the cost of the "expensive food!!!"

Either way, the only way to switch a kitty to a new food is to slowly do it, just switching can cause havoc on their system. Think if we ate only rice, day in and day out for months, then all of a sudden we ate only wheat pasta, no matter what our systems would NOT be happy for a while. Since there are so many types of Friskies flavors out there, try them out. My kitties get a scoop of wet food in the am (the vet said no to this really, but I still spoil them a tiny bit with tuna for kitties from Trader Joe's at least I know it's only tuna and not fillers) they like just about any flavor of friskies unless it's the sliced stuff (that they just lick the gravy and are done). The 1 cat used to eat wally world canned food, now she sticks her nose up to it, go figure! Either way, try to get a food that is nutritionally sound for them, may seem more "expensive" in the beginning, but not only is it better for our companions but they really do use less of it.

Sorry if that was long, I've done hours of research on the food thing, I am really tired of the horking!!!!!

P.S. She HAS horked 3 times since the new diet started but only in 2 weeks, that is a lot better than 3 times in as many days!!! Good luck!

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February 27, 20070 found this helpful

Anytime you change a cat's diet, you have to do it very, very slowly. I usually make the change over a two week period, beginning by adding a tiny bit of the new food to the old, the next day a little bit more, etc., until it's about half-n-half. Then you can usually speed up the process. Good luck with your kitty!

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February 27, 20070 found this helpful

I agree with every thing in the above reply. Using cheap, low quality food is not inexpensive in the long run...... I've had many cats . One lived to be 22+ years and my present kitty is almost 19 yrs. and is going strong!! She is on prescription food from the vet as she has had kidney disease for the last couple of years. I also have dogs...same goes for them. The higher quality foods cost more per pound, but the pets eat less and an added bonus...poop less!! Introduce the new food gradually to avoid stomach upsets.

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February 27, 20070 found this helpful

Friskies! Hork!! Even I wouldn't eat that. Cheap and thrifty are not always the same thing, unless you're my Dad. He was a champ.

Go to a pet store, as in a large chain. Animals eat less of the "expensive" stuff, and fewer vet visits result. For cats, get the lowest ash content you can, to protect their kidneys. Don't get anything that contains "by products." Why are you paying for noses and ears and all that stuff? That's not thrifty.

Read the labels on the cans. Use your computer to read about each brand. It won't take long until you know what you want. Stock up when there's a sale.

My cats lived until more than 18 years. Cuddle that kitty.

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March 26, 20070 found this helpful

Mix the old with the new -- 1/2 and 1/2 - - until your cat gets used to it. If that doesn't work try just a little bit of the new mixed in at a time.

And then slowly bring it up 100% all new.

Take care,

Johnny Of the Web People

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April 16, 20070 found this helpful

thanks for the replies everyone!

so, i bought Boris, (my big kitty) some nice healthy (biproduct free) cat food. it turns out that it was actually less expensive than the fancy feast. i started him half and half for a few days and then put him on it fully and he loves it!

and so far, hes not getting sick either!

so thanks so much for the suggestions!

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