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Unread 10-31-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Default Magic is not eating enough

I have two cats born in August 2009. When I first got them I was misinformed about cat food. I mistakenly thought cats were only supposed to eat dry food. I heard that it was good for their teeth. I got them when they were 8 weeks old and for the first two monthss they were on strictly dry kitten food. After I learned (on this site mostly) that they should be on mostly wet food, and a good quality wet food, I bought Wellness Core Wet food, and put dry food out for them to nibble on while I was at work. Well, Mr. Midnight has adjusted really well, but Magic always needs to be coaxed into eating wet food. She turns her nose up and walks away. I bring her diish to her and sometimes she takes a little bit, but mostly I have to spoon feed her. Please note that I add water to the wet food. She likes to lick the watery part, but leaves most of the food part. I have tried Blue Buffalo, and now BG Before Grains. The only flavor she will eat is BG Tuna and sometimes BG Salmon, but she still doesn't eat ENOUGH. She will refuse to eat until I put dry Blue Buffalo Wilderness food in her plate, and then she will eat. I tried withholding the dry food, figuring that when she gets hungry enough she will eat, but then I saw a thread on this site that a cat will starve to death before eating something they don't want to eat. Mr. Midnight doesn't have a problem with the wet food, and when he poops it is nice and fluffy, not dry, small and hard. When Magic poops, it is smaller. I blame myself because if I hadn't introduced my kitties to a dry food diet there would not be a problem. Is there an vitamin that could stimulate the appetite?
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Unread 11-01-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Aw, don't blame yourself. Many kittens are started on kibble for even the first six months because many advise free feeding kittens for the first six months.

I couldn't free feed Queen Eva because of the other cats, and she didn't like any of the kitten kibble I tried anyway, (nor did I) so she went right to schedule feeding of canned.

Magic doesn't need an appetite stimulant, she just needs something she likes, and with some cats that can be hard to find. Tolly is so finicky, when he was young I despaired of ever finding anything he would eat. I finally found a Fancy Feast flavor that had just come out Fancy Feast Grilled Salmon, and he ate that and ONLY that for 8 years, until the 2007 food poisoning recalls. At that point, even though FF wasn't part of the recall I was determined to get him on something better. It's been a long slow haul the past 3 1/2 years trying to find quality food he will eat.

Blue Buffalo has a lot of different choices, what have you tried? Tolly loves the Gourmet flaked chicken, but it sounds like Magic likes gravy based foods, or pate.

What styles of food have you tried? A pate can be watered down to make a gravy consistency with no chunks at all, or you can leave some of the pate in chunks sitting in the gravy. That's how Jennie likes it. A sliced and gravy can also have water added to it, and you can chop the slices to make them smaller.

I agree with not leaving the kibble down, just give it to her, if she won't eat the canned offered.

A couple of other tricks I use. Sometimes Tolly is stubborn about even the food I KNOW he likes. So...I put something in front of him I know he doesn't like. He sniffs it and then sits there staring at it and looking soooo mournfully (it's hilarious).

I then pick up the offending food and put down his regular food (which he had refused before) and he eats it right up. LOL. I feel very smug out-smarting him this way.

Another trick I will do is sprinkle just a few pieces of kibble over the wet food. This often inspires the picky one to continue eating.

Don't give up on Magic yet, keep trying different foods, but yes, at the end of the day if she has not eaten enough, give her the kibble.

PS....just thinking.....if she starts to lose weight you might want to get her in for a check up there may be something else going on.
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Unread 11-07-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Hi Gail--I forgot to mention something really important. When I feed Magic and Mr. Midnight, Mr. Midnight will gobble down his food while Magic eats like a proper lady. Then Mr. Midnight will push her out of her bowl and she will just walk away and he will finish HER food. And once he does that, even if I shoo him away, she won't return to her bowl no matter what. It got to the point that when they are eating, all he has to do is look at her and she will stop eating, look at him, and walk away from her bowl.
Also, I was putting so much water in their wet food that she slurps up all the watery part, and by that time only has room for a couple bites of the real food, and will walk away from the bowl even if Mr. Midnight is still busy eating his own food.
So, with these thoughts I tried something different. Using all the same wet food as before, (Right now they have been eating BG Before Grains Chicken and Quail, Turkey, Salmon, Beef, and Tuna.) I bought several of each to see if they had a preference. They are all the pate kind. So the first thing I did was add only about two tablespoons of water instead of about a half cup. Then I put Mr. Midnight's food down where he normall eats, and took Magic into the bthroom where she could eat without being pushed out of her bowl. And she started eating!!!! When Mr. Midnight finished, he sat by the bathroom door meowing like crazy and scratching on the door, and Magic kept looking looking up from her bowl and looking at the door. When she realized that Mr. Midngight couldn't get to her, she resumed eating. This has been going on for several days now. She still doesn't finish all her food, but at least she is eatiing until SHE wants to stop, and not because HE is bullying her.
I had tried what you said, adding water and leaving some lumps so it would be like food with gravy, and I had also tried putting the dry kibble in the wet food, but it did not work. Nothing was working until I took her into the bathroom so she could eat in peace. Have you ever heard of this before? Will I always have to separate them when they eat? I guess some cats really get stressed out at mealtimes.
She is not losing weight, but if she was, I would have scooped her right up and taken her to the vet--no "wait and see" approach for MY kitties!!!!
I like the idea about putting food down that your cat DOESN't like,and then taking it away and putting the food she DOES like. I never would have thought of that. Anyway thanks for all the great advice. I thought of you when I went into RiteAid--they have the throws for only $1.99 this year--I couldn't believe it!!! And they had all these pretty colors--blue plaid, and solid blue, green plaid and solid green, etc.
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Unread 11-07-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Oh......so Magic is being bullied away from her food! Yes, separating them is how you most likely are going to have to always feed them.

Perhaps...once Magic builds more confidence and can eat without worry, you can feed her in the same room as Midnight, but put her up on a table or something. And...as soon as Midnight is finished, scoop him up and shut him up somewhere until Magic is finished.

That's what I have to do with Jennie. She gobbles her food, then bullies Mazy away from Mazy's dish. So when Jennie is finished, I scoop Jennie up and put her in the bedroom and close the screen door until Mazy is done.

I hadn't realized you were adding so much water, yes 1/2 cup is way too much! Keep on with just a couple tablespoons instead.

I'm glad you solved the problem and poor little Magic can eat in peace!
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Unread 11-10-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, it took me a while to realize why Magic wasn't eating. As far as adding 1/2 cup water, I was adding that amount for both of them, and Mr. Midnight slurped all the water part up and then ate all the food usually. But, I cut back on his water too to just a couple of spoonfulls. They do drink from their Drinkwell 360 Fountain. I just make sure I take it apart and clean it regularly because otherwise, the plastic parts of the fountain start to get slippery and slimy, and I certainly don't want my babies drinking that stuff.
Anyway, that's a good idea about scooping up Midnight when he's done once I can feed them in the same room. I actually tried that tonight without success. I put Midnight's bowl of food down, and Magic had jumped on the counter. Instead of taking her to another room, I started to feed her, but as soon as I did that, Mr. Midnight jumped up on the counter (even though he had a bowl of his OWN food) and tried to eat Magic's food. I called Magic into the bathroom and closed the door. She likes to sit on the hamper and eat. The only problem is that even though I ALWAYS put Mr. Midnight's bowl of food down first, as soon as Magic and I go into the bathroom and shut the door, Mr. Midnight sits in front of the bathroom door and meows NONSTOP, every couple of seconds and scratches on the door. When the door rattles, poor Magic stops eating and looks at the door. Thankfully, she must realize that she is safe, and she resumes eating. Then Mr. Midnight will scratch his sisal scratching post that is directly outside the bathroom, then climb on top of it and meow, non-stop. For some reason he will NOT go to his own bowl and eat until AFTER Magic comes out.
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Well, the important thing is that MAGIC is eating in peace. If Midnight wants to howl and protest and wait to eat, fine, since you know he will eat, when little Magic comes out.

Cats are funny critters and have their own minds that's for sure. I'm glad you've figured a way to give Magic her meals in peace, and it sounds like she is, too.

Midnight may eventually adjust and stop making all that noise, but even if he doesn't, I think you are doing the right thing.
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Unread 11-10-2010   #7 (permalink)
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I'm glad you have figured a way for Magic to be able to eat in peace. I have to feed Pixie and Sasha in two different places too. Pixie just barges her way to the bowl but Sasha gets a bit nervy eating side by side so I always put her food under the kitchen table several feet away. Luckily she eats up pretty quickly
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