Dealing with Finicky RagaMuffin Kittens and Rotation Diets

Many of us talk about our finicky felines and what picky eaters cats are.  While cats do have a reputation for being finicky, it is likely that we have contributed to causing such finicky behavior.


Rule Out Medical Cause

finicky ragamuffin kittensIf you have finicky RagaMuffin kittens, the first thing to do is rule out any potential medical issue.  You should make sure the gums of the RagaMuffin cat are not causing pain when eating.  This is usually very apparent because a  cat with gum disease will jump suddenly when eating and run away from the food bowl.  Usually, other causes of picky eating that are related to a medical issue will come on suddenly.  This is not the same as a cat who wants you to open five different flavors before they will lick a little and walk away.


Other Things to Consider with Finicky RagaMuffin Kittens

Cats do not like narrow or deep food bowls.  The reason is they do not like having their sensitive whiskers touching the sides of the bowl.  Plastic food bowls should not be used, as they can retain unpleasant odors and can also cause chin acne.

When kittens are being weaned from their mother to a meat diet,  feed a variety of different types of food.  They will develop varied tastes and be more accepting of different foods and textures as they mature.  If kittens are fed only dry food as they are being weaned, they may not accept canned food as they mature, because they do not recognize it as food.  Feeding a variety of foods will help to prevent finicky RagaMuffin kittens.


Rotation Diet for Finicky RagaMuffin Kittens

Using what is referred to as the rotation diet, you can make sure the RagaMuffins are exposed to different proteins, flavors, and textures as they are being weaned.

A rotation diet may be done in several different ways.  You may feed one flavor to your RagaMuffins for breakfast and another for dinner.  Feeding one flavor for a week and then switching to another in another approach.  Try switching on a monthly basis.  When weaning kittens, the best approach is to switch foods at least daily.  Using different textures, as well as types of meat should also be utilized.

Go Slow With Switching Diets

You should be aware that switching foods can cause gastrointestinal upset.  If your RagaMuffin cat has been used to one flavor of food, gradually add in the second flavor to avoid tummy upset.  In addition, the use of a probiotic can help avoid gastrointestinal upset.

One benefit of using a rotation diet is ensuring balanced nutrition by feeding different types of protein.  By using a rotation diet, you have less chance of finicky RagaMuffin kittens, because they have been exposed to a variety of flavors and textures.  This is better than being fed the same food every meal, every day.  Finally, there are some veterinarians that believe using a rotation diet will lessen the likelihood of your kitty developing a food allergy as a result of being fed the same protein over a long period of time.

Dry Food

There is much debate about whether feeding any dry food is healthy for a cat.  Dry foods are higher in carbohydrates, even grain-free dry foods.  Since cats are obligate carnivores, they need meat-based protein in their diet.  Cats lack the enzyme to process metabolically the plant-based proteins that are present in many dry foods.  Feeding dry food can lead to a number of diseases.  These include diabetes, kidney disease, urinary tract issues, and inflammatory bowel disease.  In addition, since cats lack a strong thirst drive,  the lack of moisture in dry food can result in chronic dehydration of your cat, even though they drink more water.  They will not drink enough fluid to make up for the lack of moisture in the dry food.  I would advise any kitty owner to do some research and decide whether they want to offer their cat any dry food in their diet, and if so, how much is acceptable.  The book, “Your Cat” written by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M., Esq. contains lots of useful information about diet.  This book also provides lots of other information to help your RagaMuffin kittens or cats live a healthy life.

Tips to Help Finicky RagaMuffin Kittens

It can be a challenge and frustrating dealing with finicky RagaMuffin kittens.  Here are some tips for ways to get your finicky feline to start eating various types of food.

First, do not feed your RagaMuffin kittens table scraps.  Cookies and cakes are not appropriate for your kitty, even though they may eat them.  Cats should be fed a species-appropriate diet.  Corn is not a species-appropriate food for a cat.

If you are free-feeding your kittens, by leaving a bowl of dry food out at all times, stop that practice.  In order to help your finicky eater, you must eliminate dry food from the diet, even if you decide to do so temporarily.  If your kitty is “grazing” at the dry food bowl all day, it is going to be very difficult to get them to try a variety of different canned food flavors.

Frequency of Feeding

If your RagaMuffin is an adult, feed two meals a day.  For kittens, feed three meals a day.  If the cat does not finish or touch the food, take it up after 30 minutes and throw it away.  Your cat should not be fed anything until the next mealtime.  This is harder on the human than the cat.  One word of caution here.  If your kittens or cats do not eat for 24-48 hours, they can develop hepatic lipidosis or fatty liver disease, which can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.

Most cats will eat something while you are trying to get them to try different foods, but if they do not, you must feed them something they will eat.  In cases of very stubborn RagaMuffins, mix a small amount of the new food to the old food.  This may mean mixing a small amount of canned food and stirring it in well to coat their dry food.  Gradually increase the amount of new food.

You can also sprinkle some freeze-dried chicken and salmon over the food.  Tuna juice may also be used, as well as parmesan cheese or meat-based baby food (make sure the baby food does not contain any onion powder).  If you must resort to adding these enticements to get your RagaMuffin kittens to eat the new food, do so on a temporary basis.  Once they are eating their food, gradually cut back on the “treats” you are using to get your kitty to eat.

It takes a lot of patience to deal with your finicky eater, but if you use the tools outlined here, you can get your RagaMuffin eating a healthier, more varied diet.

Persistence is Key

There was a RagaMuffin cat that would eat nothing but dry food.  She would graze all day and she was overweight.  RagaMuffins are big, but this girl looked like she swallowed a basketball.  She was also constipated due to the lack of moisture in her diet (even though she drank LOTS of water).  In addition, she started urinating blood.  This feline refused to eat anything other than her dry food.  To illustrate what a hard case she was, when she was offered canned food, she would walk over, sniff the food, and gag!  Yes, that is absolutely the truth.

Persistence with this girl by picking up the food after it was down for 30 minutes and letting her skip a meal; then if she refused the second meal, a very small amount of canned food mixed well with her dry food was offered.  She ate it!  Little by little, the amount of canned food was increased.   She now eats canned food only diet and has dropped a couple of pounds.  The constipation is cured and there has been no bloody urine since switching her diet.  She still looks like she has a small basketball in her tummy, but she is healthier.

Have patience and be persistent and you can turn that finicky eater around!