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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
We are trying to switch Hitch from his kitten food to Wellness healthy cat (not sure if this is the exact name) Any way, he does not want to have anything to do with it
when we put it anywhere near his old food, he will not eat as much.
We have tried another food too..that is a bit bigger, but we crused it up, and same thing, he won't eat his regular food

is there a way to get him to switch? Or maybe is it too early to switch him from the kitten food? He is 14 weeks old - so just over 4 mths old

Thanks :) all suggestions welcomed :)
 

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Try mixing more of the old food with less of the new food. Start with like 25/75, 50/50, 75/25, 100%. Add more of the new food/ subtract more of the old food every week (or two even, depending on how much he starts eating). Just go slow with it and be persistent and keep at it. Sometimes it takes a while for hedgies, especially babies, to realize that new food = tasty. Also, stick to one new food to mix with his old stuff. The more (different) foods you try, the more confused he probably is.

Good luck!
 

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If a slow switch doesn't work, try grinding some of the kitten food to a powder and sprinkle it over the new food. Sometimes if it smells similar to the old stuff they are more willing to try the new. Also just keep trying, some hedgehogs are more resistant to new foods.
 

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Also mix up the new and old and put in a ziplock bag so the new and old scents of the food blend together. I do this whenever adding a new food and it really seems to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the advice!
We are just nervous, cuz when we put it in the same dish, he flat out refuses to eat anything..not even pick out the "good stuff" - he may eat 10 kibble/night...we do this for like 2 nights, then we pick out the new stuff..and low and behold - he eats everything!
I think he is just a VERY picky eater..mind you, we did not have ANY problem with this food when we introduced it to him when we first got him. It must be VERY delish!!
 

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You have yourself a very picky hedgehog. I had one once too. Mine would flat out refuse to eat anything if a new food was in her cage, not just in the same bowl. And would do it for days if you didn't cave in. She came to me eating this one food, and unfortunately it was Iams canned cat food turkey & gravy... and if there was not enough gravy, she wouldn't eat that either. Wasn't my choice of foods, but we could never get her to switch. It didn't help that she was a small hedgehog to begin with and didn't have much weight to lose. We (my vet and myself) both figured that this canned food was better than no food, and she was doing fine on it. so we left her with it.

Have you tried just adding the food in another bowl in the cage? You might try that with the letting the other foods sit in the same bag or with the sprinkles of powdered kibble. That way he has the option and yet hopefully won't fast.
 

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I agree with Reaper on mixing the new and old food in a baggie. I used to keep all my foods separate and gave it out according to which fussy ate what. With 30+ hedgehogs at any given time, that was getting to be a wee bit time consuming, not to mention confusing. Finally I decided to mix everything together and they could do the picking. There are a few that do pick and choose what they want but for the most part, those that formerly wouldn't eat many of the foods, are now eating it all. I think having it mixed together blends the flavours somewhat. Of course with a hedgehog you are just introducing the food too, you will have to be careful and only give a little bit of the new that is mixed in. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, I have taken away the new food for a couple of nights now, to get him back to eating the regualar stuff...he was weighed last night, and he has lost 20g
he is still eating and drinking, just really not very much
is this weight loss something I should be worried about? or just account it to his being fussy, and not eating so much?
I thought about taking out his wheel, but then I feel bad :(
 

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I would leave the wheel in because removing it will cause even more stress which won't be good for him. Try to change as little as possible, maybe offer the new food in a separate dish with mealies, or somehow make it look like a treat? But first, make sure he doesn't lose any more weight as a precaution.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So...Just an update on Hitch and his switching foods...

We tried the mixing the old and new foods in a baggie for a while - He just picks out the old stuff - even if its left in his cage for a couple of days
We tried sprinkling old stuff over the new stuff - just picks out the old stuff (sprinkles)
We tried 2 different dishes - he is slowly eating the new stuff - maybe 10 kibble a night -instead for 50+
but I weighed him last night - and he has lost another 20g
I feel so bad, cuz its like he is starving - when we give him mealies - he gobbles them up more than usual - and if we give him his old food - he can eat tons of it - but I don't want to give in - his kitten food is too fatty - and almost gone, and I don't want to have to buy another bag ( will if I have no choice)

Do you guys have any other suggestions? He is getting more crabby too..and is biting more cuz he is hungry :(

HELP!! I don't want my baby to starve :(
Thanks!! :)
 

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How much weight has he lost total since you first tried to transition him to the new food? It sounds like he really is protesting!

Because he seems to be resisting the new food so much, I'd just give him his old food for a few nights. (You can leave the new food in the mix, it may help him get used to the smell, anyhow) If he regains his weight after a few days, I would say go ahead and use whatever method you have (or find suggested, on here). I would definitely continue to weigh him to make sure he is not loosing too much.

When I first introduce a new food, Inky will eat his old stuff first if given the choice. I usually put a few kibble (5 to start, after 4 nights, then 10, etc.) in a separate dish and offer only those until they are gone, when I put back his regular dish. This may not work for you though, because he doesn't seem open to eating anything else.

Maybe it's just the particular food. What kitten food does he have now? Maybe he'd like an adult formula of that brand better?
 

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Even if he is refusing the new food, you need to ensure you are giving him enough to eat. No need to starve him. How was his weight before you decided to switch? Was he becoming overweight?

I can't remember which one at the moment, but I know I had one that wouldn't eat Wellness. As mentioned, you may want to try another brand of food to add to his diet. I recommend mixing a at least 2 different brands of food for a normal diet anyway. That way should one food become unavailable you have another food to fall back on while you wait for the other to become available again. I've had numerous times over the years where I couldn't find one of the foods in my mix. Even Petfooddirect.com was out the one time, I had to wait for them to restock.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
We've tried Wellness (but I don't blame him to not like it - it stinks!)
We've tried the adult version - same brand as his kitten food - but its HUGE (so of course we broke it up for him) no luck - I think that one is Hills something or another (yes - I realise its not the best - but we didn't realise it at the time)
we are trying Royal Cainine now - and that one he is eating a little bit -
We are not starving him on purpose...we are giving him enough food
he just doesn't eat a lot
and he's not fat - just want to switch him to adult food - cuz the kitten food is running out
Maybe its too early to switch? he just turned 6 months on the 24th of Dec.
 

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Oh I know you aren't starving him on purpose, didn't mean for it to sound that way. Just if he is not becoming obese on the kitten food I wouldn't try pressing him so hard to eat the new. Give him enough of the kitten to maintain weight and continue to try to find a food or a method to convince him to eat new food.

Some hedgehogs can just be down right stubborn about trying anything new. They know what they like and that's what they want. We get to jump through hoops trying to figure out how to convince them otherwise.
 

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Following up from this old post; GaspeLisa and I are still working on switching little Hitch to a new food. We actually no longer have a choice since his food is being discontinued by the manufacturer. We actually attempted to switch him to Prescription Diet C/D that a friend had and well he seemed to enjoy eating it but on the second night he went pee and poop crazy. He ate a lot more than usually and started peeing in excess than anything we've seen. We stopped giving it to him while we wait to try another kind of food. We've been recommended to try Royal Canine again and I will stop at the store to pick up another kind to try.

Sigh.. our little hedgehog is a stubborn one :)
 
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