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How do I get my Kitten to eat more?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Connor Graham, Jul 26, 2018.


  1. Connor Graham

    Connor Graham PetForums Newbie

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    So this is my third thread about my kitten Coco.

    We've had her for almost two weeks now. She is 10/11 weeks old. She is litter trained and has been to the vet for her first vaccine and de-wormer - the vet told us she was underweight at 0.7kg and so we had to de-worm her via a tablet.

    Anyway, she is not eating much. During her first week she ate fine more or less, but now seems to have gone fussy. She has 5 different foods to choose from and she won't seem to eat much of any. We put food down, she goes up and smells it, and then looks at us and cries.

    She has kitten milk too but seems to be complaining about that now as well!

    She is going to the bathroom regularly I think but she doesn't seem to want nay of the abundance of food we have to give her!

    Any advice helpful, thanks.
     
  2. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    Have you tried cooked chicken, or cooked turkey mince, or poached fish?

    Few kitties can resist one of the above :p

    My Joey loves both chicken and mince. Whenever he's got an upset tummy I make some up for him (I just dry fry turkey thigh mince for example) and he loves it. I'm a big fan of mince because it requires minimal human intervention!

    If even that fails I would maybe get back to the vet and see if maybe something else is going on that is affecting her appetite.

    Another trick is to mash up normal kitten food, potentially even mix it in with water. For young kittens this can make things a bit easier/tempting, especially if sore with teething as they can basically lap it up :)
     
  3. Connor Graham

    Connor Graham PetForums Newbie

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    Yeah cooked chicken and also tuna she loves but I don't want to get her into the habit of expecting me to cook for her! I don't mind doing it now as she needs to grow but I want her to be able to eat her cat food without a fuss :/

    I didn't think about teething! I'll try this.
     
  4. SuboJvR

    SuboJvR Joey’s Mummy

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    I'd look for common ingredients between the food she perhaps doesn't like, as well. A lot of cat food brands for example use chicken as part of the "meat and animal derivatives" mix, or even in named mixtures. It's quite frustrating - Nature's Menu for example is a good food but all the flavours have chicken in. My Joey is quite fussy about chicken in food, he's much more fond of turkey on the whole (but he does like cooked chicken, or Canagan tins). That said, he still returns to Hill's Science Plan which must have chicken in the mix but I think it also contains pork etc so maybe that helps.

    So something like James Wellbeloved is an interesting one to try because it has turkey (or lamb), no chicken. It does however have pea protein in which can go straight through cats sometimes as it's not much use to them - so it's not an amazing food, but it could be a bit of a stop-gap for you. It went straight through Joey the first time we tried it, but when I tried it again he actually tolerated it pretty well a few weeks later (maybe he already had a slight upset the first time, who knows). So if you are tempted to give it a go, I can't emphasise enough to do so gradually ;)

    It's also fairly economical for what it's worth to cook up a batch of turkey mince. If I make a full packet it lasts long enough in the fridge that he gets through the whole thing, and compared to the cost of high end cat food it's pretty good. Of course, it's not a complete food so it can't be for all meals all the time, but I don't mind doing it when he has an upset tum.
     
  5. Connor Graham

    Connor Graham PetForums Newbie

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    We've tried 8 different flavours and still not working. She is now eating off the floor but not from her bowl. Over the past two weeks she has stopped eating from her bowl/dishes of every shape, size and material. She will eat off the floor. We have tried feeding her from dishes of different sizes and materials and she just wont have any of it unless its directly off the floor or table!!
     
  6. Forester

    Forester trained by Dylan

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    Perhaps she's getting confused through having too much choice. Whenever I've had a new kitten I've always kept them on the same food that they were eating before I had them for at least two weeks. I then introduce one new food every few weeks offering the " old" food as well as a little of the new,I gradually increase the proportion of new. My instinct is that she's become overwhelmed by all these new foods and no longer feels confident that any of them are " safe " to eat.

    Have you posted any pictures of her ? We love pictures of kittens.:D
     
    chillminx likes this.
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    The current hot UK weather is badly affecting the appetite of some cats at present. Two of my cats, who normally have terrific appetites have become very fussy and it is hard to get them to eat anything. Especially in the daytime. The heat is probably affecting your kitten's appetite too. Unless you live in a house with air conditioning.

    To make matters worse one of mine will not drink water, milk or broth, and so it's a battle to get food into him to keep him hydrated. In desperation I've resorted to feeding him cheap supermarket Felix (and adding water to it), just to get him to eat. It is better than nothing. I know when the weather cools down he will happily go back to eating his good quality food.

    I can't feed the other food-refuser Felix as he has IBD and is on a strict diet (which would be trashed if I fed him Felix) . So I am getting by with feeding him poached white fish (with plenty of the cooking juices) - which he loves, and foods such as cans of Thrive Complete Chicken, pouches of Wellness Core (from [email protected]) and trays of Macadams Turkey from Pets Corner. He is eating much less than he usually does so I'm not worried these cat foods are quite expensive. It is only short term after all, while the temperature is warm.

    Luckily this particular cat likes goats milk, so he gets a saucerful of it every day which helps a lot with his fluid intake.

    If your kitten won't eat from a bowl or dish, then give her a flat plate, such as a tea-plate or a salad plate. Some cats much prefer this. You can pick up plates cheaply in charity shops (i.e. thrift shops).

    Don't worry too much if she won't eat during the day, when it is hot, but it is essential with a kitten to make sure she is drinking plenty. Cats do not have a good thirst drive because they have evolved to get their fluids in their food (their prey).

    Coax your kitten with goats milk (warmed) ,or Kitten milk (warmed) from Tesco etc :

    https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/products/289661682

    Or buy some of the cat food soups made by Gourmet and Sheba :

    https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/search?query=cat food soup&config=spellchecker

    Or make her some home-made chicken broth using chicken drumsticks and freeze it in ice cube trays, defrosting every day as needed.

    What I've found with my current two food refusers is that if I don't work hard to keep them hydrated with plenty of fluids, they become listless and unhappy and then they don't want to eat anything at all. You mustn't let that happen to your kitten, as a kitten her age can go down hill rapidly, if they become dehydrated.

    Ensure you leave plenty of wet food for your kitten at night, as that may be when she most feels like eating at present. (No dry food at all, as she will struggle to hydrate it, in this current heat).
     
    #7 chillminx, Jul 26, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
    Connor Graham and Trixie1 like this.
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