Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

How to train kitten to be alone/leave my food alone! :)

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Rubiks, Jun 5, 2017.


  1. Rubiks

    Rubiks PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    50
    Hi All,

    I have recently purchased a gorgeous British Shorthair kitten and have totally fallen in love with him. Which, unfortunately, come with the usual downsides. I hate to leave him alone, but realistically I'm going to have to so I can work! How can I get him used to living alone during the day quickly? I've been starting slowly and we're up to about 2.5 hours alone time. I'm just terrified I'm going to scar him for life if I do it too quickly! I was planning to leave all the doors open so he has free reign (I've cat proofed all the rooms that will be open) but have heard mixed things. Any ideas??

    Secondly, he keeps trying to eat my food! I know it's totally normal behaviour, but is there any way I could try and train him not to?

    Any other general hints and tips would be very welcome :)

    Michael
     
  2. lymorelynn

    lymorelynn UN Peacekeeper in training
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    34,811
    Likes Received:
    31,665
    Feed him just before you eat so that he is interested in his own food rather than yours - no guarantees with that but it works with mine. Or you can shut him out of the room where you're eating.
    Kittens and adult cats too, spend most of their day asleep so don't worry about him being scarred for life by being left. While he is young try to get home to feed him during the day or have an automatic feeder. If you leave him with toys make sure they are safe ones, with no ribbon, string or anything similar that he can swallow or get tangled up in.
     
  3. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    28,250
    Likes Received:
    25,281
    Hi Michael,

    Firstly if he is trying to eat your food then the chances are he is hungry. I don't know how old he is but if he was 12 or 13 weeks (minimum) when you got him then I assume he is around 15 or 16 weeks now? So he is growing rapidly and has a big appetite. Feed him at least 4 times a day possibly 5, and let him eat as much as he wants every meal.

    Do not feed him dry food, as it is difficult for a kitten to drink enough water to hydrate the food and so there's a risk of low level chronic dehydration causing damage to kidneys.

    Also feed him one of his meals before you sit down for yours.

    If he jumps on the table when you're eating, gently place him on the floor. Keep doing it until he has got the message. Which he will, as long as he is not hungry.

    If you have had kitty for more than 2 weeks and have spent that time settling him in then it is probably OK to go out and leave him while you work. But I would never leave a young kitten on their own all day, as they will get bored and lonely. I have always gotten kittens in pairs so they have had each other for company when I had to work.

    If you have to work all day hopefully you can get back at lunchtime to feed him and play with him. Autofeeders are useful for a couple of timed meals so he doesn't have to be left without food and then you can avoid leaving dry food down for him. (Dry food is not intended to be left down all day to snack on. If fed it must be given in the correct measured amounts as a meal).

    If you can't get home in the daytime then I advise either asking a friend or neighbour to pop in and see him each day, or else employ a professional cat sitter (your vet will recommend someone reliable and reputable). You may only need to do this for a month or so until your kitten is more independent.

    You can also think about installing an interactive monitoring system in your home so you can observe your kitten and even speak to him. The Pet Cube seems to have good reviews.

    https://petcube.com/?utm_expid=.kylxVj32RF-vW-nUrq0rCA.0&utm_referrer=https://nortonsafe.search.ask.com/web?q=remote%20camera%20for%20viewing%20pet%20in%20home&o=APN12175&prt=SSS&ver=2.0.0.433&tpr=111&chn=nfm&guid=95913458-bc21-4994-c64f-e248c45153b7&doi=2017-2-2&geo=en_GB&ctype=
     
    buffie and lorilu like this.
  4. Rubiks

    Rubiks PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    50
    Thanks both for the replies!

    We were recommended by the breeder to free feed him for a while, then when he's older reduce it to 3 meals then 2 meals a day. So he tends to just eat when he wants really! He just won't go near wet food, at all! Ive read that if it's a good brand of dry food then there's not really any issues with them only eating dry - his water bowl is always filled up.

    Btw here are some pictures, his name is Albus!

    20170605_081324_003.jpg 20170604_162835.jpg IMG_20170604_165533_593.jpg
     
    #4 Rubiks, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    Yorkshirecats likes this.
  5. LJC675

    LJC675 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    2,828
    Likes Received:
    11,976
    I've got 2 kittens that are 4 months old, so a similar age to Albus ( who is so adorable BTW). Luckily I work from home, but there are days when we have to leave them. On those days I always make sure that I play with them a lot to tire them out before we have to go, then give them their food so that hopefully they will settle down and sleep fairly soon (the old 'hunt, eat. sleep' routing). Mine are always shut in the kitchen with all their necessary things, plus we have some toys that then don't get given unless we are going out, so they hold their attention a lot more. Typically we leave them with the catit track thing (not sure what it's actually called) but it's a mni roller coaster track with a ball in it that they bat round and round.

    As for eating our food, luckily we've not had that problem, we have never fed them any tit bits from our human plates, or when preparing food, therefore they don't associate us eating with them getting anything, as already mentioned, make sure you're feeding him enough so that he's not hungry.

    If we are out over lunchtime we use an automatic feeder that we can put ice packs in to make sure they get their lunch.
     
    lorilu likes this.
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2009
    Messages:
    12,437
    Likes Received:
    14,418

    This is not true. Kittens (and adult cats) need a wet food diet. They cannot drink enough water to make up the dehydrating effects of a dry diet.

    He was obviously weaned onto dry so does not understand that wet is food. Stop free feeding, feed scheduled meals and start putting a little wet down next to the dry, so he begins to understand that the wet is actually food. Crush up dry and dust the dry crumbs all over the wet until he starts eating it. Gradually put more wet and less dry until it is all wet.
     
    buffie and chillminx like this.
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    28,250
    Likes Received:
    25,281
    I agree with lorilu. The best, most expensive dry food you can buy cannot compensate for lack of fluids in the diet. His water bowl may well be near by but he will need to drink about a third of a pint of water a day to keep himself hydrated. (An adult cat needs to drink half a pint of water a day on a dry food diet, but I have yet to come across one who does drink that much)

    You can measure how much water you put in the bowl with a measuring jug and then measure what's left at the end of the day. I would be very surprised if what he drinks comes to a third of a pint a day.

    Free feeding dry food is a very bad habit to start. Dry food is much too high in calories and carbs for it to be a healthy diet for a kitten. Some dry food are worse than others for carb levels. Cats do not need carbs in their diets. The dry food with the lowest carbs is Thrive premium but even that has much higher carbs than wet food.

    He may not have bladder problems when he is young, on a dry food diet, but you are setting him up for potential problems (e.g. crystals in his bladder) in a few years time.
     
    #7 chillminx, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    Jannor and lorilu like this.
  8. Yorkshirecats

    Yorkshirecats PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2016
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    137
    My kittens always preferred the gravy kitten pouches. Perhaps you can crush up a very small amount of the dry and sprinkle on the top or mix through the wet food to tempt them?
     
    Betty6691 likes this.
  9. Rubiks

    Rubiks PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    50
    Update: I crumbled his dry food on top but he didn't go for it so tried a couple of small treats and he ate the lot! Thanks for the advice, hopefully this means he'll start to eat wet food now!

    Also, is it best to leave him in one room or give him free reign of the cat proofed rooms when we're out? I've read a lot of conflicting things about it!
     
  10. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    28,250
    Likes Received:
    25,281
    I'd give him free access to the cat proofed rooms when you are not home. Make sure he has a suitable window and a window sill to sit on so he can watch the birds. :)
     
  11. Rubiks

    Rubiks PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 12, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    50
    Ok thanks. Next question! I've been giving him whiskas/Felix wet pouches and now I've just read a ton of stuff to say it's not the best and it's very bad etc and now I'm worried about that amongst everything else.

    I've had schesir recommended to me but it's so expensive! I don't want to give albus bad food for the sake of being cheap, but is it really that bad?
     
  12. carly87

    carly87 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    10,862
    Likes Received:
    5,532
    Shesir is not a complete food, so I wouldn't bother with it. Although good foods eem more expensive, they actually work out just as cheap as the cheap stuff, as the cat has to eat less of it to be nutritionally satisfied. I'm really liking the Zooplus My Star range at the moment. Not uber good quality but not bad either, and very reasonably priced too. However, longer term, you should look at the Happy Kitty Company for your food. If you're really up for feeding super quality, then think about raw feeding.
     
    claire8234 likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice