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My kitten is rejecting food. Help / advice needed!

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by teabaptism, Jul 1, 2020.


  1. teabaptism

    teabaptism PetForums Newbie

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    My kitten is now 11 months old. About a month ago he abruptly started rejecting his favourite food - Wainwright’s Tuna with Veg. For the longest time this is ALL he would eat. I put it down to him being bored of the same thing, and bought some other brands. Initially he ate them, but has quickly come to reject these ones too. I have tried James Wellbeloved Turkey in Gravy and Pets at Home Seriously Good Bistro Chicken & Tuna variety. Whilst trying out different foods with him, he ended up having several bouts of diarrhea, I assume because we switched the foods too quickly (which I did not realise was a thing). He seemed to favour the James Wellbeloved Turkey food, so we tried mixing some of that with the Wainwright’s to gradually make him familiar with it. Unfortunately, he now refuses to eat that one too. I’m at the point where he is rejecting all wet food that I offer him. Thankfully, he does eat fresh white fish, which I am buying especially to help settle his stomach.

    On the subject of dry food - He has an obsession with Lily’s Kitchen chicken biscuits. We have always given these to him as more of a treat, because they are quite rich. We used to give him a bowl of these as a late night snack, which he loved. But decided to stop doing so and just have given them as treats for good behaviour. He also has Wainwright’s biscuits to nibble throughout the day.

    We went to the vet yesterday because of all this and they gave him a check up, apparently he is in good health. We didn’t opt for a blood test because it was very expensive and he seems fine. We also didn’t choose to get medication for his diarrhea, again because it was very costly.

    After going to the vets we decided that we’ll try to just give him Lily’s biscuits as a meal, since this is now the only thing he will eat (for a few days we tried to sprinkle some on top of his wet food, which did work initially, but then eventually he just rejected the food). So yesterday he just had Lily’s to eat, and his Wainwright’s biscuits. Today I’ve found that he’s had several bouts of explosive diarrhea though the night... His litter box was a mess. (He is mostly indoor, he’s allowed outdoors during the day but we keep him in at night). I have to conclude that Lily’s biscuits are ALSO upsetting his stomach.

    I’m at a loss now. He is rejecting all the food I am offering (except Wainwright’s biscuits, which is kind of a snack for him) and most food is seeming to upset his stomach. I can’t afford to only give him fresh fish, and anyway this wouldn’t be good for his health. I am really stuck! It feels like there is something wrong with his health.

    Has anyone had a similar experience, and if so what was the solution? Any advice would be hugely appreciated!
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @teabaptism and welcome :)

    The reason he is rejecting all the food you offer is because he is now making a negative association between the food and his upset bowel. He instinctively no longer trusts the food. And in fact he is right not to trust it because one of the foods is badly upsetting his tummy, hence the diarrhoea.

    I would remove all dry food from his diet, including the treats. Dry food is not good for cats, it does nothing useful for their teeth (in spite of the unsubstantiated claims of the manufacturers) and can cause chronic low level dehydration which is not good for the organs especially the kidneys and the bladder.

    Dry food is very high in carbs and calories and I suspect it is too rich for your kitten.

    What I advise now is that you take him off all cat food for a few days and feed him a bland home cooked diet of chicken thighs or drumsticks, or poached white fish.

    The chicken is best cooked in the oven in a roasting pan with about 6 cms of water added for stock. Cover tightly with baking foil and cook in the top of the oven gas mark 5 for one hour. When cooked strain the juices off into a bowl, save and refrigerate for 12 hours, then skim off the fat and save for cooking or adding to his future meals,

    Serve the chicken chopped up without any bones and add a couple of dessertspoonfuls of the lovely stock you have saved, to go with it. Feed him 4 meals a day of the chicken, nothing else except water to drink.

    It is likely he will pass no stools for several days. When he passes a formed stool, start transferring him gradually bit by bit back to a cat food diet. But wet food only. No dry food.

    Start with one wet food at a time. If he is not keen, then you may have to change to a wet food he hasn't eaten before as he may have permanently lost his trust in the foods he has been fed while he was ill with diarrhoea.

    Do not introduce new wet foods more often that one every 3 weeks and always do it slowly, one teaspoonful to start with on a separate dish alongside his regular wet food. If he is OK with the trial sample, increase the amount slowly over several days while decreasing his regular wet food. If he doesn't take to the new food give up after 3 attempts and try another wet food.

    Good luck. Please update us with his progress. Thanks :)
     
  3. Pixie_Tinker_Bell

    Pixie_Tinker_Bell PetForums Senior

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    It sounds to me like he maybe needs more investigation at the vets. You said that you rejected the bloods because he seems fine but then later state that you feel there's something wrong with his health. If you feel there is anything wrong at all it is worth getting it checked out. Also, if he has diarrhoea which the vet would like to try treating then you should probably follow the vets advice. I appreciate vet treatments are costly however it is a commitment you take on when you get a pet and it is our responsibility as their owners to investigate and treat any health concerns. I've found myself on several occasions paying for blood tests, urine samples, and even a full dental treatment just to discover they were not strictly needed, I always think it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our pets health.

    I'm afraid I don't have a lot of experience with extreme fussy eating so can't offer much advice on this. There may be food intolerances at play which would maybe explain the diarrhoea. Hopefully someone with more experience can offer some advice on how to encourage him back to eating again.
     
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  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @teabaptism - if the bland chicken or fish diet (as described in my last post )does not help him then you'll need some anti-diarrhoea medicine from the vet. It is not very expensive.
     
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  5. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    I agree with @chillminx about stopping the current food and trying a bland diet for a few days. Stop the dry food permanently.

    As @Pixie_Tinker_Bell said, he should be checked further, especially if the diarrhea does not stop and he is not eating.
    This may help with low cost care if you qualify :
    https://www.pdsa.org.uk/
     
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  6. teabaptism

    teabaptism PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you everyone for your replies & advice :)

    A little update: We've tried giving him white fish today. Unfortunately he just eats a few mouthfuls and then refuses to eat anymore.

    He is meowing at us for food, so appears to have an appetite... but then when we put food in front of him he is not eating.. :(

    It's worrying that he is rejecting white fish now too, because he has always gobbled this down.

    I will try chicken tomorrow.

    Regarding dry food... I appreciate the suggestion that it's best to get him off that, but what can I do when it's the only thing he is eating? As far as I can tell the "Wainwright's Complete Dry Kitten Food Turkey & Rice" is not upsetting his stomach. I feel I should at least give him the option to eat this currently, so have left a bowl out for him to have as and when.

    Regarding not giving him the medication. The vet said that he appears in good health & didn't suggest the medication as anything other than a precautionary measure, she said it would be fine to see how he is in a few days time. Although I feel that something could be wrong, all his vitals are fine and the vet couldn't see anything in the checkup. I don't know what's going on, or if this is somehow an emotional thing. He has a happy and healthy environment. I'm at a loss really.

    Still very open to any thoughts or suggestions. Thank you in advance.
     
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  7. Summercat

    Summercat PetForums VIP

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    @teabaptism
    Hi,
    If the vet agreed try bland food and see him in a few days if no improvement, that's fine.

    But I would skip the dry if he has diarrhea, as it is dehydrating.
    Cats can become addicted to dry food and will sometimes prefer that over other food, especially if left out and they have access to it at all times.

    Hopefully, he will eat the chicken. I give a little broth, as well as the meat from boiled chicken. No salt or other seasoning.

    Let us know how he is doing
     
  8. Silverdoof

    Silverdoof PetForums Member

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    At 11 months he does not need kitten food, he can go onto adult food We have had kittens whereby kitten foods did not agree with them at all whereas they were perfectly fine on adult food.

    Years ago there was no such thing as kitten junior and adult foodstuff. Cats lived to ripe old ages happily and healthy.

    if the diarrhoea does not improve you really will have to Take things further with your vet.
     
  9. teabaptism

    teabaptism PetForums Newbie

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    Some great news, our kitten is doing well. We realised yesterday that he was happy to eat the fish out of our hands, but he did not want to eat from the bowl. Today we bought some chicken and he was VERY happy to eat that, so we will give him that for a few days until he is looking strong & healthy. His stomach has settled thankfully. We will try him on some adult cat food soon, it seems likely on reflection that the kitten food was too rich & he has outgrown it.

    On a side note, we also realised that a neighbour had been leaving out old disposable BBQs. It's possible that he may have gotten sick from eating out of one of those. I have asked them to stop doing that and they've kindly agreed to not leave them out in future.

    We're incredibly grateful for all of your good advice! Thank you. :D
     
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  10. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @teabaptism - some cats prefer eating from a flat plate (e.g. a tea plate or a salad plate) instead of a bowl. Your kitty may be one of those. :)

    Kitten food is often the same recipe as adult catfood tbh. But some makes of kitten food are slightly higher in protein and fats than the adult recipe. Maybe your kitten does not cope with the higher level of fats there may have been in the Kitten food you were feeding him.
     
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