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Please help. 15 week old kittens won't eat cat food

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toodles60's picture
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Joined: 11.07.2011

Hi :)

 

I hope someone can help because I'm at the end of my tether. My son left me with his two adult cats for three months when he went abroad.2 weeks later the female gave birth to three kittens. So i went from no pets to five. When my son came to collect the cats when they were 11 weeks old, one was eating cat food but the other two (one male, one female) were still feeding from mum. I had tried from when they were 8 weeks old to tempt them and know now that i made a huge mistake by tempting them with chicken.  I have kept the two kittens but am now paying the price. For weeks they would only eat chicken. This was not just very expensive for me but also of course they weren't getting all the vitams and nutrients they needed. I phoned my local cats league and pdsa and looked online. The advise is so diverse and people have such differing opinions that i got totally confused about who was right and who was wrong.

 

I was advised to give them raw mincemeat by the cats league which i did, but it gave them diahorrea and anyway still didn't contain the nutrients they need. I then found something called chicken encore and mixed it with the breast of chicken and was overjoyed when they ate it. However, didn't know that it wasn't a complete cat food either and even if it was it is just so expensive for a tiny tin.

 

Over the past few weeks I have tried every cat and kitten food available. Every make and every flavour with both jelly and gravy. Both pouch and tin. They won't even look at dry food. I've mixed tiny bits of kitten food in with chicken but they walk away. I've warmed it up and left it cold. I've softened dry food in kitten milk. I've just about done everything and still nothing. Then i was told to simply put out cat food and stop the chicken and encore and that they will start to eat the cat food when they get really hungry. Since this morning I have put out only kitten food. At the moment i'm using sheba pouches but have tried others. I have mixed in a tin of encore with it. They haven't eaten since this morning and i have put it out fresh three times today. I've looked online again and now see people saying " Do not do it as cats will starve themselves rather than eat something they don't want". I'm so confused and worried.  Will putting down only kitten food eventually work or will they simply get ill and not eat? Is there anything i can do to put this mess right?

 

Any help greatly appreciated. I don't pretend to have the first clue about cats and am learning as I go but I realise i've made my own mess. I just don't know how to get these cats to eat kitten food. They're fifteen weeks old now.

xmasdogs's picture
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Joined: 24.12.2009
What a muddle, I feel so

What a muddle, I feel so sorry for you hun.  Is there any chance the mum cat (as you refer to her as your sons) could possibly come back for a while to settle them down? I would put the mixture into a blender and puree it all together. This way, he won't be able to separate the chicken out. Gradually reduce the amount of chicken that you mix, until he's eating the kitten food alone. I would also use some chicken stock and mix this into the food over time.

toodles60's picture
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Joined: 11.07.2011
Thankyou i will try some of

Thankyou i will try some of that. I have tried all of yesterday and this morning to just put cat food down but they're stubborn, they wouldn't eat it no matter how hungry they got and guilt got the better of me. Thanks for the advice I'll keep persevering.

admin's picture
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Joined: 30.03.2009
Sorry to hear about your

Sorry to hear about your kittens. I would also cover the food with chicken stock so it taste the same and start off with wet rather than dry. If you try this let us know how you get on :-)

admin's picture
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Joined: 30.03.2009
Have you tried Beef and Tuna

Have you tried Beef and Tuna for a different taste?

VetNurse's picture
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Joined: 07.01.2010
I think your kitten will

I think your kitten will learn to eat cat food if at the moment she will take nothing but chicken, (I would recommend trying tuna, beef and other tastes to try to open the selection, also, you can buy a tube of a special formula that is intended to provide some additional calories to your cat's diet. Again, you should ask your vet about this. I would def go to the vets to get the extra supplements to feed your kittens till they get use to their new foods. When I was in the US we recommended the following for this problem:

http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/products/kittens/dry_food/kitten_formula/

Here is a food chart you can check out. It was put together for ferret owners, however, since the requirements for ferrets and kittens are so similar, this chart would be very benificial for you in your "quest for the perfect kitten food".

http://www.mdferretpaws.org/care/food_treats.html

but  I am not sure they do it here in the UK.

You should do things really slowley. I would follow some of the below:

1) Get some really high quality food. The cat foods you find in the supermarket are crap. An independent, locally-owned pet store will be able to show you some better foods, or try online such are zooplus. Most times you should feed kitten formula (dry) till the one year mark. I would try a good brand such as Nutro Natural Choice. I would put chicken soup over it, or chicken stock at first.

2) Remember that a kitten will eat when they are hungry. And when your kitten gets hungry enough, their instincts will kick in.

3) Use some foods on the chart I outlined above to get the kittens use to different tastes.

As you rightly pointed out your kittens needs a balanced diet. Just meat or tuna or chicken is not enough. Your vet can give you better advice on what this means. Please keep us updated xxx

 

toodles60's picture
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Joined: 11.07.2011
Thanks for all the advice.

Thanks for all the advice. I've tried only putting out cat food and they refused it no matter how hungry they got. Also they won't even smell the food if it isn't white like chicken or if it has any or jelly or gravy etc in it. Dried food they don't even seem to recognise as food. 

VetNurse's picture
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Joined: 07.01.2010
Sorry I have just read your

Sorry I have just read your post again and noticed "Over the past few weeks I have tried every cat and kitten food available" which ones have you tried, e.g. are they from supermarkets?

VetNurse's picture
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Joined: 07.01.2010
Sorry I have just read your

Sorry I have just read your post again and noticed "Over the past few weeks I have tried every cat and kitten food available" which ones have you tried, e.g. are they from supermarkets?

toodles60's picture
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Joined: 11.07.2011
I've tried all the various

I've tried all the various pouches and tins from supermarkets such as whiskas, sheba  etc. I've tried dearer food like tesco finest which is 70p for a tiny tin. Various complete kitten dry food.  The only one they'll eat is the chicken encore which is also very expensive. Every make that supermarkets and pet shops sell basically. I think they only eat the encore because its 75% chicken and is white like chicken.

karenhorses's picture
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Joined: 18.12.2009
If I was you I would try to

If I was you I would try to buy the encore in bulk for cheaper, at least they will be getting a great diet. 

I just googled it and found it for 68p a pouch. http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Encore-Cat-Pouch-Chicken--Brown-Rice/62044011

Also, some pet stores do frozen chicken that is very cheap compared to buying it from the supermarkets.

 

When I had kittens all they would eat was tuna. so i started out giving them tuna and then slowly adding soggy dry food (dry food soaked in hot water til squishy) until it was mostly all cat food and they would eat that.
BADGELENTON's picture
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Joined: 27.06.2012
Hi,   Just wondering how you

Hi,

 

Just wondering how you got on with your fussy kitten... I have the same problem, she wont eat any cat food, however loves chicken and toast! We've tried spreading the jelly from the cat food on the toast, and this works, but she still refuses simply cat food...

Any tips?

 

Thanks :)