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Kittens still not eating canned food

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My kittens are now 7.5 weeks old. They are happy, healthy, and growing. Unfortunately, I am still having major issues getting them to eat.

Mom still nurses them freely and never pushes them away.

Two girls will eat canned food with minimal encouragement.

One girl will eat hard food when hungry and rarely eat canned food. If the canned food tastes really good, she will eat it. She likes Iams but shuns much of the other 20 brands and flavors I have tried! She loves baby food.

The other two girls I have never seen eat hard food (with or without water). They are the smaller ones in the litter (although they are growing also, just not at the speed of their sisters). They will both eat baby food. They rarely eat canned. One will on occasion depending on her mood and the flavor. The other one has only ate canned food once! Ever!

I try not to give too much baby food since I don't want them to get spoiled. I have tried putting food on their paws, noses, and mouths. They usually now try to run when I come near them with food! They definitely seem to have some brand preferences (Iams seems to be the favorite). They definitely know how to eat. They just seem to prefer nursing.

Any ideas on how to get these girls eating well? They know how to do it. They just choose not to most of the time! I once had one kitten who skipped over the canned food phase and went straight to dry. I have never had such difficulty with kittens this age. Thanks for any more advice.
post #2 of 6
My kittens are 4 weeks old and this week I decided to start getting them to eat. They will not touch the canned food I put out but as soon as I let mom she is eating it. So I decided to start feeding her in front of them. (Money see monkey do) Have you tried that?

THey still do not like the canned food but I noticed them trying to eat the cat litter so I put down a couple of dished in the area that they are in and they are eating the dry kitten food. (Preinna one)
I just recently decided to also put down water for them and they are using that . and they still nurse with mom. some are eating own their own more then others but I figure they are only 4 weeks it will come to them. And when I feed mom she does her little come to me sounds, so I know she is trying to teach them.

I also started feed my dog in front of them and that seems to help too, two of them are really taken with my boxer and he is constantly herding them back to their area. Its cute.

Try feeding mom where they can join her/see her. And leave a couple of small dishes of dry food out eventually they are going to eat it. And I was surprised that my kittens have not even tried the soft food.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. Unfortunately, they do have access to Mom. They are with her 24-7 in the same bathroom! She runs to the food. They watch, but would prefer to nurse or eat baby food. When I put food out, they come running. They sniff, decide they don't want it. Then they leave and go play.
post #4 of 6
Wait it out. Honestly, you can't force them at this stage. There will come a point (soon) where Mom won't nurse them as much or her milk will begin to dry up and they will eat more readily on their own. If they will both eat baby food, pour a little of the baby food on top of the food you want them to eat, spread it around in a thin layer so that when the kittens lap up the baby food, they are also getting some of the regular food. Gradually decrease the amount of baby food "gravy" and soon, they will be eating the desired food without a problem.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks gayef also. I have actually tried what you did as well! It didn't work so well. When I had a good amount of baby food, they would eat the stuff underneath it also. As I started to thin the layer of baby food they started giving little licks of the baby food and then not touching the stuff underneath. They are smart and stubborn little gals! I just worry because theoretically they should be going in to get spayed and adopted in another 2.5 weeks. I probably am not patient enough though. Thanks.
post #6 of 6
I had one baby that I was SURE was not eating, but in reality, she was, though not as much as the others. Mine are 8 weeks now and eat gry and canned food as well as helping themselves to the adult cat food out in the kitchen! Mom nurses but not much and she doesn't do it for long. They drink water also.
I just left dry food and water out 24/7 and they watched mom eat. I have one who has been eating the dry food (not mixed with water) since he was 4 1/2 weeks. Now when I bring out the wet food, I tap on the can before opening it and they will come running!
What I notice that they do NOT like is eating in a small bowl. Their heads woud bump and they didn't like that so I bought a cheap long plastic flat dish and spread the food out and they are alll happy campers now!
You are lucky to get them spayed/nuetered soon! Our vet will not do it until they are 4 months old!! Also mom's milk has to be dried up too, so I am thinking about putting a sock on her middle so I can get her done first.
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