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Training kitten: Food/Eating

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My kitten has a very healthy appetite however she'll only eat when she sees me put the food on her plate or if I tap the plate with my finger. So if I feed her and she doesn't eat it all when she's hungry 30mins later she'll cry for food instead of just going to her plate.

She won't eat dry food at all (even if mushed up with water) so this isn't an option.

Any advice on how I can get her to go to her plate when she's hungry instead of coming to me? Thanks!
post #2 of 12
May I ask how old your kitten is?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tekgrl View Post
May I ask how old your kitten is?
Oooops, should have said. She's 9 weeks and we've had her for 1 week.
post #4 of 12
Well, I'm not sure I've ever encountered that, but...

She is still very young and new to your household, so you might just have to give her some more time to adjust.

As long he's she's eating well I wouldn't worry too much at this point. I think it's just a matter of adjustment.

The only other thing I can think of is maybe the food is in a bad place? Near anything noisy? Too close to her litterbox?
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that. I figure that she probably will cotton on eventually but I don't want her to go hungry during the day (both my bf and myself are out all day Monday and Friday and we're going away for Valentines Day night so someone will only come in during the evening and morning to feed her).

She gets fed in the dining room (4 times a day) and her litterbox is waaaay upstairs. It's not noisy but perhaps a little cold. But, she quite happily stays in there and has a play afterwards so not too cold!
post #6 of 12
I think she'll be OK. Normally at that age they usually want to eat a little more often, maybe 3-4 times a day. As long as her intake (and output ) is good she should be OK. She's probably still a little overwhelmed.
post #7 of 12
first off for a kitten this young, you really should confine her to a small space for most of the time especially when you aren't home, even up until she is 12, 16 or more weeks old. I am suprised she isn't having accidents in your home. She is too young to be away from her mother but since she is you really need to make sure she adjusts peacefully and learns everything properly. Confine her to a bedroom, bathroom, laundry room, even a large crate with all her toys, litterbox, food (leave dry for her all the time and give her wet a few times a day) and water and a blanket or something to sleep on. I bet you she will eat and drink and do everything perfectly. If not, try alternative foods. What do you feed her?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Jen View Post
first off for a kitten this young...
Well, we did confine her to a room to begin with (we did do our research, in the UK 8 weeks is the earliest recommended age to get a kitten). The vet has no problem with her age at all. She wasn't happy about being in her own room and is very sociable. She's litter trained and is an angel! She knows exactly where her food is as she runs to it as soon as I stand up to feed her.
post #9 of 12
I think she thinks your her mother, Kittens go through a mother stage and really shouldnt be adopted until 12 weeks. A mother cat will allow or disallow kittens to nurse. hard food may be too hard for her tiny jaws but when she gets older and grows adult canines expect her to go for the dry in order to help teeth come in. Wet is much better for cats anyway.
post #10 of 12
I see she is training you very well!! I can't talk, I bottle fed a litter and they were on the bottle well past 8 weeks old. My vet gave me grief on that one.

She is a young one. If she needs you there during feedings for a little while, then do so, but don't let it go on to long. Keep moving further and further away from her when she eats until she's OK on her own.

Jen brought up a good point about making messes in your house. Sometimes kittens that young get so engrossed in play that they don't realize until too late that they have to go. If the litter box is way upstairs, she may not make it if she is downstairs. If you have an area in your home where she spends most of her time, you might consider putting a litter box close to that area. Or put one upstairs and downstairs as a precaution.
post #11 of 12
This is the same thing I went thru with Zion, but with using the bathroom. He wouldnt use the bathroom unless I stood up and went to the BR myself, then he would do his thing. I was wondering if it was a security kind of instinct? He eventually grew out of it and would use the litter on his own.

AS for the food. I'am a new mother myself, so I can only suggest to change the dry food. Maybe buy several samples to see what she likes best. Also, Try mixing the dry food with warm formula milk (sold at any pet store). It resembles mothers milk.

If anything, shes still breaking in the new home. It may take a while.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you MomofMany and Pearla!

She's doing a lot better now. All I have to do now is stand up and move towards the dining room and she goes in and eats. As soon as she's on her way to the food I leave immediately. She also does this with my boyfriend so this is progress! She'll be 10 weeks old this weekend so I'm really impressed with her progress.

The litterbox really isn't a problem. She hasn't had any accidents and she's out of the door and bounding up the stairs as soon as she needs to go.

EDIT: I'm also trying to make sure she doesn't see me put the wet food down so she just thinks that food is always there and magically appears without me being involved. She won't touch the dry food at all but I always keep it down. It's the same stuff she had before she came to us. The vet said this was ok though as it might be too hard for her (even mushed uo with water/milk).
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