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Kitten Adopted From a Farm - Advice Please!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello. So, I recently adopted a male kitten (estimated 10-12 weeks old) from my grandparents dairy farm, in western Pennsylvania. The kitten lived outdoors, along with its parent cats and other cats. Unlike many of the other farm cats, the kitten (and its parents) were all very friendly and apparently healthy. My grandparents do not consider the cats on their farm as pets, however they do usually leave out some cat food, milk, and food scraps. Anyway, I decided to bring the kitten home to New Jersey with me and I could really use some advice on taking care of it. Am I handling its care correctly?

My current situation...
- Kitten now lives in a house with several people and one other domesticated/fixed adult cat.
- Kittens litter box and food/water dish are in one room together.
- Kitten is allowed to roam freely when someone is present, but is shut in one room (with litter/food/water) when home alone.
- Kitten is lively, friendly, purrs but rarely meows, gets along with adult cat, and uses litter box.
- Kitten is fed Iams brand dry kitten food and water.
- Kitten has not yet been to a vet, but is scheduled to do so in about 2 weeks.
- Kitten has been treated lightly with kitten flea powder (as a pre-caution, although he hasn't been scratching.)

My Concerns...
- The kitten has been living with me for roughly a week and I've noticed his stomach seems to be bloated sometimes. However, he isn't acting sick.
- The recommended amount on the Iams dry cat food is 1/4 cup for a 1 pound kitten and 1/2 cup for a 2 pound kitten. I originally just filled the kitten's dish and let him eat whenever he wanted to. However, I noticed that he seems to eat very quickly and takes in as much as he can in one sitting. He also has been eating my other adult cat's food whenever he gets the chance. He tends to growl a little if you pet him when he's eating. After noticing his bloated state I concluded that the kitten must be overeating. So, starting today, I have been feeding the kitten a little more than 1/4 a cup of Iams dry food in small portions throughout the day. However, he still eats his portions very quickly and has been trying to get to my adult cats food all day.

So...am I giving him the right kind and amount of food? Is he still in feral mode...and if so, how do I deal with that? How should I discipline him when he attempts to eat my adult cats food? Should I be worried about his bloated stomach? Should I be doing anything differently with my already domesticated adult cat?

I apologize if I'm only being paranoid. I'd appreciate any advice! Thanks very much.

post #2 of 6
Could he have worms? I dont know much about worms, but I think eating alot is a sign
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hmmm...I did wonder about him having worms. I don't know much about that either. If he does have worms, is two weeks too long to take him to the vet?
post #4 of 6
I'd take him to the vet and get him wormed and tested for the bad diseases. You should probably get him neutered, too. The vet will be able to give you more advice. Concatulations on your new friend.
post #5 of 6
Sounds more like worms then over eating. Kittens rarely over eat the first few months. Have him checked out with worming, shots and schedule the neutering at about 3 months old (if your vet will do it). Personally I don't like neutering younger then 3 months; tho some vets will do them at 8 weeks and 2 lbs.

Being in a barn makes a cat competitive so its not unusual for his actions regarding food. I'd try to put your cats on a schedule for feeding. The kitten should be fed 3 times a day, the adults 2 times a day.

Iams is pretty good food, but there is better out there. I used to feed Iams all the time till they changed their formula and made it cheaper. Now I use Royal Canin (which has 2 Kitten foods) - IMO (and Charlie's breeder) its a lot better then Iams is.

Also you might want to add canned foods in with your meals. Cats do better with a mix of canned and dry.
post #6 of 6
Forgive me here, I do not mean to talk to you as though you are a novice, but I am going to throw some ideas out!

1) Get him to a vet ASAP. I would test for FeLV(feline leukemia) & FIV. Also, bloated belly is worms, they are common. You will want to deworm with a vet presribed wormer 3x, every 2 weeks.
2) NEVER use any OTC dewormers, flea preventatives, etc. ALWAYS go to your vet for those. Flea collars are evil & can cause paralysis/death.
3) Iams isn't the best food out there. If you look at the label you will see "by-products" which can be anything, gross mostly. I suggest looking into perhaps Chicken Soup kitten food, Eagle Pack, Wellness, Innova, & there are tons of other high quality foods.
4) As your kitten likely hasn't eaten much dry food before, that could cause the "feral like" eating behaviors.
5) If at all possible, add wet food to his diet as well. Wet is great for them & helps prevent health problems(such as UTIs) later down the road.
6) My last bit of advice is to feed him 4x a day, set portions....that way you prevent gorging & making himself ill.
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