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OK a little review on kittens and food

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
So my little monsters are growing up. i know it's time to start getting them on solid food (they're about 6 weeks now). so over the last week I've been trying different things.

1. I tried this:
Science Diet for kittens.


That worked for almost a whole day! They ate it when I first fed them. But that evening they stopped and started crying for a bottle again..... So I wussed out and gave it to them.

2. I tried this: (this is an actual photo of my cat cupboard)
Meow Mix market select in soft serv
Iams canned for kittens
Max Cat gourmet for kittens
Max Cat Gourmet Classics (in pouch)
Gerber chicken and rice
Gerber Chicken noodle


No dice. Most of these (there are actually more but I tried them and trashed them after no success) were looked at, laughed at and left in the dust.

3. I tried this:
KMR Powder mixed with second step



They refuse to eat ANYTHING with second step in it. even if I try just mixing a little in a bottle. no dice.

So, today I'm eating a snack. Chocolate covered donuts. I set a piece on the coffee table and what do you think happened:?



Now why is it that I try every food in the world, and they end up wanting the one thing they can't have?

So I'm back to this:


Am i trying to wean these little guys too soon? they sure don't want anything BUT the bottle. They still won't drink water either.

They're healthy and happy, I just want to know if there's something else I should be trying.
post #2 of 15
Try mixing some of their milk with either the kitten wet or some baby food and rub it on their lips or inside their gums where they are forced to taste it.... They may eat a slurry mixture of the two. You know - lap it up.

They will probably have to be weaned off milk and onto solids... you know, a transition. Even at that age, they still nurse off momma for a while.

I am not an expert at kitten feeding. Others know a LOT more than me. But sometimes you have to, um, coax, them.

As for kitten kibble - I don't know what age to start that.

Again, Sharky is the food expert here.

EDIT: oooooh... I didn't see the thing about the hostess donuts. That's sooo funny! They want what momma/daddy is eating!! :-D
post #3 of 15
A couple years ago I had been fostering some kittens straight from the shelter. The smallest and weakest of the kittens would not eat on her own. I think she was about 5 weeks. For about a week and a half I bottle fed her. Then when she started to get stronger, I would put a bowl of formula (I think I was using goats milk) mixed with a little wet food in front of her. She didn't want to have anything to do with it at first, so I would... it might sound harsh... but gently stick her mouth in the milk real quick. This would force her to lick it off her face. After about a week of doing this a couple times a day and bottle feeding her she got it. And around 8 weeks she was transitioned to dry food with a can of wet twice a day.

Sometimes kittens don't know how to eat wet food. So you have to show them. By forcing them to lick it off their face, they get the hang of it. And I was told that mother cats will do this... although I don't know if thats true, but it worked.

Sounds like you are doing great though!
post #4 of 15
That is exactly the way my mother did it, to get them to start drinking milk out of a bowl. At six weeks, they would normally start getting pieces of kills their mother would bring in, but mainly still be drinking her milk. As they got older, the mother would bring in bigger pieces of kills, until at about 10 weeks or so she would bring animals still alive for them to learn to kill.

So, the switch to dry or wet food from milk doesn't happen in a day, but they CAN eat the milk out of a bowl by about 6 weeks.
post #5 of 15
I may be able to help since I hand raised my kitten from day 4. Since she is orphaned, I started pre-weaning at 4 weeks old, instead of offering her KMR in a bottle, I gave it to her on a shallow dish and encourage her to lap. But I had dipped my fingers in some and place it on her lips. Once she started licking, move your finger closer to the dish. Dip your finger inside if you have to. With luck, your little kitty will begin to lap. They already know how, it's instinct, just like potty-time.

With Lucy Belle, I allow her to lap for a few sessions and bottle feed her the rest, until one day, when she turns 5 weeks old, she no longer wants her bottle. How can you tell? She'll be biting at the nipple, chewing and spitting it out. That is when I know she is ready for solid food.

I started with KMR mixed with pureed dry food (EVO). Same principal applies. Take some of the slush, put it onto your finger and place some on her lips. She'll lick, follow your finger, place finger onto shallow dish and voila!

The trick here is to get her to lap on her food. Is she licking your fingers while bottle feeding. Try drip some KMR onto fingers and test her readiness. If she does, then by all means, go ahead and wean her off milk. Good Luck!

This reply brings back so many sweet memories when my kitty is still a bottle baby! Hmmmm

*misty eyed*
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
They found something they liked last night. The pouch on the right in that pic above. the max cat gourmet kitten food. So I'll be buying a bunch of different flavors in that today.

The interesting thing is watching them eat. They aren't very good at it. I put the food in these tiny glass bowls I have that came as a set with big ones. They're tiny. Like maybe enough to hold a teaspoon. But they had a little trouble and were pushing the food around a lot. So i just gave up and put it on the floor lol then cleaned it up. I'm probably going to put it on a plate today. But at least they're transitioning.

Has anyone got a chart of expected weight? I've got an electric food scale i use to weigh them. They're just at about 6 weeks now. The little boy weighs 24.5 oz and the little girl about 22. Does that sound about right?
post #7 of 15
My kitten loved the Nutro Max pouch too, but it only comes in that one flavor for kittens.

Next time you try baby food, try the Stage 1 chicken so that the only ingredient is chicken & water.
post #8 of 15
found some links that might help you determine if they're growing appropriately!
PDF file from whiskas
Tally's Cat Basics - has LOADS of kitten info!
& 3 links for Aniwa: growth, birth, & growth of the kitten.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow thank you Laureen!

Man, i went and bought 12 packs of this max cat kitten pouch stuff. These guys like it! I'm SO happy about that. I was worried. I'm really a wreck over these cats.

It's funny, I'm in executive management at a fortune 100 company. I manage multi million dollar contracts and have tough negotiations and tasks daily. And these two 6 week old kittens are kicking my butt.
post #10 of 15
That's because the kittens are yours, the millions of dollars aren't!

You might want to put the food on a saucer rather than in a bowl. Cats really don't like to stick their head in anything in which their whiskers can touch the sides.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by fastnoc View Post
Wow thank you Laureen!

Man, i went and bought 12 packs of this max cat kitten pouch stuff. These guys like it! I'm SO happy about that. I was worried. I'm really a wreck over these cats.

It's funny, I'm in executive management at a fortune 100 company. I manage multi million dollar contracts and have tough negotiations and tasks daily. And these two 6 week old kittens are kicking my butt.
I agree with MrBlanche - it's b/c you're emotionally connected to these lil babies... And yes, put the food on something flatter than a bowl. Even paper plates would work. That's what I use at the shelter.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Actually i already was doing that. I first put them in these tiny bowls but it was pretty obvious it bugged them. So what I did was take one of those really thin plastic sheets out. it's actually a cutting board thing. So I just put the food on there so it was like eating it off the floor.

I'm still concerned though. They haven't even touched the water bowl. Do i have to do something to teach them to use that? Even when i feed them the pouch they still cry for a botle and I give it to them since it's the only way I know to hydrate them.

I'm not sure how to get them to drink water.
post #13 of 15
Perhaps you can buy a fountain for them? Some cats are attracted to the flowing water and that might induce them to start drinking. Drinkwell, Petmate and Catit are all recommended by many people, though I believe that the water flows differently in all of them. Your cats might respond more to one brand than the others, though it's hard to know which one would work other than by trial an error. Though I will say that if they like to drink water from a faucet, the Drinkwell would probably be your best bet as it comes closest to replicating that.

As I'm sure you're aware, cats don't have a naturally strong thirst drive. So we owners have to try numerous things in order to make sure that they're sufficiently hydrated.
post #14 of 15
I haven't actually tried this method myself, but when my boyfriend's cat had kittens his dad weened them off milk by mixing some milk with some dry food, and cooking it up a bit.. that way it was milky, mushy, and helped them develop a taste for dry food.

I would assume that you could slowly add less and less milk and after not too long, give them the dry food straight!

Good luck!
post #15 of 15
fastnoc,
how are the babies doing?
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