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Kitten has trouble finding the food on his own plate...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I have to point him right at the food in his dish for him to find it. He'll bug me all night to feed him, he's hungry, but there's plenty of food in his bowl. Does he have a problem with his sense of smell maybe?
post #2 of 13
Maybe he does have a smelling problem. Do you feed him wet food..if so, try warming it up with some hot water....If you are feeding him dry..perhaps he doesn't like it...and is meowing for wet food (which is better for him) Perhaps he can't smell the dry food. He may not recognize it as food either..depending on his age and experience.

I feed my cats all the exact same thing..yet my youngest has to go 'try out' all the food in each dish....much to the consternation of the others!! I gently put him back in front of his own dish..and he then eats his own dinner.
post #3 of 13
It could be a problem with smell. You could take him to the vet to check for signs of respiratory infection. Cats don't have the best vision when it comes to things that are standing still; they're best at seeing moving objects.

But another possibility (I think most likely) is that he knows it's there but doesn't like it. Try different foods to find one he'll eat.
post #4 of 13
Does he have a vision problem?
post #5 of 13
I have a young male and my daughter has a 3 year old female that had/has a similar problem. The vet said it was a depth perception thing. My male kitten touches the dry food with his paw, as if to locate it, then eats a bite. He does not do this with his canned wet food. I guess the dry food doesn't have much odor. Both of them are a siamese mix, but I think that is coincidence.

I tried to train mine, yeah right, by tapping at the food dish with my finger to let him know where his food was located. He finally got the idea to keep going to the dish for food. Good luck.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAXCAT08 View Post
Maybe he does have a smelling problem. Do you feed him wet food..if so, try warming it up with some hot water....If you are feeding him dry..perhaps he doesn't like it...and is meowing for wet food (which is better for him) Perhaps he can't smell the dry food. He may not recognize it as food either..depending on his age and experience.

I feed my cats all the exact same thing..yet my youngest has to go 'try out' all the food in each dish....much to the consternation of the others!! I gently put him back in front of his own dish..and he then eats his own dinner.
I agree. When did you get him? What was he eating before? Cats are very sensitive to change, especially changes in their diet, so if possible, it's best to feed him what he was being fed before.

However, as Maxcat has mentioned, canned food is so much better for them! Check out this link:

http://www.catinfo.org/#My_Cat_is_Do...ne_on_Dry_Food
post #7 of 13
If you can find small packages of different kinds of food, you might do some experimenting. You just don't want to end up with a huge bag of food the kitten won't eat.

When I got my first kitten I was told, "She doesn't eat much," which was true. She was barely eating enough to stay alive. I wanted to change her over gradually to something different so started by mixing a small amount of the new food in with the old. She very carefully went through the bowl, picked out all the new food, and left the old food sitting in the bowl. So much for gradual change. By the time I changed over completely to the new food, she was eating twice as much as before.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I've switched him to wet food, he seems to like both wet and dry, and at first turned his nose up at the wet food.

But he still needs me to put him in front of his food. I'll have to talk to the vet about this.

By the by, whats the best grocery brand wet food for cats? I can't always afford to get wellness for him and he seems to like the Fancy Feast.
post #9 of 13
I give mine Fancy Feast wet, its the only thing they will eat, and two of them are prone to UTI's, I mix it with a little water and so far they've been alright.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecat View Post
I've switched him to wet food, he seems to like both wet and dry, and at first turned his nose up at the wet food.

But he still needs me to put him in front of his food. I'll have to talk to the vet about this.

By the by, whats the best grocery brand wet food for cats? I can't always afford to get wellness for him and he seems to like the Fancy Feast.
Aaaah! That's because he was probably used to eating dry before. It's always best to switch them over slowly so they can get used to the new food, taste, smell, texture, and also their systems need to adapt to it as they digest it differently.

You might want to continue giving him the dry for now. Try adding a dime-sized piece of the wet cut into tiny little pieces and add it in to his dry food. This will give him a chance to get used to the smell and texture.

See if he eats it up with the dry. If he does great! Then you can slowly increase the amount you add to the dry.

If he doesn't, ie, if he eats the dry but leaves the wet behind, don't force him to eat it, or else he could develop food aversion and then you have a big problem on your hands. However, don't leave the wet in the dry more than 20 mins. after he has finished eating. You don't want the dry food to get wet, because then it could develop harmful bacteria.

Here is a link that explains it all well:

http://www.catinfo.org/#My_Cat_is_Do...ne_on_Dry_Food

Kudos to you for wanting to give your kitten canned food it is soooo much better for them! Please keep us posted!
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecat View Post
I've switched him to wet food, he seems to like both wet and dry, and at first turned his nose up at the wet food.

But he still needs me to put him in front of his food. I'll have to talk to the vet about this.

By the by, whats the best grocery brand wet food for cats? I can't always afford to get wellness for him and he seems to like the Fancy Feast.
My cats like Friskies, but only the Prime Filet. It seems to have real pieces of meat in it instead of pate or some other mushy preparation.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
No no, I did do it gradually, and he avoided the wet food for two days, then I had to actually put his nose up to it for him to notice it and try it, and now he eats. But I still have to put him up to his dish for him to know there's food there.

Oh well. Maybe over time he'll just learn to go to his bowl and inspect it himself.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Firecat View Post
No no, I did do it gradually, and he avoided the wet food for two days, then I had to actually put his nose up to it for him to notice it and try it, and now he eats. But I still have to put him up to his dish for him to know there's food there.

Oh well. Maybe over time he'll just learn to go to his bowl and inspect it himself.
Oh that's wonderful to hear!

Well in that case, it might not hurt to have your vet check his eyes, whiskers maybe? and his sense of smell.

Oh I have an idea, to check his sense of smell do have any kind of perfumes or lotions, or cologne? If you do, just spray a little on the back of your hand and hold it in front of his nose and see his reaction. I know that with my cats if I put hand lotion on and they smell it on me, when I just just applied it, they will wrinkle their noses at it. If your kitty has no reaction, he could definitely have a problem with his sense of smell.
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