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New Kitten Always Hungry - Searching For Food

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I just adopted a 5 month old kitten "Cosmo". I got him from a shelter. He is ALWAYS hungry (even after I've fed him a very large food portion). The vet checked him out and gave him a pill to de-worm him in case that might be the issue, but that didn't change anything. Cosmo keeps jumping on the kitchen counters getting into all sorts of food items. We've put all food in sealed containers but he keeps jumping up there looking for food. My dad would like to be able to have his kitchen back andnot worry about Cosmo licking dishes and utensils. Is this common for a shelter cat? Any advice?????
post #2 of 15
I think that's fairly common for many cats to get into dishes on the counters. You will see that scavenging behavior increasingly worse in cats who have not had regular means. I got nailed good (bit) by Eden, my foster kitty tonight. I was feeding her - she's not used to regular meals & forgets sometimes.
post #3 of 15
First of all, make sure you're feeding Cosmo a high-quality food without lots of fillers. They go through the fillers quickly and are less satisfied, so they start looking for food. Secondly, I think it's very common for kitties who are not used to having regular meals to forage for food. It's even common for kitties who are used to regular meals! Once he gets older and gets settled in your home, used to the feeding routine, he'll be less likely to forage.

Also, he's just a kitty and kitties are quite curious. They like to get into EVERYTHING and explore everything! So, being on the counters is just him getting to know his environment and becoming familiar with his surroundings and feeling at home. However, now's the time to start training him to stay off the counters if you don't want him there. We had to do this with Hannah, and it took constant attention to train her, but she did eventually learn that she can have most other high places in the house except the kitchen counters and the tables. Get your kitty a cat tree so he'll have his own high place to be. Put it near a window, so Cosmo can see to his outside world and watch the birds and such.

We saved soda cans, cleaned them out, then after they dried, filled them about 1/4 to 1/2 the way full with dried pinto beans. We taped the tops closed with duct tape. Then, we lined them up along the edge of the counter, back a bit so she'd think there was landing room. When she'd jump, she'd land near the cans and they'd rattle and scare her. We also keep a few cans handy throughout the house. When we'd catch her terrorizing our other cat or getting into something she shouldn't be in, we'd rattle the can and sternly tell her "NO!". We didn't yell, but very firmly stated NO. Also, we removed her and told her "NO!" Normally that was followed with "That's not a kitty spot." (It still is said frequently in our house and she's been here 3 years!)

You can also try putting foil on the counters. Supposedly kitties don't like the sound of foil, but foil didn't stop Hannah. As a last resort, you can go to Lowe's or someplace like that and get plastic carpet runners. They have little nubs on the bottom to hold them in place on the bottom. Cut them to the size you need and turn them upside down on the counter (or other surface where you don't want kitty). The little nubs won't hurt their paws, but they won't feel comfortable either. They'll quickly learn not to be in that spot.

I'm not a fan of the squirt bottle, but have had much more success with the above techniques than any squirt bottle.

Stephanie
post #4 of 15
What are you feeding him, how much, and how often? Kittens eat need 2-3 times as much food as cats of the same size. Try leaving some dry food out for him to free feed in between his regular meals. He should eventually calm down when he realizes that he's never going to go hungry.

Of course, that doesn't mean he'll stay off the counters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephanietx View Post
We saved soda cans, cleaned them out, then after they dried, filled them about 1/4 to 1/2 the way full with dried pinto beans. We taped the tops closed with duct tape. Then, we lined them up along the edge of the counter, back a bit so she'd think there was landing room. When she'd jump, she'd land near the cans and they'd rattle and scare her. We also keep a few cans handy throughout the house. When we'd catch her terrorizing our other cat or getting into something she shouldn't be in, we'd rattle the can and sternly tell her "NO!". We didn't yell, but very firmly stated NO. Also, we removed her and told her "NO!" Normally that was followed with "That's not a kitty spot." (It still is said frequently in our house and she's been here 3 years!)

You can also try putting foil on the counters. Supposedly kitties don't like the sound of foil, but foil didn't stop Hannah. As a last resort, you can go to Lowe's or someplace like that and get plastic carpet runners. They have little nubs on the bottom to hold them in place on the bottom. Cut them to the size you need and turn them upside down on the counter (or other surface where you don't want kitty). The little nubs won't hurt their paws, but they won't feel comfortable either. They'll quickly learn not to be in that spot.

I'm not a fan of the squirt bottle, but have had much more success with the above techniques than any squirt bottle.

Stephanie
I'm going to have to try the soda can thing. Nothing else has worked so far. Squirt bottle (which I don't use any more): they sit and glare at me until they're soaked, then jump down and shake the water all over the kitchen and me. Foil: oh boy! a new shiny toy! Carpet runner: thanks mom, great back scratcher.
post #5 of 15
TAPEWORM!!!!


Whenever someone brings home a cat/kitten from a shelter who's insatiably hungry, that's my first thought. I'd have the vet check him out again. Don't they sometimes need an original med and a follow up med a couple of weeks later for tapeworms, or did I dream that?.

Did the vet say if the de-wormer he gave him was specifically for tapeworm? Is he having diarrhea?
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Cosmo is fet wet food only (prescription cat food md for diabetic cats - because my other cat is a diabetic. The vet said that this is ok for him to eat). He is eating a can and a half everyday (divided into 3 meals). I can't leave out dry food or the diabetic cat will eat it and it will spike his sugar....even if it is the kind for diabetic cats. Maybe I should try kitten food for Cosmo....maybe he is craving carbs (just like us humans ).

The vet didn't say what kind of worms he might have he just gave him a pill. Cosmo is getting de-clawed next week so i'll ask the vet to do some bloodwork while he is under.
post #7 of 15
Please re-consider declawing. TCS is an anti-declawing site & for a fairly good reason.

Please read this thread - http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...&highlight=Bea - and any others you can on declawing. Know what you are doing to your kitten. It is the removal of a digit of the foot., not just the claw. Many develop litterbox issues, bite, etc. There are ways to learn to "live" with a clawed kitty - and hopefully you will not follow through on mutilating your baby.

Here is a recent thread on declawing:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ghlight=declaw

and one on the alternatives to declawing:

http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ghlight=declaw
post #8 of 15
Please consult another vet as DM likely is not okay for a kitten ...

see the above links on de clawing
post #9 of 15
Yes, please reconsider the declawing procedure.

Most cats - and kittens almost always - get used to having their claws clipped on a regular basis. (I do my guys every two weeks.) At least try it with him before you do something so drastic, life changing, and possibly excruciating. Thanks.
post #10 of 15
He needs kitten food. Plain and simple.

Also, does the shelter know you plan to declaw? Many shelters and rescues do not like this and if they find out, you will get in trouble - very likely losing your kitten and not being able to adopt again.
If he has not been neutered, that will need to be done and you must get blood work done before any surgery. The same rules for humans apply for animals, you don't want to risk something unknown causing complications/death.

Tapeworms or not, he's young and who knows what life he had before being turned over to the shelter. He'll likely want to gobble everything in sight down for a few more months - think of it as him being a kitty teenager. More food to grow and more food for a kitten activity level. Right now he's not getting enough.
post #11 of 15
I feed free choice; mine rarely ever actually 'scavange' the counters, unless something extremely good smelling was cooked. There is little pestering for food at our house as well, unless there's only a few kibbles left in the dishes...Lol! Personally, I think, unless a person is feeding raw, cats do best on free feeding; I have never had an overweight cat yet on it, cause they have been introduced at a young age. Sometimes if it's an older cat, switching to free feeding may not always work, but my last adult cat that came into our household (Kiira) adjusted just fine. Of course, sometimes varying health issues will not warrant that free choice decision, but for most healthy cats, I think giving them the choice to browse at will is the best.
post #12 of 15
Please don't declaw. Nothing we own is worth the damage it does to a cat. Cats come with claws because they need them for a healthy body and defense. It hurts.

Most countries in the world have outlawed this - only North America still hangs on to it.

Please, please, please rethink this.

As for the food, it sounds like he isn't getting full. Try kitten food where you can feed him away from the other cat.
post #13 of 15
If the kittens' wet food is labeled 'all life stages', then it's ok. The kitten still would need 2-3 times more than your adult cats though. It's best to feed a food made for kittens, they have different dietary requirements. It really doesn't sound like he is being fed enough...1 1/2 cans of adult wet food isn't that much, especially not if they are the 3oz size.

I'd find a new vet, based solely on the fact that he/she's willing to de-claw the poor kitten. Look into Soft Paws (plastic claw covers that come in fun colors) or just learn how to trim the claws. If the shelter or rescue group finds out you de-clawed the kitten, you might have to relinquish it. (It just depends on the group, our humane society is against de-clawing but they don't make you sign a contract saying you won't do it. Our local cat rescue will not adopt cats or kittens to homes where they will be de-clawed. If they find out you are going to, they will take the cat back).

De-worming a kitten once doesn't guarantee that everything is gone. The kitten needs a fecal float (bring in a poop sample to the vet).

Cats are good at making you think they are always hungry and that you aren't feeding them enough The feeding guidelines are the best way to gauge if the kitten has enough food, but again, make sure they are feeding guidelines for a KITTEN and not an adult. Also, cats are just naturally curious and will jump on counters and investigate everything.
post #14 of 15
Declawing cats is understandable to some extent; cats can get very destructive if they get bored. The best thing for your cat is to give it safe places to scratch like posts or the cardboard pads and place them near the places where your cat likes to scratch. Using catnip or catnip spray can help entice the cat to scratch there. Worked like a charm for our Emily.
I feel declawing is cruel because they take off the entire first knuckle on the cat's feet. Cats use their claw just for walking; they actually walk on their claws to help protect their feet. Declawing a cat is akin to cutting off a human's toes. It affects their balance and their emotional well-being. I would urge you to reconsider declawing your feline friend.
post #15 of 15
Hi Kittens need to eat often, more than once per day. If you are feeding kitty normally I think your kitten is just curious and being more of a curious cat than a hungry one. Kittens are mischievous. Don't declaw please Do some research on this site to learn more.
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