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Getting kittens to eat canned food

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ok, I am at a roadblock here...the kittens are not really interested in the food I've offered to them, but they have tried it. We would put small amounts in their mouths, let them lick it off our fingers but to no avail. They seem more interested in mom's hard food, but haven't eaten enough for a meal perse. I've tried 3 different brands too...

Tonight I thought I'd mix KMR with their soft food but nothing. They went right in to the hut and nursed on mom instead.

My question to you all is this: Is this something that I should be concerned with at this point being that they will be 5 weeks old tomorrow??? I am thinking they are getting plenty of mom's milk and haven't got the appetite for solids. I just know that they should be eating solid food at 4 weeks but they just don't seem to want it yet. I don't like being off schedule's making me feel guilty!

Any advice??

They are however, fully potty trained and go without any suggestion from us. They just walk over and go At least I have got one thing right LOL
post #2 of 13
Originally Posted by skewch View Post
They seem more interested in mom's hard food, but haven't eaten enough for a meal perse.
Kizzy was older than your kitties, but what I did to help him learn to eat the wet food too was by putting some dry food pieces into the wet. When he'd try for the dry food, he would get some wet as well.

You could try putting it on their paw, then they might lick it off.

Just a couple thoughts that have helped me get my kitty onto wet food.
post #3 of 13
I would not be worried.
Alot of kittens are older then that when they start eating solids.
It depends on the kitten.
Want me to ask in the sphynx group?
I think licking it off their paws is a good idea.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
gonna go upstairs and try that. I know they will eat some if we open their mouths and put it in, a couple of the kittens will eat a little off of the plate, but no real interest other than that.
post #5 of 13
I hope they start eating the can food soon.
post #6 of 13
I wouldn't be worried, it took Tubee a long time to get onto real food but he eventually got it. One thing you could try if you haven't already is to have mom eat some of the wet food since it sounds like they want to copy mom. They might just want to learn from her, do what she does. Good luck!

post #7 of 13
I'm pretty sure they will start eating whem mom decides to stop nursing. Though the idea of them seeing her eat and then eating is pretty good. Cats actually do learn from watching/seeing. If you think about it, they are getting enough through nursing, it is warm and comfy and plates of food aren't.
post #8 of 13
Jake was 5 weeks old when I got him and I was freaking out over him not eating, not even KMR and I couldn't bottle feed him because he was already grown enough to stop me from holding him...He was away from his mom too...
What happened was, I worried sick for a day, then the next day I opened a can and he nibbled a tiny tiny amount, but didn't seem to get the idea that this is food i dunno why. I kept him on KMR for a few days and then gradually I started giving him canned food, and when I realized he was eating enough of it I stopped giving him KMR at all...he didn't really like that at first and preferred KMR much better but now he loves his canned food....He is 11 weeks and 3.7 pounds...the vet says I may need to be more careful with portioning because he is heading for being overweight if he keeps going like this and we need to prevent it while he is still young. So I just think that when they are hungry and there is no milk available they sure will eat canned food lol
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys for all of your input. I know they will eat more as time goes on but I just seem to worry alot LOL. I just wanted to ensure they were getting enough nutrients, but I do believe they are just from nursing.

The kittens do watch mom eat as I take her food each time I go to their room to visit. She really enjoyed the canned with KMR and licked the plate clean...but I was able to feed the male as he really liked it as well. I have been continuing to give it to them every day at least twice, and eventually they WILL get it.

I guess in summary, I am just a complete worry wart's so good to get the perspective of others just in case. This isn't my first time with kittens for pete's sake, so I should know what to expect. I do know and have learned that each litter is different in learning so I'm trying to not feel as guilty if they aren't doing something on time--with this litter or in the future.
post #10 of 13
When breeding rexes, I never tried to get them to eat canned food till they were about 5-6 weeks old. They just were not interested and wanted to nurse. It's frustrating to keep trying till they are older.

I would make a soupy mix of canned kitten food and warm water and KMR and then put it on a shallow plate. If the kitten would not eat off my fingers, I'd rub a bit on their mouth and they would lick it off. Sometimes a gently push into the food would be enough (be careful you don't push their nose in). One or two would take off and the others would pick it up in a day or two.

I would not let mom around the canned food till most of the kittens were done. Be prepared to wash off kittens after - they get pretty messy.

Within 2-3 days most all the litter was lined up around the plate to eat.
post #11 of 13
With Wilbur and Tinker I tried soft food from 5 weeks on. they NEVER liked it. But when i put some kitten dry food out they devoured it.

Might want to just try some dry food and see what happens. When I found this out I put both out. But my cats have never liked any canned food. It's also nearly impossible to find treats they both like.

Mine are brats, i'm aware of this but it's something to think about!
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
From all of the responses, I feel much better about it all knowing it's not a do or die situation at this point that they MUST eat food. Being that this is the first Devon litter I've had, I am just worried I think more than I need to be.

I do know that when a cat is hungry they will eat. They are all really healthy in appearance and in development. I love the fact they picked up the litter box idea the first day and there is no worries there AT ALL.

I am going to post pictures in a new thread today as it's their birthday today...the big 5 weeks!
post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I would make a soupy mix of canned kitten food and warm water and KMR and then put it on a shallow plate.
Nora will ONLY eat canned food if it is mashed up and mixed with water to make it "soupy". I put it on a plate rather than in a bowl and she licks it off. She will normally at least come close to cleaning her plate that way, otherwise she just won't eat it. It was just dumb luck that I even tried it that way and she loved it.
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