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solid food and water intake

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok I started weaning the kittens a couple of days ago by mixing dry kitten chow, wet/canned kitten food and their formula into a thin broth and then making it a little thicker with each feeding. I have a few questions though...

1. The two trouble makers knocked the bag of dry kitten food over and before I could get it picked up they were all eating it dry and off the floor. Thankfully no one chocked and some of them seemed to like it better dry than wet. Is it ok to offer them some dry kitten chow as well as the wet mix?

2. None of them seem to get the concept of water. I tried dipping my finger in it and letting them lick it off my finger, I tried dipping their paws in it, I even had my little shitzu give them a lesson in water drinking...all to no avail. They just look at the water dish then look at me and meow. I've been giving them water in the syringe to keep them hydrated but what do I do? My DD laughed and said "I can see it now, a group of full grown cats having to be feed water out of baby bottles" ... this was a "payback" for me telling her not to worry about her son wanting to drink from a bottle rather than a sippy cup I said "Well, if he's still drinking from a bottle when he goes to college...he's probably going to be a lawyer"

3. I boiled some chicken for my dogs and hamsters last night and when I told the kids to "feed the animals" they missunderstood and gave the kittens some boiled chicken, too. This morning they did not want to eat the kitten chow mix...wet or dry. They just looked at it then crawled up in my lap and started to claw at me and meow. I'm thinking they want more chicken. The chicken didn't seem to have any ill effects...except for the possible refusal to eat kitty food. Is it ok to put a little more chicken (shredded into small pieces of course) in with the kitty chow to get them interested in eating solid food again?

4. Should I let them eat as much as they want? How do I know if they are eating enough? If I can ever get them to drink water out of a bowl how will I know if they are drinking enough?

Ok I think thats it You have no idea how totaly stupid I feel, I am just way out of my element here.

Thanks again for all the advice!
post #2 of 6
Some people wean kittens to dry food only. They do fine on the kitten chows. I prefer them to eat wet because kittens are notorious for not drinking water, atleast with the wet food they get moisture. Boiled chicken is fine for kittens but would get costly and probably shouldn't be their only source of nutrition. Chicken is given to sick kittens because it is easy to digest and even a finicky kitten will usual eat it. No harm there. They are just learning and it takes some time but they will figure it all out. Sounds like your doing a great job.
post #3 of 6
As they hitherto get wet food or almost wet food, they dont need to drink (much). They arent thirsty.
But when they begin eat dry food, the thirst will surely come...

Chicken is ok. But not the bones. Ie not the cooked bones - they get fragile AND sharp.
But raw chicken bones, for example wings, are OK.

Ps try to get some tuna or tuna-water with their drinking water. Or some cream in the water.
Many cats like such water, and may get a non-drinker to drink more.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
they were boneless chicken breasts, I had to take a dog to the ER b/c he got a chicken bone caught in his throat after digging in the trash so I'm real careful with bones.

I've got a lot of tuna canned in water, I'll add a little of that to their water dishes, thats a great idea thanks.

Is it normal for them to growl at each other when they eat? Only two of them do it, the rest of them act a little frightened and start to walk away from thier dishes as well. They haven't swated at or attacked just growling and acting territorial. I could understand if they were starving but, it's not like any of them have ever went hungry, I typically end up giving their leftovers to the outside cats b/c I set out too much for the kittens. I'm concerned b/c some of the adopting families have a cat already in their homes.
post #5 of 6
If some of them act territorial, it may be an idea to give them food at different places. So the more docile wont be disturbed or stressed.

Better there are some leftovers than some of them are hungry. Good you dont need to throw the rests. Other needing cats can get them - a first rate cat food, better than they usually get.

Ah, yes in new families. The resident will probably teach them who is the master cat. But it is not sure. Some friendly cats allows kittens to take over.
For example our older cat, the massive muscular stud who was almost docile to his son. Let the kitten eat his food, bite him on tail when asleep, let him win most wrestling-matches...
But this was only until the kitten was himself a young man. Then and there it become clear who was the master-cat in the house, and who was allowed to hang on, but only if he behaved... And this proceeded also when the father get neutered and the son took over the duties of the stud...
They are good friend into this day, with the father as the leader.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Ok I'll give them some extra space at meal time. I can understand the whole "guarding your food" I've got a stash of snickers hidden from own family...don't everyone "boo and hiss" at me there are 6 people in this house from 42yo to 12 mnths if they found my stash they would have a sugar high and mutiny against me. If they do chores for the week I give them a candy bar

Oh and I tried the tuna in the water and they all drank some great idea thanks!
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