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What is the best way and food for kitty?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My new kitty came home with a bag of Science Diet from the SPCA. She seems to only eat if her bowl is full. She was a stray and I think she's afraid if she eats it all she won't get anymore. Should I leave food on her bowl at all times or give her specific eating times and how much and how many times a day? Some of you commented that she was a bit skinny, so what do you think?


post #2 of 10
First of all, congrats on the new kitty! She's really cute. Love her coloring.

Secondly, you'll probably want to get her on a high quality food. Science Diet is frowned upon around here because it's a low quality food with lots of grains, by-products, fillers, etc. Some good brands are: Orijen, Innova, Natural Balance, Nature's Variety, etc. You can get either kitten or all life stages food for her, up to you. A kitten formula might be higher in calories/fat, so it could possibly aid in weight gain for her. You'll also want to incorporate atleast some canned food, if not mostly or all, into her diet. Canned food is very important for cats because it's high in moisture and protein, plus it doesn't trigger crystals like dry kibble does.

I usually suggest meal feedings for cats, to discourage over eating. However, if you're trying to put some weight on her, then I'd leave dry kibble out for her and feed canned food 1-2x a day, so it doesn't spoil. You could do meal feedings too though, if that's the way you intend on feeding her later on, so she gets used to it. Just make sure she IS eating something everyday.
post #3 of 10
I advocate for scheduled feedings rather than free feed too. Food anxiety can really become a problem for former strays.

Scheduled meals help you keep track of how much she is eating, can prevent obesity, and can provide extra bonding moments with her. Cats love routine and ritual, and I predict it won''t be long before you find yourself saying "I have to do such and thus before she will accept her dish".

I like four meals a day plus two snacks. Two meals in the morning half an hour to an hour apart, and two in the evening an hour or two apart. Then two snacks, one in the early afternoon and one at bed time.

I do not feed as soon as I get out of bed. I put on my coffee and check my ea mail first. This way the cats do not associate me getting out of bed with breakfast. Which means no one wakes me up to eat at ungodly hours.

I also do not feed as soon as I walk in the door. Again, I spend time doing chores, and talking to them as I bustle, but supper is not for at least another half hour or hour.

So meals are associated with meals only If that makes sense.

I also agree with the food suggestions.

She's a darling, I love Red cats, what's her name?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
She has no name yet. Still waiting for something to "fit". She came with the name Mischa, but I didn't like it. Hubby says name her Kinky because of her tail, but I don't know. Thanks for the suggestions on food.
post #5 of 10
My cat, Pumpkin, is the same coloring as yours. She is so cute. Good luck with the feedings
post #6 of 10
I disagree a bit here - I'd keep her on the Science Diet, if she appears to be doing well, since she's used to it, while you look at other foods - if you feel like doing so. Then do a gradual change-over. A lot of kitties' tummies don't do well on abrupt transitions, and at this point, I don't think anyone wants her to have any digestive problems. Also, don't let anyone make you feel like you're a bad mom if you don't switch foods - if your cat is happy and healthy, that's what really counts. But, whatever you do, give her a transition period to adjust from the old food to the new food - and I'd suggest keeping some of the old food around for a while, in case the new stuff just doesn't work out.

Also, at this point I'd do the free feeding and leave the bowl full, even if you are introducing wet foods at certain times. I suspect she is afraid that there won't be any more food. My boy was like that - after a few weeks, he really reduced his intake once he realized that food was going to show up every single day, but up to then he also was nervous if he saw the level of kibble going down. He had been picked up as a stray and was actually overweight when I got him - but I think he really was afraid of not being able to find a meal. I did have to work with a vet to find a good amount to feed him to get him to lose a pound or two, but that was after he felt a greater amount of trust in his forever home (like 3 months down the road). The vet had agreed with this plan when I took him in for his 'new pet' check up on the way home from the shelter.

Otherwise, I basically agree with Otto's comments - cats do enjoy routine, so take a look at your day and see what works for you and then keep to that schedule as much as you can. I work outside the home, so I do a little wet in the morning - after I brush my own teeth etc, but before my breakfast - and a little wet before my dinner. Since I do have occasional overtime, and I don't want them overly stressed if I'm a few hours late, I now leave a measured amount of dry kibble down for them to nibble on during the day and in the overnight hours. My girl especially is a grazer and this seems to work for both of them.

And enjoy - she's a beautiful little girl.
post #7 of 10
She looks like a kitten or a very young cat. Leaving food out all the time and offer canned food at regular times might be better for a kitten.

Kinky sounds cute, just like her tail is cute.
post #8 of 10
here is a list of wet foods

9Lives\t \tMerrick
Alley Cat\t \tMulligan Stew
Artemis Company\t \tNatural Balance
Avoderm - Breeder's Choice\t \tNatural Life
Back to Basics\t \tNature's Logic
Before Grain\t \tNature's Recipe
Best Feline Friend\t \tNature's Variety
Blue Buffalo\t \tNewman's Own Organics
By Nature Naturals\t \tNutro
By Nature Organics\t \tOrganix
California Natural\t \tPet Promise
Canine Caviar\t \tPetAg
Chicken Soup\t \tPetGuard
Diamond\t \tPinnacle - Breeder's Choice
Eagle\t \tPrecise
Evangers\t \tPro Pac
EVO\t \tPro Plan
Evolve\t \tPurina Veterinary Diets
Fancy Feast\t \tReal Food Toppers
Felidae\t \tRegal Pet Foods
Friskies\t \tRoyal Canin Veterinary Diets
Fromm\t \tSensible Choice
Go! Natural\t \tSheba
Halo\t \tSolid Gold
Hi-Tor\t \tStella & Chewy's
Hill's Prescription Diet\t \tTiki Cat
Hill's Science Diet\t \tTriumph
Iams\t \tWellness
Iams Veterinary Formulas\t \tWeruva
Innova\t \tWhiskas
Lakse Kronch\t \tWysong
Lick Your Chops\t \tZiwiPeak
Meow Mix\t \tZuPreem

also my kitten got sick at 4 1/2 months and was on science diet i/d
I took several weeks after he recuperated to transition him
I do give him dry but will transition him off asap

sharky can help you with choosing foods
and heres an index of tutorials and food reviews
post #9 of 10
If you want to ask about one or two foods ... feel free on the bourd more than that please PM me
post #10 of 10
I know some won't agree with me, but I feed Lucky some wet food in the morning and for supper. I keep a bowl of dry out at all times. I have him spoiled. He gets fed as soon as I get up. If I don't then he sits and stares at me or he will run ahead of me and practically trip me. If I make him wait, he will do things he knows he is not allowed to do, like jump on top of the TV, try to get behind the TV. Yes, he has me wrapped around his paw. I feed him Authority Indoor dry, and Friskies wet. So far he has done good on the Authority but I am not so sure I am sold on it. But since I am on Social Security, I have to watch my pennies. I would like to change brand of food, but I can't afford a high premium food. But everyone has their own favorite food. But one thing, be careful if you throw an empty tuna can in your trash. If I am not careful, Lucky will try to get into the trash can. I am thinking of switching to either Healthwise or Avoderm. But you will get lots of advice here. Which is good.
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