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New kitten eats too much... (?)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi there. This is my first post. I had a question about my new kitty and came across this page. I hope someone can help me.

I just recently (last week) adopted a new kitten, Rae. She is seven weeks old. Her mom was a stray and was killed. When I got Rae from the humane society, she had a respiratory infection and is just now getting better after a week of medication. When I brought her home, the first thing she did was go to the food bowl and chowed down. I have noticed over the last seven days that she eats a lot. She eats about ten times a day. Her belly is starting to get very round and it feels very hard. I worry that she is overcompensating for, possibly, food that she didn't have during her first few weeks of life while she was a stray without her mom. I have another cat (Tattoo, 1 year old) who just eats a little here and there throughout the day and has never had a problem with her weight or eating too much. I would hate to punish Tattoo by taking the food away, but I worry I may not have another choice. Has anyone else had a problem like this one with a kitty?

Thanks in advance,
Bloomington, IN
post #2 of 11
I have, but only with kittens that were abandoned too early by their mom. I assumed it was because they didn't get enough food on a regular basis and got used to eating whenever it was put in front of them, whether they were hungry or not.

Try putting Tattoo's food bowl up in a higher place for a while (like your bathroom counter), and somewhere the kitten can't get too. You can then regulate what the kitten is eating a little better. Once regulated, you might be able to open things up a little better. Can Tattoo adjust to this?

Also have the kitten checked out for worms. Sometimes kittens with worms feel hungry all the time.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'll try that. The Humane Society I got Rae from tested her for worms while she lived there and they said she didn't have them. She has also been de-wormed by the vet. I'll let you know how it goes putting the food higher throughout the day.
post #4 of 11
When I got Bailey she would do the same thing, eat like it was her last meal. Apparently its quite common for strays to behave that way - they have learned that the next meal may be a long time away.

Over the last 6 months she has really settled in to a routine and now will walk away from the food dish when she has had enough, even if its still half full.

Ask your vet, but I bet if you just keep to the same routine, your kitten will eventually realize that there is going to be food when she needs it. And kittens need to eat more often than grown up cats, so 10 times a day may not be excessive.

However, one thing that is a bit confusing in your post, are you feeding both cats the same thing? The baby will still need kitten food, 7 weeks is very very young.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yes, I am feeding the kitties the same thing. My older cat is just under a year old, so she is still eating kitten food. Thanks for the comforting story.
post #6 of 11
It is a typical feral kitten reaction. They have a sort of trigger in their body where they will eat everything you put down and then go search your floors for more stuff. It is survival instinct. Feed her small measured amounts of food up to 6 times daily. Give her a little bit of warmed up canned pumpkin with her food to help her push the food through her system and give her fiber. Also give her some mashed cooked green beans as well.
post #7 of 11
all my kittens are like that. They eat and eat and eat. They are growing like little weeds.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Will the pumpkin and/or green beans hurt my older kitty if she decides to eat them?
post #9 of 11
pumkins and greenbeans are just added fiber to there diet. So I don't think it would hurt your older kitty. If you don't want the older kitty to eat it you can keep the kitten food in a box with a hole only big enough for the kitten. that way the big kitty can't get it.
post #10 of 11
My kitten Tigger did the same thing since I adopted him at 8 weeks old, now 10 weeks later, he finally stopped stuffing himself. In the beginning, he would eat so much that his belly was very round and had to lie down to rest, and would climb up on my shoulder if I am eating something.

Now he is getting picky on what he eats... and can care less when we are eating...
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so much for your encouraging stories and helpful hints. Rae has finally stopped stuffing herself as much and will actually walk away from a half-empty bowl of food! I think it will still take her some time to realize that there will always be food there for her and that I won't let anything bad happen to her. She's also starting to sleep peacefully (where before she would awake in a panic), so I'm optimistic that she will soon start functioning normally. YAY!
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