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appetite and petting

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I am having an interesting issue with Sparky, our kitten. He's about 14 weeks old. He seems to eat better if he gets lots of attention and petting late at night. Any ideas?

Long version:

When sis-in-law was here, he really bonded with her. He would sit on her chest each night while she watched tv and she would pet him even though she claims she hates cats.

Then mom-in-law arrived and the whole house was completely disrupted. Sparky, who of course only weighed 2 or 3 pounds, wasted down to skin and bones in about 4 days. Then both my in-laws left (mom was driving sis across country because her company was relocating her). Sparky was quite listless.

That weekend, Labor Day, we had a bout of bad weather. I heard a cat crying in the rain outside and found a kitten in our bushes. I know this kitten and his owner, so we kept him overnight and tried to bring him home, but they had gone out of town for the weekend. I think our visitor was a godsend for Sparky, because they played together quite well and Sparky began eating again.

However, since then, I have noticed that Sparky sometimes doesn't eat much. I changed to brand of dry food he likes better, and I also pick canned food carefully because he prefers the "chunks in gravy" kind over the ground kind. The odd part is, it seems like if I am up late at night and he gets to lay with me in the dark and quiet while I pet him, he eats well the next day.

What is the connection between the petting and the eating?
post #2 of 7
It sounds like it may be the stimulation. Also, some are more social than others and only feel really happy when with someone. Have you thought about getting him a friend?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
He has Blackie, but Blackie is a few years older and doesn't like to play as much or as roughly. (I'm sure getting Sparky neutered will tone him down a bit, plus growing up of course.) I wish we could get another kitten or young cat, but it's an 800 sq. foot, 2 bedroom apartment, I think we'd be overwhelmed. Maybe when we get a house, which should be soon, we can do that.
post #4 of 7
He may calm down a bit and you wont have to find a younger playmate for him. You could also assume that while he is excited and playing, he is consuming more calories. Which would explain him eating more during these times. If you start to get worried about him loosing weight, you could pick a time of day to get the toys and teasers out.
post #5 of 7

Talk about overwhelmed...I'm in a 2 bedroom apartment with 7 cats!
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Geez, Donna, nice of the cats to share their apartment with you! All you have to do is pay for it!
post #7 of 7
Sunlion, I have a similar situation with Minnosh.. Sometimes she calls us & takes us to her food bowl. She won't eat unless we pet her back & tail strongly ! (Actually she doesn't let us stroke her like that any other time ) If you stop petting, she stops eating !

Also talking seems to increase her appetite. She eats at least a few grains of her food even if she isn't hungry ( I think just to make me happy )

And one more thing, I don't know how old Sparky is but I realized that when the kitties are approaching to the sexually mature age, they tend to loose some of their appetite & be very much finicky ! ( It was the same with Minnosh & Yumosh ). It could be hormone related maybe ?? Or they could be frustrated with the strange feelings they start having for the first time in their lives ??
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