or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Kitten food and litter
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Kitten food and litter

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello again,
I'm sorry for posting twice in a row, I promise this will only happen this once, but I haven't had a kitten in so long and need a couple, more simple questions answered.
Chester seems to like his "neutrience" wet food fine, and I got a free bag of the dry, but he wont touch it except to play with it. I've also heard that "chicken meal" is a bad choice as a first ingredient. What should I be looking for in a good quality kitten food?
Also, I picked up some clumping litter, as that's what we've used for years. I've been reading about kittens eating it (although he has no interest in that so far) and it's really dusty. What do you suggest for a good litter with low dust, preferably clumping? Are the wheat ones any good?
Let me apologise once again for posting twice, it's just that these subjects are so different.
Thank you so much for your help
post #2 of 23
no way, dont you even apologize, that is what this board is for... if you look, there are people who will respond to 15 threads in a row, who cares.... we are all here to chat with each other... apology not accepted... i switched back and forth between the clumping litter and regular littler cuz i kept hearing stories... i asked my vet and he said that was unlikley to happen, but you never know(not much help) so basically i just watched her closley when she went to the litter box to make sure she was doing her thing and then getting out, but kittens naturally want to taste everything, they are like small children, they will put whatever in their mouth... but i have used it the majority of the time since i got sara and still do and we have had no problems as for food, there are some really good threads on here about food, if you do a search for them... i think the first 3 ingredients are supposed to be meats, dont quote me though, i am not the one to ask... i feed sara nutro dry and wet food... that is supposed to be good... other than that i dont know what to tell you other than welcome to the boards!!!
post #3 of 23
For litter I have tried most of the common ones and to date the best one I have tried has been "Feline Pine" which is a pellet shaped wood chip type of litter. It is safe to flush, highly absorbant compared to others, combats oder well for urine, stays dry on top till well used, and is even flushable if you want to scoop the solids. I find it tracks slightly after being used, but is extreamly easy to sweep or vaccume up. I keep meaning to add some kind of mat or fake grass under the box but have not gotten around to it and I guess its because I dont really feel its necessary. Wood is very absorbant and also seems to remain dry enough to not track little clay prints onto your furnature if your cat pees a lot and paws it. There is also no silica dust to get into their lungs and make them cough for minutes (not including whatever long term damage that might include). Also there is no clumping factor to stick to their claws which they then either have to live with or lick off (or wash off in water dishes if clever enough).

So all in all, after trying a bunch, I really like the Feline Pine brand, even if I have to sweep or vaccume every once in awhile.
post #4 of 23
I don't know why anyone would be against chicken meal. All it is is the dehdrated meat of the chicken. It is a very concentrated form of meat protein and is very good for cats.
I have used the Wheatscoop litter and I found that it stuck to the bottom of the litter pan. It works OK with a liner, though. But you have to trim kitty's claws to keep her froom making holes in the liner. A very good litter but expensive is World's Best Litter. It is made from corn and is safe. Some people use chicken feed that is made from corn and swear it is like World's Best but I haven't tried it so I can't say for myself. But it is way, way cheaper, so you might give it a try. Non clumping litters to consider are Carefresh and Yesterdays News, both paper products. And some people use pine pellets like Feline Pine or wood stove pellets. I guess those degrade into sawdust when wet that you can scoop out with a solid scoop, like a large spoon. I even have heard of people using rabbit feed for litter. So, there you go. Lots to try. Just be aware that cats hate change, so change litters about 25% at a time, with the old litter on top of the new, increasing the new every few days by another 25%. Becky
post #5 of 23
The kitties eating litter has been way overblown IMO. Most kittens will play in litter, but very few will chow down and eat it, unless they are nutritionally lacking, or have some sort of imbalance. I used just plain clay litter for the young kittens, for one reason, they love to play in it, they aren't disciplined enough to know that when they urinate, they shouldn't step in it, but most do, and the clumping litter when it gets between their paws can cause problems and even infections. Plus being hard to remove.

I wouldn't use liners either, most cats just don't care for them. Instead use PAM cooking spray and after you dump your boxes and scrub them, spray the inside bottom with the spray, let it air dry for about 3 minutes, then dump clean litter on top. The waste will then scoop out easily.
post #6 of 23
Hissy, it is interesting that you think the litter eating thing is overblown. My vet says that too. She said that one person has reported it and the website she started is the only documentation of the problem. That most other reports of it are referring to one website. Actually, the only time I have seen my kittens eat litter was when I started with World's Best. They did snack on that once. Becky
post #7 of 23
Well if you think about it, the only way that this could be proved, would be to force feed kittens kitty litter and follow the results in a lab. Thank God no one wants to do that to them. Yes kittens will taste litter. I certainly wouldn't want clumping litter in my stomach, but if it responds to moisture, just having it in their mouths would be annoying to them, wouldn't you think?
post #8 of 23
It may be overblown, but I have seen young kittens eat it with my own two eyes. I absolutely do not recommend it for youngsters. However, once they are a bit older and understand what the litter pan is actually for, it shouldn't be a problem.

I use Tidy Cats for Multiple Cats and a liner for Lexus and Yesterday's News without a liner for Tonka. The newspaper one seems to help with the male cat urine smell a LOT better than the clay works.

Hissy, I LOVE the idea of the Pam spray! Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

post #9 of 23
I guess it may be different for a breeder. You are dealing with kittens learning what a litter pan is for and all that stuff. Baby people taste everything, so I bet baby cats, do, too. But for the rest of us, we get kittens long past that stage of life, so I think we are pretty safe. Becky
post #10 of 23
You do have a point Becky ... I didn't think of it that way but I can see the logic in it now that you've 'splained it to me. *grin*

post #11 of 23
Boy, great answers...everything I was going to say has been covered already..

I have no real problem with chicken meal which consists of chicken, skin, bone. It's a huge step above chicken by-products.

Re litter...I always used plain unscented clay, because yes, my kittens would take a taste, and they would play in it, hop in with little wet paws...that said, if you spray the pan as Hissy suggested, it cuts down on the Swheat Scoop sticking to the bottom (and they've worked on their product for better clumping). Worlds Best is also good, and both are okay if your kitten takes a taste, and are low in dust.
post #12 of 23
I'm not sure how overblown the "kittens eating litter" issue is, but I experienced it first hand with Kionu. He was 4 months old when I got him and the woman I rescued him from said she made him and the other cats use the bathroom outside because her husband was allergic to the smell of urine (didn't know that was possible ). I thought that was extremely strange. Anyway, the first night I had him, I put him in a backroom with a medium sized litter box. He immediately went to the box, scooped up some litter with his paw and started licking his paw. I rushed over and managed to get the litter out of his mouth and dust the litter of his paw. I assumed he was just curious and thought it was food or a toy. I caught him trying to eat the litter about 8 times that week. He would also sneeze from breathing in all the dust after he covered his treasures. I tried Feline Pine and he thought he was back at the other woman's house. He would take the litter out of the box and make a little mound and do his business there. After a day or two, I was fed up. I caved in and purchased The World's Best Cat Litter. So far he hasn't tried to eat it our bring back memories of his outdoor habits. *crosses fingers*
post #13 of 23
Becky makes a good point. Breeders and rescuers/fosters will have kittens that are in the tasting litter stage but most people receive a kitten when they are already litter trained. As hissy said, unless a kitten is ill, has a vitamin deficiency or is learning to use a litter pan later than usual (as in Shanna's case), once they learn to use it, they do not eat the litter.

Having trained many, many kittens on how to use the litter pan, yes, they will eat it, sleep in in, toss it in the air and do anything else but use it as litter at first. This is a normal part of learning. They soon come to understand what it is for and once that happens, they no longer eat it. I always recommend using a non-clumping litter anyway, until a kitten is around 12 weeks, just in case.

I use something called Crumbled Layer Chicken Feed and yes, it's chicken food! There is a company here in Perth that sells a litter which I think is similar to your Swheat Scoop. I came to find out that what they were using was actualy this chicken feed, which is available at about 1/10 the price of the company's litter. My kittens use this right from the day I introduce them to using a litter pan. It does clump nicely, but as it's basically wheat, it's safe if they taste it.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow. There sure is a lot to think about here. I think that I'll look into some of those wheat based litters in terms of dust, but he's really very litter trained and would much prefer his wetfood to litter, for sure.
I can really understand the concerns for little kittens though. Geez, I can't even remember what we used when we had the babies around here (that was 15-18 years ago). Frankly, I was more interested in the little balls of fluff.

So chicken meal is ok, and plain chicken is ok, but chicken by-products are bad? I'm picking up some new food tomorrow, so I want to be clear that what I get is good for him.

Thanks everyone! This sure is a great forum, everyone is so helpful and friendly.

post #15 of 23
I wouldn't say that chicken by-products are bad. Just less preferred. What you are looking for is a meat based food. Chicken meal as the first ingredient is ideal. If it lists chicken as the first ingredient, that means the chicken meat with the water still in it, a less concentrated form of meat. If you are feeding dry food and the first ingredient is chicken, then once it is dehydrated, it is probably less in concentration than the carbohydrate sources. So meal is very good. By products are cheaper and contain stuff that you and I would probably not like to eat, but that doesn't mean it is bad. But lung and intestine tissue is a little lower in protein than the muscle meat, so while it is OK, it isn't the best. And it is OK to use cancerous tissues and liver riddled with flukes in pet food. I want what is best for my gang, so I feed high quality low carbohydrate canned food that is made with food that could be fed to humans. I asked the manufacturers what the source of their chicken meat is, and they responded that it is from the backs and wings that are not used for human use. Cheap source of good protein. But more expensive than by products. Becky
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's exactly what the girl at the petstore told me when I bought the food I have now. But then when I was at the vet, I mentioned it to the vet tech there and she just about started laughing and told me that it was wrong, that when it says "chicken meal" it uses bones and beaks, etc.
Regardless, he doesn't like the stuff he's got...thinks of it as a toy as opposed to a food. Well, at least in terms of the dry, the wet he doesn't mind.
So it sounds like I'm going shopping for Chicken meal then! uhh...right?
post #17 of 23
Hi Jess,

I check for these things when assessing the quality of a cat food - what are the first 3-4 ingredients? Does it begin with by-products, or corn gluten meal (a source of protein but obviously not meat based), is there also wheat gluten or wheat and soy flour, ground corn in the list of ingredients? How is it preserved - does it use BHA/BHT, or Ethoxyquin (no-no's to most folks).

By-products usually engenders a good discussion...my point always being, it's not the best source of protein, nor is it something I could accept such as the fresh caught innards of a mouse (if I were say caring for an outdoor kitty)...I do not trust the quality or the method of processing of these cast-off parts being used...in fact I think the whole process of rendering is disgusting!
But that's another topic!

I also do not feed any food that uses garlic, and that too is a topic of hot debate, I can list some articles for you to read to make your own opinion, and will just say that it is based on the fact that while it is known that onions are toxic for cats (cause Heinz Body Anemia), garlic is less so but with a variation in sensitivity from cat to cat, and I don't see the point in playing russian roulette. That said, there are highly regarded foods using garlic and folks who swear it's never affected a single cat of theirs. I just like to not take the risk.

hth a bit!
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
The vet said "Science diet" is what she recomends this afternoon. I know that there's some debate over it, but her reasoning is that she's had lots of cats and always had them on it, and they've all lived long, healthy lives. She also doesn't carry Science Diet, she carries "Medi Cal", so I guess that makes her a little less biased...mind you, I sure am going to check the back of the cans tomorrow with what you said in mind. It sounds like good advice, and I'll look into those additives and the garlic situation as well.
post #19 of 23
Originally Posted by Kumbulu
I use something called Crumbled Layer Chicken Feed and yes, it's chicken food! There is a company here in Perth that sells a litter which I think is similar to your Swheat Scoop. I came to find out that what they were using was actualy this chicken feed, which is available at about 1/10 the price of the company's litter. My kittens use this right from the day I introduce them to using a litter pan. It does clump nicely, but as it's basically wheat, it's safe if they taste it.
Hey, now that's a great idea - thank you!
I just started trying Swheat Scoop in one of the boxes yesterday - the cats are a little surprised by the smell, but they're using it - they tromp around in the box for a minute or so looking puzzled before they decide to go (they're such troopers! They have other boxes with their usual litter available just in case, though).

I also use this stuff to keep litter from sticking to the box - it's worked well for me.

sorry for going OT Just had to acknowledge that great idea
post #20 of 23
I fed Science Diet for years. Some formulations aren't bad. Its just that they use by products and they use a lot of carbs. And the "I've fed it for years and my cats lived to 20" is exactly what my mother could say. And she fed Purina Cat Chow. Some cats will do fine on it. But some people will smoke and not get cancer, too. I just think that feeding a high quality low carb canned food increases the chances of my cats living long healthy lives. I will let you know in about 16 years if it works or not. Becky
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 
I purchased the petsmart premium brand today for kibble, and got some of the wet food he already likes (Nutrience) and some of this other brand. Looks to be fairly high quality, we'll see.
I finally found a kibble he's willing to eat! I'm so excited! Thinking of bringing the other stuff over to the shelter and offering it there.
post #22 of 23
post #23 of 23
Hi there, another breeding chiming in. Over the last 6 years that we have been breeding I've only seen one or two kittens taste litter, but the litter we use is fairly small so hopefully it wouldn't do any damage. Clumping litter is bad bad bad! I know of so many adult cats that have passed from eating that.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Nutrition
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Nutrition › Kitten food and litter