or Connect
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › 6 weeks old and won't even try food
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

6 weeks old and won't even try food

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
My foster kittens are 6 weeks old today. For the past two weeks I have been attempting to get them to start eating on their own with absolutely no luck. The "oldest" male (born first in the litter) will sniff at the food and will lick it a little bit or maybe take one tiny bite before he goes to nurse on momma. The other two kittens won't even sniff it. I've tried the KMR, soft food, pouched food, dried food and moistened dried food. I would think at 6 weeks old that they'd at least be trying it!
Also, I've been trying to get them to use the litter box. The little female will occasionally use it when I put her in it, but the boys just want to eat the litter or they jump out immediately.
Any suggestions on what I can do with either issue?
post #2 of 6
Just give them time they are pretty young. This is why kittens need to be with a mom, and yes I know that sometimes this isn't possible. But don't rush them. Try this instead- buy a few jars of baby food- chicken or turkey. Mix the baby food with the KMR and add it to their bottle-use hot water to dissolve any clumps, then let the mixture cool down a bit. Start feeding the kittens the mixture. Also save out a bit of the baby food and coat the nipple with the baby food- not to much just a taste.

Your kittens will move off the bottle when they realize they are still hungry after feeding. My kittens are almost 5 weeks old now, and one of them is eating a bit of the baby food along with the bottle feeding- but the others are not interested.

Just give it time, about the litterpan, the best teacher is another cat- we humans just sometimes don't have what it takes to get that job done.
post #3 of 6
6 weeks is still very young for them to be off the bottle or away from mom. Give them time, they will eat solid food when they are ready. I have had kittens that still nursed from their mother at 12 weeks of age, but by then, mom was getting a little tired of it. If you are bottle feeding, they will let you know when they are ready for solid food. They will start chewing on the nipple. Offer the solid food, but if they do not want it, continue with the bottle, that is, if you are bottle feeding them. If they are with the mother, they will learn to eat solid food one their own. Same with the litter box. They will learn this from mom as well. If there is no mother cat, then you have to teach them to use the litter box. Enjoy the kittens, they will grow and be on their own fast enough
post #4 of 6

I wouldn't worry about it. They are still pretty young. I can't remember how old mine were when they started eating - but it was very late compared to what I'd heard about kitten development.

I tried grinding up dried food, mising it with cat milk and then letting the kittens walk through it so they'd lick it off their feet. They still didn't realise it was food !

Then one day, I was feeding the mother some chicken and one of the kittens started eating it, Breakthrough ! once he had tried chicken, he started trying catfood and the rest of them followed.
post #5 of 6
I fail at weaning - my bottle feds are always way too spoiled so I won't offer any advise there.

At 6 weeks this may be a little too late to try for the litter box: At 3-4 weeks when I wipe them to stimulate elimination, I do so over a litter box and leave a little bit of their waste in there for them to get it. By the time they do it on their own, they have always used the litter box. By 6 weeks they no longer play there. Since yours are already 6 weeks old, you might try leaving some of their poop in there. They are probably too old to stimulate to urinate.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice! They are with their mom and they watch her eat and use the litter box all the time. Last night I thought I would try giving them a little tuna fish. That did the trick with two of the kittens, they practically inhaled it. So today, I mixed a tiny amount of tuna with some canned cat food and they ate it The "youngest" male still won't try it, but he has always been the last one to do anything......I think he's just a little slower to develop.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Pregnant Cats and Kitten Care › 6 weeks old and won't even try food