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Kitten has problems eating?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, new here so I apologize if I do not make sense

I recently took in an orphaned kitten, it appears that she was the runt of the litter and for some reason her mother left her in my Grandmother's backyard.

I took her to the vet, which told me that she was underweight (9 oz. at about 8 weeks). She is very active and loving, I am having a big issue with getting her to learn how to eat her food better. We originally gave her milk replacer, then switched her to canned kitten food about a week ago.

The issue is that she literally dunks her head while eating, and slurps loudly when doing so. It's worrying me because she isn't gaining any weight, and is ALWAYS hungry. She tries so hard to eat that at times she falls asleep while doing it. I have tried everything I could think of from bottle feeding, to hand feeding, and changing the bowl so she can't fit her whole head in to no avail.

She refuses to eat unless she can slurp it, otherwise it gets spit out. She hates bottle feeding, and I have tried about 5 different KMR's, which she turned her nose up at all of them. I recently bought some Royal Canin Babycat food, and as much as she wants to eat it she can't seem to figure out how to chew it (even when it is moistened, I even tried bottled water instead of tap).

I am scared that my little baby is severly malnourished, even though my vet maintains that she is healthy other than her weight (She has had testing for parasites and a few other things, was told she was fine). They told me to start her on moistened dry food asap but I am stuck and worried sick because I can't seem to get her to eat anything but pureed canned food.

I would be eternally grateful for any suggestions

Thanks so much.
post #2 of 7
Welcome to TCS to you and your precious baby!One of our experts will be along shortly to help settle your worried new parent nerves.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much Stephanie

I am a new mommy, so a bit confused on how to go about these things, only had an adult cat and puppy

You made me feel a million and a half times better in your message to me
post #4 of 7
I have a new kitty and she's finally starting to eat. She prefers pate canned food with the KMR added to it. So that is exactly what I'll feed her till she grows up a bit more and puts on more weight.

Mine also sort of slurps up the food. I stir a quarter can of food with about 1 T of the milk, warm it up, and feed that to her throughout the day. She also has the Royal Canin babycat to eat, and she's starting to eat it.

Feed her what she'll eat and lots of it.
post #5 of 7
Hope you and Peanut have had a great day, Ali!
post #6 of 7
She is very small for her age and you are right to be concerned for her. Short of tube-feeding her (and if she is eating at all on her own, the vet would be unwilling to do this) the only thing you can do is let her slurp. I love it that you are warming the food - chilled food is hard on little tummies. She might still be a little young yet to grasp the concept of the babycat. Even though those little kibbles are tiny, it just may not make sense to her yet. Just give her a high-quality pureed or pate-style canned kitten food for now and let her have a small serving about 4 to 6 times a day. As she gains some weight, you can increase the serving size and decrease the number of times she eats but let her weight and growth patterns be your guide. Kittens do go through stages where they look gawky and awkward but if she starts really losing resources, then up the number of times you feed her again - or you can once again try to introduce the dry.

Hope this helps,

~gf~
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much everyone

I finally found a milk replacer she seems to like - KMR 2nd step for weaning kittens. I talked to my vet today and they said to mix the KMR with her canned food and she should be just fine. Phew, being a new mommy is so scary

I appreciate all the kind responses, and like I told Stephanie this forum truly is a wonderful warm place to learn, I am very happy I found it

Soon I'll post pics of my little one - batteries are charging for the digicam as I type
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