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Lily Marlene, what a bad kitten!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Lily only gets her middle name used when she is really, really, really, bad. Her full name is TigerLily Marlene.

The issue here is food. I bought Nutro Natural Choice Indoor Kitten formula. Both cats eat kitten food. Twitch loves the kitten food while Lily seems to tolerate it. She is very aggressive with her food. We free feed them. If there is a bowl of dog food on the floor, nothing can stop her from getting it. I got bit hard enough to draw blood when I picked her up out of the bowl this morning. She will fight the dogs for food(I squirt her with a water bottle when she does). She doesn't seem to eat much. I don't measure how much she eats as the two of them *must* eat from the same bowl at the same time. I give her canned food twice a day. She hardly even eats 1/4 of the can. She doesn't seem to eat much dry food. She is skinny. She has a really long body. I can't seem to put weight on her. For canned food we have Merrick, Eagle Pack(she doesn't really like), & Felidae(she doesn't really like). Twitch gets cans of Fancy Feast & Friskies to lick the gravy off of as treats. The rest of the can goes to the neighbors house where she has a couple of feral cats she baged & is trying to tame them. I tried putting Salmon flavored Vita Gravy on dry food, but she still doesn't eat much.

I only recently switched from SD to Nutro. While switching, I noticed(from my best guess) that she seemed to be picking out the nutro bites & leaving the SD bites in the bowl.

Is there a way to make her eat more? She prefers Merrick canned food, but we only have 2 cans left! I don't want to order any as it costs 70 cents more per can. We were going to buy some today, but it snowed & the schools around where the pet store is(an hour away) are closed for the day. My sis can't get out to go to work(she lives where the pet store is). Are Eukunuba(sp?) cans good? Iams? How much gravy are in those? Lily prefers the cans with a little more gravy in them. Example: She prefers Merrick to Eagle Pack or Felidae.

Any feeding suggestions? I "free feed" yet I change the food frequently. There is very little left in the bowl(a dozen bites) when they are done with each meal, so there is food offered if they want it at all times. If someone goes back to eat 3 hours after a meal, I always give them fresh food. Can I lace her food with some "candy/treats"(we use Friskies & Whiskas dry food as treats instead of buying treats) to get her to eat it?

I am starting to get frusterated. The dogs won't eat in the house for fear of Lily. I have to feed them outside in the snow to get them to eat. Not even a can of dog food over dry dog food in the basement will get them to eat in the house.
post #2 of 12
Poor wee Lily. I can only tell you that our babes don't like much except Merricks so that's what they get at $1.69 per can plus tax of 7% and 2 cans per day.
post #3 of 12
I'm sorry...I find your situation confusing. You say you want to find a way to get Lily to eat more, but you're also complaining that she's too "aggressive" with her food...that she's eating the dog's food.

Sounds like you need to feed your cats separate from each other and separate from the dogs.

Sorry if I misunderstood.
post #4 of 12
Was Lily Marlene named after the WWII-era song recorded by Marlene Dietrich?
post #5 of 12
What kind of dog food are you feeding? Maybe she would like the cat version of whatever dog food you are giving. For dry foods, innova evo has a really strong smell and my cats love it. It also has a higher fat content so it may put some weight on your kitty. As for canned, have you tried the nutro pouches? They have quite a bit of gravy in them. I also have a thin, picky-eater kitty, and a chubby kitty. I always worry that one day I'll wake up and my chubby kitty will have morphed into a big butterball and I'll have to put him on a diet. So I think overall having a thin kitty is a little better, don't ever have to stress about dieting.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yes, her middle name came from the WWII song.

coaster, I can understnad that you are confused. The food aggression & stealing dog food was to illustrate how she seems to be desperate for food, yet she doesn't want to eat what she has. She is not agressive with her food with Twitch, but is food agressive with the dogs. Poor dogs, they didn't do anything wrong. I got them to eat their lunch in the basement, but they are always looking around to see if Lily is going to pounce. I should have been watching the dogs behavior more closely when they ate. They have probably been letting me know that they are afraid of Lily for awhile now, but I was just oblivious. That is my fault.

I don't know if Lily is getting bored with her food really fast or if she just doesn't like it. She seemed to like it before. Right now, I are trying giving Lily Nutri-Stat as a supplement to her diet in hopes of her gaining weight(the vet's suggestion). Yosemite, I think I am just going to agree with you. I might not get back to the pet store soon, so I am leanig towards ordering several cases of Merrick. I think I can get Eukunuba canned kitten food near me from a vet. Is it good food? I have heard yes, & I know Lily likes it(we tried a can once).

Are some cats really finicky about their food(want a different food every 2 or 3 days)? Would the easiest & best thing for eveyrone be to just order several different kinds of food & alternate every few days?
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Meowsers mom, I didn't see your post before I posted. Our vet is concerned about her weight. You can easily feel & see Lily's ribs. She is underweight for a kitten of her age. I tried giving her the cat version of the dog food, but she doesn't like it. I tried Nutro pouches, but I got the last two the pet store had in stock. She liked them, but not as much as Merrick. I really wanted to buy some Innova, but when I got to the hunting enporium where I could buy it, they were sold out. I must have gone on the wrong day to buy cat food. I never checked, but can you order Nutro pouches online, like Petco or Petsmart?
post #8 of 12
Originally Posted by white cat lover
The food aggression & stealing dog food was to illustrate how she seems to be desperate for food,
No, I'm sorry, but I think you're misinterpreting this. She's not desperate for food or she would also display this behavior with her cat food. Lily is showing the dogs that she is dominant over them by appropriating their food. That's just one way of a cat showing its dominance. Just look at the behavior of the dogs toward her.

Did the vet say she is underweight? Cats vary in their body types just like people do. Maybe she's just a skinny cat who is getting as much to eat as she wants.
post #9 of 12
I don't buy much on-line so I don't know if you can buy the nutro pouches online, but they do sell them at petsmart and petco. As for alternating foods, my cats would refuse to eat if I gave them the same thing every day. I have to offer them a lot of variety. For wet, I open multiple cans and mix together two flavors per meal (never the same 2 flavors in one day). For dry, they have innova mixed with either nutro or felidae. I also supplement their wet food with tuna juice and baby food sometimes. All this work has gotten them to (finally) prefer wet over dry (yea!), which makes me happy as I'm working toward an all wet diet. This may be making them even pickier, but I can't stand them staring at me with "I'm hungry" meows. They know I'm easily manipulated.
post #10 of 12
She sounds like a typical stray cat to me with Alpha tendencies. I have four in the house at the moment. They eat in another room, I always feed them first then the others get their food. Meaning I put the four bowls down first, then feed the other cats (not that I wait till the four finish eating).

If your cat is food aggressive, you leave her be when she is eating her food and do not make other food accessible to her. Cats love dog food, just like dogs love cat food. Look into automated feeders to help you at feeding time. Also has she been wormed recently? Worms can cause cats to be hungry, but when you feed, you are only feeding the parasites. Not all worms cause pouchy tummies.

You also might look into starting her on fastrack for felines. It is a probiotic and I use it often over here. It helps to put weight on and keep bacterial infections away. I use it for my cats and my horses.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
coaster, I never even thought of her trying to steal the dogs food as anything other than a desperate attempt to get more food. Yes, the vet said she was underweight.

Lily was wormed about a week ago. She got wormed twice, if I remember right. I never had trouble getting Twitch to eat. She would basically eat whatever what put in front of her. I have never had to deal with a kitten like Lily, so I am sort of at a loss.

I give Lily a little Nutri-Stat 3 times a day to equal the total amount she should get a day. That seems to stimulte her appetite. She eats more at her meal & less snacking during the day.

Just out of curiosity, what are the benefits of a all wet food diet, MeowsersMom? I think Lily would flip if she got all wet food. She'd love it!
post #12 of 12
Wet food is closer to a cat's natural diet (higher fat and protein), increases fluid intake which keeps kidneys healthy, and is more filling. Also, my chubby kitten is the kibble addict in the family and I'd like to get him on all wet to cut off the carbs. He doesn't need to lose any weight yet, but my vet advised me to watch his weight as he looks like he may turn into a fat cat.
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