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Raccoon Cat

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hiya. I have a cat almost a year old who will not eat cat food. I don't think she really ate any when she was younger, but I never really realized it until recently. She always goes through the trash bag no matter if there is something in it or not. She is almost a year old, yet still looks as if she is a 6 month old kitten. She will eat a lot of human food, which I feed her because of her reluctance to eat cat food. I have tried to change brands, get her treats, she just won't eat it. I finally give in with human food after she goes quite awhile without eating anything and is screaming so loud because she is hungry. I try to feed her a bit of everything. She loves taco shells, tomatoes, fruit, doritos, and other weird things. She doesn't really like meat all that much so I don't ever feed her that. This habit just seemed to start right after she was old enough to eat, and I never really paid much attention to it until recently when her brother is about 15 lbs. and she's only 3 lbs.
post #2 of 24
You have a 3 pound 1 year old? Wow.

I honestly have no idea what to tell you. In my opinion, that sounds very bad for the cat, but its a habit now. You wouldn't let your kid eat Twinkies all day, just because thats all they liked, right? I would make my cat eat cat food by not allowing her access to anything else. It will help her have a much longe and healthier life.
post #3 of 24
Well how long have you held out all food from her?

Keep the trash can away from her, put it in a cabinet or place it outside, and with hold all human food. You can offer water, or 'cats' milk, which you can buy from a petstore, or make from the recipies on this board.

When is the last time you have spoken to a vet about this? What foods have you tried, dry/canned.

Also make sure there are no scraps of human food on the floor for her to nibble on.
post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have withheld food from her, only allowing cat food for a couple days. She had plenty of water. I tried all kinds of food; dry, wet, and all kinds of cat treats. Even some doggy treats, but those didn't work either. I took her to the vet and they said she was pretty much healthy except for her very small size. Which I assume is from her lack of cat food. Her coat is still shiny and smooth. No oily residue or anything. She's a strange little one.
post #5 of 24
so the vet didn't address her eating problem?

Did he say, oh well, just keep giving her doritos lol

Try holding out all food for 2-3 days.

Keep food up, once in a while present her with some canned food ( a little.. do not waist it) and some dry food, the cat will not starve herself don't worry.

But always leave a constant water supply. Try that cats milk it might work.

This is a real puzzlement to me. But I think she's jsut holding out because she knows you will give in. Its happened before
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
I think I'll try that. She can get down right mean when you're eating around her. I usually have to lock her up in the bedroom. What she does eat of junk food is in very small portions. So if that's all she's eating, it's not much. I've had problems with her before with toys. I would get the kittens those little mouse toys with the fabric/fur type stuff on them. The ones with the little tails and eyes. She would eat all the fabric off until it was just a little plastic toy. I tried fabric toys with the stuffing in them that didnt' have an open slit for her to start eating. She just chewed through it and started eating. No more toys for her. I would try to find her a good home to go to, but I'm afraid that no one will want her because of her "problems". But I'll try withholding food for 2-3 days like you said and see what happens. Thanks.

This is Poe as a kitten.
post #7 of 24
Hmmmmm. You know your kitty is starting to sound more and more like a 'barn' cat. Its like half way between just being a stray and being feral. How much do you know about her history.

Obviously she is showing signs of being VERY hungry, barn cats... even when they are not hungry they will fight for any present food.

By nature barn cats will learn to live on what they have access to... I'm sure after 2 or 3 days of nothing but water will change her mind.

Have you tried hand feeding her? Perhaps that would be more appietising. But be careful of those claws/teeth.
Are you sure she has no nasal blockage, so taht she can not 'smell' the cat food? Cats who can't smell something typically wont eat it.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hmm, I've never thought about her nasal passages, I'll have to check that out. A now a bit about her history. Mazzy, her grandmother cat I got from an animal shelter when she was 6 months old. I kept her outside (which she immediately loved) because I lived on a farm and I was in the process of moving around. She disappeared for about two weeks once and when she came back she was pregnant. She had four kittens. Three I gave a away and the cutest one, Peanut, I kept. So Peanut's father cat was a wild barn cat I believe. Then before I moved here to where I live now, I had to keep my cats outside once again. I kept them at my parents and they didn't want my cats around their inside cats. That is when Peanut got pregnant with Poe. I know that cats can have kittens from mulitple fathers. I know that the two boys that she has looks like another cat I had, but Poe (the kitten in question) looks completely different. The two boys are orange tabby and Poe is more of a dark calico. Black fur mostly with spots of orange and creme. She has creme colored "booties", rings around her eyes in orange and creme and a bushy tail with a ring at the end of it. So she does come from barn cats.
post #9 of 24
poeski- I am really interested to see what your cat looks like now...I've never seen a 3lb one year old cat before, very interesting.

You could try heating her food in microwave for a few seconds, then adding a small amount of cheese on top.

post #10 of 24
I do know that cats absolutely require certain nutrients and minerals that they won't get from eating just any people food. I agree that you should withhold access to any human food and just leave her with some cat food and fresh water.

When our cat, Snowball, was a very young kitten my son used visit the people who owned the mother cat and spent time playing with him. My son also secretly gave him things like cookies and potato chips, but this was a very short term problem. After we adopted Snowball and brought him home I didn't allow my son to keep feeding him any more junk food. But even now, over 10 years later, Snowball gets very demanding and does a lot of begging whenever anyone eats junk food while he is in the room. I think you will always some problems getting your cat to eat the right foods, and you will have to be very firm and very consistent with her.
post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by safron
poeski- I am really interested to see what your cat looks like now...I've never seen a 3lb one year old cat before, very interesting.

Here is the most current picture I have of little Poe. The orange cat is her brother Gingerbear. They are from the same litter. It's a picture from around Christmas time, but they haven't grown much since then. Maybe Gingerbear has gotten a little bigger, but not Poe. Gingerbear is the cat who weighs 15 lbs.

post #12 of 24
that calico is very gorgeious. My calico is also a barn cat. Nasty nasty little cat she is.

The orange one looks like my former foster Saskia! But we kept him in the family
post #13 of 24
Poe is a beautiful cat. She may be very small in stature and will never measure up to her brother.

Could she be sneaking food when you aren't home and then playing the Poor Pathetic Kitty to get the good stuff from you? Could Gingerbear (cute name!) be eating everything before Poe has a chance?

Perhaps you could entice her to eat her own food by putting tuna juice on it, or mixing it with something that she really likes. If she goes for that, slowly decrease the amount of juice or human food mixed in with it (like changing foods) until it's only her food. Trickery is sometimes the only way to get through to these little devils in fur coats!
post #14 of 24
"I would get the kittens those little mouse toys with the fabric/fur type stuff on them. The ones with the little tails and eyes. She would eat all the fabric off until it was just a little plastic toy. I tried fabric toys with the stuffing in them that didnt' have an open slit for her to start eating. She just chewed through it and started eating. "

I think that's pretty normal. Most cats like to "de-fuzz" their toy mice, and the fabric toys probably have catnip in them, don't they? I wouldn't swear off toys because of this!
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
She can't really snack food cause when I'm not here she's locked in my room. She's only allowed out when I'm here. As for Gingerbear eating the food first....when I give them my leftover scraps (on occasion, not a routine thing) or give them little human snacks treat type things...I have to give Poe more to keep her from eating Gingerbear's. I stopped getting her toys because I wasn't too sure if it was safe for her to eat the fabric. It would be ok if she just ripped it off, but she eats it too. She's just a little food devil!
post #16 of 24
I think if you watch her while she plays with her toys it will be ok. A couple little fuzzy's arn't goign to hurt her, but take it away from her once she trys to really eat it.

When you feed your cats from now on, feed them in seperate rooms with the door closed.

How is the withholding human food doing? Or have you not started that yet.
post #17 of 24
Thread Starter 
I started withholding food from her earlier. She's just been sleeping most the day, so I'd say it's going alright for now. At least she isn't screaming yet.
post #18 of 24
Stupid question: Does she have access to food when she is in your room when you aren't home? I'm sure you leave food and water for her in there, just making sure!
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
Of course they have water and food in there. They always have plenty of food and water. It's not that there isn't enough for her, it's that she doesn't like it. She smells it and walks away. My room is actually where all their food and water is kept, though a couple prefer to drink out of the running faucet, they still drink out of the water in my room also.
post #20 of 24
I think you should find a new vet. It's not that uncommon for a cat to be a bad eater, but Poe's situation seems ridiculous!! I think a second opinion is in order.
post #21 of 24
Definatly a second opinion. Even if the vet wont comment much on the cat, he/she also needs to understand that you need to be assured that she will be alright, which obviously you still are worried cause your here!.
post #22 of 24
Sounds like you have an interesting little kitty. One of mine is also small, about twice the size of your little one. People also mistake her as being a large kitten.

My other cat used to turn his nose up at cat food too. I can't offer too much help in this area, the only thing that worked for mine was finding the right brand of food. Mine will only eat Friskies.

I was wondering something, is there a difference in texture between what she will eat and the cat food she won't eat? I know one of my cats won't eat things unless its all mashed up.
post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
She has now began to eat wet cat food. I have tried to change food brands before, but they didn't interest her. Most brands of cat food will make my cats sick (vomiting), but Purina Cat Chow is what I use now and they have no problems with this food at all. Poe's human food that she will eat is a wide variety. Hard taco shells, doritos, veggies, fruit, spaghetti o's, and honey. Though today I was eating doritos and she came up to them. I let her smell it to see if she would eat it and she turned it down. I guess I'll stick with wet cat food for her.
post #24 of 24
Good news! At least she is eating cat food of some kind. I just had a thought...Another stupid question just to check...Has your vet checked her teeth and gums? Sometimes cats won't eat hard dry food because it hurts their mouths. Of course, you said she eats taco shells so that probably isn't it.

Keep us informed of any more small victories!
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