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Feeding kittens
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# 1
bluestarlight
Old 11-04-2012, 10:32 AM
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Default Feeding kittens

Here I am again with another question!

Ive been reading up on what to feed our new kittens, but there is so much advice on the internet and I want to make sure we are doing the right thing.

We bought pets at home brand wet kitten food. They LOVE this, they go mad for it as soon as the pack is opened. They get half a pouch in the morning, half at 6pm when we get home from work and a little top up at night before bed.

We also have whiskas kitten dry food, which we leave down all day for grazing. One of them eats this during the day, the other doesnt really. But they dont go crazy for it like for the wet food.

The vet said we need to feed them only a 'complete' dry food as its good for their teeth. She gave some examples but they were the very expensive kinds. Now we dont mind spending money on them, but we want to make sure that we arent wasting it as they dont really seem to want the dry food. I throw most of it away in the morning when their bowls are cleaned. Is Whiskas dry kitten food and a pouch of wet food ok? They are a little underweight (we rescued them from an abandoned suitcase at the weekend if you didnt see the other thread) so I dont really want to stop feeding them what they love.

The whiskas box says feed 30g dry a day and one wet pouch, and the wet pouches say feed 2-3 pouches a day. Its all very contradictory.

Is a little bit of boneless cooked chicken ok as well? Its slow cooked whole with nothing added. Meant to be for my lunches but as they dont eat the kitten treats we bought them I thought it might help feed them up. If anyone wants 3 bags of unopened kitten nibbles let me know! Lesson learned, dont buy in bulk until you know they will eat it!

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate all your help and advice. Please dont judge me for being a useless pet owner, we are trying our best.
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# 2
themull1
Old 11-04-2012, 10:38 AM
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You're not useless! the wet cat foods are full of water so more needs to be fed, if the wet/dry mix works for them i don't see why you would want to change it. the kitten that doesnt eat the dry food through the day, is he getting enough food in general? and chicken is fine, when my mams cats were kittens they just had wet cat food and cat crunchies, and they're fine and healthy.
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# 3
bluestarlight
Old 11-04-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themull1 View Post
You're not useless! the wet cat foods are full of water so more needs to be fed, if the wet/dry mix works for them i don't see why you would want to change it. the kitten that doesnt eat the dry food through the day, is he getting enough food in general? and chicken is fine, when my mams cats were kittens they just had wet cat food and cat crunchies, and they're fine and healthy.
Thank you so much, I just feel like Im still learning so much and I want to get it right for them.

The one that doesnt graze, Meg (didnt know it was a boy til too late!) no he doesnt really get enough. He just doesnt seem to want to eat much. We feed him seperately in the kitchen as the other Opie is like a heat seeking missle and checks both bowls once he has wolfed his down to see if he can get some more. Meg likes a quiet space to eat alone without his brother circling, but even then he will only pick at it. And he wont really eat the dry food, he loves the jelly on the wet but he wouldnt finish half a small pouch. He could be tempted with chicken though, so I was hoping thats ok.
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# 4
StudioBeau
Old 11-04-2012, 11:29 AM
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When we had a kitten (before we had to rehome him due to my grumpy old man cat) we fed him go cat kitten with raw chicken thigh meat, lamb liver and beef heart. Pure meat is always way better than processed, heart is full of taurine which is great for cats, liver has so many things vital to your cats health. We did suppliment with dry food, different people have different views on this but for us, it worked well, Kian grew well and was a very happy, healthy kitten.

Hand feeding the raw food is good too, 1 because it is great bonding for you and your kittens and 2 because you can make sure your kittens are getting enough food. You can wear plastic gloves if raw meat gives you the ick factor. Do not cook the meat, it destroys a lot of the nutrition.

Hope that helps!
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# 5
rising from the ashes
Old 11-04-2012, 12:13 PM
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Wet food is often considered better (everyone will have their own views on this) due to the higher water content.

Dry is really a convenience to the owner ..... less mess & can be left down for a longer period without going off.

Personally I feed a combination of both - dry as I like something to be down all day (big cat is very skinny and a picky eater so does graze all day & wee cat would be quite happy with an all dry diet as isn't fussy about wet).

However, I like feeding wet as it gives me a chance to have close interaction when they're eating and I can get a good look at them to make sure there's no scratches etc that need to be looked at in more depth - it also makes giving medication a lot easier, when needed, as it's often possible to mix this with the wet.

If they're happy with wet, then feed them that ..... if they like dry to graze on as well, that's fine too.

You are not useless - you're a new and learning owner wanting to do the best for your new (and adorable!) babies .......

Personally I wouldn't feed say chicken on a regular basis - as if they get the taste for that, then it's likely you'll always need to feed it (cats are notoriously fussy!) and it's harder to get the right nutritional balance unless feeding "proper" pet food. Fine as a treat or when one is unwell, but not all the time. HTH
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# 6
bluestarlight
Old 11-04-2012, 12:54 PM
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Thank you all, I feel a bit better now. I think I'll keep feeding them the wet food and maybe try a different brand of dry food for leaving down all day once the whiskas is finished incase its that they dont like. I know to slowly mix it in not a sudden change.

Maybe I'll try feeding them more wet food for weight gain, as 1.5 a day might not be enough. I cant leave it down all day though as one just eats it all and the other would get none!

And the chicken is definitely a treat, i make it anyway for my lunches during the week so the odd scrap might find its way to them if they've been especially good
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# 7
Tiggger
Old 12-04-2012, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestarlight View Post
And the chicken is definitely a treat, i make it anyway for my lunches during the week so the odd scrap might find its way to them if they've been especially good
Ahhh, it seems your training as a cat slave is going well!

My black and white "Felix" cat has been on pouches and dry food for about ten years now and is thriving well on it!

Good luck with the kitties, they really are cuties and were so lucky to find you.

Tiggger
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# 8
rising from the ashes
Old 12-04-2012, 6:04 PM
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Ahhh, it seems your training as a cat slave is going well!
Yup!
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# 9
paddypaws101
Old 12-04-2012, 9:37 PM
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Whiskas dry is not great quality at all....why not try Applaws or Encore which are at least grain free?
Also...kittens should really be allowed to eat as much as they want, preferably split into multiple small meals...so crack open a few more pouches!
Natures menu is available from PAH and is pretty high in meat, or look at tinned Bozita, Animonda carney or Gra from www.zooplus.co.uk for even better value.
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# 10
penny_pincha
Old 12-04-2012, 9:57 PM
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As a cat breeder and having reared over 100 kittens there is some very good advice on this thread.

Yes grain free food is good as cat / kittens need protein. Raw meat is fine but be careful of feeding too much liver as it is a laxative. Stay clear of milk as so many cats / kittens are intolerant to it. Feedin cat milk is fine as a treat or milk product as the milk is processed, but not to much as often they can contain salt eg cheese or sugar eg yoghurt.

I always feed as much food as they will eat, but monitor what each kitten is eating to make sure they are all getting enough. Quality dried complete foods are good, but you don't need to throw them away if the kittens don't eat them after a day. Just put a small amount out, you will soon learn how much they eat, and then top up, as long as they food doesn't get soiled or wet. Obviously you need to put clean dry food into a new bowl regularly.

Look at places where you can buy quality food cheaply. The vets sell it but that is usually the most expensive place to buy it. Search on line or look at threads on this site. I use R&L Pet Products, Purrsonal Touch and NSPS. I feed raw minced wild rabbit as wet food which I buy from a local game dealer @ £1 a pound weight.or home steamed fish which I get from Sainsburys basic frozen range.
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# 11
bluestarlight
Old 13-04-2012, 2:40 PM
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Wow, thanks so much guys.
I didnt realise about Whiskas and grain content, it just seemed like a good brand name to go for! We really were in a rush as they arrived so quick we bought the first things we recognised. I will check out some of the recommendations for the dry food and try them out with that to see if they will eat more of it. I just dont know what is quality and what isnt obviously, time to research!
We have been feeding them more pouches in the meantime and they are eating them up, they are starting to tell us when they are hungry by meowing by their bowls and following us round the house so thats good. They are definitely filling out, less bony on their spines. One still wont eat as much as the other but he is getting better.
I put the dry food in with the wet, so when i clean the bowls every morning i throw out any old food. I have thrown away more than they have eaten of the whiskas! The vet gave us a sample of something in a white bag but they wont eat that either, tried it mixed in but they pick out the jelly and the meat and leave the rest alone.
Otherwise they are happy, they love playing and fighting and stalking round like they own the place. We are house hunting at the moment, turned down an otherwise perfect one last night because its on a main road and wouldnt be good for our new babies!
So yes, Im a cat slave to them already! But its only been a week and we wouldnt be without them
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# 12
penny_pincha
Old 15-04-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestarlight View Post
I just dont know what is quality and what isnt obviously, time to research!
Cats and kittens need protein. They need protein for growth and for energy (not like humans in that respect). A good quality food is one with a higher percentage of protein. Processed foods eg tins and pouches,are convenient for us but like junk food for cats. However, it is difficult to have busy life and provided freshly prepared food for you animals, perhaps consider giving some freshly prepared food. My cats love steamed fish which I buy frozen from the basic range at a supermarket, then steam it in the microwave. Let it cool to just warm before serving though.

You might like to consider warming other wet food you serve in the microwave, but stir before you give it to them to avoid hot spots in the food. I do this when I have a poorly or reluctant eater. Don't feed too much fish though as it hasn't got iron in it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestarlight View Post
they are starting to tell us when they are hungry by meowing by their bowls and following us round the house so thats good. They are definitely filling out, less bony on their spines.
Great then you're doing the right thing for them then.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluestarlight View Post
Otherwise they are happy, they love playing and fighting and stalking round like they own the place.
Sounds like tou have turned the corner then and things are beginning to improve. That's good.

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So yes, Im a cat slave to them already!
No, you are looking after your new kittens properly with their welfare and best interests at heart. Well done
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# 13
bluestarlight
Old 15-04-2012, 11:25 AM
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Thanks so much penny_pincha!

We have been giving them a few treats of steamed cooked chicken, we dont have a microwave so it would be harder to warm food. Will try them with some white fish though.

The whiskas is nearly finished, the vet had given us a small bag of Hills Science plan which is much more meaty. Trying to get them to at least try it! They usually just smell it, give me a look of disgust and stalk off.

They have really settled these last few days, they are so active all the time. Luckily we have a large flat as they never get bored of chasing each other and have now worked out how to climb the curtains! But then they love a curl up on their bed with a hot water bottle to get brushed. We love them to bits and they are definitely here to stay
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# 14
Dizzyduck
Old 15-04-2012, 12:23 PM
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Hi
Sound like the kits have totally settled in, sorry may have missed this but what have you called them?
Re dry food a company that gets a good name & is grain free is Bern Foods who make Orijen, Acana & Ziwipeaks. It can be fairly expensive but you can get trial size packs on the Bern Foods website.
Vets Kitchen, available in Asda & Sainsbury is maize free but contains oats & rice (apparently easier to digest).
Encore wet & dry can be found in Sainsburys, Applaws wet & dry Pets@Home.
When buying wet food, please check if it a complete food or complementary if it is going to be the sole food source.
When I got my cat I was told she didn't need cat milk as it was full of fat but might be useful for the wee boy who is underweight.
All the best, they sound happy.
HTH Dd

Last edited by Dizzyduck; 15-04-2012 at 12:58 PM.
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# 15
penny_pincha
Old 15-04-2012, 2:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzyduck View Post
Hi

Re dry food a company that gets a good name & is grain free is Bern Foods who make Orijen, Acana & Ziwipeaks.
HTH Dd

Yes I have fed Orijen & Ziwipeaks to my cats. Even my most fussy eater ate it (as long as I stayed with her, rolls eyes). It is very good quality food but expensive. Possible OK whilst they are recuperating, if you consider it too pricey. You can approach them for some samples to see if your kittens like it first.
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