Sunday, December 20, 2009

Kitten Food Question

Hey all you Fosterers/Cat Experts.... I've got a question to throw out there about kitten food.

So... I've been trying to wean Chia from soft canned food to regular dry food the few days ~ because all she ever eats is the soft stuff. I've been worried this may be a problem for her in the future when she goes into Petsmart/SPCA (especially over Christmas) and/or when she gets adopted, and hard stuff may be the only thing offered to her.

Any thoughts on the best way to introduce her to the hard stuff?
I mean, I always leave a bowl of it in her room, but it always goes untouched, and she gets very demanding for the soft stuff when I go in there. Then of course, I'm a sucker to the sweet begging and give into her starving meows. I've also tried mixing the wet and the dry together, but she always eats around the dry stuff somehow.

Tonight, to try something different, I spent some time with her on the bed with a handful of pellets. I'd put one to her nose and she's sort of roll it around in her mouth and then spit it out (without chewing it)... and it made me think that she just doesn't know -how- to eat it. I'm worried she'll never learn :P

Eventually she would use her teeth on one or two, and I'd tell her she was a good girl while petting her, and that seemed to encourage her to have more. But, I think she was thinking it was more of a game. Every time I put her down in front of the dish to show her it was the same thing, she'd ignore it.
So.. I'm stumped. And welcome any advice!

Thanks! :)


Is this season over yet? Harumph.


  1. Have you tried another brand of kitten kibble? The Maples had a decided preference for Advantage over Purina and another (can't remember the name now) brand.

    Also, you could try soaking some kibble in milk replacement (I put it in a bowl and microwave it for a minute or so and then let it cool a bit, but still served it warm). If she likes that, try reducing the amount of milk each time until you just sprinkle the milk on (no microwaving at that point) to entice her.

    When I introduce kittens to kibble, I break it up even finer. I think sometimes even the smaller kitten-size chunks are too big, so maybe they were for her and that put her off. You might try breaking it up, even though she's older now. I just put it in a bowl, and use another bowl of the same size as sort of a giant pestel. ;-)

    Finally, you might have the vet check for tooth problems. That would definitely put her off of the dry stuff.

    Fingers crossed!!

  2. Hope you figure out how to get Miss Chia onto the dry food! Sounds like some good advice from HubbleSpacePaws.

    Yoko does look a bit "Grinchy" in that picture ~ ha ha ~ but still oh so cute!

    Have a good Monday!

  3. In addition to the ideas above, you could also try mixing in a few (broken up) kibble with her canned food, as that will soften it and make the taste more recognizable.

    I hope it is a good high quality grain-free kibble, as kitties don't need all that corn and/or wheat that is usually a major ingredient of most dry foods. She'll do better on a mostly canned food diet :)

  4. Awesome! That was great advice! I followed the mixing idea that you (HubbleSpacePaws) mentioned, and it worked like a charm! She even ate some of the dry stuff in the other bowl on top of it. I was so happy to see that when I came home today!! Thanks so much for the help! A serious relief that she'll eat while I'm away.

    Catherine -- LOL. Yoko has a bit of a reputation of being a grouch, so I thought the picture fit pretty good. :D I find the resemblance is on the money in this one! heehee.

    alysbowie - I absolutely agree on the high-quality kibble, in most instances. Unfortunately, because I foster, the SPCA & Petsmart is limited to what people donate (in most cases, just your regular run of the mill name brands). When the kittens are in my home, they are on a good quality wet food diet - consisting of grain-free canned stuff. But, in this case, I have to make sure she will eat (at all) when she goes back to the shelter (as I mentioned in the post). It's crappy that I can't monitor what she eats when she's not with me, but I'm just glad she'll be eating at all. :/

  5. Yay! So glad that worked out! Fingers crossed it stays that way. Agree with alysbowie and glad you're using the higher quality. I've gotten donations too, and I don't let them go to waste, but I mix in the higher quality stuff. Yeah, it costs more, but as long as I can afford it... and they like the good stuff a lot better, as a general rule. After all, I kinda figure we'd prefer steak over corndogs for a steady diet, too... ;-)

  6. Glad you found a way to get Chia to eat the dry food! And we think Yoko is the cutest grinch ever!


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