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Getting a Kitten to Eat Dry Cat Food

If your kitten doesn't like dry food, it may be difficult to get them to eat it. This is a guide about getting a kitten to eat dry cat food.
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November 13, 2016

I was at vet on Friday and she said to start dry food. My 9 week old kitty hates it. I put in some regular milk (cap full) and she ate it. This was 6 hours ago, is she going to be sick?

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November 15, 20160 found this helpful
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I cant imagine why milk would make your kitten sick. Unless she has an allergy to it, which is pretty uncommon. If she does not like dry cat food, feed canned food. Canned food has all the nutrition of dry food and helps your cat to stay hydrated because it is moist. A cat that stays well hydrated may have less chance for kidney disease later in life. I give my cats a tablespoon of cream once in awhile for a treat. they love it.

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November 16, 20160 found this helpful
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I read something on the site about cats not digesting milk, that's why I asked. Kitty did not get sick. I've been feeding her wet food but vet said try dry it's better for their teeth. I got her at three weeks old and as I said I've never had a cat much less a three wk old kitten. We've been winging it from beginning and were both still here, so I'm gaining confidence as a cat owner. Thanks for responding.

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October 4, 2007 Flag

How does one convince a 10 week old kitten that dry cat food is edible? I have tried adding water to the dry kibble, leaving it plain, and she still tries to "bury it". She eats canned food (and cheesies) with no problem, which is the problem as she is a little pig!
She has been de-wormed twice, there are 2 older cats in the house so she has her choice of three types of dry cat food.

Cinnamon from Williams Lake

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October 4, 20070 found this helpful
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If you start a cat out on wet food, they'll of course never want dry food... But I have 2 suggestions for you... Start by mixing dry with wet 50-50...& SLOWLY reduce the wet food.

If that doesn't work, you can buy (or make) a can of chicken broth (UNSALTED) & use the chicken broth full strength, undiluted right from the can or box to wet the dried food.... But as it is with a child, If they get hungry enough, they'll eat! (I bet it's harder for you to watch him miss a meal or 2, than it is for him...)

* Make sure any time you give a cat broth it's UNSALTED because salt is bad for their kidneys. And use care when it comes to TUNA for humans OR tuna cat food... because tuna is LOADED with Mercury, & they are such little creatures, Mercury can easily reek havoc on their tiny systems. I give my cat tuna cat food no more than once a month.

-----> And here's a tip for all you cat lovers out there. Cats can't digest lactose, so everyone will tell you "Don't give milk to cats, It'll give them diarrhea" but the solution is the same for cat's as it is for humans. Lactose Free milk. I buy my cat Lactose Free whole milk. It's available in the grocery store sitting close to the regular milk. (it cost's about twice as much as regular milk) I don't over do it, but for a treat, I give my cat 3 or 4 tablespoons at a time.

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October 4, 20070 found this helpful
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Try mixing the dry food with cooked white rice. Most cats love rice and this may get her started on dry food. And here's another reason you shouldn't give cats tuna: most cats lack the enzyme necessary to digest it. A cat can starve to death on a diet with lots of tuna.

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October 5, 20070 found this helpful
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Mix it with the wet food. By the time she finishes the wet food, the dry food will have some of the flavor of both and be softer. Eventually, she will try it. Just like a child - if you keep putting something in front of them without pushing it, they will try it on their own sooner or later.

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October 5, 20070 found this helpful
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My husband and I have 5 cats and we have learned that the cats are like our daughters were...each one has their own personality and taste perferences.

Buy some "dry food for kittens" as IF you are giving them adult dry food IT is much too difficult for them to eat.

Remember too that they are just small babies and like our adult babies they require to be fed every 2 to 3 hours...

We have a bag of dry food folded back and sitting in the corner of the kitchen for the babies to eat when they want to right next to their water dish.

*****IF cats only eat dry food their poo-poo will not smell...but when they do eat canned food LOOK OUT FOR A VERY BAD POO-POO SMELL...

Our friend (who is also our vet) told us to never let the cats go more then 72 hours/3 days without eating. IF they do go that long then there is something wrong with them and take them to their vet to be seen immediately.

Always make sure their water is fresh & clean each day & also that their cat box is pooped scooped at least once a day.

Try different kinds of dry kitten foods as they are like us and have different taste too.

Good Luck to you and keep us informed on how your both doing...

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October 5, 20070 found this helpful

Have you tried Carnation Kitten Chow? That was recommended to me by our vet for our Mr.Fluff - who is now 9 weeks old. He dives into it and loves it.

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October 5, 20070 found this helpful

This is a suggestion along with the other helpful hints already given. Put your kitten in a room by itself with the new food (bathroom?). This way she has no other choice but to eat the food that you will give her. Best of luck to you.

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October 5, 20070 found this helpful

This is really to do with the last post re milk and cats. I have 2 cats, One does not like milk, and won't drink it. The other, a ginger male, just loves milk and in 8 years it has NEVER given him diarrhea. However, I certainly don't give it to him every day, just once in a while as a treat. Or maybe this guy just has a cast iron stomach!

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October 5, 20070 found this helpful

Perhaps the reason why she is trying to bury it IS that it is offensive smelling to her, our cats do that too when they smell something unsavory to them.

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October 6, 20070 found this helpful

All my cats tried to bury their food when they were young. I think it's an instinctual thing for them. (Out in the wild animals bury their food so no other animal will eat it, then later when they are hungry, they'll dig it up and eat again.) After they've grown, sometimes, they'll still scratch next to the food bowl when they're done eating. Put a little dry food in the dish and plop some wet food over it. As she eats the wet food, she'll eat some dry too, and sooner or later, she'll start eating the dry food. At ten weeks, she might still prefer wet food, so give her some time to adjust. And definitely make the dry kibble kitten food, not cat food for a grown animal.

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October 6, 20070 found this helpful

Thanks for all the suggestions, we have only two kinds of kitten food available here, other than getting into the expense of the vet ... will just keep trying but whoever said it, you're right the poo stinks!

cinnamon in williams lake, b.c.

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