Crazy Behavior at Meal Time

darra

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Our two shelter kittens have settled in pretty well. However lately I've noticed that they that they go nuts at meal time. Like pharanas. I mean crazy as if they've never been fed. They pig out in a frenzy. They didn't do that at first. It's just now as they settle in. It doesn't stop there. If we're eating food they are clamping all over us to get to
Our plate of food or drink. They are so relentless that I now have to lock them up in another room just so I can dish up our plates and eat in peace.
I am feeding them 3 times a day. They get dry food morning and night and a little wet food in the middle of the day. Do they need to eat more often?
 

laura mae

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Growing kittens probably need more food.  Ideally the balance should be mostly wet food and dry food only as a snack (if at all but hungry cats can make that difficult). PetMD has some guidelines  www.petmd.com under their nutrition link (for whatever reason, the link thing doesn't work for me). It's not very specific though. Looked at some other sites and phrases like 1/3 of the can is not helpful because who knows what size can they are referencing.

My adult cats get about 3oz of wet food 2 times a day. One of my cats, more like a wiry, hyperactive squirrel, gets another 3 oz in the evening. The others get a dab so they don't stalk her dish. When she was a kitten I had to give her 9.5 oz of canned food a day and she stayed slender but she's got a completely different metabolism than any cat I've ever had. She weighs about 11 lbs but you'd never know that looking at her. She's about 1/2 the height and length of the boy cats, but wiry with zero pouchy in the tummy.
 
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darra

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Thank you Laura. It seems as though I may be starving my kittens. I thought I was doing good feeding them 3x a day. They are very active. So it makes sense that their metabolism is on overdrive. I appreciate your input.
 

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I agree about feeding kittens a lot and often! We adopted our cats at ten months and they continued eating prodigiously for over a year: their extreme activity and diet of only wet foods kept them from getting overweight. It also gave them the protein they needed to continue developing and satisfy their hunger. They're now about 3.5 and still eat about five small meals a day.

Have fun with your kittens!
 
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darra

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It's interesting to hear that the wet food helps keep their weight down. I suppose that's what we'll need to feed them regularly. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It's so helpful.


I agree about feeding kittens a lot and often! We adopted our cats at ten months and they continued eating prodigiously for over a year: their extreme activity and diet of only wet foods kept them from getting overweight. It also gave them the protein they needed to continue developing and satisfy their hunger. They're now about 3.5 and still eat about five small meals a day.

Have fun with your kittens!
 

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I agree my 2 indoor adult cats get Merrick pate canned food twice a day, they share 5 1/2 oz can twice a day. The big boy gets a little more than smaller female. They both get freeze dried chicken as treats and occasionally good dry food as little treats when I brush them.(instinct 95% ultimate protein) just a teaspoon. The two outside ferals share one 5 1/2 can friskies pate and one 3 oz can of fancy feast pate and 1/2 cup Merrick dry. They supplement with mice, moles, and chipmunks of course!
 
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lisahe

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It's interesting to hear that the wet food helps keep their weight down. I suppose that's what we'll need to feed them regularly. Thanks for sharing your experience with me. It's so helpful.
Yes, wet food is much better for both development and weight control. Dry food tends to have a lot of high-carb fillers that don't have any useful nutritional benefit to cats: since cats are carnivores, their bodies are designed for meat-based protein rather than vegetables, grains, or vegetable-derived proteins. (One of our cats, for example, vomits if she eats foods with potato. Sensitivities like that aren't exactly common but several other Cat Site members' cats have similar issues.) Kittens have a particular need for meat-based protein for healthy growth. I remember our vet saying "meat!" a lot when we first adopted our two!
Our vet's big on low-carb wet food.
I agree my 2 indoor adult cats get Merrick pate canned food twice a day, they share 5 1/2 oz can twice a day. The big boy gets a little more than smaller female. They both get freeze dried chicken as treats and occasionally good dry food as little treats when I brush them.(instinct 95% ultimate protein) just a teaspoon. The two outside ferals share one 5 1/2 can friskies pate and one 3 oz can of fancy feast pate and 1/2 cup Merrick dry. They supplement with mice, moles, and chipmunks of course!
bonepicker raises a good point about treats: freeze-dried meat treats are much better than stuff like Temptations, which are loaded with corn. Treats like Pure Bites (which are much cheaper per ounce in dog-sized chunks and bags than in cat-sized packages) are also useful to put on leftover food or food a cat isn't eager to eat. Our cats will eat just about anything with Pure Bite dust sprinkled on it!

Further on what bonepicker mentions: Fancy Feast Classics (their pates) are particularly decent low-carb food that's easy to find at the grocery store--a lot of FF foods (lines like "Gravy Lovers" and the swanky Tuscan meals with greens) have wheat gluten, which I'd suggest avoiding if at all possible. FF's Purely Fancy Feast foods, which are shreds of real meat and fish, are fine in terms of carbs--and it's admirable that they don't have any tapioca, which thickens and adds lots of carbs--but they're pretty expensive if you compare them ounce-for-ounce with other brands, including foods like Weruva's Cats in the Kitchen line of canned foods. FWIW, I only feed tapioca-thickened foods as occasional treats because of the carbs.
 
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darra

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I am completely convinced that I need add the wet food into their meal plan.  Both for our kittens and our overweight resident cat.  The dry food we've been feeding our resident cat is a brand called "Nulo" they are grain-free and 83% animal protein.  Now that I read the label I am reminded that the line of Nulo we feed our resident cat is the adult-trim.  No wonder our kittens are freaking out over food. They're super hungry and need the extra protein and calories.  I feel like a terrible kitten mom. It didn't occur to me that they would need more food and high caloric content.  I did have 3 cans of Nulo wet food in the cupboard.  All 3 cats have been enjoying that.  I will boil up some chicken for them too.  I am sure everyone will enjoy that.

Thank you everyone for all the information.  This is site is such a great resource and a fun place to share about our kitties.
 

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darra, you shouldn't feel like a terrible kitten mom! Many, many of us on this site learned about feline nutrition because of our cats' illnesses. I still feel horribly guilty (worst cat mom ever) about the awful food we fed to our previous cat: she ate lots of dry food (and was overweight) and much of the wet food she got was the Fancy Feast stuff with wheat gluten, which she loved. She did live a long life despite the bad food and illnesses, but, on another positive note, everything that I learned about cat diet in her final months has been very helpful in knowing how to feed our present cats, who have very sensitive stomachs.

Plain boiled or baked chicken is a great treat for cats. Just a thought: if the cats like it, you might even want to consider making homemade food for them that you can feed more often. (Unsupplemented meat shouldn't be fed regularly for more than about 10% of a cat's diet, to avoid malnutrition.) I cook various combinations of chicken, pork, and turkey that I make into complete food with a supplement called EZcomplete. I never thought I'd make homemade cat food but the cats love it and it truly is EZ to make because you just add the powder to the cooked meat. It also works for raw meat but I only make cooked food. There are other supplements available, too; I just particularly like the ingredients in EZcomplete.

In any case, bon appetit to your kittens! I bet they'll love the chicken!
 

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Hi, just to add my two pence, until the age of six months and ideally when the kitten is neutered at this age, just feed them as much as they want. They aren't just maintaining their weight but they are growing as well. Once they reach 6 months, the growth slows down considerably and the neutering often makes it easier for them to put on weight so around this time you can start and concern yourself with how much to feed but until then, just go for it! And yes...always wet food! I add water to the wet food as well as in the 10 months I've had our cat, I've never seen him drink! But the litter box shows he's getting plenty of liquid as a result so I know he's well hydrated.
 
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darra

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Mr. Finley,  the kitties have been heaven today.  They've had wet twice.  Is there a reason you began adding water to your kitties wet food? 
 
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darra

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LisaHE, thank you for helping me feel better about how I was feeding out kitties.  I am glad I am not alone and that I have this site to glean so much information from.  I actually took some chicken out of the freezer today. I plan on boiling some for all the animals as a little treat with added protein.  I am sure they'll all enjoy it. I haven't seen posts about feeding the kitties tuna.  It's been mostly chicken.  Is there a reason not to give them tuna or fish in general?  
 

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Everybody learns something new! Glad your kittens are happy. For example, I didn't know about EZ Complete. I knew there were supplemental additives for home cooked meats but hadn't heard about that one, or if they were pleasing to kitties.
 

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LisaHE, thank you for helping me feel better about how I was feeding out kitties.  I am glad I am not alone and that I have this site to glean so much information from.  I actually took some chicken out of the freezer today. I plan on boiling some for all the animals as a little treat with added protein.  I am sure they'll all enjoy it. I haven't seen posts about feeding the kitties tuna.  It's been mostly chicken.  Is there a reason not to give them tuna or fish in general?  
You are not alone! As for fish, here's the link to a Cat Site article about the subject: http://www.thecatsite.com/a/can-i-feed-my-cat-a-fish-based-or-fish-flavored-diet Our vet is pretty anti-tuna: she doesn't like the possibility of heavy metals in a cat's food. Another reason I don't like to feed much fish (other than an occasional canned food as a treat) is that some cats, including our previous one, get addicted to fish and develop sensitivities to it.
Everybody learns something new! Glad your kittens are happy. For example, I didn't know about EZ Complete. I knew there were supplemental additives for home cooked meats but hadn't heard about that one, or if they were pleasing to kitties.
EZcomplete is a fairly new supplement so it's not at all surprising that you hadn't heard of it!
 
Yes wet food would be great, and also try different food for them. 
This is a very good point: many cats, including ours, get bored with their foods if they're fed the same thing all the time. We feed them lots of different canned, raw, and homemade foods.
 

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I started to add water for two reasons. Firstly, I didn't feel like I ever noticed he was drinking. The moisture content of the foods I give are 80% so I know he is getting enough but it gave me peace of mind to know he was getting loads! sexind, I suppose was paranoia. I've got two friends who have cats that have both had operations as a result of nasty dry foods that have caused dehydration over the period of 5 years or more. Both cats have formed crystals in their bladders and needed surgery. I wanted to make sure I did the best for my cat in terms of welfare and therefore decided on a species appropriate food source and preventative healthcare rather than corrective. It was this almost obsession and obligation to be a responsible pet owner that led me to open my own feline nutrition and well-being store in the UK. I stock grain free, high meat content wet foods that are developed in line with their strict physiological needs and toys made with natural materials that flutter and fly like real birds to offer mental and physical stimulation. If anyone would like details of my store, please email me at [email protected] and I'll give you the details. As I'm a newish member here I'm not allowed to promote my business name on the site yet. Thanks, Tim
 
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darra

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That makes sense.  Since I will be adding a lot of wet food and some chicken, I will add a little water and see how things go. I had no idea how bad the dry food was for our animals.  I even feed them grain free dry food that is 80% protein, but I am even second guessing that now. I wish you the best of luck with your business venture in the UK.  
 

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Extra water is a good idea and works particularly well with pates. Another good thing to do is add plain chicken broth to cat food; there are a few chicken dishes that I make that call for simmering plain chicken in plain water first. That water is perfect to add to cat food because it's chicken-flavored but doesn't have salt, onion, garlic or anything else that's harmful for cats.
 
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