Freya ate a bit of a walnut

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
231
Location
Orbassano - Italy
My kitten Freya is even more obsessed by food than Giada is , and this is causing reasons for concerns, because it seems there's nothing that repels her and I'm afraid she could eat something really dangerous one of these days.
I already caught her trying to bite a chocolate bar and a few days later she succeded in eating some chocolate cream off a cake. I quickly opened her mouth and tried to clean her tongue as much as I could, but I think she had already swallowed part of it. Nothing happened, luckily.
In the last few weeks she ate a piece of a spicy Pringles chip, and nearly half of a honey filled croissant that had been left unattended. She tried with peanuts too, without success.
I'm alright when she wants to eat my salad, I'm a bit less happy when she wants to eat spicy foods or things that I know they might hurt her.
Today she ate a tiny bit of a walnut, a bit the size of a lentil, but she's a tiny kitten. I know that walnuts aren't good for kitties, so now I wonder what I should expect to happen. She also tried to eat a fragment of walnut shell! :eek2:
How dangerous is a tiny piece of walnut to a kitten?

More than that, I would also like to know how I can stop her from eating whatever she finds on her path.
She was born and raised (only for a few weeks) behind a restaurant where her mother would dig in the garbage. Might this kind of education be leading her to eat just anything?
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,159
Reaction score
15,936
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. I think you are OK with the walnut. As far as I know cats can actually eat them as long as it is in moderation; so a tiny piece isn't likely going to cause an issue. Her background certainly could have an impact about why she is less than picky about what she tries to eat.

I think you are going to have to be diligent in keeping food put away so that you can try to break this habit/routine with Freya. If food isn't left out, she can't get into it, and should eventually stop looking for it after a while. If she is begging from you while you are eating, you know what to do - either tell her no or hiss, and then remove her from the immediate area (over and over and over and over again). If she is counter-surfing for food, you can also do the same thing. You can also buy a waste receptacle for your kitchen that has a lid that can't be opened easily by a pet.

Freya is young, you can break the habit - but, make sure since she is just a kitten that you are feeding her sufficiently just to help with reducing her desire to find food elsewhere.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
231
Location
Orbassano - Italy
I had checked on the web about cats and walnuts and it seemed to me the advice was against let them eat that kind of nuts, the articles I found talked about an aching tummy, diarrhea, possible kidney issues, so I panicked!

Usually we have no food left around, but it happens that we are eating or just nibbling at something and she's quick enough to steal some tiny parts, like when she ate the chocolate cream off the cake, Freya just grabbed it from my dish!

I'm quite sure she's eating the right amount of food, because I'm weighing her weekly since the first day I had her, and her weight is consistently increasing, and it's also consistent with her age.
Freya received her first vaccine 5 days ago, and the vet said she was fine and right for her age.
Of course I could feed her more, and she wouldn't say no, but again I wouldn't know where is the breaking point between her correctly fed or her gluttony :lol:
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,159
Reaction score
15,936
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
I don't know about how much food is too much food for a kitten. Everyone on this site seems to feel that they should be allowed to eat what they want at least until they hit around a year old. I know you have to be careful how you would do that considering Giada and how she likes to eat. But I am just wondering if you aren't allowing Freya to eat as much as she wants, so she resorts to taking your food. Do you have a way to test that theory? The sooner you break Freya from stealing human food the better your chances are that it doesn't become a permanent habit.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
231
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Yes, I have always known that a kitten should eat as much as they want, because they need more energy to grow up, but it could backfire and I'd end up with an overweight kitty which knows they can have food at the first meow.

I did this with my Pallina, and she grew up true to her name (Pallina means "little ball" in Italian). She was definitely overweight by the age of 2 years and stayed that way for years, before losing weight in her last years, when she got sick with some GI ailments that I suspected they were linked to her feeding behavior.

That's why I would like to avoid the same experience with Giada and Freya.
The two kitties are eating in two different rooms, or they would steal each other's food, and I think I will be doing this for a few weeks more.

I'll definitely discuss this matter with the vet at the vaccine boost visit in three weeks. I already mentioned some anectodes to the vet a week ago, but it seemed to me she wasn't too worried or concerned.
I will be more convincing next time.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,159
Reaction score
15,936
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Just curious - you've had at least 6 cats prior to Giada and Freya - is Pallina the only one who went down the chubby path? If so, you're concerned about Freya's weight-future based on just one out of 6 cats. What are those odds - about 16% or so, yes? (I don't count Giada, because I don't recall you saying she is overweight, she is just a 'mean-eating-machine'.) Just sayin'.

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't realize that from a 'life span' perspective you have less than 6 cats to base your fears on about Freya. My apologies.
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
231
Location
Orbassano - Italy
You made a very good point.
Yes, I had six cats prior to these two kitties and after Lola and Pallina.
They all were with us only a few weeks or months, because they were either healing from previous accidents or diseases (I had rescued them and they were waiting their new families) or they just didn't adapt to the house and they were re-homed.

Pallina (coming from a colony where she supposedly had to fight for food) was a compulsive eater in her first years, and grew overweight.
Lola (found soon after her birth and raised at home) was much more contemplative and conservative with her food, to the point that sometimes she would find her dish empty because Pallina had eaten both meals while Lola was thinking what to do with it :)

The other kitties I had in the middle either hadn't the time to show their attitude with food (they found a forever home in a matter of weeks, only one, an elderly and sick cat, died 10 days later) or were treated like I am treating Giada and Freya, but none of them was so obsessed like these two are.
 

Margret

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
6,048
Reaction score
7,659
Location
Littleton, CO
Antonio65 Antonio65 , make sure the food you're feeding Freya is intended for kittens rather than full-grown cats; that will give her extra calories without having to give her extra food, which should help avoid the development of an unwanted habit. This is made easier by the fact that you're feeding the two cats separately.

Also, for what it's worth. When I got Jasmine she was overweight. When I tried to restrict her food to help her lose weight, she was very clearly hungry all the time, and it wasn't the usual cat lie (you know: "No one ever feeds me!" - that lie). At this point Jasmine gets 1/2 of a 3 ounce can of food twice a day, and all the kibble she wants, whenever she wants, but the kibble is one I chose very carefully so that it has no grains in it at all (also, no potato). And by that I mean that I carefully read all the ingredients; I didn't just trust the big "Grain Free" label. This seems to work for Jasmine. She isn't continually hungry (though she still lies - cats are big on lying), and she is no longer overweight.

As for the chocolate, yes, you should discourage her from eating chocolate. And yes, chocolate is poisonous to cats and dogs. However, very small quantities of chocolate aren't enough to rate panicking over. As for walnut, nuts in general aren't especially good for cats, since they don't provide complete proteins the way meat does. But cats seem to love them. Jasmine is addicted to pistachios, and very upset with me because I never share them with her. However, the few times she's managed to snag one or two apparently did her no harm.

Margret
 
Last edited:
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

Antonio65

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
3,908
Reaction score
231
Location
Orbassano - Italy
Margret Margret ,
Yes, Freya is eating baby kitten food, a very soft, premium, wet food specifically for very young kittens. The label says 3+ weeks, up to 3 to 4 months. I already have a stock of kitten food, intended to kittens 4 months old and up to 10-12 months.
The dry food is really grain free, no traces of cereals at all, no potato either. It's the Orijen dry food, chicken.

The fact is that both Freya and Giada are never full, and this brings them to the constant search for food.
But Giada knows her limits and only looks for "safe" food, cat food mainly.
Freya continually searches the house for just everything. She is able to gets in real trouble for a bite. I already caught her chewing, eating, everything, from sweets and cakes, to chocolate, bread, food from our dishes. Some foods are relatively safe, others are too rich in sugar, salt, spices, or even dangerous.

I've had several cats in my house, but I never experienced such a nightmare with the food obsession.
Sometimes I even think that these two cats could live shorter than my previous two cats, because of their tendency to put themselves in risky situations.
 
Top