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How Can I Stop My New Kitten From Howling Non-stop For Food?

Discussion in 'Cat Behavior' started by nahui, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. nahui

    nahui Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Hello everyone! I have a new kitten, about 10 to 12 weeks old. I've had her for a month and from the very beginning she has been obsessed with food. Basically, she wants food all the time and will howl and cry for it non-stop. She goes on and on and on.

    We are at a point where we can't open the fridge, bring in groceries, or even step into the kitchen without her coming in to howl and harass whomever happens to be in the kitchen for food, even if she has just been fed! All we have tried is ignoring her and not giving her food, except for her three set meals. So far, it has not worked. She keeps on howling, (almost) tripping us, and searching for food all the time.

    She is well-fed, she is growing appropriately, and has more than enough energy to play, so I'm sure she is not going hungry. Is there anything else I can try to change this behavior? Will she be like this forever?
     

  2. neely

    neely May the purr be with you Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Could you possibly try to distract her with a toy every time she howls for food and preferably alternate toys? Just trying to help you come up with a solution. :alright:
     

  3. susanm9006

    susanm9006 Willow Top Cat

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    Maybe she would do better if you did self feed kibble - there are some good quality brands out there. What are you feeding her now?
     

  4. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    There is no way to overfeed a growing kitten! So if kitty is asking for food, feed her!

    She will slow down once she gets bigger, so it won't always be like this.

    Make sure she is getting a canned food too, if you are feeding dry. Dry food has more carbs and tends to stimulate the appetite. Canned food usually has more protein and fat which satiates. But kittens will still be hungry!

    Please post a picture of her! We'd love to see her.
     
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  5. nahui

    nahui Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Dec 8, 2016
    Thanks everyone for your input! I hadn't considered that she could grow out of it as she got bigger. My other cat is such a picky eater that I had never had to deal with the exact opposite.

    Currently, she is being fed a homemade cooked diet twice a day and kibble for another meal. We change the homemade mixture every week, but it always contains muscle and organ meat, a fat source, and a mineral and vitamin supplement.

    I've added a couple of pictures, one of her and the other of her playing with my other cat and one of my dogs :D
     

    Attached Files:


  6. madzoya

    madzoya TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Oh! She is so cute!

    I agree with the other,s if she's asking, you should increase her food, she is growing. But try to keep to a set schedulle. She will eventually learn that those are her feeding times and stop begging at other hours. Also keep her feeding routine (movements, smells) the same, as best as you can.

    Bruce used to think kitchen=food, so everytime I entered he would wait near his bowl and beg. We ignored him when it was not his meal time. He has since learned that I need to eat too, and I like being in the kitchen, lol!

    And we free feed Bruce dry kible. He will eat it if he's hungry, but not overeat. He's a very gangly 1 yo.

    The bad part, when it is his meal time, he will now firmly demand it! :biggrin:
     

  7. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    I hope one of the advisors will step in with some exact amounts for you, but I recall one of them saying a kitten should be fed 4 times a day at regular intervals. They are bundles of energy, growing by leaps and bounds, and they get hungry really fast, so it sounds like your little cutie pie really needs more food. I read the other day that a kitten can eat as much as 8 ounces (which is MORE than a slim adult cat would eat) in a single day. So it will get better!

    I LOVE black kitties, btw. She is so cute! :loveeyes::hearthrob::redheartpump:
     

  8. ginny

    ginny TCS Member Top Cat

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    Oh one more thing. You can give a bowl of Kitten Milk Replacer daily to help with her voracious appetite.
     

  9. haleyds

    haleyds TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Also I would add that you could invest in a timed feeder with dry kibble for her, while she's little she literally cannot over eat and maybe if she's able to constantly nibble throughout the day her howling will cut way back. My cats are all free feed with dry food and they get fed wet twice a day and I've never had to deal with fussing unless their bowl is empty and I didn't know lol.
     

  10. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

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    That might have been one of my posts. I've tracked how much food Farrell has eaten every day since she was 5 months old (she's 9 months now), and also fed a little stray from 5 weeks to 8.5 weeks.

    At 8 weeks the little kitten was eating 10-12% of his body weight in meat/organs/bones every day (3.5-4.5 ounces of meat per day).

    When I started tracking Farrell's food at 20 weeks old, she was eating 6-8% of her body weight every day for a couple of months...and that was 6-8 ounces of meat every day.

    As they grow, the amount of food they eat increases with their weight, but food as a % of body weight decreases.

    Farrell's food amount and as a % of body weight levelled out around 7 months old, and she's only eating a little more per day than an adult cat.

    So your kitty's age is in between the ages I tracked the foster kitten and my adopted kitten's age, but if you were feeding all home-cooked food, you'd probably need to start with around about 10% of his body weight (in raw food - before cooking). Cooked food weighs less, since cooking removes water. Since you're also adding a kibble meal, I'm not sure how all the calories work out, but it does seem that the carbs in kibble makes cats hungrier.

    Absolutely put down more food than he will eat in each meal to make sure he's eating all the food he wants/needs. ...and give him another bite when he's crying for food. He'll need a lot of food through the first 6-months, then you can get a break! ;)
     

  11. arouetta

    arouetta Slave of Bastet's acolytes Top Cat

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    I agree with everyone else here. If she's this frantic over food she is clearly not getting enough food. I don't think it's even possible to overfeed a kitten, they burn energy like crazy just growing up. It's the same exact thing as a human baby, you feed on demand instead of on a schedule because if they are hungry, they are hungry, and they use a crazy amount of calories just growing.

    Feed her enough that she has enough food left over to graze all day. She needs it. It's not a want, it's a need.
     

  12. nahui

    nahui Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Thanks everyone! I started last night giving her more food and guess what? the howling all but stopped! I feel terrible now thinking that I have been unintentionally denying her food she needed :argh:.

    I'll stick to a set schedule to get her used to the idea of feeding times, but I'll do four meals instead of three and free feed kibble. It is amazing that she just ate and instead of begging for more she is now soundly asleep.
     
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  13. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, kittens are hungry little creatures!! Don't feel terrible, just enjoy the new peace and quiet (except for the noise of a happy, playful kitten!)

    I like what Orange&White said:


    ... except that it's my view that kittenhood lasts longer than 6 months. Eight-fourteen months is when I started seeing a drop-off in "food requests" with my young cat.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017

  14. danteshuman

    danteshuman TCS Member Top Cat

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    Was she wild or semi feral before you got her? I have one cat that 10 years later STILL freaks if he can see the bottom of his food bowl (like his pudginess has ever gone a day without food ;) ) Also I agree with giving her an extra meal and see if that works :) plus if you don't reward her howling with food she will eventually grow out of it. My cats don't beg for people food because I never fed them people food. I also taught them to sit quietly (by ignoring their meows) for wet food/treats. So now they beg by sitting quietly. You can train her, she is still just a kid. Hang in there :) Also she is adorable :)
     

  15. nahui

    nahui Thread Starter TCS Member Adult Cat

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    Dec 8, 2016
    Yes, I'll take the play time cat and kitten noise anytime! When she plays with my cat it is almost like in the stampede scene in Jumanji :p I love watching them tumble, and jump, and run after each other.

    I have no idea about her past. We actually found her in the middle of traffic! I am teaching her to sit on a small table we have in the kitchen, mostly to avoid stepping on her or tripping over her. She still has to learn the "quiet" part about sitting quietly to wait for food or treats though! :crackup:
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
    orange&white and PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  16. orange&white

    orange&white TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, I'm still feeding Farrell all she wants to eat. She just turned 9 months on the 1st. My point about food consumption through the 6th month, is that up until month 7, the kitten is gaining about one pound of weight per month (or more). By 7 months, they are 75-80% of their adult weight (except for slow-maturing breeds like Maine Coons). At 7 months, their weight gain starts to noticeably slow down, so you see them eating a lower percentage of their body weight.
     
    PushPurrCatPaws purraised this.

  17. PushPurrCatPaws

    PushPurrCatPaws TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, I wasn't trying to argue with you on that... it was just this point, below, that made me reply as I did:

    :biggrin: I myself didn't "get a break" until my kitty was a bit older, lol :)
     

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