Kitten help?

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
Hello! My sister and I adopted a kitten at the beginning of the week. It was supposedly from a reputable breeder, but on bringing the poor thing home, over the course of the week we've come to realise that they were not truthful on a number of accounts. Seeing as the kitten is staying primarily in my room for the time being, I'm taking on a majority of the work, which I'm happy to do, but I am also now dealing with some things that I'm not 100% sure about, so I was hoping someone here could help me.

So the kitten was SUPPOSED to be 8 weeks old, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it may be younger than the breeder said. He was underweight for his age, which means he can't have his vaccines just yet, nor was he allowed the typical flea treatment from the vets. That was fine, we thought we could wait.

He was supposed to be in good condition, but as we discovered on day 3, the poor baby was infested with fleas- after 2 baths and looking extensively through his fur with a flea comb we managed to pull over 20 LIVE fleas from him... And the vet prescribed a flea treatment that wouldn't be harmful to him. Immediately, he's started crying less and sleeping more, which is brilliant!

We've sprayed the house down, fumigated my room and everything he's been in touch with. Thats fine.

Regarding his appetite, we've bought him the exact food the breeder specified (wet and dry), but he's not interested. We've additionally tried him on about 10 other types of wet food and 4 other types of dry food to see if anything strikes his fancy, but had no luck. We've tried warming it up, the stinkier brands, gravy vs jelly, soup, pate. No joy. He sniffs it, but won't eat a bite. Yesterday (day 5) And today, he finally ate some boiled red lamb, which we are extremely thankful for... because it's better than nothing. But I'm aware that boiled red meat will not give him everything he needs to grow up healthy. He shows no sign of wanting to eat anything else though...

He was also supposed to be litter trained, but of course, the litter training was a lie, so we're working on litter training him. He's had a few mishaps (R.I.P my duvet, my rug, his blanket... but he's getting the hang of it! :') ). He's also had an awfully bad tummy and is on the runs when he manages to go (after a lot of effort) - vet prescribed him a paste to help, but it just makes him puke, and stop eating and drinking, which is worrying, because he is barely eating and drinking anything as is. We've made the decision to keep him off the paste for a few days until he gets at least a few more meals in him, so he gets some energy. He'll drink a little water, and is completely uninterested in cat milk.

Despite all of this, he's a peppy little boy and is very energetic and adventurous.

But I was wondering if you guys had any more ideas about food? How do I get him to eat and drink? Specifically, how do i get him to eat actual kitten food when we're tried 14 different kinds and he's completely uninterested? We've tried different bowls, moving them around the room, etc.

I had a bit of success getting him to drink by warming the water up to tepid, but he's still not drinking as much as I'd like. I know kittens are supposed to be eating more than an adult cat, but this one is averaging less than 1 real meal a day and it's worrying. The vet didn't seem too worried when initially checking him over, but I need him to eat! I know how fast things can go wrong.

.

He also has a bed that he slept in the first few days just fine, but now always wants to sleep next to me/on me/on my bed. Is that ok for him to do in the short term, or should I always return him back to his bed to avoid bad habits? I don't mind him sleeping on me if he needs the comfort- I just wanna do what is best for him. I just don't wanna encourage behaviour that will screw him over in the long run. Ideally I'd like him to use his own bed when he's a little older, but whatever. He's a baby rn, I can't begrudge him wanting comfort.

And a final thing! I have a whole number of toys for him and he is uninterested in play completely. We try every day with different methods, and nothing catches his interest. Any ideas on how to change this? I feel like if he was more active, maybe he'd eat better? Thank you for reading! And thank you in advance for any responses.
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
3,086
Purraise
4,911
Location
Los Angeles
There is a lot here that is really concerning. You are absolutely trying your hardest for this kitten but the lack of appetite could be serious. Have you tried Gerber's stage 2 baby food meat? If you can't get that one, make sure to get one without any additives or flavorings. It is a little surprising that your vet is not more concerned.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
There is a lot here that is really concerning. You are absolutely trying your hardest for this kitten but the lack of appetite could be serious. Have you tried Gerber's stage 2 baby food meat? If you can't get that one, make sure to get one without any additives or flavorings. It is a little surprising that your vet is not more concerned.
Thank you for your reply. I have not tried this, is it an American brand? I have never heard of it... sorry, I should have said in the original post- I'm UK based. I had heard of giving baby food as a potential solution to kitten appetite issues, but it was one of the few things I had not tried yet. I will run out and get some in the morning.

Today thankfully, I got him to eat a little more plain lamb meat and the water/stew it was cooked in, so I think he's definitely more hydrated! He had three meals today, a first since we've bought him home. I'm really really chuffed with that. I know it's not the ideal, but it's an absolute improvement.

His three trips to the litter box today were still runny, though definitely less so.

I'm going to try him on the paste again tomorrow, and contact the vet again on monday- as they will be closed on Sunday.

Do you have any other tips aside from baby food?
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,764
Purraise
16,886
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. Do you have any paperwork from the breeder on this kitten at all? At this juncture, you might as well forget the breeder and act as if you found this kitten on the street. If your vet has been treating him based on whatever you told them about the breeder, tell the vet to forget about it and run whatever tests they would run on a kitten with unknown origins. That would include full scale bloodwork, urinalysis, and a fecal PCR which looks not only for numerous parasites, but various bacterial/viral issues as well. If this vet doesn't want to do it, find another vet. Your baby needs a serious look at his overall condition.

I do not believe you will be able to find plain baby food meats in the UK - at least from what I have read of other members from your area. But, you can try searching for Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut - which do not have any additives to the meats. I just don't think they are available where you are. Have you also tried some boiled chicken, just to see how he reacts to that? If he likes it, you at least have two different flavors of meat to offer him. You can also try human salmon, sardines (without the bones, of course), canned tuna or chicken in water, even deli turkey or chicken.

Do you have KMR available (kitten milk replacer)? It would have the necessary vitamins/nutrients to help him out. If he would lap it up, you could at least get some appropriate nutrients in him along with the lamb (and maybe chicken).

EDIT: About the sleeping arrangements, for now let him sleep with you. He is little! Get his health in order, and worry about the rest later.
 

susanm9006

Willow
Top Cat
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
8,054
Purraise
15,893
Are his eyes still blue or were they when you adopted him? They turn around seven weeks so that might help you gauge his age. As far as feeding,when we had young kittens we would give them a soupy mixture of kitten replacement milkand pure chicken baby food. Sometimes the little ones are better at lapping up their food rather than just eating it. If it will lap that then you can start mixing in kitten wet food and reducing the KMR
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
Hi. Do you have any paperwork from the breeder on this kitten at all? At this juncture, you might as well forget the breeder and act as if you found this kitten on the street. If your vet has been treating him based on whatever you told them about the breeder, tell the vet to forget about it and run whatever tests they would run on a kitten with unknown origins. That would include full scale bloodwork, urinalysis, and a fecal PCR which looks not only for numerous parasites, but various bacterial/viral issues as well. If this vet doesn't want to do it, find another vet. Your baby needs a serious look at his overall condition.

I do not believe you will be able to find plain baby food meats in the UK - at least from what I have read of other members from your area. But, you can try searching for Gerber Stage 2 or Beechnut - which do not have any additives to the meats. I just don't think they are available where you are. Have you also tried some boiled chicken, just to see how he reacts to that? If he likes it, you at least have two different flavors of meat to offer him. You can also try human salmon, sardines (without the bones, of course), canned tuna or chicken in water, even deli turkey or chicken.

Do you have KMR available (kitten milk replacer)? It would have the necessary vitamins/nutrients to help him out. If he would lap it up, you could at least get some appropriate nutrients in him along with the lamb (and maybe chicken).

EDIT: About the sleeping arrangements, for now let him sleep with you. He is little! Get his health in order, and worry about the rest later.
Hi, thanks for taking the time to reply! I'm going to go with ignoring whatever they told me at this point and telling the vet to run all the tests on Monday if nothing has changed, because I am concerned. To be fair, she was meant to do a wellness check a few days after she first saw him, but covid kinda complicated things at the surgery. She's usually fantastic, so I can't complain about her at all. We have an older kitty too, and the vet has never given us cause for concern before. I'm just very anxious because I've never raised a kitten before, and I've read a lot going into it, so I know how quickly things can go wrong.

Doesn't sound great about the baby food, but I will look online to see if maybe I can get a hold of them there. I did try chicken! He ate a little on day 3, before the initial vet's visit, and never looked at it again twice. I'd be so happy if he at least split between the two daily, but that doesn't look to be happening just yet. He wasn't interested in canned tuna or Turkey, or cod. I will try salmon tomorrow.

I can get a hold of KMT from the vet on Monday, that's a really good shout. Even if he drinks a few mouthfuls here and there, it's better than nothing.

And thanks for the advice on the sleeping arrangements! I think he's being extra clingy because he feels unwell, poor baby. I'm glad I'm not doing him any harm by keeping him close.

Thank you so much!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
Are his eyes still blue or were they when you adopted him? They turn around seven weeks so that might help you gauge his age. As far as feeding,when we had young kittens we would give them a soupy mixture of kitten replacement milkand pure chicken baby food. Sometimes the little ones are better at lapping up their food rather than just eating it. If it will lap that then you can start mixing in kitten wet food and reducing the KMR
His eyes are brown, so from what you're saying, that sounds like a good sign at least.

It sounds like a good shout to mix KMR and the food his IS eating, so I will try that too. Thank you!
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3,980
Purraise
4,402
Location
California
I was going to say at that weaning/just beginning to wean she I feed kittens kitten gruel. That is 1/2 kitten pate wet food & 1/2 KMR (or a kitten replacement milk.) For the runs try adding some baby rice cereal to their gruel. (It helps with the runs. If you can not get this make mushy white rice. Then add/mush in the super soft sticky white rice into the cat/kitten’s food with a fork. A bit of rice helps stop the cats up when they have the runs.
⭐If the diarrhea continues talk to the vet immediately.
⭐ If your kitten starts showing signs of severe dehydration take your kitten to the vet that day!!! Your vet can show you how to do daily saline drips if needed.
⭐ you can replace the kittens water with unflavored pedialite. You can even look up the recipe online. So if you can only get water in the cat this is the water you want the cat to drink.
⭐your vet should be able to look at the kittens teeth and give you an age. Like the kitten is how many weeks old.
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
29,401
Purraise
24,019
Location
South Dakota
Don't they have meat-flavored baby food in the UK? I'm sure they do. Just make sure it doesn't have any onions or garlic added. A little cornstarch is fine (for thickening) and even a bit of squash/pumpkin/courgette? would be OK for fiber. From what I can find, it looks like Holle and Heinz are common brands in the UK.

It sounds to me like he isn't weaned yet, not unusual even if he is 8 weeks old. Do you know what he was (supposedly) eating at the breeder's house?

Anyway I'd start him on meat baby food and canned kitten food mixed with kitten formula. If he won't eat even that, try a bottle with just formula. If he won't even take that, you may have to assist-feed him (there are Youtube videos about how to do it properly). He MUST get some steady nutrition, and soon; the little guys go downhill so quickly.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
I was going to say at that weaning/just beginning to wean she I feed kittens kitten gruel. That is 1/2 kitten pate wet food & 1/2 KMR (or a kitten replacement milk.) For the runs try adding some baby rice cereal to their gruel. (It helps with the runs. If you can not get this make mushy white rice. Then add/mush in the super soft sticky white rice into the cat/kitten’s food with a fork. A bit of rice helps stop the cats up when they have the runs.
⭐If the diarrhea continues talk to the vet immediately.
⭐ If your kitten starts showing signs of severe dehydration take your kitten to the vet that day!!! Your vet can show you how to do daily saline drips if needed.
⭐ you can replace the kittens water with unflavored pedialite. You can even look up the recipe online. So if you can only get water in the cat this is the water you want the cat to drink.
⭐your vet should be able to look at the kittens teeth and give you an age. Like the kitten is how many weeks old.
Thanks for all of this. I will try the rice again- tried it once, and he wasn't interested, but I'll try flavouring it with broth now, and KMR later today when I get it, and seeing if that helps.

I got him drinking a lot last night! So I don't think dehydration will become a problem hopefully, but I will keep an eye on him.

Also good shout on the pedialite!

And I'll get the vet to check his teeth!

Don't they have meat-flavored baby food in the UK? I'm sure they do. Just make sure it doesn't have any onions or garlic added. A little cornstarch is fine (for thickening) and even a bit of squash/pumpkin/courgette? would be OK for fiber. From what I can find, it looks like Holle and Heinz are common brands in the UK.

It sounds to me like he isn't weaned yet, not unusual even if he is 8 weeks old. Do you know what he was (supposedly) eating at the breeder's house?

Anyway I'd start him on meat baby food and canned kitten food mixed with kitten formula. If he won't eat even that, try a bottle with just formula. If he won't even take that, you may have to assist-feed him (there are Youtube videos about how to do it properly). He MUST get some steady nutrition, and soon; the little guys go downhill so quickly.
I'm leaving for the supermarket in an hour to find some appropriate baby food for him, so we'll see!

Unfortunately we've tried bottle feeding him, but he hated it! I will try again though.

I have already tried giving him the food the breeder recommended she was feeding him multiple times, but he doesn't seem interested at all.

Thank you for the tips. I will definitely contact the vet tomorrow, regardless, because yes, you're right. This does need to be sorted out. I'm thinking he may have a bacterial infection or something that is hampering his appetite. No way the little wouldn't be hungry for almost a whole week with only a small change here and there.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
Update: shops were a bust on appropriate baby foods containing meat, but I did get him KMR and baby rice and he lapped it up!!!!! I'm so happy!!! Thank you everyone! I'm hoping the rice in particular will help with the runs.

I've also purchased sardines, salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and will try them over the course of the day.

And I'm going to take him to the vet in the morning.

You guys have all been more than helpful, I'm so grateful for all your advice. Thank you so much.
 

Willowy

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
Messages
29,401
Purraise
24,019
Location
South Dakota
If you have a good food processor, or maybe some blenders would work, puree some chicken or other meat, add water or formula until it's the right texture, and add that to the rice mixture. He should have more protein.

But it's great that he's eating something, anything! So if he refuses the meat puree, just keep on with the rice and formula mixture for now.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
If you have a good food processor, or maybe some blenders would work, puree some chicken or other meat, add water or formula until it's the right texture, and add that to the rice mixture. He should have more protein.

But it's great that he's eating something, anything! So if he refuses the meat puree, just keep on with the rice and formula mixture for now.
I will be sure to try this! Thank you!
 

danteshuman

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
3,980
Purraise
4,402
Location
California
KMR plus a bit of baby rice cereal is what I bottle fed the two babies we found at 10 days old. They had awful diarrhea so bad they started bleeding. The rice cereal helped but they still had the runs; just lighter. The vet prescribed antidiarrhea medication for them that helped a ton.

I have done the mushed rice in kitten gruel trick & it worked on another kitten.

I hope your vet prescribed some anti-nausea medication or can figure out why the kitten isn’t eating (& the kittens age!)

I was just watching a kittenlady video on YouTube about weaning kittens tricking their fosters into thinking that they were eating when they were “meat sucklers.” Apparently eating takes a different mouth skill set then nursing. So it can take kittens weeks to learn how to really eat. I think that is why the kitten gruel, where everything is a puréed soup works so well.

So if your kitten will not eat pate chicken wet food (or chicken baby food) & formula mixed together in a gruel then I would strongly suspect nausea or physical stomach/intestine problem. The sooner the vet treats it the better! Kittens can start fading so fast!

If you have questions I have found the kittenlady videos on YouTube to be extremely helpful for novice fosters (like me!)

Please tell us what the vet says! Also what breed is the kitten? Some breeds require special foods (like Bengals.)
0E8A02E6-E92A-492F-BB2F-7BF8A1325B68.jpeg
 

verna davies

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,599
Purraise
12,775
Location
Wales uk
I couldn't find any suitable baby food here in the UK when I tried to get some. Do you have a Pets at Home near you, they have a good selection of food and are very helpful. Try mashing the food up and adding water, try hand feeding him as a temporary measure. If all else fails ask your vet for protein rich food, it's usually in pate form, you add water and may have to syringe feed to get him started, hopefully once he starts eating he will eat more on his own. Sleeping with you is fine as others have said, he's just a baby.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #17

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
He's been eating well since yesterday guys, the KMR drowning the more solid foods has helped a lot! Ive just tried lamb and chicken wifh rice rn becuase hes still resistant to kitten food, but i will try that again later.

He finally has produced solid stools, which is brilliant! I'm still going to still take him to the vet to get checked out, but I think the most worrying time is over. He's much more energetic, he's started to play, and he even has the applied now, so I'm working to play with him as much as I can to keep him busy.

Thank you all so much for your advice. It's been a godsend.
 

verna davies

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,599
Purraise
12,775
Location
Wales uk
Thanks for this good news, so pleased for you. Keep us updated and post some photos too.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #19

Hadzy

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Messages
19
Purraise
40
Ok, so the runs have returned with a vengence and I took him to the vet! The vet has prescribed him some meds for a bacterial infection. If this doesn't work, we will run some bloods and see if it's viral.

I'm going to start him on the meds tonight. Hoping this helps clear up any remaining issues and maybe open a up his appetite.

The good news is, he's alert enough to have the zoomies and he still has a wonderful temperament! He's lapping up the KMR and rice with boiled chicken or lamb (I'm alternating, so he gets different nutrients) throughout the day, so I'm not worried about starvation or dehydration, thank god. I did try dosing the KMR with some of the actual kitten foods I've bought him, but he wasn't interested at all just yet.

All In all, he's definitely in a better state than he was before though, and the vet is keeping in touch to keep an eye on him too.

As requested, here's the little bubba you've all been helping!

20210414_092931.jpg
 

verna davies

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Messages
21,599
Purraise
12,775
Location
Wales uk
Aww, he's so sweet. I hope he has a clean bill of health. Have a look at S Boulardii, I have had great success with it when mine have had diarrhea.
 
Top