Kitten scratches floor instead of eating

WestCoastCatGuardian

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Hi,

I'm about six weeks into life with my kittens who are around 16 weeks old.

They have a new behaviour that I find very troubling. One in particular is barely eating. He goes to his food bowl and scratches the floor around it and leaves. When he returns, same thing. I think he ate two nibbles this morning, and that’s it. I feed a variety, but right now it’s Instinct Kitten food, while I wait for my order of other stuff to arrive. I bought a couple of cans of Tiki cat shreds on the weekend just to see if they are being picky stinkers and they certainly seemed more interested in the shreds, so maybe that’s it, but I’m not sure.

Pawing behaviour is still escalating. They’re around five pounds each and they’re eating around 200 calories each throughout the day, but not very happily, and even though I keep their bowls in separate spots, they insist on eating out of each other’s bowls, and so I don’t always know who’s eating what, and how much. I especially don’t know how much the one who’s pawing the ground is eating, and I’m worried because the behaviour seems to be escalating

I also noticed that the kittens don’t appear to be famished in the mornings the way they used to be. They used to be meowing and jumping for food in the morning, and now they’re more like, “Oh, it’s time for breakfast? Okay, fine. Meh”
I think maybe they sleep all night now? Several mornings I get up and I can see that the litter boxes are untouched from the night before.
They still have a lot of energy, and will be careening around the house like maniacs when I bring out the wand toy.
Thanks in advance for reading, and for any advice.
 

di and bob

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It's simple, they don't like the food.....you might try different varieties maybe even in cheaper brands, like Fancy Feast or Friskies. Many cats like dry to nibble on too and there are many grain-free drys out there now. Pawing around the food indicates they are trying to bury it, mine do this every time they don't like something.
 
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WestCoastCatGuardian

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Yep. It's certainly looking like it's pickiness, and sadly for me, I think the pickiness has to do with the type of meat rather than the brand. I think my two kittens are maybe sick of chicken patés (which is most kitten foods, and almost all ages foods). I gave them some duck paté and some Ziwi peak east cape recipe, and they scarfed both down in a heart beat. I've now tried about half a dozen kitten and all ages chicken-based patés and loafs, and nope. They eat one bite, and then leave it. I think Mercury (shorthair) might be the bad influencer in this. Pluto (long hair) seems to be more easy going, and seems willing to eat the food, until he turns around and sees Mercury scratching at around his food, and he decides he doesn't want it either. Sigh.
 

Mamanyt1953

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If it is any consolation, MOST food allergies in cats revolve around chicken. If you can find a reliable source of another kind of protein that they like, it may just save you problems down the road. I'm quite luck...the only food allergy that Hek has is "not enough EVER!"
 

cat nap

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Can we see some photos, of these two, ..."not liking chicken pate, kittens" ?
I kind of see them in your avatar...but would like to see the sizes, too.

(my two sibling cats, male and female age 6.5 yrs, don't like the taste of beef...which my 10 yr old dog, black retriever/lab mix ...does not like either. Hmmm...I wonder if I got a bad batch of the beef cans, at one point, causing them all to go off of it. But that would be too strange that both cat wet food, and dog wet food were both off. Nahhh...I think I also have slightly 'connoisseur cats and dog', here. :drool::confused::barfgreen: :lol: :wink:

(oh, and my two cats will only eat pate...which is also odd...since they also eat dry food. "Like come on, your ancestors tore into prey in the wild, and now you two, cannot deal with grill, shreds, or anything that is not pate. arrrhhh." I have to take out the hand blender and mush it down, for my two, if I accidentally buy anything that is not pate. But I love them, and will do it for them any day of the week.)

All jokes aside, they actually did a study, on the different textures of cat food, but for the life of me, I cannot find it, right now.
Yep. It's certainly looking like it's pickiness, and sadly for me, I think the pickiness has to do with the type of meat rather than the brand. I think my two kittens are maybe sick of chicken patés (which is most kitten foods, and almost all ages foods). I gave them some duck paté and some Ziwi peak east cape recipe, and they scarfed both down in a heart beat. I've now tried about half a dozen kitten and all ages chicken-based patés and loafs, and nope. They eat one bite, and then leave it. I think Mercury (shorthair) might be the bad influencer in this. Pluto (long hair) seems to be more easy going, and seems willing to eat the food, until he turns around and sees Mercury scratching at around his food, and he decides he doesn't want it either. Sigh.
Have you tried to slightly warm up the food, with some warm water, not hot...and not in microwave,...to see if your cats will eat it then.
The more a wet cat food smells, the more a cat may eat it...and warming it up slightly may release more smells.
(my female cat hates cold wet food, from fridge.)
...I'm quite luck...the only food allergy that Hek has is "not enough EVER!"
Lol. The "not enough EVER"...had me in stitches.
I thought that was more of a 'dog thing'....hahaha.
My cat is a floor scratcher when she doesn't like her food. We figure she's trying to tell us that she thinks her food is something that belongs in her litter box, and she thinks it ought to be buried accordingly.
:blush::crackup::flail::flail:I think your cat is great.:crackup:

If not for this thread...I would have thought it meant..."cover up the food with leaves, and dirt"...to "save it for later"..."and I'm not very hungry right now".
But it makes more sense, the way you, and others describe it.
 
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WestCoastCatGuardian

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I’m delighted that you asked. Those are my two fellas! ♥
With a bit more rotation and experimentation, we have
Two paw’s 🐾 up for: Hound and Gatos lamb, Rawz rabbit pate, Nulo chicken and duck shreds, Tiki cat after chick and duck shreds, Purebites complete dehydrated turkey (which I add warm water to before serving). They also really love the Zeal dehydrated turkey and salmon, but the smell for me is eye wateringly bad, and I don’t know if I can buy it again, for that reason.

Less successful has been:

Rawz duck pate, and Primal pronto frozen rabbit

I’m hoping that with enough variety, they will eventually consider chicken pate again.
 
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WestCoastCatGuardian

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Have you tried to slightly warm up the food, with some warm water, not hot...and not in microwave,...to see if your cats will eat it then.
The more a wet cat food smells, the more a cat may eat it...and warming it up slightly may release more smells.
I haven’t tried that yet, but I will!
 

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Remember...no matter how healthy and balanced a cat food is, it does no good sitting in the bowl. The very best cat food is the one that your cat will actually eat and enjoy!
100% Agreed!

All pet foods are marketed toward humans, not animals. My cat can't read and he doesn't give a hoot about the pretty pictures on the package. He wouldn't understand what the ingredients were, even if I told him.

I could buy the world's best organic cat food, harvested by vestal virgins wearing white, silk gowns on a Himalayan mountain top under the light of the full moon on a clear night but, if Casper won't eat it, it ain't worth a damn.

It's all just marketing drek!

There are some good reasons to pick some cat foods over others.

You want to stay away from foods with a lot of starch and empty calories. (Calories that come from carbohydrates which aren't a source of good nutrition.) Grain is a big offender in this category but grain, by itself, it's not a reason to rule out a cat food unless there is a reason. (Allergies, for instance.) A certain amount of grain is acceptable and even good but we're talking about a fraction of the total recipe. The problem is that companies often use grain to excess because it's cheap and easy to use.

By-products are one of those gray areas. The true definition of "by-product" is the parts of an animal left over after it has been processed for human consumption. It could be scraps of meat, organs, fat and sinew that are too small or unpalatable for humans to eat but it's probably just fine for a cat. The down side is that "by-products" can also include bone, beaks, feathers, hair and entrails. Yes, cats should eat small amounts of those things but by "small" I mean a fraction. Again, the problem with by-products is that companies often use the cheapest ingredients and that often means bones and feathers instead of meat scraps.

Preservatives, coloring and artificial additives are generally ingredients to avoid. Yes, we need some preservatives in order to keep food from spoiling in storage before we can eat it but companies are all too eager to add things to foods because it's cheap to do so. As above, keep preservative content to a minimum. When it comes to colors, cat's generally don't give a darn. Who needs them, anyway?

What kind of meat? Unless your cat has allergies or certain preferences, it doesn't make a lot of difference. Beef? Chicken? Fish? Rabbit? Duck? Fillet of unicorn? Whatever your cat will eat is fine.

I spent a lot of time trying to find a good food for our cat, Casper. He's a rescue cat and, when we adopted him, he would only eat Meow Mix which is basically junk food for cats. I spent months researching the best cat foods, trying to get him to switch to better food. He turned up his nose at almost all of it.

After months of sleepless nights, worrying about Casper's food, I finally tried Purina Cat Chow. The very same Purina that my father fed his dogs, fifty years ago. The same Cat Chow I fed my first cat, thirty years ago. At first, I thought, "No way," but, out of desperation, I bought some and Casper ate it. He's been eating it for six years, going on seven and he's been doing just fine! I have no reason to believe that he won't keep eating it until the end of his days.

Don't get me wrong! I agree that people should look into the foods they feed their cats and always try to get the best food they can at the price they can afford but the bottom line is that you should feed your cat the best food that your cat will eat.

BTW: I love your kitties! Tuxedo tabbies are my favorite kind of cat! :)
 
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cat nap

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I think Mercury (shorthair) might be the bad influencer in this. Pluto (long hair) seems to be more easy going, and seems willing to eat the food, until he turns around and sees Mercury scratching at around his food, and he decides he doesn't want it either. Sigh.
Wait. Mercury...shorthair...grey and white...is the bad infuencer?
And Pluto...fluffy long hair...is the follower.
They look way too cute...to have any 'bad influencer behaviour' going on.

Mercury looks to have those giant front paws, and Pluto looks to have big back paws...which they will both nicely grow into, when older.
Those lovely large ears, on both, kind of looks like you wouldn't be able to open any new can of food, without them both come running.

Wow, do I miss having kittens around.
Your two sound... awesomely entertaining. :blush:

Kittens do learn from each other...so it wouldn't surprise me, that the follower kitten...actually copies his brother.
But yeah, in this case...you would want Mercury to 'copy the eating habits' of Pluto.
I don't think you actually can turn the tastes of cats around, though.
They just know what they like, and don't like. :think:
I’m delighted that you asked. Those are my two fellas! ♥
With a bit more rotation and experimentation, we have
Two paw’s 🐾 up for: Hound and Gatos lamb, Rawz rabbit pate, Nulo chicken and duck shreds, Tiki cat after chick and duck shreds, Purebites complete dehydrated turkey (which I add warm water to before serving). They also really love the Zeal dehydrated turkey and salmon, but the smell for me is eye wateringly bad, and I don’t know if I can buy it again, for that reason.

Less successful has been:

Rawz duck pate, and Primal pronto frozen rabbit

I’m hoping that with enough variety, they will eventually consider chicken pate again.
Cool. You have a really good rotation going there.
And great that they like to eat all those different brands, too,...since if companies ever change formulas, in the future,...your cats will still have many options. :bluepaw:
 

danteshuman

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I made the mistake of letting the wee kittens try the wet food the adult cats ate. They ate it once!!!! Never touched their healthy fish free kitten wet food again! 🤦🏻‍♀️

I would call & find out what food the kitten was fed before you adopted them. Then buy that. You can slowly wean your kitten to the food you want (though I never got my kitten to stop being tuna obsessed! He is 3 years old now and still wants tuna every thing!)

In the meantime if you are feeding them dry food, leaving out kitten dry food should tempt your kitten to eat something. Measure the dry food. If the kitten doesn’t eat for 24 hours rush the kitten to the vet. The kitten might have eaten something (string?) and that could stop a kitten from eating. It also can kill a grown cat. Kittens are fragile & so many things can go wrong.
 
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WestCoastCatGuardian

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To be clear - they are eating, and they were eating everything we gave them for a good month after we first adopted them. This pickiness just started in the last couple of week.

Though as of this morning, Mercury has decided he will now be shunning Tiki Cat shreds too. :frustrated: He took one sniff, arched his back, and promptly scratched. That used to be his jackpot food, so it’s a complete 180. I’m pretty sure chicken is the problem.

Thankfully there are lots of foods that he still will happily eat.

Last night I was able to feed Pluto while Mercury was sleeping, and sure enough, he happily ate some chicken, so as long as he doesn’t see his brother scratching, he’s still reasonably easy to please. 🙄😂
 
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WestCoastCatGuardian

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Wait. Mercury...shorthair...grey and white...is the bad infuencer?
And Pluto...fluffy long hair...is the follower.
They look way too cute...to have any 'bad influencer behaviour' going on.
Hard to believe, but it’s true! He’s the ringleader. He’s also the smarter of the two. He’s the one who figured out how to use his paw to get food out of their puzzle. Meanwhile, Pluto was still trying to cram his head in…a day later…even after seeing how his brother did it. 😂 I guess the copying behaviour doesn’t quite extend to everything!

They are very cute, but wow! They are busy. I’m so glad we adopted them as a pair. I can only imagine the mischief they’d get up to if they didn’t have each other for company!
 

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Cats get sick of foods. My guy is a finicky little brat! He needs variety. I try to rotate about 6 different flavors plus I buy a variety pack of bff that gives him another 6 flavors. My advice? Hide his old favorite & try giving him another 3-5 flavors. You can also try food toppers like bonito flakes. I thought I had hit the perfect food with fancy feast’s chicken & tuna! Then he hated it! A month later he will eat it rarely (like one can every 2 weeks.)

Some cats demand more variety than others. Save your tiki go to food. In 3 months Mercury will like it again!
 

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Hekitty, unfortunately, is the ultimate junk food junkie. She won't touch ANYTHING except Friskies kibbles. I have spent at least $500 trying to slowly switch her over to a decent wet food. Several years ago, she had a bout with incipient hepatic lipidosis along with acute pancreatitis, and I can no longer let her go more than 48 hours without eating. And the stubborn little brat knows down to the MINUTE when I'll give in! She'll go to her dish and wait, knowing her Friskies are coming back, unadulterated by that nasty "gushy fud."
 
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