Voracious appetite

Sally WrightSally Wright DenverMember Posts: 130 ✭✭
edited 13 April, 2014 in Kitten Corner
Lyra is 9 months old and she's been with us for 5 months now. We adopted her from a local shelter after Simone crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Lyra has been wonderful in so many ways BUT with food she acts as though she hasn't eaten in days or won't eat again. We free feed with her and her big sister, Cassie, so she has food all the time. When we refill the bowls, she digs in like there's no tomorrow. If she drops a piece of food on the floor, she races to get it (they're fed on top of the cat tree - more on that later). Every piece of fluff, fuzz, or kitty litter that is on the floor is a potential "snack" for her and she will steal loaves of bread from the counter, and any other food that she can nab - We had cheese on the counter the other day that we were waiting to get to room temperature and she stole a block and started eating it under the cat tree! She has attempted to steal an entire pizza, and the list goes on and on. (We don't call her the Pepperoni Pirate for nothing!) Her oldest sister, Kenya, is 14 and is on a special diet. This is why the other two are fed on top of the cat tree. If Kenya eats regular food then she gets sick (IBD). Lyra absolutely LOVES Kenya's food and will do anything possible to sneak into it, even if she's just had her own dinner. Lyra and Cassie are fed Natural Balance Duck and Green Pea, so they're completely grain free. She was wormed as part of her intake at the shelter and she wasn't there for very long. The only health issue that she's had was a URI and she was a healthy weight when we brought her home (about 4 lbs at age 4 months). She's gained about a pound a month. The only time that we've EVER heard her growl was when we were taking a loaf of bread away from her. She doesn't scratch or bite but she makes it clear that she has to eat it, even through the plastic wrapper. Simone passed away at age 8 1/2. She was a feral rescue at age 6 months and she would eat and eat and eat. She had fatty liver disease that we pulled her through once but she had a recurrance in October and we lost her. This is why I'm so concerned about Lyra's habits. She's still growing but when she stops growing I don't want her to be obese and potentially end up in Simone's shoes. Any suggestions? Help!


  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 11 April, 2014
    Kittens are known for being bottomless pits but this sounds extreme. I would try a couple of things. I would do one more fecal exam - get a stool sample in to the vet to be sure. It's possible that there are still parasites. Next, it's unclear to me if the NB you're feeding is dry or canned? If it's not canned, it should be. Dry food, even if it's grain free, is full of carbs which are not filling and tend to lead to overeating. In fact, even NB canned is a little high in carbs. The key to a cat being full is quality protein. You might consider a raw diet for her - she sounds like a prime candidate. If you can't do raw try a canned food that is higher in protein. If she's not overweight I would let her eat as much as she wants (of canned food, not dry). It's possible she went without food before she was rescued and part of it is psychological. Good luck!
  • Sally WrightSally Wright DenverMember Posts: 130 ✭✭
    edited 11 April, 2014
    It's been a long time since I've had a kitten, so maybe this is normal? We feed dry food because I work retail, so my work schedule is all over the place. Some days I start work at 6 am and other days I work until 10 pm. Because of that, a raw diet isn't very practical and canned food isn't really either. :( Amazingly, I hadn't looked as carefully at the ingredients of the NB LID Duck to realize that the first ingredient is peas. Ugh. We've been through the ringer to try to find yet another good food that everyone can eat but I guess it's time to start again. We have to go back to the vet with Kenya this coming week as she had 7 teeth removed 2 weeks ago, so I'll see about getting a fecal for Lyra at the time. Thank you. I hope that it's just a kitten who's growing up! Edited to add that she's inside only, as are all of our cats. We're leash training her but she hasn't really been out much at this point.
  • Paula K-Paula K- New YorkMember Posts: 2,244
    edited 12 April, 2014
    It is normal for a kitten to be hungry a lot, but you're asking why she seems *starved* and I'm trying to tell you. You can leaved canned food out all day - that's not an issue. Don't take it from me, please take a look at catinfo.org to explain why you should not feed cats dry food. This website is written by a vet who's very knowledgeable about feline nutrition.
  • Sally WrightSally Wright DenverMember Posts: 130 ✭✭
    edited 13 April, 2014
    Thank you. It looks like I have more research to do. I wasn't aware that canned food could be left out all day without making them sick. I also wasn't aware that kittens are naturally very hungry all the time. Maybe that's her issue and maybe she has something else going on, I don't know. Compared to the other two, she's ravenous but maybe that's normal. It's been almost 7 years since we've had a kitten in the house and I really don't remember. I do appreciate the feedback. I'll take a look at the site that you recommended. :)
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