6 month old will not stop eating!

Karen VandenKaren Vanden heathmontMember Posts: 15
edited 30 June, 2009 in Food & Nutrition
I'm concerned about Misty becoming overweight. I have been happy that she has such a ferocious appetite because she has really blossomed into a beautiful strong girl, but now it seems to be going over board. She will eat absolutely anything i put in front of her and now i have to seperate her from my 3 month old kitten Rocky because she will finish her food and then bully him away from his bowl. Its also hard to tell how fat she is, cus theres so much fluffy fur! I can feel her ribs and back bone, but there is a very good layer of fat covering them. Perhaps a bit too much of a layer. She was getting 2 wet foods a day(1 kitten and 1 adult) with dry all day in between (Eukanuba kitten) and table scraps occassionally. I thought that maybe she would let me know when she's had enough, but she does not seem to have any self control or cut off point. Been 6 months of age, would this be a good time to get her off kitten food, or would she still need it? And should i cut 1 of her daily wet meals out of her diet? I'm not exactly sure what the best option is at this age.

Comments

  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 10 June, 2009
    Six months is too young for anyone to be able to evaluate whether your kitty is getting fat or not. Kittens especially go through growth spurts, so that fat you think you are feeling is just being stored to make way for the next jump in size. This is also why you would not restrict calories with a kitten that young, because they do need the extra calories in order to grow. If you are really concerned, the best way to find out what her weight is would be to have a vet evaluate her (it is not impossible that she is not as "fat" as you fear, and that her hunger might be caused by worms, which kittens easily come with... more the reason to have a vet look at her, if you ask me). But even if the vet expresses concern, it is likely that s/he will tell you to wait and see. You do not say how big the cans of food are. If you are feeding her 2 3 oz cans a day, she should not need much more dry food than maybe 1/4 of a cup.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 10 June, 2009
    Misty if you are 6 months old then I wouldnt worry too much right now, but....... at 8 months of age you should start to portion your food, no free feeding. Birmans are know to get overweight easily. Females weigh between 6 and 10 pounds and males average between 10 and 15 pounds. If you were to switch to a high protein wet food that is grain free, when Misty is a bit older and eliminate the dry you will have a healthier cat, that will not get overweight if fed the proper amount of calories. Read the site called catinfo.org :)
  • Lacey KingstonLacey Kingston WilmingtonMember Posts: 7,527
    edited 10 June, 2009
    I would say after 6 months you should begin alternating her to set meals and no more free feeding the dry. Free feeding can definitely encourage weight gain. Also, cut out the table scraps completely, those are excess and generally a bad idea for any pet. Hobie is a little piggy, so we know what you mean!
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 10 June, 2009
    Kittens need to stay on kitten food, until they are 7-8 months old. They need the increased vitamins that kitten foods provide. And you should never mix kitten food, with adult food. Kittens have very sensative systems, that can be easily upset, by mixing in adult food. Pet sitter gave my kittens adult food when I was at a show, and I came home to 2 sick 10 week old kittens. And adults should not eat kitten food, it is too many calories for them. Any change in food, should be done very gradually, especially with kittens. Took me 2 weeks to get my kittens changed over to adult. Mine are fed in their carriers. The kittens could not get into the adult food, and Bumpurr does not need to eat kitten food. Bumpurr also gets more than the kittens. Nobody comes out, until they are all finished. I would start the scheduled feeding now, that way, you control how much the kittens are eating, and you know, if one is not eating. Your vet can best advise you, how much each kitten should be getting, per day, depending on what you are feeding, and the breed/size of the kitten. I split mine into 3 feedings. Before I leave for work, when I get home from work, and before bed. Another plus of feeding them in their carriers, I open the door, they walk right in, so much easier loading for a show. Take the kittens to your vet, have them checked for worms, and I believe they worm the kittens with Drontil, and ask your vet what you should feed and how much each kitten should get. Best of luck. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 10 June, 2009
    Forgot to add, cats should never be fed people food, especially kittens, it just encourages them to beg, when your eating, and alot of people food is toxic to cats, and can upset a kittens system. :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1&aid=1029
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 10 June, 2009
    I have to disagree partly to what Bumpurr said about feeding cats or kittens human food. There are some that can be good for example cooked chicken breast, this will up their protein level when they need it. Here is a site that discusses bad foods for cats. http://messybeast.com/bad-foods.htm
  • Karen VandenKaren Vanden heathmontMember Posts: 15
    edited 11 June, 2009
    Hi everyone and thanks for the replys. Just to clarify, neither of my kittens have worms...I'm merticulous about worming and being a responsible pet owner. Also they both have set feeding times and are seperated. When i say they get table scraps, i mean only suitable ones, such as raw chicken and/or beef from preparing our dinner or some cooked chicken breast or boneless fish....so nothing that is bad or toxic for them. I do believe in supplementing their diets with other things. I know some people would disagree with me, but i think its good to give them some variety, as long as its not interfering with their regular diet. The vet has told me that kittens have pretty much done the bulk of their growing by the age of six months and said it would be fine to start moving her into adult food. He also said its fine to mix kitten with adult as the only real difference is that kitten food just has a higher fat content. Anyway, its been good hearing others opinions about feeding. I appreciate the comments made.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 11 June, 2009
    Hmmm... That's interesting. Both of my cats did about half of their growing after six months, so I'm surprised your vet said the opposite. Still, gotta go with what the vet says. Maybe you can keep her on dry kitten food for the time being, but switch the wet to adult? It sounds like she's getting the bulk of her calories from the latter anyway, so think of the dry as supplementing those kitten-based nutrients. Also, it helps to take a very careful look to the food itself: if it's filled with grain and other non-meat fillers, that will not fill your kitten up so much as fattening her and leaving her in a constant state of hunger. I won't provide you with links, as you've already been given some adequate ones. Sure enough, I went and poked around online and found that Eukanuba Kitten Chicken Dry contains corn meal and corn grits. Respectively, they're the 3rd and 4th ingredient in line, which tells me that they make up between 20-30% of Mysty's food. There are a lot of better dry foods out there, which your vet might not be aware of... We eat Wellness Core, it's a dry food high in protein without corn or soy fillers. It is not by far the only high protein, no grain option. For dry, people routinely recommend brands like Innova, Orijen, Merrick's Before Grains and the like. Most of these brands also make well trusted Most wet food is going to be protein and moisture anyway, but what you can look out for is the kind of protein included. For example, chicken is better than chicken meal, which is in turn better than chicken by products. I do not advocate an all wet diet as it does not work for everybody, but these are things you always want to look for, regardless of what you decide to feed and in what quantity.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 11 June, 2009
    That should have read that most of those brands also make well trusted wet cat food. Anyway, here is an article on cats.about.com detailing what to look for in cat food. There's a bevy of related articles linked to that one that might be helpful. I find this source to be on the whole balanced and unbiased with its advice.
  • Karen VandenKaren Vanden heathmontMember Posts: 15
    edited 12 June, 2009
    Thanks very much for that info. Its good to get different advice. I have actually just switched from eukanuba to Royal Canin which they both seem to prefer. I have decided to keep giving the kitten kibble along with just one adult wet meal for her dinner. So we'll see how that goes. Basically, i feel she's at a good size now, and i would just like to maintain that throughout the rest of her growth period. I think i will just keep feeling her body and feed her the amounts that seem to keep her at that healthy weight...adjusting it if necessary.
  • Tina BTina B Vancouver IslandMember Posts: 2,238
    edited 12 June, 2009
    Misty we would urge you to look at the ingredients of the Royal Canin. As you will see there is alot of carbs and grain in the food, which our obligate carnivores just do not need. May we suggest some other brands that are low in carb and grain free. Wellness grain free Evo Natures Variety Instinct These are just a few that are on the top of my list. http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?p=359&more=1 =;
  • Karen VandenKaren Vanden heathmontMember Posts: 15
    edited 13 June, 2009
    I have heard these foods mentioned a lot on this site, but i have never seen those products for sale anywhere i live. i will have to look into this further.
  • BROOKE LOWRYBROOKE LOWRY TampaMember Posts: 6,037
    edited 15 June, 2009
    Misty, I would also second the comment about Royal Canin. Just because a food is on the pricier side does not make it good, unfortunately, and there are several foods that fit this description, including Science Diet, Nutro, Iams, and others. Also, just because a food was once good (Iams and Nutro are perfect examples of this), doesn’t mean it is now or will always be. Things are changing all the time, which means you have to keep your ear out and even if you have been buying the same food for awhile, periodically check the ingredient list, the website, etc. and watch for changes. As an example, two companies that I have used and trusted for years (Evangers and Nature’s Variety) are having issues. I’m sure you will have seen threads about both of them in the forum. You also have to worry not only about the brand itself, but who the co-packer is, if in fact there is one. A good, although disturbing, book to read is Foods Pets Die For, by Ann Martin. This is in its 3rd edition right now, and although it makes it harder to sleep at night, I think it’s one that every pet owner should read. Honestly if you are shopping at either Petco or Petsmart, the only foods available there that I would use would be Wellness, Natural Balance, Avoderm, and Blue Buffalo. The first three are available at Petco only – the latter is available at both Petco and Petsmart. If you are ok with ordering online, (I order regularly from K9Cuisine.com because they offer free shipping on orders over $50, so that way two cases of food gets me to that limit, and I don’t even have to waste gas or time going to get it! Orders usually ship same day, and I have had no issues with anything I’ve ever gotten from there.) you will have more to choose from, such as Wellness Core (Core is available at some Petcos, but not all of them, and, for example, is not available at my Petco that I shop at), Innova Evo, Ziwi Peak, Wenawewe, Go Natural, and Addiction. Some of all or these latter might be available to you locally as well, if you have a boutique-type store nearby. I know that one of the smaller stores near me carries the Evo. I also want to say, as well, that whatever brand you decide to feed, please make sure it is a canned food (or raw if you feel comfortable doing that). Dry food is not species appropriate for cats, and for more information on that, check out catinfo.org Oh, six months old is too young to worry about whether the cat is overweight, unless she is clearly, unequivocally so, which from her photograph she certainly does not appear to be. I did three meals per day for my kittens up to a year old and then went to twice a day, although I will still give them a snack if they seem hungry. Honestly, a species-appropriate diet of raw (or canned) food will almost always mean that your cat stays at a healthy weight, unless you grossly overfeed her. It is cats that are fed dry food who are often overweight and have a host of other issues like FLUTD, etc. Feed them the right things in controlled portions suitable to their age and activity level, and you really should not have much to worry about. I’d cut out the dry food she’s getting, add in a 3rd small meal of canned or raw if you can manage it with your schedule (if not don’t stress too much), and then just enjoy your cat! (BTW, separate feeding is going to be necessary, it seems, as it often is for people with more than one cat.) Good luck!
  • Jordan SpivaJordan Spiva Los Angeles,CAMember Posts: 355
    edited 30 June, 2009
    Eukanuba is one of those low quality foods. Have you tried brands like Innova and Wellness? It's also not surprising she has an appetit. She's a growing kitten and this is normal.
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