Newly adopted kitten not eating or drinking water since coming from the shelter. Help please!

I recently adopted a 10 week old kitten and brought her home last night. She was spayed before she left the shelter and since coming home she has not touched her food or water. It is now the morning and she still refuses to eat or drink. She will approach the bowl, smell it, and back off (wet/dry food both, water too/ tried changing temperature/changing bowl). What can I do to encourage her to eat/drink and when should I start panicking?

Asked by Member 1151847 on Jan 25th 2013 in Food & Nutrition
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Poor little baby! She is very young and it is not uncommon for a kitten to not want to eat after surgery. The anesthesia is probably making her nauseous. I would try a jar of baby food - only Beechnut, as it doesn't have any onion or garlic powder in it. It is all natural broth (chicken, turket or beef flavors). If that doesn't work, call the vet ASAP and get her in for some fluids in the next 24 hours. Hope she feels better soon! Hope the baby food works until she gets her appetite back! Best of luck with your new baby!

Member 185886 answered on 1/25/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Izadore (Izzie)

Guest is right. Also, kittens will often pop up with upper respiratory infections due to stress. Your baby had surgery and then was shipped off to a new home. As much as you love her, she is stressed out. If she can't smell her food, she won't eat. Are you feeding what they did at the shelter? Is she using the box? Hiding? In any case, keep a close eye on her. It doesn't take long for those little bodies to crash, and as today is Friday, it may be difficult to get her in to see a vet. If you don't already have your own vet, now is the time to get one on board. Shelter vets do the best they can, but with the sheer volume of animals they see and treat, sometimes little things get by them. If she's not eating by tonight, I'd call a vet.

Izadore (Izzie) answered on 1/25/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I hope the kitten is feeling better! If you took her to the vet before the weekend, then disregard this advice. I second the suggestion of using baby food. Both Beechnut and Gerber make ham, chicken, beef, and turkey baby food that is made only with meat and water (garlic and onion are toxic to cats). It has a stronger odor than cat food and can stimulate the appetite. Try it alone and if it gets their attention, try mixing it with some canned kitten food. Do a scruff test on her to see if she's dehydrated. If the skin at the scruff of her neck doesn't snap back down quickly, she needs fluids. Unflavored Pedialyte works wonders. If you can't get her to drink, you'll need to force feed it to her with a syringe (you can get baby syringes at any pharmacy). At 10 weeks, you're probably looking at 6-7 cc of Pedialyte every 2-3 hours.

Trek answered on 1/27/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer