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Kitten food for underweight adult cat?

Discuss ways to improve the quality of your cat's life and longevity through proper nutrition; a place for all of your questions and answers about feeding your kitty!

Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times. Non-informative posts criticizing a particular brand or another poster's choice of food are not allowed in this Forum. References to any brand of food as "junk," "garbage," or other harsh names will be removed.

  
Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Thu Jul 17, '08 6:41am PST 
Although kitten food is not recommended for adult cats (except pregnant/nursing mothers), is it acceptable for underweight cats like Harvey? Right now he's still eating Science Diet kitten food, because it's one of the few foods he will eat, and because I still haven't had time to collate all the information I've gotten from this site to figure out what better foods to buy and where (we're in Japan). I realize that Science Diet kitten food is not the best food out there, but is kitten food, in general, permissable for underweight cats? BTW, Japanese vets are about as clueless about food issues as American vets tend to be.
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Atrus

Fluff butt
 
 
Purred: Thu Jul 17, '08 8:22am PST 
My advice was gonna be to ask a vet, but I dunno how helpful that would be. I know I have heard of people doing this, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the healthiest thing to do.

Harvey is a Maine Coon, right? And only around a year old? Many Ragdoll breeders recommend keeping cats on their kitten food until they are 18 months old at least, since they are a very large, slow maturing breed. So I could see this as being okay for Maine Coons as well.

I wouldn't, say, put a 4 year old cat back on to kitten food to help them gain weight, but if Harvey has just never been transitioned off of kitten food and he's still very young, I don't think there would be any harm in continuing it a bit longer.
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Quetzal

Wild thing u- make my heart- sing ♥
 
 
Purred: Thu Jul 17, '08 8:43pm PST 
Well, if you're looking for him to put on some weight, then trying a more high nutrient food (such as a grain free like EVO or Indigo Moon) will help him put on some weight, and it doesn't have some of the gross stuff that Science Diet has in it. Kitten food alone isn't bad, but feeding a better brand will help with the weight issue.
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jul 18, '08 8:44am PST 
The problem with Harvey is that he is currently refusing to eat anything but Science Diet and El Cheapo tuna canned food. He is capable of going days without eating if he doesn't get what he wants, and his stubbornness is wearing me down. Better a live cat eating Science Diet with all the icky stuff in it, than a dead cat with a full plate of Wellness in front of him. He is driving me craaaaazeeee...
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Quetzal

Wild thing u- make my heart- sing ♥
 
 
Purred: Fri Jul 18, '08 12:53pm PST 
I had a similar problem with my kitty Kashmir when I first got her- she was used to the junk that the shelter was giving her (I think it was Friskies or something like that), and she turned her nose up at the good stuff I gave her. Have you tried mixing a little bit of real tuna (or even better- crab or shrimp) with it? Not too much of course, because of the mercury, but a little bit to give it a strong fishy aroma will really help entice a cat to eat it. I would sometimes pour the drippings from the can right onto her food, and she loved it. Now she just eats it straight, but putting some smelly fish of some sort into it (I found shrimp worked the best, actually) will help get him to eat it. ^^ Some cooked chicken might work too, but I had better success with really fishy smells.
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Abbie- (always in- my heart)

I'm fat, I'm- fluffy and I'm- full of love
 
 
Purred: Fri Jul 18, '08 3:12pm PST 
I agree that Maine Coons can be slow to reach their full weight and that keeping him on a kitten food right now should not be an issue. Cats will actually starve themselves rather than eat something they don't like. So you are correct to feed him what he will eat. I would avoid the el-cheapo tuna, though, and stick with Science Diet, which may not be the best, but it certainly isn't the worst you can do. My cat, Abbie, ate Science Diet most of her life and lived to be 18. Sure, I would have loved to have had her longer than that, but she was a pretty healthy girl until she got cancer. She was part Maine Coon, by the way, which is where I get my assumption that they don't reach their full size until their second year. She was pretty scrawny, more like her DSH mother until after he second birthday when she miraculously morphed into a giant kitty looking more like her Maine Coon daddy.

Do what works for you. Keep him eating.

Jenna (also Binks' Mommy)
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Harvey

Has been COTD!
 
 
Purred: Fri Jul 18, '08 4:48pm PST 
Thanks, Binks' Mommy. I looked at Abbie's page, and she was a LOVELY girl, and so Maine Coonish. Harvey definitely has an eating problem--he's fussy and has a soft stool thing going on that the vet doesn't seem too concerned about--but the two girls chow down on whatever I give them, especially kibble, which I know is now not considered as good for cats as wet, but at least they eat with gusto. Leila seems to have more or less stopped growing, at 1 year and 10 pounds, but Chibi, even though she is already 9 pounds at 8 months, has those huge puppy paws and colt legs that say she's going to stretch out and get, not just fatter, but bigger. And yes, I had a cat who lived on Science Diet Adult for 18 years, who died in my arms of simple old age.
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Milla

815043
 
 
Purred: Sat Jul 19, '08 3:59am PST 
i'm going through the same thing with my kitty that i just adopted. she's underweight and the only food she seems to like eating is the science diet kitten formula. i definitely want to transition her off that brand bc of the ingredients. i've been able to mix the BG (before grain) brand plain chicken in there and each time i increased the ratio of BG to science diet. i thought i could trick her with some wellness turkey this morning w/Science Diet but no go... I really hope she eats something! I did leave some dry out overnight bc I was concerned she barely ate last night too.
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Chloe

807629
 
 
Purred: Sat Jul 19, '08 7:38am PST 
Milla~~~

You use Before Grain Chicken??? No one else on here seems to so I am excited to see your post!!! I bought a sample bag and have been scared to use it. It seems to be the only grain free with not too high of protein and still has a decent calorie count. I have done all the math with it but to be honest the figures do not help me.

Do you, like it? Do you think it is a good brand? Healthy food? What made you choose it? Tons of questions I know...I am going to try and get up to my local pet shop, a BG rep is going to be there.

Thanks Chloe and Callie

Edited by author Sat Jul 19, '08 7:51am PST

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