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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
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New kitten adjustment period?

Do you guys have any advice on helping a shelter kitty feel welcome and secure? I've only had strays and barn cats in the past who adjusted instantly, but this little guy is sick. He currently has an upper respiratory infection, and was a failure to thrive, so he's very tiny for his age. He's 8 months and is the size of a 4-5 month old kitten.

He has four types of food to munch, and he's only taken a nibble out of each with no interest in further munching. He did have an accident on the floor last night, so I put his litter box, food and water in the bathroom for the night with a warm blankey and he did use the litter box several times. His stool was liquidy but the last usage looked like it was firming up a bit; I'll assume that's stress.

What can I do to help him eat a little more?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 01:50 PM
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Ooh poor little guy. I assume you have not had him very long. The mix of new home new mom and the URI is quite stressful for him. I would first keep him in the safe room for a bit so he can get used to this room as his. Spend lots of time in with him just sitting and quietly readin or talking to him to help him gain trust You probably need something to feed him with that has a strong smell as the URI is blocking this probably. Also the runny poop might be his medication. Hopefully my post will bump you to the home page for those with lots of experience in URI and kittens not eating can help more
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 01:53 PM
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He may take a few days to adjust to a new home, new smells, new routines. When we bring a new kitten in, we keep it separated for at least a week (and then a vet visit to ensure it isn't going to share anything with the resident population). I usually go and sit in the new kitten's room and talk to it...let it smell my glasses (sunglasses if you don't have glasses)....maybe play a bit with a feather stick toy. Leave a ticking clock in there...maybe a radio on very low.

With a URI, he may not be able to smell his food too well. When he trusts you a bit more, you could wipe a tiny bit of all meat baby food on his paw for him to lick off. If he is in the bathroom, you could turn on the shower really hot to steam up the room a bit for him once in a while..helps clear the sinuses so he can smell food.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-31-2015, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to force feed him, we got a little dropper and kitten formula. I'm also buying a little blender to pulverize his wet food and help him eat with a syringe. He's just too tiny and underweight to risk anything else.

He does like me, which is good. He doesn't like his food, but did show a lot of interest in my chimichanga. He's a lot more relaxed today, he's hanging out on his cat tree, looking out the window.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 06:36 AM
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Don't feed him the chimichanga. Get some tuna flavored cat food or even some pureed baby food - chicken with NOTHING added. Check the ingredients to be sure there is no onion or garlic in it. These are deadly to cats. A URI can rob their appetites and a loss of smell or taste and really make it almost impossible to feed them. I'm glad you are able to get SOME food down him with the dropper. You might ask your vet for a 10ml oral syringe - that would help tremendously.

Additionally, it can take weeks for a URI to run it's course. It usually gets worse before it gets better. Watch his eyes for goopiness and his nose for dripping or green snot. If you see these then get him to the vet for a check. They can help with the rest.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-01-2015, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Haha, I know not to give him mexican food. It was just funny dealing with him crawling all over me to try to get it.

He's actually eating a lot more on his own today. We have kitten milk and some raw food which he seems to like. He doesn't eat much at a time, but he is pretty tiny. I've been wiping his tear stains and nose gently with a microfiber cloth and saline.
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