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Ok, we got a 6-7 week old kitten on Wednesday (so 5-days ago). We got him from an individual that had a couple adult cats that picked on him.

Anyway, we are doing quite well. We were able to spend Wednesday evening, and all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with him. He is real good at using the litter box so that is not an issue.

Here is what the issue is: Dry cat food.

I have read the arguments of dry vs. wet kitten food. The argument is moot since he will need to eat dry cat food. If I didn't have to work and could feed him wet cat food all day long, then that would be just dandy, but it ain't happening. I will suppliment dry cat food with wet in the evenings perhaps and of course have lots of water available. At least he will not lose his teeth (like some other cats that eat solely wet cat food - and cats do die from gum disease). Yes, there are strong arguments for dry cat food vs. wet also...

So here is the question: How do I get him to start eating dry food? I have fed him this morning with wet food and have dry food available, but I will not be back until after work. I have heard adding a little water to the dry food, mixing the dry food with wet, adding cat milk sub to the dry food, and even adding cow's milk to the dry food. Up until now I have only added water and mixed the food. Nothing is working yet. I know, his teeth might not be ready for it also...

What do you think?
 

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Welcome!!

Most of us here who work put the wet food down and walk out the door. Problem solved. And contrary to the myth, dry food does NOT clean cat's teeth. The ends of their sharp teeth shatter it, if they chew it at all. Charlee hoovers it down without breathing.

We have lots of people here who would give anything if their cats ate wet food.

Wetting down dry food is bad if they don't eat it right away, the moisture causes bacteria to grow.

Why Cats Need Canned Food | Little Big Cat
 

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Ok, we got a 6-7 week old kitten on Wednesday (so 5-days ago). We got him from an individual that had a couple adult cats that picked on him.

Anyway, we are doing quite well. We were able to spend Wednesday evening, and all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with him. He is real good at using the litter box so that is not an issue.

Here is what the issue is: Dry cat food.

I have read the arguments of dry vs. wet kitten food. The argument is moot since he will need to eat dry cat food. If I didn't have to work and could feed him wet cat food all day long, then that would be just dandy, but it ain't happening. I will suppliment dry cat food with wet in the evenings perhaps and of course have lots of water available. At least he will not lose his teeth (like some other cats that eat solely wet cat food - and cats do die from gum disease). Yes, there are strong arguments for dry cat food vs. wet also...

So here is the question: How do I get him to start eating dry food? I have fed him this morning with wet food and have dry food available, but I will not be back until after work. I have heard adding a little water to the dry food, mixing the dry food with wet, adding cat milk sub to the dry food, and even adding cow's milk to the dry food. Up until now I have only added water and mixed the food. Nothing is working yet. I know, his teeth might not be ready for it also...

What do you think?
At his age he probably just hasn't been weaned onto it yet. I agree with Marie that wet food (or raw food) is best though.

I'd suggest the best option is to feed wet food in meals. Cats don't need to graze throughout the day and set meals are best. Also keep in mind that at his age he needs to eat a minimun of three times a day. It's best if you can do it morning, noon, and night, but if that isn't possible with your work schedule you can feed him in the morning before work, as soon as you get home, and then again before dinner. If you still want to wean him onto dry, you'll still have to start off by feeding in meals. I've put the method I've successfully used with many kittens below.

One more comment about dry food, then I'll tell you how to do it. Dry food does NOT clean their teeth. This is one of the most common myths out there for dry food. If you think about it it doesn't make any sense though. To begin with most cats don't even chew dry kibbles, they jut mouth them a bit and swallow them whole. Even if your cat DOES chew the dry kibbles saying that they'll clean the kitten's teeth is like saying eating dry cheerios, pretzels, will clean your teeth. It simply isn't true.

If you do want to wean him onto dry you have to start by buying food he will eat. Make sure you buy a good quality kibble (EVO, Wellness, ect.). Also keep in mind that at his age he needs to eat a minimun of three times a day. It's best if you can do it morning, noon, and night, but if that isn't possible with your work schedule you can feed him in the morning before work, as soon as you get home, and then again before dinner. (this works for wet food too...*hint hint* ;) )

1. Mash the kibble up. I put them in a bag and took a hammer to it. Smash them up nice and small. Put the smashed kibble on a plate (not a bowl) and add some of the wet food he likes. Add a bit of tap water, as hot as your tap will go, and let it sit for about 5 minutes, or until it's warm but not hot and the kibbles are soft and mushy. Feed the kitten.

2. Once the kitten is happily eating mashed kibbles mixed with wet food and soaked you start soaking the kibbles less and less so they gradually become more crunchy.

3. Once the kitten doesn't mind un-soaked kibbles start reducing the amount of wet food you're mixing in until they eat the kibbles plain.

I strongly suggest you feed him somewhere with a hard floor. Kittens are messy and at his age he'll probably still be getting plenty of food all over himself. A good way to do this is to feed him in his safe room, where he spends his time while you aren't at home to supervise him. Feeding him there will also help you put him away, and teach him nice thingws happen there. A kitten his age really shouldn't be left unsupervised free in your home, he could hurt himself, or learn bad habits, and make big meses...trust me. I learned that lesson the hard way, so did many of our other forum members. :)

The whole process from wet food to dry kibble took about a week with Doran, and about the same with all the foster kittens I've had. It does go quicker if there's an adult cat to show them it's food, but I'm guessing you don't have that option.

If you mix wet and dry food you can't leave it down for more than 15 minutes. Dry food is meant to stay dry, and wetting it will cause a bacteria bloom which could make your kitten sick. Keep that in mind when you're feeding and make sure you pick the food up after that time.

The same is basically true for wet food, if it starts to look 'yucky' or crusty it needs to be thrown out. But it's not as big of an issue as when you wet dry food.
 
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