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This is Lilo, she's about 8 months old now. She's been to the vet and has been treated for coccidia, which at first the medications seemed to help her tremendously. It's been about a month and a half now and she's still very thin (i can count her ribs and her bones on her back end stick out a bit). Does it take a long time for kittens to gain back the weight?? she was at 4 lbs when we brought her in for her first visit, and 3 lbs when she got in the last time for coccidia... 2 months between visits. We've got her on dry kitten food, a brand like the diamond cat food we get from the feed store. I forget what the kitten food is called but its a chicken (not by-product) and rice formula. I also started her on some wet cat food lately because its something she gobbles down... fancy feast kitten food. Is there anything I can do besides feeding her the recommened daily amount of food? Should I give her more? or would that just cause belly aches? Right now she's curled up in my lap between my tummy and the laptop keeping warm and cozy... would it help her to have a warming mat or something so she can stay a bit warmer? I was just thinking of the extra energy it takes to stay warm.. the house isn't very warm. If anybody has any good advice it would be much appreciated. The vet seemed really sure it was coccidia, but we also tested her for luekemia, and that came back negative.

This is her most recent pic:
 

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My son's cat was borderline diabetic and we had to look for calorie dense, quality foods to help her gain back the weight she lost before she was diagnosed.

We chose Innova Evo dry as it has around 600 cal/cup. She doesn't eat a whole cup every day, but she ate enough to do a nice steady weight gain (you want muscle, not fat). We monitor her urine output and her water intake, as that is the big concern with using dry.

We tried canned food - from the high quality to junk- and she hated it.
 

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I agree with Mom of 4. I'd feed her a high-quality, grain free wet food with high protein. EVO is a very good choice, but if it's not available where you are, other good choices would include Nature's Instinct, Wellness, or any other wet food noted as grain free. The other thing you can try is Nutri-Cal, which is a dietary supplement.
 

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Feed her more. Feeding guidelines on commercial cat foods are just that - guidelines. They're not law, and they don't apply to all felines equally. Ignore the guidelines, and feed your kitten what she needs, which is quite clearly MORE FOOD. I also agree that you should significantly improve the quality of the food you are feeding her. Rice has no place in the feline diet. Choose premium quality, grain-free foods. Better yet, you may want to visit the raw food forum and explore that option. I have raised three kittens, all of whom were in states of starvation when I found them, on a raw diet, and they all recovered quickly and thrived on it. My newest ex-starving rescue came to me at 4-6 mos old, two days after last Thanksgiving. He is now 7-9 mos old and just over 10 lbs (and somewhat chubbier than he should be).

A more species-appropriate diet will help your kitten improve, so ditch or minimize the kibble, and increase the canned (or go raw or homemade). Regardless of what you feed her, feed her more of it.

Laurie
 

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I have started feeding her more, although I'm trying to keep clear of a all raw diet because I can't afford to feed 3 cats like that. I do give chicken out as treats from time to time. Lilo has gotten very smart and I now have to keep the lid on the garbage can closed or she'll be in it eating up the fatty bits from the chicken I trim off. I did find the Nutri-cal at Petco but I've never even heard of Evo, but I'll look around for it. Lilo is eating her own special diet of the dry kitten food I already have (I don't remember seeing other options for kittens at our local feed store that doesn't have by-products in the first 2 or 3 ingredients.) and fancy feast canned kitten food, Along with the Nutri-cal.
what's the best way to help her build muscle? I've tried getting her to play (for short periods atleast) but she's just not interested. The only toys she liked she managed to destroy in her excitement. Get's a growling thing going on... I miss that. Her only interest lately is soft yummy (what I'd call spoiled kitty foods). I'm starting to accept she may be a canned food kitty but my other two cats eat dry food very well. In fact Missy just licks the canned stuff till its dry and leaves it.

Thanks everybody for your help so far.
 

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Canned food is so much better for a cat than dry...it is a great thing when they eat all wet food not a bad thing:wink Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition :: healthy cat diet, making cat food, litter box, cat food, cat nutrition, cat urinary tract health and Species-Inappropriate: The Dangers of Dry Food are two good sites to read through, the second one listed has many more articles as well.

I also agree with visiting the raw food sub-forum on here and learning more about that option.
 

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I did look at the websites, what I think I'm going to do and have started doing is giving her a portion of what I'm cooking for raw meats that day (as long as she's been good...sometimes she pee's or more lately poop's outside the litter box.......already seen by a vet and has a clean bill of health). She's getting a small dish of dry cat food as well as canned food (fancy feast kitten food). Nutri-cal for breakfast also. I gave her a little ground beef (cooked... but is that ok??) and she just got into a purr like none other.
 

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Yeah, I'd look into Evo or some other high protein/ grain free quality food. Petfooddirect.com is VERY reasonable IMO. As someone else said the recommended amount is just that...a recommendation. If she's not putting on weight on that how about an extra feeding or two a day. Instead of increasing a single meal to enormous amounts just give her an extra feeding or two. That should help prevent tummy troubles from a great increase in food. When I switched Mow to Evo he lost some weight because he had SO much more energy to race around so I started feeding him an extra feed @ lunchtime and he pudged back up pretty quick.

Also, I think that you should start with the food and the muscle will follow after naturally because she'll have hella more energy and build herself up. MowMow was really lethargic on his old dry/cheap canned food and now that he's on the Nature's Balance/EVO he's a WILDMAN. He would play sometimes but now he's always jumping on bits of stuff on the floor and chasing imaginary creatures all the time. He's awake more than he's asleep now (It's actually quite obnoxious at times). He's got great muscle tone and is one strong little monster.
 

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When my cat was skinny as a kitten I gave him goats milk. Not the stuff in a can but from Trader Joes. He wouldnt go near the stuff in the cans. It helped put the pounds on. Your vet has ruled out everything else that could be stopping his weight gain?
 

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Lilo has been to the vet quite a few times since we've gotten her and the vet was very sure about the coccidia... and she improved tremendously on the medication. She's been getting a little more active since I started the Nutri-cal and addition of canned food. What gets me is my male cat Stitch does great on the dry food diet... obnoxious, chasing imaginary things and sometimes just plain nuts. Missy is about 10 yrs old and since adding "friends" to the household has been more energetic than I've ever seen her. When she lived with my fiance's mom she would never play... just sleep and beg for food (she was on a by-product crud dry food). To those concerned about the cats being on a dry food diet... I have been doing some looking into it. I'm going to look more into it and ask around.

One question about Lilo's behavior if anybody is still following this.... is it normal for an 8 to 9 month old kitten to be attached to one person in particular??? No matter what I'm doing it seems she's always around me... could be because I'm the one who usually feeds her... but I've always known female cats to be a little independent while their young then as they age start to get a little more friendly... but thats just been my observation. I guess I've always had better luck with the neutered males, and every female cat I've ever owned myself has had some kind of attitude like "i don't like the way you look at me so I'm going to poop on your term paper"... kind of thing. Lilo is kinda like that... had a cat when I was little that would go once or twice in her litter box and then poo or pee in front of the kitchen sink to express her disproval. Just curious if anybody knows anything about that kind of thing.
 
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