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We recently adopted a rescued street kitten named Chuy and he is about 5 weeks old now. It's been a long time since I lived with a kitten so I have some questions.

1) He has started eating canned "baby cat" food which is sort of like pureed kitten food. He likes it a lot but he never goes to the bowl on his own and starts eating like I'm used to with other cats. I always have to put some food on my finger and pretty much force him to taste it, then get him to follow my finger to the bowl, then he starts pigging out. Is that normal? It's almost as if he doesn't have much of a sense of smell. Or maybe he'd just rather be fed with a bottle?

2) Whenever he eats he ALWAYS puts his feet in the bowl, and with wet food that's just gross. It's frustrating because sometimes I give him a bath and then he does it again 10 minutes later. The bowl isn't too big for him, its the smallest bowl I could find. I can't even hold his feet down when he eats as he always tries his hardest to put them on the food. Any advice on how to get him to be less of a pig?

3) I have yet to see him drink water. We still feel him kitten milk replacement form the pet store through a bottle because we're worried he won't get enough fluids. Lately we've been diluting it a bit to make sure he gets water. Occasionally he'll step in his water bowl (which he really dislikes) and one or twice I've seen him put his nose into it and then get scared and jump back /sneeze. I'm starting to get worried that when I'm at work he isn't drinking any water at all and thats probably not healthy. Any advice on how to teach him to drink his water?

4) He's starting to become quite playful, which is normal for a kitten, but I've noticed that he is biting me a lot when he is playful. It's not hard enough to hurt and he sometimes mixes licks with biting, but I'm not used to the biting, at least I don't remember my other kitten biting me ever. Is it normal to bite me? Is he just play fighting like he'd do with other kittens, or do I have to worry that I am teaching him bad behavior by tolerating his biting. I worry that some day when he gets stronger, it might actually hurt, unless it's just a kitten thing.

I know this is a lot but I appreciate anybody who can help me out with these 4 questions. Thanks in advance!!

-Jax and Chuy.
:cat





 

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Ok.. #1 &2 : most kittens are little pigs at this age. Most are also still being fed by mom and going through weaning. so it will take you teaching him what solid food is. Most of the kittens I have had at this age put their feet in their food, I had one that insisted on all 4 feet in his bowl. I just kept a damp washcloth handy, they will grow out of it.. usually. Most even grow out of the piggy stage. How many times a day are you feeding?

#3 : as long as he is getting wet food and milk he will probably skimp on the water. as long as his skin snaps back when pulled at the neck he is not dehydrated. Once again, you have to teach him to drink, cats have a low thirst drive anyways and he is getting what he needs from the bottle.

#4: the kitten is 5 weeks. which is quite young. this is about the time mom and other siblings teach each kitten how hard to bite when playing. You will have to take their place. when he bites make a yelping noise or a sharp sound and remove your hand from the play zone. after a few moments resume, repeat. he will learn not to bite or scratch hard.

Mostly he sounds like a normal kitten.
 

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Thanks for your reply. We're feeding him his wet food maybe 3 times per day, plus milk whenever he begs for it. Each time we feed him as much as he wants to eat. How much should I be feeding him?
 

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#1, #2, #3, and #4 are are normal behavior for a 5 wk. old kitten. For #4, he's teething, so when he bites your fingers, give him something to bite on...a small "Kong" toy, or stuffed toy or one of those big plastic straws. He's a little cutie patutie!
 

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We recently adopted a rescued street kitten named Chuy and he is about 5 weeks old now. It's been a long time since I lived with a kitten so I have some questions.

1) He has started eating canned "baby cat" food which is sort of like pureed kitten food. He likes it a lot but he never goes to the bowl on his own and starts eating like I'm used to with other cats. I always have to put some food on my finger and pretty much force him to taste it, then get him to follow my finger to the bowl, then he starts pigging out. Is that normal? It's almost as if he doesn't have much of a sense of smell. Or maybe he'd just rather be fed with a bottle?
At his age (which I'd put about 5-6 weeks) that's normal. Kittens have a super short attention span, and he's still learning what is food. Put those two together and you get exactly what you're seeing.

This is a great time to introduce him to as many different flavors as possible! Buy good quality canned food in every flavor you can find, and give him something new every day. If he only ever eats one thing he won't believe other flavors are food. It is MUCH easier to teach a kitten to eat a wide variety of things than it is to convince an adult cat you aren't trying to poison them, lol.

Personally I'd also give him tiny strips of raw meat too, raw food is very healthy for cats and it's really easy to teach him it's yummy at this age.

Whatever you do just keep encouraging him to eat. He will eventually catch on that he can do it without you showing him first, but it might take a little while.

2) Whenever he eats he ALWAYS puts his feet in the bowl, and with wet food that's just gross. It's frustrating because sometimes I give him a bath and then he does it again 10 minutes later. The bowl isn't too big for him, its the smallest bowl I could find. I can't even hold his feet down when he eats as he always tries his hardest to put them on the food. Any advice on how to get him to be less of a pig?
Not really. He's a baby. Babies are messy. The best way I found to deal with this was to use a wet warm washcloth and have a little grooming session after food time. This encourages the kitten to groom themselves, and it is normal for them to grrom right after a meal. So, use the cloth to make short stroking motions, with the grain of his fur, all over his body. Paws too! It will help him bond closely with you, tolerate grooming, and teach him to clean himself. It's an all win situation :)

If you follow a short grooming routine after every meal he will eventually catch on. Part of the issue is that he's very clumsy right now and he probably feels like he's going to fall over into the food. Coordination comes with age.

3) I have yet to see him drink water. We still feel him kitten milk replacement form the pet store through a bottle because we're worried he won't get enough fluids. Lately we've been diluting it a bit to make sure he gets water. Occasionally he'll step in his water bowl (which he really dislikes) and one or twice I've seen him put his nose into it and then get scared and jump back /sneeze. I'm starting to get worried that when I'm at work he isn't drinking any water at all and thats probably not healthy. Any advice on how to teach him to drink his water?
First he needs to learn to drink from a bowl. Use his kitten milk, and instead of putting it in a bottle put it in a low bowl, or a small plate. He WILL stomp in it *shrug*. I suggest having a video camera handy, cause this will be adorable and hilarious :)

Get a drop of milk on your finger and hold it to his mouth. He should try to mouth or lick your finger. Each time he does get a new drop of milk, but hold your finger slightly closer to the milk in the dish. Gradually you'll be lowering your hand until he's licking your finger submerged in the milk. Slowly try taking your finger away. Most kittens will immediately stick their whole face in the bowl, then sneeze and shake adorably. Repeat the fingers in bowl bit until he seems to understand.

Once he's having no problems drinking from a bowl and doesn't need even the littlest bit of finger help THEN you start diluting the milk with warm water. Eventually he'll be drinking water straight from his dish.

4) He's starting to become quite playful, which is normal for a kitten, but I've noticed that he is biting me a lot when he is playful. It's not hard enough to hurt and he sometimes mixes licks with biting, but I'm not used to the biting, at least I don't remember my other kitten biting me ever. Is it normal to bite me? Is he just play fighting like he'd do with other kittens, or do I have to worry that I am teaching him bad behavior by tolerating his biting. I worry that some day when he gets stronger, it might actually hurt, unless it's just a kitten thing.

I know this is a lot but I appreciate anybody who can help me out with these 4 questions. Thanks in advance!!

-Jax and Chuy.
:cat
It is normal for him to bite you, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. Don't use your hands to play fight with him, that will teach him that hands are a good target and as he gets bigger it will really be painful!

Instead grab a stuffed toy and use that to wrestle with. Encourage him to wrestle the toy. If he misses and bites you instead drop the toy and walk away. (He's too small for any real corrections, and if you do this right he won't ever need any!)
30 seconds later (literally, walk to the other side of the room, stand facing him for a second or two) come back to him, grab the toy again, and encourage him to wrestle it.

I'd also suggest getting a wand toy. It's always better for fun things to NOT be a part of your body. It might be cute at this age, but he will get bigger, and a biting wrestling year old cat really hurts.

The most important thing for you to remember is that since he's so young you have to be both mum and littermates. If you want him to learn manners the only way will be for you to teach him. This means that you should NEVER encourage him to wrestle with people, bite arms, hands, or feet, or climb you. Whenever you are interacting with him, correcting him, or ignoring him he is learning something. Keep that in mind and think about what you WANT him to learn.

He's a baby, so at his age learning is gentle. If he guesses wrong just ignore him for a few seconds, then show him what the right choice would be.

It sounds like you're doing very well with him, and he's certainly very cute! Good luck with raising your little buddy!

I have a blogpost (linked below in my signature) about raising young kittens. I'd suggest you read through it. Feel free to message me if you have a question about it :)
 

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I agree with all Librarychick said and would add one thing...


Now, while he's young, start trimming his nails. Watch out for the quick (that'll hurt). You can even ask your vet to show you how and where...

It's so much easier if they learn from any early age and if he does scratch you in play or by being clumsy it will hurt a lot less.
 

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*added* I take back my earlier guess. I think he's somewhere around 4-5 weeks. His ear tips are still droopy...I LOVE droopy ear tips. Oh baby kittens!
 

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OMG~!!!
Chug is soo cuute~!!!
I kinda was in a similiar situation to yours 2 months ago when i picked up my Sonic~
Btw the advice from everyone who posted before me *i really owe u guys lots* and everyone on here really works, this is the correct place to be ^^
The paws in food part will pass soon i believe, my Sonic started with paws in food too~!
Do u have a pic of his eating bowl?

Biting + clawing was really quite a big issue for me too -_-
It really took me a long time to get him to not bite so aggressively, and fortunately he doesnt bites as much or as hard as he used to nowadays~
Recently Im actually applying those baby medicated oil on the feet to deter him from biting or atking anyone and it works like a charm, but i suggest u dun try it yet as Chug is still so very young~
Hang in there with the biting and have fun with Chug~
^^

*btw if ur inexperienced with the nail clipping, i suggest its better to leave it to the vet, as the nails now are really still quite small at this age, i let my vet handle the clipping for the first 2 months since i was going to bring him for vaccination twice anyways~
 
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