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Some background, my kitten Bear is the runt from a feral colony. He had to lay in a bowl of kibble to try to save some for himself, until the people who live nearby noticed and started giving him canned on his own. I took him in and was feeding him as much as he wanted, because he was quite underweight (I could feel his ribs and his backbone stuck out a lot) and had parasites. When he'd eat like he wanted, his belly would get huge throughout the day, but would be down by the next morning because he'd pooped and digested during the night. Now my vet says I should cut back a little bit, as he's starting to get round in the mid-section. I've been trying to reduce his food intake, but Bear screams and meowing when he sees the my other two cats get food (they're on a different schedule as they are adults and only get fed twice a day) and tries to steal their food. He rubs all over my legs and puts his front paws on me while I'm making their food, practically crawls into the fridge, and continually cries. Does this actually mean he's still hungry, or is it psychological because he used to have trouble getting food? If he is still hungry, do I ignore it to control his weight, or let him eat so he gets full? He eats Blue Wilderness kitten food and will be switched to Wellness CORE once this case of Blue is gone. I estimate that he's 4.5 months old (the people I got him from are not sure exactly when the feral momma had the kitties) and he is currently getting 7 oz of food per day (1 can in the morning, 2/3 can in the afternoon, and 2/3 in the evening). If you need any more info, just let me know. Thanks! :)
 

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He is most of the time... he had a really bad parasitic infection when I got him, though, so that and the accompanying diarrhea had him less active for a while. He'd been extremely active til this last week, when he an intranasal vaccine and has had some side effects (it's like he has a cold, runny nose, goopy, squinty eye, and sneezing) but he's still pretty active.
 

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7oz may not be enough then. Active kittens will need more food than an adult. You could try giving him a whole can for his final meal of the day.

The kitten food says to feed 2oz per lb of body weight. What does he weigh?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Bear is still meowing like crazy... of course, if it's a bad habit, habits take a while to break, and I'm afraid of him ending up obese... but I'm also afraid of him being hungry all the time. 0_o
 

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I hope someone else chimes in here because I am in no way an expert. I did read that if you feed your kitten smaller portions 4 or 5 times a day, they won't get that big belly. I don't know if that is possible for you, but it might help. Did the vet see Bear after one of his huge meals? Maybe that is why the vet thought Bear was getting a bit chunky? I don't think you should limit his food until he is 7 or 8 months old. Little guy has a lot to make up! I think the kitten weight estimate is 1 pound per month, which gets them to the "average" 12 pound weight by the time they are a year old. Using that estimate, Bear should be around 4.5 pounds by now.
 

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Yea, he had eaten a can by the time the vet saw him... I'll try to feed him in more meals and hopefully that will help with the belly. OSCARSMOM I think he will always be behind weight-wise... he had a bad infection with roundworm and coccidia the first 2-3 months of his life and it stunted his growth. I know he'll get some bigger, though, because his paws and tail are too big for his body lol. Scottd I'm a sucker for it too... I feel horrible cutting him off and will probably end up indulging him more until he really does seem like he's getting overweight to me. :-/ I guess I'll just have to see how it goes.
 

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Yea, I'm going to say that he's still too young to be cutting back his food. He's got a lot of growing to do and he'll need lots of food to do it. I'd be feeding him as much as he wants.
 

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Yea, I'm going to say that he's still too young to be cutting back his food. He's got a lot of growing to do and he'll need lots of food to do it. I'd be feeding him as much as he wants.
And especially since he had some parasites and other ailments. I would give him how much he wants, especially if he's active.
 

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Kittens can rebound amazingly well from early malnutrition, once they're being fed properly. I've rescued three starving kittens in the past. Roxie was somewhere between 6-9 mos old and weighed only 3.75 lbs. She was severely starved. She picked up 2.5 lbs in her first month here and topped out at about 10 lbs as an adult. Then there were the GoBoys (Gomer and Goober), who I found starving on my road at about 5-6 weeks old. They were very skinny but not nearly as emaciated as Roxie was when I found her. The GoBoys averaged about 1 lb of weight gain every two weeks for several months (Gomer gained more quickly than Goober). Admittedly, Gomer became a very fat little kitten, but at 9 mos, he started leaning down all on his own. Both boys hold lean adult weights of right around 12 lbs.

So, FEED little Bear! He's underweight for his age, and he shouldn't be. Feed him 4-5 times a day, if need be. If you're giving him really big meals (which isn't necessary if you're feeding him more often), his belly's naturally going to bloat after a meal. So feed him more reasonably sized meals more frequently, and his belly won't blow up so big after meals. Once he's getting all the nutrition his growing body needs to catch up to where it ought to be, he'll quit yelling at you all the time.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What do you think about feeding 1/2 can 5 times a day? It would be 7.5 oz and he's 3 lb 3.25 oz
 

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If I had to guess based on his presumed age and current size, I'd probably start with around 10 oz/day and see how he handles that. If that made him fat (not just post-meal bloat, but actual body fat), then I'd cut it back a little.

While adults are healthier at a lean weight, I would personally prefer to see growing youngsters a little more filled out to support their rapid growth. Obesity isn't healthy at any age, but babies do burn through a LOT of calories between active growth and active play.

Laurie
 

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I also agree. He's way too young and had way to rough a start to be cutting him off on food right now. Let him eat to his little tummy's content. And do not worry so much about fat ratios on his body at this point. Not so much with Apple, but with Pedro he would put on quite a rolly polly belly just as he was about to have a growth spurt right through until just before his 2nd birthday this year. He seems to still be growing a bit from time to time, but I no longer have a rolly polly monster on my hands before he grows.. It would last for a week or 2 and then suddenly he'd be bigger and slimmer. I'd say until he's a solid year let him eat what he feels he needs as long as it is wet food and then evaluate where he is then.

OH. And we need more pictures.
 

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At his age, we fed the kittens 4 meals of 3 ounces each. At 6 months or so, we backed off to three meals of 3 ounces each, with a quality dry for snacking. By 7-8 months, they naturally backed off on the amount they were eating.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Haha well Bear will be thrilled with all of this advice! I'll get some pictures up of him over the next couple days and will try to include one of a morning belly and one of a night belly. Sort-of unrelated but he has the cutest wavy hair on his belly! :-D
 

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I am so glad you are going to feed him more! One look at your avatar and I know there is no way I would be able to refuse him anything his little heart desired!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
oh yes...

I am so glad you are going to feed him more! One look at your avatar and I know there is no way I would be able to refuse him anything his little heart desired!
Trust me, I'm not good at it... its like he's Oliver Twist and is crying "please sir, I want some more..." I'm not a sir, but you get the picture...
 
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