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Old September 19th, 2009, 06:41 PM
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Scavenger Kitten, What to do?

In the past week or so since we brought Raisins to our home, we've noticed how obsessed she is about finding human food - and eating it. It absolutley does not matter what it is, she seems to nibble on it all!

Because we have a fifteen month old daughter, food ends up in places it normally wouldn't. The kitchen floor, being one of these. We've worked very hard to ensure our dogs don't eat what they shouldn't, but our other two cats never seemed interested and therefore it was never an issue.

Raisins on the otherhand - wow. Even as I type this, I have a plate of food and she's meowing and climbing up on my lap in an attempt to get to the plate. She does this all the time, and when I'm cooking - I know exactly where she will be - right underfoot. She licks people's pop cans, you name it.

First of all, is this normal? Does she feel like she's 'lacking something' and is this why she's trying to eat and taste everything, or is this just curiosity?

Is this a trait she could've picked up at her first home, or is this most likely just her personality?

Here is why this concerns us even more than normal: Raisins has IBS. This is why she came into our home in the first place, after her original owners abandoned her at our vet clinic because the vet discovered it and the original owners (we assume) must've not wanted to 'deal' with the issue long-term.

Any thoughts/comments are appreciated. If anyone has any suggestions as to how we can teach her not to eat everything in sight, that would be very helpful!

Thanks in advance....
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Old September 19th, 2009, 10:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
If anyone has any suggestions as to how we can teach her not to eat everything in sight, that would be very helpful!


It's possible she'll grow out of it, but I doubt there's much you can do to "train" her not to eat stuff that's lying around. Beyond not giving her anything that she's begging for, which I'm sure you aren't, the only other thing is to put everything edible out of her reach (as much as that's possible with a 15 month old ). Possibly in her previous home, they did feed her stuff off their plates, but it could also just be her personality. I've known other cats like this and there was no rhyme or reason why.

Are you sure she's getting enough food? There may be a connection with the intestinal issues, if she isn't able to absorb the proper nutrients. What is she eating? What are the symptoms of her IBS?
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Old September 19th, 2009, 10:34 PM
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IBS is different than an IBD, one is due to a possible nervous issue, resulting in the bowels moving more or less than average, the other is a disease either from an intolerance or a immune issue.

I think this kitten may have been feed "whatever" as a kitten and has learned it was food. I have found if my foster litters come from a feral background, they don't recognize cat food at all, but do a raw diet. It just depends on what momma has taught them what food is.

Have you thought about a raw diet?
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Old September 19th, 2009, 10:42 PM
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Thanks SCM!

I truly am a novice cat owner, despite the fact that I have three now. DH has to keep reminding me that they aren't dogs.

Raisins came to me on a vet kibble, but we've recently put her onto RAW. (Like, literally last week). Her symptoms have only been mild diarrhea now which seems to be getting under control thanks to the RAW, but apparently *was* vomitting when she was admitted to the clinic.

I think she's getting enough...(I know, I sound convincing don't I?) I feed each cat seperatley in a closed room to ensure I'm monitoring what they're getting and that the others don't interfere with each meal. At this point, Raisins always has a bit left over, and I've read that we should cut back a bit if this is the case so as not to waste, but I haven't yet because she's growing and I don't feel comfortable.

If she does go after food she shouldn't, any suggestions on how to deter her? So far I'd just clap my hands, but I'm not sure if this is bad/good? And it doesn't seem to stop her from seeking out the food whenever it's there the next time.
Slightly embarrassing when someone comments on how 'well trained' our dogs are as they sit in their corners when we have company over for dinner, and this little kitten comes flying out of nowhere only to land on their plate.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 10:46 PM
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Thanks L4H. I didn't realize there was another side of IBS, but the vets were fairly sure it was IBS not IBD.

She's just started the RAW diet and so far we've seen a bit of improvement with her stool which is AWESOME. All the cats seem to have more energy (poor dogs ).
The vets just really reccomended us to ensure she's drinking lots of water, and since we've had her home we haven't seen any vomitting or anything too serious with her condition, thankfully.

Hmmm. I think you both might be on the right track...Raisins just seems too 'intune' with meal time for humans than even my dogs. I once caught her sneeking into a Tim Hortons box of timbits!!! Yeesh. lol
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Old September 19th, 2009, 10:56 PM
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I think it is IBD, not IBS. Your kitty is not made to eat human (unless raw meat) or cooked food for that matter. IBS is the nervous system causing the digestive tract to move more frequently than normal. IBD there can be diagnosed with biopsies.

If your kitty is eating a balanced cat raw diet and is active I wouldn't worry too much. I have had many fosters come through very well on a homemade raw diet. IMHO all kitties would benefit from and is much, much cheaper than crap food. It costs me about 50 cents for about 5.5 ozs.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 11:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
but we've recently put her onto RAW. (Like, literally last week).
Fantastic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
At this point, Raisins always has a bit left over, and I've read that we should cut back a bit if this is the case so as not to waste, but I haven't yet because she's growing and I don't feel comfortable.
How many times a day does she eat? At her age, should be at least 4, if not more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
If she does go after food she shouldn't, any suggestions on how to deter her? So far I'd just clap my hands, but I'm not sure if this is bad/good?
Clapping is good, or making a pssst sound like a loud hiss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
And it doesn't seem to stop her from seeking out the food whenever it's there the next time.
Ya, that would be the tough part. I don't really have an answer, except to keep her well fed, but even that probably won't be enough. I'll bet she'll outgrow it, except it could be a long time coming. When Aztec's brother was alive, he was a total bread fiend (not very self-aware of his carnivore status). I had to get a bread box or else I'd find vampire-like puncture holes in every bag of bread or bun. As he got older, he was less likely to attack the poor helpless loaves, but every now and then, when I'd let my guard down, I'd come home to find holes torn through plastic and slobbery cat spit adorning my bread products. Cats!
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Old September 19th, 2009, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Love4himies View Post
I think it is IBD, not IBS. Your kitty is not made to eat human (unless raw meat) or cooked food for that matter. IBS is the nervous system causing the digestive tract to move more frequently than normal. IBD there can be diagnosed with biopsies.

If your kitty is eating a balanced cat raw diet and is active I wouldn't worry too much. I have had many fosters come through very well on a homemade raw diet. IMHO all kitties would benefit from and is much, much cheaper than crap food. It costs me about 50 cents for about 5.5 ozs.
Interesting, L4H. I'm going to google IBD vs IBS. Is there much of a difference between the two? Should I be contacting my vet if there is to make sure they've told us it's the right thing??
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Old September 19th, 2009, 11:03 PM
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Thanks L4H. I didn't realize there was another side of IBS, but the vets were fairly sure it was IBS not IBD.
A lot of times, the terms are used interchangeably, even though L4H is right that there is a difference. I'll bet it's IBD they're actually referring to, and it sounds like you're getting a good handle on it.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
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Interesting, L4H. I'm going to google IBD vs IBS. Is there much of a difference between the two? Should I be contacting my vet if there is to make sure they've told us it's the right thing??
In humans, yes, huge difference. I have an IBD, but not IBS. IBD actually affects the cells in the colon, but IBS is just the nervous system. Most cats will have an intolerance (IBD) which causes the cells in the colon to react, resulting in an enlarged or swollen colon. It can also cause sores or ulcers in the colon which can cause bleeding and mucous in the feces.
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Old September 20th, 2009, 12:10 AM
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How many times a day are you feeding kitty? Splitting her ration into 3 or 4 if you can is best. I give babies something to gnaw on for snacks too. Someone may have let her eat off their plate because it was cute, but hoovering the floor sounds like she is hungry. . How do you prepare the raw? Maybe not grinding all of it, and give her something to take her time chewing on will help satisfy her, good luck!
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Old September 20th, 2009, 12:44 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts/suggestions everyone.

Quote:
How many times a day does she eat? At her age, should be at least 4, if not more.
I was feeding them three times a day, but I will definitely increase if this is what is partly to blame for the "food lusting"! Should I be making her portion sizes smaller if I increase?

Quote:
I had to get a bread box or else I'd find vampire-like puncture holes in every bag of bread or bun. As he got older, he was less likely to attack the poor helpless loaves, but every now and then, when I'd let my guard down, I'd come home to find holes torn through plastic and slobbery cat spit adorning my bread products. Cats!
LOL, Wow SCM! Too funny. Raisins seems to be the same way, she likes breads too. I'm just worried it will rub off on some of the other animals, that they'll see her snacking on something and try it and discover it tastes good too - but so far it hasn't.

Quote:
How do you prepare the raw? Maybe not grinding all of it, and give her something to take her time chewing on will help satisfy her, good luck!
I actually don't grind any of it. I've just been feeding it to the cats in chunks.

I will definitely try feeding her more often through the day though - she is very active, so she's probably burning off a lot of those calories.

Is there a certain 'type' of meat that anyone can suggest that may take longer to digest than others? So far we've just been doing chicken as we just started the process.
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  #13  
Old September 22nd, 2009, 12:09 AM
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I am not sure if it is the same for cats that it is for dogs, but if you are looking for stuff that takes longer to digest, be very careful with pork. With Melei, pork seems to shoot right through her.
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