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10 month old kitten eating less than usual

Published on: June 26, 2022 • By: brookeporter20 · In Forum: Kittens
June 26, 2022 at 06:39pm
Looking for some help here for my kitten! She’s a ragdoll/snowshoe mix and she’s 10 months old. She’s our second cat (our first is a 2 year old dollface Persian) and she weighs 8.2 pounds. She’s recently been eating less of her food than usual and I’m struggling to figure out if the issue is portion sizes, taste preferences, or if there is something wrong with her health-wise. I feed her 70 g of Performatrin Adult Grain-Free Chicken & Potato Formula dry food for breakfast and a 3 oz can of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain Free Salmon Pate Recipe Kitten wet food for dinner. She used to be on Performatrin Kitten Grain-Free Chicken Formula wet food, but she recently stopped eating that one altogether (which I thought was because of a taste preference against chicken) so I switched her to the salmon Blue Buffalo kitten formula. I know I should probably be feeding kitten dry food, but I’ve kept her on the food that the breeder gave us (with adjusted portions) because the breeder highlighted the importance of grain-free food for cats (which the Performatrin kitten dry formula was not). With both of her dry food and wet food, she probably only eats about half of her portion. I don’t leave the food sitting around because the older cat is on a weight loss diet and does not need to be eating the extra calories, so I keep the uneaten food up on a shelf and bring it down for the kitten whenever she walks towards the food. I also try to encourage her to eat by bringing the food to her sometimes. She’ll eat a few bites and then no longer be interested. She’s very active, loves playing with toys, and loves tussling around with our other cat. She appears to be overall healthy, but it’s just the decreased appetite that has me concerned. I’m not sure if it’s something that I can just fix on my own, either by changing the portion sizes or changing flavours, or if I should take her to the vet for a full check up. I’m willing to take her to the vet if needed, but I’d rather save some money if there’s an easier solution. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Liz Buchanan BVSc MRCVS
June 26, 2022 at 10:19pm
Hello!  I think it's very important to know, what a reasonable quantity of food per day would look like for your cat.  It would also be interesting to know whether she is overweight, underweight or just right - often better judged by looking at (condition scoring).   I think that you may be lucky because a lot of practice nurses perform such checks and to help to evaluate diets and calculate portion sizes with owners.  Consulting nurses can often have more time to talk things through than the vet, leading to less expensive or longer consultations.  If they are concerned then they would tend to pass the case on. A decreased appetite may be for multiple innocuous reasons eg it might reflect growth spurts or hot weather.  Some cats simply need to eat less when they reach adult size (and many cats, like us, are happy to eat tasty foods that aren't necessarily healthy, but ignore boring ones because they're not really hungry. I am not hungry right now, but if my husband came through with a cupcake ... You can imagine that I'd eat it, even though it wouldn't be good for me.  Some factions of the pet food industry thrive on this).  However, pancreatitis or liver or kidney disease could also present as a cat off food and it would be unfortunate to miss this, Best of luck getting to the bottom of your cats recent change and please do let us know what you find out!
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