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How long can kittens go without eating and drinking?

(24 Posts)
NotanotherboxofFrogs Mon 29-Jun-20 20:02:09

On Friday night, I gave the kittens a bit of kitten milk, they loved that. It was devoured. I was making a sandwich with ham on Saturday and when a kitten launched itself at my leg, I dropped a slice of ham. This was also devoured rapidly.

I have filled the dishes up with dry food (they won't entertain me with wet food) like before these incident over the weekend. There is a couple of dishes of water in the next room which was also fine before this, the amount of dry food with very little taken from it now is being thrown out as they are barely eating and don't seem to be drinking much water either. I'm keep offering food and water but there is big excitement when I get the milk bottle from the fridge (which is for my cuppa), not the kittens.

They are both highly energetic and playful, so I think they are on the "holding out for the good stuff" aren't they? I'm very mean that I'm trying to for them off with cat food, aren't i?

How long can they hold out for?

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Mon 29-Jun-20 21:29:02

Not as long as you so get pouring & worry about it later.

MrsMcCarthysFamousScones Mon 29-Jun-20 21:41:33

How old are they and how long have you had them?

When your cat doesn’t get enough nutrition, its organism turns towards the body fat as a way to find energy. The feline liver helps process the body fat reserve into energy reserve

If the liver doesn’t get a sufficient amount of protein, it can’t function properly. As such, it goes into a process known as liver failure

if you can’t make your furball eat or drink within 24 hours, it’s time to call the vet. Malnourishment and dehydration can have fatal outcomes for your pet, so don’t dabble on chances

User56781234 Mon 29-Jun-20 21:52:31

I would also advise seeking advice from your vet.

You have my sympathy though, my now 5 year old cat barely ate as a kitten and keeping her weight in the healthy range remains an ongoing battle. To this day, she will only eat if she is very hungry and she's offered food that she really likes. If not, her weight will plummet rapidly and alarmingly.

Do you have any kitten milk or ham or chicken you could give them right now until you can speak to your vet?

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 29-Jun-20 21:55:43

Someone on here had a kitten on poached fish so it could be worse.

User56781234 Mon 29-Jun-20 22:03:14

I ended up feeding my cat raw steak when she was a kitten. She used to wolf it down and then it would kick start her appetite - for a while. Not ideal as you're not supposed to give them much red meat but my vet was happy for me to do this once a week.

NotanotherboxofFrogs Mon 29-Jun-20 23:17:02

Thank you all. I opened a tin of tuna with the water around it. They scoffed the tin straight away and lapped up the water.

I'm contact the vets tomorrow.

OP’s posts: |
NotanotherboxofFrogs Mon 29-Jun-20 23:21:57


They are 13 weeks and I have had them for 5 weeks.

No changes in food at all, they are on the same food as when I got them with the exception of the kitten milk on Friday night and the fallen slice of ham.

It's been dry food all the way as when I have put down wet food, they take a lick and leave it.

OP’s posts: |
NotanotherboxofFrogs Mon 29-Jun-20 23:23:54

I've got stuff being delivered in the morning first thing now with ham and chicken to get them eating. But Will also ring the vets

OP’s posts: |
Papergirl1968 Mon 29-Jun-20 23:39:12

We had a Siamese kitten from a breeder when I was a teenager.
He was an undersized little thing and it became clear why when we got him home - he refused to eat cat food and tried to scratch it over like it was something disgusting. Clearly with the breeder he has eaten the barest amount to stay alive and knew we were soft touches. It was a battle of wills which he won...he was served whatever the humans were having - beef, steak, chicken, fish etc.
You could try mixing a bit of chicken, beef, tuna, ham etc (not much of its ham because if the salt) in with the dry food or try it in some wet food.
As for the milk, maybe try them with cat milk as normal milk is supposed to upset their stomachs. Although ours have it occasionally without a problem. You could try watering it down.

violetbunny Tue 30-Jun-20 09:05:32

Have you tried different varieties of wet food? Our two seem to be sensitive to texture, they will only have pate style wet food.

NotanotherboxofFrogs Tue 30-Jun-20 09:41:38

@Papergirl1968 yes I would only give kitten milk and not normal milk

@violetbunny I have tried in gravy and in jelly but no interest in either, will try and get a pate type to see if any different

Vet is coming back to me in the next hour or 2 to let me know if he needs to see them,

I have offered some chicken this morning which has been gobbled up, they have eaten half of the dry food overnight, which is good.

They are running around and bouncing with energy so no concerns about that.

OP’s posts: |
NotanotherboxofFrogs Tue 30-Jun-20 17:18:45

Update after a video call with the vets.

I'm not concerned about their drinking now as I got out of the shower this morning, 2 kittens ran in and started lapping up the water in the basin to the side of the shower, I have seen them do that several times today while ignoring the dishes with water.

According to the vet, they are probably holding out to see what can get, advice is to mix a bit of chicken / fish in with the dry in smaller portions. They have doubled their weight in the time they have been with me so he wasn't concerned.

They were absolutely bouncing off the back of the sofa / walls etc while I was on the video call, turning around the camera so get could see them in action and he had no concerns about their energy levels, as they were running around and jumping on me like hyper and trying to stand on the keyboard and look at the vets on the screen.

They are also producing vast amounts of wee and poo so something is going in.

We did have a snooze on the sofa earlier, I lay awake as 2 kittens slept on top of me.

OP’s posts: |
Fluffycloudland77 Tue 30-Jun-20 17:22:33

Mine liked filter water out of the jug.

RedFleece Tue 30-Jun-20 18:52:18

My kitten eats wet food and dry but will only eat wet food in gravy/sauce if it is really mashed to a pulp with the back of a fork otherwise he just a licks the gravy. Try mashing it maybe?

RedFleece Tue 30-Jun-20 18:54:13

This was not obvious to me but I was advised to keep the food and water bowls in different places. If the water is too near the food he doesn’t drink it.

Papergirl1968 Tue 30-Jun-20 19:09:49

Some cats don’t like the chemicals that are added to water - the fluoride etc.

RedFleece Tue 30-Jun-20 20:11:29

Yes my kitten likes filtered.

Fluffycloudland77 Tue 30-Jun-20 20:36:55

When I was little you ate what you got served and if you didn’t like it tough. If tears were running down your face because Sharwoods opinion of what was mild curry powder and your taste buds opinion differed wildly you still ate what you got or you went hungry. If it was pressed cods roe shallow fried then tough. There was no second choice.

We then got two kittens fed on Gourmet. They very quickly figured out that actually there was a second choice & refused to eat food if they didn’t like it.

I remained on the set menu till I left home with the now adult cats on a different flavour pouch for each meal “no, not that flavour they had that for breakfast” 🤨

Kittens are clever.

Bargebill19 Tue 30-Jun-20 22:32:32

As mentioned kittens learn very quickly how to get you to buy what they like. But the cuddles are more than worth it. !

NotanotherboxofFrogs Wed 01-Jul-20 13:20:52

@RedFleece the bowls have been in separate rooms since they arrived, so food in the kitchen, water in the hallway, trays in the back hallway and bathroom.

I'm mixing up chicken with dry food now but they are mainly eating around the dry food.

I'm going to try mashing wet food or adding water to the dry to see if that might be acceptable, I will get a supply of kitten milk in my next shop.

I'm being trained aren't i, to be a good kitten 🐱 slave and cook meals of their choice (which changes as soon as I serve it)

OP’s posts: |
chocolatespiders Wed 01-Jul-20 13:26:17

If they liked the tuna they may enjoy hi life kitten food - Tuna variety I buy from pets at home..
My 8 months old kitten also loves wilko nature's best pouches as it has real bits of fish in.

You could try and add some chopped ham to the dry food to try and tempt them.

I find mine go off things so I keep a variety in one prefers meat flavour and the other one prefers fish.

Toilenstripes Wed 01-Jul-20 13:27:35

They sound wonderful! 😻

chocolatespiders Wed 01-Jul-20 13:29:25

Also about the water. Mine will only drink from a glass and I buy bottled for them from asda - 17p a bottle.
One also prefers rain water so I collect and bottle that!

Oh my what have I become!!!! smile

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