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Super hungry stray cat won't eat cat food  RSS feed

 
Posts: 34
Location: Central Texas
6
greening the desert cooking trees
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We got a little stray or feral kitty that we feed. We live out in the country, so there are barely any people around. There are probably more cats than people in this area.

The stray cat is smaller than she should be for her age, and most likely she was born in the wild but is friendly with people, so she might have been fed by others, too. I feed her grain-free dry cat food which she tolerates but isn't happy about. She is super skinny and is always hungry, but she won't eat the entire portion of the dry food, so she always leaves some in her dish. A raccoon family comes over and eats her leftovers. I've tried to give her canned cat food, and that one she eats all of about 5 grams of and then proceeds to meow intensely like she hasn't eaten for 3 days. Sometimes I give her more wholesome stuff like sour cream, some chicken organ meats, shellfish, all the meats raw, and she eats but not to her fill. The only thing she'll eat to her fill is wild game she catches. Once a bird smacked into our window and died instantly (without damaging the window), and I gave it, still warm, to the cat. Well she ate the entire thing save for the long flight feathers. I ain't seen a beak or anything left. She then slowly walked over to her chill spot under a bench and reclined there with eyes half closed and satisfied.

We've had stray cats in the past, and they always ate at least twice as much as her at regular feedings, and got noticeably bigger than her over time. She is as skinny as when she first arrived at our place begging for food. We like to keep cats because they eat mice and other critters that might attract snakes and stuff. But boy, I've never had to deal with a cat this picky! She'll be literally dying of starvation and meowing at me like I starve her to death and her dish will be full of some food that even I could eat.

I should add that we are very much broke and can't afford anything fancy or even healthy. A jar of cat food is only a few cents, and it's convenient. If I have to buy whole foods for her like organ meats, then I'd have to freeze/unfreeze it, and it's a pain to do, and she will leave leftovers anyway which I will look at with pity because that's money wasted. And again, because we are broke, we can't take her to the vet to check her health.
 
gardener
Posts: 3548
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
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Smart cat! She knows what real food is!

 
Tatiana Trunilina
Posts: 34
Location: Central Texas
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greening the desert cooking trees
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True! Wish she knew the state of our budget, too
 
pollinator
Posts: 226
Location: North Carolina, USA Zone 7b
27
books chicken food preservation forest garden homestead wood heat woodworking
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Do you have chickens and any milking animals?    I'd try eggs, raw or lightly scrambled,  and raw milk, not homogenized - cats know the difference :)
Maybe vegetable beef soup broth.
 
gardener
Posts: 2143
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
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Can you shoot her a squirrel?  Trap some mice or rats?  Get some birdies for her with a bb gun?  Seems like she prefers her food with its clothes on...
 
Posts: 567
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Our cats always wanted to have little bits of dry food many times a day.   They wanted to come and go from the bowl on their schedule.  Is there someplace you could put the bowl that the raccoons can't get to but the cat can?  Then it won't be crying at the back door.  

One of our neighbors needed the cats to hunt for at least one meal, so she would feed them breakfast, but that was it.   She poured warm milk over dry food and they loved it, but it was in a place where no other animals coud get it.  She made beds for them in sheds with blankets that she could clean and put 50/50 baking soda and borax powder under for fleas.  This mix does NOT go onto the cat, only under cushions so the cat doesn't get it on their paws or lick it off.

Here's a recipe for homemade catfood, you could freeze it in small amounts, and thaw it in the fridge the night before breakfast. 

Chunky Meat and Rice Cat Food

    1/2 pound ground meat (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey are fine) 
    1/4 cup rice
    1 large hard-boiled egg
    4 teaspoons olive oil
    1 cup chicken stock

    Mash the boiled egg.
    Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-low heat.
    When the stock is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the stock reduces. The rice will expand and swell and absorb much of the liquid.
    Remove your home made cat food mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
    Blend well, freeze in small amounts to be thawed before use.
 
Posts: 82
Location: Virginia
7
books chicken cooking
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In Virginia, there is a low cost mobile truck for pet care that goes to Petco and Tractor Supply.  We get the basic annual shots at TS for about $8 and give the shots ourselves.  We can't get the rabies one but that is $19 every 3 years at the vet truck and they get a free quick exam.  Worst part is getting the cat there and waiting in line. Some of the county SPCA places have low cost care too.  There are so many wild critters like raccoons the cat is exposed to that we rather her (and us) have some protection.

There is probably a good chance she has worms, especially when they have a feral background. That could account for her small size and lack of weight gain. Basic wormer was about $6 when I got it last. I give it quarterly mixed with food. The same bottle has lasted a few years.

Unless you want a bunch of cats multiplying (and all wanting food!), you may want to check for county spay programs.

Try meow mix to feed.  Has grain, but is a lot cheaper and never met a cat that did'nt like it! We do supplement some with scraps but watch that they are'nt overfed and so still catch the mice.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 567
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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According to several websites I've checked, they say only give cooked eggs, no raw eggs to cats.
 
Posts: 2
Location: North Central Texas
bike cat cooking
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Cristo Balete wrote:Our cats always wanted to have little bits of dry food many times a day.   They wanted to come and go from the bowl on their schedule.  Is there someplace you could put the bowl that the raccoons can't get to but the cat can?  Then it won't be crying at the back door.  

One of our neighbors needed the cats to hunt for at least one meal, so she would feed them breakfast, but that was it.   She poured warm milk over dry food and they loved it, but it was in a place where no other animals coud get it.  She made beds for them in sheds with blankets that she could clean and put 50/50 baking soda and borax powder under for fleas.  This mix does NOT go onto the cat, only under cushions so the cat doesn't get it on their paws or lick it off.

Here's a recipe for homemade catfood, you could freeze it in small amounts, and thaw it in the fridge the night before breakfast. 

Chunky Meat and Rice Cat Food

    1/2 pound ground meat (chicken, beef, lamb or turkey are fine) 
    1/4 cup rice
    1 large hard-boiled egg
    4 teaspoons olive oil
    1 cup chicken stock

    Mash the boiled egg.
    Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium-low heat.
    When the stock is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the stock reduces. The rice will expand and swell and absorb much of the liquid.
    Remove your home made cat food mixture from the heat and allow it to cool completely.
    Blend well, freeze in small amounts to be thawed before use.





Thank you for posting the recipe-it is a good/cost efficient alternative & cats/kittens love it. Also, in addition, esp cor kittens that are weaning, I add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin. It helps kittens with the runny-butt that sometimes occurs as they begin to eat dry/moist food. Thank you again, Liz In Texas
 
garden master
Posts: 1835
Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Tatiana, it is nice that you are helping this kitten out.

I suspect that it has been used to eating forage type foods and was probably taught by it's mother.

Everyone has offered great info.

You might try softening the dry food with some warm water.  She may not be quite old enough to eat the hard dry food.

Tuna might be an option to try.

She also might have a medical condition that makes her the way she is.  She also might be used to eating small amounts and needs several meals a day.

 
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: 6a
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Kitty was probably still nursing.  We have two cats from the same litter and the mother died.  I purchased formula from the vet and they grew like weeds.  I just realized that this may be a cat and not a kitten. 

Here is a link to homemade formulas.

Kitten Rescue
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 567
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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One of our elderly male cats kept getting bladder infections, and the vet suggested we change his diet to freshly cooked chicken with rice, and it worked.  No more expensive pills struggling to be given to him.
 
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