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Hi there, I have a British Shorthair kitten, 5 weeks old. He'll only eat from my hands. He may eat from his bowl but very little. He weighs 3kg. Anything I can do to improve his appetite?
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You can try sprinkling a little bit of Parmesan cheese on his food or some crushed up freeze dried treats. My kitties love that! Are you sure that everything is okay health wise?
Hi Inde

We've had this question before, on this forum and I can only give the same answer I gave back then.

Some people think it's really cute to feed kittens by hand. But eventually they come to realize that this only results in the fact that the cat can't figure out to eat from a bowl.

Put some food out on a plate - and just leave it there for his own discretion. It might sound cruel, but once he gets hungry enough, I'm certain of the fact that he will start eating. Most cats eat when their hungry - simple as that.

I don't know what sort of bowl you use for your kitten. But try using a plate instead - and then slowly increasing the size of the bowl.

Did you write his age wrong by mistake? I take it you mean he's three months, right? Otherwise please tell me otherwise.

Best of luck to you and your kitten. Emotion: smile

Storm
That's actually not true. I can vouch for that. A cat can starve themselves if they are sick or don't want what you're feeding. It doesn't take long for a cat to develop fatty liver disease if they don't get the proper amount of calories and food. It's different if a cat is just having an off day or a day where they eat more in the morning and less at night or something. But it's not this simple. That's why I asked if the kitty is okay physically, if it's been recently checked by the vet.
alfinnlay - That is true- I agree.

I must confess I wrote my answer with the thought that the kitty was alright otherwise healthwise.

If that isn't the case them my answer doesn't apply. But most cats - who are in normal living conditions and health - eat when they are hungry.

you are right about another thing too - which is of course that if the cat doesn't like what you are feeding it - it won't eat it on it's own accord. (Trying feeding it something else, would ofcourse be a sound advice.)

Emotion: smile
Exactly Storm. I used to think the same way and because my kitty before Alex was healthy most of her life, she always ate on her own. I had to find out the hard way what damage can be done when they show signs of illness and don't eat. They are so good at hiding illness too that you have to be careful and make sure you know the difference. I'm curious too as what this person is feeding? Maybe we can make some suggestions for a better food?
you are right, Al. And of course we don't want to think the kitty is ill, but it should ALWAYS be taken into consideration. And you are so right - cats can hide their illness very well - unfortunately.

I think we can come up with some good alternatives for food. I know I've been surprised many times, about what a kitten might fancy. Emotion: smile
StormyDid you write his age wrong by mistake?
Oh my goodness of course!! I meant to write he's 5 MONTHS old! I'm so sorry I made you imagine a 5 week old kitten weighting 3kg. Emotion: embarrassedEmotion: embarrassed

Thanks for your prompt replies!

So... yes everything is okey health wise, we have regular veterinary check ups. I was told he's just being pernickety and it appears to be true as he's very playful and lively kitten otherwise with bright and clear eyes and good exploring instincts.

He has dry food available at all times and I give him raw meat about 3 times a day which he'll persistently eat from my hands only. He won't eat it if I leave it in the bowl although I know he's hungry! The same happens when I give him boiled marine fish.
He'll rarely eat the dry food. It's Natural Balance Indoor Formula (is it good to feed??).

I will try Parmesan cheese, thanks for the tip! If this doesn't help it seems I'll have to just leave the meat/fish in his bowl and wait till he finally follows his instinct... oh god that's gonna be difficult for me!! By the way do you think I should try giving him wet food? I've heard many cats eat it eagerly.

Oh and sorry if you've discussed this topic before and all my questions are answered already. In this case I'd greatly appreciate it if you linked me to the related page. I'm new here and haven't figured my ways around yet.
I've just re-read you replies. So do I get you right? - If a cat doesn't eat when it obviously should (different types of food have been offered and tricks like treats don't work either), it's a clear sign of an illness even though there are no other signs like behavior and mood change, activity level and so on? Does it mean that if the trick with cheese doesn't work and he persistently doesn't eat the meat I leave in the bowl either, I should take him to a vet to find out what's wrong because there's clearly something wrong? I am a bit confused because I'd fancy everything is okey with health as long as he eats fine from my hands...
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