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Conundrum

Help, Please (Food)

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Conundrum

Kitten is doing great, except a few times after he eats his canned food he will go to his litter box and vomit. We are feeding him 1/2 cup Science Diet Kitten dry food and 1/2 can Science Diet Kitten (2.9 oz can) food twice a day. (We let him nibble on the dry food all day.) I'm waiting for the rescue organization to call me back to ask what type of food he was given there since it may be caused by the change in food according to our vet. 

I changed the amount of canned food to 1/4 can this evening and so far he hasn't vomited. Maybe I was giving him too much canned food and his little stomach couldn't hold it all? We weighed him on my kitchen scale and he is 3 pounds. I've looked online but everything I found has different suggestions regarding a feeding schedule and amount. He is going to our vet next week but I can't have his stomach hurt for days! Any advice is appreciated.

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Don'tlikekoolaid

Canned food might be too rich for his little tummy, see how the 1/4 can twice a day goes.   If he’s got water and crumbles available all day he should be good.  And now you need to post pictures.  🐯

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Conundrum

I posted two pictures of him in my last thread in this forum. 

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OhNoNike

My guess is that it was probably just a bit too much for his little tummy. 

My cat was 6m when I brought him home and he had terrible digestion (diarrhea) off and on for months.  He eventually settled in. 

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Lotsofdots

Cats don’t need dry food, Science Diet is unfortunately a poor quality food too.

Young kittens need feeding 5-6 times a day, if too hungry they’ll eat too fast and vomit. 

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Emma

Change in brands will upset stomachs. Mix new stuff with the old for a while and make gradual change. If fur babies were really not well we fed them baby food.

 

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SilverBeach
7 hours ago, Lotsofdots said:

Cats don’t need dry food

My grandkitty will only eat dry food, she doesn't like the canned stuff. Pets are different! Exclusive wet food is worse for dental health.

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Mischievous
nelliebelle1197
Posted (edited)

@Curious calling Curious! Rescuer of baby kittens!

Edited by nelliebelle1197

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Curious
10 hours ago, Conundrum said:

Kitten is doing great, except a few times after he eats his canned food he will go to his litter box and vomit. We are feeding him 1/2 cup Science Diet Kitten dry food and 1/2 can Science Diet Kitten (2.9 oz can) food twice a day. (We let him nibble on the dry food all day.) I'm waiting for the rescue organization to call me back to ask what type of food he was given there since it may be caused by the change in food according to our vet. 

I changed the amount of canned food to 1/4 can this evening and so far he hasn't vomited. Maybe I was giving him too much canned food and his little stomach couldn't hold it all? We weighed him on my kitchen scale and he is 3 pounds. I've looked online but everything I found has different suggestions regarding a feeding schedule and amount. He is going to our vet next week but I can't have his stomach hurt for days! Any advice is appreciated.

Hi!

I don't know what age your kitten is, but first of all get him OFF science diet!  That is crap and pushed by vets because they get a kick back for selling it. 

I recommend wilderness, halo, merrick, or core both in canned and kibble.   Our previously feral kittens are 16 weeks now and they love wilderness kibble and scoff at everything else we've tried.

They are a little unusual in that they will eat a canned food for a week or two then turn their nose up at it.  We finally started mixing different kinds with their first brand (halo) so they'd be used to a variety of different brands.  Now we have 3-4 brands we can switch up when they suddenly stop eating one and it doesn't cause tummy upset.

I found out the hard way that changing food up with a small kitten will absolutely lead to stomach upset :(   So you will need to mix whatever you have been feeding them with whatever you change to.   We start at 3/4 old 1/4 new then 1/2 old 1/2 new and so on until they are just eating the new brand alone.

Until a kitten is 20 weeks they should be fed as much as they want over the course of the day.   When we found the kittens they were about 5-6 weeks and I fed them every 3-4 hours.  If they were sleeping, I woke them up, but they were very dehydrated and quite thin when we found them.   Once they were fat and happy, I stopped waking them up and just fed them when they woke up naturally.   Right now at 16 weeks, they get kibble free fed so they can snack at will and they get canned food 3-4 times a day.  We start with 1/2 a can and if they finish that they get another 1/2 until they have left some in their dish for snacking until the next feeding time.

I hope this helps.  If you have any other questions I will be happy to try and answer them.  

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PennySycamore

@Emma, exclusive wet food might be worse for their teeth, but low carbohydrate wet food is better for their overall health.  Cats lack amylase, the enzyme needed to digest sugars and starches.  I don't know of any dry food that does contain some carbohydrates.  Some diabetic cats can go off insulin if they are fed a low-carb wet food.  I've had two diabetic cats out of the six cats I've had in recent years.  One of the them did go into remission for a while.  He did not stay in remission, but the period  that I did not have to inject him twice a day came at exactly the right time.

My Daisy still eats some dry food though.  I keep a little in a dish for her if she gets hungry at night and she also helps herself to the dog's kibble.  When she was being fostered they fed her good quality dry food.  

What cats can't be is vegan.  Cats are obligate carnivores.  There was an article in  late, lamented Vegetarian Times a few years ago by a vegan vet tech saying that if you can't handle the fact that your cats need meat then you should not have a cat.   Jackson Galaxy is a vegan and feeds his cats meat.  Vegan cookbook author Collen Patrick-Goudreau is a vegan and she feeds her cats meat.   

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SilverBeach
Posted (edited)

My DD swears by blue buffalo. Grandkitty loves the stuff. Cats seem to like fish and chicken too. Meat has no carbohydrates.

Edited by SilverBeach

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Kailash

We use Bravo raw food for our cats. When our youngest was a tiny kitten she had terrible gas. (Could literally clear a room.) She had been on antibiotics at the shelter and it messed up her little system. I did some research, bought her some probiotics and started feeding her the raw Bravo. The difference was noticeable within days. 

Enjoy kitten-hood friends! It goes by so fast. 

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Emma

By baby food I mean the jars of all meat, not the veggies and fruit. And only short term when they weren't tolerating anything else. We used minimal dry food, for treats rather than regular diet. And yes, cats can't go vegetarian. Dogs, if you're careful, but not cats.

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lexiloumarie
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Emma said:

By baby food I mean the jars of all meat, not the veggies and fruit. And only short term when they weren't tolerating anything else. We used minimal dry food, for treats rather than regular diet. And yes, cats can't go vegetarian. Dogs, if you're careful, but not cats.

Chicken or turkey seasoning free baby food is an old foster trick for sick kittens who need something easy to eat as they're recovering/can't afford to skip a meal. That and Karo syrup. It's been awhile though and the recommendations may have changed. 

 

ETA: This was in the days before squeeze treats and weruva mouse and such. 

Edited by lexiloumarie

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Conundrum
Posted (edited)
On 8/10/2019 at 7:29 AM, Curious said:

I recommend wilderness, halo, merrick, or core both in canned and kibble.   Our previously feral kittens are 16 weeks now and they love wilderness kibble and scoff at everything else we have tried. 

 

Kitten is approximately 4-5 months old. Since he (and our 4 year old cat) are from a local cat rescue we don't know either of their birthdays. 

Do I buy the food online or is it in pet stores? I feel so bad for him when he can't keep food in his belly. every pet I have had as an adult approximately 27 years, I have always allowed them to eat whenever they want. I leave dry food our for them all day and do e measure how much they are actually eating. 4 dogs and two cats. We've never had an overweight pet,either. Last night I soaked dry food with a little 

 

Edited by Conundrum

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Emma

@lexiloumarie Spent most of my life in the country but it's been a few years since I've had cats, or any animals for that matter, to take care of.

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PennySycamore

@lexiloumarie,  weruva mouse?  Some year ago, I heard MIcheal Feldman on the Whad'Dya Know public radio show wonder why there wasn't mouse-flavored cat food.  Maybe there is now.

Daisy only likes turkey cat food.  She doesn't like fish at all and may tolerate chicken, but she she's turkey girl at heart.

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lexiloumarie
2 hours ago, PennySycamore said:

@lexiloumarie,  weruva mouse?  Some year ago, I heard MIcheal Feldman on the Whad'Dya Know public radio show wonder why there wasn't mouse-flavored cat food.  Maybe there is now.

Daisy only likes turkey cat food.  She doesn't like fish at all and may tolerate chicken, but she she's turkey girl at heart.

Oops, typo. Autocorrect didn't like mousse. It's a lovely cat food - it's the consistency of baby food but nutritionally balanced for cats - which is great for weak kitties who won't chew or the toothless seniors.....or lazy fat cats lol. 

I've had cats who are poultry only and one who couldn't have poultry or she had horrible skin reaction (she's often half bald if we're not careful).  

We're fond of Tiki Cat(found at Petco), wilderness (found at grocery and pet stores), and Weruva (which has the BFF and the OMG lines). Weruva brand we use the most - doesnt upset bellies. The TNRed outside cats near our house get iams usually. 

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SilverBeach
16 hours ago, Kailash said:

We use Bravo raw food for our cats. When our youngest was a tiny kitten she had terrible gas. (Could literally clear a room.) She had been on antibiotics at the shelter and it messed up her little system. I did some research, bought her some probiotics and started feeding her the raw Bravo. The difference was noticeable within days. 

Enjoy kitten-hood friends! It goes by so fast. 

Yes it does, at 3 my grandkitty is the equivalent of 28 human years. My DD says her kitty is a younger sister.

3 hours ago, PennySycamore said:

Daisy only likes turkey cat food.  

I love that kitties all have their individual personalities and preferences. 

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Curious
8 hours ago, Conundrum said:

Kitten is approximately 4-5 months old. Since he (and our 4 year old cat) are from a local cat rescue we don't know either of their birthdays. 

Do I buy the food online or is it in pet stores? I feel so bad for him when he can't keep food in his belly. every pet I have had as an adult approximately 27 years, I have always allowed them to eat whenever they want. I leave dry food our for them all day and do e measure how much they are actually eating. 4 dogs and two cats. We've never had an overweight pet,either. Last night I soaked dry food with a little 

 

You can buy at the brands I mentioned at Petsmart both in store and online.  I recommend Chewy.com for ordering online.  They have free shipping over $49 so if you are ordering for several pets that can help.  You can also set up subscriptions so food is just automatically sent every x weeks so you know when it's coming.   I just set up an order for the kittens for every 4 weeks to see how that works for us.  They are still going through growth spurts right now so sometimes eat like they have never seen food before for a couple days, then just pick for a few days after that.   I figured it averages out, but may have to change the food to come more often.

At 4-5 months old, I wouldn't expect a lot of tummy problems, but since your kitten is a rescue he's likely been through several changes and he apparently isn't handling that well.

For me, first priority would be to get him on anything other than science diet.  I know they have improved their ingredients in the last few years, but they still use a lot of fillers I don't like to see in pet food.  They don't use corn anymore I don't think so that's a major improvement.   I'd still get him on something else.

So for that transition I would pick 1 brand of kitten food (our kittens prefer wilderness, but any of the brands I mentioned are ok, IMO.  Also, there are other great brands out there, those are just the ones we have used with these new kittens and I have on the top of my brain.  I saw someone mention Bravo and that is also good) and 1 brand of kitten food and try to transition him onto that by slowing reducing the amount of science diet he gets per day and increasing the new brand.    Since he already has tummy issues I would take it kind of slow so over the course of maybe 10 days he will be eating only the new food.

I wouldn't give any treats or other types of food during this time to make sure you know how he will react to that new food.   it's possible he may have a food allergy, as well.   So if he's been eating chicken, trying to transition to a new protein might be a good idea.   The hurdle with that is going to be finding a flavor a kitten food other than chicken.   So let's hope it's not an allergy to chicken and it's just a grumpy tummy.

At his age, he should be able to handle kibbles without softening, but he needs to be drinking water in that case.   If he's not drinking water I would recommend getting a container of the kitten milk replacer and using that to soften his food with or give him a bit to drink several times a day until you get the vomiting issue resolved.   It's super easy to make it's just a scoop of the replacer (which for us was deeply buried in the cans) and 2 tablespoons of water mixed up.  If he's drinking water then you are golden.

I don't know what your schedule is like or how it would work for you with another resident cat (we keep the kittens in their own kitty playpen so the adult cats don't get into their stuff and we don't have kittens running amuck when I'm home alone and can't corral them), but if your schedule allows you to break his meals in half so you are feeding him like 4-6 times a day instead of 2-3 that may help, as well.

Not knowing his background makes things a lot tougher, unfortunately.   

Is there any chance he is getting into your adult cat's food so maybe overeating due to that or just the combo of 2 different kinds of food is not agreeing with him?

I saw the pictures you posted on the other thread and he's a beautiful little guy!  If you have more questions, just ask :)

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Conundrum
On 8/11/2019 at 5:26 PM, Curious said:

You can buy at the brands I mentioned at Petsmart both in store and online.  I recommend Chewy.com for ordering online.  They have free shipping over $49 so if you are ordering for several pets that can help.  You can also set up subscriptions so food is just automatically sent every x weeks so you know when it's coming.   I just set up an order for the kittens for every 4 weeks to see how that works for us.  They are still going through growth spurts right now so sometimes eat like they have never seen food before for a couple days, then just pick for a few days after that.   I figured it averages out, but may have to change the food to come more often.

At 4-5 months old, I wouldn't expect a lot of tummy problems, but since your kitten is a rescue he's likely been through several changes and he apparently isn't handling that well.

For me, first priority would be to get him on anything other than science diet.  I know they have improved their ingredients in the last few years, but they still use a lot of fillers I don't like to see in pet food.  They don't use corn anymore I don't think so that's a major improvement.   I'd still get him on something else.

So for that transition I would pick 1 brand of kitten food (our kittens prefer wilderness, but any of the brands I mentioned are ok, IMO.  Also, there are other great brands out there, those are just the ones we have used with these new kittens and I have on the top of my brain.  I saw someone mention Bravo and that is also good) and 1 brand of kitten food and try to transition him onto that by slowing reducing the amount of science diet he gets per day and increasing the new brand.    Since he already has tummy issues I would take it kind of slow so over the course of maybe 10 days he will be eating only the new food.

I wouldn't give any treats or other types of food during this time to make sure you know how he will react to that new food.   it's possible he may have a food allergy, as well.   So if he's been eating chicken, trying to transition to a new protein might be a good idea.   The hurdle with that is going to be finding a flavor a kitten food other than chicken.   So let's hope it's not an allergy to chicken and it's just a grumpy tummy.

At his age, he should be able to handle kibbles without softening, but he needs to be drinking water in that case.   If he's not drinking water I would recommend getting a container of the kitten milk replacer and using that to soften his food with or give him a bit to drink several times a day until you get the vomiting issue resolved.   It's super easy to make it's just a scoop of the replacer (which for us was deeply buried in the cans) and 2 tablespoons of water mixed up.  If he's drinking water then you are golden.

I don't know what your schedule is like or how it would work for you with another resident cat (we keep the kittens in their own kitty playpen so the adult cats don't get into their stuff and we don't have kittens running amuck when I'm home alone and can't corral them), but if your schedule allows you to break his meals in half so you are feeding him like 4-6 times a day instead of 2-3 that may help, as well.

Not knowing his background makes things a lot tougher, unfortunately.   

Is there any chance he is getting into your adult cat's food so maybe overeating due to that or just the combo of 2 different kinds of food is not agreeing with him?

I saw the pictures you posted on the other thread and he's a beautiful little guy!  If you have more questions, just ask :)

Thank you for the awesome advice! Ill go to Petco tomorrow to buy him some Wilderness food. I am home all day (I have Multiple Sclerosis; my neurologist made me stop working in January) so I can definitely break up his feedings. 

He is living in my daughters bedroom for the time being and only bring him out when someone is holding him. He's afraid of our dog (who is only ten pounds) so we are introducing them slowly. Our adult cat isn't too interested in the kitten but we never leave them alone. If someone isn't with the kitten, he is in my daughters bedroom; we have made it his "safe place" where he can't hurt himself and can't be bothered by the other pets. There is no way he can get to our cat or dogs food. 

He drinks water just fine and eats the dry food without having to soften it. He only gets an upset stomach with the canned. 

Again, thank you so much! He's so sweet and we are all in love with him already; I hate that his belly is hurting. 

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Curious
6 minutes ago, Conundrum said:

He drinks water just fine and eats the dry food without having to soften it. He only gets an upset stomach with the canned.

hmmm so it's not an issue with all food.  Does he get over excited about canned food and just scarf it down perhaps?   I haven't had that problem with the kittens, but my dumb adult cats do it all the freaking time and then promptly puke it all up :(

One of them likes to lay on the corrugated cardboard lounger we have in the kitten pen so when they are out playing she will hop in the pen to lay on their lounger.  If we aren't paying attention and they have left any canned food in their dish, she will quickly gobble it up and then throw it all up a few minutes later.

Maybe try giving him like a teaspoon of food at a time a few times over the course of the day instead of giving him a full serving.   Once he figures out that canned food isn't something super special and he will have access to it at regular intervals he will probably calm down.    Our adult cats know when their canned food is normally served and if my husband is a bit late they will let him know they are displeased with their waiter and will not be leaving a tip ;)

I'm sorry to hear about the MS diagnosis :(   My mom had MS (diagnosed when I was 13) and it's an awful disease.  I haven't kept up with it since she passed away and so far I've been clear so I hope there have been some treatment advances since she dealt with it.

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Curious

oh the dog thing...

A good way to help with a dog/cat introduction other than the through the door thing I saw people already suggested, which is great advice, you can also use a crate to help you.

Put a crate in a quiet place in your most well traveled room (living room or kitchen probably).  The crate can be used for either the dog or the cat or can alternate.   Make sure whoever you are going to put in the crate doesn't see it as a punishment but as a safe place.

So let's say you are going to put the cat in it first and you have it in your living room.  When you are going to watch tv bring kitty out and put him in the crate and just ignore the crate.  Dog can sniff and look without hurting kitten and vice versa.   Start slow maybe 5 minutes at a time.   Go a few minutes longer each time.

The kitten will feel more secure if he can claim something in the room as his own territory so giving him a cat tree or a special bed or something that he can roll around in and leave his scent on will make him feel like the home is also his.   Let him have access to the space when the dog is crated, outside or blocked in another area of the house.   It will be hard for him to build confidence if he is always held and not allowed to explore the space.   It may somewhat reinforce he has something to fear if he is always carried except in his "safe" room.

As long as he gets lots of attention, which I'm sure is not a problem and exercise he will be fine staying the majority of time in one room.   Using a variety of different types of toys and giving him access to a lot of different textures and sounds will also help him build confidence and make him less fearful in general.

I found out at the vet that our kittens who I had spent a lot of time introducing to different sounds and textures when we first found them were SUPER spooky with loud noises they had never heard before.   Since I'm disabled and it's not as easy to take a kitten out like you would a puppy I ended up turning up the speakers on my computer and while I held them in my lap just played a bunch of different sounds.  At first, they were pretty spooked, but I just petted and talked to them in my normal "happy" voice that I use with them and after a while, I could play almost any sound and they didn't even bat an eye.   I haven't actually had an opportunity to see if they can generalize that loud sounds aren't SUPER SCARY when they aren't in our house yet, but I know they have a solid foundation so hope they can or at least that their bounce back time is minimal.

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Conundrum
15 hours ago, Curious said:

oh the dog thing...

A good way to help with a dog/cat introduction other than the through the door thing I saw people already suggested, which is great advice, you can also use a crate to help you.

Put a crate in a quiet place in your most well traveled room (living room or kitchen probably).  The crate can be used for either the dog or the cat or can alternate.   Make sure whoever you are going to put in the crate doesn't see it as a punishment but as a safe place.

So let's say you are going to put the cat in it first and you have it in your living room.  When you are going to watch tv bring kitty out and put him in the crate and just ignore the crate.  Dog can sniff and look without hurting kitten and vice versa.   Start slow maybe 5 minutes at a time.   Go a few minutes longer each time.

The kitten will feel more secure if he can claim something in the room as his own territory so giving him a cat tree or a special bed or something that he can roll around in and leave his scent on will make him feel like the home is also his.   Let him have access to the space when the dog is crated, outside or blocked in another area of the house.   It will be hard for him to build confidence if he is always held and not allowed to explore the space.   It may somewhat reinforce he has something to fear if he is always carried except in his "safe" room.

As long as he gets lots of attention, which I'm sure is not a problem and exercise he will be fine staying the majority of time in one room.   Using a variety of different types of toys and giving him access to a lot of different textures and sounds will also help him build confidence and make him less fearful in general.

I found out at the vet that our kittens who I had spent a lot of time introducing to different sounds and textures when we first found them were SUPER spooky with loud noises they had never heard before.   Since I'm disabled and it's not as easy to take a kitten out like you would a puppy I ended up turning up the speakers on my computer and while I held them in my lap just played a bunch of different sounds.  At first, they were pretty spooked, but I just petted and talked to them in my normal "happy" voice that I use with them and after a while, I could play almost any sound and they didn't even bat an eye.   I haven't actually had an opportunity to see if they can generalize that loud sounds aren't SUPER SCARY when they aren't in our house yet, but I know they have a solid foundation so hope they can or at least that their bounce back time is minimal.

You have no idea how much I appreciate all of your advice! Thank you so much! 

Our adult cat was the first time I had ever been around a cat other than visiting friends who had them. I had no idea what I was doing and thankfully she and our dog got along great from the first day. Before we adopted her I was indifferent towards cats; I didn’t dislike them but never thought of having one as a pet. My daughters (16 year old twins) love all animals and when they were 12 asked for a cat. My husband and I agreed as long as we adopted through a rescue and they had to agree to be responsible for all her care. (Of course we took the financial responsibility but they had to do the work.) I was surprised I liked her as much as I did! Who knew I liked cats? Anyway, I’m still a bit clueless when it comes to cats because she was so easy and got along with our dog right away. 

We agreed to get another cat when my daughters asked because they are really awesome kids. We set boundaries and rules, they follow them. They have never been punished other than “time out” when they were little. They don’t do anything wrong and they deserve to be rewarded for that. I just thought the kitten would fit in and get along with the others the way our first cat did. 

Thankfully I am home during the day so I can give the kitten lots of snuggles and bring him to the living room for a few minutes throughout the day. Having MS sucks; thankfully so much has changed in the past 10 years. Now there is medication to slow the progression of the disease. I take injections three times a week plus they have discovered adderall helps with brain fog and reflexes. I had three car accidents in one year before the adderall because I was slow to respond. I describe it as my brain tells my body to move but there is a road block between my brain and limbs. It takes longer for the message to get delivered. Now that I take a low dose of adderall I don’t have as many bruises and small injuries. I even had a coworker ask if my husband abused me because of my bumps and bruises! Nope. Just fall and trip over my own feet a lot. 

And here is another photo of my sweet baby:

E528E25F-FC48-4145-AC92-379850DC871A.jpeg

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Conundrum

I went to Petco and bought this (It’s not the Wilderness because I couldn’t find one for a kitten, but it’s made by Blue)  Supposedly it has limited ingredients and is grain free. He’s chomping down his feast now so we will see how it goes. I only gave him 1/4 of the can in case it hurts his belly. 

98F2CFC2-4B07-482C-AF2E-768A19C723B4.jpeg

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