General Question

girlofscience's avatar

How can I encourage my 8-week-old twins to eat baby food?

Asked by girlofscience (7527points) September 29th, 2008

I have a 2-year-old girl and 8-week-old twins. All three girls now love each other and would not want to be segregated. My 2 year old is thrilled to have playmates, and the babies really enjoy being groomed, licked, and loved by their older sister. They spend the days (while my boyfriend and I are at work) running around and play-fighting each other, and I would really hate to have to keep them completely separated.

I set out three food dishes everyday, and the babies always go for the adult food first. Is this a big problem? What can I do to change this? I just want everyone to be eating the proper food, but it seems impossible to control.

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50 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

can you change their feeding time so you can be home to segregate and then put them back together?

Nimis's avatar

Note to self: Read the tags.
Was REALLY confused when I read groomed, licked, and loved by their older sister.

gailcalled's avatar

GoS: You got Nim and me both.. I was initially horrified to imagine eight-week old babies eating solid food.

scamp's avatar

@Nimis me too! I just yelled out, WHAT? and poof, who is sitting in the cubicle next to mine said,“calm down, she’s talking about cats!”

poofandmook's avatar

make that 4. LOL

girlofscience's avatar

@poofandmook: I could do that for their nightly feedings, but we’re gone for 9.5 hours Monday through Friday (7:30a.m. to 5:00p.m.), and I’m assuming they’re awake most of that time, so I’d hate for them to be without food for so long.

poofandmook's avatar

what if, when you put the food down, you put the dishes in separate rooms, and when you put their dish down, place them directly in front of it as you put it down? Maybe they’d get used to that being their dish and go for that more than the adult food after doing it for a while?

girlofscience's avatar

@poofandmook: That sounds like a good possibility. I’ll try that tomorrow morning and let you know how it goes. Thank you!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@ everyone me three, or ten. Whatever it’s up to now. Phew!

@GofS——Put the adult cats food UP on a table or other surface, and kitten food on ground level. Otherwise, what worked for me in the past was to lock the babes in a pen to feed, while adult is being fed.

I have Many animals. We had to (and still need to every now and then) use a gate for feeding time (cats vs. dogs here).

girlofscience's avatar

@SpatzieLover: That’s interesting (putting the adult food higher up)—but what if she then ate all the babies’ food?

SpatzieLover's avatar

She knows the word ‘No!’ (I hope) :o)

If not, then you’ll have to resort to separation via gate, pen, or bedroom door.

Since the kitties need to eat this food for sometime, I think training of the eldest cat is in your best interest.

blastfamy's avatar

The thing about hunger in kids is that it is a real motivator.

Just don’t give them any big people food. It’s just that simple… or did I miss something?

SpatzieLover's avatar

Hahhaha! @blast you missed. It’s kittens were talking about

shrubbery's avatar

yeah you got me too, at first. I was like WTF? Actually I was like how did girlofscience have twins and we didn’t hear about it? How come she was so active 8 weeks ago when she should have been busy with her babies? Then I realised… :P

blastfamy's avatar

That would explain “groomed, licked, and loved by their older sister”

This had me wondering…

blastfamy's avatar

In this case, I find that a squirt bottle is the best solution. Painless, yet oh-so painful for the cat.

SpatzieLover's avatar

blastfamy do you think the kitties would eat spatzie?

blastfamy's avatar

Alone? if it had enough butter in/on it, I’m sure.

Otherwise, mix a boatload of tuna in there. It will go down in a heartbeat. I guarantee it.

augustlan's avatar

Why not temporarily give kitten food to all the cats. If I’m not mistaken, it has extra nutrients, and is easier to digest so I don’t think it would hurt the older cat to eat it for a while, until the babies could move up. Maybe ask your vet about that.

Darwin's avatar

Kitten food absolutely will not injure the older cat. However, it is a bit higher in calories so you may have to increase playtime to work those extra calories off. The kittens use all that energy up in growing up, but your grownup kitty will only grow sideways from it. :-)

Darwin's avatar

I must admit that I too had visions of my daughter licking my son, and that is SO not going to happen!

cak's avatar

I feel so much better knowing I wasn’t the only one fooled! :)

sccrowell's avatar

GOS,
You had me too!! I like Nim & Gail (list could go on) thought you were talking about human babies. I guess I spoke aloud and Whatthefluther said, Are you sure they don’t feed feed babyfood to babies, I said not at two weeks they don’t. He said you know it’s been along time since you’ve had them maybe things have changed. Then I read topics… Duh…. Don’t I feel like an idiot. I agree with what @Augustlan suggested. The kitten food would be better for the toddler(LOL) than cat food for your twins. Or call your vet and ask what he/she suggests.

Megan64's avatar

That scared the crap out of me too; 8-week old babies can’t eat food! Someone please take over for me, I need to go sit down and fan myself.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The kitten food is rich. Besides weight gain, vomiting/diarrhea can occur with adult cats.

wundayatta's avatar

Warning: Deconstruction of analytical process; no doubt boring to most people, and not exactly on topic, either.

Like shrubbery, I found the whole thing was suspicious from the get go. I knew GoS had a boyfriend, but I didn’t think she was married. She’s going to school, so how could she have human twins? That was before I clicked on the explanation. The second line about not wanting to be segregated told me that it was extremely unlikely we were talking about humans. And the grooming and licking started to suggest what we were really talking about. The food dishes on the floor made it more clear, and lastly, the topics confirmed everything.

What’s interesting to me is that I assume everyone goes through a process like this in reading anything. I’m careful about almost everything people write. Wondering if it’s a joke, or sarcasm, or just off in some way. I have a kind of “tone of voice” detector, although I have to admit, the flat delivery on this one was very effective. I wasn’t sure until deep into the explanation.

Judi's avatar

I read the question and was going to rant about why he wasn’t nursing!

deaddolly's avatar

Geez, I thought they were human children as well.

I don’t think adult food will hurt them at all. I’d try feeding the 2 yr. in a spot the little ones can’t get too. otherwise, I’d just not worry about it.

poofandmook's avatar

The problem with a lot of the suggestions here, like yelling “no!” and the spray bottle, is that as GoS mentioned, this is during the several hours that she and her boyfriend aren’t home. Also, regular tuna actually isn’t very good for cats. And, training the older kitty isn’t nearly as easy as it is to train the younger ones.

SpatzieLover's avatar

The older cat should be trained. The kittens are in process. I don’t ‘yell’ at my cats. Just say ‘no’. Maybe mine are better trained than most, though. (they sit, come, and go on the toilet)

marinelife's avatar

Kitten and puppy food are constructs of the pet food industry. Adult food is fine.

girlofscience's avatar

@Marina: Really?! I’m surprised I hadn’t considered that.

So it doesn’t matter at all? Are there any differences? (I’m about to look it up, but you can respond if you have any insight off the top of your head.)

girlofscience's avatar

By the way, daloon, I thought your analysis of the thought process in reading my question was interesting!!

It’s funny how well we regulars know each other.

girlofscience's avatar

WHOA, why does it say I only have 1 lurve point next to my name???

poofandmook's avatar

Maybe you confused Ben & Andrew and they don’t like being confused? lol

marinelife's avatar

@gofs When you do your research, You might peruse this blog.

In the interests of full disclosure, I feed my dogs raw food and would do the same if I had a cat (can’t right now due to ex-racing greyhound that eats cats).

I am not necessarily advocating raw food for others, but I do strongly advocate the highest protein content food with little to no grain that you can afford. Cats, even more than dogs, do not eat grain in their diets naturally, and it is not good for them.

gailcalled's avatar

@GOS: I am going to flag this question and suggest to mods that they save it for their “great question list.” And you have to admit that you were pretty slick in not using the word “cat” until the tags. I slowly knew something was “rotten in the state of Denmark” and I knew you were a cat owner. But the original lead question on the daily roster was clever, clever, clever.

girlofscience's avatar

Haha, thanks, Gail!!!

poofandmook's avatar

@GoS: How are the feedings going?

gailcalled's avatar

^^ meaning?

girlofscience's avatar

@poofandmook: Still trying to work it out. When I put the food down, even if I put the correct cats in front of the correct bowls, they’re not interested in eating at that time. Even if I have the adult food bowl in a different room than the kitten food, the kittens tend to ignore their food when I put it down and eventually run into the other room and eat the adult food.

I also tried putting the adult food at a higher level (on the kitchen table), which I know my 2 year old has the ability to climb up on, but the food was ignored completely by everyone, and they all ate the kitten food.

Darwin's avatar

Sounds like kitten food for all, then!

Judi's avatar

It souds like the elder kitty wants to teach the kittens how to eat. They won’t eat until she approves it.

jamzzy's avatar

the cartoon. make them watch it, it helped me haha

gailcalled's avatar

@jam: helped you how? To not eat cat food, to leave your kittens’ food untouched? To eat your brocolli?

poofandmook's avatar

@gail: Actually it was spinach, not broccoli. It makes sense when you think about it… broccoli never would’ve flown out of the can that easily! :)

gailcalled's avatar

Poof: I walked into that one. (Slaps herself upside the head.)

jamzzy's avatar

when i was little i hated eated anything that wasnt from mcdonalds or deep fried in chocolate (yes i was a fat baby). my mom showed my popeye and than i ate everything else. but it faded away as time went by and now im too skinny go figure.

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