Kitten Food Types and Schedule for Kittens

Kitten Food

Kittens are among the most adorable animals on the planet. Most likely, you’re still learning all there is to know about taking care of a new cat.

For this gorgeous infant to grow up into a healthy adult, you’ll do everything you can to ensure they have everything they need. A healthy diet is a critical component of overall well-being.

After the first four weeks of mother’s milk, a kitten progressively transitions to kitten food and is totally weaned at about eight weeks. Once you’ve gotten your kitten home, you need to know.

In terms of nutrition, how are kittens’ demands differ from those of adult felines?

During the first few weeks of a kitten’s existence, its weight might double or quadruple. Your kitten’s rapid development and high activity level may need to quadruple an adult cat’s calorie consumption.

According to Jennifer Larsen, DVM, Ph.D., nutritional consultant, and associate professor of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital of California, Davis, kittens’ high energy demands make it challenging to obtain enough calories in one meal.

It’s not uncommon for kittens to want to feed three or four times a day. Cats, after all, are snackers at heart, so it’s a comfort for them.”

Kitten Food

Larsen explains that cats of all ages require the same amount of fat, certain fatty acids, and nutrients as kittens.

The nutritional needs of kittens, on the other hand, are much more significant, and they need more protein, amino acids, minerals, and specific vitamins. Protein, for example, should make up around 30% of a kitten’s calorie intake.

As a result of these considerations, most experts suggest that you begin feeding your kitten food as soon as possible. Some cat foods are labeled as suitable for kittens and cats of all life stages, but unless the label claim is supported by feeding experiments, they are not acceptable for your kitten.
Keep in mind that fresh water is essential for the health of cats of all ages.

How can I choose high-quality kitten food?

As senior director of client services for the ASPCA Midwest Office, Mindy Bough, CVT, stresses the necessity of feeding your high-quality kitten food.

Bough advises against generic or retail brands, and she recommends purchasing from a reliable provider, one that vets routinely suggest. “Experimentation has shown that these diets are beneficial for your kitten’s health.”

However, how can you tell whether kitten food is of the best quality? As a first step, verify the product’s packaging label. At a minimum, it should include the following: “

Assists kittens in meeting the nutritional needs defined by the American Association of Feed Control Officials.” It is the responsibility of AAFCO, a coalition of state and federal authorities, to ensure that pet food is safe.

Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials” is a better search term. “Complete and balanced nourishment” implies that your cat will not need any additional supplements in minerals or vitamins.

Kitten Food

Remember that too much of a “good thing” may really be harmful to your kitten, resulting in serious health complications. Unless your veterinarian tells you to, don’t give your pet any vitamins.

Also, be careful with home-cooked diets. For example, a mineral imbalance that leads to hyperparathyroidism in fast-developing kittens is typical in homemade diets high in meat. Make sure your customized diet is developed by a qualified dietitian, Bough advises.

You make the final decision after feeding for a length of time. Your kitten should be healthy and alert, gain weight steadily, and have a clean, glossy coat with sufficient nourishment. If this is the case, speak with your veterinarian about making dietary adjustments or ruling out any underlying health issues that could be present.

What kind of food should I feed my kitten?

It’s critical that kittens, especially those still very young, consume some canned food as part of their diet. Tiny kittens have tiny teeth and cannot eat dry food effectively, and they won’t be able to develop correctly unless they have access to some canned food.

If you’re giving your cat a combination of dry and canned food, two cans of food per day should be enough. If they exclusively consume canned food, they should be fed four times a day.

How can I go from one brand of kitten food to the next?

Cats have a reputation for being “picky eaters.” That’s not the only option, however. Make sure your kitten gets off to a good start.

Larsen adds that if a kitten has been exposed to various textures and tastes from an early age, it will be simpler to switch diets later on. When cats eat the same thing repeatedly, they develop a taste and textural affinity for it.

Larsen advises against combining new kitten food with old food while making a transition. According to her, the old food might be a turnoff for the kitten if it doesn’t like the latest.

Do not mix new and old items together in a single dish. Offer progressively decreasing portions of the old plate over time. Help them make the change with a little bit of hunger, and they’ll be more open to sampling the new meal.

Make sure you’re aware of the dangers of abruptly altering your diet. As a result, it may take you four to seven days to adapt to a new diet.

What’s the best way to feed my kitten?

Bough notes that younger cats need more frequent feedings, but they may be fed twice daily as they mature.
According to Larsen, “free feeding” kittens by providing them with unlimited kitten food throughout the day and then transitioning to meal eating at four to six months is perfectly acceptable.

In addition, free-choice feeding reduces stomach distention caused by quick meal consumption. It also aids kittens who are underweight or sluggish in development.

Cats that are overweight or obese shouldn’t do this, of course. Measurable quantities of food should be fed to these kittens in a meal or until they are gone.

The recommended serving sizes may be seen on the packaging. Even with kittens’ high energy requirements, overfeeding may be severe.

According to Larsen, the risk of obesity rises during the period of spaying and neutering. Instead of dealing with obesity after the fact, “preventative measures are better than corrective measures.”

Do I need to be careful about what I feed my kitten?

For cats, Larsen recommends feeding them snacks that are less than 10% of their daily caloric intake. Your kitten’s calorie consumption should make up no more than 10% of that total when it comes to your kitten’s calorie consumption.

However, this does not imply that it is a brilliant idea to feed your cat table scraps. The following foods should also be avoided:

  • Parasites and dangerous germs may be present in raw meat or liver.
  • Salmonella may be present in raw eggs, which might reduce the absorption of a B vitamin, causing issues with the skin and hair coat.
  • B vitamin shortage in raw fish may cause a lack of appetite, convulsions, and even death; this can be prevented by cooking the fish.
  • Weaned kittens and cats may get diarrhea after consuming milk since they lack the enzyme necessary to break down the milk.

Kittens and cats may be poisoned by ingesting onions and garlic, chocolate; coffee; tea; raisins, and grapes.

Do kittens need kitten food?

The answer is yes; kittens do need a particular diet. A kitten’s first year is critical for its physical and mental growth and development, and hence they need a special kitten diet.

Because large-breed cats, like the Maine Coon, take longer to mature, they need kitten food for 18 months to two years.

Kittens are lively, inquisitive, and bursting with life. A portion of adequate food is necessary to sustain their energy and discoveries at this period.”

Kitten Food

The nutritional needs of kittens

There are several differences between cat food and that for kittens. The dry kibble is smaller for little jaws, making food a lot simpler to consume.

The nutritional value varies as well. Kittens need more calories and nutrients than adult cats since they are growing and developing faster than they did when they were kittens.

There are more calories and greater concentrations of certain nutrients in kitten food. These are some of the vitamins and minerals that are included:

  • Carnivores like cats need more protein than canines do. As a result, kittens need more protein and essential amino acids like arginine, lysine, and methionine than adult cats, which are necessary for their fast growth and development.
  • The amino acids taurine and choline are essential for kittens, just for adults.
  • The fast growth and development of kittens need an increased intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs).
  • To maintain their growing bones and teeth, kittens need more calcium and phosphorus than adult cats.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid DHA DHA is essential for developing the brain and eyes.
  • Felines, like humans, need a variety of vitamins and minerals in their diets, although kittens require higher doses of magnesium, copper, iodine, and vitamin A than adult cats.

Does It Make Sense for Kittens to Drink Milk?

Kittens are dependent on their mother’s milk for the first three to four weeks of their lives (or a milk replacement), and this provides them with all of their nutritional requirements for the time being.

A kitten’s nourishment should come from kitten food when she is weaned from milk at six to eight weeks. Kittens should not be fed milk from cows, goats, or other dairy sources alone since they lack essential nutrients.

Is Human Food Safe for Kittens?

Kittens can’t get all the nutrients they need from human food, just as they can’t get them from milk. While certain items, like cooked salmon or eggs, are okay for her, you should avoid giving her human food.

Can a Kitten Survive on 1,500 Calories Per Day?

Kittens’ daily calorie requirements rise as they mature and become more active. Based on her age and weight, you will need to increase your kitten’s daily calorie intake.

If you’re unsure how much to feed your kitten, go to the feeding chart on the food packaging or call your veterinarian.

A good diet for kittens sets the stage for an adult cat’s long and healthy life.

Visit our Pet Expertise website for additional information on kitten nutrition, transferring to adult cat food, and more.

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