Few creatures can compare to kittens when it comes to cuteness. If you’ve just acquired a kitten (or two), you are probably learning all about kitten care. You need to do everything you could to make sure that your cute infant grows into a healthy adult. Proper feeding is a big part of the health equation. After the first four weeks of mommy’s milk, a kitten gradually transforms to kitten food, and is completely weaned at about eight weeks. Here’s what you need to know as soon as you’ve brought your kitten home.
Can kittens’ nutritional requirements differ from those of cats?
A kitten’s weight may double or even triple during the first couple of weeks of life. To encourage this growth — as well as large action levels — your kitten may have double the energy demands of an adult cat.
These high energy needs make it tougher for kittens to have enough calories in one meal, says Jennifer Larsen, DVM, Ph.D., nutritional consultant, and assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis. “So most Americans wish to consume at least three or four meals a day,” she states. “It’s also a comfortable thing — kittens are snackers in your mind.”
Kittens should get about 30% of their energy from protein.
For these reasons, most experts recommend you feed your kitty especially formulated kitty food till age 1. Even though some cat foods are labeled as appropriate for kittens and cats of all life stages, these are not appropriate for your kitty unless feeding tests support the label claim.
And do not neglect to provide plenty of freshwater — it is a key to maintaining cats of all ages healthful.
How can I know I am choosing a high-quality kitten food?
Mindy Bough, CVT, senior manager of customer services for the Midwest Office of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) emphasizes the significance of high-quality kitty food. “I do not recommend store or generic brands,” Bough says. Purchase from a firm — one that veterinarians recommend often, she says. “Research has ascertained these kitten foods provide excellent health.”
AAFCO is a set of federal and state officials who govern pet food. Better still, start looking for this: “Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials” “Complete and balanced nutrition” means your kitty will need no mineral or vitamin supplementation. Actually, remember that too much of a”good thing” could be bad for your kitten, causing acute medical problems. Use supplements if your veterinarian recommends them.
Use caution with diets that are homemade. By way of example, all-meat homemade diets can be low in calcium, causing a nutrient imbalance that causes hyperparathyroidism, a disorder more common in kittens that are rapidly developing. “Should you use a homemade diet, then make sure it’s been invented by a respectable nutritionist,” Bough states.
You be the judge, after feeding for a time period. With proper nutrition, your kitten should be alert and healthy, have a clean, shiny coat, along with a weight gain.
Which type of food does my kitten dry, wet, or need?
It’s significant that kittens have at least some canned food. Quite kittens can not chew food that is dry well and have teeth. Without some canned foods, they will not get enough nourishment to grow properly. If you are feeding your kitten both canned and dry foods, then two times a day feedings that are canned are sufficient. They need to be fed four times daily if they are only eating canned food.
How do I change to another from 1 kitten food?
Cats are often considered the epitome of the”picky eater.” However, it does not need to be like that. Get your kitten started off on the right paw.
“It’s easier to change meals if a kitten has been exposed early on to various textures and tastes,” Larsen says. “If exposed to the same food over and over, cats have a tendency to get a predetermined preference for a specific taste and texture.”
If you’re attempting to make a switch into a new kitten food, Larsen recommends not mixing it together with the older food. “If the kitty dislikes the new food, then this can put them off the food that is old, too,” she says. Offer foods in separate bowls and the food. Over time, provide smaller and smaller amounts of the old food. “A little bit of hunger can help them make the transition – and resign them to trying the new food”
Bear in mind that making quick changes in meals can lead to stomach upset or”hunger strikes.” That means you might have to make the transition.
What is the best way of feeding my kitty?
“Young cats want more frequent feeding,” Bough states, “However, as they get old, they could visit twice-a-day feeding”
Larsen agrees that it is fine for young kittens to”free feed,” by making unlimited kitten food available to them daily, and then to transition to meal ingestion around four to six months of age. Free-choice feeding has the additional benefit of decreasing stomach distention resulting from rapid meal eating. Additionally, it helps underweight or slow-growing kittens. It’s not the ideal option for obese or obese kittens. For all these kittens portions provided as food or until gone is a much better choice. Proposed amounts are packaged for by check.
“Especially control intake around the time of spaying and neutering, which increases the risk for obesity,” Larsen says. “Preventing obesity is preferable to addressing it once it’s already happened.”
Are there foods I should avoid giving my kitty?
It’s OK to feed your kitty treats, provided that you observe the”10 percent calorie guideline,” Larsen says. This means that treats should constitute less than 10% of your kitty’s total caloric consumption. But this does not mean it is a good idea to flip your leftover table scraps into snacks for your kitty. Also, take precautions with these foods:
- Raw liver or meat could contain parasites and harmful germs.
- Raw eggs may contain Salmonella and may decrease the absorption of B vitamins leading to skin and hair coat problems.
- Raw fish can lead to some B vitamin deficiency, causing loss of desire, seizures, and sometimes even death.
- Milk might cause nausea in weaned cats and kittens because they shed the enzyme needed to break down milk.
Additionally, onions, garlic, chocolate, tea, coffee, raisins, or grapes may be poisonous to cats and kittens.