What to Feed Your New Kitten
4 August, 2015
If you are looking to adopt a new kitten, you will most likely be adopting one that is over four weeks old. Most newborn kittens are able to get their complete nutrition from their mother’s milk for the first four weeks of life. A mother cat’s milk is 100 percent perfect for their needs, so you don’t need to feed them anything else. If the mother cat is ill or you found an orphan kitten, it might be necessary to feed the kittens a commercial milk replacement up to four weeks old.
Kitties grow leaps and bounds
During the first weeks of life, a kitten’s body weight may double or even triple. This rapid growth will continue until maturity. Large amounts of energy and nutrients are required in balanced quantities to support this growth. Kittens also need about 30 percent of their total energy from protein. Make sure the food you offer is specifically formulated for kittens. Your kitty will need to eat kitten-formula food until she reaches maturity or about one year’s old.
Kittens require specific food that is intended just for them
Kittens have nutritional needs that are different than those of mature cats. As mentioned above, feed your kitten a food that is made specifically for kittens. Choose a food that is intended for growth. Try to feed your kitten the highest-quality food you can afford. Good food is health insurance, and it’s worth the extra cost to buy products that have better-quality meats and, few. if any chemical additives.
Your cat’s food preferences are generally established by the time they’re six months old, so you need to get your kitten used to eating a nutritionally complete diet at an early age. In order to avoid boredom and keep your kitten eating, choose two or three different products, in different flavors, in both dry and canned formulas, and feed them interchangeably.
Wet or Dry Food depends on you and your cat
As for what to feed your kitten when it comes to choosing canned or dry food, kittens can do well eating either. Canned food provides more moisture than dry, which can be useful in keeping your kitten well hydrated. This may become very important for your cat later in life. Dry food tends to be more convenient to feed and can be left for a longer period in the bowl without having to worry about spoilage. Canned food should be left out for your kitten no longer than 20-30 minutes maximum. Dry food can be left out for longer periods.
Dry food does tend to have a higher carbohydrate content than some canned foods, which means that your cat may gain weight easier on dry food than wet, if allowed to overeat. However, cats can gain excess weight on either dry or canned food. Obesity is currently the most common nutritional disease seen in cats. Feeding your cat to remain lean is an important part of keeping your cat healthy and it is important to establish this during kittenhood. If you opt for dry food, make sure your kitten is drinking plenty of water.
Your kitten, if possible, should be fed three times a day
A feeding schedule for your kitten allows you to control the kitten’s diet more easily and helps to make sure your kitten does not overeat and gain too much weight. Your new kitten should eat three times daily. Morning, afternoon, and evening is ideal. You can arrange the schedule to fit in with your own routine, although it is best to keep a consistent routine from day to day.
Use the feeding guidelines on the food label as a starting point to figure out how much to feed your kitten. Split up the daily portion into three equal parts and feed 1/3 at each feeding. The feeding guidelines provide a starting point but you’ll need to monitor your cat’s body condition and adjust the feeding amount accordingly. If your cat is gaining too much weight, decrease the amount of food. On the other hand, the amount of food offered if your cat is too thin or is not gaining weight as expected.
Try not to overfeed your kitten and start off with good habits
Remember, if you make the decision to leave dry food available at all times for your cat, it is imperative to make certain your cat is not overeating. If so, you’ll need to portion your cat’s diet appropriately and establish a feeding schedule for your cat if you haven’t already done so as a kitten. If you have a dog in your home, make sure he can’t get to the kitten’s food. Also, make sure fresh water is available at all times.
Your vet can help you with determining the best weight for your cat. Your kitten should be lean enough that you can see the ribs but that they are not protruding. If there is a layer of fat around your kitties’ body, you are feeding him or her too much!
Kitties like all cats need exercise
Curious kittens will probably want to play with their food rather than eat it, but the youngsters will soon catch on and realize they are supposed to eat the food, not just bat it around! And, kittens have so much energy that they usually run around on their own. Keeping up the exercise will help keep them lean until adulthood.
Treats should be given sparingly
It’s fine to feed your kitten a few treats. However, treats should make up no more than five percent of your kitten’s daily nutrient intake, and the rest of his/her diet should come from a high-quality kitten food. It is really crucial at this stage in life to make sure your kitten gets the right mixture of protein and nutrients.