Feeding Kittens: What When How Much
Experts answer six common questions about kitten food and more.
When it comes to cuteness, few critters can compare to kittens. If youve just acquired a kitten , youre probably learning all about kitten care. You want to do what you can to ensure that your adorable baby grows into a healthy adult. Proper feeding is a big part of the health equation. After the first four weeks of mothers milk, a kitten gradually transitions to kitten food, and is completely weaned at about eight weeks. Heres what you need to know once youve brought your kitten home.
What Is Ocean Fish In Cat Food
Ocean Fish-A-LiciousTM Cats food is made with simple, natural ingredients like chunks of real ocean fish and flaked tuna cooked in a delicious sauce, as well as the Corn, wheat, and soy are not permitted to be consumed in any form. Sizes are available in 28-ounce increments. Grain, corn, wheat, and soy are not permitted in this product.
Oily Cat Food Gravy Recipe
If you are looking to help your cat gain weight, this simple oil gravy recipe is a great option. It requires nothing more than the following ingredients:
- Place the dark chicken meat, broth, and water in a large stockpot, and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, turn the stove down until the liquid is simmering, and let the stock simmer for about an hour.
- Add everything to the processor and mix until desired consistency is obtained. You can thicken it more using pre-hydrated gelatin or a few cubes of boiled potatoes.
- Turn the stove off, let the gravy cool, and serve!
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Benefits Of Wet Food For Cats
There are several benefits to feeding wet food to your cat. One of the biggest benefits is that wet food has a very high moisture content, making it the best cat food when it comes to helping your cat stay hydrated. This is especially important for senior cats and those with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease or urinary problems. It can be difficult to convince a cat to drink more water, so transitioning to a canned food diet is an easy way to increase your cats daily water intake and improve overall hydration.
In addition to being high in moisture, wet food diets also tend to be lower in calories than an equal volume of dry cat food. Wet food diets are also higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than dry food diets, which can help to maintain a lean body mass. For cats that need to lose weight, a wet food diet can be particularly helpful in this process.
Foods/ingredients You Should Never Give Your Kitty
It is of course important that you know what your kitten needs in order to have a healthy kitten.
BUT, it is also important that you know what to avoid. There are a lot of ingredients and additives hiding in many mass produced pet food, even in the organic and healthy brands that are simply no good. Ingredients to look out for include:
- Fat trimmings from your raw meat or raw fish, eggs
- Garlic and/or onions
For a complete list of potentially harmful substances and an explanation of why they are harmful, check this article from VetsNow.
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More Top Rated Kitten Foods:
Kittens are individuals. Thats not to say theyre picky! Here are 6 more really good foods that we can recommend for your kitten. Many people believe that feeding your kitten a variety of textures and flavors while hes young can help him enjoy more foods when he gets older.
|More 5 Star Kitten Food Picks:|
First Five Ingredients: Fish Broth, Skipjack Tuna, Mackerel, Potatoes, Sunflower Oil
There are lots of Earthborn Holistic cat and kitten foods on Chewy.com but Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley Grain-Free Natural Canned Cat & Kitten Food is, by far, the highest rated. Its high in protein with Fish Broth, Skipjack Tuna, and Mackerel as the first ingredients. This food is grain free with no artificial ingredients added. If your kitten doesnt like this tuna and mackerel recipe, we can recommend the other Earthborn Holistic canned grain free canned foods like Chicken Catcciatori. Chewy.com has a case of 24 3-ounce cans for $26.16 or a case of 24 5.5-ounce cans for $38.16.
First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Natural Flavor
First Five Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Pork Broth, Natural Flavors
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Food
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition wet food is specifically designed to support your little fur balls still-developing immune system and growing muscles and bones. The canned food is formulated for kittens up to 12 months. Inside are small slices that are easy for your little one to chew.
The wet food stores a balanced diet of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in a delicious recipe that will leave your kitten licking her paws. Its a claw-ver way to get your kitty-loving solid foods. And its a perfect supplement to combine with Royal Canin Dry Kibble for ultimate nutrition.
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Blue Wilderness High Protein
BLUE Wilderness has an excellent reputation for producing high-quality pet foods, and this kitten dry food is no exception. There is absolutely nothing artificial in this kibble. What you will find instead is de-boned chicken and sweet potatoes. The real chicken provides protein, and sweet potatoes serve as a source of complex carbohydrates. Though carbohydrates arent essential in your cats diet, they are required to help create kibble and are a source of energy.
Youll find taurine on the ingredients list too, an essential amino acid that is critical for heart and eye development. We love the patented LifeSource bits that BLUE includes in all of its dry foods. They are dark kibble bits that are cold-formed and enriched with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. All of that adds up to a happy, healthy kitten!
Things you will not find in this kitten dry food include poultry by-product meals, wheat, soy, or corn. With a chicken flavor that seems to be extremely popular with kittens, this dry food will make sure they get all the nutrients they need.
Is Fish Poisonous To Cats
Foods that contain bacteria, such as raw eggs and raw meat, can cause food poisoning. Raw fish contains an enzyme that destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin for cats. The presence of thiamine can cause serious neurological problems and convulsions.
Fish: The Best Way To Cook It
Grilling the fish is as simple as placing it on the grill at high heat for about five minutes. Grill your ribs for three to four minutes, or until cooked through. Before cooking, brush the fish with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the fish in a large saucepan over medium heat, covered, and season with 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Cover, boil, and steam for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
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Petsradar’s Pick Of The Best Kitten Food
This food is made up of the ideal ratio of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to support your kitten as they grow and become more active. It also contains antioxidants to support their developing immune system. The thin slices help kittens transition from milk to more solid foods. Royal Canin also produces dry and loaf formulations.
Dr. Diana Hasler BVM& S MRCVS
If youâre keen to ensure that your new four-legged friend has a balanced and nutritious diet, itâs hard to look past Royal Caninâs Kitten food.
Royal Canin is a hugely respected cat food brand, earning praise from owners and veterinarians alike for its specialist formulas. It may be a little pricier per can than others on this list, but thereâs little substitute for knowing that youâve got your kitty some quality dinner from a trusted brand.
The ratio of proteins to fat and carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients, in Royal Caninâs Kitten food is perfectly set up to deliver everything a growing kitten needs. This means that unless youâve found yourself a fussy little fluff ball who craves a bit more variety, Royal Canin can easily be your kittens-only food. Though itâs useful to note that Royal Caninâs dry kitten food is formulated to complement the wet stuff so you can add a bit of crunch to your little oneâs diet.
The meat comes in gravy , and is deliberately sliced small and thin to make it easier on tiny mouths transitioning to solid food.
Best For Constipation: Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition
- On the pricey side
- May be rich for some cats stomachs
Listed as our best canned cat food for constipation, Royal Canin Adult Instinctive is formulated to provide your adult cat with an appealing formula they will enjoy at each feeding as well as features a moderate energy level to help maintain your adult cats ideal weight. Royal Canin has formulated to be instinctively preferred by adult cats.
That means your cat gets a formula it loves while getting the precise nutrition it needs at each and every feeding. Reduced phosphorus levels help support kidney health in older cats. Also the tender thin slices in gravy are easier on the sensitive teeth and gums of cats.
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What Are The Benefits Of Wet Cat Food
There are several benefits of giving your cat wet cat food. Some of them are:
- Urinary Health. If your cat suffers from urinary problems, wet food is able to promote more diluted urine. This helps to cure problems and prevent further breakouts. Additionally, wet food is also known to reduce inflammation in and around the bladder, which helps your cat.
- Weight Management. Wet food contains water which does not have any calories in itself. As a result, wet food is known to have a lower energy density in comparison to dry food. A general rule of thumb states that dry foods provide more than 34 kcal/g. Wet foods, on the other hand, offer 0.81.5 kcal/g. Some specially designed wet foods offer a lot lesser in order tohelp with weight loss.
- Dehydration. Many cats are known to suffer from dehydration due to them consuming less water. Wet foods can help bridge this gap and rehydrate your cat. As a result, wet foods are considered more beneficial as compared to dry foods.
- Constipation. If your cat is suffering from hairball issues or just drinks less water overall, the chances are that it suffers from constipation. This can become more problematic in the long run. However, wet cat food helps to curb this problem.
Best Wet Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs
If your cat is prone to digestive problems, finding a wet cat food for sensitive stomachs could help cut back on diarrhea, gas, loose stools. A digestive food wont necessarily be a cure-all for all of your cats issues, so make sure to consult a veterinarian before feeding your cat a special diet.
Here are some of our favorite wet cat food options for cats with digestive problems.
If your cat enjoys a smooth pate-style wet food and has a sensitive stomach, Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care is a great option to consider. This grain-free cat food features a single animal protein source and is formulated to aid in gentle digestion. Available in duck, fish, or turkey, these recipes steer clear of common allergens like chicken, beef, dairy, and eggs.
- Free of common allergens like chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, and corn
- Available in three recipes with a single animal protein source
- Features potatoes and pumpkin to aid in gentle digestion
- Omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- Available in two can sizes3 oz and 5.5 oz.
Things to Consider
|Meets AAFCO Standards?||Yes|
- May not solve a cats digestive issues, depending on whats causing them.
- There are additional ingredients and fillers. Read the labels before purchasing.
- Should be refrigerated after opening, like all wet cat foods.
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Best Wet Cat Food For Weight Loss
If your cat is struggling to lose weight, diet plays a big role. Your veterinarian may recommend switching to a wet cat food for weight loss to try to keep your cats calories regulated. Before starting your feline friend on a weight-loss food, make sure to discuss the change with your cats vet.
Here are our top picks for wet cat foods designed for weight loss.
|Meets AAFCO Standards?||Yes|
If your feline friend has packed on a few pounds, this therapeutic diet from Blue Buffalo can help. It features an ideal balance of fat and calories plus plenty of fiber to help make your cat feel fuller longer. In addition to chicken as the main protein and chicken broth for extra moisture, other wholesome ingredients include potatoes, whitefish, carrots, flaxseed, blueberries, and cranberries. We also love that this recipe also has controlled levels of minerals to support cats urinary health. Its a win-win!
- Ideal levels of fat and calories help cats lose weight
- Increased fiber helps cats feel fuller longer
- Controlled mineral levels help support urinary health
- Formulated by animal nutritionists and veterinarians
- No chicken or poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
Things to Consider
- This is a therapeutic diet that requires authorization from your veterinarian
- Feed 1-1.5 cans for every 6-8 pounds of body weight daily
What Should I Look For In A Wet Kitten Food
The most important things are the quantity and quality of ingredients. Youll want a food thats high in protein, with as much meat inside as possible. Cats are pure meat-eaters, so youll want a food thats packed with the stuff.
Many foods also include high-quality fruits and vegetables like cranberries or kelp. These are full of nutrients, but cats dont process plant-based nutrition as well as they do nutrients that come from animals. As a result, any fruits and veggies inside should be viewed as a nice bonus rather than as a basis for the food itself.
There are other valuable nutrients to look for as well. DHA is an important omega fatty acid thats vital for a cats eye and brain development, so youll want your kitty to get as much as possible. Its usually found in seafood, flaxseed, or various oils, so its a good sign if a food has any of those inside.
Taurine is something else to look for. Its essential for a healthy heart, and cats can only get it from meat. However, many foods add extra taurine into their recipes, giving your cat even more nutrients than theyd normally receive.
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Types Of Wet Cat Food
With a smorgasbord of scrumptious recipes and a variety of textures to choose from, even the fussiest of felines is likely to find a wet food he can’t resist. Often packaged in cans, pouches, or trays, common forms of wet cat foods include the following:
Cubes: These uniform little blocks of meat are great for kitties who enjoy a heartier texture. The cubes usually come in gravy or gelée but can also be found in broth.
Sliced: Typically smothered in gravy or suspended in geleé, sliced wet cat food pieces are narrower and flatter than cubes but still give cats something to sink their teeth into.
Shredded: Shredded cat food consists of long, thin strips in broth, gravy, or geleé.
Flaked: The small, flat pieces of meat in flaked cat foods are manageable for cats of all ages while still offering some texture. Flaked cat foods are available in broth, gravy, or geleé.
Minced: One step up from paté, minced cat foods consist of finely ground or chopped meat.
Paté: Patés have a smooth consistency. Some are firmer while others are creamier. Some patés even have chunks mixed in for a varied texture.
Mousse: With a smooth texture that’s similar to paté and a light, airy consistency, mousse is a good option for cats with dental problems.
Morsels: Morsels are chunks of meat of varying sizes. These typically come in gravy, gelée, or broth.
Blends: Some wet cat foods offer a textured taste sensation with several layers of varying consistencies.
Buyers Guide: Selecting The Best Wet Cat Food
Now that youve seen our roundup of the top 10 wet cat foods available on the market today, how do you choose which one is going to be the best wet cat food for your cat? We created this buyers guide to answer exactly that question. Lets look at the different features of wet cat food to help you better understand how to compare them.
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How Much And Often Should You Feed A Kitten
How much to feed your kitten depends on several factors, especially his size and age. Young kittens grow fast very fast. They can double or triple in weight in their first few weeks. This means that how much to feed your kitten can change all the time. They need a lot of nutrients but they have small stomachs. This means that you will need to feed your kitten three or four small meals per day for the first few weeks. If you are feeding some dry food along with canned food, you might want to leave some sitting out so your kitten can snack on it when he gets hungry. After your kitten gets a little older you can cut back to two or three meals per day and then to two meals per day for an adult cat and no free feeding. Free feeding an adult cat can lead to obesity so its not advised, but it can be helpful for kittens.
If youre looking for specific calorie amounts, the National Research Council provides some answers, Table 7: Daily Maintenance Energy Requirements for Dogs and Cats .
For example, if you have a kitten that weighs 5 pounds this means he would need about 200 kcal/day. At 10 weeks, he might need as much as 100 kcal per pound of body weight or about 250 kcal.
|Our 2022 Picks for Best Kitten Foods|