How To Shop For A Wet Cat Food
When choosing any cat food, whether it be wet, dry or semi-moist, the first ingredient should be a good quality protein sourced from a real meat, not a meat by-product. Also avoid foods that contain a lot of grain or fillers as these are cheap substitutes that companies use to bulk up the food, rather than use good nutritional ingredients.
Our favorite for kittens based on years of experience is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Wet Cat Food .
Its recommended to feed the best food your budget will allow. Quality wet cat food will not only keep your cat fuller for longer but will aid in its digestion, give it a healthier coat and help prevent many diseases. In addition, be sure to choose a cat food that is specifically made for kittens. Kitten food is higher in protein, providing your fur baby with the added nutrients and energy it needs to grow and be active.
Weigh Your Cat To Ensure A Healthy Rate Of Weight
Regardless of diet, limiting access is the key. And a scale to accurately weigh the cat on is handy. Peoples digital scales can be used by weighing the person with and without holding the kitty. Monthly weights at the same time of day are sufficient.
We want about a pound a month of weight loss, not more. Sudden weight loss in a cat can result in serious health issues. Weight loss is hard to accomplish in a cat, no short cuts exist, and it takes an active process to achieve.
Just like people, it is an individualized program for each kitty and dealing with the behavioral consequences of a hungry cat can be one of the largest challenges. The hardest thing for people to accept is that a hungry cat is okay and healthy, it does not require fixing despite what the kitty may think.
Dr. Matt McCormick, DVM
Companion Animal Clinic has been serving Blacksburg, Virginia and surrounding Montgomery and Christiansburg communities since 1974. We are an AAHA accredited veterinary hospital and provide quality, professional care for dogs, cats, exotics, and small mammals. Learn more about our amazing team.
Choosing Between Dry Food Canned Food Or Both
In general, you need not offer multiple flavors and textures to cats. They get very good at training their owners to add something else to the mix if the cat shows any hesitation to eat what is given. If the cat is otherwise acting fine, a choice to not eat what is offered can be normal, or a test by the cat to see if something better will show up. Very, very few cats need any encouragement to eat. The opposite is usually a goal.
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Recommendations For Owners Who Stick With Dry Food
Dry food can be fed but must be done by careful measure, specific meals and no snacking. Todays dry foods have much better ingredients allowing for a higher number of usable calories per cup, so even less is needed compared to the Little Friskies of 30 years ago.
Feeding multiple feedings a day is useful but can be a source of contention as the cat tries to get to be fed in between feedings. No open bowls of food should be available. Dry food is offered for a set amount of time, and any leftover food is removed until the next feeding. Sometimes, taking the bowls up, so there is no reminder of the lack of food is helpful to limit begging.
Healthy Kitten Growth Rate
A general rule of thumb in kittens is that they typically gain about 1 pound per month.
Often, a kittens weight is about 1 pound at 1 month , 2 pounds at 2 months , and so on until about 4-5 months.
Kittens do most of their growing within the first year and then stabilize from there. Many of the growth plates of the bones in the kitten skeleton close by about one year old.
At this time, after much of the growth is finished, your vet will typically switch your kitten to an adult diet.
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Determining How Much To Feed A Cat
Different cats have different nutritional needs based on their size, life stage and more. Here are some factors to consider when deciding how much food your cat should eat.
- Age & Life Stage: Kittens have different nutritional needs than adults or senior cats. Pregnant or nursing cats also have different needs.
- Weight: If your cat is not at her ideal body condition, you may need to adjust what and how much you feed her, says Dr. Callie Harris, DVM.
- Activity Levels: Cats who are active and playful throughout the day may need more calories than those who prefer to spend their time napping.
- Indoor vs. Outdoor: Indoor cats may not get as much exercise as an outdoor cat would, so they need fewer calories. Outdoor cats living in regions with cold winters may need more food in the cold months.
The best way to determine how much food your cat needs is to talk with your veterinarian. They can tell you how much food your cat needs based on the above factors.
They can also help you troubleshoot any problems that may arise, such as your cat eating more or less than usual.
Why Its Crucial To Calculate How Much Food To Feed A Cat
You might wonder why its important to determine the exact amount of wet cat food you should give your cat? As of 2017, an estimated 60 percent of cats in the US are classified as clinically overweight or obese. Thats about 56.5 million cats who are too heavy, and extra weight has a dramatic, negative effect on feline health.
Overweight cats are at an increased risk for congestive heart failure, skin disorders, infections, diabetes mellitus, complications associated with anesthesia and surgery, hepatic lipidosis , and some types of cancer.
Feeding cats wet food is never as simple as just opening up a can and letting them eat until theyre full. Indoor cats, in particular, tend to burn few calories throughout the day, and they become bored, which we all know can lead to excessive eating and weight gain. Pet parents need to take a strategic approach to measuring out cat food to prevent or deal with weight gain in cats.
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Final Thought Mixing Wet And Dry Cat Food
Blended and mixed both wet and dry cat food can be a good solution. With a good feeling, routines can offer the best of both worlds. You can feed your cat dry food in the morning. And wet cat food in the evening. Therefore, in this way, she can the benefit of both cat food.
There is also a good option of mixing the cats dry food with wet cat food. This can also help your cat to get additional moisture in her meal. But, Keep in mind, though, This is still very important to maintain proper portion control to make sure that your cat is getting the right amount of nutrients to maintain a healthy diet and weight.
You can choose wet and dry cat food. But, the debate between both cat food does not easily answer. Each cat is unique with their own taste. Some cats are picky over other cats. Things can work for your cat may not work for your neighbours cat.
For best advice always consult with your vet. Your cats nutrition and diet is an important part of her health.
Kitten Feeding Chart By Age
Weve included brief notes on how and what to feed your kitten at each stage of their life. Your kittens food consumption may vary based on whether theyre still nursing from their mother or need formula feeding, as well as their breed and general health and condition.
We always recommend speaking to your vet if youre unsure, as they can help develop a bespoke feeding plan for your kittens exact circumstances.
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Dry Kitten Food Can Be Cheap
There are a huge range of dried kitten food options available.
At the lower end of the spectrum they are incredibly cheap.
This doesnt necessarily mean they are bad quality, but cheap foods tend to have more filler.
Which isnt ideal when you are feeding an obligate carnivore. A pet that is designed to exclusively have meat.
You can buy dry kitten food with a higher price tag, which may or may not be better suited to your little cat.
The best food will be one with good quality ingredients, and a high protein and fat content.
Cat Feeding Guide Wet And Dry Food
Some cats are extremely fond of dry food, and it can be harsh if you do not allow them to have dry food at all. It will only be worse if you forbid them completely as they can undereat and be deficient in nutrition.
Instead, why dont you try giving them an acceptable amount? Since dry food is slightly more affordable than wet food, if you combine the two, you can save some money. Now, lets do some easy mathematical calculations.
With each kind of food, look for the daily feeding amount that is recommended on the packaging. Then, divide it by two to get the amount of food needed for your cats. Once you have the ratio of wet and dry food, you should be able to calculate the calories of each portion.
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How Much Should I Feed A Kitten
How much and what you should feed a kitten depends on its age and weight. Its important to feed the kitten the right food so it can grow into a healthy adult. You want to feed the kitten enough so that its getting the nutrients it needs, but you also dont want to feed it too much, which could cause too much weight gain.
What To Feed Your Cat
To summarize, cats are carnivores, so they dont actually need carbohydrates. Their sources of protein, fat, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals all come from meat.
Rather than giving them one type of meat everyday, give them a variety of meat and fish- everything in moderation.
Include in their diet dry food, wet food, various meat such as chicken and turkey. Also give them fish such as tuna.
Poultry by-products such as eggs and dairy also have the essential protein cats can benefit from.
When youre considering meat, give them a variety of meat products, such as chicken liver and hearts as well.
Simply speaking, think about their origin. Cats as wild animals would hunt animals smaller than them. They didnt eat plants or beans.
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What Is The Best Food For My Kitten
When you bring home your new kitten, you want the very best for him.
The main options for feeding your kitten are:
Dry kitten food
Thats a lot of options to choose from, but dont worry, well break it down for you.
And help you to decide which is the best kitten food for him.
This choice will be based upon her needs, as well as your circumstances.
When Can Kittens Eat Dry Food & Wet Food
As kittens begin to wean, they can start to nibble solid foods. Starting with wet kitten food or moistened dry kibble will help through the transition.
Start by combining one part of warm water and three parts of dry or wet kitten food . Over the next two weeks, gradually decrease the amount of water and increase the amount of food.
Once your kitten is fully weaned and eating solids, choose whichever option is recommended by your veterinarian and works best for your situation.
Above all else, make sure the wet or dry food you choose is specifically formulated for kittens.
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Are There Foods I Should Avoid Giving My Kitten
Its OK to feed your kitten treats, as long as you follow the 10% calorie rule, Larsen says. This means that treats should make up less than 10% of your kittens total calorie intake. But this doesnt mean its a good idea to turn your leftover table scraps into treats for your kitten. Also, take precautions with the following foods:
- Raw meat or liver may contain parasites and harmful bacteria.
- Raw eggs may contain Salmonella and may decrease absorption of a B vitamin, leading to skin and hair coat problems.
- Raw fish may lead to a B vitamin deficiency, causing loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.
- Milk may cause diarrhea in weaned kittens and cats because they lose the enzyme needed to break down milk.
In addition, onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee, tea, raisins, or grapes can be toxic to kittens and cats.
General Feeding Guidelines For Different Ages Of Cats
How Often Should You Feed a Pregnant or Nursing Cat?
Due to the demand on their bodies for nutrients, I suggest leaving food out at all times. Make sure you are providing enough calories for the increase in metabolism they are experiencing during pregnancy and nursing.
How Often Should You Feed a Kitten?
Because of the nutrient requirements for growth and high energy demand, leave food out at all times for kittens up to six months old. You should only feed kittens a diet specifically formulated for them so that they are getting the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Kitten-specific food is designed to be nutrient-dense. This allows them to get the needed nutrients and calories in smaller amounts.
How Often Should You Feed an Adolescent Cat?
For cats between the age of six months to one-year-old, I suggest feeding at least twice daily but again monitor total calories for the day.
How Often Should You Feed an Adult Cat?
For adult cats over one year old, in most cases feeding at least twice daily is ideal. But if need be, once daily is acceptable. This can be impacted by certain health issues, such as diabetes, where it is critical that a cat eats prior to receiving insulin.
How Often Should You Feed a Senior Cat?
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Changing From Kitten To Cat Food
When your kitten has stopped growing, they wont need kitten food any more, they will need adult cat food instead.
The age at which you swap from kitten food to cat food will depend partially on their breed, as some breeds mature slower than others.
And partially on the brand of food you have chosen for them.
You will find on the packets, recommendations for the age at which to switch to an adult version of the food.
Staying with the same brand is a good idea when initially changing over.
They are likely to be made from similar ingredients and therefore could reduce the chances of your kitten feeling unwell during the shift.
Make the change over the course of a few days.
On the first day mix 25% new food with 75% kitten food. If their stomach seems fine, then the next day do a 50/50 split.
Her Primary Kitten Food
Your kitten should be eating a good quality kitten food or a food labeled for all feline life stages. Even as you introduce her to other foods, this should be her primary food as too many changes can cause digestive upsets. Feel free to change flavors of food but remain within the same brand to maintain some consistency.
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How Much Should I Feed My Cat The Basics
The answer to How much should I feed my cat is based on many variables, including a cats weight and a cats age, whether youre feeding wet cat food or dry cat food, the cats activity level, and whether or not she is pregnant or nursing.
The brand of food youre feeding also makes a difference when were answering the question How much should I feed my cat. A dense, high quality dry cat food will contain more nutrients by weight than a low-quality food, and thus require smaller portions to deliver the same amount of nutrition for your cat.
Many cat owners allow their cats free access to dry food, supplemented by canned food once or twice a day. A dry-food-only diet is not necessarily a bad pet diet if youre feeding high quality food, but it does require that you encourage your cat to drink a lot more water to compensate for what shes not getting in canned food.
How Much Wet Food Should I Feed My Kitten
As with dry kitten food, the amount of wet kitten food that your kitten needs will vary.
Whilst they are very small they are growing quickly and need approximately twice the nutrients they will when fully grown.
However, their stomaches are still developing and they will need to be given these servings in regular small dishes.
Following kitten feeding quantity guidelines on the package is a good idea.
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Dry Cat Food Diets And Dehydration
In wild cats eat their prey animal. They get about 70 percent of water from their prey animals. Canned wet cat food has averaged 78 percent of water. And the dry cat food has averaged 10 percent of water. Therefore, if a cat is eating only dry food diets, usually dont get enough water. They could become chronically dehydrated. That can cause health problems like Chronic Renal Failure and urinary crystals.
According to Purina, if a cat eating cat dry food. Then, she should drink approximately one cup of water for every ten pounds of body weight in a 24-hour period.
And, the weather is warm. Then, she will need even more. And in other hand, Cats are eating canned wet food diets. They only need to consume one-third to one-half that amount of water.
If you are feeding your cat kibble. It is essential to provide a clean, appealing source of fresh water. Pet water fountains work very well. It will encourage your cat to drink water. And, their filters ensure a fresh, clean water supply for your cat.