How Much Should You Feed A Kitten
Caring for a kitten is like caring for a baby or even a puppy. Youd really have to pay close attention to its essential needs especially its nutrition as this provides the basic foundation for optimum growth and development. Feeding kittens can be quite complicated because of several factors that have to be considered. Knowing how much you should feed your kitten requires an understanding of these factors.
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Raw Rules Food For Cats
There are two main rules for feeding cats. When you follow these, youre working with the cats natural nutritional patterns.
After seeing so much success with switching our cat Bob to a raw food diet for kidney disease, friends and family and readers have been asking me about a recipe for kittens and healthy cats.
The only change to the Feline Kidney Care Raw Food recipe is that I used bone-in chicken in place of the beef, as it contains the healthy fats from the skin as well as bone bone that cats need to grow and maintain bone health. Cats with kidney disease need to limit their phospherous, but cats without kidney disease should NOT limit phosphorous and should include bones in the diet.
Is this recipe enough taurine? I wasnt sure, since taurine in the chicken heart may degrade when its frozen, and my chicken hearts come frozen. Since taurine is so essential to cats, I sprinkle powdered taurine, 1 pinch, on each container of his food .
How Much Food Should An Adult Cat Eat
From the age of 12 months, our cat will already be an adult and, as mentioned above, the amount of daily food will depend on the weight, physical activity and personality of the breed. But as a rule, a healthy cat with normal daily activity needs approximately 15 to 20 grams of dry food per kilogram of body weight. The amount of wet cat food that is recommended is 1/2 or 1 can per day. Ideally, you should first check the package directions where the exact quantities according to the type of food and weight are detailed. However, if that information is confusing, then you can follow these guildelines:
- If the cat weighs 1 kg, you should give them about 15-20 grams of dry food a day.
- … 2 kg, between 30 and 40 grams.
- … 3 kg, between 45 and 60 grams.
- … 4 kg, between 60 and 80 grams.
- … 5 kg, between 75 and 100 grams.
- … 6 kg, between 90 and 120 grams.
- … 7 kg, between 105 and 140 grams.
Do not forget that these measurements are indicated for cats with moderate physical activity and without any health problem or allergy. If you have a pregnant cat, for example, they need a greater quantity of proteins, fats, and calcium for the correct development of the pregnancy. We elaborate on this further in our article what is the best diet for a pregnant cat.
As mentioned before, the intake of food in an adult cat should be distributed in 2 portions a day, so it is recommended to alternate dry and wet food to feed our pet correctly and safely.
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Can Cats Eat Cooked Chicken
One common question that many cat owners ask is whether it is ok to feed their cat chicken. Cats are carnivores, which means they are meat eaters and in the wild will eat raw meat in the form of their prey. For your pet cat, always ensure that any chicken you feed them is cooked – preferably boiled and does not contain any bones. Remember to include chicken as part of your cat’s daily treat allowance, fed in conjunction with a balanced diet. Feeding only cooked chicken long term can lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Supplies You Will Need For Newborns And Young Kittens:
- Kitten formula such as Just Born or KMR . The liquid formula is best to use if you are not sure what to do.
- Feeding bottles and several nipples .
- Eye dropper or syringe in case the kitten will not eat from the bottle.
- Several bath towels for bedding and cleaning kittens.
- Kitchen food scale for weighing kittens .
- Digital rectal thermometer
- Have Emergency Veterinarian or Veterinary Clinic number on-hand.
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Pregnant Cats And Mum Feeding Kittens
If youve got a pregnant cat or a cat that is feeding her new kittens, youll need to provide additional nutrients and the same high-protein kitten food as weaned kittens.
Give your pregnant cat unlimited access to kitten food, as well as a supply of fresh drinking water. While you might notice that during pregnancy, she may only eat a little more than usual she might eat double or triple the usual amount of food when she is suckling kittens.
For more advice on pregnant cats, read our guide.
Verify Your Kitten’s Age
Your kitten’s age is more than just a number in fact, it’s a crucial part of her health care. For the first eight weeks of their lives, kittens have very specific developmental needs. Many breeders and shelters prefer that kittens not be released until they are at least 10 to 12 weeks. If you find yourself with a kitten under 8 weeks old, you’ll need to consult your vet for special instructions.
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When To Call The Vet
Watch out for changes in your cat’s eating and drinking behaviour, as this could indicate that something is wrong. See your vet if your cat:
- normally eats well but suddenly stops
- has not eaten for 48 hours
- develops a ravenous appetite
- will only eat with one side of their mouth
- makes a grinding noise when they eat
- starts drinking noticeably more than usual
- loses weight for no apparent reason
- is vomiting or has diarrhoea
Regular eating and drinking is essential to your cat’s health. If your cat doesn’t eat, even for a few days, they can develop a condition of the liver which can be fatal in severe cases.
How Much To Feed A 4 Month Old Kitten: Quick Guide
Proper nutrition on every life stage is necessary to raise a healthy kitten. Feeding might look simple at first glance, but theres more to it than what meets the eye, especially if you have a 16-week old kitty.
Knowing how much to feed a four-month-old kitten should always be based on its needs and the vets advice. In general, you need to provide the kitty at least four meals a day with a 1/3 to 3/4 cup serving for each one.
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How Do I Switch From One Kitten Food To Another
Cats are often considered the epitome of the picky eater. But it doesnt have to be that way. Get your kitten started off on the right paw.
Its easier to switch foods if a kitten has been exposed early on to different textures and flavors, Larsen says. If exposed to the same food over and over, cats tend to get a fixed preference for a particular flavor and texture.
If youre trying to make a switch to a new kitten food, Larsen recommends not mixing it with the old food. If the kitten dislikes the new food, this can put them off the old food, too, she says. Instead, offer the new food and old foods in separate bowls. Over time, offer smaller and smaller amounts of the old food along with the new food. A little bit of hunger will help them make the transition – and resign them to at least trying the new food.
Remember that making rapid changes in food can cause stomach upset or hunger strikes. So you may need to make the transition to a new food over four to seven days.
Training Your 3 Month Old Cat
Whats this about training a cat? Well, theres still lots your young cat has to learn at this age. Here are some ideas to engage their maturing minds:
- Whenever you play with your cat, always use a toy rather than playing with bare hands, so they learn what kind of things are appropriate to scratch and bite.
- Invest in some puzzle feeding toys to challenge their problem solving skills.
- Set up scratch posts near high traffic areas in your home. If you catch your cat scratching elsewhere, pick them up and put them down by the scratch post. Or, relocate the scratch post closer to the place theyre trying to mark.
- Introduce them to being handled for medical examinations and grooming by gently touching their lips, ears, toes, tail, paws etc, followed immediately by a treat. Only work on this for a minute or less at a time.
- Its also a good idea to get them used to travelling in a pet carrier by leaving the carrier out with some treats for them to find, and closing the door briefly, without actually taking them anywhere.
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Set Up A Feeding Schedule
To make sure you know exactly how much to feed your kitten, ask your veterinarian what the appropriate portion size is and how often you should feed her. For kittens 3 to 6 months old, most vets recommend three feedings a day. Once she’s reached 6 months, you can scale down to two times a day. Also, make sure she has plenty of fresh water, and don’t even think about giving your kitten any milk despite a reputation for loving milk, cats don’t have the enzymes to digest it properly, so your kitten could end up with diarrhea.
What Kind Of Food
Kittens may be fed dry kibble kitten food or wet canned food. The choice is really up to you, based on your veterinarian’s advice. Some kittens may have difficulty chewing dry food properly. If canned food is used, it shouldn’t be left out for extended periods of time without refrigeration. Dry kibble food can stay out longer throughout the day. When a kitten is much older, some owners decide to feed their pet free choice” kibble, where the food is left available for much of the day. Other owners choose to feed wet canned food in single meals.
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Your Young Cats Energy Needs
Just because a cat is out of kitten stage doesnt mean he has stopped growing. At 6 months old your cat will be about 6 pounds. Many will continue to grow up until the age of 18 months old, at which point they should be at their adult weight generally 8 to 10 pounds. During this growth period, the National Research Council recommends you go from feeding your cat about 200 Kilocalories per day to 250-280 kcal per day. A large breed cat such as a Ragdoll or Maine Coon cat may have a lean weight of 15 pounds and need about 360 kcal per day.
Its important to note that a spayed or neutered cat will require fewer calories, and this is around the age when most cats will have the surgery.
After neutering, a male cat has a 28 percent decrease in daily calories, while a spayed female cat has a 33 percent drop in her dietary needs. That drop goes into effect within weeks of the surgery. At the same time, hormonal drops can stimulate an increase in the drive to eatnot hunger, but simply a desire to eat more.
Weeks Four And Five Feeding Schedules
During weeks 4 and 5, a kitten will slowly increase how much food it consumes in a meal. Feedings will occur less frequently and a bowl of formula or other liquid kitten food should be made available for a kitten to start drinking from. By the end of week 5, a kitten should only be nursing three times a day but at each meal it should be consuming about 3 tablespoons of milk or formula.
A kitten should weigh about 14 to 16 oz. by the time it is 4 to 5 weeks of age if it is eating enough food. Towards the end of week five, you should be offering the kitten more food from a saucer than it is consuming from nursing. The food should graduate from being a liquid to eventually more of a gruel by using less and less water with canned kitten food over the course of a couple of weeks. This will be a messy stage of a kitten’s life since it usually ends up walking in the food, but it is a necessary step to begin weaning it off of its mother’s milk.
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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.
How Much To Feed A Cat By Weight
Once a cat has passed kittenhood, and has stopped growing, it is possible to work out how much to feed based on their body weight. The recommended daily caloric intake can be calculated using a formula to work out the Resting energy requirement :
RER=70 x to the power of 0.75
To work out the to the power of 0.75 part of the equation, you can either use a calculator that allow you to use exponents, or you can multiply the weight in kilograms by itself 3 times , then work out the square root of that sum, twice.
This calculation will give you the resting energy requirement for your cat in kilocalories. You then need to multiply this by a different factor depending on your individual cat to estimate their total daily energy needs, with possible variables listed below.
|Neutered adult cat
|Cat aiming to lose weight
|1.0 x RER for ideal weight
|Cat trying to gain weight
|1.2-1.8 x RER for ideal weight
|Very active outdoor cat
|2.0-4.0 x RER
You should remember that an individual cats needs may vary by as much as 50% from these calculated values, and that it is always necessary to modify feeding quantities depending on how a cats body weight changes over time.
This method will allow you to calculate for yourself, from first principles, approximately how much food you should be feeding your cat.
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When Is It Time To Switch Litter
If your cat uses her litter box every day, then you probably shouldnt change litter brands.
However, Its not unusual for cats to outgrow their litter and become averse to the box theyve been used for months. If you try a more a new litter, be sure to transition your cat slowly by combining old and new litters until she adjusts.
Clues your cat doesn’t like her litter:
- Two of her paws are in the box, two are out
- She doesnt dig to bury her waste
- She steps out of the box, shakes her feet
- She scratches the floor or carpet outside her box
- She urinates outside, not inside, the box
The Right Kinds Of Cat Food
You cant just throw down adult cat food and expect your kitten to have enough to eat. Your kitten has different needs than an adult cat, so feeding the same food wont get the job done.
Young kittens may benefit from soft food as their teeth grow and come in, but dry food doesnt go bad as quickly as wet food. Wet foods offer more moisture content, but dry foods help kittens gain proper weight easier due to the carbohydrate content.
Your schedule can also help determine wet or dry foods. If you have to leave food out for your kitten during the day, dry food is the way to go. If you are home to clean the dish right away, wet food could be a better choice.
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Why Is It So Common For Cats To Become Overweight Or Obese
An estimated 50% of cats over the age of five carry too much bodyweight, making them either overweight or obese. Too much food is the main contributor to excessive bodyweight, so its essential to make sure your cat is eating the right amount.
It has become increasingly common for pet cats to become overweight or obese, with estimates that around 50% of cats over the age of five years carry too much body weight. Cat carers are often not aware that their pets are overweight or obese, yet an overweight cat is more likely to suffer health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, kidney disease, and a shorter life span.
The most common reason for cats becoming overweight or obese is simply that cat carers offer their cat more food than their cat needs.
Thats why its so important to know how much food you should offer your cat every day, so that your cat avoids preventable health problems later in life.
Cats, just like humans, enjoy eating: its one of the great pleasures of life, and a cats diet is one of the most important parts of their day. And because cat carers like to make their pets happy, its all too easy to want to give them extra food, to give them even more enjoyment in life.
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However, we all need to step back and recognise that while feeding a pet makes them happy in the immediate moment, if we give them too much food, the excessive food intake causes serious discomfort, poor health, and a shorter life in the long term.