Is Commercial Cat Food Necessary For Cats
We keep dry food as recommended by our vet available at all times to our cat. He greatly prefers the wet food, and most weeks doesnt even touch the dry food. Still, I dont want to have to worry that Im not giving him enough, so I do have a feeder for Bob that always has dry food in it.
I dont think that a little dry food here and there is bad for cats, but I would always want to have raw meat, including organ meats, as the main part of their diet.
Keep Socializing Even When Your Kitten Is A Grown Cat
At some point, especially if your kitten is social and growing into a friendly cat, you might think your work is done. But it really isn’t .
“Just because the initial, critical socialization period is between three to nine weeks of age, learning doesn’t stop at nine weeks of age,” Workman says. “All individuals, human and non-human, continue to adjust their behavior based on their experiences throughout their lifetime.”
So keep giving your cat new, safe, and positive experiences, Workman urges.
Kittens are a blast, of course, but Workman says that if you socialize your kitten, or even start socializing an older cat, the fun won’t end.
“Some of my most endearing experiences have been with older, senior cats who were, maybe for the first time in their lives, given choices and allowed to control what happens to them in their environment,” Workman says. “They are fascinating animals who never fail to amaze me.”
Special Considerations For Kittens
Kittens need more food per pound of body weight than adult cats, and they will need more frequent meals. Use label recommendations as a starting point, and feed your kitten as much canned or raw food as she will eat until she is about four to six months old, in three or four meals a day. Since a kittens nutritional requirements vary even more than an adult cats, remember to monitor your kittens weight and body condition and adjust accordingly. Once your kitten reaches six months of age, you can start feeding her as an adult cat.
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The Most Common Mistake: Feeding Too Much
The most common mistake cat parents make is feeding too much and frequently, thats because they follow the manufacturers feeding instructions on the label. Feline obesity is an epidemic, with more than 50% of Americas cats being considered overweight or obese, and it comes with all the same health problems in cats as it does in humans: diabetes, arthritis and other joint problems, heart and respiratory problems, a compromised immune system, and gastro-intestinal problems.
How Often Should A Kitten Eat
The frequency that your kitten eats normally depends on how old they are:
- Up to 1 week old: every 2-3 hours
- 2 weeks old: every 3-4 hours
- 3 weeks old: every 4-6 hours.
- 6 weeks old: three or more feedings of canned food spaced out evenly throughout the day
- 12 weeks old: three feedings of canned food spaced out evenly throughout the day
If you have questions or need additional guidance about how often or what kind of food to give to your kitten, contact your veterinarian for help.
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How Often Should I Feed My Kitten
A kitten can grow 15 times faster than a human child, so it undergoes numerous physiological changes in its first year of life. Therefore, in order for a kitten to go through these changes, it will need the correct balance of nutrients in its food. As your kitten grows up and its body changes, so will its eating habits. In this article, James Wellbeloved will provide all the information youll need on how much to feed your kitten.
Get The Most Out Of Your First Vet Visit
At your first visit, the veterinarian will check for common health issues, including birth defects, parasites and feline leukemia. But this first appointment is also a perfect time to ask all your pressing kitten questions. To start, here are some questions you should ask your vet:
- What kind of food should my kitten eat? How much and how often should she eat?
- How do I control parasites like fleas and ticks?
- What are common signs of illness?
- When is it safe to introduce my cat to other animals? How should I do it?
- When should I schedule my next vet appointment?
- When should my kitten be spayed or neutered?
- Should my cat be indoor or outdoor?
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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.
Reasons Your Kitten May Not Be Eating
If your new kitten is not eating well or has diarrhea, call your vet and schedule another checkup.
Sometimes intestinal parasites can cause gastrointestinal upset in kittens. It is common for kittens to come home already infected with parasites. They can get some parasites through the placenta before birth as well as in the milk from the mother cat.
Some of these parasites can also be transmitted to people, so good hygiene and preventive care are important.
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How Much Should I Feed My Cat And How Often
Check packages for suggested amounts. You want to give your kitten enough, but not too much. Even with their energy needs, overfeeding can become a big problem.
“Young cats need more frequent feeding, Bough says, But as they get older, they can go to twice-a-day feeding.
Larsen agrees that its fine for young kittens to free feed, by making unlimited kitten food available to them all day long, and then to transition to meal eating around four to six months of age. Free-choice feeding has the additional benefit of reducing stomach distention resulting from rapid meal eating. It also helps underweight or slow-growing kittens.
But free-feeding isn’t the best option for overweight or obese kittens. For these kittens, measured portions offered as meals or until gone is a better choice.
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 its already occurred.
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.
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Heres How To Start To Work Out How Much To Feed
Several factors go into determining how much your cat needs to eat.
The starting point is to establish five facts about your cat.
Other Aspects Of Kitten Rearing
Kittens will tend to start to use a litter box from around four or five weeks of age.
Socialization is an important part of rearing young kittens: they should be exposed in a safe way to a wide range of environmental stimuli, humans, other cats, and other animals when they are young.
Kittens will tend to start to use a litter box from around four or five weeks of age.
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When Can Kittens Start Eating Regular Cat Food
While milk and milk replacements are an essential part of a kittens diet, switching over to specially formulated cat food is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet as kittens age. Once your kitten is old enough, you should slowly introduce regular cat food to get them used to it.
Soft, wet food is the first thing your kitten can eat, and they can start having that at about three weeks. You can introduce your cat to wet food by putting small amounts of it in a bowl with formula when theyre learning to eat on their own. Choosing wet food thats appropriate for kittens is important.
Once your kitten is about five to six weeks old, they can start eating regular dry food. Again, you can introduce your kitten to dry food by mixing a little bit in with a bowl of milk replacer. Transitioning from milk replacer to wet food to dry food is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet for kittens.
You can wean your kitten off of milk by teaching them to drink that milk out of a bowl. Once theyre comfortable with that, try mixing in some wet or dry food. You should never push your cats nose into the bowl to try to get them to eat on their own. Your veterinarian can give you more tips on how often to feed kittens and how to wean them off of milk.
Remote Control Cat Toys
Some of the best interactive toys for kittens at this age are fishing rod style toys that are made out of a plastic or wooden stick.
They have a long string attached to the end and a toy on the end of the string.
These are essential equipment for small children if you want them to interact with a kitten without getting hurt.
One per child is the best plan.
The second rule of playing with kittens is to keep interactive play sessions short and sweet.
A 12 week old kitten can get very over excited in a short space of time.
So play for a bit, then stop the game and let your kitten unwind or have a nap.
Billy has had his purple mouse since he was eight weeks old
Kittens are also pretty good at entertaining themselves so if your kitten is in a very spikey mood, let him work off his energy on a catnip toy mouse.
Toys like the mouse above provide hours of entertainment for kittens without putting your fingers in harms way.
We buy packs of chew mice for Billy.
They are cheap and it doesnt matter if he eventually shreds or loses them, or if the dogs steal them!
Here he is at 12 weeks old, making his own entertainment with a fast game of dont let the mouse touch the ground
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How Often To Feed Kittens
Younger kittens need to be fed several meals per day, if you are not free-feeding.
As they are growing and burning calories, we want to keep their bodies supplied with energy. Feed meals every 6-8 hours.
Your veterinarian will figure out the total daily calories that your kitten needs, and you can divide that between the number of meals per day. Typically, by the time kittens get to 4-5 months, they can be transitioned to two meals per day, still feeding the total number of daily calories, but in less frequent, larger meals.
What Treats Can I Feed My Cat
Every cat-owner will be all too aware that cats love treats. If you do opt to give your cat treats, make sure you limit the amount throughout the day so they dont gain weight. Treats specially formulated for cats are a much better option than leftovers or raw meat, although a small amount of cooked chicken or fish is fine.
Food enrichment puzzles and toys are great ways to keep your cat occupied as well as limiting their treat intake. Alternatively, why not treat your cat to a little extra attention or play time? Youll strengthen the bond between you and your cat, without the potential weight gain.
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About Dr Pete Wedderburn Dvm
Dr Pete Wedderburn qualified as a vet from Edinburgh in 1985 and has run his own 4-veterinarian companion animal practice in County Wicklow, Ireland, since 1991. Pete is well known as a media veterinarian with regular national tv, radio and newspaper slots, including a weekly column in the Daily Telegraph since 2007. Pete is known as “Pete the Vet” on his busy Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, regularly posting information on topical subjects and real-life cases from his clinic. He also write a regular blog at www.petethevet.com. His latest book: Pet Subjects, was published by Aurum Press in 2017.
How Much To Feed A Kitten
Kittens are growing rapidly at this young age and eat a lot of food compared to adult cats. We want to provide their bodies with everything necessary for growth, but we also want to develop healthy long-term eating habits.
Feeding guidelines are variable by kitten. However, most often, using the feeding directions on the bag or can of food is a good starting place, and then you can adjust as needed for your kitten. Your veterinarian can use metabolic formulas to calculate the number of calories required per day based on your kittens current weight.
We want kittens to come hungry for their meal, but we also dont want them to be feeling so hungry that they devour the entire meal in a few seconds. Often, young kittens may eat ¼ to ½ cup of food at a time.
If your kitten is thin, we may need to increase the caloric requirement per day. If your kitten is gaining too much weight too quickly, we may need to cut back. Your veterinarian will use a tool called a body condition score to assess your kittens weight.
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What Sort Of System Should I Use For Feeding My Cat
The way you feed your cat can be almost as important as how much you feed them.
In the past, many people have given their cats free choice , free-feeding, or ad libitum i.e. offering them as much in their food bowl as they wish to eat. In particular, a bowl of dry food has often been continually topped up, allowing the cat to eat this whenever they wish to do so.
It is now recognised that feeding cats using this method is likely to lead to cats eating too much, leading them to be overweight or obese. Instead, cat carers should calculate the correct daily amount to feed, and either weigh this amount daily, or use a feeding container to give the measured amount every day as their cats food supply.
Many people already know these facts but they are still left with the question: how much should I feed my cat? This article will help you discover how much food you should be feeding, so that you can ensure that your cat stays at their optimal body weight.
Whichever method is used to calculate how much a cat should be fed, it is impossible to generalise for every individual cat, because of several variables that are not the same between different animals.
The first three variables can be factored into calculations:
Can You Touch A 2 Week Old Kitten
If you are taking care of an orphaned kitten, of course you can hold them! The biggest thing to keep in mind when touching and holding them is to keep them warm.
With our kitten, we would wear a sweatshirt backwards and swaddle her in the hood of the sweatshirt. This kept her warm and nestled like should would be if she was cuddling with her mother.
Im sure there are many other ways to keep kittens warm while holding them.
But it also allowed us to be partially hands free. We would usually only have to use one hand to support her while she was sleeping and had the extra hand to attempt to be productive.
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What Should I Track In A Logbook
Maintaining a logbook about the orphaned kittens does not need to be complicated. The reason for the logbook is to simply keep track of how the kittens are doing so you can identify if there are any potential concerns with their development.
Tracking their weights, milestones, and routines are key, so be sure to record details of when their eyes open, when their teeth begin to erupt, their food intake, and stool consistency.
TIP: Individual kittens must be identified in some way, so consider colored collars or nail polish on a few front toenails.