Choosing The Best Kitten Food
When it comes to kitten food, quality counts. Choose only food that has been certified by Association of American Feed Control Officials , which establishes nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. This means that the food has been tested to make sure it is properly balanced for your kittens growing needs. If youve adopted a kitten from a shelter, find out what the kitten was eating previously and stick with that diet to avoid stomach upset.
How To Make Natural Homemade Kitten Food Using *ground* Meat
Assuming you have prepared the ground meat and finely chopped some vegetables already, do the following when it is time to feed your pets:
- Remove the containers of ground meat and finely chopped vegetables from the fridge.
- The following is a guide for you to use and is presented in a ratio format. Therefore, increase or decrease the amount needed based on the ratio.
- Please remember, this is only a general guideline. If you think your pet will need more specific guides, consult a holistic veterinarian that is familiar with a fresh food program.
- Mix 3 parts ground meat to 1 part finely chopped vegetables.
- Once you have the necessary amount of food in the bowl, add hot water until the food becomes the consistency of a thick stew.
- If you make the food too soupy, your pets probably won’t eat it thick is the consistency you want.
- The hot water takes the chill off the food, replaces the water naturally found in the prey, and volatizes the odour.
- Once you have added the hot water, then add other nutritional supplements.
- Add the supplements after you have added the hot water. This way the hot water is not poured directly onto the supplements.
- Although there are numerous beneficial pet supplements you can add to the food, the single most important supplement is a calcium supplement for pets.
- A guide to pet supplements can be found in Part 1.
Suggested Frequency Of Feeding
Kittens, similar to puppies, need frequent meals during the day.
A kitten becomes a mature dog when it turns 1 year of age.
- 4 to 6 times per day
- 3 – 6 months
- 3 to 4 times per day
- 6 – 12 months
- 1 year and older
- once per day
I realize, that for some, feeding puppies multiple meals per day is not possible. But if you can, really try to feed them their multiple meals. It really makes a difference. At the very least, feed your kitten 2 meals per day. Saying that, in some situations, what I have suggested to people is feed a meal in the morning, one meal immediately when you arrive home from work and then another meal just before sleeping. Although not ideal, it can help.
Ultimately kittens will reduce the number of meals they need naturally. You will notice that initially they may like or need 6 meals per day, then after a while, they will only want 5 meals, then 4 meals and so on. Your kitten will essentially loose interest in a meal as they get older. But initially, they will want frequent meals.
My guide is based on my own experiences. I watched how my pets responded to my feedings. Your kittens may be slightly different. Watch and respond that’s the beauty of wholesome homemade food for dogs and cats you become an active participant in your pet’s health and wellbeing and when you do, there is such joy the joy of doing with love.
If you forget how much to feed your puppy, please remember to read the page about which can be found in Part 1.
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Your Kitten May Be Intimidated By Your Dog Or Other Cats
While many kittens are outgoing and resilient, some shy kittens may be intimidated by other furry family members when it comes to mealtime.
Give your kitten a safe place to eat where they wont be chased or bothered by other cats or dogs in the family.
If your kitten wont eat for more than a day or two, call your veterinarian to schedule an exam. The sooner you determine the cause, the sooner your little one will be back to normal.
Feed A Good Quality Diet
My final way to prevent your cat from becoming a picky eater is to feed them a good quality food. If you’re feeding a really cheap, low-quality diet then chances are it will be high in salts, fats, and other additives. When you then try and feed something a bit better quality youre going to have trouble
My analogy is that this is like feeding a toddler on nothing but fast food and then expecting them to eat a bowl full of salad the first time its offered.
Its not going to happen!
Start as you mean to go on, stick to a high-quality food and you won’t go too wrong.
Give these strategies a try and Im sure your cat will be tucking into their next meal with gusto!
The next step, once your cat is eating what you want them to, is to optimize their diet and the way they are fed. Find out more in my deep dive into the best ways to feed your cat.
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Feeding A Kitten Over 8 Weeks Of Age
Once a kitten has surpassed eight weeks of age, they should be fed twice a day with normal kitten food. Solid food should not be an issue for kittens of this age but they may still try to nurse on occasion. Between eight and ten weeks of age, a kitten should be fully weaned and preparing to leave its mother if you plan to find the kitten a new home. The first vaccinations are typically administered at about eight weeks of age, so when the kittens have a vet visit, you can be sure they have been growing appropriately.
Choosing A Type Of Solid Food
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When Is The Right Age To Wean A Kitten
At around four weeks old, kittens are ready to begin weaning. Under four weeks of age, kittens are considered neonatal and might not be ready for weaning from their mothers milk or formula.
When kittens are ready to wean, you may notice that they’ve become more mobile and can stand on their feet while holding up their tail. They’ll also have their canines and incisors at this point and should be exploring their surroundings through play.
If your kitten is unable to stand, play, or focus their eyes, it’s too early to start weaning. At the very earliest, you may begin weaning at three weeks if the kitten shows signs of readiness. Keep a close eye on your kitten to make sure theyre getting enough food.
How To Get A Sick Cat To Eat
The first step in the process is determining why a cat is no longer eating. Sometimes you can figure this out by remembering that most cats hate change. Anything different in the home could be responsible. Visitors, new pets, different foods, a new cat bowls, an altered schedule, a different feeding location you name it and it might be to blame. As much as is possible, return your cats diet and environment back to what is normal for him or her and see what happens.
If this doesnt work or you are noticing other worrisome symptoms, it is time for a check-up with your veterinarian. Virtually every disease that cats can get has the potential to turn them off their food.
The fix may be straightforward. For example, a cat with dental disease will usually start eating again once doing so isnt painful anymore. Sometimes, however, we need to encourage a cat to eat while we figure out what is wrong or wait for treatment to take effect.
While I have just said that cats hate change, it is possible to get them to eat by tempting them into trying something new so long as that something is darn near irresistible . Try buying a few types of canned food in different flavors. Place some on a small plate and warm it slightly. If your cat shows no interest, try adding a little fish oil, chicken broth, tuna juice, or cooked egg.
Dr. Jennifer Coates
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How To Control Your Cats Weight On A Dry Food Diet
Splitting the dry food into multiple small controlled volumes over the course of the day is most useful. That way, the cat is never full and never quite starving. With most cats, dropping below 1/3 to ½ cup of dry food per 24 hour day will make them too hungry even if adequate calories are being taken in. The actual amount needed by any given kitty is going to be unique to that cat and will likely change as the cat ages.
Using canned green beans can add bulk to the diet to make cats feel more full. This should not be done with cats that have a history of urinary tract crystals since the veggies raise the urinary pH, which predisposes to crystal formation.
Location Environment And Bowl Type
Preventive Vet staff review: There was a period in which Rajah and his sister Zsa Zsa weren’t getting along. What we found was that they had very few mentally stimulating activities, which led to boredom and aggression towards each other. My first purchase was the Trixie Mad Scientist Activity for its simplicity. It has become a favorite of Rajah’s . He’s constantly found pawing away at the activity several times a day, hoping to find some kibble. And although Zsa Zsa isn’t as food motivated, she enjoys watching her brother figure out how to get the treats!
Pro Tip: Make sure you choose the appropriate dispensing top that will either allow larger kibble or treats to fall out without too much effort or to keep smaller kibble from pouring out too quickly.
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How Often To Feed Kittens
Most kittens will eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Kittens who are 4 to 6 months old need to be fed a minimum of three times daily. You can also leave some food out for kittens to feed on anytime they want to graze.
However, leaving food out for your kitten to free feed will increase the risk of unhealthy weight gain once they reach about 6 months. This is especially so if they are spayed or neutered. To avoid this, you can switch to a meal based kitten feeding schedule.
If you do leave food out throughout the day for your kitten to free feed, the best choices are high quality dry kitten food as it can be left out longer.
Feeding Kittens 6 To 8 Weeks Old
When a kitten is 6 to 8 weeks old, it should be thoroughly weaned from the bottle and transitioned to solid foods. At this time, offer only food thats been specially formulated for kittens. Its a good idea to mix dry and canned food together so your pet experiences both at a young age. As your kitten ages, you can switch to an all-dry or all-canned diet. You should be feeding a kitten this age three to four times per day, depending on their appetite. Its also important to keep a clean, shallow bowl of fresh water available at all times to keep your kitten hydrated.
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If She Doesnt Recognize Her Kittens
This is somewhat rare but there are instances when a mama cat will not be able to recognize her young at all. The common causes may be because she gave birth through a caesarian section or because of over-manipulation, where humans touch and hold the newborn kittens frequently. If a mama cat gave birth via caesarian section the birth-related hormones are not naturally released and this may confuse the mama cat so she will end up eating her young.
She may even confuse the young as prey, thus, she will not hesitate in eating them. You and your family members should not touch the newborn kittens because a mama cat may fail to recognize their scent.
How To Bottle Feed Your Newborn Kittens
Kellinahandbasket / Flickr
To ensure the survival of a newborn kitten, ample nutrition must be provided. Sometimes, however, the mother cat grows ill and cannot nurse her young or she alienates a kitten from the litter due to an injury or disability. In these situations, you will need to step in and take on the role of the mother cat. This often requires bottle feeding a newborn kitten until the kitten is strong enough to eat regular cat food.
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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.
Do Mother Cats Experience Maternal Behavior Problems
Sometimes, mama cats encounter health and mental issues especially after the birth of their young. These are maternal behavior problems such as the lack of maternal behavior of a mama cat toward her kittens and excessive maternal behavior when a feline manifests mama cat symptoms even if she is not pregnant and does not have kittens of her own. Here are the symptoms of these conditions.
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Weaning Kittens From Their Mothers Milk