Switching To A Different Type Of Food
When picking up your kitten, always ask what type of food the kitten has been getting so you know what food the kitten is used to. If you want to switch to different food, it is best to gradually introduce the new food by mixing it into the current food throughout the first seven days. Slowly reduce the amount of the current food and increase the amount of new food.
Benefits Of Wet Kitten Food
- Some kittens simply prefer wet food’s smell and texture, as it smells stronger and is softer than dry food.
- Wet food can still be very convenient with single-serve pouches and trays giving your kitten a fresh, easy-to-serve meal each time.
- Your kitten will have an increased water intake.
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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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.
What Can A Kitten Eat
Of course, you want to provide the best possible home for your kitten which includes a healthy diet. A 6-week-old kitten can be fed both dry food and wet food . Their small teeth may still struggle with kibble, so it is a good idea to soak the kibble in lukewarm water at first. Yarrah Grain-Free cat food is very well-suited for kittens. The kibble is rich in protein and fat which is important for the kittens growth and health.
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What Can I Feed My 3 Week Old Kitten
A 3-week old kitten is a sight to behold. They are a cute bundle of fur, with distinctive lanky limbs and a round potbelly. Their insistent mewling is a signature of this developmental period, as they learn to communicate and explore the world around them.
At 3 weeks old kittens are completely mobile and will spend much of their time exploring the world around them. When they arent exploring, they will probably be eating or sleeping. Their growth and development place an enormous caloric burden on them. Your kitten will need to be fed well at this time to keep up with the demands of his body.
3 weeks is also the time when kittens begin to transition to solid food, making it incredibly important for them to be transitioned to a food source that provides adequate nutrition to support their continued growth. During the first few weeks of life, kittens need proper nourishment, warmth, socialization and help with urinating and defecating. Dont give regular cows milk to kittens because it doesnt contain the protein and nutrients that kittens need and it can give them diarrhea.
What Do Kittens Drink
What do kittens drink? Young kittens will drink their mother’s milk until they are weaned. There should also be free access to fresh water for their mother and kittens will start to lap this too. From around 4 weeks of age they will start to explore solid food and drink more water alongside their mother’s milk.
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Is It Ok For Kittens To Eat Dry Food Only
According to veterinarian Lauren Jones, feeding kittens dry food only is perfectly acceptable as long as you choose the right food. Dr. Jones says, Dry food only diets are perfectly fine for kittens, provided that you are offering a diet formulated for growth, like a kitten or all life stage diet. Dr. Jones also recommends mixing your kittens old food with their new food for the first five to seven days. The gradual transition makes it easier for your kittens delicate digestive systems to adjust to their new food.
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.
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How Much And How Often
An eight-week-old kitten is about to enter a period in which she will gain weight quickly.1 Unlike an adult cat that might be fine with just one meal a day, kittens need multiple meals spaced throughout the day. One large meal that contains all of their nutrition for the day would be too difficult to digest properly. Kittens need those calories all day long!
At eight weeks old, a kitten can be fed four times a day, with approximately a half a cup served at each meal.2 This can vary based on your kitten’s breed and body condition and your veterinarian’s recommendation. Because a kitten has so much developing yet to do, a high-protein diet is ideal. And kittens should always have access to fresh, clean water.
Other Key Elements And Precautions For Feeding Kittens
Below are some other things to bear in mind when feeding kittens, as outlined by Matejka:
- Make sure the food is verified by the AAFCO, which is a group that regulates pet food to ensure that it is balanced. Look for a product label that says the food “meets the nutritional requirements of kittens or all life stages established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials.”
- Be mindful of portions and calories. Check the package of the product for the suggested amount based on a kitten’s weight and age. The amount of food kittens require changes as they get older.
- Stick to regular meals and avoid “free feeding.” Kittens can be fed twice a day when they are over four to six months old. When kittens are young , they often can be allowed to “free-feed” as they will consume as much as their body needs. But once they’re older, stick with regular meals and measure out the exact amount of food they need per day, per meal.
- Do not overfeed them. Kittens may “always act like they are starving,” but it’s vital not to overfeed them, as this can predispose the kittens to obesity later in life. Those concerned about their kitten’s weight should consult a veterinarian to discuss what you’re feeding and how much you’re feeding your kitten.
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Human Foods That Are Safe For Cats
There are some human foods that you can feed your cat, including several fruits and veggies. However, cats are carnivores and 90% of their diet should be protein based. Also, cats dont have sweet taste receptors, so they may not be interested in foods with a high sugar content. If you do choose to add a new food to your cats diet, always start slow and increase gradually to watch for any adverse reactions. If you want to give your cat an occasional treat, there are some human foods that are safe, including:
How Much Should A Newborn Kitten Weigh
Newborn kittens usually weigh about 3.5 ounces, depending on their breed and the litterâs size. A healthy kitten should gain at least 10 grams per day. If you donât see growth in their body size, this is often a sign of illness.
Itâs essential to track and write down your kittenâs weight and how much they’re eating every day. You can use a gram scale for accuracy in weighing animals this small. If your kitten isnât eating or growing as expected, contact your veterinarian right away.
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Kitten Formula And Nutritional Density
3 weeks marks the point that your kitten is beginning to be transitioned to solid food. In most cases, this means that you are beginning to incorporate increasing amounts of kitten food into his diet to supplement milk from his mother or an artificial source. First, understand that kittens need to be fed different food from adult cats. Kitten formula food adheres to a much more stringent nutritional profile than standard adult cat food. This is because kittens, when adjusted for body weight, require roughly twice the amount of calories that an adult cat does. In order to meet this caloric demand, and provide the vitamins and minerals necessary to promote proper development, kitten food is formulated using more nutrient dense food sources.
How To Get Your Cat To Eat
Cats are clever. You might have noticed that if they dont like the food theyre offered, they can wait for a while until something they prefer is provided. Some cats are fussier than others, and some can stop eating due to illness or stressed. If your cat is off their food and this is unusual, make sure you see a vet to rule out any underlying illnesses or behavioural problems.
You can encourage your cat to eat by:
- offering different wet and dry foods at different times, and introduce new foods slowly
- giving wet food at room temperature, instead of straight from the fridge
- offering small, regular amounts of food rather than a large portion this is less overwhelming and ensures the food is always fresh
- offering food with a strong odour. Warming it up can increase the scent, but be careful not to make it too hot!
- adding a drop of tasty yeast extract spread, fish oil or kitten food to your cats meal. This can make food more appetising but shouldnt be done regularly. Ask your vet for more advice.
- sitting down with your cat, or hand feeding them. This can induce their appetite. Try a small amount of chicken and fish as a treat if theyre struggling.
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Basic Cat Feeding Guide
The following information is general advice, but as each cat is an individual, seek veterinary advice, particularly if your cat has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet.
The basis of your cats diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial cat food that is appropriate for their life stage and health status. By reading the label, you can check that it complies with the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food AS 5812:2017 . A balance of wet and dry food is preferable. Never feed puppy or dog food to your cat as it will be deficient in taurine, an essential protein that cats can only obtain through food.
Provide some moist foods such as wet canned food or pouches in the diet regularly as this helps to ensure adequate water intake and can help maintain a healthy urinary tract.
The amount of food required will depend on your cats size, age and level of activity, but you should take care not to overfeed or underfeed. Your vet will be able to weigh your cat, assess your cats body condition score and provide advice.
Some cats can be fussy eaters, which can develop when they are fed the same food over a long period. They can be tempted to eat by slightly warming their food, offering foods that are tasty or have a strong odour, and by offering variety, including new and different foods.
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.
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Caring For The Newborn Kittens
Under four weeks of age,kittensare considered newborns. During this time,newborn kittensare just developing motor skills and coordination. You need to know that bottle feedingkittensevery 2-4 hours is necessary. Their environment needs to warm and safe. Regular checks are essential to ensure the kittens arent too hot or cold. They easily become chilled and dehydrated. Newborn kittens need to be stimulated to help them urinate and defecate. Their mother licks them to do this to keep them nice and clean. You will need to imitate this behavior by stimulating the kittens with a warm, wet cloth during each feeding.
Kittens will less than three weeks of age are considered very young. During this period, when a mother cat leaves and has not returned after four hours, you may conclude she has abandoned herkittens. You must get in the picture, and its time to care for these helpless kittens. It means a bottle-feedingthem until they are four weeks or older.
What Can Cats Eat
Those canned diets and kibble diets may seem boring, but theyre there for a reason.
As long as it contains the AAFCO statement complete and balanced for your cats age, any commercial cat food will meet your cats nutritional needs and contain everything they need to survive and thrive.
I tend to recommend that cats get at least 90% of their daily calories from a complete and balanced source, and the other 10% can be a healthy treat. You can use the Pet Nutrition Alliance calculator to work out how many calories your cat can have as their main meal and as treats. For a healthy 10lb cat, thats just 22kcal treats per day.
In this case, treats means anything thats not a canned or kibble diet. It includes cat treats bought from a store, the slice of bread they snagged from the counter, and the kcal in butter you spread over their pills. It also refers to any people foods you decide to share with your cat.
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How Can I Know Im Selecting A High
Mindy Bough, CVT, senior director of client services for the Midwest Office of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals emphasizes the importance of high-quality kitten food. I dont recommend generic or store brands, Bough says. Buy from a reputable company — one that veterinarians recommend more frequently, she says. Research has determined these kitten foods provide excellent health.
But how can you be certain a kitten food is of high quality? One way is by checking the label. It should at least contain the following: Meets the nutritional requirements of kittens established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials . AAFCO is a group of state and federal officials who regulate pet food. Even better, look for this: Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials. Complete and balanced nutrition means your kitten will require no mineral or vitamin supplementation. In fact, remember that too much of a good thing can be bad for your kitten, causing severe medical problems. Use supplements only if your veterinarian recommends them.
Also use caution with homemade diets. For example, all-meat homemade diets can be low in calcium, leading to a mineral imbalance that causes hyperparathyroidism, a disease more common in rapidly growing kittens. If you use a homemade diet, make sure its been formulated by a reputable nutritionist, Bough says.
What Should I Feed Kittens
Harrison said it’s important to feed kittens food that’s formulated specifically for kittens when they’re being weaned.
“These formulas have the higher levels of calories, protein and calcium that growing kittens need,” she said.
Kittens require a precise ratio of nutrients to develop into a healthy adult cat. Matejka said: “Nutritional deficiencies can have lifelong, and sometimes deathly effects.”
Below are the three key nutrients a kitten needs for growth, as outlined at the website of VCA, one of North America’s largest animal hospital chains that operates over 1,000 animal hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.
- Protein: The recommended protein range for healthy kitten growth is 35 to 50 percent on a dry matter basis, with at least nine percent of the dry matter being from an animal source. The amount of protein required for kittens is high during the weaning stage, but steadily decreases afterwards.
- Fat: The fat content range for kittens should be from 18 to 35 percent on a dry matter basis.
- Calcium: A kitten’s diet should contain 0.8 to 1.6 percent of calcium on a dry matter basis.
The VCA website says: “You should also avoid foods that produce a urinary pH of less than 6.2.” Your veterinarian can help determine the pH levels of foods you’re looking to feed your kitten.
“Cats are also particular about food texture. It is recommended that kittens be provided with various food textures early in life to not become opposed to certain types of food later,” she said.
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