Kittens Also Have High Fat And Energy Requirements
Another key nutrient for growing kittens is fat and the main reason for this is due to its energy capacity. Fat contains 2.5 times more energy than either protein or carbohydrates and young, rapidly, growing kittens need much higher levels of energy than adult cats to fuel all that growth.
Between rapid growth and rambunctiousness, kittens have very high energy demands.
One of the advantages of this high caloric density means that smaller portion sizes can be formulated to ensure sufficient amounts of energy are contained in quantities of balanced nutrients that wont overwhelm small stomachs. Approximately 30% of kittens energy requirements should actually be provided through protein.
The omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, whilst not considered specific essential nutrient requirements for growing kittens, are in fact critical for optimal brain and retinal function. A kitten food containing appropriate levels of both DHA and EPA is therefore recommended for optimal growth.
In addition, fat is a vital factor when it comes to taste or palatability and is also used to help absorb and store fat-soluble vitamins, such as pre-formed vitamin A. Vitamin A, just like the fatty acid Arachidonic Acid, is another essential dietary nutrient for all kittens and adult cats.
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.
Is It Safe For A Human To Eat Cat Food
If you must go on rare occasions, it will probably do more good than harm, even though this isnt the healthiest dietary option for human consumption.
Consuming cat food regularly can lead to some weight gain and digestive upset. You also run the risk of getting food poisoning from consuming pet food.
If you decide to eat some cat food, be sure to stick with a small portion and avoid overeating.
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What Else Do Young Kittens Need
Mothers milk is an important source of nutrition during the early days and weeks of your kittens life, but as your kitten grows its essential that they develop a healthy appetite for solid foods and begin to wean. Most kittens will steadily wean themselves onto a kitten food, and eventually wont need their mothers milk anymore.
The litter becomes less enamoured with mums teats and begins to show interest in their mothers food, stealing mouthfuls and enjoying meat rather than milk. Weaning tends to happen at around four weeks of age, so good quality kitten food should begin to be available around this age.
Dr Holly Graham graduated from the University of Nottingham and has been working as a first opinion small animal veterinarian in the North of England for 3 years. She is a locum vet, which means that she works at a range of different practices, treating anything from dogs and cats to tiny hamsters and mice. She works both in routine practice – giving vaccinations and health checks, and busy hospitals often performing emergency surgery. She has special interests in imaging and small mammal medicine, so performs lots of ultrasound examinations and sees lots of rabbits and guinea pigs! Holly has two pets a fluffy black cat called Boris with neurological problems, whom she adopted as a stray, and Fergie, who is a black house rabbit.
When Can Kittens Eat Adult Food
Kittens need their rapid growth and development supported through specially tailored nutrition found in kitten food until they reach 12 months of age. At 1-year-old a kitten is considered an adult cat and can transition gradually over to a complete and balanced adult cat food. Adult food is available for indoor cats too, the nutrients are tailored to deliver different energy requirements to that of a cat that has access to the outdoors.
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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.
When Can Kittens Eat Dry & Wet Food
Although kittens shouldnt eat adult cat food before theyve fully matured, they can begin eating dry kibble and wet kitten food much earlier.
By three to four weeks, kittens can begin eating moistened dry kibble or wet food. Between six and eight weeks, kittens are fully weaned from their mothers milk and can eat dry or wet kitten food.
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When To Switch From Kitten Food To Cat Food
Most cats are considered kittens until around 12 months of age. Large breeds, like the Maine Coon, can take 18 months to 2 years to reach maturity, though.
During this period of growth and development, kittens need a complete and balanced kitten food. Once theyve reached adulthood , its time to transition to an adult cat food.
So You Cant Give A Kitten Adult Cat Food
While this answer is highly frowned upon by veterinarians everywhere. Feeding your kitten once in a while or for short periods when necessary of adult cat food is not impossible, and can actually benefit your kitten too. The downside though, is that you can possibly give them too much because theyre going to require higher calories from adult food, but they can also be at risk for vitamin toxification if youre not careful.
The best way to do it is to incorporate something like wet cat food with the dry food in order to give them the most nutrients and calories, as well as crude proteins and fats theyll need in order to truly achieve their success.
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What Happens If I Feed My Kitten Adult Food
The fact that it is not the most appropriate for a kitten to eat adult cat food does not mean that something serious will happen if we occasionally are forced to feed them adult food. If we run out of kitten food and are unable to get some more at feeding time, we can give the kitten adult cat food to tide them over. If it is dry kibble, we should soften it with water to ensure they do not choke on the larger pieces.
However, prolonged consumption of adult cat food could cause alterations in health or development of the kitten. In general, the quality with which commercial diets for cats are formulated today makes it very difficult for us to see serious problems.
If the kitten does present any symptoms of a health problem which may be related to the consumption of adult cat food, we need to take them to a veterinarian. An example of such a health problem might be a five-month-old kitten with struvite crystals causing a urinary tract blockage.
If you want to read similar articles to Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.
How To Make A Healthy Homemade Cat Food
You should consider all the aspects of healthy feline nutrition to prepare the recipe that would be a healthy option for your feline friend: the amount of protein, fat and carbs should be thoroughly calculated. Also, the food should contain all the required vitamins, micro- and macro-elements. Please, remember that adding the human spices can be harmful, so you should learn about human foods that are toxic for cats.
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At What Age Will My Cat Stop Growing
The first six months of a cats life are crucial to its development. There is an exponential growth curve throughout this time period. Kittens are rapidly gaining weight, acquiring muscular mass, and their bones are lengthening. At this point, kittens can eat as much as they like, since they require the nutrients to create correct bone and muscle building.
Kittens are also learning a lot throughout this stage. Its an excellent time to introduce your cat to activities you want them to be receptive to in the future, such as nail clipping and trying new foods .
After a year, your cat should be about completely developed. For the average cat, 95 percent of growth is complete by nine to twelve months, although as previously stated, other variables can also contribute to growth.
Aside from that, cat breed is a significant aspect of your cats growth.
The following are some indications of aging in cats:
- Changes in social and environmental interaction
- Changes in sleeping/waking habits, such as sleeping more during the day and being restless at night
- Senior cats might have constipation, dental issues, and hearing.
What To Feed A Kitten
Weaning a kitten is the process of transitioning the kitten from mothers milk to solid food. Its an important part of the kittens development, and needs to be done at the right time and in the right way. Normally the queen, or mother cat, will handle kitten weaning on her own. But when the queen has trouble producing milk, or when a litter of kittens is orphaned, we need to intervene. Here are some tips for smooth and successful kitten weaning.
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Are There Any Exceptions When It Comes To Cat Growth
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, including the answers to the question When do cats stop growing? This kind of cat can take up to five years to achieve full size. And their full size is impressive: at 48.5 inches stretched out, a Maine Coon cat named Stewie held the Guinness World Record for the longest cat. Stewie died in 2013, yet his impact on the globe lives on.
Cats with dwarfism, on the other hand, might be excessively tiny.
Dwarf cats are the feline equivalent of Lilliputians . Lilliput, a Munchkin cat, has the Guinness Book of World Records title for the smallest cat. Dwarf kittens develop more slowly than healthy kittens.
Fully Wean And Introduce Water
Once the kitten is confidently eating on her own, you can cease supplemental feedingit’s time to switch completely to solid foods! Be sure you’re feeding a high quality food formulated for kittens, and monitor to ensure that there are no concerning changes in weight, behavior, or condition.
At this time, it’s also appropriate to introduce water in a small, shallow dish. Never provide a large dish that can cause a safety hazard to a tiny kitten keep your water dish to about 2 inches high. It’s normal for kittens to struggle with water at first, but she should be drinking confidently within 1-3 days of introduction.
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Feeding A Stray Kitten
Sadly, in the spring and fall, its not uncommon to find a stray kitten in your yard or on the street. Stray kittens will need the same food and mealtimes as home-raised kittens, but you should take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible to better determine the kittens age and to check for parasites that could affect the animals growth.
Foods That Kittens Can Eat Besides Cat Food
The best thing to do is keep everything safe for the little guys until they reach an age where you know that they wont hurt themselves.
There are many different opinions regarding the diets of cats- especially kittens! While its essential to provide them with quality nutrition that meets all their dietary needs throughout their lives it should never be at the expense of other things like having fun or chewing/playing safely.
Kittens should not be given human food to eat, and they should never eat dog food either. So lets find out what can kittens eat besides cat food?
Remember: To maintain the weight of your cat you need low calories and low carb cat food which only provides the energy for day-to-day tasks and adding topping on the food of such cat may allow gaining further weight.
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Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food
Physically speaking, kittens can eat adult food. Adult cat food is not poisonous to kittens and is unlikely to be detrimental to their short-term health.
Because kitten and cat foods taste similar, your kitten is unlikely to notice the difference and will eat the food you put in the front of them.
Speaking in the long term, though, adult cat food is not ideal. Kittens require different nutrition than adult cats so feeding your kitten an adult cat food will deprive them of the essential proteins, vitamins, minerals, and calories they need.
Maintaining a healthy weight is also extremely important during kittenhood. Kittens may have trouble gaining the weight they need if eating cat food which contain less calories.
Its your responsibility as a conscientious kitten owner to purchase food made for kittens and feed them the food until they reach the age of maturity. This will this give them the best possible start in life. And, it can keep potential health issues at bay.
What To Feed Kittens
Choosing the right foods for kittens is essential for promoting healthy growth and development. Kittens should have a different diet from adult and senior cats because they have specific nutritional requirements. Providing a nutritious, tailored diet for your kitten will maximize the chances of them developing into a healthy, active adult.
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Before Beginning The Weaning Process
When its at all possible, kittens should be exposed to some mothers milk, especially within the first 12 to 24 hours of life. The first milk, or colostrum, contains antibodies that the kitten can only absorb during this time.
If a queen has an extremely large litter of kittens and cannot produce enough milk, each kitten should still get some of her milk. Some milk is better than no milk, says Dr. Jules Benson, vice president of veterinary services at Petplan. If she cannot produce any milk due to mastitis or other issues, another nursing mother may accept the kittens if they are close to the size of her own.
If no nursing cat is available, you can feed a kitten milk replacement formula with a nursing bottle or syringe. In an emergency, Benson recommends mixing a cup of whole milk, an egg yolk, a drop of liquid multivitamin, and three Tums in a blender but this is strictly for temporary use, to get some nutrition into the kittens, and you should switch to formula as soon as possible.
Youll be bottle feeding for three to four weeks. Always warm the bottle in a cup of hot water and taste test it yourself to check the temperature and that it hasnt soured. If youre using a powder formula, store unmixed powder in the freezer.
Feed slowly but frequently: every two to three hours during the day. At night, dont worry about it theyll wake you when theyre hungry. If theyre sleeping, let them sleep, and get some sleep yourself.
How To Choose The Best Adult Cat Food:
Once your babies are grown up, you need to get the best adult cat food for them. There are so many brands out there, so the choice can be overwhelming sometimes. So here are some tips that will help you to get the best cat food.
- Choose food that comes with an excellent balance of protein, fat, fiber, nutrients, vitamins, and carbohydrates.
- Made with high-quality recipe and ingredients
- Comes with an age-appropriate formula
If you feed premium-quality food to your cats, you will see the results in their growth. Some of the signs of sound cat-health are:
- Shiny fur
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When To Start Feeding A Kitten Adult Food
Originally Posted by Alison JoySharky, your point of view on this issue is interesting. Thank you for sharing. While I am of the category that feeds a grain free, all-life-stage dry food, and despite not planning on having any other kittens in the home for quite some time, I’m going to do some research and discuss this with my vet.All of my prior experiences have been with pulling a kitten off of kitten food at 5-6 months of age. Numerous vets and shelters have also informed me to do the same. But, now reading what you’ve shared, I can see the validity of your opinion. It is something I’ll take another look at, when the time comes, down the road.For reference, I’m feeding my cats Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula . I do, however, also feed wet food and that is not a grain free variety — my cats turn their noses up at the grain free wet foods. I continue to feed Finnegan wet food varieties specifically formulated for kittens, but I don’t do so exclusively. I choose to only because he is finicky where wet food is concerned. But, all of my cats do eat wet food and that comes to about 75% of their daily diet.I stand by my opinion that, under most circumstances, it is okay to feed a 5 or 6 month old kitten adult food. But, I suppose, as with most things feline, the jury is still out on the best plan of action.