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When To Switch From Kitten To Cat Food

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When To Switch To Adult Cat Food

How to Switch a Small Kitten From Canned Food to Dry Food : Kittens & Cat Care

Kittens grow and develop every day. They require a food that meets the high-energy demands of their bodies. As your kitten becomes an adult cat, you may need to adjust her diet.

How do you know when to switch to adult cat food? Sometimes its hard to know when to stop feeding kitten food, but generally, you should begin slowly transitioning your kitten to adult food when she is one year old, or when your veterinarian recommends doing so. There is an exception with larger breed cats, such as the Maine Coon, which do not reach adult maturity until they are 18 months of age. Spread out the transition process over a seven to 10-day period, gradually increasing the amount of her new food each day.

Nutrients Your Cat Needs

Nutrients are substances obtained from food and used by an animal as a source of energy and as part of the metabolic machinery necessary for maintenance and growth. Barring any special needs, illness-related deficiencies or instructions from your vet, your pets should be able to get all the nutrients they need from high-quality commercial pet foods, which are formulated with these special standards in mind. Here are the six essential classes of nutrients fundamental for healthy living.

How To Introduce New Food

Your fluffball has a palate as discerning as a Michelin star grader! Theyll figure out exactly whats going on if you dont do this gradually.

If youve introduced your kitten to different flavors and textures earlier in their life, this transition will go a lot smoother. Should you find yourself reading this article well before your kitten has matured, start offering them a wider variety of food. A combination of moist and dry food is always a good start.

A slow and methodical introduction to adult cat food is also advised to minimize intestinal upset. Because your kitten has been used to one type of diet, any rapid changes will affect their internal bacteria, sometimes causing runny tummies and vomiting. Sorry kitty.

The best way to transition to adult food is to space the process out over a week. Use this as a general guideline for success:

  • Days 1 & 2: Combine 25% adult food with 75% kitten food

  • Days 3 & 4: Combine 50% adult food with 50% kitten food

  • Days 5 & 6: Combine 75% adult food with 25% kitten food

  • Day 7: Serve 100% adult food

P.S. You can also use this transition method to safely introduce your cat to new textures and flavors of food.

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When To Stop Feeding A Cat Kitten Food

What you feed your kitten is important. A quality kitten food supports the rapid growth that young cats experience, but it’s equally important to know when to move on to an adult cat food. If you’re wondering how long kittens should eat kitten food, you’re in the right place.

Keep reading to learn more about when to switch your kitten to adult cat food. We also have some recommendations for both kitten and cat foods to keep your pet happy and healthy.

Switching Cat Food Due To Pet Food Recall Etc

When to Switch from Kitten Food to Cat Food

Changes to a cats diet should be made gradually. In fact, taking five to seven days to mix increasing amounts of the new brand of cat food in with decreasing amounts of the old brand reduces the chances that your cat will develop an upset stomach or refuse to eat. But what do you do when you have to switch your pet’s food quickly due to a food recall or other circumstance, like a diet-related illness?

To minimize the risk that your cat will have a bad reaction to the rapid diet change, there are some important steps you must take.

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Introducing Cat Food To A Kitten

Were not kitten around, young cats have different nutritional needs than adult cats, so its important to eventually switch from kitten to adult cat food when theyre ready. Just like human babies, kittens need different kinds of foods at various stages of their lives to develop and grow properly.

Unlike their pawrents, pets eat the same diet every day and develop microbes to digest that specific diet. When the diet is suddenly changed, the microbes do not have time to adjust and digest the new food. This can result in severe tummy trouble that may include vomiting and diarrhea. To avoid this, spread out the transition process over a 7 to 10 day period, gradually incorporating more of the new food in with the old.

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 Food Should You Feed Your Kitten

Putting your kitten on the right diet from the start with proper nutrition at an early stage will be crucial to helping it grow.

From experience, I recommend that when your kitten arrives at your home for the first time, itll be better to feed it with what its already accustomed to, especially if the food is of high quality. For example, if you bought your kitten from a vet or a shelter, make sure to ask them what they were being fed. Quickly changing the diet can be a shock to the system so we strongly recommend a gradual introduction to the new diet.

After 2-3 days of your kitten getting comfortable in the new environment, you can introduce the new food to it gradually , preferably not more than one serving per day. Pay close attention to how it reacts and pending no negative reactions, you can adjust the diet fully by week 2-3.

Ideally, your Kittens food should be very rich in calories because their stomach cannot accommodate as much food like adult cats. So every opportunity they have to eat, ensure the food is very nutritious, even if it is consumed in small amounts.

Additionally, kitten food requires very high levels of protein to help them grow. Other Nutrients like magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron will help your feline friend develop very healthy and sturdy teeth and bones.

How Much Food To Give

When & How to Switch Your Cat From Wet to Dry Food | Chewy

Unless your vet has alerted you to specific portion requirements based on your cats breed or an underlying health condition, its usually safe to follow the manufacturers guidelines regarding portions.

AAFCO approved products base their labels on body weight, so monitor your cats weight weekly during this transition if you observe unusual changes in your cats body weight or condition, adjust the portions accordingly. Chat to a vet if youre not feeling confident about making portion adjustments on your own.

Also Check: How Many Calories Should Cats Eat

When Can Kittens Eat Dry Food

Kittens can begin eating solid food at around four weeks old. Begin by feeding your kitten soft or wet canned food. As they grow used to eating solid food and their teeth continue to develop, begin to mix in dry food moistened with a bit of water. Gradually increase the amount of dry food over several days, paying attention to the feeding instructions on the back of the bag. To learn more about feeding your kitten, read our article on how much to feed your kitten.

When To Stop Feeding Kitten Food

The age at which a kitten reaches adulthood can vary by breed and other factors. Typically, kittens will be fully grown by age 1 and you should stop feeding kitten food and switch to an adult diet then. Its important to stop feeding kitten-specific food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet so your cat does not become overweight.

When switching from kitten to adult cat food, do so as a gradual transition over 7-10 days as changing your cats food too quickly can cause stomach upset. Always introduce the new food by slowly mixing it with the current diet.

Days 1-3: 75% kitten food | 25% adult foodDays 4-6: 50% kitten food | 50% adult foodDays 7-9: 25% kitten food | 75% adult foodDay 10: 100% adult food

Many kitten foods are nutritionally formulated to meet the needs of both kittens and adult cats so always refer to the label for the AAFCO nutritional statement!

Stella & Chewys offers a variety of raw and kibble diets that are formulated to meet your kittens needs. Learn more about choosing a diet for your kitten.


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When Can Kittens Eat Cat Food

Kittens should switch to an adult cat food at 12 months old to ensure theyre receiving the proper nutrient levels for adult cats. Even the most athletic adult pets will gain weight if fed kitten food. Pet food labels are very helpful. If the label reads for all life stages, then its nutritionally sufficient for kittens and cats.

Although pop culture may have you believing that cats love milk, cats are actually lactose intolerant, and should never be given dairy milk. Stick to cat food, and if you do decide to give your kitty human food, stick with lean beef, cooked chicken, or plain lunch meat, and always avoid onions.

How Kitten Food Differs From Adult Cat Food

When to Switch from Kitten Food: Everything You Need to Know

Kitten food is formulated to meet the needs of growing kittens for the first year of their lives. During that first year, your kitten changes from a cute little baby into an adult cat.

Kitten food contains higher levels of protein and fat than adult cat food formulas. Kittens need extra protein and fat for energy because their bodies are growing so much during their first year of life. They also need some essential fat-soluble vitamins to help them develop properly, and the higher protein levels help them develop healthy muscles as they mature.

Kittens also need minerals, such as calcium, potassium and phosphorus, so that their teeth and bones form properly. All these minerals are found in most high-quality kitten foods.

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What Is The Best Weight Loss Diet Program

According to the experts who read the news about the following diets, nutritionists are the best diet for weight loss. Volume ranks second, and Jenny Craig’s Flexitarian Diet and Vegan Diet rank third in this overall weight loss ranking, which takes into account both short-term and long-term weight loss.

Changing From Commercial To Homemade Cat Food

If your cat has been on commercial cat food for most of its life, his digestive enzymes and digestive system has most likely acclimated to this unnatural diet. Slowly transition over to raw food, 1 teaspoon at a time, over the course of a month.

You will want to follow the advice of your veterinary professional, but for many this will look like:

Day 1-5: Mix 1 teaspoon of raw food into whatever your cat normally eats.

Day 5-10: Increase the raw food by double.

Day 10-15: Feed your cat half raw, half what they were eating before.

Day 15 on: You may be able to switch to all raw food as your cat has had time for their digestive system to catch up. If your cat is fussy, continue the slow transition.

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When Should You Switch From Kitten Food To Adult Cat Food

As a new cat lover, you might have questions on how and when to switch from a kitten to adult food. Weve answered the top questions all cat parents need to know about making a smooth transition.


When it comes to feeding your cat, its important to note that kitten and adult foods generally differ in terms of protein, fat, and caloric content. Kittens grow quickly and need a lot of calories to support that growth, as well as plenty of essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. These are the building blocks cats need to establish a strong and healthy body as they mature.


Around 10-12 months of age, your kitten will likely be fully grown. Since your cat has matured at this point and is no longer going through a growth phase, they no longer need to consume extra calories. This is generally the best time to start transitioning your kitten to an adult cat food diet. However, some larger breeds dont reach their adult weight until up to 18 months of age. If youre unsure, consult your trusted veterinarian for advice on when to change your cats diet.




When To Switch From Kitten Food To Cat Food

Changing cat food – how to transition your pet to a new 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.

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Choose The Right Food

Selecting the right type of food can also make the change easier on kitty. Pick a food that is designed for sensitive stomachs and made with easy to digest ingredients. Look for foods that use turkey or chicken as the main ingredient. These are easier for kitty to digest and less likely to cause stomach upset. Rice, oat, wheat and egg protein are other ingredients that aid in digestion and minimize gastrointestinal reactions. Avoid cheap pet food brands as they can have additives that your cat can’t digest well. Ask your vet which foods he recommends.

When To Switch From Kitten To Cat Food

Taking care of a kitten is quite different than caring for an adult cat. Many cat owners wonder whats the right time to switch from kitten to cat food? Theres no exact rule for when to make the switch, but the general rule is that all cats less than 12 months old are considered kittens. Its essential to feed your young fur baby a kitten formula during their first year. The exception would be larger breed cats, which dont mature to adults until they are 18+ months old.

You should feed your kittens a growth-formulated diet until theyre at least 90% of their adult weight. If youre unsure, its best to double-check with your vet before making any significant lifestyle changes for your kitten or cat.

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Is Your Kitten Ready For Adult Cat Food

Providing your kitten with the proper nutrition goes way beyond just putting fresh food in a clean bowl. Your kittens nutritional needs will change as their body develops through adolescence and into adulthood. Proper nutrition during these critical growth periods will help your kitten mature into a strong, healthy adult cat.

The nutritional needs of kittens and cats are vastly different, and its critical to give your pet premium age-appropriate nutrition. Heres everything you need to know about kitten food vs. cat food and how to feed your growing kitten.

Which Food Should I Choose For My Kitten

6 common myths About feeding your cat

You know how long to feed kitten food to your kitten, but which food should you feed them? With plenty of excellent kitten foods on the market, it isn’t too difficult to find a quality option, but it can seem baffling at first, especially if this is your first cat.

When your kitten initially comes home, it’s best to feed them whichever food the breeder or shelter was feeding them, not only because it’s familiar but to avoid giving them an upset stomach. If you believe that this food is a decent quality, you might want to stick with it until your cat is 12 months old. Otherwise, it’s fine to switch after a few weeks. When switching cat food, it’s important to do so gradually over the course of around a week, replacing a small amount of the old food with new each day.

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How Do I Choose A Good Cat Food

It is critical to choose an adult cat food that can offer high-quality nutrition and meets all FDA standards. Compromising your adult cats basic nutritional needs may cause GI upset, and wont provide her with the same quality of nutrition she had when she was a kitten Premium and veterinarian-recommended diets are formulated to meet all of your cats dietary and nutritional needs.

Things to look for in good cat food include:

  • High-quality ingredients.
  • Product guarantees.
  • Diet formulas that are appropriate and nutritious for each life stage.
  • Complete and balanced levels of fat, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. Complete diets do not require giving additional vitamins or supplements.
  • Good taste and texture.

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