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.
Make Sure Youre Feeding A Food Made For Kittens
Remember, its very important to feed your kitten food formulated just for her young age. This is because a kitten grows fast and may have energy needs that are three times higher than an older cat.4 Kittens also need more protein, amino acids, and minerals. Its good to feed specially formulated kitten food until shes about one-year-old. And of course, dont forget to provide plenty of water.
A great dry food formulated especially for kittens is the Chicken & Herring Meal Kitten Formula by AvoDerm Natural. This food has high-quality ingredients, including avocados, with protein, fat, and nutrients balanced just right for kittens. The formula also includes DHA for healthy development.
What Is Fading Kitten Syndrome And Why Do So Many Foster Kittens Die From It
Every spring, Mother Nature reveals her regenerative power and the remarkable fecundity of cats, in the form of millions of newborn kittens. Feral cats are the main source of this bounty. Most kittens born of feral mothers will make wonderful pets if they are properly socialized at an early age. Many of these kittens end up in the care of kindhearted people who foster them after they are orphaned or abandoned. Tragically, as spring turns to summer, Mother Nature reveals her darker side and often breaks the hearts of the kindhearted foster parents who have worked hard to nurture young kittens. A staggering proportion of kittens succumb to fading kitten syndrome before they reach nine weeks of age.
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How To Get Your Cat To Eat
Depending on the reason why your cat has stopped eating, you may be able to coax your kitty to start eating again. However, the fastest way to find out if there’s a medical reason for your cat’s appetite problem is to have your pet checked out by your vet.
- If an upper respiratory disease has caused your cat to be congested and unable to smell its food, help your pet clear its nasal passages. Take your cat into a steamy bathroom or if you can, put saline drops in its nostrils. This breaks up the nasal discharge and helps your cat breathe easily so it can once again smell its food.
- Tweak your cat’s wet food to entice it to eat again. Try heating up cold wet cat food or tuna for a few seconds in the microwave. Or, offer your cat canned kitten food, canned tuna, or canned chicken to whet your pet’s appetite.
- Experiment by choosing a different flavor, texture, or shape of food to feed your cat.
- Make cat food from scratch. Your cat may prefer the fresher ingredients in a home-prepared recipe.
- Check to see if the flavor of the food your cat has always eaten has recently changed its formula or ingredients. The information may be listed on the packaging as “new and improved flavor.” Or, contact the food company and ask. You may need to find a new favorite food for your cat.
What You Can Do
Whether your cat is sick, anxious, or just plain picky, remember that a complete refusal of food can have devastating consequences. So, even if youre trying to make your cat eat a doctor-prescribed diet, never starve your cat into eating a certain type of food.
If illness is the reason your cat wont eat, work with your veterinarian to design the best regimen for you and your pet. This may include a change in food type or consistency some cats may be enticed to eat by offering canned foods when they are unwell. In more extreme cases, veterinarians may prescribe medicines that act as appetite stimulants or recommend syringe-feeding your cat a liquid diet. Or the vet may recommend placement of a feeding tube to ensure adequate nutrition.
When illness is not the culprit, there are things you can try to encourage your cat to eat.
You may have discovered that certain foods, such as liver or canned tuna, can act as appetite stimulants for certain cats. Remember to only offer these foods in small amounts. Large quantities may harm your pet by causing deficiencies or an overabundance of certain vitamins.
If your cat has been eating human food exclusively, be sure to transition your pet over several weeks by mixing together your pets favorite people food with cat food. Over time, you should be able to change the ratio until your pet is eating only cat food.
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The Type Of Wet Food I Feed My Cat
I feed my cat Wellness Healthy Indulgence wet food which comes in pouches with several varieties and flavors. In the beginning, I fed her the Morsels Chicken variety, and later I switched to the Gravies Chicken & Turkey variety which I have been feeding her for the last year.
She has always loved her wet food and eaten every single piece of it. But lately, shes been approaching the food, sniffing it, and walking away. This is very strange behavior but not unusual. Actually, I found a thread in the CatSite forum about this problem. I wanted to learn more about why cats do this and why my cat Sophie is doing it. Heres what I discovered:
They May Not Feel Well
If your kitten loses their appetite for a longer amount of time – 24 hours or more, its important to immediately take them to a vet to check for any underlying health issues or sickness. Tiredness, weight loss and lack of interest in anything are all indicators of a poorly kitten and a loss of appetite can be very dangerous for small cats so be sure to seek immediate help.
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What Is The Best Way To Introduce My New Kitten To My Home
A new home with new sights, new sounds, and new smells can be a scary place for a young kitten, but there are things you can do to make the transition easier. Your new kitten likely left behind a loving mother, playful siblings, and a familiar environment, so he needs a little special care when being introduced to his new surroundings and new family.
Your kitty needs to feel comfortable with you as soon as possible, so start your relationship by interacting with him on his own turf where he feels safe and secure. Spend time playing and cuddling him before taking him away from his familiar environment. Bring home the comforting scent of his current home by petting his mother and siblings if they are present. Better yet, bring along a towel and rub his family members or even the inside of his kennel to carry these old scents to your kittys new home. Familiar smells warm the heart and steady the nerves.
The ride home should be as pleasant as possible. Place the scented towel in a cat carrier and gently place your kitten inside. If he resists, remove the top of the carrier rather than nudging him through the door. Cats prefer cozy spots so they usually like being in a carrier. By encouraging your kitten to ride within the confines of a carrier, you are providing safety and security, as well as starting a good routine that you can maintain for future car rides.
Staying home alone
Preventing problems before they start
Most Common Reasons A Cat Loses Appetite
This is a comprehensive list that covers the leading causes a cat wont eat:
1. Change & Stress
The most common reason a loss of appetite occurs in cats is change. Most cats are sensitive to changes in their environment such as a new home, new owner, or a new addition to the family such as a child or dog. This could even be as simple as you getting up at a different time each day and feeding them an hour earlier. Anytime this causes stress you will probably see increased shedding for a few days and not finishing all their food.
Stick to your normal routine and make the changes minimal . Play with your cat and give them lots of attention and they will be back to normal in no time.
2. Food Bowl
Yes, food bowl problems is an often overlooked cause of a cat not eating as much. Sometimes cats have allergies to the material the bowl is made from. Other food bowl problems are dirty bowls, getting an electric zap from a metal bowl, or just the presence of another pet near their bowl. Some cats dont like hovering from their owners or other pets when they are trying to enjoy their chow time.
There are many illnesses that may affect a cats eating and diet. We list some of the more common illnesses below. If you notice your cat eating less keep an eye on them. Lethargy, sitting hunched up, lack of purring, being reclusive, hissing when you attempt to move them, or yowling when doing their business in the litter box are all common signs your cat has an illness.
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When To Feed Your Kitten
Kittens that are around eight weeks old should probably be fed three or four times a day at first though the frequency of feeding can be reduced to two to three times a day by 12 weeks. Feeding a little and often is a good practice because it permits the owner to observe the kitten eating several times a day and thus to note its eating habits. At this stage in a kittens life, its gastrocolic reflex is still quite active, so once a kitten has finished eating, it will often head straight for the litterbox .
Reasons Why A Kitten Is Not Pooping When Stimulated
If your kitten wont poop when stimulated there may be something wrong inside her tummy. If youve observed that the kitten isnt pooping for about 24 hours already you should closely monitor her but if its been more or less 48 hours you should seek the help of your vet at once.
Here are the common causes of why a kitten is not pooping:
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Why Does Fading Kitten Syndrome Happen
And, more important, what can you do to prevent fading kitten syndrome?
The word syndrome should be a tip off. Fading kitten syndrome is not a single entity rather, it describes a large number of problems and conditions that can cause death in young kittens.
Most kittens who die from fading kitten syndrome appear to get sick and die suddenly. However, with a few exceptions , the problem generally builds gradually but is very difficult to detect until a crisis develops. I am sorry to say that the prognosis for kittens in crisis is poor. Therefore, the key to reducing fatality from fading kitten syndrome is early detection of subtle problems before a crisis occurs.
Don’t Change Her Food
If your kitty was eating solid food regularly in her birth home, find out what brand of food it was and give that a try. If your kitten wasn’t introduced to a variety of foods when she was with her mother, she probably won’t want to try something new, especially just after arriving at a brand-new home. Get her some of the food she was used to eating to see if she will dig right in.
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What Is Whisker Fatigue And Is It Real
You may have heard either from your veterinarian, news reports, or pet product manufacturers about something called whisker fatigue.
Theres actually a lot we still dont fully understand about cats whiskers .
While the thought of tired whiskers sounds kinda silly, it is something that maybe you should put a little thought into if you have a feline that tends to be very sensitive. Why? Because it is a problem that can potentially make your cat act completely different.
Some of the issues it can cause are poor appetite, mood changes, and changes in behavior. All of these things cause additional stress to your cat.
Generally, people think of whiskers as a physical trait of cats. We often relate to it as we do facial hair or beards. But they are so much more complex than a beard!
Whiskers, or vibrissae, are specialized touch organs that help mammals in a number of ways. Cats, for example, have 100200 nerve cells per whisker. As the whisker comes into contact with an object, the cat translates that sensory information to help build a description of their environment, like whether a space is too narrow for them to safely pass through.
Simply put, whisker fatigue occurs when these highly sensitive vibrissae are repeatedly over-stimulated. This can happen with repeated hits to the sides of a food or water bowl, causing discomfort, desensitization, and stress.
Over enough time, this can cause the following:
Try Adding Broth Or Serving Two Foods Side
If mixing the food isnt working, try adding a little unsalted chicken broth to the kibble.2 Sometimes water isnt enough, but the broth can tempt your kitten to try the dry food.
Some experts recommend serving the new and old foods side-by-side rather than mixing them.3 You can always try this first, then switch to mixing the foods if it doesnt work. If you try the side-by-side method, serve a bowl of canned food next to a bowl of dry kibble. Slowly decrease the canned food over time and increase the kibble.
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Keeping Your Cat Hydrated If She’s Not Drinking Water
As a pet parent, one of your jobs is to ensure that your cat drinks enough water to stay healthy. If you notice that your furry friend isn’t making regular trips to her bowl, it’s time to find out why your cat isn’t drinking water.
To paraphrase a popular saying, you can lead a cat to water, but you can’t make her drink . However, once you determine that she isn’t sipping often enough, there are a few ways to get your cat to drink water.
Your Cat May Be Recovering From An Illness Or Hospital Stay
Some cats will develop a food aversion, most commonly after an illness or hospital stay. Such cats associate a particular food with feeling sick or with the stress of hospitalization, and then refuse to eat that food.
It may require some ingenuity and trial and error to discover what your cat is willing to eat if a food aversion develops.
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Kitten Weight Gain And Developmental Milestones
Kittens should gain about ½ ounce every day or 4 ounces per week. Weigh them at the same time every day with a kitchen or small postal scale. Lack of weight gain in a 24 hour period is cause for concern. Begin syringe feeding the kitten and have a plan in place for who foster parents should contact. To syringe feed the kitten, mix up the KMR as usual and then draw it up in a syringe. Put a nipple on the end of the syringe and place the kitten in the proper feeding position. Try to get the kitten nursing by slowly pushing KMR out of the syringe and through the nipple into its mouth. Make sure it swallows the formula before you push more into its mouth.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Almost all cats will catch a respiratory virus at some time in their life. The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery surveyed 740 cats, finding respiratory viruses in 82% of them.
The symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections are more commonly linked to the common cold. Cats with a respiratory infection will cough and sneeze a lot, usually releasing discharge. The cat will also likely endure streaming eyes.
Some cats struggle with vomiting and diarrhea while battling a respiratory infection. This can be problematic as the cat will also lose appetite. In addition to feeling lethargic and unwell, the cats scent receptors will be blocked. The smell is a huge part of a foods appeal to cats.
Most of the common respiratory infections in cats can be treated with rest. Eventually, the virus will run its course. Antibiotics will aid with this and are advisable in the case of senior cats. Older cats have weaker immunity and are hit harder by respiratory infections.
Cats need to eat when feeling under the weather. The nutrients found in their food will boost recovery. Open your cats sinuses with steam. Closing the door in the bathroom and running a hot tap will do the trick. Once the cat breathes easier, it will regain its appetite.
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Why Is My Cat Not Drinking Water
To avoid the complications of dehydration and to know how to encourage your cat to drink more water, you first need to determine why your cat isn’t drinking enough.
In the absence of serious medical issues, start with the basics. Is her water clear of food, hair, dust bunnies and other debris? Your fur baby requires and desires clean water, so wash her bowl and replace her water at least once a day, if not more.
It’s worth noting that some cats simply don’t like where their water dish is located, explains Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD in Petful. She tried a few at-home “experiments” to see if changing up the placement of the bowl made a difference in whether or not her own cats drank water. In her case, moving it away from food bowls did the trick. Try this maneuver at home to see if your kitty is being finicky about her water bowl real estate.
The Physics of Kitty Sips
So don’t worry if your kitty isn’t gulping down water like a champ and sloshing it all over the place. She has her own delicate way of doing things. Sometimes, cats even daintily dip their paw into the bowl and lick off the water. As long as she’s drinking a few sips a day and getting moisture in her diet, she’s good to go.