Kitten Feeding Guidelines; A kitten’s nutrition is very important to their growth and development. Kittens need the right amount of support from their diet that will sustain them as they grow into healthy cats. The following are a few guidelines to follow when it comes to feeding your new fur-ball.
What Should Your Kitten Eat
Like a mature cat’s food, a kitten’s food needs to provide them with the right amount of fat, fatty acid and nutrients to support and sustain them. However, a kitten’s food must have more protein, amino acids and vitamins and minerals than a mature cat’s food to provide them with enough energy as they grow and develop. Because cats require a specific nutrition during their first year of life, owners should only feed their kitten a formula of food that is designed specifically for them.
Kitten food comes in dry and wet varieties and which type you choose to feed your cat should be based purely on preference and convenience for your lifestyle. Dry foods are more convenient when it comes to preparing and can be left out for longer periods of time while wet food, which is usually tastier to your cat and helps keep them hydrated, should not stay out for longer than 20 to 30 minutes once the package has been opened.
How Often Should Your Kitten Eat: Free Feeding Vs. Feeding Schedule
Some kitten owners fill up their pet’s food bowl with dry food just once in the morning and leave it available for their kitten to graze from all day. This allows the kitten to eat whenever he or she is hungry without any uncomfortable stomach problems that occur from eating too quickly, but it could lead to overeating and the kitten becoming overweight or obese. Free feeding is suggested for kittens around four to six months but they should be transitioned to a regular feeding schedule once they are six months old.
Kittens on a feeding schedule should be fed three times a day, ideally in the morning, afternoon and evening. Their feeding schedule can work around your normal routine but it is the most beneficial when they are fed around the same times each day.
How Much Should Your Kitten Eat
The feeding guidelines outlined on your kitten’s specially formulated food are a great way to gauge exactly how much food your growing kitten needs each day. The recommended daily portion should be divided into three equal meals and you can adjust the amounts accordingly after monitoring your kitten’s growth. If he or she is gaining too much weight because the recommended amount of food is too high, which is usually the case, decrease how much food your kitten is eating. If you are seeing your kitten’s bone structure under his or her fur, increase the amount of food he or she is eating.
Kitten receive most of the water needed in their diets through their food but you still need to provide your little kitty with a fresh supply of clean water he or she can access at all times. Water is an imperative resource for all living things and growing kittens are no exception. They need a lot of water as they develop.
Kitten and cats love treats and owners should always keep some on hand to give to their pet when he or she did something right or if you just feel like spoiling them. However, treats should never make up more than 10% of a kitten’s caloric diet. Too many treats will fill up your cat on empty calories, making them too full to eat their nutritional food. Balancing your kitten’s treat intake will help ensure he or she reaches their full potential as a healthy cat.
Switching to Adult Food:
Kittens should be gradually transitioned to adult food when they are around a year old. Make sure that when you do decide to make the change that you monitor your kitten’s food intake, health and body weight to make sure they are still receiving adequate nutrition.
Some kittens need to be slowly transitioned into eating a new type of food, while others take to the new chow right away. In most cases, it only takes about a week to successfully transition your furry friend from kitten food to mature cat food.
There are two methods you can consider when it is time to transition to adult food. The first involves mixing a small amount of new food with your kitten’s old food and increasing the amount of new food as the week goes on. The only problem with this method is, a very picky kitten may not eat any of the old or new food if they do not like the food you are transitioning them to. The other method involves leaving two small bowls for your kitten, one with a little bit of new food and one with a good amount of old food. Increase the amount of new food in the bowl each day and decrease the amount of old food. Hunger will drive your kitty to at least try the new food when they run out of the old.