As A Small Animal Veterinarian Do You Recommend Any Specific Kitten Or Adult Cat Foods
There are many different diets out there, and it can be overwhelming to have to pick the right one. As a small animal veterinarian, I recommend and trust Hills Science Diet and Wellness.
Pet nutrition is an integral part of the development, growth and health of your pet. Placing your kitten on the most nutritious and appropriate diet from the start helps to ensure a lifetime of health and happiness. Nothing brings me more happiness and joy than seeing adorable, feisty and playful kitties. Enjoy this time and remember to take a lot of pictures, because before you know it, they will no longer fit in the palm of your hand. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian. They are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.
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Do Cats Need Carbs Clearing The Confusion
Ill start by addressing the preference argument.
Do cats like carbs?
Recently, a review paper from the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association came out to suggest that yes cats do.
Lets review it.
The review paper links to a recent trial on dietary preference in cats and dogs.
Their conclusion is that cats love carbs more than protein.
Here is how its reported:
In this latter study, the diets contained more carbohydrates than the options from the prior study, and varied in protein and fat , but were balanced to be similar in palatability. Cats in that study chose to consume 43%, 30% and 27% of calories from carbohydrate, protein and fat, respectively.
This would seem to suggest that cats prefer carbohydrate when given a choice.
Lets take a closer look at the study in question.
Heres what they did:
- Recruited 27 cats
- Placed in 2 rooms
- Offered 4 plates of dry cat food
- Able to eat food up to maintenance dietary needs
The study lasted 28 days, but started with a 2 day palatability test.
Lets look at what was in the four plates of food:
|Table 1: Study food types||Protein*|
Youll notice a few things about this.
First, all plates are high in carb.
Theres no low carbohydrate comparison at all . This is far higher than a wild diet of 1-2% carb.
Only one plate offers a higher protein to carb ratio .
The high fat and high carbohydrate plates dont even meet AAFCOs recommendation for maintenance protein.
Case closed right?
Heres what happened:
How To Make The Transition
Once your kitten is reaching maturity and its time to start transitioning to adult cat food, its important to make the transition gradually, slowly increasing the amount of new food and decreasing the old food. Typically, this process occurs over a period of a week to 10 days, but keep an eye on your cat to see how she is handling the switch, as its difficult to predict her reaction until she tries it.
Letting your cats digestive system get acclimated to the new food is the main reason for taking the switch slowly. Because cats generally eat the same thing every day, the microbes they develop in their intestinal system are tailored to digesting that specific diet. As a result, quickly changing your cats diet doesnt give the microbes in your cats gut enough time to adjust, which can lead to an upset stomach and symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea.
In order to prevent this, start with a small amount of the new food mixed in with the old food for at least the first two days. Then, transition to a 50/50 split between the old and new food for 2 or more days, and then increasing to 75% new and 25% old. Finally, after 7 or 8 days, you can try giving your cat only the new food.
Alternatively, you can provide two separate food dishes instead of mixing, but still providing less of the old food to encourage your cat to at least try the new food.
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Switching From Kitten Food To Cat Food: The Why When And How
Just like you definitely wouldnt hand over adult food to sweet gurgling babies, kittens shouldnt be fed adult cat food before theyre ready. Thats because cats have different nutritional needs depending on their stage in life. As kittens, they eat nutrient-dense food that helps them grow, but as they near the end of their growth period, its important that their diets change to meet the demands of their new, almost adult bodies. Switching from kitten food to cat foodat the right time and in the right wayis the best way to do this.
What Type Of Food Does My Kitten Need Wet Or Dry
Its important that very young kittens have at least some canned food to eat as part of their diet. Very small kittens have very small teeth and cant chew dry food well. Without some canned food, they wont get enough nutrition to grow properly. If you are feeding your kitten both dry and canned foods, then twice a day canned feedings are sufficient. If theyre only eating canned food, they should be fed four times daily.
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What Are The Risks Of Kittens Eating Solid Food
Kittens should start eating solid food around 4 weeks of age. Kittens weaned too early may have trouble digesting solid food and are at risk for health problems.
Eating solid food too early can also lead to obesity and other health problems later in life. Its important to talk to your veterinarian about when to start feeding your kitten solid food.
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Do Kittens Actually Need Kitten Food
Kittens, at least those who reside inside, require particular nutrition. Kitten food is critical during a kittens first year of life in order to assist its growth and development.
Large breed cats, such as Cats, need longer to mature since they dont grow as quickly as other breeds, so its critical that they be fed kitten food with greater protein content from the age of 8 months to 2 years. Kittens are energetic, curious, and lively.
There are a few things to bear in mind whether youre new to pet ownership or have previously taken care of an adult cat. First and foremost, you must feed your kitten. For many people, this is the most difficult portion because each kitty is unique and generally has varied feeding preferences. While some kittens begin eating almost immediately after birth, others may not begin eating until they are three months old or later.
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Should I Let My Kitten Eat As Much As It Wants
Let young kittens eat as much as they want they will almost certainly not become overweight. You can free feed as long as other pets don’t eat all of the food and you leave out only dry food. Young kittens need a lot of calories for their size. … Your kitten should always have access to fresh water.
What Types Of Milk Can Kittens Drink
Kittens that are younger than 8 weeks of age should be fed a kitten milk replacer such as PetAg Petlac Kitten Powder until they are weaned. During this time, you should not give them a cow or goat milk, or only plant-based milk. There are many kitten milk replacers on the market, so speak to your veterinarian to decide which is best for your kitten.
Your kitten will then begin to eat solid food which should consist of high-quality kitten food. Even once the kitten has been weaned, you should still avoid giving them milk as it is unnecessary for their life stage. Kittens will generally become lactose intolerant after weaning, so all sources of animal milk will cause stomach discomfort and loose stools.
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Can I Feed The Kitten With A Baby Bottle
When you feed a kitten, you should make sure that they are laying on their bellies or sitting up. Unlike human babies which are typically fed while in a reclined position, kittens should be placed as if they were nursing from their mother. If kittens are placed on their backs and held, they might be unable to wriggle away if they are being fed too much or too quickly and risk drowning.
You should purchase a bottle specifically designed for feeding kittens. Human nipples and cat nipples vary widely in size and so a human baby bottle nipple will be much too large for a kitten.
There are plenty of kitten feeding bottles and nipples available for purchase online and at pet stores. Be aware that with some nipples you may need to cut a hole yourself. Make sure that the hole is very small and drips out slowly or you risk the kitten drowning in the formula.
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Bringing Up A Litter Of Kittens: Health Considerations
31st July 2018
You have brought a litter of kittens into the world, either by accident or on purpose, and you are now responsible for their wellbeing.
You also need to ensure that your input over the next few weeks results in kittens that will make good pets for their future owners. To be good pets they need to be both healthy and have the ability to enjoy living with people.
The average birth weight for most cats is approximately 100 grammes, however, it is normal for some pedigree cats to have significantly smaller or larger kittens, depending on the breed. Healthy kittens should double their birth weight in the first two weeks, then continue to gain weight steadily. It is helpful to weigh your kittens to see whether they are thriving and growing as they should.
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How To Mix Gruel
Small batch : ½ can of wet kitten food mixed with ¼ can of formula .
Large batch: Whisk 8 cans wet kitten food with 4 cans of fresh, warm formula . At this age, kittens like their food a little lumpy so they can chew.
Note: Substitute the warm water for formula in gruel for kittens 5 weeks and older.
Helpful tips when using gruel:
- When introducing kittens to gruel, put gruel in a flat dish and place kittens near the dish. If they do not start to eat on their own after a few minutes, use tongue depressor or spoon to scoop gruel into kittens mouth. You may have to open their mouth and put a little in. You can also put a little gruel on their nose and see if they will lick it off. Sometimes the kittens need to adjust to the new taste.
- Once kitten starts to eat gruel off the spoon or tongue depressor , slowly start to lower it towards the dish of gruel. The kittens should easily transition from the spoon or depressor to the dish .
- During the weaning process, kittens still need to be bottle-fed three times per day to ensure they are receiving proper nutrients.
How Long To Feed Kitten Food
Below we have mentioned how much you should feed your kitten in every month:
Between Two to Three Months
Most of the cat owners already know that we should feed only kitten food for ten weeks. When your kittens are between two to three months, we highly recommend you feed them at least three to four times per day. Do not give them too much food at one time as they cannot digest it. You should also consult your vet and follow kitten feeding chart by weight.
Between Four to Six Months
Once your kittens turn between four to six months, they start developing a routine and get customized to it. Ensure that you help them develop a routine and follow it strictly. Before feeding them canned food, dont forget to check the label and the ingredients. The label should contain an analysis of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It is advisable not to switch their food more often as they will not be able to adapt it.
If your cat is turning six months old, then you can reduce their meals to three times a day and weigh your cat at least once in two weeks and feed them accordingly. You should not give more than one cup at each meal.
Between Seven Months to A Year
Below we have listed a few healthy cat food options:
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Wet Food Includes Nutrients That Can Aid In Kitten Growth
Kittens may not have access to fresh milk after they are weaned, which can be tough for them because milk is the main source of nutrition for their developing bodies.
However, wet food is an acceptable substitute if your kitten isnt or cant be fed with a bottle. There are also special formulas made specifically for kittens. Wet food provides all the vitamins and minerals that your cat needs in order to grow.
How Long Should A Kitten Eat Kitten Food
Cats should eat kitten food until they have fully matured. A vet can let you know when this time comes, but itll be somewhere between eight months and two years, depending on your cats needs, weight, and breed.
Its also essential to note that you will not be switching food overnight. Its a process that can take a week or two, so your adult cat may still be getting a portion of kitten food past their first birthday. Some cats are particularly finicky eaters, and you may need to transition more slowly.
Youll want to serve a mix of kitten and cat food during the transitionary period so that your pet gets used to the taste and texture of the new food. It can also help prevent digestive problems. For example, you might start by serving 75% kitten food and 25% adult cat food for the first two days. Over the next seven to 10 days, gradually increase the adult food and lower the amount of kitten kibble. Keep an eye on whether your cat is eating it or experiencing digestive issues, and consult your vet if you have questions or concerns.
Once the transition is over, your feline friend should officially be off kitten food.
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Other Tips To Get Your Cat To Eat After Tooth Extraction
The solution is to keep trying to find a food that she might like in her condition.
- Give her human food that she is used to eating but make sure to mince it into tiny bits.
- Make sure to give her lots of water, is good too.
- Try feeding her mashed cooked egg yolks.
- If she refuses the soaked dry food in water, you can try mixing tuna juice to soften the dry food.
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Can You Feed A Kitten Adult Cat Food
Switching your kitten to cat food can be a difficult process. In most cases, kittens will happily take to their new food when its introduced gradually. However, some kittens dont respond well to the change. They might not like their foods taste, texture, or flavor.
To avoid this issue, many pet parents wonder if they can feed adult food to a kitten. This bypasses the transition period and makes things easier for everyone, right? Wrong! Specially formulated kitten food is crucial for healthy growth and development. Feeding adult cat food before the point of full maturity can cause all kinds of issues, including:
- Poor Development: Specially formulated kitten food is high in calories and essential nutrients, which are required for healthy growth and development. Failure to fulfill these dietary needs could result in malnourishment, poor development, and stunted growth. This could have a lasting impact throughout adult life.
- Weakness & Lethargy: Kittens need more energy than adults, and they get this energy through their diet. Adult cat food wont contain as much energy, meaning kittens fed an adult diet could be weak and lethargic. Where kittens should sleep at night and nap during the day, constant fatigue is a sign something is wrong.
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How Do I Select The Right Adult Food For My Cat
The cat food that you choose for your pet is very important. It needs to be well-balanced and your cat has to enjoy it! Changing from kitten food to adult food is a big step, but one that your cat will certainly thank you for. High-quality cat food contains a great balance of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, fiber, fat, and minerals. This gives your cat everything it needs to stay healthy, have a shiny coat, and strong bones and muscles.
Not all cat owners land on the right adult food immediately, with cats being notoriously picky when it comes to food. Testing out a few adult foods, and keeping an eye out for any intolerances, will make sure that you select food your cat loves.
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How Do I Start Weaning My Kitten
While there is a time range for weaning, you still have to keep in mind that the sudden removal of your kitten from its mother can affect the kittens health, social life, and other vital life skills they could have gained from their mother. And this could eventually mean more training commitments for you, and litter-training a kitten, for example, isnt the most straightforward task there is. Unless avoidable, you want your kittens with their mother for as long as possible, even during the weaning process. That being said, as the kittens reach their 4th or 5th week of life, you can begin the weaning by placing them in separate areas for a couple of hours at a time. Done repeatedly, this step helps to reduce their dependence on their mothers milk and presence. When separated, provide them with food, water, litter box, and toys. As they grow more independent, you can increase the hours.
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