What’s A Healthy Rate Of Weight Loss For A Cat
Just like for people, cats need to either burn more calories or take in fewer calories to lose weight. You do not want your cat to lose more than a 1/2 pound per month. Therefore, even if your cat has a significant amount of weight to lose, such as 10 lbs., do not rush the process. Weight loss takes time. No one likes a diet, which includes cats, so if you attempt to make the process go too quickly you will end up with a grumpy cat.
As a final word, I want you to know I understand how hard it can be to get cats to lose weight. I struggled with one of my cats, so I know the suffering you are enduring. But I want you to know it is possible to get your cat to lose weight and in the long run, it is the best thing for both of you!
Newborn Kitten Age: 0
During this stage, most kittens rely on their mothers milk as their only source of nutrition. If their mother is present, you wont need to feed kittens at alltheyll know how to feed themselves! That said, if youve rescued an orphaned kitten, youll need to bottle feed him. Kittens require a kitten milk replacer, which replicates the nutrition found in mother cats milk. Do not feed a kitten cows milkit doesnt have the right nutritional balance to nourish a newborn kitten.
Healthy Kitten Growth Rate
A general rule of thumb in kittens is that they typically gain about 1 pound per month.
Often, a kittens weight is about 1 pound at 1 month , 2 pounds at 2 months , and so on until about 4-5 months.
Kittens do most of their growing within the first year and then stabilize from there. Many of the growth plates of the bones in the kitten skeleton close by about one year old.
At this time, after much of the growth is finished, your vet will typically switch your kitten to an adult diet.
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Young Kittens Up To Four Weeks
If you have found an abandoned kitten or your female cat gave birth, you might find yourself hand-rearing newborn kittens. Up to the age of four weeks, kittens should only be eating milk. Cows milk wont do though a kitten milk formula is the best bet to ensure they thrive.
At this age, your kitten will need to be bottle-fed every 2-3 hours. Youll also need to ensure theyre toileting by stimulating them with a wet cloth if the mother cat isnt there to do it. Raising kittens is hard work, and its best to seek professional advice.
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New Cat Owner Guide: 9 Steps For Taking Care Of Your Kitten
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! Bringing home a kitten can be exciting and daunting. Whether you’re a novice cat owner or a veteran pet parent, it’s always good to go over the basics when you start with a new bundle of fluff. If you get your kitten’s health care, training and socialization right when she’s young, she’ll be healthy and well behaved as she grows into adulthood.
Here are nine fundamental steps for taking care of your new kitten.
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How Much Should You Feed A Kitten
Caring for a kitten is like caring for a baby or even a puppy. Youd really have to pay close attention to its essential needs especially its nutrition as this provides the basic foundation for optimum growth and development. Feeding kittens can be quite complicated because of several factors that have to be considered. Knowing how much you should feed your kitten requires an understanding of these factors.
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Measure Your Cat’s Food
It is very important to measure your cat’s food with a proper measuring cup. Depending on the situation, when we are asked or think about a cup, our answers will be very different. When we think of a cup of coffee, especially if the morning is a bit rough, a cup better be the size of a soda bottle. But if we think of a cup of espresso we think of a tiny cup. Either way, we just think of a cup.
Why should this matter to you as a cat owner? It matters because when it comes to your cats weight and their overall health, the myriad of empty containers people frequently use to scoop their cat’s kibble aren’t the cups we veterinarians are talking about. This especially becomes a problem when a cat owner feeds the number of cups the pet food bag suggests and they are using the extra-large coffee cup variety.
Using a Digital Scale to Measure Cat Food
As doctors always say, The scale dont lie! That is why measuring your cats food by weight rather than volume is more accurate. While a measuring cup is great, we can always be off a little when we eyeball how much is in the measuring cup. And the size of dry kibble can affect how much food actually fits in a measuring cup. But when you know the weight of what you should feed your cat, you can be exact every time you feed with a digital scale.
Why Measuring Your Cat’s Food Matters
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General Feeding Guidelines For Different Ages Of Cats
How Often Should You Feed a Pregnant or Nursing Cat?
Due to the demand on their bodies for nutrients, I suggest leaving food out at all times. Make sure you are providing enough calories for the increase in metabolism they are experiencing during pregnancy and nursing.
How Often Should You Feed a Kitten?
Because of the nutrient requirements for growth and high energy demand, leave food out at all times for kittens up to six months old. You should only feed kittens a diet specifically formulated for them so that they are getting the proper amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. Kitten-specific food is designed to be nutrient-dense. This allows them to get the needed nutrients and calories in smaller amounts.
How Often Should You Feed an Adolescent Cat?
For cats between the age of six months to one-year-old, I suggest feeding at least twice daily but again monitor total calories for the day.
How Often Should You Feed an Adult Cat?
For adult cats over one year old, in most cases feeding at least twice daily is ideal. But if need be, once daily is acceptable. This can be impacted by certain health issues, such as diabetes, where it is critical that a cat eats prior to receiving insulin.
How Often Should You Feed a Senior Cat?
Feeding Your Cat At Different Ages & Stages
A cat’s feeding habits will change as they age. Their nutritional needs will, too. “We know that kittens and reproducing cats, queens specifically, have higher nutrient needs than adult cats at maintenance,” said Cailin Heinze, VMD, MS, DACVN, and Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist. Beyond that, Heinze said there is not much research that has been done to tell pet owners what a one-year-old cat needs versus a much older cat in terms of nutrients. “There are a lot of senior cat diets out there, but there are no standards by which those diets have to be designed to meet,” Heinze says.
According to Heinze, it’s possible your older cat might benefit from a senior food, but also possible that they will not. Her best advice is remembering that your cat’s diet is going to depend on your specific animal and making a plan for what nutrients they need at that stage of their life.
Your cat’s weight and health issues will also play a role in determining what and how often they should eat. Asking your veterinarian for guidance, especially if they are on a therapeutic diet, is always an option or you can use a cat food calculator to select a food that is best.
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What Is Best For A Four
The debate between wet and dry food isnt new, but for the most part, a four-month-old kitten will usually thrive in a wet food diet.
You can introduce wet food during the weaning process during your kittens 8th week of life.
If your kitten doesnt seem to like wet food, you can slowly introduce dry food or kibble by adding it in small increments into their meals.
Remember, when transitioning a kitten to a new food, you must do it slowly and patiently.
Take note that once your kitten reaches six months old, its baby teeth will start to fall off.
During this time, it might be best to give your kitten dry food that it can chew to soothe its aching gums.
How Much To Feed A 4 Month Old Kitten: Quick Guide
Proper nutrition on every life stage is necessary to raise a healthy kitten. Feeding might look simple at first glance, but theres more to it than what meets the eye, especially if you have a 16-week old kitty.
Knowing how much to feed a four-month-old kitten should always be based on its needs and the vets advice. In general, you need to provide the kitty at least four meals a day with a 1/3 to 3/4 cup serving for each one.
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Whiskers Recommended Daily Amount
Whiskers recommend giving a 10-week kitten either:
- 2 and a half pouches of their wet food, or
- 1 and a half pouch of wet food and 25 grams of their dry kitten food
Their wet pouches weigh 100 grams. So this means you should be giving your kitty :
- 250 grams of wet food, or
- 150 grams of wet food and 25 grams of dry.
From looking at the data, both Royal Canin and Whiskers recommend similar amounts, as youd expect. Its important to keep in mind that no two kittens are the same though. Different breeds, sizes, levels of activity, affect how much a kitten will eat.
If your 10-week old is eating a drastically different amount to whats recommended, thats when you have cause for concern and should check in with your vet. If they are within a sensible range, you have nothing to worry about!
How Much Should A 2
Kittens between the ages of two and three weeks still need to be fed every 2-3 hours. If the kittens are with their mother, you can check whether theyre getting enough food by monitoring their weight.
If youre bottle-feeding, aim for a full tablespoon at each feed. If thats not possible, you should at least make sure your kitten gets at least half a tablespoon of formula or milk at every meal. Keep the ratio 8 ml of formula per 28 g of body weight per day in mind when planning the kittens meals. You dont need to worry about them getting too many calories I have never seen a fat kitten but if you go too fast with a feed you can make your kitten sick. Its hard work but be patient and take your time.
Kittens at this stage are starting to develop and grow but they are still tiny and very vulnerable. Continue to keep them in their carrier between feedings, with their heating pad and clean bedding. After every feed, you will still need to give your kittens a wash: they will tend to get formula on themselves and may produce urine or faeces. Water needs to be warm but not hot as kittens are very sensitive at this age. Once theyre clean, dry your kittens thoroughly but gently as they can easily lose heat through their wet fur.
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Royal Canin Recommended Daily Amount
Royal Canin recommends giving your little 10-week bundle of joy either:
- 2 and a half to 3 and a half pouches of their wet food, or
- 1 pouch of wet food and 35-50 grams of their dry kitten food
Their wet pouches weigh 85 grams. So this means you should be giving your kitty :
- 212- 297 grams of wet food, or
- 85 grams of wet food and up to 50 grams of dry.
First Days In A New Home 8
The first days in a new home can be a scary time for a kitten, and one of the best ways to comfort them is by providing a reliable routine. This helps them to make sense of their new environment, and knowing what to expect helps them to settle in.
At this age, your kitten will be eating just solids, so you dont need to provide milk although water should be left down at all times so they can have a drink. Youll need to decide what to feed them either wet, dry, or a mixture of both and what brand and even flavor youll opt for. Dont forget to make sure the food is labeled as kitten food or is suitable for growth. Youll also need to work out how many calories they need each day so that youre feeding them the right amount.
Your kitten will need around four feeds a day at this age, with their daily calories split evenly between all four. You should also get in the habit of weighing and body condition scoring your kitten to make sure theyre getting enough food. You want them to grow and put on weight, but not to become obese.
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What To Feed Your Kitten
Kittens have nutritional needs that are different than those of mature cats. Feed your kitten a food that is made specifically for kittens. Pet food labels are required* to carry a statement identifying the life stage for which the food is intended. Choose a food that is intended for growth.
Also look for a food that has been substantiated by a food trial. The means of substantiation will be stated on the label too. Foods substantiated through a food trial are preferable to those substantiated via laboratory analysis or through comparison with a similar product.
As for what to feed your kitten when it comes to choosing canned or dry food, kittens can do well eating either. Each has advantages. Canned food provides more moisture than dry, which can be useful in keeping your kitten well hydrated. This may become very important for your cat later in life. Dry food tends to be more convenient to feed and can be left for a longer period in the bowl without having to worry about spoilage.
Dry food does tend to have a higher carbohydrate content than some canned foods, which means that your cat may gain weight easier on dry food than wet, if allowed to overeat. However, cats can gain excess weight on either dry or canned food. Obesity is currently the most common nutritional disease seen in cats. Feeding your cat to remain lean is an important part of keeping your cat healthy.
Feeding Schedule For Your Kitten
Many people feed their new kitten by simply filling a bowl with dry food and leaving the food available the entire day. However, establishing a feeding schedule for your kitten is a good idea. A feeding schedule for your kitten allows you to control the kittens diet more easily and make sure your kitten does not overeat and gain too much weight.
Your new kitten should eat three times daily. Morning, afternoon, and evening is a good choice. You can arrange the schedule to fit in with your own routine, although it is best to keep a consistent routine from day to day.
Use the feeding guidelines on the food label as a starting point to determine how much to feed your kitten. Split up the daily portion into three equal parts and feed 1/3 at each feeding. The feeding guidelines provide a starting point but youll need to monitor your cats body condition and adjust the feeding amount accordingly. If your cat is gaining too much weight, decrease the amount of food. Conversely, increase the amount of food offered if your cat is too thin or is not gaining weight as expected.
Encouraging your kitten to exercise may not be a problem. However, as your new kitten ages, it may become more difficult to get him to exercise. Some cats do become couch potatoes and these cats are at risk of becoming overweight or even obese. Here are some tips that you can use in feeding your kitten that may aid in keeping your kitten lean.
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How Much Should A 6 Months Old Kitten Eat
. You should still feed at least 400-500 g of good quality wet food, giving more food to larger kittens. You can reduce the amount of dry kibble you offer, using it more for treats or rewards than as regular food. At this age, you still dont need to worry about obesity in your pet. If your kitten is one of those babies with hollow legs and you find them wolfing down all the food you put out only to cry for more, break their food up into smaller meals. Some kittens eat more moderately than others.
Although it has its advantages I dont really like to give my cats and kittens dry food as a staple. For one thing, the composition is usually inferior dry food tends to be heavy on grain, soy and other plant ingredients, which arent great for cats. Dry food also contributes no fluid to your pets diet, which is a problem. Cats of all ages can develop UTIs and kidney problems if they dont get enough fluid, which many do not this problem is even more severe in young kittens, who are much more vulnerable to health issues generally. Now that your kittens are weaned, ensuring that they get enough liquid in their diets is a concern.