How Much To Feed Your Cat
As your kitten approaches their first birthday, you can start to think about transitioning them to an adult cat food. These should be labeled as formulated for the maintenance stage. Use these quantities as a guide, but remember to adjust them depending on the activity levels and health of your cat.
We recommend the following amounts as a starting point. Always double-check the quantities advised by each individual manufacturer, and ask your vet for more advice if youre unsure.
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As your cat ages, you may decide to switch them to a brand designed specifically to meet the needs of older cats. These are supplemented with ingredients like glucosamine and omega-3 oils, designed to help your cats joints. Your vet will be best placed to advise you about what will work best for your cat.
- See also: Choosing A Kitten
Care After Kitten Feeding
Caring for orphan kittens requires more than just bottle feeding. You will also be tasked with stimulating the kitten to go to the bathroom, tending to her medical needs, keeping her warm and clean, and otherwise providing her with a safe and secure environment until she is old enough for adoption.
After feeding, wipe down the kittens face so that no formula is sticking to her fur. Gently rub the kittens genitals with a soft tissue to stimulate her to urinate and defecate. Do this at each feeding, being mindful to wipe up afterward so that she stays clean and comfortable. Once the kitten has been fed, stimulated, and cleaned up, its time for her to go back into her warm, safe space until the next feeding. Repeat until the kitten is 5 to 6 weeks old and weaning onto wet kitten food.
To learn more about how to provide well-rounded care for an orphan kitten, download a PDF on kitten care here.
Hannah Shaw is an expert on neonatal kittens and is founder of the rescue and advocacy project Kitten Lady. You can find more kitten-care resources on the Kitten Lady website.
Finding The Right Feeding Schedule
Once youve covered all these points, you should be well on your way to finding the perfect feeding schedule for your kitten or cat. Commercial kitten and cat food brands have been designed to include all the vitamins and nutrients that each life stage needs to stay healthy, so choosing a high-quality food designed for your cats specific life stage is a great start.
Whether you choose to feed your cat wet food, kibble, or a combination of both will depend on both your cats preferences and your circumstances. If you work away from home and have an active and healthy young cat, you may decide to leave them kibble to snack on during the day and give them a portion of wet food in the morning and evening. If you have an overweight adult cat, perhaps youll feed them a small portion of calorie-controlled food twice per day.
If youre ever unsure about how to adjust your kitten or cats feeding regime to better suit their needs, ask your vet for advice, and soon, youll have the perfect tailored feeding plan.
Featured Image Credit: Patrick Foto, Shutterstock
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Can I Hold The Kitten
Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure theyâre healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact.
The kittenâs mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies. Itâs important to take it slow, especially at first. If the mother cat seems anxious or stressed, give her and her babies some space.
Weeks Two And Three Feeding Schedules
A 2 to 3-week old kitten will still need to be fed every 2-3 hours and it should consume at least 1/2 tablespoon of formula or milk during each meal. If a kitten is nursing from its mother, you’ll have to depend on how much the kitten weighs to know whether or not it is consuming enough food. Between days 8 through 18, its weight should increase to about 10 oz. and it will begin to crawl around shortly after its eyes open.
By the end of week 3, a kitten will be able to stand up and will have begun to interact with its littermates. Playing, ear-biting, wrestling, and exploring behaviors will begin and are important parts of socialization.
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How Much To Feed A Kitten Based On Age
December 1, 2017 By Sneha Singh
Wondering how much to feed a kitten 4 weeks old, 8 weeks 3 months old or so on?
This article will give a complete guide as to how much wet food to feed a kitten per day and also a dry food.
So if you also want to figure out why is your kitten so hungry all the time and how to get your cat to stop begging for food.
Regardless of whether you are adopting a kitten, or youre nursing felines little ones are weaning, you will need to pick the correct foods and set up kitten feeding chart now. Kitten feeding chart additionally allows you to utilize food as a piece of a natural enhancement program to prevent boredom and advance training and exercise, which are all basic to a kittens long haul mental and physical health.
Here is a straightforward guide of how much wet and dry food to feed a kitten per day plan for the initial a half year after your little cat has been weaned. It is best to keep a steady calendar, instead of bolstering free-decision, with the goal that you can amplify your chances for preparing and nearly screen how much food your little kitten is really taking in.
Formula Feeding Amounts By Age
Formula fed infants typically need 2 1/2 ounces or 74 ml of formula for each pound of weight, on average. Some babies have larger appetites than others, though. I have worked with a lot of families, personally, and some babies take small bottles and consume around 24 oz a day total while others consume over 30 oz. The most important thing to remember is that your baby should stay on his or her own growth curve.
While some parents and babies thrive on schedules, some people prefer to allow the daily routine to be flexible. Keep in mind that the more your baby eats during the day, the sooner your baby will sleep through the night.
Here is a formula-feeding chart to tell you the average frequency and bottle sizes of formula by age, but keep in mind that some babies eat a variable amount at different times of the day. You should use this chart simply as a guide while also adapting your daily routine to fit your unique baby.
If you ever have any concerns about your baby and your babys feeding habits, please be sure to seek out a healthcare provider and/or lactation consultant.
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Feeding Kittens 8 Weeks And Up
At eight weeks, a kitten would be fully weaned. It might try tonurse on occasion if the mother is around, but it should already be eatingsolid food twice a day. Wet and dry kitten food both havetheir own advantages, but its important that you feed food labeledas specially formulated for kittens in the first year. Youd knowyour kitten is eating properly if its showing alertness, a clean, glossycoat, and steady weight gain. If youre planning any dietary changes, consult avet to rule out any health problems
Follow the recommendations in this kitten feeding guide and youre sure to raise a healthy andhappy kitten. Felines can be such picky eaters, but if youget then started on the right track from infancy, feeding them and raisingthem into adult cats would be a lot easier. Its important to keepmonitoring the kittens weight increases as well as its stool and energy levelsto be able to detect any health problems. Your choice of cat food would also becrucial, so read the labels and look for expert-approved cat food for yourpet.
Bottles For Expressed Breastmilk Or Infant Formula
When buying bottles, remember that:
- You will need at least 3 large bottles with leak-proof caps, discs and teats.
- Plastic bottles are better, because glass breaks more easily.
- Bottles should be smooth on the inside surface , so they are easy to clean properly.
- Bottles should have clearly marked measurement guides that will not wear off over time.
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Feeding Kittens Wet Versus Dry Food
Wet and dry cat food are commonly available in kitten formulations, and there are pros and cons to feeding each. To decide which option best suits your kittens needs, talk with your veterinarian and get their recommendation. Here are some pros and cons of each:
Wet cat food is higher in moisture, so it can be beneficial in keeping kittens hydrated, flushing out the urinary tract, and helping kidneys stay healthy. However, wet food tends to stick to the teeth more, which can be associated with dental disease and painful cavity-type problems for cats.
Dry cat food is easier to feed in mutli-cat homes and can help scrape tartar from the teeth. However, some cats can overeat with dry food and gain excessive weight, which can be associated with arthritis, heart problems, blood pressure problems, respiratory problems, or diabetes mellitusjust to name a few.
How Much Wet Food Or Dry Food To Feed A Kitten
Use your kittens weight to determine approximately how many calories they should be getting each day. Then, look at the label on your kitten food to see how many kcal/kg and kcal/can or kcal/cup it provides. Divide your kittens caloric needs by the foods caloric content to figure out how much of that food to feed your kitten each day. Finally, divide this amount by the number of meals you plan to offer each day to get each meals serving size.
As an example, lets say you have a kitten that is 5 pounds, and you feed them Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food. According to the chart, you should feed your kitten 327 kcal/day.
Since the calorie content of the wet cat food is 108 kcal/can, you would determine how much wet food to feed your kitten by dividing 327 kcal/day by 108 kcal/can.
327 kcal/day ÷ 108 kcal/can = 3.027 cans of Wellness CORE Naturals Canned Kitten Food per day.
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When To Switch To Adult Dog Food
Smaller breeds can switch to adult food a bit earlier than large breeds, which may take longer to grow into adulthood. Usually, switching to adult dog food happens at about two years old, but because it depends on the breed and your puppys size, talk to your veterinarian about the best time to make the switch.
How Often Should A Kitten Eat
The frequency that your kitten eats normally depends on how old they are:
- Up to 1 week old: every 2-3 hours
- 2 weeks old: every 3-4 hours
- 3 weeks old: every 4-6 hours.
- 6 weeks old: three or more feedings of canned food spaced out evenly throughout the day
- 12 weeks old: three feedings of canned food spaced out evenly throughout the day
If you have questions or need additional guidance about how often or what kind of food to give to your kitten, contact your veterinarian for help.
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When To Wean Kittens
Normally, the kitten weaning process begins at about four weeks of age. With mom, theyll start to try to eat her food, and shell push them away from her, says Benson. But if youre weaning a kitten that has been orphaned, you can start a little earlier, between three and four weeks.
When they start biting and chewing on the bottle, theyre ready, says Benson. At this point, you can start to introduce kitten food.
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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How Much To Feed A Kitten Four Months Old
One of the most common questions asked by new cat owners is, How much to feed a kitten four months old? The answer depends on a few factors.
The first thing to consider is the age of your kitten. Kittens are born with their eyes closed and completely dependent on their mothers for food and care. They start out nursing from their mothers milk, and theyll continue to do so until theyre about three weeks old. At this point, theyll start weaning off of their mothers milk and onto solid foods. Once theyve reached four months, theyre considered to be fully mature cats and can eat adult cat food in addition to whatever food she was eating before weaning off her mothers milk.
You may be wondering how much to feed a kitten four months old. The answer is that it depends on the breed and its weight, as well as the activity level of your kitten. You should follow the nutritional guidelines provided by your veterinarian, but here are some general guidelines.
When feeding your kitten, its important to offer a variety of foods so they can get all the nutrients they need. The following table shows how much food you should feed your kitten based on their weight and activity level:
Weight Range Activity Level Amount to Feed
3 5 Low 40 80 grams
6 12 High 120 160 grams
For example A 10-pound, an active cat needs about 100 grams per day of food.
What To Feed Kittens 6 To 10 Weeks Of Age Weaning Comes To An End
Mom cats usually start to drastically limit their kittens access to milk at around 6 weeks of age. When they are 8 to 10 weeks old, most kittens are fully weaned and eating only solid food and drinking water. Bottle-fed kittens can be transitioned a little quickerfull weaning by 6-8 weeks is reasonable.
So, what should you feed your kitten toward the end of weaning? Canned kitten food is still the best optionbut if you want to switch to or add dry kitten food, start by soaking it in some warm water. Food and water should always be available to young kittens to fuel their rapid growth and development.
Whenever possible, kittens should remain with their mother and littermates until they are at least 8 weeks old. These first two months are vital from both a nutritional and a behavioral standpoint.
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A Clean Kitten Is A Happy Kitten
After feeding, clean any formula, urine, feces or other messes off the kitten using a clean, soft, warm, damp cloth. This action simulates how the momma cat would clean the kittens. If more cleaning is required, you may use a wetter washcloth dipped in warm water to loosen up caked-on messes in the kittens fur. Do not use soap or pet shampoo directly on the kitten. If you must use a shampoo to clean the kitten, add one or two drops of shampoo to a cup of warm water, then use the cloth dipped in this mixture to clean the kitten. Rinse the cleaned area with another cloth dipped in clear, warm water. Gently dry the kitten with a soft towel. Do not allow the kitten to become chilled. Once the kitten is clean and dry, place her back in the carrier on the covered heating pad, which should be covered in clean layers of bedding.
Kittens ears should be clean and dirt-free. If the ears are dirty, gently clean the area with a Q-tip you may need to dampen it in warm water. Do not use ear-cleaning solution because it could be harmful to the kitten. Only clean the outer area of the inside ear, just the part that you can see do not push the Q-tip down into the ear. If the ears are extremely dirty or you see signs of ear mites , contact your medical staff about treatment options.
When Can You Start Bottle
You cant give kittens solid food right away, so when can you start bottle feeding a kitten? In general, kittens can start being bottle fed when theyre about a week old. However, this timeline may vary a bit. Its also important to keep in mind that kittens 3 weeks or younger arent able to feed themselves, which means youll need to manually bottle feed them.
In order to bottle feed a kitten, youll need to have baby bottles with nipples as well as a suitable milk replacement. KMR powder is a popular choice for a kitten milk replacement. Simply mix one part KMR to two parts water , combining it until there are no clumps left. Make sure you keep the opened container of powdered milk replacement in the fridge, and dont keep premade formula for more than 24 hours.
When its time to feed your kittens, youll need to wake them up. Kittens dont typically cry or wake up when theyre hungry, so its up to you to decide how often to feed kittens and keep them on a regular feeding schedule. Most young, nursing kittens should be fed every 3-4 hours.
As your cat gets older, you can try putting a bit of milk replacement in a bowl for them. If they learn to eat on their own, you can add small bits of wet food when its appropriate for their age.
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