Understanding A Kitten’s Diet
By definition, a kitten is a young cat in the process of developing into an adult. This process is one of relatively rapid growth which is greatly affected by their metabolism. In order for a kitten to develop properly, they will need a lot of food. This provides them with the nutrients for their body to grow and the energy to explore their environment. Since felines are obligate carnivores, the most important nutrient required in their diet is protein.
As mammals, kittens will obtain their initial food energy from their mother’s milk. While we will do what we can to help them develop, the mother will be in charge of adapting their diet. When the kitten is a newborn, milk is sufficient to meet all of their developmental needs. Eventually, the mother will begin the weaning period at about 8 weeks. During this time she will encourage them to eat solid food .
Unless there is a threat to their health, kittens should not be removed from their mothers until at least 8 weeks of life, although preferably up to 12. Once the kitten arrives in our home, we will need to provide them with food to sustain them. Since the kittens should be weaned by their mother, this means we should only have to provide solid food.
For all the above reasons, if a kitten is able to eat solid food, it is best to provide them with a kitten-specific option.
First A Transitional Time
A mother cat will start her litter on the weaning process when they’re about a month old. The kittens will begin to show an interest in cat food around that time. Slowly, they can be given tastes of kitten food that is soaked in water until it’s quite soft. Solid food can be gradually increased as the kittens nurse less often over the next few weeks. When a kitten is about eight weeks old, the weaning process will probably be complete, and he’ll be eating 100 percent kitten food.
Can Cats Eat Tuna
Cats can eat tinned tuna in water as long as its fed as part of a balanced diet. In particular, cats can also eat tuna if theyre feeling unwell, for example, if they have tongue ulcers. Tuna in sunflower oil helps to soothe the tongue and encourage your cats appetite, which can lower if theyre poorly.
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Which Senior Cats Shouldnt Eat Kitten Food
Overweight cats or cats with medical conditions that would be worsened by the increase in calories, fat, protein, or nutrients. Obviously, if your cat is overweight, the last thing you want to do is increase their calories. Kitten food as a treat every once in a while might be ok, but definitely avoid it as a regular meal. Again, the most important thing is to check with your vet if your cat has any pre-existing health conditions before making major changes to his or her diet. Most cats will be fine eating kitten food now and then, the question is whether its ok when it becomes a regular part of your cats diet.
Adopting Out The Kittens
The final step. Successful socialization is the most important part of the process, so make sure you teach them to trust and like humans as early as you are able! Please spay and neuter them before you adopt them out , they will not only be more attractive to adopters, but it will also help prevent this cycle from happening all over again. Once they are fixed, advertise liberally! Use social networking sites, tells friends, relatives, colleagues and acquaintances, and get them adopted out as early as you can! The older the kittens get, the harder it will be to find them homes.
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Should I Stop Giving My Cat Wet Food If He Has Diarrhea
Wet foods, in reality, will help the recovery process of your kitten. If your kitten has a sensitive stomach or is recovering from diarrhea or constipation, it is best to give them foods that are high in moisture content.
The high moisture content in the food will help ease the process of digestion. Thus, you dont need to completely cut off wet foods from your kittens diet, as this will only strain their digestive process.
It can also hinder the intestinal ability to heal itself, leading to severe problems like hepatic lipidosis, a fatal liver disease.
Benefits Of Dry Kitten Food
- Dry complete kitten diets are easy to measure and use, and have a longer shelf-life once opened than wet foods.
- They also help to keep your kittens teeth healthy. You can expect your kitten to chew dry food more actively, and it can help remove plaque from the teeth of older kittens.
- Smaller kibbles in most dry kitten food are easy for kittens to chew and swallow.
- You can give your kitten exactly the amount that they need.
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The Best Dry Foods For Kittens
To find the best dry kitten food for you, youll be needing a bit more information than a rough overview.
Through a combination of personal experience, studying the market for consumer feedback, and online studies, weve put together this brilliant list of dry food for kittens. Below are the best dry kitten foods for providing a nutritionally complete meal to any young growing cat.
What Can A Kitten Eat
Of course, you want to provide the best possible home for your kitten which includes a healthy diet. A 6-week-old kitten can be fed both dry food and wet food . Their small teeth may still struggle with kibble, so it is a good idea to soak the kibble in lukewarm water at first. Yarrah Grain-Free cat food is very well-suited for kittens. The kibble is rich in protein and fat which is important for the kittens growth and health.
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Is It Dangerous To Feed A Senior Cat Kitten Food
This is a complex answer. In general, no, your adult or senior cat eating kitten food occasionally or for a short period of time wont hurt him. The risks start if your cat only eats kitten food. As kitten food is at least 30% higher in calories than adult food, feeding kitten food regularly over a long period of time can cause your cat to become overweight. Even though kitten food is healthy for most cats, the increase in fat and calories will cause weight gain. This is like if you ate 3 avocados a day every single day. Avocados are great, theyre extremely nutrient dense and a good food if eaten in moderation. However, a standard avocado has 250 calories, so if youre eating 3 every day in addition to your normal food, thats 750 calories, which will cause weight gain over time.
The increase in other nutrients shouldnt be harmful to your cat, as most cats will simply expel excess nutrients into the litter box. However, if your cat is on any medications or has any medical concerns, youll want to check if the increase in certain nutrients could be dangerous before feeding too much kitten food.
Homemade Chicken Soup For Cat
Cat owners, we all know how hard it is to encourage your furry pal to drink up. Hydration is especially important for cats and even more so for those who depend on dry cat kibbles as their main source of nutrients. Dehydrated cats run a higher risk of getting urinary tract, kidney disease or other health issues. If regular water doesnt seem to appeal to your fussy feline, soups for cats can be a great solution. However, we recommend feeding soups to adults or senior cats only and ensure the soup contains little to no sodium. This chicken soup for cats is a tasty and easy-to-make alternative. Itll be sure to help your kitty hit their daily fluid intake!
Prep time: 5 minutes
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What Happens If I Feed My Kitten Adult Food
The fact that it is not the most appropriate for a kitten to eat adult cat food does not mean that something serious will happen if we occasionally are forced to feed them adult food. If we run out of kitten food and are unable to get some more at feeding time, we can give the kitten adult cat food to tide them over. If it is dry kibble, we should soften it with water to ensure they do not choke on the larger pieces.
However, prolonged consumption of adult cat food could cause alterations in health or development of the kitten. In general, the quality with which commercial diets for cats are formulated today makes it very difficult for us to see serious problems.
If the kitten does present any symptoms of a health problem which may be related to the consumption of adult cat food, we need to take them to a veterinarian. An example of such a health problem might be a five-month-old kitten with struvite crystals causing a urinary tract blockage.
If you want to read similar articles to Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?, we recommend you visit our Healthy diets category.
How Much And How Often
An eight-week-old kitten is about to enter a period in which she will gain weight quickly.1 Unlike an adult cat that might be fine with just one meal a day, kittens need multiple meals spaced throughout the day. One large meal that contains all of their nutrition for the day would be too difficult to digest properly. Kittens need those calories all day long!
At eight weeks old, a kitten can be fed four times a day, with approximately a half a cup served at each meal.2 This can vary based on your kitten’s breed and body condition and your veterinarian’s recommendation. Because a kitten has so much developing yet to do, a high-protein diet is ideal. And kittens should always have access to fresh, clean water.
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Proteins That Are Safe For Cats
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need meat to live. Meat is a great source of protein for your cat. However, too much fat can give your cat a stomachache, so make sure to trim off any excess fatty portions beforehand and to cook all meat thoroughly before you feed it to your cat*.
Proteins your cat can enjoy:
- Skinless Chicken
- Green Beans
** Dont feed your kitty spinach if it has had any urinary or kidney problems because spinach can cause crystals to form in the urinary tract.
Can You Feed Your Senior Cat Kitten Food
We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.
A question I hear a lot is what the best thing to feed senior cats is. Ive heard a lot of people ask whether kitten food, such as Wellness Complete Health Kitten food or Royal Canin Kitten food, are safe and nutritious enough to feed older cats. This answer really depends on your cat. There are some older cats that might actually benefit from the nutrients in kitten food, whereas some other cats wouldnt do well on kitten food alone. This article will cover the types of cats that can eat kitten food beyond the kitten years and which shouldnt.
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Feeding Your Older Cat
As your cat gets older, they need a diet to meet their more mature needs. Your cat is often considered to need an adult plus or senior diet when they are around 7-10 years old , and they are classed as geriatric or aging once they are over 10-14 years old. Senior or aging cat foods tend to be more easily digestible and contain a balance of nutrients which can help to compensate for some of the changes older cats experience.
Diets for older cats will contain different amounts of certain nutrients compared to younger adult foods. There are some parts of your cats diet that become harder for them to process as they get older, such as salt. The altered amounts in senior foods help to support their organs, such as their kidneys, as well as helping them maintain their weight and muscle.
Its important to know that many senior and geriatric cat foods often contain more calories per gram compared to adult cat foods. This may mean you need to reduce the amount youre feeding them to make sure youre giving them the calories they need each day.
With geriatric and senior cats, its even more important to monitor them closely to check how much theyre eating and drinking each day. Eating less, eating/drinking more or losing weight can be a symptom of problems such as organ disease , dental problems or diabetes, which become more common as your cat ages. If youre worried, always speak to your vet for advice.
Basic Kitten Feeding Guide
The following information is general advice, but as each kitten is an individual, seek veterinary advice, particularly if your kitten has any special dietary needs or has a reaction to a standard diet.
The basis of your kittens diet should be a high quality balanced premium commercial kitten food that is appropriate for their life stage and health status. By reading the label, you can check that it complies with the Australian Standard for the Manufacturing and Marketing of Pet Food AS 5812:2017 . It is best to start feeding wet kitten food and introducing dry kitten food as your kitten grows. Provide some moist foods in the diet regularly e.g., wet can food. Never feed puppy or dog food to your kitten as it will be deficient in taurine, an essential protein that cats can only obtain through food.
Kittens should be offered food at least 4 times per day.
Take care not to overfeed or underfeed your kitten. Your vet will be able to weigh your kitten, assess your kittens body condition score and provide advice.
Please ensure clean fresh drinking water is available at all times but do not provide milk as this can cause gastrointestinal upsets.
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When To Start Feeding A Kitten Adult Food
Kittens might look grown up by six to eight months, but theyre still kittens on the inside! Their bones are still growing stronger, and their bodies will keep filling out.
Keep feeding them their nutritious kitten food until theyre about 12 months old, when they can make the switch to adult food. Take a look at our guide to feeding an adult cat for more information.
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|Primary Ingredient:||Brewers rice|
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response is a mouthful in more ways than one, but its been specially designed by vets for cats with digestive issues, which is why its the best overall cat food for diarrhea.
It works on cats with both short- and long-term stomach issues, and its loaded with probiotics to ensure that everything gets digested properly. Theres also a large amount of fiber inside , so everything should move through your cats digestive tract without issue.
Thats not the only good stuff inside either. There are also omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent for boosting immune response and improving gastrointestinal health. It also has something called an S/O index that prevents crystals from forming in your cats bladder.
The first ingredient is brewers rice, which should help calm down upset stomachs.
The biggest issue we have with this food is that it requires a prescription from your vet, so you cant just run down to the store and pick up a bag. If your cat has chronic digestive issues, though, Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Fiber Response is worth the price of both the kibble and the doctor visit.
|Primary Ingredient:||Deboned chicken|
Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach isnt only good for cats with tummy problems, but its also a great all-around kibble. Its surprisingly affordable for the quality, which is why we feel that its the best cat food for diarrhea for the money.
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Feeding Your Adult Cat
Once your cat has grown up, theyll move onto an adult diet. These contain a balance of nutrients that will maintain your cats energy, and keep them healthy and at their ideal weight.
Your cat is usually considered to be an adult from around 1 year old until theyre 7-10 years old. There are many types of adult cat food, some of which have been designed for different lifestyles, such as indoor cats, or cats that have been neutered. You may also need to feed your cat a specific diet if they have a medical condition or need to lose weight. If youre not sure which diet is best for your adult cat, ask your vet for help.