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When Can Kittens Eat Cat Food

How To Stop My Kitten Form Stealing The Older Cats Food

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Raising a kitten when you already have an older cat comes with a set of challenges and one of them is the feeding process. This might not concern those few lucky cat owners whose cats stick to their own food bowls, but if your cats are anything like mine then your kitten will need extra attention during mealtimes!

This kitty for example doesnt seem to have much energy for stealing!

But if yours does then I think its time we take a look at the few steps that can help keep all parties happy and well-fed!

What Should The Transition Be Like

It is typical to be nervous when introducing cat food to kittens. Sometimes they will not even eat the food at first. Besides, immediate switching on the foods could work against the kitten.

Hence, start with tiny amounts of adult cat food mixed in their foods. Increase the serving gradually, observing the reaction and the aftermath.

Start with about a quarter of cat food, three-quarters of kitten food for at least two days. When this is successful, make the cat portion half and the kitten portion half. Again, feed the kitten for a minimum of two days. Then, switch to more cat food compared to the kitten food. Finally, you can completely switch to a cats diet without risking the cats health.

You can also introduce your kitten to taking more water, as the dry food will be less hydrating than their previous food type. Also, after introducing adult cat food to the growing cat, give it more wet food and less dry food until you can balance the two safely.

Recognition And Treatment Of Illness In Kittens

If kittens cry excessively, or fail to suck, they are usually hungry or ill. Common signs of illness include the kittens being cold , lethargic , or regurgitating milk. Sick kittens respond poorly to their environment, they often lay separated from the other kittens, and are often ignored by their mother. They typically have either very empty abdomens from lack of food or very swollen abdomens from swallowing air. Since kittens can die very quickly, they should be examined by a veterinary surgeon as soon as possible to ensure that nothing serious is going wrong.

The most common health problems seen in young kittens are probably hypothermia , hypoglycaemia , dehydration, diarrhoea and constipation. Newborn kittens may die suddenly, or present as poor doers and fade within a few days. Unfortunately, the clinical signs of many kitten diseases are very similar and vague.

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When To Switch From Kitten Food To Cat Food

Most cats are considered kittens until around 12 months of age. Large breeds, like the Maine Coon, can take 18 months to 2 years to reach maturity, though.

During this period of growth and development, kittens need a complete and balanced kitten food. Once theyve reached adulthood , its time to transition to an adult cat food.

What To Feed Kittens To Wean Them

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You can start with wet or dry complete kitten food soaked in water or kitten milk. Starting with wet food is a good idea, as kittens will find this easier to eat and it tends to have a stronger smell, which will entice the kittens.

Kittens must have free access to fresh water at all times during weaning. They will need to stay with mom until they are 8 weeks old, so they can supplement feed from her while they get used to eating solid food. Staying with mom during this time is also crucial for their socialization. If they are bottle-fed, you will need to continue with some bottles until they are taking in enough nutrients from the solid food.

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How To Introduce Wet Food To Your Kitten

It can take a bit of time for some cats to get used to new or different food. For kittens, soft, wet food should be scooped into a small, low dish and served at room temperature. Serve just a small amount as small kittens dont eat much and will step all over some of it anyway!

When kittens start eating solids, they may only eat a tablespoon at a time, so dont give them too much or youll end up wasting most of it. And as said before, you may have to try a couple of brands before finding one that your kitten will enjoy.

How To Wean Kittens

Here are our top tips for successfully weaning kittens:

  • First, be patient. Weaning takes 2-4 weeks and there will be a LOT of mess in the early stages!
  • Once your kittens reach 4 weeks old, you can start to introduce some solid food. Its a good idea to start with wet kitten food, mixed with a little warm water or kitten milk.
  • You can offer dry food soaked in warm water or kitten milk from 4 weeks if you choose to. Or, you can add it in starting at 5-6 weeks.
  • You can offer a little food on the tip of your finger or a baby spoon, to tempt the kitten to try it. You should never smear it on their face or force their head into the bowl. They will try it when they are ready.
  • Start by offering the food on a flat dish or plate, so there is no lip or rim in the kittens way. Be prepared to change the food regularly though, as the kittens will likely walk in it too!
  • Over the next 2-4 weeks you can gradually decrease the amount of water or kitten milk you are adding until they are only eating the solid food.
  • Ensure fresh drinking water is easily available at all times.

Its important that you take your time and dont try to rush weaning, as this will only cause stress to both the kittens and the mom.

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Changing From Commercial To Homemade Cat Food

If your cat has been on commercial cat food for most of its life, his digestive enzymes and digestive system has most likely acclimated to this unnatural diet. Slowly transition over to raw food, 1 teaspoon at a time, over the course of a month.

You will want to follow the advice of your veterinary professional, but for many this will look like:

Day 1-5: Mix 1 teaspoon of raw food into whatever your cat normally eats.

Day 5-10: Increase the raw food by double.

Day 10-15: Feed your cat half raw, half what they were eating before.

Day 15 on: You may be able to switch to all raw food as your cat has had time for their digestive system to catch up. If your cat is fussy, continue the slow transition.

When Do Kittens Start Eating Food And Drinking Water On Their Own

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From the earliest stages of life, feeding a kitten should be balanced so that deficits do not generate problems in the future. A good diet will lead to great health and well-being for our cat.

Whether you’ve been bottle-feeding a kitten or your cat has been breastfeeding her own kittens, you’ll be interested to know when they are old enough to eat on their own. Therefore, in this AnimalWised article we are going to reveal this age and discuss the type of food they should eat. So, read on as we answer the commonly asked question: when do kittens start eating food and drinking water on their own?

  • Other precautions to take into account
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    At What Age Does A Kitten Become A Cat

    When a kitten turns one, they are generally considered adult cats. By this point, your kitten has gone through their rapid growth stage, which begins once they are weaned and lasts until they’re around six months old. Theyll also have gone through the adolescent stage, which lasts until 12 months old. Until they reach their first birthday, your kitten will require a very specific diet that is suitable for their tiny teeth, mouth, and stomach and filled with all the right nutrients that will help them develop properly.

    As with all animals, there are some exceptions, which include larger breeds like the Maine Coon. These cats tend to reach maturity between 18 months and two years of age. But how do you know which kitten food to try?

    Mindy Bough, CVT, senior director of client services for the Midwest Office of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals , doesn’t recommend feeding the generic or store-branded kitten foods to your little feline. “Research has determined these kitten foods provide excellent health,” explains Bough.

    Always read the label to ensure that they comply with regulatory standards and that your kitten will not require additional vitamin or mineral supplements. If completely necessary, these should only be given if recommended by your veterinarian.

    Feeding Kittens: What When How Much

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    When it comes to cuteness, few critters can compare to kittens. If youve just acquired a kitten , youre probably learning all about kitten care. You want to do what you can to ensure that your adorable baby grows into a healthy adult. Proper feeding is a big part of the health equation. After the first four weeks of mothers milk, a kitten gradually transitions to kitten food, and is completely weaned at about eight weeks. Heres what you need to know once youve brought your kitten home.

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    What Is The Difference Between Kitten And Cat Food

    Our cats are obligate carnivores, and once theyre off their mothers milk, theyll need a meat-based diet in order to survive and thrive. Taurine and protein are especially important for their development, while carbohydrates are not a good option since theyre not as easily digestible. As a result, the best cat foods typically have higher protein and lower carbohydrate content.

    This rule that applies to the feline species, isnt the only thing we should pay attention to when it comes to our cats diet. Its also important to understand that each life stage of a cat requires different nutritional attention.

    According to Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Kitten, adult cat, senior, and geriatric cats are four significant life stages we need to address nutritionally. He also adds that diet is extremely important for a growing kitten.

    For this reason, foods that are designed for kittens have the right nutritional value and requirements for a growing tiny ball of fur to develop into a magnificent adult cat, something an adult cat food simply cannot offer.

    Healthy Kitten Growth Rate

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    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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    Set A Feeding Schedule

    What you definitely need to take into consideration whether youre feeding an older cat, a kitten, or both, is having a regular mealtime schedule. Living a predictable life with a daily routine might not be your dream but its the perfect environment for cats. Knowing when theyre going to be fed, helps them feel secure.

    Meals become a cornerstone event of the day around which other activities are added. A feeding routine helps your cat cope when there are changes in the household, as Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM, explains it perfectly.

    Free feeding cats usually doesnt work, and with kittens, it could encourage binge eating, So, make sure you read the label on your package, or better consult your vet for the right portions your kitty will need and break them to at least two meals a day, or more regular but smaller meals if possible, throughout the day.

    If a kitten is raised within this concept, it will create an eating habit which is especially important since any changes in your kittens appetite can be an early sign of illness you could spot!

    Once youve established a regular eating schedule for both your older cat and kitten, its important to keep it synchronized. This way youll be able to keep an eye on both cats and make sure that they both ate their own meals, and most importantly that the little rascal didnt steal anything from the older cat.

    Kitten Food: When To Switch To Adult Cat Food

    The nutritional needs of kittens are different from those of adult cats. And for good reason, they are still growing! It is for this reason that kittens must benefit from a diet specially designed to promote their development. But at what age should you switch to adult cat food? We tell you everything in this article!

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    Bringing Up A Litter Of Kittens: Health Considerations

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    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.

    When To Switch From Kitten Food To Adult Cat Food

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    In general, kittens should eat kitten food until they are around 90 percent of their adult weight. At this point, they are at their full adult height and just have some final filling out to do.

    • Most kittens reach this milestone at about 10 to 12 months of age, making this the ideal time to switch to adult cat food.
    • An exception to this rule may apply to large breed cats. Larger breeds, like Maine Coons, dont reach maturity until they are 18 months to 2 years of age. Keep feeding these big kitties kitten food until they are at least 18 months old.

    Always speak with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about when to switch from kitten to adult cat food.

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    What Cat Personality Suits You

    Cats offer a variety of distinctive personality types, ranging from puppy-like cuddliness to feigned disinterest. Some cats are constantly on the go, exploring and poking into this and that, while others are certified nap ninjas. Vocally, they can be chatty catties or more taciturn souls. In short, you have a wide spectrum of personality types to choose from which is what makes cats such fascinating and easy-to-love pets.

    Why Normal Cat Food Should Not Be Fed To Kittens

    You can not feed kittens the same way as an adult cat because these cats require different diets.

    It is not ideal for feeding them the same thing due to their unique diet requirements. Kittens are just like human babies.

    You do not feed human babies adult food because they have just been born, and their body system is not ready yet to accept adult food.

    You should never feed kittens the same food you would feed adult cats.

    It is risky to feed your kitten regular cat food, and this can also pose some threatening health issues for your kitten when they start to develop.

    Feeding your kitten regular cat food as soon as it is born can impede and stall their growths. You will notice that your kitten is not growing as it is supposed to.

    If you compare kittens that have been fed the right formula and food after birth and kittens fed with regular cat food, you will notice a staggering difference.

    Their growth and development will be vastly different when compared. The kitten given regular cat food will also probably have health challenges.

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    When To Make The Transition

    As we said above, kitten food has a higher fat content. However, adult cats have lower energy requirements. Therefore, making this dietary transition is absolutely essential, otherwise your cat could quickly become overweight.

    But at what age should you switch from kitten food to adult food? In reality, it all depends on your cat. Indeed, it is estimated that kittens should benefit from a special growth diet until they have reached at least 90% of their adult weight.

    For most cats, the transition therefore takes place around the age of 10 to 12 months. On the other hand, for large cats , it is done later, at the age of 18 months, or even 24 months. The reason? They take longer to grow!

    In any case, do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for advice during your cats annual health check-up so that he can tell you when is THE right time for your hairball.

    Tips From The Proper Transition From Kitten To Cat Food

    Foods You Should Never Feed Your Cat
    • Making the transition from one meal to another for your kitty too rapidly can make it more difficult. Ensure that your cat has solitude and a quiet dining location distant from other animals and loud music.
    • Feed your kitty by hand in the beginning. The person who is providing the cat food must have a strong bond and understanding with the cat.
    • Provide both moist and canned cat food in addition to dry cat food/kibble.
    • Always check the quality and expiry of the cat food.

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