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When Do You Switch From Kitten To Cat Food

Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food

How to Switch a Small Kitten From Canned Food to Dry Food : Kittens & Cat Care

It is not uncommon to hear the myth that kitten food is nothing more than a marketing ploy the same food as adult cat food but wrapped up in a kitten packaging and sold for a higher price.

This isnt true. Kitten food does contain different ingredients that will help your kitten develop properly and healthily. But can they eat adult food?

Some adult foods are suitable for kittens. Check the packaging and if it says that it is suitable for all life stages, this means that it can make good kitten food. It is considered nutritionally sound for seniors, adults, and kittens.

Otherwise, you should avoid feeding adult cat food to kittens until they reach a suitable age.

How Old Do Kittens Have To Be To Eat Wet Food

While for the wet foods, you need to store them into refrigerator and when it is the time to feed the kittens, you can warm the foods. Feed a kitten 12 weeks of age should have the same pattern. The kittens already built routine time during these ages and thus ensure that the foods are placed on safe place and do not often move it around.

How To Introduce New Food

Your fluffball has a palate as discerning as a Michelin star grader! Theyll figure out exactly whats going on if you dont do this gradually.

If youve introduced your kitten to different flavors and textures earlier in their life, this transition will go a lot smoother. Should you find yourself reading this article well before your kitten has matured, start offering them a wider variety of food. A combination of moist and dry food is always a good start.

A slow and methodical introduction to adult cat food is also advised to minimize intestinal upset. Because your kitten has been used to one type of diet, any rapid changes will affect their internal bacteria, sometimes causing runny tummies and vomiting. Sorry kitty.

The best way to transition to adult food is to space the process out over a week. Use this as a general guideline for success:

  • Days 1 & 2: Combine 25% adult food with 75% kitten food

  • Days 3 & 4: Combine 50% adult food with 50% kitten food

  • Days 5 & 6: Combine 75% adult food with 25% kitten food

  • Day 7: Serve 100% adult food

P.S. You can also use this transition method to safely introduce your cat to new textures and flavors of food.

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Think About Your Cats Life Stage And Lifestyle

Kittens, adult cats, nursing mothers and mature or senior cats are all examples of life stages, and each has different nutritional requirements. All cat foods should state which life stage they are recommended for as an example, IAMS Healthy Kitten and Healthy Kitten Cuts in Gravy, IAMS Healthy Adult with Chicken and IAMS Healthy Senior all include the intended life stage right on the package.

Nutritional needs also vary depending on your cats lifestyle. A cat whose primary activity is guarding the couch doesnt need as much energy as one who enjoys roaming outside. Does your cat need to drop a few pounds to reach a healthy weight? Foods tailored to weight management, such as IAMS Indoor Weight and Hairball Care, are designed to assist with healthy weight loss.

Finally, consider special medical conditions your cat may have, such as urinary tract issues, sensitive digestion or a dull, dry coat many IAMS cat foods are formulated to help address specific health concerns. If your cat has food allergies, they might require a special diet recommended by your veterinarian.

When To Switch From Kitten To Adult Cat Food

Why Do Cats Get Diarrhea When You Change Their Food

One of the joys of being a cat owner is watching your kitten grow through different life stages. We know youre committed to taking good care of your feline companion as they grow, and were always here to help.

If youre starting to think about switching from kitten to cat food, its important to get the timing right. A gradual approach to switching is also essential.

Weve prepared an article to guide you through the process.

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When Should You Switch From Kitten Food

Adopting a kitten is one of the most extraordinary and adventurous times in your life. Suddenly your home is filled with a little bundle of joy and energy. As time goes by, that little kitten quickly changes, as do their dietary needs. Selecting the ideal food for your growing cat can be a painstaking process, and it requires much more thought and education than just switching from kitten food to adult food.

A variety of factors must be taken into consideration, including their stage in life, general health, and their activity level. In this article, well discuss how you can determine if your kitten is ready for adult cat food and the difference between kitten food and cat food. We will also discuss how to properly transition your little ball of love to the proper adult food to accommodate their ever-growing nutritional needs.

What Makes A Food Suitable For Kittens

Kittens are constantly growing and require a diet that is formulated to meet their nutritional needs and supports proper growth and development. This includes appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, protein, fat, and more. Other nutritional elements significant to a kittens diet include antioxidants to support a strong immune system, higher protein and calorie content for energy, and DHA, an omega fatty acid, for healthy vision and brain development.

When choosing a food for your kitten, look for the following on the label:

  • Complete and balanced
  • All Life Stages

These statements indicate that the diet is suitable for kittens according to AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.

When feeding your kitten, be sure to check feeding guidelines on the bag and consult with your veterinarian to make sure your kitten is getting enough food. Kittens can benefit from eating 3-4 smaller meals per day.

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Decide On Dry Or Wet Cat Food

Once youve determined your cats life stage and lifestyle needs, decide whether to feed dry or wet food. Most cats thrive on only dry food. This type of food promotes oral hygiene and health as they crunch it up. Some cats, especially finicky eaters, enjoy the smooth, wet texture of canned or pouch foods. Many owners also mix wet food and dry to give their cats the best of both worlds!

Remember: While dry food can be left in a bowl all day, wet food should be thrown away after 30 minutes if not eaten. Want to serve a fresh, perfectly portioned wet food with an easy-open pack that cuts down on the mess? IAMS PERFECT PORTIONS wet cat foods come in a variety of flavors and are tailored for different life stages.

Dont Feed Your Cat Alongside Other Cats And Dogs

Understanding how cats eat

You may unintentionally be depriving your cat of being his true self by plopping down a bowl filled with kibble in the morning and at night. Lining up a row of bowls for your three or more cats may be causing more harm than realized. Same goes for feeding your cat with your dogs.

Although your cat may coexist beautifully in your home with your other cats and your dogs, eating for a cat is a vulnerable time, said Elizabeth Bales, VMD, a veterinarian at the Red Lion Veterinary Hospital in New Castle, Delaware. Keep in mind that cats are solitary hunters and predators. They want to hunt and eat alone. They are also prey and do their best to hide any signs of stress or weakness.

Veterinarians are seeing the impact environmental stress plays on a cats health. A stressed cat is at risk for obesity, scarf and barf incidents, skin diseases and urinary tract infections.

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Foods To Avoid Giving Your Feline

As with many animals, treats should only be given if they make up a small portion of their total calorie intake in this case its less than 10%. However, this doesnt mean that they can finish the last scrap of chicken or salmon from your plate once in a while as something special. Plus, this may also encourage begging or even the stealing of your food, which is best to avoid at all costs.

Its important to ensure that your kitten or cat isnt able to get their paws on things such as onions, garlic, chocolate, tea, coffee, grapes, or raisins as these can be toxic. Its also advised to take precautions when it comes to raw meat or liver, which can contain harmful bacteria raw eggs, which can lead to problems with their skin and coat raw fish, as this can trigger a vitamin B deficiency, seizures, or be fatal and milk, which can cause diarrhea. Read five human foods that are poisonous to cats to learn more.

For more information on any of the above, please seek professional advice from your vet.

When & How To Switch From Kitten Food To Adult Cat Food

Around your kittens first birthday , its time to switch to an adult cat food.

We recommend transitioning to adult food over a 7- to 10-day period to help avoid any digestive upset. Heres how:

  • Days 1-2: Serve 3/4 of the normal amount of kitten food and add 1/4 of the new adult cat food.
  • Days 3-4: Serve half kitten food and half adult cat food.
  • Days 5-7: Serve 1/4 kitten food and 3/4 adult cat food.
  • Days 8-10: Serve only the new adult cat food.

If your cat resists eating the new food, slow the transition and give her more time before you increase the amount of adult food. Consult with your veterinarian for additional tips on making the switch from kitten food to adult cat food.

For more tips and information on kitten nutrition from our experts, see our Pet Expertise page.

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Introducing Your Kitten To Cat Food

During their life as a kitten, these cute furballs will often feed on small amounts of food at frequent intervals throughout the day. As they get older and mature into fully-grown cats, this tends to change to eating just two meals a day.

However, cats have quite the reputation for being fussy eaters so, for some pet owners, switching them to adult food can be quite the challenge. With that said, if your kitten has been exposed to a variety of textures and flavours from early on, the transition should be a lot easier when the time comes.

Although it may sound like a great idea in theory, mixing the new food with the one they already know and enjoy as a way of transition can be quite risky. If it turns out that they dont like the new one, by mixing them together it may actually put them off the food they once ate and enjoyed. And then what would you do?

Instead, offer both the new food and the old food to your feline in separate bowls. As time goes by, gradually start offering smaller and smaller amounts of the old food alongside the new food. Larsen says that a little bit of hunger will help them make the transition and resign them to at least trying the new food.

If you were to instantly change what they eat, without a gradual introduction, this has the potential to cause your cat to experience stomach upset or even trigger them to go on hunger strikes . That is why its important to slowly transition the food across a four to ten day period.

Kitten Food Is Different

Switching Cat Food: Four Tips for Success

Think about kittens theyre active, playful, and, most of all, growing. A kitten may go through periods when hes increasing his body weight by 100 to 200 percent!1 By the time a kitten has reached about 80 percent of his adult body weight, his growth rate starts to taper off, but hes still maturing. All of that activity and growth means your kitten has higher energy requirements than an adult cat. Kitten food is specifically designed to support this higher need for energy and may contain higher amounts of specific attributes, like:

  • Protein. Your kitten needs plenty of protein to build up a healthy body.
  • Fat. Fats are high in calories. Calories provide the energy needed to fuel a kittens growth .
  • Fatty and amino acids. Fatty and amino acids are essential to a kittens growth. Fatty acids help kittens absorb fat-soluble vitamins and support his growth and development.Amino acids are the building blocks of cells, humans and cats alike. And cats are unable to make several of them. These essential amino acids must be found in their food.3
  • Vitamins and minerals. Just like you, cats need vitamins and minerals. Some vitamins, like Vitamin A, are needed for good vision and to support immune function. Certain minerals, like calcium, are essential to build strong and healthy bones.3

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Why Switch At All Are Cats And Kittens Really That Different

Yes, kittens and cats have very different nutritional needs.

In a nutshell, kittens need food to grow. They need extra protein and additional calories, which is why its important to feed them specially-formulated kitten food Kittens also require extra amino acids, minerals and vitamins in their diet.

So, what happens if you continue to feed your adult cat kitten food? You likely end up with a larger, and more importantly, less healthy cat. This is especially true if your cat spends their time indoors and does not have the benefit of increased physical activity.

Why You Shouldnt Always Feed Your Cat Fish

Most cats love fish. Adding some broth from a tuna can or picking your cats favorite fish treats is a good way to make your cat happy. But its easy for some cats to become completely fixated on fish if thats all they eat. And while fish can be part of a balanced diet, there are a few specific reasons why you shouldnt always feed fish.

Feeding your cat lots of human-grade wet tuna creates some significant health problems. First, its too high in unsaturated fats, which can cause a Vitamin E deficiency in your cat. Its also not nutritionally balanced, so your cat could end up with a serious thiamine deficiency. So, if you want to feed your cat tuna, use it as a treat and keep it to 10 percent of your cats overall caloric intake.

But what about commercial cat diets? Commercially-made cat diets supplement fish-based foods to make sure theyre safe to feed your cat regularly. But if your cat decides that its the only food theyll eat, it could be difficult if they need to eat a prescription food or becomes allergic to fish.

When to Talk to Your Veterinarian About Feline Food Transitions

Fasting can trigger fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic lipidosis, in cats. This potentially fatal condition can cause depression, muscle wasting, jaundice, drooling and other serious symptoms.

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How Do I Keep My Cat Healthy And Happy

Cats are stoic theyll go to great lengths to hide signs of injury or illness. Even though your cat will visit the veterinarian at least once a year, its best to watch her body and behavior closely to catch any issues before they escalate. Look for these signs:

Sleep-a-holic kitty: Healthy cats sleep a lot get to know your cats sleeping patterns. If shes snoozing when she usually plays or ignores affection or a favorite toy, her lethargy might be due to illness.

Eating, drinking changes: If your cat has diabetes, shell drink lots of water. If she has dental issues, she might suddenly stop chewing her favorite kibble. Track how much your cat normally eats and drinks so you can gauge any changes.

Urination problems: Urinating more, less or not at all, or elimination outside of the litter box can all be signs your cat may be ill. See your vet immediately, especially if your male cat is urinating abnormally.

Behavioral issues: Acting aggressively can be a sign of pain and injury, but cats will also hide when theyre sick, so watch your cat’s behavior closely.

Weight loss/gain: Look for protruding ribs and or the development of a pouch. Changes in weight can be difficult to detect because theyre usually gradual. Groom your cat to get a feeling for her body weight and condition, so you can sense when theres a change.

When To Switch From Kitten To Cat Food

Tips for Switching Cats from Dry Food to Wet Food Only

Taking care of a kitten is quite different than caring for an adult cat. Many cat owners wonder whats the right time to switch from kitten to cat food? Theres no exact rule for when to make the switch, but the general rule is that all cats less than 12 months old are considered kittens. Its essential to feed your young fur baby a kitten formula during their first year. The exception would be larger breed cats, which dont mature to adults until they are 18+ months old.

You should feed your kittens a growth-formulated diet until theyre at least 90% of their adult weight. If youre unsure, its best to double-check with your vet before making any significant lifestyle changes for your kitten or cat.

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Helpful Tips For Switching Your Cat’s Food

Switching cat foods can be challenging but it doesnt have to be. Cats should gradually transition to a new cat food. Follow these tips to help ensure success.

  • Begin the transition by mixing both the current food with her new cat food together. Gradually decrease the amount of the current cat food while increasing the amount of new cat food. Continue to do this over a 7-day period. Transitioning slowly can result in fewer digestive issues and better acceptance of the new cat food.
  • Remember to be patient. For finicky, older, or cats with health conditions, the transition time could take 10 days or slightly longer.
  • Note: In some cases, such as acute gastrointestinal issues, your veterinarian may not recommend a transition and want you to immediately start feeding the new cat food.

To help you with the switch and cat food transition, refer to the 7-Day Transition Schedule below or watch this video.

Special times to transition your cats food

  • Kittens should switch to an adult cat food at 12 months of age to ensure they are receiving proper nutrient levels for adult cats.
  • For cats who are 7 years or older, they too should change to a mature adult or senior cat food that ensures that they are receiving the appropriate level of nutrients for that older lifestage.
  • Pregnant or nursing cats need energy-dense foods with increased calcium content. Be sure to transition them during this special time to a kitten food.

New cat food feeding tips:

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