Are There Foods I Should Avoid Giving My Kitten
Its OK to feed your kitten treats, as long as you follow the 10% calorie rule, Larsen says. This means that treats should make up less than 10% of your kittens total calorie intake. But this doesnt mean its a good idea to turn your leftover table scraps into treats for your kitten. Also, take precautions with the following foods:
- Raw meat or liver may contain parasites and harmful bacteria.
- Raw eggs may contain Salmonella and may decrease absorption of a B vitamin, leading to skin and hair coat problems.
- Raw fish may lead to a B vitamin deficiency, causing loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.
- Milk may cause diarrhea in weaned kittens and cats because they lose the enzyme needed to break down milk.
In addition, onions, garlic, chocolate, coffee, tea, raisins, or grapes can be toxic to kittens and cats.
Your Kitten Might Have Eaten Something They Shouldnt Have
The natural curiosity of kittens sometimes gets them into trouble. Kittens have been known to eat string, tinsel, hair ties, and other objects that can get stuck in their stomach or small intestines. Never let your kitten play with string, balloon ribbons, hair ties, plastic grass used in Easter baskets, tinsel, or other objects they could eat.
Surgery is sometimes needed to remove the offending item, so call your veterinarian right away if you suspect that your kitten has eaten something they shouldnt have or if their decreased appetite is also accompanied by vomiting.
When Can Kittens Eat Dry Food & Wet Food
As kittens begin to wean, they can start to nibble solid foods. Starting with wet kitten food or moistened dry kibble will help through the transition.
Start by combining one part of warm water and three parts of dry or wet kitten food . Over the next two weeks, gradually decrease the amount of water and increase the amount of food.
Once your kitten is fully weaned and eating solids, choose whichever option is recommended by your veterinarian and works best for your situation.
Above all else, make sure the wet or dry food you choose is specifically formulated for kittens.
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Cats Really Shouldnt Eat Dog Food
At some point you might have wondered if cats can eat dog foodafter all, they seem to look all the samebut the answer is not really. Dr. Coates says, If your cat occasionally steals a mouthful from your dogs bowl, you have nothing to worry about, but make sure that 90 percent or more of your cats diet is made up of cat food. This is because, as outlined above, cats rely heavily on diets rich in animal-based protein. Dogs have an entirely different set of dietary needs, and therefore their food is formulated according to their nutritional satisfaction. Learn more about the best diet for dogs.
Human Foods That Are Perfectly Safe To Feed Cats
While it used to be common for cat lovers to share snacks with their kitties, new information has curbed this practice. There are many human foods that are dangerous and even poisonous to cats. This has discouraged most people who are aware of this fact from giving their kitties any of the foods that they regularly eat. There is good news for pet parents who would like to spoil their cats and offer them human foods that are both tasty and safe for cats to eat. There are several food items that are not only safe for feline consumption, but theyre also good for them. Here are 20 human foods that are okay to feed cats.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is chock full of minerals and vitamins. Just as its healthy for humans, it also offers the same benefits for cats with no health risks. It contains vitamins K, C and A as well as calcium. The only time that spinach could be harmful to your cat is if it has a history of calcium oxalate bladder stones. If this is the case, take spinach off the menu, but if not, feed freely. One idea that may work to entice your cat to eat spinach, is to add it to scrambled eggs. This is a treat for humans as much as it is for kitties. Its one way of introducing spinach as a new food, with something that your cat is more likely to eat. Once he develops a taste for the spinach, he may eat it without the need for masking.
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Beware Of Gimmicky Labels
It makes sense that cat food brands want their product to stand out on the shelf, but be wary of gimmicky words such as primitive,ancestral, or wild, says Dr. Coates. These terms are pure marketing. Instead of looking for flashy words, pet parents must look closely at a foods label to determine whether it could be a good option. Does your cat dream about living its most wild life? Find out what cats dream about.
I’ve Heard Conflicting Advice About Feeding My Cat
Feeding your cat does not have to be mysterious. By recognizing a few key concepts and attributes of cats we can create a very reasonable feeding plan for them.
Cats are creatures of habit.;We can use this fact to our advantage by creating a regular feeding schedule and sticking to it. Feeding an adult cat at regular times provides the security and;predictability of a routine. 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 .
“A feeding routine helps a cat cope when there are changes in the household.”
A feeding routine makes a necessary food change easier. When your cat is used to eating at the same times each day, her body becomes conditioned to expect food at those times. Hunger can be a great motivator! If the stage is set for increased hunger followed by meals at regular times, then transitioning to a new food will often be seamless and straightforward.
Cats have a simple stomach anatomy – just like humans.;Because cats have a simple stomach structure, once the stomach is filled with food, it will empty within a few hours as food moves into the small intestine. After 8 – 10 hours, an empty stomach begins to send signals to the brain stimulating a hunger response. For this reason, at least two meals per day are best for your cat. Imagine if you only got to eat breakfast each day, and that was it!
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Meat Them Where They Are
The most important rule of weaning is not to rushdo things on the kittens timeline, not yours! Try offering the kitten some small bites of wet food on a finger, a spoon, or a tongue depressor, and see if they will accept it. If theyre interested in eating, see if they are able to access the food in a dish. Remember that this is a new skill for them, so many kittens will find it difficult to eat out of a dish for the first several days. No rush!
Once the kitten has eaten some solids, its time to supplemental feed with a bottle Supplemental feeding ensures that your kitten is getting all of the calories and nutrition she needs during this slow transition. There’s no such thing as “tough love” for kittens, and if she isn’t understanding how to eat yet, you’ll still need to supplement to make sure she’s staying healthy and well fed.
You may also choose to offer the kitten a slurrya mix of formula and wet food, which is used to help transition the kitten from one food to the other. You may begin by just introducing a small teaspoon of wet food mixed with the formula, which allows the kitten to acclimate to the new proteins and flavors. As the kitten becomes more comfortable eating meat, you’ll begin increasing the ratio so that there is more wet food present at each feeding.
Weigh the kitten throughout the weaning process. If her weight drops or steadies, youll need to supplement with a bottle, try a different method of eating, or scale back to kitten formula.
Choosing The Best Kitten Food
When it comes to kitten food, quality counts. Choose only food that has been certified by;Association of American Feed Control Officials , which establishes nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. This means that the food has been tested to make sure it is properly balanced for your kittens growing needs. If youve adopted a kitten from a shelter, find out what the kitten was eating previously and stick with that diet to avoid stomach upset.;
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Why Its Crucial To Calculate How Much Food To Feed A Cat
You might wonder why its important to determine the exact amount of wet cat food you should give your cat? As of 2017, an estimated 60 percent of cats in the US are classified as clinically overweight or obese. Thats about 56.5 million cats who are too heavy, and extra weight has a dramatic, negative effect on feline health.
Overweight cats are at an increased risk for congestive heart failure, skin disorders, infections, diabetes mellitus, complications associated with anesthesia and surgery, hepatic lipidosis , and some types of cancer.
Feeding cats wet food is never as simple as just opening up a can and letting them eat until theyre full. Indoor cats, in particular, tend to burn few calories throughout the day, and they become bored, which we all know can lead to excessive eating and weight gain. Pet parents need to take a strategic approach to measuring out cat food;to prevent or deal with weight gain in cats.
When Can Kittens Eat Adult Food
Kittens need their rapid growth and development supported through specially tailored nutrition found in kitten food until they reach 12 months of age. At 1-year-old a kitten is considered an adult cat and can transition gradually over to a complete and balanced adult cat food.; Adult food is available for indoor cats too, the nutrients are tailored to deliver different energy requirements to that of a cat that has access to the outdoors.
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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.
Wet Food Just Might Be Better
Though quality ultimately matters, in general, wet food is the superior option for cats when choosing between canned wet food and dry kibble. Typically, wet foods meet a cats nutritional needs better than dry, but that may not be the case if the wet food in question is of very low quality, Dr. Coates says. Just make sure youre thoroughly cleaning your cats bowl between every wet food feeding, since it can be a harboring ground for bacteria, one of the ways it could be making your cat sick.
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What Can Cats Eat
Cats are strict carnivores and have very specific nutritional requirements. For these reasons, their diet should be composed mainly of protein and fat, as well as vitamins, fatty acids or minerals . Although some cats can eat rice or cheese without any problem, not all cats accept this introduction of new foods to their diets.
There are also some “picky” cats that refuse to eat any new food which they have not previously tried. This is very common if a cat is not socialized and lacks the desire to experiment. For this reason, in some cases, it can be very difficult to replace the pellets or canned food that our felines are used to.
Luckily, there are options!
What Foods Can Harm Cats
Believe it or not, cats can become poisoned by many of the same foods that dogs can. So if you ever hear of a flavor of these foods, or think you may want to give them things as a supplement please avoid it. They can literally kill your kitten and cat. Some of these are:
- Grapes extremely toxic for cats.
- Raisins Theyre still grapes.
- Onions and Garlic You want to avoid letting your cat have this at all. Some dogs may benefit from small amounts of garlic for control of pests but it is deadly to cats.
- Chocolate Just like a dog, chocolate is a potentially fatal toxin that can harm your cat too.
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How Should I Transition My Kitten To Adult Cat Food
It is important to transition to adult cat food gradually. Your pets digestive system is home to billions of bacteria that keep their gastrointestinal tract healthy. These microbes aid in the digestion of food, fight off potential pathogens, make nutrients and vitamins, and bolster the immune system. Unlike humans, pets eat the same diet every day, and therefore develop microbes to digest that specific diet. When the diet is abruptly changed, the gastrointestinal-dwelling microbes do not have time to adjust and digest the new food. This can result in severe gastrointestinal upset, with vomiting and diarrhea. To avoid this, I always recommend slowly transitioning your pet to their new food. The general guideline is to transition your kitten to an adult diet over 7 days as follows:
- Days 1 and 2, add ¼ of the new diet to ¾ of the old diet
- Days 3 and 4, add ½ of the new diet to ½ of the old diet
- Days 5 and 6, add ¾ of the new diet to ¼ of the old diet
- Day 7, transition fully to the new diet
Feeding A Newborn Kitten
In an ideal situation, the kittens mother will nurse them for their first few weeks. The nutrients in her milk helps the newborn kittens transition from milk to solid food. Consuming these important nutrients in her protein-rich milk helps form the kittens immune systems and offers protection from disease.
If you stumble upon a litter of new kittens whose mother is unable to feed them, these orphaned kitties will need to be bottle-fed a suitable replacement for their mothers milk. Newborn kittens up to 4 weeks old should be fed a kitten milk replacement formula . Carlene Strandell, founder and director of the non-profit Smitten with Kittens, a foster-based kitten rescue that operates in Tallahassee, Fl., says you need just two things for feeding a newborn: a kitten bottle with a nipple, and kitten replacement formula. Once you have those two essential items, then you can begin to bottle feed the kitten their special formula.
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Wellness Chicken Pate Kitten
Protein: 11.0% | Fat: 7.0% | Fiber: 1.0% | Moisture: 78.0%
Wellnesss chicken pate is one of the highest rated kitten foods around. The pleasing pate is easy for kittens to eat and comes in a very tasty chicken flavor. There are plenty of proteins in this wet food to help your kitten grow big and strong. Taurine is included, which is a key ingredient thats essential for heart and eye development.
Wellness pride themselves on producing very natural cat foods, and youll be please to hear that this formula contains nothing artificial. There are high levels of protein and fat to make sure your kitten develops healthy muscles, organs, and bones. Your kitten is sure to have plenty of energy for all the playing and discovering that is so precious during the early months.
Wellness brand cat wet foods are designed to promote 5 signs of wellness. Those 5 signs are energy, immunity, skin and coat, teeth and gums, and digestive health. We recommend this brilliant kitten food to owners who prefer to stick to as natural a formula as possible. Wellness Complete Health kitten food review.
Introducing Cat Food To A Kitten
Were not kitten around, young cats have different nutritional needs than adult cats, so its important to eventually switch from kitten to adult cat food when theyre ready. Just like human babies, kittens need different kinds of foods at various stages of their lives to develop and grow properly.
Unlike their pawrents, pets eat the same diet every day and develop microbes to digest that specific diet. When the diet is suddenly changed, the microbes do not have time to adjust and digest the new food. This can result in severe tummy trouble that may include vomiting and diarrhea. To avoid this, spread out the transition process over a 7 to 10 day period, gradually incorporating more of the new food in with the old.
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We Avoided Foods That Contained Animal By
Animal by-products are one of the most misunderstood ingredients in cat food.
Most people have responded to the;AAFCO definition of byproducts;with the same sort of nausea that you might feel if served a platter of these ingredients at a restaurant. And yet much of the products that fall into the definition of by-products are highly-nourishing parts of an animal carcass that your cat would love to eat. And theres nothing disgusting about that.
Digestibility and quality control are the real problems with animal by-products. These vaguely-specified ingredients may be produced from any number of animal parts from any number of different animals.
A former AAFCO president once emphasized how loosely regulated these ingredients are;;that You dont know if its cattle or sheep or horse or Fluffy.
Besides not knowing what type of animals contributed to the by-product stew, you dont know if it contains more wholesome liver or nutritionally void chicken feet. If you want to ensure maximum protein digestibility, avoid meat by-products and other vaguely-named ingredients like meat, poultry, and meat and bone meal.