Why Do Kittens Need Wet Food
The fact that kittens need to be fed wet food during weaning is independent of how you are planning to feed them in the future. You can choose to go for a diet of raw meat, wet food, dry food, or a wet-dry food hybrid, as long as these diets have the necessary nutrients in the appropriate amounts. However, at first, kittens need to be fed wet food as they start to wean off their mothers milk.
There are a couple of reasons for this:
Can Kittens Eat Adult Wet Food
Kittens should preferentially be fed diets that are designed for their life stage. This is because they have different requirements from an adult cat as they are growing really quickly. A kitten diet will be higher in protein and contain the right balance of calcium and phosphorous to support healthy bone development. Kitten diets often contain Vitamin E and selenium to benefit the immune system and DHA omega fatty acid for neurological development. The diets will also be very calorie dense to meet energy demands.
The mother of the kittens will also have increased energy demands during later stages of pregnancy and lactation. It is therefore common to feed her on a kitten diet. This also makes it easier when the kittens start to eat solid food, as they can be fed the same kitten diet as their mother.
Raw Food Rules For Cats
There are two main rules for feeding cats. When you follow these, youre working with the cats natural nutritional patterns.
After seeing so much success with switching our cat Bob to a raw food diet for kidney disease, friends and family and readers have been asking me about a recipe for kittens and healthy cats.
The only change to the Feline Kidney Care Raw Food recipe is that I used bone-in chicken in place of the beef, as it contains the healthy fats from the skin as well as bone bone that cats need to grow and maintain bone health. Cats with kidney disease need to limit their phospherous, but cats without kidney disease should NOT limit phosphorous and should include bones in the diet.
Is this recipe enough taurine? I wasnt sure, since taurine in the chicken heart may degrade when its frozen, and my chicken hearts come frozen. Since taurine is so essential to cats, I sprinkle powdered taurine, 1 pinch, on each container of his food .
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When Do Kittens Start Eating Food And Drinking Water
The weaning process involves going from the mothers milk to kibble and water, which is what a kitten will eat and drink in some form for the rest of their lives. If the mother cat is around, shell know when the time is right to start weaning, and its best not to interfere.
Generally, kittens will start to be ready to take small tastes of solid foods and water at around three to four weeks of age. The food and water are complimentary at this young age, so dont worry too much if they play with it more than they eat it. Theyre still getting most of their nutrition from Mom or a formula in a bottle.
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.
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How To Mix Gruel
Small batch : ½ can of wet kitten food mixed with ¼ can of formula .
Large batch: Whisk 8 cans wet kitten food with 4 cans of fresh, warm formula . At this age, kittens like their food a little lumpy so they can chew.
Note: Substitute the warm water for formula in gruel for kittens 5 weeks and older.
Helpful tips when using gruel:
- When introducing kittens to gruel, put gruel in a flat dish and place kittens near the dish. If they do not start to eat on their own after a few minutes, use tongue depressor or spoon to scoop gruel into kittens mouth. You may have to open their mouth and put a little in. You can also put a little gruel on their nose and see if they will lick it off. Sometimes the kittens need to adjust to the new taste.
- Once kitten starts to eat gruel off the spoon or tongue depressor , slowly start to lower it towards the dish of gruel. The kittens should easily transition from the spoon or depressor to the dish .
- During the weaning process, kittens still need to be bottle-fed three times per day to ensure they are receiving proper nutrients.
Wellness Complete Health Kitten Food
Finally, another good option is the Wellness kitten food. This is in the form of smooth loaf, which describes the consistency of a relatively coarser paté with small chunks of chicken meat. This is lumpier than the other options and is better to feed your kitten once they have been eating pate-style food for a while. Its a great way for them to get used to chewing larger chunks.
It has an assortment of vitamins and minerals, as well as cranberries, carrots, and flaxseed. Moreover, the Wellness kitten food is grain-free and doesnt contain any meat by-products or artificial flavors. I think it is a great choice for recently weaned kittens getting used to eating larger chunks of meat.
- Contains a lot of protein to help facilitate healthy growth
- Perfect for kittens learning to chew small chunks
- Added vitamins, minerals, fruits, and vegetables
- No grains in the recipe to minimize digestive discomfort
- Not a great option for a first kitten food due to the chunks
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Nutrition Basics For Your Kitten: What You Should Know
Your kitten weighed only a fewounces at birth. He’ll put on about 2 pounds in the next 10 weeks and continue to gain weight rapidly until he’s about 6 or 7 months of age. After that, he’ll continue to gain more slowly until about 11 months of age his female littermates will grow until they are 9 to 10 months of age. Food fuels not only his growth, but also his energetic play.
Kittens start eating solid food or, actually, soft food at about4 weeks old. A meat-based canned kitten food is ideal for this time. They’re still drinking their mother’s milk at this age and will typically continue to nurse as well as eat kitten food until about 5 or 6 weeks of age.
After weaning, kittens do beston a dietformulated for kittens. Kitten food is more nutrient dense, supplying calories and nutrients in smaller amounts, easier for little stomachs to hold. Avoid adult cat diets labeled for maintenance they don’t have the higher protein and fat content that kittens need. A dry kitten food should have about 35 percent protein and 12 to 24 percent fat content canned food will appear to have less because it is diluted with water.
The coat andskin should look healthy, and your kitten should be energetic. The stools should be firm, well-formed, and brown in color. If your cat is underweight, seems tired or “quiet,” or has poor skin and coat condition or loose stools, see your veterinarian.
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Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain
Another great option is the Blue Buffalo kitten food. This is pretty similar to the Instinct Kitten cat food. It has a paté consistency, which provides the ideal smoothness for recently weaned kittens. Its main ingredient is also chicken which is high protein meat that kittens love the taste of. There are also no chicken by-products in its content.
Similarly, the Blue Wilderness kitten food is grain-free. This means that it doesnt contain wheat, soy, or corn, all of which can be difficult on a cats digestive system and trigger allergies and intolerances. You desperately want your cat to form a good association with solid food, so keeping discomfort and stomach upset to a minimum is essential.
To help strengthen your cats internal systems, this food has added vitamins. However, there are no artificial flavors. This is again exactly what you are looking for kittens should be eating natural goodness instead of artificial and unhealthy additives. As you can see, this kitten food ticks all the boxes.
Another alternative to the Blue Buffalo Wilderness is the Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Kitten Chicken Paté. This is similar in many ways and still has chicken as its main ingredient. Yet it also has the addition of cranberries, carrots, and fish oil for a more varied and balanced diet. This formula is also grain-free and in paté consistency.
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What To Feed Kittens
Your kittens dietary requirements are going to be different from an adult cats dietary requirements. To help a kitten grow healthy and strong, their food typically requires:
Higher protein levels
More calories per cup
Higher amounts of certain nutrients
Your new kitten will likely have tons of energy and engage in rowdy play, so their food needs to support their body as they burn calories exercising as well as expend energy for growth.
Reasons Your Kitten May Not Be Eating
If your new kitten is not eating well or has diarrhea, call your vet and schedule another checkup.
Sometimes intestinal parasites can cause gastrointestinal upset in kittens. It is common for kittens to come home already infected with parasites. They can get some parasites through the placenta before birth as well as in the milk from the mother cat.
Some of these parasites can also be transmitted to people, so good hygiene and preventive care are important.
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Hills Science Diet Dry Kitten
Hills Science Diet is the number one brand recommended by veterinarians with Hills, your kitten is in safe hands. Their cat food formulas are developed by a team of vets, food scientists, and Ph.D. level nutritionists.
There is natural DHA in this food, which is vital for both brain and eye development. The antioxidants and vitamins are clinically proven to promote a healthy immune system. During the first year of life, kittens are extra vulnerable, so any added protection is excellent.
The high-quality animal protein in this food is easy for your kitten to digest and put to use. You will also find plenty of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids packed into this food. What you will not find is any artificial flavors, preservatives, or coloring. The great taste of the food comes straight from the chicken. Vitamins C & E help your kittens immune system as well as act as a natural preservative.
Due to the high level of nutrition in this food, its also suitable for pregnant and nursing cats. If this food will work with your budget, it is worth serious consideration. In our opinion, its one of the best foods for kittens on the market.
How To Feed Your Little Kitty
Kitten food is specially formulated with high levels of protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and iron to help build strong bones and teeth. It also contains more of the vitamins C and E to support your kittys immune systems.
When youre on the hunt to find the best kitten food, look for options that have been certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . This means your kittens food is formulated to meet the organizations standards. And it will include the appropriate nutrients for their age.
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Kitten Food Vs Cat Food
Kittens have unique dietary needs that are kept in mind when companies develop their kitten food formulas. They need more of the key nutrients than fully grown cats. For example, they need almost twice as much Vitamin A in their diet as adult cats. They will also need more protein and the amino acids Lysine and Tryptophan.
There are some foods designed for all-stages of life, but kitten foods are more likely to provide your feline friend with the proper things to make sure they grow up healthy and happy.
What Are The Nutrients You Need To Give To Your Kitten
It is essential to choose the right feline diet to keep them healthy. It is because the kittens digestive system contains bacteria that help in proper digestion. In addition, cats and other pets develop specific microbes that help indigestion. Hence, you need to take utmost care when you are switching your diet to cat food.
A sudden change can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea and vomiting.
For that, you need to give them the right amount of nutrients. These are some essential nutrients you need to give to your cats.
- Fatty acids and DHA
Hence, make sure that you read the food label correctly. In this way, you can give the right amount of nutrients to keep them healthy.
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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 Can Kittens Eat Dry & Wet Food
Although kittens shouldnt eat adult cat food before theyve fully matured, they can begin eating dry kibble and wet kitten food much earlier.
By three to four weeks, kittens can begin eating moistened dry kibble or wet food. Between six and eight weeks, kittens are fully weaned from their mothers milk and can eat dry or wet kitten food.
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Easy Homemade Cat Gravy
Your cat is sure to love the taste and flavor of this simple yet flavorful gravy. It is easy to make, as the name suggests, and it is full of flavor so your cat should not be shy of it. You can add veggies or meat as you see fit. Here are the basic ingredients that you will need:
- Simply put everything in a pot, and then let it simmer for at least 2 hours.
- After simmering, let the brew rest until it is lukewarm.
- Then serve the broth up, put it in the fridge, or store it in the freezer for later use.
If you added any bone, remove it before serving to your cats. Never give your cat a cooked bone, and never use leftovers from marinated meats or meats pre-cooked with condiments only plain, natural leftovers.
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Why Is Quality Wet Food Essential For Kittens
Kittens need the best nutrition that they can get to get a healthy start in life and develop into healthy, happy adult cats. As long as the food meets AAFCOs standards for complete and balanced nutrition for growth or all life stages, a kitten will do fine eating dry or wet food. Here are some specific benefits of feeding your little tiger wet food:
- Wet or commercial raw food, with its approximate 70% water content, can deliver the moisture that your kitten needs to stay healthy and well hydrated. High-moisture foods are also more satiating and help your kitten feel less hungry. Dry foods tend to be high in carbohydrates, which can increase the risk of obesity and other health issues, such as diabetes.
- The soft texture of wet foods makes it easy for kittens to chew and swallow. This is especially important for kittens that have been recently weaned and are just beginning to eat solid food.
- High-quality wet foods have a high amount of animal protein, such as chicken or turkey. This protein is essential to a kittens healthy growth and development.
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What Happens If A Kitten Eats Dog Food
Why is it bad for my cats if I feed them dog food? If youve been wondering if eating dog food can be harmful to cats, youre not alone. Maybe you accidentally fed your cat some dog food, or maybe your cat sneaked a few pieces of dog food out of its bowl. The majority of the time, cat food can be safely consumed in small amounts.
Dogs and cats do not require the same amount of food as one another. Cats require a specific diet based on their nutritional needs, so a dog food program designed specifically for cats is ineffective. To persuade our cats to eat, our pet foods are specifically designed to be highly palatable, so that they will be less likely to be picky . Dog food has a lower protein content than cat food. For cats, you should aim for an As-Fed protein percentage of 30% 34%, with an optional supplement of canned cat food containing 40 50% protein. Cat heart weakening is a type of heart condition that occurs when a cat does not consume enough taurine. Vision loss is a condition that causes a person to lose their vision.
Cat hair cannot produce an fatty acid known as arachidonic acid, which must be fed to them. Because cats cannot make their own niacin, cat food must contain it. For each stage of the cats life, AAFCO Cat Food nutrient profiles must be met. A cats life span cannot be extended through the use of dog food.