Read about: Hide
- Kitten’s feeding regimen
- How many times a day to feed a kitten:
- How much food per day should a kitten get?
- What natural foods can you give to your kitten?
- How to feed a one-month-old kitten (up to 1 month)
- Is it possible to feed a kitten – the table of products
- Features of a kitten diet by months
- Consequences of Improper Nutrition in kittens
- Prepared food for kittens
- Dry food for kittens
- Wet food and canned food
This article will help you learn how to feed your kitten correctly, calculate his diet, and avoid giving him junk food.
Find out what kind of food a little kitten needs to get in order to grow into a big handsome cat.
What are the dangers waiting for kittens at the bowl?
- unbalanced diet
Improper feeding affects the growth and development of the baby, leading to external defects and internal problems, and sometimes even fatal.
- poor diet
Wrong choice of ready-made foods, natural foods that cause allergic reactions – all this also negatively affects the growing body.
And it’s also important not to forget a certain feeding schedule, different from that of an adult cat. A little scared? Don’t be timid, we’ll figure it out!
Kitten’s feeding regimen
First it is important to understand WHEN to feed and how often to feed the kitten.
You can, of course, be guided by the kitten’s hungry stare, but it’s better not to wake the beast in him, but 3-4 weeks after birth to start gradually feeding the baby.
By 4 weeks of age, you need to develop a stable eating schedule.
The kitten should get extra feedings 4-7 times a day.
But there are stalemate situations when kittens need extra feedings much more often.
How many times a day to feed a kitten:
- age up to 2 weeks – 10 times a day (taking overnight);
- feeding a one-month-old kitten – 8 times a day (taking over the night);
- 1 – 2 months – 7 times a day (overnight is already excluded);
- 2 – 3 months – 6 times a day;
- 4 months – 5 months – 5 times a day;
- 5 – 9 months – 4 times a day;
- 9 – 12 months – 3 times a day;
- Feeding kittens from 1 year of age becomes two meals a day (e.g. 9:00 – 21:00).
How much food per day should a kitten get?
- Age 1 week – 30 ml per 4 oz of kitten’s weight;
- 2 weeks – 38 ml per 4 oz kitten weight;
- 3 weeks – 48 ml per 4 oz kitten weight;
- 4 weeks and beyond – 48-53 ml per 4 oz of kitten’s weight.
Of course, it’s easy to calculate the feed ration from the items already offered, but we’ll make it easy and give you some figures:
- At 1.5 months, your baby needs about 5 oz of food per day;
- A two-month-old kitten is fed more – 6-7 oz per day;
- During the period of active growth (3 months – 6 months) the daily rate of food is 8-10 oz, with meat at least 2 oz;
- At 10-12 months, the period when the activity of the kitten decreases, the daily rate of food is 6-9 oz.
- A 1,5 year old cat needs up to 10 oz of food a day;
What natural foods can you give to your kitten?
Remember that the food that you put into the kitten’s bowl should never be hot or cold. It is optimal if the food is at room temperature.
It is important to remember the consistency of the food – it is better if the first portions are mushy, containing no hard pieces. At home, a blender or an ordinary vegetable grater will help.
So, how to feed a kitten:
- Meat. It can be raw, boiled, frozen and scalded. 60-80% of a kitten’s daily diet is lean meat. For the best meat for kittens see the table below;
- Liver. Offered once every 1-2 weeks;
- Porridge. Kittens are unlikely to be interested in it when it is pureed, but adding meat or vegetables makes a big difference. Mix gruel with meat in a 1:2 ratio;
- Vegetables. Fresh or boiled;
- Eggs. What do kittens eat out of an egg? Exclusively the yolk. It is useful to give raw yolk to the kitten once a week. Pay special attention to quail eggs – they are very healthy and you can give whole quail eggs without separating white from yolk;
- Low-fat fermented dairy products;
- Beer yeast;
- Oil. Experts recommend abstaining from vegetable oil and replacing it with Vaseline oil..
How to feed a one-month-old kitten (up to 1 month)
A well-fed kitten either sleeps peacefully or quietly sucks its mother-cat. But if kittens crawl around the mother, refuse the nipple, squeak, and grab an extended finger, these are signs that the baby is hungry.
Where to start with complementary or complete feeding of a one-week-old pet?
Prepare a bottle with a nipple, an eye dropper or syringe without a needle, and a special formula designed to replace cat milk for the week-old kitten.
Here are some simple recipes – what food is better for small kittens at home:
- Raw egg yolk + half a liter of concentrated milk
- Dry yeast (2.5 g) + whole milk powder (15 g) + whole cow’s milk (50 g)
- Hard-boiled egg + whipped egg white + vegetable oil (1 g) + grape sugar (4 g)
- Half an egg yolk + corn oil (teaspoon) + whole milk (50 ml)
These and other recipes will also come in handy if the kitten is growing up without a mother cat and (correctly), its feeding is entirely up to you.
What food can’ t be given to a kitten?
- Dry or wet food. There is no consensus on this question, count on your own prudence and intuition. So here we put a question mark – ?
- Cow’s milk. It is better to replace it with goat’s milk – it is not as greasy for a kitten’s digestion. If you can’t get goat’s milk, you can buy special powdered milk for very small kittens in pet stores
- High-fat fermented dairy products
- Fish. In principle, babies can not be given fish at all, but in theory, saltwater fish is not harmful. Freshwater fish is prohibited, especially raw, because it provokes the formation of urolithiasis and can be a source of worm infections
- Salt, spices
- Sausage products
- Potatoes are completely indigestible in the stomach of a domestic cat, so it’s not given in any form
- Legumes. Soybeans, peas, and beans are not digested by the intestines and this ends up with bloating and fermentation in the intestines
- Cheese because of its high fat
- Chocolate. This particular sweet contains theobromine, a poison that causes severe poisoning and death of cats
- Mixed feeding is bad for kittens
Is it possible to feed a kitten – the table of products
|Food||Can I give my kitten|
|Adult cat food||yes|
|Cream of Wheat||no|
Features of a kitten diet by months
Peculiarities of feeding a 2 – 4 months old kitten
By this age, the kitten’s teeth have already erupted and it is time to transfer him to independent feeding, teaching him to eat and drink from bowls on his own. Kitten’s growth is very active, his skeleton is formed and strengthened, and his gastrointestinal tract is finally formed. How to feed a kitten at 2 months? The baby’s food should be as vitaminized as possible and especially rich in protein.
Feeding peculiarities of a 4 – 6 months old kitten
At this age, the baby is actively gaining weight, so you need to make sure that the basis of the diet is not products that are deposited in the fat, and those that increase muscle mass.
The baby’s jaw is already formed and pieces of meat, beef or chicken by-products can be given not ground up but chopped into pieces. What else do kittens eat at this age? It is recommended to add yogurt to nonfat fermented dairy products.
Peculiarities of feeding a kitten 6 – 10 months old
During this period, the daily number of feedings is actively reduced. Kitten’s growth becomes less noticeable, but his taste preferences are already showing. Do not indulge the cat’s whims and do not give the cat forbidden foods and food from the table. At this age, it’s okay to give him the occasional piece of low-fat saltwater fish.
Consequences of Improper Nutrition in kittens
Proper kitten nutrition = future cat health.
Not without reason, we emphasized at the beginning of the article, how important it is that the kitten gets a balanced diet.
An imbalance of nutrients (trace elements, vitamins, etc.) leads to serious health problems for the animal:
- Diabetes mellitus
Kittens sometimes have what is called juvenile diabetes. Some kittens are genetically predisposed to it, so don’t be dashing and don’t provoke the manifestation of the disease with an incorrect diet
- Feline Avitaminosis
– vitamin E (tocopherol) deficiency leads to deterioration of coat quality, irreversible changes in musculature and development of infertility in the future;
– Vitamin C deficiency undermines the immune system and can lead to scurvy;
– Vitamin D is responsible for calcium-phosphorus metabolism and prevents the development of rickets;
– Vitamin A deficiency leads to digestive and reproductive disorders.
As we wrote above, there are foods that are literally poison to the cat (chocolate, onions, garlic). And it is good if liquid stools are the only and quick-to-cure symptom of poisoning. Often the consumption of the above foods can be fatal for the cat.
Of course, this is not the entire list of problems that threaten the baby, but the main positions we have highlighted.
Prepared food for kittens
What is better for kittens – dry food or natural food? The question is complicated. If we assume that good and responsible manufacturers put in a jar or a package with food all the necessary trace elements, minerals, vitamins and supplements, then feeding ready-made food has a place, in fact, it makes life easier for the kitten owner. And feedback from veterinarians about such feeding at home is positive.
But if you choose such a light option, you just have to learn a few important rules:
- The main rule is called “either-or”. Either ready-made food – or natural food. You can’t mix it up. Not at all. Not even a little bit! Natural foods and ready-to-eat foods are digested differently. The former is digestible without a lot of drinking, while dry food requires a lot of moisture to digest, without which fermentolysis does not begin. If you change the types of food, the kitten’s stomach and intestines will not have time to rebuild and as a result – hello gastroenteritis, coprostasis (obstruction of the intestines) and other troubles
- Can a kitten be given only one food? You must! Once you have chosen a ready-to-eat food for your kitten, don’t change it (the food) for another. Each brand has its own blend and balanced composition. By making a cocktail of foods, we run the risk of imbalances and you end up with a kitten with a weird calcium or amino acid pattern
- Do not buy kitten food of “mass-market” level – only specialized food for kittens and only the highest class (holistic, super-premium, premium food).
Wet food for kittens Optimeal with chicken
Super-premium food contains fresh chicken, beef heart, chicken liver.
- 80% of the meat in slices inside;
- high animal protein content – 71%;
- availability of supplements for immunity, skin and coat;
- no artificial additives.
The disadvantages include the lack of information about the origin of cereals, which are included in small quantities.
What else should you pay attention to?
Hill’s Science Plan Puppy & Kitten, Royal Canin Size Nutrition Mini Junior and many other kitten foods are deservedly popular.
But while the overview of elite foods is clear, super-premium or premium foods require a closer look. Let’s look at a few examples.
Dry food for kittens
Almo Nature dry food for kittens
This dry food is very close to V.I.P. foods. This Italian diet is based on chicken meat and its derivatives. Animal protein accounts for 53% and another 14% is non-allergenic rice.
There are not many disadvantages of this food – only the high price.
Super-premium Acana kitten food
Acana now offers food in three flavors:
Advantages of Acana kitten food:
- Balanced diet
- No grains in the formula
- No dyes or artificial additives
Disadvantages of Acana kitten food:
- Small line of flavors
- Lack of preventive rations
Dry food Royal Canin for kittens
The premium class in kitten nutrition is the best of the worst and it is important to remember that the absence of the prefix “super” indicates that the quality of this type of food is “not very” to put it mildly. But let’s be objective.
- Low price;
- Veterinary line;
- A wide range of flavors;
- Availability on sale.
Disadvantages of Royal Canin kitten food:
- Low quality;
- Doubtful lineup;
- The manufacturer, Mars, specializes in economy food. That’s a hint.
Wet food and canned food
It is believed that wet food, consisting of 80% water, is more suitable for babies because it is fully digested in the stomach and does not traumatize the esophagus.
Remember to keep canned foods in the fridge, but be sure to reheat them before serving. Uneaten wet food should be put back in the refrigerator until the next feeding.
What wet food is in demand among cat and cat owners?
Wet food Bosch Sanabelle
This super-premium food is made in Germany. It has a very well balanced composition – 35% protein (and almost all animal origin), 7% mineral additives.
The advantages of Bosch Sanabel include:
- Decent quality;
- No artificial ingredients;
- Availability in stores.
- The presence of allergy-inducing cellulose and maize.
Pro Plan Junior
Proplan is a premium kitten food available at any pet store.
- A wide range of flavors;
- Natural meat in the mix;
- Prebiotics in the formulation;
- Balanced diet for kittens.
- High percentage of plant proteins;
- Presence of allergenic corn and soy;
- Preservatives in the composition.
Hills food for kittens
Hills – one more premium brand.
The advantages of this food include:
- Enriched with vitamins and minerals
- High percentage of carbohydrates that are badly digested by kittens;
- Too much vegetable protein;
- Food allergenicity;
- Lots of broth in canned food.