Feeding and feeding kittens
Kittens have to grow a lot and they do it very quickly. By six months your cat will reach 75% of her target weight, so it is important to eat a nutrient-rich kitten food.p>
Nutrition of kittens
Food for kittens contains a very large amount of protein - a building material for the body and necessary for proper growth. Good kitten food also has higher levels of essential minerals like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and iron to help build strong bones and teeth.
As cats are ruthless carnivores, meat must be part of their diet in order to obtain the nutrients they need to thrive. Fresh meat provides taurine (essential for eyesight and a healthy heart), some essential fatty acids as well as a specific form of vitamin A that all cats need. Liver, fish and fish oil are also good sources of Vitamin A and essential fatty acids for cats.
How many meals?
Kittens have a big appetite but have small stomachs (at 8 weeks old they are about the size of a walnut), so give small portions of food frequently.
After weaning (disconnected from the mother), the kitten will want to eat at least 4 meals a day to provide a constant source of energy. If you are unable to adapt to this feeding regimen, feed him 3 times a day, but also leave him with some dry food and a snack. You can also use the time-controlled dispenser or leave the interactive toy with the food inside. As your pet grows, gradually reduce the number of meals to three a day. Some cats are a snack by nature, preferring a few smaller meals throughout the day (especially dry food), while others prefer a smaller number of bulky meals. Cats cannot adapt well to eating only one meal a day. Always read the feeding instructions and remember that this is only a reference (/ - 15%). Every cat is different and the most important thing is to keep a slim, healthy figure. For free expert help with your kitten's health, please contact our PURINA® PetCare Team. If you are unsure about your kitten's nutrition, or if you think it is overweight or underweight, always consult your veterinarian.
How to feed a kitten?
Cats are animals with habits, so it's best to feed your kitten at the same place and at the same time each day as you intend to feed your kitten all your life.
- Serve him food in a quiet place, away from the hustle and bustle of the house.
- Choose a surface that is easy to clean, such as ceramic tiles, or use a coaster for a bowl.
- Always serve the food in a clean bowl; ceramic or metal bowls are better, some cats may prefer a saucer or a flat dish.
- Keep the bowl away from the litter box, and if you have more than one cat or kitten, keep the bowls well away from each other (more than 50 cm) and without eye contact to avoid confrontation. If cats are not in harmony with each other, complete separation may be needed while they are feeding.
- Try to serve moist food at ambient temperature; it smells more attractive and is easier to digest. If it has been refrigerated, you can warm it in a mug of boiling water until it is warm (not hot) to the touch, but do not leave it lined up for more than 3 hours as this may encourage bacterial growth.
After opening, cover the cans and refrigerate them, reheating the food before serving. Do not leave wet food left over 3 hours as it will become stale very quickly. It is not advisable to store opened packages of moist pet food for more than 24 hours after opening it, even if kept in a refrigerator, so it may be more convenient to use single-portion products such as sachets or aluminum dishes.
Store dry food in a dry and clean place. An airtight container keeps the food more palatable by retaining its flavor and moisture. If you are using the canister, wash it every time you refill it. Give the dry food in a dry form. Many cats prefer to munch on dry food and find it less attractive when wet. Crunchy food helps to keep the teeth clean more effectively.
Dry or moist food?
There are many types of kitten food on the market, from sachets, through aluminum dishes and cans, to dry food in bags or boxes. It is a matter of individual preferences (yours and your cat's!).
Advantages of dry food:
- Convenience Easily measure variable portion sizes (3-4 times smaller than moist food)
- Longer shelf life after opening
- It can help remove plaque from the teeth of older kittens
- The smaller granules in most dry kitten foods produced are easier for them to chew and swallow
Advantages of wet food:
- Stronger flavor
- A softer texture
- Convenient single serving packages make administration easier
Whichever form of food you choose, always make sure your cat always has access to clean, fresh drinking water, especially if you are feeding him dry food.
- Use a bowl that is shallow and wide enough for smaller kittens to drink comfortably from it. 0 If your kitten is reluctant to drink, try using a wider bowl
- some cats get nervous when their whiskers (cat whiskers) touch the edges of the dish.
- Metal bowls can discourage your cat from drinking, as it can see reflections and shadows by tilting its head towards the bowl.
- They can also change the aroma of the water. Place the water away from the feeding area, preferably in a higher, quiet location such as a. on the windowsill. Remember, milk is never a substitute for water. After weaning kittens do not need milk, and in fact many kittens are lactose intolerant (so they do not digest it). Even specially formulated, low-lactose 'kitten milk ' should be treated as a delicacy, not a drink, and the amount of complementary food given should be properly adjusted (up to approx. 10% of the daily portion).
'Complete ' or 'Complementary '?
The difference between 'complete' food and 'complementary' food is that the former provides your cat with all the nutrients it needs. Complementary foods such as treats, snacks, or certain purely fish or animal based foods are not nutritionally balanced and your cat will need additional ingredients from a different source. If you feed him a complementary food, limit its amount to the amount specified in the manufacturer's recommendations (usually 10% of the daily portion of the diet or 15% energy coverage) and make sure that the kitten eats enough complete food to meet his nutritional needs.
Changing karma to a different one
Kittens have a very sensitive digestive tract: they can easily become disrupted if you change their food too abruptly. For new home kittens, it is best to stay on the food they have received from the breeder or shelter, as long as it is nutritionally balanced. For free help and expert advice on the health of your kitten, contact our PURINA® Pet Care team. If in doubt, consult your veterinarian, especially if your kitten refuses to eat his usual food or starts eating significantly less (without eating other foods or snacks). If you want to change your kitten's food, do it gradually over a period of several weeks, using the following tips:
- Give the two foods separately over a period of several days to help your cat try the new product. Once he has tried it, mix a little bit of the new food with the old one. For a minimum period of 7- 10 days, increase the proportions until you are feeding only the new product. In some cases, it may take longer for the feed to change.
- If your kitten needs a food change for health reasons, consult your vet for the best method and timing to perform the switch test as the transition may be easier once your kitten has recovered and feels better.
- If you are switching from wet to dry food, your kitten will chew more actively, need more water, and may occasionally visit the bowl rather than eating everything at once. If you are switching from dry to moist food, expect him to drink less water and eat more food in one meal in a shorter amount of time. Since dry foods have a much higher energy density than moist foods, your kitten may need to eat 3-4 times more of it to get the same amount of calories. Regardless of the age of your cat, clean, fresh drinking water should always be available.
When to start feeding adult cat food
Although many cats between six and eight months of age may appear fully matured, they are still kittens inside. Their bones keep growing stronger and their bodies round. Most cats are considered kittens until they are 12 months old, at which point they should start eating adult food. This timing pattern may vary based on the body shape or opinion of your veterinarian - if your kitten becomes overweight, talk to your veterinarian who may suggest limiting the servings or switching to a lower calorie adult cat food. Any changes to food must be done gradually as previously advised to avoid gastrointestinal disturbance.
Giving your kitten treats
Giving your cat treats out of your hand is a great way to build a bond between you and me. However, when it comes to serving treats, especially in kittens who are still quite short on the weight and size of an adult cat, there are some specific problems.
Leftovers from the table
As a rule, kittens are not given table scraps. Human foods are usually high, high in calories, and deficient in essential nutrients for cats, so you risk overfeeding or upset your kitten's diet. Growing kittens are even less tolerant than adult cats.
Most treats are not designed with kittens in mind and can be high in calories. Larger sizes of treats for adult cats can also cause choking. Kittens have small stomachs, so they are limited in the amount of food they can eat during the day.
For all of these reasons, treats should be limited to older kittens. As soon as you give them to your cat, they should make up no more than 10-15% of their daily energy requirements and you should always reduce their main meal by the equivalent amount of calories.
Always refer to the dosing instructions on the package for specific recommendations.