What Should your Kitten Have to Eat?

What should your kitten have to eat to become a healthy grown-up cat? If you have adopted a kitten, you probably want to know the proper diet for your little furry companion to become a healthy adult cat.

The following information is a general guide as each kitten is different.

Talk with your veterinarian, especially if your kitten has special dietary needs or has allergies.

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WHAT IS THE BEST FOOD YOUR KITTEN HAVE TO EAT?

The nutritional needs of your kitten will be different from those of an adult cat. A kitten’s meal normally needs these ingredients to support healthy and robust growth:

  • Higher proteins
  • More calories
  • Higher amount of certain nutrients

Kittens are naturally weaned off their mother’s milk at around 8-12 weeks of age and begin to eat on their own, and they need to eat at least four times a day. Therefore, young kittens need good quality commercial food appropriate for their life stage.

What Should your Kitten Have to Eat

CHOOSING THE IDEAL KITTEN FOOD

Kittens grow faster during the first weeks of life, and to ensure this growth is appropriate, they need more energy than an adult cat.

Although the needs for fats and vitamins are similar to those of adult cats, kittens have a higher requirement for proteins, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. For example, kittens should get about 30% of their energy from protein.

For these reasons, most veterinarians recommend that you feed your kitten with adequate kitten food until she is one year old.

In addition, the kitten must have fresh, clean drinking water available all day but avoid giving her milk, as this can cause gastrointestinal discomfort.

WHAT SHOULD YOUR KITTEN HAVE TO EAT? WET OR DRY FOOD?

Since very young kittens cannot chew dry food well, feeding special canned cat food is the best option.

If you are feeding your kitten dry and canned food, then feed her twice a day. On the other hand, if she only eats canned food, feed her four times a day.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU FEED YOUR KITTEN?

Young cats require frequent feedings, but you should talk to your veterinary about the right amounts.

OTHER TYPE OF FOODS YOU CAN GIVE TO YOUR KITTEN

You can give your kitten fish such as sardines, tuna, and canned salmon (beware of fish bones) only as a treat from time to time. Occasionally cooked meat such as boiled chicken may also be offered, but beware with cooked bones, condiments, sauces, onions, or other toxic foods for your cat.

Equally important is to know that raw meat and bones contain bacteria that can make your cat sick. Any raw food offered to kittens should always be fresh. Avoid feeding raw meat until the kitten is 20 weeks old to help prevent certain nutritional deficiencies during growth.

Likewise, avoid raw meat products marketed as pet food, bone-in products, hot dogs, sausage meat, and processed meats, as they may contain sulfite preservatives.

You can also offer a small amount of finely chopped vegetables. But it’s essential to remember that cats are carnivores, which means meat is necessary, so a vegan or vegetarian diet won’t meet their nutritional needs.

FOODS YOU SHOULD TO KEEP AWAY FROM YOUR KITTEN?

  • Raw meat or liver may contain parasites and harmful bacteria.
  • Milk is not the best option for kittens considering it can cause diarrhea.
  • Raw eggs may contain Salmonella and can decrease absorption of a B vitamin, leading to skin and coat problems.

Other toxic foods for cats that you should avoid are:

  • Alcohol
  • Onions
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee or caffeinated products
  • Moldy or spoiled food or compost
  • Avocados
  • Dough
  • Yeast dough
  • Grapes
  • Sultanas (even in Christmas cakes, etc.)
  • Currants
  • Nuts (including macadamia nuts)
  • Fruit pits (for example, mango seeds, apricot pits, avocado pits)
  • Fruit seeds
  • Corncobs
  • Tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Cooked bones
  • Small pieces of raw bone
  • Trim fat/fatty foods
  • Salt
  • Large pieces of vegetables

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