Complete Guide to Feeding Your Kitten Right according to Age, Breed and Lifestyle
Posted by VIGHNESH SHUKLA
Feeding Your Kitten Right According To Their Age, Breed and Lifestyle
Taking care of your kitten's diet is very important in the growing as well as the adult stage of a kitten to ensure their good health and prevent health hazards. Feeding your kitten right in their growing stages is of prime importance to lay a healthy foundation for their adulthood. You need to provide your kitten with a healthy and balanced diet with the right balance of kitten dry food and kitten wet food to achieve healthy growth rate and to prevent the risk of obesity. There are 3 key ingredients that you should keep in mind while finding a diet for your kitten, those are - protein, fat and calcium.
The protein requirement is high during the weaning stage and will decrease thereafter. The protein range is approximately 35-50% on a dry matter basis, and the percentage of protein provided to your cat should not increase this as this is on the basis of optimal growth. Fats act as a source of energy for them and should be given to them ranging between 18-35% on a dry matter basis.
Excessive intake can lead to developmental orthopedic disorders and obesity. And calcium is needed in their diet approximately about 0.8-1.6%. There are different stages to feeding your kitten, and all stages need to be taken proper care. Different types of food need to be offered according to the age of your cat.
Being a pet parent you would be eager to know all about the type of feeding your kitten requires. Here is a quick guide on how to feed your cat.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY KITTEN?
There should be a proper feeding schedule for your kitten to maintain its health. Kittens tend to require more food in the growing stages as to when they become adult. Therefore kittens need to be fed more often throughout the day. Growing kittens of about six months of age should be fed approximately three times a day. From the age of six months to maturity they do fine if fed twice a day. Once they reach maturity, you may maintain their schedule of feeding them twice a day and it will be enough for them.
Here is some detailed information about your cat’s age and how often they need to be fed:
After every 2-3 hours
After every 4 hours
3 Times a day
After 8 weeks
Twice a day
FEEDING ACCORDING TO HEALTH PROBLEMS
Also your cat's health is a determinant about how often you have to feed them. If your cat has the following problems do this:
1. Diabetes: In case your kitten or cat has diabetes then you need to pair the timing of food given to them with their insulin dosing.
2. Hyperthyroidism: In this disease your cat may want to eat all the time, but you shouldn't be doing that. In this case consult a vet and get your vat treater if it is treatable and then feed your cat normally.
3. Gum disease: There might be a time when your cat may not be able to chew properly due to any gum disease or they may reach a stage where their teeth may go bad. In that case offer them some canned food or give them dry in a finer nugget size.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED MY KITTEN?
Feeding your kitten mainly depends on their age and hence have different stages to how they should be fed and how much they should be fed. Lifestyle is also a criteria to determine how much to feed your cat. For example if your cat has a schedule of going out and playing they need to be fed more than a cat which stays indoors. You should less likely feed your cat if it is overweight, and you need to rebuild a feeding schedule.
Lets see how to feed a kitten when they are of about:
0-4 Weeks: At this age kittens need to be given mom's milk, but if it is not possible you may also feed them milk replacement with a bottle. The current criteria specifies to give 8mL of milk for every ounce of the kitten's body weight. For the first week you need to keep a check on the kitten's body weight everyday so that to ensure your kitten has a normal growth rate. In the first 3 weeks your kitten needs to be fed every 2-3 hours and about ½ tablespoon of milk replacement at every feed. In the fourth week the amount of food consumed by the kitten will gradually increase. At that time the feeding needs to be done less frequently.
4-8 Week: When the kitty is around 4 weeks the food consumption will increase. And in the fifth week the kitten should be fed three times a day and at least 3 tablespoons of milk replacement per feed. At the sixth week the nursing should be eventually stopped . At that time the food fed should become less watery and dry kitten dry food should be introduced. At the end of the sixth month the meals should be reduced to around 3 times a day. After the sixth week nursing sessions should be limited till the kitten is at least 2 months old.
After 8 weeks of age: At this time a kitten should be fed 2 times a day that would be enough for them. And the kitten will also be able to eat solid food by now.
WHAT SHOULD I FEED A CAT?
Cats should be given high quality nutritious food to meet their energy requirements and to help them maintain and repair their body tissues. Cats need a high amount of nutrients, out of which an essential one is TAURINE. All cat food has some quantity of taurine, and it is important to feed your cat with that otherwise it may lead to many deficiency such as degeneration of eye cells and weakening of heart muscles.
Taurine is an amino acid which acts as a building block for all proteins. As this does not get stored into the body in much amounts it has to be provided consistently to maintain its levels in the cat's body. You can give your cat food that contains high quality animal based protein as it has adequate levels of taurine for your cat. You can also give taurine as supplements, and it can be added to your cat's food if taurine levels drop in your cat. Also a cat needs to be fed 2 times a day.
The amount of food and nutrients they take can also depend upon the amount of energy they use everyday. If your cat is very energetic she definitely needs more nutrients to fulfill her energy requirements and a cat who is lethargic and is not very energetic has less energy requirements.
The amount of nutrients you give your cat can depend upon its size. If your cat is bigger in size or is highly active, she needs more maintenance and nutrients. Therefore you should feed your cat twice a day and the rest of the nutrients are to be given while keeping in mind all the above mentioned aspects.
TYPES OF CAT FOOD
Kittens are to be fed with their mother's milk when they are young but after that you need to be cautious about what you give them to eat. Here are the types of cat food that you can feed your kitty:
Kitten WET FOOD:
Kitten wet food is one of the nutritious cat food options. Cats are carnivores and hence require a diet which has meat in it. It is also an easy eating food and can be offered to the young kittens that are newly introduced to something other than their mothers milk. It has been suggested that providing kitten wet food is a more appropriate way of providing water to cats rather than to give them water to drink.
Wet food is good for a kitten's urinary health. Wet food helps to promote more diluted urine and as a result this leads to lower concentration of inflammatory components in the cat's bladder.
Kitten wet food is also beneficial for cats that are suffering from sensitive stomachs or from diarrhea due to its high moisture content. It is also helpful in cats weight management as wet food contains less calories than kitten dry food. Wet food has a lot of water content and therefore it helps to prevent dehydration and constipation. When the kitten is about 4 weeks you can give them moisturized kitten dry food in their meals. When it is about 6 to 8 weeks you can totally shift to wet food.
Kitten DRY FOOD:
One of the main benefits of kitten dry food is that it is cost friendly and is easy to use and convenient. Kitten dry food is easier to use and can be given in food dispensers and one can conduct some mental stimulation activities with it. There are some dry foods available that even have dental benefits that are slowing down plaque formation and reduction in tartar formation.
Dry foods also help in giving energy but this may also turn into obesity or overweight cats. Dry food is also helpful for the parents who have busy schedules, as these can be left all day long in your cat's bowl.
|Whiskas Pocket Tuna Adult Dry Cat Food||Versele Laga Lara Junior Cat Dry Food||Farmina Matisse Premium Chicken and Rice Dry Adult Cat Food|
Treats can be used to cheer up your kitten, can be used as a reward when they do something right and also can be used as a play time for them. Giving treats can be helpful to you in appreciating your cat when they do something good. You can make treats for your kitten yourself at home, can buy them some organic cat treats and also some normal cat treats that they love. You can make your cat exercise and can provide them with some mental stimulation with treats and this can be a good indoor activity.
Boo Boo's Best Super Food Nuggets Cat Treats - Whitefish Recipe
Boo Boo's Best Super Food Nuggets Cat Treats - Salmon Recipe
Choose the right food for your cat according to their age and lifestyle and build a healthy feeding schedule for your cat. Increase your pets life and enjoy parenthood taking care of them.
SEMI MOIST FOOD:
Semi moist food for cats contains about 60-65% of water content, by weight. It usually contains more sugar and salt than dry or canned food. Though the extra salt and the extra sugar is not good for all cats and may cause health problems. Semi moist food is a good in between option for pet parents from choosing from dry and wet foods.
But lately in some research it was found that the preservatives used in the semi moist food contributed to health problems is cats mainly anemia. After that these products were highly criticized. But now the commercially made semi cat food is being sold as treats and should not be used as daily food.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOG AND CAT FOOD
Cats' nutritional requirements are 2 to 3 times more than dog’s nutritional requirements, and cats require animal based nutrients for their muscle organs and kittens need approximately 1.5 times more proteins than puppies. If cats are not provided with their protein requirements they soon become malnutritional. With protein they also require amino acids in much quantity.
With amino acids cats also require vitamin A for the maintenance of their vision, for reproduction and skin health. Cats have a special requirement of vitamin B1 and require it almost 5 times more than dogs. A deficiency of this can lead to an appetite loss, hunching of posture, and poor quality of the coat.
Cats require a large amount of taurine in comparison to dogs. Taurine helps cats for vision, digestion and heart muscle function. Insufficient amount of taurine can lead to improper functioning of retinal cells and these cells may eventually die and may cause impaired vision and blindness.
We hope now, you have a fair idea about feeding your cat with the right kind of food. Our store PetPedia.in carries all of the cat products mentioned in the article. Check them out and have them delivered quickly and safely to protect the safety of your pet. Check out our other items, such as oral care, bedding, collars, and treats. We provide the best customer service in the market and a huge variety of pet products at unbeatable prices.
If you found this helpful read our Other Articles hereMonsoon Pet Care Guide for Dogs and Cats
What are the Best Cat Toys for your Cat?
Maintaining the Regular Dental Health of your Dog