Feeding Guide for Kitten
Just like infants and toddlers require different nutritional care from adults, weaning cats and kittens also need appropriate nutrition that primarily caters to their requirements. Usually, kittens are adopted between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks. They are often weaned from their mothers and then fed semi-solid foods. It is very critical to provide kittens with a nutritionally balanced diet rich in high-quality vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The particular reason behind it is that this diet will help them develop defences against allergens and infections early on in their lives.
This blog will help you with everything you need to know about feeding your kitten. How much food to feed them when to feed them, and how/when they should be moved to adult cat food.
Have a look at how the first few weeks go when you Feed a Kitten… this will give you an idea of how to feed a kitten.
1st week – During the first week of its life, a kitten nurses on average for 45 minutes after every 2 to 3 hours. Bottle-fed kittens should be fed a spoonful (about 15 ml) of kitten formula during every feeding.
2 to 3 weeks – A 2- to 3-week-old kitten will still require feedings every 2-3 hours, with at least 1/2 spoonful of formula or milk consumed at each meal. If a kitten is being nursed by the mother directly, you will have to monitor and rely on the kitten’s weight to determine whether it’s getting enough food or not.
4 to 5 weeks – When it reaches weeks 4 and 5, the kitten will gradually require an increased amount of food it consumes per meal. Feedings will become less frequent. A bowl of kitten formula or any other liquid should be provided nearby. This will make the kitten habitual to start consuming on its own. By the 5th week, the kitten shall be nursed only about thrice a day. When bottle-fed, it should consume around three tablespoons of milk or the kitten formula at each meal.
6 to 8 weeks – By 6 weeks, a kitten should be completely weaned and be comfortable with transitioning to semi-solid/solid foods. Choose kitten-specific wet and dry food, and keep a clean and fresh bowl of water nearby at all times.
Beyond 8 weeks – Feed your kitten up to four times a day, using high-quality kitten food, until he or she is six months old. Once they are 6 months old, you can reduce the meal count to two meals per day.
What should I feed my Kitten?
Your kitten’s food requirements will differ from those of an adult cat. Kittens require a complete and balanced diet that is rich in protein, for growth and development, calcium for healthy, strong teeth and bones, and DHA for brain development and eyesight. A kitten’s meal should normally include the following to help it grow healthy and strong:
- Increased protein levels
- More calories because it requires more energy and will frequently engage in play. So the food needs to meet the calorie requirement.
- Increased levels of some nutrients (like calcium).
Canned Cat Foods
Because of the diversity of ingredients available in this kind of cat food, they are an excellent source to expose your kitten to new semi-solid foods and tastes. It can try many flavours like shrimp, fish, several sorts of poultry, and many more. Furthermore, some canned products also have other ingredients (such as veggies), and others contain simply meats. If you do not want to give the whole portion, a tablespoon of it can be added to the regular meal or given to the cat as a snack. Canned foods also serve well as training rewards.
Fresh and Salt Water Fish
Once your kitten gets the taste of fish, it will be delighted. A little portion of trout, catfish, salmon, or tuna will be species-appropriate and appreciated by your kitten. Again, a small amount (a teaspoon) is sufficient, even if your kitten begs for more. After all, excess of everything is bad.
For starters, pumpkin is high in nutritional value. These are good for different sections of your cat’s body. A good amount of soluble fibre is found in pumpkins. This soluble fibre aids in the absorption of any excess water present in the digestive tract. This helps in the relief of digestive issues like diarrhoea. Pumpkin is abundant in vitamins A, C, and E, and also potassium and iron. Together with fibre, these nutrients can assist to bulk up the excrement and make the digestive system work more efficiently.
Even though cats are known to be obligate carnivores, which means they must consume meat, including veggies in your kitten’s diet will provide their body’s fibre as well as vitamins and minerals content. You can serve a few broccoli bits, finely sliced lettuce and perhaps other salad greens.
Feel free to share some raw meat with your kitty. However, you should take a few precautions with such foods. These have been known to contain certain harmful bacteria and parasites. Therefore, the amount of raw meat and the kind of raw meat should also be checked with the vet.
How to feed a newborn kitten?
Kittens should ideally stay close to and suckle from the mother cat till about eight weeks before being separated from the mother and/or adopted. Human involvement to feed a newborn kitten is required only in the case of a rescue, the absence of the mother, or when circumstances make mothers abandon one. There are numerous factors to consider if you are required to feed a newborn kitten.
- Try to find another nursing mother/feline to get mother’s milk.
- A newborn can only survive on milk/milk replacement for a kitten. You can easily avail yourself of kitten milk replacement at any pet food store like mypetz.
- Make yourself available in several rounds throughout the day because kittens require frequent feeding.
- Always sterilise the equipment/utensils.
- Always heath the milk/milk replacement prior to feeding.
- Make sure that you are feeding the correct and recommended amount of milk to your kitten.
What type of food does my kitten need, wet or dry?
Kittens require a specific amount of wet food or even softened/soaked dry food to support their incredible rate of growth. It takes time for them to transition from breast milk to semi-solid/solid foods. Wet foods ease this transition process while also ensuring that your cat receives all of the nutrients it requires to grow into a healthy adult cat.
Other than that, kittens cannot chew completely and need extra hydration. This is why wet foods turn out to be a better option for younger cats.
When you are a new cat parent, especially a newborn kitten, a kitten feeding chart should help you more than you would think. All kitten food packages must include a feeding chart, however, they do not all look the same. You should pay heed to the chart on your kitten’s food label to ensure that you are feeding it the appropriate amount according to its age and weight.
For instance, your Kitten Feeding Chart may look something like this:
From what you must have read above, cats can live on a diet that includes both wet as well as dry food as long as the nutritional requirements are met. Weaning kittens Kittens in the process of weaning, on the other hand, will need some more attention, wet food or softened dry kibble till about 8-10 weeks old. This will help them adjust to solid food and drive their remarkable rate of growth.
We understand that reading this blog may make it appear that feeding kittens, is a difficult task, but it really isn’t.
The idea is just to feed your kitten is to choose whole, nutritionally balanced, and high-quality foods that have been specially prepared to promote optimal and healthy growth.