As cats grow older they become independent creatures, coming to us mere mortals when they require food or affection. However, as kittens, they are completely reliant on you to keep then content. One of the biggest hurdles kitten owners have to overcome is what to feed their kitten. More often than not, pet owners have the tendency to over or underfeed their new feline friend, for fear of getting things wrong. Follow our simple guide below to raise one happy and well-fed kitten.
What Should I Feed My Kitten?
In pet shops and supermarkets, you will often see pet food brands dedicating different types of food to kittens or senior cats. This is because young and old cats have different nutritional needs to cats that fall midway between these life stages. Kittens grow rapidly up to around 12 months of age and, therefore, the nourishment you give your pet should support this important period of their life.
Dry Food or Wet Food?
Kittens aren’t fussy when it comes to food and they will be happy whether it is wet from a tin or sachet, or dry from a bag. In their eyes, food is food, so it is up to your as their parent to give them the best to help with their development and support their immune system.
Both dry and wet foods have their advantages. Many kittens will turn their nose up at one, meaning the other is your only option. However, initially what you feed your kitten is completely up to you and we have listed the benefits of each below:
|Benefits of Wet Kitten Food||Benefits of Dry Kitten Food|
|Much softer than dry food and easier to eat||Complete kitten foods are easy to measure|
|Some kittens find the smell and texture attractive||Long shelf-life|
|Increases the water your kitten ingests||Chewing on abrasive foods helps keep kitten teeth healthy|
|Single-serve pouches prevent over feeding||Kitten kibble is small and easy to swallow|
When Should I Feed My Kitten?
Filling a bowl with kibble and leaving it there for your kitten to pick at isn’t appropriate. All kittens need a feeding schedule so that you can monitor what they are eating and thus, their weight.
Just like us, kittens should eat three meals per day; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It doesn’t matter what times these meals are delivered at, it just needs to remain the same every day.
Most kitten foods come with a guide on recommended portion size, usually based on your kitten’s age. The portion size stated will often be a whole day’s worth of food and it is up to you to split it into three meals. Although this is a great starting point, each kitten is different. If you notice your kitten losing or gaining a little bit of weight, scale their food appropriately.
If your cat doesn’t finish their food that is absolutely fine, we don’t always finish what is on our plates. If it is kitten kibble, feel free to leave it down for your pet to nibble at. If your kitten hasn’t returned to their wet food within 30 minutes, throw it away.
What Treats Can I Give My Kitten?
Treats should be used as a training tool or reward. However, we know those cute furry faces often get the odd treat for just being themselves. Whatever your motive, kittens can have any treat (even those marketed to grown cats) from 10 weeks of age. However, some are better than others.
Anything marketed as organic, natural or raw tends to be a good avenue to travel down. Unless you have done your research, try and steer clear of the very obvious brand names. Owners who have the time sometimes make cat treats by hand, this ensures they know exactly what their kitten is consuming.