Feeding Kittens

Nutrition Tips for Kittens

Mother Knows Best Newborn kittens receive complete nutrition from their mother’s milk for the first four weeks of life. Mom’s milk is 100 percent perfect for their needs.

From Four to Eight Weeks

By the time kittens are five to six weeks old, they should be nibbling on a high-quality dry food consistently even though they’re still nursing. This process of gradually introducing kitten food is important in training cats to eat as they are weaned.

Weaning: This is a gradual process. Give the kittens a mixture of dry kitten food (one part) mixed with cat milk replacement (three parts) or wet kitten food (one part) and milk replacement (two parts). Gradually reduce the liquid.

From Two Months To Three Months

Most mother cats will suckle their kittens until about eight weeks of age. By this time, 80 percent to 90 percent of the kitten’s total nutrient intake should be from kitten food.

Cat Food: Kittens should be feeding solely on kitten food by 10 weeks at the latest.

Type of food: During this time, kittens develop their food preferences which will stay with them for life. Dry or canned cat food is up to you. Only in special circumstances decided by your vet should you give a kitten supplements.

Make sure the food you offer is specifically formulated for kittens. Your pet will need to eat kitten-formula food until she reaches maturity, at about one year of age.

Frequency: Kittens this age should be fed at least four times a day because their stomachs are too small to contain the necessary amount of food for nutritional needs when less often. Wet food should be refrigerated between feedings and then warmed up.

Dry food can be left out for kittens can be fed free-choice—which means food is available at all times, as much as the pet wants, whenever the pet wants. You can feed them dry kitten food or nutrient-dense kitten-formula canned food—however, the free-choice method is most appropriate when feeding dry food, which will not spoil if left out.. Mix a little water in the dry food if your kitten isn’t drawn to it.

From Three Months to Six Months

Routine: Kittens start to really appreciate routine during this time. Make sure your kitten food is in a quiet, safe place and don’t move it around. Make sure fresh water is available at all times.

Type Of Food: Check your kitten food label. It should have a guaranteed analysis of key ingredients including the minimum fat and protein and the maximum fiber and moisture. Cats and kittens can develop problems from too little protein in their diet. Keep your kitten’s diet constant – don’t switch foods unless necessary.

Frequency: Towards six months, you can begin feeding your kitten three times a day. It’s best to weigh your cat every week and adjust amounts accordingly.

Amount: 1/3 to 1 cup at each feeding.

From Six Months to a Year

Feeding cats: Though your kitten may continue to grow after a year, they’re generally considered cats by then. Having a Method of feeding and a choice in diets by now, and at this point you should start maintaining consistency in that diet. For more information about the various methods and diets you can refer to our Feeding Cats post.

Frequency/Amount: Typically a twice a day feeding is normal for adult cats, but the amounts may vary depending on the brand of food, for the recommendation from Friskies check our Recommended Daily Feeding.

It’s fine to feed your kitten a few treats. However, treats should make up no more than five percent of your kitten’s daily nutrient intake, and the rest of his/her diet should come from a high-quality kitten food. I do treats very limited and NOT everyday. I only give two or three pieces, once or twice a week.

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July 2012
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