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Essential Tips for Feeding Kittens

If you have recently acquired a kitten, or are expecting a litter from your mama cat soon, you may be wondering what they should eat, and how often after they are weaned from their mother. Kittens are rambunctious, they expend a lot of energy and have a very high rate of growth when they are younger. A kitten may have up to triple the energy of an adult cat and this makes getting them the nutrition they require of paramount importance.

With high energy comes the need for more calories, but it is hard to get them enough calories in one meal. Most kittens will need to eat three or four times a day, food is also a sort of comfort mechanism to kittens, they like to snack. Kittens need the same amount of fatty acids, vitamins and fat that an adult cat requires. However, they have higher basic requirements for amino acids and proteins as well as minerals. They get about thirty percent on the energy they expend from protein.

Kitten food differs from adult cat food

This is why experts say that you should give your kitten special kitten food at least until they reach one year. Kitten and adult foods will not be the same, so any food that states it is fine for all ages is probably a bad idea. Buying kitten food that comes with a label that is approved by the American Association of Feed Control Officials is a great idea if you want to be sure that it has been tested and approved. These foods will be completely balanced, which means that you don’t need to give your kitten additional supplements. Too much of a food thing can become a bad thing. When your kitten is receiving proper nutrition, they should be alert, exhibit a steady weight gain and have a glossy coat.

The optimal choice is wet food

Very small kittens need to have at least some portion of canned food as a part of their diet. They have very small teeth and it can be harder for them to chew dry food. They need the wet food to ensure they get the proper nutrients they need to grow. If they are eating both dry and wet food, then at least two of these feedings should contain a portion of wet food. If they are only having wet food, then they will require four feedings a day.

How to avoid having a spoiled cat

If you can expose kittens to different kinds of food early on, they will not have the issue of being a picky eater, which becomes a problem if they develop an adverse reaction to the food you are giving them. You should never mix an old food with a new one, since if they do not like the new food it can make them dislike the old one as well. Offer both in separate bowls, and then decrease the amount of the old food and increase the new foods portion. Making this change a gradual one over the course of a week, helps to prevent your kitten from getting an upset stomach. It is acceptable to have food available for young kittens all day long, and then to transition to meal times around six months of age.

Be careful when feeding them with human food

Treats are fine for kittens, on a limited basis. Treats should never make up more than ten percent of a kittens daily caloric intake. Table scraps are not a good idea for kittens. Raw meat may have parasites and bacteria, so always be sure you are feeding your kitten with fresh and quality meat. Uncooked eggs may have salmonella and can lead to skin and coat problems for your cat and raw fish can instigate seizures, loss of appetite and in some cases, death. Also, chocolate, tea, grapes, onions and garlic are all highly toxic to both kittens and adult cats and should be avoided.