“If the kitten dislikes the new food, this can put them off the old food, too,” she says. Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine: “Nutrition for the Growing Kitten.”. Feeding your cat a proper diet is one of the most important aspects to help keep them at optimal health. From 2 months to 3 months; You will see some progression on kittens feeding when they finally reach at least 10 weeks. “Research has determined these kitten foods provide excellent health.”. Most kittens do just fine without human intervention, but if a kitten needs to be bottle-fed, either because the mother cat is absent, ill, or rejects the kitten, you'll want to weigh the kitten regularly to make sure its weight reflects a healthy and normal growth rate of a kitten. If diarrhea or constipation persists with the change in diet, contact your medica… A kitten’s weight may double or even triple during the first few weeks of life. Kittens’ needs for fat, some fatty acids, and most vitamins are the same as for adult cats, Larsen says. A kitten should weigh about 14 to 16 oz. What they do advise is that you feed them a variety of foods in moderation. For example, all-meat homemade diets can be low in calcium, leading to a mineral imbalance that causes hyperparathyroidism, a disease more common in rapidly growing kittens. Proper feeding is a big part of the health equation. At this time, you may also add dry food to their diet. Feeding a Kitten Over 8 Weeks of Age Once a kitten has surpassed eight weeks of age, they should be fed twice a day with normal kitten food. If you have two cats, keep their bowls a reasonable distance apart to avoid confrontation or bullying. Its eyes and ears are sealed shut when it's born, so it will rely on the pheromones its mother gives off to find milk and warmth. It also helps underweight or slow-growing kittens. Even with the energy needs of kittens, overfeeding can become a big problem. Bottle feeding kittens — the do’s Feed the kitten with his belly toward the ground. Gradually reduce the formula and let them eat the food dry. In fact, feeding just once a day should be acceptable for the majority of cats. Lay the kitten in a natural, belly-down position -- never, ever on her back. Once a kitten has surpassed eight weeks of age, they should be fed twice a day with normal kitten food. Here’s what you need to know once you’ve brought your kitten home. At about 3-4 weeks of age, kittens can start weaning, or transitioning to solid food. The amount and frequency of meals depends on your cat's age, health and preference. Adrienne Kruzer, RVT, has worked with a variety of animals for over 15 years, including birds of prey, reptiles, and small mammals. Morning Meal. Solid food should not be an issue for kittens of this age but they may still try to nurse on occasion. For specially formulated cat treats, read the feeding guide on the packet for guidance on how to serve and how often. Weight gain should be monitored with the use of a gram scale, such as the kind that is used for weighing food in the kitchen. Add some of the watered-down formula mix to the dry food to entice the kittens to eat it. Kitten Feeding. Bowl of water with 1 to 2 cups of fresh water, shallow enough for your kitten to access easily. A kitten will nurse for about 45 minutes at a time every 2 to 3 hours for the first week of life. Without some canned food, they won’t get enough nutrition to grow properly. Even better, look for this: “Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials.” “Complete and balanced nutrition” means your kitten will require no mineral or vitamin supplementation. Learn more about your cat's nutritional needs in our cat feeding guide. Several times a day, give them access to Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse in Sauce Wet Cat Food or a gruel made from warm water mixed into a high quality canned kitten food. Between days 8 through 18, its weight should increase to about 10 oz. Cats are obligate carnivores and cannot be vegetarian. How do kittens’ nutritional needs differ from those of adult cats? This means that treats should make up less than 10% of your kitten’s total calorie intake. Guidelines on what to feed kittens at different stages (ages): less than a week, two weeks, three weeks, four … To help guide you through those early stages of life, we broke down what and how much you should feed your kitty at each age. by the time it is 4 to 5 weeks of age if it is eating enough food. By six weeks of age, a kitten should be eating the gruel four times a day and nursing less. Experts answer six common questions about kitten food and more. “If you use a homemade diet, make sure it’s been formulated by a reputable nutritionist,” Bough says. If you’ve just acquired a kitten (or two), you’re probably learning all about kitten care. It’s important that very young kittens have at least some canned food to eat as part of their diet. Pet food labels are required * to carry a statement identifying the life stage (or stages) for which the food is intended. Feeding a kitten isn’t as easy as grabbing a bag of cat chow at the nearest convenience store. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Kitten Care -- From Adoption to Kitty-Proofing Your Home, Weaning a Kitten from Mother’s Milk to Solid Food. This is very time consuming for someone who is bottle-feeding a newborn kitten, so if at all possible, you will want to try to keep the kitten with its mother or a surrogate lactating cat who can nurse it. Get your kitten started off on the right paw. Over time, offer smaller and smaller amounts of the old food along with the new food. Mindy Bough, senior director of client services for the ASPCA Midwest Office. If they’re only eating canned food, they should be fed four times daily. Fill a puzzle feeder with approximately one-third of the daily dry kibble ration for the kitten to “hunt and play” with through the day. The gruel should become less and less watery and dry kitten food should be introduced, along with a bowl of water. Feeding your kitten up to four weeks old From birth to a month old, your kitten will be getting all the nutrition they need from their mother when they suckle. Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, nutritional consultant and assistant professor of clinical nutrition, William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, UC, Davis. This can mean feeding your kitten at the same time and place every day. “So most kittens want to eat at least three or four meals a day,” she says. Cats are often considered the epitome of the “picky eater.” But it doesn’t have to be that way. At first, they’ll receive colostrum – a milk-like liquid which helps support their immune system in early life – followed by milk. Check packages for suggested amounts. Free-choice feeding has the additional benefit of reducing stomach distention resulting from rapid meal eating. A kitten in good health will sleep between breastfeeding sessions and will wake up when their mother encourages them to so, when they start to scream and actively seeks the teat.. But this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to turn your leftover table scraps into treats for your kitten. Feed the Kitten. 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