General Feeding Recommendations for Kittens

Becoming a parent to an adorable newborn kitty is a very exciting time. Your new furbaby will delight in receiving your love and attention, and you will be granted a friend for life. Nevertheless, pet ownership also comes with many responsibilities, one of the most important of which is feeding your new pet.

Ensuring that your pet gets the right nutrition is essential for the health of any animal. It is especially important for young furbabies as a healthy, balanced diet is crucial to support the rapid rate at which they are growing and developing. For this reason, infant animals, including kittens, need a different combination of nutrition to that of their adults.

What should I be feeding my kitten?

There are hundreds of different brands of cat food, so it can be a little overwhelming trying to choose the right one. Thankfully, many brands have also included a kitten-specific food in their range, and these are formulated to deliver the exact combination of nutrients required by your growing feline.

You can choose to feed either dry or wet food as both should still contain the same nutritional value. Some owners prefer to feed dry food as it tends to be more convenient, can be left out for longer and makes your kitty’s food bowl easier to clean. However, wet food has a higher water content which is useful for keeping your furbaby hydrated.

How often should I be feeding my kitten?

Many owners, particularly those with little experience in owning an animal, practice free-feeding. This basically means filling your pet’s bowl with food in the morning and letting her graze all day. However, feeding your pet in this way makes it very easy to overfeed her, which could cause her to put on weight.

Instead, most vets recommend that you create a feeding schedule and adjust it to suit the life stage that your pet is at. Kittens grow around 15 times faster than a human baby, and they have an appetite to match. Yet, it is important to remember that her stomach is still very small, and she will not be able to eat a lot in one sitting. To accommodate these factors, vets recommend taking your kitty’s daily allowance of food and spreading it equally across a number of meals each day. Start off by providing six small portions until she is around 8 weeks old, then go down to 4 meals a day. By the time she is around 6 months of age, you should be able to feed her 2-3 meals each day.

Make sure she is drinking enough

Good hydration is essential for your kitty to be healthy and happy. However, for the first few months of her life, your feline friend will have a nose that is even-more sensitive than normal, and her natural curiosity may get the better of her. If there is fluid around that has a scent, she will more than likely go and investigate – and this may mean drinking it! It is not unusual to find that kittens prefer to drink from puddles, human drinks left laying around and even toilet bowls! Encourage her to drink from her water bowl by placing it in a quiet area away from distractions and if you catch her drinking from somewhere she shouldn’t be, pick her up and place her in front of her water bowl. If she drinks from it, offer her some praise and a treat – she will soon catch on to the idea that her water bowl is the correct place to rehydrate!

If you are worried about the nutrition that your kitty is getting, speak to our vet!

Plenty of energy, a shiny, good quality coat, clear eyes and regular bowel movements are all signs that your kitten is getting the nutrition she needs to be healthy. But, if you are worried about what she is eating, or you have any other concerns about her diet, our veterinarian will be delighted to assist you. Contact us today for further advice.