A Guide to Feeding Your Kitten: Dos and Don’ts
“What made life happy again and worth living for you?“. “Well, they have four little paws, the sweetest smile and the cutest kitten eyes on Earth. They’ve made it worth living again.” Even every time we come home after a hard day’s work, our furry ones hug, kiss and cuddle us. So, let’s delve into the world of these adorable creatures and learn more about how to provide them with the proper care and nourishment they need to thrive. As a new kitten parent, it is essential to know what to feed, how much to feed and when, since feeding the kitten is one of the most important aspects of its growth and development.
Today in the market there are a multitude of kitten foods even at cheap prices to attract customers. Choosing the right kitten food can be overwhelming for new kitten parents. And most kittens suffer from diseases due to their wrong eating habits. That’s why in this guide we’ll try to explain the do’s and don’ts when feeding your kitten, the most common health problems and the best kitten food brands and kitten milk replacers to help your kitten grow up healthy and happy.
Choose a high-quality kitten food
Feeding your kitten a balanced, nutritious diet is crucial to its overall health and well-being. Always check the ingredient list to make sure the food contains high-quality protein, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Look for kitten food whose first ingredient is chicken, turkey or fish.
To make sure your kittens are getting the proper nutrition they need, kitten parents can choose kitten food from brands like
Royal Canin Kitten Dry Cat Food
Royal Canin Kitten dry kitten food is an excellent choice for kitten owners. The key benefits of this kitten food are formulated with a precise balance of nutrients, including highly digestible protein, prebiotics and antioxidants, to support your kitten’s healthy growth and development. On average, a 3.5-pound bag of Royal Canin Kitten Dry Cat Food can range from $18 to $30, while a 7-pound bag can range from $30 to $50.In addition, the blend of antioxidants, prebiotics and fiber supports your kitten’s immune system development and digestive health, respectively.
Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Dry Cat Food
This kitten food is made with high quality protein from real chicken to promote lean muscle growth and is enriched with antioxidants for a healthy immune system. It also contains natural DHA from fish oil to support brain and eye development in kittens. The price of a 2.5 kg bag of this kitten food varies by retailer, but typically ranges from $20 to $30.
Purina Pro Plan Kitten Dry Cat Food
This kitten food is a popular choice among kitten parents because it is formulated with real chicken. It also contains a blend of antioxidants for a healthy immune system and is easy to digest for kittens’ sensitive stomachs. It usually ranges from $10 to $40 for a 3-7 pound bag.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
In addition to real chicken, Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Grain-Free Dry Cat Food also includes other high-quality protein sources, such as fish meal and turkey meal.On average, a 5-pound bag can range from $20 to $25, while a 10-pound bag can range from $35 to $45. It is also free of artificial preservatives, colors and flavors.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Kitten Dry Cat Food
This kitten food is made with non-GMO ingredients and contains real chicken as the first ingredient. It also contains no chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy. A 1.5 kg bag usually costs between $15 and $20.
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Kitten Recipe Dry Cat Food
This grain-free kitten food is made with real boneless chicken as the first ingredient and contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals for a strong immune system and healthy bones and teeth. As of the September 2021 cutoff date, the price range for a 4-pound bag of this kitten food was about $19.99 to $24.99.
Wellness Complete Health Kitten Food
This kitten food is made with high quality protein, antioxidants and essential nutrients such as DHA to support healthy growth, muscle and bone growth and kitten development. On average, a half-pound bag of Wellness Complete Health kitten food costs $12 to $15, while a half-pound bag costs $25 to $30. Prices may be higher or lower depending on the retailer or online store.
Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food
This grain-free kitten food is made with real chicken as the first ingredient. It also includes probiotics to support digestive health and antioxidants for a strong immune system and is free of grains, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy and artificial preservatives. The average price for a 4-pound bag was about $20-25 USD.
Iams Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food
This kitten food contains high quality protein and essential nutrients to promote healthy brain and eye development in kittens. In addition, it contains no preservatives, artificial colors or artificial flavors. Generally, a 2.5 kg bag of Iams Proactive Health Kitten dry kitten food costs between 15 and 20 €.
Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Kitten Recipe Dry Cat Food
This grain-free kitten food is made with real roasted venison and smoked salmon as the main protein sources and contains no grains, corn, wheat or artificial preservatives. The price of a 5-pound bag of Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Kitten Dry Cat Food was about $17 to $20 USD.
Feed your kitten small, frequent meals
Kittens are very active and have high energy levels, although they have small stomachs and can only eat small amounts of food at a time. Therefore, parents of kittens must make sure they have the energy they need to play and grow. That is why it is recommended to give them 3 to 4 small meals a day until they are about 6 months old, and then gradually move to 2 or 3 meals a day as they grow. This habit can also help promote healthy digestion and prevent stomach upset. In that case, kitten parents should choose kitten foods with small-sized, easy-to-eat kibble, as it also helps promote healthy chewing habits.
Introduce new foods gradually
If you want to introduce a new food into your kitten’s diet, do so gradually. Gradual introduction of new foods can help prevent digestive discomfort and ensure that your kitten tolerates the new food. You can start by mixing and gradually increasing the ratio over a week or two. It is also a good idea to monitor your kitten’s reaction to the new food during this transition period.
Provide clean, fresh water
Make sure your kitten has access to clean, fresh water at all times. It is important to refill the water bowl daily and clean it with soap and water at least once a week. You may also consider using a water fountain for your kitten, as many cats prefer tap water and it may encourage them to drink more water. Be sure to monitor your kitten’s water intake.
Consult with your vet
If you have concerns or questions about your kitten’s diet or health, consult your veterinarian. He or she can offer specific recommendations based on your kitten’s individual needs and help you identify potential health problems early on. Regular checkups with your veterinarian can also help ensure that your kitten is growing and developing properly.
Don’t feed your kitten adult cat food
Always keep in mind that kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats, so feeding them adult cat food may cause health problems. Adult cat food may not provide the kitten with enough calories for growth, DHA for brain development and calcium for bone growth. In addition, adult cat foods may contain ingredients unsuitable for kittens, such as higher levels of ash or magnesium, which can cause urinary tract problems.
Don’t feed your kitten milk
Cow’s milk is not recommended for kittens, as it can cause digestive problems such as diarrhea. Kitten milk replacer is a better alternative if necessary, as it is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of kittens.
Top 5 popular brands of Kitten Milk Replacer include
KMR Kitten Milk Replacer by PetAg
This is a widely recognized and popular brand for kitten milk replacers that is widely available in pet stores and online. On average, a 12oz can of KMR powder can cost around $16 to $20, while a larger 28oz can can cost around $30 to $40. It contains balanced levels of protein, fat, and carbohydrates and is fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, including taurine, which is important for kitten growth and development. It also comes in both powder and liquid form for convenience.
Esbilac Kitten Milk Replacer by PetAg
PetAg’s Esbilac Kitten Milk Replacer is also a highly recommended choice among milk replacers for kittens. It is made with a blend of proteins, fats and vitamins to mimic the composition of the mother cat’s milk fats and support healthy growth and development of kittens. On average, a 12 oz can of Esbilac Kitten Milk Replacer powder can cost around $17-20 USD..
GNC Pets Ultra Mega Premium Milk Replacer
It is a high quality kitten milk replacer enriched with essential nutrients such as DHA and EPA to promote brain and eye development in kittens. In addition, it contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Its average price ranges from $16 to $25 for a 12-ounce can.
Hartz Powdered Milk Replacer Formula for Kittens
Hartz powdered milk is made from real cow’s milk and is fortified with essential nutrients to aid kitten growth and development. Its average price ranges from $11 to $13.
Goat’s Milk Esbilac Powder
This is a unique kitten milk replacer that is made with goat’s milk instead of cow’s milk. Goat’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk and may be a good choice for kittens with sensitive stomachs.
Don’t feed your kitten table scraps
Human foods can be toxic to kittens, such as chocolate, onions, garlic and grapes, and can lead to obesity, digestive problems and other health problems. Also, kitten and dog food have different nutritional requirements, so it’s important to feed your kitten food that is specifically formulated for kittens.
Don’t overfeed your kitten
If your kitten is gaining weight too quickly, you may need to adjust his or her portion sizes or consult your veterinarian for guidance. Leaving food out all day can also lead to overfeeding and can make it difficult to control your kitten’s food intake and lead to obesity and other health problems.
In addition to obesity, there are other kitten health problems caused by eating habits, and here are some ways to prevent them.
Feeding your kitten a diet high in sugars or carbohydrates can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay and gum disease. Choose a high quality food with low sugar and carbohydrate content, and feed treats and toys that won’t damage your kitten’s teeth.
A high-fat diet can lead to pancreatitis, a disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. Choose a low-fat kitten food and avoid feeding fatty treats or human food.
Feeding your kitten a diet low in fiber can lead to hairballs, which can cause digestive problems. Choose a high-fiber food and give her a chance to groom.
Feeding your kitten large pieces of food or inappropriate objects can cause choking. Choose food suitable for kittens and avoid giving them small toys or objects that may pose a choking risk.
Feeding your kitten exclusively dry food can lead to dehydration. Provide plenty of fresh water and consider adding wet food to your kitten’s diet.
Therefore, always choose a high quality food that meets their nutritional needs, avoid giving them human food and toxic household substances, and go to the vet when necessary, so that your kitten is healthy and happy.
Feeding your kitten the right kitten food and providing the proper nutrition is crucial to its growth and development. By following these feeding do’s and don’ts and choosing high-quality kitten food and milk replacers, you as a kitten’s parents can help your furry friends grow into a healthy, happy adult cat.