Feeding Your New Kitten

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Just as children’s dietary needs differ from those of healthy adults, your new kitten’s optimum diet is different from that of a mature cat.

What Kind Of Diet Does Your Kitten Need?

Kittens require a diet that is higher in protein than that of an adult cat and the largest portion of the protein should be derived from an animal source rather than a plant-based protein. Kittens also require larger amounts of calcium and phosphorus than grown up cats.

While it is possible for a kitten to survive on a diet formulated for adult cats, they are more likely to thrive on a diet that is formulated specifically for their own growth and stage of life. These foods contain the increased protein, calcium and phosphorus needed by your kitten.

Dry, Canned, Semi-moist, Homemade, Raw: What Is Best For My Kitten?

There is a dizzying array of options for new kitten owners to choose from when it comes to food. And kitten food is no exception. The most important consideration is making sure that your kitten’s diet is complete and balanced.

There are many recipes to make homemade food for your kitten and you’re always going to have a healthier cat when your cat or kitten is eating natural foods, as opposed to processed foods, feeds and kibbles.

You’re going to always want to go with a grain-free option and moist as opposed to dry.

If feeding a homemade diet, make you’re working with your veterinarian and/or a nutrition expert to be certain that the diet is complete and balanced. Do not simply throw together kitchen scraps to feed your kitten and do not feed an exclusively meat diet. There is so much nutrition in fruits and vegetables that will help your cat live a long healthy life.

Many people feel that raw diets are more “natural” than other diets and that raw is the only way to go.

There’s not necessarily a right answer, so do your research to make an informed decision.

How Much And How Often Should I Feed My Kitten?

This will depend on the type of food and on your individual kitten. Dry foods can be left down for your kitten to graze on throughout the day. However, canned, semi-moist and other types of diets can spoil if left out too long. Always consult your vet to find out how often your kitten should be eating.

Kittens should be fed to maintain a lean body condition. If your kitten is gaining weight too quickly and is in danger of becoming overweight. This is especially true after your kitten has been neutered or spayed. Be careful to never overfeed your cat or kitten.

Don’t Forget To Provide Fresh Water For Your Kitten

It is easy to forget that water is an essential nutrient also and just as important as protein or any other nutrient. Make sure your kitten has access to clean fresh water at all times.