THE CAT FOOD BEST FOR KITTENS
One lick of a rough kitten tongue and you're absolutely hooked and want to do what is best for them. Kittens are not simply miniature cats, and they have needs that must be met in order for them to grow up to be healthy.
Homemade cat food is best for your adult cat, and it's still the best for getting your kitten off to the right start. How, what, and when should you be feeding your kitten as it goes through the various stages of life?
Newborn-5 weeks of age:
This stage of kittenhood is all about mom and the litter. There is nothing extra to feed this young kitten, and it should rely fully on mother's milk (unless a litter is particularly large). A mother cat's milk provides two things for her offspring: fully nutritionally balanced meals and immunity.
A mother's milk will provide all the nutrition, vitamins, protein, and fats that will be necessary for the newborn kitten to grow properly. It also includes antibodies and valuable immunity to different sicknesses and diseases. This is one of the primary concerns for orphaned kittens' health as they are deprived of the immunities present in a cat's milk.
5 weeks-9 weeks of age:
This is the fledging kitten at the stage of wanting to explore the big world and eventually leave the comfort of mom. A mother cat will grow tired of nursing often starting around week 5 or 6, and she will also not be able to provide enough nutrition and food for all the kittens.
You will need to begin supplementing their diet. Now is the best time to begin introducing homemade food. An example of a perfect beginner food:
Kitten Weaning Recipe:
- Canned goat's milk (usually accepted better than cow's milk)
- Baby rice cereal
- Pureed cooked meats (either fresh or baby food)
- The amount to make depends on the number of kittens, but mix pureed meats with baby cereal to form the bulk of the meal. Stir in a little goat's milk to make a thinner consistency. Mush should be room temperature or slightly warm. Kittens crave warm food, as they are accustomed to warm milk from mom.
9 weeks-24 weeks of age:
Baby kittens are able to eat more texture, and you can begin the transition to a more chewy consistency with cooked, diced meat chunks, cooked, diced veggie pieces, cooked brown rice, and small bits of cooked egg. Spoonfuls of thick, plain yogurt are a good addition. The older the kitten, the larger the meal and the chewier it can be.
Over 24 weeks of age:
A kitten is now six months of age, and while it is still a kitten, it can begin the transition to a more adult homemade meal. It still needs to contain a good portion of fats and calcium, so regular additions of yogurt or goat's milk are a good choice. Some vegetables, like spinach, also provide calcium at lower levels.
Things to Remember Along the Way:
- Always consult with your veterinarian to make sure your kitten is receiving the right levels of nutrition.
- Kittens require more fat and calcium than an adult cat. You need to be careful not to overdo it but adding some oils and yogurt to meals is a good idea.
- Kittens need a lot of food and more often than an adult cat, so make sure you offer food every few hours and refrigerate or throw out uneaten portions of food.
- Monitor your kitten's weight to ensure it is putting on weight correctly.
- The cat food best for kittens is still homemade, but it just requires you to really make sure you are meeting the needs of a growing youngster.
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