Feeding Schedule For Your Kitten
Many people feed their new kitten by simply filling a bowl with dry food and leaving the food available the entire day. However, establishing a feeding schedule for your kitten is a good idea. A feeding schedule for your kitten allows you to control the kittens diet more easily and make sure your kitten does not overeat and gain too much weight.
Your new kitten should eat three times daily. Morning, afternoon, and evening is a good choice. You can arrange the schedule to fit in with your own routine, although it is best to keep a consistent routine from day to day.
Use the feeding guidelines on the food label as a starting point to determine how much to feed your kitten. Split up the daily portion into three equal parts and feed 1/3 at each feeding. The feeding guidelines provide a starting point but youll need to monitor your cats body condition and adjust the feeding amount accordingly. If your cat is gaining too much weight, decrease the amount of food. Conversely, increase the amount of food offered if your cat is too thin or is not gaining weight as expected.
Encouraging your kitten to exercise may not be a problem. However, as your new kitten ages, it may become more difficult to get him to exercise. Some cats do become couch potatoes and these cats are at risk of becoming overweight or even obese. Here are some tips that you can use in feeding your kitten that may aid in keeping your kitten lean.
First Days In A New Home 8
Many kittens go off to their new homes from eight weeks of age onwards. This can be an unsettling time for them, so one of the best ways to help them feel more secure is by providing a routine. This will help them know what to expect each day. Making sure your kitten has set meal times is a big part of this.
Your kitten will need around four feeds a day at this age, with their recommended daily ration split evenly between all four mealtimes. You should get in the habit of weighing and body condition scoring your kitten to make sure theyre getting enough food. You want them to grow and put on weight, but not to become obese Your vet will be able to advise you further on this. Something else to consider is what type of food to feed your kitten you can choose either wet, dry, or a mixture of both. At this age your kitten wont need milk, they will be getting all they need from their solid food. Water should always be provided though.
Whichever food you opt for, make sure that it is a diet specifically for kittens as this will be specially formulated to help with their growth and development. The packet guidelines will tell you how much to feed your kitten per 24-hour period . If you arent sure how much you should be feeding, then speak to your vet.
Can I Hold The Kitten
Vets recommend not touching kittens unless you have to while their eyes are still closed. You can check on them to make sure theyâre healthy and gaining weight, but try to limit direct physical contact.
The kittenâs mother will also let you know how comfortable she is with you handling her babies. Itâs important to take it slow, especially at first. If the mother cat seems anxious or stressed, give her and her babies some space.
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When Should Kittens Be Vaccinated
Kittens gain some protection from disease in the form of maternal antibodies passed in the queens colostrum . To ensure that the queen has sufficient antibodies to pass onto her kittens, it is important that she is well vaccinated prior to mating. The protective effect of maternal antibodies lasts for only a few weeks. The kittens vaccination programme should therefore start from about 8 weeks of age, although the exact timing and content of the vaccinations can be tailored to the needs of the particular cat, as determined by the veterinarian. If the kittens were orphaned, and hence never received colostrum, they will have gained no protective immunity from their mother, and so may need to be vaccinated early, perhaps from 23 weeks of age. Most cats are vaccinated against feline enteritis and the viruses that cause cat flu. Others are also vaccinated against feline leukaemia virus infection and/or chlamydophila disease.
Six Months To One Year
Your kittens growth will have slowed and, although they are still growing and changing body shape, he will need far fewer calories. Whether they stay on kitten food or change to adult food varies depending on their breed and whether theyve been neutered your vet can help you decide.
At this age, two feeds a day is fine, and this frequency of feeding will continue right through your cats adult life. Having said this, wild cats eat several smaller meals each day, so if your cat is more of a grazer then you can do this too. The most important thing is to make sure his recommended daily calories are split between the meals so that you know, no matter how often he eats the number of calories per 24 hours is still the same.
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Feeding An Orphaned Kitten
But if you have a kitten without a mother, you need to provide food thats formulated for kitten health. Whether your orphaned kitten is a newborn or one that’s a few weeks old, you should bottle feed them. Bottle-feeding a kitten isnt difficult, but it does take a little know-how to do it properly. These tips for how to bottle feed a kitten can help.
How To Select A High
It may take some initial time and energy in determining which food is right for your kitten, but your efforts will be rewarded in a healthy, happy, beautiful kitten.
The best way to find the healthiest kitten food is to compare foods, choose a few possible options, and then talk with your veterinarian about which of those is best for your kitten. Consider the protein source in the food and pick a diet that does not contain a lot of filler ingredients.
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What To Feed Kittens 10+ Weeks Of Age A Kittens Diet After Weaning
Most kittens need to continue eating foods designed specifically for growth until they are around 10 months of age. Only feed your kitten commercial diets that meet the standards put forward by the Association of American Feed Control Officials . Look for a statement on the products label that says something along the lines of:
- Kitten Food A is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for growth and reproduction.
- Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Kitten Food B provides complete and balanced nutrition for growth and reproduction.
Try these vet-recommended wet kitten foods:
Signs Of Malnutrition In A Newborn Kitten
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.
When meals are not enough cats wake more frequently and moan. They progressively become inactive and do not gain enough weight. The most frequent complications from malnutrition are diarrhea, dehydration, hypoglycemia, and hypothermia.
Any kitten that is under-fed or rejected by their mother must be assisted quickly.
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Feeding Wet Kitten Food Vs Dry Kitten Food
Wet cat food has some significant nutritional advantages over dry cat food. Cats are notoriously poor water drinkers, so feeding wet food can help ensure that they remain well-hydrated. High quality wet kitten foods, like Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, tend to contain more meat and protein and be lower in carbohydrates than dry foods, which better matches a kittens nutritional needs in comparison to dry. For these reasons, many veterinarians recommend that most, if not all, of a cats diet consist of wet food.
While most kittens benefit from a diet of wet canned food, there are advantages to feeding them dry food. Dry kitten food tends to be less expensive and can be left out for longer periods of time without spoiling. Kibble can also be used in food puzzles like the PetSafe Funkitty Egg-Cersizer Treat Dispenser Cat Toy, which provides both entertainment and exercise.
Early in life, cats develop strong preferences for how food should taste and what it should feel like in their mouths. Offer your kitten a variety of foods if you want to keep all your options open. However, youll have to keep exposing them to a variety of foods as an adult if you want to avoid food rejection in the future. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about the right mix of foods for your kitten.
How To Bottle Feed A Kitten
Once the kitten and formula are ready, set the kitten on his stomach never try to feed a kitten on its back. Hold his head gently with one hand to encourage the kitten to latch onto the nipple. According to Alley Cat Allies, try your best to imitate the position a newborn kitten would use when nursing from its mother. Use your other hand to guide the kittens mouth to the nipple. Never force a kitten onto a nipple. The kittens tongue should form a v-shape to facilitate sucking. By holding the head of the kitten, youll be able to feel if hes swallowing the milk.
If your kitten refuses to suckle, you may want to try gently rubbing his face and head with a terry washcloth or an old toothbrush to simulate the roughness of the mother cats tongue. If the kitten still refuses to latch onto the nipple you can use a syringe to provide nourishment. Offer small drops of formula this way. Never force formula down the kittens throat or you could asphyxiate the animal by filling its lungs with liquid.
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Should Kittens Be Weighed Regularly
It is advisable to monitor the kittens growth rates by weighing them regularly. It is best to weigh the kittens daily at the same time, as in all cases daily increments will vary from kitten to kitten. It is good practice to keep daily records. They should double their birth weight in the first 7 to 10 days, then continue to gain weight steadily.
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. Solid food should not be an issue for kittens of this age but they may still try to nurse on occasion. Between eight and ten weeks of age, a kitten should be fully weaned and preparing to leave its mother if you plan to find the kitten a new home. The first vaccinations are typically administered at about eight weeks of age, so when the kittens have a vet visit, you can be sure they have been growing appropriately.
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Bottle Feeding The Newborn Kitten
Kittens grow at an astounding rate, making proper nutrition vital for healthy growth and development.
Sometimes it becomes necessary to feed your newborn kitten. This can be because of abandonment or loss of the mother, because the mother cannot produce enough milk to feed all of the young or because one of the newborns is not as strong as the others and is not receiving enough nutrition. Feeding a young kitten is best accomplished with a bottle specially designed for newborn animals. The opening in the nipple of the bottle should only allow one drop to fall at a time when the bottle in inverted. Sometimes a slit will work better than a small hole for this purpose.
Use a milk replacer formulated for kittens do not use cows milk or goats milk as the fat, protein, and lactose levels are not correct for a kitten. If you are using liquid milk replacer, it should be ready to serve as is. If you are using powdered milk replacer, it is important to follow the manufacturers instruction for reconstitution. If the formula is too concentrated then the kitten may become constipated and if the formula is too dilute, not only will your kitten not receive the proper amount of nutrients but she could develop diarrhea. Both of these can be life threatening to your kitten. Never heat the formula itself instead, soak a bottle in a mug of hot water. After a minute, test the temperature of the formula on the inside of your wrist. It should feel warm, but not hot.
How Do I Feed Orphaned Kittens
Most kittens will suckle on small pet nursing bottles, also known as pet nursers. When bottle fed, kittens will nurse until they are full and then reject the bottle.
Be sure the opening in the nipple restricts the outflow of fluid to one drop at a time in order to avoid a flow rate that is too rapid for the kitten. When the flow rate is too rapid, it can lead to aspiration, pneumonia, and/or death.
When feeding, hold the kitten in a horizontal, head-neutral position. If the kitten is too weak to suckle, your veterinarian can show you alternative feeding methods and assist in tube feeding if needed.
TIP: Handling kittens during feeding contributes to critical socialization.
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What Are Some Special Handling Techniques To Keep Them Healthy And Safe
In the first four weeks of their life, minimize the number of people who handle the kitten. During that time, they have not yet built up their immune systems, and they are prone to illnesses and infections. Be sure to wash your hands before and after each time you handle them.
Avoid allowing the kitten to interact with other animals even other cats. You never know how another animal will treat a small kitten, and neonatal cats are fragile in this stage of life.
If you have more than one kitten from the same litter, you can definitely keep them in the same box. They can help keep each other warm. If they are from different litters, you can still keep them in the same box, unless they are radically different ages or sizes. Also, dont mix sick and healthy kittens.
What Do Kittens Eat Besides Milk
Once your kitten is about 3.5 to 4 weeks old, you can start weaning them off of the bottle. This is a gradual process that takes time and practice. The process usually looks something like this:
- Begin by offering your kitten formula on a spoon.
- Later, start offering your kitten formula in a saucer.
- Gradually add canned food to the kitten formula in the saucer.
- Increase the canned food in the saucer, adding less and less kitten formula.
If your kitten doesnât take to the spoon or the saucer right away, you can continue to offer the bottle.
As you progress through the weaning process, monitor your kitten and their stool to ensure that they digest everything well. If your kitten is doing well and isnât experiencing digestive issues , then you can gradually introduce more and more food.
At this stage, itâs also important to offer your kitten a bowl of fresh water to make sure that theyâre staying hydrated.
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What To Feed Kittens
As important as it is to feed kittens the right amount of food, the type of food they eat is even more important. Growing cats need a complete and balanced diet, so you need to know what to feed kittens as well as how often to feed them.
In the beginning, kittens need milk or a milk replacement to get the nutrients they need to survive and grow. Once your kitten is four to six weeks old, you can start feeding them solid foods. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, you should feed your kitten a specially formulated kitten food that contains the calories, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals that growing cats need.
While your cat needs a nutrient-dense diet in the rapid growth and development stages, maintenance becomes an important part of feeding practices as they grow older. Most inactive adult cats can be fed a diet thats lower in fat, which may also require an increase in insoluble fiber. Treats should account for less than 10% of your cats daily caloric intake. Of course, its important to consider activity level when it comes to your cats diet as they age.
How Often Should I Feed My Kitten A Vets Advice
‘How often should I feed my kitten?’ is a common question asked by many new cat owners. Although the answer might seem simple, it can vary depending on your cats age, growth rate, and even breed. Knowing how much and how often to feed a young kitten the best kitten food is key to ensuring they have a healthy start in life. Lets explore normal kitten eating patterns in more detail.
- Which kitten food is best? A vet’s guide to choosing the best diet for your young cat
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