Food For Kitten

Food For Kitten
Kittens require a diet higher in protein and fat than adult cats do. From weaning until about one year of age they should be fed a diet specifically formulated for kittens. Kittens can be touched or held when a lot of fur is visible and kitten(s) are walking.

Orphaned kittens who are too young to eat solid food should be fed a commercial cat milk replacement formula every two to four hours. Kittens should not be fed cow's milk because it does not provide all of the necessary nutrients and may cause diarrhea. Orphaned kittens who are too young to urinate and defecate at will should be stimulated to do so by rubbing with a damp washcloth after each meal.

If a kitten develops diarrhea, the best treatment is removal of food for 12 hours (provide access to water only). Slowly reintroduce small amounts of bland food such as boiled chicken and rice. Slowly reintroduce its usual food, avoiding 'strong' varieties, such as beef and liver-based food. It may also need to be dewormed, as parasitic infestation may be to blame.

Feed three times a day with high-protein dry pelleted kitten food available for "snacking". A powdered mother's milk substitute mixed with water has been fed as liquid.

Keep clean, fresh water available to your kitten at all times. The bowl should be low enough for the kitten to able to drink from it easily. Some kittens enjoy playing in the water and even tipping over the bowl, so you may need a heavy bowl. Place the bowl when it won't get dirtied by litter etc.

No regular cow's milk should be given to kittens (or cats) since it contains far too much lactose and is harmful to them. These specially formulated feeds are available from veterinary practices and good pet stores.

Household scraps are no substitute for balanced cat diets. Your kitten/cat may enjoy raw chicken or turkey (mince or pieces) as it gets older but only as an occasional treat. Reliance on such luxuries could be seriously damaging to your bank balance and not much good as a balanced diet.

Young kittens should stick mainly to one food type plus milk substitute until they have settled down. If you vary the diet too much their tummies have difficulty coping and diarrhoea will result.

If your kitten has persistent diarrhoea for two or more days, a vet visit is necessary. After a few weeks, the kitten can progress to weaker solutions of milk substitute and then to water alone. At six months of age, "big boys" foods are fine - no need to have the slight extra cost of high protein kitten diets.

Do not give your kitten cow's milk - it can make them sick and give them diarrhea. You can obtain mother's milk replacer for young kittens at many of the pet stores in the area. When the kittens are 8 weeks or older, they no longer need the milk but may enjoy it anyway. Milk that has been specially processed for cats to consume safely is available from many local groceries.

You can offer your kitten either dry food, canned food, or both. Be sure to choose food which is designed for kittens. They require a diet which is especially rich in protein, calcium, and other nutrients. Cat food that is for adults is not sufficient. Your young cat will need the enhanced kitten food until he or she is a year old. Young kittens need to eat every few hours, because their tummies are so small. Feed them canned food several times a day but also have a bowl of dry food available for them to munch on whenever they wish.

Table scraps and some pet foods may also contain excesses of nutrients that could harm your pet over time.

Tips for feeding kittens:

1. Kittens are best fed mom's milk; it's 100-percent perfect for their needs. However, if the mother is ill or doesn't produce enough milk, or if the kittens are found as orphans, it is necessary to feed them a commercial milk replacer.

2. Generally, orphaned or hand-fed kittens can be offered moistened kitten food at about three weeks of age. Use a commercial milk replacer to moisten the food, and gradually reduce the amount of milk replacer you use, until the kittens are eating dry kitten food at about five or six weeks of age.

3. At first, curious kittens will probably want to play with their food rather than eat it, but the youngsters will soon catch on as they watch mom eat. By the time kittens are five to six weeks old, they should be nibbling on dry food consistently. This process of gradually introducing kitten food is important in training the cats to eat when they are weaned.

4. After weaning, kittens can be fed free-choice-dry or nutrient-dense kitten-formula canned food. Make sure fresh water is available at all times.

5. Most queens will suckle their kittens until about eight weeks of age. By this time, 80- to 90-percent of the kitten's total nutrient intake should be from kitten food. Kittens need large amounts of energy-about two to three times that of an adult cat. Kittens also need about 30 percent of their total energy from protein. Make sure the food you offer is specifically formulated for kittens; your pet will need to eat kitten-formula food until she reaches maturity, at about one year.