What To Feed Your New Kitten

French bulldog and kitten posing together on white backgroundAre you having trouble deciding on how and what to feed your kitten?  Firstly keep in mind that kittens use a large amount of energy.  Did you know that they require almost 30 times the amount of protein vs an adult cat?  Providing food that is formulated specifically for kittens, cats up to one year of age is important. In addition it is imperative that you have plenty of fresh water around.  Nutritional formulas for adult cats should not be fed to growing kittens.

When you read the labels/choose the food to give your growing kitten here are a few things to keep in mind:

The recommended protein range for healthy kitten growth is 35 – 50% on a dry matter (DM) basis with at least 9% dry matter from an animal source.   Essential fatty acids is a concentrated source of energy and it carries fat-soluble vitamins. However too much energy intake is risky and can lead to obesity and developmental orthopedic disease. For this reason, the fat content for kittens should be rationed between 18 – 35% on a dry matter basis.  The calcium content should contain 0.8 – 1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis.

Are you thinking about giving your pet a raw diet?  Please don’t.  It is not recommended.  Feeding your cat under-cooked or raw food carries high risk for salmonella for both you and your kitten.

Now that you know what to feed your kitten, here is a way to feed your cat that enables the kitten to have to work at getting their food, giving them more exercise and keeping them lean as they age.  In the wild cats previously had to hunt for their food.  By utilizing a  a food puzzle or the like when feeding your kitten it will make eating fun and a challenge..  This will help as some cats do become couch potatoes and are at risk of becoming overweight or even obese.  Having them work for their food will help them maintain a healthy weight.  Another option is to try hiding small quantities of food in different locations and letting your kitten hunt for the food. Again, your kitten will get exercise and will be entertained at the same time.

Please do not feed supermarket food to your cat, rather purchase a good quality food that will keep them healthy and happy.