60% of America’s pet cats are overweight or obese, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Forum. However, the basis of a good diet for a cat starts when they are a kitten. Offer too much food or the wrong food and serious health issues, such as obesity, can occur. But by educating yourself on all there is to know about felines, you’ll learn that a kitten has precise dietary requirements which must be met.
Only offer kitten food
Kittens can be weaned from four weeks of age. If you’re adopting a kitten, then he or she should be fully weaned by the time you bring him or her home. It’s essential that kittens are fed specially formulated kitten food only as it is more nutrient dense than standard cat food. Therefore, if you’ve got an adult cat in your household too, you’ll need to feed them two separate food types. There is a list of the best kitten food options on the market to consider feeding to your little furry friend. During weaning, kittens are typically fed wet food. But it’s wise to introduce kibble, too, so that your new pet gets used to a variety of meals.
Foods to avoid
In addition to avoiding adult cat food, you should also minimize the amount of fresh meat and fish that your kitten consumes. A diet of plain meat can lead to nutritional imbalances. Therefore, it’s best to feed alongside a nutritionally complete kitten food. Meanwhile, a diet high in fish, which naturally contains high levels of fatty acids, can cause a condition called steatitis. This condition is most commonly diagnosed in cats aged between four months and seven years of age, so ensure you offer the best diet possible to your kitten to prevent this condition from presenting.
Consider your cats breed
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) currently recognizes 44 different breeds of domestic cat. Different breeds of kitten require different diets in order to keep them in optimum health. Long-haired breeds of kittens, such as Ragdolls and Maine Coons, will need a diet high in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids as this helps to keep their fur glossy and in good condition. Whereas, Persian kittens and cats are known for their sensitive stomachs. Therefore, it’s best to feed a diet which contains highly digestible proteins and prebiotics.
Kittens require a unique and well-managed diet. To keep your kitten healthy and to aid his or her growth, you should only offer high-quality kitten food, steer clear of too much fresh meat and fish, and always consider your kitten’s breed.