Feeding kittens is not an easy task, as they tend to be hungry for most part of the day but that does not mean they should be fed that often.
Here are 10 tips for feeding kittens that you must follow if you want your pet to grow up with good health from the experts of Dogfather:
- What is the schedule for feeding your kitten?
Kittens tend to be hungrier than their older counterparts. But without a fixed schedule, your kitten will become overweight and gradually unhealthy.
Less than 4 WEEKS: 8 cc of formula per ounce of body weight, every 4 hours
5 WEEKS: 13–16 cc of formula every 8 hours (give her access to gruel)
2-3 MONTHS: 1/4 can wet kitten food 4 times a day
4-6 MONTHS: 1/4 can wet kitten food 3 times a day
7-12 MONTHS: 1/4 can wet adult cat food 2 times a day
- The ideal age at which you should adopt a kitten is 8 weeks.
Before 8 weeks, the kitten needs to feed from its mother to develop a naturally healthy immune system. Feeding kittens younger than 8 weeks needs additional measures. You should feed her kitten formula every 4 hours. The quantity must be 8cc per ounce of body weight.
- Is your kitten LESS than 8 weeks old? Know the proper ways of feeding kittens of such vulnerable age.
- Make sure the kitten is on her stomach while feeding, same way as she would be if she was feeding from her mother.
- Ensure that the kitten is warm while feeding.
- The bottle must be at a 45-degree angle.
- Allow the kitten to suckle at her own pace.
- Gently stroke her back to encourage her if she refuses to suckle.
- Once your kitten is 4 weeks old, you can also introduce her to gruel.
Gruel is made by mixing kitten formula and wet food. You can leave this gruel (only one half-can) out in a dish for your kitten to come back to whenever she wants. The gruel must be accompanied with formula as usual.
- When can you introduce your kitten to solid food?
5 years is the stage at which you can replace your gruel in your kitten’s diet with solid food. The feeding schedule remains the same, which is at every 4-hour interval. Dry food must be kept to a minimum. The next tip will tell you why.
- Is your cat addicted to dry food?
Addiction to dry food is the worst thing to happen to any kitten. Kibble can damage kidney function in your pet by causing dehydration. The way to transition from dry food to a raw diet is necessary, especially if your cat turns up her nose at raw food. Start with lessening the number of meals per day. Leave out the meal two times a day. In the initial stage, do not add the raw food all at once. Make the transition slow, since your kitten needs time to adjust to the new scent. You can also use canned food to help your kitten with the transition.
- What can you NOT feed your cat?
Adult cat food, dog food, or people food- these can upset your kitten’s stomach. These foods provide different nutrients which are specific to the species they are made for.
If you are wondering, ‘Can my kitten eat normal cat food?’ the answer is NO. We do not feed human babies adult food. Similarly, kittens have a specific demand for nutrients which are unavailable in normal cat food.
- Your kittens must have access to water throughout the day.
It can be either tap or filtered water, but the water has to be room temperature. When the kitten was younger, the gruel gave her all the hydration she needed. But as she starts feeding on solid food, her water intake needs to be increased.
- Be attentive of signs of illness.
Healthy kittens love to eat, so if your cat is unresponsive to food, call your vet immediately. The primary years of a kitten’s life can be difficult for her fragile immune system, so illness is easily possible. Do not ignore the sign if she stops feeding.
- Do not keep the food dish out for more than 3 hours.
Kittens are sensitive about the smell of their meals, and they will most likely reject the food if it has been out for over 3 hours. Switch the food bowl as often as your kitten requires.