Towards the end of week five, you should be offering the kitten more food from a saucer than it is consuming from nursing. Instead, offer the new food and old foods in separate bowls. Feed half of your kitten’s canned food allotment for the day (refrigerate the remaining portion). By making sure a kitten is on a proper feeding schedule, you'll be able to monitor your kitten's growth and ensure they are receiving appropriate nutrition. Bottle feed the newborn kitten with about 2-6 ml of formula every 2-3 hours. When the orphaned kittens are three to four weeks old, begin to offer milk replacer in a shallow bowl, then introduce a moist, easily chewable diet. Just like human babies, kittens do a lot of growing in the first year of their lives. Use supplements only if your veterinarian recommends them. Weigh kittens at the same time daily, not only to ensure adequate weight gain but also to calculate the amount they should be eating with each feeding. It also helps underweight or slow-growing kittens. For example, kittens should get about 30% of their energy from protein. Feeding Kittens at 4 To 6 Weeks Old. When it comes to cuteness, few critters can compare to kittens. Also look for a food that has been substantiated by a food trial. Even better, look for this: “Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens based on AAFCO feeding trials.” “Complete and balanced nutrition” means your kitten will require no mineral or vitamin supplementation. By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the WebMD, Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Kitten Care -- From Adoption to Kitty-Proofing Your Home, Weaning a Kitten from Mother’s Milk to Solid Food. But kittens have a higher requirement for protein, amino acids, and minerals, as well as for some vitamins. If they’re only eating canned food, they should be fed four times daily. Your kitty may hide at first, but it will explore when no one is watching, … Most kittens do just fine without human intervention, but if a kitten needs to be bottle-fed, either because the mother cat is absent, ill, or rejects the kitten, you'll want to weigh the kitten regularly to make sure its weight reflects a healthy and normal growth rate of a kitten. By six weeks of age, a kitten should be eating the gruel four times a day and nursing less. For the first several weeks of life, a newborn kitten will depend entirely on its mother to provide it with food. If your cat is on a special diet advised by your vet, for weight loss or another medical condition, treats may be a no-no. Once a kitten has surpassed eight weeks of age, they should be fed twice a day with normal kitten food. Get your kitten started off on the right paw. Since cats, in general, are creatures of habit, it’s important to establish some structure around feeding time for your kitten. By 5-6 weeks of age, a gruel is no longer necessary because a kitten’s … Gradually reduce the formula and let them eat the food dry. 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. Kitten Development from Newborn to One Week, Kitten Development in the First Six Weeks of Life, The 6 Best Wet Foods for Your Kitten in 2021. How do kittens’ nutritional needs differ from those of adult cats? The gruel should become less and less watery and dry kitten food should be introduced, along with a bowl of water. Sample this Feeding Schedule for your Kitten. And don’t forget to provide plenty of fresh water -- it’s a key to keeping cats of all ages healthy. It should at least contain the following: “Meets the nutritional requirements of kittens established by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).” AAFCO is a group of state and federal officials who regulate pet food. At about 3-4 weeks of age, kittens can start weaning, or transitioning to solid food. Check the pet food aisle at your local supermarket, and you'll find dozens of varieties of food to entice your cat. For specially formulated cat treats, read the feeding guide on the packet for guidance on how to serve and how often. Birth to four weeks: Kittens can eat as often as they like. At the end of week six, decrease meal times to only three times a day. at birth but will gain weight rapidly from nursing. Set the food bowls on a surface that's easily cleaned, like a tiled floor or mat. The food should graduate from being a liquid to eventually more of a gruel by using less and less water with canned kitten food over the course of a couple of weeks. Through evolution, cats have become dependent on the specific forms of nutrients found only in animal tissue. How to Prepare Your Kitten for Its First Vet Visit, Postnatal Care of a Mother Cat and Her Newborn Kittens. (Darling, Denby, Corduroy, and … Bowl of water with 1 to 2 cups of fresh water, shallow enough for your kitten to access easily. “Preventing obesity is preferable to addressing it once it’s already occurred.”. Of course, it’s not the best option for overweight or obese kittens. The rest of the time will be spent sleeping. But this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to turn your leftover table scraps into treats for your kitten. If you have two cats, keep their bowls a reasonable distance apart to avoid confrontation or bullying. Ask your vet what you can and can’t feed to be on the safe side. If you are feeding your kitten both dry and canned foods, then twice a day canned feedings are sufficient. Feeding a kitten isn’t as easy as grabbing a bag of cat chow at the nearest convenience store. “Especially control intake around the time of spaying and neutering, which increases the risk for obesity,” Larsen says. and it will begin to crawl around shortly after its eyes open. Feed your kitten in a quiet area, away from the hustle and bustle of your home. Feedings will occur less frequently and a bowl of formula or other liquid kitten food should be made available for a kitten to start drinking from. Feeding your cat a proper diet is one of the most important aspects to help keep them at optimal health. Create a Safe Atmosphere. Although some cat foods are labeled as appropriate for kittens and cats of all life stages, these aren’t appropriate for your kitten unless feeding tests support the label claim. Feeding guidelines, which list the daily-recommended portion, are included on all IAMS™ packages. According to the Association of American Feeding Control Officials (AAFCO), there is no right or wrong in terms of feeding only dry food or cat food. Without some canned food, they won’t get enough nutrition to grow properly. Bottle feeding kittens — the do’s Feed the kitten with his belly toward the ground. The Best Dry Foods For Kittens. Feeding not only satisfies a cat’s abundant energy needs, but also provides her with the right nutrients she needs to … For example, all-meat homemade diets can be low in calcium, leading to a mineral imbalance that causes hyperparathyroidism, a disease more common in rapidly growing kittens. The feeding location will ideally be quiet and out of the way of foot traffic. For these reasons, most experts recommend you feed your kitten specially formulated kitten food until age 1. In fact, remember that too much of a “good thing” can be bad for your kitten, causing severe medical problems. 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