Kittens grow fast and proper nutrition is vital to ensure your furry friend grows up to be a strong, healthy cat. Kittens require evolving diets as they grow from newborns to playful and independent adolescents. Here’s what you should be feeding your kitten from birth to adulthood.
Birth to four weeks The best food for a newborn kitten is its mother’s milk. Colostrum is essential during the first two days of life because it contains nutrients and vital antibodies to help your kitten grow and fight off infectious diseases. Additionally, you can ensure your kitten is getting the proper nutrition by weighing it. Newborn kittens should gain between 15 to 20 grams of weight every day. Bottle feeding If colostrum isn’t available, you must feed your kitten by hand. You can use a bottle, eye dropper or syringe. Never give kittens cow milk, goat milk or human or dog formula. Look for a cat milk replacement that’s specially formulated for kittens. Mix the powdered milk replacement with warm water before feeding. Place premixed formula in a cup of warm water. Newborn kittens must be fed every two to three hours for the first few days. After that, every four hours should suffice. Consult a veterinarian if you’re having trouble. Four to six weeks Kittens wean from liquids to solid food after three or four weeks. At first, combine a high-quality canned kitten food with warm water while continuing to bottle-feed every eight hours or so. Always have a small bowl of fresh water available. After the kitten is five to six weeks old, it can start eating undiluted canned kitten food as its teeth have fully erupted. Six to 10 weeks Kittens are usually fully weaned at six to eight weeks of age. Canned kitten food is best for kittens at this age. If you choose dry food, soak it with warm water before feeding. If possible, kittens should remain with their mother and siblings for at least eight weeks. Eight weeks is also the best time to take your kitten to a veterinarian for the first time to ensure it’s healthy. 10 weeks to four to six months Make wet kitten food and water available all the time until the kitten is between four and six months old. After that, you can begin a regular feeding schedule, including three meals a day, then every 12 hours. You can switch from kitten to adult cat food after 10 months. Cat clinic in Toronto At Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital, we answer all your pet nutrition questions. Many health issues come from an unsuitable diet, if you are thinking about changing your cat’s diet, contact our clinic in Toronto to schedule a consultation today.