So, there is a tiny lump of happiness in your house with huge eyes and stomach no more than a thimble. Probably a fluffy miracle has already made you realize that now it is the principal member of the family, continually meowing and asking to eat. But how to feed kittens at home and how to choose a balanced diet?
- The importance of good nutrition
- Basic feeding rules
- Bottle Kitten Feeding
- Features of rationing by month
- Best food for kittens
- Dry food or natural food: what is best for your pet?
The importance of good nutrition
If you have a small pet, you need to know how to feed your kitten correctly and efficiently to grow a healthy and happy animal.
Lack of balanced nutrition affects the development and growth of crumb, leading to physical deficiencies, internal problems, and even death.
If the food is illiterate, it may lead to an allergic reaction of the young body, which may also affect the animal’s growth.
In turn, we should not forget about the mode of feeding your baby, which is different from adult cats’ diet.
Did you know? Not all cats can boast of the ability to hunt rodents. But those who eat mice regularly replenish their bodies with a large number of trace elements, such as sulfur, which contributes to the health and beauty of little hunters’ hair.
Basic feeding rules
Gradually start feeding your baby is recommended 3-4 weeks after birth. The first thing to do is figure out how often, how much, and how much to feed the kittens.
How often should I feed a kitten?
At the moment, the little cat reaches four weeks. In addition to mother’s milk, he is given additional feeding from 4 to 7 times a day. But if the kitten is not breastfed, then it is necessary to feed him according to the schedule:
- At the age of up to 2 weeks – 10 meals per day, together with night feeding.
- in 1 month – 8 meals per day, together with night feeding
- 1-2 months – 7 meals a day (night feeding is excluded)
- 2-3 months – meals 6 times a day
- 4-5 months – feeding 5 times a day
- 5-9 months – 4 times/day
- 9-12 months – up to 3 times a day
- kittens from 1 year old are fed twice a day (after about 12 hours)
What to feed?
Before you feed your kitten at 1-2 months, which is switched to home feeding or later, when he has already entirely changed to food, you must make sure that food is at room temperature (too hot or, conversely, cold food should not be given to them).
The consistency of cat food should be mushy without hard pieces.
How to feed kittens
The diet may include:
- non-fat meat – raw, boiled, scalded or frozen should be between 60 and 80% of the daily diet
- liver – must be present in the menu once every 2 weeks
- porridge – as an additive to meat, mixed in a ratio of 1:2
- egg yolk – in raw form, it is recommended to give kitten once in 7 days. Quail eggs are more preferable in terms of the composition of trace elements. Also, they can be given as a whole, without separating them from the protein.
- Non-fat sour milk products – sour cream, kefir, yogurt or cottage cheese
- fresh or boiled vegetables
- vaseline oil
- beer yeast
Did you know? Cats can’t stand the smell of citrus fruits and are indifferent to the taste of sweets. Also, do not feed kittens food for dogs, where the protein level is much higher.
How much to feed?
In different periods a kitten should receive a food volume corresponding to its weight:
- 1 week of life – 30 ml/100 g animal weight
- 2 weeks of life – 38 ml/100 g weight
- 3 weeks – 48 ml/100 g weight
- from 4 weeks – 48-53 ml/100 g weight
Thus, the daily norm of young cats should be:
- 1.5 months of life -120 g food per day
- 2 months – up to 180 g of food per day
- 3-6 months, active growth period – 180-240 g (amount of meat product should be at least 40 g)
- 6-9 months – 180 g of food per day
- 10-12 months – 150-200 g food
Bottle Kitten Feeding
It happens that kittens are left without breast milk too early. In such cases, in addition to providing a warm cozy incubator place, you need to know how to feed a kitten up to 1 month which was left without a mother.
The first and most important thing is to replace the mother’s milk:
- it would be ideal for the baby to find a nursing cat.
- cat milk substitute, purchased at any pet store
- Diluted baby dry mixes
- goat milk
Important: Vets categorically do not recommend giving kittens whole cow’s milk, which is not absorbed by the young body and can lead to death.
Necessary feeding requirements:
- the mixture must be heated to a temperature of 36°C (96°F)
- feeding dishes must be sterile
*feeding is more convenient with a pipette or syringe. A little later, when the pet is a little older, you can use a bottle with a silicone nipple for newborns.
- the baby should be in a natural position with his tummy down, with his hind legs pressed under him
- the head should not be thrown back during the feeding process. To do this, the container with the mixture should be kept at an angle
- there is no need to apply pressure when feeding on the food bottle – this may affect the sucking reflex, and fluid may enter the respiratory tract.
- Improve intestinal motor will be facilitated by gentle stroking the tummy after feeding
- it is possible to store food no more than 24 hours in the fridge
- feed the kitten for at least five minutes, until she shows signs of saturation, such as dull sucking, calm, and falling asleep
- if the fluffer refuses to eat the dose necessary for his age, you do not need to force him. You can just increase the amount of feeding
Features of rationing by month
As the little cat grows, he needs to gradually introduce a lumpy solid food into his diet, which they begin to show interest in after a month.
For two months, when they have a teething, it will be useful to give meat and vegetables. During the rapid growth and formation of bone tissue and gastrointestinal tract, kittens should be given food rich in vitamins and proteins.
All new foods must gradually be introduced into the kitten’s diet, first in small portions, bringing it to one week’s required level. It is essential to monitor the reaction of the body of the kitten and his behavior.
During this period, your little friend begins to actively gain weight, so you need to add products to the diet to increase muscle mass.
The kitten’s jaw, formed by this age, can manage meat sliced into slices.
As for fermented milk products rich in lacto- and bifidobacteria, as well as calcium, you can include in the yogurt menu.
The daily amount of feeding during this period is markedly reduced. Growth activity slightly stops, but the pet clearly formed taste preferences.
The main thing is not to spoil your pet, who persistently asks for sausage from the table. It is better to treat him from time to time with sea fish of non-fat varieties.
Best food for kittens
Properly selected products will be a guarantee of a kitten’s health and good mood.
Several products are acceptable and contraindicated for feeding small pets.
Healthy food for kitten
The products that should be present in the healthy kitten menu are listed in the table:
|Product||Frequency of use|
|Veal in raw or frozen form||Once a day|
|Boiled chicken without bones||Several times a week|
|Beef or chicken by-products – liver, kidneys, heart, lungs in raw or boiled form||Several times a week. Liver no more than once a week|
|Sea nonfat fish without bones in boiled form. Raw fish can cause worms||After 10 months, no more than once a week|
|Boiled or raw egg yolk in pure form or in impurities with other products||Up to 2 times a week|
|Milk (not cow milk) up to 3 months is mandatory||Every day. If you observe dysbacteriosis, change to fermented milk products|
|Liquid dairy porridge up to 3 months – oatmeal, semolina, rice, without adding sugar||Daily|
|Non-fat sour milk products (sour cream, buttermilk, cream or pure yogurt) and hard cheese||Every day. Once a week you can choose cheese|
|Nonfat cottage cheese can be mixed with yolk or sour cream||Several times a week|
|Grains (rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, wheat grits) with boiled meat in proportion 1:2||Several times a week|
|Vegetable mashed potatoes from raw or boiled products (cauliflower, carrot, asparagus beans) with boiled meat in proportion 1:2||Several times a week|
|Herbs (spinach, salad leaves) can be crushed and mixed with the main food. Germinated grains and grass of wheat or oats||Several times a week. If the grass grows in a place that is accessible to the kitten, the kitten will take control of its consumption|
|Beer yeast (available at pharmacy)||Several times a week|
|Vegetable oil in a few drops can be added to food||Every second day|
Not recommended food for kitten
Some products are categorically prohibited by veterinarians for eating kittens:
|Product||What is dangerous|
|Raw poultry meat, pork and lamb||The product may be contaminated with worms or other infectious diseases. In addition, pork and mutton, extremely fat, and a small body can not cope with their digesting|
|Fish and chicken bones||The sharp parts can damage the kitten’s internal organs|
|Sugar and sugar-containing products (cakes, brownies, chocolate, candy, etc.)||Weakens the immune system, leading to metabolic problems, a sign of which may be a dull fur|
|Salt and spices||Such products accumulate in the body of kittens, causing problems with the liver, kidneys and stomach|
|Human sausages or canned food. Fried, spicy, smoked dishes||Violate animal metabolism, leading to chronic diseases of the digestive system|
|Potatoes, peas, soya and beans (except asparagus)||Not absorbed by the cat’s body, provoke flatulence and stomach disorders|
|Human vitamins and medicines||Causes severe intoxication and kidney problems|
This is especially true for genetically bred cats such as the Bombay Cat.
Dry food or natural food: what is best for your pet?
Natural foods contain many vitamins and micronutrients that are beneficial for cats, but such feeding involves certain hassle, time, financial costs, accurate menu balance, and the need for constant fresh food.
Unsafe food, which has been in the bowl for over half an hour, begins to spoil and can lead to intestinal disorders.
In allergic reactions, it is necessary to exclude the dangerous product from the baby’s diet. Dry foods are available on the market in huge quantities and solve many cat breeders’ problems regarding their feeding.
However, you should always consider the fact that high-quality, perfectly balanced food will not cost cheap.
In inexpensive “lunches” usually contain a considerable amount of salts, which are harmful to the animal’s health.
Choosing dry food, be sure to pay attention to their classification. Premium class food can be purchased only in pet stores. They are packed in small packages and large ones, 10 or 15 kg each.
It is essential to determine the difference between premium and economy class feeds due to the price difference. Cheap meals usually include poor-quality, poorly digestible protein, bones, feathers, and addictive attractions.
Professional dry elite feeds include: Nutro Choice, Royal Canin, Yams, Purina Pro Plan, Innova, Chicken Soup, Hill’s
Kittens who eat dry food must be provided with a sufficient amount of clean and freshwater.
The introduction of new bait should be gradual. It is necessary to take into account the fact that the animal’s food may not like it.
Given that pets are not as active as street pets, they are often subject to castration and sterilization, such pets must be supplemented with vitamins and nutrients.
And how the owners will solve this issue, with the help of natural products or dry food, is each breeder’s choice.
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