So you’ve just brought home a new kitten and you want to do everything you can to make sure it grows into a happy healthy cat. Obviously, nutrition is one of the most important factors for determining your kitten’s future health and as such cat owners should learn how to properly feed their kittens. From mother’s milk to solid foods, this guide will give you information about the basic requirements of kitten nutrition.
During the first 2 or 3 months of your kitten’s life, she should have access to mother’s milk. Indeed, in her first 10 weeks, your kitten will grow considerably. Kittens at birth weigh less than 5 ounces and will gain an ounce of weight every day and within a few weeks will weigh at least a couple pounds. Throughout this period of rapid growth, the mother’s milk provides complete nutrition in addition to antibodies that help kittens fight disease.
At around the 3 week mark, you can start introducing solid foods to your kitten’s diet. Still, at this point the mother’s milk will be the main source of food but you can offer solids as well. Canned foods are the best to introduce first as they are soft and palatable for kittens who have no teeth and fragile stomachs. Gradually over the next several weeks you can introduce more solids as your kitten weans off its mother’s milk.
Finally, once your kitten is fully weaned off its mother’s milk you need to create a balanced diet for your kitten. Your kitten’s new diet should be rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins; it is recommended that you purchase cat food specifically designed for kittens. Also, be wary of inexpensive cat foods that are packed with fillers but may not offer the nutrition your kitten needs. A balanced kitten diet includes:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
Throughout the first several weeks of your kitten’s life you have an important responsibility to provide your kitten with adequate nutrition. With a complete and balanced diet, your kitten will be an active, healthy cat.