How much food do you feed a kitten?
Kitten foods are formulated to cater to your kitten’s higher energy requirements and nutritional needs. During this phase of rapid growth, it’s important to follow the feeding guidelines to ensure they are getting all they need in the right amount for their age and growth phase.
A young kitten has a small stomach, so it is essential to offer small meals frequently to ensure they can meet their high calorie requirements.
It’s also a good idea at this stage to monitor their body weight. Optimal growth is key, not maximal growth.
Aim for a Complete & Balanced diet
‘Complete and Balanced’ is food that provides all the essential daily energy and nutrition requirements your kitten needs. ‘Complementary’ foods are snacks, kitten treats, and indulgences that may be a reward. These foods are not meant to be the main meal for your kitten’s energy and nutrition.
A good rule of thumb to use is to not exceed 10% of your kitten’s energy needs in treats. Any more than this and you may unknowingly be putting your pet at risk of becoming overweight.
Remember, the more kitten treats you give them, the more you need to reduce the amount of their main meal to ensure their total calories remain in check.
Hydration is Key
Water is the most important nutrient for your kitten as water makes up 70% of your kitten’s body. Water is needed for all bodily functions to take place including:
- Body temperature regulation
- Metabolic processes
- Removal of waste products
- Normal digestion, absorption
- Transport of nutrients and soluble vitamins
To boost your kitten’s hydration you can serve them wet kitten food as it contains up to 70% moisture, whereas dry food has only up to 10% water. You should also have fresh drinking water available at all times.
Kitten Food vs Cat Food
Did you know a growing kitten needs approximately twice as many calories than they do as an adult? They also need up to 150% more calcium and phosphorus to support their rapid growth. That’s why life-stage specific nutrition is extremely important.
Failing to give your pet adequate nutrition in the right amounts during the kitten phase can have detrimental impacts later in life, such as:
- growth disorders
- mobility issues
- bone and joint disease
- poor organ health
- generally lower quality of life
- in extreme cases, shorter lifespan.
For cats, the kitten stage is up to about 12 months. Once your kitten has reached 12 months you can transition them to adult food. Make sure you introduce any new foods slowly over the course of a week to avoid any stomach upsets.