Are you planning or about to raise a kitten? Certain situations will lead you to bear the responsibility of a life-saving adventure. Whether you have bought, adopted or rescued orphaned kittens, congratulations! Fostering kittens is a rewarding decision of saving lives, and this post will help you in taking the first steps of being a cat parent. Then, you may want to learn further on tending your kitten’s needs even whilst being at work.
Generally, kittens are often described as baby carnivores but with specialised needs. Note that their capability to digest protein is low but more especially the plant-based protein. As such, meat diet without salt is a preferable choice. They remain dependent from their mother’s milk until it reaches the age of 8 to 12 weeks. In the wild, cats at around 8 weeks old may start foraging their own food whilst decreasing her intake of her mother’s milk.
Learn the kitten’s initial dietary intake.
Talk to the breeder from where you got your kitten. Find out what they have been feeding the kittens so far. You should follow the same type of food for at least the first few weeks before gradually shifting to a different brand. It is important to avoid sudden changes when introducing them to new things as cats are generally known as habitual creatures.
Consider all your options on kitten feeding.
Pet stores will show a wide variety of options on cat feeding even for the younger ones. You have the option to choose on whether to feed it with wet, dry or a combination of both types of cat food. The next thing to consider is the brand and its quality. You may seek advice from your veterinarian for such important decisions. Cat parents may also want to take a leaf out of the world’s two oldest cats’ book to enjoy longer companionship with their pets.
Once you have decided on the type of feeding, you must do it gradually. It is important to note that the gradual transition must be done within at least a couple of weeks. Be sure to keep an eye for any unusual reactions from the said shift.
Kitten feeding chart by age
The chart below shows the kitten feeding schedule from newborn until 8 weeks and more.
|8 and more|
Tips when introducing gruel feeding:
- Place gruel in a dish with your kittens near the dish. If they cannot recognise the food, encourage them by using a tongue depressor or spoon into her mouth.
- After the bite, gradually lead them towards the dish of the gruel.
- Follow bottle feeding until the weaning process for at least three times a day.
Watch out for allergens.
There are some cats that are prone to food allergies and sensitivities. Cats with allergy may manifest with the following food allergy signs and symptoms:
- Itchy back or tail
- Ear infections and itchy ears
- Itchy eyes
- Dry, itchy skin accompanied with extreme scratching of the body
- Paw chewing
- Sneezing and coughing
- Snoring due to an inflamed throat
Monitor their weight.
It is best to monitor your feline’s weight to ensure that they are growing and developing as they should with an appropriate diet. Their size and weight will normally increase in a gradual manner until they reach their mature size.
Consider all your options (again) when transitioning to adult food.
As soon as your furry companion reaches the age of one, you will have to switch to adult food. The selection process will require you to look at the bigger picture as your cat’s optimal health depends on her daily nutrition. As a general rule, introduce changes gradually.