Choosing the Right Kitten Food
Health and Wellbeing
The choices made around what food to feed your kitten will have an effect on the health and well-being of your cat over the course of its life. As this food provides your kitten with building blocks for everything from his coat, internal organs and bones. There are so many foods to choose from and making the right decision for the best nutrition to support the healthy growth and the energy needs can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be here are some other tips to help you pick a quality food to help your kitten start off on the right paw.
Which food should I choose for my kitten?
As a starting point we always recommend that you feed what the breeder or pet shop is feeding your kitten for at least a week as your kitten transitions into its new home.
There are two reasons for this:
Changing the diet of a kitten needs to happen over time as any sudden change in diet can cause an upset tummy.
It's already stressful for a kitten to come into a new home, so adding the stress of changing their food as well as their environment can make the upset tummy even worse.
All kittens are unique, which means, what is the best for one may not be ideal for another.
What to look out for when selecting a kitten food
When you are looking at all the kitten foods on the market it can be hard to determine which product is best suited to your new feline friends needs. When looking at the label on the food packet here are some key things you should look out for. It is important that you choose a food that contains real meat such as chicken as the first ingredient, as cats are obligate carnivore and kittens should get about 30% of their energy from protein, so you need to provide them with diet that contains a quality protein source. Other things you want to look out for is the key nutrient DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that’s present in mother’s milk this nutrient is vital as it supports healthy brain and eye development.
Should I feed my kitten wet or dry food?
A new kitten should be introduced to both wet and dry foods at a young age so they become used to eating different flavours and textures. So it is recommended that you offer your kitten a mix of canned and dry food early on, as this means if in later life they develop medical conditions they will more readily eat wet food often prescribed by vets for diabetes and other common conditions. But when you are feeding a mix of wet and dry kitten food you need to be careful to adjust the recommended feeding portions of each product so as to not overfeed your kitten.
When to switch a cat to adult food
As a rule of thumb your kitten should eat kitten food until they have finishing growing and developing, this is generally at around 12 months of age. Then you will need to transition your cat onto a complete and balanced food for adult cats that is specifically formulated for your pet’s life stage, breed and desired health benefit.
Written by The Pet.co.nz
Written by The Pet.co.nz Team
A team of specialists with backgrounds in animal nursing, animal care, and all things pet related.