Nutrition is very important for cats of all ages but particularly for kittens and geriatric cats.
Kittens have different nutritional requirements to cats of other ages as they need just the right combination of nutrients to allow them to grow and develop normally. Providing kittens with quality nutrition is vital to support normal bone and joint development and to reduce bone and joint problems in future. There are so many kitten and cat foods on the market these days and so many different groups with strong opinions on the internet, that it can be really overwhelming. As vets we recommend that a premium brand kitten food such as Hills’ Vet Essentials Kitten or Iams Kitten is feed for the first 12-18 months of life. A complete and balanced kitten biscuit is all that your kitten needs however some people like to supplement this with small amounts of quality canned kitten food for extra variety.
- Buy the best kitten biscuits (also known as kibble) you can afford, as kitten food is a real investment in your pet’s future health. A good quality brand of kitten biscuit and free access to water is all your kitten needs.
- Cats and kittens cannot survive on a vegetarian/vegan diet or a diet designed for dogs, as they have specific nutrient requirements
- Premium kitten foods contain no fillers (ingredients that bulk up the volume of the food but are not digested) so the volume of faeces your kitten will produce on a premium food is significantly less - this can assist in toilet training.
- Split your kitten’s daily food requirement over 2-3 meals. Younger kittens may find it easier to have 4 small meals over the day.
- Because premium kitten foods contain no fillers the total volume of food your kitten will need in a day is smaller. This is helpful when your kitten is young, as it will have a very small stomach.
- Do not feed too many treats or supplemental foods. Well balanced kitten foods have strictly regulated amounts and ratios of some nutrients (for example calcium and phosphorus) and adding supplemental food to the diet will unbalance the diet.
- Never encourage your kitten to exercise directly after a meal, as this can lead to vomiting or indigestion.