When is the Right Time to Change from Kittens to Cat Food?
Has your kitten suddenly grown up lately? It’s amazing how quickly they go from a little energetic ball of fluff to looking like a fully-grown feline. Perhaps you’ve asked yourself, when is the right time to switch from kitten food to cat food, and, can kittens eat adult cat food? This article will answer all your questions about the nutritional needs of your kitten as they grow from little to big cat.
Just like people, your cat’s nutritional needs will change as their body develops. It’s essential that you give your furry friend the right foods during each stage of life for long term good health.
Kitten food from 8 weeks to 6 months of age
At around 8 weeks of age, a kitten is generally weaned from feeding on its mother’s milk. Their digestive systems are ready to take some solid food, but this should be a gradual process. Most kittens will stay with their mother until around the 12-week mark, so they have time to get comfortable eating food.
During the 8 week to 6 month period, a kitten is experiencing rapid growth. Giving the right kitten food is essential. Food that is formulated specially for kittens has the right balance of nutrients. Can kittens eat adult cat food? The answer is no, as they require huge amounts of energy for growth. This is why kitten food is much higher in calories, fat and protein than adult cat food.
Kittens also have smaller mouths, teeth and stomachs than adult cats. They cannot manage large quantities of food, so require multiple small meals. Usually, 3-4 meals a day is common at this age. Determine the total amount of kitten food required in a day and then divide that by the number of meals you will give.
One year old – time to change from kitten food to adult food!
Your little baby furball is all grown up and is celebrating its first birthday. Congratulations! Around 12 months old, a kitten is considered to be a fully grown cat. So now’s the time to transition to an appropriate adult cat food.
You must stop feeding your cat the kitten food as it will provide the wrong nutritional profile for cats over one year old. Most kitten food contains too many calories for cats. Be sure to weigh your cat once more, so you can easily calculate the correct amount of the cat food you choose. For the best health outcomes, it’s so important not to overfeed or underfeed your cat. You can read more about the dangers of overfeeding and overweight cats here.
When transitioning to a new cat food, there are some things to watch out for. Check out our tips on changing cat food to make it a smooth and comfortable experience.
Bones for kittens
From the time your kitten is starting to get adult teeth (usually around 4-6 months) you can begin to introduce some raw meaty bones. Doing this helps alleviate symptoms of teething. Always supervise a kitten with a bone to be sure they don’t choke. Opt for bones that are bigger than their mouth and that have lots of meat on them.
What about water and wet cat food?
Make sure that you always provide your kitten or cat with access to fresh, clean water. Water should be changed every day.
People often ask us, can my kitten eat wet cat food? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, because cats have a high need for moisture (and they don’t always love drinking water), many cat owners prefer wet food for cats. When you feed a cat food that contains moisture, such as a fresh meat, it will deliver valuable hydration to your kitty.
Give your kitten the best chance of growing into a healthy adult cat by looking after their nutrition right through the life stages. For more information on feeding, check out our cat feeding guide.
|VIEW OUR CAT FEEDING GUIDE
Just like people, your cat’s nutritional needs will change as their body develops.
It’s essential that you give your furry friend the right foods during each stage of life for long term good health.