We all as cat parents want the best for our kitten’s and grown-up cats for their overall well-being. Learning how to properly feed a kitten and training her to be around both humans and other household pets can seem daunting at first. With time and effort, it can become a part of your daily habit easily.
Balanced nutrition is essential for raising a healthy future adult cat, so don’t skimp on your kitty’s food.
Being a pet parent can be difficult, but it can also be extremely rewarding. If you have a pet, especially a cat, you will appreciate the love and comfort they provide, even if they are only sitting on your lap. However, in order for them to survive and be healthy, you must supply them with the proper diet, which changes depending on whether they are kittens or adult cats.
Kittens are like infant children that have their own basic requirements to sustain life and for overall good health. Kitten’s nutrition requirements are different from that of an adult cat, and therefore you should avoid giving your kittens eat adult cat food as much as possible.
Kitten food is designed keeping in mind the requirements of your growing kitten, so a kitten diet is necessary to meet those requirements. However, if the food label indicates it’s created “for all life stages,” it’s fine to feed to both kittens and adult cats.
Why Do Kittens Require a Special Diet?
It is not proper to feed a kitten any form of food until she is ready to start weaning. When kittens are around a month old, they’re normally ready to be weaned, though it’s usually up to the mama cat to decide. All a newborn kitten needs are milk from the mother to keep healthy and become strong. Optionally, a formula from a kitten milk replacer can be used instead of milk in the case of an absent queen.
Adult cat food is not necessary nor beneficial at this time.
When pet owners look at all the food options, they may worry which ones their cat is allowed to eat. Kittens, on the other hand, require a completely different diet than adult cats. Young kittens have a lot of energy and need a diet that can keep up with them jumping and playing all day.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, kittens have two to three times the energy of an adult cat. The protein in their diet accounts for up to 30% of their total energy. Overall, this indicates that kitten food will require much more protein than adult cat food.
However, this isn’t the only variation in the diet. During their first year of life, kittens are prone to growing larger and at a faster rate.
Growing at this rate will necessitate more nutrition, protein, and vitamins than an adult cat requires. Kittens require a different diet than adult cats because of the way they grow and metabolize their food.
Why do the Dietary Requirements of an Adult cat and kitten vary substantially?
The nutritional requirements of a young kitten differ significantly from those of an adult cat. To begin with, a little kitten requires far more energy than an adult. You can see where this is headed if you multiply an adult cat’s energy requirements by three. Kittens require a lot of energy, and a lot of it has to come from protein. Essentially, feeding an adult cat food to a kitten may be hazardous since you may be denying her of the vitamins and minerals she requires developing — and flourish. There is no reason to feed a kitten adult cat food when commercial kitten-formulated food is readily available in supermarkets.
What is the Difference between Cat and Kitten Food?
- The amount of protein and fatty acids in the kitten diet vary from that in adult cat chow.
- In both adult and kitten diets, the amount of water, taurine, and extra minerals are carefully tailored for the life stage of your kitten and delivered in the ideal levels for your pet.
- Fats are an important part of the diet because they provide fatty acids that are needed for energy and growth. They’re required throughout periods of rapid growth to help offer the unlimited energy displayed by your new kitten.
- Calcium, phosphorous, and potassium, among other vitamins and minerals, are essential for the development of healthy bones and teeth. Because of the differences in growth requirements, these levels often differ between adult and kitten diets.
The following is an example of a dry adult and kitten diet comparison:
- Protein: 30% for adults, 34% for kittens
- Adults are 18% fat, kittens are 20% fat.
- Fiber: 5% for adults, 3% for kittens
These numbers may not appear to change significantly, but they have been carefully calculated to ensure that your pet receives all the nutrients he or she requires.
What Else do Kittens Require as they Get Older?
During the early days and weeks of your kitten’s life, mother’s milk is a crucial source of nourishment, but as they grow older, it’s critical that they develop a healthy taste for solid foods and begin to wean. Most kittens will gradually wean themselves off of their mother’s milk (with a little help from mum) and onto kitten food.
The kitten loses interest in their mother’s milk and instead shows an interest in her meals, stealing mouthfuls and preferring meat over milk. Weaning usually occurs around the age of four weeks, thus good quality kitten food should be offered at this time.
What Food is suitable for Kittens?
In most cases, a cat under the age of a year is still considered a kitten. Small kittens, on the other hand, have small teeth, which means they may not be able to chew dry food well, much less adult cat food. Since a result, you should choose canned food that is slightly moist, as this is what their teeth can chew.
You should also keep in mind that if you choose wet food, you may need to increase their feeding frequency. A kitten’s diet should consist of modest servings of wet food three to four times each day.
You can introduce them to dry foods after they are a little older and their teeth have shown to be stronger. You can even reduce the frequency of their feedings to a couple of times each day in this scenario. To avoid your kitty becoming a picky eater, expose them to a range of cat food flavors.
If you’re trying to transition between different meal options, don’t mix old and new flavors together because this will simply confuse their taste senses. Instead of serving them both flavors in the same bowls, the ideal method to do this is to provide them with both flavors in separate bowls. But don’t forget to give them a small taste of the new food first to see if they have any negative reactions. If not, gradually increase the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of old food you plan to transition.
When Are Kittens Allowed to Eat Dry and Wet Food?
While kittens should not eat adult cat food until they are fully mature, they can start eating dry kibble and wet kitten food much earlier.
Kittens can start eating moistened dry kibble or wet food at three to four weeks. Kittens are fully weaned from their mother’s milk and can eat dry or wet kitten food between the ages of six and eight weeks.
Why Should You Switch to Adult Cat Food once the kitten grows up?
Kittens have a fast rate of growth and development, as well as being lively and energetic. Kitten food has additional calories, protein, and fat to sustain active, developing kittens.
It also contains DHA, which aids with brain and visual development, as well as vitamins and minerals for their growing immune systems.
Cats don’t require the same amounts of those nutrients until they reach adulthood. Furthermore, because cats are frequently less energetic, feeding them high-calorie kitten food may result in weight gain.
What a Kitten Should Eat at Each Stage of Development?
- Stages of Rapid Growth: 2 to 6 Months
After weaning, kittens undergo a period of fast growth that lasts until they are 6 months old. They require a high-quality, well-balanced meal that provides them with the nutrition and energy required to grow at such a quick rate. Premium kitten food with animal-based proteins is the finest option. Ensure that the kitten food you choose is highly digestible, nutrient-dense, and intended to fulfil kittens’ special nutritional demands.
Kittens require twice as much energy as adult cats. However, because of their smaller lips, jaws, and stomachs, they can only digest a limited amount of food in a single meal. The whole daily food amount specified on the kitten food packaging should be divided into three or four smaller meals.
- Adolescence: 6–12 Months in Stage
As kittens grow into adulthood, their nutritional needs shift once more. Their development rate begins to slow, their activity levels may decrease, and they may begin to consume fewer, larger meals per day. Kittens begin to resemble adults at this time, but they are still growing and require the particular nutrients provided in kitten food, so continue to feed a high-quality kitten food.
Many cat owners are tempted to switch a kitten’s food during the adolescent growth stage for variety. Cats, on the other hand, do not get bored with a constant diet of high-quality dry food. Offering a kitten, “human food” and table scraps might lead to unwanted behaviors like begging or food theft.
- Stages of Adulthood: 12 Months and Up
Your kitten will achieve full adult size around the age of 12 months. Your young adult cat has outgrown the need for calorie-dense kitten food and is ready to transition to an adult cat diet.
When and How to Switch From Kitten Food To Adult Cat Food
Kittens require particular nutrients in kitten food to maintain their rapid growth and development until they reach the age of 12 months. A kitten is considered an adult cat at the age of one year and can gradually move to a complete and balanced adult cat food. There is a variety of Cat food available for Indoor cats, so opt for such a cat meal, as the nutrients are adjusted to meet different energy requirements than cats who have access to the outdoors.
To reduce gastric discomfort, we recommend switching to adult food over a 7- to 10-day period. Around the one-year mark, most experts recommend switching from kitten to cat food. To avoid giving your cat an upset stomach, do this gradually over several days.
- Serve 3/4 of the regular kitten food and 1/4 of the new adult cat food on days 1-2.
- Half kitten food and half adult cat food on days 3-4.
- Serve 1/4 kitten food and 3/4 adult cat food on days 5-7.
- Serve only the new adult cat food on days 8-10.
If your cat refuses to eat the new food, take it slowly and allow her more time before increasing the amount of adult food she eats. For more information on transitioning from kitten to adult cat food, talk to your veterinarian.
What happens if my Kitten Accidentally Eats Cat Food?
Don’t worry, a little cat food won’t hurt your kitten.
Long-term feeding of adult food will not help them develop into the best version of themselves, but a small amount of adult food will not harm them. Make sure you have plenty of kitten food in the cupboard, so you won’t be caught short if supplies run out, and try to stick to the same brand and type.
What would happen if I constantly fed my Kitten Cat Food?
Most foods include a label that specifies which ages they are appropriate for. Many kitten meals are suitable for feeding until your cat reaches the age of 6-12 months. Always examine the food’s box or packet for the manufacturer’s recommendations. These diets are designed to assist your cat in growing and staying as healthy as possible.
Kittens require more calories and protein than adults, which adult diets may not offer. If your kitten isn’t getting enough food, he or she may be underweight, malnourished, and begin to show indications of disease or delayed growth.
The following are signs of a bad diet:
- Foraging for food
- Losing weight or being underweight
- Poor quality of coat and skin
- Poor oral hygiene
- Weakness or sluggishness of the muscles
- Untreated malnutrition is another drawback
If your kitten does not receive appropriate nutrition for an extended length of time, you may notice that it appears to be in bad health. Your kitten could be skinny, have a bad coat, and not be as playful as you’d want. Malnutrition has the potential to cause major health problems and even death. If you’re worried that your cat is too slim, take a body condition score.
Multiple organ failure can develop if malnutrition is left untreated for a long time. Kittens’ nutrition is just as vital as children’s. It’s critical to provide your kitten with a nutritious and balanced diet, and commercial kitten food is always the best choice. Giving your kitten cat food on occasion will not impede his development, but doing so on a regular basis would.
Although poor nutrition and its consequences can be resolved, there can be long-term repercussions on immunity and overall health.
How Can I Prevent My Kitten From Eating My Older Cat’s Food?
When you have an older cat, raising a kitten presents a number of obstacles, one of which is the feeding process. Use the method below if you want to prevent a kitten from eating an older cat’s food:
- Establish a Feeding Routine
Having a regular mealtime routine is essential whether you’re feeding an adult cat, a kitten, or both. While a predictable life with a daily routine may not be your ideal situation, it is ideal for cats. Knowing when they’ll be fed gives them a sense of security.
“Meals become the day’s central event, around which other activities are built. A feeding regimen helps your cat survive when there are changes in the home.”
- Separately feeding is a good idea.
A routine may be adequate to keep the hungry kitten under control for some, but if the kitten likes the older cat’s food, separating them is the best option.
Also keep older cats alone in a separate room with their bowl for much longer. This is a fantastic opportunity for both cats to eat without fear of food theft, fighting, or stress.
Keep a watch on them until the younger cat has matured enough to eat the same kibble and wet food as your older feline friend!
- Organize a Feeding Station
This is an excellent solution for kittens and cats who are shy about feeding, particularly strays who may need to feel entirely safe in order to eat.
Opt to use the Kitten’s carrier place to feed them, so they can have their meal without the fear of theft by an older cat.
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Why Free Feeding should not be opted for Kittens?
Free feeding cats rarely works, and it may stimulate binge-eating in kittens. So, read the label on your container, or better yet, visit your veterinarian, to determine the proper portions for your kitty. Divide them into at least two daily meals, or more frequent but smaller meals if possible, throughout the day.
If a kitten is nurtured according to this concept, he or she will develop an eating habit, which is very significant because fluctuations in your kitten’s appetite might be an early sign of disease.
It’s critical to maintain a regular meal schedule for both your adult cat and kitten once you’ve set one. This way, you can keep a watch on both cats to ensure that they ate their own meals and, most importantly, that the kitten didn’t steal anything from the larger cat.
What is the Best Kitten Food?
- Choose a kitten food that is particularly labelled suitable for kittens.
Ensure that the label reads something similar: These meals are designed to suit the developmental needs of kittens under the age of 12 months. The available range’s quality will vary depending on a few factors, such as brand name and price. Most of the time, you will spend extra on food made with the highest quality ingredients.
- Choose food with genuine meat as the first ingredient, such as chicken.
As a general rule, kittens should acquire about 30% of their calories from protein, so feed them a high-quality protein source.
- Look for a good combination of actual proteins, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and carbs on the label.
When compared to a kitten feed with ‘chicken’ as the first component, labels that include wholegrain cereals or cereal/meat by-products as the first item have less quality protein.
- Do not feed them adult cat food
Because kittens have extremely different nutritional needs than adult cats, only kitten food should be opted for your little furball and refrain from opting for adult cat food.
Conclusion: Can Kittens eat Adult cat Food!
Many pet owners struggle with this subject, but the answer is actually rather simple. When you have the chance, you should always feed kittens specially made food. Adult cat food isn’t bad for cats sporadically, but it’s not the best thing for them in the long run.
It’s time to switch to adult cat food around your kitten’s first birthday (or between 18 months and 2 years for large breeds).
Always consult a veterinarian for a firm and expert advice if you’re unclear how to properly feed a kitten. Inquire with your veterinarian about all of your furball’s nutritional requirements, including necessary fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins. The vet may advise you to skip the vitamin C because kittens can produce it on their own. The vet may also suggest that you increase your intake of B vitamins, which are essential for good growth. The more you understand what your kitten needs from her food, the easier it will be for you to make informed and suitable food purchases for her.
Your kitten deserves the best, isn’t it? Then, why opt for cat food when you can serve them Kitten food and help them with excellent growth and mental stimulation.
We hope that this article was able to clearly answer “Can Kittens eat Adult Cat Food”. If you have any more questions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.