Your kitty is an integral part of your life. As a cat parent, loving and feeding your kitten is your top most priority, and why not? Your kitty deserves it all. With the need to provide your kitten with the most nutritious food you can access, the questions about the frequency of how often you should feed her must have crossed your mind. With a healthy meal, the right proportion is also to be considered for your kitty's proper growth and overall health.
Whatever healthy food you consider feeding your feline baby with, be mindful that a younger kitty would be different than an adult or grown cat in terms of her digestion and food requirement. So what should you feed your kitten? And how often or what proportion of food should you provide her with? Is your kitten always hungry? These questions and more will get their answers here in this article.
Read along, and we shall discover the healthy schedule of a kitten's meal plan…
What Are The Nutrient Requirements Of My Kitten?
Just like a dog or an adult cat, a kitten has her requirement of nutrients. You must understand that the first few months of a cat's life are rapid growth and development- both body and brain. If you are already a parent of a grown-up cat, you already know this fact that kittens grow rapidly and increase in weight just after a few weeks of their birth. This physical growth and mental alertness require the right diet, including food rich in protein, calcium, and other nutrients.
What Should My Kitten Eat?
Your kitten should eat what's healthy for her. If you've been feeding your kitty the same food that you provide your adult cat, stop this practice right away. As mentioned earlier, younger cats have different requirements than an adult cat.
Kitten foods are available in dry and wet forms. Wet foods are soft and comfortable to chew and swallow and soft on a kitten's new teeth. Wet food also has moisture in them and will keep your kitty well hydrated. It will also benefit her in later years.
On the other hand, dry food is high in carbohydrate content and may result in weight gain in your kitty. Again, dry food is also convenient to store and has longer shelf life than canned or wet food. Another advantage of dry food is that when your kitty is home alone, and you need to keep her food ready in her bowl, the food will remain good.
That said, keep in mind that just because the dry food is plain dry, you need to provide a lot of fresh water to your cat to keep her hydrated. Otherwise, she may develop urinary tract blockage. However, the kitten finds wet food more palatable and wants to have more of it.
You can contact us to help you understand and choose the best food type based on their age group.
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How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Kitten?
Now that you've decided on the kind of food you want your kitty to eat, you might want to know how much is the ideal amount of food to be served to your fur baby. Usually, a kitten needs an appropriate diet of three to four meals a day, having the right amount of protein, calcium, and other nutrients. But based on their growing age, their requirement will keep changing.
Here we share a quick guide to get your feeding schedule right on how much to feed your kitten-
Aged 0-4 weeks
There's nothing like mommy cat's milk for a kitten this small. In case it is not possible, you'll have to hand feed your kitty using a feeding bottle containing kitten formula milk.
Aged 4-8 weeks
By this stage, your kitten will require about eight calories per gram of her weight each day. You can mix three parts of kitten formula milk with one part of dry food. The following week, reduce the amount of milk and keep the proportion of dry kitten food the same. The intent is to reduce the amount of milk with each passing day.
Aged 2-3 months
Kittens between 2-3 months of age should be fed four times a day. Ensure the food she is eating is giving her the desired amount of nutrients she requires for proper growth.
Aged 3-6 months
At this stage, the feeding frequency should be three times a day.
Aged 6-12 months
By this time, you may give her two nutrient-rich meals a day.
This is a general meal plan for kittens. That said, every kitten is unique based on its breed, health condition, weight, and age. The best thing to do is seek expert advice – speak to one of our team to plan out a meal schedule that works best for her.
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Why Is My Kitten Always Hungry?
A growing kitten will need more energy and will want to eat. It is the stage when her muscles and tissues are growing, and therefore more food is required to satiate her hunger. But if your kitten can't just stop eating and is hungry right after she finishes her bowl of food, you got to check the food you are feeding her. Most pet foods will have grain-based fillers that will fill your kitty only for a short time, making her hungry again and again.
The quality of such food is to blame. These cat foods will not provide the required amount of nutrients like calcium, vitamins, and minerals that your growing kitty needs, and hence she will always be low on energy, which is why she is still hungry. On the other hand, a premium quality pet food will have all the nutrients in the right proportion with the correct amount to be served to your fur baby for a day of activeness.
On a different occasion, if your kitty gets all her required nutrients and still is always hungry, there is a health-related issue underlying. Your kitty may be troubled by worms inside her tummy – tapeworms, ringworms, lungworms, or roundworms. Consulting with one of our team is the right person to help you and your kitty both in this situation. A proper diagnosis of your kitty and her food behavior will help us understand her health conditions and accordingly provide the right medications.
If your kitty is healthy and has no health issue whatsoever, she may be troubled by a behavioral problem – she has developed overeating, which will lead to more issues if not corrected on time.
Effects Of Overeating In Kittens
Whether your kitten has developed an overeating behavior or you overfeed her, it's harmful to your cat and needs to be corrected. Here we have listed just a few dangers of overeating in kittens and adult cats:
- Your kitten will be overweight than her age in no time, leading to obesity
- With so much weight to bear with, kittens will develop joint pains
- Overeating also leads to difficulties in breathing
- The prolonged joint pain will lead to arthritis
- Other health issues include diabetes, indigestion, and liver-related problems
- Weaker gums and teeth
How To Stop Your Kitten From Overeating?
Now that you know the dangers of overeating, your first course of action is to check whether you are overfeeding your cat. In your busy schedule, you might miss out on the correct proportion of your kitty and have been overfeeding her. Here are a few steps you can adopt to correct it:
Check on the quality of the food served
Your kitty's food should always be of premium quality. It will have a full diet for your furry pal and will keep her full for long, fewer chances for her to overeat
Use a scoop meant for serving
If you are using canned food, give only the required amount. Don't just keep opening cans after cans just because your kitty keeps begging for it. For dry food, use an 8 oz scoop.
Ignore her while she begs for more
When you know she is full and keeps begging, avoid her and shift her attention to something more interesting than food, maybe a toy or something.
Food is essential for your kitty's health, but as a responsible cat parent, you should know her requirement and feed accordingly, based on her age and weight. If the need arises, consult us for proper guidance.