best kitten food

Best Kitten Food for Your Growing Feline

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Welcoming a new bundle of feline joy is probably one of the best feelings when you decide to become a fur parent. Understandably, you might be excited to care for a new feline pet. However, newborn kittens have widely varying needs as compared to their fully grown counterparts. As a pet owner, there are hurdles to overcome if you want to ensure that your kitten will grow into an active, happy, and healthy cat.

If man’s best friend is a title that dogs own, cats are Internet royalty. When it comes to memes, our feline friends tend to make it to the top of the list more often than any other animal. Although the occasional dog, panda, or even llama garners attention, cats are a constant viral figure. And while we at The Furry Companion love all animals, it’s hard to resist any form of a cat PNG.

Welcoming a new bundle of feline joy is probably one of the best feelings when you decide to become a fur parent. Understandably, you might be excited to care for a new feline pet. However, newborn kittens have widely varying needs as compared to their fully grown counterparts. As a pet owner, there are hurdles to overcome if you want to ensure that your kitten will grow into an active, happy, and healthy cat.

For one thing, feeding kittens is not as simple as putting food in their designated food bowl. During a certain period after they are born, kittens nurse from their mother. Generally, they won’t be ready to ingest solid food for a few weeks after birth. 

For two to three months, kittens will grow exponentially both in size and in strength. It’s crucial to stay on top of this as a pet owner, particularly when it comes to your kitten’s diet. Choosing the best kitten food for your growing feline might seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry! Here at The Furry Companion, we have compiled the best advice that fur parents need when caring for a growing kitty.

Source: Pixabay

Best Kitten Food: How Do I Choose?

One of the biggest challenges when caring for a growing kitten is feeding them with the best kitten food suitable for them. There are numerous choices available in the market. Most experts agree that the best kitten food for your kitty is explicitly formulated with their age bracket in mind. 

Age brackets allow kitten food manufacturers to consider crucial developmental stages that must be expected and addressed when caring for a young feline. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best kitten food for your feline baby.

Nutritional Value

Nutrition is one of the things that you should take seriously as a pet owner. Growing kittens need specific vitamins and minerals so they could adequately develop and grow into adulthood. Kittens are generally active and playful. Thus, it’s essential to provide them the best kitten food with the proper nutritional diet to supply them with endless energy.

To start, look for kitten food which contains DHA, a fatty acid typically sourced from fish oil. DHA aids in the development of the eyes, a significant body part for felines, as well as the brain. Aside from fatty acids, look out for kitten food that could supply your fur baby with the proper amount of amino acids. In particular, taurine is a good bet if you want to bolster the development of your kitten’s heart, immune system, and digestive system.

Source: Pixabay

Protein is another essential nutrient you should provide your kitten. At birth, most kittens barely weigh a few ounces. For a few weeks, your kitty will do a lot of growing both in size as well as bone structure and muscle mass.

Muscle and bone development are vital in a cat’s life because a feline’s physiology is unique from other animals in general. Protein for kittens could come from various sources, most notably from meat like fish and chicken, as well as high-quality grains, such as wheat and barley.

The best kitten food should also contain high levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. These are essential minerals making up the building blocks of feline growth and development. Vitamins are also equally necessary. Look for kitten food which contains large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E, two vitamins which will boost your kitty’s immune system. After all, kittens are susceptible to bouts of illness and infections.

Dry Food vs. Wet Food

Due to your kitten’s relatively small size, feeding could sometimes be tricky. Additionally, because newborn kittens are still learning about their environment, make sure to complement their learning process by introducing them to various experiences.

Familiarize your fur baby with different types of practices to create an exciting learning experience. This applies to mealtimes as well. Before settling for wet or dry food, have your kitten experience both food textures to introduce the idea to them.

Source: Pixabay

The appeal of dry food is its long shelf-life after being opened, as compared to wet food. The solidity of dry food also aids in strengthening your kitten’s teeth. Additionally, dry food is easier to portion and measure; this is a big help when you need to give your kitty the exact amount they need to eat.

On the other side of the spectrum, wet food is more appealing to some kittens’ sense of smell. The smell of wet food is activated and thus, much stronger than dry food. Its is also helpful in increasing your kitty’s fluid intake, as wet food recipes have liquids present to keep the texture consistent.

Whichever food texture you settle for, avoid feeding your kitten food with milk in it. Despite what popular culture says, cats are not capable of digesting dairy. Adding milk in your kitten’s diet might lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea. Ultimately, whether you choose wet or dry kitten food is up to you, unless your kitten has a specific medical condition. In this case, consult your local veterinarian for a more accurate prescription.

Serving Portions

Source: Pixabay

Part of the reason why you should portion your kitten’s meals is to avoid developing bad eating habits. While more mature felines can manage and control their feeding habits, kittens are still learning to navigate their daily lives.

Aside from this, from a practical standpoint, kittens are still developing at that stage. Their stomachs are still small, so they aren’t ready yet to enjoy full meals that adult cats eat. When feeding your kitten, it’s best if you portion his or her meal into three small meals throughout the day. Keep this up until they are six months old. 

Kittens are also in the process of growing other body parts. Unlike their older counterparts, kittens have small mouths and less sharp teeth. It is not practical to feed them with treats and kibble meant for adult cats. Luckily enough, the best kitten food available out there will be adequately labeled with the appropriate age group that they belong to. 

When Do I Switch My Kitty to Solid Food?

The process of switching a kitten’s diet from its mother’s milk to solid food is called weaning. Weaning kittens is an essential step in a feline’s development process. As a fur parent, you need to know when the right time to start weaning your kitten. You also need to be prepared and know what to expect in the process to ensure a smooth and painless transition.

Source: Pixabay

Nursing from the mother is an essential nutritional diet that kittens need to experience. Eventually, they will need to switch to solid food, starting when they’re around four weeks old. One of the signs indicating it’s time to wean your kitten is when they start trying to eat their mother’s food.

If a mother cat is not in the picture, you will notice your kitten will start chewing on the feeding bottle or other accessible objects. When this happens, start the weaning process by mixing a small portion of kitten food with their milk. Do not skip this step because this introduces the taste of kitten food to your kitty. Remember, part of your kitten’s development is honing their senses and learning about their environment through those senses.

After your kitten gets used to the taste of kitten food, start with a shallow lapping bowl. Be careful not to push your kitten too fast. Before your kitty turns six weeks old, try to introduce them to dry food next. The best kitten food at this stage is still food that is supplemented by liquids such as formula milk or water. When you notice that your kitten is nibbling on kibble more often than not, the weaning process is over. You can now look into the advice that we provided above to search for the best kitten food appropriate for your fur baby.

Tips on Feeding Your Kitten

Source: Pixabay

Avoid feeding your kitten with food not meant for their age group. Aside from that, pet owners should also refrain from picking kitten food lacking in nutrients. Remember, a nutritious diet with the best kitten food will go a long way in ensuring that your kitten will grow and develop into an active adult. In the future, your fully-grown fur baby will provide you with companionship and love that only pets can give.

Because kittens are young and still learning, you need to establish a routine that will also serve as training for them. Put your kitty’s feeding bowl or dish in a safe and quiet spot away from their litter box. Remember to portion your fur baby’s meals according to their age bracket as well as size. Avoid filling your kitten’s dish or bowl with extra food as much as possible because it is wasteful.

Some Benefits of Living with a Kitten

Some people prefer dogs over cats because of their aversion to felines and their “attitudes.” But living with cats, especially kittens, can be quite cathartic and beneficial to health. Aside from offering companionship, cats are often associated with the decrease of stress levels of those who have cats as pets. They also reduce the likelihood of depression among cat owners. 

Being preoccupied with caring for a baby feline has a lot of health benefits. At the same time, it also entails a lot of preparation on your part. Regardless of preference or budget, the best kitten food for your feline baby is still food that ensures your kitty’s healthy growth and development. A healthy and active kitten is sure to grow into a loving pet and a precious companion.

If you’re a new fur parent and you still have a lot of questions, head over to The Furry Companion for more articles about cats and other pets.

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