Owning a cat can present a significant amount of responsibility, especially when you are looking to provide your cat with the best possible pet care. However, when you are taking care of a kitten, there is slightly more care involved to ensure that your kitten grows up to be a healthy adult cat.
A cat is technically classified as a kitten when they are one year of age or younger. Kittens are usually taken from their mother at six to eight weeks of age, at which time they can usually begin the transition to solid kitten food. However, if you have an orphaned kitten that is younger than six weeks of age, you will have to adopt a different type of nutritional plan in order to provide a younger kitten with the best possible nutrition. Some pet supply stores offer “kitten formula”, which is usually either available as a mixable powder, or a pre-mixed liquid solution. Kittens are also very vulnerable to disease when they have been orphaned, since a mother cat’s milk contains antibodies that help their immune system to develop. If you are caring for an orphaned kitten, it is always best to immediately seek the advice of your veterinarian. Depending on your kitten’s condition, a veterinarian may be able to provide your younger kitten with a nutritional plan, as well as advanced care.
If you are looking to feed a normal, healthy kitten, there are several different options available for a kitten food formula. Depending on your kitten’s preference, you may want to choose either a canned or dry kitten food formula. Most kittens have a much easier time consuming canned kitten food formulas, since their teeth are still developing. However, it is possible to mix dry and wet kitten food together, especially if you plan to switch your kitten to a strictly dry food diet. If your kitten is having trouble eating dry food, you can always mix it with a bit of milk, kitten formula or water. This will make the dry kibble much softer, and help a kitten to be able to chew it more effectively. If you notice that your kitten is passing dry food kibble through their system undigested, you should most likely make the switch to a canned kitten formula.
When feeding a kitten, you also have to keep in mind that kittens usually have different nutritional needs than adult cats. While some cat food formulas are labeled as being appropriate for “all life stages”, it is usually recommended that you purchase a food that is designed specifically for kittens. Growing kittens require some extra nutrients in order to develop properly, so try to research the general nutritional needs of cats in the kitten life stage. Most kittens have a slightly higher protein requirement than adult cats, and will require a specialized food formula. In most cases, canned kitten formulas are higher in many important nutrients, and are much less likely to contain filler ingredients. However, this is largely dependent on the brand, quality and standards of the kitten formula.