Kittens drink their mother’s milk until around 6 weeks of age. After that, they’ll have to be weaned onto a solid kitten food. At the age of adoption, kittens will no longer be drinking any milk alongside their regular meals. When your new kitten first arrives, you will quickly see that they need a good diet to fuel their fast growth and many wild play sessions! However, with so many commercial options available it is easy to feel overwhelmed when walking into the pet store. Here are some frequently asked questions with answers from a veterinarian to help get you started on your search.

What is the first thing I should look for when choosing a diet for my kitten?

The first thing to check for when considering a commercial kitten diet is the adequacy statement on the label. It is best to choose a diet that is complete and balanced specifically for kittens. A food that is formulated for all life stages of the cat is also suitable.

Is dry food or wet food better for a kitten?

Either dry food or wet food is acceptable to give to your kitten as long as it is complete and balanced. Many veterinary nutritionists recommend exposing your cat to both types of food so that they will be comfortable eating a wider range of diets. This is helpful for if, in the future, you have to switch your cat to a different type of food for a medical reason.

How much should my kitten be eating per day?

Kittens will need calories to provide enough energy for their fast growth and daily activities. At no later than 5 months of age, it is recommended that you weigh out your cat’s daily meals to ensure they are not over-eating. Even at a young age, overeating can contribute to obesity which is linked to many adulthood diseases. Your veterinarian can help you calculate the number of calories your kitten needs per day and show you how many grams of your chosen diet to feed. 

What if I want to home-cook my kitten’s meals?

As much as we enjoy home-cooked meals, these are best to be avoided for your kitten. Kittens have a very specific set of nutrient requirements and it can be very difficult to match using common ingredients you would find in a shop. If you are determined to cook for your kitten, ensure to follow a recipe formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. These nutrition specialists can work with you to create balanced and complete meals that are tailored to ensure healthy growth in your kitten.

Do I need to give my growing kitten supplements?

As long as your kitten is eating a balanced meal, she won’t need to have any supplements. In fact, adding supplements to a complete meal can lead to nutritionally-related health problems. During the fast growth period, it is essential that your kitten gets all the nutrients she needs and nothing more!

What should I feed my kitten with a sensitive stomach?

If you find that your kitten is vomiting frequently after a meal, it is best to consult with your veterinarian. A vomiting kitten will not be getting the important nutrients she needs for growth so it is really important to get her checked out as soon as possible. The solution may be more complex than a simple dietary change.

When should my kitten transition to adult cat food?

A kitten should start to eat adult cat food when they reach their adult size. It can be tough to know exactly when your kitten will stop growing, it is different for each breed and can vary even between brothers and sisters. Your veterinarian can help you track your kitten’s growth and figure out when would be the best time to make the switch.

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