As your kitten grows, it needs different foods and different ways of eating to support its health.
From birth to adulthood, there are many ways you can support your cat to be healthy and happy, including their diet and the way they relate to their food.
Feeding your kitten up to four weeks of age
From birth to one month of age, your kittens will get all the nutrients they need from their mother when they feed.
At first, they will receive colostrum, a milky fluid that helps support their immune system early in life, followed by milk. If your vet advises you to do so.
You can give your newborn kittens milk to make sure they get everything they need. This is especially important if their mother does not have milk, there is not enough milk, or the kittens are very numerous.
At first, your kitten may lose weight as it learns to suckle. However, after that, the weight will continue to increase.
Weigh your kitten daily and consult a veterinarian if the weight stagnates or drops. The best thing you can do during this period is to make sure your kitten and mother are safe and undisturbed, and let them eat in peace.
How to Feed a kitten from four weeks to four months of age
At four weeks of age, your kitten will begin to show an interest in solid foods and you can begin weaning. Do this by moistening dry kibble with milk or cat water to the right level of softness so your kitten can eat it easily, or use wet food instead.
Choose a food specially designed for kittens that will support their growth, for example it should be fortified with antioxidants to stimulate antibody production because during weaning, the immunity obtained from the mother begins to decrease.
You can start building good eating habits by making sure you separate the kitten's feeding, playing, sleeping, and littering areas, according to what they would naturally do. Also provide plenty of fresh water to keep your kitten hydrated.
As your cat matures, maintain good eating habits and avoid stress by allowing her to eat quietly in a quiet place.
By nature, cats like to forage, and will eat 15 to 20 times a day in very small portions. Many cats will set their own food, so you can ignore the total recommended food portions for the day and let them return to the bowl.
If you choose to neuter your cat, there is a risk that they will gain weight quickly as their energy expenditure is reduced by 30%, but their appetite is increased by 26%. Choose a food specially formulated for neutered cats, and appropriate for their breed and sex, and monitor their weight closely.
You should also consider the cat's lifestyle when feeding them as an adult cat, starting at around 12 months of age. Indoor cats with sedentary lifestyles require less energy than outdoor cats, so it's important to feed them properly to avoid gaining weight and suffering related health problems.
Regulating good feeding behavior and giving your kitten the right food according to his needs can help him become a healthy, satisfied adult cat. If you are unsure about the correct way to feed your cat, contact your veterinarian for advice.