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7 Tips on Feeding a Kitten You Should Know catipedia-icon3.png

Kittens are adorable, but they can also be a handful. They quickly hide, chase after a piece of fuzz, and answer nature’s call without giving the slightest warning. In fact, if there’s a kitten in your home, she’s probably far too busy playing with your shoelace to notice the way you care for her health, safety and happiness. Nutrition is an important part of that care, which is why we’ve put together these tips on feeding a kitten.

First, a quick note about newborn kittens: Newborns get all of their nutrition from nursing or, if separated from their mother, from a kitten milk replacer. They may require other special care as well. “Caring for Newborn Kittens” is a good place to start, but your veterinarian can provide the best information about how to care for kittens this young.

The tips below are for feeding kittens that are ready to transition from nursing to a dry or wet kitten food.

1. Don’t immediately switch from a liquid diet to a solid diet. Once your kitten is three to four weeks old, try setting out moistened kitten food for them to nibble. The prep is easy: Just combine one part warm – not hot – water and three parts dry or canned kitten food. It should look like oatmeal. Over the next week or two, gradually decrease the amount of water and increase the amount of food each day to help with the transition to dry food.

2. Find a food that’s 100% complete and balanced for kittens. Kittens need special nutrition and lots of it. They’re constantly growing and playing, which means they require two to three times more protein, fat and other nutrients compared to adult cats. Check the bag to make sure you’re giving your kitten a food that provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition for kittens. If you have any questions, ask your veterinarian.

3. Give your kitten a chance to get used to the food. At first, she may play with it or even step in the food dish. If so, remember: 1) she’s a kitten, so everything is a toy; and 2) her concept of food is still very fluid at this point. (See what we did there?) At any rate, be patient, keep a moist cloth handy to clean up, and make sure your kitten stays warm and dry.

Moistened or dry, trust the great nutrition and taste of Purina® Kitten Chow® Nurture for your growing kitten

4. Keep an eye on the food dish. Switch out the food multiple times per day when serving wet food or moistened dry food. Even kittens with huge appetites turn their little noses up at food left out for more than a few hours. Frequent switch-outs also lower the risk of contamination.

5. The water bowl is just as important. Water isn’t food, but it’s crucial to these tips on feeding a kitten. Your kitten’s body mass is 70 to 80 percent water. The water in wet food and moistened dry food helps keep her hydrated, but there’s no substitute for access to plenty of clean water at all times, refilled at least once a day.

6. Feed undiluted wet or dry kitten food from 7 weeks old through your kitten’s first year. Once your kitten reaches eight or nine months, she’ll begin to look like a full-grown adult cat. Do not be deceived. Kittens continue to develop throughout their first year, so it's important to continue feeding kitten food for a full 12 months before graduating to adult cat food.

7. Look out for signs of illness, including loss of appetite. Healthy kittens love to eat, so if you notice your kitten acting unresponsive and/or showing no interest in her food, call your veterinarian right away. The first several weeks of a kitten’s life can test her immune system, and there is a higher risk of illness. Be sure to let your veterinarian know, especially if your kitten suddenly stops eating.

With these tips on feeding a kitten, you can help your little bundle of joy get all of the nutrition she needs to play and thrive. Just one last tip: Try to enjoy every last adorable moment while it lasts. Before you know it, your kitten will be an amazing cat.

After a full year, it’s time for your kitten to transition again – this time to an adult cat food. Learn how to make it happen.

 

References

  • Rainbolt D. Kittens 101, “Hunters by Nature.” 2015 Annual, Vol. 18: 70–3.
  • Shojai A. The Purina Encyclopedia of Cat Care. 1998: 123–4.
  • Vigil L. Nestlé Purina PetCare Senior Nutritionist (Cat Portfolio). Interviewed Oct 2014.

TOPICS: NUTRITION ADVICE KITTENS

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FAQs

Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

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Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While CatChow.com is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat.

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