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Transitioning from Kitten Food to Adult Cat Food catipedia-icon3.png

If you’re reading this, you probably own a furry little bundle of joy with an adorable name – and you’ve noticed that little bundle getting bigger and bigger. It’s nice to watch your kitten grow up, but you may wonder how to best go about transitioning from kitten food to adult cat food.

First of all, kudos to you for wondering – because this is important. Kittens become adult cats in just 12 months’ time, and their nutritional needs change. With growing bones and muscles and developing eyes and brain, a kitten requires extra calories and special nutrients. Nutrition for an adult cat, on the other hand, should help maintain a full-grown body with an energy level lower than a kitten’s. Different nutrition for different life stages.

That said, if your kitten is a full 1 year old, it’s time to make the transition to adult cat food.

Help your kitten start adulthood strong with the Four Cornerstones of Nutrition in Purina® Cat Chow® Complete

GROWING UP IS HARD TO DO

Before your cat begins the transition to adult food, put yourself in her paws. She’s new to this whole adult thing, and now her diet is about to change! During this time, try to keep her eating every day while transitioning from the yummy taste of kitten food to the adult nutrition she needs. The transition should take 7–10 days, so plan ahead, and remember that the name of the game is slow and steady.

Here’s an example of how it might happen, based on 1 cup of dry kitten food each day:

  • Day 1: Mix 1/8 of a cup of adult cat food in with the kitten food. The total amount of food should still equal 1 cup.
  • Day 5: Mix the kitten food and adult cat food evenly – 1/2 cup of each.
  • Day 10: By this point, your cat should be eating only adult cat food. You did it!

PORTION CONTROL

This is also a good time to switch from leaving out an abundance of food (ideal for kittens) to feeding daily measured amounts (better for adult cats). To determine how much to feed, the bag is a great place to start. Look for the recommended feeding amounts listed, and choose the one that most closely corresponds to your cat’s weight. The right amount of food can help avoid unhealthy weight gain.

When your cat is overweight, life isn’t as good as it could be. Learn why weight matters.

And even better than the feeding amounts on the bag, your young cat has her very own health advocate: YOU. As you transition her to adult cat food, keep an eye on her body condition, mobility and energy level. If you feel like she’s looking too pudgy or scrawny, adjust the feeding amount to help her maintain an ideal body condition. Your veterinarian is a great source as well. He or she can provide a recommendation suited to your cat’s specific needs.

Bottom line: Make the food transition gradual. A slow transition is a great way to help your cat adjust to a new food and may help prevent digestive upset. Provide a daily amount of food that will help maintain her ideal body condition. And of course, keep your veterinarian looped in for personalized advice based on your cat’s health.

Do you feed your cat a Purina® Cat Chow® formula? Explore our 100% complete & balanced cat food products to find the right one for your cat.

References

  • Brunner D. The Cat Owner’s Manual. 2004: 123.
  • Hollow M. Cat Fancy, “Lifetime Food Guidelines.” Sep 2014: 11–12.
  • 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 DIET

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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.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
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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