If you’re thinking of adopting a kitten, whether three weeks old or six months old, he’s going to require proper nutrition and care. Feeding grown cats can seem like a simpler task, but knowing how much to feed a kitten can be a bit more complex. Here’s how much to feed a kitten:
Mama’s Milk: Hopefully a kitten is still with his mother during this time. But, even so, there can be problems. If the mother cat refuses to nurse, have the vet check her out. She could have mastitis or something, making nursing painful.
Hand-Feeding: If the mother cat refuses to take care of her kittens, you’ll have to bottle feed the kittens. One brand of kitten milk, KMR, can be found at major pet stores. Your vet may also have a suggestion for a formula. If at all possible, it is important for the kittens to nurse for at least the first two days.
Weaning kittens: This is a gradual process. Give the kittens a mixture of dry kitten food (one part) mixed with cat milk replacement (three parts) or wet kitten food (one part) and milk replacement (two parts). Gradually reduce the liquid.
Cat Food: Kittens should be feeding solely on kitten food by 10 weeks at the latest.
What to feed kittens at this time: During this time, kittens develop their food preferences which will stay with them for life. Wet food or dry food is up to you. Only in special circumstances decided by your vet should you give a kitten supplements.
How much to feed a kitten schedule at two to three months: Kittens this age should be fed at least four times a day because their stomachs are too small to contain the necessary amount of food for nutritional needs when less often. Wet food should be refrigerated between feedings and then warmed up. Dry food can be left out for kittens to free-feed. Mix a little water in the dry food if your kitten isn’t drawn to it.
Routine: Kittens start to really appreciate routine during this time. Make sure your kitten food is in a quiet, safe place and don’t move it around.
What to feed a kitten at this time: Check your kitten food label. It should have a guaranteed analysis of key ingredients including the minimum fat and protein and the maximum fiber and moisture. Cats and kittens can develop problems from too little protein in their diet. Keep your kitten’s diet constant — don’t switch foods unless necessary.
How much to feed a kitten schedule at three to six months: Toward six months, you can begin feeding your kitten three times a day. It’s best to weigh your cat every week and adjust amounts accordingly.
How much to feed a kitten who is three months to six months old: 1/3 to 1 cup at each feeding.
Feeding cats: Though your kitten may continue to grow after a year, they’re generally considered cats by then.
What to feed cats at this time: Your cat’s food should, again, contain adequate protein as it highly digestible to cats. Also, look for taurine and arginine — these are essential amino acids. Most vets recommend against a vegetarian diet as cats are strict carnivores. As a grown cat, he has several choices for food:
How much to feed a kitten at this age: Check food label recommendations.
Knowing how much to feed a kitten to insure his growth into a healthy cat is essential. Watch his weight (an overweight cat or kitten will have a hanging stomach, ribs you can’t feel and, perhaps, a double chin); watch his activity level; and watch his stools. By focusing on good nutrition from the start, you’ll most likely have a healthy and strong cat.
Concerned about how much (and what!) you’re eating? Here’s how to get your own healthy eating plan in place >>
Thumbnail: Photography ©annadarzy | Thinkstock.
This piece was originally published in 2009.