How to Care for Your Kitten – A Short Guide
While caring for kittens is not that difficult, they do have special needs.
What to Feed a Kitten
When they are about 4 weeks old, kittens begin to eat solid food though their mother continues to nurse them. Ready-to-eat cat foods in the grocery are often well-balanced, which is beneficial for your kitten. They are available in different brands and most manufacturers produce specific cat food. These come in packets, cans and rolls, among others. Buying premium or popular brands, though not really necessary, can assure you of complete nutrition for your cat. When choosing cat food, make sure that the label contains words like “total nutrition for kittens/cats”.
The diet of your kitten should be supplemented with fresh meat like chopped chicken or fish. Keep in mind, though, that fresh meat on its own does not give your kitten the complete nutrition it requires.
It is best to feed your kitten with a wide range of foods and change these from time to time. Kittens can get fed up and lose interest in eating when given the same food everyday. This also prevents them from becoming picky.
Kittens can start to eat dry cat food when they are very young and this is somewhat enjoyable for most of them. There are supermarket brands as well as those that are only offered at the vet or pet food shop.
Kittens should always have access to fresh, clean water. Avoid giving water in plastic bowls since they easily tip over. Instead, use something heavier – like pottery, china or a porcelain dish.
Milk for Kittens
It is not advisable to feed cats/kittens with cow’s milk since most kittens have lactose intolerance and this can lead to an upset stomach or diarrhea. You can give them milk from the supermarket, which is specially made for cats and kittens. When you are house training your kitten, you certainly would not want it to have diarrhea.
How to Feed a Young Kitten
Just like babies, young kittens need to be fed several times daily. Those that are below 6 weeks old should still stay with their mother.
As a rule, kittens from 6 to 12 weeks old require at least 4 meals a day. Since their tummies are still small, they cannot eat too much at a single time. By the time they reach 12 weeks, they can eat 3 meals daily, and once they are 6 months old, they can eat twice a day.
Certainly, how often a kitten should be fed depends on several factors, one of which is the daily routine of its owner. An owner who works will not have the time to feed the kitten as regularly as one who stays home most of the time. He/she will not likely leave kitty food outside for different reasons, like for example, the weather.
In places where the climate is warm or hot, it is not advisable to leave cat food outdoors the whole day since it will get spoiled and draw flies. At certain areas, ants can also pose as a problem. In addition, there may be other pets that may eat the food intended for the kitten.