Kittens need suitable nutrition to develop into a healthy adult cat. Its not just a matter of putting food in a bowl.
Cat breeds are more consistent in size compared to a dog. Kitten growth rates do differ by breed, but the difference is not as dramatic as dogs. Cats are generally considered kittens until they are one year of age. Cats do not grow as rapid as that of dogs. They reach skeletal maturity between nine and twelve months of age. The exception to this rule are Maine Coon’s. They grow at a much slower rate. It could take up to two years to reach maturity.
Kittens grow rapidly after weaning. At this point (around eight weeks) their nutritional needs exceed those for any other life stage except lactation. The kitten’s energy needs are the greatest at about ten weeks of age and reduce gradually. That said, their energy needs are high through to six months of age. At about six months of age their growth begins to slow. Kitten’s, except for the Maine Coon breed will reach 80% of adult size at about eight months of age.
It goes without saying that a kitten’s nutritional requirements are different from adult cats. The Kittens requirements for fat, fatty acids and most vitamins are the same as adult cats. They do have a need for higher protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A and the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid. This is better known as DHA.
Most cat owners know the importance of protein, particularly meat protein, for cats. While an adult cat’s protein requirement is already relatively high, a growing kitten’s protein requirement is even higher. At a very minimum 19% of their food must come from animal protein sources. This will ensure the kitten’s requirement for sulfur-containing amino acids (i.e., taurine, cysteine and methionine) are met.
Meeting the kitten’s energy needs during the early growth phase can be challenging. Like all pets, kittens need to eat the correct amount of nutrients daily. Their small stomach capacity limits the amount of food they can eat during a single meal. To meet their needs their food needs to be packed with nutrition and offered as three or four smaller meals. But as kittens grow and approach their adult size, you can reduce the number of meals provided throughout the day.
To give your feline friend a healthy start. Start with FourFriends Kitten. This food is designed just for them. This food should be fed until your cat is between ten and twelve months of age.
FourFriends high meat cat sausages or FourFriends complementary Tuna based wet foods can be added to give variety. These are designed for all life stages.
FourFriends kitten food provide all the nutrients the growing kitten needs for balanced growth while reducing the risk for obesity. Both our complete and wet foods are fortified with added DHA which is vital for normal vision and nervous system development, taurine for heart and retina (vision) health. We add Aloe Vera for digestive and immune support.
The correct nutrition during the first ten to twelve months of your kitten’s life is critical for proper growth and development. Selecting an appropriate food helps ensure your kitten grows into a healthy cat.
The team at FourFriends are here on 01302 637377 should you have any questions about what, when and how much to feed your kitten.