As a caring cat mom, I always strive to give my kitten the top-quality food that contains all the necessary nutrients. There are numerous choices available for kitten food, which often makes me wonder: Do kittens truly require kitten food?
Yes, kittens really do require kitten food. Kitten food provides all the necessary nutrients that your kitten needs. It’s important to avoid feeding your kitten adult cat food as it can lead to dietary issues.
So let’s jump right in to find out how long kittens should eat kitten food, if kittens can eat adult cat food, and other commonly asked questions about feeding.
How Long Should Kittens Eat Kitten Food
Cats become mature at the age of 12 months. Until then, it’s important for your kitten to only eat kitten food. Once your kitten reaches one year old, you can slowly transition them to adult cat food.
Big cats like the Maine Coon cats require a longer time to reach maturity, typically between 18 to 24 months. In comparison to an average cat weighing 10 pounds, they weigh 25 pounds. As a result, they should continue consuming kitten food for an extended period.
Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food
It is not recommended for a kitten to consume adult cat food until it reaches maturity. It is not advisable to provide any food to a newborn kitten.
A baby cat should drink its mom’s milk until it’s old enough to eat kitten food, which usually happens when it’s about a month old.
If you’ve brought home a brand new kitten, it’s important to provide them with kitten milk formula instead of adult cat food.
Kittens have different nutritional needs compared to adult cats. They need more protein to fuel their energy.
Feeding your kitten adult food is not beneficial because it lacks the right amount of proteins that kittens need.
Even though there are many different types of kitten food to choose from, it’s not necessary to purchase adult cat food for your young kitten. Instead, you should opt for high-quality food that will help your cat grow quickly and healthily.
When Can Kittens Eat Adult Food
Once kittens reach the age of one, they can start eating adult food to support their growth. At this stage, they are mature enough to consume a well-balanced diet designed for adult cats. Adult cat food is specifically formulated to meet the energy needs of cats who enjoy outdoor activities.
To ensure your kitten’s digestive health, it’s important to gradually introduce adult food and give them about a week to adjust to the new diet.
During the initial day of transitioning, substitute 1/6th of the kitten food with adult food. Gradually increase the amount of adult food over a span of seven days until the kitten can consume a full bowl of adult food. If your kitten doesn’t enjoy the current food, you can experiment with different brands of cat food.
Should Kittens Eat Wet Or Dry Food
Although it’s not recommended for kittens to eat adult pet food until they reach one year old, they can still have either dry or wet kibble. Giving them wet food is better because it helps them swallow it more easily.
Once the kitten reaches 3 to 4 weeks old, it is ready to eat wet kibble. If you prefer to give your kitten dry kibble, be sure to add some moisture to it before putting it in their bowl. Dry kibble can be difficult for a young kitten to swallow.
But if you have a baby kitten, it’s a good idea to give them kitten milk formula if their mom’s milk isn’t an option.
Check out the benefits of giving your little kitty dry food and wet food.
● Kitten food usually stays fresh for a longer time when it is dry, unlike wet food which spoils quickly once it is opened.
● Feeding your kitten dry food helps maintain its dental health by encouraging chewing, which helps remove plaque from its teeth.
● Kittens find it effortless to consume and quickly swallow dry kibble.
● Kittens are attracted to the stronger scent of wet food.
● Wet food is more tender and easier to eat compared to dry food.
● While dry food can last longer, wet food is packaged in small sachets that are meant to be used once, ensuring that your kitten always receives fresh food.
● If your cat eats wet food, it will drink less water, so remember to regularly provide water to your little kitten.
What Do You Do If Your Kitten Won’t Eat Kitten Food
Cats are naturally curious animals and are willing to experiment with various types of food. They may enjoy a particular food one day but reject it the next. If your kitten refuses to eat kitten food, it indicates that there may be an issue with their eating habits.
It’s possible that your kitten doesn’t enjoy the kitten food anymore because you switched to a different brand. Cats don’t handle change very well. You can attempt some of these methods to encourage your cat to eat its food.
Change Their Bowl’s Location
Consider moving your cat’s bowl to a new spot. Your cat may be frightened by something in its current location or simply no longer enjoy that corner. Experiment with different placements until your cat feels comfortable eating again. It’s important for your cat to have a pleasant dining experience.
One idea is to put the bowl in a corner where your cat can see the whole house or look out a window. This way, your cat can have some fun while eating. If your cat likes its food, it will happily eat whatever you give it.
Get A Different Type Of Bowl
There are many different kinds of bowls you can buy. Your cat might not like eating from a deep bowl. You can try getting a big bowl with a shallow bottom, so your kitten can eat more comfortably.
If you can, try to get a stainless steel bowl because it’s easy to clean and will last longer. Don’t buy plastic bowls because they smell and can easily break.
Engage Their Natural Hunting Instinct
Instead of using a bowl to feed your cat, you can try scattering the kibble around your house and letting your kitten search for it. Cats are instinctual hunters and enjoy the challenge of finding their food.
You can also create food puzzles for your cat, which will address the issue of your kitten not consuming the kitten food and prevent it from becoming inactive.
Things To Consider
Here are a few things to think about when it comes to giving your cat kitten food.
Should You Cook For Your Kitten Instead Of Buying Kitten Food
While it is possible to prepare meals for your kitten, it is recommended to purchase kitten food as it contains all the necessary nutrients for your little cat. Moreover, cooking food for your cat is more time-consuming and you cannot utilize the same ingredients you use for your own meals.
But if you want to make food for your kitten, make sure to consult your vet to make sure you’re doing it correctly.
Why Do Kittens Like Their Food One Day and Then Won’t Eat It the Next
Cats in their natural habitat consume 10 to 20 meals daily and enjoy experimenting with different types of food. They engage in hunting small animals that do not fully satisfy their hunger, necessitating frequent hunting. If your kitten is selective about its food choices, it may not be fulfilling its innate feeding instincts.
Experiment with different brands of dry cat food to discover which one your kitten prefers to eat frequently.
What Happens When Kittens Don’t Eat Kitten Food
If kittens don’t eat food specifically made for kittens, they won’t get all the nutrients they need, which can lead to their growth being stunted and them becoming malnourished. Kittens need a daily intake of 30-35% protein, which isn’t found in regular adult cat food.
Providing your kitten with the correct amount of nutrition is essential for their overall health and development into a well-nourished cat. It is important to feed your pet the appropriate kitten food to ensure their well-being.