With new litters born across the UK and kitten season coming to an end, Vet’s Kitchen provides a quick guide to feeding kittens.
As your kitten grows its important that they receive the right nutritional support to grow up happy and healthy from day one. Managing Director and practicing vet at Vet’s Kitchen, Jenny Philp outlines her top three tips for feeding kittens to ensure they don’t develop into a fussy eater.
1 Variety is the key ingredient
Cats are very sensitive to the texture, shape, smell and taste of food so it pays to ensure they don’t become fussy eaters. Make sure to expose your cat to different food types and flavours and offer different culinary experiences as kittens, such as dry food, moist food (in jelly or gravy), home-cooked meat and semi-moist diets. By doing so you should be able to prevent them growing into fussy eaters as they will be well accustomed to a wide range of flavours, odours and textures from a young age. It’s important when doing this however, to ensure that any new foods are introduced carefully and in small amounts to avoid an upset stomach.
2 Keep it fresh
The temperature of the food and even the environment, season or storage conditions can affect your kitten’s food preferences. Both kittens and cats prefer food at room or even body temperature so it’s best not to serve food straight from the fridge. Equally, moist food should not be allowed to dry out as this will decrease palatability. Try to purchase small bags of dry food and keep them sealed when not being used to ensure the food stays fresher and reduces the likelihood of a storage mite infestation.
3 It’s all in the detail
As cute as they are, kittens are natural born hunters and require animal tissue to survive. Meat contains all 11 essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein that cats require. For example, the amino acid taurine is needed for normal vision and a healthy heart and arginine is so essential that a deficiency can cause diarrhea, weight loss, seizures and can quite quickly lead to death. Although legally, all kitten foods will meet your kitten’s minimum nutritional requirements, the quality can vary greatly and you should check out the ingredients and analysis. Check the back of food packets, pouches and tins and remember – a higher meat content is usually tastier and is more suited to the natural physiology of our feline friends.