Baby animals are sooooo darn cute with their adorable little faces, clumsy missteps, bursts of energy and boundless curiosity. It’s understandable why so many people want to adopt the very young. But with adopting younger pets comes the added responsibility of ensuring they get the proper nutrition their growing bodies need from the start. Kittens are no exception. Read on for a few kitten nutrition tips and fun facts you may not be aware of.
If you’re going to bring home any new pet you should be able to afford it. Yes, that’s a killjoy attitude for some, but it’s called responsibility and fairness to the animal. Kittens should be given a premium kitten formula for the first full year of their lives. This is not an area to skimp in. Remember, they are obligate carnivores, so the formula you choose should be high in animal proteins while including some fat and carbs. And, while most cats love fish, don’t overdo it with this particular food source.
Wet Food vs Dry
Many people feel okay about just feeding their cats and dogs dry food alone. You really don’t want to do this. Feed your kitten a combination of wet food and dry kitten kibble. It adds much needed moisture to their diet. Another idea that’s gotten very popular with cat owners is a raw diet to sate their pet’s need for meat. Companies like Rad Cat and Primal sell raw food, but raw diets can get very expensive.
Note: Do not give them processed dry food and raw food at the same time, as they breakdown and digest differently. Feed these several (8-10) hours apart.
Did you know that, unlike adult cats, kittens can and should be given the opportunity to graze at will? That’s right. It’s called free-choice feeding, but grazing is a better word for it. For the first year kittens can just tie on the old feedbag and graze whenever they want, as much as they want. After all, they are a growing body. There is one caveat to this method, and that is this feeding approach works best with dry food to eliminate spoilage concerns. You can still give them wet food once or twice a day on the side, though.
Kitten Treats & Hydration
Since your new kitten is allowed a free pass on pretty much eating whenever it wants, he or she can have treats, too. We’re not suggesting you leave them out like a bowl of Skittles, but a natural, non-processed treat low in sodium can be given on an occasional basis as a snack or during training sessions as an incentive or reward. And finally, as always, make sure your kitten has access to plenty of clean drinking water 24 hours a day, because proper hydration is just as important as proper diet.