Two of the most common questions new kitten parents lose sleep over are:
“What should I feed my kitten?” and “How much should I feed my kitten?”
Kittens have very different nutritional needs compared to adult cats — and these may also vary from week to week as they develop. Making sure they get the right nutrition is critical to their health and happiness at all stages.
Here are helpful guidelines to follow:
1. Feeding Your Kitten from 5 to 8 Weeks: Solids
By now, your kitten should be weaned from the bottle or mum and eating a recommended solid, meat-based kitten food with the right nutrients for proper growth. Keep these tips in mind:
- The optimal dry kitty food should contain about 35% protein and 12–24% fat.
- Since kittens can’t eat a lot at one feeding, they’ll still need 3-4 small meals (about ¼ cup) throughout the day, with plenty of water offered alongside.
- Keep their feeding bowls in a quiet, stress-free area of the house.
- Make sure to pick only high-quality kitten food from the very beginning. If you need to switch kibble brands for any reason, do it gradually so as not to upset your kitten’s tummy.
2. Feeding Your Kitten from 3 to 6 Months old: Growth
Keep an eye on your kitten’s weight and continue feeding it with a special kitten-formula kibble or wet kitten food (depending on what your kitten likes). Use the tables on the food to adjust feedings to the right amount (usually about 1/3 a cup 3 times daily) so your pet is getting all the nutrients it needs without risking obesity.
3. Feeding Your Kitten from 6 to 12 months old: Almost Grown
Continue following the weight/amount guidelines on the high-quality canned or kibble kitten food during this stage as your kitten develops into cat adulthood. Remember that your cat is a carnivore, so a high-protein food with nutrients like arginine and taurine is essential. Avoid the temptation to feed your growing kitten with table scraps as these can have painful consequences for your kitten!
4. Never Feed Your Kitten Any of These Things!
- Grapes and raisins
- Coffee and tea
Also be very careful about the following foods because they may contain harmful bacteria, cause nutrient-absorption illnesses, or cause stomach upset:
- Raw liver
- Raw fish
- Raw eggs
- Cow’s milk
Raising a happy and healthy cat requires some work but following these guidelines should help you raise a tiny kitten into adulthood with ease. Subscribe to Knose’s kitten and cat health tips for more pet care and health essentials.