As you may imagine, feeding your kitten is not just about putting food in a clean bowl. The nutritional needs of these animals change as their bodies develop.
You have to pay special attention to the kitten and adolescence stage, which is when they grow more quickly. Proper nutrition helps kittens mature and become strong, healthy adult cats. Here are some tips on feeding your cat during the different phases of its life.
BASIC DIETRY NEEDS OF FELINES:
When we ask ourselves what cats eat, we don't usually stop to think about the nutrients that make up their diet. Cats have basic nutritional needs that we must cover so that they remain in an optimal state of health, and do not have any type of deficiency that can trigger diseases.
The cat's diet will depend not only on age, but also on the level of physical activity, state of health and metabolism, and whether it suffers from any type of pathology. The feeding of a 4-month-old kitten will not be the same as that of a 3-year-old cat; just like a cat with kidney failure, it will not eat the same food as a healthy cat.
Responding to what cats eat, we must bear in mind that felines are carnivores and need to have a high protein content in their diet, preferably from animal sources. Meat should be the main ingredient in the cat's meal to meet the nutritional needs. But, in addition to proteins, another series of nutrients are also essential:
⦁ Proteins: Your cat's feed must contain a minimum of 25%, although if it is more, much better.
⦁ Fats: In a controlled way, Fats are also very important in the feline's diet.
⦁ Carbohydrates: They may be present in small amounts, but they are not necessary for these animals, since they have difficulty processing them.
⦁ Vitamins and minerals: Two fundamental components for the health of the organs, bones, and the immune system.
⦁ Fatty acids: omega 3 and omega 6 are very important for the body of felines as they help protect their internal organs and maintain healthy skin and coat.
⦁ Essential amino acids: Taurine and arginine must always be present in the food chosen for your cat. They are essential for the synthesis of urea and for heart health.
WHAT DO SMALL CATS EAT ?
From birth to adulthood, cats have a different diet, according to each stage of their life. Even when they get older, their diet also changes. Next, we will tell you how to feed your kitten according to its age.
WHAT DOES A ONE-MONTH-OLD CAT EAR ?
Newborn kittens are fed mother's milk, which provides them with all the nutrients they need to be healthy and transmits immunity to them. If this is not possible because, for example, they are orphans, they must take a special formula, which replaces that of the mother.
But what do baby cats eat when they are one month old? At about 4 weeks of birth, weaning begins. It is when we can incorporate solid food but always soften with water or milk. The amount of mixed liquid will be gradually reduced until only dry solid food is given, around 6 weeks of age. This is when the kittens are finished weaning.
WHAT DO 2-MONTHS -OLD CATS EAT ?
After weaning, the kittens enter a stage of rapid growth, which lasts until the sixth month of life. They need a balanced diet with the nutrients and energy necessary to support this development during this stage.
Therefore, due to this development, kittens have twice the energy needs of adult cats. But their small mouths, teeth, and stomachs limit the amount of food they can digest during a single meal.
For this reason, it is best to divide the cat's daily portion into three or four meals. At this stage, kittens require a diet specifically formulated for growth. The best option is to feed them animal protein food that is highly digestible, nutritious, and designed to meet their unique nutritional needs.
\WHAT DO 6-MONTHS-OLD-CATS EAT ?
As puppies approach adult size, their nutritional needs begin to change again. The growth rate is slowing down, activity levels can drop as well, and therefore they are prepared to eat more food in fewer servings.
During this stage, from 6 to 12 months, kittens begin to look like adults, but they are still growing and need the special nutrition found in kitten food.
The teenage growth stage is a time when many cat owners are tempted to switch their kitten's food to other varieties. But the reality is that cats do not get bored with a diet of high-quality dry food, which can be supplemented with wet food.
WHAT DOES AN ADULT CAT EAT?: TRANSITION FROM KITTEN TO ADULT
When your cat is around 12 months old, it's time to switch to an adult cat feeding formula. Cats no longer need the extra calories and nutrients for growth at this age. Remember to ask your vet first and gradually change your cat's diet.