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When can a kitten eat cat food: The definitive guide to switching kitten food

When can a kitten eat cat food: The definitive guide to switching kitten food

How long should cats eat kitten food? And what exactly is the best food to feed cats whilst they’re still young? Parcelpet has got all the answers you need so sit back with a brew, whilst we take you through switching kitten food to cat food!

What’s the difference between kitten food and cat food

Just as babies aren’t simply miniature humans, kittens are not simply pint-sized cats; they have different dietary requirements. In fact, kittens need to ‘catch up’ and therefore require a diet higher in protein, which promotes healthy growth and development. For this reason, selecting a kitten food is just as important (if not more) than selecting their food when they are an adult.

Best kitten food

Whether you choose dry or wet, kitten food needs to include ingredients which promote healthy growth and development. Food that is high in protein and packed with essential nutrients provide your kitten with the best start in life. Moreover, selecting a hypoallergenic kitten food can be an important pre-emptive step in avoiding the development of allergies caused by common allergens.

Moreover, it is a common misconception that milk is ok for cats. Of course, a kitten should be fed milk from their mother whilst they are still young, but once they are weaned off it then you shouldn’t reintroduce milk into their diet. The milk that we drink is actually very difficult for cats stomachs to digest, which can result in an upset tummy.

Other human foods to look out for include:

Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in cats so steer clear of this one.

Chocolate and caffeine – that’s right it isn’t just dogs! Read up on toxicity of Theobromine here.

Alcohol (…even a teaspoon can be highly toxic to your cat).

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Best cat food

Now don’t worry, you can still select a hypoallergenic cat food which contains all the good stuff above (and more!) however, the main difference is that this will be in much smaller quantities. That’s not to say that your cat won’t be getting those all-important ingredients in their food which promotes good health. Instead, they will be receiving just the right amount that their bodies require to remain fit and healthy.

Why feeding kittens cat food is a bad idea

As discussed above, cat food and kitten food are formulated to contain different quantities and different ingredients to best suit their nutritional requirements based on their age. For this reason, we do not recommend feeding a kitten cat food. Why? If you feed a kitten cat food, this may slow their development. Likewise, if you feed a cat kitten food, your cat may become overweight or face other health implications.

The early months: feeding amounts

For the first 12 months, your kitten will go through 4 different stages:

1 – 3 months: weaning process (read more here).
3 – 6 months: 3 times per day.
6 – 12 months: 2 times per day.
12+ months: 2 times per day (however, some owners may choose to reduce feeding to once a day).

When can a kitten eat cat food

As you would expect, a kitten is expected to be eating adult cat food when they reach maturity. This usually occurs at 12 months however this may be increased to 18 months for larger breeds such as the Maine Coon.

Switching kitten food to cat food

It’s time to switch… Yay! But, whilst it is perfectly acceptable for you to mix puppy food with dog food, you should never mix kitten food with cat food. Why? Due to the particularly fickle nature of cats (and kittens in particular), doing this might not only put your cat off of their new food, but also put them off of their old food.

Instead, we recommend providing two bowls with the new food in one, and the old food in another. By gradually decreasing the amount of old food in one bowl and increasing the amount of new food in one bowl, your cat will naturally begin to select the new food.

guide-to-switching-kitten-food-to-cat-foodKnowing how much to feed a cat following their early years can be tricky and varies between different food brands. We recommend always reading the label on the back of the packet or bag. By doing this, and knowing what weight your cat is (and more importantly should be) you will have a clear indication as to how much food you should be feeding them per meal.

What’s the best food for kittens to switch to

As discussed above, we’re all about hypoallergenic pet food, which is why it won’t surprise you that we only recommend this type of food for your adult cat too. Hypoallergenic food is not only allergen free (i.e. no diary, corn gluten meal and seafood etc) but it also doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives. Rather than including ingredients that may cause your cat an upset stomach, we only source the best ingredients that provide a wealth of benefits to your cat!

Tips, tricks & fluffy tails

Kitten refusing to eat new food

If your kitten is refusing to eat their new food and you’ve already tried out our transitioning tips above, then have no fear, there’s still a couple of things you can do:

Stimulate their appetite: to get their tummy rumbling, engage in activities which require them to burn calories. This can be anything from a game of cat and mouse to scratching at their scratching post!

Regulate feeding: make sure that you are feeding them at regular time intervals. This will encourage them to eat when you give them their food (which coincidentally is when their food is most appetising!)

Wonderful water: provide lots of fresh water throughout the day and particularly at feeding times.

Switching from wet food to dry food? Try adding a little warm water to the kibble to make it more palatable.

Is it an environment you would want to eat in? Keep the toilet (litterbox) well away from where your kitten eats. Create a calm environment so they can take their time to enjoy their new adult food.

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Did we miss something? Head to our Facebook page and let us know how you got on with transitioning your kitten.

hypoallergenic cat food


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