When do kittens wean?
The weaning process begins around 4 weeks of age. Start out slowly by mixing baby food (check the ingredients to make sure the food contains no onion as this is toxic to cats) canned or dry cat food in with some kitten formula. Not all kittens will take to food immediately, so patience is important. Introduce a small amount initially. You can introduce solids either by placing a small amount of food on your finger or in a cat bowl. Kittens should be fully weaned by 8 weeks of age.
Kitten food is designed specifically for the high energy requirements of kittens. Their nutritional requirements are greater than those of older cats due to the rapid growth they are undertaking.
Kitten food generally comes in two forms. Wet (or canned) and dry. One or both of these varieties is fine for your cat.
While pet foods have to meet the nutritional requirements of cats, not all brands are created equally. Cheaper brands tend to contain more fillers, which come in the form of carbohydrates, most often corn. Your cat will have to eat more food to meet it’s energy requirements, so cheaper brands don’t always actually save you money. Also, these brands tend to be more likely to produce unpleasant smelling feces than the premium brands.
Your veterinarian is the best person to speak to for feeding advice. They can recommend the best product for your kitten.
Introducing either chunks of raw meat or raw chicken necks or bones two to three times a week is also recommended for dental health.
Kitten food should be fed until 12 months of age, at which time you can switch to balanced adult food.
Changing a kitten’s diet
When adopting a new kitten, find out what food it has been eating. If you would like to change the type or brand of food, do this gradually by mixing in increasing amounts of the new food with the old food. A sudden change in diet can cause tummy upsets in kittens and cats.
How many meals a day should a kitten have?
Most people like to feed a small amount of wet food 4 times a day and leave dry food out 24/7 for them to graze on.
What do kittens drink?
Once weaned, kittens should be given fresh tap water. Change water daily.
What not to feed a kitten
- Cooked bones
- Dog food
- Cows milk
- Vegetarian diet
- Supplements, unless recommended by your veterinarian