Nutrition for Kittens & Seniors: Tips for Every Phase of Life

Little house tigers that are discovering the world are constantly on the move – and as a result, have a high energy turnover and are constantly hungry for bears or kittens. As long as Mama’s milk bar is available, a kitten will periodically satisfy its appetite there.

How long did kittens need different diets?

In the first weeks and months of life, the targeted care of a kitten with exactly the right food is elementary. Under adverse circumstances, you even have to start one step earlier: If the mother animal has too little milk or you have to take care of orphans, use a special cat milk substitute.

Between the fourth and eighth week of life, the slow transition between milk and solid food takes place. The kittens begin to take an interest in the mother’s bowl and will alternate feeding on mother’s milk and solid food for a while as the mother’s milk flow slows down.

Between about eight and ten weeks, the kitten can be fully transitioned to cat food. Start by offering him high-quality complete junior food. The trade has a wide range of such special baby food ready.

The kitten is only about seven months old enough to be able to gradually switch from kitten to adult food. Don’t feed the kitten adult food beforehand: this can lead to severe malnutrition, as discussed below. You should use the phase of switching to solid food to introduce the kitten to as many different flavors and brands as possible: Variety experienced early on prevents food crises in the adult animal. However, some cats react sensitively and with diarrhea to constant change. Then you should ask your veterinarian for advice.

What is special about kitten nutrition?

The first phase of a kitten’s life consists mainly of two things: exploring the world and growing. The organism of the little house tiger does the hard work: Within a few months, a tiny, helpless animal becomes an energetic, agile creature that keeps its environment in suspense. Bodyweight multiplies and the whimsical stumbling around escalates into breathtaking fitness and athletic feats. All of this can only develop healthily if the kitten is given food that contains all the important components in an age-appropriate ratio. A kitten needs about twice as much energy as an adult cat; Kitten food has correspondingly higher nutritional values.

A kitten’s small stomach is designed to accommodate smaller portions of food; there is simply not enough space for an “adult portion”. In contrast to adult cats, the animal needs many small rations that are distributed evenly throughout the day. Kitten food should contain highly digestible proteins; Such highly digestible food takes into account the rapid metabolism of the kitten and enables the intake of as many amino acids as possible. Since only a small amount of food can be consumed at a time, but the kitten’s energy requirements are very high, you should make sure that the kitten’s food is particularly high-energy. The kitten should also have free access to dry food right from the start: Crunching the hard chunks of food strengthens the chewing muscles and prevents tartar. Make sure fresh water is always available. If kittens only get wet food in the first few weeks of life, the development of the jaw can be weakened.

How does my kitten learn to eat out of the bowl?

Kittens learn to eat from their mother’s bowl through observation and imitation. But just as human babies initially have trouble transitioning from bottle to plate and cutlery, the bowl can be confusing for many kittens at first. The reason for this is simple: as long as the kitten is drinking from the teat or needs to be bottle-fed, the food source is horizontal in front of its mouth – or slightly elevated above it. In order to eat from the bowl, however, the kitten now has to lower its head and lift the chunks of food. This has to be learned and requires some coordination work. If you have to raise a kitten without the mother’s assistance, a trick and a little patience are required. Put cat food on a spoon and hold it in front of the kitten’s face so that they can eat from the spoon at nose level. If that works, lower the spoon further and further until the animal has internalized the feed intake “from below” and uses the bowl alone.

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