Kittens are beautiful little balls of fur that you want to hold in your arms and give them lots of pampering, but unfortunately many of them will not have a good future, since they may end up on the street or in a shelter. Therefore, when we find one or more and decide to take care of them, we have to know what they should eat.
So, let’s find out what cats eat when they are little
0 days to 3-4 weeks
Kittens from birth to a month and a half (more or less) should be fed only with their mother’s milk , since in addition to having all the nutrients they need, it strengthens their defenses. For this reason, they should never be separated from their mother at this early age, as doing so can compromise the health and even the lives of the little ones.
But if the mother cannot take care of it, either because something serious has happened to her, because she is ill or because we simply cannot find her anywhere, we will have to give them milk for kittens that we will find for sale in veterinary clinics and hospitals. as well as in pet stores. We warm it (it must be around 37ºC) and we give it to them every 3-4 hours (but beware: if they sleep peacefully at night, they should not be awakened). In the case of not getting this type of milk, we can prepare this homemade:
- 1/4 of whole milk without lactose
- 1 small spoonful of heavy cream
- 1 egg yolk (without any white)
From 4 weeks to two months
When the little ones are about to be one month old, it is time to give them something more solid food . The first few times, as they do not have very developed teeth yet, it is advisable to give them wet food for kittens: it is chopped up well, mixed with the milk that we have been giving them so far and offered. If they do not want to eat, we will put a very small piece in their mouths and close it , without hurting them but firmly. So instinctively they will swallow.
Then, we offer them the dish again, and from then on they should eat alone , but if they didn’t, we would put a piece back in their mouths.
It is important to continue bottle-feeding until 6-7 weeks; for example, they can be given 2 times a bottle and the rest soft food. This way, it will be easier for them to get used to it.
From two months to a year
At this age kittens can continue to eat wet kitten food or dry food. In the event that we want to give him more natural food, we can give him:
- Boiled fish without bones
- Boiled and chopped chicken, rabbit, or turkey
- Boiled carrots
- Chopped chicken, lamb or cow heart
- Yum diet for cats
Don’t make these mistakes when feeding your kitten
We make a lot of mistakes feeding ourselves. We eat too much sugar and salt, we eat too little and then too much. With all the problems we have with our own diets, is it any wonder we make mistakes when feeding our cats?
So what mistakes are we making and why? Our cats cannot tell us, not with words. Sometimes we don’t know where we went wrong until our cat is sick .
It is important to know these mistakes to avoid making them when it comes to feeding your cat. Do not lose detail!
Too much food
Probably the most common mistake people make when feeding cats is overfeeding. Obesity is the most common nutritional disease in cats. Although a plump kitten may look cute, obesity is associated with cat health problems such as diabetes, arthritis, and urinary tract diseases . In fact, cats can suffer from something similar to that very human condition, metabolic syndrome.
Sometimes it is not that you give them more food, it is that when they are small they move less compared to more active adult cats. When they are small, their nutritional needs are much lower, so it is easy to overfeed them.
So how much food does your cat need? That is the question best answered by a professional, although the recommendations range between 24 and 35 calories per day per pound , to keep cats at a normal and healthy weight. Although if you have doubts, talk to your veterinarian and let him tell you the exact amount taking into account the body of your cat.
Offer only dry food when they already have teeth
The biggest mistake people make is feeding cats dry food. We know that a cat’s sensitivity to thirst is decreased compared to a dog. They do not voluntarily drink water like a dog would. And because cats naturally produce highly concentrated urine, eating only dry feed is setting them up for urinary tract problems when their diet is low in fluids.
When cats have urinary tract problems, the recommendation is to put them on a diet rich in water. However, why not practice preventative nutrition by feeding them canned (high moisture) foods before they wind up with urinary tract problems?
Cats are designed to get their water from their food. Although mice, the normal food of a cat, contain approximately 70% water and canned food approximately 78%, dry food contains between 5% and 10% water. This is why canned food does a better job of keeping your cat well hydrated.
Offer little water
Clearly, water is vital, both for cats and for people. Essential for life, water represents 60% to 70% of the body weight of an adult cat. A severe water deficiency can have critical repercussions for pets, causing serious illness or death.
Although wet food can go a long way to meet your feline friend’s water needs, cats should also have several sources of fresh water available in the house. Pay attention to where the cat likes to be so there is water there. Also, you should bear in mind that some cats prefer running water; others can detect the taste of chlorine in tap water, so you may want to buy bottled water for them.
Vegetarian or vegan
Another mistake made when feeding cats is trying to make cats vegetarian or vegan. Cats are carnivores, which means they must eat primarily meat and animal organs to thrive. The amino acid taurine, for example, is only found in animal tissue . Lack of taurine can cause a cat to experience heart problems, blindness, and even death.
The nutrients cats need that come from meat can be provided synthetically in food. But you have to be very careful and be aware of the nutritional idiosyncrasies of the cat . Because most of us are not very sure about our own nutritional needs, it can be almost impossible to guess what our cats’ needs are.
Create nutritional deficiencies
Interest in homemade cat (and dog) food is on the rise. However, it is important to realize that homemade does not always mean healthy. One mistake well-intentioned people make is eating unbalanced homemade diets.
This is because when making cat food from scratch, some people fail to balance meat with the correct amount of calcium, forgetting that a cat would be eating both the meat and bones of its prey, providing an adequate ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
A cat diet that is too heavy in tuna, liver, or liver oil (such as cod liver oil) can lead to vitamin A toxicosis, resulting in bone and joint pain, brittle bones, and dry skin . A diet too rich in raw fish can destroy vitamin B1, causing muscle weakness, seizures, or brain damage. If a feline caregiver wants to prepare your pet’s food, you must follow a balanced recipe.
One way to do this is to start by talking to your vet, who can steer you away from food fads and guide you toward a balanced and healthy eating plan for your cat. Although this article has focused on feeding kittens, these feeding mistakes can also be made in adult cats. In this sense, avoid making mistakes when your cats are small, but also when they grow up!
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Should cats eat wet or dry food?
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