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Kittens make amazing companions and pets; they are small, cute, and they love to snuggle. If you have just rescued or adopted a kitten, and are wondering how different it is to care for a kitten when compared to looking after an adult cat, there are a few things you should know, especially when it comes to nutrition.
- Cannot digest cow’s milk: Yes, as surprising as that may seem, cats, and especially kittens, must not be fed cow’s milk in any form. Although cats like the taste of cow’s milk, they cannot digest it, leading to bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues in your kitten. If the mother is around, mother’s milk is best for a very young kitten. If that is not possible, kitten formula is a good replacement.
- Need more food than adult cats: Kittens grow at an almost alarming rate in the first few months. They may double or even triple their body weight is just a few weeks. They are also highly active and energetic when they are under six months of age. This combination means that they need lots of food to keep their energy levels up and to ensure they grow well. They need to be fed at regular intervals several times a day and can be fed both wet and dry food.
- Might fall sick with raw food: Kittens have weak immunity as their immune systems are still developing when they are young. Raw meat and eggs can contain a number of microbes that cause infections in cats and kittens. Kittens might not be able to fight off these infections at a very early age, which is why it is best to avoid feeding raw meat and eggs to really small kittens.
- Must be accustomed to different textures: Do not stick to a single kind of food when feeding the kitten. It is always a good idea to get your kitten introduced and accustomed to different flavors and textures early on. Not doing so can mean that the kitten refuses to eat anything other than the one specific food you give, which could create problems later on if you need to switch foods.
- Should have constant access to water: Kittens are very high on energy, which means they are running around at top speed, jumping, and playing constantly whenever they are awake. High levels of activity mean that they sweat a lot and need to drink water often to stay hydrated. It is, therefore, important to keep a clean water source accessible to your kitten at all times.
Proper nutrition will ensure your kitten grows up to be a healthy, fit, and energetic adult cat. With proper training early on along with lots of love and care, cats can make for amazing pets that bond with you for life.