When caring for our kittens, we often tend to make a few mistakes. However, over time, these mistakes can prove to be costly. Hence, it’s best to learn what those mistakes are and how you can avoid them.
Getting yourself a kitten is one of the most exciting and joyous experiences you’ll ever have. After all, it’s a tiny furball whose only job is to look adorable.
According to the 2023-2024 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, around 46.5 million US households own at least one cat. While most of them are adult cats, some are also kittens.
Of course, these tiny balls of fur require special care and attention, especially when it comes to their diet. Feeding kittens the right way is crucial for their growth and development. However, there are common mistakes that many new cat owners make unknowingly when they try to feed a kitten.
In this article, we'll explore some of the things you must avoid when feeding a kitten.
According to Cats.com, one of the most common mistakes owners make is overfeeding their cats. Kittens too get overfed at times. While it may be tempting to indulge your adorable feline friend with extra treats and meals, overfeeding can lead to serious health issues.
Obesity in cats and kittens can lead to a range of problems. According to PetMD, these include health issues like diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. To avoid overfeeding, follow the feeding guidelines provided on the kitten food packaging. These guidelines are based on the age, weight, and activity level of your kitten.
#2 Ignoring the Importance of Water
For complete and balanced nutrition, proper hydration is crucial for your kitten. Some cat owners focus solely on providing the right type and amount of food but forget about the water intake. Water plays a vital role in digestion, nutrient absorption, and overall health.
Always ensure that your kitten has access to fresh and clean water. Consider placing multiple water bowls around your home, especially if you have a multi-level living space. Most kittens prefer running water, so investing in a cat water fountain can encourage them to drink more.
#3 Feeding Adult Cat Food to Kittens
Remember this – a kitten’s food is not the same as an adult cat’s food. More specifically, kitten food is different in terms of composition, nutrient content, and taste when compared to adult cat food.
Kitties have specific nutritional needs that differ from those of adult cats. Hence, these little furballs need high-quality kitten food.
A kitten can have three times the energy needs of an adult cat. Hence, feeding your kitten adult cat food can result in nutritional deficiencies that may affect their growth and development. This was pointed out by Jennifer Larsen, DVM, PhD, nutritional consultant and assistant professor of clinical nutrition, Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, University of California.
Instead, provide your furball with the best kitten food that you can find. This type of food is formulated to provide the right balance of nutrients essential for their bone, muscle, and cognitive development. Look for options labeled specifically for kittens.
These diets are rich in essential nutrients like protein, fat, and minerals that support their growing bodies. Transitioning your kitten to adult cat food should only occur when they reach maturity, typically around one year of age.
#4 Inconsistent Feeding Schedule
Cats are creatures of habit, and establishing a consistent feeding schedule is essential for their well-being. Inconsistency can lead to stress and anxiety in kittens. Set regular feeding times and stick to them as closely as possible. This routine not only helps with digestion but also creates a sense of security for your kitten.
Avoid free-feeding, where you leave food out all day for your kitten to eat whenever they please. This practice can lead to overeating and disrupt the established feeding schedule. Stick to measured meals at scheduled times to maintain a healthy and happy kitten.
In conclusion, feeding your kitten requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your furry friend receives the nutrition they need for a healthy and happy life.
Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on your kitten's diet. With the right approach, you'll be on your way to fostering a strong and thriving bond with your feline companion.