As your kitten grows into an adult cat, crucial changes must be made to their lifestyle. Making the following changes are a must to ensure a fulfilling and healthy life for your now all-grown-up feline companion.
As any cat owner knows, the transition from a playful, mischievous kitten to a mature and independent adult cat is both rewarding and bittersweet. When your feline friend grows, so do their needs and behaviors.
According to the American Pet Products Association, in the US, 46.5 million households own cats, and you, too, might be a cat parent. To ensure a harmonious and healthy relationship with your cat, it's crucial to make certain adjustments in your care routine and living environment.
Here are a few changes to consider when your kitten blossoms into an adult cat:
Slowly Make Dietary Adjustments
One of the most significant changes you'll need to make as your kitten becomes an adult cat is their diet. This is the moment you must ask an important question – when to switch kitten to cat food? While kitten food is easy to chew and digest, adult cat food can be a bit more complex. Hence, cat food transitioning is an important process that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Of course, you can’t just make your kitten eat adult cat food all of a sudden. As mentioned earlier, the adult diet is complex. Switching abruptly from a kitten diet to an adult diet can lead to a digestive upset. Therefore, the transition requires a process.
According to Dr. Nithya Priyadarshini, veterinary expert at Supertails, start feeding your cat kitten formula and dry food from 5-6 weeks of age. You can then reduce feeding them the wet food from the age of 6-7 weeks. After that, you can then finally shift your kitty to dry food and then full-on adult cat meals.
While kittens are notorious for their boundless energy and playful antics, adult cats tend to mellow out a bit. However, playtime remains an essential aspect of their well-being.
As your cat matures, the types of toys and activities they enjoy may change. Kittens often gravitate toward interactive toys and games that mimic hunting behavior.
Adult cats, however, may prefer toys that challenge their intellect or satisfy their natural instincts, such as puzzle feeders or toys that dispense treats. Ensure you continue to engage with your cat through play, as it fosters a strong bond and helps prevent behavioral issues.
Timing is also important here. According to Cats.com, let your adult cats play for 30 to 40 minutes per day. Divide this time into two or three sessions. Kittens will tend to play a bit longer since they have more energy.
As your cat transitions into adulthood, their grooming requirements may shift. While kittens typically need more assistance with grooming, adult cats are often more adept at self-grooming. However, this, of course, doesn't mean you should neglect caring for their coat.
Long-haired breeds, in particular, may require regular brushing to prevent matting and hairballs. Regularly check your cat's ears, teeth, and nails, and address any issues promptly.
As cats age, they may also experience changes in coat texture or develop specific grooming needs. Stay attuned to these changes and adjust your grooming routine accordingly.
Health Checkups and Preventive Care
Regular veterinary checkups are crucial throughout your cat's life, but the focus of these visits may shift as they age. Kittens require vaccinations and preventive measures to safeguard their developing immune system.
The Veterinary Wellness Clinic of Columbia suggests that kittens are much more vulnerable to diseases than adult cats. However, as your cat matures, preventive care becomes increasingly important in detecting and addressing potential health issues.
Regular dental care, weight monitoring, and screenings for common feline health concerns become integral parts of their healthcare routine. Work closely with your veterinarian to establish an appropriate schedule for vaccinations, dental cleanings, and other preventive measures.
In conclusion, there’s a lot to change when your kitten grows up into an adult cat. However, as discussed above, take things slow and steady. Remember that it’s a process and there’s no need to rush your feline friend.