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Kittens need certain key nutrients to grow strong muscle and bones, build immunity, and aid the proper development of their brains. The market is chock full of cat food designed for specific life stages. Just a cursory glance at the packaging should give you a fair idea of where to start. You need to make sure that you choose food that meets all the nutritional needs of your kitten if you want to avoid paying for vet visits, special diets, and medication later on.
Protein and carbohydrates
Cats are obligate carnivores. They cannot subsist on carbohydrates or vegetables. So, it is crucial to have a meat source as the main component of your kitten's daily diet. If a kitty does not receive the correct quantity of meat proteins, the body will start breaking down the muscle to get the nutrients you don't provide. Animal protein is absolutely necessary for the healthy growth of tissue and muscle. They supply amino acids, which are the building blocks of all the tissues in the body. Having said that, some of the amino acids are more important than others. For instance, kittens need taurine for a healthy heart and vision. Without it, your cat will suffer from heart problems and grow blind eventually. And it can be found only in meat sources. A lot of the cat foods in the market are made with grains and carbohydrates. So, it is hard to avoid them completely. But you need to take care to ensure that they constitute a very small percentage of the food. Excess carbohydrates in the diet can lead to intestinal problems and weight gain.
Fats are a very important part of every kitten's diet. They help absorb the important vitamins, like vitamin K, A, D, and E and add flavor to the food as well. They are also a very good source of energy and contain oils that maintain healthy hair coats and skin. If the diet is low in fat, it can lead to scaly, dry skin and increase the chances of your cat contracting a skin infection. Arachidonic fatty acids are essential for skin growth and blood clotting.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins and minerals like phosphorous, calcium, and vitamin D are needed for the development of teeth and bones. The amount and ratio of these nutrients are important for maximizing skeletal stability and density. Lack of mineral and vitamin balance will result in joint and bone problems when your kitten grows up.
What to avoid
You need to stick to a formula that is tailor-made for kittens. Under no circumstances should you share your food with your kitten. Try to avoid canned fish as much as possible as a prolonged diet of canned food can lead to a thiamine deficiency. Also, avoid raw eggs as they can lead to a biotin deficiency and are a common source of salmonella.
Best Frozen Cat Food
Frozen cat food mimics the food which a cat would generally find in the wild. A number of cat food manufacturers now sell such products. The consensus among cat owners and as per cats' behavior, Stella & Chewy's frozen offerings are the best at that price range. Their cat food contains real raw meat which has been freeze-dried. As an owner, you simply have to add the prescribed amount of water and serve to your cat. One flavor-the Duck Duck Goose one- is comprised of about 98 percent meat, grounded bones, and organs from cage-free birds are particularly popular among felines. Taurine and many probiotics are added to the product for the cat to enjoy better overall healthy digestion along with better muscle function. This cat food has no fillers, hormones, antibiotics, or grains.
Chicken and turkey
Another winning frozen cat food product is sold by Nature's Variety company. Its Instinct Raw Market Nuggets comprise 90 percent premium quality chicken with the liver. Vegetables and fruits made up the remaining 10 percent for added minerals and vitamins. All ingredients are organic and the chickens get raised cage-free. To serve this product, simply crumble the ingredients and add water. All nuggets are free of grain and gluten.
Want to serve Turkey to your kitty? Look no further than the Feline Turkey Formula sold by the Primal Pet Foods company. The food is not only delicious to your cat but also contains quality protein too. This frozen cat food contains 93 percent turkey, bone, and organs. The remaining seven percent is made of supplements and products for a balanced meal. The birds used to make this product are raised sans any added hormones or antibiotics. The turkey formula has no grain soy, gluten, corn, and wheat. The list of other ingredients includes squash, organic collard greens, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, coconut oil, quinoa sprout, cilantro, and kelp. Blueberries, almonds, and cranberries are also present.
Mixers and fish
The Nature Variety company has another winning product: Rawboost Mixers. The latter makes excellent Kibble add-ins. These give the cat food a highly desirable extra element of protein and flavor. The frozen bits come in rabbit and chicken flavors, and both are real meat. Vegetables and fruits are added for extra minerals and vitamins to guarantee a better immune system and a healthy coat. These bits contain no wheat, grain, by-product meal, potato, or corn. There are no preservatives or artificial colors too. If your cat loves fish, then give it the Essentials product made by the Cat Man Doo Life company. The sole ingredient in the frozen packet is Salmon. No preservatives or additives are added. This product is best given as a treat.