Kitten Care – Feeding Tips
Considering a cats life span can easily reach 15+ years, it’s extremely important that you set your kitten up from the start. Obviously your kitten will have been started on her mother’s milk. This is a special condensed milk called colostrums. It contains antibodies to help fight disease and is also very high in essential proteins.
What Exactly is Colostrum?
The colostrum, also known colloquially as “the first milk”, is a type of milk produced by the mammary glands of all mammals in the last period of pregnancy and the first 48 hours after giving birth. The 87 growth and 97 immune factors of colostrum have enormous curative capacities in: fighting viruses, bacteria mycosis, parasites, protecting the digestive system.
Also, the colostrum restores all the body tissues and muscles, stimulates the nerve cells and brain activity, regulates the blood sugar and cholesterol. Colostrum heals the heart and brain’s lesions and has a role in detoxifying and protecting the cardio-vascular system.
All these amazing effects of this “miraculous milk” are essential to any new-born mammal in the first hours of life.
So, just as you would make sure you feed your newborn baby with all the nutrients it needs, the same goes for your new kitten. Whether you’ve bought your kitten from a breeder or a rescue centre, make sure you check with the seller exactly what your kitten has been raised on so far, and stick with it.
Don’t buy cheap kitten food or milk, you want to have the best start for your new addition and she’ll need all the nutrients she can get, as she’ll be 75% grown when she reaches 6 months.
It’s advisable for your kitten to stay on kitten food until they are 12 months old, then, gradually move them onto adult brands by mixing small amounts in with the old kitten food. Also make sure you feed your kitten little and often, their stomachs at 8 weeks old will only be the size of a walnut.
After weaning, your kitten should be having four small meals a day. Eventually this should be reduced to two meals a day by the age of six months.
Varied Diet – Good Idea or Not?
We all know how fussy cats can be, so introducing your kitten to tiny amounts of wet food and dry strips of meat will help get your kitty used to the idea of variety in her diet. It will also help with hydration and teeth cleaning. However stay away from giving her raw meat as food poisoning and tummy bugs are very serious problems for a young cat. Always cook the meat right through and again, keep the amounts very small.
Once she has reached 6 weeks old she will no longer need kitten milk.
Water should always be readily available and DON’T feed your kitten cows milk. It’s for calves not cats!
Cows milk has high quantities of lactose.
Your Kitten may love the taste but it will cause digestive problems and feline diarrhoea.
Dry or Wet Food?
Just like us, cats are all very different in their characters and tastes.
You may find as your kitten grows she has a preference for wet or dry food.
Be careful though as kittens eyes are usually bigger than their stomachs.
So follow the instructions on the pack for dry food, as they have a habit of over eating.
Both have nutritional value and you will come to know which suits you and your kitten through trial and error.
A good tip is to find out which food your kittens mother was eating whilst she was nursing them.
Dry food will help with, dental health, stools with less odour. (Always keep water available with dry food).
Wet food, on the other hand is closer to a cats original diet and usually contains 80% water.
If in any doubt make sure you consult your vet.