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Your Kitten's New Diet

by Kirstie Jones BSc (Hons) RVN MBNA

So you have your new bundle of kitten joy and you want to give her (or him) the best start in life.  One of the essentials is feeding the right diet and amounts.

Feeding a complete diet that is designed for kittens is essential to ensure they receive all the essential vitamins and minerals to help promote healthy growth and development. Also important is feeding the right amount – kittens should be fed according to their current weight not adult weight. A kitten’s stomach is only very small and for this reason kittens should have their daily food portion split out over several smaller portions through the day. For very young kittens the food can be soaked in warm water to form a porridge consistency.  Read on for more information about what your kitten needs and how to help your small bundle of joy.  Our Burns Kitten Food is a complete food containing everything your kitten needs including all the following essentials.

Protein: Proteins are large complex molecules which are composed of long chains of amino acids. These molecules are the building blocks of the body. Protein ensures healthy growth, development and maintenance of vital organs and tissues including cartilage, muscle and tendons. Protein is also involved with the production of hormones and antibodies.

Kittens will be going through many growth phases up until 9 months of age and therefore they require a slightly higher level of protein than an adult cat. A good quality complete kitten food will contain the correct level of protein to help promote a slow and steady growth pattern.

Amino Acids: In addition to requiring a higher level of protein cats and kittens also require specific amino acids to be present in their diet. There are 11 essential amino acids that cats require such as Taurine which is essential for normal heart function, vision and brain development. By feeding a good quality complete kitten food you will be ensuring your kitten is getting all these essential amino acids in the required quantities.

Fat: Fat is a good energy source and will provide your kitten with the energy for their playful bursts. A good quality fat will also contain essential fatty acids including Linoleic Acid and Arachidonic Acid which are essential to maintain a healthy skin and coat.

Calcium and Phosphorus: Calcium is the most common mineral found in the body followed by Phosphorus. Both of these minerals promote strong bones and teeth.

Zinc and Selenium: Both Zinc and Selenium ensure a healthy immune system as well as having a role in growth and hormone production. By selecting a good quality kitten food you will know that this diet is balanced and designed to promote optimum health and growth in your developing kitten.

Choosing the right food

Choosing a food that is highly digestible and containing only the highest quality ingredients will help keep a kittens delicate stomach settled. The introduction of a new food will have to be done gradually over a 10-14 day period. The gradual change has two benefits:

  • avoids causing any digestive upset with the introducing of new ingredients to your cat
  • cats are well known for being selective with their food and not so keen on change, a slow introduction will reduce the chances of refusal of the new food

Daily feeding guidelines

This kitten feeding guidelines table can be used as a general guide alongside good sense and experience. Actual requirements depend on individual variation, environment, sex and breed.

Kittens should be fed according to their current weight not adult weight. A kitten’s stomach is only very small and for this reason kittens should have their daily food portion split out over several smaller portions through the day. For very young kittens the food can be soaked in warm water to form a porridge consistency.

For any additional support please contact our helpline which is free and includes live chat, email or freephone support

FEEDING KITTENS

 

Approximate Age Body Weight (kg) Feeding Amount (g)
Up to 5 weeks up to 0.5kg up to 35g
5-10 weeks 0.5-1kg 35-55g
10-20 weeks 1-2kg 55-70g
by Kirstie Jones BSc (Hons) RVN MBNA

I work at Burns as a Nutritional Advisor, mainly on the Burns pet food nutrition helpline, assisting customers with various enquires they have on their pets which is so rewarding, knowing you are helping to make a difference.

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