If you are raising a newborn kitten, you might be wondering can kittens eat adult cat food?
Just as you wouldn’t give adult food to a baby, kittens too need a special food formula up until they reach the age of about 1year.
You see, a well-balanced diet is essential to raising a healthy and happy kitten to be a content and well-adjusted adult cat.
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Prior to weaning, it isn’t the right thing to do to feed your kitten any kind of food at all, most especially food that is made for full-grown cats.
The dietary needs of an adult cat are completely different from those of a kitten.
Under normal circumstances kittens are usually readied for weaning when they’re around a month old, although that decision is usually left up to the mother cat.
The truth of the matter is, that despite all our worrying and fretting, a newborn kitten doesn’t need more than milk from nursing, or if the mother is absent, formula administered through a kitten milk replacer.
Giving them adult cat food at this time would definitely not be helpful, nor is it needed.
Also read: can cats eat dog food?
Difference Between Kitten Food and Adult Cat Food
The nutritional requirements of a tiny kitten are quite different than those of a full-grown adult cat.
One thing you should remember is that a small kitten requires a lot more energy than an adult.
All you have to do to figure out how much, is to multiply an adult cat’s energy requirements by three and you’ll understand perfectly. So for the purpose of energy intake, kittens need a lot of it to come from protein.
But there’s still more.
Kittens grow much more quickly during the first year of their lives. This super growth rate makes it very important that they have more nutrients, vitamins, and protein than an adult cat requires.
It’s the way that they grow, develop, and metabolize their food that is the main reason kittens need a diet that is different from that of adult cats.
The reason giving adult cat food to a kitten is wrong, regardless of how well-intentioned you might be, is because you may end up depriving the kitten of the essential vitamins and minerals she needs to grow and develop properly.
Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats have.
With commercial kitten-formulated cat food so easily obtained at pet stores everywhere, there is no good reason to give a kitten adult cat food, and you should not do it.
However, if your kitten accidentally eats some adult cat food, don’t get upset.
There’s no need to panic because he’s going to be ok. You can actually give your kitten a small quantity of adult cat food if you are out of kitten food.
Consult a Veterinarian
If you’re experiencing doubts and are uncertain how to properly feed a kitten, don’t hesitate to consult veterinarian for some excellent and qualified advice.
Inquire about all of the essential fats, carbohydrates and proteins your kitty needs, and don’t forget about the vitamins either.
The vet may say that you don’t have to be concerned about vitamin C, because kittens can produce it on their own.
They may further tell you to move up to the B vitamins — vital for healthy growth.
Don’t worry about looking foolish. No one is born knowing everything there is to know about animals.
The more information you have about exactly what your kitten requires from her meals, the easier it will be for you to make the appropriate choices when it comes to purchasing the right food for her.
Proper Kitten Food
Since kittens have certain nutritional requirements, it is recommended that you serve them a kitty meal that has DHA in order to ensure healthy vision and brain development.
It should contain lots of nutrients and vitamins to aid in supporting a strong immune system along with healthy skin and coat.
Furthermore, it should have mostly natural ingredients, with no fillers, artificial flavors or preservatives.
That’s a lot to ask for, but isn’t your kitten worth it?
I recommend this kitten food right here, but it is formulated with their needs in mind.
A kitten is usually considered as remaining a kitten until she’s about one year old.
It is highly recommended by vets everywhere that you continue feeding your kitten only kitten-specific meals until that landmark is reached.
Once a cat is a year old, her body is ready to tackle the diet of an adult cat. That’s when you can start them on the adult cat food.
How to Gradually Switch Your Kitten to Adult Cat Food
When your kitten reaches 12 months old, it is the ideal time to gradually begin to switch them over from kitten food to adult food.
But don’t rush the process!
This should be done gradually over a period of 5 days, so that by day 7 all the kitten food is replaced with adult food and your kitty is officially an adult.
Mixture of Wet and Dry Foods
You might not be aware of this, but wet food has about a quarter of the calories of dry food, which is a good thing, because it lets owners give their cats bigger meals, but without the risk of overfeeding.
Wet food provides benefits for urinary tract health in cats due to its high moisture content.
Owners enjoy giving their cats wet food because it appears to be a much larger meal and cats seem to enjoy it.
One of the benefits of dry food, however, is that it can assist in automatically removing dental plaque when the crunchy kibbles are chewed by the kitty.
Since there is an increasing number of cats that are overweight, replacing some dry food with wet food mixed into their meal is one method to lower calories consumed each meal.
Because cats normally eat only what they need, you can use free-choice feeding for most cats and it won’t be a problem.
Free-choice feeding means that you can give your cat food around the clock and allow them to eat when and how much they want.
A word of caution, however, indoor cats that don’t get much exercise may overeat if fed free-choice. For them, it’s better to use portion-controlled feeding twice a day.
In order to determine how much food you should be giving your cat, just check the recommendations of the pet food manufacturer on the label.
Follow these guidelines, and monitor your cat’s weight and the condition of their body during the transition, and adjust feeding amounts as necessary.
If you find that your cat is losing or gaining weight and they shouldn’t be, then make a moderate adjustment to their daily intake and weigh them again the next week.
Also read: best cat food for a sensitive stomach.
Dry Food Diet
It’s vital that kittens which are still very young have some canned as part of their daily diet. Remember that very small kittens have equally small teeth and aren’t able to chew dry food well. Without some canned food in their diet, they won’t receive enough nutrition to develop and grow the way they should.
Some cat owners feed their cat a diet of dry food because dry food costs less, is preserved more easily, and can be left out for the entire day, so your cat is able to take a nibble whenever they feel hungry.
One of the main issues with dry cat food is that it doesn’t hold moisture or a lot of water, and that’s important for cats because they tend to not drink as much water as they need.
Wet Food Diet
A wet food diet is especially important if your cat has kidney problems, isn’t really into drinking water, or is a picky eater.
The reason wet food is good for cats with kidney or urinary tract infections is that wet food is composed of about 75% water, and dry food is only about 10% water.
How to Choose Adult Cat Food
You need to be sure that you choose an adult cat food that supplies the same high-level nutrition as a premium kitten food.
It would be a mistake to downgrade to a basic nutrition brand at this particular time, because doing so could upset their digestive system and will not give them the same nutrition they have been receiving.
Continue purchasing premium food that is created to meet your cats needs and supply them with additional benefits.
The adult cat food you choose should have the following:
- High quality ingredients
- Balanced levels of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals
- Along with high quality food you need great taste too or your cat will not touch it
- Product guarantees
Signs Your Cat Is Healthy
- Extraordinary muscle tone
- Shiny, beautiful and lush coat
- Healthy skin and bones
- Clear, bright eyes and healthy, clean teeth
So in summing things up, can kittens eat adult cat food?
Not on a regular basis. If you want your new best friend to thrive and develop the way that they should, then you have to be sure that you buy them the food they need, which contains all of the nutrients, vitamins and protein that is necessary to keep a little kitten going.
Kitten food is made specifically for kittens so that it supplies them with the nutrition they need.
They cannot progress to adult food until they are at least 1 year old or they can suffer digestive problems and other difficulties.