When your new mission in life is to photograph and film every cute moment involving the kitten you’ve welcomed into your home, shopping for cat food may be the last thing on your mind. But finding the best cat food for kittens doesn’t have to take too much time. With these guidelines in mind, your kitten will stay happy, healthy and camera-ready.
Don’t Cut Calories
According to PetMio Food Scientist Kasra Farsad, kittens need up to three times as many calories as adult cats. To make sure that your kitten is getting the calories it needs, Farsad recommends feeding your cat three to four times a day.
“Kittens need high calorie diets, preferably calories from protein and fat, with 2-3 times as much protein as fat,” he said.
Protein is Crucial
For kittens, protein is essential for growth.
“Cats are strictly carnivores, and a lot of people don’t get that,” said Arlianne Velez, a doctor of veterinary medicine and Chief Veterinarian at PetMio.
Dr. Velez said that kittens need about 30% protein in their food, depending on the kitten.
Although many pet owners think cats only like fish, it doesn’t matter so much where the protein comes from. What matters is that your kitten gets the protein it needs to grow properly. So, whether it’s from chicken, beef or fish, the best cat food for kittens has enough protein to turn your energetic kitten into a healthy, sunbathing adult.
Just Add Taurine
According to Dr. Velez, all cats, including kittens, need an amino acid called taurine to help their bodies form certain proteins. A lack of taurine in a kitten’s diet can lead to blindness or even heart failure.
Unlike other mammals, cats cannot create taurine on their own. For this reason, it’s essential that your kitten is consuming food that contains taurine. Some natural sources of taurine include fish and meat.
Say No to Cow’s Milk
Despite popular belief, it’s best to keep cow’s milk out of your kitten’s bowl. Milk is difficult for kittens to digest after about four weeks of age. After the weaning stage, kittens lack the enzymes needed to digest milk, and feeding them milk may result in diarrhea.
To avoid this predicament, stick to H20.
The Softer, the Better
Softer food is easier for kittens to consume and digest, especially during the earlier stages of development.
“[Tougher] foods are more difficult for them to chew, and although it might not be obvious, will limit their intake due to discomfort,” Farsad explained.
Your kitten may be tougher than it looks, but its food shouldn’t be.
Check with a Vet
General guidelines can help you find the best cat food for kittens, but your fluffball’s needs may be unique. If you have questions regarding the amount of calories, protein and other nutrients you should be feeding your new pet, ask your veterinarian.
To make the best choices for your kitten, put some time and thought into your cat food. Don’t forget to snap a few more photos while your pet is still this tiny. With the right nutrition, your kitten won’t be a kitten for too long.