Cat Diet & Nutrition
Bringing a new kitty house is one of the most exciting events in life. You have planned, bought provisions and are eager to start sharing your house with a brand new, cuddly companion. Learning healthy feeding habits is one of the main lessons for a new kitten and guardian. Whether this is the first or fourteenth feline, these basics will help Treatfordog make your kitten’s mealtimes as nourishing as possible.
Nutrition through the first nine to twelve months of your kitty’s life is critical for proper growth and development. Before you bring a new kitten into your home, talk with your vet about choosing the best kitten growth formula. Growing cats need a careful balance of about 40 essential nutrients for optimal nutrition. The National Research Council (NRC) and American Association of Feed Control Officers (AAFCO) have established kitty nutrient guidelines for pet food manufacturers. Most kitten formulations will have higher calories, protein and fat than mature meals –along with supplements to enhance development.
There are far more fantastic and wholesome diet options than ever before. Learn your veterinarian’s food philosophy, review your own beliefs/lifestyle and work together to create the individualized feeding plan best for the kitten. What you feed your kitty is the most important decision you make each day. Be honest, thoughtful and feed your kitty the best food you can. Don’t fall prey to savvy advertising and gimmicks. Advances in the science of nutrition occur frequently; yesterday’s hot trend might be the flop. Be open-minded and accept that what worked for your other cats may not be ideal for your new kitty Read More.
Preventing food bowl bullies
Food bowl bullies” is the term I use for cats that intimidate or threaten others at dinnertime in multi-cat households. The food bowl bully is often obese , while the remaining cats are thin. Guardians often never see the bullying; it is almost imperceptible and after the routine is established, the other cats only stop challenging the dominant cat. Bullying often starts with a shared food bowl. Communal feeding is suitable for us but can create mealtime tension and rivalry for cats.
The important thing is to provide separate, small food bowls for every cat. I suggest separating the bowls by at least two feet to lessen the effect of any menacing stares. Even better, feed some cats on an elevated surface and do not be afraid to rotate feeding locations.
I have been an advocate for different and distinct cat feedings for more than 25 years. As I monitored the pet obesity epidemic in this time, I also saw the growth of food bowl bullies. I found that separate and different feedings helped with the bully problem. In the next section, I will discuss feeding frequency. Of course, when you have been providing an all-day buffet for years, the older cats may resist at first Read More.
Feeding frequency and amount for kittens
It’s essential to provide adequate calories and optimum nutrition for growing kittens. This doesn’t mean you feed them until they are fat. Your veterinarian will guide you on food and calories amount as your kitty develops during the first year. Many cat guardians attempt to rely on pet-food, feeding guides. That’s a great start, but these are only suggested amounts based on averages. Your goal should be to feed into your kitten’s individual and unique needs. Your new kitten is not”average,” don’t feed her as such.
I am a fan of frequent feedings for cats. Think about dividing the day’s calories into breakfast, lunch (or a meal once you return home), dinner and a final meal just before you retire for the day. These foods are smaller and cats will complete their food within a few minutes. If you are transitioning an older cat to the new schedule, you might have to pick up unfinished food after ten or fifteen minutes. Cats which have been bullied can also shrink away, falling into old habits of letting the cat complete before they eat. Cats tend to be crepuscular or more active from dusk to dawn. Frequent, small meals and a”midnight snack” help tap into a kitten’s inner predator–and reduce 3 a.m. wake-up kitty calls.
What and how you decide to feed it’s the biggest factor in how long and well it lives. Remember to examine your feline feeding habits and begin your kitten on a lifelong journey of health, starting at the food bowl.