Kitten Care & Clinics Fairmont WV
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Kitten Feeding Guide
If you're thinking of adopting a kitten, whether three weeks old or six months old, he's going to require proper nutrition and care. Feeding grown cats can seem a simpler task since most do well on a good dry food with a little wet food thrown in. Feeding kittens can be a bit more complex.
From Birth To Four Weeks
Mama's Milk: Hopefully a kitten is still with his mother during this time. But, even so, there can be problems. If the mother cat refuses to nurse, have the vet check her out. She could have mastitis or something making nursing painful.
Hand-Feeding: If the mother refuses to take care of her kittens, you'll have to hand feed them with a bottle. One brand of kitten milk is KMR which can be found at major pet stores. Your vet may also have a suggestion for a formula. If at all possible, it is important for the kittens to nurse for at least the first two days.
From Four to Eight Weeks
Weaning: This is a gradual process. Give the kittens a mixture of dry kitten food (one part) mixed with cat milk replacement (three parts) or wet kitten food (one part) and milk replacement (two parts). Gradually reduce the liquid.
From Eight Weeks To Three Months
Cat Food: Kittens should be feeding solely on kitten food by 10 weeks at the latest.
Type of food: During this time, kittens develop their food preferences which will stay with them for life. Dry or canned food is up to you. Only in special circumstances decided by your vet should you give a kitten supplements.
Frequency: Kittens this age should be fed at least four times a day because their stomachs are too small to contain the necessary amount of food for nutritional needs when less often. Wet food should be refrigerated between feedings and then warmed up. Dry food can be left out for kittens to free-feed. Mix a little water in the dry food if your kitten isn't drawn to it.
From Three Months to Six Months
Routine: Kittens start to really appreciate routine during this time. Make sure your kitten food is in a quiet, safe place and don't move it around.
Type Of Food: Check your kitten food label. It should have a guaranteed analysis of key ingredients including the minimum fat and protein and the maximum fiber and moisture. Cats and kittens can develop problems from too little protein in their diet. Keep your kitten's diet constant - don't switch foods unless necessary.
Frequency: Towards six months, you can begin feeding your kitten three times a day. It's best to weigh your cat every week and adjust amounts accordingly.
Amount: 1/3 to 1 cup at each feeding.
From Six Months to a Year
Feeding cats: Though your kitten may continue to grow after a year, they're generally considered cats by then.
Type of food: Your kitten's food should, again, contain adequate protein as it highly digestible to cats. Also, look for Taurine and Arginine - these are essential amino acids. Most vets recommend against a vegetarian diet as cats are strict carnivores. As ...
Kitten Health Guide
Congratulations on your new kitten! If this is the first time you've owned a cat, there are a few things you should know about your kitten's care and cat health in general.
Kitten-Proofing Your Home
A kitten is like a curious child; it's bound to get into some mischief. Remove any toxic houseplants, cords and blinds that pose a strangling hazard, etc. Remember also that kittens jump and climb; they've been known to knock over ironing boards (a fire hazard if the iron is left on) and push small, breakable items off tables and counters.
A kitten has different dietary needs from an adult cat, because it is growing so fast. For optimum kitten health, choose a good brand of food that is formulated especially for cats that are less than one year old. Very young kittens need to eat several times a day; it's okay to leave out a bowl of dry food that won't spoil. By the time a kitten is six months old, it can adjust to a twice-daily feeding schedule. Adequate hydration is also an important part of kitten care-always make sure your kitten has plenty of fresh water available.
Your new kitten may already have received its first round of shots if you adopted it from a shelter. Vaccinations are extremely important to cat and kitten health. Kittens generally require three rounds of vaccinations in total, and your vet can advise you on the timing of these. All cats should get the "core vaccines," while other vaccinations are considered optional.
Kittens are fragile, and the presence of fleas, ear mites, or intestinal worms can have severe impacts on their health. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, which may include scratching and crusty patches on the skin or ears in the case of fleas or ear mites, and weight loss, diarrhea, and bloated belly in the case of worms. Check with your vet before using any type of product on a young kitten; many are designed only for use on adult cats.
If you adopted a kitten from a shelter, find out if it was tested for infectious diseases like feline leukemia. If not, you should keep the new kitten separated from other cats in the household until you can have it tested. (Kittens can acquire certain diseases from the mother during birth.)
Kittens often have sharp little claws and you may find you're getting scratched. You can easily clip claws at home with a regular toenail clipper. Gently press down on the kittens foot pad to extend the claw, and then nip off the sharp, curved tip of each claw, being careful not to cut down into the quick, where blood vessels and nerves are located.
Kittens groom themselves instinctively and there is usually no reason to bathe a cat. Even though a very young kitten may not be shedding yet, you can begin to brush it regularly to get it used to being groomed. Use a brush with soft bristles, and be very gentle. If you've adopted a long-haired kitten, daily brushing is very important to preve...
Tips for Feeding Your Kitten a Healthy Diet
Feeding a kitten is simple, right? You just open the bag and scoop some kibble into a bowl. Oh, and change out the water once in a while. Well, yes, those are the basics, but in order to really understand how to feed your kitten a healthy diet, you need to look a little bit deeper.
The first thing you need to know is that cats are obligate carnivores. Because they evolved to be carnivores, they lack certain enzymes needed to convert vegetable proteins into the amino acids they need. Your kitten cannot live on a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not now, not ever. She must eat meat in some form or another, or she will get sick and die.
Adult cats' diets need to have at least 26% protein and at least 9% fat. Kittens, because they're growing so rapidly, need much higher amounts of energy in their food. By the time your kitten is six months old, she still needs about 25 percent more nutrition than adult cats. This is why you should feed your kitten a food specifically designed for kittens' nutritional needs, and you should continue feeding kitten food until your baby is about a year old.
The label on your cat food contains feeding instructions. These guidelines are very general recommendations, and it's possible that your kitten may need more or less food than the label suggests. Talk to your vet to be sure you're feeding your kitten the right amount and type of food.
Cats' food preferences are generally established by the time they're six months old, so you need to get her used to eating a nutritionally complete diet at an early age. In order to avoid the "tuna addict" phenomenon, choose two or three different products, in different flavors, in both dry and canned formulas, and feed them interchangeably.
Feed your kitten three times a day until she's at least seven months old. Kittens' stomachs are very small and they need to fill up regularly. Free feeding with kibble may be acceptable if you can't be around all day to feed them. Do keep in mind, however, that spaying or neutering decreases your kitten's energy requirements by 25 percent, so standard feeding recommendations may not work as well for cats that were fixed before 6 months of age. Check with your vet to see how you can give her the nutrition she needs without overfeeding her.
You shouldn't need vitamin or mineral supplements as long as you're feeding your kitten a nutritionally balanced diet. In fact, overdoses of certain vitamins can actually do harm. If you're concerned that your cat isn't eating enough to get proper nutrition, discuss this with your vet and get his or her opinion before giving supplements.
Commercial cat foods are made with cats' nutritional needs in mind and are fortified with amino acids like taurine in order to keep your cat healthy. However, dry food has a lot more carbohydrates than a cat needs and the proteins in it are highly processed and cooked at very high temperatures, which can reduce the nutritional value. Canned foods have a much higher p...