kitten nutrition information
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST FOOD FOR A CAT ? This is the question we hear all the time
There is only one right answer: "MICE." The closer you get to it the better. Chicken, turkey, rabbit.
Your young kitten (8 - 16 weeks old) requires at least 1.5 times as much protein and 3 times as many kilocalories per pound as an adult cat. They need complete and balanced growth formula to get enough nutrients for development of bones, muscles and other tissues. Pay a special attention to Taurine - the amino acid essential for heart, eyes and other organs. Taurine drops by 70% in cooked meat
Your kitten should have the best quality nutritious dry food available to him 24 hrs, together with clean and fresh water. Than 2-3 times per day you offer him wet food ( 70% water) with grind chicken, turkey, beef or cooked meat, sliced chicken gizzards, hearts, liver.(We buy ours in Walmart.)
Cats are carnivorous and you can read everywhere on the Internet how bad some commercial dry food can be for them. So please read the labels and use only the best dry food, if possible grain-free. Carbohydrates make up to 40% of commercial dry food and your task is - to avoid them! Cats are strict carnivores and require much higher percentage of protein than ANY commercial food provides. They need arginine and taurine, B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and arachnoid acid. Sugar and starches (carbohydrates) should not be a part of your cat's diet. No corn, no rice, no wheat... Read the labels. Basic rule: protein - yes, fat - yes, carbohydrates - no.
What to avoid in the first 5 main ingredients of dry commercial cat food:
·Proteins from corn (“corn gluten meal”, “corn meal”)
·Proteins from soy (“soybean meal”, “soy flour”, “soy meal”)
·Grains such as wheat, white rice. They are high in gluten
·Rye. It is very harsh to digest and pets don’t like it
·Avoid if the first 3 of 5 ingredients are grains
·Potatoes (except sweet potatoes). They are high-glycemic, causing spikes in blood sugar
·Tapioca; it is high-glycemic
·Artificial preservatives and colorants
OUR KITTENS' DIETS
Our new born kittens are strictly on mothers mild for first 3-4 weeks of their lives.
Then at the age of 3-4 weeks we start offering them a goat milk, sometimes mixed with yolk or wet food. (No raw egg whites, please.) They love it and we never had any problems with it, plus it's a good source of Calcium for them. (We not only use fresh goat milk, but also evaporated and dry goat milk. All are good). Evaporated goat milk is available in the baking section of your grocery store. We also use water diluted wet food only, without milk added.
At the age of 4-5 weeks we start feeding them cooked and blended chicken meat (similar to human baby foods). We cook chicken legs with bones, than blend the meat together with softer slices of bones and broth. We recommend this for your kitten as a treat or at the time of no appetite.
Some of our kittens also like re-hydrated best quality dry kitten food. Adding hot water works best for re-hydration.
Later on our kittens get slowly introduced to their moms diet, which is:
Raw chicken grind with bones (Phosphorus to Calcium ratio is important - they need both), mixed with grind chicken hearts, gizzards - cut to slices and some chicken liver also cut to slices (available at any major grocery store). We grind and freeze chicken meat at home and we use Dr. Lisa Pierson's recipe, hoping, that freezing would kill any potential Salmonella. http://catinfo.org/making-cat-food/
We also add some boiled eggs, cat vitamin powder from Revival as well as some Calcium. They get this twice per day when growing - for a year. Later, they get it once a day for life. If they do not have enough raw hearts, liver, beef (contains highest % of Taurine), or if you decide to cook their food (cooking destroys Taurine), you have to add it. It is an essential amino acid for your cat’s heart and eyes. Obtain Taurine powder from Revival or other places.
We know it is a little complicated to make raw food daily just for one or two kittens. So - simplify.
Give them good quality canned food twice a day (later on, when they stop growing, once a day) and improve it substantially with some fresh or frozen grind meat. Couple of times a week you can add in finely sliced, well washed, fresh gizzards, hearts, liver. You will be surprised how beautiful their fur will be and how healthy they will look.
They all LOVE chicken liver. We use cooked as well as raw. but we mix it with other food. Be careful - you cannot feed them ONLY liver or ONLY tuna!
And have some nice grass (in pot) available for them to nibble on.
Dry food we use: We use Hills Science Diet for kittens, Blue Buffalo Wilderness kitten food, Wellness and we are trying some new and wheat free brands.
Some kittens like the smell of Royal Canin kitten food (a pink bag) so much, that we still have to add it to their better quality giblets.
The quality of our dry food is not so important here in our cattery, because our kittens still get protein from mother's milk and because we mostly feed raw meat, with a high protein content and our dry food is only secondary supplemental diet.
I am sure you will find better dry cat food out there. High in proteins and fat, low in carbs. Just like mice.
BUT - BEFORE YOU BRING THE KITTEN HOME, HAVE SOME ROYAN CANIN AND SOME HILLS DIET READY FOR HIM, AS WELL AS WET FRISKIES. EVERYTHING WILL BE SUDDENLY SO NEW AND STRANGE FOR HIM - SO FAR, FAR FROM MOTHER, SO LONELY - TRY TO KEEP THE FOOD AND LITTER THE SAME FIRST.
And later on, if your baby will not be too excited about that new good food first, ad a little Royal Canin for kitten to it - just for smell.
Do not feed them only dry cat food. Feeding wet food is very important if you want to prevent kidney problems. Cats natural diets of mice and birds also contain a high percentage of moisture. Cats do not drink enough water and wet canned food with 70% of water in it (such as canned Friskies) helps to avoid kidney stones and infections and saves you a lot of money on the vet bills later.
Look at the common mistakes people make in feeding their cats Pets.webmd.link