Monday, November 5, 2007

What Should I Feed My Kitten?

A kitten is so cute and cuddly that many people cannot resist the temptation to take one home. This is great, but making sure you have the most nutritious food for a growing kitten is very important.

Kittens are no different than people. They need a food that has all the nutrients required for a balanced diet. You can go with either natural, organic foods or another quality kitten food from your pet store. Also, decide if you would like to use canned or dry food. Dry food is very convenient, staying fresh for long periods of time. Some people prefer the variety of flavors offered in canned foods, feeling canned food is more appealing to the kitten.

The best thing to do is to ask your kitten's breeder, or the pet store personnel what type of food the kitten is used to eating. You don't want to upset the kitten's digestion. Keep feeding the same food, or gradually mix the new food you have chosen with the previous one. It may take a couple of weeks for your kitten to become accustomed to the new formula.

Be sure to read the labels and purchase a food developed for kittens. You want to make sure that meat, poultry, or fish are in the first few ingredients. This will give your kitten the protein and amino acids it needs for proper growth. Feed only the quantity the label suggests. You don't want your new member of the family to become bloated, or overweight.

Kittens eat several small meals per day, rather than once or twice like an adult cat. Ask your vet for a recommended amount and frequency of feeding to keep your kitten healthy.

Most people think a kitten needs to drink milk, but this is not true. Once the kitten is weaned from its mother's milk, it should start to drink water. Cats and kittens are actually lactose intolerant and will become ill if they drink too much milk. They don't need it for a balanced diet, so it is best to avoid milk altogether.

It is also a good idea to check the FDA for a current list of recalled pet foods, especially after the rash of contaminated pet food a few months ago. You can also read the standards the American Feed Controls Officials have established for nutritional pet food. The AAFCO will also be printed on the pet food label if it meets their standards.

Enjoy your new kitten!

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