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First weeks of kitten nutrition
Taking care of kittens for the first few months of their lives is an important responsibility. No matter your level of expertise or passion for animals, it is always a good idea to brush up on your kitten-rearing skills.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), owners have the important job of switching kittens from a diet of their mother's milk to one of real pet food designed for their growing bodies. Newborn felines are 100 percent nourished by their mother's milk, but only for the first four weeks. After, switch to a high-quality cat food to allow the feline to grow and develop healthfully.
Kittens' body weights may double or triple during their first weeks of life. This rapid growth will continue until they're full grown. Because of this quick development in the beginning of life, nutrition from a mother's milk is crucial. However, there are instances where mom is not around, or she can't produce enough milk. In this case, the owner is responsible for feeding the kittens a commercial milk replacement, which can be recommended by your veterinarian.
When kittens reach the age of 5 to 6 weeks old, they should be nibbling on kitten food while also nursing from their mothers. Gradually introducing high-quality pet food like Fancy Feast Gourmet Kitten Food is important so the cat learns how to eat solid food and so you know it is getting proper nutrition. Protein is particularly important for growing kitties.
By the time the kittens are eight weeks old, about 80 to 90 percent of their nutrition should come from their kitten food. Unlike many puppies, kittens can be fed free-choice, meaning they can graze from their Durapet Dish & Bowls whenever they want. It is OK to give your kittens treats like Feline Greenies Dental Treats, just make sure they make up no more than 5 percent of the cat's daily nutrient intake.
Once a kitten is weaned from its mother, it is only a few more weeks until it is ready to leave the litter and find its forever home. Eventually, cats can be fed exclusively a dry kibble such as Halo Spot's Stew Indoor Dry Cat Food, or a wet food like Petcurean Go! Natural Grain Free Canned Cat Food. If you are selling or giving away your kittens, tell their new owners what type of food you have been offering to make their transition easier.