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Home / Nutrition Advice / Puppy Guide / Kitten Guide / Puppy Guide

 

New Kitten Guide - Kitten Nutrition

 

 

Feeding

Arden Grange Kitten Food is the perfect choice for your kitten. However, we do suggest that you initially feed your kitten on what he has been used to. The breeder will advise of their usual meals, times of feeding and quantities. Leaving mum and the litter mates can be a stressful time, and even a diet change for the better can cause an upset tummy if undertaken too quickly. We advise that any diet change should be made gradually.  This enables the digestive system to adapt to the new nutrient balance, ingredients and volume of food.

 

We are what we eat...

Choosing the right food for your kitten is critical. A good diet will ensure maximum benefit from the nutrients in the food and will result in small, firm stools. A concentrated food such as Arden Grange Kitten is ideal for the immature digestion as the smaller feed volumes mean less work for the gut and less waste.

 

Nutrition is not only a vital contributing factor to your cat’s outward appearance, but can also affect general demeanour and temperament. Over-feeding and free feeding can be detrimental to your kitten’s health. Problems frequently arise when over-supplementing an already complete diet with mineral and/or calorie-rich foods.

 

It is important to watch your cat’s weight closely; cats that are less active or who have been neutered can put on weight easily. As a general rule, you should be able to feel your cat’s ribs when you touch them, but not see them. Just like us, cats need the correct ratio of food and exercise for optimal health and fitness.

 

Meal times

Portion controlled meals are recommended, rather than free-feeding because cats and kittens do not like stale food. Three or four small meals per day are ideal for the growing kitten as it helps to prevent gorging and support growth. Dry food can be moistened with a little warm water for about 20-30 minutes prior to serving as this will enhance the meaty aroma.

 

Note: Food that has been soaked needs to be thrown away if it has not been eaten as it may be subject to bacterial growth and fermentation which can cause an upset tummy.  

 

You could even try warming the food for a short period (in a non-metallic dish) in the microwave to bring it to body temperature. Be wary of adding little extras as your kitten will soon learn to expect them and may well start refusing to eat regular cat food.

 

If you do have problems with inappetance, you can include a nutritious and palatable addition such as a very small amount of cooked fresh white fish or finely chopped/minced chicken, but it is important to make sure this is mixed in very well with the commercial food to prevent your kitten from simply eating the additions and leaving his cat food. Soaking the dry food makes blending a lot easier. To avoid upsetting the nutrient balance of the Arden Grange Kitten food, the additions should not account for more than one third of your kitten’s daily calorie intake. Beware of offering too much variety as this can make the problem worse.

 

Growing up...

The growth period is nutritionally the most important stage of your cat’s life. Kittens have greater structural and functional demands upon their bodies, a faster metabolic rate, and a subsequently higher need for calories than an adult cat of the same weight. This is why diets formulated for the early growth period have a higher energy density. Arden Grange Kitten Food has been specially formulated to meet the increased nutritional demands of the developing cat.

 

Cats have a high requirement for meat and fish. A diet such as Arden Grange Kitten Food which contains good levels of high quality proteins will ensure that the structural and metabolic demands of the feline body are efficiently met. Crucial nutrients that need to be present in your kitten’s diet include taurine (an amino acid which is essential for healthy vision, heart function, growth and development as well as reproduction) and arginine (important in the breakdown of ammonia in the urea cycle). Cats are unable to make these essential amino acids themselves and are therefore reliant on a diet which contains them, as well as arachidonic acid and pre-formed vitamin A. Feeding a complete and balanced diet such as Arden Grange Kitten food ensures that all of the necessary nutrients are present at the correct level. Always ensure your kitten has fresh water available and avoid giving milk. After weaning kittens lose their ability to digest lactose (milk sugar) and as they mature, milk can cause loose stools. Dairy proteins are also one of the more common dietary allergens that can adversely affect cats and dogs.

 

The right balance Arden Grange Kitten Food provides a balanced calcium:phosphorous ratio and the correct level of Vitamin D to aid bone development and growth. The correct calcium:phosphorous ratio is essential for healthy structure and strength of teeth and bones, whilst calcium is also necessary for the normal clotting of blood and for nerve and muscle function. Skeletal health is further promoted by the addition of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM. These supplements are rarely found in other feline brands, and if used are usually limited to “senior” diets. At Arden Grange we aim to provide the best possible protection from a young age, to try to avoid problems in later life.

 

Changing to adult food

Many owners are unsure as to when to change their kitten from a growth diet to an adult recipe. As a guideline, it is recommended that when a cat reaches his optimal skeletal height (i.e. he is as tall as he will be as an adult), then an adult food will be suitable. For most cats this will be at 6 - 12 months of age.  Many factors can affect your cat’s dietary requirements including age, size, weight, activity level, whether they are an indoor or outdoor cat and their own individual digestion and rate of metabolism. 

 

Toxic foods

Certain foods are dangerous for your kitten; these include chocolate, onions, grapes, raw potatoes, tomatoes or raisins. Raw fish fed in excess can also cause problems as it contains thiaminases; the enzymes that breakdown thiamine (vitamin B1). If fed excessively the cat could become deficient in Vitamin E because it is used up when the oils begin to go rancid. Also beware of liver as this can cause hypervitaminosis if fed in excess. Finally, never give human or dog medicines as these too can be toxic to cats. Sticking to a complete and balanced commercial diet such as Arden Grange avoids these risks.

 

 

 

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