A guide to feeding your kitten

What to feed your kitten? Getting this right is essential to ensure your newest family member gets all the nutrients their growing bodies need.

Young kittens should always be fed on a specialised kitten food as it has been specifically formulated to provide all the essential nutrients, which has been carefully balanced, to ensure they grow up to be healthy and strong. Feeding an unsuitable or unbalanced diet during kittenhood can have serious consequences, not only developmental growth but also overall health and immunity later in life. Natures Menu has a wide range of food suitable to feed from weaning, until kittens reach an age when they can be transitioned over to adult food. What you choose to feed is your choice and you should research all avenues including practicalities of feeding, cost and availability before making a decision.

Your Choice

Most importantly, you should feel comfortable and happy with the food you choose and not feel pressured into making choices you are not entirely satisfied with. Whether you choose to feed dry food, wet food, raw food or a mixture of all three, be sure to thoroughly read the pet food label to understand the contents, as many pet foods are not as good as they may first appear on the front of the packaging or on the T.V. advert.

Tips for Choosing

Ideally, you should be able to recognise all of the individual ingredients listed and they will be presented in order of highest inclusion to the lowest. Good quality pet food should have their meat listed first as this indicates that the food is predominantly made from meat however, be aware of ‘meat derivatives’ and ‘animal by-products’ as this doesn’t reveal the type of meat being used and could be a mixture of several different animal proteins. Cats are carnivores, meaning they should naturally eat a diet consisting mainly of meat. Essential nutrients, such as taurine, are found in animal proteins and, unlike dogs, cats cannot synthesise taurine themselves, so requirements need to be fulfilled in the correct levels through the diet. A high meat-based diet is important to get your kitten off on the right paw. A small amount of vegetables and/or fruits may be included in a natural diet which can replicate the stomach contents of a prey animal caught by a cat in the wild, such as a mouse which has been feeding on wild raspberries, but always ensure that the meat element is predominant in the recipe. 

Avoid artificial colours, preservatives and sugars, especially with young kittens as these ingredients will often result in hyperactivity and the inability to achieve complete rest, which is an essential part of growing up and learning. Look for a food which states natural ingredients, high quality meat inclusion and minimal processing, together with the company having freely available information and being able to provide professional help and advice if needed. Think of what a cat would naturally eat, then choose your kitten’s food accordingly. After all, they are your newest ‘family member’.

Thank you to Natures Menu for contributing this article. To find out more about their kitten and cat food, click here. 

With an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.