For most cats, childhood lasts for about 1 year. During this time, kittens requires higher levels of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus, protein, vitamins, and energy (calories) than they will as an adult.
Therefore, foods fed to young, growing pets should contain these higher levels in balance with each other and with all other dietary nutrients. Such a pet food will carry a designation such as “kitten food,” to distinguish it from diets that contain levels of nutrients that are right for other stages of life.
Please note that the commonly held belief that if “a little is good, more must be better” is not true when it comes to feeding pets. Diets that contain very high levels of minerals, protein, and some vitamins are not superior to those that contain only the amounts required for growth.
Excesses can actually be harmful to the growing kittens, as can the practice of supplementing a good growth diet with various human foods or vitamin/mineral preparations.
To be sure that your kitten gets all the good nutrition it needs for good growth and development, but never too much, follow these simple guidelines:
- Feed a high-quality, balanced commercial kitten food for kittens. A veterinarian can recommend an appropriate brand. Remember that your pet’s nutrition will influence its lifelong health and happiness. It is very important that you invest in good nutrition at this crucial life stage.
- Do not supplement a quality, balanced food; you will almost certainly create an imbalance in your pet’s diet if you do. Avoid giving table food, table scraps, or treats and snacks to your kitten for the same reason.
- Kittens can be fed free-choice; however, follow the daily recommendations given on the food bag or can and don’t offer more than these amounts.
- Keep fresh, clean water (preferably filtered) available at all times.