Best Kitten Food Buying Guide

Best Kitten Foods Tips for Your Pet Cat
Photo: Blue Buffalo

If you’ve been wondering what kind of food to buy for the kitten in your home, then you’ve come to the right place. In this section, we’ll be looking at the things you have to keep in mind when buying kitten food. We’ll also attempt to explore your options when it comes to choosing between wet and dry kitten food. And since this is all about your kitten’s nutrition, we might as well take a look at the kinds of food that you should never give to your juvenile feline friend.

What to Consider When Buying Kitten Food?

Young cats require an entirely different kind of nutrition compared to other cats across the feline lifep. This is because of their rapid growth and development that kittens require a special kind of diet that is designed for them. It is thus, important to keep this in mind whenever you’re shopping for the best food to buy for your kitten. At any rate, the following can be helpful considerations in your decision making.

  • High calorie content

When we think about cats we think about creatures that can spend the rest of the day lazing around, sleeping in their favorite nook, or doing what they do best which is technically nothing. Now take a look at your kitten and you’ll see a little bundle of joy whose energy is limitless and who will only stop to feed or sleep. In hindsight, even human kids especially toddlers and preschoolers have tremendous amounts of energy that they are dubbed as little explorers. The same is true with kittens. That being said, one of the primary considerations when it comes to choosing the right kitten food is the calorie content. As a general rule you need a kitty formula that is high in calories. However, it is more important that majority of the calories be sourced from proteins and fats, not from carbohydrates. We’ll have more of this later.

  • High animal protein content

We did mention above that kittens need a high calorie diet, but one that is supplied by both proteins and fats and not from carbs. The reason for this is quite simple. Cats are generally known to be obligate carnivores. Their digestive systems are better equipped to process proteins and fats rather than carbohydrates. While some will argue that there is no proof that wild felines don’t eat fruits, vegetables, and root crops, there is also no proof saying that they do. However, experimental research show that when given three different types of diets – one each rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates – cats have a strong preference for proteins. If they are given carbohydrate-rich foods, clinical studies reveal that the appetite of cats is significantly reduced. Compare this with an all-protein diet and they can easily finish the meal.

  • Low carbohydrates

Regardless of what experts say about the high protein requirements of cats, especially kittens, pet food manufacturers simply cannot afford to go all-protein as it will jack up the price of their products significantly. If you go to the grocery and buy a pound of lean beef, you know that you’ll be paying about $4 to $6 depending on the cut. A pound of fruits, on the other hand, typically costs you around $0.50 to $2, again depending on the variety. The same is true with vegetables. Technically, it is more expensive to go all-protein.

Pet food manufacturers know this. They also know the value of providing pets with protein rich foods. Unfortunately, doing so will mean they have to increase the price of their products, too. For the average pet owner, a very expensive kitten food is simply out of the question. As such, pet food companies try as much as possible to lower down the cost of production by adding carbohydrate sources – fruits and vegetables – into their formulations.

What to Avoid Feeding Your Kitten

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Photo: Aspc

Since we’re talking about kitten nutrition, let us talk about various foods that you should never ever give to your kitten. We all have this tendency to share our food with our pets, as a means of strengthening our bond with them. Unfortunately, this can only spell more trouble. Here are some foods that you simply cannot give to your kitten.

  • Chocolates

This delectable treat that almost every other person craves for can be fatal to many pets, cats and kittens included. This is because it contains both theobromine and caffeine which are natural stimulants that can lead to very fast heart beats leading to a failure in the pump mechanism of the heart. It can also cause muscle twitching and tremors as well as seizures. The danger is often proportional to the bitterness and color of the chocolate: the darker and more bitter it is the more likely is it to cause severe problems.

  • Caffeinated products

As a stimulant, caffeinated products can produce heart palpitations, very fast breathing, and even muscle tremors. While these may not lead to the demise of your kitten, they can still be particularly dangerous.

  • Raw meat, eggs, and fish as well as fat trimmings

The main concern in these foods is that raw food may contain E. coli or Salmonella which can lead to a host of gastrointestinal problems. Fat trimmings, on the other hand, can lead to acute pancreatitis.

  • Dairy products

It is okay to give milk and other dairy products to your kitten. However, if your kitten has lactose intolerance and you gave it dairy products, it may lead to vomiting and diarrhea and subsequently fluid and electrolyte imbalance.

  • Alcohol

Did you know that a mere tablespoon of any type of alcohol is enough to cause brain damage and severe liver problems in young felines? Did you know that their liver and brain are still pretty much in their developing stages? Alcohol is processed by the liver and its byproducts are circulated throughout the body where they pose remarkable affinity to neurons in the brain. So, if you have to party all night, leave your kitten out of it.

  • Garlic and onions

The risk of digestive upset is directly proportional to the amount of garlic and/or onions ingested by your kitten. There are also researches that show certain varieties of onions can actually lead to anemia, a condition whereby the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen is severely compromised. As you know, reduced oxygen to the tissues can lead to bigger problems.

  • Raisins and grapes

The evidence regarding the relationship between the ingestion of raisins and grapes and the occurrence of acute kidney failure is anecdotal at best. However, given the fact that there is no solid evidence to back up this claim, there is also no proof that it doesn’t. So, experts would rather be cautious than be sorry, as Mypetneedsthat reports.

Understanding Your Newborn Kitten’s Nutritional Needs

Best Kitten Foods Tips for Your Pet Cat
Photo: CatLovers

Kittens should start eating solid food around 4 weeks and should be fully weaned off their mother’s milk and onto kitten food by 7 or 8 weeks of age.

A kitten’s diet should be nutrient-dense and fairly high in calories – kittens need roughly 2 to 3 times as many nutrients and calories as adult cats.

Kittens are obligate carnivores which means that their bodies best absorb nutrients from animal-based foods – a kitten’s diet should be primarily meat-based.

A kitten needs plenty of healthy fats in its diet, ideally from animal sources like chicken fat and salmon oil – fats provide a concentrated source of energy as well as support for skin and coat.

Kittens should be fed several times a day to provide the energy they need to grow and develop properly without becoming overweight, according to Allaboutcats.

The best food for kittens is one that's been formulated specifically for their age. Kitten food is specially formulated with very high levels of protein, which is essential for proper growth, as well as higher levels of calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc and iron to help build strong bones and teeth. Kitten food also contains more vitamin C and vitamin E, which help support kittens' immune systems.
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