Feeding a kitten is not an easy responsibility. Everything should be done right. You need to make sure that you pick food that’s packed with complete nutrition to help boost your kitten’s growth. Getting the best dry kitten food available on the market, is crucial.
Why Opt for Dry Kitten Food?
Dry kitten food also known as kibble is great if you are free-feeding your pet. You can just leave some amount on your pet’s bowl as it does not spoil as easily as wet foods. Also, it’s very easy to prepare – you just have to pour some amount in the bowl.
Kibbles are easy to store, have long shelf life, and cheaper compared to wet foods.
Word of Caution
However, if you are trying to watch your pet’s weight and nutrition, dry kitten foods may not be the best option. It is low in protein and contains high carbohydrates. This combination may make the food harder to digest and may lead to diabetes.
It was also found that because it has less moisture, it is not appealing for picky eaters. It may also cause dehydration if your cat’s eating habit was not monitored.
Choosing the Best Dry Kitten Food
Vitamins and Minerals
This should be the first thing you should check as you buy some kibbles. Young felines need vitamins and minerals for them to grow healthy and strong.
In particular, look for chelated minerals. These minerals are bound with amino acids that help your pet better absorb the nutrients.
Since cats are still carnivores by nature, their food should still be made of meat primarily. Inspect that the list of ingredients indicate either whole meats or meat meals. Generally, those that are sourced from North America are considered high-quality.
On the other hand, you are discouraged from those that are made of only animal by-products. You also wouldn’t want grains or carbohydrates as the food’s primary ingredients. Such is an indication that the kitten food has so much filler.
You will also encounter different flavors to choose from – meat and seafood flavors.
For kittens, it is highly advisable that you introduce them to a lot of food flavors. This could help them develop better eating habits and not be picky. However, there are a few that are already selective even at a young age. In this case, well, you have to do some trial and error to see which flavor it would like.
AAFCO stands for the American Association of Feed Control Officials. These experts actually perform some trials – feeding the food to real animals.
Cat foods that have the AAFCO approval seal are considered great for your feline. It means that the food meet and even exceeds the minimum nutritional requirements of your pet.
FAQs on Kitten Foods
Question: When should I start giving kitten food to my pet?
Answer: Typically, you would want your kitten to depend first on its mother’s milk. Then, as it begins to try its mother’s food (normally around the 4th week), you may gradually introduce kitten food.
At first, you may want to moisten the dry food first mixed with formula. At 6 weeks, the kitty will be okay with just the moistened dry food. Then, at 7 weeks, your young feline should be able to eat the kibble as it is.
Question: How often should I feed my kitty?
Answer: Similar with babies, kittens need to be fed frequently with small portions. Four meals in a day is a good average. Once your kitty turned six months, it would only need two meals but at larger quantities.
Question: Anything I should NOT feed my kitten?
Answer: The short answer to this is that your kitty actually DOESN’T need to eat anything other than its kibble. (Although some treats from time to time is also great!)
However, it’s understandable that humans sometimes felt compelled to share their food to their pet. Most human foods are good if given only in small amounts. Yet, the following shouldn’t be shared to your kitty as they are toxic or simply not recommended:
- Raw eggs
- Milk and other dairy products
- Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks
- Raisins and grapes
Kitten food vs Adult Cat Food
If you’re thinking of buying the adult cat food for your kitten, well you might want to reconsider that. You must know that there’s a significant difference especially in its contained nutrients.
Protein: Adult felines do not need as much protein needed by younger ones. As such, adult cat foods have lower protein content which would be insufficient for your kitten.
Calcium-to-phosphorus ratio: Similarly, kittens also need higher calcium-to-phosphorus ratio compared to grown felines. Such is necessary to strengthen their bones while they are young.
Calories: Kittens need thrice the amount of calories compared to adult ones. This amount is provided in kitten foods and not in adult cat foods.
Vitamin A: Young felines also need more amount of vitamin A – twice as much compared to what’s needed by grown cats.
Fatty and amino acids: The various fatty and amino acids should also be more for kittens. They should include lysine and methionine, among others.
Essentially, those are the vitamins and minerals that your kitten need and would be lacking in adult cat foods.
Moving on to Adult Cat Food
Well, those are just a few best dry kitten foods. However, time will come that you will have to transition your pet to adult cat food. When should it be done? Once your feline turns one, it’s ready! Although you may still have to monitor that it’s responding well with adult food.