Common Kitten Nutrition Questions

Kitten nutrition can raise a few questions for every new owner. If your cat has just given birth or if you have recently adopted a new kitten, you need to know some nutrition basics to ensure your kitten's well being.

When Should I Start Feeding the Kitten?

A kitten will receive cat milk from his mother during the first 4 to 6 weeks. For the first 2 days, the mother will produce a special condensed milk called colostrum, which contains antibodies that will protect the kittens from infections. The mother will nurse the kittens every hour. The milk contains the essential nutrients for kittens.

You need to administer kitten food starting from the age of 4 weeks.

What Should I Feed a Kitten?

If the kitten is fed by his mother, you shouldn't feed him anything for the first 4 weeks, as he will get enough food. Cow milk is not recommended for kittens. If your kitten doesn't get milk from his mother, you should get a cat milk replacement formula.

After 4 weeks, mix cat food with a bit of water or cat milk replacement. Get a kitten food formula. If you opt for dry food, mix 3 parts liquid with the kibble food. If you get wet food, mix one part liquid with 3 parts cat food. In time, you should reduce the amount of water. By the time the kitten is 10 weeks old, he should get only kitten food with no water or milk. During the first year, you can feed the kitten a variety of kitten food formulas, so that he gets used to different ingredients and won't be a picky eater.

The kitten should eat the special kitten growth formula until the age of 1. After that he can eat normal cat food.

What Should I Feed the Mother?

You can feed the mother the same kitten formula food starting from the last weeks of her pregnancy. It is important that her milk contains the necessary nutrients for the newborn kittens. Kitten growth formulas contain a lot of proteins and calories.

How Many Times Should I Feed the Kitten?

Kittens will eat small amounts of food several times per day. Free feed the kitten, or you can give him up to one meal per hour.

  • When he's 6 weeks old, he should get about 4 smaller portions per day.
  • At 12 weeks, the kitten should get 3 meals, but they should be larger, as the stomach of the kitten gets larger.
  • At 6 months you can start giving two larger meals per day, and this is also the optimal frequency of feeding an adult cat.

How Much Should My Kitten Weigh?

When a kitten is born, he weighs 3 to 4 ounces. In the first week, he should double his weight. At the age of 1, a kitten should weigh about 30 times his weight at birth.

Do I Need to Feed Supplements?

Kitten food has a special formula that contains all the needed vitamins and minerals. You don't need to supplement with anything else. Supplements could actually harm the kitten.