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While many people will tell you that the needs of your kitten are the same as an adult cat, you should be aware that the little one’s diet has to be given far more attention. The key to understanding a kitten’s dietary requirements is to keep in mind that a kitten grows at a tremendous rate during the first few weeks. This is the period when your kitten will be very active- a ball of energy. As such, the need to maintain the energy levels of a kitten, together with providing ample nutrition to aid in its growth, become very important. By keeping this in mind, you will have a fair idea as to how, when and what to feed the little one.
Understand your kitten’s hunger-cycle
A simple rule of thumb is that kittens need to be fed almost 3 to 4 times a day. As mentioned earlier, your kitten’s highly energetic activities would mean a greater need for food. Add to this rapid growth that is happening in the first few weeks. Pay close attention to your kitten’s need for food. Make a note of when and how many times your kitten asks to be fed, and how much it eats each time. Gradually you will see a pattern in this. Follow this cycle for a few months till the growth has slowed down, after which you can try something different.
Kittens need food that are high on energy
Besides the number of times you feed your kitten, you should also focus on what you feed your kitten. Find out foods that are suitable for kittens and are excellent sources of energy as well. This includes healthy fat, vitamins and most importantly, protein. You can consult with a vet or any other expert about foods that are rich sources of these nutrients. The safest option would be to buy kitten food, as they would already have been made using all the nutrients essential for a kitten’s growth.
Home-made food or commercial food?
Making up the perfectly balanced kitten food at home can be difficult. The kitten’s precise age, weight, health and other such conditions have to be paid close attention to. Sources of protein may not give adequate amount of calcium; while sources of calcium will not give your kitten any vitamins. If you have the time and means, you can consult a vet or dietician specialized in animal diets to provide wholesome meals for your kitten. Alternately, you can simply rely on commercially made foods as they already contain all the required nutrients.
Do not forget to make clean water available for your kitten. It is important that cats, especially in their infancy, should remain hydrated all the time.