Healthy nutrition will lead to a healthy pet! Animals require change with age in the dietary composition. What is good for a growing, 9 month old pup or kitten may be detrimental to a 12 year old, senior, dog or cat. We believe in ‘the lifestage’ dietary concept and would encourage changing your pets food with their increasing age.
Kittens are normally weaned at between 5 and 8 weeks.Getting the correct balance of Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D with utilisable protein and high energy availability is not easy and it is our opinion that feeding a complete, high quality, kitten food is easier, cheaper and healthier than trying to do it yourself.
A good guide for feeding a kitten is to let them eat their fill for 10 minutes, 4 times a day until 12 weeks, reducing to 3 times a day to 18 weeks and then twice daily. If you prefer you can allow a cat to ‘graze’ feed, by leaving down a large bowl of food to which they return when hungry. Good hygiene is important by regular bowl cleaning.
The bones continue to grow and require kitten foods until 9-12 months of age. Feeding a complete, dry, kitten, food is good for their teeth, nutritious, has reduced health risks with fewer upset stomachs from flies and bugs and is usually cheaper than wet tinned or packet foods.
It is probably preferable if not essential to change to an adult food of the same manufacturer. Quality is important and choosing a complete and balanced cat food will lend to long term health. There is no harm in adding a little food from your own dinner plate or the occasional sardine or slice of chicken, if it keeps your cat happy.
Cats are obligatory carnivores and are not vegetarians and cannot use certain vegetable proteins. Try to limit these ‘tit-bits’ to no more than 10% of diet.Depending on breed, lifestyle and exercise levels, many pets start to gain excessive weight, especially if they have been neutered.
Many cats require a degree of calorie restriction and it is quite acceptable to feed most neutered on a ‘light diet’ which usually contains 10-15% less calories than the full blown adult ‘maintenance diet’. Active, hunting cats tend to keep themselves slim but many cats prefer the couch and calorie control is important.
When is a cat a senior cat? Most vets believe that the average cat needs increasing dietary care by 8-10 years of age. ‘Senior Diets’ have restricted but highly absorbable protein levels.
Good carbohydrate for energy and restriction on sodium and phosphorus to safeguard the heart. Many are adding glucosamine or chondroitin to help improve joint function, taurine for heart function and sunflower oils for better skin. This dietary change is important and will help safeguard your cats future.
Which Cat Food should you Feed?
Hills Science Diet range is a top quality product which has optimal formulation for health. As the name suggests, enormous scientific research has gone into ensuring that the diets deliver the correct nutrients in a digestible manner to ensure good health.
They have recently launched their Nature’s Best range which continues on from the Science Diets but provides guaranteed natural additives in a formulation that cats appear to love.
Walthams Royal Canin, Purina, Burns, and James Wellbeloved are all good diets which we recommend.