What to Feed Kittens
It’s important to establish a healthy feeding schedule with your kitten. Here are some tips to get started, including how to feed a kitten, what to feed a kitten, and how much to feed kittens.
What do kittens eat?
What do kittens eat? And what can kittens eat? Kittens need a complete and balanced diet that’s formulated to fit their needs. Find the perfect food for your new kitten using our cat food product selector. It’s important to feed your new friend a food optimized for her life stage. We’d recommend Purina® Pro Plan® kitten food, Purina ONE® kitten food or Purina® Kitten Chow® Nurturing Formula.
The feeding location
Place your kitten’s food and water dishes away from foot traffic and noise. A place that is comfortable and easy for her to reach is best. Once you have chosen a suitable place, don’t change the location unless it is absolutely necessary. A plastic mat under the dish makes cleanup easier too. And always keep clean, fresh water available.
The feeding routine
Establish a routine so that your kitten is fed at the same time each day. Use your kitten’s name when feeding her. This can help to reinforce her name while associating you with a pleasant activity.
How much to feed kittens
If you are feeding a dry cat food, you can put out a whole day’s supply in the morning or feed half in the morning and half at night. To learn more about how much to feed a kitten, follow the feeding instructions on the cat food package and always measure.
Dos and don’ts with feeding your kitten
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
In general, cats are creatures of habit so try to feed your kitten at the same time and place each day.
PICK A SPOT TO SET UP
Feed your kitten in a quiet area, away from the hustle and bustle of your home. Set the food bowls on a surface that's easily cleaned, like a tiled floor or mat. If you have two cats, keep their bowls a reasonable distance apart to avoid confrontation or bullying. This is especially important when you're feeding a kitten and older cat together.
A cat's digestion can be easily upset when you change her food, whether it's from canned to dry or between different brands. If you do change her diet, slowly increase the amount of the new food over a period of at least five days while decreasing the amount of her current food so she can adjust. Don't be surprised if her tummy gets upset in the beginning.
You should keep wet kitten food in the fridge to keep it fresh. Bring it to room temperature before serving so it smells more appealing and can be digested comfortably. This could take a couple of hours.
MAKE TIME FOR REST
After the meal and a visit to the litter box, leave your kitten for at least an hour to digest before playing with her.
THE 24 HOUR, 20 MINUTE RULE
Don't keep opened canned food for longer than 24 hours or leave uneaten wet food in her bowl for longer than 20 minutes. Throw away her leftovers and wash the bowl thoroughly.
CAT FOOD FOR CATS, DOG FOOD FOR DOGS
Don't feed dog food to your cat. Cat food is specially formulated for their unique nutritional needs. Also avoid feeding her bones from chicken, pork or fish — these can splinter and lodge in her throat. Worse, they can pierce her stomach walls and intestines.
What can’t kittens eat? Avoid feeding your kitten milk, as it may cause digestive upsets. Some foods, like chocolate and onions, can even be toxic to kittens, and should be avoided at all costs.
SAY NO TO SCRAPS
Resist the temptation to feed your kitten table scraps. Give in, and she might become a finicky eater who never wants to return to kitten food. Table scraps also tend to be high in calories and may cause unwanted weight gain.
We hope these feeding tips make mealtime with your kitten easier and more enjoyable.