How should I feed my new kitten?

Posted on: September 09, 2013

Feeding Your Kitten

It’s important to establish a healthy feeding schedule with your kitten. Here are some tips to get started.

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. Above all, 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 Your Kitten

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. For a proper feeding schedule, follow the feeding instructions on the cat food package and always measure.

Dos and Don’ts with Feeding Your Kitten


Do:

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.

Transition Slowly

A cat's digestion is 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 so she can adjust. Don't be surprised if her tummy gets upset in the beginning.

Store Properly

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. Alternatively, you can microwave wet food for a short time in a microwave-safe container.

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.

Don’t:

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.

Danger Foods

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.

  1. What vaccinations does my kitten need?
  2. Next Article

Feed, train and socialize your new kitten. We’ll help you with expert advice.