Cat food: Find out what your feline friend needs to stay healthy

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Newborn cats have different nutritional needs than adult cats. Kittens grow quickly and require 25% more feeding than adult cats until they reach 6 months of age. A cat’s body weight can double or triple during the first few weeks of its life. Due to its rapid growth rate, it needs food that contains lots of energy and nutrients in balanced quantities.

For the first 4 weeks of life, you don’t have to give your cat anything other than breast milk. Breast milk contains complete nutrition that is ideal for the nutritional needs of the newborn. The event becomes more difficult if the mother cat is absent or sick. If this happens, you can feed your pets a commercial alternative to milk. You can consult a veterinarian for more information on product and feeding instructions.

At 3 weeks old, you can start to stop caring for your newborn cat. You can do this by feeding them cat treats for kittens. You can return to using commercial yogurt to hydrate your food and gradually reduce the amount over the weeks. At 5 to 6 weeks old, your newborn cat should be able to nibble on high-quality cat food appropriate for her age, even though she is still feeding on her mother. In the eighth week after birth, most female cats stop breastfeeding their newborn babies. By this time, cats should be able to get 80% to 90% of their food from prepared cat food.

Cats are committed carnivores. They are born with this inherent quality and pet owners must understand that cats will not survive without meat. A vegetarian diet is not for cats. Cats are born without the enzyme that can convert plant proteins into the primary form of the protein they need. An adult cat needs 26% protein and 9% fat from her diet.

In order to find the right food for your newborn kitten, make a habit of reading the feeding labels on cat food before purchasing. The label contains the nutritional content of the food and feeding instructions. Commercial cat foods are generally fortified with the amino acids such as taurine that your pet needs to stay healthy. Read labels and focus on the nutrients, not too much on the ingredients.

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