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4 Kitten Feeding Tips for Raising a Healthy Kitten: A Guide to Feeding and Nutrition

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As a new pet parent, one of the most important things you need to understand is how to properly feed your kitten. It is crucial to ensure that your furry friend receives proper nutrition as per the changing needs. In this article, we will provide valuable kitten feeding tips to help new pet parents determine the right amount of food for their kitten, how that amount should change every month, and why it's necessary to continuously evaluate the kitten's feeding needs as they grow. Whether you are a first-time pet parent or simply need a refresher on kitten nutrition, this guide will provide the necessary information to ensure your kitten is well nourished and healthy.


A comprehensive feeding chart for your kitten's nutritional needs

As you start to feed your kitten, it's essential to understand how much food they need at each stage of their growth. To help you with this, we have created a feeding chart showing the recommended daily food intake based on a kitty’s age. Here's a quick look at the chart:



0 to 4 weeks

Breast feeding

1 to 6 months

Feeding with specialized feed for kittens 4-5 times a day

6 to 12 months

A gradual decrease in the frequency of feeding

12 months and further

Full transfer to the feeding plan for an adult cat: wet food in the morning and evening; dry food and water always available in a bowl

As you can see from the chart, the recommended daily feeding for kittens can vary greatly depending on their weight and age. Remember that this is a general guide, and your kitten's needs may differ.


4 kitten feeding tips: How often should you feed your new fur baby?

When it comes to feeding kittens, it's essential to understand that their nutritional needs change as they grow. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when it comes to feeding your kitten:

  1. Kittens should be fed three to four small meals daily rather than one or two large meals. This helps maintain their blood sugar levels and prevents them from getting too hungry between meals.
  2. Kittens should be fed a diet high in protein and fat and low in carbohydrates. Wet food is the best option as it contains more protein and moisture than dry food.
  3. Kittens under six months of age should be fed a diet specifically formulated for growth and development. After six months, you can start transitioning them to an adult diet.
  4. Be mindful of the ingredients you are feeding your kitten as some can cause allergic reactions or stomach upset. For example, avoiding foods containing artificial preservatives, fillers, and by-products is ideal for cats.

When it comes to a feeding schedule, here are 4 kitten feeding tips to keep in mind:

  1. Start with a consistent schedule. For example, feed your kitten at the same time every morning and evening.
  2. Gradually adjust the feeding schedule as your kitten grows. For example, if you start feeding them three small meals per day when they are kittens, you can provide them two meals per day when they are adult cats.
  3. Be flexible with your feeding schedule. Some kittens may need more food than others, and some kittens may be hungrier at certain times of the day.
  4. Keep an eye on your kitten's weight and adjust their feeding schedule as and when required. If your kitten looks thin or skinny, they likely need to be fed more. On the other hand, if your kitten looks overweight or chubby, they likely need to be fed less.

Properly feeding your kitten is crucial for their overall health and development. Our basic kitten feeding tips include understanding their nutritional needs and providing a balanced diet tailored to their growth stage. Keep in mind that kittens have different dietary requirements than adult cats, so it is recommended to consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and to ensure your kitten's nutritional needs are met.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the best way to feed a kitten?
  2. The best way to feed a kitten is to provide a high-quality, kitten-specific formula that meets its nutritional needs. Kittens should be fed small, frequent meals (about 4-6 times per day) until they are about 6 months old. After 6 months, they can be transitioned to 3 larger meals per day. Always ensure that fresh water is available at all times.

  3. How much should a kitten eat at each feeding?
  4. A kitten should eat about 3-4 tablespoons of wet or dry food per pound of body weight at each feeding. This should be spread out into 2-3 small meals per day. It's essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the specific needs of your kitten.

  5. Should I feed my kitten wet or dry food?
  6. It is recommended to feed your kitten a combination of wet and dry food for balanced nutrition. Wet food provides extra moisture and hydration, while dry food can help with dental health. Consult with your veterinarian for specific recommendations and portion sizes for your kitten.

  7. Do kittens eat in the middle of the night?
  8. Yes, kittens may eat in the middle of the night. It is essential to provide them with access to food and water at all times, especially during their growth stages. However, if you notice excessive or abnormal eating habits, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.

  9. Should I leave dry food out for my kitten overnight?
  10. This would depend on your feeding schedule. While most cats can wait until morning for their meals, some cats with small stomachs may prefer eating during the night as well. However, you must also take into consideration that leaving dry food out can lead to overeating and weight gain. Additionally, keeping dry food open can attract pests and create a breeding ground for bacteria. It is best to portion out their meals and provide fresh food at specific times.

Kitten Basics: 4 Kitten-feeding Tips
Kitten Basics: 4 Kitten-feeding Tips
  • Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes-mob
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

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    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.


    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.

    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.


    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.


    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes