The Best Foods for Kittens
- Kittens are drawn by instinct to their mother's milk as soon as they are born. The milk makes the ideal first food for every kitten because it is naturally rich in everything they need (fat, protein, vitamins and nutrients) for nutrition and natural defenses. Kittens begin to wean off of their mother's milk when they are 6-8 weeks old.
- According to the pet food company Purina, cats are "obligate carnivores," meaning their diet must include meat protein. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty To Animals of Australia recommends "natural foods (that) include raw meat such as diced-up raw lamb meat, pieces of raw chicken meat." Human-grade raw meat is preferable, the RSPCA says. It cautions that kittens should not be feed too much raw meat until they are at least 20 weeks old, because it's not a complete diet.
- Kittens should not eat just meat. They need some fat and carbohydrates to complement the protein in their diet. Kitten mush is a way to introduce store-bought food into their diet. Soak some high-quality dry kitten food in lukewarm water until the water is absorbed. Use a fork to mash the dry food into a soft pulp, and serve one tablespoon of the mush to a kitten up to five times a day.
- Moist food is an appealing and nutritious option for kittens because it is high in protein, easy to chew and digest. Moist cat foods come in a variety of meat flavors, and it might take some taste-testing before the kitten finds its favorite. Such food can also be homemade, which gives the owner full control over quality and preparation. Serve moist foods at room temperature and in small portions throughout the day.