Kittens have different nutritional requirements to adult cats, so make sure you feed your kitten food appropriate for their life stage. Kitten foods should contain higher levels of calories, fat and protein, all essential for their growing bodies.
A complete kitten food guide
How much to feed your kitten
Up until 6 months of age, kittens are growing rapidly and should be fed kitten food 3-4 times per day. From 6 months onwards, you can begin to drop the amount of food — until they are eating just once or twice a day by 12 months of age. Kittens should stay on specific kitten food until they are around 12 months old. At that stage, be sure to review and reassess the type and quantity of food you’re giving them throughout the day to prevent them from becoming overweight and unhealthy.
What to feed your kitten
As a new cat owner, you want to make sure your little ball of fur and energy has all the essential nutrients required to grow into a healthy, strong adult cat. Fully-balanced kitten food from the best brands should be nutrient-dense and rich in all the building blocks young bodies and brains need to develop fully.
From the time your kitten starts getting adult teeth (usually around 4-6 months), you can begin to introduce some raw meaty bones. Doing this helps alleviate symptoms of teething. Always supervise your kitten with a bone to be sure they don’t choke. Opt for bones that are bigger than their mouth and those with lots of meat on them.
What not to feed your kitten
No kitten feeding guide is complete without a warning on which foods to avoid feeding your feline companion. Onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, raw egg, raw dough, chocolate, caffeinated drinks and alcohol are all toxic for kittens. But the main one that new cat owners might not be aware of is milk and dairy products. Although movies and childhood stories often depict cats drinking milk and loving it, most kittens will get an upset stomach or diarrhoea from dairy. Instead, make sure your adorable fur ball always has plenty of fresh water available.
The dangers of overfeeding your kitten
Although it’s hard to overfeed a kitten younger than 3 to 4 months old — due to their rapidly growing bodies — it is possible, and especially more so later on. If your kitten eats too much at once, it may vomit or experience diarrhoea. If you regularly overfeed your kitten, it will become overweight, be less mobile, sleep more and play less. An overweight kitten is more likely to grow into a fat cat, with lifelong negative health repercussions. To avoid overfeeding, follow the recommended amounts on your kitten food packaging or the directions of our kitten food guide — only feeding them kitten-specific food and factoring in any treats and snacks.
At Paringa Pet Foods, we love to help you take the best care possible of your furry best friends. If you have any questions we haven’t already answered and aren’t covered in the FAQs below, please reach out to us and let us know. We’re always happy to help. And if you’ve only discovered our educational resources once your kitten is a fully grown adult, take a peek at our cat feeding guide.