How to feed a cat according to its age?

 

Cat owners face many decisions about choosing food: croquettes or boxes ? Or rather raw meat in the way BARF ? But another question arises for many cat friends: What role does the cat’s age play in finding the right food? Read all our tips!

feed a cat

Quality from an early age: how to feed a kitten?

At what age does a kitten eat kibble?

During the first three to four weeks of their life, kittens drink their mother’s milk , which provides them with everything they need. If the kitten no longer has its mother, formula is a good alternative. When kittens are about a month old, they can start to eat kitten food .The kitten’s diet is more energetic than conventional food and contains more vitamins and minerals to support growth. Since mothers of kittens can also benefit from kitten feeding for a few weeks,kittens can also eat from their mother’s bowl. In the weeks that follow, they eat more and more solid food and less milk. Finally, they are weaned around the age of three months.

Ideally, make him taste different variations of food and get him used to the food. dry and wet . Usually, the kitten has got used to its food by the 12th week. If the young cat learns little about it during this period, it will later surely be difficult or refuse any food that is unfamiliar to it.

Also, even if you choose to give your cat canned food, giving them a taste of kibble can be beneficial. You will play it safe. In addition, the croquettes are very practical to teach him tricks, for games of research or games of intelligence. You can also choose kitten kibble and combine it with canned adult cat food. This will give you more choice with wet food while benefiting from the energy, minerals and vitamins contained in kitten food.

During the following months, the cat should be given at least four rations per day . Indeed, mouse hunters prefer to eat as many times as possible in small amounts. So, finally, what is the ideal kitten’s diet? There are many different variations to choose from! However, pay attention to the quality of the food from an early age of the cat: we will explain how to you in more detail right away!

How to feed a cat over one year old?

Even though some cat breeds like the Norwegians take a little longer to mature, you can switch completely to adult cat food from the age of one year . If you buy kibble in large quantities, you can make the transition gradually. To do this, mix the new food with its usual food and increase the proportion of the food for adult cats. The transition will be easier if you choose the adult line from a brand that already knows kitten food. However, this is not an obligation. The most important is the quality .

The natural diet of cats, i.e. prey, is made up of 50 to 60% protein, up to 30% fat and only 8% maximum carbohydrates. 6 to 8% are made up of minerals. Cats prefer food that matches this prey pattern, and for good reason: these little carnivores need a lot of animal protein.

Finally, what is the best diet for a cat? Here are some characteristics that will allow you to recognize high quality food for all cat ages :

  • Meat must be first in the list of ingredients
  • The rate of “animal by-products” is moderate
  • The food contains little or no “plant by-products”
  • The food does not contain sugar, flavor enhancers or artificial flavors
  • Your cat must appreciate this food

Senior cat food

At what age should we switch to senior cat food?

When can we say that a cat is old? The indications vary, and with good reason! Because like with us humans, some cats age more slowly, others more quickly. Some cats, for example, show their first signs of old age and disease as early as seven or eight years old. These could include weight gain on the flanks as the cat moves less and less, dental problems that make chewing difficult, joint problems, or reduced hearing and speech. vision.

On the other hand, some cats lose weight. Finally, many cats over the age of 10 are still very agile. As a general rule, you should consult a veterinarian before putting off any changes in the cat’s age. He will then check the heart and kidneys, as the risk of chronic disease increases with age. Dental problems should be treated by a professional as they can cause severe pain. If the animal is losing weight, it could be due to kidney disease or diabetes.

Feeding a senior cat well: what role for health?

A high-quality diet, a healthy weight, and plenty of exercise and physical activity can slow down a cat’s aging process . In this way, you can avoid many health problems. As with adult cats, quality is crucial, don’t compromise! Some illnesses may require a special diet.

However, especially older cats often refuse new foods. If you are giving it wet food, try reheating its new food so that the cat can smell the scent better despite its weakened sense of smell. In principle, wet food is easier for older cats to digest and gives them more water at the same time.

Also, even in the grain-free variants, the kibble usually contains over 50% carbohydrate. These then become of little use and can negatively affect the glucose level of older cats.The diet of the senior cat contains energy values ​​adapted to its needs . Take a look at the nutritional values ​​of these foods compared to the foods you currently use and see what would work best for your cat. Some varieties contain more fat and are more energetic, while others are more ‘ light  ”. The latter are not suitable for cats who lose weight with age.

Even if your cat shows no signs of aging, you should take your pet’s age into account when choosing food from the age of 10. If, for example, you mix dry food and wet food, you can increase the proportion of wet food. Weigh your cat once a month to spot any changes in weight. However, outdoor cats often gain a few grams in winter. In this case, feed your cat plenty of meat, reduce his rations and treats, and get him moving by playing with him.

If you prefer not to change your diet, you can look at the food supplements . You will find many products dedicated to senior cats . There are in particular powders or tablets containing algae flour for the joints, specific combinations of vitamins or dental care products. All of this can ease or prevent discomfort, but it is not a substitute for a visit to the vet if a real problem arises. Be careful not to exceed the recommended doses, especially with vitamin products, as too much can be harmful.

Feed your cat well according to its age: how?

As long as the quality is there, there is no point looking for “THE food”. Mixing kibble and canned food is also possible. However, it is better to give these two types of food in different meals because the digestion time differs. Switching from one variety to another of the same brand, for example from “lamb and chicken” to “beef and duck”, is generally not a problem.

However, if you also change the brand, it must meet the same quality standards. Otherwise, the cat may react with diarrhea or vomiting. Varying your cat’s diet has the advantage of making it more flexible about food. So, if the brand ever changes its recipe, your cat will be less affected. However, a cat does not absolutely need a very varied diet. Instead, choose three different foods of the same quality. As for the special kitten and senior foods, they meet the specific nutritional needs of the different phases of life and are therefore recommended. Finally, you can mix these special foods with regular adult food, especially when cooking transition .

In summary: what diet for what age?

At what age to start ?

Kitten food 1 month
Adult cat food 1 year
Food for senior cats 7-8 years

 

These figures are indicative values . The aging process varies from cat to cat. If in doubt, always consult your veterinarian.

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