Kitten Indy with Food Bowl

How to Feed Kittens – 5 Best Feeding Tips for Kitten

Last Updated on March 24, 2024 by Indy the Cat

Feeding Kittens 101

If you’ve ever had a kitten or are thinking about getting one (hopefully adopting!) then you likely know all the feelings that go with the experience. The excitement, the confusion, the vast amounts of information; we all remember our first kitten! Well, Indy isn’t a kitten anymore, but let’s rewind the clock and pretend Indy is a kitten again. We’ve covered some of those details on our rotation diet page, but today we’ll focus in on the basics of feeding kittens. What food shall we start with and how much do we feed? Let’s dig further!

NB: If kittens are younger than 6 weeks, they should still be weaning and the following guide does not apply. Please consult your veterinarian or a suitable guide for more appropriate information.

1. Start with a wet kitten food

When starting your new kitten’s journey in feline nutrition, opting for wet food is a smart decision. Commencing with wet kitten food aligns with a kitten’s dense nutritional needs. While we previously discussed options like Wellness Core and Fussy Cat during our initial launch, it’s worth noting that these product lines are no longer available in Australia. However, fear not! We’ll be unveiling some exciting new alternatives in the upcoming months!

2. Free Feeding – The Only Time We Recommend it

If you recall from our feeding routine article, we almost never recommend free feeding. The exception to this rule is for kittens. Kittens don’t have to worry about putting on too much weight. They have high caloric needs and a small stomach. For those reasons, it doesn’t hurt to leave dry kitten food out for the first few months of its life.

Besides ensuring they’re getting plenty of food for growth, you’re also introducing a new food and texture to their feeding routine. There are other benefits such as making it easy to provide food during times where you may not be feeding meals (e.g. overnight). Thus, leaving food out is an easy way out for them to snack before the next morning meal.

3. Feed Them Like a Baby – Frequent Meals

Kittens, like babies have small stomaches and get fully quickly. Thus, it’s best to feed them frequent small meals rather than expect them to eat a few large meals. It’s not unusual to feed kittens 5-6 servings in day. Eventually you’ll be able to move to set meal times alongside other feeding routine rituals.

Furthermore, when it comes to kittens, you don’t have to worry too much about specific portions. During their first few meals, you can start by feeding generous servings sizes. Once you gauge their appetite, aim to scale your portions to that size. As they grow, gradually adjust the amount, month by month, until they hit their teenage phase (around 6 months or more, depending on their breed).

Kitten Indy
Throwback to Indy as a kitten!

4. Build a Feeding Routine as soon as possible

It’s no secret that kittens grow up very quickly. By the 4 month mark, you can often begin having set meal times and feeding routines. Usually by four months, many cats can transition to three meals per day or at most four meals per day. By six months, some kittens may be close to moving to two meals a day. For example, we slowly decreased Indy’s third meal until the eight month mark where he shifted completely to two meals a day. Before his meals, we also started building strong habits during his kitten days around playtime in order to burn all that pent up energy in addition to hooking into their hunt, catch, kill and eat natural instincts!

5. Start Building a Rotation early

Even though we recommend feeding kitten food to get started, once they’ve established their initial feeding routine, it’s never too early to start introducing some new food slowly into their diets. As this will be their first introduction to other brands, flavours or textures, go extra slow and follow the steps we outline in our rotation diet article.

Remember to stick to all stages food and ideally something close in texture to what your kititen is currently eating. These routines will stick with them throughout his/her lifetime so it’s important to start early! If you need more convincing, check out why we recommend them in the first place!

Get Started on the Right Paw

Raising a kitten is a lot of fun, but it can also be overwhelming for new cat owners. Stick to these basics and you’ll have a strong foundation for your kitten! If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!

If you spot an error in this article, please do not hesitate to let us know!

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