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Feeding Your Kitten
A high-quality balanced diet is very important particularly during your kitten’s first 12 months. A diet with the correct balance of calcium and protein is vitally important in a growing kitten to ensure optimum muscle development and bone growth. Your kitten also has some additional nutritional requirements, including the need for immune support, increased energy, improved energy conversion and digestive protection. At Macarthur Vet Group we recommend Royal Canin Feline Growth - a premium range of commercial kitten food. At least 75% of your kitten’s diet should be derived from a balanced commercial diet. Unlike dogs, most cats are grazers and more likely to consume dry food offered slowly over 10-16 small sittings rather than be gluttonous and consume a meal very quickly. Where feeding wet food (which cannot be left out all day without spoiling in hot weather) kittens should be offered 3-4 small meals a day until 4 months of age, then twice daily for life. With a proper balanced diet, calcium and vitamin supplements are unnecessary and we advise against using them.
Kittens and cats do not need to drink milk. However if you wish to provide milk in addition to water, please use a special pet milk. Cow’s milk contains too much lactose for cats and can cause diarrhoea.
Ensure that your kitten always has access to clean water and change it daily.
|Feeding Guide for Royal Canin Kitten diets:
||from weaning until 4 months old
||Royal Canin Kitten Weaning
||from 4 months until desexing (at 6 months)
||Royal Canin Kitten Growth
Feeding Requirements After Desexing
Desexed cats have a greater risk of becoming obese compared to the overall feline population. This occurs because neutering alters a cat’s metabolism, results in poorer regulation of food intake and due to the development of more sedentary behaviour. This certainly does not mean that this is what is destined for your cat! Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, joint disease, urine stones and reduces life expectancy. Prevention from an early age through appropriate feeding is far simpler than trying to get your cat to lose weight later.
Royal Canin Neutered (Young Male & Young Female) is a specialised range of cat foods to meet the nutritional needs of desexed young cats. Neutered cat diets reduce the risk of weight gain by controlling calories and improving satiety (the feeling of fullness). It is important after desexing to follow feeding guidelines and not to simply ‘top up’ the food bowl as it empties or as your cat demands it (something that you may have been able to get away with prior to desexing when your kitten was still growing). These diets will also reduce the risk of urinary crystals by maintaining dilute urine. Tartar development is inhibited due to the kibble shape and texture and due to the addition of sodium phosphate which binds to calcium, preventing plaque from turning into hard tartar.
Royal Canin Neutered Mature diets for older cats continue to offer the benefits of young male and young female diets whilst also providing antioxidants to combat cellular aging and controlling phosphorous levels which may compromise renal function. Royal Canin Neutered Senior diets for more senior cats, in addition to previous benefits will help to delay joint degeneration and arthritis through the addition of omega 3 fatty acids, chondroitin and glucosamine.
|Feeding Guide for Royal Canin Neutered cat diets:
|Young Male Cats
||from desexing until 7 years old
||Royal Canin Young Male
|Young Female Cats
||from desexing until 7 years old
||Royal Canin Young Female
||from 7 years until 10 years old
||Royal Canin Neutered Mature
||over 10 years old
||Royal Canin Neutered Senior
Some adult cats will have specialised dietary requirements particularly if they have been unwell. Ask our staff for more information about our Royal Canin maintenance and veterinary range of cat foods.
The best way to prevent dental disease in cats is to brush their teeth every day. If done properly, brushing your cat’s teeth daily can reduce plaque build up by 100%. We can advise/train you on how to clean your cat’s teeth. But this may not always be practical.
Abrasive foods such as raw bones, greenies treats and dental diets can reduce plaque build up by 40%. Feeding raw bones is a great way to keep your pets teeth clean (2-3 days a week) but does carry a small risk of fracturing teeth, intestinal obstruction or constipation. It is important that bones are large enough to prevent your cat from swallowing them whole – chicken necks are ideal.
Greenies are a small nutritionally balanced treat with demonstrated efficacy in controlling plaque and tartar. They are gentle on teeth and are soluble (breaking down within 24 hours of ingestion) so are less likely to cause the problems associated with feeding raw bones. Greenies should be fed twice daily, with small cats given 6-8 per serve, medium cats 8-10 per serve and large cats 10-12 per serve to achieve maximum benefit. Greenies are the only treat on the market endorsed by the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC). Greenies are stocked at Macarthur Vet Group in your cats’ favourite flavour!
Royal Canin Feline Dental is a diet specially formulated for adult cats to effectively reduce plaque and tartar development. A combination of larger kibble size (providing a mechanical cleaning effect) and calcium binding agents to reduce plaque (a chemical cleaning effect) achieves this reduction in risk of dental disease. Some of these benefits have been incorporated into neutered diets.
Although feeding dry food is superior to wet food, most dry food tends to shatter after a pet bites into them so does not offer the same teeth cleaning benefits as the specially designed foods described above.