Taking care of a newborn pet requires adequate knowledge and skills. Newborn animals are treated differently than their adult counterparts. Newborn pets require special attention and different feeding requirements. And it is the responsibility of the owners to know the right petting tricks to ensure that their pets will thrive and grow healthy.
Newborn cats have different nutritional requirements than that of the adult cats. Kittens grow rapidly and require 25% more nutrition than the adult cats until they reach their 6 months of age. A kitten’s bodyweight may double or triple during its first weeks of life. Due to its rapid growth rate, it needs food containing large amount of energy and nutrients in balanced quantities.
For the first four weeks of life, you do not have to feed your kitten anything aside from their mother’s milk. The mother’s milk contains complete nutrition that is perfect for its newborn’s nutritional requirements. The event becomes harder if the mother cat is not around or is ill. If this happens, you can feed your pets with a commercial milk replacer. You can consult a veterinarian to gain more information about the product and feeding instructions.
At 3 weeks of life, you may start to wean off your newborn cat from breastfeeding. You can do this by feeding them with moistened kitten food. You can again use commercial milk replacer to moisten their food and gradually reduce its amount as the weeks pass by. By the age of 5 to 6 weeks, your newborn cat must be able to nibble on high quality cat food that is appropriate for its age even though it is still feeding from its mother. At the 8th week from delivery, most mother cats stop nursing their newborns. By this time, your kittens must be able to get 80% to 90% of their nutrition from cat-formula food.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They are born with this inherent quality and pet owners must understand that cats will not survive without meat. A vegetarian diet is not for cats. Cats are born without the enzyme that can convert vegetable proteins into basic form of protein that they need. An adult cat needs 26% of protein and 9% of fats from their meals. And knowing that a kitten needs higher amount of nutrition than the adult cats, feeding your kitten with meatless food will not help it to grow and survive.
To be able to find the right kitten-formula food for your newborn cats, make it a habit to read the nutritional labels on the cat foods before purchasing them. The label contains the nutritional contents of the food and the feeding instructions. Commercial cat foods are usually fortified with amino acids like taurine that your pet needs in order to stay healthy. Read on the labels and focus on the nutrients, not too much on the ingredients. A kitten needs a variety of nutrients to survive such as carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, fiber, protein and water. So make it sure to only feed your kittens with cat-formula food with balanced nutrients designed for their age.
Lastly, it is very important to take note that kittens are able to establish their food preferences when they reach the age of 6 months. Before this happens, make sure to feed them with a nutritionally complete diet. This will help them to get used to eating healthy balanced meals and to not jump in the “tuna addict” phenomenon. Such simple petting tricks will definitely help you to keep your pets healthier as they reach their age of maturity.