There are many different types of pet food on the market. New cat owners may be overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the right type. The most important factor to keep in mind when making a choice is that the food is a good quality brand and contains all the necessary nutrients.
Kittens and adult cats have different feeding requirements, so it is important that you provide your pet with a balanced and healthy diet for his life stage. Growing kittens need two to three times more calories than adult and senior cats. They also need more fats, proteins, vitamins and taurine in their diet. The best way to ensure that your kitten is receiving the proper amount of nutrients is to feed him food especially designed for him. Kitten formula should be clearly marked to indicate that it is 100 percent nutritionally complete and balanced for growing kittens. They should be fed this formula until they reach one year of age.
Adult cats do not need the high calorie food that kittens do, and feeding them this food will make them fat. In addition to the regular types of cat food on the market, there are many specialty formulas available for adults. Pet food manufacturers have created specialty foods for dental care, hairball control, senior cats, overweight cats, cats with urinary tract problems, and even indoor cats.
If you change brands or flavors of cat food, do it gradually. Cats are very sensitive to change especially when it comes to food and if you suddenly change their diet, they may refuse the new food or develop stomach upset. To compromise with your cat and get him accustomed to his new food, slowly incorporate in into his regular brand. Each time you feed him, increase the percentage of the new brand while decreasing the percentage of the regular food. Here's how:
- On days 1 and 2, mix 3/4 of the regular food with 1/4 of the new food.
- On days 3 and 4, make a 50/50 blend of the regular food and new food.
- For the next 3 days, mix 3/4 of the new food with 1/4 of the old brand of food.
- From then on, serve only the new brand of food.
This gradually change will allow your cat to adjust to the diet change comfortably. If he is resistant, slow the change by increasing the time between each step. Depending on the cat, this process could take from 7 to 14 days.