While some cats retain their cute kitten personality well into adulthood, they don’t retain their dietary habits.
As they grow and develop, kittens mature into cats and require the right amount of sustenance for their adventures. But when to switch from kitten to cat food?
According to their breed, different cats reach adulthood at different times in their life and require their diets to follow the same journey. Let’s find out when your kitten should transition to adult cat food.
To keep your cat protected from any pancreatitis you can switch to the best cat food for pancreatitis which acts as a cure and also becomes prevention.
Understanding Dietary Requirements for Kittens and Cats
Usually, cats evolve from kitten to cat food at the 12-month mark.
Because kitten food satisfies different nutritional needs, feline food fills in the blanks that kitten food doesn’t offer.
For example, consider the average kitten’s calorie needs. Kittens are far less active than cats, mainly because kittens also require long naps and get tired quickly. But once kittens adjust to their active lifestyle, they require far more calories, which only a cup of adult cat food can offer.
Similarly, as they grow, cats require more quantities of various other dietary requirements, such as healthy fats, essential minerals, and proteins.
But keep in mind that it’s not as easy to wean cats off kitten food. You can’t put a bowl of feline food in front of your 12-month old and expect it to gobble it down instantly!
There is a technique to make that transition easier.
How to Help Your Kitten Eat Adult Cat Food
As any cat parent knows, cats have a specific palette. If you deviate from that palette, you know your cats will cause a lot of trouble.
The trick here is to transition them from one meal to another gradually.
When introducing your cat to a new type of food, begin with similar textures so that the transition is smoother. If you feed your kitten-specific food from a single brand, stick to it and use moist and dry adult food from it. You’ll want to bring in a wider variety of food later, but for now, keep to the same brand. Otherwise, any rapid changes will affect your cat’s gut bacteria and cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Transitioning to adult food doesn’t take long. We recommend combining kitten and cat food for the first two days, then increasing the amount of cat food as the days go by.
However, if your cat has a sensitive stomach or allergies, this increases the days into weeks. Instead of trying to transition your cat to adult food within a few days, try to keep their diet half-kitten and half-cat food for about a week. Use different textures and types of food, and stick to their favorite flavors.
It may be that your feline will react to the different food types initially, but that’s where this trial and error week comes in handy.
Use the right food and stick to it in the next week, increasing the amount as days go by, slowly weaning them off kitten food. Your kitten should be able to consume cat food within a few weeks if you stay consistent. But if your cat shows signs of gut disturbance or stomach issues, you’ll want to speak to the vet immediately. They will likely prescribe a special cat food meant for sensitive stomachs.
FAQs about Transitioning Your Kitten to Cat Food
Unless your cat is very easy with food, there is a chance that they will create problems when transitioning from their favorite kitten food to cat food.
To make your job easier, here are some answers to questions you’ll probably have:
Q.1: How Do I Measure the Amount of Food to Give?
Cat food measures twice in calories as kitten food would. If your kitten eats four oz. of kitten food, you’ll want to half that amount. Go with 2–3 oz. of cat food and mix it with their favorite dry food if they’re picky.
Q.2: Which Food Should I Choose? Dry or Wet?
This depends on your cat’s palette. We typically recommend giving our cats a mix of dry and wet food. However, to stay safe, you’ll want to use the feline food your cat likes. We offer some info in the details mentioned above. But if you want a rule of thumb, mix their food and add more of what they like best.
Q.3: Is There a Specific Feeding method to Start with?
If you can hand-feed them, that’s perfect. Cats only take food from people they trust. Hand feeding them will assure them that you’re giving them something good.
If you feed them wet feed, wet their mouth a bit with the food, then put their meal on a flat plate that doesn’t have raised edges. That will prevent their whiskers from touching the edges. You’ll also want to make sure that the food isn’t too hot or cold. Warm to room temperature is the ideal temperature.
Once your cat takes a few tentative bites and begins eating, you’ll want to further this progress through positive reinforcement. Pat their head and give positive assurances. They’ll want to know you’re praising them for doing the right thing.
Q.4: What if My Cat isn’t Interested in the Food?
No two cats are the same. Follow the routine that works for your cat, and be patient.
First, troubleshoot any issues that may prevent your feline from eating its food. Check the food temperature and make sure it’s not too cold (especially if it’s straight from the fridge) or too hot (if you’ve microwaved it.
Second, replace their plate or bowl with something broader and make sure it’s clean and doesn’t smell of anything else.
Third, you’ll want to check your cat’s nose for any upper respiratory infections. If your cat has a runny nose, has been sneezing, and has been less active than usual, it may be that a stuffy nose is preventing them from smelling such deliciousness.
Q.5: Will My Cat Get Bored of Cat Food?
Like humans, cats have limited tolerance for flavors. They will not like eating the same food every day, so experiment with different proteins. As you may have when they were kittens, you’ll want to try different flavors and textures before you decide on the top three choices. Mix them up when your cat begins to get bored and try different broths too.
Also, try to feed your homemade cat food. You’ll be surprised by how easy and creative some recipes are.
Q.6: Can I Transition My Kitten from a Meat Diet to a Vegetarian Diet?
The short answer is no.
Cats are instinctually carnivorous. They like meat, and their bodies require meat to survive, whether they’re outdoor or indoor cats. While your cat will not mind having a veggie diet at first, you’ll see the consequences of it in the long run when their health will suffer.
You can enjoy a vegetarian or vegan diet, but for the sake of your cat’s health, you’ll have to handle meat one way or the other.
Q.7: Do You Recommend Any Adult Cat Foods?
Any product by Hill’s Cat Food would work well. Hill’s Cat Food is clinically proven to be an excellent formula for growing fur kids.
It’s also delicious for fur-kids and a favorite among all four-legged felines. If you want to introduce your kitty to the adult world, Hill’s cat food would be the best choice.
Keep in mind; this doesn’t mean you should throw away any adult feline food that you have. Given that your cat will become a little uninterested in their food as time goes, this will become an excellent opportunity for you to try out the food you already have.
Q.8: How Do I Know if the Adult Cat Food is Safe?
Check reviews online for every cat food brand you want. Check all brands and follow forums on fur-kids health. You’ll find plenty of discussions and recommendations for cat food.
Also, before buying any food, always check the ingredients list to see whether they have any known chemicals or additives listed that may be suspicious.
Usually, any cat food you see in the cat food aisle will be safe to consume. However, you never know if your cat might have food allergies. If you suspect something, check for symptoms such as itchy skin, hair loss, over-grooming, diarrhea, vomiting, and more. If you also see a crusting, bumpy rash, that may also be due to a good allergy. You’ll want to take your cat to the vet right away.
It’s an exciting time when your kitten finally becomes an adult cat. Transitioning from kittenhood to adulthood means your kitten becomes a lot more active, more engaging, and more mischievous. Be sure to give them the right food that supports their adventures and keeps them active and happy for all the days to come.