Cats are obligating carnivorous and depend upon the nutrients present in animal flesh for their dietary needs. Their teeth, jaw and digestive system are adapted for meat concentrated diet. A high-quality cat food is the best way to give nutrients to the pet. Cat food can be both dry and wet. Dry food generally contains 8-10% moisture. It is made by extrusion cooking under high heat and pressure. Wet food contains 75-78% moisture. Even though cats are carnivorous, some vegetarian food with nutrients such as taurine and arachidonic acid are also added.
An ideal cat food can help in maintaining ideal weight, support long life health and allow maximum functionality. The dry food or kibble is easily digested and well accepted. Wet food helps cats with the sensitive digestive system. Cat food that contains vitamin B complex, omega -3 and omega -6 fatty acids helps in maintaining glossy fur and soft skin. Cat food containing vitamin c reduces bacterial plaque formation and dental tartar. They also help in the hairball function, urinary tract support and reduces unpleasant stool odor. In addition, special plant fibers help to me mechanically clean the teeth. Although cats have the ability to recognize and prefer the food that closely matches their individual nutrient profile.
Proper feeding for the kitten is a must for its healthy growth. A kitten initially feeds on mother’s milk for the first four weeks. Then it slowly transits to kitten food. It is completely weaned at about eight weeks. A kitten’s weight might double or triple during the first few weeks of life. This explosive growth and high activity levels require triple the energy needs. Kitten needs for some fatty acids and vitamins are almost the same as an adult cat. But kittens have higher requirements for amino acids and minerals as well as for some vitamins. For this reason, kittens should be fed specially formulated kitten food until the age of one. Kittens require at least three to four meals a day.
It is also important that very young kittens have at least some canned food to eat as part of their diet. If a kitten is fed both dry and canned food, then canned feeding twice a day is sufficient. If they are fed only canned food, then they should be fed four times daily. Both canned and dry foods are nutritionally complete. The only difference is the moisture content. Many cat owners and vets feel that dry kibble is more convenient to feed. They are also cheaper, easy to store and can be kept out all day for the kitten to nibble on it. They are found to be better for a kittens tooth. But canned wet food helps develop strong bones and muscles. But they are more expensive than dry food. It is easier to switch food if the kitten has been exposed early on to different textures and flavors.