There really aren’t many creatures on earth that are more cute and adorable than a brand new little kitten, however, as with any new pet, you need to make sure that you know how to properly care for it before you take one home with you. Diet is one of the most important factors in managing cat health, but with such a wide range of foods available in the pet shops in Hong Kong, how can you be sure you are making the right choices?
In this article, we will run through some of the most common mistakes to avoid and the best types of nutrition for your kitten.
What not to feed your kitten
Why you shouldn’t give dog food to a kitten:
First and foremost, it’s important to recognize that cat food and dog food are not as similar as they look. Cats and dogs are very different biologically and therefore have different dietary requirements. Good quality pet food manufacturers carefully balance the nutrients in their products in order to ensure your pets get the nutrients they need. Therefore, never give dog food to a cat or kitten.
Don’t give the wrong kind of milk to your kitten:
Most cats are lactose intolerant, which means that cow's milk can pose a health risk to cats and especially kittens. It can upset their stomach and cause diarrhea. In addition to potentially harming your kitten, it also lacks some of the vital nutrients that would be of benefit. Look for age-appropriate kitten milk when you are choosing cat supplies in Hong Kong. Also, remember that kittens only require milk until they are weaned. They shouldn't require any milk after 8-10 weeks and can thereafter eat a proper kitten diet.
Feed an age appropriate food to your kitten:
Kittens require a lot more energy than adult cats as they are growing rapidly and burning off lots of energy. Therefore, it's important for kittens to be fed a specific kitten diet until they're approximately one year old when they can switch to an adult cat food.
Say no to table treats:
Cats, especially kittens, can be very sensitive to changes in diet. Feeding table scraps can upset the stomach and cause sickness and diarrhea. We know it’s very tempting when those big round eyes are staring up at your plate but do try to resist sneaking your feline friend anything from your dining table. Giving extra food between meals can also make it harder for you to monitor their calorie intake and put your pet at risk of obesity. Obesity brings a whole bunch of other health problems with it that you really don’t want for your kitty.
Don’t be afraid to seek advice:
As with any pet, being observant is the best way to ensure they are healthy and happy. If you notice any changes in appetite or behavior, speak to your vet immediately. In order to be ready to check for pet health issues, [take a look at our article].
Cats are not vegetarians:
Unlike humans, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat mainly meat and animal proteins in order to thrive. The amino acid taurine, for example, is found only in animal tissue. Lack of taurine can lead a cat to experience heart problems, blindness, and even death. Despite some claims that vegan diets have been created for cats, the scientific evidence simply doesn’t stack up. Your dietary choices are yours to make, but forcing vegetarianism on your cat can be fatal.
Avoiding these mistakes isn’t difficult as long as you are informed and mindful. Always consider the life stage of your cat and check the labels on the foods you buy. Monitor the weight of your kitten and ensure you know that they are receiving the correct nutrients and food types and if in doubt, contact your vet for advice.