Russian Blue kitten laying curled up on the ground

KITTEN FEEDING GUIDE: HOW MUCH TO FEED A KITTEN

Congratulations on your new addition, darling! Whether you're a first-time kitty parent or a seasoned cat owner, kitten care can seem daunting. Don't fret — we're here to answer all your burning questions on the how, when, why and what in regard to feeding your kitten.

How often should I feed my kitten

Much like human babies, young kittens need to eat small portions of food several times a day. Initially, it's best to feed your kitten four to seven small meals each day. Keep a kitten feeding schedule of how much and how often they're eating so you can ensure they're getting the nutrients they need.

Over time, your kitten will be able to handle larger amounts of food less frequently; they should be close to two meals a day at around six months of age. Check out our comprehensive guide on how much you should feed your cat.

How much should I feed my kitten?

How much to feed a kitten can vary based on breed, activity level and genetics, so be sure to check with your vet and to consult the feeding recommendations on the food's packaging.

In general, growing kittens require more calories than their adult counterparts: about 250-280 calories per day. Adult cats, on the other hand, need only about 200 calories as they start to enjoy the lazier lifestyle of an older cat.

Can you overfeed a kitten?

Yes. Feed your kitten small amounts in regular intervals to avoid overfeeding. If you're feeding multiple kittens at a time, take care to monitor their food intake closely as to not overfeed.

Be sure to refer to feeding charts and contact your vet if you have any questions.

What's the best food for my kitten?

The best food for your kitten depends largely on their age and individual needs. Ideally, newborn kittens should remain with the mother cat until about eight weeks, but if Mom is not in the picture, they can be bottle fed starting as early as about two weeks old.

Around five to eight weeks old, kittens can gradually transition onto a quality wet food for kittens by mixing canned kitten food with a kitten formula (a kitten milk replacer). Kitten food is specially formulated with lots of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals and DHA to support their growth. It's no secret that cats love wet food, and over several weeks you can slowly reduce the amount of kitten formula until your adorable ball of fur is eating exclusively wet kitten food and then solid food.

Skip the cow's milk and dairy

Contrary to popular belief, kittens shouldn't have cow's milk or dairy. Many kittens and cats are lactose intolerant, so be sure to use a specialized kitten milk replacer instead of whole milk or other dairy products to dilute the wet food.

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When can my kitten eat dry food?

You can introduce dry food into your kitten's diet a few weeks after they have fully adjusted to wet food. Just take it slow and be sure to keep an eye on how their bellies are reacting to the change.

When should I transition my kitten to adult food?

They just grow up so fast! *Sniff* Once your feline has hit six months, it's time to start transitioning them to an adult diet. You'll want to make sure your cat food is made with high-quality ingredients to ensure they're getting the nutrition they need. Might we recommend SHEBA® Perfect Portions™ Premium Paté or SHEBA® Perfect Portions™ Cuts in Gravy?

Don't do this all at once though, darling; a rapid change can be jarring to your precious kitty, especially for picky eaters. Instead, it's best to do a long con. Take a week or so to slowly transition: 80/20 kitten food to adult food, then 70/30, then 60/40, etc. until they have fully switched. Learn more about helping your cat adjust to changes in routine.

Kittenhood is such a special time, and we're here to answer your kitten questions. Check out our Kitten Care Guide that outlines all the basics of your first few months as a kitten parent, from how to bring your kitten home to grooming and ways to bond with your new friend. From preparing your home for a cat to deciphering their weird behaviors, we've got you covered — from kitten to cat to senior, darling!