Too busy to whip up meals for your fluffy friend? Well, then all you have to do is get commercial cat food. Still, cats at different ages have different needs for nutrients which means people should think thoroughly while buying foods for cats from stores. Compared to adult cats, kittens require more nutrients to support their growth so you have to give them proper foods. But what is the difference between kitten and cat food anyway? Is it safe to give cat food to kittens? When is the best time on theory to move from kitten food to cat food?
Have similar questions in mind? If that happens to be the case, this article may be of use to you. Check out the information down below to grasp the difference between kitten and cat food.
The Composition Of The Foods
Once born into the world, kittens shall grow every day so it's of utmost importance for pet owners to give them a nutritious diet. Considering the need for nutrients of the felines, it's safe to say the primary difference between kitten and cat food lies in their composition.
Aside from body growth, the lively nature of kittens leads to high demand for calories as they constantly move from place to place exploring. In most of the cases, kittens need up to 3 times more calories than adult cats. In addition to that, kittens have relatively small tummies so kitten food must be densely packed with calories to compensate. On the other hand, foods for cats only contain moderate amounts of calories since matured felines don't expend a lot of energy on average. Feeding kitten food to adult cats may cause obesity so you have to be careful.
Fat And Protein
Nutrients, especially fat and protein, play a critical role in the growth of most kittens. Because of that, bases on regulations from the FDA (Food And Drug Admission), kitten food needs to contain 8 percent fat and 22 percent protein at a minimum. In the case of food for adult cats, the percentage would be 5 percent and 18 percent for fat and protein respectively. Usually, if people fail to provide kittens with adequate amounts of fat and protein, the pets might not develop properly. Excess fat as well as protein normally don't cause notable harm to adult cats.
Vitamin And Mineral
Overall, kittens have to consume vitamin in addition to minerals every day to healthily grow bone, teeth and so on. As a result, the FDA requires that all kitten food include calcium, phosphorus,... in the composition. Regarding cat food, matured have few needs for minerals as their bodies no longer grow. Actually, giving an adult cat too much mineral daily could cause all sorts of troubles. That is why cat parents have to get the right food for the right cat. Generally speaking, giving the pets random foods without any consideration is a recipe for disaster.
Telling Types Of Foods Apart
Once you understand the difference between kitten and cat food, it's a breeze to differentiate one from the other. In most cases, you should be able to determine if a particular line of cat food is good for your furball by checking the label. Foods for matured felines these kinds of days usually feature the phrase: "For adult cats". On the other hand, kitten food tends to be accompanied by the phrase:" For kittens". Hence, it's strongly recommended that you read the label as well as the ingredient list to make wise investments.
Note: It's worth noting that a couple of products on the market come along the phrase: "All life stages". These foods for cats prove capable of meeting the needs of cats at various ages.
The Ideal Time To Transit
About the transition from kitten food to cat food, there is a general rule: cats that are younger than 1 year old would be considered kittens. As a result, it's widely advised that you steadily switch kitten food for cat food in the daily meals of your fluffy friend when it reaches 12 months of age. That being said, some breeds of cats may more than 1 year to fully mature such as Maine Coon so it's a good idea to research a bit before deciding. In the case you don't exactly know if your cat reaches adulthood yet, drops by the vets for consultation.
Changing The Foods: Tips And Tricks For Cat Parents
At all ages, most cats like to stick to familiar sights and daily routines which means you have to be patient during the transition period. Here are a few hints you should follow in order to encourage your furball to take in the new foods.
- Gradually Introduce The New Food: Avoid moving from kitten food to cat food at a single stroke as the pets shall not take it kindly. Instead, mix in small amounts of new foods into the daily meals for a week to progressively get the felines accustomed to the change. Assuming that your cat aggresses to cooperate, it's going to accept the food without giving you a hard time.
- Adopt A Fixed Feeding Schedule: It's indeed convenient to fill the feeding bowl of your cat so the pet could eat at its leisure. Nonetheless, if you are attempting to persuade your feline pal to eat new food, put together a meal time table. In the usual case, feed the pet 2 – 3 times every day but keep the portions small in order to minimize wastage. Once you manage to make the pet follow a feeding schedule, start introducing new foods. Hopefully, the feline is going to be too hungry at mealtime to notice the difference.
- Don't Resort To Starvation: Regardless of what happens, you need to refrain from starving your cat to force it to take in new foods. Not only such a method rarely brings desired results but it also put the health of the pet at risk. Cats that don't eat for more than 1 day may develop a condition called hepatic lipidosis which is life-threatening.