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Feeding your Kitten
 

The special dietary needs of Kittens
Kittens are not just cute and cuddly, they also have special dietary needs that require extra attention. Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli wants to help you take care of your kitten so it will experience healthy growth and development, and enjoy a long life with you.

We tend to think of the early years as the "healthy years" and therefore may not give enough consideration to feeding practices. Improper feeding can increase your kitten's risk of obesity, poor muscle and bone development and poor immune response.

The kitten life stage can be the most important time to ensure the health of your new cat. Not only should kittens (from weaning to about 12 months of age) be fed a food specially formulated to meet their needs for growth and development, but adult cats during pregnancy and nursing need to be cared for to ensure that their kittens are receiving the optimal amounts of nutrients. Kittens need precise levels of taurine to help maintain normal heart function and eye development.

Additionally, they require the proper levels and quality of protein, and fats, as well as calcium and phosphorus to help build strong bones and teeth.

How Much And How Often To Feed Your Kitten
It's important to feed your kitten the right amount of kitten food at proper intervals. Feeding guidelines on the bag or can of food are a good starting point. It's critical to your kitten's health that her physical condition is monitored regularly and the feeding amount is adjusted as needed.
To help your kitten grow up healthy,
Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli recommends following the simple steps:

Choose a premium quality kitten food. Our pets are what they eat and the superior ingredients in
Hills Science Plan Kitten, Iams Kitten and Royal Canin Babycat and Kitten diets will give your kitten the very best start in life. These diets are formulated not only to sustain the kitten’s growth, but have ingredients that have been proven to aid its immune system and therefore overall health.
Feel free to ask our staff for personalised advice on your kitten’s needs, or visit the links to the websites of the premium pet food manufacturers
Hills, Iams and Royal Canin.

Weigh your kitten ( a kitchen scale should be suitable)
Feed her based on the feeding guidelines for the kitten food you’ve chosen.

Your kitten will need to be fed multiple times during the day, to ensure she absorbs the food optimally. From weaning to 12 weeks of age, divide the daily feeding amount into 4 equal meals. Between the ages of 12 weeks and 6 months, divide the appropriate daily feeding amount into 3 equal meals. From 6 months onwards, feed 2 meals a day.

Evaluate your kitten's physical condition using the Body Condition Scoring System (at the end of this section) every two to three weeks for the first six months and adjust the amount you feed accordingly.

After the first six months, we suggest that you evaluate your kitten’s physical condition on a regular basis, especially after the neutering operation. If weight gain is noticed, that is leading to your cat becoming overweight, consult us for advice on a suitable diet to change to.

 
Feeding your Adult Cat
 

A cat between the ages of one and six years is considered an adult cat. These cats need controlled levels of magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and energy to help maintain their health. Additionally they need adequate taurine to help maintain normal heart function, eye structure and reproductive ability.

Obesity is the most common nutritional disease of cats. Obese cats are at greater risk for lower-urinary tract disease. A cat prone to obesity requires a low-fat, moderate-fibre food to help keep the cat trim and feeling full without reducing their volume of food intake.

Another important health concern for adult cats is kidney disease. While kidney disease is the second leading cause of non-accidental death in dogs, it's the primary cause of non-accidental death in cats. To help promote your cat’s kidney health, avoid diets high in phosphorus and salt. Other common risk factors for kidney disease are age, severe dehydration, heart failure, liver failure, kidney infections, some antibiotics, antifreeze, high blood pressure, certain cancers and obstructions of the urinary tract.


How Much And How Often To Feed Your Adult Cat
It's important to feed your cat the right amount of food at proper intervals, but that can be tricky as feeding requirements vary greatly from one cat to another. Feeding guides on the food can or bag are just a starting point. It's critical to your cat's health that his physical condition be monitored regularly and the feeding amount be adjusted as needed.

To help keep your adult cat healthy, Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli recommends following the simple steps in this cycle:
1. Weigh your cat
2. Feed him based on the feeding guide of your chosen diet and on veterinary recommendations
3. Evaluate your cat's physical condition using our Body Condition Scoring System every two to three weeks for the first six months
4. Adjust the amount you feed accordingly, or switch to a low calorie cat food, which supplies all the necessary nutrition for optimal health with carefully controlled calories. The three premium cat food manufacturers mentioned all have suitable products and Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli stocks them all.

We suggest that you or your vet evaluate your cat's physical condition every few months. For some cats, your vet may suggest more frequent evaluations.

There are a number of diets available at Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli that address certain conditions that can be managed or even cured by feeding the correct diet to your adult cat. These conditions include hairballs, a sensitive digestion system, oral health problems, a sensitive skin and fussy appetites.

 
Feeding your Older Cat
 

If they are taken care of properly and fed the proper balance of nutrients, your cat can live a very long life. The oldest cat in recorded history lived for 28 years!

At
Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli, we want to help you extend the life of your cat so you'll be happy together for many years ahead.

 

The Special Needs of Older Cats
As cats reach the age of seven years, they tend to have more health problems, especially with respect to metabolism, kidneys, joints, teeth and eyes. To meet the changing needs of the older cat, it's important to feed a senior diet specially formulated to address these needs.
Twisted Whiskers Pet Deli stocks a wide range of diets for the older cat and we’ll be happy to advise you which one to choose for your cat.
 

 
Cat Body Condition Scoring System
 

How do you know if your cat is at her ideal weight? You can determine if your cat is under- or overweight by reading the clues in her body structure

1. Emaciated
The ribs are obvious on short haired cats. The pelvic bones and other bony structures are easily felt. Seen from the side, there is an accentuated concave abdominal tuck. Seen from above, with the cat facing away from you, there is a severe hourglass shape to waist. No discernable body fat and obvious loss of muscle mass.

2. Thin
Ribs easily palpable with little fat cover. Lumbar ( lower back) vertebrae are obvious. Minimal abdominal fat. Marked hourglass shape to waist.

3. Optimal
The ribs, lumbar vertebrae, pelvic bones and other bony structures are easily felt with a slight fat cover. Concave abdominal tuck. Smooth hourglass shape to waist. Abdominal fat pad minimal.

4. Fat
The ribs are difficult to palpate, or only with pressure. The pelvic bones are palpable with moderate tissue cover. The tail base has fat deposition with a moderate soft tissue cover. The abdominal tuck is decreased to absent. Loss of hourglass shape to waist with back slightly broadened. Moderate abdominal fat pad.

5. Obese
The ribs are very difficult to impossible to palpate. Heavy fat deposits on the back, face and limbs. Abdomen is distended with extensive abdominal fat deposits. Back is markedly broadened.

 
     

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