Sometimes, the holidays bring gifts that are wanted by some, not really wanted by others. Did your holiday season bring a new pet to your family? Puppies are a top gift that children often ask for, but kittens are also a very popular request at holiday time, and who can resist such a sweet present? Bringing any new pet into your home takes a bit of adjustment, but bringing in a baby animal (such as a puppy or a kitten) can take a little extra time and patience. One of the things you need to consider is buying an appropriate cat food for kittens. However, before we discuss the best food options for kittens, let’s look at some other considerations when you bring a new kitten home.
Tips For Bringing Home A New Kitten
Helping Pets Get Along
Most cats find ways to get along, if not become great pals. But if you already have a cat at home, bringing in a new kitten might take some warm-up time. Your current cat is going to have a few things to say about his territory, and those things might be vocalized with hisses and growls. Don’t let that alarm you; this is just how your cat is expressing his needs; need of space, need of personal items, and need of you. If your cat is older, he might have some aches and pains that make his less social. If he just doesn’t feel good for whatever reason, he’ll want to be left alone by this new and energetic intruder.
How To Introduce Your Kitten To An Existing Cat
The introduction should be gradual; keep them in separate rooms until they get to know each other. Start introducing scents to them by rubbing each one’s toy or towel on the other cat. Keep interactions minimal for a while until you know that the two can be trusted together. Give them enough space so that they can have their own place to get away from each other, like a cat condo or a couple of installed shelves. When bringing in a new kitten, bring in her own litterbox, food dish, water dish, and even toys. They might share down the road, but this will ease the tension for both of them. And finally, try to associate them with good encounters, like giving treats and toys together.
Is Cat Food For Kittens?
Your cat is already on a feeding routine with planned meals and favorite brands. Your kitten will need to get on her own feeding plan and you might wonder if cat food is okay for kittens. Truthfully, there is a nutritional difference between cats and kittens in the early stages of life. Kittens have a lot more energy in their first year than an older cat and they need to eat a formula that supports the calories that she’s burning off at such high rates. Some formulas say that both cats and kittens can benefit from them, but look at the ingredient list to be sure.
The Best Dry Cat Food For Kittens
Though there are plenty of good cat foods on the market, you might not see as many that are formulated as cat food for kittens. This is probably because kitten formulas are only necessary for about a year or so, and most cats live well beyond that! Your kitten will have pretty much the same needs as your adult cat when it comes to fats, some fatty acids, and most vitamins. However, a kitten needs a little bit more fat, more amino acids, minerals, some vitamins, and quite a bit more protein.
This means you’ll want a food that contains high amounts of meat to provide the right kind of protein to keep your kitten growing strong and healthy.
Make sure that the brand you choose offers a cat food for kittens that is full of real meat, not by-products, and watch out for allergy causing ingredients such as corn or wheat fillers. Some of the better formulas out there are:
- Merrick Purfect Bistro Healthy Kitten. This product is full of chicken meat and meal, as well as turkey meal and chicken liver. This means lots of protein for your growing girl. Plus, this formula is high on good fats that come from ground flaxseed and salmon oil. There are extra amino acids, vitamins, and minerals included as well.
- Innova Kitten Food. Lots of meat meal and egg protein make this a winner, winner, kitten dinner. Other ingredients for maximum kitten nutrition include alfalfa sprouts, which have trace minerals such as zinc, iron, and manganese, and taurine, an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision, and reproduction in cats.
- EVO Turkey & Chicken Cat & Kitten. We can’t say enough about the protein provided in this food, as you’ll see the first three ingredients full of it. But you’ll also find fish-based ingredients like herring, salmon meal, and menhaden oil, which make a great addition as they are full of Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
- Orijen Cat & Kitten Formula. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more protein-rich recipe out there. The first 14 ingredients are full of it! But this formula also includes important additions like carrots and cranberries, which are both high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and fatty oils like chicken liver and chicken fat.
The Best Canned Cat Food For Kittens
Your young kitten should have some canned food as part of her daily diet during the first year of life. Since a kitten has small teeth, she can have a tough time chewing all forms of dry food, so supplementing with some canned food ensures that she’s getting her proper nutrition. Some good canned (or wet) choices include:
- Nutro Ultra Kitten Soft Loaf Chicken
- Felix Kitten As Good As It Looks
- Blue Buffalo Basics Kitten Turkey
- Wellness Complete Health Kitten Canned Formula
Keep your kitten properly hydrated with plenty of fresh water, give both of your cats’ lots of love and attention, and just be patient. They may become besties, or they may just tolerate each other. In time, they’ll learn to live in harmony with each other, just like they do with you.