An informative and complete guide to feeding your cat correctly

Kittens:

Kittens have very small stomachs which are unable to hold much food. 

Below is what i recommend for healthy digestion and growth. 

Kitten food can be fed but this is not required. Most kitten food contains the same ingredients as adult foods and is often no more than clever marketing that companies use to maximise profit. If in doubt read the labels. The only notable benefit of kitten food is that the pieces are of a smaller size. 

There is also no need to give kitten milk, it can cause tummy upsets. Never give cows milk to cats or kittens. Fresh water should always be available. 

Water should be provided in a ceramic or stainless steel bowl, NOT a plastic one. Plastic becomes scratched and harbours bacteria and can cause or make worse an existing case of feline acne. The best means of providing water is a water fountain. Most cats take to these well. There are several types available. My cats (and dogs) love their fountains. They also increase and encourage the amount they drink and is great for cats prone to urine and kidney problems. 


I start kittens off with a ceramic saucer, then they progress to a ceramic bowl, then a water fountain when they are big enough to reach the water. This has always worked very well for me.


      Age (months)                   Number Of Meals (per day)
3-4 4-5
5-6 3-4
7-8 3
9-10 2-3
11-12 2-3
 12+ 2

The above table is simply a rough guide. It is actually impossible to over-feed a kitten and i personally free feed them as much food as they want. They are growing and need the calories! I have yet to see a fat kitten! 

I do recommend a good quality wet and / or raw food.

Lots of people choose to feed dry food. Although i do feed some dry, it must be known that it can cause diabetes, as well as urinary/kidney problems in some cats. Dry foods often contain grains and fillers, which have little nutritional value, and can cause allergy. Grain-free foods are available. Dry food does NOT clean cat (or dog) teeth! This is a myth. Dry foods contain very low moisture. Cats naturally do not drink much. The amount they do drink isn't enough to compensate for the very low moisture content (up to 10%), compared to the up to 80% in wet food. Much of it is 'sprayed' with fats and flavourings which causes cat to become 'addicted' to it and refuse other, more healthy options!

When choosing food, look at the meat content (%) and don't choose anything below 30%. The higher the better. My cats are also fed 2-3 raw chicken wings per week, as well as 2-3 meals of raw beef mince and raw egg. A raw only diet is a great way to feed, i recommend it as a complete diet, but be sure to seek advice before going down this road as it's quite complex to make your own. An easier option is to buy ready to feed raw foods, there's a few websites that offer this type of food, my favourites being Natural Instinct, Nutriment, and Purrform (see links).

Please note that any changes to diet should be done gradually, by adding a little of the new food to the old and increasing the quantity of the new until you are only feeding the new food. This will minimise any tummy upsets. 

Here are the foods which i use, or have used, and would recommend: 

Raw Food Wet Food

           Natural Instinct                  

Grau
Purrform Animonda Carny
Nature's Menu Bozita (cans & tetrapacks)
Nutriment Smilia
Barf Pet Foods Nature's Menu
Wolf Tucker Nature's Harvest
Raw Pet Supplies Butchers
Durham Animal feeds Hi Life
 The Dog Food Company Encore

I would recommend avoiding feeding the following foods regularly, as well as any other food with less than 30% meat content (always read the label);

Whiskas, Felix, Gourmet, Iams, Eukanuba, Kitekat, Go Cat, Sheba. 

The above foods all contain less then 30% meat, some only 4% and contain cereals and other "fillers" which are unhealthy and can cause hyperactivity, obesity and other health problems. 

Bear in mind that cats are carnivors and require a mainly meat based diet. 

Feeding your cat a high quality diet will ensure healthy growth, digestion and general good health which will encourage long life with minimal trips to the vet. 

Cats have a tendency to become bored with one brand of food, and sometimes suddenly refuse to eat it, choose a few brands and rotate them each day or two to provide variety and prevent boredom. 

Cats require the same as kittens to remain healthy throughout their adult years. 2-3 feeds a day of quality wet food should be sufficient. If you notice a change in weight or condition, adjust the amount you are feeding to suit.