Kittens are cute, cuddly, little balls of fluff, and fun. Getting one can be an exciting time as kittens supply endless entertainment and fun. However, it also entails some responsibilities, such as keeping your kitten healthy by feeding it good food, teaching it good habits like using a litter box, and providing entertainment through playtime and toys.

Of these, the most significant responsibility is ensuring your kitten remains healthy. The most important component in achieving this goal is proper feeding. After being weaned off mother’s milk and onto cat food by eight weeks, kittens are ready for adoption. Then it is time for you to step up to the plate and feed your kitten a balanced diet full of the necessary nutrients.

Deciding on cat food

Kittens have different eating requirements from adolescent, adult, and senior cats. It is not advisable to feed your kitten food that is suitable for felines of other age groups. These foods do not contain adequate nutrients to sustain a kitten’s high energy levels, typically three times that of an adult cat. Feeding a kitten once a day will not provide them with their dietary requirements. It can also lead to an upset tummy when they overeat in one session. Vets advise feeding a kitten three or four times daily to prevent this from happening. You should also use all-natural dental powder for cats to keep your kitten’s teeth healthy during these early stages. A kitten with damaged teeth cannot eat properly, which will affect its growth and development. It is also wise to get them into the habit of consuming dental powder while they are young and learn new things more willingly.

If you visit a supermarket or pet store, you may find the sheer variety of kitten food options overwhelming with options from Hill’s, Scruffy Paws Nutrition, Iams or Purina, Fancy Feast, Only Natural Pet, Nutri Vet, etc. How will you know which one is best for your cat with so many brands, flavors, and food types? Experts advise that kittens eat wet, canned food for at least the first year of their lives. Here is why:

Wet food has a higher water content

Cat food comes in three forms: dry, semi-moist, and wet. Choosing the best one for your kitten comes down to the food’s liquid content. While cats might lap up some water from a water bowl, they do not do so often enough. Instead, they get most of their liquid intake requirements from their food. Kittens are no different in this regard. As wet, canned cat food contains the most water of the three types, you should incorporate it into your kitten’s diet.

A lack of water intake can cause UTIs (urinary tract infections). Cats are prone to these infections because they do not consume sufficient water. A UTI is extremely uncomfortable and requires a trip to a vet to treat. You can avoid having this happen by feeding your kitten wet food as it has the highest fluid content.

When shopping for cat food, looking at ingredients lists to determine liquid content should be a priority. Foods with more fluids might cost a little extra but are a worthwhile buy as they could prevent UTIs and dehydration.

Wet food is easier on a kitten’s teeth

During the juvenile phase, a kitten’s teeth are still growing. Their teeth are tiny and unable to cope with chewing dry food. This could lead to a kitten getting insufficient nutrients from their diet because they cannot consume enough food. Your kitten could be malnourished as a result. Many kittens who fail to thrive after being weaned off their mother’s milk do so due to not getting enough food, despite their owners giving them a sufficient supply.

After too much chewing away at dry food, your kitten’s gums may start bleeding from the effort. This is uncomfortable and might further prevent it from eating enough. A lack of nutrients can hamper a cat’s physical and mental growth and development. As your kitten gets a little older, you can consider adding some dry food to its diet. However, do not eliminate wet food entirely.

Wet food is packed with protein and contains fewer carbs

Kittens require more energy-giving proteins in their foods than older felines. The primary protein sources in cat food are meat, such as fish and poultry, and kitten food contains more than foods for other age groups. Fishy foods also contain fatty acids, essential for brain and body development during kittenhood.

Many dry cat food ingredients labels will mention ‘meat by-products’ as part of the contents. This is by no means as nutritious as the whole meat products that wet cat food contains.

Cats and kittens depend on protein as an energy source, not carbohydrates. They metabolize carbs differently to humans and are prone to obesity and feline diabetes if fed a high-carb diet. Dry cat or kitten food contains more carbs than wet food.