Raising kittens – what is important?
When a little kitten moves into your home, there are many things to consider. Normally, kittens quickly feel at home, particularly when they have a little playmate of the same litter to keep them company.
Kittens enjoy playing and keeping busy, but they need to be fed according to their age. Most also need to be wormed and vaccinated.
A particularly important point is the specific nutrients that your new furry friend requires. If the kitten has left its mother and is 8 to 12 weeks old, it will be able to feed by itself. Younger baby cats can be fed with cat milk and when they are older than six weeks they normally drink their milk from a small, flat saucer. The important thing is that this milk is similar to a cat’s natural mother milk. Special mouthpieces and bottles are available for younger kittens. Baby flakes are recommended for a problem-free transition to solid food. Amongst other benefits, they also cover the high energy requirements of fast-growing baby cats. Besides animal protein and fat, the flakes contain important vitamins, minerals, a natural source of phosphorous and calcium for a healthy bone structure. The gradual transition to solid food will be greatly facilitated by feeding the kitten baby flakes.
It is essential that food for kittens is designed especially for them, as they often grow extremely fast. For example, young cats need around two to three times more calcium than adult cats in order that their musculoskeletal system and teeth develop healthily. This is also important when the adult teeth come through. After the age of around three months, the milk teeth fall out and the permanent teeth appear. You can assess if the wrong feed has been given during the teeth formation phase if, for example, the enamel has not correctly formed or is too thin.
Besides calcium and phosphorus for bone and teeth formation, taurine and vitamins are also very important for healthy development and growth. Taurine is essential for the cat’s vision and the heart function. Kittens require twice as much vitamin intake as adult cats do.
It is therefore advisable that smaller cats take additional micronutrients. Kittens should also be given a variety of foods so that they don’t become too fixed on a particular diet. Healthy treats, snacks and pastes specifically for baby cats contribute to their healthy development and help to train the little kitten to come to you when you call it. This is practical – and very important if you want the kitten to be able to play outside later.
Has your cat become a mother herself? Here is a tip: many snacks, treats and pastes for baby cats, including the baby flakes, can also be given to the mother – from the start of her third trimester until she gives birth. The mother requires significantly more nutrients in her third trimester and after the birth.