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Feeding Kittens

Congratulations on your new bundle of fluff. Nothing is more exciting than bringing a new kitten into your household, but this can also be a nerve-racking time. Do you have enough toys and the right toys? What kind of scratching post will she like best? Should I get a bed for her? Do I have an appropriate litter box? Do I have the best diet for him or her?

Feeding a kitten isn’t as simple as just grabbing a bag from the grocery store. Growing kittens have different nutritional needs then their older counterparts, there is no one size fits all approach to feeding. Feeding a diet specifically for growth is essential for optimal health. Body systems such as the skeletal, neurological, digestive and immune systems are still developing.

It is important to start your kitten off on the right paw. Kitten diets are designed to take into account the explosive growth, which can double or even triple in the first year. The need for fat, calories, protein and some vitamins and minerals are higher than that of an adult. Growth diets are designed to meets these unique needs, with ingredients such as a high quality, highly digestible proteins, precisely balanced calcium and phosphorus ratios. Kitten diets also contain blends of antioxidants to support immune health and are supplemented with omega fatty acids, such as DHA, to support normal brain development.

For these reasons, it is recommended to feed your kitten a kitten diet up until the age of 1. At that time, s/he can slowly be transitioned to an adult diet.

It is also an excellent start to experiment with dry and canned diets. There are certain medical conditions later in life that may require a canned diet, and familiarizing your kitten to different or a variety of textures will make the transition easier later in life.

Young cats require frequent feedings. Feeding your kitten 3-4 meals per day until the age of 6 months, at that time the meals can be dropped to 2 per day. Free feeding is never a good idea as this can lead to unhealthy eating habits later down the road into adulthood.

Although food plays a large part in setting up your kitten for a healthy lifetime, her medical care by a veterinarian should also be included. Your veterinarian is your best source for questions in regards to diets, feeding guidelines and general health issues. Should you have questions, please contact your veterinarian for appropriate advice.

Written by: Claire Forbes, RVT

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Last updated: September 29, 2021

Dear valued clients,

Given the current state of the pandemic in Alberta, we have made the decision to return to a closed-door protocol in an effort to do our best to help control the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of you and all our staff is our top priority so that we can continue to offer your pets the care they deserve. We ask for your patience and understanding while we navigate these challenging times together.

When you arrive for your appointment, please give us a call from your vehicle. We will ask a few questions before we start the appointment and ensure we have all of your information. We will then meet you and your pet at the door. For all appointments, we ask that you wait in your vehicle in the parking lot while your pet is being examined. The doctor will give you a call once your pet is in the clinic so we ask that you have your cell phone on at all times so there are no delays.

If you are picking up food or medication, give us a call and we will put your order in the bins outside the front Dog Entrance. Please note that you can purchase your food through our online store. Just head over to our website https://www.airdrievets.com/ and choose the online store tab at the top.

Thank you for your cooperation and for helping us all stay healthy. Please be considerate of our staff. We ask only for courtesy and kindness when working with our team as they continue to work tirelessly to provide the best level of care for your pet during these trying times.

Thank you for your continued trust in us.

- Your dedicated team at Airdrie Animal Health Centre