Mixed-feeding for kittens: the kitten diet to last a lifetime
The art of mixing wet and dry kitten food
Your kitten’s first year is the perfect time to lay the foundation for the healthy diet she’ll always enjoy. This usually comes in the form of “mixed-feeding”, which means giving your cat a combination of wet and dry food. Not only does it provide your growing kitten with the nutritional balance she needs throughout her life, but it also encourages her to explore different foods, helping her become a less fussy cat.
Kitten mixed-feeding: “Diversity right from the start”
As you may already be aware, your kitten's dietary preferences are first influenced by her mother's nutritional routine, and, again, later influenced by the nutritional routine you establish during her first year. With this in mind, it is highly beneficial to your kitten if you expose her to a variety of foods as early in life as possible in order to broaden her dietary preferences from an early age. This is especially relevant when it comes to mixing wet and dry foods as it allows your cat to take full advantage of the ‘urinary’ and ‘weight control’ benefits of wet foods at a time when she most needs them - following sterilisation. Mixed feeding means that ideally, 1/3 of calories should come from dry and 2/3 of calories should come from wet food.
It is recommended that, between the ages of 2 and 3 months, you present your kitten with a variety of different foods, wet first, then dry (in the appropriate kibble size!), all whilst respecting adequate diet transition periods for new recipes. Through providing this diverse experience so early on, upon reaching adulthood your cat will more readily accept a variety of foods and reduce her tendency to reject new foods. In a nutshell, your cat will be less fussy!
A word from the Dr Corinne Lesaine, Perfect Fit’s consulting veterinarian – “While kittens usually prefer novelty in food, and enjoy the process of discovering smells, flavours and textures, it has been observed that in stressful situations they often revert to more familiar ‘comforting’ foods and refuse new foods. It is therefore beneficial to create a positive environment for your kitten, so she can vary her eating experiences and not develop into a fussy eater!”