If you own a bunch of kittens, you know how sensitive they can be in the beginning stages of their life. It is at this time vets suggest that you be extremely careful of whatever you feed them, especially during the first 3-6 months. However, many cat owners are starting to consider adult cat food for their young kittens. Is this the right thing to do at this stage?
In this article, we will look through the differences in composition between kitten food and cat food, and the reasons why it is best that you stick to kitten food if your cat is 5 months old.
Let’s get started.
Can a 5 month old kitten eat cat food?
To address the main question, do we think a 5 month old cat can eat cat food? Certainly yes, but it is not advisable to do so.
Many vets give their OK when the cat is around 4-6 months of age, that it is old enough to benefit from adult cat food contents.
But we believe that kittens should only be given food that is intended for their age group at that certain time. There are multiple reasons why we stand firm on this and will be discussing them below.
So no, giving a serving of cat food to your young cat is not the best option.
Reasons it is best not to give your 5 month old kitten adult cat food
Unless you’ve talked to your vet about your kitten’s specific requirements and the food you should give it, do not use cat food.
There are multiple of reasons for this:
Kittens need different foods based on their age in their first year
One of the most important reasons is perhaps this, just like humans, kittens have different food requirements throughout different life stages.
This is a natural process that helps them gain maximum nourishment and growth through food. It also means that giving your kitten other food than what is required can in turn be harmful.
As is the case with cat food. Cat food is intended for adult cats that are usually older than the age of 1. Based on this, and the health of your baby kitten, it is best that you avoid cat food at the 5 month old mark.
There are plenty of foods prepared specifically for kittens, and we will even suggest some other alternatives later in this article.
May not be fulfilling for your kitten
While it’s true that kittens have different dietary requirements, some cat owners think that adult cat food will be beneficial to their cat, as they’ll be heavier.
But this is not true. Let’s look at the distribution of ingredients in both kitten and cat food. Cat food has more fat with other amounts in moderation. (depending on the type of cat food you go for)
Kitten food on the other hand has a higher amount of protein as compared to carbs and fats. The reason for this is that cats require more fats and different combinations of nutrients as they grow older.
There are also different types of cat foods like wet and dry foods, and the ingredient composition may differ in each. So if the composition seems to be appropriate (ask the vet first), then you can switch to that cat food for your kitten.
Generally, wet foods are still higher in terms of proteins, but dry food is not so you should avoid giving that to your feline friend.
Can cause health problems
We mentioned above that cat food has a higher percentage of fats. This will suit perfectly well for an adult cat, but if it’s a kitten, then it can cause health problems.
Too much fat intake at a young age can cause obesity. Obesity if extended to a serious degree can branch out to a ton of different diseases by the time your kitten is an adult cat.
Some of these diseases are diabetes, liver and kidney deterioration or failure. It is worth noting that this is the worst case scenario.
If you feed your cat food once or twice, it is unlikely that this will happen, but doing so on a continuous basis without a vet consultation will lead to a lot of problems in the long run.
Let’s look at different alternatives your kitten can have instead of adult cat food.
Foods you can give to your kitten instead of adult cat food
Finding alternate food options for kittens is not as hard as you think. There is a wide variety of kitten foods available in the market.
You can look through the different options below and choose one that will suit your kitten.
With canned kitten food, you know it is made according to your kitten’s needs. No hygiene problems, strong immune system, and good growth are all benefits of canned kitten food.
This food will be made with different ingredients that will be light on your kitten’s stomach, provide easy digestion and proper stool.
There are many variations of kitten food. If you have not brought your kitten into cat food yet, you can experiment with different flavors to see what your cat likes.
It may develop a liking to a certain flavor of that cat food later on as well. You will also find kitten food in packaged form, but not canned.
Both are equally good for your feline friend.
Yes, you read it right. Before kitten or cat food was invented, people used to feed their pets homemade foods.
So if you want to keep it organic and homely, or just want to give your cat a different cat taste from the regular cat food, this is your go-to.
Now, this does not mean every vegetable is suitable for your kitty to ingest; you have to be selective of what enters its body at this stage.
Some of the popular veggies are Pumpkin and Squash. Pumpkins are high in fiber content and will remove any constipation problems your cat has.
Next time when you’re cooking some pumpkin or squash, boil some for your cat and serve it without any seasonings.
You can also cut the vegetables into small pieces and heat in the microwave. Just make sure to cover it with a wet towel so they cook thoroughly.
Poultry items are usually very common in adult cat foods, but they will do no harm if you feed them to your kitten occasionally.
Fish and Chicken are cats’ favorites. There are also others like turkey meat, lamb, and duck meat.
Simply cook the meat till it is tender and shred it into digestible pieces so your cat can swallow it.
Large pieces of meat can choke it, so be extra careful to make them small. You also want to leave the meat unseasoned.
Any sort of spices or seasonings can cause diarrhea in your little kitten. Also avoid greasy meats, they will increase the level of fats in the body and can cause obesity.
Cat grass is a mixture of grasses that can even be grown at home for your kitten’s food.
It usually consists of wheat or oat and is a great source of proteins, fiber and vitamins for your 5 month old kitten. Add a good supply of minerals to the mix and it’s all your kitten needs to be healthy.
It is a different meal that your kitten can try having. Since they are available easily at the supermarket, you can grow them at your home and let your kitten have a little fun pulling out the grass then eating it!
We would advise you to ask your vet for your kitten’s dietary requirements and only feed it a small portion at first.
If you see any side effects get medical help immediately.
In conclusion, can a 5 month old kitten eat cat food?
While you may hear from different professionals that cat food of certain types may be fit for kittens, we do not advise this.
There are many reasons for this. Cat food is specifically intended for adult cats, just like kitten food.
The levels of minerals and the ingredients in each food vary, so it may not be fulfilling for your kitten.
Young kittens need to revolve around a healthy immune system, strong body and good growth, and kitten food provides just that.
Thankfully, countless kitten foods are available in the market and if you want other options, you can go with homemade food like cat grass, softened/boiled veggies, poultry items and even canned or packaged food.
Finally, as a young kitten, not many things will suit its digestion system. Hence, if you feed your kitten poultry or vegetables, make sure you don’t add any sort of spices or seasonings, even salt.
If you find any allergies or negative reactions in your kitten after trying out new food, then you should contact a vet as soon as possible.