Posted 18th Jul 2018
As new litters are born across the UK and kitten season ends, Jenny Philp, managing director at Vet's Kitchen, offers her top tips to ensure your new feline friends is happy and healthy from day one
1 Variety is the key ingredient
Did you know cats are incredibly sensitive to the texture, shape, smell and taste of food? It’s therefore easy for them to become fussy eaters. You can work around this by offering them as many different culinary experiences as possible when they're kittens, including dry and moist food (in jelly or gravy), home-cooked meat and semi-moist diets.
Doing this should help you to prevent them growing into fussy eaters, as they will ultimately be well-accustomed to a wide range of flavours, odours and textures from a young age.
However, when you're doing this, you will want to make sure that any new food has been carefully introduced -ideally in small amounts - to prevent an upset stomach.
2 Keep it fresh
The temperature of the food and the environment, season or storage conditions can all affect your kitten's food preferences - both kittens and cats will prefer food that's at room or even body temperature, so it will be best to avoid serving moist food straight from the fridge. However, moist food should not be allowed to dry out, as this will decrease the palatability. Purchasing smaller bags of dry food and keeping them sealed when they are not being used will ensure the food stays fresh, thus reducing the likelihood of having a storage mite infestation.
3 It's all in the detail
As cute as they are, kittens are natural born hunters, requiring animal tissue to survive. Meat will contain 11 essential amino acids which is the building blocks of protein that cats will require.
For instance, the amino acid taurine is needed to have normal vision and a healthy heart, while arginine is so important that having a deficiency can result in diarrhoea, weight loss, seizures and even death.
While it's legally required for kitten foods to meet their minimum nutritional requirements, the quality varies greatly, and you should check the ingredients and analysis. Checking the back of food packets, pouches and tins is worth doing - remember, a higher meat content will normally taste better and will be more suited to the natural physiology of our feline friends.
Tips courtesy of Vet's Kitchen