Hills Veterinary Clinic kittens

Diet for kittens

Kittens are different from adult cats, so their nutritional needs vary. We recommend feeding a good quality dry kitten food for the first 12 months of their life such as the Hills pet nutrition Hills feline kitten healthy development food. They should then be gradually swapped to an adult dry food. Complete dry foods are specially formulated to ensure kittens get all the nutrition they need to grow healthy and strong. When you first bring your kitten home it's best to carry on feeding her the food she's been used to. However, not all kitten foods are the same – some have much better quality ingredients than others, which is why you might want to change your kitten's food to a "complete" kitten food.

Offering your kitten a bit of variety is also a good thing. A small amount of wet food or a different flavoured dry food is a good idea from time to time. This means your cat is more likely to adapt to a different food if they need to be swapped onto a special prescription diet as they get older.

Just like people, cats all have unique nutritional needs based on age, health and activity level. It's important to choose your food according to your pet's age and lifestyle because of the biological changes your cat will go through.

To figure out how much to feed your kitten, use the feeding guide on the label of your kitten food as a starting point and adjust the amount to maintain optimum body weight. Amounts may vary depending on age, size, activity level, temperament, environment and health. At every veterinary visit, discuss your kitten's weight and the amount of food you're feeding to ensure your kitten's needs are met.

Believe it or not, kittens don't need milk. And for some cats, cows' milk can actually cause diarrhoea. Fresh water is all your kitten needs.

It is very important to make sure your kitten has a bowl of fresh, clean water at all times. If you suspect your kitten is not drinking enough, it may be that she can taste chemicals in the water, so you may want to try filtered or bottled water. Some cats even prefer to drink from flowing water sources, like fountains or dripping taps, so you can buy water fountains designed especially for cats. And don't forget that if she's eating dry, crunchy food, it's essential you give her plenty of water.

While it is always best to only feed your cat foods which have been specifically formulated to meet their nutritional needs, if you choose to occasionally offer your pet a taste of what you're eating, it is important to realise that some ‘human’ foods can be harmful to cats. Please be careful to avoid the following foods:

cat diet