Tag Archives: feeding

Introducing a new food for the first time

A new pet food should always be introduced gradually, even if your pet appears to like a new food. This will help reduce the chance of a stomach upset following a food change. Change to diet affect different animals in different ways, so it is more important to manage the change carefully. Some animals will be changing foods because it may be required to help manage a medical condition. For any of these animals it is important to follow any advice given by your vet. Appetite can be affected by disease, so speak to your vet to see whether there is any special feeding advice for your pet.

You might like to try some of the following suggestions to ease the transition between foods:

  • Gradually introduce the food over a 2 week period. Introduce approximately 10% of the new food each day, mixed in with the old food. Increase the proportions by approximately 10% each day until you reach the full amount of the new food
  • If you are using canned or wet food in pouches, warm the new food to body temperature, but no hotter. Most animals, especially cats, prefer canned food slightly warm as it can improve the smell and feel in the mouth
  • Avoid feeding chilled foods
  • You can change the texture of canned food by adding a small amount of warm water to soften it and make it easier to mix the old and new food types together
  • Keep a bowl of clean fresh water available at all times
  • Try adding warm water to dry food to soften it. Some dogs to prefer their dry food with water added. Most cats will not like water added to dry food
  • Don’t be tempted to add human food titbits to the new diet. Most animals will end up wanting the human food instead and this can develop into a bad habit long term.
  • For very fussy or finicky eaters, try hand feeding the new food as a treat. This will reinforce the positive bond between the owner, pet and the new food.
  • No animal should be starved whilst trying to introduce a new food.
  • If you are really struggling to change your pet’s food, speak to your vet or nurse to see if they have any extra behaviour tips to help you

What should I feed my kitten?

kitten_sitting_at_food_dish[1]

Kittens are energetic, fun loving creatures that are sure to bring you much joy. In return you can make a major contribution to their long term health by providing him or her with good nutrition.

Kittens grow until they are 18mths old. Initially, kittens grow very quickly for the first few months and then this slows down until they have reached adulthood. Therefore, it is incredibly important that you provide them with good nutrition throughout this period and beyond to help them stay healthy throughout life.

Humans and dogs are omnivores. Cats are carnivores. Another tip to remember is that it impossible to change a cat’s eating habits when older so it is important to offer a varied diet from an early age. However, introduce any changes to diet slowly so as to avoid tummy upsets and diarrhoea.

Recommended feeding programme

-Good quality commercial, complete wet and dry food specially formulated for growing kittens. You can substitute the wet food for fresh meat such as fish and chicken for variety
- During the first few months of your kitten’s life feed them little and often, if they are still hungry feed more until they are satisfied!
- Once your cat has reached a year old then start to feed morning and night, keep an eye on your cat’s body condition. Ask your vet or vet nurse to explain how to do this if unsure
- Make sure there is plenty of water available. Change your kitten’s water regularly as kittens tend to play with it
- Don’t overfeed, judge meal sizes by changes in body condition. As your vet or vet nurse how to do this if unsure
- You can choose to give raw bones such as chicken wings and necks to maintain healthy teeth and gums
- DO NOT FEED COOKED BONES AS THEY CAN SPLINTER AND CAUSE GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
- Avoid giving cats human milk as it can cause colic and diarrhoea, however, cat milk available in supermarkets and pet shops is fine just don’t feed too much!
- Avoid sudden changes in diet as this can also cause colic and diarrhoea
- Cat treats are fine in moderation, just not too many as this can contribute to obesity!