Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?
So we have talked about when kittens can eat dry food from liquid or mother’s milk. But even when they are on dry food, Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats. Which means, they need a kitten food to support those needs.
When Can Kittens Eat Dry & Wet Food?
Although kittens shouldn’t eat adult cat food before they’ve fully matured, they can begin eating dry kibble and wet kitten food much earlier.
Each kitten is different and depending on their situation will depend on when they switch over from mother’s milk or a bottle to wet kitten food.
In most cases, kittens are fully weaned between the ages of six to eight weeks old.
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Why It’s Important to Switch to Adult Cat Food
There are a lot of people who think they can just go straight for milk to adult cat food.
Kittens experience rapid growth and development, plus, they’re playful and have a lot of energy. Kitten food has higher calories and more protein and fat to support energetic, growing kittens.
It’s also important to note that kitten food has ingredients that help support their brain and vision development. Kitten food also has extra vitamins, minerals, and fats to help with their developing immune systems.
Once they reach maturity, cats don’t need the same amounts of those nutrients. Plus, they’re often less energetic, so eating a high-calorie kitten food could result in weight gain. It would be the equivalent to us eating avocados, bread, and peanut butter all day. Good in moderation but too high in fat for everyone’s daily diet.
When & How to Switch from Kitten Food to Adult Cat Food
It is important to find the right balance between kitten food and adult food. And finding the right time to switch is important. For most cats, you can start the transition process to adult cat food around your kitten’s first birthday. If you have a larger breed of cats, then you can typically wait until around 18 months or even 2 years until you need to transition to adult food.
It is typically recommended to transition slowly to allow your kitten to get used to the adult cat food. We like to recommend slowly transitioning over around 7-10 days. Not only does this help them get used to the food they are going to eat, it also helps to avoid any digestive issues.
Here’s my typically transition plan for kittens:
- Days 1-2:Serve 3/4 of the normal amount of kitten food and add 1/4 of the new adult cat food.
- Days 3-4: Serve half kitten food and half adult cat food.
- Days 5-7:Serve 1/4 kitten food and 3/4 adult cat food.
- Days 8-10:Serve only the new adult cat food.
If you kitten eats around the adult food, slow the transition process down and give them more time. Every cat is different, so some need more time to transition to their adult food. Consult with your veterinarian for additional tips on making the switch from kitten food to adult cat food.