IAMS IN
Is Your Kitten Ready for Adult Cat Food?
Is Your Kitten Ready for Adult Cat Food?

adp_description_block20
Is Your Kitten Ready for Adult Cat Food?

Providing your kitten with the proper nutrition goes way beyond just putting fresh food in a clean bowl. Your kitten’s nutritional needs will change as their body develops through adolescence and into adulthood. Proper nutrition during these critical growth periods will help your kitten mature into a strong, healthy adult cat.

 

The nutritional needs of kittens and cats are vastly different, and it’s critical to give your pet premium age-appropriate nutrition. Here’s everything you need to know about kitten food vs. cat food and how to feed your growing kitten.

 

What to Feed a Kitten at Each Stage of Development

Rapid Growth Stage: 2 to 6 Months

After kittens are weaned, they enter a stage of rapid growth, which lasts until they’re 6 months old. They need a high-quality, balanced diet with every bite packed with the nutrients and energy needed to sustain such rapid development. The best choice is a premium kitten food with animal-based proteins. It should be highly digestible, nutrient-dense and designed to meet kittens’ unique nutritional needs, such as IAMS™ PROACTIVE HEALTH™ Mother And Kitten.

 

Kittens require twice as much energy as adult cats on a per-pound basis. But their smaller mouths, teeth and stomachs limit the amount of food they can digest during a single meal. It’s best to divide the total daily food amount recommended on the kitten food packaging into three or four smaller meals.

 

Adolescence Stage: 6 to 12 Months

As kittens approach adult size, their nutritional requirements begin to change again. Their rate of growth begins to slow, activity levels may decline and they can start eating fewer, larger meals each day. During this stage, kittens begin to look like adults, but they are still growing and need the special nutrition found in kitten food. 

 

During the adolescent growth stage, many cat owners are tempted to change a kitten’s food for variety. But cats do not get bored with a consistent diet of high-quality dry food, and giving a kitten “human food” and table scraps can lead to undesirable behaviors, such as begging or stealing food.

 

Additionally, feeding homemade diets, food formulated for adult cats or supplementing an already complete and balanced diet with vitamins could cause nutritional disorders.  

 

 Adult Stage: 12 Months and Beyond

At about 12 months of age, your kitten will reach their full adult size. Your young adult cat no longer needs calorie-dense kitten food to fuel growth and is ready for a diet of adult cat food.

 

 When to Stop Feeding Your Cat Kitten Food

When your cat is about 12 months old, it’s time to switch to a maintenance formula adult cat food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Healthy Adult. At this age, cats no longer need the extra calories and nutrients found in kitten food. As with any change in a cat’s diet, remember to gradually transition from kitten food to adult food over a period of several days.

 

How to Transition from Kitten to Adult Cat Food

To avoid intestinal upsets, make the change from a kitten formula to an adult diet over a period of four days with the following method:

  • Day One: Fill your cat’s dish with 75% kitten food and 25% adult food.
  • Day Two: Mix adult and kitten food in a 50/50 ratio.
  • Day Three: Feed your cat a mixture that's 75% adult food and 25% kitten food.
  • Day Four: Switch to 100% adult formula.

 

Because cats generally eat only what they need, free-choice feeding is fine for most cats. (With free-choice feeding, you can provide food to your cat around the clock and let them eat when and how much they need.) Indoor cats that don’t get much exercise, however, may overeat if fed free-choice. For them, portion-controlled feeding twice a day is a better routine.


 

To determine how much food to give your cat, check the recommendations of the pet food manufacturer on the label. Use the guidelines, monitor your cat’s weight and body condition during the transition, and adjust feeding portions if necessary. If your cat is gaining or losing weight and shouldn’t be, slightly adjust their daily intake and weigh them again the following week.

 

 

How to Choose an Adult Cat Food

Make sure to choose an adult cat food that provides the same high-quality nutrition as a premium kitten food. Downgrading to a basic nutrition brand at this stage of your cat’s life may upset their digestive system and won’t provide them with the same type of nutrition they were raised on. Premium foods like IAMS™ are formulated to meet all of your cat’s needs and provide additional benefits. They’re specifically designed to provide your cat with a formula that features:

  • High-quality ingredients
  • Complete and balanced levels of protein, fat, moderately fermentable fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, which make costly supplements unnecessary
  • High-quality recipes and great taste
  • Standards that meet or exceed Association of American Feed Control Officials standards
  • Nutrient-dense formulas that are right for each life stage
  • Product guarantees

 

All of these premium features add up to a happy, healthy cat. With premium dry cat food, you can expect to see these important indicators of good health:

  • Exceptional muscle tone
  • A shiny, luxurious coat
  • Healthy skin and bones
  • Clear, bright eyes and clean teeth
  • Small, firm stools

 

Founded on decades of research, premium formulas from IAMS™ help maintain your cat’s health and help provide her with the nutrition she needs for a long life.

 

  • Is Your Cat a Picky Eater? Try These Cat Feeding Tips!
    Is Your Cat a Picky Eater? Try These Cat Feeding Tips!

    adp_description_block116
    Is Your Cat a Picky Eater? Try These Cat Feeding Tips!

    Cats are known for being a bit choosey about what they will and won’t do. And a little pickiness is fine when it comes to picking out toys and napping spots! But if your cat is or becomes extra-selective about what they’ll eat, it’s time to pay attention and perhaps talk to your vet. You and your vet know your cat best, so it’s always worth checking in if you think your cat isn’t eating enough and want their professional advice.

     

    Start by paying close attention to what your cat is eating and how they behave. This information will help you, your household and your vet work together to make sure your cat is living and eating well.

     

    Feeding Tips for the Truly Finicky Cat 

    Pay Attention to All the Cat Treats 

    Is your cat begging for table scraps or holding out on eating until you offer treats? Extras like these can be very disruptive to your cat’s appetite and diet. Think about them like snacks or desserts for you — tasty cravings that are easy to fill up on. A small portion may not seem like much, but it can make a big different for a cat-sized digestive system!

     

    Try dialing back how much you treat your cat to tasty extras and see if their interest in the food bowl starts to return. Remember, it’s generally all right for cats to skip a few meals, but if they haven’t eaten for 24-36 hours it’s time to call the vet (even if they’ve continued drinking water).

     

    Review Your Cat’s Food Routine 

    Humans often crave variety in their meals, but for cats, routine is king. It’s not likely they’d avoid their regular food out of boredom with it, but if you’ve recently changed the kind of food, the number of feedings or the times you feed your cat, they may be avoiding eating as a response.

     

    It's a good idea to change your cat’s diet gradually (unless your vet advises otherwise). Pickiness can often be resolved by helping your cat adjust and get comfortable with their updated diet!

     

    Help Your Cat Relax While Feeding 

    If your cat starts eating less, you may want to look for factors that could be causing stress. Seemingly unrelated changes to their environment can shift your cat’s stress levels enough to impact their interest in food. Has another animal or person joined or left the household? Has your cat been adapting to new surroundings due to a move or renovation? As the stress of that change begins to subside, your cat will probably go back to a normal diet.

     

    Talk to your vet about good ideas for reducing your cat’s stress levels and share any concerns you have about their diet then too. You’re both on the same team, so work together to help your cat feel better!

Copyright © Mars 2022, Trademark of Mars Incorporated and its affiliates