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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

We have two kittens, one about 6 months, the other 5 months. We have had them for 3 months. At first we were free feeding them but it became obvious that one was eating much more than his fair share, and the other one wasn't.

We came to the consensus that we had one cat that "knew when to stop" and the other didn't. So we decided to start doing fixed amounts of food, generally following the back of the cat food package.

How much should kittens this age be eating?

We feed Acana Kitten Formula and the back of the bag says 1/4 to 3/4 cup each day for this age range.

Another question.. when are these kittens technically not kittens anymore and when should they be started on Adult food?

They get neutered in another month.

Thanks.
 

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Our vet said that a kitten should be allowed to eat however much he/she wants until he/she is an adult, which is around age 1.
 

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I generally switch to adult food as soon as they're spayed/neutered. Their energy requirements drop precipitously with the surgery. You might want to start the transition to adult food a week or so ahead so they can go to all adult food afterward.

Timed meal feeding is a good way to get a cat to properly "self-regulate". The food is available for 30-60 minutes twice a day and they can eat as much as they want during that time. I recommend canned food for all cats, too. The carbs in dry food are where the calories and weight issues arise.

At this age I wouldn't worry overmuch about who's eating what. I have a sibling pair, the male is, literally, twice the size of the female. The one cat might just have a bigger "genetic potential" and be eating for that.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

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A cat is considered an adult when the adult teeth come in. This is around 4-6 months I believe. Also prime time to spay or neuter. My advice is to listen to Dr. Jean -- she knows her stuff. ;) I took her advice and my cats are doing great. Jack, my male, DOES eat more than my female, but this is normal b/c he's just...bigger than her all around. Bigger bones, bigger head, bigger everything. Maybe your kitties are the same way. If a cat is allowed food in timed intervals, it will eat what it needs and you don't have to worry about measuring. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone.

The reason why I ask is because my brother noticed that one of our cats/kittens developed what he called flab in his underbelly region that seems to hang a bit..
This is the cat that eats more. He calls it fat and thinks that this is a sign of overeating. His girlfriend likes to call it "baby fat/skin" that the kitten will grown into.

At the moment they are getting fed about 1/2 cup each of dry food divided into four smaller meals each day. (The back of the package said 1/4 to 3/4 cup per day).
It is obvious how quickly Hobbes (the 'overeater') eats compared to the Harley... and Harley usually leaves a little bit left over in his bowl while Hobbes leaves none.
Some background, they are both male. Hobbes is one month older than Harley (~6 months, compared to 5).. they are due in to get neutered at the end of the month.

This is why I asked "How much?" ...

I like to feed them wet food twice a week in bigger quantities whereas my mother likes to feed them a small portion once a day for the whole week.
This brings me to another question... How long is canned wet cat food good for in the fridge once its been opened?

I've always thought that one day over night is about the limits but how long would it keep in a sealed plastic container?

If a cat is allowed food in timed intervals, it will eat what it needs and you don't have to worry about measuring
I guess I worry about what I've read that while most cats are good at self regulating how much they eat there are always some cats that won't, and that will overeat.

And my last and a little off topic question is: How often should one be giving them treats?
If you answer "when they do something that warrants one".. then how many on average do you give them per day/week?

We have Pounce and they both seem to really love them. My mother's friend also gave her these dried fish.. that Harley likes but Hobbes doesn't touch at all.

thanks again.

bp
 

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Dry food is where the calories are and what makes them fat. Your mom is right. Feed wet food every day. The moisture content is important for the health of their kidneys and bladder. They should, in fact, get at least half their diet as wet food. I wouldn't leave canned more than 2-3 days in the frig; but cats are fussy and if it's acceptable to them, it's probably safe.

Pounce treats are preserved with sugar, so use them sparingly. Think of it this way: how many Snickers bars would you give a child per day?

You're starting with kittens so now is the time to get them into good habits of eating and exercise. No different from us! (Like I'm one to say!) :lol:

Check out the articles on nutrition and play therapy in our free article library to get them started right! http://www.littlebigcat.com/?action=library

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 
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