Kitten food

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Nala_Zazu
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Kitten food

Post by Nala_Zazu » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:19 pm

Hello everyone,

Soon I will have two 12 week old kittens that are cross-breed between a chinchilla Persian Dad and a british short hair Mum. The photo attached shows Nala (blue) and Zazu (black smoked). Zazu has more of a flat face like Dad. Nala takes after her mum. Both are girls.

I want to get the best possible food for them for their development, their dental care and digestion but I have no idea what kind.

I need dry kitten food. I am told it is better to have grain-free food but struggling to find one specific to kittens. Is this true about the importance of grain-free?

Additionally when I was searching, I discovered Purina make a food specific to Persian kittens and another specific to British short hair. Is this important? Is it just the shape of the pieces that is different due to different facial structures or is there actually a nutritional difference in requirements?

Finally, can anyone please recommend the best dry kitten food for my babies that is also available in the U.K? If you don’t know that it is available in U.K. I would still love to hear your recommendations as I can search for it in U.K.

Thanks in advance.
Attachments
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Nala and Zazu
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Nala
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Nala and Zazu

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fjm
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Re: Kitten food

Post by fjm » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:11 am

What a gorgeous pair! Congratulations.

As a general rule it is probably better to feed a wet food rather than dry - cats in the wild tend to get much of their fluids from prey, and are not very good at drinking enough water to compensate for dry food. It is also much easier to find tinned or pouch food with a high meat/low carbohydrate content.

Kitten food tends to be higher in protein than adult food, to support growth etc, but frankly I think the breed specific foods are a marketing ploy, and I most certainly would not buy different foods for your two kittens. Find several good quality, complete foods that they like and you can afford, and change between them frequently - that way your adult cats will enjoy trying new flavours and textures, and you won't be stuck when the one and only food they will eat is discontinued! I would also give occasional meals of minced beef and egg yolk, sardines, etc, etc - the sort of things you are likely to have in the fridge or cupboard in an emergency.

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Ruth B
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Re: Kitten food

Post by Ruth B » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:24 am

You have an absolutely gorgeous pair there, and i'm sure they will be causing you all sorts of mischief in no time.

There is a lot of marketing slogans in the cat food industry and most of it is just that, marketing, to make us part with more money than need be. The UK has stricter pet food regulations than many countries.

The most important thing to watch for is that the food is described as 'complete' not complementary. There are certain vitamins and minerals that are essential for cats and are often added to cat food to make sure the cat gets enough, complementary cat foods aren't guaranteed to have enough of these essentials, it is fine as an occasional treat but shouldn't be the only food they have.

There are a lot of fancy foods on the market that claim to have a very high meat content and some people swear by them, so they are the best ones to advise on those. All i can say is that mine eat Felix As Good as it Looks and Gourmet Gold, with Purina One as the dry food option, and all the cats I have had, including a Ragdoll, have managed fine on that. Kitten food tends to have a slightly higher protein level, but Felix AGAIL is higher than a lot of cat foods to start with, kitten food also tend to have a slightly different balance of vitamins and minerals to suit a growing cat.

As far as ones for different breeds go I'm not sure there is any need for it, again there is probably slight variations in the trace elements in it aimed at some of the more common problems that various breeds are susceptible to, but to be honest as yours will no doubt be checked regularly by a vet, if any issues do start to show up then the specific food for that problem is a better bet.

Things like Dentabits, might help maintain their teeth, but if yours are anything like mine you will just find them scattered across the floor where the cats have taken one chew and then spat it out again.

Another you might want to try is the occasional raw chicken wing, some cats love raw food and a full wing contains a lot of goodness for a cat as they need not only the meat, but the skin, bones and everything, just make sure you give them it raw, cooked bones will splinter and can harm a cat.

In the end the best cat food is the one they like, there is no point throwing packs away all the time.

However all this is merely my opinion and I have no training in veterinary science or cat nutrition, there will be others that come on here with other suggestions and opinions and it is one area that if you ask 10 of us you will get at least 11 answers.

Most of us here are from the UK so what people suggest is likely to be easily available for you.

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Re: Kitten food

Post by Nala_Zazu » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:29 am

Hi FJM,

Thank you so much. That’s very helpful. I have a water fountain which I hope they will take to at least out of curiosity.

As I work long hours, I have an automatic food dispenser but it only dispenses dry food. Even if it did dispense wet food, I’d be worried it would not be fresh. I will definitely give wet food in the evenings and days off work and there are plenty of wet food options that are high quality. The dry food options seem to be rather limited for kittens, especially grain-free.

That being said, is it important or better to go for grain-free?

Thanks again.

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Re: Kitten food

Post by Nala_Zazu » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:37 am

Hi Ruth,

Thank you so much. That is very helpful indeed.

I love the raw chicken wings idea.
Thank you for the food suggestions as well. I’ll definitely keep a look out.

Good to know about dentibits.

Appreciate it,
Asim

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MarySkater
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Re: Kitten food

Post by MarySkater » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:35 am

Beautiful kittens.

One thing to keep in mind. Find out what the breeder is feeding them now, and get some of that. Transition them gradually from what they are used to into what you choose to offer them.

Re keeping wet food fresh: I'm a user of microchip-coded covered feed bowls:
https://www.surepetcare.com/en-gb/pet-feeder
(Assuming your babies are microchipped, of course, but I'm sure you'll be getting that done if the breeder hasn't done it already.)

I started using these mainly to keep flies off wet food, but it's also very useful since you know how much each cat is eating. The lid makes a good seal with the dish so the food keeps fresh. (I've no connection with the company, I just use these and like them.) If you don't want individual feeders for each cat, the makers also do a covered bowl with a movement sensor, that will open for any animal near it, but I have read mixed reviews about how good the sensor is.

Enjoy your kittens, and take lots of photos! They grow up so quickly.

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fjm
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Re: Kitten food

Post by fjm » Fri Sep 28, 2018 10:00 am

Grain free is a bit of a fad - the important issue is the amount of meat. Any dry food is going to have carbohydrates added to make the biscuits crisp (and affordable), so if it is not grains it will be potato or legumes or something else. All foods sold as complete will have undergone analysis to make sure they comply with feline nutrition standards, but I personally object to paying out for packaging and advertising rather than high quality ingredients. I mostly cook for all four of my animals, but I do buy kibble for Pippin's daily dose of metacam, as I know he will always eat every scrap. I look hard at the ingredients lists, and choose those that have a high proportion of named meats, and a low proportion of carbohydrate. The ingredients are listed largest first, but there are lots of ways to game the system, including listing all the different grains separately so they come further down the list, etc, etc. This internet is full of dog food comparison sites, but much thinner on feline ones - perhaps because cats tend to eat what they want to eat, regardless of the reviews!

I think in your position the first thing is to find out what the kittens are eating at the moment, and get in a bag or two of that, so that you can get them settled before risking digestive upsets through changing their food. As a general rule the quality from the smaller manufacturers tends to be better than that from the big, supermarket players (though not always), and many of them provide free samples or mixed introductory packs. Zooplus.com has helpful ingredient information for the foods they sell, and a good range - at the moment I am buying their Purizon adult dried food which I have found good value, especially when it is on offer!

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Re: Kitten food

Post by Nala_Zazu » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:48 am

Hi all,

Wow I am so grateful for all your advice and well wishes. This community is fantastic.

I will certainly get some food that the breeder is currently giving. Great idea.

I also love the microchip bowls. They are rather pricey so might need to wait a few pay days.

Great to know the grain-free fad, that’s makes it all the more easier that actually it’s a low carb high protein diet I’m looking for, exactly the same for humans.

Everyone has given me comprehensive advice and food for thought (excuse the purr). I truly am grateful for taking the time out to advise me and with very valuable information.

All the best and have a super weekend.

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Re: Kitten food

Post by Lilith » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:14 pm

Hi and welcome - and some good advice already.

I used to breed (Siamese) but over 30 years ago, in the days when there was no kitten food, no specialised food, just cat food. The diet sheet that came with my first brood queen emphasised home-cooked, high protein and calcium, and some carbs. She enjoyed Whiskas etc too and was even caught climbing into the dog's bowl to scoff whatever was on offer there. Knee deep in kibble! The breeder told me she didn't really like chicken, uh oh. I'd got her some chicken ready for her first meal. She ate it - and asked for seconds lol.

This grain business. Cats don't normally eat grain or vegetables, unless they're already in the gut of prey. Manufacturers, as has been said, add grain and veggies to bulk out expensive proteins, grr. (Of course your average cat will want anything you're eating - cake, jam, spring onions, curry and rice, spaghetti ... cats being cats! One of mine used to chew lettuce in the veggie patch. A Siamese CATerpillar?)

Kitten food I feel does make sense, but I'm not so sure about the fashion for breed-specialised foods. Perhaps with big breeds like Maine Coons, but I personally don't think you need to worry about Persian vs British foods, though I realise you want to do what's best for them. It's a bit mind-blowing at first I know.

But what lovely girls, and lucky to be coming to you. Please let us know how they go on :)

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Ruth B
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Re: Kitten food

Post by Ruth B » Fri Sep 28, 2018 1:50 pm

The only real issue with grains that I know of is that some cats react to some grains, one of my current household was sensitive to wheat when he was younger, so I had to try and make sure i bought wheat free ones and some just say 'cereal' to add to the problem. Fortunately he has grown out of it and rice, legumes and the like were never a problem. If they start to get upset stomachs then it is always worth trying a different type of food.

As far as 'how it used to be' goes, my Mum always told us how she had a cat when she was a child, back in the 50s he was one of the first in the village to be neutered, and she actually remembered getting the first tins of cat food for him, when they had to get the train into Sheffield and go to the one shop there that sold it. Things have changed a bit since then, and not always for the better.

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Re: Kitten food

Post by Sniper1 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:55 pm

Hi and good luck with your new kittens personally speaking nothing on earth would be persuading me to feed more than very occasional dry food to kittens its not a good idea and particularly not to any with Persian in their breeding due to the more common risk of pkd with this breed

Nala_Zazu
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Re: Kitten food

Post by Nala_Zazu » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:56 pm

Hi
Thanks very much for this advice.
I’ll look into getting those microchip bowls mentioned earlier.

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Re: Kitten food

Post by ThorpeDave » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:57 am

Wow, what beautiful kittens !

Both of my rescue cats - one now sadly not with us - benefited greatly from having 100% natural food and grain free.

Personally, I would stick to wet cat food as it provides most of the moisture they need. Fresh drinking water should always be available but, I am sure many know that cats seem to have different tastes in water as well as what it is presented in. I have glass bowls, ceramic bowls and a filtered fountain.

Like you I have found it very difficult sourcing "natural" kitten food but my 14 week old nutter does like Natures Choice which we get from Pets At Home. They do have other ones but ensure that they or "complete" as this will provide the necessary vitamins.

To be honest, my kitten is now on adult food - again 100% natural and grain free - and he is growing at a very rapid pace having more than doubled his weight in the 6 weeks we have had him.

We are now trying him on catnip chew sticks as he is teething and biting everything in sight - mostly me :roll:

Over night we do leave out some dry for him to snack on if he wants it and there is plenty of choice on the market to choose from. We often feed him some which have pre and pro biotics and - so far - no dickie tums!

Enjoy your kittens - hours of fun and total chaos! ;)

Regards

Dave

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