A well-fed and healthy kitten is the main goal of owners of furry pets. Some owners are sure that there is nothing better than natural products. But with the advent of various eating disorders and other pathological conditions, the owner thinks about transferring the kitten to dry food.
Veterinarians believe that granular feed has more benefits than "natural" nutrition. First of all, high-quality dry feed is balanced in composition and eliminates the risks of poisoning (which cannot be said about feeding meat or fish).
Before switching to dry food, you need to know their types and choose the one that is more suitable for the pet, based on the individual characteristics of the body and breed accessories.
From what age and how to transfer a kitten to dry food
Granular feeds are easy to use and are not expensive compared to natural nutrition. Dry feeds are balanced in all necessary nutritional indicators. From what age to transfer a kitten to dry food, a veterinarian should prompt after diagnostic tests and examinations. As a rule, kittens are weaned from their mothers at the age of 1.5-2 months, and it is from this period that you can begin to accustom your baby to dry food.
Note! Too early transfer of the kitten to dry food can adversely affect the further development of the pet due to the underdevelopment of the bones that form the jaw.
You should also not rush to a sharp change in diet, especially if the pet initially received natural food. Experts recommend accustoming to a new type of food for 14 days, adding a new type of food to the previous one in small portions. Every day, a portion of dry food should gradually increase until it reaches 100%.
It is necessary to transfer a kitten to adult food only after it reveals a desire to gnaw on various objects. But in some cases, babies at the age of 4 weeks already begin to try everything on the tooth, which is associated with the cutting of milk teeth.
The rules for transferring a kitten to dry food are as follows:
- The use of mousse. This type of food is the average between wet and dry food, presented in the form of mousse with a soft consistency. You can add a few slice of dry food to such a dish.
- Soaking dry food. Experienced cat breeders recommend that when switching to dry food, before feeding, pre-soak the dry food in warm water until it swells, and soak the granules soaked with a fork. The kitten needs to be given warm food.
- Dose increase. Every day, the amount of dry food should increase until a complete meal is replaced. By the time it can take from 5 to 15 days.
It is necessary to feed the pet strictly with the dosages indicated by the manufacturer of the feed or by the veterinarian.
This is due to the fact that at a certain age, a cat needs a special set of nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates), as well as vitamin and mineral complexes.
Pros and Cons of Dry Cat Food
Pros and cons of any feed, regardless of high or low quality. Knowing the positive and negative sides of dry food, the pet owner will be able to correctly adjust his diet.
The advantages of dry feed are:
- Profitability - the cost of dry granular feed of premium quality will cost the owner much cheaper than feeding with high-quality natural products.
- Time saving - the owner does not need to constantly stock up on fresh meat and fish, as well as prepare dishes for the pet.
- When feeding high-quality feeds, you can not follow the diet. Dry food does not deterioratewhen in the air. This is especially true in hot weather, when natural products in a cat's bowl deteriorate very quickly and can cause poisoning of the animal.
- Balance. In high-quality granular feed for cats, all the necessary parameters of complete food for pets are observed. In addition, feeds for kittens differ in quantitative composition from feeds for cats. When feeding an animal with natural food, it is necessary to strictly monitor and calculate the balance of nutrients necessary for growth and development, as well as trace elements and vitamin complexes.
The cons of cats are presented in the following list:
- Lack of moisture. All feed, regardless of quality and manufacturing process, have a low percentage of moisture required. As a result of the violation of the water-salt balance, the animal may develop diseases of the internal organs. The urinary system most often suffers.
- Harm to cat teeth. Manufacturers of some granular feed assure owners that dry feed helps get rid of plaque on tooth enamel. This statement is nothing more than a myth. The effect of dry food on the teeth of cats is absolutely the opposite - the predator does not have the necessary load on the teeth, which causes the formation of tartar.
- High carbohydrate content. This drawback applies to extremely cheap granular feed. In addition to the harm to tooth enamel as a result of the increased content of carbohydrate elements in food, such a food provokes a sharp increase in the level of sugar in the systemic circulation, which further leads to the development of diabetes mellitus.
Types of ready-made feed for kittens
Production cat foods are available in several versions. Types of feed are canned, wet and dry. So, canned food for premium kittens contain all the necessary minerals and trace elements, as well as meat components, broth and vegetables.
Thanks to hermetic packaging, pathogenic bacterial microorganisms do not penetrate into canned food. Canned food can replace natural nutrition only if the quality is at a high level.
Wet feed for kittens is produced in special packages designed for 1 meal. Compared to canned food, in wet the percentage of water is much less, therefore, when feeding a kitten with wet food from spiders, it is necessary to observe a drinking regimen.
Dry cat food is produced in the form of granules containing processed cereals, vegetables, meat and high-quality offal. The amount of water in this type of feed is unusually low, so it is important to provide the kitten with fresh drinking water in unlimited quantities. The advantage of a dry type of feed is that the shelf life of such food is much longer than the previous ones.
Transfer kittens from naturalki or from wet nutrition to dry food
If the kitten is already grown up and accustomed to natural food, then transferring it to dry food will be a little more difficult. After all, very small kittens switch to granular feed much faster.
Important! The main requirement when transferring a kitten from a natural to dry food is a complete rejection of ordinary food.
It is important to select high-quality feeds that are perfectly balanced in nutrients. In addition, it is important to be adamant if the pet is actively asking for food from the table or the goodies familiar to him before. The transition from a natural to a completely dry diet should take at least 7 days. The thing is that natural food is completely different in structure and taste, so the animal should be as comfortable as possible to get used to new food.
When transferring from natural food to granular feed, it is important to systematically reduce the amount of meat or fish in the diet, filling this gap with dry food. Initially, the amount of new food should be no more than 10-15% of the total portion weight. Every day, the percentage should increase by about 5 units.
It is much more difficult to transfer a grown animal from wet food, as there is much more taste in wet food, which attracts a pet. Switching to dry food should be smooth and unobtrusive. On average, it is possible to transfer a grown-up kitten from wet food a month after the start. During the transition to a different type of food, you must constantly praise the pet, each time he went to a bowl with dry granules. Thus, it is necessary to emphasize the correctness of the choice of animal.
Note! It is not advisable to completely transfer to dry food. In wet foods, enough moisture is needed for the pet. But do not combine wet and dry food from different companies, as this can adversely affect the overall health of the animal.
Even when feeding super-premium class dry granular food, the animal needs to be given vitamin supplements to strengthen the bone and muscle system during the period of active growth.
Vitamin supplements are also important for strengthening the coat, removing a lump of swallowed wool when licking (relevant for long-haired breeds), as well as for the prevention of urinary tract diseases.
An important aspect when transferring a kitten from one type of food to another is the use of probiotics. They allow you to increase the digestive tract and provide normal addiction to a new type of food. Reception of probiotics should be agreed with the veterinarian.