Whether you are adopting a kitten, or your nursing queen’s little ones are weaning onto “real” food, you will want to choose the right foods and set up healthy eating habits now, while your kitten is young and you can still use food for training. “Train a cat?!” you say? Well, yes. There are ways to teach your kitten some skills while providing nourishment. Two birds with one stone, as they say.
Here is a simple daily schedule for the first six months that you can use to get started. It is best to keep a consistent schedule, and to feed high quality, high fat, high protein kitten foods in different flavors and textures to prevent pickiness. Note that all measurements are per kitten. Increase amounts as needed.
- Fresh, shallow bowl of water — large enough to hold 1-2 cups of water but low enough for kitten to reach easily
- 1/3 - 1/2 canned cat food (from a standard 5oz. can — refrigerate the remaining portion)
- 1/4 -1/3 cup of dry kitten kibble to eat through the morning; observe how much kitten is eating and increase if necessary
- Fresh food puzzle filled with dry kitten kibble or high protein cat treats for kitten to “hunt and play” with though the day
- Refresh water bowl with fresh water
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup of dry kitten kibble
- Use treats, either store bought or home cooked (unseasoned, cooked egg, poultry, or liver) to practice simple skills, like “up” and “sit,” and to get the kitten used to responding to his name
- Meals and treats are also very useful for carrier training, and the afternoon meal is perfect for this
- Place the kitten’s meal or favorite treat in the carrier, make sure the carrier is clean and comfortable, leaving the carrier door open. Over time, as the kitten grows confident with the carrier, close the door for brief periods; your cat’s comfort with his carrier can be a literal life saver
- Refresh water bowl with fresh water if needed
- 1/3 - 1/2 canned cat food (using the remainder of the can from the morning meal)
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup of dry kitten kibble to eat through the night — remember that cats tend to be more active at night
- After meal time is ideal for daily play exercise using feather toys, jingle balls, and catnip toys
Note: If you are having trouble printing this schedule, please copy and paste the text onto a document and then print.