Understanding Kitten's Nutrition And Diet

If you have just brought home a kitten, it is very important to know exactly what she has been fed on before you change it. This is because their digestive systems are still immature and you don't want to end up with kittens refusing to eat due to upset tummies.

Remember, kittens should feed on ultra-digestible food that is designed for their life stage. They are different in terms of the kibble size, shape and texture in dry foods (which is good for dental care). The key to feeding kittens is to feed little and often. In the wild, kittens and cats tend to snack, eating up to 20 small meals a day. By feeding them with dry food, you can put the daily portion down (based on the guidelines displayed on the pack), and let your kitten feed at will - that is if there is no other competition for its food.

Generally, a kitten’s growth encompass two distinct phases:

Phase 1: 0 - 4 months

This is the fastest growth period that you will experience with kittens. At an earlier stage of this phase they usually feed on lactating mother cats and therefore, the requirements for certain nutrients to be consumed by the mother cats as well as the kittens themselves (or from mother to its litters) are higher. Hence, a good food like Royal Canin Mother & Babycat (click here to view product) contains the most optimum nutrition for both kittens and their mother cat.

By the end of four months, kittens will be at least five times and up to seven times heavier than their birth weight. The energy needs are so high because their skeletal structure is also developing exponentially at this time.

Phase 2: 4 - 12 months

At this phase, the kitten is still developing gradually but the speed of growth slows down. This is because the kitten is experiencing the strengthening of its skeleton to development of its muscles. Hence, its energy requirement remains very high. 

Moving on, we explore on few important growth benchmarks of a kitten:


Do you know that kittens have 2 sets of teeth? The first of the sets is the milk teeth that appears around the second week of birth. The remaining set of teeth will grow and complete in within 4 to 6 months of birth.

Digestive ability

From birth, a kitten's digestive system is not fully developed yet and very sensitive to drastic changes of food consumption. Therefore its food must be specially formulated to ensure digestive safety with optimum nutrition requirements like the content of Nutrience Cat Original Healthy Kitten Chicken Meal with Brown Rice Recipe (view product here) as well as S1 Nutram Sound Balanced Wellness® Natural Kitten Food (view product here).

As the kitten’s age catches up, its digestive ability strengthens too.

Immune system

A kitten generally gains its immunity from its mother's milk but it decreases over time hence they are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases between 4th and 12th week from birth.

This is where the importance of selecting a good quality food comes in. At this stage, the kitten should be fed with food that stimulates their body to build on their own natural defences. Antioxidants (including Vitamin C and E, taurine and lutein) helps support natural defences. In some food like MeraCat's Kitten formula (view product here), Mannan-oligo-saccharides are included to help support defences in the intestinal mucosa and help support the development of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.

At the end of the day, nothing beats the sense of accomplishment and pride seeing our adorable kitten grows to become a healthy adult cat. We're what we consume, so is our kitten!

Feel free to share the photos of your lovely kittens by posting on Waggymeal's Facebook page (don't forget to like it too) by clicking here!

Long live cat lovers!