May 2008 Issue

Help Your Kitten Develop Healthy Eating Habits

A vigilant owner can play a major role in ensuring a young cat's nutritional well-being.

For cat lovers, few things are more pleasurable to witness than the astounding progress that a kitten makes in terms of physical development during the first year of its life. Typically weighing about three and a half ounces at birth, a kitten — if properly fed — will gain as much as a half-ounce per day; its birthweight will double in the first week; and it will have tripled its birthweight by the time it is three weeks old. As the weeks pass, the little creature’s rate of growth rate will gradually slow, but it will reach its adult size by the it is 10 or 12 months old. Passage through the first year — transitioning from total dependency on its mother’s milk to the cutting of its baby teeth and its introduction to an adult diet — can present a formidable challenge to a young cat. Throughout this period, during which the kitten's weight increases 50-fold, it can use all the loving care and attention it can get from its owner, especially in meeting its nutritional needs.

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