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As cats age, their bodies require different nutrition during different stages of life. 

Over the first year, kittens experience incredible growth and change. This means their nutritional needs are very different during this period of time than they’ll be later in life when they’re maintaining an ideal body condition rather than literally building the body. 

With input from the Purina® Pro Plan® cat experts, here’s what you need to know about feeding your kitten. 

What can your kitten eat?

Follow the directions on your food’s package closely. Kittens can generally begin weaning and nibbling on solid foods when they’re between 3 and 4 weeks of age, so keep moistened food available for your kittens at this time. Be sure to change out moistened food frequently to ensure freshness.

After about 6 to 8 weeks of age, cats will typically begin to eat dry or moistened food at will. Be sure there is adequate fresh water in a clean container available at all times for your kitten. 

Want to start another healthy habit with your kitten? Try feeding Purina® Pro Plan® wet cat foods. Besides being easy on your kitten’s teeth, wet cat food is rich in moisture, so it helps your kitten get the fluids he or she needs throughout the day. Plus, the variety of tastes and textures from the different sources of protein adds variety and interest to feeding time.

Note that your kitten should only be eating foods specifically designed for them, and should not be eating food such as table scraps, bones, dog food, milk, chocolate or onions. 

Where should you put the food?

Since cats, in general, are creatures of habit, it’s important to establish some structure around feeding time for your kitten. This can mean feeding your kitten at the same time and place every day. The feeding location will ideally be quiet and out of the way of foot traffic. For more tips on best feeding locations and types of dishes, see (link to Guide to Feeding Your Cat article).

Once you have found a place, try not to change it unless you absolutely must until the cat gets a little older. Then, you can place food in different locations around the home in order to add some activity and “hunting” throughout the day. 

What nutrients do kittens need?

Picking the right food for your kitten is important. Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Formula for Kittens is made specifically to meet your kitten’s nutritional needs. It contains:

  • High-quality protein 
  • DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, helps nourish brain and vision development
  • Antioxidants to help support your kitten’s developing immune system
  • Calcium, phosphorus and other minerals to help build strong teeth and bones
  • Vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, for healthy skin and coat 

Everyone loves a great kitten picture, especially our communities on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Be sure to share early, and often.