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Kitten Feeding Amounts

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I have an 11 week old male kitten who has started eating like a piggy this past week. I feed him 1/2 can of Go! Natural for breakfast and then about an hour after that, put out a bowl of Fromm kitten kibbles for him (1/4 cup, as recommended on the back of the bag).

However, just this past week, he gobbles up both the wet and dry in a few hours' time. The kibbles used to last him until the next morning, but nowadays, it's like he doesn't even technically get dinner anymore. Am I feeding him enough or do I need to divide the meals up, or..? On another forum, I was told to just free feed him as much as he wants since he's so young, but I've also heard that's a bad habit to get him into.

Any ideas? And when would I need to start increasing the feeding portions? Thanks in advance
post #2 of 6
The first thing I can think to ask is has he been wormed? Many kittens have worms and if he hasn't been treated you should ask your vet when you take him in for his vaccinations (if he hasn't already had his first shots you should book him in for them as soon as possible), the vet will give you a wormer suitable for kittens in the right dose for his size. Worms would cause him to feel hungry and eat more but are easily treated.

With a kitten that young I would make sure that there is always dry food available for him to snack on between his wet meals, as kittens need to eat little and often. There shouldn't be any problem with switching him to scheduled mealtimes when he matures and his growth slows down. That's what I did with my two, there were a few complaints at first but they soon adjusted.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Epona, thanks for your response

Yes, he has been dewormed already. He had his first shots also and will be getting his second in a few days.

If I free feed him now, what is the best age to stop that and get him on a feeding schedule?
post #4 of 6
Sorry for the delay! Can't post too much from work

It's hard to pin down a point when you should stop free feeding - I would say when he starts growing outwards instead of upwards!!! Cats mature at different ages which is quite dependent on body-type - refined delicate-boned cats like Siamese mature a lot earlier than big stocky longhaired cats like Maine Coons. For Siamese types I wouldn't free-feed for too long as they are usually finished growing by 10-12 months, where a more Maine Coon type will still be growing when it is 2 years old, so it does depend.

I stopped free-feeding mine (both fine-boned small cats) when Sonic was 7 months old - that was the point when Sonic's ribs started to disappear under a layer of fat because he's a greedy little so and so! But it does depend a lot on the cat, some cats are good at regulating their food intake and won't get fat even if there's always food down for them, others will stuff themselves given any opportunity. My two fall in the latter group, so they are now on scheduled mealtimes with a measured amount of food each.

I hope that helps a bit, sorry I can't be more precise! At 11 weeks I think it's important that he eats good quality food whenever he wants, and move to scheduled feedings if he starts to get podgy when he's older
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Epona! Your advice is greatly appreciated. I'll free feed him until he gets older.
post #6 of 6
I've never free fed any dog or cat. If I had free fed Blossom I'm sure she would have eaten the whole lot at one go. I gave Blossom 3 meals per day until 6 mths old & she's on 2 meals per day now. She will be 1 yr old in a week. To judge if they're getting enough to eat, look at their waistline. The amounts on the food packets are a guide only. The quantity of food reduces when they mature. You can see that by reading the ingredient list, age chart, etc on the packets of kitten & adult foods.
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