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When to switch from kitten to adult food

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi guys

Our Maine Coon kittens, Bruce and Sheila, are almost 10 months old. They are free-fed dry food (Royal Canin Kitten) and have half a sachet each of wet food twice or three times per day (HiLife Kitten, Natures Menu Kitten, Felix Kitten or Applaws).

I noticed recently when one of them vomited (hairball-related) after eating dry food, the biscuits seem to come up 'whole'. Bruce and Sheila are getting quite big now and the kibble is small, so they evidently don't need to crunch it!

I have heard that Maine Coons do have a tendency to just swallow their food, and I was wondering whether it would be a good idea to switch them now to the Royal Canin Maine Coon adult dry formula, which has bigger kibble designed for their jaws - to encourage them to crunch.

I know you're supposed to keep cats on kitten food until they're a year old, and for slow-maturing cats like Maine Coons it may be a good idea to stick on it for longer, but if I kept them on kitten wet food and switched to adult dry, would this give them adequate nutrition? Or should I stick with the RC Kitten for a while longer?

Thanks for any advice!

Bruce&Sheila
post #2 of 13
depends on the cat...lol...

18 months is what i have heard for coons
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Sharky - that reinforces what I understood about Maine Coons.

So, in your opinion, would it be better for them to swallow the smaller kitten kibble whole, or to crunch up bigger adult kibble that has a lower nutritional value (bearing in mind that they eat kitten wet food also)?


Bruce&Sheila
post #4 of 13
isnt it a year for dry food?
post #5 of 13
It depends on the body build and size of the cat. IMO its not a "one thing fits all". MC's are large cats - makes sense to keep them on the kitten food longer (tho I'd mix in some adult food for bigger pieces).

Cornish rexes are small cats - most breeders will stop kitten food for them at 4-5 months maximum as they would get fat very quickly if left on it for a year.

Medium size cats could go 5-7 months on kitten food. Charlie was about 5 months when I switched him over to adult food with no problems. He'll be 15 months end of this month and a solid 10 lbs. He'll still grow up to 2 yrs old and should weigh about 12 lbs by then.
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce&Sheila View Post
Thanks, Sharky - that reinforces what I understood about Maine Coons.

So, in your opinion, would it be better for them to swallow the smaller kitten kibble whole, or to crunch up bigger adult kibble that has a lower nutritional value (bearing in mind that they eat kitten wet food also)?


Bruce&Sheila
the reality is 90% of dry food is swallowed whole ..... hence why it really doesnt clean teeth...IMHO i would rather smaller things are swallowed ....
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
the reality is 90% of dry food is swallowed whole ..... hence why it really doesnt clean teeth...IMHO i would rather smaller things are swallowed ....
Excellent point!
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Charlie was about 5 months when I switched him over to adult food with no problems.
I switched Demetri and Farley at around 5 months, Ana is now almost 4 months and she eats adult. I feed a very minimum amount of dry, 1/3-1/2 cup between the three of them overnight and they still have some left in the morning.

Since you are feeding canned food, I'd switch them now to the bigger biscuits so they can chew them better. I know Main Coon breeders that feed the biggest biscuits they can find, or the cats won't chew them.
post #9 of 13
They won't necessarily swallow a bigger kibble whole. Jaffa swallows all dry food whole, including large dental kibble. Since I don't believe that dry food cleans the teeth even if crunched, I dont' see much advantage to them crunching it.

I usually only feed kitten food until about 6-8 months. Mosi is a fairly slow developing breed (he's a Somali - not as slow maturing as maine coons but not fully grown til 2-3yrs) but I put him on adult at about 8 months. I felt he was gaining too much weight on the kitten and was ready for adult.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow, lots of different comments/ideas!

Is dry food designed to be well digested even if swallowed whole, and therefore the only benefit of crunching it is for their teeth?

*IF* that is the case, I'm inclined to keep Bruce and Sheila on the RC Kitten for a while longer, as they are still quite long and slender and 'gawky', with no sign of chubbiness at all - and I do brush their teeth (albeit only about once a week, when I remember).

Bruce&Sheila
post #11 of 13
Spooky and most of my adult rexes were fed dry food their entire lives (only the kittens got canned foods). They never had a problem - were extremely healthy, proper weight/muscle, and were top show cats
post #12 of 13
yes the dry will digest if swallowed... when you next brush look at the design of the teeth... they are for cut and tear not chewing... chewing would be teeth like human molars( I e why humans and bears are TRUE ominivores)or horses teeth through out there mouths ( herbivores)
post #13 of 13
This is an interesting thread. Raven is 13 weeks old. I have been wondering how long to feed her kitten food. She is just a cat (her mom and littermates were all tabbys, she was the only black one). She is definately growing since she has lived here, she is becoming more gangly, like an adolescent. Maybe I will only feed her kitten food until she is 6 months and then start mixing it kitten/adult. I guess it all depends on if she gets a friend as well, then I will feed kitten as long as that one needs it as well (up to 1 year).
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