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Kitten getting the "pooch"

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I have two eight month old kittens, Ernie and Santo, who are still on their Science Diet kitten food. They really appear to enjoy it because now they both have a very small "pooch." However I know I should transition to adult food here at some point, but when would you suggest that I do that? At a year old? Before then? Obviously I don't want them to get too fat from the kitten food, but I don't want to take it away too soon.
post #2 of 16
Are you free feeding or measuring their food daily? If you aren't already, I would give them measured amounts of food for their weight as it is becoming clear that they aren't needing the extra calories and are not self-maintaining well. Its very common for indoor cats (and even outdoor cats at wintertime) to become obese due to over-eating and lack of exercise.
post #3 of 16
That "pooch" may also be perfectly natural Many adult cats get this hanging belly skin. In nature, cats have this extra skin with a bit of fat to protect the sensitive abdominal area from an ememy's teeth. Some call it "spay sway" but it isn't really due to being spayed/neutered. It is hereditary as far as I know
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misskiwi67 View Post
Are you free feeding or measuring their food daily? If you aren't already, I would give them measured amounts of food for their weight as it is becoming clear that they aren't needing the extra calories and are not self-maintaining well. Its very common for indoor cats (and even outdoor cats at wintertime) to become obese due to over-eating and lack of exercise.
I'm not so much worried about their weight at this point, but I was just curious as to what others thought about when it comes to transitioning from kitten to adult food. Timeline? Any tips?
post #5 of 16
If they are a smaller or medium size breed type, then you don't need to be keeping them on kitten food after 6 months old (unless they've had a tough start in life). Larger breeds (like Maine Coons) could stay on it for a year as they need the extra calories.

If your kittens are now spayed/neutered, they should be eating adult food - not kitten food.
post #6 of 16
My cats are 8 and a half months old and I just noticed the pooch on them.....maybe it is the age for the pooch to develop. I'm a little nervous, too, about making sure they don't get overweight. It's hard to tell for me because they have long tummy hair, so I can't really see how big their bellies are unless they let me touch them, and I'm not really sure what is normal. Mine are still eating kitten food (1/2 cup of Natural Choice for each cat plus 1/2 can of fancy feast each [they got hooked on f.f. at the shelter and they puke up other canned food] - they don't quite eat all the dry food, and they are 9 lbs so I think they are doing okay)....I will probably switch them over when their current 20 lb bag runs out.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by novemberflowers View Post
My cats are 8 and a half months old and I just noticed the pooch on them.....maybe it is the age for the pooch to develop. I'm a little nervous, too, about making sure they don't get overweight. It's hard to tell for me because they have long tummy hair, so I can't really see how big their bellies are unless they let me touch them, and I'm not really sure what is normal. Mine are still eating kitten food (1/2 cup of Natural Choice for each cat plus 1/2 can of fancy feast each [they got hooked on f.f. at the shelter and they puke up other canned food] - they don't quite eat all the dry food, and they are 9 lbs so I think they are doing okay)....I will probably switch them over when their current 20 lb bag runs out.
I'm sure you're already aware, but make sure you don't just switch over "cold turkey" rather mix in some of the new adult food with the kitten food over a period of time. At least that's what my experience has been with previous kittens so that they get used to the new food. Doing it "cold turkey" you run the risk of them not liking the new food right from the start and then not eating enough.
post #8 of 16
The only time you might need to do a "cold turkey" on dry is if the cat needs to eat a special diet and can't be on the other food anymore. That's what happened with Charlie's UTI - he had to be switched to RC for Urinary and we could not do a gradual change over from the other RC/Natural Balance food (even had to stop the canned food for awhile).

Neither cat really liked that idea - took them several days to decide they would HAVE to eat the new food.
post #9 of 16
After my cats UTI he switched to the new food easily. They loved it. My other cats are even on it and they have no problem eating it. Its Royal Canin OS
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by orltwa View Post
I'm sure you're already aware, but make sure you don't just switch over "cold turkey" rather mix in some of the new adult food with the kitten food over a period of time. At least that's what my experience has been with previous kittens so that they get used to the new food. Doing it "cold turkey" you run the risk of them not liking the new food right from the start and then not eating enough.
Correct. You also run the risk of tummy upset, which is a much more unpleasant result for both human and feline.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks to everyone for their responses. I actually went and got some adult food today and mixed in a spoonful with their kitten food and they seem to be eating it just fine. When I fill up their food in a couple days I'll throw in a couple spoonfulls and see what happens.
post #12 of 16
at 9lb and 8.5 months they are EATING just the right amount .. and Mnay of us think kittens should have kitten food for a yr ... yes mix it with adult is fine
post #13 of 16
Maybe its just me, but I always leave my kitties on kitten food until I am absolutely positive they're done growing! With BooBoo he was almost 2 before I stopped feeding him the kitten chow! He liked it, he wasn't overweight and the vet didn't see any problem with it. When I got Eek I had to get kitten food again and I was just told to use a certain brand due to BooBoos UTI's, but that it wouldn't hurt him! He eats it like he would any other food and he has been at the exact same weight for years!

I would think your kitties are probably still growing so I would keep the kitten chow for now, but thats just my opinion and what do I know anyway!
post #14 of 16
My vets always say leave them on kitten food for the first year. You could also try a food suitable for all life stages. This thread names some: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ht=life+stages
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat View Post
My vets always say leave them on kitten food for the first year. You could also try a food suitable for all life stages. This thread names some: http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ht=life+stages
Well what I did was buy a small bag of adult food and mixed in a spoonful into their dry kitten food. After thinking about it I don't think I'll make the total conversion for another month or so. They don't seem to mind the adult food, but I think I'll stick with a mix for the time being. That way when it is time to take the kitten food away, it won't be a total shock.
post #16 of 16
I transitioned when Tiny was 10 months old and Baby a year and a half. Baby came to me skinny and needed the extra food; but then I found a food that worked for all ages, so I just free-fed that for a while til Baby filled out a bit. Now I feed Purina Naturals 3x per day, 1/4 cup, and both cats are doing fine on it. Tiny is a year old now, I think, so they're both officially adults.
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