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When to Switch to Adult Food..

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Lt. Kittenpants was five months a few days ago. I've been feeding him Nutro Natural Choice Kitten dry (free feeding throughout the day, usually), and a mix of Nutro kitten cans/pouches - he gets one per day. The Nutro bag says to feed kitten food until 1 year, free feeding until 6mos.. but the general wisdom is that kittens can move to adult food earlier.

Kit is a big boy (at 4mo., he was 5.75lbs), and he's healthy. His body condition looks great; his fur is shiny and soft... at what point do I move him from kitten to adult? And what do you recommend for adult? Nutro is basically the most high quality kitten-specific stuff I can find around here. PetSmart has Royal Canin (only dry.. do they make wet?), and the other brands are Avoderm, Purina, Iams, Blue Buffalo, Science Diet, and your other basic junky stuff (Nine Lives, Fancy Feast, etc.) I can get Wellness at another pet store, but I didn't see anything kitten-specific that they make (though their stuff is generally all life stage, no?)

Anyway, any help would be appreciated
post #2 of 10
I can't help with the food recommendations, but our vet recommended we feed them kitten food until they were a year old.

post #3 of 10
My Kitten is eating both kinds of foods right now but some of them I let eat reg food before a year and they are fine.
post #4 of 10
I switch my kittens at 4-5 months old to adult foods. If they are small to average you don't need to be keeping them on kitten food for more then about 5 months. The larger breeds like maine coons might stay on kitten food for 9-12 months.

I would start switching them now to the adult foods. If he's neutered, he is a little on the big side for his age - usually an average cat will be about a pound per month of age. Kitten food is higher calorie and kittens will get fat quickly if allowed to eat it that long.

My rex kittens would be 5-6 lbs when grown, so they were only feed kitten food for the first 4 months - after that they got adult food.
post #5 of 10
I prefer kitten till a yr as most cats actually grow till 18 months... my logic fuzzy maybe is I wouldnt give a 2 yr old all foods adults eat ... But wellness does make a good kitten .. RC does make only dry it has a few other brands like sensible choice that have wet...

If ready for a change wellness core might work for ya
post #6 of 10
Chloe is 4.5 months old and eats Nutro Natural Indoor Kitten dry and also wet food made by Wellness (kitten formula) or the Nutro Max pouches & cans (she doesn't like the Nutro Natural cans/pouches for kittens very much). Sometimes I feed her Merrick wet food since it's for adults and kittens but it's not the norm for me.

I don't free feed her because I don't want my older cat to eat the kitten food and get fat. Instead I feed her 3-4 times a day (Mattie eats 2x a day).

I plan to keep Chloe on kitten food until she's a year old.

When is he being neutered? I've read that after the spay/neuter, their metabolism shuts down but I don't know if there is any truth to that. I still plan on feeding Chloe kitten food after she is spayed in the next couple of weeks.
post #7 of 10
I have two kittens who are almost 9 months old. One of them started to get the "pooch" and so I'm in the process of transitioning them over to adult food. I'm currently mixing about 25% kitten and 75% adult and I haven't had any issues. They seem to still be chomping down!!! Some say a year, but if your cat is starting to get big (i.e a little pooch is starting to grow), transitioning them over after 6 or 7 months shouldn't be an issue.
post #8 of 10
I switched Demetri and Farley at 5 months, Ana never had kitten food once she came to me (3 months old). Dry food is a very small part of their diet, I've never fed kitten wet either.

All my cats are in great condition, 6-12 months old and 5-13lbs.
post #9 of 10
It depends greatly on the body type of the cat.

Both my boys are refined body type - very long and slender and fine boned - both had stopped growing by a year old, and I switched them to adult food at around 6-7 months.

A large slow maturing cat like a Maine Coon may not stop growing until it is 2 years old, so 18 months on kitten food may be more appropriate.

Although the advice for an 'average' cat is 1 year, when healthy adult weights can range between 4-5lbs for a Singapura and 18-20lbs for a Maine Coon, there is no such thing as the correct age to switch which could possibly apply to every single cat.

Go by the body type and shape of the kitten - if it starts growing outwards faster than it is growing upwards, it is time to switch to adult food

Honestly, the 1 year recommendation is very loose. Sonic was starting to develop a weight problem at the age of just 1 year even though I'd switched to adult food at 6 months, if I'd strictly followed the 'recommended norm' and kept him on kitten food all that time he'd have been morbidly obese at 1 year old rather than slightly chubby (he's now lost that extra weight thank goodness).
post #10 of 10
Yep - same with rexes - if you kept them on kitten food for a year, they would be a tubby/fat cat!
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