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Free feeding a kitten

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Do you always free feed a kitten until a year old?

My kitten is just over 9 months and weighs almost 11 pounds now. He's solid but already has a little pot belly. Should I keep letting him eat as much as he wants? He's currently eating Wellness Kitten Dry and Pro Plan Canned. He eats very little canned, but I try to give him some once or twice a day. I tried at least 10 other brands of canned, but that's the only one he'll touch. Does this sound okay or should I limit his food?
post #2 of 8
I measure free feed my five who are 13 months to almost 5 yrs ...

this means every morning and every evening I use a cup that I know holds x amount and fill each of the bowls ... this way they have food if they need and want and I know how much is being eaten..
post #3 of 8
My vet suggested that I feed my 12 week old kitten with as much as he wants from dry and one can of wet (the bigger kind of cans, I don't know the exact weight though). My kitten was getting a pot belly and the vet was very pessimistic about it lol..he said once he puts on weight there will be no way for him to lose and we need to regulate how much he eats so he doesn't get overweight..He was 3.7 pounds last week..I used to free feed him, until the vet suggested this...
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks for the ideas I guess I should start seeing exactly how much he's eating. I've just been filling the bowls whenever they're empty. I don't think he's overeating that much, but he must have gained four or five pounds since I got him in Nov. and I'm worried he's going to get chubby. He's pretty active, but he's indoors only so I want to keep his weight normal.
post #5 of 8
Would switching him to an adult cat formula help? Talk to your vet, of course, as there are different schools of thought about this. I can share my own experience, though.

Two of my cats are litter mates. I had read that kittens should be free-fed kitten food up to one year, so I did so. They were neutered around 5 months of age. One of them had no issues. The other, however, definitely started to get a little pudgy a few months after neutering - not grossly overweight, but maybe about 1 -1.5 lbs. overweight. My vet told me that after neutering, some older kittens should no longer be on kitten food. She also told me to stop the free-feeding. (If they had been neutered at 8 weeks, her instructions may have been different...I know that young kittens need lots of protein and nutrients to grow.)

Anyway, these two are now about 2.5 years old, and the "pudgy" one could still lose a pound or two. I wish I had taken him off the kitten formula earlier.
post #6 of 8
I would definitely keep free feeding. But it is probably a good idea to switch to an adult formula food, as the kitten seems to have too many calories for him. At nine months adult food will be fine for him.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
That makes sense. He was neutered at 7 months, just a few days before I got him. He weight about 7.4 pounds then, now he's close to 10.5. I pick him up and feel the difference. I ordered some adult cat food the other day. I guess I should talk to my vet about if he needs to switch.
post #8 of 8
Nora is 8 months old and she also gets a measured amount of free feed. She gets 1/2 cup of dry food each day. If she eats it all she doesn't get more, but she usually doesn't. She also gets around 3oz of wet food per day, 1.5oz at a time twice a day, mixed with water.

She gets Wellness Core, and I give her the amount that the package suggests for her age and weight, but she usually doesn't eat all of the dry food.
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