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Questions about Kitten Nutrition and Raw Feeding

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
hello, i am new to the forum.
i am bringing a new kitten home on sunday and i have been looking for more information on kitten nutrition. i know quite a bit about feeding a puppy, but i am starting to find out that cat nutrition and dog nutrition are completely different things!

kitten food... is this just a regular cat food with higher protien content? what about fat content, is this different for kitten food?

is kitten food even necessary? i see that a lot of brands dont even make a kitten food, and that they list their foods "for all life stages".

and anyone who feeds a raw diet... i plan to start introducing raw food immediately, is there anything i should know? im going to talk details with my vet first, but as it is right now she is supportive of my current raw feeding plan. do kittens need any more or less of any of the raw diet components? are there any premade raw foods that are suitable for a kitten? i believe that the pre-made that i feed now, Primal, is one of those "all life stages" foods.

i had planned to start by introducing some easy bones like chicken ribs and some organic organ meat blend. any suggestions would be appreciated.

and one more question... i had read that the reason that cats tend to be so picky about food is because they have a period in their development where the mother cat teaches them what is okay to eat and what is not, and any foods not introduced in that time might not be considered food by kitty when he is grown up. is this accurate?

thanks, cat lovers!
post #2 of 17
all life stage food s are fine .. I try not to use them due to one nutrient profile not always working thoughout life.... Kitten food has higher protein fat and essetial growth nutrients... Are you looking for a food to "complete a raw diet?? If so look up Innova Evo it is a all life stage but is very close to a cats natural diet in a dry matter form... I fyou are looking for a good kitten food please tell us where you shop... is it a feed store , mom and pop pet store or at a pet super store..
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
sharky, thanks for the reply. i currently feed my cats a pre-made raw in the morning (Primal) and a good quality canned at night. During the day i leave them about a cup of Natural Balance Vension and Green Pea. I also offer them daily raw bones... usually chicken ribs or necks, and two-three times a week i give them a dollop of raw organic beef organ meat blend... they get other raw tidbits here and there... a bit of whatever my dogs are eating is appropriate for cats.

i am not specificly looking for a kitten food so much as i am trying to learn about what makes kitten food different from regular cat food... trying to learn all i can about nutrition requirements for a kitten so that i do right by my new little one. i am planning on putting the cats on a homemade completely raw diet when i am done with my research... but in the meantine i wanted to make sure that if i chose to not feed a kitten food i would not be harming the new kitten, or depriving him of something that he needs.

Innova EVO, i looked into this one... i am sure that this food has been discussed at legnth, but here are my thoughts. i like that it is grain free, but it still uses potato as a binder... potato is no more a biologically appropriate food for cats than grain is. not to mention the dairy. not that the green peas in the kibble that i feed are a part of a cat's natural diet, but i dont think that EVO can really accurately be compared to a natural diet. Still one of my top choices for a kitty kibble, but i would like to faze the kibble out of their diets completely.

i am glad to hear that all life stages foods are fine... but then why do they make kitten food at all? marketing? i noticed that many of the "better" brands seem to feature all life stages foods while Iams and Science Diet and the like have kitten formulas. hmmmm.
post #4 of 17
Click here for an article showing difference in a kittens nutrional needs

It may just be a marketing decision so far as to why some companies have a "for all lifestages" versus a seperate Kitten food option.

If not yet visited, check out:this site and this site too re feeding raw, overall cat nutrition.

Hth!
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
great links, they are very helpful! of course, reading all of that has created even more questions, but i am sure that i can answer all of those in time. thank you.
post #6 of 17
May I make a suggestion... Natural balence is a very good food( my dog gets it in her mix of three foods ) ... the venison and pea GUARANTEED ANALYSIS vs the regular ... the regular may have more grain but it has more meat also is more kitten appropriate.. I still like kitten formulas...
Crude Protein 32.0% minimum
Crude Fat 12.0% minimum
Crude Fiber 4.5% maximum
Moisture 10.0% maximum
Magnesium 0.1% maximum
Taurine 0.16% minimum
Omega 3 Fatty Acids* 0.4% minimum
Omega 6 Fatty Acids* 2.6% minimum
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profile.

Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance® Venison & Green Pea Formula are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO cat food nutrient profiles for all life stages.

vs the regular formula
GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
Protein minimum 34%
Fat minimum 18%
Fiber maximum 3%
Moisture maximum 10%
Magnesium maximum 0.1%
Taurine minimum 0.16%
Omega 3 Fatty Acids* minimum 0.5%
Omega 6 Fatty Acids* minimum 3%

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Nutrient profile.
Natural Balance Cat Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for all stages of a cat's life as substantiated by the nutrient requirements established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profile.
post #7 of 17
I personally tried Evo and went back to her old food... but the research looks great and it works for many cats
post #8 of 17
if your are going to feed your kitten whole raw food, with bones, organs, etc, then that ought to be enough, but adding a supplement like missing link would also be a good idea to help digestion. if you are just going to feed muscle meat, like chicken breasts, then you will need to supplement. i think 'call of the wild' from wysong is the best, thats what im using. i just started raw, and so far everything is fine. something i found to entice to eat raw is sprinkling on and mixing kitty kaviar into chicken breasts pieces. my 15 wo kitten also loves egg yolk.

its important to feed your kitten a varied diet so that it will be accepting of new foods when older. emu meat is also very good and not as expensive as more exotic meat like elk and venison. be sure to get organic meat, cause humans cook to kill most of the chemical and toxins found in regular meats. Quality organic meat should be almost completely free from toxins and chemicals.

It would be a good idea to buy from a co-op so you can get localy grown, organic, fresh as possible meat. Below you can put in zip to find one near u.

http://www.localharvest.org/food-coops/

my 2yo cat will not touch egg yolk, egg whites, Yoghurt, or liver. my 15 week old sure will though.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by catguy
my 2yo cat will not touch egg yolk, egg whites, Yoghurt, or liver. my 15 week old sure will though.
You don't mean raw egg whites I hope?
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix
You don't mean raw egg whites I hope?

oh no, i cook the egg whites, but the yolk is always raw. that slipped my mind.
post #11 of 17
Just checking
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
thanks for the replys, everyone. sharky, good point about the venision and green pea... though kibble will be a very small part of kitty's diet i still want to make sure that he is getting what is best for him. someday i hope to have a kibble-free house. if EVO has a higher meat content i might go with that afterall... one of my current kitties really does better with no grains in his diet and there is no hope of seperate feedings in my animal filled house!

catguy, thanks for the suggestions! i currently feed my two dogs a raw diet and i am already a member of a co-op, hopefully i can find all of the catfood ingredients that i need from the same source. my dogs eat 100% organic. i think i am going to go with meat and bone rather than a calcium suppliment because bone is more than just calcium, there are other beneficial things in there, too. bone seems like a much more natural vehicle to provide my cats with their calcium. as for the suppliments, i am still on the fence about this one. i am a big believer in food based nutrition and i whenever possible i try to get my dog's their necessart nutrients from a food source rather than a suppliment... liver instead of vitamin A, etc. as for digestive suppliments, i had my dogs on one when i started raw but i no longer think that it is necessary for them. i wonder if such a young kitten who has eaten very little food that is not species appropriate will need a digestive suppliment.... hmmm.

i was pondering the variety thing... i wondered if it was better to start simple or to give lots of different foods. variety now seems to make the most sense.


and i have a question about eggs... word on the street in my raw dog feeding world is that egg whites are fine to feed so long as they are fed with the yolk... the yolk contains a high enough amount of biotin that it makes up for that which is lost when feeding the white... this was confirmed for me by several raw feeders that i know and my vet. is the case different with cats, or is the concern something other than the biotin?

thanks!
post #13 of 17
click here and go to last paragraph on Biotin this confirms what you said re the high biotin in the yolk cancelling out the avidin in the white, but it also still suggests it is best to not feed raw egg white to cats (or dogs).

ps I believe Natural Balance green pea and venison is also now available in canned fwiw.
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat & Alix

ps I believe Natural Balance green pea and venison is also now available in canned fwiw.
Pat it is ... thanks for the reminder I have some on hold
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by catguy
be sure to get organic meat, cause humans cook to kill most of the chemical and toxins found in regular meats.
You cannot cook out toxins and chemicals. You can cook to kill bacteria.
post #16 of 17
From what i've read you don't need to change your raw diet recipie at all to accomodate different ages of cats. They all eat the same raw diet.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bengalbabe
From what i've read you don't need to change your raw diet recipie at all to accomodate different ages of cats. They all eat the same raw diet.
Still waiting to hear why you are feeding a raw recipe with liver 2 to 3 times a day? If it's okay, please list an article or resource I can read saying why?
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