How often should I feed my kitten?

Wondering how often to feed your kitten and what type of food is best? Read our advice.

Gen Wilkinson, a veterinary surgeon at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, says: Feeding should be tailored according to your cat's age, neuter status and activity level. Weaning your kittens (the transition to solid food from their mother's milk) can be started from around three to four weeks of age. As kittens need specific amounts of proteins and carbohydrates to grow, we always recommend feeding them specially formulated kitten food, which is nutritionally balanced for their needs. Always provide your kitten with plenty of fresh water.

Most kittens eat at least three or four meals a day, but it's worth following the feeding guidelines on the food packaging. From around six months, two meals a day are usually fine. When they reach six months, or earlier if they are already neutered, you should transition them to an adult diet to avoid excessive weight gain. Neutered animals gain weight easier than entire animals, but this is easy to manage with appropriate feeding and exercise.

A wet diet will provide your cat with most of his water requirements; but he will drink more water if fed a dry diet. Some cats prefer dry and some prefer wet food, so it really does depend on your cat's personal preference. Always transition to a new diet gradually to avoid an upset stomach.

Kittens don't need milk as part of their diet once they're weaned. Most cats are lactose intolerant so are no longer able to produce adequate amounts of the enzyme needed to properly digest cow's milk. This means drinking cow's milk could lead to gas, bloating and diarrhoea. Nutritionally, it is not necessary to give your cat milk but fresh water should always be available to your cat. Read more advice about cats and milk.

Pick up a copy of The Your Cat Kitten Guide for expert advice about kitten ownership. If you're adopting a pedigree kitten of giving a rescue kitten the chance to have a happy life, this guide will lead you through the process of choosing a kitten, preparing your home, providing the perfect diet for healthy growth and understanding your kitten's behaviour. Buy a copy of The Your Cat Kitten Guide for just £5.99.