Give your cat the best food, from kitten to senior

You'll find a wide range of cat foods in your supermarket. Some are specially formulated for kittens, others are aimed at senior cats who have already clocked up many years. There are even variants for active pets and for those that become a little overweight. How do you chose the right food for your cat and why there are so many varieties? Your cat's nutritional requirements change over time. So-called 'life stage' food takes account of your cat's age and changes as the cat grows older. In this way your cat gets the right nutrients at every stage of its life, from kitten to granny cat. By the way, did you know that cats are real nibblers and partake of some 20 meals per day?

The early years

Kittens have small mouths and small stomachs, so they can't eat much at once. So it's better to put out a bowl where your kitten can feed at any time of day. Its daily diet needs to consist of easily digestible animal protein and other key components like fibres, essential vitamins and minerals, as well as taurine, an amino acid found a lot in chicken and fish.

So-called 'life stage' food takes account of your cat's age.

Teenagers and adults

At around nine months, your kitten is ready for adult food. Cats are usually castrated or sterilized at this age, and often put on a kilo or two as a result of the surgery.

When it's time to switch, the best way is to mix full-sized cat biscuits with the special kitten food you previously gave. Increase the dose of adult biscuits and reduce the kitten food, until after just two weeks you have only the adult version left. Limit feeding time to mornings and evenings, or measure portions precisely if you notice your cat getting too fat.

For a well-balanced meal you can mix biscuits and wet chunks. Cats are carnivores, so allow plenty of protein in their food. Fat is also important, as it contains lots of calories.

Seniors

Cats live longer than they did in the last century. They are better cared for, vaccinated against the most common diseases and receive quality food. In general, pets are considered old when they have completed two-thirds of their life span. Most cats have a life expectancy of 15 years, which means that from age 10 you can switch to seniors' nutrition.

Older cats continue to need lots of proteins. They can have difficulty breaking down fats, so it's important to give them fats that are easier to digest. Many older cats also have dental problems. Teeth fall out or break. At this stage it can be useful to switch fully to canned food. The best way to keep your cat young is to make sure it gets lots of exercise and can go outside and hunt anything that moves.

Thanks to 'life stage' food your cat gets the right nutrients at every stage of its life, from kitten to granny cat.

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