Has Your Cat Outgrown Kitten Food?
Has Your Cat Outgrown Kitten Food?

When you adopted your kitten, you couldn't dream of feeding her anything but food designed for her growing body. Now that she's nearly grown, it's time to start thinking about a premium formula specially made for adult cats.
Though she still plays like a kitten, your adolescent cat is quickly maturing into an adult, and contrary to what some would have you believe, one food (whether it's kitten food or adult food) doesn't fit all cats. The nutritional needs of kittens and cats are vastly different, and it's critical to give your pet premium nutrition that's age-appropriate.


Does premium matter?


Why move your nearly grown kitten to a premium adult cat food? Because quality counts. It's important to continue the superb nutrition she's been getting from a premium kitten food into adulthood. Downgrading to a basic nutrition brand at this stage of her life may upset her digestive system and certainly won't provide her with the same type of nutrition she was raised on.

Think of a baby. When it's time to start giving him solid food, you wouldn't feed your child anything less than the best nutrition you can buy. The same is true for your maturing kitten. Premium foods such as IAMS ® are formulated with high quality ingredients to help maintain overall health. They're specifically designed to provide your cat with a formula that features:

  • High-quality ingredients
  • Balanced, optimal levels of protein, fat, moderately fermentable fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals which make costly supplements unnecessary
  • Consistent high-quality recipes that do not change regardless of manufacturing costs
  • Great taste proven by feeding
  • Meeting or exceeding Association of American Feed Control Officials standards
  • Nutrient-dense formulas that are right for each life stage
  • Product guarantees

See the results

What do all of these features add up to? A happy, healthy cat. With premium cat food, you can expect to see these important indicators of good health. They contribute to providing your cat with a long, healthy life:

  • Exceptional muscle tone
  • A shiny, luxurious coat
  • Healthy skin and bones
  • Clear, bright eyes and clean teeth
  • Small, firm stools

Founded upon decades of research, premium formulas from IAMS help maintain your cat's health and provide him with the nutrition he needs for a long life. Generic brands simply may not match the level of expertise that goes into every bag of IAMS Cat Food.


When to switch


When your cat is about 12 months of age, it's time to change her diet to a premium maintenance formula. When you transition your cat to an adult diet, it's important to monitor her weight and body condition and adjust portions if necessary.

Because cats generally eat only what they need, free-choice feeding is adequate for most cats. (Free-choice makes food available to your cat around the clock and lets her eat when and how much she needs.) Indoor cats that don't get much exercise, however, may overeat if fed free-choice. For them, portion-controlled feeding is a better routine. We recommend to split the daily ration into at least two meals per day.

To determine how much food to give your cat, check the recommendations of the pet food manufacturer on the label. Use the guidelines and weigh your cat on a weekly basis. If your cat is gaining or losing weight and shouldn't be, slightly adjust her daily intake and weigh again the following week.


How do you do it?


To avoid intestinal upsets, make the change from a kitten formula to an adult diet over a period of four days with the following method:

Day One: Fill your cat's dish with 75 percent kitten food and 25 percent adult food.
Day Two: Mix adult and kitten food in a 50/50 ratio.
Day Three: Feed your cat a mixture that's 75 percent adult food and 25 percent kitten food.
Day Four: Switch to 100 percent adult formula.

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    Understanding Kitten Food Nutrition Labels

    Understanding Kitten Food Nutrition Labels

    Confused by the ingredient list on your kitten’s food? You’re not alone. Marketing pet foods that have “human-grade ingredients” is becoming commonplace. While appealing to many pet owners, it is important to be aware that the term “human grade” has no legal definition and is used primarily for marketing purposes.
     

    Foods, typically meats, are labeled either as “edible” or “inedible, not for human consumption.” Once a food leaves the human food chain, even if it is of outstanding quality, it has to be labeled “inedible, not for human consumption.” Therefore, meats used in pet food must be labeled as “inedible,” regardless of the source or quality of the meat. The only way to make a pet food with ingredients deemed “edible” is to never let the meat leave the human food chain and actually manufacture the pet food in a human food facility and transport it using human food trucks. Therefore, advertising a product as containing “human-grade ingredients” is untrue if it is not manufactured in a human food facility. However, just because a pet food isn’t marketed as being “human grade” does not mean that the ingredients are poor quality.

     

     

    Here are some tips to help understand ingredient labels:

    • The ingredient list is not the only method you should use to select a pet food, because it doesn’t provide pet owners with enough information about the quality of the ingredients or the nutritional adequacy of the overall diet.
    • Instead of concentrating on ingredients, pet owners and veterinarians should look at the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement and the quality control protocols of the manufacturer. For more information, see the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s brochure “Selecting the Best Food for your Pet,” available at  Opens a new window www.wsava.org/nutrition-toolkit.
    • The ingredient list may be arranged to make foods as appealing as possible to consumers by the order of the ingredients (e.g., having lamb first on the ingredient list) or inclusion of seemingly desirable ingredients in the diet, but often in such small amounts that they have little or no nutritional benefits (e.g., artichokes and raspberries listed after the vitamin and mineral supplements).
    • Having more ingredients does not make a diet more nutritious.

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