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When to Switch From Kitten to Cat Food? All You Need to Know on How to Do It

You should switch a kitten from kitten to cat food at around 10 to 12 months of age, (18 to 20 months for larger breeds such as maine coon), slowly transitioning them to adult food that is specific for their life stage.
Grey kitten with paw on red food bowl transitioning from kitten to cat food

I have spent hours researching what is the best time to wean off kittens from kitten food to cat food.

In this article you will find all the information you need to transition your furry friend to adult cat food as they become an adult cat.

When to Switch From Kitten to Cat Food?

Kittens when they reach the age of 10 to 12 months are considered adults and should be fed adult cat food. 

Some larger breeds such as the maine coon are considered adults at the age of 18 months to 2 years and hence should be switched to adult cat food at this stage

It is important to switch to adult cat food as soon as your kitten is considered an adult as kitten food has a lot more calories than what an adult cat requires and use of kitten food for adult cats can lead to obesity.

Always consult your vet before switching to adult cat food to make sure that your kitten’s growth is as expected and you can confidently switch foods.

How to Switch From Kitten Food to Cat Food?

When your little kitten is ready for the big cat food, you need to transition it slowly over a 7 to 10 day period. Switching without a transition period can lead to digestive issues.

Here’s how you can switch your cat from kitten to cat food safely:

DayKitten FoodAdult Cat Food
175%25%
275%25%
350%50%
450%50%
550%50%
650%50%
725%75%
825%75%
925%75%
100%100%

If your cat is showing any signs of discomfort or not finishing its meal, slow down the transition and give your feline friend a bit more time before you increase the amount of adult food.

Consult your vet if your cat is not adjusting well to the transition.

Why Is It Important to Switch To Adult Cat Food?

A kitten’s nutritional needs are quite different from an adult cat’s nutritional needs. Kittens are growing constantly and require a much higher calorie and protein content to meet their energy needs, whereas adult cats do not need as much.

As the kittens grow into adult cats they do not require such a high calorie and protein food and if they keep eating kitten food, it can most likely lead to obesity and other health problems.

That is why it is important to wean the kitten off from kitten food to cat food as they become adults.

Can Kittens Eat Cat Food?

No, kittens cannot eat adult cat food. Kittens are growing at a rapid phase until the age of 1 and require a diet that meets their calorie, protein, vitamins, minerals, fat and other nutrients that help their bone and muscle growth, vision and brain development.

Always feed your kittens life stage appropriate , balanced and complete diet to ensure they grow up healthy and happy.

Kittens will not grow as much as they should when eating adult cat food instead of specifically made kitten food

Potential Issue When Switching to Cat Food?

You should observe your cat closely while transitioning to adult cat food. Take your cat to the vet and slow down the transition process if your cat shows any sign of discomfort, diarrhoea, vomiting or reduced appetite.

Although the transition process should be smooth if done slowly, some cats might be more sensitive than others and could have issues with the new diet.

It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of our fur babies.

Switching From One Brand of Kitten Food to Another

It is safe to switch brands or kitten food types. This needs to be done slowly by adding a small amount of new food to the one your kitten is used to. Slowly increase the amount of new food in the meal for at least 7 days till you only give them the new food.

By this time your kitten’s taste buds and stomach would have gotten used to the new food and they will keep on eating as before.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Kittens Really Need Kitten Food?

Yes, kittens need food specific for their growth requirements. They require high, high calories for healthy and happy growth. Nutritional deficiencies in their food can lead to weight, eye and brain development issues.

How Long Is A Kitten Considered a Kitten?

Cats are considered kittens up until their first birthday, around 10 – 12 months of age. Some larger breeds like the maine coon are considered kittens till they are 18 – 20 months old.

When Can a Kitten Dry Food Only?

Kittens can start eating dry food from 6 to 8 weeks. They should have a mix of both dry and wet food to ensure proper nutrition and teeth health.

How Many Times a Day Should a Kitten Be Fed?

Kittens require to eat more as they are growing rapidly hence they need to feed 3 to 4 times per day.

Read more details on How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

The Bottom Line

Whether you are transitioning from one brand to the other or going from kitten to cat food, you must always do it slowly and after consultation with your vet.

Identify your cat’s individual needs and growth to choose the best way forward for them in terms of nutrition.

Always consult your vet if you have any issues transiting your kitten to adult food.

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