When To Transition from Kitten Feeding Frequency/Amount/Food to Adult?

everariana

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My two kittens are 9 months. For most of their lives, my boy Hugo has been about a pound heavier and grows faster than his sister, Honey. At 5 months Hugo was 7 lbs and Honey was 5.5 lbs. But now there's only a few oz size difference. Honey has gained 1 lb in the past month (10.9 lbs total) and Hugo has only gained 3.5 oz (11.1 lbs).

I'm trying to figure out if I should decrease the frequency and/or amount of food that I give to Hugo. He currently eats 4 times a day; 2 of those meals (morning and bedtime) he's fed 2.75 oz of Instinct Kitten canned and the other two meals (lunch and evening) he's fed half of that, around 1.4 oz per meal. So a total of 8.25 oz of canned a day; however, most of the time doesn't finish all of his food. There's either some left over (anywhere from a quarter to a third), especially during lunch time, or his sister eats his leftover food. He's already 11.1 lbs at 9 months and he's a domestic shorthair so it's not like his breed is big. But I'm still hesitant to reduce the amount/frequency of his feeding since he's technically still a kitten and everyone stresses how it's important that they're fed a lot. But again, he's slowed down growing significantly and seems like the bulk of his growing happened in earlier months (he gained 2 lbs in one month in fall 2019). How do I know when it's the right time to start feeding him like an adult? Is it also too early to transition him to adult food?

For Honey, seems like she may still be growing. She definitely eats more than Hugo now; however, I'm monitoring her weight because from certain angles she looks like she's on her way to being a little chunky if I'm not careful. She often times eats Hugo's leftover food but it's hard to prevent it because I still have to leave it out to see if Hugo finish it. So I don't even know if she's still growing or overeating at this point.
 

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Hi!
Can you maybe find a less carby food than you're feeding, and give her as much as she wants so that she gets the nutrients she needs without the concern for unwanted chonky weight gain.

His growth may simply be slowing before another spurt :)

You could change them to an All Life Stages sdult, and maybe try and see how he does with one less feeding during the day.

See how things look after they're a year old regarding the quantity of daily meals :)
 
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tabbytom

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My two kittens are 9 months.
Kittens at this age are still very much a kitten till they reach maturity at 1 year old (normal breeds and bigger breeds mature from 2 years plus).

Feed them with wet food as much as they eat at one sitting and at least 4 times a day as wet food is full of proteins and minerals and wet food keeps them hydrated and they are good for weight management where dry food is full of carbohydrates.

From 9 months onwards, they go through a phase called growth spurt. During this time, they tend to eat more and this may stretch well into their 1st year and after that their food intake will taper down and you’ll notice that they eat less amount and less feeds.

You can continue to feed them food meant for kittens till roughly past adult age and slowly transit over to adult food or you can feed them food labeled ‘For All Life Stages’ which cannot be fed to kittens and adults.

My boy is a rescue at 3 weeks old and he is fed wet food ‘For All Life Stages’ till now and he is already 4 years old.
 
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everariana

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Hi!
Can you maybe find a less carby food than you're feeding, and give her as much as she wants so that she gets the nutrients she needs without the concern for unwanted chonky weight gain.

His growth may simply be slowing before another spurt :)

You could change them to an All Life Stages sdult, and maybe try and see how he does with one less feeding during the day.

See how things look after they're a year old regarding the quantity of daily meals :)
Thank you! Only thing is that I don’t feed Honey kibble at all, the Instinct Kitten wet food I feed them is only 4.6% carbs on a dry-matter basis. I don’t know of any other wet food that’s less carby but if you do I’m open to recommendations :) other than that, I feed her a supplemented raw chicken meal which actually takes up 2/3 of her diet.
But I’ll definitely look into All Life Stages options!
 
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everariana

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Kittens at this age are still very much a kitten till they reach maturity at 1 year old (normal breeds and bigger breeds mature from 2 years plus).

Feed them with wet food as much as they eat at one sitting and at least 4 times a day as wet food is full of proteins and minerals and wet food keeps them hydrated and they are good for weight management where dry food is full of carbohydrates.

From 9 months onwards, they go through a phase called growth spurt. During this time, they tend to eat more and this may stretch well into their 1st year and after that their food intake will taper down and you’ll notice that they eat less amount and less feeds.

You can continue to feed them food meant for kittens till roughly past adult age and slowly transit over to adult food or you can feed them food labeled ‘For All Life Stages’ which cannot be fed to kittens and adults.

My boy is a rescue at 3 weeks old and he is fed wet food ‘For All Life Stages’ till now and he is already 4 years old.
Thank you! I should’ve mentioned more details about what they eat in my original post. I removed kibble from their diet when they were about 5/6 months old so all Hugo eats is wet food, and Honey’s daily diet is 1/3 wet food and 2/3 raw chicken. Hugo has been on and off wet food but mostly off because it’s caused him to throw up several times and I want him to maintain his food so I’m just giving him canned.

But that’s interesting, I had no idea that they go through another spurt around 9 months. Everything I read online says growth slows down around that age but what you’re saying makes complete sense. The only thing is that Hugo’s appetite isn’t as strong as Honey’s. Sometimes he eats most of his food in one sitting, but most of the time he grazes it, but I use that term loosely because I don’t leave the wet food out for longer than 30 min-60 min.
 

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My vet said at around 1y. I don't know, but her contention was that at 1 year their metabolism slows and they don't need as many calories like kittens.
 

tabbytom

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But that’s interesting, I had no idea that they go through another spurt around 9 months. Everything I read online says growth slows down around that age but what you’re saying makes complete sense. The only thing is that Hugo’s appetite isn’t as strong as Honey’s. Sometimes he eats most of his food in one sitting, but most of the time he grazes it, but I use that term loosely because I don’t leave the wet food out for longer than 30 min-60 min.
Yes, during the growth spurt phase, they tend to eat more and feed them if they want more. Once they past this phase, and they not be as hungry as before. Even if you beg them to eat, the will not eat. So you don't have to be alarmed when they are not eating more or as often after this phase. Just remember that if they are indoor cats and have average activities, they need 200 - 250 calories per day (wet food) but it may be spread over a few feeds.

Throwing up could be due to some reasons. They could be eating too fast. If they eat too fast, they swallow lots of air and that makes them sort of bloated and they throw up soon after. If they throw up, just watch and see if they eat the thrown up food immediately. If they do, let them eat it back.
The other thing is hairball. Hairball makes them puke too and often times it's accompanied after food. If there's hairball which you can actually see the hair in the vomitus, don't let them eat it back. Clear the vomit and feed them again later.
 

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Hi! I wanted to double-check, if you don't mind, about the raw chicken, -- I can't quite tell from the way you phrased it exactly what you meant.

Is it raw chicken with the appropriate and necessary supplements? Plain raw shouldn’t be more than 10% of total daily food fed, but otherwise, feeding appropriately supplemented raw at nine months or earlier shouldn’t be a problem :)
 
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everariana

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Hi! I wanted to double-check, if you don't mind, about the raw chicken, -- I can't quite tell from the way you phrased it exactly what you meant.

Is it raw chicken with the appropriate and necessary supplements? Plain raw shouldn’t be more than 10% of total daily food fed, but otherwise, feeding appropriately supplemented raw at nine months or earlier shouldn’t be a problem :)
I use a meat/bone/organ grind from Hare Today and I supplement it with Alnutrin for meat & bone. I also add some fish oil to it
 
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