Kitten Nutrition - What does a Growing Kitten Need?

by Dr Leoti Morkel
Technical Services Veterinarian
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What does a growing kitten need?

As a kitten parent, it's crucial to provide your little one with a high-quality, complete, and balanced diet, supplying all the nutrients necessary to support their growth and developmental needs.

Kittens need enough energy for all the play and exploration they will do during that first year of life.

Foods need to be highly digestible and packed with quality proteins and fats to strengthen their immune system, support growth, and encourage healthy bone, teeth, muscle, and brain development. They also need kibbles designed for smaller mouths and unique dental structures, making eating easier for those tiny mouths.

Protein for optimal growth

Cats are obligate carnivores and need more protein in their diets than dogs. When it comes to kittens, these little furballs need an even higher proportion of quality protein in their diet because they are growing at such a rapid rate.

Proteins are essential building blocks for many tissues like muscles, skin and neural tissues.

Kittens also require a higher amount of certain essential amino acids such as arginine, lysine and methionine than adult cats. The kitten's body cannot make essential amino acids in sufficient amounts. They must, therefore, be present in their food. That's why our foods contain ample amounts of chicken, chicken liver and egg, which are excellent sources of all the essential amino acids a kitten needs.

Fats for energy and a healthy nervous system

Kittens are highly active and grow quickly! Fat provides the concentrated energy they need for their busy lives and development. We also know that kittens need more alpha-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid than adult cats. Adequate intake of good-quality fats adds flavour and contributes to a kitten's healthy skin and a shiny, lustrous coat.

Our kitten diets contain fish oil, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential for the development of a kitten's nervous system, brain, eyes, and other vital organs.

Fibre for a healthy gut

Our easily digestible carbohydrates supply extra energy for growing kittens.

Black Hawk kitten diets contain natural dietary fibre sources like dried chicory root, beet pulp and carrot fibre. These healthy fibres aid in maintaining healthy digestion by promoting regular bowel movements and help to prevent issues like constipation and diarrhoea. They also act as prebiotics, nourishing beneficial gut bacteria.

With extra ingredients like algae-B-glucan, which may help support a healthy immune system, and live probiotic cultures that promote a healthy microbiota balance in the gastrointestinal tract. A healthy gut microbiome is essential for your kitten's overall health and well-being.

Vitamins and minerals for optimal development

Kittens require certain minerals in higher amounts.

  • They need more macro-minerals like calcium and phosphorus than adult cats to develop and maintain strong bones and teeth.
  • They also need more potassium for normal muscle and nervous system function and to maintain fluid and acid-base balances.
  • Micro-minerals like iodine, copper and magnesium are critical for normal growth, metabolism, and healthy tissue development.

At Black Hawk, we also supply a healthy dose of vitamins like Vitamin A, which is essential for developing good eyesight and proper immune system function.

Highly digestible food for a developing digestive system

We recognise that kittens have developing digestive systems that are still not very efficient at processing and absorbing nutrients from their food.

Additionally, their rapid growth places added demands on their delicate digestive systems, and they have relatively lower energy reserves.

Black Hawk kitten foods include highly digestible ingredients to ensure they receive all the essential nutrients they need for healthy development.

With Black Hawk dry and wet food kitten recipes, you can add more textures and flavours to satisfy your kitten's inquisitive nature and enhance their overall hydration level.