A nursing cat should eat as much as four times more than normally. Cats with two or more kittens need at least three times more calories than usual. In terms of calories a 10-pound cat nursing at least four kittens should have more or less 603 calories each day, and a 15-pound cat with at least four kittens should eat at least 851 calories per day.
How much should a nursing cat eat?
While mama cats usually have considerable weight gain during their pregnancy, they lose around 40% of it once they have given birth. More weight is lost during the lactation phase because they are continuously feeding their kittens. Nursing cats should eat energy-dense food to sustain milk production, body condition, and weight.
The calorie needs of mother cats are affected by certain characteristics of the kittens such as their size and their age. As the kittens grow and require more calories the mama cat’s calorie requirements will also increase. This will usually peak when the kittens are around four weeks old.
What should a nursing cat eat?
A lactating cat should be given high-protein food that is energy-dense and rich in vitamins and minerals. The best type of food for mama cats is kitten food because it is rich in essential nutrients and supports the development of the kittens. Canned kitten food is also highly-digestible and provides calcium and phosphorus that are good for kittens’ bone development.
Mama cats should also have all-day access to dry food or kibble which should be mixed with a little water to moisten it. A steady supply of clean and fresh water should be provided all day since mama cats need to stay hydrated while nursing their litter.
The peak food requirement for mama cats is during the sixth to the seventh week after childbirth. This is because the kittens are consuming more of the mama cat’s food as they approach the weaning stage. At about four weeks old, the kittens may be gradually transitioned to solid food although vets recommend that they should drink their mother’s milk until they are nine weeks old.
For more information see our what to feed a nursing cat.
How to care for a nursing cat
Aside from making sure that you are giving your nursing cat a complete and balanced canned kitten food formula, you should also make sure that she is well-cared for by providing a comfortable and quiet place for her and the kittens.
These are some tips on how to care for your nursing cat:
- Let the mama cat nurse the kittens for at least seven to nine weeks.
- Use a milk replacement like homemade kitten formula if the mama cat’s milk is not enough.
- Make sure that the mama cat and the kittens have a quiet and secluded place at your home.
- Be sure to give flea treatments to the mama cat but not to the kittens.
- If the mama cat decides to move her kittens, just let her be but see to it that it is a safe area for them.
- You should bring the mama cat to the vet a week after she has given birth. You should also bring the kittens so they will also be checked. Aside from vaccinations, the mama cat should be dewormed to protect her and the kittens.
A nursing cat needs all the food and nutrition that she can get because she is feeding her kittens. She should eat as much as four times more than her usual food intake. Her recommended diet is high-protein and energy-dense kitten food to sustain her health and the overall development of her litter. A mama cat needs extra loving care because the kittens are dependent on her for nourishment so make sure to feed her with healthy and well-balanced meals and enough clean water. You should also have her checked by the vet at least a week after giving birth.
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