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Long back story below. See last paragraph for question.

My cat just turned 9 months old. I’ve researched and it was recommended that you free fee a kitten till 1yr old, for growth.

She was abandoned with a sister at 2weeks. I don’t know how much colostrum or milk she got from her mother. The lady who found her bottle fed her and had her on adult wet food when she told me I had to come get her if I wanted her at 5weeks.

I intended that she be mostly on wet food and did my research. I chose Wellness Complete Kitten Wet Food. I thought the dry food would be a small portion of her diet and didn’t research. Our vet had recommended Royal Canin S/O for our old cat for his urinary tract issues, so I assumed it’d be okay for a supplementary feed to giver her something to eat when I was at work. I wasn’t at home to do the recommended multiple small meals a day.

She got to where she liked the dry food better than the wet. I’d come hone and there would be wet food left and her dry would be empty. Since it was a larger part of her diet, I looked into it and found out their food, at least the Royal Canin Kitten was pretty trash as far as the ingredients.

Since she was eating more dry than wet and was starting to gain too much weight, I switched her to their Core line of kitten food. It has better ingredients. It’s more expensive for the wet food, but I’m feeding one can a day instead of two, so the cost is roughly the same. For the last couple of months I quite free feeding and went based on their recommendation. They recommend for her age, that she gets one 3oz can of wet food and 1/2cup of dry food. I giver the wet and 1/4cup in the morning and 1/4cup in the evening.

I think that two issues contributing to her weight gain is that it’s Winter and activity levels are down. In the summer and fall, we sat out on the porch and she chased moths for a couple of hours every evening. She goes out some, but not much. Also, the Wellness Core Kitten Dry is 18% fat content. I don’t know how this compares to other brands, but this brand has an adult dry food fat content of 12% on the standard and 10% on the weight maintenance food. So she’s getting much more fat than she will on an adult food.

My question is, with her heading toward being over weight, do I let her keep turning into a chonker till 12months and then put her on a diet so she hits her max growth potential, or do I keep her on the kitten wet and switch her to an adult dry food with a lower fat content? I just don’t know if she’ll be missing out on key nutrients if I take her off kitten food now. Thanks. Sorry for all the back story.

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How much does your kitty weigh?

I’m not a vet, so I may not be 100% correct in my suggestions. (Of course if you have really pressing concerns about this, you should talk with a vet). With that being said, I think it is pretty typical for kittens to rapidly gain weight. I believe our kitten gained about 1 pound per month since we’ve had him. He is probably around a year old and now weighs 9 pounds.

I heard something online about dry food being for human convenience. You’ll hear all sorts of things about how many times a day you should feed your cat. I’m not sure what is right, but what we do is follow the recommended servings on the bag. For us, we give him his food at night (all the servings he would need) and not refill until the next night. If it runs out, it runs out. We don’t constantly refill it, which could lead to overeating. I know a lot of people do a serving in the morning and then at night. We switched to only nighttime feeding so the cat wouldn’t wake us up for more food.

There are also some “weight management” options some brands offer. I saw some at petsmart the other day. That could be a good option along with controlled amounts of food. Also, there are some cat BMI charts you can find online for a reference of what is a good weight/size for a cat.

But in the end I always recommend talking with a professional!

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  • Thanks. I don't know exactly how much she weighs right now as I don't have an accurate scale she'll fit on. Even people scales say they vary by a couple of pounds, which is a lot when you're little. I'm mostly going based on her body shape. She's not fat, fat, but she's a chonker in training. I do feed her the recommended amount and split it over 2 meals. When she runs out, that's all she gets. I will switch her to a lower fat food at 12 months, but I can't find a low-fat kitten food and I don't want to deprive her of nutrients a kitten food has, than an adult food might not. – Dalton Feb 3 at 14:35

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