How Much Should I Feed My Kitten or Puppy?

It is a delicate time when puppies and kittens are first born. They require a lot of care, and most of that care will be concentrated on making sure that they are fed properly. This can be a difficult phase, as there are a number of things that can go wrong, but with a little care and working out proper schedules it is something that can feasibly be accomplished. All you need to do is to consider the task and what it takes to accomplish the responsibility of feeding so many mouths at one time, and you should do fine. In this article, we’ll help you figure out how much food to give puppies and kittens for their overall health and proper nutrition.

How Much To Feed Puppies

According to Dr. Philips Animal Hospital, below are the recommended measurements for puppy food:

1 to 3 Months Old

WeightAmount of Food (in cups)
3 to 12 pounds1/2 to 1
13 to 20 pounds1/2 to 1 1/4
21 to 50 pounds1/2 to 1 1/2
51 to 75 pounds5/8 2 1/3
75 to 100 pounds1 to 2 2/3
100+ pounds2 2/3 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100
Source

4 to 5 Months Old

Weight Amount of Food (in cups)
3 to 12 pounds2/3 to 1 1/3
13 to 20 pounds1 1/8 to 2
21 to 50 pounds1 1/2 to 2 3/4
51 to 75 pounds1 1/2 to 4
75 to 100 pounds2 7/8 to 3 3/4
100+ pounds3 3/4 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

6 to 8 Months Old

Weight Amount of Food (in cups)
3 to 12 pounds1/2 to 1 1/2
13 to 20 pounds3/4 to 1 1/3
21 to 50 pounds1 1/8 to 2 1/3
51 to 75 pounds1 1/2 to 3 3/4
75 to 100 pounds2 7/8 to 6 1/3
100+ pounds6 1/3 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

9 to 11 Months Old

Weight Amount of Food (in cups)
3 to 12 poundsSame as for an adult
13 to 20 pounds1 to 1 1/2
21 to 50 pounds2 to 3
51 to 75 pounds2 1/2 to 4 3/4
75 to 100 pounds3 7/8 to 7
100+ pounds7 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100

1 to 2 Years Old

Weight Amount of Food (in cups)
3 to 12 poundsSame as for an adult
13 to 20 poundsSame as for an adult
21 to 50 pounds2 to 4 1/4
51 to 75 pounds2 5/8 to 6 1/4
75 to 100 pounds5 5/8 to 11
100+ pounds11 + 1/3 cup per ten pounds over 100
how much to feed puppies

How Much To Feed Kittens

Below is the recommended amount of formula to give to young kittens:

Kitten’s Age and WeightAmount of Formula (in ml)
0 to 1 week (50 to 150 grams)2 to 6 ml every 2 hours
1 to 2 weeks (150 to 250 grams)6 to 10 ml every 2 to 3 hours
2 to 3 weeks (250 to 350 grams)10 to 14 ml every 3 to 4 hours
3 to 4 weeks (350 to 450 grams)14 to 18 ml every 4 to 5 hours
4 to 5 weeks (450 to 550 grams)18 to 22 ml every 5 to 6 hours
5 to 8 weeks (550 to 850 grams)Weaning (every 6 hours)
how much to feed kittens

Puppy and Kitten Birth: Some Basic Considerations

Before the Birth

Most people have a general sense of how long they have until the litter of puppies or kittens will be born. Until the blessed event occurs, it is important to keep the mother safe and sound; this can be a task in and of itself.

Try to keep her someplace safe and warm, and make sure to feed her as often as possible without overfeeding her. She should see the vet a couple of times in order to ensure that she and her potential litter are doing fine. Remember to treat her somewhat gently and to keep pesky males away from stressing her out.

After the Birth

After giving birth birth, take advantage of the situation. The mother will be the best arbiter of how often the babies should be fed; make sure that she is fed well until they have been weaned and she should help to ensure that the majority (if not all) of the litter survives. There may be a runt, one baby that is not able to get as much food as the others. If that is the case – and it is hardly unusual – it may be necessary to separate the runt and feed it separately in order to ensure its survival.

Until the animals have been weaned, it is important to monitor them for the best possible health. Be aware that some of them may die, and that the mother may eat the deceased baby; this is a rare occurrence both in dogs and cats, but a natural part of the process.

If necessary, use an eyedropper to administer any medicine or supplements. You should still be seeing the veterinarian until the animals have been weaned, and every few months afterward to confirm their health.

Make sure that the area with the mother and her babies is cleaned on a regular basis in order to ensure their health.

First Few Weeks

The animals will be initially shaky when they are first learning to walk; this is to be expected, and you should only worry if the animal falls too far behind its siblings developmentally. Otherwise, let the animals develop normally.

Assuming you put the mother in a closed box when the animals have become a lot more active it may be a good idea to open the box up and let them explore the immediate area. Be aware that they will explore more and more area, so they may get underfoot.

If you plan on selling the animals just after they are weaned is the best time to do so; otherwise, expect a lot of chaos.

Do not be afraid to embrace and play with the puppies and kittens. You may even find yourself enjoying the situation.

How Much Should I Feed My Kitten or Puppy_Petsmao

A Puppy’s First Foods

While most people will acquire the puppy after it has been weaned, this is not always the case.

The teeth should start coming in at about 3-4 weeks; they may cause the mother pain or discomfort. She will pull away from the puppies before they have managed to eat their fill. About this time you should start weaning the puppies or start transitioning them to regular food from their mother’s milk.

You should provide a gruel made from two cups of wet puppy food, 12.5 puppy milk replacer, and two cups of water.

In order to encourage the puppies to eat the gruel, you should take them away from the mother for an hour or two and place them near the gruel. When they have eaten, return them to their mother for cleaning; let her do the cleaning as the gruel will help her as well.

Originally, the gruel is about 10% solid food; increase by 10% each week, and then give them 100% puppy food at about the seventh or eighth week. Do not worry if a puppy does not take to the gruel immediately; allow it to develop at its own pace.

For the weeks after and until the twelfth week, feed them puppy food about four times a day. Large breeds can start eating un-moistened dry food by 9 or 10 weeks; smaller breeds are looking at 12 to 13 weeks.

Sometime between the third and sixth month, decrease feedings to three times per day. You should notice that the dog is losing its pudginess and potbelly; continue to feed like a puppy until it matures.

Assuming that the animal has been spayed or neutered, smaller breeds can switch to adult foods between 7 and 9 months, while larger breeds can do the same between 12 and 14 months. After the dog reaches age 1, you can switch to two half-portions per day.

Keep in mind that you should be tracking the amount of food that the puppy is eating; you should “watch the dog, not the dish”. Determine the amount of food you give the puppy by the amount it is actually eating not by some predetermined amount. As long as the puppy is healthy and energetic you should be fine. If a puppy skips a meal or just picks at the meal, do not stress; it can be a signal that the puppy is ready to eliminate a feeding. Also, if you are using treat-based training, adjust the amount in meals accordingly.

You should debate dry food versus wet food. Some owners prefer kibble because it helps keep gums and teeth healthy; it can also be moistened with water or canned food. Canned food is more expensive, but dogs find it more palatable. However, make sure that you read the labels in order to make sure that the dog maintains a healthy diet. Semi-moist foods are also acceptable. As usual, base the amount you feed the dog on what it eats and do not be afraid to consult a veterinarian if any questions come up.

How Much Should I Feed My Kitten or Puppy_Petsmao

How Do I Know if I’m Feeding My Puppy Enough?

It can only help to chart the puppy’s weight and growth. Each week, weigh yourself and then weigh yourself with the puppy; subtract your weight from the combined weight to determine the puppy’s weight. You can then compare the puppy’s weight to charts based on the breed and age of your puppy to determine if you are feeding them the right amount. You should adjust the amount you are feeding the puppy if the puppy is too heavy; too much weight can create potential orthopedic problems, diabetes, heart disease, and other potential problems.

You should avoid giving the dog extra food or even table scraps. While the dog no doubt has ways of convincing you to give it a little extra food, you need to resist those ways. They can create health issues later on, and not all foods are healthy for dogs to eat. Also, if you feed your pooch outside of its scheduled time the dog can get larger and not in a healthy way. People often confuse food with affection; this can be a bad thing for pets. This also means not giving the puppy a snack when you return home, as this may encourage separation anxiety. Play with the puppy or groom it instead.

You may find yourself with a picky eater in your hands. In order to avoid picky eating, try to leave the food down for no more than 20-30 minutes.

Also, never feed your puppy medical foods or supplements without consulting a veterinarian; you may give them too much, causing potential issues. You should also consult with a veterinarian if you are debating a major change in the dog’s diet, and with the breeder if possible. This is because sudden changes in diet may create digestion issues, so stick to a proven formula. If you are looking for a different kind of snack, a small portion of carrot or apple works well.

Lastly, keep in mind that dogs are carnivores; a vegan diet may be harmful to them as their digestive tract is not set up for it.

The Kitten’s First Steps

As with a puppy, most people acquire for themselves a fully-weaned kitten. However, if your cat had kittens or you are dealing with an orphaned kitten, you may need to deal with a neonatal kitten, or a kitten that requires a more liquid diet.

As with puppies, be on the lookout for runts; again, they require special care. A kitten at this age can handle kitten milk replacement, with a preference for powdered over canned. However, keep in mind that despite what you see in cartoons, cow milk can actually cause the kitten potential harm.

Another thing to take note of is that as long as they are on the formula you will need to burp them.

How Much Should I Feed My Kitten or Puppy_Petsmao

At about 3-4 weeks, when the kitten can stand on its own, you can wean the kitten. If the mother is still there, let her wean the kittens, especially as it is better for them both physically and mentally.

The weaning process is similar to puppies, but it should take sooner; kittens should take only about a month. While weaning, take the kitten to its own area and leave it there with a shallow dish of formula for a couple of hours. Also, the kitten should take to solid food faster; start with about 25% wet food/75% formula and increase by 25% every week until the kitten is eating solid food.

Once the kitten is on solid food, refer to the table again above to determine how much you should be feeding the kitten.

As with a puppy, until a kitten has reached age 1, keep it to kitten foods; the kitten requires a different nutritional balance than an adult cat. Also, use some caution when using homemade food: On one hand, a pure-meat cat diet will lack some nutrients, but on the other, a cat requires a certain amount of meat in its diet since its system is just not set up for a vegan diet. You will know a kitten is eating correctly if it is active with a shiny coat.

Also, debate canned foods versus dry foods. A kitten requires wet food when it is smaller as its teeth cannot handle dry food; its small teeth can only handle the wet food. However, as it gets older you can give it dry foods; the kibble will help keep gums and teeth clean. You can also moisten it with water and canned food should you desire. However, once you decide on the food you will be serving the cat, try to keep it consistent; changing the diet can create all sorts of digestive problems.

Having Fun Feeding Your Kitten

One of the best ways to feed a kitten is to basically keep its plate full; it will eat what it needs and a kitten needs a lot more food than an older cat. As the kitten gets older, it will eat less; this free eating will also prevent stomach distention. If the kitten shows signs of obesity, then it may be time to start establishing mealtimes. At around six months, start with regular mealtimes; this should be twice a day. Also, keep in mind that spayed or neutered pets have lower energy needs and the amount of food should represent that.

The biggest problem some cat owners have is dealing with a picky eater. The best suggestion is to try a number of different foods for your kitten, and note which ones she does not eat. You should not mix old foods with new foods; if they do not like the new food it can cause them to dislike the old food as well. Also, keep in mind that a major change in diet can create digestive problems as well as hunger strikes. Thus, try new foods when the cat is young and allow for that as the cat gets older. But something to note: observe your feline friend in case there are other reasons your cat is not eating.

If you want to give your kitten snacks, follow the 10% Rule: No more than 10% of the kitten’s calories should come from snacks. Also, try to avoid giving the cat scraps directly from the table to avoid obesity as well as potentially hazardous foods, such onions, garlic, coffee, chocolate, raisins, grapes, and tea. Debate raw eggs as they may contain salmonella. Raw eggs and liver can lead to a vitamin B deficiency, causing loss of appetite, seizures, and possibly death, as well as skin and coat problems. In short, do not feed a cat like you would yourself and you should be okay.

Once a cat reaches age 1, you can start feeding it adult food. This means you should split its food into about five portions to be fed throughout the day. This is because the cat still has a lot in common with more wild ancestors, and requires eating small amounts often, just as a wild cat subsisting on mice and birds would do. This also means that you should change the location of the food on a regular basis; all of this should help to keep the cat fit and trim, avoiding obesity and keeping it sharp.

You should provide a safe place for the kitten to eat. This means that there should be few dangers, including dangerous plants, bright lights, and loud noises. Cats tend to like eating their meals away from distractions, as opposed to puppies who can eat anywhere. By allowing for that difference, the cat will be encouraged to actually eat. If you change the location of its food on a regular basis, then make sure that the location is a safe place and your cat should thrive.

How Much Should I Feed My Kitten or Puppy – In Conclusion

Feeding a puppy or kitten can be a difficult undertaking. However, it is also relatively simple get used to it, as you can easily fall into a pattern. Given that you are usually dealing with multiple animals, that is not a bad thing; it will help ensure that each animal is taken care of and receives the correct amount of care.

Keep in mind that you are dealing with small life forms that are dependent on you for almost everything, and you should do fine.

Good luck!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *