In this article, we’ll talk about what to feed a Scottish kitten, how much and what kind of food is suitable for Scottish kittens. Moreover, contrary to the common opinion that a Scottish fold cat (Scottish Fold or Highland Fold) needs to be fed differently from a straight-eared one (Scottish Straight and Highland Straight) so that its ears don’t straighten, for both Scottish breed varieties the same diet is suitable. A Scottish Fold and a Scottish Straight kitten are in the process of development, so the question of what to feed them is extremely important.
The basic rules of feeding kittens: how to feed a Scottish Fold and Straight kittens
The kitten’s nutrition should be well-balanced, since otherwise it may have problems with stool, vomiting, diarrhea, and improper development.
Nutrition should be limited by age: small Straight and Fold kittens are fed 5-6 times a day, juveniles – 3-4 times a day, adult cats – 2 times a day (in the morning and in the evening).
The kitten should have its own bowls that you can’t wash with chemicals. You should place the bowls in a quiet place where nothing will disturb the kitten – if the animal is nervous while eating, it will have a negative effect on its health.
It is also important to know what to give a Scottish kitten to drink. The kitten should have access to water all the time. The water should also be in a quiet protected place. You should change the water every day. It’s recommended choosing a bowl that is large enough, since cats like bigger water “reservoirs”. They are especially fond of running water – you can buy a special cat fountain to simulate it, but don’t allow your cat to drink from the tap; such chlorinated water is harmful for it. You should place the water bowl not in the same place as food – cats like to drink far from the feeding place, which is due to their wild instincts — the water found next to food can be poisonous.
The kitten should eat often and in small portions, since otherwise it will be difficult for it to digest the eaten, which will lead to hiccups, vomiting, and other consequences. Indeed, the little one can easily sneak 200 grams (the daily portion) at a time, but the owner should control the limits – the amount put in the bowl should be precisely for the kitten’s single meal, no more.
Vitamins should be additionally included in kittens’ diet. Read more about them in a separate article.
We also recommend looking through the general information on the cat nutrition.
Homemade food for a Scottish kitten
It seems that breeders keep arguing about the best way to feed a Scottish kitten – natural or ready-made food – since factories began to produce ready-made food. We won’t answer this question, since it depends not only on the benefits or harm that certain products make to the body, but on your budget and free time as well. But of course, if you have time, opportunities and can balance the diet properly, there is nothing better than natural nutrition. However, you may have not enough time for it.
Natural food (commonly known as “all-natural” nutrition) is not the food from the owner’s table, as many people think. This is special food prepared in compliance with feline rules. It includes the following products.
What food is allowed and should be given to kittens— Scottish Folds and Straights
|Meat||Meat (poultry, rabbit, beef) is the diet basis: it should account for up to 90% of the daily diet. The meat shouldn’t be fatty or raw (it must be frozen in the freezer for at least 3 days). Meat contains many healthy elements that a kitten needs: protein, amino acids, etc. When cooking, many elements are destroyed. However, boiled meat can be given to those kittens who are being transferred from ready-made food to natural food and can’t fully digest the raw product yet.|
|By-products||By-products (hearts, stomachs, livers, kidneys, etc.) are the diet basis as well and are included in those 90% of the meat and bone component of the menu. Hearts contain taurine amino acid, which benefits functioning of visual, digestive organs and heart; livers (it’s given 1 time every 1-2 weeks or in small portions every day as part of mixes) contains vitamins needed for wool, bones, visual and digestive organs. However, veterinarians argue about liver: after all, it is a filter that halts poisons. Therefore, it’s recommended taking a liver from a more or less ecologically pure animal, for example, a turkey.|
|Bones||It’s not allowed to give whole bones to small kittens, especially birds’ tubular bones, which they can injure cats’ digestive tract. But kittens need calcium, which bones contain. So, you can take chicken necks and heads, grind them in a meat grinder, and serve together with meat. If you can’t do that, you should add fermented dairy products, crushed eggshells, and calcium in the form of nutritional supplements.|
|Fish||Fish shouldn’t be the main dish on a cat’s table. It is allowed to cats from a certain age (about 5 months) and no more than once a week. The fact is that a large quantity of fish in the diet often provokes urolithiasis. You can give it as boiled pieces free from bones. Low-fat fish varieties such as hake, catfish, mugil soiuy, tuna, and others are suitable for cats (but not more than once a week).|
|Cottage cheese||Cottage cheese – high-quality one, not sour, fresh and from a reliable manufacturer – is very healthy for kittens, primarily due to calcium, which the bone system needs. Secondly, it contains protein — a versatile building material. However, this part of the diet isn’t mandatory. Cottage cheese is more of a supplement for Scottish Fold and Straight kittens.|
|Cheese||Low-fat, unsalted, and not spicy cheese varieties are suitable for cats. Cheese contains protein and calcium for growth.|
|Dairy products||Cats need other fermented dairy products (kefir, baked yogurt, whey, but not milk) besides cottage cheese, because they support the digestive system functions and contain proteins. All of them should be low-fat.|
|Eggs||Egg-yolk contains amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. It can be boiled (no more than 5 minutes) and crumbled into cat’s bowl or served raw. However, chicken protein is not recommended, since it has a negative effect on the hair. If you feed a kitten with quail eggs, you can give both white and yolk, and preferably raw. First you need to rinse the egg with boiling water to wash off infections and dirt. Eggs should be given 1-2 times a week.|
|Vegetables||Vegetables (beet, carrot, pumpkin, zucchini, broccoli, etc.) can become frequent in a kitten’s bowl. Most of the vegetables aren’t digested by the feline digestive system, but they contain fiber that helps forget about constipation. Besides, a cat’s body absorbs vitamins contained in vegetables. Both fresh and boiled vegetables are suitable. The second option is gentler to the stomach, especially when it comes to carrots and beets. However, fresh vegetables contain more vitamins. The perfect option is a steamed vegetable.|
|Greenstuff||Many kittens love parsley, dill, and other greenstuff. Special cat grass that consists mainly of wheat and oats is beneficial due to a variety of vitamins and trace elements. Plant it on a windowsill, and your pet will appreciate it and perhaps, will even no longer hunt your houseplants.|
|Oils||Unrefined vegetable oils from flax, olives, sea buckthorn, rice, grapes, and hemp are beneficial for kittens, but only if given rarely and in small quantities — a few drops at a time and not every day. Anyway, sunflower oil is not recommended – sunflower absorbs all the soil contents better than any other plant, including poisons. Besides, refined oils are harmful. However, it should be mentioned that any vegetable fats are hardly absorbed by a cat’s body, so animal fats are preferable.|
Feline natural food also differs from human nutrition by the fact that it isn’t salted or flavored with spices. That is, it should be bland. Slightly salted foods are allowed occasionally.
Meat should be served either raw (preferably) or boiled, but no way can it be fried, air-dried, or pickled.
You should also keep in mind that you must not save on the cat, that is, spoiled and weathered products aren’t suitable for it. Domestic purebred cats are very sensitive to food and may have digestive troubles because of it. You can give slightly spoiled food only to street cats who’re accustomed to it. However, you should take pity on them too.
The food you serve shouldn’t be cold or hot: bring it to room temperature or a little warmer.
What must not be given to Scottish Fold and Straight kittens?
The food Scottish Fold and Straight kittens love doesn’t always coincide with what is healthy for them. Learn the list of don’ts for them.
|Sweet food||Any quantities aren’t allowed. If a cat asks for a sweet, it means that something else in the product ingredients interests it, since cats have no receptors to recognize sweet taste. Don’t yield to cat’s persuasion – diabetes may develop very quickly.|
|Salty food||You mustn’t salt kittens’ food at all. Neither give them salty products from a store. Salty food may cause problems with the kidneys and bladder, which the Scottish cats are prone to.|
|Spicy food||Kittens aren’t allowed to eat any spices. They cause digestive upset.|
|Onion, garlic||Similarly, garlic and onions may lead to serious problems.|
|Chocolate||Even if chocolate isn’t sweet, as it traditionally should be, it is still not allowed to a cat in any case – it’s poison for the animal.|
|Coffee||Similarly, coffee is poisonous for cats. If your cat asks for coffee, it may be attracted by the milk added to the drink.|
|Milk||Kittens should eat fermented dairy products, but milk that contains lactose causes gas and digestive upset in cats older than 3 months. Owners often don’t notice it, but in fact the animals feel bad after drinking milk. If you are eager to feed a kitten with milk, you should prefer goat milk or special powdered milk for kittens. After 3 months, cats don’t need milk at all.|
|Pickled food||Any pickled food, not only meat, is forbidden for kittens. This is true for any canned food.|
|Smoked food||Just remember that it’s poison.|
|Fatty food||Unlimited fatty and fried food – no matter whether it’s meat or not – isn’t allowed. A kitten’s pancreas can’t bear such nutrition. Even sour cream may be too fatty food for a Scottish Straight or s Scottish Fold kitten, so nutritionists don’t recommend it.|
|Fatty port||Pork with hanging fat pieces isn’t allowed to cats. However, sometimes you may give a small piece of a non-fatty part. Just keep in mind that pigs may suffer from Aujeszky’s disease, which is terminal for cats and can be transmitted through raw meat. Therefore, you should bake pork at the gentlest temperature, instead of giving it raw.|
|Canned food||Any canned food is always extremely rich in salt, spices, and preservatives. This is harmful even to humans, to say nothing of a kitten’s digestive and urinary systems, which are a way worse adapted to such food than ours.|
|Citrus||Cats tend to hate lemons, oranges, tangerines, and other citrus fruit. But there are exceptions. Citruses contain harsh essential oils that hurt a cat’s keen nose. Moreover, they may cause digestive upset.|
|Fruit||Feline digestive system isn’t adapted to eating fruit and berries, so they may cause digestive upset.|
|Mushrooms||Mushrooms are too heavy. Besides, they can cause poisoning.|
|Potatoes||Potatoes are pure starch, which is extremely difficult to digest and poorly absorbed by cats. Recently, cat nutritionists have allowed to eat a few grams of potatoes a day only.|
|Legumes||Peas, lentils, soy, and other legumes are banned, since they are too heavy for a kitten and besides, they cause gastric fermentation.|
|Starchy food||All starchy products, including bread, are harmful to kittens and contain no nutrients for them. You should purchase special feline yeast in the form of a supplement instead.|
Feeding a kitten with ready-made food suggest that you use factory-made mixtures in the form of pastes, jelly pieces, canned food, and dry pieces. Usually, such mixtures include the same products as natural food, which are specially processed for long-term storage. Draw your own conclusions. But anyway, you mustn’t feed with cheap mass-market food such as Whiskas, Kitekat, and so on. According to veterinarians, cheap cat food is made of unknown substances, so they trigger illnesses. Veterinarians recommend using super-premium and holistic food only.
Those loyal to ready-made food support such nutrition by the fact that, firstly, the food contains well-balanced nutrients, and secondly, such nutrition is easier for the owners to use: buy – take – feed.
Keep in mind that it’s not recommended mixing natural and ready-made food – stick to one type. And you should always use one food brand only. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to make a well-balanced diet, since each food has its own features.
If the menu includes dry pieces, a cat will consume more fresh water. Buy a special fountain for your cat to stimulate it to drink more.
Porridge for Scottish kittens
Porridge for Scottish kittens aren’t a recommended diet, if it goes about cereals and beans. Therefore, the answer to the question: which porridge is allowed to Scottish kittens, will be — none. Of course, many people are used to feeding cats with porridge and see nothing wrong about it. But if we are talking about perfect nutrition, this component is unacceptable.
What to feed a kitten: breakdown by age
If you feed a kitten with ready-made food, then everything’s simple: choose the food according to the age specified on the package, give the amount prescribed in the instruction, and as many times as the age requires. However, it should be mentioned that such food contains a lot of ingredients, and if your cat is sensitive and reacts to certain ingredients negatively (vomits, has diarrhea), then it will be difficult to find the product to blame. In such cases, natural food is recommended.
Those who are going to feed a cat will natural food, will have to study the issue. It will be difficult at first, while a kitten needs a few meals per day. As soon as the kitten becomes adolescent, that is, 5 months old, everything will become much easier.
For cats, it is preferable to be fed with raw meat, because they eat it in the wild. Such diet is believed to be more balanced, since boiled meat lacks many of the necessary nutrients. The main thing is that the meat should be of high quality, from a factory where helminthiasis is minimized and no chemicals are used.
Per day, a kitten should consume a portion equal to about 10% of its weight. This is an average quantity. You shouldn’t pinch kittens in food: they should eat as much as they want.
To those who want to feed the cat with natural food, but have little time, breeders recommend preparing some food in advance. Mix meat, by-products (heart, neck, kidneys — if your cat doesn’t like kidneys because of a specific smell, you can do without kidneys, a little liver – if you put too much liver, the cat may have diarrhea, greenstuff, vegetables (if carrots are used, you should boil them in advance), a raw quail egg, fine-cut laminaria, or other supplement. Divide this mixture into portions, put into bags and freeze. Then take out one bag at a time and bring to room temperature. The mixture is ready: a healthy dish can be served to your cat.
What to feed a kitten under 1 month and 1-month-old Scottish Fold and Straight kitten
Kittens under 3 weeks — 1 month are fed by their mother: under 2 weeks — 10 times a day, including at night, in 1 month — 8 times a day. Then, supplementary food is added, but kittens feed on their mother’s milk until they are 2-2.5 months old, so it’s impossible to wean them before this age. A mother cat has a difficult task during this time – her body is depleted, so the best thing the owner can do is to give the mother abundant and well-balance food. But this is a topic for another article. Kittens should start to receive supplementary food from about 1 month.
It happens that kittens for some reason don’t have a mother. In this case, a human has to feed them. This is a difficult and painstaking task: during the first week, you have to feed kittens every 2 hours, that is, you’ll have to take time off at work. Besides, without mother’s milk, kittens don’t receive her antibodies and resistance to infections. Therefore, you’d better give kittens to another nursing cat, if possible (to a healthy, clean, completely vaccinated cat; a street mom won’t do): usually she doesn’t refuse to feed the foundlings.
Did you know that sometimes cats may even feed different species? For example, one caring mother fed hedgehog foundlings.
But sometimes it is impossible. In this case, you should feed kittens at 30 ml of food per 100 grams of kitten weight during the first week, 38 ml per 100 grams of kitten weight in 2 weeks, 48 ml per 100 grams of kitten weight during the third week, 48-53 ml per 100 grams of weight starting from four weeks. We mean milk (cream) or a special powered milk for kittens. The milk can be poured into the kitten’s mouth through a bottle with a nipple, a pipette, or a syringe without a needle -be careful so that the kitten doesn’t choke. You can buy the powdered milk in a pet store.
Why is cow’s milk inferior to mother’s milk or a ready-made powdered milk? Cat’s milk contains 70% of water, fat content doesn’t exceed 11%, proteins — 11%, lactose — 3%. At first sight, the contents of cow’s milk are very similar to cat’s milk, since it contains 88% water, 3.2% protein, 3.25% fat, and 5.2% lactose. It also contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B12, D, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. However, it significantly differs in the amount of lactose: cow’s milk contains 5.2%, and cat’s milk 3% only, that is, almost half as much. And a kitten’s digestive system can hardly absorb a large amount of lactose. So, for artificial feeding it’s better to use powdered milk or goat’s milk, which contains less lactose, if possible.
If you’ve decided to feed a kitten with a cow’s product (life often makes to tend to this option, because not everyone has access to special powdered mixtures), you’d better take cream: 1 bag of 10% cream is mixed with 1 egg yolk. This mixture is given instead of mother’s milk.
Specialists consider premium-class ready-made substitutes for cat’s milk a perfect option. The substitute’s properties are as close to cat’s milk as possible and is suitable for a kitten’s digestive system capabilities. Besides, milk substitutes are enriched with taurine – an amino acid that can hardly be found in ungulate’s milk – as well as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids.
At about 4 weeks, you can begin to wean kittens from milk if they drink a substitute. You gradually stop giving milk to the kitten and add solid food to the diet. The first supplementary food for Scottish kittens can be minced meat (the very first times), but it is also possible and even recommended to do the opposite – to give large pieces, from which the kitten will have to tear off a part and swallow it.
Sometimes, you have to give supplementary food to kittens under 1 month, because the cat has little milk. You can guess that kittens are malnourished by their constant squeaks and attempts to stick to the cat’s breasts and to your fingers.
It’s recommended that the first supplementary food you give to Scottish kittens was meat. You should start with one type of supplementary food and proceed to another one only after the kitten has completely got used to it. For example, you start with one type of meat. It should be finely chopped or whipped with a blender. It is also a good idea to use fermented dairy products (baked yogurt, cottage cheese) as complementary food, but not with kefir, since it is too heavy for babies.
EXPERT COMMENT: FELINOLOGIST ZHANNA KORSUNSKAYA
From the age of three weeks, kittens already can eat the same food as their mother. However, it doesn’t mean the end of breastfeeding: the cat will feed her children for quite a long time. As kittens grow, the basic food share increases, and the mother’s milk share decreases until falls to zero. Don’t be afraid that pieces in the mom’s bowl are too large or contain bones: anyway, the kitten won’t start with difficult food. It will choose what it likes, what it can bite off, chew, and swallow. At this age, it supplies the lack of necessary nutrients with mother’s milk. So, there is no need for supplementary food — light, crushed, vitaminized nutrition for kittens. If the mother’s diet is well-balanced, it is absolutely suitable for her children. If a kitten has no interest in the mother’s food, but is as well-fed and active as its siblings, there is no cause for concern. And no way should you try to force-feed it. When the time comes, the kitten will start eating from his mother’s bowl and gradually switch to meat nutrition completely.
What to feed a two-month-old Scottish kitten (1-2 months)
A 2-month-old Scottish kitten’s diet implies 7 meals per day. Ideally, at this age kittens still receive mother’s milk, but they enjoy eating supplementary food already. At 1.5 months, a kitten needs about 120 grams of food per day, including mother’s milk, which is still the diet basis.
A 2-month-old Scottish kitten’s nutrition can be natural or bought. If you plan to feed your kitten with ready-made food, you should start doing it from 1-1.5 months. For this, you will need to buy special kitten products corresponding to the age. If you give dry food, you should soak it at first, because the kitten can’t digest such solid food. Or buy canned wet food for kittens. However, the first recommended supplementary food is meat.
However, soup isn’t a suitable dish for Scottish kittens. From an early age, kittens can eat minced meat and small pieces of meat. Subject to normal digestion, the soup consistence isn’t necessary.
EXPERT COMMENT: FELINOLOGIST HELENA SHABAEVA
You should start giving supplementary food with meat (preferably raw), even if you plan to feed the kitten with ready-made food later. No way should you do the opposite. Raw meat regulates production of the necessary enzymes in kittens’ stomach, and to digest ready-made food, other enzymes are produced. And a kitten needs meat for its gastrointestinal tract to function in an absolutely healthy way. I start giving raw minced chicken at 3 weeks and chicken pieces from 1.5 months. But we have a reliable supplier. If your poultry farm tends to stuff chickens with excessive chemicals, you should look for another supplier. The perfect meat for cats is turkey and rabbit, which, alas, is sometimes hard to find. Beef has large molecules, so this meat is hard to digest. There is no need to be afraid of parasites in raw meat from plants, because animals receive intermittent preventive treatment there. However, the chances that domestic and wild meat is infected are high.
What to feed a 2-3-month-old kitten
At 2 months, a Scottish kitten’s digestive system is ready for gradual weaning. But not for a sharp one! That’s why it’s recommended taking kittens to a new family no earlier than at 3 months. Before that, the baby still needs the mother’s milk and antibodies, not to mention upbringing and care.
During this period, it should eat 6 times a day, the total food amount is 160-180 grams a day.
At this age, a kitten can already eat small pieces of meat, since its teeth has already been formed. But it’s better to mix meat with grated vegetables or a couple of pinches of bran.
After weaning the kitten, you should vaccinate it, because its body loses protection from infections, while it used to be protected by the mother’s immune system before weaning. Therefore, at 2 months kittens are vaccinated against the main feline infections (rhinotracheitis, hardpad, etc.), and then revaccinated at about 3 months.
When you bring a kitten home, you shouldn’t change the diet sharply. So, ask the breeder about the diet before you take the kitten and stick to the same menu for the first couple of weeks. After two weeks of the cat’s stay, you can gradually change the diet to the one you have chosen. Do it gradually: don’t refuse the usual products at once, introduce new ones in small portions.
If you feed a kitten with dry food, then you can stop soaking it from 2 months.
What to feed 3-4-month-old Scottish kittens
This is a period of active growth for a kitten, whose digestive tract is finally formed. At this age, mineral supplements for kittens rich in calcium should necessarily be added to the diet, since the main source of calcium (milk) is no longer digested and excluded from the diet. A 4-month-old Scottish kitten’s diet also includes fermented dairy products: you can give them in any quantities over a lifetime in case of natural nutrition; ready-made premium food contains all the necessary nutrients.
At this age, a kitten should have 4-5 meals a day, with the total amount of food being 180-240 grams per day (depending on the weight), including meat — at least 40 grams, preferably 80 grams.
Meat is given in the form of pieces so that the predator sharpens its teeth and develops its jaw.
When approaching the age of 4-5 months, sprouted grass is added into the diet, because it contains the necessary vitamins and helps to get rid of swallowed hair.
Just look, how happy the little one is with a huge piece of raw meat! Watch with sound.
What to feed a 4-5-month-old kitten
From 4-5 months, the kitten is already an adolescent. At this age, some early-mature animals even manage to reach puberty. In the human world, a 4-5-month-old kitten is still considered a child, while felines see it as almost equal to themselves.
At this age, cats receive 4-time meals with a total amount of food up to 180-240 grams per day. The daily portion is smaller, since a kitten grow less actively and needs less food. At the same time, the kitten is still gaining weight, so it needs a lot of protein.
You can no longer grind or crush meat but cut in perceptible pieces — the animal should train its jaw.
From about 5 months, low-fat sea fish is added to the diet, if you plan it at all. Unlike meat, fish is always served boiled only, because it’s almost a sure source of worms. But in fact, you can easily do without this product: cats are primarily meat eaters, and fish is nothing more than a delicacy for them that can be added to the diet not oftener than once a week. If you do it once a week on a regular basis, then choose non-fatty varieties, but if you serve fish occasionally as a treat, the cat can indulge in salmon, which is fatter.
What to feed a 5-9-month-old kitten
At 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 months, the adolescent still keeps growing and eats about 4 times a day, although many animals refuse additional meals and eat 2-3 times a day. The total amount eaten should be between 180-240 grams a day.
At about this age, many female cats start going into heat, eat less and lose weight. This is a normal process, don’t force the cat to eat too much – after the heat, she will make up for it herself.
What to feed a 9-12-month-old kitten
At 9, 10, 11, and 12 months, the cat is almost an adult animal, although the Scots keep gradually forming up to 2 years. However, the body need less calories and building materials: at this age, a cat is fed 2-3 times a day, with the total amount of food averaging between 180-200 grams. The perfect option is to calculate the portion on an individual basis: the daily food portion for an older cat is 3-5% of its body weight.
After 12 months
After 1 year, a cat is already an adult animal that should be fed twice a day. Read more about nutrition of adult Scottish cats in another our article.
To give or not to give raw meat to kittens?
Is it allowed to give raw meat to kittens? This is an old controversial point between veterinarians and breeders — there is no common opinion. Some claim that raw meat is more natural for a cat, because cats don’t boil meat in the wild. Others are totally against, because sometimes meat contains parasites and infections, which can’t always be killed by cold (you can give meat to cats only after three-day-long freezing). At the same time, boiling kills many nutrients, which impoverishes the diet – sometimes to a critical level. In fact, this debate is senseless, since a comprehensive experiment was conducted over a hundred years ago that gave a clear answer to this question.