Growth and Development
Only Royal Canin focuses nutrition on all stages of a cat's life, including the two stages of kittens' growth. Your cat's body continues to evolve as your cat grows. And at Royal Canin, our formulas provide support through every stage of life. So whether you have a kitten, adult or mature cat, we have a nutritional solution that fits your cat's needs perfectly.
A kitten’s two growth periods are the most important phases in its life. Not only do kittens learn future behaviors, but their bodies are molded into their eventual shape and size. Many factors influence growth, and nutrition plays a major role.
The first growth period in a cat’s life is when it’s a “babycat.” Babycats are kittens from 0-4 months old, and they have very specific nutritional needs during this stage of their life. Babycats enter a dietary period in this growth phase called weaning, where they gradually lose their ability to digest lactose and develop an increasing intolerance to it. This period is particularly delicate, and babycats are susceptible to digestive issues.
Milk teeth erupt from about two weeks to two months and kittens make the transition to solid food. A kitten’s immune system is not fully developed at this point and needs certain nutrients to support its proper function. Food may be first offered in the form of gruel prepared with a little warm water or kitten milk replacer. The quantity of liquid can be gradually reduced until the kitten is only being given solid food.
The second stage of growth for kittens is when they are four months and older. Kittens in this stage need different proportions of nutrients, essential to their growth.
A kitten’s full growth period takes eight to 12 months, depending on sex and size of the breed. The larger the breed, the longer it will take to reach an adult weight. By the time a kitten reaches its adult weight, it will be 40-50 times its birth weight. For this reason, a food with the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat can help to satisfy the rapidly growing kitten’s high energy requirements.
ROYAL CANIN® BABYCAT 34™, KITTEN 36™ and KITTEN SPAYED/NEUTERED are made to address the very specific needs of a kitten throughout its first year of life.
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An adult cat’s behavior, tendencies and needs vary based on its lifestyle, sensitivity and breed. The prevalence of excess body weight has increased by 90 percent in cats since 2007 (Source: Banfield State of Pet Health Report, 2012). During this stage of a cat’s life, it’s very important to be aware of the chance of weight gain, especially for indoor cats.
A cat that does not go outside uses little energy. For some cats with a tendency to eat to keep busy, it is essential to set the quantity to be served every day. At the same time, choosing a food with a moderate energy density is crucial to help reduce the risk of excess weight gain. This is also important because indoor cats are typically spayed or neutered. We know that due to a reduction in hormones after spaying or neutering a cat’s appetite increases and its activity decreases, which can lead to weight gain.
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Cats today are living longer than ever before – sometimes up to 25 years. As cats advance in age, some commonly seen ailments may occur such as decreased immune defense, lower nutrient absorption ability, decrease in appetite and becoming less able to chew their food. With these changes in mind, it’s important to choose a highly palatable, nutrient-rich nutrition solution with a softer texture for easy chewing.
Visit our PRODUCT FINDER to find the right diet for your mature cat.