At Man’s side for millenia, the dog has adapted, but he has behavioral and nutritional requirements of his own. Knowing them and respecting them will guarantee his well-being and his health.

The cat’s feline nature is always a matter of fascination. He adapts with apparent ease to daily life, and yet he has behavioral and nutritional requirements of his own. Knowing them and respecting them will guarantee his well-being and his health.

Because of its composition, a Royal Canin Health Nutrition food provides all essential nutrients measured out with utmost precision in order to contribute every day and on a long-term basis to the well-being and health of every animal, according to his age, his size, his physiological condition and his breed.

Innovation for the sake of dogs and cats’ health. For over 40 years, Royal Canin has worked with breeder partners and veterinary nutritionists to go ever further into innovation and precision to enable us to formulate nutritional solutions which perfectly meet dogs and cats’ real needs.

Growth, a key stage

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Grace of motion, softness of coat, mischievous unpredictability... The promises of an affectionate and knowing presence are already there, ready to bloom. As the only one in charge of his animal’s health and well-being, man owes it to himself to know his kitten’s true needs among which nutrition is an essential element.

Influencing factors

Every kitten has a different growth

The kitten’s growth and development vary according to factors specific to the animal and to factors linked to his environment.

Growth is a phenomenon which can be assessed quantitatively by measuring the kitten’s weight gain. As for development, it is a qualitative phenomenon which corresponds to the transformation of an embryonic egg into an adult cat with the ability to breed. These phenomena involve intrinsic factors of breed, gender and parental genotype, and extrinsic factors linked to the kitten’s environment, which influence its growth and development.

Kitten-related characteristics

These are factors of a genetic nature. One may mention:

  • The breed: the newborns of large-sized breeds such as the Maine Coon are heavier than those of other breeds.
  • The gender: sexual dimorphism, almost nonexistent at birth, increases with age. The males become heavier than the females between 6 and 12 months of age. Their growth potential is therefore higher, but it takes place a few weeks later.
  • The mother’s weight: the heavier and larger-sized the mother is, with a better body condition, the better she’ll be a wet nurse and the higher the kittens’ growth rate will be.
  • Individual genetic factors: the mix of maternal genotypes and paternal genotypes results in the formation of a unique individual presenting variations in his bone and muscle development and in his growth rate, as compared with his litter siblings.
  • Hormonal factors: after birth, growth is driven by a number of hormones synthesized by the kitten.

Outside factors

  • Quality of the environment: like the other environmental factors, hygiene and calm largely condition growth. Poor hygiene weakens the mother and her kittens. Stress affects sucking and disturbs their hormonal balance.
  • The litter size: a large litter, beyond 5 kittens, means as many kittens to be fed with the same quantity of milk.
  • The mother’s diet during and after gestation: female cats must be at their ideal weight before breeding. Poorly fed female cats run the risk of giving birth to underweight kittens or of not being able to feed. From the start of gestation, the female cat must be fed a food with a high fat content and, consequently, with a high energy content. A Health Nutrition kitten food does meet these nutritional requirements thanks to its concentration in essential elements: high energy content, quantitatively and qualitatively high protein intake, reinforcement of mineral (calcium) and vitamin intakes. This food will also accompany the suckling period during which the nutritional requirements increase considerably. If need be, for kittens, a replacement formula milk may complement or even replace the female cat’s milk if this is necessary until weaning.