How should pregnant cats be fed?
Pregnancy care actually begins before breeding. Prepare her by making sure she’s fed a high quality adult cat food. She should also be checked out thoroughly to eliminate the presence of any disease.
However, once she is pregnant, your cat should still be fed the normal amount of her high quality adult cat food. Some will put her temporarily on kitten food for the extra nutrient power boost. During the first few weeks of pregnancy (three to four weeks), there won’t be much growth of the kittens. Here is where we see the two schools of thought: One is to let your cat eat extra food, because she’ll need the extra nutrients. Another is that since there is so little growth during the first few weeks, there’s really no need for extra nutrients. Feeding more early in pregnancy tends to add unnecessary fat, they say, which will make delivery more difficult and increase the risk of complications.
There can also be a total lack of appetite in your cat around the third week of pregnancy; although it’s fairly common and not much of a concern if the cat is at least eating a little bit, you should consult your vet if she completely stops eating for more than a day or two.
If you haven’t already, you need to make the switch to a high quality canned kitten food for the last three to four weeks; the reason we say canned is because it usually contains more moisture and animal protein. Keep her on it until she has weaned her babies, because nursing puts a huge strain on her nutritional needs. You might also want to add a kitten milk replacement.
STRAYS AND FERALS
A pregnant stray may already be thin and undernourished, and ill-equipped to handle the powerful nutritional demands posed by pregnancy and nursing. In fact, many strays and ferals don’t survive pregnancy because of the unhealthy diet and lack of veterinary care. If you are taking care of a pregnant stray, immediately feed her a premium kitten food to build up her strength and stamina, and to help the developing fetuses grow strong and healthy.