L'alimentazione del gattino, cosa dargli da mangiare?

Diet for baby kittens, what should I feed them?

 The kitten, regardless of size, is not a small cat, but the cat's baby. Precisely for this reason, it is very important to be able to understand that the kitten's organism is different from an adult cat, and consequently also has its specific needs. The fundamental aspect on which this concept must be applied is above all that of nutrition.

So let's see what his nutritional needs are and what the kitten's diet should be based on.

The kitten’s body

The kitten, as we said before, does not have the same physical characteristics as an adult cat.

  • Stomach: the proportions of the stomach of the two animals are very different. The kitten has a very small digestive system, so it will need smaller rations, but well divided over the course of the day;
  • Intestine: the intestine of the kitten, especially if it is still very small, is structured to follow the digestion of mother's milk only. Only after 4 weeks of age it will begin to undergo changes that will allow it to digest some foods offered by the mother. Despite this, it is still very delicate, so giving the kitten adults foods could cause diarrhoea and indigestion;
  • Nutrients: kittens grow very quickly and to do so the body needs a lot of calories and nutrients. For example, a kitten is like a house which is still under construction, while the adult cat is a building that needs to be often renovated. To be able to build a house from scratch, you need money, bricks, concrete, plants and everything else. On the other hand, to renovate, the money and materials needed are much lower. Similarly, in order to guarantee the right growth to the kitten, much more calories and nutrients will be needed;
  • Teeth: Kittens, just like babies, are born without teeth. It is only from the second week that the first milk teeth begin to appear, to complete the non-definitive teething around 50-60 days of age. Permanent teeth, on the other hand, do not appear before 6 months. For this reason, the specific food for kittens must also be very easy to chew, with smaller and softer kibble, adapted to the mouth and teeth of the kitten.


Weaning, i.e. the transition from mother's milk to solid and wet food, should occur no earlier than 40 days after birth.

If you have found a very small kitten or your cat has just given birth, you will need to do the weaning yourself.

gattino mangia nella ciotola

The ideal period to progressively start replacing breast milk is from 4 weeks of age, to be completed around 7-8 weeks of age. Maternal feeding, in fact, is essential only for the first month of life, because it helps the baby to grow and develop the first immune defenses.

Weaning too early can harm the kitten, which would feel stimulated to refuse mother's milk and start to prefer the food you want to offer him, causing gastrointestinal problems and an increased susceptibility to infections.

A delayed weaning beyond two months of age, on the other hand, would lead to serious nutritional deficiencies in the kitten. Breast milk begins to run low and is no longer sufficient to guarantee the right nutrients necessary for the baby's growth.

Weaning must begin with a liquid or semi-solid food. For very small kittens, you can opt for a specific type of food, usually included in the “babycat” category. After 7-8 weeks, on the other hand, you can already start with a “kitten” type food.

Dilute one tablespoon of wet food with two teaspoons of warm plain water. Mix well and offer the food to the kitten. At this age, the little ones need to eat little and often, so you should feed them at least 5-6 times a day with small rations.

As the kitten grows, you can invert the proportions between water and the wet food until you can completely eliminate the water from the paste, which you will still have available in a separate bowl for the kitten to drink when they want.

Once the kitten has its final teeth ready (usually no earlier than 50 days) you can also give it dry food. Choose a good quality type of food that is specific for kittens. For the first period, you can moisten the croquettes with warm water, in order to make them softer.

gattino dentro la ciotola

The baby food

Once the weaning is complete, and the kitten has learned to eat the food you offer instead of breast milk, you will need to continue feeding it with special attention.

Always leave a bowl with fresh water and a bowl with dry food available. Kittens, when they are small and when they grow up, must eat often. Make sure he can always have the dry food available, but supplement them with wet food 1-2 times a day.

For the right doses, ask your veterinarian for advice, who will be able to establish them based on the growth and health of the kitten.

In any case, the food, whether it is wet or dry, must be specific for kittens even after weaning. Kittens must grow up healthily, so they need a food that contains everything they need and, above all, in the right proportions.

The quality of the food provided is an indispensable factor.

Most low-quality foods contains very little meat, compared to flours and cereals which are in greater quantities. The cat is a carnivore in the strictest sense of the word, so it needs a lot of proteins.

Meat has its own cost, as does the integration of vitamins and mineral salts necessary to define a complete meal.

Kitten health must come first. Think about it, what would happen if you feed your child bread and water every day?


immagini I falsi miti sul rapporto tra animali e bambini

False myths about the children and animal relationship

How many times do we hear our mom say, "we would like to adopt a dog, but we have a small child!" or "I had to separate him from the cat, because otherwise he would have infected my newborn son with god knows what diseases!”. These are just some of the mostly well-founded beliefs that lead most parents to give up the special relationship that can be created between an animal and a child. What many of these apprehensive parents ignore, however, is that living with a dog or cat at home can also be a very useful factor in the growth children of all ages, of course paying attention to some important precautions.

We should evaluate many aspects based on parents’ concerns. Let's try to analyse some of them.

 “Animals make a mess around the house and bring diseases”

This statement must be analysed in detail.

If we want to welcome a stray dog inside our house we must adapt many more safety precaution as they usually dig in garbage bins.

gatto bambino guardano pesce

However, the situation is different with dogs and cats that live in the house and that go outside for daily walks only.

House animals, in fact, when regularly subjected to deworming, vaccinations and the necessary parasite control treatments, cannot transmit any disease to us or to our children.

We could instead think of how many viruses and bacteria we transmit amongst us every day, simply by getting on a tram or by using a public toilet. We would be impressed if we compared this with the risk of diseases that the dog or cat could transmit.

Furthermore, one aspect that many people ignore is that most viruses and bacteria in animals only affect animals. In fact, these are species-specific microorganisms, which therefore could not reach our organism.

For greater safety, however, you can try to intensify the hygienic care of the home and of the animal, using specific products for thorough cleaning of floors and clothing, without harming either children or animals.

Avoid the contact with the animal's saliva with your child and with the parts which are most exposed to its feces. Furthermore, lets teach them to wash their hands well before sitting at the table and in all situations where it is considered appropriate.

Often clean the dogs bowl and cat and prevent the child from having easy access to them.

cane bambino dormono insieme

“My dog can bite my child”

This concern is usually one of the most common ones amongst parents.

Unless it is a dog with severe behavioral problems, it is very difficult for it to attack a child without any reason.

As we know, children are intrigued by everything that appears "different" to their eyes. The same thing also applies to dogs and cats, which can in some cases become real victims of impertinent and persistent children. Asking the dog to remain impassive in front of a child who does not respect his space and his habits is absolutely disrespectful of us.

In fact, it is typical for children to beat the dog, pull the cat's tail and disturb the animal while it sleeps or, even worse, whilst he is eating his food. In these cases, the animal will surely react by scratching the source of stress.

To avoid all this, we should be the ones who show and explain to the child what the best attitude to communicate with the animal is and above all what are the situations in which the dog or cat should not be disturbed.

We must also make sure we respect our pet by providing an appropriate and personal space for him in the house. We must make sure he has the peaceful environment he needs.

 “My child will feel really sad when my pet dies”

There is no doubt about this. When our lifetime companion leaves us, the pain and emptiness are the same to the death of a loved one.

Even in this case, however, this event can represent a reason for personal growth for the child.

We can say to them that even if our friend has gone away, he still left us many good memories and many beautiful emotions, linked to all the moments we spent together. We will introduce him to real and painful life events, which sooner or later must happen.

Denying oneself and one's children of the joy of living with an animal in anticipation of what will happen in the future, precludes all those experiences that are part of the individual and emotional growth of the child.


immagine Alimenti monoproteici, cosa sono e a cosa servono

Mono-protein food for pets, what is it

In the last period of time there has been a great diffusion of single-protein foods, specific for animals with problems of food intolerances and allergies. Let's try to understand what they are and what they are for.

What are mono-protein foods?

When we buy food for our animals, we often read on the packages "chicken croquettes" or "salmon cans". In reality, this does not mean, with a few rare exceptions, that we will only find chicken or salmon inside, but there will be many ingredients, including these two protein sources.

mangime per cani gatti monoproteico

In the case of mono-protein foods, however, their formulation ensures that they only contain one type of meat or fish, adding only supplements of vitamins, mineral salts or amino acids.

The principle on which mono-protein foods are based is to guarantee the right tolerability of the food even for animals with allergies or food intolerances.

This does not mean that we will have absolute certainty that that monoproteic food will not cause reactions in the animal, but it will certainly allow us to proceed with exclusion in search of the origin of the intolerance or allergy.

Shortly, if the animal does not tolerate a specific type of meat, fish or cereal, it will have a series of consequences that we will analyse later, so it is important to look for the incriminated  ingredient which causes the allergy, replacing it with another deemed "harmless" from the body of the dog or cat.

Mono-protein foods are made with fish or meat "alternative" to those that usually cause reactions in dogs and cats. In fact, in most cases, a mono-protein fish-based food can solve the problem of intolerances in cats.

At the same time, dogs should eliminate cereals, in favour of meats such as rabbit, duck, deer, quail or pork, strictly of biological origin.

What are food intolerances and allergies?

Some animals, from birth or during their life, can develop intolerances or allergies towards a particular food.

cane gatto si grattano prurito intolleranza

Generally, both conditions are classified within Adverse Food Reactions (AFR), which include:

  • Allergic reactions: the body mistakes the food that the animal has ingested as something dangerous, so it attacks it, at the same time triggering a strong inflammatory reaction in the digestive system or throughout the body;
  • Intolerances: the body is unable to digest the food or some substances contained in it, so an inflammatory reaction is generated, in this case localized in the intestine or spread throughout the body.

Allergies are actually very rare, and most Adverse food reactions are mainly caused by intolerances.

When the animal ingests a substance to which it is intolerant or allergic, two types of reactions may occur: a dermatological or gastrointestinal reaction.

The first group includes symptoms such as skin itching, the onset of dandruff, redness of the skin and hair loss.

Among the gastrointestinal symptoms, on the other hand, we find above all vomiting, diarrhea, excessive weight loss and abdominal swelling.

In addition to these manifestations, over time, inflammations of different parts of the body and organs can also appear, such as eyes, ears, joints, heart, kidneys and bladder.

The most incriminating and dangerous ingredients for dogs and cats include above all:

  • Cattle
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Cereals
  • Dairy product
  • Soy
  • Eggs

In reality, the main problem with these food sources is not represented by the protein itself, but by everything behind that specific ingredient, starting from the breeding of the animal that will be slaughtered, up to the production of the food in the can.

Simply put, when raised for food, both animals and fish are often fed unhealthy substances, such as hormones, antibiotics, and supplements.

All these substances inevitably end up in the meat and fish that we and our animals eat, with harmful consequences for the body.

How single-protein foods work

When choosing a mono-protein food, it must be done on the advice of your veterinarian. If the animal does not show any problems, it would make no sense to deprive it of substances that could still be useful for him.

Once you have purchased mono-protein dry and wet food for the dog or cat, it must be administered for at least two months, categorically excluding any other food source. We also have an article where we explain the procedures to find the incriminating food. 

Once the two months have passed, the veterinarian will be able to evaluate the animal's response to the food change. If we found the right food on the first try, the animal's inflammatory problem should improve within one or two weeks.

If, on the other hand, the situation does not improve, we will have to change the type of food, experimenting with another mono-protein food type, until we can uncover the ingredient that causes intolerances to our animal.


immagine I feromoni nel cane e nel gatto: cosa sono e come funzionano

Pheromones in dogs and cats: what are they and how do they work

We hear a lot of discussions about pheromones, especially in relation to specific diffusers used to solve some behavioural problems in our pet. However, not everyone knows what they are, so in this article we will try to explain what pheromones are and how they work in dogs and cats.

What are pheromones?

Pheromones are particular substances that are produced by most species, even by us humans. To our sense of smell, pheromones have no particular smell, but they can still be perceived by a precise structure of the body, the Jacobson’s organ, located between the palate and nasal cavity.

At this level, in fact, there are cells capable of "capturing" the pheromones, which contain a kind of secret message inside them. Once they are captured, they are sent to the brain where they can be "deciphered".

gatto feromoni flehmen

We know that our animals have a much more developed sense of smell than ours. It is precisely for this reason that dogs and cats are able to immediately perceive the presence of pheromones in the environment.

In fact, animals often perform a particular gesture when they are intent on perceiving the pheromones of other dogs or cats: they slightly open their mouths and push their tongue backwards, against the palate. This attitude is called the flehmen response and is used to direct the smell towards the Jacobson’s organ.

The glands that produce and release pheromones in dogs and cats are located in different places on the body:

  • Area around the muzzle: not surprisingly, cats rub their muzzle against other animals, people and objects to mark their territory;
  • Ears: some pheromones are released from the glands of the auricle;
  • Fingertips: another example is represented by “getting their nails done” against the furniture, releasing specific pheromones;
  • Area around the anus: in this point we find the perianal glands, which release a foul-smelling secretion, rich in pheromones;
  • Genitals, both in the male and in the female;
  • Mammary glands during breastfeeding.

How do they work?

Pheromones, as we said earlier, are nothing more than coded messages. For this reason, it is up to the receiver’s brain to be able to interpret their meaning.

There are specific pheromones for each type of message:

  • Sex pheromones: they can be released to communicate messages to other animals, as in the case of the sexual pheromones released by the female in heat to communicate their availability for mating;
  • Emotional pheromones: they are real modulators of emotions, used, for example, to induce relaxation;
  • Territorial pheromones: they are found mainly in urine markings and fingertips, and are used to mark the territory;
  • Social pheromones: are produced when animals are in a group and need to communicate with other dogs or cats;
  • Alarm pheromones: used to communicate one's fear to other animals, alerting them of any dangers
  • Fulfilment pheromones: they are released by the mother to attract the babies towards their breast and to stimulate the mother-offspring bond.

gatto spruzza urina


cane con collare feromoni

Synthetic pheromones

In recent years, research has managed to recreate in the laboratory the same chemical structure of the pheromones produced by dogs and cats. By doing this, it was possible to make synthetic pheromones, which are now sold in specialized stores to alleviate and solve a large number of behavioural problems.

These are essentially two types of pheromones: contentment and social.

As for contentment pheromones, these are mostly used in dog diffusers. When adopting a puppy, synthetic pheromones can act as a substitute for maternal pheromones, to reduce the sense of dispersion that babies can feel when introduced into a new environment.

In the case of synthetic pheromone diffusers for cats, substances similar to those produced by the feline's facial glands are released. By doing this, fear and stress can be neutralized, as well as all type of discomfort. It can also stimulate the social aspect of the cat, which will be ready to accept humans and other animals in the house.

When cats no longer perceive their own smell as the predominant one in their territory, they can begin to manifest territorial behaviours, such as scratching and inappropriate urination. Synthetic pheromone diffusers can create an environment with very similar odours to those produced by the cat, so it can avoid these problems.

In conclusion, thanks to the synthetic pheromone diffusers, it is possible to prevent and solve a large number of behavioural problems in dogs and cats, helping to create a calmer environment in the house.



L’alimentazione del cane e del gatto sterilizzato

Diet for sterilized pets

Sterilized animals have a greater tendency to overweight and obesity, so they must be offered a food with particular characteristics, which must aim above all at weight control. What is the ideal diet for neutered dogs and cats?


Sterilization, also called castration (in males), is the intervention that allows the removal of some parts of the animal's reproductive system. In particular, in females ovaries, with or without the uterus, whilst in males only the testicles.

Sterilization mainly serves to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but it also has other very important tasks. First of all, by sterilizing our animals, the so-called recurring "heat" in females is avoided, your dog will not run away at night to have fun as they might have been doing before.

Furthermore, sterilization is essential to reduce the risk of breast tumours in females and testicles in males, especially if carried out before the onset of the first heat in females.

This is an intervention that can now be easily defined as routine. It is performed under general anesthesia and has a fairly short duration, especially in males.

Why do neutered animals gain more weight?

Sterilization is not the direct cause of weight gain, but rather is able to induce a series of changes in the animal. If the owner does not do anything about this, the animal will become fat.

These changes include:

  • The metabolism: the set of processes that occur in the body to exploit the energy obtained from food, becomes slower, so energy is accumulated, rather than consumed;
  • The animal tends to get bored more and wants to eat more often;
  • The animal becomes lazier;
  • Stress and mental and physical activation caused by the "heat" are reduced.

gatto sterilizzato sovrappeso

In any case, dogs and cats that live indoors in most cases tend to gain weight regardless of sterilization. Owners are responsible for the food given to the animal and for the amount of physical activity they do during the day. Therefore, in this case, sterilization is just the icing on the cake.

What does the diet for sterilized animals include?

The specific diet for sterilized dogs and cats must aim first of all at weight control, but also at preventing recurring conditions in these animals.

Key features of sterilized animal food include:

  • Low Calorie: Calories are our body's fuel. Their contribution must be balanced with the actual use. By giving the animal too much caloric food, without having the opportunity to dispose it off through the right physical activity, will undoubtedly make it fat;
  • Less fat: fats should not be banned from the diet, because they are essential for many functions. Their content, however, must be balanced and proportionate to that of the other ingredients;
  • Rich in fibre: fibres perform many different functions for our body, but in this case, they are essential to stimulate the sense of satiety and to promote intestinal transit. The fibres, in fact, once arrived in the intestine, swell, giving the perception of having eaten much more, and at the same time pushes the stool outwards;
  • Good quality protein: in lower quality pet foods, you can find poor quality meats and protein sources, such as offal and waste. A healthy food, on the other hand, must contain good quality proteins, such as eggs, fish and meat;
  • Low magnesium content: magnesium is one of the most harmful minerals for the urinary tract of animals, but especially for cats. If present in excessive quantities, it can cause the so-called struvite stones. For this reason, the diet of sterilized animals must not exceed magnesium content. The diet must make the urine more acidic, in order to facilitate the dissolution of the stones;
  • Relationship between calcium and phosphorus: the relationship between these two minerals in the body must be well balanced. In fact, a lack of phosphorus stimulates the elimination of calcium through the urine. Calcium can compact in the urinary tract, creating calcium oxalate stones that are much more difficult to remove than struvite stones.

In conclusion, it is important to constantly stimulate the animal to drink, also encouraging it to consume the right amount of wet food. By doing this, he will feel less hungry and we will also prevent the formation of stones and inflammation of the urinary tract.


immagine La depressione nel cane e nel gatto, conoscerla e affrontarla

Depression in cats and dogs, lets fight against it

Our pets can also experience symptoms of depression, just like us. The reasons behind this problem can range from some triggering situations in the family and in the environment in which they live, to various diseases and disorders. Let's see what depression is and how to avoid it.

Probably one of the reasons that can affect the mood of the dog and cat is linked precisely to the fact that at home they cannot do the same things they would do in nature. In fact, both pets are predators, so they are used to living outdoors, hunting, rolling around in the grass, mating...

gatto triste depresso

Having a family is undoubtedly a more than a positive aspect. Affection, attention, not having to feel hungry, medical care are certainly just some of the privileges of animals living in the house.

At the same time, however, they are in a way, undergoing a reprogramming of their needs and activities. The owner always makes food available, toys replace the enthusiasm of hunting and the pleasure of mating is precluded from sterilization.

For this reason our pets can often feel little motivated, precisely because they cannot find the same stimuli at home that they would always have available in nature.

A good owner should be able to compensate for the needs of his friend from this point of view. This can only be achieved by spending quality time with your pet, with cuddling, daily walking activities and games outdoors.

Causes of depression

Among the main reasons for depression we find above all the lack of these activities. They are left alone in the house with more frequency each time without the possibility of playing or interacting with other animals or the owner.

In addition, depression is mainly caused by the change in a fixed routine the animal used to have. The arrival of a newborn or another animal, the loss of a family member, are also among the causes of depression.

The most common situations that can promote depression include:

  • Moving house;
  • Old Age;
  • Birth of a newborn;
  • Adoption of another animal;
  • Removal of the puppies from their mother;
  • Relocation of a family member;
  • Temporary absence of the owners for holidays;
  • Adoption by another family;
  • Shorter or longer stay in a dog boarding house
  • Kennel syndrome or sensory deprivation, typical of animals that have always lived isolated, without any contact with normal objects and noises typical of a house or a city, and react with anxiety, depression and phobias when placed in a context different from what they are used to;

cane triste depresso

At the same time, some diseases or medical conditions can also induce a state of apathy in the animal that can lead to depression.

Symptoms of Depression

What are the typical signs of this problem and how can you recognize depression in dogs and cats?

  • Sleeps more than usual;
  • He eats little and refuses the food you offer him;
  • Has no interest in his favourite games;
  • Tends to isolate itself;
  • He doesn’t want to go out for daily walks with the owner;
  • Doesn't respond if you call him.

What should I do?

In these cases, it is very important to contact your veterinarian to rule out the presence of a health problem. Later you can intervene by following a series of tips and tricks to help your pet overcome depression. The main ones are:

  • Make him feel your presence;
  • Caress him often;
  • Talk to him in a low, sweet voice;
  • Try to stimulate him with his usual games. In cats, it can be useful to choose games based on catnip, which all felines particularly appreciate. There are also attractive sprays on the market to spray on toys, making them more stimulating;
  • Offer him his favourite food, preferably after slightly warming it up. In fact, the heat makes the smell of food easily perceptible;
  • Bach flowers: they represent one of the most famous remedies of alternative medicine. They are special natural preparations capable of directly acting on mood and emotions. In recent years, they have also been increasingly used in pets, to treat problems such as depression, phobias and anxiety. Ask a homeopathic doctor or your veterinarian for advice, who will be able to prescribe a Bach flower preparation specifically for your pet.

Depression is a problem that is often underestimated, but it can also lead to serious consequences. So try to act as soon as possible, helping your pet to return to the playful and carefree state of mind of all time.