Kittens fed sub-optimal diets that do not meet the recommendations of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (wsava.org) are more likely to be taken to the veterinarian as adults for gastrointestinal problems. Researchers made the finding when they combed through questionnaires completed by owners of more than 1,200 cats. Cats younger than 4 months of age who were not fed commercial diets up to the WSAVA standard had a higher chance of being brought to the doctor at least twice by the time they were two and a half years old. Their gastrointestinal symptoms included vomiting and diarrhea.
The finding was just an association rather than proof of cause and effect, but why take chances? If you’re feeding a kitten, make sure she eats food produced by a large manufacturer who follows the WSAVA’s nutrient guidelines for pet food makers. These include having a qualified nutritionist on staff and adherence to nutrition guidelines specified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.