When you bring home your kitten for the first time, it may seem like there are a million things to remember - from booking vaccinations and flea treatments to arranging microchipping and clearing out the litter tray.

However, one key consideration when it comes to introducing a cat to the household is what you plan to feed your new pet to ensure they grow up to be happy, healthy and active.

The best diet for your cat should include protein as the main ingredient, but should also contain the right levels of vitamins, minerals, fibres and fatty acids to keep your cat fit and healthy.

In general, a dry cat food such as Hills or Iams cat food is a good choice to start your feline out on, as these products contain naturally healthy ingredients and also provide diets specially designed for kittens and young cats.

When it comes to how and when to feed your feline friend, Cats Protection's clinical veterinary officer Beth Skillings recommends feeding little and often and advises keeping a close eye on the amounts you're putting in their bowl to ensure your cat doesn't become overweight.

"Cats tend to like to eat little and often, which mimics their natural feeding behaviour," she says.

"It's important to make sure you don't feed cats too much food - they often need a little less after being neutered for example - so keep an eye on how much you offer."

As Beth points out, there are certain factors worth taking into consideration when choosing how much to feed your cat, such as their medical history, age and breed.

For instance, although kittens may be small, they spend hours playing every day, so will require a diet that provides them with all the energy they need to keep active.

"Kittens have small stomachs and high energy requirements so they need to be fed little and often with energy-dense kitten food," Beth adds.

Written by: Hannah