The food that kittens receive throughout their first year must obviously provide energy and materials to build the skeleton, the muscles and all the new tissues. But nutrition doesn't stop there: it must also help kittens to develop a fully functioning nervous system and effective immune system. Any deficiency in essential nutrients (those who cannot be synthesized by the animal's body) during this very delicate period may affect the cat's future health.
Many recipes developed by veterinary nutritionists are available for owners who wish to prepare a nutritionally balanced home-made diet for their kitten. However, it is illusory to succeed in respecting all the required conditions because the nutritional balance of a household ration is subject to various hazards. The owner will always find it difficult to follow the recipe exactly, the necessary ingredients are not always available, and the nutritional composition of the ingredients can vary considerably depending on the origin of the product. When preparing a home-made diet, no laboratory analysis can verify the nutritional composition of the raw materials used!
Therefore, even when accompanied by the distribution of a mineral and vitamin supplement, home-made diets for cats often show deficiencies in several nutrients such as choline, iron and thiamine. In addition, cats cannot synthesize vitamin D as humans do (via exposure to UV rays) and this vitamin must be provided daily in the diet.