Choosing the Best Kitten Food
Kittens are, without a doubt, some of the most adorable and purest little creatures. And if you are the owner of a kitten, then you know just how much this is true! They’re in their infancy, so they need to have a good running start to live a long and healthy life.
That’s where quality food comes in. Because kittens develop quite rapidly in their first year of life, they need a lot of protein and fat in their diet.
And kittens grow very quickly. At around 10 weeks they go from being a few ounces at birth to two pounds. That’s when they’re ready to start eating solid food. They also have insane energy levels – 3x the energy of an adult cat to be exact! So it’s imperative you fuel them with only the best. Don’t let their size fool you, kittens need more food than you think!
Our Top Kitten Food Features
When you feed your kitten the best, high nutrient kitten food, you’ll be confident that they are getting the nourishment they need to build vital tissues and organs. If you factor in these features while you’re shopping, your kitten will be purrfectly fed in no time!
Dedicated Kitten Food
This is something to confirm not only with your vet, but also the food label. As most food will explicitly say ‘Kitten Food”. And that’s what you want! Speciality made kitten food will be a superior choice compared to adult cat food at this stage.
You can be more assured of high quality kitten food when it has the endorsement from The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Dry or Wet Food?
This is a hard one, because both types have their upsides. Dry food is cheaper and less messy while wet food contains more moisture. Also wet food typically is savoured by kittens and cats everywhere for its juicy texture.
Ultimately, you can feed your kitten a combo of both to get them used to different textures, but aim to stick to wet food more; it’s easier on their developing digestive system. Not only that but kittens need a lot of hydration for their growing bodies, and they’ll be sure to get it through canned wet food.
For kittens, you’ll want to be on the lookout for high levels of protein (at least 30%) in the form of whole and named meats. Finding kitten food that is also high in fat (at least 9%) will support their intense energy levels at this stage as well. Look for products that boast omega fatty acids, Vitamin E and selenium to aid in brain and immune system development.
Other important vitamins include calcium and phosphorus to strengthen their bones. You should also prioritize food that is free from artificial flavours and preservatives to prevent an upset stomach.
This may seem like a less important factor – but there’s no point in buying food that your kitten won’t eat. You’ll get a sense of what foods and meats your kitten can’t stop devouring, and it’s best to stick to that! Luckily, there is a wide variety of flavours so your kitten is spoiled for choices on this front.
Top Kitten Food
However, it’s most important to purchase food that is specifically designed for kittens and has good nutritional content. If something comes up in regards to your kitten’s needs, consult with your vet before bringing anything new into their diet. And without further adieu, here are some of our top kitten food choices.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food
Wellness CORE formulated their Natural Grain Free Turkey and Chicken Liver Pate canned kitten food in order to support the body of a growing kitten. Perfect for kitties in need of extra energy, Wellness CORE focused on whole sources of protein, by utilizing turkey, chicken liver, turkey broth, chicken and even herring.
A grain-free recipe removes fillers, including carrageenan, making room for more balanced ingredients. Wellness CORE created their canned wet kitten food without byproducts, grains, artificial flavors and artificial colors. Additional taurine, vitamins and minerals also mean optimal muscle growth and overall kitten health.
Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Herring, Natural Flavor, Cranberries, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
108 kcal/3-oz can, 199 kcal/5.5-oz can
Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Ultra Soft Mousse in Sauce Canned Cat Food
If your growing kitten has lost his appetite or needs help transitioning from milk to solid food, then try Royal Canin’s Gastrointestinal Kitten Ultra Soft Mousse in Sauce. This canned cat food is a high-energy formula that has a tempting mousse texture. It’s also packed with adapted levels of nutrients, including protein and calcium to help support healthy digestion, allowing pet parents to feed their little kitties small portions to support sensitive tummies. And to promote a balance of good bacteria in your cat’s gut, this recipe contains a precise blend of prebiotics and a blend of dietary fibers, which also help encourage optimal stool quality.
Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Chicken By-Products, Pork By-Products, Natural Flavors, Powdered Cellulose, Wheat Gluten, Casein, Pork Plasma, Vegetable Oil, Modified Corn Starch, Brewers Rice Flour, Hydrolyzed Poultry By-Products Aggregate, Fish Oil, Hydrolyzed Yeast (Source Of Betaglucans), Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Carrageenan, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Guar Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Fructooligosaccharides, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin Supplement, Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement], Citric Acid, Sodium Carbonate, Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Magnesium Oxide, Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.), Carotene.
947 kcal ME/kg, 137 kcal ME/can
Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse in Sauce Wet Cat Food for New Kittens and Nursing or Pregnant Mother Cats
Healthy growth begins with good nutrition which can be found in Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse in Sauce Wet Cat Food. Specially crafted for new kittens and nursing or pregnant mother cats, this recipe is packed with essential nutrients like DHA for brain development and immune-strengthening antioxidants. It also aids in digestive health with highly digestible proteins and prebiotics. The texture of the ultra-soft mouse is purr-fect for her emerging teeth and a growing appetite.
Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Chicken By-Products, Pork By-Products, Wheat Gluten, Powdered Cellulose, Modified Corn Starch, Pork Plasma, Natural Flavors, Vegetable Oil, Brewers Rice Flour, Fish Oil, Hydrolyzed Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Carrageenan, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Guar Gum, Potassium Phosphate, Taurine, Vitamins [Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin Supplement, Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement], Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.), Magnesium Oxide, Carotene.
919 kcal/kg, 152 kcal/can
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Whitefish Salmon & Herring Pate Canned Kitten & Cat Food
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Whitefish Salmon & Herring Pate Canned Cat Food offers a high-protein diet to give your cat the energy she needs to thrive. This poultry and gluten-free recipe includes wholesome, carefully selected ingredients for optimum health benefits, high-levels of omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and a lustrous coat, and berries and botanicals to round out the diet for maximum benefit. Each recipe is made without the use of any carrageenan, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives—just wholesome ingredients for a nutritious meal.
Developed with only premium ingredients—no carrageenan, artificial colors, flavors, or by-products.
Whitefish, Salmon Broth, Salmon, Tuna, Herring, Dried Ground Potatoes, Canola Oil, Ground Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Cranberries, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.
Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Cat Food
Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Cat Food is an age-essential, dry kitten food made with the four foundational building blocks of nutrition: high in protein for developing lean muscle, DHA for brain and vision development, essential nutrients like those found in mother’s milk, and antioxidants for strong immune health. Every meal also provides the 25 essential vitamins and minerals cats need at any age. Plus, it’s formulated with a taste kittens love—and without artificial colors or flavors—to help give them the nutrition they need while they develop.
Chicken By-product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice, Soy Flour, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Ground Whole Wheat, Chicken, Fish Meal, Liver Flavor, Dried Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Choline Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], Taurine, Potassium Chloride. J453018.
3,653 kcal/kg, 408 kcal/cup
Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that kittens need specially formulated kitten food. After that, deciding whether you want to feed them canned, wet food or dry food is up to you, your vet and your kitten (they can be quite finicky!).
But it’s good for very young kittens to have at least some wet food in their diet. Because of their small teeth, they may not be able to chew dry food as well. Adult teeth start to make an appearance around 3 – 4 months. So at the beginning, wet, canned food may be your only option. However, introducing a mixture of wet and dry food is a good idea as they both offer benefits to your precious fur baby.
Benefits of wet food:
- Maintains hydrations and sufficient water intake
- Smells better and is easier to eat due to its soft texture
- Convenient and fresh to serve
- Good for kidney health and preventing urinary tract infections
- High protein/low carbs to support your growing kitten
Benefits of dry food:
- Cheaper and can store longer
- Easy to measure and serve
- Good for your kitten’s dental health and removing plaque
Dry food isn’t inherently bad for kittens, it’s just best if you incorporate wet food in their diet in addition to dry food. Dry kibble is more likely to contain more carbs, less meat and less moisture so it can contribute to dehydration, urinary tract issues and more. If they just eat dry food, then they’re more likely to not drink enough water.
Given that a can of wet food contains around 70 – 80% of water – it’s completely fresh, moisture-rich and nutritionally sound with the essential ingredients your baby needs. This is necessary to keep your kitty hydrated and healthy. That’s why the wet and dry food combination offers the best of both worlds!
Kittens are growing fur babies; their weight often doubles or triples just in the first several weeks! In addition, their energy is off the charts. For these reasons, kittens require different nutritional elements compared to adults. Kittens need more calories, protein, amino acids, calcium and healthy fat.
Being able to discern whether you have the right food for your kitten is first looking at quality. You should be purchasing from reputable companies that are also recommended by your veterinarian. When it has a “Complete and Balanced” label as set out by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) – then it’s in the clear.
After doing a quality analysis, you should evaluate how your kitten is looking, behaving and reacting to the food. Do they seem playful and alert? Have they been steadily gaining weight? Does their coat look clean and healthy? These are all questions you should be asking to determine if you’re feeding the right food.
Would you feed a newborn, human baby food that you would eat as an adult? Hopefully not! Because babies require different nutrients and textures compared to adults. The same goes for kittens. Now – you’re kitten won’t be harmed if they have the occasional adult cat food.
However, it’s important to feed them food formulated for kittens until they reach 1 year of age. For their tiny stature, kittens need tons of energy (around two to three times more than an adult cat). Purchasing food that is explicitly labeled as ‘Kitten Food” will benefit your little one at this life stage.
Because of their high, exuberant energy, kittens need to be fed more than an adult cat would. Always check with your vet to confirm the right portion size and how often you should feed him or her. But for most kittens around 3 – 6 months old, it’s recommended to feed them around three times per day: morning, afternoon and evening.
The benefit of dry food is that it can be left out for longer periods without compromising safety. If you do choose to leave dry food out, just keep portions controlled to avoid overeating and weight gain. On the other hand, canned wet food shouldn’t be left out longer than 20 – 30 minutes to avoid contamination. Store any remaining wet food in the fridge for up to 5 days, sealed and covered in the can.