The 10 Best Kitten Foods

It’s important to provide your kitten with a nutritionally complete recipe that supports development. Compare these kitten food formulas from our selected brands to find one that fits your kitten's needs.

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A healthy diet is the best way to give your kitten a good start in life. The best kitten food is packed with species-appropriate animal protein to help him grow strong muscles.

Healthy fats provide a concentrated source of calories and support the development of cell membranes. They also help transport nutrients throughout the body.

Kitten food contains higher concentrations of fat and protein than adult food because your kitten needs more of these nutrients to fuel his growth and development. A healthy kitten food contains limited carbohydrate content and is free from artificial additives.

Best Kitten Food Formulas in 2022

Now that you’ve been introduced to the basics about kitten food, take a look at some of the options we recommend below.

1

Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

Rating

Price 61%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 82%
Customer Experience 65%
Nutrient Value 89%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.81

Company info

Company HQLincoln, Nebraska Parent companyM.I. Industries

Overview

With its delicious chicken flavor and smooth pate texture, this canned kitten food is a highly palatable product. This recipe features fresh chicken as the primary ingredient with supplemental protein and essential nutrients from beef liver. Salmon provides a rich source of DHA and omega-3 fatty acids while chicken broth delivers moisture to support your kitten’s hydration and add flavor.

Chicken, Beef Liver, Chicken Broth, Salmon (Source of DHA), Eggs, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 12%

Fat: 6%

Fiber: 1%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 3%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 54.55%

Fat: 27.27%

Fiber: 4.55%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 13.64%

What We Like

  • High moisture content
  • To our knowledge, Instinct has never had a product recall
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Free of plant-based thickeners
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Doesn’t receive consistently positive customer reviews
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
2

Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food

Rating

Price 83%
Quality of Ingredients 82%
Customer Experience 76%
Nutrient Value 80%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$0.58

Company info

Company HQAustin, Texas Parent companyNulo Pet Food

Overview

Because it’s formulated for adult cats and kittens, this Nulo Freestyle recipe could save you the hassle of having to transition your kitten onto a different adult diet. It’s packed with protein from fresh turkey and chicken, supplemented with additional protein from turkey liver and tuna. Menhaden fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA while pumpkin provides protein to support your kitten’s digestion.

Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Tuna, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Agar Agar, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 11%

Fat: 6.5%

Fiber: 0.75%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 3.75%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 50%

Fat: 29.55%

Fiber: 3.41%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 17.05%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • High moisture content
  • To our knowledge, Nulo has never had a product recall
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Affordable
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
3

Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food

Rating

Price 36%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 76%
Customer Experience 84%
Nutrient Value 73%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.18

Company info

Company HQLincoln, Nebraska Parent companyM.I. Industries

Overview

Crunchy kibbles packed with animal protein, this dry food formula is full of chicken flavor. This recipe includes 81% real animal ingredients with wholesome fruits and veggies to ensure nutritional balance. It contains guaranteed levels of natural probiotics to support your kitten’s digestion while omega oils provide DHA and skin support.

Chicken, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Egg Product, Chicken Meal, White Fish Meal (Pacific Whiting, Pacific Sole, Pacific Rockfish), Tapioca, Natural Flavor, Lamb Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 42.5%

Fat: 22.5%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 9%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 23%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 46.7%

Fat: 24.73%

Fiber: 3.3%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 25.27%

What We Like

  • To our knowledge, Instinct has never had a product recall
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
4

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

Rating

Price 47%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 77%
Customer Experience 79%
Nutrient Value 69%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$0.16

Company info

Company HQAustin, Texas Parent companyNulo Pet Food

Overview

Get your kitten off to a good start with this grain-free dry food from Nulo. This recipe features four animal-based proteins as the top ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and cod. Chicken fat is a nutrient-rich source of energy and essential fatty acids, helping support your kitten’s growth and development.

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Dried Sweet Potato, Dried Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxidine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 40%

Fat: 20%

Fiber: 4%

Moisture: 10%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 26%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 44.44%

Fat: 22.22%

Fiber: 4.44%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 28.89%

What We Like

  • To our knowledge, Nulo has never had a product recall
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains health promoting ground flaxseed for fiber
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein

What We Did Not Like

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
5

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

Rating

Price 53%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 77%
Customer Experience 82%
Nutrient Value 89%
Recall History 33%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.90

Company info

Company HQTewksbury, Massachusetts Parent companyWellPet LLC

Overview

Formulated with wholesome, natural ingredients, this canned food formula is just what your kitten needs for healthy growth and development. This Wellness recipe is protein-focused, featuring fresh turkey and chicken liver as the primary ingredients. Chicken, chicken meal, and herring provide supplemental protein with menhaden fish oil as a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Overall, this recipe is highly digestible and very low in carbohydrates.

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.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 12%

Fat: 7.5%

Fiber: 1%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 1.5%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 54.55%

Fat: 34.09%

Fiber: 4.55%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 6.82%

What We Like

  • High moisture content
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains health promoting ground flaxseed for fiber
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • The brand has had multiple recalls over recent years
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
6

Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Canned Cat Food

Rating

Price 88%
Quality of Ingredients 52%
Customer Experience 87%
Nutrient Value 80%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.48

Company info

Company HQSt. Louis, Missouri Parent companyNestlé Purina Petcare Co.

Overview

If affordability is a concern, this Fancy Feast formula might be a good choice. Fresh turkey is the primary ingredient and a rich source of animal-based protein. This recipe also contains supplemental protein sources from fish and eggs. Vitamin and mineral supplements help to ensure complete and balanced nutrition, making sure your kitten has everything he needs to grow up healthy and strong.

Turkey, Liver, Meat By-Products, Poultry Broth, Milk, Fish, Egg Product, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Tricalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Minerals [Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Added Color, Salt, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement], Taurine. C-6621.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 11%

Fat: 5%

Fiber: 1.5%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 3.5%

Carb: 1%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 50%

Fat: 22.73%

Fiber: 6.82%

Ash: 15.91%

Carb: 4.55%

What We Like

  • High moisture content
  • To our knowledge, Fancy Feast has never had a product recall
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Affordable
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Contains artificial food dyes
  • Contains vaguely-named Meat products
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
7

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Healthy Kitten Recipe Canned Cat Food

Rating

Price 67%
Size Variety 73%
Quality of Ingredients 74%
Customer Experience 81%
Nutrient Value 62%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 50%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.76

Company info

Company HQAmarillo, Texas Parent companyMerrick Pet Care

Overview

Give your kitten goodness from the earth with this Whole Earth Farms canned food formula. This recipe features fresh chicken as the primary ingredient with supplemental protein from chicken liver and dried egg. Salmon oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and DHA to support your kitten’s skin and coat as well as his brain and eye development. This recipe is made in the USA and completely free from artificial additives.

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Salmon Oil, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Agar-Agar, Ground Flaxseed, Locust Bean Gum, Xanthan Gum, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K), Vitamin D3 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Potassium Iodide).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 9%

Fat: 4%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 78%

Ash: 3%

Carb: 3%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 40.91%

Fat: 18.18%

Fiber: 13.64%

Ash: 13.64%

Carb: 13.64%

What We Like

  • High moisture content
  • To our knowledge, Whole Earth Farms has never had a product recall
  • Contains health promoting ground flaxseed for fiber
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
8

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food

Rating

Price 38%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 79%
Customer Experience 81%
Nutrient Value 80%
Recall History 33%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.18

Company info

Company HQTewksbury, Massachusetts Parent companyWellPet LLC

Overview

Featuring fresh turkey and chicken as the primary proteins, this recipe also contains herring meal for added protein and flavor. Chicken fat is the primary source of added fat, but salmon oil is also included as a rich source of omega-3s and DHA. Packed with protein, this recipe supports healthy growth and development in kittens with a proprietary probiotic coating to ensure regular digestion and optimal nutrient absorption.

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Ground Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Natural Chicken Flavor, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (added to preserve freshness), Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 45%

Fat: 18%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 10%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 24%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 50%

Fat: 20%

Fiber: 3.33%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 26.67%

What We Like

  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains health promoting ground flaxseed for fiber
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • The brand has had multiple recalls over recent years
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
9

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food for Young Kittens

Rating

Price 41%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 58%
Customer Experience 92%
Nutrient Value 54%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 40%

Product info

Age Range:Kitten Cost per day:$0.17

Company info

Company HQAimargues, France Parent companyMars Inc

Overview

This dry food formula is designed to support your kitten’s digestion, immunity, and overall health. It is uniquely formulated for kittens aged 4 to 12 months, packed with protein from chicken and egg. An exclusive blend of antioxidants helps your kitten develop a strong immune system while a unique combination of fibers and prebiotics ensure easy digestion.

Chicken By-Product Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Gluten, Corn, Natural Flavors, Egg Product, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Oil, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Grain Distillers Dried Yeast, Sodium Pyrophosphate, Potassium Chloride, Psyllium Seed Husk, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharides, Hydrolyzed Yeast (source of Betaglucans), Choline Chloride, Vitamins [DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (source of Vitamin E), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement], Taurine, Salt, Trace Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate], L-Lysine, Marigold Extract (Tagetes Erecta L.), Magnesium Oxide, Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 34%

Fat: 16%

Fiber: 4%

Moisture: 8%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 38%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 36.96%

Fat: 17.39%

Fiber: 4.35%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 41.3%

What We Like

  • To our knowledge, Royal Canin has never had a product recall
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Most customers have good experiences with this food
  • Has all the nutrients your kitten or mother cat needs

What We Did Not Like

  • Low in moisture
  • Contains plant-based proteins
  • Contains Chicken by products
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish

Why Should You Trust Us

As cat parents ourselves, we understand how hard it is to choose the right kitten food with so many recipes available in 2022. So how do you navigate past marketing claims to get real facts?

That’s where we come in. With over 2352 recipe reviews, Pet Food Sherpa is the largest database for cat food recipe reviews overseen by a vet nutrition specialist.

Our team has analyzed over 125 Kitten Foods and selected the 10 best recipes, we then used our pet food algorithm to determine the scores for each recipe.

You should keep in mind that no single Kitten Food food is right for all cats. Instead, use our list as a research tool to help you make a better-informed decision on your kitten’s diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When to transition kitten to cat food?

When your kitten is still growing, it’s important to provide him with a nutritionally complete kitten recipe that supports development. Kittens require a much higher concentration of calories and protein than adult cats, so it’s best to feed a kitten kitten food rather than adult cat food.

As your kitten matures, his rate of growth will slow down and you can start thinking about making the switch to adult cat food. If you have a purebred kitten and have an expected adult size, you can start transitioning onto adult cat food when your kitten reaches about 80% of his expected size. For mixed breeds, size predictions are tricky so it may be best to simply go with the 12-month rule.

While some breeds take longer to develop than others, many kittens stop growing or grow at a much slower rate after 12 months. This is the ideal time to make the switch to adult cat food because your kitten no longer needs the higher calorie content. Protein will continue to be essential throughout your cat’s life, however, so be sure to choose an adult cat food formula that is rich in animal protein.

To transition your kitten onto an adult cat food, simply mix small amounts of the new food with his current diet and increase the proportion over the course of a week or so. If your kitten has a sensitive stomach or experiences digestive upset during the transition, you may need to draw it out longer.

2. Can adult cats eat kitten food?

All cats have the same basic nutritional requirements, though there are some differences in optimal concentrations for key nutrients between different life stages. For adult cats, the most important thing is maintaining a healthy body weight. For kittens, growth and development is the key.

Commercial cat foods are formulated in accordance with the recommendations set forth by AAFCO. In order to meet these recommendations, adult cat foods must contain at least 26% protein and 9% fat and kitten foods must contain at least 30% protein and 9% fat. So, kitten food will certainly meet the minimum nutritional requirements for adult cats, but it may not be the best choice.

While kitten food is higher in protein than adult cat food, it also tends to be more concentrated in calories. This could be beneficial for very active cats who have trouble keeping on weight, but it could be a problem for overweight or obese cats who don’t need the extra calories.

There’s certainly nothing dangerous about kitten food for adult cats, but it’s generally best to select a recipe appropriate for your cat’s life sage.

3. How much wet cat food should you feed a kitten?

As your kitten is growing and developing, he needs a steady influx of energy. Not only should you choose a calorie-dense kitten formula, but you should feed your kitten often enough to sustain his metabolism. For most kittens, that means at least three daily meals.

An adult cat needs between 2.5 and 3 ounces of wet food per 10 pounds of body weight per day. Growing kittens may need up to twice as many calories than adult cats per pound of body weight, though their needs will change as they grow.

Very young kittens should be offered unlimited amounts of wet food or dry food mixed with water or milk replacement to soften the texture. By the time your kitten is fully weaned, you can continue to let him feed freely or start to offer portioned meals.

Up to six months of age, kittens should eat about 2 ounces of wet food per pound of body weight per day. Between six and 12 months, give your kitten about 1.5 ounces of wet food per pound of body weight daily. After your kitten reaches maturity at 1 year, you can switch to adult portions.

Something to keep in mind when feeding your kitten is that different recipes have differing calorie content. It’s a good idea to check the calorie content on the can and refer to the feeding recommendations, using your kitten’s age and weight to determine the proper portion. Keep an eye on your kitten’s growth to determine whether you need to make adjustments from there.

4. Is it okay to give a kitten regular cat food?

Kittens require a diet that is rich in protein and calories to support their rapid growth and development. While all cat food that is formulated in accordance with AAFCO nutrient profiles contains the minimal protein requirements for adult cats, kitten food has higher levels of protein – they also generally have more fat. Higher concentrations of protein provide the amino acids your kitten needs for healthy muscle development while extra fat provides calories for energy to sustain growth.

For these reasons, it’s best to give kitten food to kittens and feed adult cat food to adult cats. There’s certainly nothing harmful about adult cat food, but it simply isn’t going to support your kitten’s optimal growth and wellness.

If your kitten snacks from an adult cat’s bowl, you don’t need to be concerned about any significant negative effects. Your kitten might experience some digestive upset if the two recipes are very different, but there isn’t anything in adult cat food that isn’t good for kittens.

5. Can kittens eat dry cat food?

When it comes to feeding your kitten, finding a nutritionally complete recipe is the most important thing. As long as you choose a recipe formulated to support kitten growth and development, you have the freedom to choose between wet cat food and dry cat food.

Though you can certainly feed your kitten whatever type of kitten food you like, there are some advantages to wet food over dry cat food.

Wet cat food is a more species-appropriate choice for kittens than dry cat food for several reasons. First and foremost, it tends to be higher in protein than dry food and lower in carbohydrates. Dry cat food requires the use of starches and other binders to shape it into kibble – it also typically requires the use of added preservatives which canned food does not.

Depending on your kitten’s age, wet cat food may be easier to eat. Very young kittens that have only just begun to eat solid food generally do best with wet food or moistened dry food. The soft texture of wet food is often more palatable and certainly easier for kittens to eat.

While wet cat food may be a more species-appropriate choice for kittens, there’s no reason you can’t feed your kitten dry cat food. It is often more affordable and easier to portion and store than wet food. If that’s what’s in your budget, there’s nothing wrong with it.

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