Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

The Best Kitten Food

kitten

When you bring home a new kitten it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, but you need to remember your responsibilities as a cat owner.

Not only do you need to provide for your kitten’s basic needs, but you need to provide it with a healthy diet as well. Start your kitten off right with a high-quality, nutritious diet to keep it healthy for many years to come.

Continue reading to learn more about your cat’s basic nutritional needs and to receive some simple tips for picking the best cat food to provide for those needs.

You’ll also receive our top 5 picks for the best kitten food.

Quick Look at Our Top Picks:

ImageProductFeatures

Best Overall

Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Kitten Recipe
  • Contains 81% real animal ingredients with 19% fruits, veggies, and supplements
  • Real chicken is the main ingredient
  • Formulated to support healthy growth
View Best Price

Best Affordable

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Recipe
  • Made with 100% all-natural, high-quality ingredients
  • Contains 36% protein and 14% fat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics
View Best Price

Best Wet Food for Kittens

Wellness Grain-Free Kitten Recipe Wet Food
  • Made with real chicken and chicken liver as the top two ingredients
  • Naturally grain-free and low in carbohydrates
  • Formulated to support healthy growth and development in kittens
View Best Price

Editor's Choice

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Grain-Free Kitten Food
  • High-protein recipe made with several quality animal proteins
  • Naturally grain-free and free from fillers and artificial additives
  • Rich in healthy animal fats
View Best Price

Best for Allergies

Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe
  • Made with just 8 main ingredients
  • Contains several sources of premium animal protein
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics
View Best Price

Special Dietary Requirements of Kittens

All cats have the same basic nutritional requirements, but kittens have some special considerations.

Because they are still growing, kittens need extra protein to develop strong muscles as well as extra fat to provide the energy needed to fuel their growth.

They also need the perfect blend of nutrients to ensure that their bodies grow and develop properly.

Here are some things to look for in a good kitten food:

  • Quality Protein. As a carnivore, your kitten has high needs for protein and it is best when it comes from animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish.
  • Healthy Fats. Fat provides your kitten with energy to fuel its growth and development as well as omega fatty acids for brain development and healthy skin and coat.
  • Beneficial Supplements. Vitamin and mineral supplements ensure that your kitten gets the right blend of nutrients for healthy growth and development.
  • Digestibility. In addition to making sure that your kitten’s food is full of nutritious ingredients, you need to ensure that it is digestible, so its body can absorb all of those nutrients.

Also Read: The 6 Best Wet & Dry Cat Food Brands

Keeping all of these things in mind, you’re now ready to learn how to choose the best kitten food. Here’s what you need to know:

How to Choose the Best Kitten Food

Your kitten needs a diet rich in animal-based proteins and fats to fuel its growth and development.

Most of its nutrition should come from animal sources because your kitten is an obligate carnivore – this means that its body is designed to derive nutrition most efficiently from animal rather than plant sources.

Protein is the most important nutrient, essential for building strong muscles, and your kitten needs a minimum of 30% protein in its diet.

After protein, fat is the next most important nutrient for kittens and should make up at least 9% of its diet.

Fat provides a concentrated source of energy in the form of calories to fuel your kitten’s rapid growth.

Like protein, fat should come primarily from animal sources like chicken fat and salmon oil. In addition to energy, fat provides omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat – it also provides fats like DHA which are essential for brain development.

In addition to protein and fat, your kitten needs certain vitamins and minerals. Choosing a high-quality kitten food is the best way to ensure that your kitten gets the right nutrients in the right amounts.

Look for a recipe with chelated minerals because these have been bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your kitten’s body to digest and absorb.

Other beneficial supplements include prebiotic fibers, probiotics, and calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones.

Keep reading to see our top 5 recommendations for the best kitten food.

The Top 5 Best Kitten Foods

The quality of your kitten’s diet will have a significant impact not only on its growth and development now, but its health and wellness for the duration of its life.

The best kitten food will be high in protein with plenty of healthy animal-based fats and beneficial supplements for nutritional balance.

Here are our top 5 picks for the best kitten food that you should consider:

Best Kitten Food Overall: Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Kitten Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 43.5% Min
  • Fat – 20.5% Min
  • Fiber – 3% Max
  • Moisture-9% Max
  • Caloric Content: 552 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Contains 81% real animal ingredients with 19% fruits, veggies, and supplements
  • Real chicken is the main ingredient and a rich source of protein
  • Formulated to support healthy growth and development in kittens

Cons:

  • Expensive to feed as a staple diet

If you want to start your kitten off right, try this Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Kitten Recipe. This formula features real chicken as the main ingredient and it contains a total of 81% real animal ingredients with 19% fruits, vegetables, and beneficial supplements.

It contains plenty of energy for growth and play as well as the ideal blend of nutrients to support your kitten’s digestive and immune health. It also contains the right fats for brain and eye development in addition to being loaded with natural flavor. It is also covered in a freeze-dried raw coating for a boost of nutrition and flavor.

Best Affordable Kitten Food: Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 36% Min
  • Fat – 14% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture-11% Max
  • Caloric Content: 350 kcal/cup

Pros:

  • Made with 100% all-natural, high-quality ingredients
  • Contains 36% protein and 14% fat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics

Cons:

  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)

You don’t necessarily need to spend a small fortune to provide your kitten with a nutritious diet. This Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Recipe is a great example of quality nutrition at an affordable price tag. It contains 100% all-natural ingredients including high-quality animal proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables to provide natural sources of key nutrients.

It features chicken meal and turkey meal as concentrated sources of animal protein with chicken fat and salmon meal for a blend of essential fatty acids. Overall, it contains 36% protein and 14% fat with 5% fiber for healthy digestion.

Best Wet Food for Kittens: Wellness Grain-Free Kitten Recipe Wet Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 11% Min
  • Fat – 7% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Max
  • Moisture-78% Max
  • Caloric Content: 122 kcal/3 oz can

Pros:

  • Made with real chicken and chicken liver as the top two ingredients
  • Naturally grain-free and low in carbohydrates
  • Formulated to support healthy growth and development in kittens

Cons:

  • Contains guar gum which can contribute to smelly stools
  • Doesn’t contain probiotic supplements

If you prefer to feed your kitten wet food, consider this Wellness Grain-Free Kitten Recipe Wet Food. Made with naturally grain-free ingredients, this recipe is highly digestible and formulated to meet your growing kitten’s nutritional needs.

It features real chicken and chicken liver as the top two ingredients with menhaden fish oil for healthy fats. Chelated minerals help to ensure complete and balanced nutrition, working together with vitamin supplements and healthy extracts. Overall, this recipe is full of natural flavor, high-quality protein, and healthy fats for your kitten.

Best Grain-Free Food for Kittens: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Grain-Free Kitten Food

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 40% Min
  • Fat – 20% Min
  • Fiber – 3.5% Max
  • Moisture-9% Max
  • Caloric Content: 457kcal/cup

Pros:

  • High-protein recipe made with several quality animal proteins
  • Naturally grain-free and free from fillers and artificial additives
  • Rich in healthy animal fats for energy as well as healthy skin and coat

Cons:

  • Contains some plant protein (pea protein)

Because your kitten is an obligate carnivore, you should feed it a grain-free diet low in carbohydrates. This Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Grain-Free Kitten Food is loaded with premium animal proteins and fats but low in carbohydrates.

It is completely free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives but loaded with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It features several sources of premium animal protein including chicken, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, and eggs as well as healthy fats like chicken fat and fish oil.

Best Kitten Food for Allergies: Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe

Nutritional info:

  • Protein – 11% Min
  • Fat – 6.5% Min
  • Fiber – 0.75% Max
  • Moisture– 78% Max
  • Caloric Content: 193 kcal/can

Pros:

  • Contains several sources of premium animal protein
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals and probiotics
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Some kittens may be sensitive to poultry ingredients like chicken and turkey

If you’re concerned that your kitten might have food allergies, consider a limited ingredient diet like this Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free.

This recipe features premium ingredients including several novel sources of animal protein like chicken, turkey, lamb, and menhaden fish meal. It is rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well as fiber for healthy digestion. It also contains beneficial supplements like chelated minerals and probiotics.

How Much Should You Feed Your Kitten?

An adult cat requires between 25 and 35 calories per pound of body weight per day, depending on its age, size, and activity level.

Because your kitten is still growing, its needs may be much higher – some kittens need as many as 100 calories per pound of body weight.

The best way to ensure that your kitten’s needs are met is to start with a high-quality kitten food and to follow the feeding recommendations according to your kitten’s age and weight.

What About Food Allergies and Sensitivities?

All cats have the potential to develop food allergies and sensitivities – even kittens.

If your kitten is experiencing recurrent skin problems like itchy skin or a dull, brittle coat, it could be that allergies are to blame.

Some of the most common food allergies seen in cats are beef, dairy products, wheat, corn, other grains, and artificial additives. If your kitten has an allergy, you should remove that food from its diet and might consider switching to a limited ingredient recipe made with a novel source of protein – one your kitten hasn’t eaten before.

Final Remarks

Now that you understand your kitten’s nutritional needs, you can start shopping for kitten food!

Remember, the best kitten food will be high in protein with plenty of healthy animal-based fats and beneficial supplements for nutritional balance – you should also look for probiotics for healthy digestion.

If you’re not sure where to start, try one of our top 5 picks reviewed above!

About Kate Barrington

AvatarKate Barrington is avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *