9 Best Kitten Food for your Furball’s Ultimate Development
Give your kitten a good start in life by providing them with the finest kitten food that will help them develop and flourish.
It’s always thrilling to welcome a new member of the family, particularly if it’s a cute furball.
However, as a cat parent, you have specific responsibilities. It is important to provide your cat with a nutritious and well-balanced diet. It not only affects the development of your four-legged buddy, but it also protects cats from acquiring serious health problems such as cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
Kittens weigh just a few ounces when they are born. You may anticipate your kitten to grow approximately two pounds over the following ten weeks, that’s when they can begin to eat solid food.
Your Kitten will continue to develop rapidly for the following four months or so, after which his growth will decrease until he reaches adult size, which will be about 11 to 12 months of age.
Kittens begin tasting solid food at four weeks of age, but many do not switch fully to a commercial diet until they are six weeks old.
It is important to feed your cat a nutritious, high-quality diet that meets his nutritional requirements as soon as he begins eating solid food. He’ll need a lot of protein to fuel his growth and development, as well as omega fatty acids for heart health, immunity, and healthy skin and coat.
The sheer amount of choices available when shopping for cat food may be daunting. Lucky for you, we’ve spent the time learning about kitten nutrition and sifting through reviews to offer you our top choices for the best kitten food.
How to Buy the Best Kitten Food?
Cats, unlike dogs, are obligate carnivores. They should not eat a vegan or vegetarian diet at all. To ensure that your cat has the best possible life, make sure that whichever food you choose has an appropriate amount of protein to satisfy its growth and development requirements.
The GI tract of a cat can only digest and break down meat-based meals. So you certainly don’t want to feed the cat any plant-based foods. Your cat will also require Taurine which is an essential amino acid. Taurine is vital for the well functioning of Cat’s heart and brain, and also supports its growth. Because taurine can only be obtained in animal sources such as chicken, beef, or shellfish, your cat needs a mainly carnivorous diet.
Remember the following before shopping for kitten food:
- The first three or four components constitute the majority of the meal.
- The ideal kitten food should be both healthy and delicious.
- Meat should be at the top of the list: first or second (to water) in canned food, and certainly in the top three in dry food.
- Look for a meal that satisfies the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ standards (AAFCO). The phrase “animal feeding testing utilizing AAFCO methods” or “formulated to satisfy standards” should appear on the package.
- Kitten food may vary from grain-free to antioxidant-rich to those containing live bacteria for digestive health.
- It is also critical to search for Omega-3 DHA to aid with brain growth.
- The kitten diet should be well-balanced in terms of vitamins, lipids, and minerals.
Ingredients to look for when buying the Best Kitten Food
The best kitten food will have the following ingredients:
- Increased calorie, protein, and fat intake
- DHA, an omega fatty acid, is required for brain and eye development.
- Vitamin E and selenium for the immune system.
- Calcium for bone formation.
But, before you choose food from our list of the best kitten food in 2021, be sure to take your kittens to the veterinarian for a checkup before making any dietary changes. A doctor should first treat your body’s condition, GI health, and any other concomitant problems.
Do you already have an adult cat and are thinking of serving their food to the little kitten?
If so, then please read the info below to ascertain if that’s a good idea or a bad one!
How do the dietary requirements of kittens vary from those of adult cats?
During the first few weeks of life, a kitten’s weight may double or even treble. To sustain this rapid development as well as high activity levels, your kitten’s energy requirements may be treble to those of an adult cat.
Kittens’ high energy requirements make it difficult for them to consume enough calories in a single meal. As a result, most kittens like to consume at least three or four meals each day. It’s also a comforting thing to do because kitties are natural snackers.
Kittens’ requirements for lipids, certain fatty acids, and the majority of vitamins are the same as those of adult cats. Kittens, on the other hand, have a greater need for protein, amino acids, minerals, and certain vitamins. An Kittens, for example, need to receive approximately 30% of their energy from protein.
For these reasons, most experts suggest that you give your kitten specially designed kitten food until he or she reaches the age of one.
Although some cat foods are marketed as suitable for kittens and cats of all life stages, they are not suitable for your kitten unless feeding studies back up the label claim.
Don’t forget to give lots of fresh water; it’s essential for keeping cats of all ages healthy.
What Do Cats Really Want To Eat?
Cats self-select food sources that result in a macronutrient composition in this range mentioned below:
This composition is the same in both indoor and feral cats.
- Protein content ranges from 52 to 63 percent.
- 22-36 percent fat
- Carbohydrate: 2.8-12% (with “wild” cats at the low end of this range)
This, we think, demonstrates that cats have evolved to thrive on a diet rich in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates.
Should you feed your Kitten Wet Food?
Wet food, commonly known as canned cat food, has more water and moisture per weight of food than nutrition. Although cats need a lot of water, their bodies are not designed to sense thirst, so they do not drink as much as they should. Unless your kitten can complete its water dish every day, doctors generally advise choosing moist cat food over dry kibbles.
Wet kitten food is softer and more easily chewed and digested. Kittens, in particular, need a lot of water as they develop. The chemical reactions that occur in their bodies require a lot of water, so wet cat food may provide your tiny feline with the hydration they require while growing.
Wet cat food is also considerably more appealing to cats, which may be helpful if you are transitioning your kitten from one diet to another or weaning them from milk.
If your cat likes dry kibble, it is best to add some liquid to it so that it acquires a softer texture. In any event, provide lots of fresh water to your kitten throughout the day to avert medical concerns such as urine difficulties.
- However, there are certain disadvantages to using wet cat food. Because of the high water content, a can of wet cat food has fewer nutrients. This means you’ll have to read the label very thoroughly to ensure your cat is still receiving the appropriate amounts of proteins and lipids, as well as the right amount of moisture.
There are various amazing wet or canned kitten food in the market, head down to the Best kitten food section to select one for your kitten now.
Is dry kitten food the best option for my kitten?
Dry cat food is the polar opposite of wet cat food since it is not just hard but also low in moisture. Dry cat food is often in the shape of kibbles. The most significant advantage of dry food is that it is high in protein. Because of the method used, very little nutritional content is lost when the components are dried and turned into kibbles, which may be extremely helpful to a developing kitten.
The abrasive texture of the finest dry cat food is excellent for ensuring good dental health, since it eliminates plaque and tartar build-up. Furthermore, it will supply your cat with all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, and protein. Dry kibble also lasts longer, is more handy, and can be left out without deteriorating throughout the day.
- The disadvantage, as previously stated, is that it contains very little moisture. That isn’t a problem if your cat drinks from their water bowl, but it might be if they don’t, in which case you’ll have to find alternative methods for them to receive the moisture they need. Kibble may also be extremely challenging. You must ensure that it does not harm your cat’s mouth or harm their softer, developing teeth.
*While both dry and wet kitten food may be beneficial, the ideal choice would be to mix the two formulations so that a young kitty receives well-balanced nutrition.*
Remember to always check the label for nutrition profile whether you are hoping to choose wet or dry best kitten food for making a better and wiser choice.
How to Select the Most Appropriate Kitten Food?
With several brands on the market, we need to know and follow certain guidelines in order to choose the best kitten food for these young felines and feed them correctly.
Step 1: Determine the nutritional requirements of a kitten.
Consider the age as well as the activity level of the kitten. In Addition to mother’s milk, cat food replacement, or kitten formula, it won’t need any other food until it’s at least four or six weeks old.
If your kitten is extremely active, provide it with a higher calorie and protein-rich diet. Your job now is to provide a young feline with the proper mix of vitamins, minerals, and proteins so that it may build muscles, develop brains and nerves, and remain healthy.
Step 2: Examine the meal for necessary components.
Consider kitten food that has genuine meat as the first component. It may be chicken, meat, fish, or anything else. Always read the label to verify that the formula includes 35-50 percent protein and 18-35 percent fat on a dry basis. Avoid foods that include a lot of grains.
Pay close attention to the following ingredients in kitten food: DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), taurine, fatty acids, fiber, and amino acids — all of them should be present.
Step 3: Adhere to the feeding instructions.
On the labels of the best kitten food products, owners will find feeding guidelines. They vary based on the age and weight of the kitten, but the basic recommendations are as follows:
Feed four times a day until the kitten is 12 weeks old, then three times a day until the kitten is six months old. Continue with two meals each day until your one-year-old kitty is on adult cat food.
Additional Points to consider when Feeding Kitten food
Prepare a kitten’s feeding habitat.
Kittens are very active, so please assist your kittens in focusing on eating by providing a quiet, feeding environment.
Place its food and water bowls in a peaceful area, distant from a litter box and perhaps other pets in the home. A customized feeding box might be a great idea.
Switch between different flavors and give the kitty both dry and wet food.
Treat your cat to a variety of tastes and textures: It may help to keep it from being too fussy about what it eats.
Consider giving your kitten both dry and wet food, as this will help you balance the moisture and nutrients your cat consumes.
Now, that we know the fundamentals about the best kitten food, let’s have a look at some of the most sought-after and best kitten food on the market right now.
Best kitten food in 2021
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Kitten Pate Wet Cat Food
Flavor: Chicken | Life Stage: Kitten | Size: 3 ounces (113.4 g) | Packaging Type: Canned
- If your kittens are sensitive to wheat, Blue Buffalo is a great grain-free option.
- Kittens like this product since it is grain and gluten-free.
- Depending on the recipe, chicken, or fish is one of the major ingredients.
- DHA, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables, are included in the meal.
- The recipe contains flaxseed, which is rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes healthy skin and hair, as well as digestion.
- Ideal for cats that are sensitive to wheat.
- This recipe contains gluten-free ingredients.
- It’s loaded with fruits and vegetables.
- It contains real salmon, chicken, or duck.
- The recipe is made from natural components and is vitamin and mineral enriched.
- There is no maize, wheat, or soy in the product.
- This product has no artificial flavors or preservatives.
- Not all fruits and vegetables are attractive to all cats.
2. The Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain-free kitten food
Flavor: Chicken | Life Stage: Kitten | Size: Comes in different sizes | Packaging Type: Dry
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness grain-free kitten food has nutrients that promote healthy growth in your kittens, such as DHA and ARA (fatty acids found in mother’s milk) and taurine, which improve cognitive development and retinal health.
- This food includes high-quality protein sourced from deboned chicken, fish meal, and chicken meal, promoting healthy muscular development and providing your cat with the energy they need for play.
- There are also healthy complex carbohydrates like peas, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, as well as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like carrots, blueberries, and cranberries, to support a strong immune system.
- This meal also includes BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits, a precise blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that support your kitten’s life-stage requirements.
- Taurine is added to promote eye development and a healthy heart, as are omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, which ensure your cat has a shiny coat and good skin.
- This food contains no by-product meals, maize, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.
- It’s made with genuine chicken.
- It is a Kitten food that is grain-free and devoid of by-products.
- There are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this product.
- Lifesource Bits are a mineral, vitamin, and antioxidant blend.
- Contributes to the development of a robust immune system.
- Some consumers have experienced diarrhea in their cats.
3. Nulo Adult & Kitten Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
Flavor: Varies | Life Stage: Kitten | Size: Varies | Packaging Type: Canned
- The Nulo brand takes pride in promoting healthy pets, happy pet owners, and a positive human/animal bond.
- It includes animal-based proteins that aid in muscle development. Consume low-carb and low-glycemic meals to maintain a healthy weight.
- It also includes probiotics, which aid in the improvement of immunity.
- Kitties like the wonderful minced texture of this canned meal.
- Their recipe is rich in protein and low in moisture, ensuring that your cat stays hydrated.
- It may also help reduce food allergies or sensitivities since it is free of soy, corn, wheat, carrageenan, and other chemicals.
- A company based in the United States.
- Made with high-quality ingredients.
- Eat a low-carb diet to prevent gaining weight.
- This product is intended for adult cats and kittens.
- Not all cats, especially finicky eaters, like it.
- Some consumers are concerned that it may result in watery and runny feces in their cats.
4. Applaws Tuna Wet Kitten Food
Item Form: Wet (broth) | Protein: 13.5% min | Fat: 2% min | Moisture: 82.4% max
- Applaws has made a reputation for itself by offering fresh, tasty meals that are intended to be a complement to a well-balanced diet instead of a staple.
- Applaws’ whole company is centered on using simple, pure goods, such as human-grade beef devoid of any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- This meal contains a little amount of everything. For example, Applaws Kitten Tuna Fillet in Stock included just three ingredients: tuna fillet, fish stock, and rice. That way, there’s no doubt about what you’re getting.
- It contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids naturally. This helps in the treatment of any disease characterized by inflammation of the heart, kidneys, skin, or joints.
- While this is all great, it is not a staple and shouldn’t be used in every meal, as previously said. It simply does not include everything your cat should be consuming as part of a balanced diet, so think of this high-protein tin as a gourmet treat rather than something to add with every meal.
- This additional pleasure isn’t cheap, and the price increases with every 24 cans bought — considerably more than is usual with many other brands.
- What you get for this money is a protein-rich gourmet delight for your cat, because there is nothing wrong with spoiling them from time to time.
- You’ll get a lot of usage out of them if you just feed them once a day at most, and your tiny kitties will thank you.
- Tuna that is not harmful to dolphins
- There are no artificial ingredients.
- It’s a delicious treat sometimes.
- The presence of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids helps to cure inflammatory diseases.
- Assists in the proper operation of the eyes and heart.
- This product has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Doesn’t offer a comprehensive nutritional profile.
5. Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Kitten
Item Form: Dry | Protein: 42.5% min | Fat: 22.5% min | Moisture: 9% max
- The commitment of Nature’s Variety to raw ingredients simplifies the grasp of their Instinct Original Kitten dry food.
- The Instinct brand from Nature’s Variety is committed to utilizing only natural ingredients.
- This grain-free dry kibble contains no soy, corn, wheat, or potato, as well as by-product meals, colors or chemical preservatives.
- This kibble is made up of 81 percent real animal components and oils, with 42.5 percent protein and 22 percent fat. That is exactly what a calorie-hungry kitten needs.
- Taurine, DHA, and probiotics are added to the diet to support everything from brain and eye growth to silky fur.
- The other 19% of the food is composed of vegetables, fruits, and what Instinct refers to as “other healthy ingredients”. Although some have criticized the product for adding superfluous components like carrots, the nutritional profile of the kibbles is quite robust.
- Like other dry cat foods, Instinct Original Kitten will not give your kitten all of the water it needs.
- While a good cat house will include some water sources for your kitty, you may also want to consider mixing this with wet food rather than utilizing it as your kitten’s only diet.
- Includes all-natural ingredients.
- This formula promotes brain health, eyesight development, and excellent fur.
- There are no grains, potatoes, maize, wheat, soy, by-product meats, artificial colors, or preservatives.
- Cage-free chickens were used in the production of this product.
- There is insufficient moisture for kittens.
6. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten
Item Form: Dry | Protein: 33% min | Fat: 19% min | Moisture: 8% max
- Hill’s Science Diet Kitten is definitely your best option if you have a sensitive stomach or simply want to be safe.
- Hill’s is the number one brand recommended by veterinarians, and their meals are often suggested for cats and kittens that are sick or have less-than-ideal bowel movements.
- Their formulas are developed by a team of food scientists, veterinarians, and nutritionists with the aim of keeping your dogs healthy; you can be certain that you’re receiving a high-quality product on the nutritional front.
- The Science Diet for Kittens contains high-quality proteins vitamins, amino, minerals, acids, DHA, and antioxidants to help your kitten grow big and strong.
- It also lacks any artificial additives, flavors, or colors.
- In fact, the nutritional value of this food is so high that it is often recommended not just for kittens, but for adult cats who are pregnant, lactating, or have other health needs.
- The kibble is small enough for little jaws, although we’ve heard on the internet that some cats may find it difficult to crush.
- It’s possible that the nutrition-focused combination lacks some of the ingredients that make food attractive to cats.
- It is recommended by various vets.
- Includes proteins of high quality.
- The DHA from fish oil stimulates brain development.
- The recipe includes no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
- It may be too bland for certain cats.
- Some kittens may have difficulty eating.
7. Halo Grain Free Kitten Food
Item Form: Dry | Protein: 47.7% | Fat: 38.6%n | Moisture: –
- Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, and eggs are the first four components.
- There are no carbs in this dish since there are no filler ingredients.
- The meal contains many pieces of real chicken (including organ meat), egg, and salmon oil for fatty acids.
- It has agar-agar as a thickening agent (which may be safer than carrageenan) and a handful of light greens for extra nutrients and digestion.
- On a microscale, the recipe contains vitamins and minerals to keep your little furry friend healthy.
- They also offer a fish dish that is richer in protein, but since it includes a lot more fish than we’d like to see, we recommend the chicken option.
- It’s impossible to find anything wrong with this wonderful, clean, natural kitten food.
- It just hits all of the boxes, and it also enables you to seamlessly transition from Halo to an adult dinner, of which there are many great options.
- The smooth pate texture will appeal to your small cat, and the 1.25 calories per gram are somewhat more than most adult lunches, so she won’t have to overload herself to have enough to eat.
- Specifically developed to satisfy the dietary needs of kittens.
- Overall, it’s a great kitten formula.
- The recipe is specially created using whole meat as it is easily digestible by kittens.
- GMO vegetables are not included in the recipe.
- The dish has fewer calories, which helps with weight reduction.
- The recipe has a lot of fiber, which will keep your cat happy.
- This is perfect for kitties that have sensitive tummies.
- Agar-Agar may be toxic to kittens.
- The recipe can cause discomfort or stomach problems.
8. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Food for Young Kittens
Type: Dry| Protein: 34% |Weight: 3.5 lbs, 7 lbs, or 15 lbs |Calories: 369 kcal/cup|
- Chicken, by-product meal, and brown rice are the primary ingredients in this cat food.
- Royal Canin says that their exclusive blend of vitamins and antioxidants provides a young cat with all of the necessary nutrients.
- This formulation is suitable for kitties aged 4 to 12 months; further, then that, the manufacturer recommends switching to adult cat recipes.
- It includes proteins, prebiotics, and fibers that help kittens build a healthy digestive system.
- The formula contains fish (salmon), gluten, and egg product, that might cause problems for kittens who are allergic or hypersensitive to these ingredients.
- At this stage of growth, a mix of minerals and vitamins contained inside this recipe is adequate to satisfy the high-energy needs of a young feline.
- The kibbles’ texture and size are excellent for kittens’ growing teeth, and they will be easy to consume.
- Make sure your cat has unlimited access to clean water, since all dry food recipes, now despite how natural and healthy they are, lack moisture.
- Kittens like the flavor and kibble shape.
- Formulation for kittens
- This product is made with a healthy blend of proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- The recipe’s vitamins and minerals satisfy cats’ high standards.
- The formula promotes a smooth, glossy finish.
- The product contains gluten and other byproducts.
- Grains are present in the plate, which may be hazardous to a cat.
- This recipe may cause problems in kittens with sensitive stomachs.
9. Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Canned Wet Cat Food
Type: wet | Protein: 11% | Moisture: 78% | Weight: 3 oz (113.4 g). Cans | Calories: 85 kcal/can|
- This premium cat food for kittens is offered in two flavors, with chicken or salmon as the primary ingredient.
- To satisfy even the pickiest kittens, the formula contains liver, broth, and real milk in addition to actual meat.
- The recipe includes all of the necessary vitamins and minerals, as well as taurine, omegas, antioxidants, and folic acid (the source of Vitamin 9).
- It’s free of gluten, artificial colors and flavors, and corn, wheat, and soy.
- All flavors are natural, and the recipe is moist to provide the hydration kittens need when eating just dry food.
- If your cat is allergic to shellfish, use Purina Fancy Feast chicken. It is also devoid of egg ingredients, unlike the salmon flavor, which helps allergic cats avoid stomach problems.
- This dish satisfies all of the nutritional needs of kittens.
- It is gluten-free and devoid of byproducts such as wheat, soy, and maize.
- This recipe has no artificial flavors or colors.
- The chicken flavor may trigger allergic responses in such kittens.
- The third component in the Chicken dish is fish, which may cause allergic responses in certain people.
How Can You Tell If Your kitten is eating the Right Food?
You won’t know whether a kitten food is a winner until you put it in front of your kitty. There are a few indicators to look out for that will help you decide whether your kitten is flourishing on their food:
How does your kitten act?
Is he or she looking healthy and alert? Playful? Active? All of these are signs that your kitty is receiving enough nutrition.
How does your kitty appear?
Do you see any sparkling eyes? A squeaky-clean, gleaming coat? Has your kitty been gradually gaining weight? Does he or she seem to be in good health?
If you answered yes to all of those questions, your kitten food is most likely performing its job. If you answered no to either of these questions, it could be time to look for a new meal. Your kitten’s veterinarian is an excellent resource for determining the finest diet for him or her.
Feeding Instructions for Best Kitten Food
- Kittens need a lot more food to provide them with the energy they need to play and develop. They can’t eat much in one sitting, so they’ll need to eat several small meals throughout the day.
- If you are unable to provide this, consider using an automatic cat feeder. These work by timing meals to pre-programmed portions, making them ideal for when you’re out of the house between mealtimes.
- Free-feeding may lead to obesity in most cats, although it is completely fine while your cat is young.
- Of course, free-feeding, or ad libitum feeding, only works with dry food since wet food spoils if left out for too long. Leaving dry food out ensures that your kitten can stop for a snack whenever they need it.
- You may want to start feeding dry food on a schedule as they get older to reduce the risk of weight issues.
- You will need to feed your kitten four times each day if you just use wet food. Furthermore, you can reduce the number of dry foods you leave out for them to snack on to two or three.
- Getting enough calories is critical for the development of your kitten.
- Make sure to keep plenty of fresh water on hand at all times. Your kitten’s kidneys, like the rest of their bodies, require adequate hydration.
Our Final Thoughts
Your kitten is most likely bringing you a lot of pleasure and company. It is your responsibility to keep them happy and healthy while they are developing. One of the most important things you can do for them is to provide them with a variety of high-protein foods, as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals.
After the first year, it’ll be time to start looking at the finest adult food for your kitty. For now, choose one of the above-mentioned best kitten food and observe your kitten grow into a healthier and stronger cat.