Best Kitten Food – Reviews & Buying Guide
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Best Kitten Food – Reviews & Buying Guide (November 2019)

Updated: August 14, 2019

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

After 42 hours spent researching the best kitten foods, we think Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food is the best for most people.

This choice is based on several criteria: brand, type, size, flavor, life stage, balanced nutrition, high-quality proteins, fibers, promotes healthy coat, antioxidants, by-product free, grain-free, gluten-free, artificial preservatives, and easy to digest, among other things.

 ProductPriceOverall RatingQualityAppearanceTasteBalanceValue for Moneybrandtypesizeflavorlife stagebalanced nutritionhigh-quality proteinsfiberspromotes healthy coatantioxidantsby-product freegrain-freegluten-freeartificial preservativeseasy to digest
Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodPurina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodCheck Price4.95.05.05.04.55.0Purina KittenDry14 lbsNaturalKittenYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodPurina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodCheck Price4.55.04.04.54.54.5PurinaWet9 lbsTurkey, fishKittenYesYesYesYesYesNoYesNoYesYes
Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten FoodRoyal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten FoodCheck Price4.85.04.55.04.55.0Royal CaninWet8.7 lbsNaturalKittenYesYesYesYesYesNoNoNoYesYes
Instinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten FoodInstinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten FoodCheck Price4.35.04.04.54.04.0InstinctDry5 lbsChickenKittenYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten FoodBlue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten FoodCheck Price4.24.54.04.53.54.5Blue BuffaloDry5 lbsChickenKittenYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYes
Best Kitten Food

Raising a kitten is a big responsibility, and it starts with feeding them the best kitten food so they grow up to be healthy and strong.

Starting with the right food allows them to thrive and can be just the beginning of a beautiful friendship that will last for a decade or more.

It’s exciting to bring a new kitten home! You’ve been prepping for months. You’ve bought everything on the lists! You have cat toys, catnip, a cat scratching pad or cat scratching post, a cat tree, and even a cat bed or two for them to enjoy.

You’ve set up their corner where they’ll do their business, complete with a cat litter box, cat litter mat, and cat litter. Maybe you even bought a fancy automatic cat litter box that cleans itself. You might have thought of more unpleasant things too, like cat flea treatment and a cat cone for when they get fixed.

Perhaps you’re thinking about teaching them to walk on a cat leash and cat harness, so you’ve bought them to help the kitten become accustomed to both right from the start. Soon, you’ll take your cat cage or cat carrier to the place you’re getting the kitten from. You’ll put on their cat collar and bring them home.

But, before you fill up their cat water fountain and their automatic cat feeder, be sure that you aren’t giving them adult cat food. Kittens have different nutritional needs than their adult counterparts, so you need to be sure that you get the best kitten food brands for their needs.

Learning about their nutritional needs and taking care of them from the start is essential if you want your new feline to live a long, healthy life.

Selection Of The Best Kitten Foods

Here are the best kitten foods for most people according to Outlinist:

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food
(rated 4.9 / 5)
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In order for a young feline to grow into a mature adult cat, they need to be fed a nutritious diet.

The best kitten food formula will contain healthy ingredients, such as premium meat, that supports the overall health your kitten.

Cat food is available in a variety of flavors and brands that will entice your kitty, but looking for a tasty vet recommended food made for kittens is best.

It’s not necessary to choose between flavor and nutrition. In fact, the better the ingredients, the better tasting it is likely to be.

When you choose the right brand, you are setting your kitten up for a healthy life.

Information

It is safe for kittens and is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

For those who want to know do kittens need kitten food, the answer is yes. This is because they have very special needs that differ from adult cats. Many of a kitten’s functions are in the process of developing and they can grow twice their size very quickly.

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food is a good choice to feed a growing kitty. The best thing about the formula is that it is made specifically for kittens, so you know it will contain the proper nutrients to aid in their journey to maturity. Rich in protein, it also contains the proper vitamins and minerals needed to support healthy development of the nervous system.

It is safe for kittens and is approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which lets you know the formula can provide everything a kitten needs for good nutrition.

brandPurina Kitten
typeDry
size14 lbs
flavorNatural
life stageKitten
balanced nutritionYes
high-quality proteinsYes
fibersYes
promotes healthy coatYes
antioxidantsYes
by-product freeNo
grain-freeNo
gluten-freeNo
artificial preservativesYes
easy to digestYes

Kittens can easily get bored with eating the same thing every day, but delicious flavors await them with Purina Kitten Chow. Let them have turkey or chicken to encourage an appetite fit for the amount of energy they expend running around playing all day.

When introducing this dry food, it is good to do so gradually. Start by giving them small amounts of it. This will help avoid any unnecessary upsets kittens may have while becoming accustomed to the new formula.

Start kittens off right with one of the most well-known kitten food brands and you’ll be happy with the results.

Pros

It is a high calorie food made from animal protein sources.

Watch your kitten flourish when you introduce Purina Kitten Chow into their diet. Containing the essential nourishment for a growing little furry feline, it is an affordable option for owners and one that young cats seem to enjoy and thrive with.

  • Good amount of protein: The best kitten food has a lot of protein in it because kittens need a good amount to help develop and build their tissues and organs. This chow has a higher amount of protein than the average dry food you’ll find.
  • Tasty: Even kittens are known for being picky with their food demands. Give them food so good they can’t wait to eat. Kittens will have no problem with their appetite when this formula is put down in front of them because it’s that good.
  • Complete and balanced nutrition: Approved by the AAFCO, the ingredients used in this kibble provide support for a kitten’s lean muscle development, energy, healthy skin, soft coat and strong skeletal system. It truly has everything kittens need to reach adulthood in tip top shape.
  • Helps kittens put on weight: Wondering how to fatten up a malnourished kitten? The answer is simple. Feed them this formula. It is a high calorie food made from animal protein sources. It is going to help smaller cats put on weight and provide them with necessary vitamins and fatty acids.
  • No artificial colors or flavoring: Some types of dry cat food rely on chemicals to make their food palatable, but Purina’s formula stays away from potentially harmful toxins. The only things you’ll find in the recipe are real ingredients like meat by-products and corn that make the kibble delicious.
  • Brain and vision development: DHA is absolutely essential for kittens. It is a brain-boosting nutrient that ensures proper advancement of the eyes and brain. With plenty of it in this dry food, a kitten’s eyes and brain maturation will be on the right course.

Cons

There are some good things about the formula of this chow; it has no artificial flavoring and is proven to have the necessary components of a balanced kitten diet. It does, however, have some ingredients that some cat owners may be opposed to.

  • Unnamed source of fish: The fish meal present in this food is high but the kind of fish is unknown. This means it can be any type of fish, including waste products. It may make some owners nervous.
  • High amounts of filler: Wheat, soy, corn and potatoes are found in this formula. These ingredients are fillers that don’t enhance the health and nutrition of your kitten. Some of them may agitate a kitten’s sensitive digestion system or cause allergic reactions.
  • First ingredient is animal by-products: By-products is a combination of meat that is anything other than muscle meat and is usually lower quality. It can include organ meat such as the kidneys, liver or lungs, intestines or even flesh. They are leftover parts or cuts and, since they’re not named, you never know what parts have been included.

Comparison

 

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodPurina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodPurina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten FoodRoyal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
brandPurina KittenPurinaRoyal Canin
typeDryWetWet
size14 lbs9 lbs8.7 lbs
flavorNaturalTurkey, fishNatural
life stageKittenKittenKitten
balanced nutritionYesYesYes
high-quality proteinsYesYesYes
fibersYesYesYes
promotes healthy coatYesYesYes
antioxidantsYesYesYes
by-product freeNoNoNo
grain-freeNoYesNo
gluten-freeNoNoNo
artificial preservativesYesYesYes
easy to digestYesYesYes

Summary

Filled with a ton of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, this is a tasty dry food that kittens will enjoy.

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food can work for a 6 week old kitten or one that is closer to the one year mark because its formula provides all kittens with the nutrition they need to grow up big and healthy.

Filled with a ton of protein, amino acids, vitamins and minerals, this is a tasty dry food that kittens will enjoy. It contains no artificial flavorings but it does use animal by-products that are unspecified. It does have a lot of filler but also has the calories to put pounds on underweight juvenile felines.

This is an affordable kitten food that provides the basic needs of any kitten.


Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food
(rated 4.5 / 5)
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Kittens are born weighing little more than a few ounces. Over the next six months, they will grow quickly requiring heaps of protein to fuel that growth.

The right kitten food will give them the nutrients they need, right from the beginning.

The first few ingredients of cat food are pretty important. They are the components that will greatly affect the quality of the food.

Looking for food that is high in protein and relatively low in carbohydrates will give kitties the best overall development.

It goes without saying that the food should be easy to digest delicious, otherwise kittens won’t touch it.

Information

One of the best things about wet cat food is the moisture content. Kittens don’t have a thirst mechanism that helps them recognize they’re thirsty.

Kittens should be fed food that is made for kittens and no other pet, not even adult cats. It’s important they have a formula that contains the very special nutrients necessary for them to mature into the playful, healthy felines they should become. Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food is the way to treat kittens to a bowl of delicious and nutritious food.

The digestive system of a kitten is better suited to process proteins and fats as opposed to carbohydrates. Packed with enough protein to promote healthy structural development, with Fancy Feast kitties will also get their full carnivorous needs met. The number one ingredient is always meat, so you know your pet is getting only the best.

With an enhanced formula of essential taurine, minerals and vitamins, this wet food is ready for many growth spurts kittens go through.

brandPurina
typeWet
size9 lbs
flavorTurkey, fish
life stageKitten
balanced nutritionYes
high-quality proteinsYes
fibersYes
promotes healthy coatYes
antioxidantsYes
by-product freeNo
grain-freeYes
gluten-freeNo
artificial preservativesYes
easy to digestYes

One of the best things about wet cat food is the moisture content. Kittens don’t have a thirst mechanism that helps them recognize they’re thirsty. For a bonus, this wet food is made with real broth, providing even more moisture to keep your tiny loved one hydrated.

With this food as a part of a kitten’s daily diet, they will get a meal that is 100% complete and balanced. It can be eaten on its own, or as a topper on their favorite dry kibble.

Crafted with only kittens in mind, this food is easy to serve and comes in delicious whitefish and turkey flavors. Get ready for a mealtime that is hassle-free and simple.

Pros

Taurine has been added to the formula for your kitten’s overall health as well as good vision.

Fancy Feast kitten wet food supports the urinary health, growth and development of a kitten. This pate-style food also has high moisture content that helps your kitty avoid dehydration. Delight your kitten every day with this food as they transition into adulthood.

  • Delicious to kittens: Eggs, real milk and chicken have been added to complement the main protein of this canned kitten food for a superb taste kittens can’t get enough of. It has a texture that is lightweight and smooth and goes down easy.
  • Grain-free formula: A grain-free cat food especially benefits young kittens. Cats don’t need grain in their food and many of them do better without this ingredient. Without this filler present, you won’t have to worry about spiked blood sugar levels or digestive issues.
  • Essential vitamins and minerals: Taurine has been added to the formula for your kitten’s overall health as well as good vision. Vitamins C and E are present to support your pets’ immune system. There’s also zinc, magnesium and a healthy amount of antioxidants too.
  • High quality protein: The number one ingredient in this food is a high-quality meat. There is also a very good distribution of macronutrients within the formula that respects the carnivore that your kitten is. Felines will get plenty of energy from this wet food.
  • Specially formulated for kittens: Contained in one can of Fancy Feast is a complete diet that is balanced with protein, fats and much more. Besides that, it doesn’t include carrageenan, a popular, yet harmful carcinogenic that other popular budget brands use as a thickener.
  • Enough calories to grow: There are about 99 calories in each can of pate. It is the best kitten food for malnourished kittens when compared to similar brands in the same range. If you’re nursing a young stray back to health, they will be able to gain weight and maintain it with this recipe.

Cons

With some high-quality protein and all the essential minerals, amino acids and vitamins required for a healthy baby feline, Purina Fancy Feast gets the job done for a good price. There are areas where the recipe could be improved.

  • Unspecified by-products: When you compare cat food ingredients, you want to look for a specific type of animal meat rather than all-inclusive “by-products”. Meat by-products doesn’t tell you much about where the meat comes from. It may not be bad for kittens, but it would be much better to know the source.
  • Uses real milk: After being weaned, kittens lose the enzyme needed to digest lactose. Though some adult cats may be able to drink milk with no side effects, kittens may have difficulty ingesting dairy which is relatively high on the ingredient list. It could make them sick.
  • Batch quality control: When ordering this brand, it’s a good idea to inspect the cans before putting them in the cat food dish. There have been reports of cans that are leaking and dented. Canned food in a container that has holes should never be used.

Comparison

 

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodPurina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodPurina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten FoodRoyal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
brandPurinaPurina KittenRoyal Canin
typeWetDryWet
size9 lbs14 lbs8.7 lbs
flavorTurkey, fishNaturalNatural
life stageKittenKittenKitten
balanced nutritionYesYesYes
high-quality proteinsYesYesYes
fibersYesYesYes
promotes healthy coatYesYesYes
antioxidantsYesYesYes
by-product freeNoNoNo
grain-freeYesNoNo
gluten-freeNoNoNo
artificial preservativesYesYesYes
easy to digestYesYesYes

Summary

The number one ingredient is high-quality meat which is the kind of protein kittens like and need.

When searching for an affordable brand that packs a powerful punch of healthy nutrients for the development of your kitten’s well-being, Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food is a good choice.

The number one ingredient is high-quality meat which is the kind of protein kittens like and need. Though there are some fillers and unnamed meat ingredients, the pate is soft, has a delightful taste and is easy to digest. It also has enough calories to put weight on skinnier young cats.

Formulated specifically for kittens, this kitten food has all your little kitty needs to keep them healthy and growing strong into young adult cats.


Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food
(rated 4.8 / 5)
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An entirely different kind of nutrition is required for young cats compared to others across the lifespan of a feline.

Properly formulated kitten food will provide a diet that can keep up with the rapid growth and development a kitten experiences.

When you think about cats, you may think about them spending their days sleeping or lazing around, but kittens have limitless energy.

A primary consideration when choosing the right food is the calorie and protein content. As a general rule it should be high in both.

Ingredients should be easy to digest and taste good in order to encourage a healthy appetite in kittens.

Information

When using the free feed method, kittens are less likely to eat their meals rapidly, avoiding digestion issues.

The kitten food vs. cat food debate is finally settled. Kittens have much different nutritional needs than their older counterparts because of their rapid growth, just like human babies and adults.

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food is designed to support the developing muscles, growing bones, immune system and high levels of energy of kittens.

With a precise ratio of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, it matches the macronutrient profile of your energetic fur ball. Unlike other brands that have a high amount of protein coming from non-animal sources, with Royal Canin kittens will get their protein from animal-based sources, which they prefer. It also does not have artificial preservatives, artificial colors or unknown meat ingredients.

brandRoyal Canin
typeWet
size8.7 lbs
flavorNatural
life stageKitten
balanced nutritionYes
high-quality proteinsYes
fibersYes
promotes healthy coatYes
antioxidantsYes
by-product freeNo
grain-freeNo
gluten-freeNo
artificial preservativesYes
easy to digestYes

Don’t worry about how much wet food to feed a kitten, they can free feed. This means that unlimited kitten food can be made available to them all day without worry. When using the free feed method, kittens are less likely to eat their meals rapidly, avoiding digestion issues.

If free feeding doesn’t work due to your schedule, the question of “How much food should I feed my kitten” becomes more relevant. Three cans a day can be given to kittens ages 2-6 months. After that it decreases to 2.5 cans a day until they turn one year old.

Promote the healthy digestion and growth of your kitten while also providing them with a soft and tasty meal. With 100% satisfaction guarantee, there’s no reason to not to try Royal Canin. It will help your kittens reach their physical and mental potential.

Pros

High quality sources of protein found in this recipe are very easy for kittens to digest.

One of the best kitten food brands in the eyes of many cat owners, kittens get the unique nutritional needs required to be healthy adults. For the growth spurts that kittens go through, Royal Canin is a good choice to keep their intense energy levels high.

  • High-quality protein sources: The best property of this wet kitten food is the high amount of protein derived from animal sources. The backbone on which organs and tissues are formed and continually developed, protein is essential. When it comes from animal sources, kittens are happier.
  • Easy to eat and transition: The soft texture of this wet food makes it easy for kittens to eat with no problem. The texture also makes it the perfect wet food for kittens transitioning to solid foods. Its versatility also allows it to be added as a topper to dry kibble.
  • Supports the immune system: During the first year of a kitten’s life, they are extremely vulnerable because their immune system is still in development. Vitamins C and E along with a blend of antioxidants are added to this formula to keep your kitty safe as they continue to grow.
  • Digestion friendly: High quality sources of protein found in this recipe are very easy for kittens to digest. The plentiful amounts of minerals, fiber, amino acids and probiotics also promote better digestion health. Even the corn is ground finely to improve a kitten’s ability to digest it.
  • Provides tons of energy through balanced nutrition: When they say this food is formulated with the optimal ratio of fats, proteins and carbs, they mean it. After 50 years of research and expertise, Royal Canin knows how to meet the nutritional needs of a growing kitty’s intense energy.
  • Provides plenty of water: Kittens don’t know when they are thirsty because they don’t have the mechanism that lets them know that they are dehydrated. Wet food helps with this, but the first ingredient of this formula is water. It has an increased moisture content to keep thirst at bay.

Cons

There are plenty of good things about this Royal Canin wet food. It has plenty of animal-based protein, does not use artificial flavors and is yummy. It does, however, have some ingredients that cat owners may want to know about.

  • Kittens may not want to chew so much: The texture is easy to eat and digest, but very young cats who only know solid food may find that they don’t like chewing so much to eat. If you have a very young cat, you may have to introduce this new food to their diet slowly.
  • Lots of by-products: Pork and chicken by-products are some of the top ingredients. They are typically thought of as lesser quality ingredients because it’s impossible to know what pieces or parts of the animal are being used. The by-products may not be bad for cats, but not knowing is frustrating.
  • Quality control issues: Overall, this is a good wet cat food but many customers have reported less than perfect shipping. Cans have arrived dented to the point that they had begun to leak. This has happened repeatedly so be sure to contact the company for replacements.

Comparison

 

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten FoodRoyal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodPurina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodPurina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
brandRoyal CaninPurina KittenPurina
typeWetDryWet
size8.7 lbs14 lbs9 lbs
flavorNaturalNaturalTurkey, fish
life stageKittenKittenKitten
balanced nutritionYesYesYes
high-quality proteinsYesYesYes
fibersYesYesYes
promotes healthy coatYesYesYes
antioxidantsYesYesYes
by-product freeNoNoNo
grain-freeNoNoYes
gluten-freeNoNoNo
artificial preservativesYesYesYes
easy to digestYesYesYes

Summary

Kittens will have all the nutrients they need thanks to a very precise ratio of proteins, fats and carbs.

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food prioritizes the health and growth of essential functions of kittens. With significantly more protein than the average cat food of similar quality, your kitten will have all the energy they need.

Kittens will have all the nutrients they need thanks to a very precise ratio of proteins, fats and carbs. Though it contains a number of by-products, it also has high sources of protein that come from animal sources instead of carbs, which means kittens can digest it more easily.

To promote the healthy maturing of your beloved kitten, this is a kitten food made just for them that is sure to be a hit.


Instinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten Food

Instinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten Food
(rated 4.3 / 5)
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A healthy diet is the best thing you can do to support the long-term wellness and health of your kitten, right from the start.

Quality kitten food has a foundation of premium proteins like meat, fish and poultry along with essential fatty acids.

Dry food is great because it takes much longer to spoil when left out for free-feeding than wet food.

To provide your pet with a highly nutritious meal day after day, look for dry food formulas that have a strong foundation of fat and protein instead of carbohydrates.

Avoid choosing foods that contain corn, grain or are not prepared under AAFCO guidelines.

Information

Instead of using grain to provide nutrition, animal protein is the primary source in this recipe.

Kittens grow fast. They need food that can keep up with them and Instinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten Food is it. A good source of protein and a lack of grain make this a great option for kitties as they play and grow.

Instead of using grain to provide nutrition, animal protein is the primary source in this recipe. This is an important, but often overlooked, benefit because cats are carnivorous. They do not naturally eat grains, they eat meat. So you will not find any corn, wheat, potatoes or soy in the mix.

Not only is this dry food all natural, the number one ingredient is cage-free chickens. This shows that Instinct cares about the well-being of all animals, not just the kittens and cats they provide food for. They pride themselves on being natural and kittens will appreciate how the recipe has been modeled after a real-life wild cat diet.

brandInstinct
typeDry
size5 lbs
flavorChicken
life stageKitten
balanced nutritionYes
high-quality proteinsYes
fibersYes
promotes healthy coatYes
antioxidantsYes
by-product freeYes
grain-freeYes
gluten-freeYes
artificial preservativesNo
easy to digestYes

With a strong belief that raw ingredients are the key to unlocking the true potential of your kitty, each piece of kibble is coated in freeze-dried raw chicken. Pure, whole-food recipes are made in small batches first. They are then freeze dried to lock in and protect the nutrition in each bite.

81% of the ingredients are animal products and oils. The other 19% are from vegetables, fruits and other wholesome ingredients.

Treat your kitty to the best tasting kibble while simultaneously taking care of their development when you feed them one of the best dry kitten foods available.

Pros

It is packed with a ton of protein and goes through minimal processing so your pet only gets the best.

The power of raw ingredients must be working because many cat owners swear by the Instinct brand of food for their growing kittens. Packed with a ton of healthy and delicious ingredients, it is sure to be a hit for the pickiest of eaters.

  • Premium sources of protein: Instinct kitten food is loaded with more than 40% protein. Most of that protein comes from four sources of premium chicken, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal and salmon meal. Kitties are going to have plenty of nutrients for their growth and development.
  • Supports healthy digestion: The recipe of this grain-free dry cat food contains digestible fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and carbohydrates that guarantee balanced nutrition. It also consists of probiotics and fiber to support regular digestion. Sensitive stomachs will have more success with this brand.
  • Tailor made for growing kittens: 81% of the ingredients come from animal products, food that kittens naturally eat. The best natural food for kittens, it provides them with balanced nutrition. Every piece of kibble is freeze-dried raw and coated for taste. Even the pickiest kitties will enjoy meal time.
  • All-natural, premium ingredients: Instinct original kitten food is made with raw nutrition. This means that the food is made from only real meat and whole food ingredients. It is packed with a ton of protein and goes through minimal processing so your pet only gets the best.
  • Organic DHA: One ingredient that makes this the best dry kitten food is DHA, docosahexaenoic acid. The recipe adds natural DHA through the chicken eggs, which is important for the development of both the eyes and brain during a kitten’s first several months of life.
  • Expect a dazzling, shiny coat: Instinct kitten food ingredients contain plenty of omega fatty acids that aid immunity, healthy skin and a soft, glossy coat. As your kitty runs around with more than enough energy to play and grow, they will also have a coat that is healthy.

Cons

With a strong belief in raw ingredients and a dedication to improving the lives of kittens and cats, Instinct’s formula provides the necessary nutrition. As with any brand, though, it has its issues that some cat owners may want to know about.

  • Some kittens can develop allergies: The recipe contains a ton of protein, but they come from more than one source. It’s not unheard of for kittens to develop allergies to some of the common proteins found in this dry kitten food. Keep an eye out for hair loss or skin irritation.
  • Peas are in the top five ingredients: Peas are used to sweeten the formula and make it tastier to your kitten. It is one of the top five ingredients, which is considered a little too high by some. Peas can cause bladder and kidney stones in cats.
  • Formula change: A recent change to the formula has resulted in more fillers being used. Some longtime customers have seen their cats reject the new formula or have reactions such as vomiting. It’s important to make sure the new ingredients aren’t harmful to your cat.

Comparison

 

Instinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten FoodInstinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten Food

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodPurina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodPurina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
brandInstinctPurina KittenPurina
typeDryDryWet
size5 lbs14 lbs9 lbs
flavorChickenNaturalTurkey, fish
life stageKittenKittenKitten
balanced nutritionYesYesYes
high-quality proteinsYesYesYes
fibersYesYesYes
promotes healthy coatYesYesYes
antioxidantsYesYesYes
by-product freeYesNoNo
grain-freeYesNoYes
gluten-freeYesNoNo
artificial preservativesNoYesYes
easy to digestYesYesYes

Summary

You won’t find any grain or too many carbohydrates in this formula because it is modeled after a wild cat’s diet.

There aren’t many brands that you’ll find that go above and beyond like Instinct Original Grain-Free Natural Dry Kitten Food. If you are looking for the best dry food that will aid the development of your young cat, this option is all natural and delicious.

You won’t find any grain or too many carbohydrates in this formula because it is modeled after a wild cat’s diet. Containing high levels of protein, it’s important to be careful that your kitty isn’t allergic to the several types of meat that are present, but they will be energetic and strong.

Crafted from real ingredients and preserved through minimal processing, this kitten food will be a hit with young fur balls and you’ll rest easy knowing you’re providing them with the best.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food
(rated 4.2 / 5)
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Juvenile kittens need a balance of fats and proteins to build and develop their organs and tissues, as well as hasten the development of their nerves, spinal cord and brain.

Getting the right kitten food for your tiny fur ball will keep them happy and healthy.

A kitten’s weight can double or even triple within the first few weeks of being born. To support explosive growth like this, they’ll need triple the fuel.

Food that is high in calories, provides a good amount of protein, and has been specially formulated for kittens will be a good choice.

Just like humans, good nutrition for cats starts when they are babies.

Information

The protein content and carbohydrates in Blue Wilderness are easily digestible by most kittens which allows them to immediately be put to use by a young feline.

One of the leading causes of death in cats is cancer, and cats are getting diagnosed with the awful disease younger and younger. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food was created to protect your kitten from cancer by maintaining quality formulas and avoiding cancer-causing food toxins.

Made explicitly for kittens, this is a formula that is all natural and delicious. Blue Buffalo kitten food is free of grains, soy, corn and other filler ingredients that do little for the growth of a feline. The ingredients that are used such as deboned chicken, taurine and cranberries, are vital for the growth of and development of the immune system, heart, eyes, brain and much more.

To preserve the potency of the dry food, the recipe is also packed with a ton of nutrients in Blue Buffalo’s special LifeSource Bits. These exclusive bites contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that have been processed at lower temperatures than the other ingredients to pack the right punch to your kitty’s system.

brandBlue Buffalo
typeDry
size5 lbs
flavorChicken
life stageKitten
balanced nutritionYes
high-quality proteinsYes
fibersYes
promotes healthy coatYes
antioxidantsYes
by-product freeYes
grain-freeYes
gluten-freeYes
artificial preservativesNo
easy to digestYes

The protein content and carbohydrates in Blue Wilderness are easily digestible by most kittens which allows them to immediately be put to use by a young feline. Your pet will have all the energy they need as they find their way to adulthood.

What’s more amazing about this dry food is that most of the calories come from proteins instead of carbohydrates. Calorie dense, it will give kittens the extra weight they need or help them maintain their current weight.

When you want to keep kittens energized for a long time and help them reach their full development, this is one of the best dry foods out there.

Pros

Two ingredients in this formula, DHA and ARA, are essential fatty acids found in the milk of mother cats.

During their early stages of development, kittens have special needs. One of the best grain-free cat food brands, Blue Wilderness has carried their knowledge into this kitten food. It is the complete package that fulfills their nutritional requirements and elevates their growth to adulthood.

  • High-quality protein: This dry food is stuffed with real chicken, not the by-products found in many other formulas. Not only is the formula one that kittens will find very tasty, it is one that will encourage healthy muscle development, too.
  • Good amount of carbs: Dry food is typically full of carbohydrates that fatten cats. Blue Buffalo cat food has a low amount of carbohydrates compared to other dry cat food. The formula uses sweet potatoes to provide complex carbs to help maintain your kitten’s body weight.
  • LifeSource bits of kibble: Blue Buffalo indoor kitten food is filled with patented LifeSource Bits, a blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals selected by animal nutritionists and veterinarians. These foods are needed by the body and antioxidant-rich foods, in particular, repair damage to the body.
  • Mimics a cat’s natural diet: This kitten food by Blue Buffalo was inspired by a wild relative of your feline friend – the lynx. It was then formulated with ingredients high in protein specifically chosen to ensure that your tiny kitten grows to be strong and healthy.
  • Free from artificial preservatives: Not only is the formula of this kitten food free of grains, it also contains absolutely no by-products, wheat soy or corn. Filler ingredients that do nothing to enhance the nutrition of a kitten won’t be found in this all-natural food.
  • Brain and eye development: Two ingredients in this formula, DHA and ARA, are essential fatty acids found in the milk of mother cats. Both acids, along with Choline, are present and help to support the development of a kitten’s retinal and cognitive learning functions.

Cons

Real meat is packed with essential vitamins and minerals making for a great daily kitten food. It leaves unnecessary fillers out and concentrates on premium meats your kitty craves. Though Blue Buffalo gets the formula mostly right, all kitties may not love it.

  • High protein can harm some kitties: In dry food varieties that contain high concentrations of protein, especially in the case of this grain free kitten food, there’s a chance it could cause kidney stones in certain felines. If your pet is vulnerable to kidney issues, consult your veterinarian.
  • High protein needs high activity: Indoor pets that don’t get a lot of exercise are at risk of gaining a little too much weight. If you feed kittens a high amount of protein, they also must have an opportunity to work it off as well.
  • May cause digestive issues: Some owners have noticed changes once switching over to this food. The most reported issues were kittens becoming very gassy throughout the day. More serious issues that occurred were diarrhea and vomiting. Watch how your pet responds to this formula.

Comparison

 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten FoodBlue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten FoodPurina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten FoodPurina Fancy Feast Classic Pate Wet Kitten Food

PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
brandBlue BuffaloPurina KittenPurina
typeDryDryWet
size5 lbs14 lbs9 lbs
flavorChickenNaturalTurkey, fish
life stageKittenKittenKitten
balanced nutritionYesYesYes
high-quality proteinsYesYesYes
fibersYesYesYes
promotes healthy coatYesYesYes
antioxidantsYesYesYes
by-product freeYesNoNo
grain-freeYesNoYes
gluten-freeYesNoNo
artificial preservativesNoYesYes
easy to digestYesYesYes

Summary

There are no artificial flavorings, grain, wheat or starch, and it is completely natural.

Kittens need different nourishment than adult cats. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food provides them with a balanced diet of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Specially made for kittens, its formula is modeled after that of the lynx, a cat found in the wild.

There are no artificial flavorings, grain, wheat or starch, and it is completely natural. Dry kitten food typically has too many carbs, but not this one. It focuses on proteins, which are needed for the proper growth of felines. It does have a lot of protein, though, so make sure your precious kitty can work off the amount they’re consuming.

Delicious and very healthy, this kitten food is the top choice for cat owners who are serious about the health of their pets.

Best Kitten Food Buying Guide

Protein

Protein is the single most important thing that your kitten needs to thrive. You always want to purchase kitten food high in protein – it will help them to have energy (30% or more of their energy should be from protein) and it encourages growth.

Look at the bag or can of food. Is protein (or a type of protein) the first ingredient? If so, then you’ve found a good option. If not, avoid it.

Minerals and Amino Acids

Since your kitten is growing, they need to have a variety of minerals. Calcium, chromium, phosphorus, and potassium are essential building blocks for kittens – they help the body to grow, form enzymes, and balance the body’s pH.

When it comes to amino acids, be sure that you look for taurine. Taurine is more essential in cats than any other animal because it helps with vision, digestion, heart muscle function, and immunity. And, since your kitten is just growing, it’s even more essential.

Extra Vitamins

Your new furry friend needs to have a lot of vitamins in order to grow and for their internal processes to work correctly. Vitamins are especially important when it comes to regulating your kitten’s metabolism.

Vitamins A, D, E, and K are some of the most important vitamins. Cats are not able to convert vegetable proteins into these vitamins, so you want to be sure that they are included in the nutrition facts as something that they get directly from the meat they are ingesting.

Carbohydrates

According to many studies regarding cat’s diets, it’s been found that carbs are actually not a necessary part of their diet. Any carbs they get should be from vegetables rather than grain.

Carbohydrates turn into sugars, which can cause your cat to become ill over time. Diabetes is a common issue in older cats, and high carb diets can cause other forms of diseases as well. Low-carb options with no corn or wheat are best.

Digestibility

Your kitten’s digestive system is just growing, so you want to be sure that any food you give them is going to be easy on their tummies. Remember, they just transitioned from their mother’s milk, so they may have some problems during the transition phase.

You want to keep your eyes out for ingredients that are easy for your kitten to digest, like eggs and even pumpkin. This will prevent malnourishment caused by vomiting and/or diarrhea.

Dry Food

When you’re looking at the best dry kitten food, be sure that you find kibble that is in small pieces. Your little one’s mouth is very small, and their teeth aren’t fully formed, so you want to be sure that it’s something that they can chew and not choke on.

The smaller the kibble pieces are, the better it’ll be. Dry food is good for their teeth and it’s convenient, because you can leave it out for your kitten to eat when it’s hungry.

Wet Food

It’s always a good idea to provide your kitten with wet food. The best canned food for kittens is going to contain a lot of liquid, not just for ease of eating, but for hydration as well.

Kittens, and even adult cats, don’t always recognize when they’re thirsty – they don’t have that “thirst” reflex as strongly as other animals. So, providing them with wet food can help to prevent dehydration.

Fillers to Avoid

Fillers are a big problem in kitten food, because kittens need all of the nutrition that they can get. You want to avoid ingredients including cornstarch, corn, brewer’s rice, soybeans, rice protein, and cottonseed hulls.

Be sure to search for the best grain free cat food that money can buy. This is often more difficult when it comes to dry food, but there are some solid options on the market that will allow you to have peace of mind about what you’re feeding your kitten.

Number of Calories

Calories are essential because they help your kitten to fatten up a little bit! And, with their very active metabolism, you need to pay attention to your kitten food serving size and how many calories come with that.

On average, you want between 150 and 200 calories per day. So, you want a meal to be between 35 and 50 calories. Look at the labels and learn about calories and serving sizes so that you can feed your kitten well.

Natural and Organic

You don’t want to be giving your feline friend chemicals, right? As you look for the best natural food for kittens, be sure that you still follow the guidelines we’ve discussed in this guide – it should still be 30% protein or more, and meat should be listed first.

Certified organic and GMO-free options are usually your best bet and should be labeled as such. More manufacturers are offering natural and/or organic options for kittens and adult cats, so it’s relatively easy to find them.

Potential Allergens to Avoid

There are a handful of ingredients that you may want to avoid as much as possible when looking for kitten food. These include artificial flavors and colors, corn, dairy, preservatives (BHA/BHT), and some types of meat.

Also, be sure that you learn the most common kitten food allergy symptoms, just in case your kitten is allergic to something. These can include rashes, extreme scratching, relentless sneezing, and balding.

Number of Servings

Buying kitten food in bulk may seem like a good idea, but it may not be because either 1) your kitten may not like it, or 2) your kitten may have an allergy you aren’t aware of yet.

Check out the size of the can or the bag and see how many servings that it’s supposed to be. If it’s something that you know that your kitten likes and isn’t allergic to, then feel free to save some money and buy in bulk. Just be aware of how you store it.

Vegetables

While vegetables can have some of the nutrients that we’ve discussed in this guide, cats are not necessarily built to digest or metabolize those nutrients in an effective manner.

Vegetables aren’t going to hurt your kitten, but they are really just empty calories for them to ingest. They are a better filler than grains, but the more meat that your kitten’s food is made from, the better off that they’ll be health-wise.

Does Your Cat Like It?

Cats can be really finicky eaters. They like their food a certain way and they only want certain flavors of food. It’s common for a kitten to only like fish or chicken and not have any desire to expand their palette.

Obviously, the only way to know this is to try. As you spend more time with your kitten, you’ll learn what they like and dislike. It’ll make it easier to choose the foods that they enjoy and you’ll throw out less food, too.

American Association of Feed Care Officials Certification

Ideally, the food you choose for your kitten (and that they end up liking) will be certified by the American Association of Feed Care Officials, usually indicated by a label that says “Meets the nutritional requirements of kittens established by the AAFCO”.

These professionals are state and federal officials that keep an eye on pet food regulations. If you see AAFCO labeling, you’re usually good to go. If the label says “complete and balanced nutrition” in regards to their feeding trials, then you won’t need to supplement the best kitten food with additional vitamins or minerals, either.

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food
Our pick for the best kitten food is: Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching kitten foods.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I feed my kitten food with meat by-products?

No. Read the label and avoid a product with “meat by-products”. They are much less nutritious than other options, have more fat content and they’re processed a lot more, as well.

Meat by-products won’t fill up your youngster either. You want your kitten to feel full when they’re done eating, and the best way to do that is to feed them high-quality food with actual named meats and minimal fillers.

What organ meats should I be looking for?

As mentioned earlier in this guide, taurine is an essential part of your kitten’s growth, and that comes from a number of different organ meats.

The best organs for taurine are chicken liver and chicken hearts. Any sort of muscle meat can also contain taurine – the kidneys, heart, and liver of pigs, lambs, and cows can help to boost the amount of taurine that your kitten is getting. These parts should be mentioned in any food you purchase for your kitten.

When do I switch from food made for kittens to cat food?

Everyone that you talk to is going to give you a different piece of advice when it comes to how long you’re supposed to be feeding kitten food to your cat. Generally, you want to wait until they are at least 1 year old to change to adult cat food.

Some vets will also recommend that, if your cat seems to still be growing or if they had a rough start due to malnourishment, they may want to continue eating kitten food until they’re 18 months old. That way, they can continue to get those nutrients.

How do I know that the kitten food is doing its job?

Your kitten will definitely show whether or not the food they’re being fed is good for their overall health and wellness.

If it’s getting proper nutrition, they will be active and alert. Their coat will be glossy and it will appear to be clean, and they will look very healthy. If your kitten is not exhibiting these traits, then you may need to consider switching the food that they are eating or give them a larger kitten food amount.

How often do I feed my kitten?

Kittens love food, and they should – they’re still growing! So, it’s important that they are getting fed multiple times a day in order to encourage that healthy growth.

Many vets will recommend that you feed your cat the best kitten food at least 3 or 4 times a day. Be sure that you keep an eye on their calorie intake, though. If you’re also giving them treats, you may want to cut back a little on their meals.

Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food
Our pick for the best kitten food is: Purina Kitten Chow Nurturing Formula Dry Kitten Food. This choice was made after spending 39 hours researching kitten foods.

Sources

  1. Vitamin D toxicity of dietary origin in cats fed a natural complementary kitten food, National Institutes of Health, Dec 11, 2017
  2. Blue Ridge Beef Recalls Kitten Grind Raw Pet Food Lot, US Food & Drug Administration, Mar 1, 2018
  3. What to do if You Find Kittens, City of Albuquerque
  4. Guidelines for Found Kittens, Nashville.gov
  5. How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
  6. Cat food, Wikipedia
  7. How to Raise a Healthy Kitten, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Apr 1, 2017
  8. Low Carb for Cats, Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Mar 31, 2011
  9. Feline Social Behavior and Selection of a New Kitten, Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Oct 3, 2011
  10. Choosing a Pet Food, Small Animal Hospital

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