The 7 Best Foods for your Kitten in 2021

best cat food for kittens

Kittens require a wholesome and nutritious diet for healthy growth and development. 

An ideal diet for kittens should be rich in animal protein, low in carbohydrates, and high in calories.

We have picked seven nutritious kitten foods to assist them in growing into healthy, active cats. We’ll explore the key details needed to choose the best cat food for kittens.

Our top selection is the IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Food. However, if you’re itching to find out what else is on review, here’s a quick summary:

best cat food for kittens infographic

Essential Features for Quality Kitten Food

High Protein Content

A key ingredient for kitten food is protein. Being obligate carnivores, a cat’s digestive system and metabolism are adapted to meat-based diets that consist of animal protein.

Animal proteins also contain essential amino acids like arginine and taurine. Cats get these amino acids by consuming animal tissue. 

Taurine is vital for heart and visual health. A lack of arginine results in high ammonia content in the blood which may cause seizures and death in extreme cases. Additionally, cats produce low quantities of certain vital vitamins, which they get from animal-based proteins.

The AAFCO recommends a cat’s diet contains 30 percent protein, but for a growing kitten, it should be up to 35 to 50 percent in a dry diet. 

Low Carbohydrates

Large amounts of carbohydrates aren’t encouraged in a cat’s diet, but kittens require a reasonable amount of calories thanks to their playful nature. Some starch is important to help in processing dry matter, so look for a minimal amount of carbs in the food.

Research shows that a diet rich in carbohydrates exposes your kitten to feline obesity or diabetes mellitus. This is because cats experience poor metabolism and digestion of carbohydrates.

However, cats can digest 40 to 100 percent of starch. Carbs are converted to calories and energy that your furry friend uses as fuel. Additionally, they help keep the kitten warm and act as building blocks for the minerals and nutrients required.

Fat Levels

Fat provides a concentrated energy source for your kitten; in fact, it offers twice as much energy compared to carbs and protein. Dietary fat also improves the texture and flavor of the food for your cat.

Fatty acids from fat in cat food are essential for your kitten’s coat and skin health as well as cell structure and function. Aim for 12 to 24 percent fat in your kitty’s diet. 


To meet the needs of your growing kitten’s body, look for 0.8-1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis in the food. Antioxidants are great for boosting the immune system, and varied vitamins and minerals are necessary for healthy development. 


Kittens  require around 20 calories per pound of weight as they develop rapidly and use up lots of energy. So if your kitten weighs 5 pounds, then they should consume a diet of 100 calories per day.

Frequent meals are essential at this stage to ensure your kitten gets enough calories and energy throughout the day due to their tiny stomachs. 

Nature of the Food

Kitten foods are either dry or wet. Whether to feed kittens on either of the two alternatives is determined by the general health of the kitten, weight, and of course your budget and what’s most convenient. 

The primary goal is to give your pet a balanced diet, regardless of the approach taken. Many owners like to offer a mix of the two, to get their kitten used to both textures and offer benefits from both.

The 7 Best Cat Food for Kitten Reviews — To Transform Kittens into Healthy Cats

1. IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Food—Best Overall

The IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Food is a nutrient-rich formula, providing your kitty with a wholesome and balanced diet. Its primary ingredient is animal protein from chicken, and it’s made with no preservatives or by-products. 

Verified customers recommend this as a top choice for the best cat food for kittens for the first year of their lives. The IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Food is also good for house kitties of all breeds.

The product’s ingredients include prebiotics and natural fibers that promote a healthy digestive system for your cat. The ingredients contain essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals such as omega-6, making it similar to the milk nutrients found in lactating cats. 

This dry kitten food will give your cat a smooth coat, gastrointestinal benefits, enhanced vision, balanced weight, and improved urinary tract health.

If you’ve been searching for kitten food that promotes strong immunity and proactive health for your kitten, consider the IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Food.


  • Builds strong immunity.
  • Provides stomach health benefits.
  • Primary ingredient is real animal protein.
  • Promotes visual health.
  • Natural-based, hence safe for consumption.


  • Some kittens get upset stomachs after using the product.

2. Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Natural Kitten Food—Best Dry Diet

The Blue Buffalo Kitten Food is an ideal dry food option for young cats.

The product’s ingredients are rich in fatty acids, ARA, choline, and DHA, which help promote healthy visual and mental growth. Chicken protein, the primary ingredient, supports the growth of lean and strong muscles. 

Fruit extracts, vegetables, and whole grains boost the quality of the ingredients, providing your kitten with the right amount of calories.

Minerals, essential vitamins, and antioxidants have been carefully chosen to provide your kitty with a solution for all stages of their growth and strong immunity for perfect health.

The Blue Buffalo Kitten Food is completely natural. It has no artificial flavors or preservatives, making it a safe, natural-based food for your cat.


  • Natural.
  • Ideal for all stages of a cat’s growth.
  • Enriched with animal-based proteins.
  • Provides cats with strong immunity.
  • Rich in calories.


  • Strong scent.
  • Foul-smelling cat stool.

3. Wellness CORE Pate Wet Kitten Food—Best Wet Diet

The Wellness CORE Pate is a suitable wet food for kittens. It has a high moisture content, perfect for kittens’ urinary tract health and healthy hydration. 

The primary ingredients are chicken and turkey-based proteins, fruit and vegetable extracts, and reasonable animal fats for vital vitamins. It features no less than 12 percent protein and 7.5 percent fat, which is a good amount considering wet food features more water. 

This kitten food is further enriched with several minerals such as potassium chloride and choline chloride to provide kittens with a strong immune system.

Veterinarians and animal fanatics, including nutritionists, have developed this kitten food to give your cat lifelong well-being. The ingredients used are natural-based and safe for your kitten.

If you’re looking for a wet kitten diet that will give your pet a strong immunity, lustrous coat, and a healthy digestive system, consider the Wellness CORE Pate Wet Kitten Food.


  • Digestive health benefits.
  • High animal protein content.
  • High moisture content for healthy hydration.
  • Developed by veterinarians and nutritionists.
  • Reasonable fat content and rich in vital minerals.


  • Pricey.
  • Strong odor.

4. Solid Gold High Protein—Best for All Life Stages

The Solid Gold Cat Food is a high protein and grain-free dry meal ideal for cats of all ages, including kittens. Its primary ingredient is chicken protein and it features 42 percent protein and 20 percent fat, which is exactly what kittens need for energy and healthy development. 

This holistic meal contains probiotics that are vital for strong immunity, a healthy digestive tract, and a smooth coat for your kitten.

The manufacturer uses superfoods such as rind, pulp, and skin to make this dry food. Whole superfoods offer fiber, probiotics, and antioxidants to ensure your cat thrives on a balanced diet.

The ingredients are further complemented with omega fatty acids-3 and 6 from fish. These fatty acids provide DHA and EPA for proper physical and mental development.

Solid Gold is gluten-free to promote a healthy gut for your kitten. Additionally, it’s designed to provide your cat with more energy and improved digestibility.


  • Ideal for mental and physical growth.
  • High amounts of fat and protein.
  • Grain-free.
  • Rich in fiber.
  • Natural-based.
  • Contains amino acids sourced from fish.


  • The food is greasy and crumbly.
  • Some kitties don’t like this cat food.

5. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Food—Best for General Health

The Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Food is inspired by science and recommended by veterinarians for the general health of your kitten.

It’s specifically designed for visual and mental health, strong teeth and bones, cardiovascular health, and the building of lean muscles.

The clinically proven vitamin and antioxidant blend works to promote a healthy immune system, so your little kitty has the best start in life.

Additionally, the ingredients which include chicken-sourced proteins, whole grains, fish oil, vital vitamins, and essential minerals, are all-natural. This makes the product safe and beneficial for your pet’s consumption. The manufacturer has worked hard to ensure the mix is great-tasting too, so your kitten will enjoy mealtime and eat enough to support their growth. 


  • Cognitive and visual benefits.
  • Essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth.
  • Scientifically proven.
  • Natural-based.
  • Cardiovascular health benefits.


  • The sealing of the bag is not always sufficient to maintain freshness.
  • Some kittens experienced vomiting. 

6. Purina Kitten Chow Dry Food—Best for Taste

Purina Kitten Chow Food is suitable for a wholesome diet. The manufacturer adheres to the AAFCO guidelines, making it totally safe for your kitten.

It’s made with several high-quality animal-based proteins to aid in the fast and proper growth of the muscles. The crude protein levels are a minimum of 40 percent and fat is at 12.5 percent—just the right amount to support healthy growth in a kitten. 

This dry food is further enriched with a blend of natural antioxidants and DHA to boost immunity, quality visual, and mental growth. With this product, your cat gets minerals and vitamins which are vital for a balanced meal. 

The product description shows that Purina Kitten Food has a kitty-friendly taste and has no artificial additives. 


  • Wholemeal.
  • Suitable for all stages of growth.
  • Has heart health benefits.

Ideal for a strong immune system.

  • Natural-based.


  • Poor packaging and difficult to pour. 
  • Some owners said the food gave off an unpleasant odor. 

7. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutritional Loaf—Best for a Balanced Nutrition

The Royal Canin Feline Health Nutritional Loaf has all the key ingredients to give your kitty a balanced and complete diet. Its primary ingredients are pork and chicken protein. 

Additionally, the product has incorporated a mixture of both wet and dry food, resulting in a meal rich in minerals for proper growth and high moisture content for healthy hydration.

Carbohydrates, fat, and protein have been optimally rationed to provide your growing kitten with energy for maturing and playing. Also, the antioxidants, probiotics, and fiber help support strong immunity, healthy digestion, and a coarse coat.

The package contains 24 kitten loaves that are particularly great for young kittens that have recently been weaned. This kitten food has enough moisture content for healthy hydration and is easy to chew.

If you’re interested in a kitten diet that will provide balanced nutrition to your pet and you’re unsure whether to use wet or dry food, consider the Royal Canin Feline Health Nutritional Loaf.


  • Money-back guarantee if dissatisfied with the product.
  • Rich in animal proteins.
  • Natural-based.
  • Rich in vital minerals, fats, and essential vitamins for balanced growth.
  • Provides a blend of dry and wet food benefits.


  • Some kittens won’t eat the food.
  • Sticky consistency, so it can get stuck in the bowl and is hard to clean up.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Should You Wean Your Kitten?

Typically, you should begin the weaning process from around 4 weeks of age. However, you should never separate the kitten from the mother at once, this may cause depression.

Begin weaning by separating mother and young for a couple of hours each day. This helps the kitten to become more independent and stop relying on the mother’s milk.

The kitten and mother should be kept in different places, each having the appropriate food. Gradually, the kitten becomes more socialized and after a few weeks, will be completely weaned.

Is Adult Cat Food Good for Kittens?

Kittens and adult cats have different dietary needs. A kitten needs more calories compared to mature cats, and feeding the kitten on mature cat food deprives them of essential minerals and vitamins for proper growth.

If you’re uncertain about the food you’re feeding your kitten, seek your veterinarian’s guidance. 

Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Kitten

Typically, cats have a picky eating behavior, which creates the impression that they know what’s bad or good for them. However, not everything that your kitten decided to eat is safe for them

If a kitten consumes any of the following foods or drinks, immediate action should be taken to reverse the situation:

  • Alcohol and caffeine.
  • Onions.
  • Dairy products, including cow’s milk.
  • Raisin and grapes.
  • Uncooked fish and meat.
  • Raw eggs, bones, and fat trimmings.


A kitten is just like a baby. They depend on you to get a balanced and nutritious diet that’s helpful for strong immunity and proper development of vital organs.

Your kitten will feed on anything that comes its way. Therefore, you need to ensure that the diet has the right quantities of calories, minerals, vital vitamins, and is rich in animal protein.

Avoid giving mature cat food to kittens, as their nutritional needs are different. Equally important, foods that are unsafe for kittens should be kept out of reach.

For optimal growth and development, you can choose from the seven kitten foods we’ve discussed. The best cat food for kittens, in our opinion, is the IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Food as it features premium quality ingredients and the right balance of essential protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, and more for kittens to develop into strong, healthy cats.

This article includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase any of the products we have discussed in this article, we may receive a small commission.

Olivia Davis

Olivia is the editor-in-chief at Cat Food Tip. She's in charge of making sure that every post is up to standards and contains accurate information that's comprehendable and fun for readers.

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