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Good Dry Food For Kittens

Hills Science Diet Dry Kitten

Cat Nutrition: The Food, The Bad & The Ugly: Part 1: Dry Food!

Hills Science Diet is the number one brand recommended by veterinarians with Hills, your kitten is in safe hands. Their cat food formulas are developed by a team of vets, food scientists, and Ph.D. level nutritionists.

There is natural DHA in this food, which is vital for both brain and eye development. The antioxidants and vitamins are clinically proven to promote a healthy immune system. During the first year of life, kittens are extra vulnerable, so any added protection is excellent.

The high-quality animal protein in this food is easy for your kitten to digest and put to use. You will also find plenty of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids packed into this food. What you will not find is any artificial flavors, preservatives, or coloring. The great taste of the food comes straight from the chicken. Vitamins C & E help your kittens immune system as well as act as a natural preservative.

Due to the high level of nutrition in this food, its also suitable for pregnant and nursing cats. If this food will work with your budget, it is worth serious consideration. In our opinion, its one of the best foods for kittens on the market.

Most Affordable Kitten Food

American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First Five Ingredients: Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Duck Meal, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product

If youre looking for a good, affordable dry food for your kitten, why not try American Journey Duck Recipe Grain Free Dry Cat Food? This is an all life stage formula so its formulated to feed kittens as well as adult cats. Its high in protein with 40 percent protein. The carb content is 22-24 percent which is low for a dry food. The first ingredients are Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, and Duck Meal so it has lots of poultry protein that cats love. Grain free with no corn, wheat, or soy. It has no poultry by-products meal or artificial preservatives. Also comes in other flavors that cats love. Over 200 reviews on and most of them are great. You can buy a 5-lb bag from Chewy for $14.99 or $13.49 with autoship or a 12-lb bag for $27.99 or $25.19 with autoship.

Why Cant I Feed My Kitten Adult Cat Food

Kittens have different nutritional requirements than adult cats, and kitten foods are specifically designed to meet these.

Kittens are more active than adult cats, so they need a more calorie-dense food to help fuel all that energy! They also need a different balance of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, as their bodies are developing so fast. Kitten food usually contains DHA, which helps the development of healthy eyes and brains.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials split their nutrient profile recommendations for cat food into two categories: growth and development, and maintenance. Foods that meet the nutrient profiles for growth and development are designed for kittens, while those that meet the nutrient profiles for maintenance are designed for adult cats. Always choose a kitten food thats been approved by the AAFCO for the growth and development stage. That way, you can feel confident knowing that it contains everything that your kitten needs.

While you could feed your kitten a cat food thats formulated for adult cats, youre running the risk that they wont be getting all the calories, vitamins, and minerals that they need to thrive. In our opinion, its not worth the risk, especially when the price range of both formulations is pretty similar. Whatever your budget, youll be able to find a kitten food to match.

Related Read: 10 Best Dry Cat Foods Reviews & Top Picks

Recommended Reading: Best Urinary Tract Cat Food

Our Runner Up Pick: Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Wet Kitten Food

Runner Up

This tasty wet food is perfect for finicky kittens.$31.92

If your kitten prefers wet food to dry, our runner up, Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Wet Kitten Food, might be a better choice. This complete and balanced food contains all the nutrients your kitten needs to grow up strong and healthy. While we dont necessarily rate grain free kitten foods over grain-containing foods, it is true that cats, as obligate carnivores, thrive on foods containing plenty of meats and few carbohydrates. This food fits this bill, containing chicken and chicken liver as the top two ingredients, with no grains or starchy ingredients, such as potato.

Wellness Complete Kitten food is made in North America from only high quality ingredients, with no by-products and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. It has a pâté consistency, which means its fairly smooth, without large chunks, which is ideal for small mouths to handle. This food is sold as a case of 24 three-ounce cans, costing around $30.

Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Wet Kitten Food Key Features:

  • Added taurine promotes a heart and eye health
  • Low in magnesium to avoid urinary tracts issues
  • Palatable recipe that most kittens love

Raw Chicken Liver And Salmon

Friskies Indoor Dry Cat Food, Indoor Delights, 16.2 oz. Box

Raw chicken liver and heart homemade cat food recipe may not sound particularly appetising to you, but Mr Whiskers will definitely be drooling over this tasty homemade cat food recipe! Chicken liver and heart boast essential nutrients that your cat needs, including tons of vitamin A, vitamin B, minerals, iron and protein. With so many nutrients packed in a meal, this recipe is also suitable for kittens whore on a growth spurt! However, moderation is key when it comes to raw chicken liver consumption as too much of it may cause your cat to have loose stools.

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 700g raw chicken wings with bones and skin
  • 100g raw salmon with bones
  • 1 tsp taurine supplement powder

Recipe Instructions:

  • Puree all the organ meat into the water using the Tefal Multifunction Easyforce Food Processor
  • Pour the mixture into a BioloMix meat grinder and add in the remaining ingredients. Grind all the ingredients together and its ready to serve!
  • Freeze the excess in small portions for easy serving later on
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    Start Him Off On The Right Paw

    You just adopted a kitten , and youre looking to feed him the best kitten food you can find .

    With literally hundreds of options to choose from, its not exactly easy to settle on just one.

    Thats why we reached out to three veterinarians to discover the best vet-recommended kitten food, so you can find an option that both you and your kitten will love.

    Nulo Freestyle Chicken And Cod Dry Food

    Nulo Freestyle Chicken and Cod Recipe for Cats and Kittens

    Poultry and fish combine to provide the animal-based protein kittens need to grow lean muscle without the excessive calories that come with carbohydrate-heavy fillers. This formula is 83% proteingreat for kittens and their rapid growth spurts, not to mention setting your little one up for success in the future.

    Read Also: What Happens If A Kitten Eats Cat Food

    Kitten Food Vs Adult Cat Food

    Many new kitten owners may wonder why you cant simply feed adult cat food to your kitten. The reason is simple: Kittens have different nutritional needs than adult cats. Kittens grow rapidly and need ultra-nutrient-dense food to aid in this rapid growth and development. This is why specially made kitten food is the best choice for your furry friend because you can be sure that they are getting all the nutrients that they need to grow and develop into adulthood.

    Best For People Allergic To Cats: Purina Pro Plan Liveclear From $23

    Top 10 Best Dry Cat Foods (We Tested Them All)

    Many people are allergic to cats, but according to Dr. Nelson, feeding these four-legged pals from the Purina Pro Plan LiveClear line lets cat lovers breathe easier. This is the first and only food proven to reduce allergens simply and safely, with a key protein sourced from eggs. This popular choice features probiotic high-protein salmon and rice.

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    Kitten Vs Adult Cat Food: Whats The Difference

    Aside from kitten kibbles being smaller so those tiny kitty teeth can bite into them, food made for younger cats will also contain different nutrients.

    For one, food formulated for kittens will be higher in calories. This is to keep them energized and full of life as they discover the world around them.

    Kitten food will also contain more fat and protein, which is exactly what their little bodies need to grow.

    Ultimately, adult cat food is designed to maintain your cats health and keep them happy and satisfied at mealtimes.

    But kitten food has a much bigger purpose to ensure your young kitty gets everything he or she needs to become a fully grown, happy, healthy, adult cat.

    Best Dry Cat Food Limited Ingredients

    Why Do I Recommend This Food?

    Stella Freeze-Driedis a freeze-dried cat food treat that contains limited ingredients and is suitable for food intolerance relief.

    The main benefit out of the bag is it contains no grains, gluten, or fillers to help prevent digestive issues from irritating ingredients. The animal-based ingredients provide your cat with a range of nutrients for optimal health.

    The main downside is the price and lack of convenience. Freeze-dried foods are more expensive and intended for treat or topper use. They are also less convenient as you need to rehydrate the food before serving and the food cannot be left out for long periods.

    Read Also: How Long Is A Cat Considered A Kitten

    Royal Canin Nutrition Babycat

    Protein: 9.0% | Fat: 4.0% | Fiber: 1.9% | Moisture: 81.0%

    This wonderfully balanced food is perfect for helping very young kittens transition from their mothers milk to solid foods. Its considered a first-stage food and is best suited for kittens under 4 months old. The consistency is a soft mousse that helps kittens bridge the gap between milk and solid foods.

    Very young kittens need all of the immune system support they can get. This food is especially great because it has an antioxidant complex that is specifically for the very young kitten.

    As with all Royal Canin cat foods, we love the macronutrient profile, and so will your kitten. It has the perfect balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, designed to be as close as possible to the balance that cats naturally crave.

    Kittens love the flavor of this food, and the texture makes it even more appealing. It uses real chicken and chicken liver to give it great flavor. Royal Canin foods are typically a little more expensive, but as always, their specialist formulas that helps cat thrive makes it worth the investment. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat kitten food review.

    What Is Better: Wet Or Dry Food Kitten Food

    Best Dry Cat Food for Your Kitten

    Wet food isnt necessarily superior to dry food, and vice versa. The ideal one to feed is determined by your kittens preferences as well as what works best for you.

    Dry food, for example, is often easier to handle if convenience is a major consideration. Youll need a cat food storage container, but it wont need to be refrigerated, and it wont be too dirty or odorous.

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    Best Dry Cat Food Food Allergies

    Why Do I Recommend This Food?

    ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food Lamb is a premium low carbohydrate dry cat food suitable for allergy relief.

    The main benefit is the use of lamb which is a novel protein food source. Novel proteins are less likely to cause allergies than common proteins such as chicken and beef. This is also a limited ingredient product that reduces the risk of diarrhea, itchy skin, and vomiting.

    Downsides are the higher price and mixed taste reviews. The price is due to the higher quality ingredients used in the product.

    What Does Aafco Approval Mean

    Association of American Feed Control Officials is the American group responsible for controlling the way that manufacturers create cat foods.

    This advisory body proposes regulations for the labeling and production of animal food, including all kinds of pet food. Memberships with AAFCO are maintained by the FDA as well as various crucial groups like the Animal Protection Institute.

    AAFCO can be a helpful resource when choosing any kind of dry or wet cat food because the company helps to define terms for labeling by-products in the food, as well as defining quantity determination for labels.

    There are criteria in place by the AAFCO group which also determine what a complete and balanced food can be.

    Crucially, AAFCO does not have any regulatory powers, but memberships consist of various regulatory bodies who do have these powers. AAFCO is also not responsible for testing, but it does recommend protocols for testing.

    Theres also no definition of human-grade protein quality with AFFCO, and theres no guideline in place to determine when food should be labeled for things like weight control or dental care.

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    Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Kitten Food Best Value

    The best dry kitten food for the money is the Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Cat Food. The food is made with chicken to provide the essential animal-based protein that your growing kitten needs to thrive and a 40% crude protein content overall. It also contains DHA essential fatty acid for optimum vision and brain development, essential vitamins and nutrients like vitamin E and taurine, and added antioxidants for vital immune support. The food is also free from artificial colors and flavors and is a great choice for owners on a budget.

    Unfortunately, this food contains grains like corn, soy, and wheat, none of which are ideal for cats or kittens, as well as chicken by-products. The inclusion of these ingredients keeps this food from the top position, but it is our best value pick for best kitten dry food.

    This food is difficult to fault, and the only significant downside that we could find is the high price, keeping it from the top two spots on this list. All in all, this is our top pick for premium best dry food for kittens.

    This food contains grains, including corn and soy, which are not ideal for developing kittens, and several customers reported that the food caused nausea and vomiting in their kittens.

    • May cause nausea and vomiting in some kittens

    Dry Cat Food Ingredients To Avoid

    The Top 7 Best Dry Cat Foods of 2022 (We Tested Them All)

    The foods to avoid giving your kitten are the same as in adult cats. You should avoid foods with too many grains like wheat and corn as they can be difficult to digest. Also, any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives should be avoided wherever possible.

    There is an ongoing debate about whether to give cats carbohydrates at all, but most experts agree that a small amount is healthy overall. Too many carbs can certainly be harmful and quickly cause them to become overweight, but this is not too much of an issue in kittens. Carbs get a bad rap because they are often used as filler ingredients to bulk up foods, but small amounts of healthy whole grains are ideal sources of digestible energy for kittens.

    Read Also: Why Do Cats Wander Off For Days

    What Ingredients Should I Look For

    Always look at the fine print of the dry cat food bag you want to buy for your cat.

    The first place to start is the ingredients list and nutritional panel.

    This is usually on the back or side of the bag.

    Otherwise, youll find the information listed on the website you purchase the food from.

    Heres what to look for on the nutrition panel.


    Cats need high protein diets for strength and energy production.

    Why is this?

    Cats are strict carnivores .

    This means they eat animal-based foods as a sole source of nutrition. Without the intervention of man, cats would not be able to survive without meat in the diet.

    Cats use protein for energy production.

    When given a choice, cats prefer a protein level of 52% on a dry matter basis in their food.

    A nutritional label lists the crude nutrient values. Use this calculator to find out how much protein is in your cats food on a dry matter basis.

    Good high protein ingredients include:

    • Chicken
    • Mussels
    • Egg

    Bottom Line: Look for dry cat food with a high protein content for optimal energy, strength, and approval


    Cats need a moderate-fat diet to provide energy and help with nutrient absorption.

    Fat contributes to the taste of foods.

    Research finds a sweet spot of 25% fat content is best for approval and cats self-select a diet with ~36% fat when given a choice of foods.

    Fat is a high-energy food and helps with weight loss.

    This is an important consideration for senior cats tend to experience a .



    Functional Foods

    Benefits Of Best Dry Kitten Food

    • Convenience.

    In the morning, set the food out and go about your business. While a few cats are gobblers, the majority of cats are content to graze on and off throughout the day. You wont come home to an agitated, hungry cat late at night.

    • Freshness.

    If your cat is home alone for the weekend, dry food can be left out. A feeding device can help them get the proper amount of food on a daily basis.

    • Reassurance.

    If your cat is a rescue or suffers from food insecurity, knowing that a dish of dry food is nearby will help them feel more at ease when it comes to eating.

    • Cleanliness

    Dry food is less dirty and odorous.

    • Low moisture content.

    Many cats acquire water from their diet, but dry food is insufficient to meet this requirement. Make sure your cat has access to fresh water and is drinking it, or supplement their diet with wet food.

    • Bulky totes.

    Dry cat food is bulky, and many are only available in huge sacks.They can be difficult to transport into your home. And if you try new food and your cat doesnt like it, youre stuck with 15 pounds of unused kibble.

    • Taste.

    Because many cats prefer wet food, dry foods are frequently coated in fat to appeal to your kittys taste buds. While some cats will happily eat dry food, others will prefer wet food and will express their preference.

    Note that very small kittens wont be able to chew kibble and get enough nutrition from it, and therefore it is rudimentary to include some wet food in their daily diet.

    Read Also: Is It Safe For Dogs To Eat Cat Food


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