Julia Ogden

Written by Julia Ogden

Updated: May 15, 2024

What are the best foods for your kitten?

Updated: May 15, 2024

Have you just welcomed a new kitten into the family? Choosing the right kitten food is vital to ensure their diet has a balance of proteins, fats and oils, minerals, vitamins, and carbohydrates.

Feeding a kitten the wrong type of food can cause symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea and potentially have long-term health effects later down the road too. 

On this page we share a list of the best kitten foods that will help support your new pet’s growth and development.

  • Open Farm Grain-Free Kitten - Chicken & Turkey (Dry)

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    Recommended

    Open Farm Grain-Free Kitten – Chicken & Turkey dry food, receives the Cat Food Advisor’s second highest rating: 4.5 stars.

    It is one of five recipes in this product range made by Open Farm and is formulated with all the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals your cat needs to enjoy a healthy, active life.  

    Open Farm Kitten Grain-Free Cat Food drives the bulk of its protein from chicken and turkey, which are good quality sources of protein and naturally rich in the 11 essential amino-acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    The dry matter label analysis reveals a dry recipe containing 44.4% protein, 21.1% fat and 26.4% carbohydrates, with a fat-to-protein ratio of 48%.

    Open Farm is an above-average quality dry cat food which contains premium ingredients such as pasture-raised lamb, turkey and chicken, wild-caught salmon, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.

    Read our review of the full Open Farm Dry Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, turkey, ocean whitefish meal, herring meal and chickpeas
    Texture Dry
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 44.4%
    AAFCO Standards All Life Stages
    Best For Kittens, cats and senior cats

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    Sample buyer review...

    "Our two Bengal kittens love their new food they have been eating for a few weeks now. We like the fact that Open Farm gives a reason for every ingredient in their food products."

  • Orijen Kitten, Chicken & Turkey, Wild-Caught Salmon & Herring (Dry)

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    Highly Recommended

    Orijen Kitten Formula with Chicken & Turkey and Wild-Caught Salmon & Herring receives the Cat Food Advisor’s highest rating: 5 stars.

    It is one of eight dry cat foods in a range made by Orijen, a company launched in 2005 by Canadian company Champion Petfoods.

    Orijen Kitten Formula derives the bulk of its protein from chicken and turkey, which are both naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a dry recipe containing 44.4% protein, 22.2% fat and 25.3% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 50%.

    This food provides kittens with a diet rich in protein and formulated with good quality ingredients to support their overall health and development.

    Read our review of the full Orijen Dry Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, turkey, salmon, whole herring, chicken liver
    Texture Dry
    Type Fresh & raw
    Protein Percentage 44.4
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens

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    Sample buyer review...

    "I am so amazed with this product. It's the truth. I'll tell you. A whole prey diet. I've noticed my kittens having an excellent amount of muscles on them. Not only that, this product is packed with raw and fresh proteins. I look forward to purchasing more Orijen products. My kittens are very healthy."

  • Farmina N&D PRIME Kitten - Chicken and Pomegranate (Dry)

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    Farmina N&D PRIME Kitten – Chicken and Pomegranate dry food which receives the Cat Food Advisor’s second highest rating: 4.5 stars.

    Farmina is an English company which in 1999 joined forces with Francesco Russo who founded Russo Mangimi in 1965. Mangimi specializes in animal nutrition and its manufacturing facilities are based in Europe.

    Farmina N&D PRIME Kitten – Chicken and Pomegranate recipe derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a dry recipe containing 47.8% protein, 21.7% fat and 22.4% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 45%.

    This recipe includes non-GMO ingredients, high-quality protein sources and with no artificial preservatives.

    Read our review of the full Farmina N&D Prime Dry Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken protein, sweet potato, chicken fat, dried, eggs
    Texture Dry
    Type Kibble
    Protein Percentage 47.8
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kitten

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    Sample buyer review...

    "I have two Maine Coon kittens, 5 months and 8 months old. Both gobble down this kibble."

  • Acana First Feast - Chicken & Whole Herring (Dry)

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    Highly Recommended

    Acana First Feast – Chicken & Whole Herring dry kitten food receives the Cat Food Advisor’s highest rating: 5 stars.

    It is one of eight dry recipes in a product range made by Acana, a cat and dog food brand created by Champion Petfoods in Canada.

    Acana First Feast – Chicken & Whole Herring derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a dry recipe containing 40% protein, 20% fat and 32% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 50%.

    This protein-rich recipe has been formulated to support the development of kittens. It includes taurine, DHA & EPA for cognitive development and eye health and probiotics for digestive health.

    Read our review of the full ACANA Dry Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken meal, herring meal, oat groats, whole peas
    Texture Dry
    Type Kibble
    Protein Percentage 40
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kitten

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    Sample buyer review...

    "Got this for my kitten who absolutely loves it! I have two older cats and they try to steal his food, they think it’s a treat. Soon all my cats will be eating Acana. I like that the kibble size is on the smaller side. Every time I go to open up the bag my kitten comes running!"

  • Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Kitten - Chicken & Turkey (Wet)

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    Highly Recommended

    Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Kitten Wet Food – Chicken & Turkey Recipe receives the Cat Food Advisor’s highest rating: 5 stars.

    It is one of eight recipes in this product range made by Chicken Soup for the Soul, a company created in 1993 and owned by Diamond Pet Food.

    This recipe which comes in a pâté formula derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a wet recipe containing 50% protein, 36.4% fat and 5.6% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 73%.

    This recipe contains no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and is free from by-product meals.

    Read our review of the full Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Wet Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken liver, salmon, turkey, chicken broth
    Texture Wet
    Type Pate
    Protein Percentage 50
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens

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    Sample buyer review...

    "I used the Chicken Soup brand for my senior cat before she passed, so when we got a new kitten it made sense to try the kitten food too! It's high quality food, at a decent price. No complaints from our little one! Gobbles it up."

  • Weruva Kitten Chicken Formula Au Jus (Wet)

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    Highly Recommended

    Weruva Kitten Chicken Formula Au Jus wet food receives the Cat Food Advisor’s highest rating: 5 stars.

    This food is formulated to provide kittens with the nutrients they need to grow and is easily digestible. It is made with real, human-grade animal ingredients and is high in protein as well as being free of grain, gluten and carrageenan.

    Weruva was founded in 2006 by David and Stacie Forman and is still family-owned today. The company’s headquarters is in Natick, Massachusetts, but the food is manufactured in Thailand.  

    Weruva Kitten Chicken Formula Au Jus derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a wet recipe containing 70.6% protein, 35.3% fat and 0% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 50%.

    Read our review of the full Weruva Kitten Wet Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken broth, natural flavor, dried egg, tricalcium
    Texture Wet
    Type Shreds
    Protein Percentage 70.6%
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens

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    Sample buyer review...

    "I purchased this for my recent adoption, who I had heard originally wasn't a fan of wet food. Well this little lady hoofs this food down with gusto every time! I like that it looks and smells like real chicken, and how reasonable it is priced for the nice quality. Stelly likes the sound of the can opening, the walk to her feeding station, and inhaling every last morsel before licking the bowl clean. "more please!""

  • Blue Freedom Indoor Kitten Grain-Free Chicken Recipe (Wet)

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    Highly Recommended

    Blue Freedom Indoor Kitten Grain-Free Chicken Recipe receives the Cat Food Advisor’s highest rating: 5 stars.

    It is one of five recipes in this wet cat food range made by Blue Buffalo, which is owned by General Mills.

    Blue Freedom Kitten Grain-Free Indoor Chicken derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a wet recipe containing 43.2% protein, 31.8% fat and 17% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 74%

    Blue Freedom canned food is formulated to meet the needs of indoor kittens, with none of the grains that contain gluten. This grain-free recipe features real chicken and is specially formulated with DHA to support your kitten’s cognitive development.

    Read our review of the full Blue Buffalo Freedom Wet Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken liver, chicken broth, carrots, sweet potatoes
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 43.2%
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens

    Save up to 35%

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    Sample buyer review...

    "My cats love eating this food! They sit at their bowls every morning waiting for me to give it to them. Their coats are always healthy and shiny and they have very regular bowls and urinary habits. I highly recommend it!"

  • IAMS Perfect Portions, Healthy Kitten Chicken Pate (Wet)

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    IAMS Perfect Portions, Healthy Kitten Chicken Pate wet food receives the Cat Food Advisor’s second highest rating: 4 stars.

    IAMS was founded by animal nutritionist Paul F Iams in 1946. This particular recipe derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino-acids required by a cat to sustain life.

    Dry matter label analysis reveals a wet recipe containing 40.9% protein, 22.7% fat and 28.4% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 56%.

    IAMS Perfect Portions, Healthy Kitten Chicken Pate was created to support your kitten’s health and well-being. Made with 0% fillers, no artificial preservatives and this food provides your kitten complete and balanced nutrition as they grow. It includes nutrients such as DHA to promote brain development and it support your kitten’s immune system with antioxidant vitamin E.

    Read our review of the full IAMS Perfect Portions Wet Cat Food range here
    Main Ingredients Chicken, water, poultry liver, chicken broth, dried egg product
    Texture Wet
    Type Paté
    Protein Percentage 40.9%
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens

    Save up to 35%

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    Sample buyer review...

    "My new kitten absolutely loves this kitten food. He has had no stomach upset or issues with this particular variety. The portions are divided and I have an accurate amount to keep track of his mealtime needs."

  • Wellness Complete Health Kitten - Whitefish & Tuna (Wet)

    Wellness Complete Health Kitten Whitefish & Tuna Formula is a grain-free wet food which receives the Cat Food Advisor rating: 4 stars.

    Made from natural ingredients, this range is high in protein and contains essential fatty acids to support the growth and development of kittens. It is loaded with antioxidant-rich cranberries, vitamins, balanced minerals, omega fatty acids and essential taurine needed by a cat to sustain life.

    This particular recipe derives the bulk of its protein from whitefish and chicken. Dry matter label analysis reveals a wet recipe containing 50% protein, 20.5% fat and 21.5% carbohydrates . . . with a fat-to-protein ratio of 55%.

    It is one of 11 recipes and includes another recipe – chicken pate – specifically formulated for kittens. 

    Main Ingredients Whitefish, chicken, fish broth, tuna, chicken meal
    Texture Wet
    Type Pate
    Protein Percentage 50%
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens

    Sample buyer review...

    "I think this is a quality pet food with a lot of good ingredients and low on carbohydrates and additives. I’ve been buying the chicken pate for my two kittens, but decided to try the fish flavor. I think it took a little getting used to but now all is well."

  • Natural Balance Original Ultra for Kittens - Chicken (Wet)

    Natural Balance Original Ultra for Kittens Grain-Free Chicken Formula receives the Cat Food Advisor’s second highest rating: 4.5 stars.

    It is one of eight recipes in a wet cat food range made by Natural Balance Pet Foods which since 2015 is owned by J. M Smucker Company.

    This particular recipe derives the bulk of its protein from chicken, which is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids a cat needs to sustain life. Dry matter analysis reveals a protein level of 45.5%, fat content of 39.5% and a carbohydrate level of 7% . . .with a a fat to protein ratio of 87%.

    It also contains flaxseed, blueberries and cranberries provide grain-free sources of fiber to support healthy digestion.

    Main Ingredients Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried egg product
    Texture Wet
    Type Grain-free
    Protein Percentage 45.5
    AAFCO Standards Growth
    Best For Kittens and pregnant cats

    Sample buyer review...

    "I am fostering a pregnant female cat. She loves this food."

What age do you start weaning kittens onto food?

The weaning process would usually start about three to four weeks, the kitten moves from being dependent on their mother and transitioning to independence. It is a very natural process especially when handled by the mother.

You can use canned food or dry kitten food mixed with water to make a slush, gradually reducing the water as the kitten matures.

Do vets recommend dry or wet food for kittens?

Wet food is preferred as it contains the bulk of water they need, however, ultimately, it is more about the premium kitten food with quality ingredients, so a high quality dry food could be better than a low quality wet food.

Moisture is essential to keep your growing kitten healthy, water helps flush the kidneys of any toxins and keeps other organs hydrated and healthy.

Can you give kittens a mix of dry and wet food?

The answer is, of course, yes . . . mixing dry and wet food can be shown to reduce problems with fussy eaters and feeding them a mixture of textures helps them to find one they prefer, at the same time gaining health benefits that dry and wet food can provide.

How many times should a kitten be fed a day?

It is important to feed a kitten small portions at regular intervals, up to 6 times a day. Feeding guidelines will be variable by kitten. However, most often using the feeding directions on the food label is a good place to start or a veterinarian can calculate the kittens’ needs depending on weight.

To help a kitten grow healthy and strong they require high protein levels in their food, more calories per cup (kittens have lots of energy) and higher amounts of certain nutrients, eg calcium and phosphorus.

How much water does a kitten need to stay hydrated?

All depends on age and size and wet food is normally enough to provide a kitten with much of the hydration they need, putting out a bowl of water can provide the rest.

A guide to how much a kitten should drink…up to three months (1.4kg)- 70ml, six month old kitten (2.7kg)-135ml.

Sources

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Article reviewed by
Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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