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9 Best Kitten Dry Food Options for Your Cat (2023)

Kittens have specific dietary requirements, so there is much to consider when choosing the best kitten dry food for your baby. They grow much faster than adult cats, and you need to feed them the right balance of nutrients.

You will need to find out what kind of cat food is best for your feline friend and their individual needs. Some kittens are prone to sensitive stomachs or allergies, affecting what type of food you can feed them.

Here are nine of the best kitten dry food options for your favorite feline.

Closeup of cat eating food from a bowl

9 Best Kitten Dry Food Options

The quality of food is crucial. You should only feed your pet food certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). This cat food will have been tested to ensure your growing kitten’s nutritional needs are met.

You may find that your kitten isn’t a fan of some foods, but don’t fret – there are plenty of options to appease your finicky feline’s tastes. And remember, their taste preferences will change over time.

The following list includes some of the best kitten food options.

kitten getting food from a dispenser

1. Royal Canin Kitten Food

Royal Canin is quite a popular pet food brand, and you may find your vet recommending it. This specific range is specially formulated for kittens aged between 4 and 12 months.

It’s packed with antioxidants and minerals that are good for growing cats.

royal canin kitten food one of the best kitten dry food options

The Feline Health dry kitten food is made into small kibble bites, making it easy and enjoyable for tiny mouths to chomp down. It’s also made with great flavors, an appetizing aroma, and a texture that most kittens will love.

And while your kitty is enjoying the taste, their body will enjoy the benefits. The food aids in digestion helps boost the immune system and fills them with vitamins.

When I picked up my cat, Alexei had been fed Royal Canin dry food (as well as some wet food options). As recommended, I continued to give him Royal Canin dry food once he came home, and he very much enjoys it.

Royal Canin also has a great program for new kitten owners. The Royal Canin Kitten Club provides owners with free food for their kitten, some nice cat products, and some really helpful information on feeding your cat.

⇒ Shop USA: Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food for Young Kittens

⇒ Shop UK: Royal Canin Kitten Dry Food

2. Hills Science Diet Kitten

Hills Science Diet is yet another well-known pet food brand and is loved by many. It’s also commonly recommended by vets. There are no artificial colorants, flavors, or preservatives in this finely-crafted range of food.

hills science diet kitten food

Hills Kitten food combines great-tasting dry food with natural ingredients and a healthy combination of nutrients. This is how they continue to be a favorite, with many cats and their loyal servants.

Your kitten will receive a healthy dose of fish oils, vitamins B12, C, and E, as well as taurine and high-quality proteins. Hills kitten food is also suitable for adult cats who are pregnant or feeding kittens.

⇒ Shop USA: Hills Science Plan Kitten Food

⇒ Shop UK: Hills Science Plan Kitten Food

3. Royal Canin Food For Sterilized Kittens

Once you spay or neuter your kitten, they are likely to go through hormonal changes, which can cause weight gain. This specialized dry food from Royal Canin has been developed to help your kitten stay a healthy weight.

royal canin sterilized kitten.jpg

It does this with a lower level of fats, which are adjusted from normal kitten food to promote healthy post-surgery weight. There are also plenty of antioxidants and vitamins, as well as calcium, and phosphorus.

You can be sure your kitten is getting all they need to develop strong bones, great digestion, and a mighty immune system. Royal Canin food for sterilized kittens is designed for kittens aged 6 to 12 months, and the chewy kibble is easy for growing teeth to bite into.

⇒ Shop USA: Royal Canin Feline Health for Sterilized Kittens

⇒ Shop UK: Royal Canin Sterilised Kitten Dry Food

4. IAMS Proactive Kitten Food

This superfood from Iams is great for kittens, pregnant kitties, and mother cats. It’s made using natural ingredients and packed with all the nutrients needed for a kitten aged 1 – 12 months.

iams proactive health kitten food

Not only are the kibble pellets made to please fussy eaters, but they also scrape against the teeth while being chewed. This helps with your kitten’s oral hygiene, cleaning teeth, and promoting gum health.

The Iams proactive kitten food also contains a carefully balanced amount of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fish oil. This helps the food aid in your kitten’s growth, strengthening of the immune system, and all-around health.

⇒ Shop USA: IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

5. Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Kibbles

If you’re taking care of both mommy and baby kitties, this range of food from Royal Canin is ideal. The kibble is grain-free and perfect for newborn kittens who are beginning the transition from their mother’s milk to solid food.

mother and baby canin

Containing the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, Royal Canin mother and baby cat kibbles are designed to aid in the growth of the kitten’s brain, vision, and gums. It also helps with digestion and a shiny coat.

Plus, this dry food for kittens includes immune-boosting antioxidants and vital vitamins for kittens aged 1 – 4 months.

Thanks to all the healthy benefits, this kitten kibble is also suitable for pregnant and lactating adult cats. The extra calories, vitamins, and minerals will boost the mommy cat’s health and wellness.

⇒ Shop USA: Royal Canin Mother & Baby Dry Cat Food

⇒ Shop UK: Royal Canin Mother & Baby Dry Cat Food

6. Purina Pro Plan Dry Kitten Food

The Pro Plan range from Purina is a highly specified series of wet and dry food. They aim to find the ideal food for your kitten’s unique needs.

While there are variants in the range, all of the Purina Pro Plan dry kitten foods contain similar ingredients and nutrients.

purina pro plan

A big selling point for this kitten dry food is that the kibble is made with real poultry or fish. This makes the food high in protein and filled with goodness.

There’s also a blend of 25 essential vitamins inside this dry cat food, ensuring your kitten gets all they need.

The Purina Pro Plan food is also formulated with DHA, amino acids, and Taurine. It will satisfy hunger as well as aid in development and growth.

⇒ Shop USA: Purina Pro Plan Kitten

⇒ Shop UK: Purina Pro Plan OptiStart Kitten

7. Whiskas Complete Dry Food Kittens

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Who said cats couldn’t be gourmets? Whiskas Complete Dry cat food provides kitten owners with a delicate yet delicious treat for their feline friends. The best part is that this tasty meal comes with extra small kibbles for easy digestion.

This food has been formulated to meet the dietary needs of kittens during the first 12 months of their lives.

The proteins used are specific sources of amino acids and minerals for healthy brain development. These include Calcium and Phosphorus as well as Taurine and Vitamin E, which help maintain your kitty’s eyesight, heart health, fur, and bone density.

⇒ Shop: Whiskas Complete Dry Food for Kittens

8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Dry Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness dry food is made using a grain-free recipe and made to help your kitten become his best, healthiest self.

Made with 30% healthy protein like real chicken, and mixed with the healthiest fruit and veg, this dry food for kittens is definitely a winner.

blue-buffalo-wilderness-cat-food-bags

The dry food contains Blue Buffalo’s specially formulated LifeSource Bits. These are smaller, dark kibbles that contain a powerful package of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

This dry cat food also has DHA omega-3 fatty acids and taurine for growth, development, and heart health.

⇒ Shop USA: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Grain-free Dry Food

9. Wellness Core Dry Kitten Food (Grain Free)

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Wellness Core dry cat food was designed to give your kitten everything they need to grow big and strong. It’s full of nutritional value, including taurine, zinc, and fatty acids that are important for the growth and development of kittens. 

This food is low-glycemic, so it won’t cause spikes in blood sugar or insulin.

It’s also low in carbohydrates and has a high protein content (turkey), which makes it the perfect choice for people who want to feed their kittens a grain-free diet. 

There are also no artificial preservatives or flavors, which is good news for sensitive cats.

⇒ Shop: Wellness Core Dry Kitten Food

Why Dry Kitten Food?

Kittens are like babies in many ways, but with a few key differences. Unlike human babies and even older cats, kittens have very sensitive stomachs and often have trouble digesting some of the ingredients in adult cat food, especially wet food.

Dry cat food is an excellent option for kittens because it’s good for their teeth and protein digestion. These days, it is clinically tested for the proper energy-dense formula necessary for optimum health.

Ginger kitten sleeping with both its paws up on a white blanket.

Start Feeding Your Kitten Dry Foods As They Wean

During weaning (4-5 weeks), kittens will begin to nibble on solid foods. Transitioning from weaning (and for when they’re older onto wet food) involves a little coaxing.  Moisten dry kibble so it’s easier on their stomach.

  • Using warm water, combine one part of dry kitten kibble with three parts of warm water (it should resemble oatmeal)
  • Gradually decrease the water over the next two weeks

By the time they are six to eight weeks old, they will usually be eating dry cat food without a fuss. You can then begin to feed them kibble on its own or combine it with canned food and wet cat food.

Wet foods are typically easier for cats to eat. Always seek veterinary advice if you’re unsure what wet kitten food to use during or after kitten weaning.

Two bicolored on a white background gathering around a white meal bowl.

Look For Foods That Contain All The Nutrients Your Kitty Needs

Kibble is a great option for kittens and adult cats, but a few things to remember when feeding it to kittens – who need more protein than an adult cat to grow and develop. So, make sure the food contains all the necessary nutrients that your kitten needs to grow and thrive:

  • Protein: They need a good amount of highly digestible protein in their diet to support normal development and provide energy. Protein levels in the best kitten food should be around 35%. Avoid any brands that offer low-protein cat food.
  • Calories: Kittens have high energy needs and must put on weight as quickly as possible. You will need to feed them a high-calorie diet of 300-500 calories to achieve this.
  • Carbohydrates: Some kitten foods contain a high amount of carbohydrates, leading to obesity and diabetes in older cats. When choosing the food, look for a low-glycemic formula with a low amount of carbohydrates (10%)

Don’t be afraid to try out different types of food for kittens – some have different dietary needs than others. Finally, always buy from a trustworthy brand to provide quality nutrition. From there, you’re on your way to raising a happy and healthy kitten!

Frequently Asked Questions about Dry Food for Kittens

When should my Kitten Start Eating Dry Food?

tabby kitten with mouth open

Kittens should generally start eating dry food as soon as they begin to wean off their mother’s milk. If the kibble seems too hard right away, you can wet the dry food with a bit of water to make it softer, or combine a bit of dry and wet food together.

What’s the difference between food for kittens and adult cat food?

Two British Shorthair kitten on a white background.

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 keeps them energized and full of life as they discover the world around them. Kitten food will also contain more fat and protein, which is what their little bodies need to grow.

What Does Kitten Food Need To Include?

bengal kitten sits on table

Good ingredients for kitten food generally include fatty acids, antioxidants, and healthy vitamins. High protein is also great for kittens.

Conclusion on Best Dry Food for Kittens

Good nutritional food means a happy kitten who will grow up to be a healthy grown cat. There are many brands and recipes of dry cat food to choose from, and the best dry food for kittens depends on your particular baby.

cat up close about to eat a tin of cat food

What’s most important is that you find a dry cat food that fits in your budget and offers all of the nutritional needs of your kitten. It should also be given the nod by your vet, and then most importantly, pass the taste test and impress the feline.

Please Note: This best kitten dry food post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on most of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not affect the price that you pay. I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.

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Ed Schulhof

Monday 14th of November 2022

The first ingredients listed for Royal Canin are: "Chicken by-product meal, brown rice, brewers rice, chicken fat, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, corn." By-product meal could be anything. No where does the packaging say what meat, if any, is used. None of the grains are good for cats. It's about 37% carbohydrates. That is high, even for dry food.

Amanda OBrien

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Hi Ed - perhaps you could contact Royal Canin directly with your queries? kind regards Amanda

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