How To Buy Kitten Food
Do you have a new kitten? Wondering what to feed her? We can help you choose a good kitten food to buy.
Kittens grow super fast in the first few weeks of life. Fortunately, there are a lot of good kitten foods available. But, how do you choose which one to buy? Companies make so many claims and there is so much marketing, it’s hard to know what you can believe.
Tips for Choosing Kitten Food
We may be traditional, but we like some of the companies that have veterinary nutritionists formulating their foods and good quality control. These companies usually do their own feeding trials instead of relying on nutrient profiles. It costs more to do feeding trials so this is something that is usually only done by larger companies such as Purina, Royal Canin, Hill’s, and Iams/Eukanuba. (Some of these companies do make other cat foods so if you like a food, see who owns the company.) We think that feeding trials and these other criteria ensure better nutrition for your kitten and cat.
If you look for the AAFCO nutritional statement on the pet food label, it should say something like: “Animal feeding tests using Association of American Feed Control Officials [AAFCO] procedures substantiate that X Product provides complete and balanced nutrition for all life stages of cats.” The statement could also say “growth” or “gestation and lactation” instead of “all life stages.” All of these terms would be suitable for growing kittens.
Things you should look for in a good kitten food, along with a food for all life stages, growth, or gestation and lactation, include:
- Plenty of protein for good growth.
- DHA, choline and B-vitamins to help support healthy brain development.
- It should also have the nutrients that all cats need in their diet such as the amino acid taurine.
Many people prefer to feed canned or wet food to cats but you may want to leave some dry cat food sitting out for your kitten for the first few weeks or even months after weaning. Kittens grow incredibly fast during their first few months. Having some kibble available at all times can help you make sure your kitten is getting plenty to eat even when she’s going through growth spurts. You can adjust her food intake and put her on a schedule as she gets closer to adulthood. And, of course, you always need to have fresh water available to cats. Cats are notoriously bad at not drinking as much water as they should so you should do everything you can to encourage your kitten to drink more water.
As your kitten passes six months of age and heads toward a year old, you can start thinking about changing foods to an adult diet.