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10 Best Kitten Foods in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on June 3, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Kitten eating food from bowl

10 Best Kitten Foods in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

VET APPROVED

Dr. Ashley Darby Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Ashley Darby

Veterinarian, BVSc

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Kitten eating food from bowl Congratulations on your new kitten! Now comes the hard part—choosing the best kitten food to keep them healthy and strong as they grow. Picking just the right food for your kitten is a challenge simply because there are so many foods to choose from. If you’re unsure where to start finding the best food for your kitty, we’re here to help.

We’ve put together quick reviews of the top ten best kitten foods on the market, plus a buyer’s guide that will help you figure out what to look for in a food. All of these are merely recommendations, though; if you have any health-related concerns about food for your kitten, you should speak with your vet for the best advice!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Purina ONE +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula Natural Dry Cat Food Purina ONE +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula Natural Dry Cat Food
  • Most kittens love the taste
  • Contains added calcium, DHA, and antioxidants
  • Protein comes from real chicken
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Canned Cat Food Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Canned Cat Food
  • Best value
  • Contains real turkey, liver, and fish
  • Most cats loved the taste
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Hill's Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food Hill's Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food
  • Contains quality ingredients
  • Has prebiotic fibers that will help stool quality
  • Left most kitties’ coats super shiny
  • IAMS ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food IAMS ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food
  • Plenty of protein from real chicken
  • Cat parents felt kittens who ate this were quite healthy
  • Easy digestibility
  • Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Chicken Dry Kitten Food Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Chicken Dry Kitten Food
  • Tasty and high-protein
  • Contains ARA, taurine, and DHA
  • Left coats shiny
  • The 10 Best Kitten Foods

    1. Purina ONE +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula Natural Dry Cat Food – Best Overall

    Purina ONE +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula Natural Dry Cat Food New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal
    Protein content: 40%
    Fat content: 18%
    Calories: 514 kcal per cup

    The best overall kitten food appears to be Purina ONE +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula, as it has tons of rave reviews and provides your furry friend with plenty of protein via real chicken. This food offers your kitten completely balanced nutrition that includes added calcium to help keep bones and teeth healthy. Plus, you’ll find DHA (which is found in momma cat’s milk) included in this food, along with essential antioxidants that will help keep your kitten healthy as they grow. Best of all, this food is kitten-approved, as most cat parents raved that their kittens loved the taste.

    However, all kitties are individuals, so there were a few felines who didn’t enjoy this food at all. The biggest complaint from cat parents was that this food made some kittens vomit or have much looser stools than normal. This can happen with any food if your kitten is intolerant of one of the ingredients. We also recommend transitioning diets gradually to allow their system to get used to the new food. The next most common complaint about this food was that it made poop smell much worse than usual.

    Pros
    • Most kittens love the taste
    • Contains added calcium, DHA, and antioxidants
    • Protein comes from real chicken
    Cons
    • Made some kittens have loose stools
    • Made poop smell much worse for some kitties

    2. Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Canned Cat Food– Best Value

    Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Wet Kitten Food Pate

    Main ingredients: Turkey, Meat By-Products, Liver
    Protein content: 11%
    Fat content: 5%
    Calories: 92 kcal per can

    If you’re looking for the best kitten food for the money, look no further than Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast canned food. Sometimes, wet food is preferable to a feline, as wet food has a stronger scent and is more appetizing. Plus, it’s softer for those who have difficulty chewing dry food. This wet food by Fancy Feast doesn’t only offer you the best value but also lets your kitten enjoy real turkey (along with liver and fish!) as part of a nutritionally balanced diet that includes vitamin B1, B3, and B5, plus essential minerals. This was another food kitties seemed to love, as most gobbled it down!

    One thing some cat parents disliked about this food was that it contains milk; as most cats are lactose intolerant, the addition of milk meant some kittens experienced minor stomach issues. A few people also felt this canned food was drier than it should be, making it unappetizing to some.

    Pros
    • Best value
    • Contains real turkey, liver, and fish
    • Most cats loved the taste
    Cons
    • Contains milk, which could upset stomachs
    • May be drier than other canned foods

    3. Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Hill's Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Brown Rice, Wheat Gluten
    Protein content: 33%
    Fat content: 15%
    Calories: 3903 kcal/kg

    Want a premium option for your kitten? Then, check out Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Kitten food! Made with real chicken and other high-quality ingredients, like brown rice and whole grain oats, this food provides your kitty with a tasty food that provides a large amount of protein for growing bodies. Along with that protein, this food contains prebiotic fibers that will improve gut health! It also contains DHA for healthy eyes and brains, plus essential antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support immune health. Cat parents commented that this food left their pets’ coats super shiny and seemed excellent for cognitive development. Several picky eaters wouldn’t touch this food, so if that sounds like your kitten, this food may need to be avoided.

    Pros
    • Contains quality ingredients
    • Has prebiotic fibers that will help stool quality
    • Left most kitties’ coats super shiny
    Cons
    • Picky eaters were not fans

    4. IAMS ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

    IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Healthy Kitten Dry Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn
    Protein content: 33%
    Fat content: 21%
    Calories: 484 kcal per cup

    This kitten food by IAMS is designed to help kittens grow into strong, healthy felines. It does this by packing in protein via real chicken while also including DHA from omega-3s to aid in the development of the brain. Plus, this food contains plenty of vitamin E to help your kitten develop the strongest possible immune system. One cat owner loved that this food had comparable protein levels to more expensive cat foods, while another loved the easy digestibility of it. And several cat parents commented on how healthy their kittens were.

    However, this was another food where many picky kitties disliked the taste and wouldn’t touch it again after trying it. Some cat parents also felt like the price of this food was too much for what it was.

    Pros
    • Plenty of protein from real chicken
    • Cat parents felt kittens who ate this were quite healthy
    • Easy digestibility
    Cons
    • Many picky kittens wouldn’t eat this
    • Some felt the price was too much for this food

    5. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Chicken Dry Kitten Food

    Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Kitten Food With DHA Dry Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal
    Protein content: 36%
    Fat content: 20%
    Calories: 439 kcal per cup

    You want your kitten to have a healthy head start on their life, so why not feed them a food created to do just that? Blue Buffalo Tastefuls offers your pet plenty of protein with deboned chicken, as well as the usual mix of essential minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. But this food also provides your kitty with taurine, ARA, and DHA to help keep the eyes, the heart, and the brain healthy while developing. While cats loved the taste of this food (even picky eaters!), their parents enjoyed how pretty and shiny their kitties’ coats looked.

    Quite a few felines developed digestive issues on this food, though, including bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea, so if your kitten’s stomach is particularly sensitive, this food might need to be avoided. There were also a handful of allergic reactions to this food, such as itchy bumps that developed on the body which, as mentioned previously, can happen with any food if your cat is allergic to an ingredient.

    Pros
    • Tasty and high-protein
    • Contains ARA, taurine, and DHA
    • Left coats shiny
    Cons
    • Several kittens had digestive issues with this food
    • A handful of kitties had allergic reactions

    6. Purina Pro Plan Kitten Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food

    Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, High Protein Dry Kitten Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice
    Protein content: 42%
    Fat content: 19%
    Calories: 409 kcal per cup

    This kitten food is exceptionally high in protein to help your kitten grow as they should during the first year of their life. Also featuring DHA, calcium, phosphorus, and live probiotics, this food is designed to aid in the development of the brain, help keep bones and teeth strong, and strengthen the immune system. Plus, with shreds of meat mixed in among the crunchy kibble, the taste is sure to delight any kitten! People who bought this food were fans of how this food helped clear up digestive issues, such as loose stools.

    Though this food seemed to clear up digestive issues for many, it also made some kitties’ poop much stinkier, so watch for that. The only other significant complaint about this food was that some felines didn’t seem to like the smell of it and wouldn’t eat it.

    Pros
    • Tons of protein
    • Contains live probiotics
    • Seems to help clear up digestive problems
    Cons
    • Might make poop smellier
    • Some kitties didn’t like how this food smelled

    7. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Tender Chicken & Rice Medley Canned Cat Food

    Hill's Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Tender Chicken & Rice Medley Canned Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Pork Liver
    Protein content: 6.54%
    Fat content: 2.5%
    Calories: 71 kcal per can

    What you feed your kitty during their first year of life is important, so why not feed them a food that’s both delicious and healthy? Hill’s Science Diet provides your kitten with the delectable taste of roast chicken while giving them all the nutrition they need during their first year. With taurine to keep eyes healthy and vital nutrients that support your kitty’s urinary tract system, this canned cat food by Hill’s has a lot to offer. Plus, because it’s wet food, it can help keep kitties better hydrated! Picky eaters, in particular, seemed to be big fans of this one.

    Some cat parents felt that the cans were too small and didn’t offer enough food, though. Some also said this canned food was particularly odorous, which was unpleasant, and a few people felt the food was a bit too chunky for kittens.

    Pros
    • Has taurine to keep eyes healthy
    • Contains nutrients that support the urinary tract system
    • Picky eaters seemed to enjoy
    Cons
    • Some thought the cans were too small
    • Food might be a bit too chunky for smaller kittens
    • A few people found the food extra smelly

    8. Diamond Naturals Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food

    NDiamond Naturals Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food New

    Main ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice
    Protein content: 34%
    Fat content: 22%
    Calories: 460 kcal per cup

    This kitten-recipe food provides kittens with a lot of protein from real chicken while also offering them DHA for healthy vision and brain development. That isn’t all this food offers your kitten, though! This food by Diamond Naturals is also rich in nutrients, like minerals and vitamins, due to all the superfoods it contains. What sort of superfoods will you find here? Blueberries, kale, and coconut, to name a few. Plus, there are plenty of omega-3 fatty acids in this food to help keep the kitty’s coat looking fantastic. Cat parents felt the pieces of this food were the perfect size for kittens and loved the ingredients.

    Unfortunately, a few kittens’ stomachs didn’t quite agree with this food, so there were some instances of diarrhea after eating; which could be due to an intolerance of an ingredient or changing foods rapidly. A few felines also developed stinkier poop after eating this.

    Pros
    • Contains DHA for healthy vision and brain
    • Has lots of superfoods in it
    • Kibble size is perfect for kittens
    Cons
    • Kittens with sensitive stomachs may not do well on this
    • May make poop stinky

    9. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food

    Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Pork By-Products, Chicken By-Products, Chicken Liver
    Protein content: 10.8%
    Fat content: 3.2%
    Calories: 76 kcal per can

    Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Loaf is specially crafted to give a kitten everything they need for the first 12 months of their life. With a perfect ratio of carbs to fat to protein, this food will easily help your kitty keep up their energy as they play and play. A special antioxidant blend supports a kitten’s immune system, while fiber and prebiotics make this food more easily digestible. This food is particularly good for kittens who have sensitive stomachs due to its easy digestibility, and the majority of kittens (including picky eaters) loved this food!

    However, this food was too rich for some kittens, and they developed diarrhea as a result; we recommend a gradual transition to ensure your cat will tolerate it. A few cat parents also had issues with the can size; they felt it was a bit too large, as their cats often left food on their plates, so parents had to refrigerate what was left in the can.

    Pros
    • Helps keep the kitty’s energy up
    • Easily digestible
    • Most cats enjoyed the taste
    Cons
    • Was too rich for some kittens
    • Cans may be too large

    10. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

    Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

    Main ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth
    Protein content: 12%
    Fat content: 7.5%
    Calories: 205 kcal per can

    You might be interested in trying out a grain-free diet for your kitten. While grain-free diets don’t typically pose a health risk for felines, it’s still advisable to check with your vet before placing your kitty on a grain-free food. If you do decide to go grain-free, you might want to try this food by Wellness CORE. This kitten food is focused on protein (which you can see as the first three ingredients are all meat-based), but it also provides your kitty with other healthy, wholesome ingredients, such as cranberries and fish oil. The fish oil offers your kitty omega-3 fatty acids to keep their coat shiny and DHA for eye and brain development. This food seems particularly good for helping underweight felines gain a few pounds.

    There were a few complaints about the cans being less than full and a handful about the texture of the food being inconsistent.

    Pros
    • Has healthy ingredients
    • Is good for helping underweight kitties gain weight
    Cons
    • Cans may not be filled to the brim
    • Texture of food seems to be inconsistent

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    Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Food for Kittens

    Choosing the best food for your kitten can be challenging. After all, you want the healthiest food with the best ingredients possible and one that helps your kitten grow as they should while being easily digestible. However, there are certain things to consider when picking kitten food that will make the process a bit simpler.

    Ingredients

    What ingredients a kitten food contains is key to choosing the right kind of food for your kitty. Kitten food should contain quality ingredients that will keep your cat healthy, and ideally, real meat should be the first ingredient on the ingredient list. The first ingredient on this list is the main ingredient, so there’s more of it in the food than anything else. And because felines are obligate carnivores, they require meat to survive. Also, ideally, food should not have a lot of carbs at the top of the ingredient list; carbs should come after the meat. Fruits and veggies should come after that (though some foods will use vitamin supplements instead of fruits and veggies to cut costs).

    woman-with-a-push-cart-in-grocery-buying-cat-food
    Image By: LADO, Shutterstock

    Wet or Dry

    You likely noticed we included wet and dry food on this list. But which is better for your kitten? Well, wet cat food provides your kitty with extra moisture that helps them to stay hydrated, which is important, as cats often don’t drink enough water. However, wet cat food tends to be more expensive than dry food. Kibble will cost less and contain all the nutrients your pet needs, but it won’t provide extra moisture. It will also have more carbs than wet food, so if carbs are a concern, you may want to go with wet food.

    You don’t have to choose one or the other, though! Many kitties love a blend of dry and wet food.

    DHA

    You also probably noticed that we mentioned DHA quite a bit in our reviews. Any kitten food you choose should have DHA, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that aids in brain development. This is a vital nutrient for kittens (and most kitten foods should have it).

    Nutritional Needs Met

    Other nutritional needs must be met for a kitten besides having enough DHA in a food. Kittens also require more protein, calories, and fat in their diets than adult cats. These higher amounts of protein, calories, and fat will help fuel their bodies as they grow and help them maintain all that energy they’ll have! If your kitten food is Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approved for feline growth, then it is a nutritionally balanced kitten diet.

    woman-feeding-kitten
    Image By: G Stock Studio, Shutterstock

    Cost

    There is a lot of variation in kitten food costs. Wet food can cost more than dry, and certain brands are just downright pricey. However, you should be able to find a kitten food that fits into your budget; it just may require a look around. If you find a food you like but it’s on the pricey side, shop around for a food that has the same or similar ingredients but costs a bit less.

    Reviews

    Reading reviews from kitten parents who have tried the food you’re considering is one of the best ways to get an accurate read on how good a food is. These reviews will give you a more honest look at how kittens do on a food, so you have a better idea of whether it will be suitable for your kitty or not.

    Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
    • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
    • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...
    • CHEW-SAFE MATERIALS - Kittens and cats love chewing on silicone and soft rubber - but it's a choking...

    Feeding your cat a high-quality diet is important for keeping them healthy and happy. But it goes beyond the food you choose; the dishes they use also matter. The Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite for its unique, five-star design that protects from whisker fatigue and promotes good posture which also aids in better digestion. As an added bonus, it’s beautifully crafted and offers a modern take on the traditional cat bowl that fits seamlessly with all home stylings. Learn more about the NomNom by clicking here.

    At Catster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

     

     

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    Conclusion

    Here’s a quick look back at our top five picks! If you want our recommendation for the best overall kitten food, choose Purina ONE +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula, as it has tons of protein from real chicken, and most kittens love the taste. For the best value, consider Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Canned Cat Food, as it’s affordable and offers the kitty plenty of real meat. If you’re looking for a premium option, Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Kitten Dry Cat Food has quality ingredients and leaves coats shiny. Finally, IAMS ProActive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food is easily digestible, and Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Chicken Dry Kitten Food contains plenty of protein and DHA for growing kittens.


    Featured Image Credit: Gladskikh Tatiana, Shutterstock

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