Cat Food For Kittens
Last Updated August 16, 2020
Your kitty might be very small and tiny now, but they’re going to grow really fast! A kitten’s weight could double or even triple during the first few weeks, and within 6 months, they would already reach almost adult levels of body mass! This only means that feeding them the right cat food at an early stage is extremely important. They need the right cat food for kittens - a cat food that is rich in nutrition and is designed to be healthy for young kittens!
First and foremost, all kittens are different from each other, so if you have any concerns or questions about your kitty’s food, feeding schedule, health, etc. always look to consult with your vet. You can also check out our Cat Food FAQ page for some frequently asked questions and for our cat food calculator!
Now, what is a good sign that a cat food is right for your kitty? Cat food for kittens needs to be highly nutritious and should contain the right amounts of vitamins and minerals for such tiny bodies! One good indicator for this is the AAFCO’s nutrient profiles.
- AAFCO does not have the authority to inspect, approve or regulate cat food (or any other pet food).
- AAFCO simply sets the standards for quality pet nutrition by creating nutrient profiles. They could also revise this if needed
In general, there are two cat food nutrient profiles (and another, if both profiles are met) that are important to take note of for your cat’s development:
- Growth and Reproduction - cat foods formulated for kittens and pregnant or nursing cats
- Adult Maintenance - cat foods formulated for adult cats.
- All Life Stages - meets the guidelines for both “Growth and reproduction” and “Adult Maintenance”.
This basically means that if a certain cat food meets and exceeds AAFCO's standards for the “Growth And Reproduction” or “All Life Stages” profiles, it has the correct amounts of nutrients for kittens and pregnant or nursing cats! This is what you should be looking for, a cat food that meets and exceeds AAFCO’s standards. In general, your cat food should contain the following key ingredients:
- A bit of Fats
- Vitamins and Minerals
We've covered each of these ingredients in our article here, but in essence, a healthy cat meal should contain these ingredients.
Aside from this, the next thing we should consider is how much to feed your kittens. Below is a general timeline for kittens and the amount of cat food that you should be providing them.
From Birth to 8 Weeks Old:
Their mother’s breast milk is definitely the way to go during this stage. If it is not available for some reason, bottle feeding them kitten milk is the next best thing. From 4-8 weeks, you can feed them cat food but it needs to be mixed with kitten milk.
From 2 Months To 6 Months Old:
Kittens should be fed at least 4 times a day during this age because their stomachs are too small to contain the necessary amount of food for the nutrition that they need. Make sure that the cat food you feed your kitty meets and exceeds AAFCO's standards for the “Growth And Reproduction” or “All Life Stages” profile!
Toward six months old, you can begin reducing the amount of times you feed your cat to 3 feedings. It’s best to weigh your cat every week as well and adjust amounts accordingly - you can make use our Cat Food Calculator!
From 6 Months To 1 Year Old:
From 6 months to 1 year, you should continue feeding your cats 3 times a day but it should also be based on their weight. By 1 year, your kitten can now be considered as a cat, and it would be better to feed them twice a day.
Kittens need all the nutrients especially they are still growing into full-grown cats. Just remember, make sure that the cat food your are feeding your kittens (when they are able to) should meet and exceeds AAFCO's standards. By the time they are around 6 months old, make sure to consider their current weight when feeding them - make use of our Cat Food Calculator!