To set kitten owners at ease, we have created Guidelines for Introducing Wet Cat Food to Kittens. Knowing when to start, what to introduce and how to go about it will make the process easier for kitten owners, and at the same time, ensure kittens get the best care and nutrition.
When Should Wet Kitten Food Be Introduced?
Newborn kittens are born toothless as this is when they are suckling milk from their mothers. Their first baby teeth appear when they are about 2-4 weeks of age. These deciduous milk teeth fall out when they are 3-4 months old, and the kitten’s permanent adult teeth then appear.
The stage kittens are at with their teeth determines what stage they are at with the type of food they are ready to eat. A kitten up to 5 weeks old ought to be nursing or being bottle fed with a kitten formula.
Around 5 weeks, the kitten’s premolars will begin to emerge. This indicates that she is likely ready to start attempting some meaty foods. Follow the kitten’s lead to decide the right age to wean. If you see any decline in the kitten’s health (Indicators of a healthy kitten- see point below) or energy during this process, step back to bottle feeding.
What Kitten Food Should Kittens Start Out With?
Kitten food is very different to adult cat food. Kitten food is for energetic growing kittens. It is higher in calories, protein and fat. Adult cat food should not be fed to kittens.
Wet kitten food is the healthiest choice as it is not only easy for kittens to eat and digest, but it has a higher moisture content to dry kitten food. Hydration is important with kittens, especially if they have been fully weaned from their mother’s milk.
Some kittens may prefer dry kitten kibble. The balance of proteins, fats and other essential nutrients will be similar with a quality dry kitten food as it is with a quality wet kitten food. Offering a kitten the choice will determine which they prefer.
Introducing Wet Cat Food to Kittens
The key here is not to rush the kitten into eating wet kitten food. They will need time to adjust to the new flavors and proteins.
You may begin by introducing a small teaspoon of wet food mixed with the milk formula. Some kitten owners find using their finger, or tongue depressor, helps.
As the kitten becomes more comfortable eating wet food, you can then increase the ratio so that there is more wet food present in each feeding.
When they are ready, you may present the food on a shallow plate. It may take a few days for your kitten to get used to the idea of eating off a plate.
The process of weaning kittens off their mother’s milk (or kitten formula), is a gradual process. Whilst you are introducing wet cat food to kittens, it is still necessary to allow them to continue feeding on milk, as this ensures that your kitten is getting all the calories and nutrition he needs during this gradual transition.
Is Cows Milk OK for Kittens?
Never give kittens cows’ milk! Cows’ milk is for calves not kittens- it will cause nutrition and digestive problems in kittens.
Monitor The Kitten Throughout the Weaning Process
By observing kittens as they are being weaned you will notice if their condition changes. If their
weight dips or steadies, you’ll need to supplement with a bottle, try a different method of feeding, or scale back to kitten formula.
Fully Weaned Diet
Most kittens are completely weanedby 6-8 weeks of age and should be fed according to their needs following the recommendations of the food manufacturer as a guide.
Once they are confidently eating solid food on their own, supplementary feeding can cease. Be sure you are feeding high quality food formulated for kittens. Foods that are not giving your kitten a 100% balanced diet will slow your kitten’s growth.
Not having the right balance of protein and carbohydrate; or food that are loaded up with grain fillers, may result in health problems such as immune issues and digestive upsets.
Keep your kitten hydrated. Always ensure water is on offer in a shallow bowl. This is especially so for kittens being fed solely dry kitten kibble.
Can Kittens Be Fed Dry Food?
The short answer is yes. There are obvious advantages of introducing wet cat food to kittens (as explained earlier), however, a quality dry kitten kibble will also cover all the nutritional requirements of kittens.
In the beginning, mixing kitten formula with the dry kibble will soften it, making it easier for kittens to eat.
Some kittens will prefer dry food over wet. Experiment with your kitten to see what he likes. Also try different flavors and textures. You will soon discover the food that your kitten finds irresistible!
What to Look for in a Quality Commercial Kitten Food
Seek high protein products using real meat, not meat by-products.
Avoid grain fillers- wheat, soy, corn.
Avoid excessive vegetable carbohydrates- potatoes
Minimal fish (tuna, salmon)
Avoid dairy and egg ingredients.
Avoid artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.
Seek products with recipes that include vitamins and minerals
3 Signs Your Kitten is Healthy
Body condition– you should simply be able to feel, but not see, your kitten’s ribs.
Nose– your kitten’s nose is usually damp and soft to the touch. Their nostrils should be free of discharge or crusting.
Mouth– teeth ought to be white with no excess tartar, with black or pale pink gums.
In this article we will highlight what pet owners need to know about their kitten’s diet in our Buyer’s Guide; and we review the best kitten foods available in 2021.
We have investigated a range of kitten food products. By reading the product ingredients; considering the quality of the recipes; noting company responses to cat parents’ questions; researching veterinarian advice; and most importantly, viewing what customers say about the products (the good and the bad!) we have been able to provide unbiased summarized reviews on kitten food for our readers.
Cat Food Advisor’s aim to save you time and help you decide upon a kitten food that is best for your new little feline friend!
Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Kitten Food
Before checking out our kitten food product views below, we suggest you take a quick look at our comprehensive Buyer’s Guide.
In the guide we point out what to look for in a quality food for kittens, and more importantly what ingredients to avoid.
Cat Food Advisor’s No 1 Best Kitten Foods Picks
From the Kitten foods we have reviewed, our No 1 pick for a wet food is Royal Canin Feline Wet Kitten Food . It is specifically made with care for kittens up to 12 months old and comes with a loaf of meat dipped in a sauce for easy chewing, palatability and digestion.
Here is a quick view comparison chart of the 10 Best Kitten Foods of 2021 . These commercial kitten foods all meet the nutritional requirements of kittens essential for good health, energy and growth. We give comprehensive reviews on these products later in this article (scroll down).
Royal Canin is an established and trusted brand when it comes to quality cat food products. It provides balanced nutrition perfect for giving kittens a healthy start to life. They offer tinned kitten food suitable for the first 12 months of life that can be complimented with The Royal Canin Kitten Dry Kibble.
Royal Canin offers a loaf in Sauce which is easy for kittens to eat.
Made with the optimally balanced proportions of protein, fats, and carbohydrates to meet the needs of a fast growing kitten.
Antioxidants included to support a kitten’s immune system.
Digestible proteins, fiber, and prebiotics, ensuring easy digestion.
The Royal Canin Feline Wet Kitten Food main ingredients is chicken and pork. It comes in a case of 24 cans, each with 3oz of kitten food.
Hill is not anything new for cat owners as they have a widely trusted name in the cat food’s market. They offer a variety dry food and canned foods for cats and kittens.
Protein form Chicken as the main ingredients.
Clinically proven antioxidants and vitamin C and E for a healthy immune system.
Balanced minerals for strong bones and teeth.
3 flavors/recipes on offer (chicken, lamb, salmon)
Made with natural ingredients.
No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food employs a large team of veterinarians and food scientists who have collaborated in the development of their cat foods, and the company provides charity to homeless pets.
Some customers say their kittens are fussy with their tastes.
A little more expensive than other brands.
Does use by-products meat, however, main ingredient is real meat.
The Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken and Brown Rice formula offers a complete nutrition for healthy skin, coat, eye development and strong bones and muscles. We particularly like this product as it has real chicken meat as its main ingredient rather than meat by-products.
Real chicken meat as the first ingredient providing high-quality protein for strong muscles.
Formulated specifically for nutritional needs of kittens.
Contains DHA, ARA and choline to support cognitive and retinal development.
Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for holistic nutrition.
Does not contain by-product meat meals.
Does not contain corn, wheat, soy or artificial flavors and preservatives.
Cold-formed to preserve potency.
Small sized kibble suitable for small kittens.
Omega 3 and Fatty acids included for healthy skin and coat.
Customers rate it 4.8 stars!
The Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken and Brown Rice (dry) cat food is a great choice for your kitten. It is made with natural and healthy ingredients that support healthy growth and development in kittens.
Some customers say their kitten’s digestive system does not cope with this product.
Purina Pro Plan Kitten Wet Food is made with Real Chicken & Liver (and offers 2 other recipes) and is specially formulated for kittens. It comes in a 24 can pack with three recipes/flavors to add variety to your kittens diet.
Offers classic and flaked kitten food texture options.
Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Indoor Dry Cat Food provides is specifically developed to fuel the energy needs of indoor kittens so they can get the best start in life.
The high-quality ingredients and pre-biotic fibers included in the food contribute to good health for a tidier litter box.
Natural DHA from fish oil source supports healthy brain and eye development.
Antioxidant and vitamin blend work together to help support a healthy immune system.
Made from natural, high-quality ingredients with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
Complete and balanced diet recommended for kittens, pregnant and nursing cats.
Balanced minerals for strong bones and teeth.
Kibble small sized suitable for small kittens.
Rated 4.8 stars by customers.
The company says Hills Dry kitten kibble is the No.1 veterinarian recommended dry food for kittens. They also aspire to have products that have been developed by food scientists who understand kitten nutrition.
The dry kitten kibble is available in three sizes, 3.5lb, 7lb and 15.5lb. They offer two different formulas, one for the indoor kitten and the other for kittens in general.
The company supports a homeless pets charity, with a percentage of all products sold being given to pet shelters.
NUTRO Soft Leaf Kitten Wet Food is packed with high-quality meat ingredients, including organ meat with no added fillers. Integrated into their product are minerals and vitamins that kittens require for healthy immune systems and strong bones.
Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Canned Food offer 2 flavors for your kittens, Tender Chicken Feast and Tender Salmon feast. It comes in a pack of 12 cans in total, 6 of each flavor so that your kitten can enjoy a different flavor on alternative days.
It includes Real Chicken Or Salmon as its first Ingredient so that your kitten can have a healthier and complete meal.
It ensures to provide a 100% Complete and balanced nutrition for kittens.
Along with basic ingredients, it also adds Essential Vitamins And Minerals which support health from every side because we know little kittens are more prone to infections and other health conditions.
Purina Fancy Feast Kitten Formula is delicately designed with Real Milk and Real Chicken/Real Salmon and promises to provide your kitten with everything that their fragile bodies and little stomachs demand for a better upbringing and health. Feel free to choose Purina as your kitty partner and it will not let you regret.
Royal Canin is a well-known and trusted brand for manufacturing quality cat food products. This tinned kitten food provides balanced nutrition for younger kittens (1-4 months) and pregnant or nursing mother cats.
Supports a young kitten’s immune system with an inclusion of antioxidants and vitamins.
Fluffy mousse texture in sauce is easy to eat and helps kittens transition from milk to solid food
Promotes healthy digestive system development with highly digestible proteins and prebiotics
Include DHA which builds a strong foundation for brain development that starts in the womb, continues throughout the mother cat’s pregnancy.
Chicken as the first ingredient.
Rated 4.8 Stars by customers.
Mother and Babycat food is the best choice for supplementing mom and kittens being weaned. Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Canned Food comes in 3oz cans in a 24 can pack.
Pork by-products included (but not as main ingredient)
Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Best Kitten Foods Recipe features the right balance of protein and fat that kittens require. Formulated with a balanced blend of Omega Fatty Acids, vitamins & minerals for strong immune systems and energy for kittens.
Wellness Cat Foods promote themselves as a company that works closely with with vets, nutritionists and scientists, to create a product to deliver everything your kitten needs to thrive.
Grain free kitten recipe, specifically crafted to support growing kitten. It includes, quality proteins (chicken) and added taurine to support healthy eye and heart development
Recipe designed to give what kittens require: nutrition for energy, lustrous skin and coat, healthy digestion and immunity, strong teeth and healthy eyes.
Plus controlled minerals for urinary health support.
No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Made in USA, non GMO ingredients chosen for their nutritional benefits.
The product featured main ingredient is deboned chicken and chicken meal.
Rated 4.7 Stars by customers.
Wellness Complete Health Grain Free Indoor Health Recipe for Kittens, comes in three bag sizes, 2.5lb, 6lb, and 12lb. features the right balance of fats and proteins with the inclusion of vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Frequently Asked Questions About Kittens and Their Nutritional Needs
Many of our viewer’s questions listed below have been answered HERE.
When are Kittens Weaned?
What Are the Nutrients in a Lactating Mother Cat’s Milk?
What Are the Signs that Your Kitten is Not Doing Well?
Do Weaned Kittens Need a Special Kitten Food?
What We Recommend When Buying Kitten Food.
What to Look for in a High Quality Commercial Kitten Food.
How Much Kitten Food Should You Feed Your Kitten?
What Foods Should NOT Be Given to Kittens?
Should You Feed Kittens Dry Kibble or Wet Canned Kitten Food?
Best Kitten Food Conclusion
Food is a basic and crucial need in a kitten’s life which determines the overall health, energy levels and growth of kittens. All of the 10 best kitten foods of 2021 available in Amazon stores that we have reviewed offer well rounded balanced nutrition for kittens.
We welcome your comments and questions on our Best Kitten Foods article.
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