Trying to find the best cat food for a kitten can be tough. There are likely hundreds of different brands of kitten food available, but unfortunately not all of these manufacturers actually care about the health of your cat. Some of them even try to mislead pet parents by advertising their cat food as a healthy choice when it isn’t.
So today we’re going to explore the ones that are looking out for your kitty’s safety! These are the best kitten food brands. They are the cream of the crop, and if you’ve been searching for a high quality food for your new kitten, then this article will likely supply your answers.
First, we’ll briefly go over what you should be looking for when seeking a food. This knowledge will help you to avoid common tricks that manufacturers use to mislead pet parents. Then we’ll make some recommendations for what we feel to be the best options. Alright, let’s get started! First, let’s learn what to watch out for in kitten foods.
What are we looking for in a kitten food?
When searching for a healthy kitten food we’re honestly looking for a lot of the same things as when we’re looking for healthy people food. In fact, your kitten food should be using human grade ingredients, and not any of the leftover junk that cheaper manufacturers try to use. Ideally, this is what you want to see in your kitten food.
- No grains
Grains are commonly filler items that are no good for your kitty. Cats don’t need grains, they need meat, and you should avoid any food that lists these on the ingredient label, especially if it’s within the first five ingredients. These includes flours and wheat. (Veggies flours like pea flour are often acceptable as they offer better nutritional value, but they shouldn’t be too high up the list. )
- Whole meat ingredients
Many cheaper foods use meat meals or other items. While these ingredients are not horrible, they are still heavily processed, and whole meats will always be better. The fresher and less processed the meat is the more nutritional value there is for your cat. Fresh foods are best, freeze dried and canned are second, and kibble foods will always be dead last in nutritional value.
- Limited ingredient profile
Feeding your cat a food that contains too many differing ingredients can sometimes cause problems. While this will not be an issue for all cats, if your cat has food sensitivities they could experience diarrhea, vomiting or skin irritations. Feeding a recipe that sticks to a small flavor profile is typically better.
- Made in the USA
Many cheap foods are made in other countries. While not every made in the USA food is high quality, it’s certainly a good box to tick off as some foods from China have come to the United States tainted and are responsible for killing many beloved pets. Other countries with high food standards such as Canada or Australia are of course also acceptable.
How do you make heads or tails of the ingredients information?
Manufacturers are required to list ingredients in order of prominence. That means that whichever item is listed first is what the food is mostly made of. If you visit a big box store and take a look at their ingredient labels, chances are that almost every food will list corn first on the list.
In fact, some products don’t even have a meat item come up until the seventh ingredient! This is obviously not good, because it means the food is full of cheap fillers and empty calories.
When choosing a food the first ingredient should be a whole meat item like chicken or salmon. Though, ideally the first three items should all be meat proteins honestly. Having other healthier ingredients like sweet potatoes and peas is not a bad thing, but they should not be the first thing on the list either.
Some products use something called meat meals. They will read on the ingredients as “chicken meal” or “salmon meal”. This is a more heavily processed meat product that is higher in protein.
All of the water has been removed, leaving a product with a higher amount of protein than whole meats. However, it requires over processing, and this could take some of the nutritional value away.
This is not really a bad ingredient, but whole meats will always be better. We prefer that at least the first ingredient be a whole meat item, but it’s okay if the second ingredient is a meat meal. All whole meats are better though.
Avoid foods with questionable items that you can’t verify exactly what they are. If they can’t come right out and say that the food is made of chicken or beef, then there’s a reason. They are likely using less desirable bits of many different animals.
This can be very difficult for your pet to digest, and they are not using top quality ingredients. Opt for a food that treats your pet’s health better. There are many affordable foods in this category, and there’s no reason to sacrifice your cat’s health over it.
Should you feed wet or dry food?
Wet food is overwhelmingly better, especially for cats. The reason being that cats often have issues with dehydration, because they do not drink enough water.
It’s much easier to keep your cat healthy if they can get the majority of their water from their food, and that means feeding them wet food diets is a much better option.
Dry kibbles were popularized through marketing gimmicks for the convenience of consumers and the profit of the companies, but with no thought to the health of the animal. By giving your kitten a wet food diet, your are ensuring that they get the best nutrition.
Cats suffering from dehydration can actually suffer from life threatening illnesses. This includes the on set of urine crystals which can prevent them from urinating.
If not treated, this condition quickly becomes fatal, but feeding your cat a wet food diet can help prevent it. Even if you can’t afford to feed your cat wet food all the time, you should consider giving them at least part of their diet in a canned food to supplement their fluid intake.
This makes it much more affordable as you can get them a portion of a can everyday, and then keep the rest in the fridge.
So who makes the best kitten food brands?
Without further ado, here’s our list of the best kitten food brands out there. The prices for these products differs greatly, but there should be something here for every budget. They are listed in order of our rating, but that doesn’t make any of these bad choices.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that your kitten is an individual, and they may have personal preferences. Make sure to find a food that they enjoy eating and agrees with them.
If your cat is hesitant to eat they may have a problem with their food that could also be related to an allergy. Purchasing variety packs is a good way to figure out what they like.
#1 – NomNomNow
NomNomNow is a pet food delivery service. They cook fresh meals for pets that are specifically tailored to their dietary needs. The recipes are formulated by a vet, and they only use human grade ingredients for their dishes.
Every recipe uses a limited ingredient profile that’s excellent for cats that have allergies or just for pet parents looking to give their kitties the very best. Thanks to this it’s also likely the absolute best cat food for kittens with sensitive stomachs.
In the below image you can see an example of one of their foods. Looks good enough to eat doesn’t it? These tasty kitty meals are created using only human grade ingredients, and they are cooked fresh every week.
This recipe is their fish feast, and when you choose a meal for your cat you can quickly see all of the nutritional information at a glance. This includes the break down of calories and the ingredients as well.
This recipe includes just five easily digestible, whole food ingredients. That makes it a great choice for cats who could have allergies or digestion problems. Feeding a fresh food diet provides the best nutrition for your pet, and the added moisture content is a serious upgrade from dry kibbles.
While kibble based food is convenient, it’s not the healthiest choice for cats. A fresh food diet is always the number one choice for pet parents concerned about their cat’s health, and NomNomNow makes it easy.
NomNomNow is the cream of the crop for pet parents who are looking to feed their cats the very best. This method is certainly more expensive than feeding food from the pet store, but you have to pay for quality.
You can learn more about treating your pet like a kitty king at the website. After filling out your cat’s profile, the company will send you portioned out food packets on a schedule.
These will provide not only excellent nutrition, but they are also tailored to your cat so they will be getting exactly the right amount of calories at every single meal. That’s why NomNomNow takes our number one spot for best kitten food brands!
#2- Wysong Archetype
Looking for something that’s still healthy but a little bit easier to fit into your budget than a fresh food diet? Then consider offering your new fur-baby the superior benefits of a raw diet while still taking advantage of a convenient pre-made product with Wysong’s Archetype!
This nutritious and limited ingredient diet is so nutritious that it can actually be fed to both cats and dogs! While this seems strange at first, it’s actually because there are no fillers in here, which is what generally keeps cats from eating dog food. Thus, making it great for both.
Wysong’s Arcehtype is a freeze dried product, and if you want your kitty to get all the benefits of a raw diet without worrying about formulating it yourself, then this is the way to go.
To use Arcehtype, you can just measure it out and add water. This makes it more palatable to your cat, and effectively turns it into a very high-quality wet food.
Interested in learning more about this excellent, nutritious and affordable raw food option? You can see the full ingredients list at the manufacturer’s website, and if you decide to try it out they’ll give you the best deal there too.
#3 – Halo Kitten Food
If NomNomNow is a little bit out of your budget that’s okay. There’s some more affordable canned varieties that still offer your cat excellent nutrition. Halo is an excellent kitten food brand that uses only human grade, whole food ingredients.
There are no meat meals, artificial anything, by products, fillers or otherwise undesirable bits in here. Their healthy, limited ingredient chicken pate is great for any kitties, and it’s especially good if your little furball has a sensitive tummy.
They currently have two flavors available specifically for kittens which include Whitefish and Chicken. They offer excellent dry and wet food varieties, allowing you multiple options to find something that fits your budget.
For those who simply can’t afford to feed an entirely wet food diet to your cat, it is possible to mix this food with an accompanying dry food. Halo also happens to make the best dry kitten food available!
For budget reasons you could feed your kitten a portion of their daily calorie needs in a wet food, and then a portion in a matching dry food. Make sure to purchase a can lid with your food, and you can easily save partial cans in the fridge for at least a couple of days.
Just make sure not to leave it in the fridge too long or it could spoil. A maximum of three days in the fridge for open cans is a good rule of thumb to follow.
#4- Blue Wilderness Kitten Food
Blue Wilderness makes an excellent kitten food that is grain free and contains no by products. Pet parents who buy this food will be feeding their new kitten whole meat ingredients including chicken and salmon. The diets are limited in their ingredients, making them a nice choice for kitties who could be sensitive to certain foods. They have a few flavors available including salmon, chicken and trout. The smaller cans are great to make sure nothing goes to waste since kittens obviously will be eating less than a full grown cat.
It’s an attractive, widely available and affordable option for pet parents on a budget who want to offer their new baby the best possible nutrition. The only thing we don’t like about this particular food is that it is not starch free. The recipe does include potatoes, and while there’s nothing expressly wrong with them, we’d prefer a more beneficial veggie in its place or a more digestible item. It’s still a high-quality food, and if your pet has no problems with potatoes then this will not be an issue.
There are of course other brands that could also be suitable. If these brands are not your cup of tea, then just use the guidelines we talked about earlier to find a brand that best fits your kitten’s needs. If they are sensitive to a certain ingredient, it should be easy to find a solution that is right for them. When choosing a brand of food for your kitten make sure to read the ingredients carefully. Just because the manufacturer puts lots of attractive images of fresh meats on the bag does not mean that they are in there. You’ll need to verify the ingredients for yourself to avoid being duped.
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