Tips for New Pet Parents: Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?

Tips for New Pet Parents: Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?

If you have a kitten, you know how fast they grow up. It’s vital to feed your kittens an appropriate diet so they can be as strong and healthy as possible. To support a developing kitten, they require wholesome food containing proper vitamins, fats and proteins.

Your kitten should typically stay on this diet until they reach 10-12 months. Find out why your kitty needs different food than adult cats and what to look for in ethical pet food products.

Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?

Kitties grow very quickly during the first year of their lives, so they need extra protein and other nutrients to support their rapid growth. Feeding a kitten a diet designed for adults could result in malnutrition and slow growth because it doesn’t contain enough nutrients that kittens need.

Food explicitly made for kittens contains the following nutrients critical for your fur baby to grow up strong and live a healthy life:


Protein helps build your kitten’s muscles, skin, fur and internal organs, and it assists with cell growth and repair. Protein is made of amino acids, categorized as essential or non-essential. Kittens and cats cannot make essential amino acids in their bodies, so they must get them from their food.

Since no single protein source contains all of the essential amino acids, most companies that make feline food use different protein sources to meet your pet’s amino acid needs.

At a minimum, commercial kitten diets must contain 30 percent protein. For adult cats, the minimum protein requirement is 25-26 percent, depending on where the dry cat food is manufactured.


What is taurine in cat food? Taurine is one of the essential amino acids your feline friend needs. It’s mainly found in cat food made with animal-derived protein sources, including our deliciously fresh fish cat food.

Without enough taurine in their diets, kittens and cats develop taurine deficiency. This can lead to central retinal degeneration, a condition that can result in blindness. It may also cause dilated cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that can progress to congestive heart failure.

For kittens, taurine is particularly important for the health of the retina and the production of healthy bile, a liquid produced by the liver. Kittens need a taurine intake of 400 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, and adult cats should consume 500 milligrams per kilogram of body weight.


Fat is a concentrated energy source for growing kittens, and it provides essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, that can optimize your kitten’s physical strength. The fat content in your furry companion’s food also helps absorb vitamins A, E and other fat-soluble vitamins necessary for growth.

Ideally, your kitty’s fat intake should be between 18 percent to 35 percent. You can check this by looking for the dry matter content on the label of your feline’s food. Dry matter content refers to the nutritional breakdown of your pet’s food when all of the water is removed.

Cat wearing birthday hat eating food out of bowl

Planning Your Kitten’s Diet

As you consider your kitty’s ideal diet and nutritional needs, you should check with your veterinarian about recommendations for commercial pet food. Your veterinarian can help you understand how to read the nutrition labels and ensure your kitten gets the protein, taurine, fat and other nutrients for optimal health.

When you talk to your vet, you may want to ask about supplementing your feline’s diet with probiotics for cats. Probiotics improve digestive health and promote the development of a healthy immune system in your kitty.

As you plan your kitten’s nutrition, consider products from Open Farm. Our company makes high-quality, premium food for your feline companions. All ingredients are ethically sourced, and we offer wet and dry cat food options. While our wet rustic blends are designed for adult cats, our dry food is suitable for kittens and adult cats of all ages.

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