Should You Feed Your Kitten Adult Cat Food?

When it comes to feeding a kitten adult cat food, proper levels of protein and water are the most important factors for a healthy diet. Whether it's organic, wet, dry or a wellness cat food, quality ingredients are essential. Kittens in particular have extra protein and nutrition requirements for growth and development in the early stages of their life and will probably not get proper nutrients from adult cat food.

Kittens Need More Protein for Active Muscle Growth

The recommended amount of protein for an adult cat is a minimum of 26% on a dry matter basis, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO. For kittens, this percent rises to at least 30% in order to encourage growth and muscle development. The best dry cat food for either adults or kittens will have quality protein sources like fish, chicken, lamb or other named animal sources, and minimal carbohydrates and grains as fillers offering almost no nutritional value.

Kittens Have Higher Requirements for Some Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals are also important to growing kittens. AAFCO guidelines recommend the same amount of fats for both adults and kittens, at 9%, while kittens need more vitamins A, D, E, calcium and magnesium than adults, so stick with quality kitten food for the first year.

If you have adults and kittens in the same house, make sure to keep their foods separate. Kittens tend to eat only what they nutritionally require so free-feeding works well with a kitten's diet. It's ok if your adult cat eats some of the kitten's food if it's left out, but make sure your kitten is getting enough food.