Your furry friend gave birth to a new kitten, and you’re excited. Perhaps you adopted some new stray kittens, and you want to provide them with all the love they couldn’t get. Whatever category you belong to, getting their nutrition right is essential. Like human babies, kittens require a lot of essential nutrients to grow into healthy cats. You can provide your little furballs with some of these essential nutrients by giving them the best affordable dry kitten food.
Unless you plan to visit the vet a lot, you need to place your kittens on a high-protein diet. However, the protein source in their diet should be mainly meat (since cats are obligate carnivores). Asides the protein, they also require other nutrients, which you must include when formulating a nutrition plan for your kittens.
With all the variations of nutrient composition different kitten food brands offer, you could quickly get overwhelmed picking the right one. There are two major types of kitten food: wet and dry. Dry kitten food is the better of the duo due to its stability after opening and its ease of use. If you’ve decided to purchase dry kitten food, we at A-Z animals have got you covered. We’ll be reviewing five of the best dry kitten food you can find on the market.
A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Dry Food for Your Kitten
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe
- Kitten Chow Nurture Muscle & Brain Development Dry Cat Food
- Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food for Young Kittens
- Easily digestible
- Especially for young kittens
- Contains antioxidants and vitamins
- Easy to chew
- Hill's Science Diet Kitten Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food
Best Overall – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe
Our overall best dry kitten food on the market is the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe. The reason is not far-fetched. This product is stuffed with real chicken to help your kitten get enough of that high-protein diet they deserve. Blue Buffalo’s chicken recipe encourages healthy muscle development in kittens. Apart from proteins, the formula also contains fatty acids that would have been present in their mother’s milk. Together with taurine, these fatty acids (DHA and ARA) help support their cognitive and visual health.
Blue Buffalo’s chicken recipe also contains a unique mix of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins collectively referred to as ‘LifeSource Bits.’ This blend of nutrients helps develop the immune system of your kittens and keeps the vet away. Finally, the recipe is free from artificial flavors, synthetic preservatives, grains, and poultry by-product meals
Most of our testers reported that their kittens love the formula. However, a tester with a Russian Blue male kitten noticed her furball got unexpectedly off-colored when placed on the recipe.
Best Affordable Food – Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Cat Food
If you’re on a budget and can’t afford to splurge for your kitten’s meal, the best kitten dry food is the Kitten Chow by Purina. If you also own a large litter of kittens, this is an excellent nutrient choice for them. With a 14-pound bag of this going for $25 (compared to Blue Buffalo’s 5-pound bag for $25), this is definitely one of the best bargains you can get on dry kitten food. The price is not the only good factor about Purina’s Kitten Chow. With the recipe containing real farm-raised chicken, your kittens have their protein diet fully covered with this recipe.
However, this recipe contains chicken by-products and grains in its top ingredients, which might be a red flag for some buyers.
Our testers’ kittens had no problems with this recipe, and they cleared up their plates every time. One of our testers tried this recipe on her grown cats, and they didn’t hesitate to gobble it up. So, it turns out you can also use this recipe for grown-up cats.
- Budget-friendly option
- Contains real farm-raised chicken
- Totally balanced nutrition for kittens
- Contains DHA for brain and eye development
Best Premium Food – Royal Canin Feline Dry Food for Young Kittens
Just as the name implies, Royal Canin made this recipe for royalty. This Royal Canin recipe is your best bet if you’re looking to spree on the best kitten dry food. Formulated for young kittens between the age of four months and one year, the kibble size of this recipe is perfect for kittens to digest easily.
It also contains a healthy mixture of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which aids the development of their immune system. With the prestige of Royal Canin in the pet food industry, you can expect to get the best from them.
However, their formula also contains chicken by-products and doesn’t contain fatty acids like DHA.
One of our testers with two kittens noted how well the Royal Canin formula helped his kittens develop a healthy and shiny fur. He also reported that the recipe makes their stool firmer, making it easier to clean up their litter box. As a pet owner, you appreciate how easier it is to clean up when the stool is firmer.
- Easily digestible
- Especially for young kittens
- Contains antioxidants and vitamins
- Easy to chew
Best Large Kibble Food – Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Dry Cat Food
If your kitten is close to a year and you want recipes with larger kibbles to help with dental health, then the Hill’s Science Kitten Dry Cat Food is the go-to choice. This recipe contains a good proportion of real chicken and has the right protein percentage to keep your kittens healthy. Containing other nutrients such as DHA, vitamins, and antioxidants, the development of your kitten’s immune system is also in perfect hands here.
However, it contains peas and oats, so you should steer clear of this if you’re not comfortable with your kitten diet having grains.
One of our testers who decided to try this dry kitten food on her sibling kittens enjoyed feeding them this formula. While she expected one of them to not enjoy the recipe due to their different constitution, they both loved this kitten food. She referred to this as the “one-for-all” kitten dry food.
- Best for older kittens
- Very good for dental health
- Contains DHA, vitamins, and antioxidants
- Starts with real chicken
Best for Nutrient Balance: Purina One Healthy Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food
In terms of nutrient balance, Purina One takes the trophy. Purina has always been a giant in the pet food industry, and this is one of their finest deliveries for kittens. This product contains real chicken, four different antioxidants, peas, carrots, and rice; hence, has an outstanding balance to nourish kittens from three weeks to twelve months old.
However, this product contains grains and chicken, which some pet owners like to avoid in their kitten diet. Apart from this, this is one of the best diets you could give to your kitten.
We tested this product with three rescued stray cats, and they couldn’t seem to get enough. They finished a bowl of this kitten food within an hour, and they apparently loved the nutrient balance just as much as we hoped.
The Pros and Cons of the Different Kitten Dry Food
Meat By-Product Kitten Dry Food Recipe
|Meat by-products could be a good source of protein depending on their quality.||Some meat by-products could be from a bad source.|
|It has environmental benefits as it helps to prevent meat wastage.|
|Meat by-products could also be a source of other supplements such as Vitamin A and Zinc|
Grain-free Kitten Dry Food Recipe
|Most recipes that are grain-free compensate well with their protein portions which are beneficial for the kitten.||Too much protein could lead to obesity and cause health problems for the kitten.|
|Kittens may find them easier to digest due to the absence of amylase in their saliva.||Carbs are also important in a kitten’s diet (albeit in minimal quantities).|
|Some kittens are intolerant to grains|
DHA-Containing Kitten Dry Food Recipe
|It helps with central nervous system development||N/A|
|It supplements the development of good vision|
|It aids the development of a kitten’s immune system|
Verified Review: User Experience
If you love your kittens, then the Blue Buffalo Kitten Recipe is a must – one excited user said as he shared his experience about using the kitten food for his two 7-month-old kittens. “This kitten food actually smells so good that I’ve considered having a taste. The food has made our kittens more energetic and responsive to us than other cats we’ve had in the past”.
Purina One is a popular choice due to its low price and excellent nutrient balance. A user shared her experience: “When my vet recommended this brand, the first thing that popped up in my head was this would be expensive. However, $21 for a 16-pound bag was quite the bargain. My kitten likes it, and I like the price. Everyone’s happy!”
Getting the proper diet for your kitten is usually a major dilemma. However, you should have no problems picking the best for your little furball with our comprehensive review of the best dry kitten food.
Products For This Review
The Best Dry Food for Your Kitten – Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why are meat by-products considered bad in kitten food?
Initially, certain meat by-products are allowed to be part of the recipe for kitten food as it is also a good source of protein. Examples of meat by-products include the chicken spleen, liver, intestines cleaned of their contents, etc. However, it shouldn’t be one of the major components of kitten food.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of dry kitten food?
Dry food is generally considered the better choice because of its longer-lasting nature, ease of preparation, and so on. However, too much of it without sufficient water given to the kitten could also lead to dehydration which causes urinary tract problems.
Are grains bad for kittens?
Admittedly, grains are not proven to be harmful to our furred friends. However, due to their obligate carnivorous nature, they require a diet that contains a larger proportion of meat (protein) and just tiny portions of grains (carbohydrates). This is the ideal balance for a cat’s nutrition.