How long should kittens be on kitten food and how do you know when to stop feeding your cat kitten food? We’ve shared everything you need to know about kitten food to ensure your kitty gets the nutrition they need to grow big and strong!
What makes a food suitable for kittens?
Kittens are constantly growing and require a diet that is formulated to meet their nutritional needs and supports proper growth and development. This includes appropriate amounts of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, protein, fat, and more. Other nutritional elements significant to a kitten’s diet include antioxidants to support a strong immune system, higher protein and calorie content for energy, and DHA, an omega fatty acid, for healthy vision and brain development.
When choosing a food for your kitten, look for the following on the label:
- “Complete and balanced”
- “All Life Stages”
These statements indicate that the diet is suitable for kittens according to AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.
When feeding your kitten, be sure to check feeding guidelines on the bag and consult with your veterinarian to make sure your kitten is getting enough food. Kittens can benefit from eating 3-4 smaller meals per day.
When to stop feeding kitten food?
The age at which a kitten reaches adulthood (their full-grown size and weight) can vary by breed and other factors. Typically, kittens will be fully grown by age 1 and you should stop feeding kitten food and switch to an adult diet then. It’s important to stop feeding kitten-specific food when the time is right and transition to an adult diet so your cat does not become overweight.
When switching from kitten to adult cat food, do so as a gradual transition over 7-10 days as changing your cat’s food too quickly can cause stomach upset. Always introduce the new food by slowly mixing it with the current diet.
Days 1-3: 75% kitten food | 25% adult food
Days 4-6: 50% kitten food | 50% adult food
Days 7-9: 25% kitten food | 75% adult food
Day 10: 100% adult food
Many kitten foods are nutritionally formulated to meet the needs of both kittens and adult cats so always refer to the label for the AAFCO nutritional statement!
Stella & Chewy’s offers a variety of raw and kibble diets that are formulated to meet your kitten’s needs. Learn more about choosing a diet for your kitten.