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How long should kittens eat 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 formulated to meet their nutritional needs while supporting 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:

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. Also 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 switch from kitten to cat 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 should stop eating 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. Changing your cat’s food too quickly can cause stomach upset. Always introduce 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 dry cat food diets formulated to meet your cat’s needs at all life stages. We also offer dry food for kittens and wet food for kittens that are packed with nutrients growing cats need. Learn more about choosing the right diet for your kitten.