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A nutritionally balanced diet is the key to supporting your kitten’s growth and development.
By choosing a high-quality commercial cat food formulated according to AAFCO’s nutrient profiles for kittens, you’ll be meeting your kitten’s nutritional needs but adding protein-rich cat treats to his diet certainly can’t hurt.
A great cat treat packed with species-appropriate animal protein and animal-based fats can be a healthy addition to your growing kitten’s diet.
Cat treats are a wonderful way to spoil your kitten and they can help you form a strong bond from a young age. In this guide, we’ll talk about the qualities of a great treat for kittens and introduce you to our favorite kitten treats on the market.
At a Glance: Best Cat Treats for Kittens To Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Affordably priced just over $1 per ounce
- Formulated to support kitten health
- Rich in animal-based protein and fat
- Rich in moisture and natura flavor
- Fresh tuna and chicken as the main ingredients
- Convenient pouches, each serving is fresh
- Made with a single ingredient, chicken breast
- Freeze-dried to preserve nutrition
- Packed with protein and low in calories
How We Tested
- We purchased 7 Best Cat Treats For Kittens on the market today.
- We spent a few weeks testing the cat treats on several cats
- We did not receive these product in exchange for a favorable review, they were purchased with our own money
The 4 Qualities of a Good Cat Treat for Kittens
Quality nutrition sets your kitten up for a lifetime of good health. While all domestic cats have the same nutritional needs, your kitten needs higher concentrations of protein and fat to fuel his growth and development. This is where a high-quality kitten food comes in.
Kitten food should be the staple of your cat’s diet, but every cat owner loves spoiling their cat from time to time with tasty treats.
Treats should only make up about 10% of your kitten’s daily caloric intake and it’s best if those calories come from protein and healthy fat instead of carbohydrates.
Here are some qualities to look for in a great treat for kittens:
1. Rich In Species-Appropriate Animal Protein.
All cats are obligate carnivores which means they require a meat-based diet. While treats may not be the primary component in your kitten’s diet, they should still be species appropriate. Look for a kitten treat that contains plenty of animal-based protein, especially as the first ingredient.
While animal by-products aren’t necessarily bad for cats, it can be difficult to judge their quality – especially if they are vaguely named (i.e., poultry meal vs chicken meal). It’s best to go with named sources like chicken or turkey meal.
2. Balanced With Healthy Animal-Based Fats.
While protein is essential for healthy muscle, fat provides your kitten with a concentrated source of calories. As is true for protein, it’s best when it comes from animal sources. Fats provide essential fatty acids as well as omega-3s and omega-6s.
3. Limited In Carbohydrate Content.
While some cat treats are made with single ingredients like chicken or fish, many contain high concentrations of unnecessary plant ingredients.
When evaluating kitten treats, check the ingredient list for an animal protein as the first ingredient. Avoid corn, wheat, and soy as these provide little to no nutritional value for your kitten. Starchy ingredients like potatoes and tapioca aren’t dangerous, but they aren’t particularly nutritious either.
Fresh vegetables can provide natural sources of essential nutrients but still shouldn’t make up the majority of the product.
4. Free From Potentially Harmful Ingredients.
In addition to avoiding high concentrations of carbs, choose a kitten treat that is free from potentially harmful ingredients. This includes artificial preservatives like BHT and BHA as well as artificial colors and flavors.
Not only have these ingredients been linked to negative health effects, but they provide nothing in the way of nutrition for your kitten.
Our Top Picks for the Best Kitten Treats
Now that you have a better understanding of how we came to our top picks, you’re probably eager to see them!
Here are our top 7 picks for the best cat treats for kittens: