Every cat caregiver wants their kitten to be healthy, well-fed, and happy. For that reason, there are some debates between feline lovers regarding the right choice of wet food for kittens.
Feeding your new kitten species-appropriate cat food with high-quality ingredients is key because your kitten needs those healthy fats, vitamins, fibers, and proteins—in the appropriate proportions—to gain weight, build muscle, and have plenty of energy to run around and play.
Canned, soft & wet cat foods come in many varieties and formulations and have many different ingredients. That being said, not all kittens will react the same way to a particular canned food; some kittens may love it, and some may turn up their noses to it.
Kittens can do well on either wet or dry food, provided that the food is nutritionally balanced and complete according to standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). So, whether to feed your kitten wet food or dry food can often come down to personal choice and your kitten’s particular food preferences.
Given the wide variety of wet food options for kittens, we went out and did extensive research to bring you our top 9 wet foods for kittens.
In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.
We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct input or influence from the companies involved.
Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.
At a Glance: Best Wet Food for Kittens To Buy
Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- Great flavor that will entice even the pickiest of eaters
- High in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates
- Pleasant odor when opening the can
- Free of grains, gluten, and GMOs
- Easily digestible
- Lots of high-quality animal proteins
- Rich in animal proteins
- Specially formulated for kittens
- Contains DHA for healthy brain and eye development
- Free from grains, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives
- Pâté texture is easy for kittens to chew and swallow
- Made in the USA
- Contains real turkey
- Can be mixed with dry food
- Concentrated source of animal protein and fat
- Supplemented with DHA for brain and eye health
- Pate texture is easy for young kittens to eat
- Free of corn, wheat, and soy
- Does not contain artificial flavors or preservatives
- Made primarily from high-quality animal protein
- Free of grains, artificial flavors, preservatives, corn, wheat, and soy
- Real salmon is the first ingredient
The Best Wet, Soft & Canned Wet Food for Kittens Reviewed
Why Is Quality Wet Food Essential for Kittens?
Kittens need the best nutrition that they can get to get a healthy start in life and develop into healthy, happy adult cats. As long as the food meets AAFCO’s standards for complete and balanced nutrition for growth or all life stages, a kitten will do fine eating dry or wet food. Here are some specific benefits of feeding your little tiger wet food:
- Wet or commercial raw food, with its approximate 70% water content, can deliver the moisture that your kitten needs to stay healthy and well hydrated. High-moisture foods are also more satiating and help your kitten feel less hungry. Dry foods tend to be high in carbohydrates, which can increase the risk of obesity and other health issues, such as diabetes.
- The soft texture of wet foods makes it easy for kittens to chew and swallow. This is especially important for kittens that have been recently weaned and are just beginning to eat solid food.
- High-quality wet foods have a high amount of animal protein, such as chicken or turkey. This protein is essential to a kitten’s healthy growth and development.
What Should You Consider When Shopping for Wet Canned Cat Food?
As there are many brands of canned cat food, certain brands may differ from one another. There are some things you should consider before purchasing canned cat food:
Protein, Vitamins, and Minerals: Wet food should contain one or more types of high-quality animal protein, which will be the main ingredient in your kitten’s diet. The food should also contain all of the vitamins and minerals, in the right proportions, to promote healthy growth and development in kittens. AAFCO has a page on its website that provides a good starting point for understanding what goes into pet food.
Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that plays a critical role in several body functions, such as vision and digestion. It is an essential amino acid for cats, meaning it cannot be produced in the body and must be obtained through the diet. Taurine is found only in animal-based proteins, hence the need for animal proteins in a cat’s diet. Make sure that your kitten’s wet food contains taurine.
Omega Fatty Acids: Omega fatty acids are critical for healthy brain and eye development in kittens. These fatty acids can be found in seafood, such as salmon.
Choose quality over quantity: The quality of your kitten’s diet is far more important than the size of the container it comes in. Although buying in bulk may save you money, always make sure that the food is of the best quality that you can afford. Also, be aware that, although canned food has a long shelf life, it spoils quickly once opened. Follow your vet’s feeding instructions for your kitten and use an opened can within a few days to prevent spoilage.
How To Chose the Right Food for Your Kitten?
While there are many good kitten diets out there, you should do some research first to ensure the best feeding experience for your kitten. While choosing the best canned cat food for purchase, you should consider the following:
Read The Labels- Reading the label of wet cat food is key to having better knowledge of what’s in the food that you’re considering for your kitten. However, pet food labels aren’t always easy to understand. AAFCO has a great resource on its website for how to read food labels. Make sure that the label has the AAFCO seal stating that the food meets the nutritional standards for growth.
Cost and Budget – Purchase the highest quality kitten food that you can reasonably afford. Don’t let the term ‘premium’ tempt you into spending more money, though. ‘Premium’ is often just a marketing term and doesn’t necessarily mean that the food is superior to any other food.
After reading this article, don’t worry if you’re still feeling overwhelmed about selecting a food for your kitten. Your veterinarian will be your best resource for deciding which food will be best for your kitten.
Check out our review for the best high-protein, low-carbohydrate canned cat foods here.