Kitten feeding and nutrition
Kittens need different food from adult cats
As kittens are growing rapidly, and their digestive and immune systems are developing slowly, they have very specific nutritional needs that are different from adult cats. In particular, kittens need a diet with a higher energy and protein content, plus immune-boosting nutrients and the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
Why your kitten's diet is so important
Birth to 4 months
4 to 12 months
Your kitten’s digestive and immune systems are strengthening but still fragile. Their growth rate and energy needs begin to slow, but they still need easily digestible food designed for developing kittens.
Nutrients for healthy growth
There are a range of vital nutrients that your kitten needs during the first months of life to aid growth and development. Kitten diets must provide enough energy and quality proteins to support growth, strengthen the immature immune system and be easily digestible. ROYAL CANIN® diets are nutritionally balanced to offer a complete tailored diet to meet the needs of kittens of all sizes, lifestyles and breeds.Key nutrients
The science behind ROYAL CANIN® kitten nutrition
Precise nutritional balance
Through our partnerships with breeders, vets and nutritionists, each ROYAL CANIN® formula is created with the utmost precision. They are uniquely placed to meet the specific needs of your kitten’s age, breed, lifestyle and sensitivities.
As well as the finely balanced nutritional quality of our food, we also focus on the following key factors.
Cats and kittens are incredibly sensitive to smells and texture but have a less well-developed sense of taste, which can make them fussy eaters. To increase the appeal of our formulas, we ensure:
- Ingredients are selected rigorously for odour, density and texture as well as nutritional quality.
- Kibble texture, shape and size is designed precisely.
- Food is preserved perfectly.
A kitten’s digestive system is delicate, so our kitten formulas are highly digestible to help avoid stomach upsets and aid the absorption of nutrients.
High safety standards
Royal Canin have been setting the standard for the quality assurance and food safety in the pet food industry for over 50 years. Each delivery we receive, and every batch of food we make, are thoroughly tested for its nutritional quality and food safety.
Our Kitten Ranges
Where to Buy
Your kitten's feeding schedule
There are three common feeding methods for kittens and cats.
- Self-service - This is the most natural style as, when cats have free access to food, they usually eat several small meals a day – as many as 16 in 24 hours. It’s suitable for kittens who can eat dry food and aren’t overweight or likely to overeat.
- Fractioned feeding - This is when you feed your kitten at specific times during the day. It’s not as well-suited to their natural grazing tendencies, so it’s best to divide their overall daily ration into smaller amounts offered several times a day.
- Combination feeding - For this feeding method, you provide kibbles on a self-service basis and wet food at set times. If you use this approach, it’s important to control the amount of food provided overall to prevent your kitten becoming overweight.
Create the right environment for feeding your kitten
What are food puzzles?
Food puzzles are toys that hold food and only release it when your kitten interacts with it in the right way.
There are two main types:
- Stationary puzzles for wet food, including mazes, slow-feeder bowls and boards.
- Mobile puzzles for dry food, including foraging cups, eggs and balls.
What are the benefits of food puzzles for kittens?
How much should my kitten drink?
Make sure clean water is always available
Keep your kitten’s water topped up and change it at least daily to keep it fresh. Wash water bowls daily too to prevent parasites breeding in them.
How to encourage kittens to drink
Cats are opportunistic drinkers so place a few bowls around the house, making sure each one is in a calm place, away from food bowls and litter trays. Also try:
- Using glass, porcelain or metal bowls – many cats don’t like the taste of water from a plastic bowl.
- A wide, shallow bowl filled to the brim so your kitten can keep an eye on their surroundings while drinking.
- Letting your kitten drink from a water fountain or tap – some prefer running water.
Why can mixed feeding be good for kittens?
Two pouches of wet food a day can provide around 73% of your kitten’s recommended daily water intake.
Wet food’s high moisture content means you can serve a larger portion for the same number of calories.
Dry kibbles can help to keep your kitten’s teeth clean thanks to the brushing effect on their teeth as they chew.
Providing dry food to nibble on throughout the day enables your kitten to follow their natural instinct to eat several small meals daily.
When should I begin mixed feeding?
How to change your kitten’s food
Any sudden changes in diet can cause digestive upsets and may make your kitten wary of their food. So it’s important to introduce new foods slowly during a week-long transition – whether you’re switching to adult food, changing products or introducing mixed feeding.
Our Kitten Ranges