| |

3 Best Wet Kitten Foods For Healthy Growth

Disclaimer: As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons.

A high protein and calorie food is best for kittens.

Choose cat food that meets the needs for growth based on AAFCO’s nutrition guidelines.

Our 3 best wet kitten foods:

  1. Fancy Feast Kitten | Best Overall
  2. Tiki Cat Baby | Healthiest
  3. Royal Canin Kitten | Vet Recommended

Giving your kitten the best start is what everyone wants.

This phase of life only lasts a year, so it’s crucial to get it right.

I’ll run through a buying guide to help you find what’s best, and our top picks.

Finally, I’ll go through frequently asked questions on this topic.

Let’s go.

I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. This article is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Buying Guide

What should you look for when buying kitten food?

Kittens reach adulthood at 12 months.

They are reared on their mother’s milk until 4-8 weeks. It’s a short window for development.

Here’s what you need to do:

Choose High Protein Kitten Food

Aim for 35-50% protein.

Check the guaranteed analysis and use a calculator to find the dry matter basis protein. Protein helps kittens grow.

Animal protein foods are the highest quality, whilst grain protein is less optimal. Check for meat first kitten foods as a general rule of thumb.

Quick notes:

  • Use a calculator
  • Aim for >35% protein (dry matter)
  • Meat first is best


A kitten eating wet food
Choose kitten food with at least 35% protein (dry matter) and meat as a first ingredient

Look for Added Calcium

Needed for strong bones & teeth.

Kittens must get calcium, as deficiency leads to:

  • Movement problems
  • Depression
  • Confusion

Calcium is rich in bones and dairy foods.

Ideally, you want to aim for 0.8-1.6% calcium (dry matter). That can come from food (e.g. milk) or supplemental form (e.g. calcium carbonate).

This is also why an ‘all meat’ diet is unhealthy for kittens. Meat does not contain much calcium.

Quick notes:

  • Calcium for bones & teeth
  • Deficiency affects movement
  • Avoid all meat diets
A kitten with a milk replacement bottle
Calcium is essential for kittens to grow

Choose a Complete Meal for Kittens

Look for the statement:

(name of the food) formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for (all life stages/growth) (or words to this effect)

This statement means the kitten food has the nutrition to support a kitten’s growth and development. Usually on the back or side.

AAFCO provides nutrition guidelines. They aren’t laws, but help manufactures make balanced kitten food.

Quick notes:

  • Check statement of nutritional adequacy
  • Make sure meets needs for ‘growth’ or ‘all life stages’
  • All nutrients kittens need for growth


An example of a statement of nutritional adequacy on a cat food label
An example of a statement of nutritional adequacy (suitable for kittens)
An example of a statement of nutritional adequacy on a cat food label
Another example. This one is only meeting the needs of ‘adult cat maintenance’ (not suitable for kittens)

Offer Some Variety

Mix it up.

Kittens get acclimated to different flavors as they develop and prefer what they ate as kittens.

The more food they get as kittens, the more flavors they’ll learn to love. It also stops ‘flavor boredom’ (neophilia) from eating the same food every day.

Quick notes:

  • Offer a variety
  • Developing taste
  • Avoid boredom
A cat with a bowl of meat
Mix up the flavors to help your kitten learn new tastes and avoid boredom

Avoid Vegan Diets

Kittens are carnivores.

Meat, fish, and poultry are high in the 11 essential amino acids cats need. Kittens must get enough of all these for growth.

Experts suggest 19% animal protein (dry matter) minimum to get enough. Wet food is typically meat rich, and the best choice to get enough.

Quick notes:

  • Kittens are carnivores
  • 19% animal protein to grow
  • Wet food is best

Read more:

A kitten eating wet food
Kittens must get enough animal protein for growth, with wet food being best

3 Best Wet Kitten Foods

1. Fancy Feast Kitten

Best Wet Kitten Food Overall

Fancy Feast Kitten
Fancy Feast Kitten

Pros and Cons

  • High animal protein
  • Affordable
  • Complete nutrition
  • Added by-products
  • More flavors?


Fancy Feast Kitten is hard to go past.

It’s good value for money and has the nutrients growing kittens need. This includes milk for calcium.

Our kittens love it, and most will love it out the tin.

Still, the lack of variety in the kitten range leaves us wanting.

Best for:

  • Fussy kittens
  • Reliability
  • Affordability

Where to find Fancy Feast Kitten?

Learn more:

Fancy Feast Kitten dry matter nutrition analysis
Fancy Feast Kitten dry matter nutrition analysis
Fancy Feast Kitten food review score
Fancy Feast Kitten food review score

2. Tiki Cat Baby

Best Quality Wet Kitten Food

Tiki Cat Baby
Tiki Cat Baby

Pros and Cons

  • High animal protein
  • Complete for growth
  • Top quality
  • Pricey
  • Not many flavors


Tiki Cat Baby is the best quality choice for kittens.

It’s chock full of animal protein for growth and meets AAFCO’s nutrition guidelines.

The other cool thing is you can get mousse and shreds (helping transition to solid food). No fillers in the tin.

You get what you paid for. Which is good, because this one is pricey.

Best for:

  • Solid food transition
  • Quality
  • Easy digestion

Where to find Tiki Cat Baby?

Learn more:

Tiki Cat Baby dry matter nutrition analysis
Tiki Cat Baby dry matter nutrition analysis
Tiki Cat Baby food review score
Tiki Cat Baby food review score

3. Royal Canin Kitten

Best Vet Recommended Kitten Food

Royal Canin kitten food
Royal Canin kitten food

Pros and Cons

  • Meat first
  • Great taste
  • Complete for growth
  • Added carrageenan
  • Added wheat gluten


Royal Canin is our best vet recommended option.

It stands above other vet choices (e.g. Hill’s Science Diet) as lower in carbs and higher in animal protein.

And tastier, based on our testing.

Not wild about the added carrageenan and wheat gluten. If you’re after top quality, this isn’t it.

Best for:

  • Fussy kittens
  • Best vet choice
  • Availability

Where to find Royal Canin Kitten?

Learn more:

Royal Canin Kitten dry matter nutrition analysis
Royal Canin Kitten dry matter nutrition analysis
Royal Canin Kitten food review score
Royal Canin Kitten food review score

How Did I Choose These Cat Foods?

Using a database.

I sorted cat foods that are complete for growth or all life stages. Further, I looked for at least 35% protein (dry matter).

Finally, I looked at overall quality based on ingredients, nutrition, and taste. Score given out of 10 (highest rated is Tiki Cat Baby).

Full list of the best wet kitten foods:

Best Wet Kitten FoodsTypeLifestageProtein*CostScoreNotes
Tiki Cat BabyShredsAll63%$$$8.5Best quality, but pricey
Fancy Feast KittenPateGrowth55%$8Best overall affordable option
Purina Pro Plan KittenPateGrowth51%$$8Alternative to Fancy Feast
Instinct OriginalPateAll59%$8A little low on calories
Nulo FreestylePateAll51%$8Good variety
Feline NaturalPateAll52%$$$8High quality grass-fed food, but mixed taste results
Ziwi PeakPateAll54%$$$8High quality, but pricey
Royal Canin KittenPateGrowth44%$$7.5Best vet recommended
Wellness Core Tiny Tasters KittenPateGrowth48%$$$7Promising, but no added calcium
Hill’s Science Diet KittenGravyGrowth53%$$$6.5High in carbs
A full list of the 10 best wet kitten foods with key comparative features *dry matter basis

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Kittens Eat Wet Food Everyday?


You can give your kitten a diet of wet kitten food as long as it meets the needs for growth. Dry food isn’t needed and limits water.

Check the statement of nutritional adequacy (AAFCO). It’s on the back or side.

Quick notes:

  • Wet is best
  • Dry not needed
  • Check statement of nutritional adequacy (growth or all life stages)

Learn more:

Statement of nutritional adequacy on a cat food label
Check the label for the statement of nutritional adequacy to know if it’s right for your kitten

What Is Best Quality Wet Kitten Food?

Tiki Cat Baby.

It’s high in animal protein, needed for growth. Meets nutrition guidelines for growth.

There’s no fillers in the tin for easy digestion.

Quick notes:

  • Tiki Cat Baby best quality
  • High animal protein
  • Complete nutrition for growth

Read more:

Is Fancy Feast Good for Kittens?


It’s high in animal food sources for growth. Meets AAFCO’s guidelines for growth.

Make sure you choose the ‘kitten’ option, as the generic Fancy Feast is only for adult cats (1-7 years).

What Should You Not Feed Kittens?

Homemade cat food.

It’s harder than most think to create a balanced diet from scratch, especially for kittens. All meat diets are common traps that lead to health disasters.

Most foods are toxic to cats and kittens. Things like onions, garlic, and avocados.

Quick notes:

  • Avoid homemade food
  • Can be toxic
  • Hard to balance nutrient needs

Learn more:

How Long Do Kittens Need Kitten Food?

Up to 12 months.

Kittens grow baby milk teeth which grow and the teeth fall out at around 4 months of age.

Adult teeth appear around seven months and there are 30 adult teeth. Kitten foods help with dental development.

Quick notes:

  • Kitten food for 12 months
  • Baby teeth out at four months
  • Adult teeth at seven months

Do Kittens Need Special Kitten Food?

Some do.

If you get your kitten before eight weeks you may need kitten milk replacement (KMR). At this age kittens are usually relying on the mother to feed.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals suggests the following protocol:

  1. KMR in a small saucer with encouragement
  2. Add small amounts of kitten wet food to form porridge
  3. Transition to 100% wet kitten food at 8 weeks

Quick notes:

  • Kittens may need KMR
  • If younger than eight weeks
  • Rely on mother


How Much Should a Kitten Eat?

Check the label.

Amounts depend on the food served. Most labels offer guidelines for how many tins or pouches to serve over the day.

Kittens have higher calorie needs (per pound of body weight) compared to adults. This helps with rapid growth.

Quick notes:

  • Check the label
  • Shows feeding guidelines
  • High calorie needs for grwoth

Learn more:

How Often Should Kittens Eat?

Up to four meals per day.

In the wild, cats eat 7-20 small meals a day.

Combine that with a kittens high energy demands and it’s easy to see that more meals is a good strategy.

Quick notes:

  • Up to four meals
  • High energy demands
  • Create a schedule
A calendar
Schedule feeding for your kitten


Kittens need a high calorie and protein diet for growth, reaching adulthood at 12 months.

Look for the statement of nutritional adequacy meeting the needs for growth or all life stages. This ensures you get a complete meal.

Good wet kitten food is high in animal protein and calcium. Fewer fillers like grains, gums, and carrageenan is preferable.

Our 3 best wet kitten foods:

  1. Fancy Feast Kitten | Best Overall
  2. Tiki Cat Baby | Healthiest
  3. Royal Canin Kitten | Vet Recommended

Similar Posts