Royal Canin is a well-known pet food brand, but is their kitten food range a healthy option for your young cat?
This popular brand has many kitten food products on offer in their range including wet and dry food options.
In this product review, I will help cat owners find out whether Royal Canin kitten food lives up to the hype surrounding its popularity.
I’ll go into detail about the brand, sourcing, manufacturing, ingredient quality, and cost.
By reading our Royal Canin kitten food review you will have a better understanding of whether this is the right choice for your feline friend.
I’ll wrap everything up by giving my final thoughts about whether I think this particular kitten food choice is worth trying out with your cat.
My name is Derrick, and I write for Simply Cat Care. Our goal with this website is to help cat owners find the best products for their cat’s health.
I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet before continuing.
Let’s get into the article!
Royal Canin Kitten Food Review and Product Summary
The main positives of Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food are the high protein and calcium content for growing bodies, small kibble size, as well as a high customer approval rating.
I also like the addition of beet pulp which is an ingredient that improves digestion by creating a softer stool for passage.
There are a few downsides to this product which include the high carbohydrate content and hard-to-digest ingredients.
This product has a 33% carbohydrate level of a dry matter basis, which is high compared to competing products such as Orijen and Nulo. Too many carbohydrate ingredients may increase the risk of diarrhea.
This product is similar to Royal Canin’s standard dry cat food, however contains a higher fiber content.
Neutered and spayed cats have a lower energy expenditure, hence needing fewer calories in their food than intact kittens.
The main positives and downsides of this product are similar otherwise.
This product contains more carbohydrates than desirable from hard-to-digest foods such as corn gluten meal and brewers rice.
This product is for Maine Coon kittens up to 15 months of age.
It’s a higher fat dry kitten food (23% compared with 17.5% for standard dry kitten food) which helps with Main Coone’s higher energy requirements for growth.
This food also has a larger square-shaped kibble designed for larger jaws.
The main downsides of Maine Coon are the same as the other dry cat foods from Royal Canin.
This includes the higher carbohydrate content (although this product is lower at 27% dry matter basis compared to 33% for the standard package) and hard-to-digest ingredients such as brewers rice.
Rounding out the Royal Canin kitten dry food range is Royal Canin Feline Breed Nutrition Persian Kitten Dry Cat Food.
The main difference with this option is the kibble size which is smaller to suit Persian kittens.
Aside from that, there are not many differences in terms of ingredients and product quality compared to other options in the dry range.
This product is still a tad high in carbohydrates (32.4% dry matter basis) than may be optimal for long-term health.
This is a wet canned kitten food option.
The main positives of this product are the high protein and moisture content. This product contains a mixture of protein sources that include chicken, pork, and chicken by-products.
The 55% protein on a dry matter basis is more than enough to meet the needs of growing kittens with an easy-to-chew kitten-friendly pate texture.
Let’s take a look at the downsides.
The price tag is higher than similar options on the market (e.g. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Delights) despite an average product quality which includes by-products.
Aside from the reliability of the Royal Canin name and high customer approval, you might find products just as good at a lower price.
Another issue is the inclusion of carrageenan which may test sensitive digestive systems of some kittens.
This product is for both kittens and mothers.
There is not a lot of difference between this choice and although it is a little higher in calories which helps meet the energy needs of a mother and her child.
I also like that this choice has a range of bulk buy options which save a little bit at the checkout (e.g. 5.8 ounce case of 24).
The main downside of this product is the added carrageenan and brewers rice which may test sensitive stomachs.
Brand Overview: Royal Canin Kitten Food
Are you looking to learn more about Royal Canin kitten food?
As one of the most popular pet food brands on the market, Royal Canin has a good reputation with consumers.
Many cat owners want to know whether their food quality is the best for your growing kitten compared to other options on the market.
In this article, I’ll give you more information about Royal Canin kitten food to help guide you in learning more about this pet food brand and whether it’s the right choice for you.
I’ll provide background information on Royal Canin, price comparison to other products, food quality questions, recall history, and the main benefits of this kitten food.
Click below to go back to our review of Royal Canin kitten food options on the market.
Who Are Royal Canin and When Were They Founded?
Royal Canin was registered as a company in 1968 by veterinarian Jean Cathary.
The brand started as a dog food company, but like many other brands moved into the cat food market in 1994.
Royal Canin continues to be a leading pet food brand in the dog and cat food markets.
Where Is Royal Canin Kitten Food Sourced and Manufactered?
Royal Canin kitten food is made in factories situated in 16 countries around the world.
Countries include France, South Korea, and Austria.
According to Royal Canin:
All efforts are made to source our raw materials from accredited suppliers close to our production centres, this supports the local economy, ensures freshness and reduces our carbon footprint.Royal Canin – Quality & Food Safety
In brief, your Royal Canin cat food may come from any one of the factories around the world, with ingredients mostly from local sources.
All Royal Canin factories are subject to the same specifications for product consistency.
What Is The Recall History of Royal Canin?
Royal Canin was recalled in 2007 with many other cat food brands due to melamine (plastic) contamination scare.
This recall affected other brands such as:
- Blue Buffalo
- American Nutrition
- Purina Petcare
- Hill’s Pet Nutrition
The melamine affected all cat food products using rice protein concentrate (the source of the contamination).
This is the last recall of Royal Canin cat food for safety reasons.
What Cat Food Options Do Royal Canin Offer?
Royal Canin offers a wide range of dry cat food and wet canned cat foods products to choose from.
This includes 23 wet cat food and 19 dry cat food options.
Royal Canin offers the following 9 kitten food products in their range:
Royal Canin Wet Kitten Food Options
- Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Loaf in Sauce Canned Kitten Food
- Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Kitten Food
- Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse in Sauce Wet Cat Food for New Kittens and Nursing or Pregnant Mother Cats
Royal Canin Dry Kitten Food Options
- Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food for Young Kittens
- Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Dry Cat Food for Spayed/Neutered Kittens
- Royal Canin Maine Coon Kitten Dry Cat Food
- Royal Canin Feline Breed Nutrition Persian Kitten Dry Cat Food
Royal Canin Kitten Food Prescription Options*
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Ultra Soft Mousse in Sauce Canned Cat Food
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Gastrointestinal Kitten Dry Cat Food
*need a vet prescription before purchase
What Other Kinds of Cat Food Does Royal Canin Offer?
Royal Canin is a brand that focuses on prescription adult cat food products and breed-specific products.
They don’t offer a lot of variety in terms of flavors (e.g. lamb, turkey, goat, beef).
Examples of Royal Canin cat food products include the following:
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Satiety Support Dry Cat Food
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Morsels in Gravy
- Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Renal Support
- Royal Canin Aging 12+ Loaf In Sauce Canned Cat Food
How Much Does Royal Canin Cat Food Cost?
Royal Canin is a moderate-high priced cat food.
The cheapest Royal Canin kitten food is their dry kitten product and offers the best value in the higher weight packs.
Most of the prescription products are up to double the price of similar quality products on the market (e.g. Purina ONE, Fancy Feast, Wellness).
The most expensive Royal Canin products are for adult and senior cat conditions (e.g. renal and kidney formulas).
Similar Priced Products (Wet Cat Food)
- Weruva Finger Lickin’ Classics
- Instinct Limited Ingredients Pate
- Tiki Cat After Dark
- Nulo Freestyle
- Purina ONE Healthy Kitten
- Fussie Cat Premium
Similar Priced Products (Dry Cat Food)
- Orijen Original Cat
- Dr Elsey’s Clean Protein
- Tiki Cat Born Carnivore
Is Royal Canin Kitten Food AAFCO Approved?
Royal Canin kitten food is Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Cat Food Nutrient Profiles approved.
Not all Royal Canin foods are AAFCO approved, but this only applies to prescription products.
Per their website:
Hepatic and Renal Support formulas, which have very precisely adapted nutrient levels to support the unique needs of cats and dogs with such ailments.
Some diets preclude meeting the AAFCO nutrient adequacy guidelines for adult maintenance.
For these diets, helping manage health conditions is more important than meeting the AAFCO nutrient profiles.Royal Canin – Is my pet food safe?
What Are The Pros Of Royal Canin Kitten Food?
Royal Canin has one of the highest customer approval and taste satisfaction ratings from kittens and cats.
Other key benefits include:
- Dry and wet food formulas
- Reliable well-known company
- Prescription product options for a range of health conditions
- Breed specific product options
Royal Canin’s high taste ratings may be due to extensive palatability testing in their facilities with cats.
Adjusting the flavor of food helps to create a desirable product with low rejection.
Most cat owners would agree that getting their cats to accept and eat the food they put out is one of the main challenges.
What Are The Cons Of Royal Canin Kitten Food?
The main downside of Royal Canin kitten food is the high carbohydrate content compared to similar options on the market and overall ingredient quality.
Other cons include:
- Lack of flavor varieties (e.g. novel protein choices such as vension and lamb)
- Use of animal by-products (also in the more expensive presciption choices)
- Expensive price for prescription products
- Use of carrageenan in some products which may interfere with digestive health
As cats are obligate carnivores they adapted to diets low in carbohydrates. A high carbohydrate diet may be less desirable for the long-term health of your cat.
Check out my top 9 tips for awesome cat health to learn more about diet.
The addition of carrageenan is a controversial food ingredient that many people are wary of. It’s a natural ingredient found in seaweed.
When degraded, carrageenan may lead to intestinal irritation. Some human-grade carrageenan may exist in a degraded form.
Royal Canin also uses a lot of brown rice and brewers rice which may impair taurine absorption, an essential amino acid for eye and heart health.
Whilst the use of animal by-products is not as much of a concern as this is foods that contain nutrients for cats, the price tag usually drops.
Royal Canin’s range of kitten food is comparably high to products with similar or better ingredient quality (e.g. Purina ONE).
What Do Customers Think of Royal Canin Kitten Food?
Royal Canin kitten food has a high customer approval rating on Chewy and Amazon.
It’s likely that stringent palatability testing is a key reason for customer satisfaction.
Positive customer comments include:
- Improved litter box smell
- Picky eaters enjoying the tate of the food
- Shinier coats
Does Royal Canin Kitten Food Contain Taurine?
Yes, Royal Canin kitten food contains added taurine.
Taurine is an essential amino acid found in animal products such as chicken and pork.
Heat processing may reduce the level of taurine in food, and foods such as rice bran inhibit taurine absorption.
This is why it’s important that your cat or kitten food has added taurine to ensure your kitten has enough to meet its dietary needs.
What Is Better: Royal Canin or Hills?
Royal Canin has better customer reviews, however, Hills has a few more flavor choices on offer.
Both are at a similar price point and contain similar ingredient quality.
The two brands also provide a lot of prescription product options.
If you are looking for food for a picky eater, Royal Canin is a better option in my opinion.
Is Royal Canin A Good Cat Food?
I would say that Royal Canin is an average choice for kittens or cats.
The main benefits are taste reviews and customer approval.
However, Royal Canin uses a lot of high carbohydrate ingredients such as rice which may be less optimal for your cat in the long term.
Like other dry cat food options, Royal Canin dry kitten food is low in moisture which may result in too little water consumed during the day.
This increases the risk of kidney and urinary health problems in the long term.
I recommend mainly sticking to wet cat food options as a chief source of nutrition for your kitten or cat regardless of the brand you go with.
Which Cats and Owners Would Benefit From Another Brand?
Cat owners would benefit from another brand if they want a lower carbohydrate choice.
There are many alternatives at a similar price point that include:
If you are after a premium kitten food option with high-quality meats, organs, and bones then good options include:
- Feline Natural
- Ziwi Peak
- Tiki Cat After Dark
Check out my top 3 kitten choices for my best picks for optimal health.
Other kittens that benefit from other options include those with allergies or food intolerances.
Check out my best dry food for allergies to learn more.
Which Cats is Royal Canin Kitten Food Best Suited For?
Most kittens without specific needs or health problems will enjoy Royal Canin kitten food.
It is best suited for picky eaters or those not eating enough food to meet their growth needs.
Although there are options with a better quality of ingredients, the most important thing for kitten growth is eating enough to fuel growth.
Breed-specific options such as Maine Coon or Persian may suit these breeds better than other kitten foods on the market.
Conclusion: Royal Canin Kitten Food Review
That wraps up this Royal Canin kitten food review.
Royal Canin is a well-known brand which is popular with cat owners and has high customer reviews.
Mars Petcare owns Royal Canin. They also own other cat food brands such as Whiskas, Sheba, and IAMS.
Royal Canin has nine options in their kitten range, which include two prescription foods.
Their dry cat food range has options for neutered kittens. They also have an option for Maine Coon’s and Persians, which feature different kibble shapes.
Overall their product quality is average.
The brand uses generic meat products such as chicken and pork for most of their range, but also include some hard-to-digest foods such as rice bran, carrageenan, and corn gluten meal.
Final Thoughts on Royal Canin Kitten Food
A well-known brand with high customer approval ratings best suited to fussy/picky eaters.
Royal Canin wet kitten food is the best choice in the Royal Canin range, whilst the dry cat food is a little high in carbohydrates.