The Best Dry Food For Kittens

As a pet parent, you want to ensure your kitten gets all the nutrients needed to grow and thrive. Dry food formulated for kittens contains extra calories and fat, plus ingredients like DHA to support brain and eye development. With so many dry kitten food options available, knowing which one to choose can seem like an impossible task. With that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best dry kitten foods on the market.

What to Look For 

We recommend keeping the following questions in mind when shopping for dry food for your kitten: Does it offer a balanced protein-to-fat ratio? Is it made with high-quality ingredients? Does it contain a good mix of vitamins and minerals to support your kitten’s development? Our top pick was from Purina One, which has the same nutrients that are in the mother’s milk and extra calcium to support strong teeth and healthy gums. We were also impressed by the kitten food from Iams, which contains DHA and omega-3 to promote healthy brain development. Read on to learn more about our top picks and discover the right one for your kitty.

Purina One Natural Dry Kitten Food

Let's eat

This kitten food contains the right mix of vitamins and minerals to get your kitty off to a healthy start.
Best Overall

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This high-quality, nutritious, and delicious dry food from Purina One will ensure your kitten gets the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. This kibble is made with real chicken and has a 40% protein content to promote muscle growth and strong bones. It’s also fortified with DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that aids brain and eye development. Plus, it contains antioxidants to support your kitty’s immune system. That’s not all; it’s easy to digest, making it an excellent option for kitties with sensitive tummies.


  • Doesn’t contain any fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Rich in DHA for eye and brain development
  • Contains real chicken and is high in protein
  • Has calcium to support strong teeth


  • Doesn’t come with instructions on how much to feed kittens as they grow

Iams Proactive Health Dry Kitten Food

Feeding time

Keep your kitten's belly happy with this food that's chock full of essential nutrients.
Runner Up

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Keep your kitty’s belly happy and ensure they eat a balanced diet with this dry kitten food from Iams. The protein-rich formula is designed to help your kitty develop strong and healthy muscles. Plus, it contains prebiotics and natural fiber to promote digestive health and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of DHA for brain development and taurine for healthy eyes. We’re also happy to report that it doesn’t contain any artificial preservatives or synthetic colors, so you won’t have to worry about your kitty ingesting harmful ingredients.


  • Contains vitamin E to support immune health
  • Has natural fiber and prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • Supplies the vitamins and minerals kittens need to thrive
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and taurine for brain and vision development


  • Contains animal by-products 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Kitten Food

Eat right

Help your kitty get off on the right foot with this vitamin and mineral-rich kitten food.
Best High Protein

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If you’re looking for high-protein kibble without meat by-products, this dry kitten food from Blue Buffalo Wilderness is hard to beat. The formula’s high protein content ensures kittens develop the strong muscles they need as they grow. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in the form of  Blue Buffalo’s LifeSource Bits, which support immune system health. Some nutrients included in the formula are A, B, and C, potassium, iron, and magnesium. It’s also rich in DHA, which supports cognitive function and will help keep your kitten’s coat healthy.


  • Free of soy, corn, and wheat
  • Doesn’t contain any animal by-products 
  • High in protein to promote muscle growth
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids to promote cognitive development and a healthy coat


  • The bag’s Ziploc closure isn’t very durable

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Kitten Food

The right stuff

Your kitty will love this delicious food that has all of the ingredients to keep them healthy.
Best Indoor

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This dry kitten food from Hill’s Science Diet will help your kitty get off to a successful start in life. The science-based formula is designed to support the lifestyle of indoor cats by supplying them with the nutrients they need to live their best lives. Its high protein content will help your kitten develop strong muscles, and DHA from fish oil will support the development of brains and eyes. It also contains natural prebiotic fiber, which can help reduce hairballs. 


  • Made with real chicken
  • Rich in fiber for digestive health
  • Contains an antioxidant and vitamin blend, plus natural DHA
  • Has fruits and vegetables, including cranberries, for urinary tract health


  •  Kibbles may be too large for small kittens

Wellness Core Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food

Balanced nutrition

Packed with high-quality protein, minerals, and vitamins, this kitten food has what your cat needs to thrive.
Best Grain Free

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While grains can be an essential part of a kitten’s diet, some kitties have allergies or sensitive stomachs that prevent them from eating grains. This dry kitten food from Wellness Core provides all the nutrients your kitten needs to grow up strong and healthy without including any grains. Besides chicken and turkey, the blend contains peas, potato protein, and dehydrated salmon, supplying plenty of protein to ensure your kitty develops lean muscle mass. It’s also rich in DHA and taurine to aid cognitive function and eye health.


  • Grain-free recipe that provides the calories and nutrients kittens need to grow
  • Doesn’t contain any fillers, artificial flavors, or preservatives
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals, including taurine and DHA
  • High in protein


  • More expensive than some brands 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should kittens eat wet or dry food?

Kittens can eat wet and dry food, and it’s a good idea to feed them both, so they get used to them from a young age. When kittens are weaning, they usually prefer wet food, which is often easier for them to eat. However, as they grow, be sure to add dry food to their diets as well.

When can my kitten start eating dry food?

While your kitten may prefer wet food during the weaning process, you should encourage them to eat dry food as soon as possible. You can wet the kibble with a bit of water if it seems too hard for your kitty to chew. Another option is combing dry and wet foods until your kitty can eat dry food on their own.

Is there any difference between kitten food and adult cat food?

Kibble for kittens is smaller, ensuring your kitty doesn’t have problems chewing it. Moreover, kitten food contains different nutrients because they need more calories than adult cats. It also contains more protein and fat than adult food. All of these nutrients help keep your kitten active and ready to explore the world around them while ensuring their brain and eyes develop correctly. 

About the Author

Lynnae grew up with pets all her life, so she has firsthand experience on how to best take care of your favorite companions. This teacher by day and writer by night has a mission to make sure all pets have what they need to live long and healthy lives.

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Since 2008, CatTime has provided millions of cat owners with all the information they need to keep their pets happy and healthy. Our experts know exactly what it takes to raise our furry friends and our goal is to help all owners, new or experienced, care for their cats with all the right food, toys, equipment, and accessories.