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Getting a kitten and need info about food

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm getting a kitten from a no-kill shelter. She's an orange tabby. The shelter doesn't want to separate her from her mother and litter mates until next week. So I was wondering what's the best food to feed her? And should I go with wet or dry? At the shelter they feed their animals science diet, but I know that may not be the best brand. I want the best for my little kitty. Please advise!
post #2 of 13
From what I know, Science Diet is pretty good (especially for a shelter!) but not the best. Before I got my kitten, I did a lot of research on cat foods, and decided on Royal Canin for two reasons.
1. They have 2 different stages of kitten food - one for kittens under 4 mos (teeny-tiny kibble for little baby teeth and bellies), and one for kittens 4 mos - 1 yr. I liked this.
2. I had read that some lady who nationally shows cats and regularly wins uses Royal Canin. I figured that if this show cat lady, who obviously would do everything to have the healthiest cat regardless of expense, feeds Royal Canin, it's good enough for me!

I free-feed the dry, and give some wet food as a treat every night. Other people here will feed a lot more wet food. I think that if a kitten is eating a lot of it, they should have high quality wet food too, but since Moses only gets a bit, I just use whatever is on sale at the grocery store. (Meow Mix, Aristocats, Friskies...) This is just my opinion. Hopefully everyone will chip in with thier adivice too.

You'll have to post some pics once you get your new kitten! What are you naming her? (Orange female cats are rare I think, most are males...sure its a girl?)
post #3 of 13
SD is not a great food but they do donate alot of food for shelters

wet is best but most do wet and dry ..

what is your budget for a months worth of food
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm back. I have answers to a few questions. First, yes I'm sure she's a girl. Second, I'm naming her Sadie. Third, I usually spend about $150 a week on groceries currently. I'm not sure how much I should expect to pay for cat food.
post #5 of 13
I would get her a combo of wet and dry. Maybe get Royal Canin kitten food, or Natural Balance or Max cat (kitten foods).

With canned do the same thing - look for the higher quality kitten foods.
post #6 of 13
I would also suggest Royal Canin Kitten. The pieces are really nice and small for young kittens.
post #7 of 13
I started my kitten after weaning on EVO and Royal Canin Babycat 34. My kitten did poorly on EVO but loved Royal Canin. Later however, I switched again since I can't seems to go pass the Corn Gluten Meal in the ingredient. I fed her Wellness Kitten Care and she loved it. Right now, at 18 months, she only get a quarter cup of dry food. I mixed brands and store them all together in an airtight container. In the mix:-

Ultramix Kitten
Taste Of the Wild
Eagle Pack Holistic
Wellness Kitten
Pet Promise
Nature's Logic
post #8 of 13
yay for a new kitten! I love the name Sadie. You'll have to post a few pictures when you get the chance.

Royal Canin is a very good dry food brand. They make Royal Canin Babycat (under 4 months) & Royal Canin 34 (Kitten) for 4-12 month-olds. I adopted my kitten, Chloe, at 3 months old and have fed her Nutro Natural Indoor Kitten since then. Nutro also makes Nutro Natural Complete Kitten & Nutro Max Kitten. Wellness makes a kitten dry food that I imagine would be very good, so does Chicken Soup.

Whatever you end up deciding upon, it's important to buy a little bag of the dry food she's on now so you can gradually switch her over to the new food over at least a period of 1 week. This is to avoid an upset tummy and diarrhea.

I would also feed wet food if you can and just supplement it with the dry food. You don't have to be careful switching wet foods, and I don't think she's eating any at the shelter anyway. Some good brands that make specific kitten formula wet foods: Nutro Natural, Nutro Max, Wellness, & Chicken Soup. Otherwise look for "suitable for all life stages" on the can/pouch, not "adult maintenance." Other good brands for wet food (not in any order): Natural Balance, Merrick, Blue Buffalo Spa, Avoderm, By Nature Organics, Evo, California Natural, Innova, Solid Gold, & Tiki Cat. (There are others, I just can't think off the top of my head). I try to vary what I feed my cats for wet food so they don't get too picky. You can feed kittens human baby food as a treat, make sure the ingredients just list chicken and water or meat and water and don't have added flavors like onion or garlic. I used to do that with Chloe.

I'm so excited for you, a new kitten is a wonderful thing! Thank you for rescuing a kitty!

ETA: You aren't going to find any of these brands at the grocery store, unless you have an awesome grocery store. Where I live, PetCo seems to have more variety than PetSmart. A small independent pet store is going to be your best bet. Some of the foods I listed are less expensive than others. Go with the highest quality dry food you can afford, you can be less picky about wet food. What you can do to save $ is leave a bowl of dry out all day for your kitten (kitten's can be free-fed, and you only have 1 so having other cats eat food that isn't their food won't be an issue). Then just feed wet 1x a day. Buy wet food in larger cans, it'll save money in the long run. Just get a lid cover so you can save the leftovers in the fridge. (Some cats are picky though and won't eat leftovers, I guess it's just like human kids, lol. You can try heating it up or sprinkling cheese on it if this is the case). For the price, I really like Nutro and also PetSmart makes a brand called Authority which is good.
post #9 of 13
I second Nutro over Royal Canin.
Nutro Natural Choice Kitten OR Nutro Max Kitten.

I also like all life stage formulas by Felidae and Natural Balance.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies! I'm gonna go to the pet store today to stock up on food! I'll definately post pics when I get a chance.
post #11 of 13
I guess I will add my 2 cents. I have used a lot of different foods over the years and use nothing but Royal Canin now. I breed cats and have found that I have very healthy kittens and momma's on this food. What ever you use make sure you introduce it slowly with the food kitty is on now. Good luck. Remember love is the best food of all.
post #12 of 13
I am feeding my kitten Wellness kitten food as well. It is a GREAT food and I would highly recommend it!
Before that (until a few weeks ago) I was feeding him By Nature Organics kitten food and he did amazingly well on that, it's also a pretty good food and you can find it at Petsmart. He was a rescue (stray/feral) and when I first rescued him he was very underweight and sickly. On the By Nature food he thrived and he is now a big solid boy at 4.5 months old and has the softest coat I've ever felt on a shorthair.
post #13 of 13
Ive never tried the Royal Canin (I dont think) but I do use the nutro and my kitties love it and have done really wonderfully on it!! I think that everyone has a different idea of what a good food is for their babies, some use raw, some use wet, some use dry, I use dry Nutro For kittens and then the wet nutro at night!
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