Kitten feeding and nutrition

Feeding your kitten a nutritionally complete diet that is tailored to their specific needs is vital for supporting healthy development and laying the foundation for a healthy future.

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

To help your kitten grow and stay healthy, it’s vital to provide food suitable for their age, lifestyle and specific nutritional needs. They need the right balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Only a well balanced diet will provide essential amino acids such as taurine, which cannot be synthesised by the body.

The science behind ROYAL CANIN® kitten nutrition

We specialise in health nutrition. For us, feeding your kitten isn’t just about building their body and providing energy – it’s about protecting them too. We provide the optimal balance of nutrients to provide defence against disease as well as for energy, cell growth and maintenance.

Our Kitten Ranges

Royal Canin kitten nutrition supports growth and development by providing all the nutrients essential to a kitten's needs in the first year of life. 

Your kitten's feeding schedule

Before bringing your kitten home, check the food they’re used to and the quantity they’re fed daily. Any sudden dietary changes can upset your kitten’s stomach and they’ll adapt more easily to their new home if their food’s familiar.
Keep an eye on your kitten’s weight to ensure they’re neither losing weight nor becoming overweight – both of which can cause health issues. Follow the recommended feeding quantities on your kitten’s food packaging and contact your vet for advice if you’re concerned about their weight or growth.

There are three common feeding methods for kittens and cats.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

After sterilisation (neutering or spaying), a kitten’s appetite tends to increase but they also become less active. Without careful management of their diet and exercise, this can lead to them becoming overweight.
Ask your vet for advice on adjusting your kitten’s diet after sterilisation. You may need to switch to a food designed for kittens that have been sterilised, so you can provide the same quantity but fewer calories.

How much should my kitten drink?

Cats generally need to drink around 60 ml per kg of body weight – either by drinking or through their food. The temperature, your kitten’s exercise levels and their physical condition affects how much they need to drink, as well as their diet. A kitten fed dry kibbles (which contain around 10% water) will drink more than one fed with wet food (which contains around 80% water).

Why can mixed feeding be good for kittens?

Mixed feeding is when you feed your kitten a combination of wet and dry food – either at the same meal or at separate meals. It can help to provide balanced nutrition and offer a variety of other health benefits too.


Two pouches of wet food a day can provide around 73% of your kitten’s recommended daily water intake.


Our wet formulas are designed to be highly appealing to the fussiest of kittens.

Weight management

Wet food’s high moisture content means you can serve a larger portion for the same number of calories. 

Dental hygiene

Dry kibbles can help to keep your kitten’s teeth clean thanks to the brushing effect on their teeth as they chew.

Natural grazing

Providing dry food to nibble on throughout the day enables your kitten to follow their natural instinct to eat several small meals daily.

Our Kitten Ranges

ROYAL CANIN® kitten nutrition supports growth and development by providing all the nutrients essential to a kitten's needs in the first year of life.