Can A Kitten Eat Adult Cat Food?

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Can A Kitten Eat Adult Cat Food?

A kitten’s growth and development need a balanced and proper nourished diet. Once adulthood is reached, your beloved kitten can start consuming adult cat food.

However, it is important to know that many cats are considered kittens until around 12 months of age, especially for large breeds. Such cats that reach their maturity late might be fed adult cat food, but there is a criterion for that.

Can A Kitten Eat Adult Cat Food?

It is important to know that most kittens have a different nutritional need than other adult cats, and their diet is different. Hence, kittens need kitten food to support the needs of their bodies.

However, if you purchase cat food and want to feed something suitable for your kitten or something equal to adult cat food, you can buy cat food labeled ‘for all life stages’. This means there is no criterion whether this food is for kittens or adults, which means the food is suitable for all.

Dry cat foods

Is It Okay For Kittens To Eat Dry Adult Cat Food?

It is said that kittens aren’t supposed to eat adult cat food, at least not until they have fully matured. Cat parents are usually told that a kitten should first begin eating dry and wet kitten food, especially in the early stages. This is because young kittens aren’t able to moist their food properly. Hence, they should be fed food according to their age.

After a few months, kittens can be given regular dry food as they can start to moisten it themselves. Between the next six to seven months, kittens can both eat dry and wet food.

Why Is It Important to Switch Your Kitten’s Food to Adult Cat Food?

This is important because kittens tend to grow and develop more rapidly. They are incredibly energetic, playful, and have a lot of energy which helps them grow better. Hence, kitten food contains higher calories, protein, and fat which help support developing kittens.

Such food tends to help the kittens stay healthy and playful. Their food is formulated with vision development and brain support, along with minerals needed to develop their immune system and keep it stronger.

However, switching to adult cat food is essential once the kittens reach maturity and turn into adult cats. At this stage, the cats don’t need a lot of nutrients anymore, and they aren’t as energetic as kittens tend to be. If adult cats keep eating kitten food, there is a good chance they might gain weight and lead to potentially life-threatening diseases.

Vet holding a kitten with both hands

Consulting a Vet

Even though the criteria of feeding kitten food or adult cat food is quite set, it is still important to consult a vet if you’re unsure. As a cat parent, you would know what to do if your cat faces an issue, but a vet can help you get a clear and professional perspective.

Therefore, you must always consult a vet if you ever plan on changing your kitten’s diet. Ask your vet about the essential proteins, carbohydrates, and other minerals your kitten essentially needs. This will help you understand that kittens shouldn’t be fed adult cat food until they can fully process it and reach maturity. 

The Kitten Age

A cat is classified as a kitten until it is one year old. When a cat is a year old, it is usually preparing to digest and process adult cat food better than any other immature kitten. According to the ASPCA, kittens should be fed only kitten food instead of adult cat food until they reach the age.

A cute cat is looking at the dry food inside a locked container

When And How to Switch to Adult Cat Food?

When your kitten is 18 months old or at least two years old, make sure you bring out the adult cat food for it. However, it is crucial to understand the breed of your kitten and research when your kitten matures, as various breeds mature at various times. Here are a few recommendations on how you can transition your kitten to adult cat food from its everyday kitten food.

It is highly recommended to start giving adult cat food over 7 to 10 days. This is done as a precautionary measure if the cat faces digestive issues because of the change.

  • The first and second day: Serve around ¾ of the normal kitten food that you’re serving to your cat, and add ¼ of the adult cat food for it to eat.
  • The third and fourth day: Serve half of the kitten food to your cat and half of the adult cat food in equal portions.
  • The fifth, sixth and seventh day: Serve around ¼ of the kitten food and ¾ of the adult cat food. Gradually start increasing the amount of adult cat food from the fifth day.
  • The eighth, ninth and tenth day: Only serve adult cat food.

Consequences of Feeding Your Kitten Adult Cat Food

You should understand the following points for those of you who ask if kittens eat adult cat food.

It is certainly not okay and healthy to feed your kitten adult cat food, but doing so won’t cause something serious all of a sudden. Kittens can be given adult cat food when they run out of kitten cat food, but there is a risk of choking on it. This is because kittens aren’t able to moisten their food like adult cats. Hence, it is important to give small pieces of adult cat food, not whole.


Adult cat food is vital for kittens turning adults, as it is perfect for their life stage. However, kittens need a different diet to function on, and they need food that can help them eat properly. Moreover, kittens need their kitten food diets to function energetically. With not being able to moisten their food yet, kittens shouldn’t be fed adult cat food.

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