When should you switch from kitten food to adult cat food?

Taking the best possible care of your kitten means not only catering to the unique and specific needs it has while young, but anticipating how those needs will evolve along with your cat. Your kitten is going to keep growing and developing, and their diet will do the same.

There are so many kitten food options available and so much to consider when deciding what to feed them, but as they age, Pet Lovers also need to consider when they should make the switch from kitten food to adult cat food.

When is it Time to Switch?

Kittens are usually switched to an adult cat food at about one year old, or when they’re about 90% of their adult weight. If your cat is becoming overweight, you can make the switch when they are a slightly younger. An exception to this recommendation is the Maine Coon cat, which may not be fully grown at a year and might need a little longer on kitten food.

How Do You Switch to Adult Cat Food?

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when making the transition from kitten to adult cat food is to do so slowly. This will make it easier on your pet and will help to avoid any gastrointestinal upset and accompanying symptoms, like diarrhea. In other words, it’s a process. Here’s how:

  • To begin, provide ¼ of your chosen adult food and ¾ of their kitten food. You should do this for a few days and monitor how your cat takes to the food. Are there any symptoms of stomach upset?
  • If you cat seems comfortable with the initial mixture, increase to ½ adult food and ½ kitten food. Again, keep an eye on your cat over the ensuing days and see how they’re doing with the introduction of the new kind of food.
  • Finally, feed a blend of ¾ adult food and ¼ kitten food. Once a few days have passed and the cat appears to be doing well, you can make the switch to entirely adult food.

What Kind of Food is Best for Kittens & Adult Cats?

It’s important kittens receive a balanced macronutrient content to support their growth. The kitten food you’re using should focus on assisting in the development of their muscles and brain function, as well as supporting their digestive health. Food high in fresh animal ingredients are a great way to accomplish all of this.

For kitten recipes, we recommend ORIJEN™ Kitten diet. Packed with 90% animal ingredients1, including succulent WholePrey organs, this recipe helps support your kitten’s digestive health, muscle development and brain development. We also recommend adding wet food to their diet to help with hydration, like ORIJEN Chicken & Salmon Entrée for Kittens. This protein-rich pâté will give them even more of the nourishing animal ingredients and moisture they need.

Since cats are obligate carnivores and thrive on a Biologically Appropriate diet rich in protein and fat sourced from a variety of animal ingredients, you’ll want to maintain this type of diet with their adult food. WholePrey diets, like the ones offered by ORIJEN™, are great for both kittens and adults because they include nutrient-dense ingredients like poultry, fish and organs.

Another tip to making the switch easier for your kitten is to stick to foods within the same brand line. Kitten recipes made by ORIJEN have similar macronutrient content to the adult options, which means you’ll be feeding the same or similar proteins and their digestive system will already be accustomed to them.

We recommend one of ORIJEN™ Cat diets when your kitten is ready to switch. This includes a variety of diets like Original Cat and Six Fish Recipe, depending on your cat’s tastes. These Biologically Appropriate adult cat recipes include varied animal sources to satisfy any adult cat. Each one is packed with 90% animal ingredients1, including WholePrey organs.

If you’re looking for even more benefits for your kitten once they’re an adult, you can also introduce them to ORIJEN™ Guardian 8™, a diet that helps support 8 key health benefits. This Biologically Appropriate recipe uses the nutrients in fresh or raw animal ingredients to help support your cat’s health for a lifetime.

You should also ensure you’re continuing to keep your cat hydrated into adulthood by incorporating a wet food into their daily diet. We recommend nourishing ORIJEN™ pâté packed with 95% quality animal ingredients2 and topped with real, succulent shreds of meat, poultry or fish. There are plenty of different flavors and varieties to choose from, making it perfect for picky cats.

It’s an exciting time watching your kitten become an adult cat, and by being thoughtful and health-conscious about their food, you can ensure they’re nourished and happy as they grow.

1Approximate and derived from the unprocessed state of the ingredients. 2Exclusive of water.