Can Adult Cats Eat Kitten Food? – How Much We Feed it?

The age of the cat matters a lot when it comes to buying cat food for your cat. A cat is considered a kitten when its age is under 12 months. Accordingly, cats’ diet changes as they keep growing. So, the question arises: can adult cats eat kitten food? Should we change kitten food to adult food?

Yes, an adult cat can eat kitten food since kitten food contains high calories. So, there is no actual danger in feeding kitten food to your adult cat. But kittens and adult cats have different dietary needs. Therefore, adult cat foods are processed differently than kitten food. Kitten foods are more nutritious than adult food, and there is also the possibility of obesity.

You would not want your cat to look unhealthy. Obesity may be the reason for the illness of your cat. So considering adult cat food is a good idea over kitten food. There are many things to know about this topic. Keep reading to understand the concept fully.

What is a proper diet for adult cats?

It is necessary to check if your cat is consuming enough protein per day. Otherwise, it might lead to a nutrition deficit because protein is the primary source of energy for the cat.

A raw cat food diet is undoubtedly a healthy choice for your cat. Raw cat foods contain the recommended amount of fat, protein, and calories for your adult cat. It contains 40 to 60 percent of proteins and 20-30 percent fat content. No wonder canned food is a good choice for your adult cat.

A change in an adult cat diet may promote better health for a long time.

Difference between a kitten and adult cat food

As the kittens grow after a month of being born, their dietary needs change. As for adult cats, the diet for an adult cat is different from kittens in the amount of protein, fat, and calories. However, adult cats can eat kitten food for high nutrition as per the vet’s recommendation.

Let’s see the differences in more detail.

Amount of protein

Proteins play a significant role as the source of energy for all aged cats. But the difference is the amount of protein needed to fulfill their daily diet needs.

Kittens require a higher level of protein than adult cats because of the tissue-building process. Kitten food must contain 35-50 percent more protein than adult cats to promote steady growth. Whereas adult cats don’t need that much protein, 20-40 percent protein is enough for adults to grow fully.

Fat and fatty acids

For the cat owners, it’s difficult to ensure if their cat is getting enough nutrition daily. Since cats are carnivorous, cats can’t consume starch. So they need a high amount of fat for daily energy.

As for kittens, fat and fatty acids are highly consumed by kittens for their fast growth and being more active. However, an adult cat is not that active and rest most of the time. So they consume less fatty acid than kittens.

Mineral and Vitamins

Cat age doesn’t matter in the case of mineral and vitamins requirements for diet. However, bone growth is significant for kittens, and bones need calcium and other minerals to grow fully.

So, higher levels of minerals and vitamins are recommended for kittens than adult cats. It does not matter the number of minerals and vitamins for adult cats needed if it is enough for dietary needs.

Number of calories

Adult cats are mature, and they don’t need a high level of dietary need compared to kittens who are still growing. Kittens need to consume a lot of food to fulfill their calories deficit. Otherwise, it might create problems for the kitten’s health.

However, adult cats need enough calories for maintenance purposes only. An average adult cat weighing near 10 pounds requires 200-250 calories.

Is it dangerous to feed adult cat kitten food?

The answer depends on how often your adult cat has kitten food. However, kitten food is not dangerous for an adult cat.

As we have compared the cat food above for adult cats and kittens, Feeding an adult cat kitten food is like providing more diet to consume than needed. If your senior cat consumes kitten food occasionally, it might not hurt him.

We have also seen that kitten food has at least 30% more calories. If your adult cat kittens eat for a long time, they may gain weight due to excessive calories.

However, kitten food might be considered suitable for pregnant cats if you provide the regular. If your senior cat is deficient in calories and looks skinny, then kitten food is a good option for your senior cat. It is valid only when the vet recommends it.

How to introduce kitten food to adult cats?

If you want to serve kitten food to your senior cat as per the vet’s suggestion, you have to introduce kitten food occasionally. Stop giving kittens food at once, and it might cause stomach problems due to excessive calories.

The best way is to add a small part of kitten food with adult cat food. After a few days, gradually increase the portion of kitten food. This way, your senior cat will gradually get habitual of that excessive nutrition in kitten food. Also, when you stop adding kitten food, your senior cat will not feel any difference in that food.

Can kittens eat adult food?

Yes, kittens can eat adult food. But it does not apply for a long time. As kittens are at the stage of growing, kittens need more nutrition in their diet. Otherwise, the kitten will not be healthy and might cause problems in growth as well. Try to provide only kitten food to your kitten.

How to switch to adult cat food?

You and your cat have been together since your cat was a kitten. Now you have noticed that it is becoming an adult cat. Also, we have already seen the differences in food for adults and kittens. If your cat’s age is over 12 months, it is time to transition kitten food to adult food.

There might be an issue if you switch whole kitten food to adult food, and your cat will misbehave and won’t eat that food properly.

For the first three days, mix a ¼ portion of the adult cat food with kitten food so that your cat doesn’t notice any difference. After three days, gradually increase the portion of adult cat food and kitten food to 50-50 percent for a week. After a week, keep ¾ portion of the adult cat food at least for next week. If your adult cat does not show any misbehave, then your cat is ready for only adult cat food.

How long can adult cats eat kitten food?

Your adult cat’s appetite depends on how long your cat can hold the excessive calories and nutrition in kitten food. An adult cat can eat kitten food for a long time as much as they want because of its quality. If your adult cat eats kitten food continuously, you will notice the fat occurring in your cat. Unfortunately, fat cats often suffer from liver disease and diabetes.

It’s better if an adult cat consumes kitten food occasionally. Kitten food is a good choice when your adult cat is suffering from a nutritional deficit. Also, there is a reason why kitten food and adult cat food are processed differently.


In short, a small amount of kitten food is not harmful to adult cats. We still need to consider the health of the adult cat. Also, check the label of adult cat food before buying. For kittens, you might see it written as “for growth and reproduction,” whereas adult cat food is labeled as adult maintenance. Also, know the age of your cat for going for cat food. An older cat requires softer cat food.

We hope this article helps you to understand the dietary needs of an adult cat. Leave a comment if you liked the article. Also, share with other cat owners.

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