10 Best Grain-Free Kitten Foods in 2021


Grain-free kitten and cat foods are the hype currently, and if your kitten has a sensitive stomach, a grain-free kitten food could help get everything under control. But while grain-free cat foods can be easy to find, finding a grain-free kitten food can be a bit more challenging.

We tracked down and created reviews of the 10 best grain-free kitten foods out there. We also developed a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you get your kitten on the right food the first time.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

The 10 Best Grain-Free Kitten Foods — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten — Best Overall

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Chicken Kitten Food

Food type Dry
Size 2 or 5 pounds
Primary protein Chicken
Crude protein percent 40
Maximum fiber percent 3.5

When you’re looking for the best overall grain-free kitten food, you can start and end your search with Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Kitten recipe. It’s an outstanding mix of price and quality, giving your kitten all the nutrients that they need to thrive without draining your bank account.

It meets basic requirements and is packed full of LifeSource bits that add even more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help your kitten thrive. Blue only uses the highest-quality ingredients out there, and it has a Blue Wilderness Cat food that your kitten can grow into without overhauling their diet.

The only other thing that we’d like to see from this food is a higher fiber percent, but that’s a minor concern unless your kitten has an extremely sensitive stomach. For most kittens, this is an outstanding choice.

Pros

  • A great mix of price and quality
  • Outstanding minimum protein percent
  • LifeSource Bits add more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Only high-quality ingredients
  • Blue offers the next level of food that they can grow into

2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free — Best Value

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food

Food type Dry
Size 2 or 5 pounds
Primary protein Turkey and chicken
Crude protein percent 45
Maximum fiber percent 3

If you’re looking for grain-free kitten food but don’t have a ton of money to spend, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Kitten food might be precisely what you need. It has tons of protein and is packed with DHA omega-3 fatty acids in addition to tons of other nutrients.

Compared to other grain-free kitten foods, Wellness CORE is incredibly easy to digest, which makes it a great choice if your cat has a sensitive stomach. However, it doesn’t have a higher fiber percentage, and it’s not a single protein source.

Still, it’s available for a great price, and when you pair that with everything else it offers, it’s not hard to see how it is the best grain-free kitten food for the money.

Pros

  • Higher protein percent
  • Affordable
  • Salmon oil provides DHA omega-3 fatty acids
  • Easy on digestion

Cons

  • Is not a single protein source
  • Lower fiber percent

3. Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod — Premium Choice

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

Food type Dry
Size 2, 4, and 14 pounds
Primary protein Chicken
Crude protein percent 40
Maximum fiber percent 4

If you’re not too worried about how much your kitten food costs, Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod is an outstanding choice. It has the perfect amount of protein for your kitten and plenty of fiber, and there are tons of nutrients to help your kitten thrive.

Nulo uses high-quality ingredients when making this cat food, which gives your cat the best of the best with every bite. However, this is a more expensive option, though you can help offset the cost by buying in bulk. It’s still going to be more expensive than many other foods, but it drops the cost per meal by quite a bit.

Pros

  • Good protein percent
  • Decent fiber percent
  • Large size options
  • Tons of helpful nutrients
  • Only high-quality ingredients

4. Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula — Best Wet Food

Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Food type Wet
Size Wet
Primary protein Chicken
Crude protein percent 11
Maximum fiber percent 1

While dry cat food is a great choice, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a wet cat food as the primary source of food for your kitten. If that’s the route you’re taking, it’s hard to beat what Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula offers.

It provides all the nutrients for your kitten to thrive, and it has tons of protein for a wet food. Just keep in mind that switching your kitten to a wet food diet has two major implications. First, it’s more expensive than dry kibble.

Second, switching a kitten to a wet food early in life can lead to them becoming a picky eater. So, if you decide to switch them to dry food later, you might find that you can’t get your cat to cooperate. If you’re planning on switching your kitten to a wet food diet, ensure that you’re ready for a potentially permanent meal change.

Pros

  • Tons of protein for a wet food
  • Great for kitten health
  • Kittens love to eat it
  • Tons of nutrients

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Potential to create a picky eater

5. Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish

Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe Grain-Free Kitten Dry Cat Food

Food type Dry
Size 3, 6, or 10 pounds
Primary protein Salmon and whitefish
Crude protein percent 33
Maximum fiber percent 5

If you have a kitten with a sensitive stomach, you can do more than just switch them to a grain-free diet. You can also choose a protein that’s easier on their stomach. That’s exactly what Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish offers.

But not only does it have a novel protein and a grain-free formula, but the higher fiber percent also helps out a kitten’s digestive tract. If your kitten has a sensitive stomach, there might not be a better food choice than Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish.

However, there are two drawbacks to this kitten food. First, its crude protein percent is significantly lower than what most kitten foods offer. Second, it’s expensive. But if it helps your kitten keep their food down, it’s a great choice.

Pros

  • Higher fiber percent
  • Great for sensitive stomachs
  • GMO-free
  • Tons of healthy nutrients

Cons

  • Low protein percent
  • Expensive

6. Purina Pro Plan Savor Classic Chicken

Purina Pro Plan Savor Classic Chicken Grain-Free Kitten Entree Canned Cat Food

Food type Wet
Size 3-ounce case of 24
Primary protein Chicken
Crude protein percent 12
Maximum fiber percent 1.5

Purina Pro Plan Savor Classic Chicken is an outstanding wet food option for kittens. It provides tons of helpful nutrients, and the overall crude protein content is more than enough for a kitten.

Moreover, there’s plenty of fiber to help your kitten’s digestive tract, and it goes a long way toward helping them feel full. But what matters more is the fact that Purina doesn’t use any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in their recipe, which means better nutrition for your kitten.

Still, it is an expensive cat food option, and it does run the risk of getting your kitten hooked on wet foods. But if you’re fine with the price and just want to give them great food, it’s ideal.

Pros

  • Great protein percent for a wet food
  • Tons of helpful nutrients
  • Good fiber percent for a wet food
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

7. Whole Earth Farms

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Recipe Dry Cat Food

Food type Dry
Size 2.5, 5, or 10 pounds
Primary protein Chicken and turkey
Crude protein percent 36
Maximum fiber percent 5

When you’re shopping for dry cat food and want an option that you won’t have to keep reordering, Whole Earth Farms has an outstanding option with their 10-pound bag. Not only does it have all the nutrients that your cat needs, but it also has a high fiber percentage to help aid their digestion.

Moreover, it’s extremely affordable, and when you pair that with the larger bag options, your savings only go higher. Still, it’s not a single-protein-source food, which can upset some kitten’s stomachs, and the crude protein percent leaves a little to be desired.

It’s enough to keep them alive and healthy, but ideally, we’d like more protein in each serving.

Pros

  • Good fiber percent
  • Affordable
  • Large bag options available
  • Meets all basic nutrition requirements

Cons

  • Not a single-protein-source food
  • Lower protein percent

8. Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe

Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe With Real Chicken Freeze-Dried

Food type Dry
Size 4.5 pounds
Primary protein Chicken
Crude protein percent 42.5
Maximum fiber percent 3

Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe is the most expensive per-meal kitten food on this list. But it uses the highest-quality ingredients out there. There are tons of protein in each serving, and the company only uses cage-free poultry.

Additionally, there are tons of probiotics, omegas, and other nutrients that boost your kitten’s immune system, digestive health, and urinary health. While we’d prefer a slightly higher fiber content, that’s not a huge concern.

With Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe, it comes down to the price. It’s an extremely expensive option, but it’s also great for your kitten. If you can afford it, it’s an outstanding food.

Pros

  • Great protein percent
  • Only high-quality ingredients
  • Tons of probiotics, omegas, and other nutrients
  • Cage-free poultry only

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Low fiber percent

9. Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley

Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley Grain-Free Natural Canned Cat & Kitten Food

Food type Wet
Size 3-ounce case of 24 or 5.5-ounce case of 24
Primary protein Tuna
Crude protein percent 12
Maximum fiber percent 1.5

Instead of the classic chicken recipe, Earthborn opted for tuna in its Holistic Monterey Medley grain-free wet cat food. That’s easier on your kitten’s digestive tract, but not as easy as salmon or whitefish.

Still, there’s plenty of crude protein, especially for wet cat food. While this food is a great kitten food, it’s good for adult cats too. This is both a pro and a con. While you don’t have to switch your kitten to a new food any time soon, it’s not a kitten-specific formula. It’s also expensive.

Pros

  • Great protein percent for a wet food
  • Outstanding option for sensitive stomachs
  • Good fiber percent for a wet food
  • Both a kitten and cat food

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not kitten specific

10. Merrick Purrfect Bistro

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Recipe Dry Cat Food

Food type Dry
Size 4 or 7 pounds
Primary protein Chicken
Crude protein percent 41
Maximum fiber percent 2.5

The Merrick Purrfect Bistro is a dry kitten food that has high-quality ingredients. What sets this food apart from the pack, however, is the price. It’s also an affordable kitten food and has plenty of protein to help your kitten grow.

That said, it’s not a single-protein-source kitten food. Also, the fiber percentage is among the lowest of many dry cat foods available. If your kitten doesn’t have a sensitive stomach, it’s not a huge deal, but if they do, Merrick Purrfect Bistro doesn’t do much to help.

Pros

  • Good crude protein percent
  • Affordable option
  • Only high-quality ingredients
  • Great for your kitten’s health

Cons

  • Is not a single protein source
  • Lower fiber percent

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Buyer’s Guide

If you’re confused about which grain-free kitten food is right for you even after reading the reviews, you’re not alone. We created this comprehensive buyer’s guide to walk you through everything that you need to know to get your kitten on the right food the first time.

Why Would You Want Grain-Free Kitten Food?

There’s a great deal of debate out there about grain-free cat and kitten foods, but the truth is that if your cat has a sensitive stomach, then there’s no debate: Grain-free kitten foods can help settle their stomachs.

While it’s relatively rare for a modern cat or kitten to have a grain allergy, those do exist. If that’s the case, you certainly need a grain-free cat or kitten food.

kitten with cat food
Image Credit: fantom_rd, Shutterstock

Switching Kitten Foods

If you’re constantly switching your kitten’s food, then there’s a good chance that you’re not giving their stomach and digestive system time to adapt to the new food. When that happens, your kitten can have the right food but still experience digestive distress.

Take the time to switch their food slowly, and give them a few weeks to adjust to their new food before ruling it out. These few weeks might be all it takes to get your kitten’s stomach to settle down, and you’ll be saved from trying food after food.

How Much Protein Does Your Kitten Need?

While it’s fine for most cat foods to have around 30% crude protein, there’s a reason that kitten food has more. As kittens grow into full cats, they need protein to support muscle and bone growth, and they also tend to be quite active.

This is why kitten food comes packed with extra protein. When selecting a kitten food, you want at least 40% crude protein for a dry food and at least 10% crude protein for a wet food.

While kittens can survive off less, all that protein will give them the energy that they need to thrive on a daily basis.

kitten eating treats
Image Credit: Anton Chebotarov, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

There’s a reason that Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten food is our top choice of a grain-free kitten food. It’s an outstanding mix of price and quality, and there’s a good chance that it’s exactly what your kitten needs.

If you’re looking for an even more affordable option, Wellness CORE Grain-Free can get the job done and save you money. What’s important is that you order the new food as soon as possible to get your kitten settled into their new routine.


Featured Image Credit: DanyVr, Shutterstock

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