Best Grain Free Kitten Food In 2022

best grain-free kitten food

This is our review of the best grain-free kitten food.

As a feline Nutritionist and pet owner, I have bought various types of foods for my cats. My main concern always was how to provide the best nutrition for my pets. 

I believe that our pets deserve the best possible food that we can provide.

In this article, I aim to show:

  • top formulas for best grain free kitten food,
  • what ingredients are in branded pet food,
  • how this affects your loved cat.

So you can make an informed choice if particular cat food is best for your pet.

With so many options available on cat food shelves, it is easy to be overwhelmed which is the best grain-free kitten food overall.

I recommend Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food as the best grain-free kitten food overall.

But every kitten is different. So I researched the best grain-free formulas in every category to help you make the best decision for your cat.

Keep reading for more details.

Our Best Grain Free Kitten Food

  1. Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food Overall)
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food In Dry formula )
  3. Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food For High Protein)
  4. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food In RAW Formula)
  5. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food Premium)
  6. Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Pate Kitten Canned Cat Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food On Budget Dry Formula)
  7. Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & Egg Formula Grain-Free Kitten Food (Best Grain Free Kitten Food On Budget Dry Formula)

7 Best Grain Free Kitten Foods Reviewed

All formulas meet AAFCO Guidelines for pet food.

 Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet.

Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula Grain Free Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Carrots, Natural Flavor

Key Feature: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11%, Crude Fat: 6%, Crude Fiber: 1%, Moisture: 78%

Caloric Content: 97 kcal/can

Type of Product: Wet Food/ Pate

Best For: Best Grain Free Kitten Food Overall

Benefits:

  • 100% grain-free kitten recipe features chicken as the first ingredient for the protein needed to support growing muscles.
  • Supports the 5 signs of kittens wellness—healthy skin and coat, healthy digestive system, bright eyes and strong teeth and gums, and plenty of energy and immune health.
  • Made with antioxidant-rich cranberries, vitamins, balanced minerals, omega fatty acids, and essential taurine to support growth and development.
  • Helps to keep your kitten hydrated and supports urinary health with plenty of moisture from the real broth in every can.
  • Zero grains or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.

These cans are BPA-free.

Available only in 3oz cans.

Wellness ingredients are primarily sourced from North America. WellPet has one of the most strict sourcing criteria of any pet food manufacturer. Whether domestic or international, all ingredient suppliers need to meet certified nutrient levels and be manufactured in quality audited facilities.

This formula doesn’t contain any meat by-products within the ingredients.

Reviews show that overall, Wellness is a quality product. One thing owners have noticed, however, is that kitten poop is very odorous. Some show that kittens prefer this brand to other similar brand alternatives when looking for best grain free kitten food.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids)

Key Feature: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 40%, Crude Fat: 20%, Crude Fiber: 3.5%, Moisture: 9%

Caloric Content: 457 kcal/cup

Type of Product: Dry Food

Best For: Best Grain Free Kitten Food Dry Formula

This formula is formulated specifically to help meet the essential needs of growing kittens. It’s great for indoor and outdoor kitties.

There are approximately 8 cups of food in the 2-pound bag and 20 cups of food in the 5-pound bag. And the bag is resealable.

This kitten food offers the concentrated nutrition that growing kittens need in a grain-free formula. Boneless Chicken is the first ingredient, providing a high-quality protein source rich in vitamins and minerals.

For all of Blue Buffalo’s cat dry food recipes, the kibble size can range from 6 to 8 millimeters.

Benefits:

  • Encourages the development of strong and lean muscles and includes taurine to support brain and eye health.
  • Includes the fatty acids DHA and ARA to promote healthy growth and development.
  • Includes a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support a healthy immune system.
  • Grain-free and made without the use of corn, soy, wheat, meat by-products, or artificial flavors.

Reviews share that overall, owners noticed a considerable difference in kitten’s fur and skin. Also, some kittens have increased their healthy weight while eating this formula. Overall, kittens like this best grain free kitten food formula.

This formula is also available in Wet food formulas.


Instinct Kitten Grain Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Beef Liver, Chicken Broth, Salmon (Source of DHA), Eggs

Key Feature: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, Pea-Free

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 12%, Crude Fat: 6%, Crude Fiber: 1%, Moisture: 78%

Caloric Content: 190 kcal/5.5 oz can, 103 kcal/3 oz can

Type of Product: Wet Food/ Pate

Best For: Best Grain Free Kitten Food For High Protein

Benefits:

  • Made with high animal protein in a pate texture to support the energy needed for growth and play.
  • A balanced mix of real chicken, salmon, and beef liver offers healthy exposure to proteins.
  • Made free of grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors, or preservatives.
  • Includes natural sources of DHA for healthy brain and eye development in kittens.

Reviews show that the texture is a bit drier than the other kitten foods. Some vets recommend this best grain free kitten food for kittens. Owners noted that their kittens prefer this formula to more expensive brands. Some have said that they like the high-quality ingredients.


Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Kitten Recipe Grain Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas

Key Feature: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, Raw, Natural

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 42%, Crude Fat: 15%, Crude Fiber: 3.%, Moisture: 11%

Caloric Content: 400 kcal/cup

Type of Product: Dry Food, Freeze-Dried

Best For: Best Grain Free Kitten Food in RAW formula

Benefits:

  • Grain-free kitten recipe contains 42% protein with chicken as the number one ingredient to support muscle growth and development.
  • Infused with freeze-dried raw bites made with real poultry to lock in fresh taste and nutrition for growing kittens.
  • Features a mix of raw protein and antioxidant-rich veggies to provide a balanced diet like the one your kitty would find in the wild.
  • Packed with DHA omegas for healthy skin and fur, plus taurine, vitamins and minerals for overall well-being, and probiotics for gentle digestion.
  • Safely cooked in the USA in small batches with zero by-products, grains, wheat, gluten, corn, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Merrick is a premium cat food brand made with real ingredients that allow your kittens to absorb nutrients efficiently. This helps the food last longer and prevents your cats from overfeeding. Daily feeding amounts vary based on your kitten’s age.

Reviews show that owners like the quality nutrients in this best grain free kitten food formula. However, some kittens eat only the meat pieces and leave the kibble in the dish. Kittens have very shiny coats, and some who had skin issues cleared right up after switching to this formula.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal

Key Feature: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Pea-Free

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 12%, Crude Fat: 7.5%, Crude Fiber: 1%, Moisture: 78%

Caloric Content: 108 kcal/can

Type of Product: Wet Food/ Pate

Best For: Premium Best Grain Free Kitten Food

Chicken meal is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from poultry’s parts or whole carcasses or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. It is suitable for use in animal food.

This variety is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

All of the cans are BPA-free.

Benefits:

  • Made with ingredients for optimum health benefits.
  • A protein-focused diet is perfect for growing kittens who need the extra energy.
  • High levels of DHA support healthy brain and eye development.
  • The grain-free recipe provides a complete and balanced everyday diet for kittens.
  • No carrageenan, artificial colors, flavors, or byproducts.

Reviews show that picky kittens like this best grain free kitten food. However, this product is a bit pricey. It seems this product is a hit or miss with cats flavor-wise. The product comes in a pretty big can; it could feed up to 5-6 times.


Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Grain Free Pate Kitten Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Liver, Poultry Broth, Fish

Key Feature: Grain-Free, Natural, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11%, Crude Fat: 5%, Crude Fiber: 1.5%, Moisture: 78%

Caloric Content: 96 kcal/can

Type of Product: Wet food/ Pate

Best For: Best Wet Grain Free Kitten Food On Budget

Benefits:

  • Pate-style kitten food made with natural white-meat chicken.
  • 100% grain, corn, and soy-free.
  • Contains no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
  • Free of poultry by-products and fillers.
  • A complete and balanced diet enriched with vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients.
  • This food does not contain Carrageenan.
  • The cans do not contain BPA.
  • It is recommended to feed 1 can per 3 to 3 ½ pounds of body weight daily.

Reviews show that this best grain free kitten food formula is perfectly proportioned for a kitten. The pieces are not too big (especially for a greedy cat that eats too much and too fast). Owners do not need to worry about kittens choking on the pieces. It is also a good size can and wouldn’t have any wasted food left. However, some picky eaters might not like the fishy flavor.


Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & Egg Formula Grain Free Kitten Food 

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Pea Protein, Chicken Meal, Cassava Root Flour, Dried Egg Product

Key Feature: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Natural

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein:42%, Crude Fat: 19%, Crude Fiber: 2.5%, Moisture: 12%

Caloric Content: 591 kcal/cup

Type of Product: Dry Food

Best For: Best Dry Grain Free Kitten Food On Budget

Benefits:

  • A high protein formula for growing kittens featuring real chicken as the first ingredient.
  • Includes calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals to encourage strong bones and teeth.
  • Rich in DHA—an omega-3 fatty acid that supports vision and brain development.
  • Omega-6 fatty acids help nourish your kitten’s coat and skin.
  • Grain-free and made without the use of corn, wheat, or soy.

This recipe does not have a resealable bag

Reviews show that this is not the best grain free kitten food is great for sensitive stomachs. It is less expensive than other grain-free dry food. And most kittens like this formula.


Best Buy Guide

What Is Classed As A Best Grain Free Kitten food?

Grain-free cat food is just what its name describes — a cat food made free of grains. Common grains found in cat food include wheat, corn, oats, barley, and rice.

Does Grain Free Means Gluten And Carb Free?

Not always Gluten-free label on kitten food will mean gluten and Carb free formula. Sometimes Gluten-free formulas have potatoes, sweet potatoes, tapioca, lentils, and peas. Some gluten-free formulas contain higher levels of carbs than grain formulas.

It has to be noted that grains and carbs do not make cats fat. An inactive lifestyle, neutering, and too much food do this to them. Carbohydrates from whole grains might help provide your kitty with complete and balanced nutrition — the key to good health.

Grain-free formulas that use starchy vegetables as alternative sources of complex carbohydrates would be a better option for cats. These ingredients take longer to break down and will not cause sharp blood sugar spikes.

Is Grain Free The Best Food For Your Kitten?

It is true that cats are carnivores and get their nutrients from animal meats. However, foods with high protein levels might have a high dose of phosphorus. This nutrient is necessary for cats’ balanced diet. However, too much has been shown to increase the risk of kidney disease in cats.

Plant proteins have a lower dose of phosphorus and have additional vitamins and minerals your cat might benefit from.

Every cat is different. Talk to your cat’s veterinarian today to see if the best grain free kitten food could be a good option for your cat.

What Foods Kittens Will Thrive On?

Protein Source

Quality protein is a must in a cat’s diet. When looking at cat food labels, a real meat protein should be the first ingredient on the list.

An excellent quality real meat as the first ingredient provides lean protein for your cat’s balanced nutrition. Lean meats provide all necessary for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system.

Some research shows that cats do better on an animal than fish protein as this is what they would catch in the wild. Poultry and rabbit are the most popular options. We see this in best grain free kitten food formulas too.

Healthy Fats

Fat is an important energy source for your cat. Helps transport nutrients and other substances across the body. Keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy. It is crucial to see actual named fats in best grain free kitten food formulas.

Sometimes you will see that the fat is preserved with Mixed-tocopherols, which are a natural form of Vitamin E:

Essential vitamin for cats:

  • Helps maintain optimal health,
  • Antioxidant to protect cells from damage (helps add oxygen to the cell body),
  • Improves immune system and fertility,
  • Heart health.

Vitamins and Minerals

While the vitamin and mineral list on a bag of pet food can seem a bit daunting, they are vital components for the well-being of our pets. 

Vitamin and mineral supplementation is used in kibble and canned pet foods to balance the nutrient composition and ensure the healthiest pet food possible. 

These supplements are used to provide essential nutrients in the correct ratios required by cats. While the goal is to use nutrient-rich ingredients to minimize the need for supplementation, nutrition, and food science tell us that optimal nutrition cannot always be achieved by natural food sources alone, making pet food supplementation necessary.

You might be interested in our article 7 Best Cat Vitamins And Supplements.

In Conclusion

It is essential to provide the best possible diet for your kitten from the start.

I recommend Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food as the best grain free kitten food overall. 

This formula supports the five signs of a kitten’s Wellness—healthy skin and coat, healthy digestive system, bright eyes and strong teeth and gums, and plenty of energy and immune health.

Talk to your veterinarian today to determine if your kitten may benefit from transitioning to one of these best grain free kitten food.

Choose your best grain free kitten food.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dace Lace

Dace Lace

I´m Dace Lace, a strong advocate for dogs and cats wellbeing. A happy pet makes a human happy! I´m an expert in cats behaviour and nutrition. Also, I have been all my life surrounded by cats and dogs, taking care of them

Save 35% on your next pet food offer

We have partnered with chewy.com to offer the best deal on quality pet food to our readers. If you click on the button below we will take you to their exclusive discount page