Feeding your cat the right food is one of the most important decisions that you will make for her. Not only will it keep her happy, but it will keep her healthy too.
So, when it comes to your cat’s pregnancy, the responsibility of getting it right is even more crucial. Growing kittens is a hard job, but making sure that they all get the nutrients they need to grow into healthy kitties is even trickier.
And this is where this guide comes in. We have scoured the market for the best foods for pregnant cats. All with in-depth reviews, so you know why they have made our top picks.
We have also created a buying guide so that you know what to look for too. You don’t necessarily need food specially formulated for pregnant cats, but you need to make sure it provides her with kitten growing power.
This means you can spend less time slogging through hundreds of products, and more time getting ready for the arrival of your purrrfect kittens. So, let’s get straight into it.
A Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2023
|Best Overall||Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food||
||Click to Save 33%|
|Best Value||Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Wet||
|Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Dry||
|Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free||
|Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft||
The 6 Best Foods for Pregnant Cats
1. Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food – Best Overall
Smalls is a human-grade meal service catering to fresh cat foods. They offer three high-protein flavors without preservatives or artificial flavoring.
Smalls offers different textures like smooth, pulled, and ground meat if your cat is a picky eater. You can also choose the freeze-dried raw or dry food option if your cat isn’t ready for fresh food.
Complete a brief questionnaire about your cat, and they’ll start you off with a taste test first. Unfortunately, you must sign up for a subscription before receiving the sample food. So, if your cat doesn’t like it, you’ll have to cancel the subscription, which buyers say is challenging.
Shipping could potentially cause this food to spoil if something goes wrong. Most customers have never faced this issue, but it’s worth considering since your cat is pregnant. Also, the meals aren’t pre-portioned. This could be good or bad, depending on how you view it. It’s not ideal for convenience, but since your cat is pregnant, you’ll have to adjust portion sizes throughout the pregnancy anyway, so it could be a blessing in disguise.
Ultimately, cat owners report better energy levels, shinier coats, fresher breath, less stinky litter boxes, and less vomiting with this fresh food. We’re sure your mama cat and her kittens would appreciate the freshness!
2. Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Wet Canned Cat Food – Best Value
This is our top pick as the best food for pregnant cats for the money. The only reason that this didn’t make it as our best product overall is that it is not as rich in healthy omega fats as the above product. And omega fats are essential.
Thankfully though, this product is still very high in omega fats, and it provides plenty for your cat and her kittens to thrive.
Chicken, beef liver, and salmon are the first three meat ingredients listed, which offer a variety of proteins and amino acids. Chicken broth helps to keep this wet food moist and easy to eat.
This wet food is enriched with vitamins and minerals. It also lists whole fruits and veggies such as cranberries, pumpkin, blueberries, and kale for an extra boost in antioxidants.
Ingredients such as montmorillonite clay are also mineral-rich, and it also helps to keep this product free from artificial preservatives as it is a natural anti-caking agent.
3. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Dry Cat Food
This is our choice for mother and kittens. The only reason that this didn’t make our top two choices is that it is a dried kibble and not all kittens like dried kibble. But, it is an important transition to take at some point, which is why we have included it.
It is suitable for kittens between one and four months, and it provides both mother and kitten with everything they need to stay strong and healthy.
It is rich in protein, but the only thing that we aren’t a fan of regarding this Royal Canin product is that the sole meat-based protein ingredient is chicken by-product meal. The chicken by-product meal ingredient is a lesser quality ingredient than whole chicken meat.
Otherwise, it provides DHA and omega fats in the form of meat meal and fish oil, which is essential for brain function and eye development.
When it comes to premium quality, you can’t beat this for best cat food for pregnant cats.
4. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Canned Cat Food
This is an organic product, meaning that you know it is made with 100% natural ingredients, with no nasty pesticides or preservatives added. This is a fantastic option for cats with sensitive stomachs.
It is a grain-free wet food option that is designed for all life stages, including pregnant cats. Free-range chicken is the first ingredient, followed shortly by chicken liver and egg products. These ingredients make this product rich in omega fatty acids and DHA, which are essential for healthy development.
It is enriched with vitamins and mineral supplements. As well as listing peas, cranberries, and alfalfa for extra antioxidants.
Salmon oil adds extra flavor and DHA for her brain and eye development, as well as a shiny coat. Taurine is listed for a healthy cardiac system too.
5. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse Wet Cat Food
This is the wet food version of the Royal Canin dried cat food, and together they would make a great meal plan. It is an ultra-soft wet mousse that many cats and kittens love. It is easy to eat and is a great stepping stone between milk and solid foods.
It has a decent level of protein too. This means intense meat flavor that all cats love, and provide the essential building blocks for a healthy body.
Just like before, this Royal Canin mother and baby cat product use meat by-products. Thankfully, this product also uses real chicken meat and chicken liver too, which is a positive.
This wet food option is fortified with vitamins and minerals for strong immunity, and it is grain inclusive for those cats who do better on a grain diet.
The reason that this product is the last on our list is that it lists carrageenan, which is a controversial ingredient that few sensitive cats cannot eat. However, if your cat is not sensitive to foods, this shouldn’t be an issue.
6. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Pate Canned Kitten Food
This product delivers everything that a pregnant cat needs for a healthy litter. It provides 199 calories per can, meaning it offers plenty of kitten growing power that your cat needs.
It is a protein-focused diet, with a variety of meat proteins such as turkey, chicken liver, chicken, chicken meal, and herring. This means lots of amino acids and rich meaty taste. And turkey broth helps to keep it moist and tender.
It also provides plenty of omega fatty acids and DHA for healthy development. Ingredients such as meat meals, fish, fish oil, and ground flaxseed ensure that each kitten develops as it should. Taurine is listed for a healthy heart, too.
This wet food is also fortified with vitamins and minerals to maintain healthy immunity, as well as helping kittens to develop their own immune system. Cranberries are also listed, which provides a boost of antioxidants, and they are great for urinary health. Dried kelp is also nutrient-rich and full of calcium for strong bones.
This grain-free recipe is made with only the best ingredients, and it doesn’t use any nasty preservatives, colors, or flavors. It is also carrageenan free.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Buying the Best Foods for Pregnant Cats
As we said earlier, you don’t need to buy food that is specifically designed for pregnant cats. But because she is growing kittens, she needs extra energy and nutrients for her babies too. Here are all the things that you need to think about when it comes to choosing the right cat food for her and her babies.
What Type of Food Do I Need to Look For?
You need to buy high-quality food that is either designed for kittens, or for the developmental stage of kittens and their mum. Suitable products will say that they have passed trials for the feeding/lactation of cats, or all life stages.
Kitten food will give her higher protein and energy levels, which is essential for her to survive herself, and to grow her kittens. Kitten food is always higher in calories, fat, and protein when compared to adult food.
High-quality foods will be approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), and the labeling will say that it has been AAFCO approved. So, always look for this seal of approval. Anything without this label is not suitable for your pregnant cat.
Do not feed her budget store food, even if this is what you feed her usually. Her pregnancy and developmental stage is the most critical time in both her life and her kitten’s lives. And this will set her babies up for a healthy body and lifestyle.
Be sure to slowly switch her to her new higher quality food to avoid stomach upset and stress. Do this according to package instructions, and then all you need to do is make sure that you have enough food in stock for your cat and her hungry soon-to-be kittens.
What Nutrients Does She Need?
The foods above will also provide her with higher protein content compared to standard adult food. This is because protein is full of amino acids, which are the building blocks that both she and her kittens need to stay healthy. The best protein is meat-based, so be sure to look for meat as the first ingredient.
Mothers’ milk is full of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and arachidonic acid (ARA). These are essential nutrients that aid the healthy development of her brain, eyes, cardiac health, and overall wellness. Excellent sources of these are meat fats, fish oils, egg products, flaxseeds, to name just a few.
In addition to DHA, EPA, and ARA, she also needs omega fats for healthy development and kitten growth. Ingredients such as meat meals, fish oils, and chicken fat will provide the healthy fats that she needs.
She will also need vitamins and minerals to keep her fighting fit for her babies and for her babies to develop a healthy immune system too. Look for added supplements, as well as whole fruits and veggies such as cranberries, blueberries, broccoli, and kale.
Other Things to Think About Your Cat’s Pregnancy
How Much Food Will She Need?
She will need much more energy from her food compared to when it was just her on her own. She’ll start to paw for more food around about the sixth week of pregnancy. This will gradually increase every week until she is comfortably eating almost one and a half times more than she usually would. Towards the end of her term, she might need up to 400 calories per day.
Because her kittens are taking up much of the room in her body and squeezing her tummy, she might not be able to eat it all at once. This is why you should feed her little and often. Four to six meals a day is about right for your pregnant cat.
As she nears the birth, she’ll suddenly stop eating. Don’t worry, this is completely normal, and when she does, you need to get yourself ready for the birth.
When Should You Start Feeding Her The New Food?
You should start feeding her from mating, all the way through to a few weeks after she has given birth. Cats are typically pregnant for 63 – 65 days, but it can last anywhere between 58 and 70 days.
She needs extra energy to keep her healthy and strong. Yes, it’s important to make sure her kitties are getting everything they need, but it’s a hard job making babies, so you need to look after mumma too.
Continue to feed her this food while she is lactating to make sure that she has the extra energy to continue to feed her kittens.
Related Read: Best Kitten Milk Replacer- Our Top Picks
What About Supplements?
Thankfully, high-quality food designed for the developmental stage of kittens is full of all the nutrients that both mother and baby need. This means that you don’t have to faff around with finding other supplements.
Yes, high-quality food is slightly more expensive, but it means you can rest assured that you are providing your cat everything she needs to be strong and grow healthy babies.
So, there you have it. Everything you need to know about feeding your cat during her pregnancy. Including what nutrients she needs, how much energy she will need to consume, and what particular ingredients to look out for.
Remember, growing a baby is a difficult job. And some cats will have up to 12 at any one time, but the average cat litter is four. That’s a lot of nutrition needed!
But with our recommendations above, you do not need to worry about what to feed her anymore. Now, you have 5 brilliant picks to choose from, all with reviews, with choices for all different dietary needs.
Our best pick overall is the Small Human Grade Fresh Cat Food, and our best pick for the money is Instinct Kitten Pate Canned Food. Both supply your pregnant cat, and her developing kittens everything that they need to develop into healthy kitties and stay a strong and healthy mom.
Featured Image Credit By: Inha Makeyeva, shutterstock
- A Quick Comparison of the Winners in 2023
- The 6 Best Foods for Pregnant Cats
- 1. Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food – Best Overall
- 2. Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Pate Wet Canned Cat Food – Best Value
- 3. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Dry Cat Food
- 4. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Organic Canned Cat Food
- 5. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse Wet Cat Food
- 6. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Pate Canned Kitten Food
- Buyer’s Guide: What to Look for When Buying the Best Foods for Pregnant Cats
- Other Things to Think About Your Cat’s Pregnancy