Contents of Article
- Understanding the Dietary Needs of Pregnant Cats
- What is the best kind of cat food for pregnant cats?
- Feeding your pregnant cat kitten food is one of the easiest ways to accommodate her needs.
- Pregnant cats need small, frequent, and calorie-dense meals.
- Do pregnant cats need calcium supplements?
- Highly-digestible, species-appropriate food is more important than ever before.
- Best Cat Food for Pregnant Cats – Our Top 5 Picks
- Nutro Kitten Soft Loaf Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Review
- Nature’s Variety Instinct Kitten Grain-Free Chicken Pate
- Wellness CORE Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver Recipe Classic Pate Review
- Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Healthy Kitten Pate Recipe Review
- Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast Canned Cat Food Review
Growing kittens inside of your body is physically demanding work. The fundamental dietary difference between a pregnant cat and one who isn’t pregnant is that the pregnant cat needs more. More protein, more calories. More nutrition. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to give her a food formulated for pregnant cats—instead, she needs a nutritionally balanced, extra-nourishing food to fuel the process of growing multiple tiny cats inside of her body.
Understanding the Dietary Needs of Pregnant Cats
Because gestation is so demanding, your cat will need more food than she did prior to pregnancy. Your cat’s appetite usually won’t change until the sixth week of gestation. After that period, her appetite will increase as she and the kittens demand more fuel.
Quick Look : Top 5 Best Cat Foods for Pregnant Cats
Over the course of the pregnancy, a cat’s appetite should gradually increase from one and a half times to twice her typical intake. You’ll see the most striking increase in food consumption during the final three weeks of pregnancy. By that time, your cat is eating for herself and up to five or more kittens. A pregnant cat near the end of term could need up to 400 calories a day.
But remember that pregnancy is a weird time and the changes aren’t consistent. During the gestation period, hormonal fluctuations could make your cat eat more or less at various stages of her pregnancy. Yes, this does mean that it’s normal for a pregnant cat to temporarily go without eating.
Contact a vet if she doesn’t take a bite for over 24 hours or if her body condition starts to deteriorate.
What is the best kind of cat food for pregnant cats?
Feeding your pregnant cat kitten food is one of the easiest ways to accommodate her needs.
Whether you’re feeding growing kittens or a cat who is growing kittens, choosing a kitten formula is an easy way to ensure that they’re getting the ultra-concentrated nutrition they need.
Whether it’s labeled for kittens or not, choose a food rated as complete and balanced for growth and reproduction or all life stages according to AAFCO standards. This is an indicator that the food has adequate levels of calories, protein, and other nutrients.
Pregnant cats need small, frequent, and calorie-dense meals.
Thanks to fetal kittens pressing against her internal organs, your cat might be unable to fit much food into her body. Therefore, it’s a good idea to feed her multiple small meals throughout the day.
For this reason, many people suggest free-feeding a dry kitten food, but no dry food can provide the hydration your cat needs. If possible, feed your cat several daily meals of a canned or otherwise high-moisture food.
If you aren’t home to do this, you may appreciate the help of an automatic feeder compatible with wet food.
Do pregnant cats need calcium supplements?
Commercial diets formulated for growth and reproduction contain all the calcium your cat needs, and any supplementation could be excessive. Excess calcium intake during pregnancy may increase your cat’s risk of eclampsia. Consult your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your pregnant cat’s diet.
Highly-digestible, species-appropriate food is more important than ever before.
When her nutritional needs are so demanding, you’ll want to deliver concentrated nutrition and energy with as little bulk as possible. You can’t afford to fill a pregnant cat’s body with nutritionally void fillers. You can identify a highly-digestible food by looking for high-quality cuts of meat, animal sources of fat, and as little plant matter as possible.
Need to refresh your understanding of basic feline nutrition? Check out our guide to the healthiest cat food on the market.
Best Cat Food for Pregnant Cats – Our Top 5 Picks
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Pork Broth, Natural Flavors
This ultra-simple kitten food is primarily made from chicken and chicken liver. Both are highly-digestible sources of protein and other nutrients.
There’s not much in this food that isn’t meat—aside from binders, this is a completely plant-free recipe. This type of lean nutrition delivers maximum benefit without taking up precious real estate in your cat’s abdomen.
It’s free of filler ingredients like grains, corn gluten meal, and soy. Additionally, it doesn’t contain any potentially irritating artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Every 3oz can offers 94 calories.
- A relatively high-calorie food
- Meat-based with almost no plant ingredients
- Free from artificial colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives
- Less than 1% carbohydrates
- Some cats dislike the soft loaf texture
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Beef Liver, Chicken Broth, Salmon (Source of DHA), Eggs
Like other Nature’s Variety Instinct foods, this recipe centers around wholesome animal ingredients like chicken, beef liver, salmon, and eggs. All of these have high bioavailability scores, meaning their benefits are readily received by the body.
It doesn’t contain any starchy fillers, grains, or other high-bulk, low-nutrition ingredients.
If you’re worried about potential inflammatory agents, you’ll appreciate that this food is free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Each 3 oz can offers 103 calories, so you can easily give your pregnant cat three or four cans a day.
- Rich in highly-digestible animal protein
- Concentrated nutrition
- Formulated for growth and reproduction
- Relatively expensive
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal
This grain-free kitten food from Wellness CORE is packed with nutrient-dense, high-calorie ingredients that nourish your pregnant cat without excessive bulk.
One interesting inclusion in the recipe is chicken meal. Usually reserved for dry foods, dehydrated chicken meal is a concentrated source of animal protein.
That said, this food isn’t flawless. In addition to concentrated animal protein, the food contains a couple of unnecessary plant ingredients, including cranberries and ground flaxseed.
Each 3 oz can offers 108 calories.
- A protein-packed, highly-digestible food
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product
Like other kitten foods, this canned food emphasizes highly-digestible animal ingredients, including deboned chicken, chicken liver, and dried egg product. Although fresh eggs—not dehydrated egg product—are a preferable form of the ingredient, eggs are one of the most biologically available forms of protein on the planet.
On the negative side, the food contains small amounts of alfalfa meal and ground flaxseed, neither of which are necessary inclusions in cat food.
The food is free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives that might irritate your cat during her pregnancy.
Each 2.75 oz can contains 73 calories.
- Made primarily from nourishing sources of animal protein
- Relatively calorie-dense
- Contains some plant ingredients
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Liver, Meat By-Products, Poultry Broth, Milk
Don’t fall for the idea that only expensive food is good enough for your pregnant cat.
This kitten formula from Fancy Feast has several big-ticket qualities. It’s grain-free, emphasizes digestible animal protein, and by almost all accounts, it tastes great.
The recipe includes both named meats and vaguely-labeled ones. You’ll notice that the ingredient list features turkey, meat by-products, and something called “fish”. This mix of named and vague meat inclusions indicates unreliable digestibility and quality control.
The food is free from grains, corn, soy, wheat, and other fillers. However, it does have a few problematic qualities. It contains both natural and artificial flavors, the latter of which might irritate some cats. Curiously, it includes milk. Most adult cats are lactose-intolerant, so it’s important to monitor your cat for any signs of GI upset while eating this food.
The food is relatively high-calorie with 95 calories in each 3 oz can.
- Relatively calorie-dense
- Delicious flavor
- Emphasizes animal ingredients
- An affordable choice
- Contains milk
- Made with artificial colors and flavors