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Best Food for Pregnant Cats (2024): Feeding A Pregnant Cat

Posted in: Cat Food - Last Updated: January 8, 2024 - Author: Rebekah Carter
Posted in Cat Food 
Last Updated: March 26, 2023  
Author:  Rebekah Carter

Today, we’re comparing and reviewing some of the best cat foods for pregnant cats. After all, when a female cat becomes pregnant, her dietary needs will naturally change. She’ll need to consume more food to accommodate her growing weight, and she’ll require extra nutrients to help nourish the little life (or often lives) inside of her. 

best food for pregnant cats

Choosing the right food for your cat can be challenging at any time, but it becomes particularly daunting when you’re caring for a pregnant cat.

Investing in the right nutrition for your pregnant feline friend not only helps to keep her healthy, but it also ensures you’re more likely to end up with happy and healthy kittens too!

Building on our own experience caring for pregnant cats, we’ve tracked down some of the most nutritious and high-value foods on the market today, specifically tailored to pregnant kitties. Read on for our top picks for your cat’s nutrition. 

Best Food for Pregnant Cats - Our Overall Pick

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food can be a suitable option for pregnant cats due to its high-quality ingredients and nutrient-dense formulation. Pregnant cats require increased amounts of protein (which they can get from high protein food), fat, and essential nutrients for the health of both the mother and her developing kittens.

The 3 Top Foods for Pregnant Cats - Best, Value & Premium

The good news for pregnant cat owners is there are plenty of fantastic cat food options out there for pregnant cats. Primarily, it’s best to choose a kitten food for your mother cat, for reasons we’ll cover a little later in our buyer’s guide. For now, let’s take a look at some of the top options on our list:

Our Top 3 Choices

Best Overall

Purina ONE High Protein, Natural Dry Kitten Food, +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula - 3.5 lb. Bag

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

  • Includes DHA for vision and brain development
  • Packed with antioxidants for a strong immune system
  • High protein content food made with real chicken

Best Value

Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, High Protein Dry Kitten Food, Chicken & Rice Formula - 7 lb. Bag

Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, High Protein Dry Kitten Food

  • Included calcium, phosphorus, and other bone-friendly minerals
  • High-protein formula with chicken as the first ingredient
  • Probiotics included for gut health

Premium Choice

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Chicken Entrée Wet Kitten Food - Natural Ingredients with Real Chicken, Brain Development DHA, Essential Fatty Acids and Eye Health Taurine, 3 oz cans (Pack of 24)

Wellness Complete Health Kitten

  • Plenty of flavors to choose from
  • Included essential fatty acids and proteins
  • Included vitamins, minerals, and taurine

So that’s a quick chart showing our three best foods for pregnant cats. Now let’s take a deeper look at the best and more.

To start with, let’s look at the top 3 in a little more detail.

1. Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food - Best Overall

Purina ONE High Protein, Natural Dry Kitten Food, +Plus Healthy Kitten Formula - 3.5 lb. Bag

The Purina ONE High protein kitten food is our number one choice for your pregnant feline’s diet.

Available in a range of flavors, this cat food comes packed with one of the most important ingredients your cat needs: protein. It also features DHA, one of the nutrients found in the mother’s milk, to help support brain development and vision.

Plus, there are four antioxidant sources included for a stronger immune system. 

This easily digestible formula includes a fantastic blend of high-quality ingredients, for a complete and nutritious diet.

There’s even extra added calcium for strong teeth and gums. It’s the ultimate all-in-one solution for both your mother cat, and her babies. 

Pros

  • Includes DHA for vision and brain development
  • Packed with antioxidants for a strong immune system
  • High protein content food made with real chicken
  • Easily digestible, fully balanced formula
  • Added calcium for healthy bones

Cons

  • The kibble pieces may be a bit chunky for some cats
  • Can be a little expensive

2. Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, High Protein Dry Kitten Food - Best Value

Purina Pro Plan With Probiotics, High Protein Dry Kitten Food, Chicken & Rice Formula - 7 lb. Bag

The Purina Pro Plan cat food features real chicken as the number one ingredient, so you know your feline friend is going to be getting plenty of protein.

Like many of the top cat foods for pregnant felines, this product also comes with built-in DHA, the omega-3 fatty acid best suited for brain and vision development. Plus, there are plenty of added extras included too. 

This crunchy kibble features plenty of probiotics for good gut health, as well as calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals to build stronger bones and teeth.

Included vitamin A and Omega 6 fatty acids also support a nourished skin and coat for your furry friend.

Pros

  • Included calcium, phosphorus, and other bone-friendly minerals
  • High-protein formula with chicken as the first ingredient
  • Probiotics included for gut health
  • DHA to nourish brain and vision development
  • Vitamin A and Omega 6 fatty acids

Cons

  • May include allergens for some kittens
  • Not many flavor options

3. Wellness Complete Health Kitten - Premium Choice

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Chicken Entrée Wet Kitten Food - Natural Ingredients with Real Chicken, Brain Development DHA, Essential Fatty Acids and Eye Health Taurine, 3 oz cans (Pack of 24)

If you’re looking for a wet food alternative for your pregnant cat, the Wellness Complete pate could be the perfect choice. There are numerous great flavors to choose from, ranging from beef and chicken to whitefish and tuna.

Plus, the healthy, all-natural food comes with a great blend of proteins, essential fatty acids, and taurine for heart and eye development. 

Brimming with nutrition, this cat food features no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Plus, it’s a great way to keep your kitty hydrated if they prefer to get most of their moisture from their meals.

The soft loaf is also super easy for kittens to eat too. 

Pros

  • Easily digestible pate formula
  • Plenty of flavors to choose from
  • Included essential fatty acids and proteins
  • Included vitamins, minerals, and taurine
  • No added colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cons

  • Has quite a strong smell
  • The pate might not last long
best foods for pregnant cats

Best Foods for Pregnant Cats: Alternative Options

We chose the three options above to appeal to a wide range of pet parents, but if none of those solutions work for your cats, there are still plenty of great alternatives out there.

 Here are some other fantastic picks worth considering for your pregnant feline.

4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Kitten Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Kitten Dry Cat Food, with DHA and ARA to Support Brain and Eye Development, High-Protein and Grain-Free Diet, Chicken, 5-lb. Bag

Packed with real chicken as the number one ingredient, this Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food is brimming with healthy protein. It’s completely grain free, so you know you’re not going to encounter any allergy issues. Plus, it includes various fatty acids to help support cognitive development and retinal health. There’s even added taurine for good heart health. 

The Blue Buffalo formula includes exclusive “LifeSource” bits, which are made of a combination of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants selected by veterinarians to optimize cat health. Plus, this cat food includes absolutely no chemicals, by-products, or added preservatives.

Pros

  • Natural solution with no added grains or preservatives
  • Protein as the number one ingredient
  • Included fatty acids and extra taurine
  • Lots of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants

Cons

  • The lifesource bits can be a little chewy
  • May lead to bad breath

5. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food

Wellness Core Grain Free Kitten Formula - 24X5.5 Oz

Another excellent wet food option for pregnant kitties, the Wellness Core Natural pate is free from grain, preservatives, and artificial ingredients.

There are numerous flavors to choose from for picky cats, and each option includes a brilliant balance of minerals and minerals for a complete diet. 

This natural recipe comes in a pate texture that’s easy for mothers and kittens alike to consume.

Plus, it’s great for giving your kitty some bonus hydration when necessary. With no extra wheat, gluten, corn, or soy, there’s also a reduced risk of any allergic reactions.

Pros

  • Grain-free and fortified recipe
  • Bonus vitamins and minerals for cat health
  • Supports healthy hydration with pate formula
  • No preservatives or added artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Doesn’t last long when opened
  • Strong smell

6. Hill's Science Diet Dry Indoor Kitten Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Kitten, Indoor, Chicken Recipe, 7 lb. Bag

Formulated with the help of veterinary professionals, the Hill’s Science dry indoor kitten food is brimming with healthy fibers to promote good digestion.

Extra small kibble makes this fantastic food easy to digest for kittens and cat mothers alike. Plus, there’s included DHA from fish oil to support healthy eye and brain development. 

A balanced collection of minerals and vitamins is included in this formula, to support the growth of healthy teeth and bones.

Plus, with chicken as the number one ingredient, you can rest assured you’re giving your kitty plenty of animal protein

Pros

  • Small, easily digestible kibble
  • Natural fibers for better digestion
  • Included DHA for healthy eyes and brain development
  • Vitamins and minerals included for bone development

Cons

  • Can be quite expensive
  • Can lead to slightly smelly stools

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Best Foods for Pregnant Cats: Buyers Guide

Choosing the right cat food for a pregnant feline can be a tricky process. However, it’s important to ensure your furry friend gets the right nutrition to support her health, as well as the development of her babies. The chances are, you’ll notice your cat eating a lot more food as she progresses through her pregnancy, so finding a meal she actually enjoys is crucial. 

You might also need to consider speaking to a vet about a new diet if your cat has any allergies or dietary issues that need to be addressed when you’re purchasing the right food. Overall, the most important thing is ensuring your cat gets the extra energy, nutrition, and sustenance you need. 

Why Pregnant Cats Should Eat Kitten Food

We mentioned above that often the best cat food for pregnant felines is actually kitten food. There’s a good reason for this. Kitten food is made with specific ingredients to help promote the development of healthy brains, eyes, hearts, and other crucial components. Those are the same minerals, and vitamins your pregnant cat will need more of when she’s progressing through her pregnancy. 

Kitten foods are also higher in calories, which your pregnant cat will typically need more of during her pregnancy. Being pregnant means your cat will expend more energy, which she’ll need to replace with the right nutrition.

Just make sure the extra calories in your chosen food aren’t “empty” calories, created by added grains and fillers. She will need an extra boost during her gestation period. 

Another bonus of kitten food for pregnant cats is that it’s packed with protein, which helps your cat to develop stronger muscles. Just make sure you’re adjusting the portion sizes you give your adult kitty to suit her weight and dietary needs. 

what to feed a nursing mother cat

What To Feed a Nursing Mother Cat

Depending on your cat, you might find her needs are slightly different to most other felines. If your kitty has specific health issues or comes from a certain breed, and you’re not sure what to feed her during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to speak to your vet.

However, your pregnant cat will usually need the following:

  • Protein: Protein is an essential ingredient in any cat’s diet, but it’s particularly important when your feline friend is pregnant. Make sure the protein in your cat’s food comes from an animal source, such as fish, chicken, or turkey, and that this is listed as the first ingredient. 
  • Calcium: Pregnant cats will need extra minerals, as many will be depleted in their bodies as they grow new lives within them. Make sure your cat food includes calcium, as well as other helpful minerals like phosphorus for bone and teeth development.
  • Fatty acids: Essential omega fatty acids like DHA are another important ingredient to look for. They promote healthy skin and coat, as well as good immune system development. Plus, they’re excellent for supporting brain and eye development too.

FAQs:

How long should my pregnant cat eat kitten food?

It’s best to give your pregnant cat kitten food from the moment when you discover she’s pregnant. She may need weaning onto it slowly if she’s used to a different kind of food. You can continue to feed her this food until a few weeks after she gives birth, to help keep her strong, and ensure she has the energy she needs to support her new kittens. 

How Long Are Cats Pregnant?

On average, a cat pregnancy will last between 63 and 65 days. However, some cats can carry their litter for a little more or less time than this. The overall range is somewhere between 60 and 70 days. If it’s your cat’s first pregnancy, she may be pregnant for longer than most. Plus litter sizes will vary.

What foods to avoid with cats when pregnant?

Generally, you should continue to avoid all of the dangerous ingredients you would normally keep away from your cats while your feline friend is pregnant. Toxic foods include everything from onions and garlic to raw eggs and meat. Don’t feed your cat a diet or weight-reducing food when she’s pregnant, as she will need extra calories. 

Should pregnant cats eat wet or dry food?

It doesn’t really matter whether your pregnant cat eats wet or dry food during her pregnancy, so long as she gets plenty of moisture alongside her diet. If you’re feeding your cat dry food, ensure she always has access to fresh water too. 

What homemade food can I give my pregnant cat?

You can consider giving your cat extra sources of cooked protein, like chicken, beef, or fish, boiled in water. This is a wonderful way to give her an extra dose of nutrition during her pregnancy. Stay away from any raw foods, however. 

What is the best food to feed a pregnant cat?

Kitten food is the best option for a pregnant cat to maintain her energy needs and keep her body condition healthy. Opt for a high-quality, easily digestible food with plenty of protein, as well as added vitamins and minerals. Look for cat food with plenty of DHA and nutritional fatty acids, as well as calcium and taurine. 

food for a pregnant cat

Best Foods for Pregnant Cats: The Verdict

Feeding your cat the best foods for pregnant cats throughout her pregnancy and through her nursing offspring phase is the best way to make sure she stays healthy, and that her kittens are born healthy too.

The best option will always be a solid food that’s high in protein, minerals, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. 

Our favorite product from today’s list is the Purina ONE high-protein cat food. Not only does it feature all the correct nutritional needs and real chicken as the number one ingredient, but it also includes DHA for healthy brain and vision development, as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals like calcium.

Last but not least, makes sure you monitor her water intake, she must remain well-hydrated at all times. So keep those bowls full!

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About the author

Rebekah Carter is a dedicated animal lover. Her Savannah cat, Roscoe, has a lot of attitude, while her Maine Coon, Dukino, is full of love. When not writing, she’s looking after her cats and researching ways to help them live their best possible life. Her passion for animals and natural skill for writing led her to pursue pet blogging.

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