Can adult cats eat kitten food? I always wondered if there is anything wrong with feeding cats with kitten food, and now I have a pretty good idea.

For adult cats, there is no danger in eating kitten food. In fact, kitten food contains more calories, vitamins, and nutrients necessary for growing a kitten to an and healthy cat. Adult cats should have not problems eating kitten food unless they have some particular problem. They may gain weight if they eat a lot of this food, but no other danger.

It is not the same the other way around, meaning kitten eating adult cat food. A kitten should eat kitten food.

My cat in particular loves to eat kitten food, whether is dry food or wet food. I just know that he doesn’t think twice on cleaning up the dish.



Adults cats may eat kitten food is some circumstances:

  • Because you have a kitten in the house and they steal the food
  • They like it a lot and a pet owner may decide to buy it for them
  • A pet owner is feeding it to an adult cat because he needs more nutrients for some reasons (always check with the vet if this is a good idea)

Overall, cat food is already divided by types: Adult cats, Kittens, cats with digestive problems, urinary problems, and so on.

Every cat is different, has a different appetite, energy level, and food needs. My cat, Coco, can regulate himself. He likes treats for sure; he is demanding them. However, he never overeats, if he is full, Coco doesn’t eat, and he can leave food on his bowl.

I also had another cat that would eat everything in sight, dry, wet, and bowl. So there isn’t a general rule, but there are guidelines one can follow.


Kitten food should contain a higher amount of fats and proteins compared to adult cat food. It should also contain fewer carbohydrates.

Kittens need to grow and need a higher content of nutrients; adult cats have already developed and, depending on their level of activity, need fewer fats.

Cats are growing until they are one year old. Therefore we can consider kittens cats that are less one year old. Some breeds of cats require longer to reach maturity. An example of this can be the Main Coon.

Therefore, what to expect in kitten food:

  • More Proteins
  • More Fats
  • More Taurine
  • Less Carbohydrates
  • Less Fibers

Taurine, an amino acid essential in several of the body’s metabolic processes, is thought to have antioxidant properties.

Taurine is found naturally in meat, fish, dairy products, and human milk, and it’s also available as a dietary supplement.

Adult cat food, therefore has fewer proteins and fats, less taurine and more carbohydrates, it should be a balanced food to keep the cat healthy.

I have simplified the explanations. However, if you want a more in-depth study, you can find it HERE.

So based on this summary of data, it is possible to answer the question: “Can adult cats eat kitten food?”. Yes, it is possible and not dangerous if it happens.


I have been reading around the web; it seems that many people have a problem with their older cat stealing the younger cat food.

I guess I am the only one with the opposite problem.

I adopted a kitten, Millie, that always kept eating from my older cat Coco.

He would put his tail between the legs and go away. So my problem was, how can I let my older cat eat, since the kitten was continually putting her head inside Coco’s bowl. Coco’s is very gentle and calm; too much excitement doesn’t fit with his standards.

Beside my case, in reality, an older cat would steal kitten food. Again there is no danger in this; however, the problem would be at this point that the kitten may not get enough food.

In this case, you may want to feed them separately or be with them when they eat so you can train both of them to eat from their bowl. I used to do this with my cats, with a bit of work, I could make it happen.

Why would your cat try to eat kitten food? I believe it is tastier. It is like a treat. In some cases, though, some cats can’t have another cat doing something without themself trying to do it. It is in their nature, what can I say?


Here some related questions to this topic that people may also ask:

  • When to switch from kitten to adult cat food?

Usually, when they are one year old, one can start transitioning from kitten food to adult cat food. It is common to try to gradually transition, meaning don’t take away the kitten food right away, it would be a good idea to mix the kitten food and the adult food until they are properly transitioned. When my cant grew up, I finally took a bag of dry food and used to mix a handful of it with his usual diet. He would eat it and get used to it.

  • How much wet food is needed to feed a kitten?

It could be necessary for a kitten to feed them 3 or 4 times a day; they may like a frequent meal since they are very active and are growing. You can do a combination of wet and dry food or wet food, depending on your kitten. If any doubt is good to ask the vet, usually, kittens and cats are not difficult to satisfy. Remember that wet food has a higher content of protein and nutrients, necessary to kittens.

  • What happens if a Kitten eats adult cat food?

A kitten needs to grow and should definitively eat the recommended kitten food. In the long run, if a kitten always eats adult cat food, it may lack nutrients. There are types of adult cat food that may contain higher nutrients to get away with it. However, the kitten food, or at least labeled as such, should contain the nutrients needed for a young cat.

  • What is the difference between cat and kitten?

Cats are fully grown up, while kittens are still in the developing stage. Usually, it is considered that a kitten becomes a cat around 1 year old.

  • Is kittens food good for senior cats?

It really depend from your cat. As stated before kitten food is higher in nutrients, therefore a senior cat could benefit form it, if he needs more nutrients. If he has some health problems connected to eating protein, then it is not a good idea. Always check with the vet.

  • Is there cat food for all life stages ?

Yes, there is. One should read the labels on those products. However even if stated that the cat food is good for all ages, it is always better to feed specified kitten food to kittens.


Can adult cats eat kitten food?