Cat Nutrition

by Danielle
(New York)

Bella (gray - kitten) & Kanye (black - older)

Bella (gray - kitten) & Kanye (black - older)


I recently adopted a two-month old kitten. I already have a three year old cat. They get along great and have become great friends.

Is it bad to feed the larger cat the kitten food or vice versa? Right now, they have their separate dishes for dry and wet food, but I do notice that the kitten tends to eat more of the older cat's dry food.

Is there any one type of food, dry and wet, that they both can eat? This would simplify my purchases, but I want to make sure it's ok for them to eat the same food.


Hi, Danielle,

It's really not a good idea for a young kitten and an adult cat to eat the same diet. Kitten food and adult cat food are formulated differently and for a reason. Primarily, kitten food has much higher protein than adult food and the kitten needs that for growth.

I know how difficult it is to think of feeding them entirely separately. There are a couple of different ways to strike a compromise.

Is Bella still too little to jump as high as Kanye? If so, you can keep Kanye's food up on something high where Bella can't reach it. She's the one you need to be most careful about. She needs the higher protein diet which she is not getting when she is eating Kanye's food.

On the other hand, if Kanye is eating kitten food, he is getting excessive protein, but at age 3, that's not likely to be any problem.

The other alternative is to leave dry adult food down and twice daily take Bella into a room alone and feed her canned kitten food. That has worked well for many of my clients.

Good luck and thank you for writing. Thanks for the picture!!!!
Dr. Neely


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