11 Best Cat Foods for Pregnant Cats in 2023 — Reviews & Top Picks
Pregnant cats have a great deal of work to do before they even have their kittens. The process of growing kittens is physically demanding on the mother’s body. After they are born, the mother must nurse and care for them, causing even more energy depletion.
You can help by offering your pregnant cat the best nutrition to fuel this lengthy process. While your cat doesn’t necessarily need a food specifically created for pregnant cats, she does require a well-balanced diet that provides extra nourishment for growing kittens and will keep her healthy.
Our reviews of the best cat foods for pregnant cats can help you become familiar with the different types of foods on the market today. Browse our selections, and choose the best one to meet your cat’s needs and help her produce healthy kittens.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Smalls Human-Grade Cat Food Fresh Fish||
||Click to Save 40% + Use Code Hepper2023|
|Best Value||Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Dry Kitten Food||
|Premium Choice||Wellness Core Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Cat Food||
|Best for Kittens||Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse Wet Cat Food||
|Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Dry Cat Food||
The 11 Best Cat Foods for Pregnant Cats
1. Smalls Human-Grade Cat Food Fresh Fish — Best Overall
Cats need only the best nutrition when pregnant, and that’s exactly what the Small’s Fresh Fish recipe provides. This recipe includes mostly fish, with 40.49% cod and 40.49% salmon. Some veggies and other supplements are included to help round out your cat’s diet.
When kittens are developing, they require extra DHA, which is plentiful in fish. Therefore, we highly recommend choosing a fish-heavy recipe for pregnant cats. Cod and salmon are both low in mercury, which is another important consideration for pregnant felines.
Plus, this food is completely fresh and human-grade. It arrives at your door ready to eat, making it the perfect choice for busy cat owners—it’s like providing your feline with homemade food without all the extra work of cooking!
- High in omega fatty acids and DHA
- Human-grade and fresh
- Cod liver oil added
- High in protein and fat
2. Purina Pro Plan Shredded Chicken & Rice Dry Kitten Food — Best Value
The best cat food for pregnant cats for the money is Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Dry Kitten Food. The price is a bargain while still providing your pregnant cat with the ingredients that they need to grow healthy kittens. This food also provides everything that kittens need to grow during their first year of life, and that can start before they’re even born when it’s fed to your pregnant cat.
The high-protein formula includes probiotics for digestive health and immune system support. Calcium and phosphorous work to strengthen bones and teeth. Vitamins and minerals give cats and kittens shiny coats and DHA supports cognitive health.
This dry food should be offered freely to pregnant cats so they can eat what they need to feel satisfied.
While this food offers nutrition to pregnant cats, it does contain corn gluten meal. This formula also has rice, so if your cat is allergic to grains, this food isn’t an option for them.
- Contains probiotics
- High protein content
- Contains grains
3. Wellness Core Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Cat Food — Premium Choice
The first ingredient is turkey in the Wellness Core Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Cat food, followed by chicken liver, turkey broth, and chicken. This protein-packed can is formulated for growing kittens and will give mother cats everything that they need to have a healthy pregnancy.
The turkey broth keeps this food moist and provides extra hydration. High levels of DHA are included for healthy brain and eye development. The protein in this can will help mother cats stay energized and strong.
Fish oil gives cats the omega fatty acids that they need for coat health. Cranberries offer antioxidants and support urinary health. While pregnant cats will benefit from the vitamins and minerals in this food, they will also work to build the kittens’ immune systems before birth.
Best of all, this recipe is grain-free and does not include any preservatives, artificial colors, or by-products.
- High protein content
- Turkey broth adds moisture
- Promotes healthy kitten development
- Some cats don’t like the taste
4. Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse Wet Cat Food — Best for Kittens
The Royal Canin Mother & Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse Wet Cat Food is the best for kittens because of the nutrition that it provides to pregnant cats, lactating cats, and kittens between 1 and 4 months old. This formula supports immune health and helps wean kittens from milk to solid foods. The soft texture is gentle on little teeth and mouths.
The benefits for kittens can start before they’re born when the pregnant cat eats this food. The feeding guide is based on weight and is printed on the labels. Gestating cats may eat over three cans per day, which can add up quickly. This is an expensive food, but we like the nutrition that it offers to cats and kittens.
The highly digestible proteins are gentle on the stomach, and the prebiotics support healthy digestive development in kittens and help pregnant cats use less energy to digest their food. DHA supports healthy brain development.
If pregnant cats don’t want to eat, this food is reported to stimulate their appetites and keep them from losing weight, which could be dangerous for them during pregnancy.
- Soft texture
- Helps wean kittens
- Offer healthy nutrition to kittens in the womb
5. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Deboned chicken is the first ingredient in Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, so you know that your pregnant cat is getting healthy, flavorful protein. This blend includes vitamins B6 and B12 for easy digestion.
Chicken fat is added for extra calories, which cats need during pregnancy. Pea protein offers an advanced protein addition. The proteins in this food are combined with carbohydrates to give pregnant cats and developing kittens the energy that they need. Fatty acids, similar to those found in a mother cat’s milk, are added for brain and eye development. Chelated minerals are easily absorbed in the body and promote healthy immunity.
The kibble is reported to be large, and cats have refused to eat it because of its size. Since this is food formulated for kittens, an adult cat may not have the same trouble with the kibble size.
- No artificial flavors
- High protein for energy
- Includes calcium for growing bones
- Large kibble size
6. Whole Earth Farms Healthy Kitten Recipe Canned Food
Another great cat food for pregnant cats is Whole Earth Farms Healthy Kitten Recipe Canned Food. Pregnant cats should eat up to three cans per every 4.5 pounds of their body weight per day in order to receive the nutritional fulfillment that they need from this food.
The first ingredient in this food is chicken, which makes up the high protein content in each can. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that are balanced for growing kittens and will start to promote their healthy development in the womb. This formula gives mother cats the energy that they need and the healthy nutrition that keeps them satisfied. Omega fatty acids are added for healthy skin and coats. Chicken broth adds moisture to this recipe to keep cats and kittens hydrated. Once the kittens are weaned, they can enjoy eating this food too.
Even with the added broth, some consumers have found this canned food to be dry. Adding water or broth can make it easier for kittens to eat on their own.
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- Balanced nutrition
- Suitable for kittens once they’re weaned
- May be too dry for some cats
7. Iams ProActive Health Dry Kitten Food
The Iams ProActive Health Dry Kitten Food is designed to help kittens grow, and that growth can start by feeding this to your pregnant cat. Chicken is the first ingredient in this formula for healthy protein and strong muscle development. Added vitamin E helps build the kittens’ immunity before they’re born. Prebiotics are included for digestive health, and healthy brain development is supported by DHA. Omega fatty acids keep your pregnant cat’s coat healthy and promote the coat health of the kittens.
This food offers the calorie boost that pregnant cats need. There are some reports of an odor to the food and a greasy appearance to the kibble.
Some kittens don’t like the taste of this food, but adult cats seem to enjoy it. It’s rich for an adult cat’s diet and shouldn’t be fed regularly to adults unless your cat needs the added nutrients during pregnancy.
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- Contains prebiotics
- Greasy kibble
- Some kittens don’t like the taste
8. Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Multipack Cat Food Trays
The Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Multipack Cat Food Trays offer complete nutrition to pregnant cats, nursing moms, and kittens. Pregnant and nursing cats should eat two to three times the recommended feeding amounts for adult cats.
This multipack comes in three flavors: chicken, roasted turkey, and tender beef. This keeps your cat from getting bored while still giving them optimal nutrition. Real juices in each tray keep cats hydrated.
Each tray is a single serving size, so you can just peel off the cover and serve without worrying about leftovers. This no-mess convenience also makes it easy to measure the exact amount to give to your pregnant cat. Vitamins and minerals in this food keep cats and kittens healthy. Fish oil and taurine promote healthy coats and eye health.
Each flavor is grain-free and full of protein for energy and healthy kitten development. This food is also good to use as a topper for dry food to entice your cat into eating. The trays may contain too little food to use as a serving for your cat based on their weight, so simply add trays until a suitable amount is reached.
- Easy-to-open trays
- Multiple flavors
- Small amounts of food per tray
9. American Journey Chicken Recipe Dry Kitten Food
The first ingredient in American Journey Chicken Recipe Dry Kitten Food is deboned chicken to give pregnant cats premium protein. When feeding this to pregnant cats, free-feeding is recommended so they can give their developing kittens the nutrition that they need to be healthy.
This recipe supports strong, lean muscle development. DHA and ARA are included for brain and eye health. Kittens will receive antioxidants from fruits and vegetables for healthy immune systems, along with omega fatty acids for healthy coats.
This grain-free formula doesn’t include any corn, soy, wheat, or by-products, so you know your pregnant cat is getting pure nutrition without any additives.
Once the kittens are weaned and you switch the mother cat back to their regular food, they can continue to eat this as they grow. The size of this kibble is reported to be suitable for kittens that are 8 weeks old.
Some kittens don’t like this flavor and refuse to eat it.
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- No by-products
- Some kittens don’t like the taste
10. Hill’s Science Diet Roasted Chicken & Rice Canned Kitten Food
The balanced formula in Hill’s Science Diet Roasted Chicken & Rice Canned Kitten Food is recommended not only for kittens but also for pregnant and nursing cats. When feeding pregnant cats, this food should be available at all times for them to eat as they please.
Chicken broth is the first ingredient, which keeps this recipe flavorful and moist. With no artificial preservatives or flavors, your cat is getting all of the nutrition that they need to deliver healthy kittens. The key ingredients in this food support urinary tract, vision, heart, and coat health for kittens before they’re born and for the first year of their lives if they continue eating it once they’re weaned.
Since the food is chunky and not a pâté, some kittens might find the pieces too big to eat.
- Nothing artificial
- Balanced nutrition for kittens and pregnant cats
- Chunks may be too big for small kittens
11. Solid Gold Flavorful Feast Chicken Pate Canned Kitten Food
Pregnant cats should eat two times the recommended feeding amount of Solid Gold Flavorful Feast Chicken Pate Canned Kitten Food. This holistic formula is grain-free and uses chicken as the first ingredient and protein source for healthy muscle development.
Vegetables like carrots, spinach, and sweet potatoes offer wholesome vitamins and minerals that developing kittens need. Tuna oil is added for fatty acids that support skin and coat health. This is a complete and balanced diet for pregnant cats, nursing cats, and weaned kittens.
This formula is reported to be thick, and some cats did not like the consistency of it.
- Chicken is the first ingredient
- Includes healthy vegetables
- Thick consistency
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Cat Food for Pregnant Cats
Choosing the right food for your pregnant cat is one way to ensure the health of the kittens. As they grow and develop, they’re going to require nutrients from the mother cat. That means your pregnant cat will need to eat more than usual.
While their food doesn’t have to change to one that’s designed specifically for pregnant cats, you can choose to do so if you wish. What’s most important is that the food has all the nutrition that the mother cat needs for extra energy and health. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best cat food for your expecting cat.
How Long Are Cats Pregnant?
Cat pregnancy usually lasts 65–69 days, meaning there are just two short months to give developing kittens all they need to be healthy. The mother’s appetite usually starts to increase during the last few weeks. During this time, food should be offered consistently. Weight gain shouldn’t be a concern right now because the mother’s body is using so much energy.
Switching to a kitten food midway through the pregnancy will help the mother offer nutrition to her kittens. The mother can remain on kitten food until the kittens are weaned, or you can supplement the kitten food with adult canned cat food.
Pregnant cats may need to eat small, frequent meals due to the space being taken up inside of them.
Nutritional Needs of Pregnant Cats
High-protein content is what you should look for in food for pregnant cats because this will keep their energy up and sustain them as their bodies are working. By the end of the pregnancy, the mother cat could be consuming double the amount of food that they’d normally be eating.
Unbalanced and improper nutrition can lead to underweight and malnourished kittens. Kitten food that is packed with nutrients will support their development, and adding kitten milk replacement to the mother’s food will also give them added support. It’s normal for the mother cat to be hungry during pregnancy. Food that is high in calories will help the mother cat produce milk.
Highly digestible kitten food that is made for growing kittens is best for mother cats while pregnant. Kitten food is higher in calories and fat than adult cat food, so it will give pregnant cats extra nutrients.
High-quality meats, fish oils, vitamins, and minerals should be on the labels of these foods. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for a mother cat’s diet. Calcium is required for all cats, but if pregnant cats are calcium deficient, they could end up with a pregnancy complication called eclampsia. Pregnancy depletes mothers of nutrients, so making sure the food contains sufficient levels of calcium is important. Calcium also helps the kittens develop healthy bones.
Omega fatty acids support immune systems and skin and coat health.
While dry food is acceptable, canned foods usually offer more calories per serving and give cats added hydration, which they especially need while pregnant. Offer canned food during the last weeks of pregnancy and while the cat is nursing, or feed them a mix of wet and dry foods.
Extra protein can be added to the food. Pieces of boiled chicken, eggs, and fish are high in protein and will boost energy levels.
Pregnant cats should have easy access to food at all times and plenty of fresh, clean water.
How Long Should My Pregnant Cat Eat Kitten Food?
Since nursing cats require even more calories and nutrition than when they were pregnant, feeding them kitten food until their kittens are weaned is ideal. Mother cats need the energy to produce milk. You might find that your lactating cat is even hungrier than when they were pregnant.
Kittens benefit from their mother eating kitten food because the nutrients are being passed down to them through the milk.
Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl. Our product is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl.
Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl.
Our product is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl.
For the best overall cat food for pregnant cats, Smalls Human-Grade Cat Food Fresh Fish offers balanced nutrition for mama and kitten development. Our best value choice is Purina Pro Plan Shredded Blend Chicken & Rice Dry Kitten Food. It contains probiotics and healthy nutrition at an affordable price. We hope that our list has helped you decide on the best food for your pregnant cat so they can produce a healthy litter of kittens.
Featured Image Credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay