Every cat owner wants to feed their cat the best possible diet. However, cats’ diet composition changes throughout their lives, and sometimes it’s more complicated than just kittens, adults, and seniors. In order to support themselves through the challenges of nursing and to give their kittens the best possible start in life, mother cats have a whole new set of needs to meet. A cat’s diet is very important when she is nursing her kittens. Not only does the mother need to eat the right foods to provide milk for her kittens, but she also needs to eat foods that will help keep her healthy.
The best cat foods for nursing mother cats in Canada are those that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. This list of the best cat foods for nursing mothers gives you a great place to start when choosing the right diet for your cat, and all of these foods are available to ship in Canada.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites of 2023
|Best Overall||Purina One Healthy Kitten||
|Best Value||Iams ProActive Health Kitten Food||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Wet Food||
|Best for Kittens||Nutro Wholesome Essentials Kitten Food||
|Vet’s Choice||Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Dry Food||
The 8 Best Cat Foods for Nursing Mother Cats in Canada
1. Purina One Healthy Kitten – Best Overall
This product is designed to provide pregnant and nursing cats with the nutrients they need to maintain their health and produce quality milk for their kittens. It is made with high-quality ingredients that are easy for cats to digest, and it contains all the nutrients a cat needs to stay healthy. The formula also helps promote a healthy immune system in kittens and supports their growth and development. It’s usually easy to find this food online, which is helpful when your mother cat finishes off a bag faster than you expected. It could be necessary for your mother cat to eat more Purina One Healthy Kitten food as it contains fewer calories per cup than some other choices.
Despite being safe and nutritious, some owners prefer not to feed chicken by-products, even though they are safe. That being said, Purina One Healthy Kitten Formula is our pick for the best cat food for nursing mothers.
2. Iams ProActive Health Kitten Food – Best Value
This may be the product for you if you’re looking for something more affordable. We recommend Iams Proactive Health (kitten formula) as the best value cat food for nursing mothers. Since it contains real chicken as the first ingredient, it is a great source of protein. It also contains omega-3s and omega-6s, which are healthy fatty acids. In addition to supporting kitten development, these vitamins keep your mother cat in good health while nursing. Small enough kibble size allowed young kittens to start nibbling on it, which past customers liked.
When your kittens are ready to wean, feeding them this diet could also help them adjust to solid food. Despite being functional and affordable, this product also contains corn filler products. With their small quantities in this food, they won’t do any harm, even though they are of lower quality than other ingredients.
3. Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Wet Food – Premium Choice
|Calories||133 kcal/5.1-oz can|
Cat food brand Royal Canin is well known for its premium quality. In particular, they specialize in producing cat diets tailored to the individual needs of cats. Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Wet Food is our third choice for nursing mothers. Weaning kittens and nursing mothers will benefit from this diet. As kittens transition from nursing to eating, this food’s soft texture is ideal for their mouths. Your mother cat can stay hydrated while nursing with food like this, which contains a lot of water. Compared to dry food, comparing wet food’s nutritional content takes a bit more effort because of the high water volume. You may want to consider Royal Canin Mother and Babycat if your cat prefers wet food over dry food.
In order to keep your hungry mother cat fed, you should consider that canned food is not as cost-effective as dry food. This choice will work out a lot more expensive, but if hydration is your primary concern, this is your best option.
4. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Kitten Food – Best for Kittens
For owners seeking more natural ingredients in their cat’s food, Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken & Brown Rice Kitten Food is a great choice. To add flavor, color, and preservation, this recipe uses natural additives instead of artificial additives. Additionally, all ingredients have not been genetically modified. Most nursing cats can benefit from this diet nutritionally. Protein and fat are high in this meal to support her body’s demands. Due to its very slightly lower calorie content, it may not be optimal for cats with large litters who require more energy-dense food.
A kitten’s healthy development is also supported by these ingredients. It was sometimes difficult for some younger kittens to eat the kibble, though, according to some owner reviews.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Dry Food – Vet’s Choice
It is likely that most cat owners are familiar with Hill’s Science Diet Kitten, as veterinarians often recommend it. With its high protein content, Hills Science Kitten Dry Food is very nutrient-dense and high in calories per cup. With this diet, your nursing mother cat gets maximum nutrition without artificial ingredients or flavors. This brand is expensive, however, it is designed and manufactured in the United States with no preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors. One drawback with this type of dry food is that it may be harder to keep your nursing mother cat well hydrated.
We would advise mixing this, and any other dry foods, with water or wet food, so that you can make sure she is getting both the nutrition and hydration she needs during this challenging time.
6. Natural Balance Original Ultra Dry Cat Food
All ages of cats can benefit from Natural Balance Original Ultra Chicken & Salmon dry cat food. From kittens to adults, even seniors. With its delicate balance of ingredients, it provides essential nutritional support to all stages of a cat’s life, including pregnancy and nursing. There is even a guide on how to feed a nursing cat. Among the ingredients are essential fatty acids for prime development, which are all classic kitten-supporting ingredients. In addition, it contains natural fiber and antioxidants that support the body’s processes. As your cat’s kittens wean off her milk and onto a solid diet, you can continue to use the same diet.
Due to a recent recipe change, some long-time customers have turned away from this product. Despite not changing the nutritional make-up much, picky eaters may find it less appealing. This product is also more pricey than some others we have reviewed.
7. Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals Kitten Wet Cat Food
Your nursing cat and her kittens will enjoy this tasty wet option. Suitable for kittens learning to eat solid foods, Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals Kitten Wet Cat Food is palatable for your mother cat. With no by-products and only high-quality ingredients, this recipe is easy to digest. By digesting and utilizing these nutrients efficiently, your mother cat produces more milk with less energy expenditure. There is, however, dairy in this product in the form of cow’s milk.
Growing kittens may benefit from this calcium boost, but sensitive stomachs may not. Ideally, this diet should be fed along with a high-protein kibble. Additionally, this is a variety pack. Some cats may love the selection, some may be turned off by some of the flavors.
8. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Canned Kitten Food
|Calories||108 kcal/5.5-oz can|
For nursing mother cats, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Canned Kitten Food is an expensive, high-protein choice. Those who prefer food with all-natural ingredients for their cats will find this option appealing. Additionally, Wellness CORE does not contain carrageenan, an additive that is controversial among pet owners. That said, it is still considered a safe ingredient in pet food despite the scientific uncertainty regarding its actual danger. Wellness CORE is a canned food you can choose from if you want to avoid carrageenan.
Due to the cost, it may be worth buying a can or two to see how your cat likes the taste before purchasing a full case. This one is quite expensive and not all cats love the taste. Again, as a wet food, this is great for hydration, but you may want to supplement with kibble for more calories.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best Cat Foods For Nursing Mother Cats in Canada
Nutritional requirements of nursing cats
Nursing cats have some extreme energy demands on their bodies. In addition to maintaining her own internal functions and body condition, she must also produce milk that supports the rapid growth and development of her kittens. Having a larger litter can put more stress on her body. The usual maintenance diet she follows will not provide her with the energy and essential building blocks she needs during pregnancy and nursing.
The key nutritional component of regular cat food is protein, but this is even more important for nursing cats. All her bodily functions depend on proteins, which are chains of amino acids. By eating a high protein diet, she will be able to process all her usual functions as well as the demanding process of producing milk. Choosing high-quality animal proteins over by-product proteins and plant proteins will ensure that they are the most digestible. Your mother cat will be more energy-efficient if the protein is easy to digest.
The word fat tends to evoke fear in some people. Fats, however, are essential for cats. A cat’s energy is derived primarily from fat, which is highly digestible and highly concentrated. Cats that nurse will benefit from a diet rich in fat, which will provide them with easy access to energy. Her body will require more energy and time to digest dense energy sources like carbohydrates, so she will get less benefit from them.
Nursing cats require more calories than general maintenance cats. She will need to eat a lot more low-calorie food to meet her energy requirements if her food has a high-calorie density. If the food is low in calories, she may not be able to consume enough calories to sustain herself. A diet high in calories will provide her with an energy-dense diet for nursing. In other words, she will be able to support her own condition and facilitate the growth of her kittens at the same time.
Nursing cats can eat kitten food
Consequently, nursing mothers require a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals and provides them with much more energy. She will not be able to thrive on her regular diet. She can easily obtain this diet by feeding her kitten formulated food. To support growth and development, kitten food is higher in protein, fat, and calories. Generally, these diets will also satisfy a nursing cat’s energy requirements.
DHA and EPA, which are essential fatty acids for kitten development, are also included in kitten food. Kittens will require these fats through their mother’s milk, which is naturally synthesized in cat milk. To ensure that her kittens receive the developmental support they need, feeding your nursing cat kitten food can help support her levels of these fats.
Purina One Healthy Kitten is our top choice overall. The high protein, fat, and calorie content of this food provides your nursing cat with an energy-dense diet. Our best value choice is Iams ProActive Health for Kittens, which offers great nutrition at an affordable price. You should now have a good idea of what to look for when shopping for your nursing cat, based on our research and reviews. Your thoughtful food choices can help your cat develop healthy kittens as well as support her own health!
Featured Image Credit: Rashid Valitov, Shutterstock