Our family recently adopted a beautiful male kitten, who was abandoned at a produce stand where we purchased our Christmas tree. We hadn’t had a kitten in years, having lost our 7-year-old cat to cancer at Halloween. We brought him home after a side trip to the grocery store to pick up some kitten food. We purchased a bag of Purina Kitten Chow for our new kitty. When that bag ran out, I purchased the 9 Lives Growing Years Kitten Formula for him, mainly because I live in a rural area, the store was out, and frankly, he was hungry. Below I outline the differences between the two formulas.
Purina Kitten Chow is a highly recognized brand name. In all honestly, when I thought to purchase my new kitten food, I immediately thought of Purina as my first choice, despite the fact that I normally purchase 9 Lives for my other cat. Purina is a trusted name when it comes to pet nutrition and when I think of kitten food, I immediately think of Kitten Chow.
9 Lives is also a leading brand name for cat food. In general, it is less expensive than Purina. The kitten formula is not even listed as a product available from 9 Lives on their website.
The Purina Kitten Chow was more expensive than the 9 Lives Growing Years Kitten Formula. The Purina Kitten Chow came packaged as a 3.5 pound bag and cost about $4.25. The 9 Lives Growing Years Kitten Formula came in a 3.15 pound bag and cost about a dollar less.
Nutrition & Ingredients:
Comparing the nutritional content in these products was very easy. The Kitten Chow contains 40% crude protein vs. 34% crude protein for the 9 Lives. The 9 Lives contains 14% fat vs. 12.5% fat in the Kitten Chow. With regard to calcium content, the Kitten Chow has just .2 more than the 9 Lives at 1.2%.
The first five ingredients of the 9 Lives Growing Years Kitten formula are Corn gluten meal, soybean meal, whole ground corn and chicken-by-product meal, and whole wheat. Purina’s Kitten Chow lists poultry-by-product meal, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, soy flour and animal fat as its first five ingredients.
Based on ingredients, the 9 Lives relies heavily on corn, soybean and wheat, whereas the Kitten Chow relies more on rice, corn, and soy flour. I could not help but note that Purina’s Kitten Chow listed Poultry-by-product meal first, which leads me to think it would have more taste based on having poultry as one of its first ingredients.
Based on my cat’s preference of the Purina Kitten Chow over the 9 Lives Growing Years formula, I would have to guess that it tastes better. He barely touched the 9 Lives when I put it in the bowl for him, yet when I finally was able to get him the Kitten Chow, he acted like he was half-starved and immediately started wolfing down the food. In all honestly, my kitten refused to eat it and instead went to my other cat’s dish and began eating the adult food available there. I do not think this is a case of him preferring the Purina Kitten Chow best because he was given it first. My kitten shunned the 9 Lives Growing Years in favor of adult food that I did not feed him. My older cat refused to eat this food as well, and he isn’t known to be too picky about cat food.
To be brutally honest here, I smelled both brands of cat food. When I smelled Purina Kitten Chow, I was not put off by its smell. It had a hint of a slight fishy smell and fish, indeed, was listed as an ingredient in that formula. However, the 9 Lives Growing Years formula reminded me a lot of what dog food smells like. Perhaps this is why my dog had no qualms about eating my kitten’s food?
My kitten has gained a healthy amount of weight while eating the Kitten Chow. He started to fill out and looked larger in just a short period of time. In just two weeks, he looked and felt much bigger than when we rescued him. He gained approximately a pound and a half within less than two weeks. The higher calorie food has given him a lot of energy to play and to be fair; my other cat has been attracted to the kitten’s food and has begun to eat it when he is given half a chance. Unfortunately for him, it has caused him to gain a bit of weight that he didn’t need. Since my kitten refused to eat the 9 Lives Growing Years Kitten Formula, I cannot attribute any weight gain or lack thereof to the 9 Lives product.
I firmly believe that the Purina Kitten Chow is superior to the 9 Lives Growing Years Kitten Formula because of the impressive weight gain my kitten and the fact that he prefers the taste of the Kitten Chow over the 9 Lives. While Purina may be a more expensive brand, it is worth the extra cost to provide your kitten with the nutrition needed to grow properly.