Feeding your Siberian kitten

Please read our statement about the brands we consider to be highest quality and lowest-risk for your Siberian cats.

Feeding your Siberian cat


Over many years as cat rescuers, breeders, and rehabilitators, we have tried just about every brand out there. We’ve fed raw, cooked our own diet, fed extremely expensive diets and cheap grocery store products.

What we’ve come down to as the best overall brand and choice is Pro Plan. It has consistently given us the best growth, weight gain, beautiful coats, and renewed health in the rescues and rehabs.

What we’ve found is consistently the worst choice are grain-free diets. The legumes and root vegetables that are used to replace the grain seem to be very difficult for the cats to digest, and the lower carb content means they don’t keep their muscle and coat in good shape. Old cats get skinny and weak, and kittens don’t grow as well.

We don’t insist that you feed only our recommended brand, but we do strongly recommend that you not feed a grain-free diet of any kind.

A note on meals:

It’s sometimes appropriate to limit an adult cat’s food, often by feeding in individual meals a few times a day. If your veterinarian has recommended meal feeding to your adult Siberian, we support that.

However, kittens should never be fed only in individual meals. They must have food out 24/7. You can also feed canned meals, as often as your veterinarian recommends, but dry food should be out all the time and refreshed every day.

Recommended brands

Pro Plan canned

2-3 meals/day

Pro Plan Kitten dry

Offered 24/7; replace daily

Royal Canin canned

Fed in 2-3 meals/day

Royal Canin dry

Available 24/7, refreshed daily

What about “boutique” foods?

We know that by the time you are ready to purchase a purebred kitten, you’ve spent many hours working to find the very best for your cat.

You’re expecting to be told to choose your cat’s food even more carefully and cautiously than you already do. Many of you have spent a long time finding a food with a certain number of “stars” or with a brand name blessed by an expert who purports to know the truth about cat food. We know you’ve worked very hard and educated yourself on this.

We want you to stop thinking about “stars” and glamorous descriptions, and ask your food company to satisfy some basic requirements:

  • Your food company should employ at least one full-time nutritionist (which must be a PhD or boarded DVM nutritionist).
  • You should ensure that all the company’s diets are formulated by nutritionists at these levels of expertise, and that the company not release a formula without testing and trialing that formula using the feed trial protocols established by the AAFCO. In other words, no diet is sold until it proves that it nourishes real cats, under real conditions, rather than just having the right nutritional math but never having been tested.
  • The company should do a huge amount of quality testing, and every batch coming into the plant should be tested. The company should manufacture the diet themselves, so it can control the ingredients and quality; it should not just send a recipe and a bag label design to a plant that makes food for many companies.
  • And the company should subject its diets to peer-reviewed scientific research, and be able to back up any of its claims with data that is available to the public.

Perfect, you say – I’m ready to buy whatever vet diet this is; who makes it? It’ll be tough going up to that much money a bag, but anything for my cats.

There are three US food brands that we know satisfy these criteria:

Purina (Pro Plan and ONE)
Hills (Science Diet)
Mars (Royal Canin and Eukanuba)

We know you’ve been told and believed for years that those food companies were terrible, the worst, full of garbage, made from floor sweepings, maybe with euthanized pets in it.

Feed one of those diets? You would do anything for love, but you won’t do that.

We understand, believe us. We really do. We spent a lot of years feeding expensive “lots-o-stars” brands, and it was just as tough for us to wrap our brains around feeding one of the big three as it is for you.

However, the facts are inescapable. The vast majority of the lots-o-stars brands have done an excellent job marketing their stars and their delicious human-appealing ingredient words, and a pretty poor job making sure that they’re nourishing our cats. We have been working for months to find even a single lots-o-stars brand that employs a full-time nutritionist, let alone meets the other criteria.

We have no connection to any of the bigger brands – we’d love to have a longer list of foods to recommend, and we’d love to hear about any brands that satisfy the above criteria. But right now, we’ve found that the big brands are the only ones we can recommend.