kitten who recieves fish oil supplement
The Health Benefits of Fish Oil in Kitten Food

The Health Benefits of Fish Oil in Kitten Food

Is anything cuter than an adorable kitten with a gorgeous, healthy coat? We don’t think so. That’s why we include fish oil in IAMS™ dry kitten food to help promote healthy skin and a healthy coat for your furry bundle of joy.

Let’s dive deeper into fish oil and meal, what it does, how it can help your kitten and why it’s an important component in all IAMS™ dry kitten foods.

illustration of a cat lunging afer a fish

Let’s dive deeper into fish oil and meal, what it does, how it can help your kitten and why it’s an important component in all IAMS™ dry kitten foods.


What Is Fish Oil?

You guessed it: Fish oil is fat or oil extracted from fish. Fish meal, which is used in IAMS™ dry kitten foods, is a good source of natural fish oil — which is a high-quality source of omega-3 fatty acids.


Now, time for a science lesson! Fatty acids, a smaller component of fat, are critical for many kitten body functions. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of fatty acid with important nutritional value for kittens. Fish oil from deep, cold-water fish contains omega-3 fatty acids including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

fish oil chemical compound structure

When a kitten eats food with fatty acids, the fatty acids are incorporated into their tissues, including the skin. (Turns out you really are what you eat!) Omega-3 fatty acids produce substances that promote healthy skin conditions, especially when balanced with omega-6 fatty acids (found in common kitten food ingredients such as chicken fat and corn oil). 


How Is Fish Oil Good for Cats and Kittens?

So what does all this mean for your kitten? Feeding a complete and balanced diet with a balanced ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is proven to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat in cats1. Studies reveal that when fed fish oil, cats show:

  • A more uniform coat
  • Increased shine
  • A softer coat

paw licking good

DHA from fish oil has also been shown to promote healthy brain and vision development in kittens — important for all the hours of play and nighttime zoomies your kitten will experience in their lifetime.


All IAMS™ dry kitten foods, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Healthy Kitten, are formulated with fish oil and an optimal ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Proper nutrition as a kitten can help support your kitten’s soft and shiny coat now — and for all the years to come.


1 Data on file, The IAMS™ Company, 2000.


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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes

    Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.



    What Is a Product Code?

    A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.

    As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.

    The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.

    Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)

    Example: 040220 04FEB20

    Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ

    This product should be used before February 4, 2020.

    Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.



    What Is Shelf Life?

    Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.

    The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.



    How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food

    Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.

    Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.

    *IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.

    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
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    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
    Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
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