Three experiments were conducted using a total of 15 male and 15 female weaned specific pathogen-free kittens given amino acid-based purified diets containing varying concentrations of lysine (from 4.0 to 11.3 g/kg diet) in a Latin square design of 10 day periods. In experiment 1, the predicted lysine requirement was 7.7 g/kg diet, and in experiments 2 and 3, maximal weight gain occurred at 8.0 g lysine/kg diet. In experiment 3, nitrogen balance was not different for kittens given diets containing 8.0 and 9.0 g lysine/kg. These experiments support a requirement of 8.0 g lysine (free base)/kg diet, in a diet with a calculated metabolizable energy value of 4.7 kcal/g.