LogoPet-1.png
BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

The 14 Best Cat Foods

The nutrition of your cat is critical to its health. Your cat will never be as healthy and full of life as it will be on a diet that covers all of its nutritional needs if it does not receive appropriate nutrients.

Of course, it's simple to talk about a healthy feline diet, but it's quite another to provide one.

Fortunately, several manufacturers are making high-quality commercial cat feeds that may give your furry companion with all the nutrients they require, even though substandard options abound in the pet market.

We combed through numerous ingredient lists and nutritional labels to discover which of these cat meals are the best to give our felines, and the ten listed below were the best cat foods we found.

Three of them have received BestForPets's (bestforpets.org) recommendations, which you may read about in the evaluations that follow.

Reviews

Best Value Purina ONE Cat Chow Complete Dry Cat Food
 

We frequently discover that larger companies in the pet food industry, like as Purina, offer lower-quality products that appear to be designed to take shortcuts in the name of saving money.

Purina ONE Cat Chow Complete, on the other hand, manages to be economical while still providing appropriate nourishment for your cat, which is why we think it’s one of the finest cat feeds for the money.

Granted, it still contains some ingredients we could do without, such as corn gluten meal and crushed yellow maize, but we believe it provides adequate nourishment for your cat for the price.

Your feline buddy will get enough of protein, with a minimum of 32% crude protein produced from a range of sources such as chicken and fish meal.

This calorically dense blend contains 25 vital vitamins and minerals and provides more than 400 kcal per cup of dry food, giving you a lot of bang for your buck.

Despite being less expensive than many alternatives, key nutrients such as fatty acids and taurine were not skimped on. While it’s not our first choice if money isn’t a factor, this cat chow is a sure winner if you’re looking for cheap cat food.

Pros

  • less expensive than alternatives
  • Contains 25 important vitamins and minerals.
  • It’s high in calories.
  • It is high in fatty acids.

Cons

  • Several corn-based components are present.

 

Sheba Perfect Portions Wet Cat Food – Adult Cats Only
 

While dry kibbles are less expensive for everyday cat feeding, wet feeds are more tasty with fewer carbohydrates and more moisture to keep your cat hydrated.

One of our favorites is the Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free wet cat food, which is formulated with very minimal carbohydrates but plenty of protein sources.

This dish has a small ingredient list, yet it is created using a variety of whole-food ingredients, including chicken and fowl liver.

Despite the high protein content, this cuisine is lower in protein than similar blends. Fortunately, each meal is pre-portioned, taking the guesswork out of feeding your cats and preventing food waste.

This is a more expensive option than the dry meals on this list, but it is one of our premium suggestions. Your cat will almost surely enjoy the texture and flavor of this food, and the nourishment provided will benefit your cat in a variety of ways.

While our top recommendation is suitable for cats of all ages and sizes, we believe this is the best cat food for adult cats available this year.

Pros

  • Made with premium whole food ingredients
  • Contains a variety of animal-derived proteins
  • Containers with pre-portioned contents
  • Carbohydrate content is really low.

Cons

  • Protein content is lower than that of certain competitors.

 

Nutrish Indoor Complete Dry Cat Food by Rachael Ray
 

The Indoor Complete dry cat food from Rachael Ray Nutrish is an excellent deal. It’s prepared with high-quality ingredients that are mostly whole foods, but it’s still less expensive than other health-conscious products.

There are several animal proteins as well, including chicken as the main ingredient, followed by chicken meal. Further down the list, you’ll find salmon, as well as entire foods like pumpkin and dried blueberries, which are high in vitamins and minerals.

In addition to the high quality whole food ingredients, this cat food has a plethora of key nutrients, such as substantial amounts of essential fatty acids, which aid in immune support and keep the coat and skin vibrant and healthy, among other things.

Unfortunately, not every ingredient on this list is one of our favorites.We could do without additives like corn or peas, but given the superb blend of quality whole foods used to make this meal and the fair price, we believe it’s one of the best cat foods on the market.

Pros

  • Essential fatty acid content is high.
  • Produced mostly from whole-food ingredients
  • The first two ingredients are premium animal proteins.
  • Several animal proteins are listed.

Cons

  • Corn and peas are included.

 

Grain-Free Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food
 

Blue Buffalo’s grain-free Wilderness blend is jam-packed with health-boosting ingredients, including at least 40% crude protein.

Multiple high-quality protein sources are used, including deboned chicken and chicken meal, which are the two main ingredients.

However, at 18% fat, this recipe contains far more fat than we would desire. Even though there are more components mentioned than we’d like to see, quality ingredients entice us to try this blend.

This recipe is gentle on cats’ digestive systems and unlikely to cause stomach pain because it is grain-free. This cat food has no maize, wheat, or soy.

Rather, Blue Buffalo uses higher-quality ingredients that are said to be healthier for cats, including as carrots, sweet potatoes, and blueberries.

It’s also abundant in important fatty acids, which help your cat’s immune system and keep their coat and skin lush and vibrant.

Pros

  • There is no maize, wheat, or soy in this product.
  • 40 percent protein content
  • Omega-3 fatty acid content is high.
  • Cats may easily digest grain-free recipes.

Cons

  • It’s too expensive.
  • The list of ingredients is extensive.

 

Canned Cat Food Fancy Feast
 

Wet cat food is always more expensive than dry kibble, but Fancy Feast canned cat food is reasonably priced in comparison.

Despite this, it’s a high-quality meal produced with little carbohydrates and supplemented with vitamins and minerals to offer your cat with adequate nourishment.

Of course, supplements are never as good as whole foods, but for this price, it’s difficult to blame them for still getting the nutrients in.

At this price, you may assume subpar ingredients, but many of them are of great quality. This blend’s initial ingredient is turkey, followed by liver, meat by-products, turkey broth, and poultry giblets.

As you can see, they used a lot of whole-food animal-based products, which is something we always like. However, there are artificial flavorings added, but since cats appear to prefer the Fancy Feast flavor, we can’t really complain.

Pros

  • Made with few carbohydrates
  • Less expensive than other wet cat foods
  • Vitamin and mineral supplement

Cons

  • Made using supplements instead of whole foods
  • Artificial tastes are included.

 

ProActive Health by Iams Adult Dry Cat Food that is Healthy
 

Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult dry cat food is a middle-of-the-road blend that provides adequate quality at a reasonable price without doing anything exceptional.

It has a respectable 32% minimum protein from sources such as chicken and chicken by-product meal, which are listed as the first two ingredients.

There aren’t many other animal-based components available. However, there are also lower-quality ingredients, such as maize gluten meal, corn grits, brewers dry yeast, and others.

This cat food’s protein comes mostly from a single source, and with 15% fat, it’s a little fattier than we’d want. On the plus side, the texture of the kibble is designed to clean your cat’s teeth while they eat.

Nonetheless, despite being far from our least favored alternative on the market, it will not make IAMS our top choice.

Pros

  • Omega fatty acids are present for a healthy coat.
  • The primary ingredient is chicken.
  • While cats consume, the crunchy texture cleans their teeth.

Cons

  • Made with a variety of corn-based ingredients
  • The majority of the protein comes from the same source.
  • Few animal-based products are used.

 

Original Choice Dry Cat Food by Meow Mix
 

Almost everyone has heard of Meow Mix, a brand of cat food. They have a strong marketing effort, however the general quality of the cuisine is subpar.

To be fair, it’s a dirt-cheap chow with a few redeeming attributes, but it’s not one we’d recommend for most cats. Ground yellow maize and corn gluten meal are the first two ingredients in this combination.

Following that is chicken by-product meal, our first animal-based ingredient. Further down the list, you’ll discover numerous other animal-based protein sources, such as salmon meal and turkey by-product meal, but these aren’t high-quality ingredients and aren’t the essential ingredients in the recipe.

This best cat food for adult cats has 308 calories per cup, which is roughly 100 fewer than many other feeds, so you’re not getting as much bang for your buck.

This label also lacks vital nutrients, such as taurine, which your cat requires. While we have a few positive things to say about this cuisine, it does not receive our endorsement.

Pros

  • Low-cost pricing
  • Contains a number of animal-derived components.

Cons

  • The taurine content is not listed.
  • It is low in calorie density.
  • Made from low-quality ingredients

 

Canyon River Gran-Free Dry Cat Food Taste of the Wild
 

If you’re looking for a low-cost, high-quality choice, we recommend the Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. Trout is the first ingredient, followed by ocean fish meal.

Because the first two ingredients are meat, your cat will get a lot of amino acids from this meal. Furthermore, it is a more natural diet for your felines, as they would consume almost entirely meat in the wild.

In addition to the beef, this dish contains sweet potatoes, potatoes, and pea protein. These are a little lower on the list, therefore there aren’t nearly as many of them.

They supply some vitamins to your cat, although cats are famously lousy at digesting and utilizing vitamins from vegetable products. The protein content is 32%, although this includes peas and potatoes.

Because it contains no chicken, this meal is ideal for cats with food sensitivities. If your cat is sensitive to chicken or other components, this meal may be a good choice for them.

The fish also has a lot of omega fatty acids, which are good for your cat’s skin and coat. Probiotics and prebiotics are also incorporated to promote digestive health.

We believe this is the greatest cat chow for the money.

Pros

  • Several fish components
  • High protein content
  • There will be no chicken.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid content is high.

Cons

  • Protein from peas and potatoes is abundant.

 

Dry Cat Food Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free
 

For those who only want to feed their cats the best (and can afford it), the Orijen Six Fish Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is another excellent alternative.

This formula contains a wide variety of fish. The first ingredient is whole Atlantic herring, however there are roughly 12 distinct fish products dispersed throughout the ingredient list, with the majority of them in the first few.

This results in high-quality cat food with a high protein content. Furthermore, the majority of the protein comes from meat, making it far superior to most other options.

It contains no maize, soy, wheat, or tapioca. This finest cat food for adult cats is also free of chicken and grain, which is beneficial for sensitive cats.

Because these substances are regularly found in cat food, some cats are more likely to develop a sensitivity to them.

This kibble also contains freeze-dried liver, which is beneficial for fussy cats. The liver improves the flavor and fragrance of food, which helps whet a cat’s appetite.

It is made in the United States, but the components originate from all around the world.

Pros

  • A wide variety of fish
  • High protein content
  • Grain-free and chicken-free
  • Freeze-dried liver coating

Cons

  • Very costly

 

Crave with Chicken and Salmon Protein Cat Food
 

Crave is a newer, moderately priced brand. Crave with Protein from Chicken and Salmon is no exception. It has actual chicken as the first ingredient, making it a good choice for most cats.

As the second ingredient, the chicken meal comes next. While there is some confusion about this component, it is simply concentrated, dried chicken.

The third element is pea protein, which is less than ideal. This adds a significant amount of non-meat protein to the food, artificially increasing its protein level.

Cats have a difficult difficulty digesting certain minerals and vitamins from vegetables, which is why we prefer to give our cats meat. While the title indicates that salmon is included, it does not appear until much later on the list.

The salmon does provide additional omega fatty acids, which are important for our cat’s overall wellness. However, the salmon provides little protein in this cat food.

This formula is grain-free, which is beneficial for sensitive cats. It is also prepared and manufactured in the United States, despite the fact that the ingredients are sourced from all over the world.

Pros

  • The first ingredient is chicken.
  • Omega fatty acids are present.
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • The third ingredient is pea protein.
  • There was very little salmon included.

 

Tastefuls Adult Cat Food by Blue Buffalo
 

Blue Buffalo is a well-known, high-end brand. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls is their effort at a cat wet food variety pack. Wet feeds are often preferable to dry diets for cats because many cats do not drink enough water.

This pack contains three flavors: chicken, turkey, and whitefish. It’s a simple approach to keep your cat’s diet varied and entertaining. All of the flavors use high-quality components.

For example, in the chicken taste, the first ingredient is chicken, followed by chicken broth and chicken liver.

Dried egg products are provided, which contain a variety of nutrients that cats require in an easily digestible form. It has a high protein content of 9%.

This cat food, on the other hand, contains a range of vegetables. Though they aren’t listed as an ingredient, these vegetables aren’t always the ideal choice for our felines. They are present in modest numbers, but they are present.

Despite being labeled as “wet,” this finest cat chow for adult cats does not have a significant water content. As a result, some cats simply dislike it.

It may also be ineffective for cats who require more water in their diet for health reasons. Many cats dislike the taste as well, although this is true of many different cat feeds.

Pros

  • Recipes that are diverse
  • Ingredients of superior quality
  • High protein content

Cons

  • Water content is low.
  • Picky eaters should avoid this dish.

 

Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pate Cat Food by Merrick
 

The Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pate appears to be of great quality at first glance. The first ingredient is deboned chicken, followed by a range of meat items and eggs.

Cranberries are included later on the list, but they can help avoid a variety of health problems. Although it is the eighth component, dehydrated alfalfa is also included.

Unfortunately, because it provides little nutrients to cats, this is often regarded as a lower-quality component.

It has a pate texture that is intended to appeal to finicky eaters. There is plenty of moisture in it, so it will keep your cat hydrated.

This could be very beneficial for some health issues. It is manufactured in the United States, albeit the source of the ingredients varies. It has no grains, wheat, soy, or artificial colors.

It’s debatable if cats like this. Some cats appear to enjoy it, while others refuse to touch it. Because of this, this recipe may not be ideal for finicky cats.

Pros

  • High protein content
  • Moisture content is high.
  • Made in the United States

Cons

  • Not suitable for finicky cats
  • This product contains alfalfa.

 

Adult Cat Food Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula
 

The Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Cat Food gets off to a good start with deboned chicken as the first component.

It also contains a number of other meat products, such as turkey meal and chicken meal. However, the ingredient list contains a number of lower-quality substances as well.

Peas and potatoes, for example, are relatively high on the ingredient list. These vegetables are usually substituted for grain, however they are not very beneficial for our felines.

Peas are abundant in protein, thus they artificially increase the protein level of the diet. Unfortunately, cats are poor at absorbing nutrients from vegetables, so much of this protein is wasted.

This mixture contains a range of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, the kibble has a probiotic coating that is intended to support your cat’s digestive and immunological systems. Glucosamine and chondroitin are also provided.

For whatever reason, owners appear to have a higher level of sensitivities to this meal. We’re not sure if it’s the ingredients themselves or how they’re made and processed.

Furthermore, many consumers claimed that their cats did not enjoy this food (even stray cats). As a result, if your feline is finicky, you might want to reconsider.

Pros

  • Vitamin and mineral supplement
  • The first ingredient is chicken.
  • High protein content

Cons

  • Peas and potatoes are abundant.
  • Allergies are more common.
  • Not suitable for finicky cats

 

Pure gold Let’s Stay Together Chicken, Lentil, and Apple Cat Food
 

While Solid Gold is a newer brand, it has grown in popularity over the years. The Solid Gold Let’s Stay In Chicken, Lentil & Apple Recipe is a good alternative, however it has a few components that we don’t like.

The first ingredient is chicken, followed by a chicken dish. The balance of the food, on the other hand, contains lower-quality vegetables such lentils, peas, and pea protein.

This increases the protein content of the food artificially. These foods are strong in protein, but cats aren’t particularly good at digesting it.

As a result, we had to give this food a low rating. While it contains 36% protein, much of it is not from meat.

It does contain probiotics, which are a welcome addition. This formula is also grain-free, which may be preferable for sensitive cats.

However, this does not necessarily imply that it contains more protein. They just substituted vegetables for grains.

Some owners claim that this food upsets their cat’s digestive tract, producing litter box issues. However, some meals are going to upset some cats, so this isn’t a major issue.

Pros

  • The first ingredient is chicken.
  • Probiotics are included.
  • Grain-Free

Cons

  • Contains a lot of vegetables
  • Protein from meat is scarce.
  • Can cause intestinal problems in cats

Buyer's Guide: How to Choose The Best Cat Food

Choosing cat food can be more difficult than it appears at first. When you start comparing ingredient lists and nutrition labels, you’ll see that there are some significant discrepancies amongst blends.

To assist you in navigating these distinctions, we’ve created a short buyer’s guide detailing the most essential comparisons we believe you should make.

While there are numerous ways to compare cat meals, some characteristics are more relevant to compare than others. You can readily identify the quality of a dish if you know what to look for, which allows you to compare it to rival foods.

Should You Feed Your Cat Dry or Wet Cat Food?

The first decision you must make is whether you will feed your cat wet or dry food. Both can provide good nutrition for your cat, and a combination of the two is usually advised.

Dry kibble is typically less expensive than wet food, but it also has a significantly higher carbohydrate content. Cats, as obligate carnivores, do not require carbs.

Wet cat meals are often low in carbs and high in animal-based nutrients, making them excellent for a cat’s nutritional requirements.

However, wet cat food may become rather expensive over time, which is why most cat owners feed their cats a combination of dry and wet foods.

The Nutritional Facts Label

Any cat food’s nutritional information label can tell you a lot about what it has to offer your cat. The breakdown of nutrients included in the food will be displayed on this label. Protein is essential for cats, who require a lot of it.

We choose higher-protein mixes over lower-protein blends since protein is one of the most important foods for cats to consume.

Check the concentrations of important nutrients such as taurine and fatty acids as well. Your cat must obtain these nutrients through its diet, so it is critical that any foods you supply for your cat contain these nutrients.

Lists of ingredients

While the nutrition label can provide a wealth of information, it can also conceal a wealth of information. Protein percentages, for example, can be misleading.

Not all protein is created equal, and a large portion of that protein may come from cheap carbohydrate-based fillers rather than high-quality animal-based protein sources. The ingredients list is a simple method to tell.

Ingredients are given in decreasing order of concentration. As a result, the first component is the most abundant in the formula, while the last item is found in the smallest quantity.

The top five ingredients will reveal a lot about the food’s overall quality. If these ingredients are mostly animal protein sources, the food is probably of excellent quality.

In general, it’s preferable to see a large number of whole-food constituents listed rather than additional vitamins and minerals.

Supplemental nutrients are preferable to none, but if they come from whole foods, the nutrients will be more readily taken by your cat’s body, making the diet healthier overall.

Be mindful that foods containing whole-food ingredients tend to be more expensive than those enhanced with supplements.

Conclusion

There is no shortage of high-quality cat meals on the market, as seen by our reviews of the best cat foods.

The difficult part is just sifting through the marketing to find which food provides the finest nutrients for your cat at the most affordable price.

Smalls Fresh Cat Food is the clear option for us, as it is manufactured with quality whole-food ingredients, is high in protein, and is human grade (just cook it first!).

If you’re on a tight budget, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends the Purina Cat Chow Complete, which is packed with 25 important vitamins and minerals at a lower price than other options.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Comment

0.0
Rated 0 out of 5
0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Excellent0%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles