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15 Best Chicken Cat Foods

Chicken is a staple in many cats' diets and in the pet food industry. It's cheap compared to other proteins, easy to find, and cats like it.

Chicken is not only a popular alternative, but it is also a nutritious option for cats as part of a well-balanced and species-appropriate diet.

But is it the best option for your cat? Let BestForPets (bestforpets.org) investigate. If your cat is allergic to other proteins, make sure you use a chicken-only recipe.

Other animal-based fats, such as beef fat or fish oil, are unlikely to cause an allergy, but it never hurts to be cautious.

As always, favor animal-based ingredients above plant-based ingredients to the greatest extent possible.

Are you ready to see our recommendation of the best chicken cat foods?


Stella & Chewy’s is the overall winner

Chicken appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a freeze-dried cat food product created with fresh chicken, including ground bone and organ meats.

Other than pumpkin seed, it does not appear to have a large amount of additional fat. The food has 4,360 kcal/kg, which equates to around 182 kcal/cup.

Fresh food is a healthy alternative for cats, but it isn’t always the most convenient. Freeze-dried food is a more convenient option with a similar nutritional profile.

Stella & Chewy’s is well-known for their freeze-dried meals, which usually contain muscular meat, organs, and crushed bone.

The major component in this recipe is fresh chicken with ground bone, which is backed by chicken liver and chicken gizzard. Aside from vitamins and probiotics, the only other ingredient is pumpkin seed.

Pumpkin seed is high in fatty acids and possibly contributes to the crude fiber content in this recipe. We’d prefer an animal-based fat like chicken fat, especially since pumpkin seeds include carbs.

Overall, the top three ingredients in this recipe are reasonably species-appropriate, and it is gently freeze-dried rather than fried at high temperatures.

To add more moisture to your cat’s diet, we recommend rehydrating the food with water or bone broth.


  • Fresh chicken, ground bone, and chicken organs are included.
  • Made from antibiotic-free, cage-free chicken.
  • Probiotics were added to help with digestion.
  • A small number of high-quality ingredients that are easily digested


  • Before feeding, it must be rehydrated.
  • At roughly $2.30 per ounce, it is expensive.


Purina Beyond on a Budget

Chicken appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It is a multi-protein supplement produced from fresh chicken, liver, and oceanfish.

It lacks a specific source of additional fat, despite the fact that both liver and oceanfish are high in fat. The food has 1,153 kcal/kg, or approximately 98 kcal per 3 oz can.

If fresh or freeze-dried cat food is out of your price range, tinned food is the next best thing.

Canned cat food contains more protein and moisture than dry food, and many recipes contain less carbohydrate than the norm.

This Purina Beyond formula is less expensive than luxury varieties like Ziwi Peak, which cost roughly $0.37 per ounce. Protein-rich animal ingredients include fresh chicken, liver, and ocean seafood.

Unfortunately, the liver does not come from a specific source. Oceanfish is simply a word for numerous white fish such as halibut, cod, and pollock.

Despite the fact that this recipe only has two plant ingredients, the carbohydrate intake is quite significant.

It may be less expensive than regular dry food, but it is worth considering for your cat’s digestion and nutrition.


  • Four of the first five elements are derived from animals.
  • Fresh chicken and organ meat are included.
  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated
  • Carrageenan and other starchy binders are not present.


  • A few plant components are included.
  • Carbohydrate content is fairly high.


Hound & Gatos Canned Food

Chicken appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It is a canned single-protein meal formula manufactured from fresh chicken and chicken liver.

The main source of additional fat is salmon oil. The meal has a calorie content of 1,289 kcal/kg, or around 201 kcal per 5.5 oz can.

This recipe’s key ingredients are fresh chicken and chicken liver. As a result, the recipe is high in protein.

It’s worth noticing that the fat amount is nearly as high as the protein content, indicating that this is a calorie-dense composition.

Given that the average 10-pound cat requires roughly 200 calories per day, being able to open a single can per day is really practical.

Agar agar is a seaweed-derived gelling ingredient that is used as a binder in cat food, typically pate-style dishes.

While this chemical is usually recognized as a natural food additive by human standards, there is some danger of inflammation, not to mention the carbohydrate content.

Because this recipe has no plant ingredients (apart from agar agar), the total carbohydrate level is relatively low. Not only is this a very species-appropriate diet, but it’s also quite easily digestible.

The high moisture content promotes healthy digestion and hydration.


  • There are only three main elements.
  • Fresh chicken and chicken liver are used in this dish.
  • Moisture-rich to aid hydration
  • Diet with few ingredients that is highly digestible


  • Agar agar may cause irritation.


Wellness CORE is the best for kittens

Turkey appears to be the main source of protein in this recipe. It is a grain-free multi-protein cat food formula created with turkey, chicken, and herring.

The main source of added fat is menhaden fish oil. The food has a calorie content of 1,273 kcal/kg, or around 108 kcal per can.

Kittens need a lot of protein, fat, and calories to keep up with their rapid growth and development. While this dish is designed for all life phases and not only kittens, it checks all the boxes.

With five animal sources, it offers about 55% protein and 34% fat on a dry matter basis.

Because this kitten food contains three different protein sources, it may not be the ideal option if your cat already has food allergies.

However, many veterinary nutritionists recommend starting your kitten’s diet with variety early on to lessen the chances of his becoming a finicky eater.

This recipe contains cranberries and menhaden fish oil, in addition to the top six animal-based components.

Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, which are essential for cognitive development.

Cranberries are high in antioxidants and may aid in inflammation reduction as well as cardiovascular and urinary tract health.

They are, of course, plant-based, but they don’t appear to contribute considerably to the nutritional makeup of the recipe.

Guar gum is a starchy thickener found in wet cat diets that also serves as a source of soluble fiber.


  • The first six ingredients are all derived from animals.
  • DHA and EPA are abundant in menhaden fish oil.
  • Cats love it since it’s juicy and easy to digest.
  • A high protein content promotes kitten development and growth.


  • Guar gum may contribute to stomach problems.
  • At more than $0.50 per ounce, it is quite expensive.


Weruva is the best choice for older cats

Chicken appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It is a canned single-protein food formula manufactured from fresh chicken and chicken broth.

The main source of additional fat is sunflower seed oil. The food has 902 kcal/kg, which equates to around 105 kcal each 5.5 oz can.

Senior cats are prone to dental problems, which can make eating, particularly kibble, difficult. A protein-rich dish is required.

High moisture levels are also desirable, not just for your cat’s hydration but also to assist regulate his digestion and decrease hairball production.

This Weruva chicken recipe is finely shredded, making it ideal for senior cats. It’s cooked in a gravy that even finicky eaters will enjoy, and it comes in 3-ounce and 5.5-ounce cans, making it easy to portion.

The first component is fresh chicken, followed by moisture- and flavor-rich chicken broth. Potato starch and sunflower oil are the only other main ingredients.

Potato starch thickens the gravy and, unfortunately, contributes to the rather high carbohydrate level.


  • Aside from supplements, there are only four main constituents.
  • Finely shredded, suitable for senior cats.
  • There are no fillers, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.


  • Low calorie content may need larger amounts.
  • Carbohydrate content is fairly high.


Dr. Elsey’s is the best for sensitive stomachs

Chicken appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It is a dry food multi-protein recipe produced from chicken, egg, and pig.

The main source of additional fat is chicken fat. The food has a calorie content of 4,030 kcal/kg or 554 kcal/cup.

Even the greatest wet cat food might be difficult to digest for certain cats with sensitive stomachs. All cats require digestible animal proteins, and this Dr. Elsey’s recipe is based on that fact.

Given that the first ingredient is fresh chicken, this is largely a chicken recipe. Protein supplements include dried egg, pork protein isolate, and gelatin.

The name “pork protein isolate” may appear frightening, but it merely refers to a meat product in which the amino acids have been isolated, resulting in a concentrated supply of protein.

Chicken fat and salmon oil are high in beneficial fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed, another source of omega-3s, is the only source of additional carbohydrate.

As a dry meal, this recipe lacks the moisture your cat requires for hydration, thus you should replenish his moisture intake elsewhere.

However, the carbohydrate level is substantially lower than that of the normal dry diet, and the crude protein content is more than 65% on a dry matter basis.


  • On a dry matter basis, it contains more than 65% protein.
  • The first five ingredients are derived from animals.
  • Two nutrient-dense animal fat sources
  • Cats with sensitive stomachs will find it easy to digest.


  • A little pricey, roughly $0.40 per ounce
  • There isn’t a single protein recipe.


PureBites is the best food topping

Chicken appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It is a fresh chicken-based single-protein supplemental wet food formula.

There are no added carbohydrates or fats. The food has a calorie content of 605 kcal/kg, or around 30 kcal every 1.76-ounce tray.

Food toppers are an excellent method to supplement your cat’s diet with protein and moisture. This PureBites recipe calls for only real chicken and water.

It comes in 1.76-ounce trays with roughly 30 calories apiece. Because the chicken is finely shredded, it is suitable for kittens and older cats.

It’s also simple to incorporate into your cat’s dry or wet diet. Each package has four trays, with a price of about $1.55 each tray.


  • Only chicken breast and water were used in this recipe.
  • It’s finely shredded, so it’s easy to eat and blend.
  • Protein and hydration source for your cat


  • A little pricey, around $1.55 per tray

Should You Feed Chicken to Your Cat?

Over 8 billion chickens are consumed in the United States alone each year, and that doesn’t include the quantity used in pet food.

Chicken is by far the most popular protein in cat food, and with good reason. A 3-ounce portion of chicken breast has 128 calories and 26 grams of protein.

It contains no sugars or carbohydrates and has a very low fat content (less than 1 gram per 3 ounces). Selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin are all found in chicken breast.

While chicken breast is low in fat and calories, other cuts of chicken may be higher. Chicken thigh contains roughly 177 calories per 100 grams (3.6 ounces), 8 grams of fat, and 24 grams of protein.

Most cat meals contain chicken breast, while some do not indicate which cut of chicken is used. When buying for cat food, keep your cat’s nutritional requirements in mind.

The greatest method to protect your cat’s health is to provide it a well-balanced, species-appropriate food. Because cats are obligate carnivores, protein is the most crucial component of a cat-friendly diet.

Chicken, being a protein-rich food, is an excellent foundation for a feline diet. For adult cats, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum of 26% crude protein (on a dry matter basis) and 30% for kittens.

Because boneless, skinless chicken breast contains approximately 80% protein, it’s easy to see why it’s such a great element in cat food.

Cat owners should seek out recipes with few ingredients, preferably with chicken as the first ingredient. It’s preferable to feed your cat a combination of fresh muscular meat, organs, and bone, as this is the diet of wild cats.

Make sure there are no vaguely described by-products in the formula, and avoid high carbohydrate concentrations. There’s no harm in giving your cat a multi-protein mix unless he’s allergic to proteins.

Single-protein meals are typically more expensive, yet foods prepared entirely with chicken will be on the lower end of the pricing scale when compared to beef and duck.

We submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis facility in addition to completing our own qualitative study of the brands featured here.

We paid full retail price for the products, and All About Cats supported the entire testing procedure with no direct input or influence from the firms involved.

The exact macronutrient and micronutrient composition of each dish is determined through analytical testing at a food chemistry lab.

The tests also look at microbiological content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, so you can be confident you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.


Chicken is a nutritious and species-appropriate choice for most cats, but if yours develops food allergies, you should try something different.

Turkey is a reasonably priced option, while beef options are plentiful.

If you’ve been feeding your cat a meal with numerous protein sources and aren’t sure which ingredient is causing the allergy, try an unusual protein like duck, venison, or lamb.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) hopes that our list of the best chicken cat foods has helped you find the best product for your cat.

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


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