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The 17 Best Duck Cat Foods

Due to its rich flavor, duck is considered a delicacy in human cuisine. It's a tastier option to chicken and turkey, but it's still high in protein and beneficial elements. But is it a good option for cats?

The straightforward answer is yes. Nothing is wrong with feeding your cat ducks.

In fact, it's sometimes called a "hypoallergenic" protein for cats because they don't eat it as much as they do other proteins. This makes duck allergies less likely.

While duck is high in protein and species-appropriate for cats, there are a few things to consider when selecting a duck-based diet for your cat.

Are you now prepared to see BestForPets' (bestforpets.org) top picks of the best duck cat foods?


Overall Winner: Vital Essentials

Duck appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a one-protein solution created from fresh duck and duck innards.

The main source of additional fat is herring oil. The food has 4,537 kcal/kg or around 129 kcal/oz. This Vital Essentials recipe is a raw freeze-dry formula.

It is cooked with fresh duck and three duck organs and contains duck as a single source of protein. As a single-protein recipe, it may be suitable for cats with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.

This recipe has a reasonable amount of fat in addition to significant amounts of species-appropriate animal protein.

The fat in this dish is strong in omega-3 fatty acids because it is derived from herring oil, a high-quality animal-based fat.

Omega-3 fatty acids not only promote healthy skin and coat, but they also help with cardiovascular health and have natural anti-inflammatory properties.

Simply put, there are no ingredients in this mix that we dislike. It’s not too rich in fat or calories, so it should be suitable for cats of all life stages and body types as long as you feed the appropriate amount.

Some cat owners worry about how hard and crunchy the nibs are, however rehydrating freeze-dried food is always recommended.

To properly soak the nibs in water or broth, you may need to split them up or smash them.


  • Made with a single new animal protein source
  • Herring oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Fresh meat and nutrient-dense organ meats are included.
  • Very few ingredients, ideal for cats with food allergies.


  • Before feeding, it should be rehydrated.
  • It may be tough to moisten a crunchy texture.


Primal is our premium top pick

Duck appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. Fresh duck, crushed bone, and duck organs are used to make this single-protein mix.

Fish oil is the most common source of animal fat. The food has 4,433 kcal/kg, which equates to around 126 kcal/oz.

The first component is fresh duck with ground bone, followed by duck livers. These two ingredients are highly species-appropriate and are the recipe’s only animal-based protein sources.

This product is rated as a premium selection since it is more expensive than other freeze-dried foods on the market and contains organic plant ingredients.

Having said that, the list of plant compounds is quite vast. It works effectively as a high-quality meal topper or combined together with high-quality wet cat food, according to some cat owners.

This freeze-dried diet, like the last one, is low in moisture and should be rehydrated before feeding.

However, because it contains less moisture than the Vital Essentials formula, it may have an even harsher texture.


  • Fresh duck, pulverized bone, and duck livers are used to make this dish.
  • There are no artificial ingredients in this product.
  • It could be used as a food topper or blended with wet food.


  • A significant number of plant components are included.
  • Texture may be difficult to rehydrate.


Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried

Duck appears to be the main source of protein in this meal. It is a freeze-dried mixture consisting of fresh meat, ground bone, and organs.

Pumpkin seed appears to be the primary source of additional fat, though it also serves as a fiber source. The food has a calorie content of 5,290 kcal/kg (224 kcal/oz).

This formula‘s first five ingredients are animal-based, including two fresh meats with ground bone and several organ meats.

Duck is the predominant protein source, but turkey (with ground bone) and turkey liver, as well as fresh goose, are also included.

This formula contains only a few plant elements, the most important of which being pumpkin seed, which is mentioned sixth.

There are a few more, but they don’t appear until well into the list, and the overall carbohydrate level is lower than in the preceding recipe.

It also contains probiotics, which may improve the digestibility of the diet.

One thing to keep in mind regarding this freeze-dried cat chow is that it has significantly more fat and calories than the previous two selections.

The protein level is extremely high (42% dry matter), however it is only 25% greater than the fat content.

This recipe contains a lot of calories, with about 151 calories per ounce, so watch how much you feed your cat.


  • The first five ingredients are all derived from animals.
  • Made with three different types of animal protein.
  • Plant components are scarce.
  • Free of all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives


  • Because of the high calorie content, it is possible to overeat.
  • Before feeding, it must be rehydrated.


Dr. Elsey’s Dry Cat Food is the best

This recipe’s major protein source looks to be duck, however it is complemented by two other animal protein sources. It is a dry food mix designed for all phases of life.

Though supplemented with salmon oil, chicken fat is a species-appropriate source of additional fat. The food has a calorie content of 4,055 kcal/kg, or around 545 kcal/cup.

While freeze-dried cat food is a high-quality and generally species-appropriate option, it may be rather pricey, and some cats just do not enjoy the rehydrated texture.

If your cat enjoys crunchy kibble, Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein formula is a fantastic option. This dry food recipe contains a significant amount of animal protein derived from duck, chicken, egg, and pork.

It contains no by-product meals, however it does contain pork protein concentrate, which may sound like a frightening ingredient.

It’s essentially a concentrated type of pork – also known as pork protein isolate – that contributes to the formula’s protein composition.

This high protein dry food is lower in fat and carbohydrates than a conventional kibble recipe. It does, however, contain a few plant elements that are high in calories, such as dry chickpeas.

The total calorie count is a touch high, but the low fat level makes this meal a suitable alternative for overweight cats. It’s also designed to be low-glycemic, making it perfect for diabetic cats.


  • Exceptionally high in animal protein
  • Recipe for low-glycemic and low-fat foods
  • It could be a suitable option for overweight or diabetic cats.
  • Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are not used.


  • A few plant components are included.
  • No dry food delivers the moisture that your cat requires.


Hound & Gatos Cat Food is the best canned cat food

This recipe‘s major protein source looks to be turkey, however it is complemented by duck and two other animal protein sources.

It is a pate-style wet food recipe suitable for all phases of life. Salmon oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. The meal has a calorie content of 1,222 kcal/kg, or around 191 kcal per 5.5-ounce can.

Though we prefer fresh, raw cat food for its quality and species compatibility, a healthy wet meal is also a wonderful option.

Hound & Gatos’ pate type wet food is a low-carbohydrate, high-protein option with turkey and duck as the major ingredients.

While this is not a single-protein recipe, it is highly digestible, making it an excellent choice for cats with sensitive stomachs. The high moisture content also aids digestion and keeps your cat hydrated.

Except for the agar-agar used as a thickening, this grain-free dish contains no added carbohydrates.

It’s a little more expensive than regular wet cat chow, but it’s also significantly reduced in carbohydrates and high in omega-3s from salmon oil.


  • The first six ingredients are all derived from animals.
  • Carbohydrate content is really low.
  • Salmon oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.


  • Around $0.42 per ounce, it’s a tad costly.
  • There is no single-protein recipe.


Fussie Cat is the best choice for food allergies

This recipe’s main protein source looks to be quail, however it is supplemented with duck meal and raw duck. It is a dry food mix designed for all phases of life.

The main source of added fat is duck fat, which is supplemented with sunflower oil. The food has 3,604 kcal/kg or around 415 kcal/cup.

A limited ingredient diet can aid cats with food sensitivities and allergies, but the quality of those components is also important.

A high-protein recipe with no artificial additives or by-product meals is a fantastic place to start.

Fussie Cat’s dry food contains two animal-based proteins that are unfamiliar to most cats: duck and quail. This dish includes duck fat in addition to fresh duck and duck meal.

However, it is not the first added fat; sunflower oil is the fourth component on the list. Peas and pea flour follow the first two protein-based ingredients.

These are starchy components, and peas add plant-based protein. Cranberries, blueberries, and kelp are also on the list. This is an expensive dry food formula, costing around $4.40 per pound.

However, if you’re out of protein options for a cat with food sensitivities, it could work. It’s also worth noting that the kibbles are quite small, making them a wonderful choice for elderly cats and kittens.


  • Made with two high-quality new animal protein sources.
  • Small kibbles may be beneficial to kittens.
  • Free of all artificial additives and byproducts


  • No dry food delivers the moisture that your cat requires.
  • At almost $4.00 per pound, it’s quite costly.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness is the best food topping

This recipe’s major protein source looks to be duck, however it is complemented by two other animal protein sources.

It is a wet food topper designed solely for supplemental feeding. The food has 900 kcal/kg or around 76 kcal/pouch.

A meal topper is a terrific alternative if you’re searching for a product to tempt a fussy cat to eat or a simple approach to increase your cat’s protein and moisture intake.

This Tasty Duck pouch food is only for supplemental feeding, yet it is high in protein thanks to duck, chicken liver, and egg.

The recipe contains potato starch and guar gum as thickeners, but no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Another potential advantage of this formula is its low fat content.

It’s a fantastic option if you want to add flavor, moisture, and protein to your cat’s food without dramatically boosting the calorie count.


  • Contains three animal protein sources
  • A moisture-rich method of adding taste and protein to cat food
  • It is available in little pouches that are easy to feed.


  • Only intended for supplementary feeding
  • Two starchy thickeners are present.

Is Duck Healthy For Cats?

Although hunters frequently classify duck as a gamebird, commercially produced duck and geese are considered poultry.

Duck and geese are both officially called white meat, however the breast meat is darker than chicken and turkey breast.

This is largely because ducks are substantially more energetic than chickens and turkeys. During muscles are used more frequently (for example, when flying), they demand more oxygen.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to the muscle, while myoglobin, a protein present in meat, is responsible for storing it. This explains the deeper hue of duck meat.

Duck is a species-appropriate choice for obligate carnivores like your cat, who require a protein-rich diet. However, it is dependent on the composition of the cat food recipe.

Duck contains approximately 40 calories per ounce and nearly 8 grams of protein.

While there is a dense layer of fat between the skin and the flesh, there is far less marbled fat throughout the muscle than there is in beef.

Duck breast is actually slimmer than chicken breast without the skin and fat. Aside from protein, duck is high in vitamins and minerals, including selenium and B vitamins.

It contains taurine, an essential amino acid for cats, as an animal-based protein. While duck meat is an appropriate species choice for cats, duck-based cat chow may not always be the best selection.

There is a low danger of food allergies with novel proteins like duck, but cats can develop sensitivities to any protein in their diet at any moment.

However, if your cat already has food allergies but has never eaten duck, a duck cat food recipe – particularly a limited ingredient diet with duck as the only protein – may be a safe bet.

When feeding your cat duck, keep in mind that the fat content might still be rather high, especially if the dish has extra fat. The calorie value of protein is affected by its fat content, thus check the feeding recommendations.

Smaller quantities of high-calorie foods are required to avoid overfeeding. If your cat is already overweight, you must exercise extreme caution.

Very high calorie duck cat foods may not be the ideal option because you would only need to feed your cat a small portion, which may not be fulfilling.

It’s also worth weighing the advantages of a single-protein duck recipe vs one with other protein sources. If your cat is allergic to certain foods, a single-source duck dish is generally the best option.

However, low-ingredient diets and single-protein meals are more expensive. If allergies aren’t an issue, a multi-protein meal made using duck may be less expensive.


Take the time to select a high-quality, species-appropriate diet if you value your cat’s long-term health and wellness.

Protein is the most vital component of a cat’s diet, but it should come from animal-based sources that your cat can digest.

Duck is an excellent allergen-free alternative to chicken, meat, and fish. It has a lot of flavor and a lot of nutrients.

Following BestForPets (bestforpets.org) research, if your cat is a picky eater, the unusual flavor and aroma of duck may be enough to pique his attention.

When shopping for cat food, seek for a recipe that includes animal protein as the first ingredient – preferably, three of the first five ingredients.

The less plant ingredients, the better, and choose animal fats over plant oils. Finally, avoid substances and byproducts with unclear names, as well as artificial additives.

BestForPets hopes that our list of the best duck cat foods has aided you in your quest for the most suitable product for your cat!

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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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