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15 Best Salmon Cat Foods

You've probably seen cartoons where the household cat reaches into the fishbowl for a snack. Cats may enjoy fish, but is it the finest protein source? Maybe not.

In this article, we'll look at the advantages and disadvantages of salmon as the principal protein in a cat's diet.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) will discuss why a single-protein recipe may be necessary, as well as show you our top selections for the best salmon cat foods on the market.


Overall Winner: Instinct

Originally known as Nature’s Variety in Lincoln, Nebraska, this brand is now known as Instinct.

It’s a brand that uses high-quality ingredients primarily sourced in the United States, with the exception of select animal proteins sourced in Australia, New Zealand, France, and Italy.

Instinct cat food is made exclusively at company-owned facilities in the United States. Fresh salmon serves as the major element in this wet food mix.

Salmon broth follows as a source of nourishing moisture and natural flavor. Pork liver and egg give additional protein sources, with only a few other essential ingredients.

Following the top three animal-based ingredients are ground flaxseed and montmorillonite clay. Montmorillonite clay is a naturally occurring anti-caking substance.

It is also said to have digestive and detoxifying properties. According to some reports, the clay binds to toxins in the digestive system and aids in their removal from the body.

However, there is no scientific evidence to support this, and some experts believe clay may lead to constipation.

This recipe also includes peas and carrots in the top ten components, with a few extra plant-based additions at the end.

Nonetheless, it’s a high-quality adult cat formula that’s minimal in carbohydrates and calories.


  • Fresh salmon as the first protein-rich ingredient
  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated
  • Omega-3 fatty acid natural source


  • Not advised for cats that are allergic to pork.
  • Contains extraneous plant components


Purina Beyond is an excellent value

Purina is a well-known name in the pet sector, yet we don’t agree with many of their products.

Their veterinary diets are typically high in byproducts and carbohydrates, although some of their more cheap products, like as the Purina Beyond brand, provide good quality at a reasonable price.

Recipes with few ingredients might be expensive, especially when only one protein source is used. If your cat isn’t allergic to chicken, consider an inexpensive substitute like this Purina Beyond dish.

The primary ingredient in this recipe is salmon, but it also contains liver, chicken, and egg as additional sources of animal protein.

The liver isn’t from a specific source, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a high-quality ingredient. The same is true for the fish broth, which is less problematic because it is merely a source of moisture and taste.

This recipe contains only one extra carbohydrate – carrots – making it far lower in carbs than the average dry cat food. It’s also free of typical components found in low-cost cat food, such as toxic thickeners like carrageenan and artificial additives.


  • Priced at less than $0.30 per ounce
  • Simple and simple to digest recipe
  • Contains four animal-based protein sources.


  • Contains two unidentified components


Timberwolf is the best dry cat food

Timberwolf Organics, which was founded in 2000, strives to make “pet foods the way nature intended.” This brand has a limited assortment of dog and cat kibble.

Their formulas are high in animal protein and healthy fats but low in poor-value grains, fillers, and artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

This Ocean Blue formulation is one of two high-protein, grain-free dry cat food formulae available from Timberwolf.

It is not a single protein formula, but it only contains salmon and herring proteins. With these ingredients, this adult dry cat food is high in protein and low in fat.

Despite the fact that the first three ingredients are high in animal protein, the fourth is a plant protein concentrate: pea protein.

Plant proteins can be more difficult to digest for cats than animal proteins, and they do not provide a complete protein source. This means they lack the whole set of necessary amino acids required by your cat.

Other plant elements in this Timberwolf recipe include starchy peas and potatoes, which contribute to a high fiber level that may cause stomach troubles in sensitive cats.

Overall, it’s a good amount of animal protein and fat, and it’s a touch lower in carbs than the normal dry food.


  • Three animal-based protein sources are at the top of the list.
  • Fish components are animal sources of good fat.
  • No fillers, gluten, or artificial additives.


  • No dry food delivers the moisture that your cat requires.
  • Plant additives such as pea protein are unneeded.


Stella & Chewy’s is the best freeze-dried cat food

Marie Moody founded Stella & Chewy’s in 2003. Chewy, Moody’s Airedale-Shar-Pei mix, and Stella, her other dog, inspired the brand.

Stella & Chewy’s began as a local New York City delivery service for handmade raw pet food and has since grown into a nationally renowned firm offering a wide range of freeze-dried raw and raw frozen pet foods.

Your cat need a large amount of animal protein at all stages of life. Fresh fish, such as salmon and cod, provide nutritious fatty acids and important elements in addition to protein.

Despite the fact that this is not a single protein formula, it exclusively contains fish protein. As a result, it should be a decent choice for cats who are allergic or sensitive to other protein sources.

Ground bone is a species-appropriate source of critical minerals in both the salmon and cod that make up the key ingredients for this formula.

The fact that this dish is freeze-dried distinguishes it from more typical cat meals. The components are made uncooked, and moisture is gradually removed to ensure shelf stability.

Freeze-dried food should be rehydrated before feeding because the moisture has been removed.

With only a few ingredients, this recipe is simple to prepare. It also helps that it contains probiotics, which promote good digestion.


  • Fresh fish, including ground bone, is used in this dish.
  • A short list of main elements that are easily digested
  • Instead of being cooked at high temperatures, it is freeze-dried.


  • Before feeding, it must be rehydrated.
  • Extremely costly


Wellness is best for kittens

Wellness is a well-known brand in the pet food industry, having been founded in 1997.

However, its true history began in 1926, when it was created as Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats. WellPet, LLC was formed after the company amalgamated with Eagle Pack.

The majority of Wellness’s food is prepared in company-owned kitchens in Indiana, however their wet foods are made in Thailand.

Animal protein and good fats are necessary for kitten growth. While all cats have the same fundamental nutritional requirements, kitten food should have more protein to support muscle development.

This Wellness CORE recipe provides comprehensive nutrition for both adult cats and kittens.

This makes it an excellent alternative if you want to avoid the inconvenience of transitioning your kitten to a different formula when he reaches the age of one year.

It is high in protein and moisture, and it is easily digestible. Whitefish appears to be the predominant protein in this meal, with salmon, tuna, and herring serving as supplements.

So, while it is not totally fish-based, salmon ranks third, giving it a substantial inclusion. There are a few plant elements in this kitten food recipe, including starchy potatoes and plant-based oil.

It does, however, contain fish oil. The omega-6 fatty acids in the salmon oil may be balanced by the canola oil, which acts as the predominant source of additional fat. Omega-6 fatty acids are also beneficial to skin health.


  • The first five ingredients are all derived from animals.
  • Animal protein that is species-appropriate
  • High in moisture to help your cat stay hydrated.


  • Several unneeded plant components are included.
  • Plants are the primary source of extra fat.


Weruva is the best for weight loss

Weruva, which was founded in 2006 by David and Stacie Forman, is named after the couple’s three cats, Webster, Rudi, and Vanessa.

This company specializes on wet dishes manufactured from basic ingredients. They have low carbohydrate content and are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, as well as by-product meals.

Fresh salmon is the predominant protein in this wet meal, which is supplemented with tuna, sardine, and mackerel. All three are high in both high-quality protein and healthy fats.

The initial source of additional fat in this mix is derived from plants. Sunflower seed oil is high in vitamin K, which helps reduce the incidence of osteoporosis and promotes healthy blood coagulation.

However, because it is a plant-based fat, it is less physiologically beneficial than the fish oil included later in the list.

This recipe contains a relatively small list of basic ingredients, the most of which are animal-based. This makes it easily digestible and suitable for cats with delicate stomachs.

It may also be a suitable cat food for weight control because it contains fewer calories than the other recipes on our list.


  • Contains four high-quality animal protein sources.
  • Fish oil was added as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Free of all artificial additives and byproducts


  • The first source of additional fat is derived from plants.
  • It comes in small cans and is reasonably priced.


TikiCat is the best food topper

Christine and Robert Hackett established TikiCat in 2005. This company primarily sells wet food cans and pouches, but they also have a small assortment of dry meals.

TikiCat takes pride in providing low-carb meals that are high in animal protein, moisture, and flavor.

They not only have a large selection of nutritionally adequate formulas, but they also have a large selection of meal toppers.

The ingredients for our TikiCat cat food topper are really simple. There are just three others that begin with fish extract, aside from the salmon broth and salmon.

I wasn’t able to figure out what this substance was. Some sources claim it is made up of fish amino acid extract, while others describe it as a source of fish flavor.

It could potentially be another word for fish oil, although considering the recipe’s extremely low fat level, it seems improbable.

Guar gum and xanthan gum both work as thickeners in this recipe. Despite the fact that the dish is billed as a meaty broth, the texture is more akin to a gravy.

Gums are a source of fiber in cat food, however they have been related to allergies and digestive issues like as bloating and constipation in some cases.


  • Made with a single animal protein source
  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated.
  • Meal topper for cat food that is flavorful and high in protein.


  • Several gum thickeners are present.
  • This is not a complete and balanced recipe.

Is Fish a Healthy Protein for Cats?

Fish is a high-protein food that is also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids promote cardiovascular health as well as good vision, skin, and joints.

Fish is also high in calcium and phosphorus, as well as vital minerals like iron, iodine, and potassium.

  • As part of a heart-healthy diet, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating fish at least twice a week. But do the same guidelines apply to your cat?

While fish delivers the same protein and omega-3 benefits to your cat, pet nutritionists generally agree that it isn’t the most species-appropriate protein option.

The truth is that most cats’ natural diet does not include fish. Small mammals and birds were the primary food of your cat’s ancestors, however huge cats hunted larger prey such as rabbits and hoofed creatures.

Fish is not only not a natural element of a cat’s diet, but it is also heavy in nutrients that may contribute to health problems.

Fish is high in magnesium, which has been linked to urinary system issues in cats. It also lacks the calcium component required to appropriately balance your cat’s phosphorus levels.

High phosphorus levels in cats can contribute to kidney damage. Significant amounts of fish might deplete your cat’s vitamin E levels, resulting in insufficiency.

Some sources even claim that giving your cat a fish-based diet would make him a finicky eater. Cats frequently appreciate the flavor of fish so much that they refuse to eat anything else.

  • Don’t forget about the most serious issue with fish for cats: it’s a common food allergy.

Chicken, meat, fish, and dairy are the most commonly related food allergies in cats. Cats must be exposed to one of these proteins to develop an allergy, which can occur at any age.

Chronic ear infections, skin irritation, and itching are all symptoms of food allergies.

Is A Single Protein Recipe Necessary For Your Cat?

Fish may be an alternative if your cat is allergic or sensitive to other typical proteins such as chicken and beef.

Though many fish-based formulations involve a combination of fish such as salmon, tuna, and whitefish, it’s not difficult to locate salmon-only recipes.

The essential thing to look for in a single-protein salmon diet is, of course, salmon as the first item.

Any diet for cats must be predominantly composed of animal products. Fresh salmon is a fantastic source of protein and moisture, but salmon meal is also healthy.

It has already been dehydrated, making it a more concentrated source of protein than fresh fish. It’s also critical to seek for animal fats.

Salmon oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help your cat’s skin and coat health. Other animal fats, such as chicken fat, are entirely safe and have a low chance of triggering fish allergy.

There are also equally great but frequently less expensive solutions available for cats who do not require a single-protein diet.

Because salmon can be expensive, several of the more affordable cat food products combine it with other fish ingredients.

Because whitefish is less expensive than salmon, it appears in some of the calculations discussed below. Whitefish is a catch-all phrase for various white-fleshed fish rather than a specific type of fish.

Whatever recipe you choose for your cat, make sure it has a low carbohydrate content and no poor-value grains like corn, wheat, or soy, as well as no artificial ingredients.


Protein is an important component of a balanced cat diet, but not all proteins are made equal.

Your cat is a carnivore who enjoys eating meat. Your cat may enjoy fish, but it’s worth evaluating whether salmon is the best option.

Aside from potential contamination concerns, salmon is an excellent source of animal protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and important minerals.

If your cat is allergic to other proteins or rejects everything you’ve tried, a fish-based diet may be the answer. If you’re going to adjust your cat’s diet, start carefully.

Because abrupt dietary changes can upset your cat’s stomach, mix part of the new food with his old food for a few days to ease him into it.

In the end, we appreciate that you chose BestForPets (bestforpets.org) among dozens of other websites to learn about the best salmon cat foods.

Hopefully, this article has assisted you in selecting the best product for your pet.

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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