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11 Best Venison Cat Foods

Cats are natural hunters, and if you enjoy hunting, you're certainly familiar with the flavor of venison.

Venison is a lean meat that contains more protein and less fat than other red meats. It contains iron, zinc, and several B vitamins. Perhaps most crucially, it provides many cats with a novel supply of animal protein.

In this tutorial, we'll look at the nutritional benefits of venison for cats and discuss situations where it can be a good substitute for other proteins.

You'll also find BestForPets' (bestforpets.org) suggestions for the best venison cat foods on the market.


Primal is the best overall

Venison is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a high-protein, low-carbohydrate wet cat food with a moderate fat level. It has a caloric content of 4,400 kcal/kg, or roughly 125 kcal per ounce.

This Primal freeze-dried formula is one of many recipes that use a single source of animal protein. This recipe contains just venison, including fresh venison, venison hearts and livers, and ground venison bone.

While the top four ingredients in this recipe are animal-based, there are many plant-based ingredients as well. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds add fat to the mix, while organic fruits and veggies add vitamins and minerals.

Quinoa and alfalfa are also on the list as protein sources, but they are far less biologically helpful for cats than animal proteins. The recipe includes coconut oil as well as cod liver oil as an animal source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Overall, this dish is high in animal protein, but it contains much too many plant elements for my taste. It is also a freeze-dried formulation, so it has little moisture, however it is meant to be rehydrated before feeding.


  • Made with a single new animal protein source
  • Muscle meat, organs, and crushed bone are all included.
  • Free of artificial color, flavor, and preservatives.
  • Food that is raw and contains naturally occurring enzymes


  • A significant number of plant components are included.
  • Before feeding, it must be rehydrated.
  • Extremely costly


Taste of the Wild is the most popular

Chicken is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a wet cat food with a moderate protein, fat, and carbohydrate content. It has a calorie content of 3,745 kcal/kg, or roughly 425 kcal per cup.

If you’re unsure about which recipe to use for your cat, you may always use a formula that thousands of cat owners (and their cats) like. Taste of the Wild is a well-known brand, and this dish has a 4.6-star rating on Chewy.

The first of four animal-based protein sources in this dry food mix is not venison. It’s a chicken-based dish with venison, salmon, and ocean fish meal.

The first ingredient is chicken meal, which is followed by two starchy carbohydrates: peas and sweet potatoes. There are also two plant protein concentrates in this recipe: pea protein and potato protein.

It’s impossible to say how much these substances contribute to total protein composition, but considering their position above the three supplemental animal proteins, it’s probably a lot.

Overall, this recipe has a good quantity of protein and is low in fat. It’s also reasonably priced at less than $0.20 per ounce. Unfortunately, the carbohydrate content is significantly greater than I prefer.


  • Highly rated and reasonably priced
  • Several high-quality animal protein sources
  • The principal added fat is nutrient-rich chicken fat.
  • No byproducts or artificial additives


  • Venison isn’t the most important source of protein.
  • Two plant protein concentrates are included.
  • No dry food delivers the moisture that your cat requires.


Instinct is the best wet cat food

Venison is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate wet cat food. It has 1,278 kcal/kg, or around 199 calories every 5.5 ounce can.

Instinct is another well-known brand recognized for their low-ingredient diets. This venison-based recipe, like the last one, does not rely solely on animal protein. It also has pork liver in it.

Following three animal-based elements are three more carbohydrates and montmorillonite clay. It’s a natural anti-caking agent and a highly absorbent substance that some believe may bind to toxins and help your cat eliminate them.

This dish contains 95% animal components and has a relatively low carbohydrate level. On a dry matter basis, the crude protein level is over 50% and the fat content is around 32%, which is quite significant.

Because this recipe contains a high concentration of fat and calories, it may be beneficial for growing kittens, energetic cats, and individuals who could benefit from gaining weight.

Because of the addition of menhaden fish oil, this composition is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.


  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated
  • Low carbohydrate total content
  • Menhaden fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids.


  • Very pricey, at more than $0.60 per ounce
  • Some plant components are present.
  • There is no single source protein formula.


Ziwi Peak is the best dry cat food

Venison is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate wet cat food. It has 1,278 kcal/kg, or around 199 calories every 5.5 ounce can.

While dry food does not contain much moisture, some cats find it more enticing than wet food. Dry food is also a convenient, shelf-stable alternative that lasts longer than wet food once opened.

This Ziwi Peak dry food varies from regular dry cat food in that it is air-dried rather than fried at high temperatures during the extrusion process. This preserves the nutritional integrity of the ingredients while removing the need for preservatives.

This recipe’s eight primary ingredients are all animal-based. In particular, venison-based. This comprises venison muscle meat, various organ meats, and venison bone.

In terms of nutritional content, this is a highly species-appropriate diet, though it’s worth mentioning that the meal lacks the moisture your cat need.

Because this recipe is not intended to be rehydrated with water, you may need to provide your cat with other sources of moisture.


  • Made with a single new animal protein source
  • Protein-rich diet
  • Muscle meat, organs, and bone are all included.
  • Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are not used.


  • Extremely costly
  • It lacks the moisture that your cat requires.


Addiction: Best For Sensitive Stomach

Venison is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a low-carbohydrate wet cat food with a modest protein level. It has 3,710 kcal/kg.

Food allergies in cats are not rare, although they are mainly triggered by common proteins such as chicken, beef, and fish.

Venison is a protein that few cats have tried, making it an excellent choice for cats with food allergies. It could also be a good solution for cats with sensitive stomachs.

Most cats should be able to digest venison as an animal protein source. It also helps that this recipe contains dried fermentation products, which are high in probiotics that aid digestion.

This recipe contains a lot of plant-based components, including starchy foods like dried potatoes and tapioca.

These additives increase the fiber content of the formula, which may be beneficial to some cats’ digestion, but they don’t provide much nutrition.

Overall, this recipe is a good supply of animal protein, but it is far too rich in carbohydrates. As with other dry food, it lacks the moisture your cat requires for healthy hydration.


  • Made with a single new animal protein source
  • At roughly $0.30 per ounce, it is reasonably priced.
  • Probiotics are included for gut health.


  • Carbohydrate content is really high.
  • No dry food delivers the moisture that your cat requires.


The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. makes the best high-protein cat food

Venison is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a high-protein, moderate-fat, carbohydrate-rich wet cat food. It has 3,473 kcal/kg or around 159 kcal/cup.

Because protein is the most important nutrient in a cat’s diet, it’s critical to select a recipe made mostly of animal-based ingredients.

On a dry matter basis, this venison formula from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. includes more than 63% crude protein. This is approximately double the AAFCO suggested minimum.

While venison is the main protein source in this dish, it also includes lamb muscle meat, organs, and pulverized bone. It could be a decent option if your cat isn’t allergic to lamb.

This dish contains only a few plant ingredients, such as kelp, rosemary, and organic virgin olive oil. Unfortunately, coconut oil is the primary source of added fat, though this recipe also includes hoki oil, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Overall, this dish is a good source of protein, but bear in mind that it lacks the moisture your cat requires to stay hydrated. Make sure to add a canned food or wet cat food topper to your cat’s diet.


  • Muscle meat, organs, and bone are used to make this dish.
  • Can be used as a whole meal or as a meal topping.
  • Very high in animal protein that is species-appropriate.
  • Lower carbohydrate content than typical dry food


  • As a supper, it is too pricey.
  • No dry food contains the moisture that your cat requires.


Ziwi Peak is the best low-carb cat food

Venison is the main source of protein in this meal. It’s a low-carbohydrate wet cat food with a modest protein level. It has 1,200 kcal/kg, or approximately 222 kcal every 6.5 ounce can.

Because cats have a restricted ability to digest carbs, it’s best to find a cat food with as little plant ingredients as possible. Ziwi Peak canned cat chow contains only one plant ingredient: chickpeas.

The majority of the ingredients are venison muscular meat, organs, and bone. This makes it a species-appropriate choice for cats, as it closely resembles the type of diet felines consume in the wild.

This recipe also includes New Zealand green mussels, which are high in protein. Mussels not only provide additional animal protein, but they also include joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.

In general, this dish should be very digestible for most cats, and it is heavy in moisture to help your cat stay hydrated.


  • Protein-rich from a single unique animal source
  • Muscle meat, organs, and bone are all included.
  • There is only one more carbohydrate source.
  • Moisture-rich to help your cat stay hydrated


  • Extremely costly
  • One unneeded plant ingredient is included.

Should You Feed Venison to Your Cat?

Though venison is traditionally associated with deer meat, it is now also used to describe meat from antlered ungulates such as elk and moose.

Venison, like many game meats, is somewhat lean, yet it still provides an excellent source of animal protein for cats.

As previously stated, it is also a rare protein that is deemed novel by many cats. This simply implies that it is a protein that most cats have never eaten before.

If you want a lower calorie protein than beef or pork, venison may be an excellent option. It is also a choice for cats with food allergies who are unable to tolerate other common proteins.

In terms of nutrition, one ounce of venison contains approximately 45 calories and 8.6 grams of protein. The fat content of one ounce of venison is less than three grams.

This meat is high in potassium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, with just trace quantities of magnesium, calcium, and salt.

Though venison is a healthy choice, finicky eaters may not accept it as quickly as other selections.

Once your cat has been exposed, it can still cause food allergies, so search for symptoms of allergies such as itchy skin, recurring ear infections, and stomach disorders.

What You Should Look For in Venison-Based Cat Food

The Association of American Feed Control Officials has defined the minimal nutritional needs for cats (AAFCO).

These guidelines indicate a minimum of 26% crude protein and 9% fat for adult cats of all life stages.

However, keep in mind that these are the bare minimums; your cat wants a dish that is full in protein and balanced with healthy fats.

Given that protein is the most important nutrient for cats, seek for a dish that includes an animal protein source as the first ingredient.

Animal ingredients should ideally be in the top three, or at least three of the top five. Cats have little nutritional need for carbohydrates and, in fact, don’t get much nutrition from them.

Avoid cat meals that contain an excessive amount of plant elements, particularly starchy foods like as peas and potatoes, as well as plant protein carbs.

If you have food allergies or sensitivities, consider a limited ingredient diet. This is basically a recipe with a small list of ingredients – preferably, ten or less items excluding supplements.

It’s a good idea to look for immune-boosting vitamins like prebiotics and probiotics, as well as antioxidants.

Look for animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids and avoid recipes with ambiguous ingredients, by-product meals, and artificial additives.


Protein is the most crucial component of a balanced feline diet because your cat is an obligate carnivore.

While all animals provide a complete protein supply (one that provides all of the key amino acids your cat need), some are more suited to cats than others.

Venison is a rare protein in cat food, so it’s possible that your cat hasn’t tried it before. If your cat has dietary sensitivities or allergies and all other options have been investigated, venison is an option to consider.

Keep in mind that it will be more expensive, but it is higher in protein than beef and other red meats and lower in fat overall.

Cats that need to shed weight or struggle to maintain a healthy bodyweight may benefit from a lean protein source such as venison.

If your cat is in good shape, seek for a diet that includes supplementary fat from animal sources, such as chicken fat or salmon oil.

Overall, the best thing you can do for your cat is to feed it the best cat food you can buy on a regular basis.

If one of the single protein recipes on this best venison cat foods list from BestForPets (bestforpets.org) is beyond your price range, consider using it as a food topper or as an occasional meal to increase your cat’s protein consumption.

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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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