The 9 Best Chicken Cat Food Formulas

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Chicken is a staple in the diet of many cats and a mainstay in the pet food industry. It’s inexpensive compared to other proteins, easy to come by, and cats tend to like it.

Not only is chicken a popular choice, but it’s a nutritious option for cats as part of a well-balanced and species-appropriate diet. But is it the right pick for your cat? Let’s find out.

At A Glance: Best Cat Foods With Chicken To Buy

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Want a quick look at the best cat foods reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Stella & Chewy’s Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

  • Contains fresh chicken, ground bone, and chicken organs
  • Made with cage-free, antibiotic-free chicken
  • Supplemented with probiotics to boost digestion
Budget Pick
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural Pate Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Wet Cat Food

  • Four of the first five ingredients are animal-based
  • Contains fresh chicken and organ meat
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
Best Dry Food
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Timberwolf Serengeti Feline Formula Dry Cat Food

  • Five out of first six ingredients are animal-based
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish and salmon oil
  • Supplemented with probiotics to support digestion
Best Canned Food
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Food

  • Contains 80% dry matter protein from a single source
  • Rich in moisture with an appealing shredded texture
  • Negligible carbohydrate content
Best Fresh Food
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Raised Right Original Chicken Adult Cat Recipe Fresh Food

  • Fresh cat food recipe rich in moisture
  • Made with fresh chicken thigh and chicken organs
  • Cod liver oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
Best For Kittens
9.2
Picked by 31 people today!

Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Cat Food

  • First six ingredients are all animal-based
  • Menhaden fish oil is a rich source of DHA and EPA
  • High protein content supports kitten growth and development
Best For Older Cats
9.1
Picked by 31 people today!

Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

  • Only four main ingredients other than supplements
  • Finely shredded, easy for older cats to eat
  • No fillers or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
Best For Sensitive Stomachs
9.1
Picked by 25 people today!

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • Contains over 65% protein on a dry matter basis
  • The first five ingredients are animal-based
  • Two nutrient-rich sources of animal fat
Best Food Topper
9.0
Picked by 21 people today!

PureBites Mixers 100% Chicken Breast & Wild Ocean Shrimp Variety Pack Cat Food Trays

  • Made only with chicken breast and water
  • Finely shredded, making it easy to eat and mix
  • Source of protein and moisture for your cat

Why Should You Trust Us?

Over the last several years, we’ve spent countless hours testing the most popular pet products on the market, including cat food, cat treats, cat litter, and more. We’ve written in-depth reviews of our favorite brands as well as dozens of roundups to help you choose the right product for your cat.

Having reviewed 193 of the world’s most popular cat food brands and hundreds of formulas. We spent hours researching, contacting pet food companies, and analyzing labels. With the help of our cats, we also got hands-on experience with many popular cat foods.

Should You Feed Your Cat Chicken?

In America alone, over 8 billion chickens are consumed each year – and that doesn’t even count the number used in pet food.

Chicken is by far one of the most common proteins in cat food, and for good reason. A 3-ounce serving of chicken breast contains just 128 calories with 26 grams of protein. It’s free from sugars and starches and is very low in fat – less than 1 gram per 3 ounces. Chicken breast is rich in selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, and niacin.

While chicken breast is very lean, other cuts of chicken may be higher in fat and calories.

Per 100 grams (about 3.6 ounces), chicken thigh contains about 177 calories with 8 grams of fat and 24 grams of protein. Most cat foods use chicken breast, though some don’t specify what cut of the chicken they use.

When shopping for cat food, it’s important to keep your cat’s nutritional needs in mind. A well-balanced and species-appropriate diet is the best way to protect your cat’s health.

Remember that cats are obligate carnivores, so protein is the most important element in a cat-friendly diet.

As a protein-rich food, chicken is a great foundation for a feline diet. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum of 26% crude protein (on a dry matter basis) for adult cats and 30% for kittens. Boneless, skinless chicken breast contains about 80% protein, so you can see why it’s such a valuable ingredient in cat food.

Cat owners should look for a recipe with a short ingredient list, ideally with chicken as the first ingredient. It’s best to feed your cat a mixture of fresh muscle meat, organs, and bone – this most closely mimics the natural diet of wild cats.

Make sure the formula doesn’t contain any vaguely named by-products and avoid high concentrations of carbohydrate ingredients.

Unless your cat is allergic to proteins, there’s no harm in feeding him a multi-protein formula. Single-protein recipes tend to be more expensive, though foods made only with chicken are going to be on the lower end of the pricing spectrum in comparison to things like beef and duck.

In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.

We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by All About Cats without direct input or influence from the companies involved.

Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.

To access the lab reports for each food reviewed here, click the “view lab report” link in the product review.

The Best Chicken Cat Foods: Our Top Picks

Now that you understand the basics of chicken food for cats and some of the cases in which it might be recommended, you’re ready to see our top picks.

If your cat is allergic to other proteins, make sure to choose a recipe that only contains chicken. Other animal-based fats like beef fat or fish oil are unlikely to trigger an allergy, though it doesn’t hurt to be careful. As always, prioritize animal-based ingredients over plant ingredients as much as possible.

#1 Overall Best: Stella & Chewy’s

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a single-protein freeze-dried cat food formula made with fresh chicken including ground bone and organ meats. It doesn’t appear to have a significant amount of added fat other than pumpkin seed. The food contains 4,360 kcal/kg or about 182 kcal/cup.

Featured Recipe: Stella & Chewy’s Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken (Ground With Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride

Fresh food is a very nutritious option for cats, but it isn’t always the most practical choice. Freeze-dried food provides a more convenient alternative and often a similar nutritional profile. Stella & Chewy’s is well-known for their freeze-dried meals which typically include muscle meat, organs, and ground bone.

Fresh chicken with ground bone is the main ingredient in this recipe, supported by chicken liver and chicken gizzard. Pumpkin seed is the only other ingredient aside from supplements and probiotics.

Pumpkin seed is a rich source of fatty acids and, in this recipe, likely contribute to the crude fiber content. We’d prefer an animal-based fat like chicken fat, especially considering pumpkin seed is also a source of carbohydrates.

Overall, however, this recipe is fairly species-appropriate in terms of the top three ingredients, and it is gently freeze-dried instead of being cooked at high temperatures. We recommend rehydrating the food with water or bone broth to add more moisture to your cat’s diet.

Ingredients

Chicken (Ground With Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Fenugreek Seed, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Dandelion, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 45%
Crude Fat: 25%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 47.37%
Fat: 26.32%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 21.05%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 35.8%
Fat: 48.3%
Carbs: 15.91%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken (Ground With Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Pumpkin Seed

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • Contains fresh chicken, ground bone, and chicken organs
  • Made with cage-free, antibiotic-free chicken
  • Supplemented with probiotics to boost digestion
  • Limited list of high-quality ingredients, highly digestible

What We Didn’t Like

  • Needs to be rehydrated before feeding
  • Expensive at nearly $2.30 per ounce

#2 BudgetPick: Purina Beyond

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a multi-protein formula made with fresh chicken, liver, and oceanfish. It doesn’t contain a specific source of added fat, though both liver and oceanfish are rich in fats. The food contains 1,153 kcal/kg or about 98 kcal per 3 oz can.

Featured Recipe: Purina Beyond Grain-Free Natural Pate Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Wet Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Liver, Oceanfish, Sweet Potatoes

If fresh or freeze-dried cat food isn’t in your budget, canned food is the next best option. Canned cat food tends to be higher in protein and moisture than dry food and many recipes exhibit lower than average carbohydrate content. This Purina Beyond recipe is an affordable option in comparison to premium brands like Ziwi Peak, priced around $0.37 per ounce.

Fresh chicken, liver, and ocean fish are protein-rich, animal-based ingredients. It’s unfortunate that the liver doesn’t come from a named source. Oceanfish is simply a term used to describe various white fish like halibut, cod, and pollock.

While this recipe only contains two plant ingredients, the carbohydrate content is still fairly high. It may be lower than the average dry food, but its worth considering for the sake of your cat’s digestion and nutrition.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Liver, Oceanfish, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Egg Product, Minerals [Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Guar Gum, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Salt, Vitamins [Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement].

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3.2%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 22.73%
Fiber: 6.82%
Carbs: 10.45%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 49.68%
Carbs: 9.41%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Liver, Oceanfish, Egg Produce

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Sweet Potatoes, Carrots

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

What We Liked

  • Four of the first five ingredients are animal-based
  • Contains fresh chicken and organ meat
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
  • Free from carrageenan and other starchy binders

What We Didn’t Like

  • Contains a few plant ingredients
  • Fairly high carbohydrate content

#3 Best Dry Food: Timberwolf Serengeti

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a multi-protein formula made with chicken, herring, and whitefish. Salmon oil is the main source of added fat. The food contains 4,455 kcal/kg or about 564 kcal/cup.

Featured Recipe: Timberwolf Serengeti Feline Formula Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat, Herring Meal

With both fresh chicken and chicken meal at the top of the list, this dry food formula is packed with protein. Herring meal and whitefish meal provide supplemental sources of protein with omega-3-rich salmon oil as a nutritious source of animal-based fat.

While this recipe contains over nearly 44% crude protein on a dry matter basis, the carbohydrate content is very high. Chickpeas, peas, dried beets, and lentils comprise the majority of the food’s carb content. Dried beets act as a source of dietary fiber and a prebiotic to support the probiotics that appear later on the list. Unfortunately, the remaining three carbs are not species-appropriate and can be difficult for cats to digest.

This recipe is, however, free from concerning ingredients unnamed meat by-product meals, artificial additives, corn, wheat, and soy.

Ingredients

Chicken Meal, Chicken, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat, Herring Meal, Whitefish Meal, Peas, Dried Beets, Lentils, Dried Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil, Herbal Blend: (Cinnamon, Rosemary, Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric, Fennel Seed, Basil, Fenugreek, Ground Ginger, Peppermint, Thyme), Kelp, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, Vegetable Blend: (Carrots, Celery, Beets, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach, Tomatoes), Flaxseed, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Dehydrated Alfalfa, Natural Flavors, Vitamin Mix: (B5, B12, E, B2, B1, B6, Folic Acid, A, Niacin, Biotin, D3), Chelated Mineral Mix: ({Proteinates} (Zinc, Iron, Manganese, Copper, Iodine, Cobalt), Dried Eggs, Dried Whey, Dried Cranberry, Dried Blueberry, Sea Salt, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Prebiotics: (Inulin, Fructoligosaccarides, Mananoligosaccarides), Methionine, Carrots, Taurine, Lecithin, L-Carntitine, Rosemary Extract, Probiotics: (Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bacillus Subtillis, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum, Enterococcus Faecium, Bifidobacterium Psoudolongum), Yucca Schidigera.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 40%
Crude Fat: 18%
Crude Fiber: 2.5%
Moisture: 9%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 43.96%
Fat: 19.78%
Fiber: 2.75%
Carbs: 33.52%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 35.02%
Fat: 38.27%
Carbs: 26.7%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Meal, Chicken, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat, Herring Meal, Whitefish Meal, Dried Chicken Liver, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas, Peas, Lentils

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

What We Liked

  • Five out of first six ingredients are animal-based
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish and salmon oil
  • Supplemented with probiotics to support digestion
  • Completely free from animal by-products

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very high in carbohydrates
  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs

#4 Best Canned Food: Tiki Cat

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The main source of protein in this recipe is chicken. It is a single-protein canned cat food formula made with fresh chicken. Sunflower seed oil is the primary source of added fat. The food contains 863 kcal/kg or about 22 calories per ounce.

Featured Recipe: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Dicalcium Phosphate

Fresh chicken is the first ingredient in this formula and appears to make up most of its composition. Aside from chicken broth for moisture and sunflower seed oil as added fat, the only other ingredients are supplements.

With chicken as the main ingredient, this formula is high in protein but fairly low in fat and calories. The dry matter protein content is about 80% but the food only contains about 13% fat. While 13% exceeds AAFCO’s minimum recommendation of 9% dry matter fat in a feline diet, we like to see formulas that come closer to 20%.

Though this recipe may not be ideal for cats who need to gain weight, it’s perfect for picky eaters with its shredded texture and high moisture content makes it a good food topper or mixer. This food could also be a good choice for cats who need to watch their weight.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Salt, Magnesium Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 2.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 40.91%
Fiber: 4.55%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 31.39%
Fat: 68.61%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Sunflower Seed Oil

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • Contains 80% dry matter protein from a single source
  • Rich in moisture with an appealing shredded texture
  • Negligible carbohydrate content
  • Makes a good food topper or mixer for picky cats

What We Didn’t Like

  • May not be calorie-dense enough for underweight cats
  • Primarily relies on plant-based fat

#5 Best Fresh Food: Raised Right

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a single-protein fresh cat food formula made with fresh thigh and chicken organ meats. Cod liver oil is the main source of added fat. The food contains 1,628 kcal/kg or about 368 kcal/cup.

Featured Recipe: Raised Right Original Chicken Adult Cat Recipe Fresh Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Thigh, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Organic Spearmint

Raw cat food is one of the most species-appropriate dietary options for cats, but fresh food is a close second. When made with muscle meat, organs, and ground bones fresh food provides a moisture-rich source of nutrition for cats. This Raised Right recipe is made with human-grade ingredients and gently cooked at low temperatures to maintain nutritional integrity.

Fresh chicken thigh is the backbone of this formula, supported with additional protein from chicken heart and liver. Cod liver oil provides an animal-based source of omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation, protect cardiovascular health, and support healthy skin and coat.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the plant ingredients in this formula – they are actually quite nutritious by human standards – plant foods simply aren’t species-appropriate for carnivores like your cat. Fortunately, these ingredients don’t seem to contribute to an excessive carbohydrate content in this recipe.

Overall, this food is protein-rich and balanced with healthy animal-based fats. It contains both fresh meat and chicken organs, not to mention plenty of moisture to help keep your cat hydrated.

Ingredients

Chicken Thigh, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Organic Spearmint, Blueberries, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Organic Dried Kelp, Flaxseed Oil, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 20%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 66%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 58.82%
Fat: 26.47%
Fiber: 5.88%
Carbs: 8.82%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 44.59%
Fat: 48.73%
Carbs: 6.69%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Thigh, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Cod Liver Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Carrots, Organic Spearmint, Blueberries, Flaxseed Oil

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • Fresh cat food recipe rich in moisture
  • Made with fresh chicken thigh and chicken organs
  • Cod liver oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Easily digestible, moderate calorie content

What We Didn’t Like

  • Contains several plant ingredients (total carbs still fairly low)
  • Only available in bulk

#6 Best For Kittens: Wellness CORE

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be turkey. It is a multi-protein grain-free cat food formula made with turkey, chicken, and herring. Menhaden fish oil is the main source of added fat. The food contains 1,273 kcal/kg or about 108 kcal per can.

Featured Recipe: Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal

Kittens require high levels of protein, fat, and calories to fuel their rapid growth and development. While this recipe formulated for all life stages and not specifically for kittens, it checks all the boxes. With five animal ingredients, it contains nearly 55% protein on a dry matter basis and roughly 34% fat.

This kitten food contains three protein sources, so it might not be the best choice if your cat already has food allergies. However, many veterinary nutritionists recommend introducing variety in your kitten’s diet early to reduce the likelihood of him becoming a picky eater.

Aside from the top six animal-based ingredients, this formula contains cranberries and menhaden fish oil. Fish oil is packed with omega-3s, particularly EPA and DHA which are important for cognitive development.

Cranberries are rich in antioxidants and may help reduce inflammation and support cardiovascular and urinary tract health. They are plant-based, of course, but don’t seem to significantly contribute to the recipe’s nutritional composition. Guar gum is a starchy thickener used in wet cat foods and a source of soluble fiber.

Ingredients

Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Herring, Natural Flavor, Cranberries, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 7%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 54.55%
Fat: 31.82%
Fiber: 2.27%
Carbs: 11.36%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 38.1%
Fat: 53.97%
Carbs: 7.94%

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Herring, Menhaden Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • First six ingredients are all animal-based
  • Menhaden fish oil is a rich source of DHA and EPA
  • Rich in moisture and highly digestible for cats
  • High protein content supports kitten growth and development

What We Didn’t Like

  • Guar gum may contribute to digestive difficulties
  • Very pricey at over $0.50 per ounce

#7 Best For Older Cats: Weruva

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a single-protein canned food formula made with fresh chicken and chicken broth. Sunflower seed oil is the main source of added fat. The food contains 902 kcal/kg or about 105 kcal per 5.5 oz can.

Featured Recipe: Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate

Senior cats are prone to dental problems which can make it difficult for them to eat, especially kibble. A protein-rich recipe is a must. High levels of moisture are ideal as well, not only to support your cat’s hydration but to help regulate his digestion and reduce hairball formation.

This chicken recipe from Weruva is finely shredded, making it very easy for senior cats to eat. It’s cooked in a gravy that appeals even to picky eaters and it’s available in both 3-ounce and 5.5-ounce cans which makes it easy to portion.

Fresh chicken is the first ingredient, followed by moisture- and flavor-rich chicken broth. The only other main ingredients are potato starch and sunflower oil. Potato starch acts as a thickener for the gravy and, unfortunately, contributes to a fairly high carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Chicken (Boneless, Skinless Breast), Chicken Broth, Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 14%
Crude Fat: 1.4%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 85%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 93.33%
Fat: 9.33%
Fiber: 3.33%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 80.46%
Fat: 19.54%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • Only four main ingredients other than supplements
  • Finely shredded, easy for older cats to eat
  • No fillers or artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

What We Didn’t Like

  • Low calorie content may require higher portions
  • Fairly high carbohydrate content

#8 Best For Sensitive Stomachs: Dr. Elsey’s

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a multi-protein dry food formula made with chicken, egg, and pork. Chicken fat is the main source of added fat. The food contains 4,030 kcal/kg or about 554 kcal/cup.

Featured Recipe: Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat

Even the best wet cat food can be difficult for some cats with sensitive stomachs to process. Digestible animal proteins are a must for all cats and this Dr. Elsey’s recipe is founded on that truth.

This is primarily a chicken recipe given that the first ingredient is fresh chicken. Dried egg, pork protein isolate, and gelatin provide supplemental sources of protein. The term “pork protein isolate” may look scary, but it’s simply a term used to describe a meat product from which the amino acids have been isolated, making it a concentrated source of protein.

Chicken fat and salmon oil deliver plenty of healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids. The only source of added carbohydrate is flaxseed, another source of omega-3s.

As a dry food, this recipe doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs for hydration so its wise to supplement his moisture intake elsewhere. The carbohydrate content, however, is much lower than the average dry food and the crude protein content is over 65% on a dry matter basis.

Ingredients

Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharide, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Potassium Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Taurine, Salt, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 59%
Crude Fat: 18%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 67.05%
Fat: 20.45%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 7.95%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 53.78%
Fat: 39.84%
Carbs: 6.38%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Flaxseed

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • Contains over 65% protein on a dry matter basis
  • The first five ingredients are animal-based
  • Two nutrient-rich sources of animal fat
  • Easily digestible for cats with sensitive stomachs

What We Didn’t Like

  • Fairly expensive, around $0.40 per ounce
  • Not a single protein recipe

#9 Best Food Topper: PureBites

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The main source of protein in this recipe appears to be chicken. It is a single-protein supplemental wet food formula made with fresh chicken. There are no added fats or carbohydrates. The food contains 605 kcal/kg or about 30 kcal per 1.76-ounce tray.

Featured Recipe: PureBites Mixers 100% Chicken Breast & Wild Ocean Shrimp Variety Pack Cat Food Trays

First 5 Ingredients: 100% Pure Chicken Breast, Water

Food toppers are a great way to give your cat’s diet a boost of protein and moisture. This PureBites recipe is made only with real chicken and water.

It’s packaged in 1.76-ounce trays, each with about 30 calories. The chicken is finely shredded, making it manageable for kittens and older cats. It’s also easy to mix into your cat’s dry or wet food. Each package comes with four trays, making the price about $1.55 per tray.

Ingredients

100% Pure Chicken Breast, Water.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 11%
Crude Fat: 1%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 87%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 84.62%
Fat: 7.69%
Fiber: 3.85%
Carbs: 3.85%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 78.97%
Fat: 17.44%
Carbs: 3.59%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Breast

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked

  • Made only with chicken breast and water
  • Finely shredded, making it easy to eat and mix
  • Source of protein and moisture for your cat

What We Didn’t Like

  • Fairly expensive, about $1.55 per tray

Final Thoughts

Chicken is a nutritious and species-appropriate choice for most cats, but if yours develops symptoms of food allergies you’d be wise to try something else.

Turkey is a fairly affordable option and beef recipes are easy to find. If you’ve been feeding your cat a type of food with multiple protein sources and aren’t sure which ingredient is responsible for the allergy, you might want to try an unconventional protein like duck, venison, or lamb.

Check out our top picks for these alternative proteins here:

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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