The 7 Best Venison Cat Food Formulas

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Cats are born hunters and if you’re a hunter yourself, you’re probably familiar with the taste of venison.

Venison is a lean meat that delivers significant amounts of protein with less fat than other red meats. It’s rich in iron, zinc, and a variety of B vitamins. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a novel source of animal protein for many cats.

In this guide, we’ll explore the nutritional benefits of venison for cats and touch on the cases in which you might consider it as an alternative to more common proteins. You’ll also see our recommendations for the best cat food with venison on the market.

At A Glance: Best Cat Foods With Venison 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!

Primal Venison Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Completely free from artificial color, flavor, and preservatives
Most Popular
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • Affordably priced and highly rated
  • Multiple sources of high-quality animal protein
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat as the primary added fat
Best Wet Cat Food
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food

  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
  • Low total carbohydrate content
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids from Menhaden fish oil
Best Dry Cat Food
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Venison Cat Food

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • High protein content
  • Contains muscle meat, organs and bone
Best For Sensitive Stomachs
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Fairly affordable, around $0.30 per ounce
  • Supplemented with probiotics for digestive health
Best High-Protein Cat Food
9.2
Picked by 18 people today!

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Wild Venison Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Made with muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Can be used as a complete meal or meal topper
  • Very high in species-appropriate animal protein
Best Low-Carb Cat Food
9.1
Picked by 18 people today!

Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food

  • Rich in protein from a single novel animal source
  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Only contains one added source of carbohydrate

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Having reviewed 147 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.

Because my cat Biscuit is allergic to chicken, I’ve worked my way through a number of different proteins over the years. Venison is one of the many I’ve tested and all three of my cats always seem to enjoy it.

Should You Feed Your Cat Venison?

Though venison is commonly known to be the meat from deer, it is now a term that refers to the meat from antlered ungulates like elk and moose as well.

Like many game meats, venison is fairly lean, but it still provides an excellent source of animal-based protein for cats. As previously mentioned, it’s also an uncommon protein that is considered novel for many cats. This simply means it’s a protein most cats haven’t eaten before.

If you’re looking for a lower calorie protein than beef or pork, venison might be a good choice. It’s also an option for cats suffering from food allergies who can’t tolerate other common proteins.

In terms of nutrition, venison contains about 45 calories per ounce and 8.6 grams of protein per ounce. A single ounce of venison contains less than 3 grams of fat. This meat contains significant amounts of potassium, iron, zinc, and B vitamins with small amounts of magnesium, calcium, and sodium.

Though venison can certainly be a healthy option, picky eaters may not take to it as quickly as other options. It can, of course, still trigger food allergies once your cat is exposed, so look for signs of allergies like itchy skin, recurrent ear infections, and digestive issues.

What To Look For In Venison-Based Cat Food

The minimum nutritional requirements for cats have been established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). These guidelines recommend a minimum of 26% crude protein for an adult cat and 9% fat for cats in all life stages. Keep in mind, however, that these are minimum requirements – your cat deserves a recipe high in protein and balanced with healthy fats.

Given that protein is the most important nutrient for cats, you should look for a recipe that starts with an animal source of protein as the first ingredient. Ideally, animal ingredients should be top three on the list or at least three of the top five.

Cats have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, and, in fact, they don’t derive much in the way of nutrition from them. Avoid cat foods that contain too many plant ingredients, especially starchy foods like peas and potatoes as well as plant protein carbohydrates.

If you’re concerned about food allergies or sensitivities, look for a limited ingredient diet. This is simply a recipe that contains a short list of ingredients – ideally, ten ingredients or less aside from supplements.

It’s wise to look for beneficial supplements like prebiotics and probiotics as well as antioxidants that support your cat’s immune system. Look for animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids and avoid recipes that don’t contain vaguely named ingredients, by-product meals, and artificial additives.

The Best Venison Cat Foods: Our Top Picks

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

As you review the recipes below, know that not all of them are single protein recipes. If your cat has food allergies, it’s wise to double-check the list of ingredients to make sure the recipe doesn’t contain the ingredient he’s allergic to. If you’re just looking to change up your cat’s diet, however, you may not need a recipe made with venison as the only animal protein.

#1 Overall Best: Primal

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is venison. It’s a high-protein, moderate-fat wet cat food with fairly low carbohydrate content. It contains 4,400 kcal/kg or about 125 kcal per ounce.

Featured Recipe: Primal Venison Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Venison Hearts, Ground Venison Bones, Venison Livers, Organic Pumpkin Seeds

This freeze-dried formula from Primal is one of many recipes made with a single source of animal protein. Venison is the only protein used in this recipe, including fresh venison, venison hearts and livers, and ground venison bone.

While the top four ingredients in this formula are animal-based, there are a significant number of plant ingredients. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds contribute to the recipe’s fat content while organic fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals. You’ll also see quinoa and alfalfa on the list which are often used as sources of protein but they’re much less biologically valuable for cats than animal proteins. The recipe also contains coconut oil but also contains cod liver oil as an animal source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Overall, this recipe is a rich source of animal protein, but it contains too many plant ingredients for my liking. It’s also a freeze-dried recipe so it’s low in moisture but it is designed to be rehydrated before feeding.

Ingredients

Venison, Venison Hearts, Ground Venison Bones, Venison Livers, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cranberries, Organic Blueberries, Organic Kale, Organic Celery, Organic Squash, Organic Cilantro, Organic Ginger, Organic Quinoa, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Fish Oil, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Rosemary Extract, Taurine, Organic Coconut Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Ground Alfalfa, Dried Organic Kelp, Zinc Sulfate.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 54%
Crude Fat: 21%
Crude Fiber: 7%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 56.84%
Fat: 22.11%
Fiber: 7.37%
Carbs: 13.68%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 45.76%
Fat: 43.22%
Carbs: 11.02%

Ingredients We Liked: Venison, Venison Hearts, Ground Venison Bones, Venison Livers, Fish Oil, Cod Liver Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Organic Quinoa, Organic Ground Alfalfa

Common Allergens: None

What We Liked

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Completely free from artificial color, flavor, and preservatives
  • Raw food that contains naturally occurring enzymes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Contains a significant number of plant ingredients
  • Needs to be rehydrated before feeding
  • Very expensive

#2 Most Popular: Taste of the Wild

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is chicken. It’s a moderate-protein, moderate-fat wet cat food with fairly high carbohydrate content. It contains 3,745 kcal/kg or about 425 kcal per cup.

Featured Recipe: Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Pea Protein

If you’re not sure which recipe to choose for your cat, you can always go with a formula thousands of cat owners (and their cats) like. Taste of the Wild is an incredibly popular brand and this recipe holds a 4.6 out of 5-star rating on Chewy.

This dry food formula contains four sources of animal-based protein, though venison is not the first. It’s a chicken-based recipe supplemented with venison, salmon, and ocean fish meal.

Chicken meal is the first ingredient, followed by two starchy carbohydrates: peas and sweet potatoes. This recipe also contains two plant protein concentrates, pea protein and potato protein. It’s difficult to tell how much these ingredients contribute to the total protein content but given their position above the three supplemental animal proteins, it’s likely a significant amount.

This recipe contains a decent amount of protein overall and it’s fairly low in fat. It’s also economically priced under $0.20 per ounce. Unfortunately, the carb content is much higher than I like to see.

Ingredients

Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Roasted Venison, Smoked Salmon, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Dl-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 42%
Crude Fat: 18%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 46.67%
Fat: 20%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 30%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 37.26%
Fat: 38.78%
Carbs: 23.95%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Roasted Venison, Smoke Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Potato Protein

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

What We Liked

  • Affordably priced and highly rated
  • Multiple sources of high-quality animal protein
  • Nutrient-rich chicken fat as the primary added fat
  • Free from by-products and artificial additives

What We Didn’t Like

  • Venison isn’t the main source of protein
  • Contains two plant protein concentrates
  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs

#3 Best Wet Cat Food: Instinct

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is Venison. It’s a high-protein, high-fat wet cat food with low carbohydrate content. It contains 1,278 kcal/kg or about 199 per 5.5 ounce can.

Featured Recipe: Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Pork Liver, Pork Broth, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay

Instinct is another popular brand and one known for their limited ingredient diets. This recipe is venison based but, like the previous recipe, isn’t a single source of animal protein. It also contains pork liver.

After three animal-based ingredients come three added carbohydrates along with montmorillonite clay. It’s natural anti-caking agent and a highly absorbent ingredient that some suggest may bind to toxins and your cat expel them from his body.

This recipe contains 95% animal ingredients, and the total carb content is very low. The crude protein content is around 50% on a dry matter basis and the fat content around 32% which is fairly high. This recipe is a concentrated source of fat and calories, so it may be good for growing kittens as well as active cats and those who could stand to gain a little weight.

This formula is also a decent source of omega-3 fatty acids thanks to the inclusion of menhaden fish oil.

Ingredients

Venison, Pork Liver, Pork Broth, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Peas, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Salt, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 11%
Crude Fat: 7%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 50%
Fat: 31.82%
Fiber: 13.64%
Carbs: 4.55%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 37.93%
Fat: 58.62%
Carbs: 3.45%

Ingredients We Liked: Venison, Pork Liver, Menhaden Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Ground Flaxseed, Peas, Carrots

Common Allergens: Pork

What We Liked

  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
  • Low total carbohydrate content
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids from Menhaden fish oil

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive, over $0.60 per ounce
  • Contains some plant ingredients
  • Not a single source protein recipe

#4 Best Dry Cat Food: Ziwi Peak

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is Venison. It’s a high-protein, high-fat wet cat food with low carbohydrate content. It contains 1,278 kcal/kg or about 199 per 5.5 ounce can.

Featured Recipe: Air-Dried Venison Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Venison Tripe, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Liver

While dry food doesn’t contain much in the way of moisture, some cats simply find it more appealing than wet food. Dry food is also a convenient, shelf-stable alternative that keeps longer than wet food once the container has been opened.

This dry food from Ziwi Peak differs from traditional dry cat food because it is air-dried, not cooked at high temperatures through the extrusion process. This helps preserve the nutritional integrity of the ingredients while eliminating the need for added preservatives.

All eight of the main ingredients in this recipe are animal-based. More specifically, venison-based. This includes venison muscle meat as well as a variety of organ meats and venison bone.

Overall, this is a highly species-appropriate recipe in terms of nutritional content, though it’s worth noting that the food doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs. This recipe isn’t designed to be rehydrated with water so you may need to give your cat supplemental sources of moisture.

Ingredients

Venison, Venison Tripe, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Liver, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 45%
Crude Fat: 23%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 14%
Ash: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 52.33%
Fat: 26.74%
Fiber: 2.33%
Carbs: 4.65%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 42.92%
Fat: 53.27%
Carbs: 3.81%

Ingredients We Liked: Venison, Venison Tripe, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Liver, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: None

What We Liked

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • High protein content
  • Contains muscle meat, organs and bone
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive
  • Doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs

#5 Best For Sensitive Stomach: Addiction

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is Venison. It’s a moderate-protein, low-fat wet cat food with low carbohydrate content. It contains 3,710 kcal/kg.

Featured Recipe: Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Venison Meal, Dried Potatoes, Dried Tapioca, Chicken Fat, Peas

Food allergies are not uncommon in cats, but they’re usually triggered by common proteins like chicken, beef, and fish. Venison is a protein not many cats have had, so it’s a good choice for cats with food allergies. It may also be a decent option for cats who have sensitive stomachs.

As an animal source of protein, venison should be easily digestible for most cats. It also helps that this recipe contains dried fermentation products as a source of digestion-supporting probiotics.

This recipe does contain a significant number of plant ingredients, including starchy foods like dried potatoes and tapioca. These ingredients boost the fiber content of the formula which may have digestive benefits for some cats, but they don’t provide much in the way of nutrition.

On the whole, this recipe is a decent source of animal protein but it’s much too high in carbohydrates. As is true for any dry food, it also doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs for proper hydration.

Ingredients

Venison Meal, Dried Potatoes, Dried Tapioca, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Peas, Natural Flavors, Dried Kelp, Dried Cranberries, Dried Apples, Dried Spinach, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus Faecium, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum, Dried Bifidobacterium Thermophilum, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Green Tea Extract, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 30%
Crude Fat: 15%
Crude Fiber: 3.5%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 11%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 33.33%
Fat: 16.67%
Fiber: 3.89%
Carbs: 33.89%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 30.95%
Fat: 37.58%
Carbs: 31.47%

Ingredients We Liked: Venison Meal, Chicken Fat

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Dried Potatoes, Dried Tapioca, Peas

Common Allergens: None

What We Liked

  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Fairly affordable, around $0.30 per ounce
  • Supplemented with probiotics for digestive health

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very high carbohydrate content
  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs

#6 Best High-Protein Cat Food: The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is Venison. It’s a high-protein, moderate-fat wet cat food with fairly carbohydrate content. It contains 3,473 kcal/kg or about 159 kcal/cup.

Featured Recipe: Meow Wild Venison Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Wild Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver

Protein is the most important nutrient in a cat’s diet, so it’s important to choose a recipe that is formulated primarily with animal-based ingredients. This venison formula from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. contains over 63% crude protein on a dry matter basis. That’s nearly 2.5 times the AAFCO recommended minimum.

While venison is the primary protein in this recipe, it also contains lamb muscle meat, organs, and ground bone. If your cat isn’t allergic to lamb, it could be a good option.

This recipe contains a limited number of plant ingredients including kelp, rosemary, and organic virgin olive oil. Unfortunately, coconut oil is the primary source of added fat, though this recipe also contains hoki oil as a rich source of omega-3s.

Overall, this recipe is an excellent source of protein but keep in mind that it doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs for hydration. Be sure to supplement your cat’s diet with a canned food or wet cat food topper.

Ingredients

Wild Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Ground Lamb Bone, Kelp, Green Lipped Mussels, Manuka Honey, Rosemary, Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Hoki Oil, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Salt.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 60%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 63.16%
Fat: 21.05%
Fiber: 2.11%
Carbs: 13.68%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 49.35%
Fat: 39.95%
Carbs: 10.69%

Ingredients We Liked: Wild Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Ground Lamb Bone, Green Lipped Mussels, Hoki Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Lamb

What We Liked

  • Made with muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Can be used as a complete meal or meal topper
  • Very high in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Lower carb content than the average dry food

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive as a meal
  • No dry food contains the moisture your cat needs

#7 Best Low-Carb Cat Food: Ziwi Peak

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The primary source of protein in this recipe is Venison. It’s a moderate-protein, low-fat wet cat food with low carbohydrate content. It contains 1,200 kcal/kg or about 222 kcal per 6.5 ounce can.

Featured Recipe: Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Water, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Chickpeas

Because cats have a very limited ability to digest carbohydrates, it’s a good idea to look for a cat food that contains as few plant ingredients as possible. This canned cat food from Ziwi Peak only contains one plant ingredient: chickpeas.

Most of the ingredient list is made up of venison muscle meat, organs, and bone. This makes it a species-appropriate choice for cats that mimics the type of diet felines follow in the wild.

In addition to these protein-packed ingredients, this recipe contains New Zealand green mussels. Not only are mussels a supplementary source of animal protein, but they contain joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.

Generally speaking, this recipe should be highly digestible for most cats, and it is rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration.

Ingredients

Venison, Water Sufficient for Processing, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Chickpeas, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 4%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 18.18%
Fiber: 9.09%
Carbs: 13.64%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 44.03%
Fat: 42.77%
Carbs: 13.21%

Ingredients We Liked: Venison, Water, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Common Allergens: None

What We Liked

  • Rich in protein from a single novel animal source
  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Only contains one added source of carbohydrate
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration

What We Didn’t Like

  • Very expensive
  • Contains one unnecessary plant ingredient

Final Thoughts

Because your cat is an obligate carnivore, protein is the most important part of a healthy feline diet. While all animals offer a complete source of protein (one that contains all the essential amino acids your cat needs), some sources are more appropriate for cats than others.

Venison is an uncommon protein in cat food, so it’s likely one your cat hasn’t had before. If your cat has food sensitivities or allergies and you’ve exhausted your other options, venison is one to consider. Keep in mind that it’s going to be pricey, but it’s richer in protein than beef and other red meats and generally lower in fat as well.

Cats who need to lose weight or who struggle to maintain a healthy bodyweight might benefit from a lean source of protein like venison. If your cat is a healthy weight, look for a recipe that contains supplemental fat from animal sources like chicken fat or salmon oil.

Overall, the best thing you can do for your cat is choose the highest quality cat food you can consistently afford. If one of the single protein recipes on this list isn’t practical for your budget, consider using it as a food topper or as an occasional meal to boost your cat’s protein intake.

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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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