The 10 Best Healthy Canned, Soft & Wet Cat Foods For 2021

Medically reviewed by JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM

best wet cat foods

Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

The best canned, soft, and wet cat food is like a freshly-killed mouse in a can. It’s juicy and delicious while providing all the protein, fat, and micronutrients your cat needs to stay fit and frisky.

It doesn’t contain excessive carbohydrates, cheap fillers, or additives that might harm your cat. And of course, it comes from a company with a reputation for safety and customer satisfaction.

At a Glance: Top 10 Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Cat Food To Buy

Clock
2000
hours of
research
Eye
88
brands
vetted
Check
10
features
reviewed
Star
10
top
picks

Want a quick look at the products 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.

Top Pick
9.9
Picked by 2 people today!

Smalls Fresh Kills Fresh Minced Chicken

  • Fresh food made with human-grade ingredients
  • Real, high-quality animal protein
  • High in protein and moisture, very low in carbs
Runner Up
9.8
Picked by 1 people today!

Ziwi Peak Wet Cat Food

  • Made with 100% single-sourced New Zealand muscle meat and organs
  • Natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
Best Ethically Sourced
9.8
Picked by 53 people today!

Open Farm Cat Food

  • Packed with premium animal protein
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • No artificial additives or preservatives
Premium Choice
9.7
Picked by 2 people today!

Nom Nom Cat Food Meal Delivery

  • Features highly-digestible animal protein
  • Conveniently shipped to your door
  • Portioned out for your cat’s calorie needs
Best Budget
9.5
Picked by 4 people today!

Authority Chicken Entrée Adult Paté

  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
  • Free of potentially-harmful additives
Best Limited Ingredient Wet Food
9.3
Picked by 3 people today!

Cat Person Wet Cat Food

  • Rich in highly-bioavailable animal protein
  • Primarily made from duck, a novel protein for many cats
  • Low carbohydrate content
Best for Gravy Lovers
9.2
Picked by 3 people today!

Weruva Classic Grain-Free Cat Food Cans

  • Ultra-simple recipes
  • Very high protein content
  • Natural real meat appearance
Best for Weight Loss
9.0
Picked by 2 people today!

Tiki Cat Wet Cat Food

  • Great for cats who prefer shreds and stew
  • Wide variety of formulas and flavors
  • Free from thickeners or starches
Best for Picky Cats
9.0
Picked by 4 people today!

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Cat Food

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Meat-based, protein-rich foods
  • One of the most well-loved brands on the market
Best for Sensitive Stomach
8.9
Picked by 4 people today!

Hound & Gatos Cat Food

  • Uses a paleolithic dietary model that honors your cat’s carnivorous needs
  • Simple ingredient lists are great for cats with IBD and food sensitivities
  • Available in a variety of animal proteins and flavors

Why You Should Trust Us?

Over the last year, we’ve reviewed more than 80 cat food brands, including almost all of the top names in the industry. To stay on top of the latest cat food science and trends, we read scientific reports, attended industry events, spoke with cat food experts and insiders, and tested foods in the real world.

Based on this knowledge, we’ve selected the following ten brands and products as the best in the business. Each earns its place with a combination of impressive ingredient quality, nutrient profile, and company reputation.

Top Picks Explained

At the top of the list is Smalls Cat Food. This food’s top-notch ingredient list includes a whole prey-inspired variety of muscle meat, organs, and blood. It comes from a brand with a strong reputation for stringent safety standards and superior quality.

Keep reading to learn more about Smalls Cat Food and 11 more of the best wet cat foods money can buy.

#1 Our Top Pick: Smalls Cat Food Smalls-Cat-Food-Review-Chicken

CLICK HERE TO GET 25% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Smalls
  • Made In: NYC, United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 21% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $2.00 to $3.50

Smalls is a fresh cat food delivery service that uses human-grade ingredients, including premium proteins like chicken, turkey, and fish. Choose from minced-style recipes or classic pâté to provide your cat with protein-rich, low-carb cat food that is formulated for cats in all life stages. Though Smalls doesn’t portion out your cat’s meals for you, they do provide detailed feeding recommendations according to your cat’s calorie requirements. Each package of food contains about 16 ounces of food, with markings on the package at 50-calorie increments.

Smalls cat food is delivered frozen, so you’ll need to thaw the package overnight in the fridge first before feeding. Your subscription will be based on your cat’s calorie needs, and you can adjust it as needed by contacting the customer care team.

In addition to their fresh food, Smalls also offers a selection of freeze-dried cat foods, treats, and meal toppers. They also recently started selling millet and silica cat litter.

Note: In June of 2021, Smalls issued a recall of several fresh food varieties following numerous reports of food that appeared to be spoiled. Smalls claims that there were no reports of illness associated with this recall, but the most recent customer comments and reviews suggest an uptick in cases of illness potentially associated with this food. We are waiting to get more concrete information on what happened, how it affected cats, and what Smalls is doing to resolve the problem.

This is the latest in a string of issues affecting Smalls customers, including inconsistent deliveries and limited access to customer care.

Learn more about this recall in the company’s announcement and in our Smalls brand review.

Top Recipe: Smalls Fresh Kills Fresh Minced Chicken

Featuring chicken thigh, breast, and liver as the top three ingredients, this fresh food is packed with premium animal protein. Green beans, peas, and kale are the only carbohydrate ingredients, and they are naturally grain-free and rich in nutrients.

In addition to being high in protein and low in carbohydrates, this formula is rich in moisture, which helps hydration and promotes lean body mass. Overall, this minced chicken recipe is a high-quality source of balanced nutrition for cats in all life stages.

Ingredients:

Chicken Thigh, Chicken Breast, Chicken Liver, Green Beans, Peas, Water sufficient for processing, Chicken Heart, Kale, Vegetable Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Salt, Taurine, Magnesium Gluconate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, Niacin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Selenium, Dried Kelp, Biotin, Vitamin B12.

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 21.6%
Crude Fat: 8.2%
Crude Fiber: 0.4%
Moisture: 67.4%
Ash: 2.3%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 67%
Fat: 25.4%
Fiber: 1.3%
Carbs: 6.3%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 49.6%
Fat: 45.7%
Carbs: 4.7%

What We Liked:

  • Fresh food made with human-grade ingredients
  • Real, high-quality animal protein
  • High in protein and very low in carbs
  • Moisture-rich

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not individually portioned for your cat
  • Limited protein options (chicken, turkey, beef)

#2 Runner Up: Ziwi Peak Wet Cat Food

Ziwi-Peak-Canned-Venison-Cat

Buy On Chewy  Buy On Amazon

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Ziwi Peak
  • Made In: New Zealand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 10% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $8.28/day

Ziwi Peak is a New Zealand-based pet food company that offers a variety of wet and air-dried foods for dogs and cats. Their recipes are packed with premium animal proteins that are ethically sourced from New Zealand and its surrounding waters.

Also, all of their recipes are free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives. Ziwi Peak follows the PeakPrey nutritional philosophy. which guarantees high inclusions of meat, organs, and seafood with added superfoods for a nutritional boost.

When it comes to their wet cat food recipes, Ziwi Peak offers a variety of single-sourced protein formulas. These recipes are made with at least 90% fresh meat, organs, and bones to provide species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Choose from a wide range of protein options, including beef, lamb, rabbit, chicken, venison, and mackerel.

Top Recipe: Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe Cat Food

This wet cat food recipe is packed with premium animal protein and plenty of moisture. It is made with 92% fresh meat, organs, and bone from single-sourced New Zealand venison. It also includes New Zealand green mussel as a supplemental source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin, enriched with essential nutrients for balanced nutrition.

Free from artificial additives, hormones, antibiotics, and fillers, this natural cat food formula is an excellent source of species-appropriate nutrition for cats in all life stages.

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

loader
Crude Protein: 10.3%
Crude Fat: 4.1%
Crude Fiber: 2.1%
Moisture: 80.4%
Ash: 3.1%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 52.6%
Fat: 21.1%
Fiber: 10.5%
Carbs: 15.8%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 44%
Fat: 42.8%
Carbs: 13.2%

What We Liked:

  • Made with 92% single-sourced New Zealand muscle meat and organs
  • Natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • No harmful ingredients, fillers, or additives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive compared to other wet cat foods
  • Some cats dislike the flavor of the food
  • Contains chickpeas – carbs aren’t necessary for cats

#3 Best Ethically Sourced: Open Farm Cat Food

Open farm cat food

Please Use FIRSTSUB20 For First Subscription Order To Save 20%

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Open Farm
  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 37% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $3.69/day

If you have a picky consumer, Open Farm’s Harvest Chicken Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food might be a good choice for you.

This food receives excellent customer reviews, with most reporting that their cats loved its taste.And unlike many other wet cat food products that rate well in feline taste tests, this food from Open Farm is made from responsibly-sourced, seemingly high-quality ingredients.

Open Farm’s sourcing policy emphasizes humanely-raised poultry, meat, and fish. Fish-based recipes, like the one featured here, are made from sustainably-harvested wild-caught fish.

With Humanely Raised Chicken, Chicken Bone Broth, and Pumpkin as the first three ingredients, this food appears to make species-appropriate protein sources the backbone of its recipe.

Like other grain-free wet foods, it also contains legumes and other plant ingredients, but it’s a carnivore-friendly choice compared to the competition.

Overall, if you’re looking for a food that excites your cat and also like the idea of supporting initiatives to make cat food more environmentally-friendly, this recipe from Open Farm could be a good choice.

Top Recipe: Harvest Chicken Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food

In addition to being packed with protein, this fresh food formula is very low in carbohydrates. The estimated carb content is under 6% with pumpkin being the only added source of carbs.

Like all of Just Food for Dog’s fresh food recipes, this Open Farm formula is completely free from gluten, grains, and preservatives as well as artificial additives. Simply put, it’s a protein-centric, low-carb, nutritionally balanced recipe for cats in all life stages.

Ingredients:

Humanely Raised Chicken, Chicken Bone Broth, Pumpkin, Carrots, Spinach, Red Lentils, Agar Agar, Non-GMO Cranberries, Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), Chicory Root, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Salt, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Zinc, Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Kelp, Potassium, Chloride, Dandelion Greens, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Turmeric,

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 7.2%
Crude Fat: 6.2%
Crude Fiber: 2.1%
Moisture: 84.5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 38.9%
Fat: 33.3%
Fiber: 11.1%
Carbs: 16.7%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 28.5%
Fat: 59.3%
Carbs: 12.2%

What We Liked:

  • According to Open Farm, this food is made from responsibly-humanely raised chicken
  • Animal protein sources are the food’s primary ingredients
  • Free of potentially-harmful artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Cats tend to love the taste of this food

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Price is above market average

#4 Premium Choice: Nom Nom Cat Food Meal Delivery

Click Here to Get 50% Off Your First Order

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Nom Nom
  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 18% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $2-$6/day

Nom Nom is a cat food meal delivery service that makes and sells fresh, human-grade food. Every week, the Nom Nom team uses restaurant-grade ingredients to craft home-cooked meals for cats. Each meal is portioned out according to your cat’s weight, age, and weight goals, then packed into a refrigerated box and shipped to your doorstep.

Nom Nom foods arrive fresh, not frozen. They’re ready to serve right away. You can choose between weekly, biweekly, or monthly delivery, so you’ll know exactly when the food will show up and never have to run out.

If you like the idea of making homemade cat food but don’t feel ready for the time and effort involved, Nom Nom is a convenient alternative.

Nom Nom’s cat food line was introduced in the spring of 2018 and is currently limited to chicken and fish recipes. It’s never been recalled.

Top Recipe: Nom Nom Chicken Chow Meow

Nom Nom’s chicken recipe is made primarily from chicken thighs, breast, and liver, which are species-appropriate sources of protein and other nutrients.

In addition to meat, the recipe contains small amounts of fruit and vegetables, but they don’t appear to make the food particularly starchy. In all, only about 10% of the food’s calories come from carbohydrates.

Ingredients:

Chicken Thighs, Chicken Breasts, Chicken Liver, Asparagus, Carrots, Spinach, Cantaloupe, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Citric Acid (Natural Preservative), Taurine, Choline Bitartrate, Zinc Gluconate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Gluconate, Manganese Gluconate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Selenium Yeast, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Cholecalciferol (Source Of Vitamin D3), Sodium Iodide.

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 18.8%
Crude Fat: 4.2%
Crude Fiber: 0.8%
Moisture: 76.2%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 66.7%
Fat: 14.8%
Fiber: 3%
Carbs: 15.6%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 56.4%
Fat: 30.4%
Carbs: 13.2%

What We Liked:

  • Features highly-digestible animal protein
  • Conveniently shipped to your door
  • One of the few human-grade foods on the market
  • Portioned out for your cat’s calorie needs

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Contains plant ingredients

#5 Best Budget: Authority Chicken Entrée Adult Paté

Authority Chicken Entree Adult Pate Canned Cat Food

Buy On PetSmart

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Authority
  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 10% Min
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $0.96/day

What if you’re looking for great canned food, but you don’t have a huge budget? Fortunately, there’s this recipe from Authority.

It’s a meat-based, bargain-priced food featuring a mix of poultry and fish with a little bit of rice. But unlike many other budget-friendly recipes, it doesn’t contain any animal or poultry by-products. It’s also free of artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

This food nourishes your carnivore as well as many premium canned foods, with clearly-named muscle meat and liver as its main ingredients, menhaden fish oil as a nourishing source of omega-3 fatty acids, and high protein content.

Overall, it’s a low-carbohydrate, protein-rich product that breaks a lot of cheap cat food stereotypes.

It’s relatively calorie-dense, meaning that you can feed less at every meal. If you have a ten-pound cat, this food will cost you about $0.96 per day.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Ocean Fish, Brewers Rice, Dried Egg Product, Guar Gum, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Taurine, Choline Chloride, 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), Brewers Dried Yeast, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite).

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10.2%
Crude Fat: 6.6%
Crude Fiber: 0.8%
Moisture: 79.8%
Ash: 2.6%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 51.3%
Fat: 33.3%
Fiber: 4.1%
Carbs: 11.3%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 35.7%
Fat: 56.4%
Carbs: 7.9%

What We Liked:

  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
  • Free of potentially harmful additives
  • One of the most affordable foods you can buy
  • Contains menhaden fish oil as a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains vaguely-labeled ocean fish

#6 Best Limited Ingredient Wet Food: Cat Person Wet Cat Food

View on CatPerson.com

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Cat Person
  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 10% Min
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $0.68/day

Founded in early 2020, Cat Person is a new addition to the cat food marketplace. This direct-to-consumer brand prepares wet and dry cat food and ships it directly to your home according to a regular delivery schedule. In addition to custom meal plans and repeat deliveries, you’re able to order Cat Person à la carte—pick and choose the products you want.

Their wet recipes are available in two textures—pâté and shreds in broth—and each of those textures comes in 8 flavors.

For cats who need a limited ingredient diet, Cat Person has several stripped-down options, containing little more than a single protein source and tapioca as a thickener.

Top recipe: Cat Person Duck Recipe Shreds in Broth

This recipe is an unusually simple food, containing duck and duck broth as its primary ingredients, tapioca as a thickener, and an array of added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.

With none of the carrageenan, guar gum, cassia gum, or other thickeners commonly seen in wet foods, this food is unusually well-suited to sensitive bellies. It’s rich in protein, with moderate levels of fat and very low carbohydrate content.

Like other Cat Person foods, this recipe is nutritionally complete and balanced according to the AAFCO’s guidelines for all cat life stages.

Ingredients

Duck, Duck Broth, Tapioca, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Celery Powder, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Reduced Iron, Salt, Niacin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity).

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 9.7%
Crude Fat: 3.9%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 81.6%
Ash: 3.9%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 66.7%
Fat: 26.7%
Fiber: 6.7%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 50.7%
Fat: 49.3%

What We Liked:

  • Rich in highly-bioavailable animal protein
  • Primarily made from duck, a novel protein for many cats
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Free of the most common potentially harmful ingredients
  • Their limited-ingredient diet is appropriate for cats with food sensitivities or food allergies

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Limited customer reviews

#7 Best for Gravy Lovers: Weruva Classic Grain-Free Cat Food Cans

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Cuties Variety Pack Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Buy On Chewy   Buy On Amazon

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Weruva
  • Made In: Thailand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 10% Min
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $3.10/day

Weruva offers simple recipes with just a few minimally-processed ingredients. When you open up a can or pouch of Weruva, you see real meat—shredded chicken, chunks of fish, and other good-enough-to-eat ingredients. Cats who like table scraps and gravy will love the texture of Weruva cat food.

Weruva cat food is extremely water-dense, so it has fewer calories per can or pouch than other foods. This both makes it excellent for cats who need to lose weight and more expensive than the average food.

Concerningly, one Weruva brand has been involved in a serious recall. In 2017, cans of B.F.F. (Best Feline Friend) cat food were deficient in thiamine, killing dozens of Australian cats. Thiamine is an essential amino acid for cats. The incident was limited to products sold in Australia and made by a single manufacturing partner.

Top Recipe: Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frick ‘A Zee

This chicken-based recipe consists of shredded chicken in a broth thickened with locust bean gum, xanthan gum, and guar gum. These gums aren’t a necessary part of the feline diet, but there’s little indication that they’re harmful.

Ingredients:

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

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10.3%
Crude Fat: 1.6%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 85.5%
Ash: 2.1%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 66.7%
Fat: 10.7%
Fiber: 3.3%
Carbs: 19.3%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 59.6%
Fat: 23.2%
Carbs: 17.3%

What We Liked:

  • Ultra-simple recipes
  • Very high protein content
  • Natural real meat appearance

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very watery—you don’t get many calories per can
  • B.F.F., a Weruva brand, was involved in a serious recall in 2017
  • Expensive

#8 Best for Weight Loss: Tiki Cat Wet Cat Food

Tiki Cat Canned Cat Food

Buy On Chewy  Buy On Amazon

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Tiki Cat
  • Made In: Thailand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 16% Min
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $4.86/day

Although pâté-style foods are typically more species-appropriate and have lower carbohydrate content than stew-style products, a few companies create stews without starches and thickeners. Tiki Cat is one of those companies.

Their large canned food selection focuses on products made from meat, oil, and vitamins and minerals. The foods are made without any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Their foods are manufactured in Thailand, a country known for good food production and safety standards.

Tiki Cat has never been recalled.

Top Recipe: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme

This recipe is strikingly simple—it’s a can of fortified shredded chicken in broth and oil. The recipe consists of chicken, broth, oil, and supplements.

Like all Tiki Cat foods, it’s low in fat and calories, making it a good option for cats who need to lose weight.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin K3 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 16%
Crude Fat: 2.6%
Moisture: 79.8%
Ash: 1.6%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 86%
Fat: 14%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 71.7%
Fat: 28.3%

What We Liked:

  • Great for cats who prefer shreds and stew over pâté-style foods
  • Wide variety of formulas and flavors
  • Free from thickeners or starches

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains sunflower oil, which isn’t species-appropriate
  • Relatively expensive food (about $3 per day)

#9 Best for Picky Cats: Instinct by Nature’s Variety Cat Food

Instinct by Nature's Variety Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

Buy On Chewy  Buy On Amazon

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Instinct by Nature’s Variety
  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 10% Min
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $2.28/day

Though Nature’s Variety Instinct foods are marketed as natural and species-appropriate, they’re some of the fluffier ones you’ll see on this list.

Instinct canned foods are heavy on meat ingredients like chicken, turkey, and chicken liver, but also contain gimmicky plant ingredients like ground flaxseed, peas, and carrots.

Nature’s Variety pet food was recalled in 2015, 2013, and 2010. Salmonella contamination was involved in the 2015 and 2010 recalls, while the 2013 recall happened after people found clear plastic in the food.

Top Recipe: Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe

This popular pate recipe consists of 95% chicken, turkey, and chicken liver. The remaining 5% is dedicated to fruits, veggies, montmorillonite clay, vitamins, and amino acids.

Though it contains a variety of plant ingredients, the food remains low in carbohydrates and is a relatively species-appropriate option.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Egg Product, Peas, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, 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, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley.

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10.2%
Crude Fat: 7.6%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 79.2%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 45.5%
Fat: 34.1%
Fiber: 13.6%
Carbs: 6.8%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 33.7%
Fat: 61.3%
Carbs: 5.1%

What We Liked:

  • One of the most well-loved brands on the market
  • Meat-based, protein-rich foods
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Relatively low cost compared to the other brands on this list

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Recipes contain unnecessary amounts of plant ingredients
  • Instinct by Nature’s Variety has been recalled

#10 Best for Sensitive Stomach: Hound & Gatos Cat Food

Hound & Gatos Chicken & Chicken Liver Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Buy On Chewy Buy On Amazon

Read Our Full Brand Review

Overview:

  • Brand Name: Hound & Gatos
  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 10% Min
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $2.18/day

Hound & Gatos describes their foods as a “carnivore’s diet in a can.” Hound & Gatos foods contain nothing but meat, water, and thickening agents, along with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.

They’re free of soy, grains, by-products, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial flavors.

With virtually zero carbohydrate content and radically simple ingredient lists, Hound & Gatos foods are a favorite among cats with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and diabetes.

Hound & Gatos cat food has never been recalled.

Top Recipe: Hound & Gatos Chicken & Chicken Liver Formula

This leading Hound & Gatos recipe is made primarily from chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver. Like several other Hound & Gatos recipes, it contains just one animal protein, so it’s a good choice for cats with allergies and food sensitivities.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Calcium Carbonate, Agar-Agar, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Salmon Oil, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 77.6%
Ash: 2.5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 50%
Fat: 45%
Fiber: 5%

Caloric Weight Basis

loader
Protein: 31.4%
Fat: 68.6%

What We Liked:

  • Uses a paleolithic dietary model that honors your cat’s carnivorous needs
  • Simple ingredient lists are great for cats with IBD and food sensitivities
  • Available in a variety of animal proteins and flavors
  • Radically low carbohydrate content

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Customer reviews aren’t as consistently positive as they should be—many cats dislike the flavor and texture of Hound & Gatos cat food
  • Expensive

Why Choose Wet Cat Food Instead Of Dry Cat Food?

Wet Cat Food Is Usually Low In Carbohydrates

There’s absolutely no nutritionally-based rationale behind the high carbohydrate content of dry cat food. These high-carb ingredients exist to bind the kibble, allowing the extrusion process to work. They don’t do anything good for your cat’s health and, indeed, they could make your cat’s health worse by contributing to obesity and diabetes.

Also Read: Best Cat Food For Diabetic Cats

Whether it’s grain-free or contains grains, dry cat food is typically high in carbohydrates. Across the price spectrum and all varieties, wet food is almost universally lower in unnecessary plant ingredients, starches, and sugars.

Wet Food Provides The Hydration Your Cat Needs

It’s important to understand that cats don’t naturally drink a lot of water. They instinctively prefer to get water from their food. Though cats who eat dry food do drink more water than those on moist diets, they nevertheless get less hydration than a wet food-fed cat.

Also Read: The 5 Best Cat Water Fountains […and we tested them all …]

Because they take in so much less water, these cats are prone to chronic dehydration and, consequently, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD). FLUTD is a blanket term referring to the full spectrum of feline lower urinary tract disease. These conditions include urinary tract infections, urethral blockage, cystitis, and urinary crystals.

Also Read: 5 Best Cat Foods For Urinary Tract Health

If your cat is a kibble addict, you might try to remedy the water deprivation problem by adding warm water to your cat’s bowl of kibble. Unfortunately, moistened kibble is prone to aflatoxin mold growth, so when you put water in it, you’re creating a little terrarium of toxic fungus.

Alternatively, you could mix in a little bit of wet cat food with the dry food and see how your cat likes it. You could also try a water fountain for cats, which provides a running stream of fresh water for your cat.

What Should You Look For When Shopping For Wet Or Canned Cat Food?

A Great Company Reputation

Buy from companies with a reputation for quality control, safety, reliability, and good customer service.

A Company’s Recall History Can Tell You A Lot

Use your own judgment to evaluate the circumstances of, and response to, any given recall. A company with a history of constant recalls, deception, and secrecy is not one that you can trust. There’s no need to dismiss a company based on a single minor recall, provided that they responded to it swiftly, honestly, and effectively.

Good Customer Service Is Key

If your cat gets sick after eating their food or if you have questions about something on the label, you’re going to want to talk to someone at the company. Before committing to a cat food company, determine if they’ll be a friendly, accessible ally in your cat’s health.

Reputable Manufacturing

While this information is sometimes proprietary, it’s good to find out where your cat’s food is manufactured. Many companies, if not most, partner with manufacturers rather than making the cat food in their own facility. Knowing where your cat’s food is made will help you to assess its quality.

Low Carbohydrates

While wet food is more meat-dense than dry kibble, carbohydrate-laden canned food does exist, particularly among premium brands. Wholesome fruits and veggies play into a people-minded idea of feline health.

In reality, cats don’t require high-carbohydrate ingredients like sweet potato, spinach, carrots, and other ingredients sometimes included in canned food. Avoid these ingredients whenever possible.

What About Grain-Free Food?

Since corn, soy, and wheat fell out of fashion a few years ago, both dry and wet foods have adopted the grain-free label. Prior to 2019, grain-free food was popularly viewed as a healthier alternative to traditional foods. That changed in 2019. That’s when the FDA announced an investigation into grain-free food’s potential link to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

Since hearing this news, some vets are telling their clients to avoid grain-free food altogether.

But there’s good news for those who feed their cats wet food—there’s a big difference between grain-free kibble and grain-free wet food.

We don’t yet know what causes the correlation between grain-free food and DCM, but diet could still play a role. The FDA’s investigation is ongoing.

Highly-Digestible Protein

Cat food labels list crude protein and fat only. They don’t differentiate from digestible and indigestible proteins.

When you read the label, 20% protein from leather and 20% protein from turkey look like the same thing. While it’s almost impossible to know exactly how digestible any given food is, the ingredient list does give you a few hints.

Animal By-Products Often Fall into the Category of Low-value Protein.

The problem with by-products is not the fact that they look gross. In fact, the bloodiest, messiest foods are some of the best nourishment for cats. A mouse brain isn’t appetizing, but it’s one of the best things your cat could eat.

The real issue is that meat by-products are completely opaque ingredients. They’re mystery meat, and for your cat, that means unknown biological value.

Meat by-products are a nondescript slurry of meat and include animal parts spanning the bioavailability spectrum. Byproducts could be nourishing or you could get a can of meat byproducts consisting of non-nutritive feet and other minimally-digestible tissues.

To avoid this nutritional ambiguity, choose foods with clearly-identified meats on the ingredient list. Look for words like “chicken”, “beef”, “deboned turkey”, and “quail liver”.

Plant Protein May Also Be Less Biologically Available.

While we don’t know exactly which protein sources are the most bioavailable, we do know that animal products are more nutritionally efficient for your carnivore.

While your cat might get all the amino acids he needs from a single mouse, you’d have to mix an array of plant proteins and synthetics to achieve the same amino acid profile.

When looking for the best cat food on the market, we avoided those that contain plant protein sources like wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, pea protein, and soy.

Safe Binders

Though not nutritionally necessary or species-appropriate, gums appear in almost every wet cat food, including some of the best. If you can’t avoid gums, you should know which ones are safe and which ones might harm your cat. Note that all gums are sources of soluble fiber, which increases transit time and can inhibit protein and fat metabolism.

Avoid carrageenan. Approach xanthan gum and guar gum with caution.

The most notorious cat food binder is carrageenan. While the carrageenan used in cat food is food-grade and theoretically won’t cause inflammation or cancer, there’s substantial evidence suggesting that food-grade carrageenan isn’t as safe as it should be.

Xanthan gum is generally considered safe but might not be right for every cat. It’s the product of simple sugar fermentation and may carry traces of the fermentation medium. Cats who are allergic to the soy, wheat, dairy, or corn used to make xanthan gum may have an allergic reaction. Some non-allergic cats experience diarrhea or GI discomfort after eating xanthan gum due to its high fiber content.

Agar-agar, cassia gum, and locust bean gum are acceptable in small quantities.

In response to the widespread rejection of carrageenan, many cat food manufacturers have adopted agar as a thickener of choice. Agar, also known as agar-agar, is carrageenan’s friendlier cousin. Both are derived from red algae, but agar-agar has no apparent link to inflammation.

Guar gum is one of the most common thickeners in wet cat food. It appears to be safe, but it has laxative properties. This is helpful for constipated cats but may give others GI discomfort or diarrhea.

Cassia gum is made from the endosperm of the seeds of Senna obtusifolia (commonly known as sicklepod) and Senna tora (commonly known as sickle senna). This gum is relatively uncommon in cat food and has no known negative health effects.

Locust bean gum is generally considered safe for cats and has no known negative health effects. It’s extracted from the seeds of the carob tree and has no history of causing health problems in cats or people.

Best Healthy Canned, Soft, & Wet Cat Food Summed Up:

Brand NameMade InProteinAge RangeCost Per Day
SmallsUnited States21% minAll Life Stages$2.00 to $3.50
Ziwi PeakNew Zealand10% minAll Life Stages$8.28/day
Just Food for CatsUnited States12% minAll Life Stages$3.50 to $4.50
Nom NomUnited States18% minAll Life Stages$2-$6/day
AuthorityUnited States10% minAdult$0.96/day
Cat PersonUnited States10% minAdult$0.68/day
WeruvaThailand10% minAdult$3.10/day
Tiki CatThailand16% minAdult$4.86/day
InstinctUnited States10% minAdult$2.28/day
Hound & GatosUnited States11% minAdult$2.18/day

Want To Learn More About Choosing Healthy Food For Your Cat? Click Here To Check Out Our Complete Guide To The Best Cat Food On The Market

About the author


Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What wet food is best for my cats?

While all cats are obligate carnivores and share a requirement for flesh-based nutrition, your cat’s ideal diet is determined by highly-individual factors. Consider your cat’s flavor preferences and health needs, then build on those requirements to find the highest-quality wet cat food you can afford.

What is the best inexpensive wet cat food?

WholeHearted, Authority, and Simply Nourish are a few of the best inexpensive wet cat food brands on the market. You’ll also find a few good recipes from Fancy Feast’s Classics and Flaked lines.

What is the best wet cat food for indoor cats?

The best wet cat food for indoor cats is a satisfying, species-appropriate diet that helps to keep your cat strong and lean. Avoid foods that contain too much starch, fiber, or calories.

Is dry or wet cat food best for cats?

Because it's hydrating, usually low in carbohydrates, and tends to be meatier than kibble, wet food is almost always best for cats. A dry diet is convenient, but it could increase your cat's chances of developing urinary tract disease and diabetes.

86 thoughts on “The 10 Best Healthy Canned, Soft & Wet Cat Foods For 2021

  1. rick

    question, first of all, thank you for this site and research Mallory. my question is, if after you have fed your cat a certain kind of pate for weeks, then your cat vomits once, does that mean your cat is now intolerant of THAT particular kind of food? my wife switches can food every time our cat vomits and it make me question it.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Rick,

      Thanks for your question! Vomiting once after weeks of feeding doesn’t necessarily indicate an intolerance. If you really want to get to the bottom of this, I’d recommend trying an elimination diet and carefully reintroducing proteins to determine which, if any, protein sources trigger GI issues. Otherwise, you’re switching foods willy-nilly and, even if your cat does have a food intolerance or allergy, you don’t know exactly which ingredients he or she is sensitive to.

      Hope this answers your question!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
    2. Linda Owings

      What I have to say is nothing nice but…if the truth be known all cat’s domestic and the big cat’s are carnivores they have to have meat (red meat)Fish and seafood is good (shrimp, lobster, white fish, trout, cod )poultry not so much. Red meat is a must have without red meat cat’s can suffer from anemia and die. Now Science and research are using cat’s for research, trying to find out what makes the cat’s do what they do. Always land on their feet, their independence, survive on their own even the house cat will become feral. As for all this new high tech food Seriously fruits and vegetables probiotics vitamins etc,etc etc. Not only cat’s, dog’s, and pretty much all species are lab rats. Trying to get cat food close to human consumption! Lots of luck. A cat will leave you if you don’t feed them what they want. People can’t own a cat although they are dedicated loyal mysterious their instincts and intuition is amazing. But very Finicky when it comes to eating, when they refuse to eat the food trust and believe they will be gone and catch their own

      Reply
  2. Thais Bell

    The cat I feed and provide a safe place for her to sleep outdoors is a feral Her ear is clipped, which means she is fixed and had shots, hopefully. She loves Meow Mix singles, which I hate due to bad ingredients. I am sure she eats mice, birds and insects, so I want to feed her a better wet cat food and not Pate, which she hates. She loves chicken. What could you suggest? Note: I can’t afford the high price brands.

    Reply
    1. mEOW meow MEOw

      Wholehearted is a Petco brand priced on par with Fancy Feast/Meow Mix but with much better ingredients. Recommend looking into their wet food formulas!

      Reply
  3. Alex

    Hi. Are there any non grain free wet cat foods that you would recommend. Your top ten are all grain free. I have been reading worrying things about the effects of grain free food on dogs. Worried that these may also be detrimental to cats.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Alex,

      Thanks for your question. I’m not sure what you’ve read about the effects of grain-free food for dogs, but there’s no reason why a grain-free diet would be detrimental to a cat’s health. The foods on this list were chosen for their ingredient quality and meat-heavy, low-carbohydrate formulations. Why? Because that’s what appears to be both natural and nourishing for cats. In terms of feline nutrition, grains are no different from any other high-carbohydrate plant ingredient. They don’t do anything to make cats healthier or happier and there’s no reason to include them in cat food.

      Hope this was helpful!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
        1. Mallory Crusta

          Hi Alex, thanks for sharing that link.

          I’m thinking that since almost all of the reports were associated with grain-free dry food rather than any other variety, the problem is not in the absence of grains but more likely in the presence of other ingredients like potatoes, peas, and other legumes. These ingredients are essential in most grain-free dry foods but very few canned foods have them. Others have speculated that other exotic proteins, fruits, and vegetables may be to blame. These are likely more common in grain-free foods because the grain-free dry food market is so trend-driven. That said, most canned food has been grain-free since day one. Because they’re not as fashionable as grain-free kibble, fewer canned foods contain exotic or trendy ingredients.

          This is an interesting issue and I’ll be staying tuned to learn more about the FDA’s findings.

          Best,

          Mallory

          Reply
  4. Becca Bruce

    My cat was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and has been eating prescription food since. Now my vet says her numbers have been normal for over a year and it must have been an acute reaction. He wants her to go off of the prescription kidney food. I’m concerned about going from a high carb diet to food that is high in protein, which they all seem to be. What food is higher in carbs and are certain carbs that are better for cats?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Becca,

      I understand your concerns about switching your cat off the prescription food—I’d probably be apprehensive, too.

      I’m not a vet, so of course, take this with a grain of salt, but I have never found any indication that a high-carbohydrate diet is in any way beneficial for cats with kidney issues. Renal diets tend to be higher in carbohydrates because renal diets are typically low in protein, not because they do anything good for a cat with kidney disease. Carbohydrate matter just happens to fill the void when you cut back on protein. Healthy, diabetic, or suffering from another condition, cats seem to do well on a diet with 10% carbohydrate content or less.

      Secondly, there’s a growing group of veterinarians and researchers who think protein quality is more important than quantity when it comes to controlling kidney disease, so increasing your cat’s protein content likely won’t cause a problem so long as that protein is highly-digestible. Digestibility is a pretty poorly understood area, but in general, it appears that the most digestible protein comes from named meat ingredients—not animal by-products or plant proteins.

      Then there’s the phosphorus issue. You can find plenty of non-prescription foods with phosphorus levels that are safe for both healthy cats and those with kidney disease. Off the top of my head, good brands include Nom Nom, Weruva, and Tiki Cat. Foods that contain ground bone will typically have more phosphorus. This cat food database allows you to search for foods by phosphorus content: https://catinfo.org/chart/index.php

      If you want to learn more about the fundamental ideas behind renal diets, please read our article on the best food for cats with kidney disease. https://allaboutcats.com/best-cat-food-for-kidney-disease

      Again, I’m not a veterinarian, but if I were in your position, I would look for a non-prescription food with highly-digestible protein and controlled phosphorus levels. These two qualities would put my mind at ease just in case she does still have some kidney issues and they’re equally appropriate for a cat with full kidney function.

      Hope this answered your questions and helps you to make a decision!

      Take care,

      Mallory

      Reply
  5. Julie Roberson

    I have 7 cats and really want to feed them the best food which I think is wet food. I have been feeding them the Natures Variety Instinct & Weruva can foods. Also feed them dry (Natures Variety Instincts) mix with the wet. I just really am not sure if that is good for them or not plus I just can’t really afford it. I research and think I have found something but then find out it’s had recalls, or something that’s not good in it. What do you recommend for 7 cats ages 1 year to 3 years old.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hello Julie,

      First off, it’s great that you’re trying to find the best food for your seven kitties. I know how challenging it is to try to find something that meets all of your requirements. It sounds like you’re on the right track with what you’re feeding your cats now, but if you want something more affordable, you might consider a brand that another commenter recently brought to my attention—Petco’s WholeHearted. WholeHearted food is similar to Tiki Cat or Weruva at a much lower price. Plus it’s never been recalled, which should give you some peace of mind.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  6. Rose Stone

    Hi, I have a three year old cat, Schmoopy, who was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure and given a three month to three year survival time. After some research I have decided on an organic herbal heart remedy and most importantly a high quality human grade pet food. In your opinion is there such a pet food on the market? Are any of the above foods superior for a sick kitty?

    Reply
  7. Mallory Crusta

    Hi Rose,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that Schmoopy was diagnosed with congestive heart failure—that must have been hard news to receive.

    To answer your question, any of the foods listed in this article should be good for your kitty. Of the brands listed, Weruva, Tiki Cat, and Nom Nom are the only ones that claim to use human-grade ingredients or human food processing facilities. While the others are made in Thailand, Nom Nom is made in a US kitchen that meets human food safety standards. All of the brands on this list—whether they emphasize human-grade ingredients or not—appear to use top-quality ingredients and have good safety reputations, but if that human-grade status is your top priority, I’d go for Nom Nom.

    Remember—many companies use ingredients that are technically human-grade but don’t make human-grade claims about their food. Feel free to try a variety of foods to find out which ones meet both your and Schmoopy’s standards.

    Hope this helps!

    Take care,

    Mallory

    Reply
  8. Delmy Rivera

    Hi, I have a cat that was diagnosed with crystals in his urine.. I want to know if I should switch his food from Royal canin to Farmina vet life Strivite it’s another prescription food.He really likes it and it has potato as one of the ingredients. Is this good for my cat?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Delmy,

      Thanks for commenting!

      Farmina Vet Life Struvite food may be able to help your cat—provided that you know he has struvite, not calcium oxalate, crystals.

      It’s hard to say whether the Farmina or Royal Canin food is a better option, especially since you didn’t mention which Royal Canin food you’ve been buying. Royal Canin has a larger variety of urinary tract foods, including a selection of wet recipes, so they’re a better option for those who want to make sure their cat gets enough moisture.

      As far as I can tell, Farmina Vet Life Struvite Management is only available in a dry variety. This means that while it addresses crystal formation in other areas, it fails to provide something vital to urinary tract health—moisture. Unless absolutely necessary, we always encourage people to pass on dry food—prescription or otherwise—in favor of high-moisture diets.

      Ultimately, I would continue feeding the Farmina Vet Life food while incorporating more water-rich products as much as you can.

      Our article on the best cat food for urinary health may help you further:

      https://allaboutcats.com/best-cat-food-urinary-tract-health

      Hope this helps!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  9. Emily Johnston

    Hi 1st time kitty mama here I’m trying to do all the research I can to make sure I’m feeding her healthy foods. And after looking at this site the food I thought was a good food was given a C by this site so I had gotten some samples of the simply nourish and she seems to like it..which from reading on here it’s looks like it’s a pretty good brand for dry food. I’ve been buying the blue buffalo kitten wet food though… However I have heard mixed reviews about blue buffalo as well so I’m thinking maybe of going to the wellness brand or natures variety. But anyways any tips for this 1st time cat owner would be greatly appreciated. It really looks like this site really dives in and does it’s research. So thank you for having this out here for us!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hello Emily,

      Glad to have you here!

      Simply Nourish, Wellness, and Nature’s Variety are all decent options for your kitten. I recommend giving all of them a try. Find out which of them she prefers and which work for you.

      Feeding a cat should be easy and intuitive—if you ever find that it’s stressing you out, you’re worrying too much. To keep it simple, remember that your kitten is a carnivore. The more her food resembles an animal, the better. Like a fresh prey animal, a good feline diet is high in protein with moderate fat, low or no carbohydrates, and all of the vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids your cat needs to thrive. Most freeze-dried and raw diets do this pretty well, with canned foods a close second. Dry foods are usually a little bit more plant-heavy and don’t have the water content your cat needs. Once you have that foundation down, it’s all about accommodating budget, taste preferences, and sometimes, health issues.

      Have you read our complete guide to feline nutrition? If you haven’t, you may want to check it out—it’s a long, comprehensive piece that will give you a good sense of which foods are best and why.

      https://allaboutcats.com/the-complete-guide-to-feline-nutrition

      Other than that, enjoy your new kitten! This is a special time and I’m excited for you.

      Take care,

      Mallory

      Reply
  10. Datdamwuf

    Hello,
    good breakdown but can you tell me how you reached the estimated cost per day? I used to have a link to good calculator for calories per day by (healthy) weight but can’t find it. Is your estimate based on a 10 lb cat, or? My main coons ate 5.5 ounces 2 x a day of Wellness grain free and similar brands.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hello!

      Thanks for commenting.

      I calculated the typical cost per day based on 200 calories per day, which is a generally good target for a 10-lb cat. I don’t know how it compares to the calculator you used to have a link to, but you might like this calculator from the Pet Nutrition Alliance:

      https://www.petnutritionalliance.org/cat.php

      Hope this answers your question! Let us know if you need anything else.

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
      1. Norfarizan Atan

        Hi Mallory, writing from S’pore here. Happened to this website by chance and very glad that I did. I have a senior girl cat, whom has a dehydration issue. She became fussy about eating in the past year and only eats wet food now. She does not like drinking water and so, i’veen feeding her a combination of puree, mousse, canned food, and weekly chicken/tuna fillets as treats. This was by recomended by some friends but it turns out, her dehydration issue has not improved, based on the blood tests just did yesterday. Sorry for being long-winded. Can you please recommend a suitable range/brand for my cat? Must be free of pork ingredients…..thank you. PS: bought a water fountain but she wont drink from it(:

        Reply
        1. Mallory Crusta

          Hey there! Glad you stumbled upon the site. Between the variety of high-moisture foods and the water fountain (even though she won’t drink from it), you’re certainly giving your cat plenty of options for getting hydrated. Before focusing on her diet, I would focus on the underlying cause of the dehydration.

          Reply
          1. Mahnoor Khan

            Hi Mallory! I have a 1 year old cat that I want to feed her wet food. Currently, I’ve been feeding her dry cat food with water added. Could I start feeding her wet food right away or should I transition to wet food slowly? Also, can you tell me if the Berkley Jensen Beef and Poultry in Gravy wet cat food is good for my cat please?
            Thanks!

          2. Mallory Crusta

            Hello Mahnoor, I would recommend a gradual transition. As for the quality of Berkley Jensen Beef and Poultry in Gravy food, it appears to be an acceptable choice similar to food from Friskies or Fancy Feast. While some of its vaguely-labeled ingredients like “animal liver” and “meat by-products” do raise some questions about quality, the food presents a good concentration of animal ingredients and protein without a lot of starch. Considering that it’s also formulated to meet AAFCO requirements, it appears to be a sound wet food choice.

  11. CpCats

    I would not recommend the Dr Elsey’s Clean Protein for senior cats. The inclusion of agar-agar makes it a no go for cats with hyperthyroidism, which is an extremely common disease in senior-age cats.
    Agar-agar is a seaweed derived ingredient (like carrageenan) and so contains excess iodine, which will make hyperthyroidism worse

    Reply
  12. Mallory Crusta

    Hi CpCats,

    Thank you for your observations on agar-agar for cats with hyperthyroidism. Though Dr. Elsey’s food still looks like a worthwhile option for the majority of senior cats, you’re right—it might not be a good choice for cats with hyperthyroidism. We’ve updated the article to address this issue.

    Best,

    Mallory

    Reply
  13. Judy M.

    Great article with clear concise information. I just adopted two five month old kittens. I need to be at a moderate cost on the food but want good quality. I purchased some Whole Hearted wet kitten food and somehow missed the very tiny Product of Thailand on the label. I want to stick to made in the USA. I’m thinking that I’d like to feed a combination of wet and dry (not mixed together). I lost a cat to Feline Urological Disease once and never want to go down that road again. Thanks for the great information and any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
    1. South Florida cat mom

      Thank you for posting your comment. I, too, have decided to focus on foods manufactured her in the U.S.

      Reply
  14. Dana Stevens

    I notice Smalls is not in your list of best wet cat foods. But I also see you gave it a very good review separately. Not having been able to get my cats to eat nom nom, I m trying to decide between Smalls fresh and Tiki Cat canned salmon which they also love. How would you compare Smalls fresh with Tiki Cat?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Dana, good question! Smalls fresh cat food is nutritionally comparable to Tiki Cat and slightly cheaper. The biggest question is whether or not it appeals to your cat’s texture and taste preferences. I’d recommend giving Smalls a try and seeing if your cat likes it, then making a decision from there.

      Reply
  15. Jenny azcat

    I’ve ordered this before and my cats like it and it’s healthy good food. My only issue is with the vendor, K9 Naturals. The cans were all loose out of the packaging and many were dented. It looked like someone tossed them into the box from across the room. This is not okay in any circumstances, but especially for the high price of this food!

    Reply
  16. Camryn

    Our 3 year old cat has never been picky about canned food. He loved everything. We bought this for him because of the great ingredients and now he refuses to eat anything else. I mean absolutely will not go near anything else. Now we have to commit to the pricetag. Lesson learned: don’t buy the good stuff if you can’t commit!!

    Reply
    1. South Florida cat mom

      Which brand specifically are you referring to? It looks like your comment might have been in reply to one about the Smalls brand.

      Reply
  17. Ann Moody

    Based largely on your reviews and advice, we have been transitioning our overweight senior, recently adopted shelter cat to a wet-based diet. She had been on Hills Science Diet Adult Light exclusively for several years due to observed indigestion problems at the shelter, and I appreciate their efforts to take the best care of her that they could. I was nervous about any change for this reason. However, I am transitioning her to a more varied, wet-based diet (probably about 60-40 wet to dry but I want to get her to about 80-20), and her kibble to Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Light, which she really likes – though it probably has more fiber and plant matter than she needs, it seems to be a good transition food from the corn, wheat, and rice that were the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ingredients in her prior diet.

    I also have given her several Tiki Cat wet foods, including the full Grill line and the Tiki Cat Stix wet treats. I notice in other brand reviews you mention a concern with too much fish in a cat’s diet so I have been introducing novel proteins as well – like lamb, venison, and duck. I want to thank you for this site and all your useful information. Right now in the house we have cans of Nulo, Authority, Purina Muse, Wellness Core, Tiki Cat, Nutro, Fancy Feast (flaked fish and shrimp only) , Great Choice (Petsmart cheapo store brand), and Sheba, which in particular is handy because it’s readily available at the local Dollar General and also pretty cheap, and my mom finds it easiest to feed the cat in the little portioned servings as packaged.

    I do not shop strictly by brand, but by ingredients as you have basically taught me. I can see it might be possible to get a budget or store brand with meat based ingredients and no grain or carrageenan which could be healthier than a fancy brand full of cornmeal and icky additives.

    I am happy to report that in spite of the shelter stating this cat had to be kept on the strict dry diet of just the one food, which she was on for at least two full years, she has been doing very well on the wet-based diet and completely different kibble. LItter box use indicates the plumbing is functioning well, hairballs don’t seem to be a problem. She has seemed to like almost everything I have given her and it’s literally all been because of your recommendations. I have not been focusing on her weight but I think she is losing very slowly as wet food makes up a higher proportion of her diet and I will gradually cut down as needed going forward.

    Thank you not only for the details on so many brands and varieties, but much more importantly, the education on what to look for on every single package before we buy so I can make good choices for her every time I shop. This is easily the best website I have found anywhere on the internet for outstanding cat food advice.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Oh, Ann, this is such a wonderful comment! It brightened my day. It’s great to see your thought process as you made changes in your cat’s diet and—best of all—to hear that your choices are bringing about such great results. Keep up the great work!

      Reply
  18. Amanda Antognini

    I have a 14 year old male. He has been eating blue Buffalo dry and canned. He now seems to vomit every time he eats the canned food, also does not seem interested in the dry food. We recently adopted an overweight 6 year old female who is eating rachel ray’s grain free wet food my senior wants her food but vomits unless I give him a tiny bit. I have read and researched for hours, just when I think I’ve found the right food I find something that makes me second guess my choice. Please help!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Amanda, it is a challenging situation! Have you ruled out illness? If your 14-year-old is vomiting after eating both the Blue Buffalo and Rachael Ray food, it could point to something other than a dietary issue. I would seek a veterinarian’s input before seeking dietary modifications.

      Reply
  19. Rosa Maria

    Feline natural canned cat food and pure vita are a few of them which my little kitty likes the most. By the way, I have noted other cat foods you suggested. However, I am not sure if my cat loves a different taste or not. Still, I would love to try them. Thanks!

    Reply
  20. Denise

    What is your opinion on Newman’s Own cat food? I know the brand to be organic and natural for humans.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Newman’s Own foods can be a good option if you’re intent on choosing organic cat food! Their foods contain a little more plant matter than I’d consider ideal and they contain carrageenan, but overall, they seem to have comparably high-quality ingredients and, if you can find them in a store in your area, they could be a good choice. I’ve noticed that their cat foods are difficult to find online through Chewy or Amazon.

      Reply
  21. Susan

    Thank you for your research and the resulting list. I completely switched to wet food a few years ago but unfortunately lost a very special cat not long after. Exploratory abdominal surgery found abscesses all over his pancreas leaving only about 10% of the organ viable. The vet was quite surprised at this finding and told me this is quite rare in cats and more common in dogs. I still don’t know if this condition could have been caused by something in what I had been feeding (I had him since he was old enough to adopt as a kitten and lost him at age 11). As a result I take what I feed even more seriously than before. I have fed a couple of the brands in your top 10 and am re-evaluating for my 2 cats (one is 12, the other 2). I also found a pretty extensive list with recommendations of what to feed and what to avoid, along with explanations, at the following link: https://happycatshaven.org/knowledgebase/cat-food-what-to-feed-what-to-avoid/. This list includes many of the things you say to avoid and adds others. Unfortunately even the “better” brands often have ingredients this list says should be avoided. Additionally I noticed kelp in a couple of brands in your top 10 and found an article discussing the possible dangers of kelp for cats and dogs, https://www.pethealthandnutritioncenter.com/kelp-iodine-for-dogs-and-cats.html. Finding a truly healthy/ species appropriate food is challenging and time consuming. I want to make a very informed decision for my 2 guys.

    Reply
  22. Judy

    Hi, regarding the Ziwi review, the can and ingredients say it’s venison, but your review says lamb. Venison is deer meat so these can’t both be correct. Lamb is not listed in the ingredients. Just thought you might want to correct whichever is the error. Thanks!

    Reply
  23. Jackie Ann

    Hi! I just got my sampler of smalls- thought I should ask, are you sponsored in any way by them? I’m eager to give them a shot but I am a little weary of cat foods with a lot of bone content as my 1.5 year old already has a little granular activity going on in his bladder, which I think was due to feeding him orijen six fish for a while. I just want to make sure he stays healthy! Thanks for this site- very helpful!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Jackie, thank you for commenting! We are not sponsored by Smalls, but we do receive affiliate commissions on sales made through our links. As for the bone content of Smalls and how it might affect your cat’s health, I would certainly recommend consulting with a veterinarian before making this decision. Their freeze-dried food does contain bone and may have slightly higher-than-absolutely-necessary levels of phosphorus and other minerals, but it’s difficult to say exactly how that would affect your cat’s health. Thank you again for stopping by and I hope you find something that’s a good fit for your kitty!

      Reply
  24. Susie

    Thank you so much for your research! I have three felines and feed them both dry and wet food. One is an older kitten but the other two are adults. They are picky eaters and I’ve had a time finding food they all like. One of my girls is a large (big boned) cat who is a bit overweight as well so I worry about diabetes – but so far so good.
    I recently switched to Purina pro plan LiveClear because my son, who visits frequently, has developed a severe cat allergy. The food did not seem to make a difference so I am open to switching again and will consider your recommendations for dry food here. QUESTION : I have been feeding them AVODERM Grain Free Tuna and Chicken recipe which I picked up from Chewy and at the time had good reviews. I do not see a that you reviewed this food yet but maybe I missed it? Your comments would be mightily appreciated! PS: one of my cats tends to vomit for unknown reasons – she has been given a clean bill of health. I have not found a food that makes a difference with that.

    Reply
  25. Akrivi

    Hello from Greece,
    I have read almost everything you have written and I must say that I feel more confident about my decisions. As you may know, here in Greece we don’t have so many different brands – alternatives. I am a mother of two cat girls (Naomi- 1,5 year old and Beady- 1 year old) and a little puppy. My girls have been recently neutered and started to gain some weight that doesn’t worry me for the moment but I take into consideration. Their favorite dry food is obviously the worst (Whiskas) and from wet food they’re in love with Purina Gourmet. I’m trying to change it slowly because they become picky sometimes. I would like to know your opinion about Purina Cat Chow (they also love it ) and Farmina. I’m thinking of starting to feed with Acana or Orijen and if not so bad to give them occasionally Gourmet in order to do them a favor and not to feel so bad… Any other wet food recommendations?

    Thank you in advance for your time!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hello Akrivi, thank you for commenting! Purina Cat Chow doesn’t rank among our top recommendations, but Farmina appears to be among the best dry food brands on the market, perhaps ranking above Acana and Orijen in terms of reputation. As for other wet food recommendations, I’m unfortunately not very well-versed in brands sold in Greece. As long as your cats’ wet food is primarily made from animal ingredients and nutritionally complete and balanced, it should be a good choice. Sorry I wasn’t able to give more specific advice, but I hope that this helps you to feel even more confident about your choices for your two kitties.

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
      1. Akrivi

        Thank you very much for your help. I didn’t know that Farmina was considered to be better than Acana and Orijen. I will do my research ?.

        Reply
        1. Mallory Crusta

          Hello again, Akrivi! It looks like Optimanova is aiming to do something similar to Royal Canin by creating a line of condition-specific recipes. While doing that, they appear to be using pretty outstanding ingredients and, from what I can tell, they’re doing a good job of emphasizing fresh and dehydrated meat ingredients in their recipes. Overall, they do appear to be offering a high-quality product. That said, their foods do seem to be relatively high in carbohydrates and still aren’t ideal. It appears that at least some Farmina N&D recipes are higher in protein and may also have somewhat less carbohydrate content. I would choose one recipe from each brand that appeals to you and compare them side-by-side to determine which has the most protein from animal sources. By looking at the food’s fat and protein content, you can determine its carbohydrate content, which is probably the most important thing to consider when evaluating a dry cat food. Here’s a carbohydrate calculator that may help you make your final decision: http://fnae.org/carbcalorie.html

          Reply
  26. Fritz

    I’m surprised to see Natures Variety/Instinct and Weruva listed, considering both companys’ recall history.
    Thats was why we switched to Ziwi and Tiki. Although both are rather expensive and I’ve begun to distrust Tiki made in Thailand of late.
    And who knows where many of these companies source their ingredients.
    While the Nos, Smalls & Cate persons are prolly the best of the lot, they are all more expensive, by a lot, than DIY, which I’ve decided to try. I’d bet that is why those 3 and others like then have come to exist.

    Reply
  27. Pat

    Hi I have a very fussy cat that will not eat any wet canned food it has to be pouches. Can you recommend any for her? One of the recommended ones instinct for fussy cats she won’t even go near it. Help! Thanks for your time.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Pat, I would think about the qualities of the food in the pouch that make it appealing to your cat. Is it more juicy than the food in a can? Are you feeding different flavors from the pouches? Different textures? If you can identify what makes the pouched food preferable, you can find canned foods with the same qualities. Otherwise, try a gradual transition from dry to wet and consider alternatives like rehydrated freeze-dried food or a fresh homemade-style diet.

      Reply
  28. Maryann

    Hi Mallory, My vet recommended a diet that is high in fiber for my senior cat with kidney issues. But now I’m confused after learning that cats are not supposed to have carbohydrates in their diet. I just subscribed to the Smalls program because I want my cats to get more hydration from wet foot, but now I’m concerned that my cat will not be getting enough fiber given the Smalls food is mostly protein. Can you please help “de-mystify” this for me? Are cats supposed to have fiber/carbs? If so, how much? Thank you in advance for your help! -Maryann

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Maryann, thank you for commenting. A high-fiber diet isn’t necessarily the same as a high-carbohydrate diet. Fiber is indigestible carbohydrate matter, and it doesn’t increase your cat’s blood sugar. In the case of a cat with kidney disease, I would prioritize managing the kidney condition over other considerations. Consultation with your veterinarian should help to clear things up.

      Reply
  29. Kea

    Hello! We have a 7 year old indoor cat that weighs just under 8 lbs. Other then throwing-up occasionally (1-3x every few days), she seems very healthy. For the past 4 or so years, we have been feeding her the following: 1/4 3 oz. can of Fancy Feast grain-free wet classic pate (in a variation of flavors) 3x a day (9a, 4:30p, and 10p) + she has 24/7 access to dry food (Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Natural Dry Cat Food in a couple different flavors) which is stored in a food dispenser. Every Friday night, since it’s pizza night in our home, we treat her to a 1.32 oz. can of Sheba wet pate in place of her regular Fancy Feast dinner. When we first got her, we attempted to feed her much higher-quality wet food, but she refused to eat it. At that point we started feeding her Fancy Feast out of convenience and because she loved it, but went the grilled route versus pate until our vet recommended we switch to the latter. Now that she’s getting older, I’m curious about whether we should try for a better-quality food again. I’m also curious if we should be feeding her more. She seems satisfied by the amount we feed her now for the most part, but I don’t know if 2.25 oz. a day is substantial enough. Given that we’re also on a budget, what foods (wet and dry) would you recommend we try, and how much would you recommend we feed her each day? I’d also like to know your thoughts about what we’re feeding her currently, whether you consider them good, decent, or total crap options. It’s hard to know since there seem to be so many mixed reviews out there. Thanks in advance for your time/insight!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Kea, frankly, I think that what you’re feeding your cat sounds almost ideal for someone on a budget and whose cat doesn’t like some of the fancier options out there. Constant access to the Rachael Ray dry food should ensure that she never goes undernourished. And considering that she’s maintained her weight well, it sounds like it’s working well for her. As she gets older, your main consideration will probably be keeping her on a highly-digestible diet with plenty of very bioavailable protein, and this may mean switching to something that doesn’t contain animal by-products. Assuming that its phosphorus content is in line with your vet’s recommendations for kidney health, I might consider trying a freeze-dried diet for potentially-superior protein intake. This might also help with some of that chronic vomiting you’re seeing.

      Reply
  30. Paul

    Hi, I found out that some cat foods don’t contain ash, how can I calculate the carbs or DMB if I don’t see the ash? TY

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Paul, unfortunately, it’s difficult to get good estimates on any of this. I generally assume roughly 3% ash for wet foods and 6% ash for dry, though, as these percentages seem to be typical. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  31. kittymeowmeow

    Hello! I was wondering what your thoughts are on the new Instinct by Natures Variety kitten frozen and freeze dried food. I have been trying to get my 7 month old to eat a raw diet but I cannot find the phosphorus % for this food and fear feeding anything with too much bone. Also, recommended amount for kittens is 2 grams per 1,000 calories of phosphorus. How much would this be on an as fed and dry matter basis? Do I just divide by 2 to find adult amount? One last thing, when checking the typical analysis of cat food, is it dry matter basis? I also have been considering Stella and Chewy boneless recipes with kitten wet food. Thank you, I was put in charge of the new kittens diet, its a stressful job! I don’t think I would have made it as a cat parent without you!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi there! Sorry about the late reply. This is a great comment—you’re asking some challenging questions. So, here goes:
      1. On a very general level—just looking at the ingredient list without the added nuance of ingredient amounts and manufacturing processes—Instinct by Nature’s Variety raw and freeze-dried food for kittens looks good. I’m seeing a nice mix of muscle meat, organs, and bones, plus a nice range of additives to ensure that the food is nutritionally complete and supports healthy digestion. I think that either the freeze-dried or frozen recipe would be a great choice for a kitten.
      2. I had to contact the company, and they said that the frozen food is 1.33% phosphorus, while the freeze-dried food is 1.2% phosphorus, both on a dry matter basis. As I’ll mention later, this sounds about right for a kitten according to AAFCO guidelines.
      3. As for converting from grams/calories, it’s going to be different for every food, since they have different caloric densities. This is the calculator I use to make these types of conversions: https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/08/nutrient_converter/
      4. AAFCO’s guidelines require that an adult food is at least 0.4% phosphorus versus 1.0% for kittens (on a dry matter basis). So it’s not quite double. While I respect taking an interest in phosphorus content for the sake of being informed, in most cases, it’s probably not really necessary to know the phosphorus content if you’re buying food that is formulated for your cat’s given life stage. Yes, there are some concerns that some adult foods contain too much phosphorus as there aren’t any upper limits in AAFCO’s guidelines, and you may want to pay attention to this if you’re concerned about kidney health, but in general, commercial foods are already formulated for the nutritional requirements of the labeled life stage.
      5. Whether or not the typical analysis is on a dry matter basis depends on where you’re getting it and who you’re asking. I usually ask for a typical analysis on a dry matter basis. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with moisture being one of the values in the analysis.
      6. A mix of adult and kitten food should be okay—I would just try to make sure that the kitten food constitutes the majority of the food.

      Hope this was helpful! Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Reply
  32. Jaime

    Hello – Because of the review of Smalls on this website AllAboutCats, I decided to try their sampler. And because of my experience with Smalls, I no longer trust reviews by AllAboutCats. AFTER placing an order for a sample at Smalls, I received a flash notification that I just agreed to a monthly auto-subscription – I did not. Furthermore there is no email confirmation of the auto-subscription terms or how to cancel, there is no account I can sign into for the terms or to cancel. I call and I receive a message that they don’t answer the phone, and to send an email. I email, telling them I do not have the not terms of the auto-subscription nor do I know how to cancel, and I have no account to sign into to learn the terms or to learn how to cancel. They respond that I should not worry, they will not place an order for me with out my consent, but then they do. I really needed to cancel because my cats hated the food. This business tactic is illegal, under the law, companies have an obligation to explain the details of the deal up front, clearly disclose any automatic renewal terms, get consumers’ express consent before billing, and offer simple ways to cancel.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Jaime, thanks for commenting. I am acutely aware of the issues that Smalls is facing and the effect that it’s had on our reputation as well. We’ve been communicating actively with Smalls to find out why they’ve been getting so many complaints, and it seems that your experience was characteristic of the system of problems that arose after a system change left customers with no customer portal. According to our contact at Smalls, your order has been canceled and you should no longer be experiencing any issues. Again, I’m sorry that we let you down with this recommendation, and we’re working on making sure that all of our reviews are up-to-date.

      Reply
  33. Kim

    Hello. Thanks for such great information! My cat was recently diagnosed with diabetes and I am looking for a better low carb alternative to the Fancy Feast pate which was suggedted by her vet. The FF seems to give her diarrhea, even with an added probiotic. I was planning to try the Weruva, which your review says is low in carbs, but your chart shows dry matter carbs as 17.06% which is very high. I’m confused!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Kim, thanks for the comment! You’re right that there was an inconsistency in this article; I’ve updated it to make things clearer. The claim of low carbohydrate content applied to the Weruva brand as a whole. Many, many Weruva recipes arequite low in carbohydrates, as you can see in the charts here. As long as you choose the right recipe, Weruva can be a good low-carb option for a diabetic cat.

      Reply
  34. Matthew

    Hello Mallory,

    Recently I did some on-line research to try to determine which canned cat foods have BPA and which do not. I quickly found information about just how bad the products of the big pet food companies are, and that their parent companies are the same large corporations that produce junk food for humans. Producing such unhealthy food for both pets and people should be illegal, however that will likely never happen. In the meantime, we just have to put in the effort to make ourselves informed of the benefits and dangers of our food, and that of our pets. I found your website to be a tremendous help in researching healthy (or at least healthier) options for my cat, so thank you very much.
    I was wondering if you had any recommendations for food that will help clean a cat’s teeth. Hill’s Prescription Diet Dental Care ( a dry food in a large kibble form) might work as claimed, however its list of ingredients is not encouraging (e.g.: chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn & powdered cellulose are the first five ingredients). Thanks again for the great website, it really helps in managing the enormous amount of cat food options that there are out there.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Matthew, thanks for reaching out. My best recommendation is to feed a raw diet that includes small (again, raw) bones that your cat can chomp down on—or feeding raw treats on occasion. This will help to engage your cat’s entire mouth and may help to slough off some of the plaque that has accumulated.

      Reply
  35. Kevin

    I was feeding my cats Smalls wet food. They tolerated it, but did not love it. It arrives frozen (well, is supposed to be). One order arrived melted, they replaced shipment. Another delivery the food seemed off. I cancelled my subscription. Like the idea of human grade, but they have kinks to work out.

    Reply
  36. Beth WISEMAN

    What ingredients and food do you recommend for my cat with liver disease? He is all skin and bones.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Beth, thank you for commenting. Unfortunately, I’ve not done enough in-depth research to give more recommendations at this time, but according to Jennifer Coates, DVM, a diet for cats with liver disease should have:

    2. High quality protein to reduce the workload on the liver
    3. Highly digestible carbohydrates
    4. High quality fats
    5. Added antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and selenium to combat oxidative stress
    6. You can learn more in this article: https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/cat/dr-coates/2014/april/feeding-cats-liver-disease-31536
      I would recommend asking your veterinarian for specific recommendations.
      Best,
      Mallory

      Reply
      1. Carley

        Have you looked into reviewing the Redford’s Naturals brand from Pet Supplies Plus? It’s the closest pet store near me and I’m looking for a budget-friendly option to add to my rotation of wet food. It’s a young brand so any info I’ve found online is mixed.

        Reply
        1. Mallory Crusta

          Hi Carley, I responded to some of your other comments, but yes, we will consider it as a future review. Redford Naturals’ wet food does look promising—some of their recipes appear to be relatively meat-focused and low-carb, so I would look at the packages at the nearby store and evaluate those ingredient lists. Hope this helps!

          Reply
  37. Beth WISEMAN

    My senior male cat has had liver failure for several years. He is all skin and bones but eats well. What food do you recommend for him to gain weight? He is eating Fancy Feast. I am trying to start him back on Hills Diet.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Beth, this is a good question. I would recommend reading our article on the best cat food for weight gain. Have you talked to a veterinarian about the best dietary options for cats with liver disease? While I would prioritize weight management, there are certain qualities that set apart foods for cats with liver disease. The appropriate food for your cat, however, will depend on his unique situation. That’s why vet consultation may be helpful.

      Reply
  38. Nico

    Hi Mallory!
    I’m a first-time mom to a 1 year old cat, who I’ve had since he was 3 weeks old. Grey’s a picky eater who had a hard time weaning off KMR at 6/7 weeks to Royal Canin Mom & Baby Kitten pate. At 6 months, I changed his food to Hill Science Kitten and he didn’t even go near it, so i changed to Royal Canin Kitten pate (next level after the mom & baby) and he refused to eat for a week until he eventually caved. Now that he’s officially 14 months, I want to transition him to an adult wet food that is great quality and not as expensive as Royal Canin ($50 for 24 cans). Currently, he eats one 3.3 oz can a day (half at 9 am, half at 6 pm), supplemented with 1/4 cup of Hill Science Indoor Kitten dry food each feeding. I’ve watched so many of your videos, read all your reviews, cross-referenced with contradicting Amazon reviews, and I’m completely overwhelmed by the options lol. I’m definitely having decision paralysis and don’t want to commit to buying a case/subscription of one brand only to have him not eat it/starve until we find the right one. I didn’t understand the cat lady stereotype until I had my own little fur baby, and now i get it. I know I’m overthinking it and that it’ll all come down to what he likes and dislikes, but can you please give me the top 4 brands of wet food that you would buy if you had a cat like Grey? I swear I’ll buy them all tonight, I desperately just want this 2-month research journey to be over and for my cat to be healthy for the next 18 years LOL.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hello! First off, I am so sorry about the late reply! I know you’re looking for an end to this struggle, and waiting ten days for a response was not what you were hoping for. Anyway, to jump into things without wasting any more of your time:
      My first idea is related to something you said about your experience when switching from the Mother & Babycat formula to the Kitten paté. Your kitten didn’t eat for an entire week? Did he have any treats or table scraps during that time? If so, I would look at whatever snacks or treats he enjoys and use those as guidance when choosing a diet. Monitor textural and flavor preferences as much as you can. If you don’t see a pattern, that’s fine, too! We can figure this out.
      As for top four recommendations:

      • I’m curious as to whether or not you’ve tried freeze-dried food. I think something from Stella & Chewy’s could be a very good option for you. It tends to be really palatable, and you choose the right formula, it’s relatively affordable compared to Royal Canin.
      • This option is definitely not cheap and would cost more than the Royal Canin, but you might like Caru’s human-grade stews. The quality is excellent, and I know both from experience and customer reviews that their foods are very palatable and a great option for picky cats. They also have a very soft texture that I think Grey might enjoy.
      • Smalls may be a good option for your kitty as well. We are still seeing some complaints about consistency, and I’m not 100% on whether or not they’ve ironed out the issues that were causing some of the earlier complaints around customer service, but I think you’ll be very impressed with their ingredient quality. Grey will probably like their foods, too; I’ve found that they’re very appealing to cats, and I know my cats love them. Depending on how much you order, it could either be more expensive than Royal Canin or a little bit cheaper.
      • Finally, you may want to try Nulo cat food. It’s not mentioned on this list, but they make some good canned foods that cats tend to like quite a bit. You might try their Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe.

      I hope this helps! All the best to you and Grey. 🙂

      Reply
  39. Brit

    Thank you so much for your site. Do you know of any other brands like Hound & Gatos or Dr. Elsey that sell wet food for cats? I’m looking for canned food that is protein & nutrition focused at a similar price, or lower.

    Unfortunately, my cat won’t eat Hound & Gatos, no matter how healthy it is for her. She loves Dr. Elsey’s wet food, but they have been having major supply chain issues since COVID hit and it has been really difficult to get regularly. My cat was on a prescription food to rule out a medical issue, and luckily it has been ruled out, but now I don’t know what to feed her.

    Reply
    1. Brit

      After doing more digging around your site, I’m going to try Redbarn! Thank you for all your work, this site has made things so much easier. I hadn’t figured out how to sort brands by rating before, that really helped.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *