Best Cat Food
American Journey Dry Cat Food is Grain-Free
American Journey Grain-Free cat food is quite a bit pricier than many competitors, but it also goes above and beyond when it comes to your cat’s nutrition. This blend contains protein from many sources. In fact, the first three ingredients listed are all quality protein sources, including turkey, turkey meal, and chicken meal, for a total of 40% minimum crude protein.
This blend is rich in protein and contains lots of essential fat acids. It also includes a lot of important nutrients like taurine, phosphorous, calcium, and phosphorous. We would prefer to see 15% crude fat lower. Despite the fact that this American Journey blend doesn’t make it into our top three, we can’t complain.
- 3/5 main ingredients are animal-based
- Packed with protein
- It contains a lot of essential fatty acid
- Made from multiple high-quality animal protein sources
- It is far more expensive than other options
- It’s a little too high in fat
Best Cat Food For Indoor And Outdoor Cats
Our pick: Merrick Purrfect Bistro Dry Cat Food
- As the first ingredient, deboned salmon or chicken
- Support healthy skin and hair with Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids
- Highly digestible with healthy grains or fresh produce
- Healthy digestion is also supported by probiotics
- Cooked in the USA in facilities that uphold strict FDA guidelines
- Available in 4-, 7-, and 12-pound bags
- Subscribe on Amazon and save 5% on your delivery
Consider These Things
- Kibble is pretty small in size, which turns off some cats, reviewers have noted
- Kibble is pretty small in size, which turns off some cats, reviewers have noted
Sample buyer review… “Been giving this food to our cat since he was a kitten. It is a favorite food of his, and he once opened the bag without us being able to dispose it. Our vet told us that he was the healthiest cat she’s seen in awhile and told us to keep doing what we were doing. Mix a little bit of it with Tiki Cat food. Our cat loves it and has maintained his energy, his poop is also very manageable and does not stink.”
Read more reviews on Amazon.com
Buyer’S Guide: Selecting The Best Cat Food
It can be difficult to choose cat food. Once you start dissecting ingredient lists and nutrition labels, you realize that there are some serious differences between blends. We’ve created a buyer’s guide to help you understand these differences.
There are many ways to compare cat food, but some traits are easier to identify than others. Knowing what you should look for will help you determine the quality of a food and how it compares to other foods.
The nutrition label may give you lots of information but it could also conceal a lot. Protein percentages can be deceptive, for instance. Protein percentages can be misleading. For example, a lot of protein may come from low-quality animal-based sources rather than high-quality protein. The easy way to tell is to look at the ingredients list.
The order in which ingredients are listed is determined by their concentration. The first ingredient of a recipe will always be the most common, while the final ingredient will usually be the least. You can tell a lot from the top five ingredients how good the food is. These ingredients will be of high quality if they are mostly animal-based proteins.
In general, it’s better to see lots of whole-food ingredients listed, instead of supplemental vitamins and minerals. Although supplements are more beneficial than none, if the ingredients come from whole food sources your cat will accept them better, making the food much healthier. Be aware, foods that contain whole-food ingredients generally cost more than those that are fortified supplementally.
Kit & Kaboodle Dry Cat Food
Kit & Kaboodle’s dry cat food is a good choice if you are strictly looking for price. This cat food is one of our most affordable. It also has a high caloric density of 404 calories per cup. As you can see, there were some corners that had to be taken in order to keep the cost down.
This blend includes meat and bone, poultry by-product meals, and turkey-by-product meals. As you can see, none of these are top-quality animal proteins like deboned chicken or turkey. They’re also not primary ingredients, as nothing animal-based is listed until the fourth ingredient. Instead, you’ll find low-quality fillers, such as corn gluten meal and soybean meal.
The total protein content is just 28%, which is quite low when compared with other options. The taurine content, an essential nutrient for any cat, isn’t even listed. Although the food’s low cost might be appealing in an emergency, regular feeding is not recommended.
- Dirt-cheap pricing
- Multiple animal-based proteins are included
- It’s calorically dense
- Made with inferior-quality ingredients
- Numerous corn and soy ingredients
- Protein levels are lower than those of other options
Aafco Labeling Rules
Although the FDA and AAFCO cannot enforce truthfulness in advertising, manufacturers of cat food must adhere to the AAFCO rules regarding the exact wording of the label indicating how much meat has been added.
95-percent rule: The named ingredient — for example, tuna or chicken — must weigh at least 95 percent of the total weight. Two ingredients named on the label, such as tuna or chicken, must be combined to weigh no less than 95 percent.
25-percent rule or “dinner” rule: Cat food that is labeled “dinner”, must include at least 25% of the name ingredient. Other words you’ll see on the label that fall under the 25-percent rule are “entree,” “platter” and “formula.” If a second ingredient is listed — like “Tuna and Chicken Dinner” — then the second ingredient must weigh at least 3 percent of the total weight.
AAFCO’s 3-percent rule or the “with” rule. This rule was originally established for pets that advertise a minor ingredient. The word “with”, as in “Cat Food With Tuna,” has been changed to mean that tuna accounts for at least 3 per cent of total weight.
Flavor: “Tuna Flavor Cat Food” means that tuna is an ingredient, but it only needs to be detectable. To comply with the labeling rules, many cat food companies make use of “digest,” which can be a flavor enhancer that is made from liquids of boiled meats. This includes poultry and beef.
Natural means that ingredients are made only from natural sources, such as animals, plants and minerals. The food is 100% natural or all-natural if it does not contain any synthetic ingredients.
Organic: U.S. Department of Agriculture has the same standards for cat food that it has for human food. Organic ingredients must not be grown using synthetic fertilizers or irradiation. The USDA doesn’t take an official stand on whether organic food is healthier or more nutritional than other foods.
Royal Canin Aging – Best For Older Cats
This product from Royal Canin really does it all for your senior cat. This diet is designed to meet the nutritional needs of senior cats. Royal Canin has carefully researched the effect of diet on kidney disease, and have balanced this diet to have lower levels of phosphorus to protect the kidneys. Older cats need lower levels of protein, but the protein should be high quality- at 28% protein, this diet meets your senior cat’s needs perfectly. It also contains added glucosamine and chondroitin for supporting healthy joints, although the levels aren’t as high as I’d usually recommend, so extra supplementation might be necessary. This diet can only be used by senior cats who are healthy. If your cat has kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism or other joint diseases, they might benefit from a special diet.
Creave with protein from chicken and salmon cat food
The third ingredient is pea protein, which is not optimal. This adds quite a bit of non-meat protein to the food, artificially raising the protein content. We prefer to feed our cats meat because we know that they have difficulty digesting some vitamins and minerals from vegetables. Although the title says salmon is included, the item doesn’t show up until further down the list.
Salmon does contain additional omega fatty acid, which is essential for the overall health of our cats. This cat food doesn’t contain much salmon protein.
This formula is grain-free, which is helpful for cats with sensitivities. It is also cooked and made in U.S. facilities, though the ingredients come from around the world.
Turkey, Chicken Liver and Turkey Broth. Chicken Meal, Herring. Menhaden Fish Oil, Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.
Sheba Perfect Porions Seafood Pate Variety Pack Grain Free Cat Food
The trays are pre-portioned, so you don’t have to worry about storing the leftovers for another time. The trays are small enough that your cat can adjust their diet based on how much they weigh and what size they are. It is easy to open the trays and place them in a bowl. You can even take them on the go easily.
If you’re looking for something high-quality and nutritious to give your feline, this is a solid option. Each food is high in protein and fat, which are the two macronutrients your cat mainly needs to thrive. The amino acids and other vitamins in the food also come from meat, allowing your pet to digest them more easily.
Castor & Pollux – Pristine
Castor & Pollux’s Pristine pet food line promises high-quality meats from happy, healthy, free-roaming animals. Their fish come wild-caught.
There’s little doubt that the quality of the ingredients in the grain-free Pristine recipes are top-notch. We recommend wild-caught tuna over any of the other varieties. (It’s also the most popular of the Pristine line with cat owners.) All three other products use organic peas and dried egg as their main ingredients. The tuna recipe also has the egg and peas, but the big difference is that organic chicken and chicken liver are in the top five.
With these meat additions, the Pristine tuna has an above average three-to-one protein-to-fat ratio with protein at 40 percent and fat at a low 13 percent, which makes this canned food great for indoor cats.
What to Look For in Cat Food
You should approach buying cat food the same way you look at breakfast: Start with a nutritionally balanced diet. Bruce Kornreich DVM, director at Cornell Feline Health Center, Ithaca (New York), says, “You need food which is complete, balanced, and appropriate for your cat’s life stage.”
Kornreich suggests that you look for the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) nutritional adequacy labels. This non-profit assesses animal food and feed. Kornreich stresses that cats should eat meat as a part of their balanced diet.
Kornreich says that if meat or meat products are listed first, this indicates the food has sufficient animal sources ingredients to supply essential amino acids. But cats can’t live on meat alone.
“Cats must get nutrients like calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin D from other ingredients,” says Shelly Ferris, DVM, the regional director of Petco Veterinary Services.
Her recommendation is to look for cat food that contains “natural whole ingredients” such as vegetables, fruits and high-quality carbohydrate like potatoes, rice, oats, or oatmeal.
As for what to avoid, Paz Veterinary’s Julien keys in on ingredients that are “more about sentiment and marketing than nutrition.” He points to dyes that make food look more appealing to people (cats perceive color differently) and “exotic” ingredients like kangaroo and lentils, which are “less well studied in cats.”
Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Variety Pack
Fancy Feast is a well-known brand in the cat food market. Hence, you will find them readily available in most grocery stores, pet supply stores and online.
The product is rich in vitamins and minerals to ensure that your cat’s meals are a delicious experience.
- Chicken, turkey and beef flavors
- 100% complete and balanced nutrition in every serving
- Slow-cooked, tender bites of perfection
- His overall health is supported by vitamins and minerals
- Delicious gravy with every meal
- Some cats don’t like it
- Chunks are a bit big
How to choose the right food for your cat
The most significant decision you will make regarding your cat’s health is choosing cat food.
The right food can help keep your cat healthy, full of energy, and at a good weight throughout its life. You should make sure your cat enjoys eating it and feel happy about giving it to her.
It can be difficult to determine which cat food is best for you when you are walking down the aisle of cat food at your local store. There are so many brands, varieties, flavors, and formulas that it can be overwhelming to know which one is best for your cat.
These are five essential things you should consider when selecting cat food.
Five important factors to consider when choosing the best cat food for your cat.
Iams Proactive Health – Editor’S Choice
- Chicken is first listed ingredient
- Has fat burning L-carnitine
- Unique natural fiber blend for hairball control
- Essential fatty acids and fish oil
Once sold exclusively through veterinarians and special pet food stores, Iams premium pet food is now available anywhere you find cat food, and for its well-deserved premium-quality reputation, their products are surprisingly affordable. Iams Proactive health dry cat food is the best choice. This tasty, nutritious turkey and chicken kibble is specially designed to manage weight problems and hairballs that indoor cats frequently experience. Both adult cats as well as their owners enjoy it.
Nutrition & Ingredients
What are Buyers saying?
With close to 1,100 5-star ratings out of about 1,330 ratings on Chewy, it’s safe to say that the vast majority of cat parents are very pleased with Iams ProActive special formula dry food for indoor cats. One dad of six cats credits this dry cat food for ridding them of constant hairball issues – including his Maine Coon, and another mom of 2 cats is elated that she no longer comes home to a mess of throw-up and hairballs on the carpet. Johnnie Boy is a 5 year old long-haired Ragdoll and has lost weight. His gorgeous hair looks better than ever.
The Bottom Line
With its effective formula that helps control the hairball and weight issues so prevalent in adult indoor cats, it’s no surprise why we agree with thousands of happy cat parents in choosing Iams ProActive Health special formula dry food for indoor cats as our top choice. The crunchy chicken and turkey flavors are a favorite with cats. Cat owners also love their cat’s healthy and happy adult cats.
Find out more about Iams ProActive Health Dry Food for Indoor Cats
Allergy-Friendly Cat Food
- Hill’s Prescription Diet Hypoallergenic Cat Treats
- Cat Chow Naturals Dry Cat Food
- Halo Purely for Pets Halo Spot’s Stew Natural Dry Cat Food
- I AND LOVE AND YOU All Natural Canned Cat Food Oh My Cod! Pate
- Instinct Grain-Free Wet Canned Cat Food Salmon Flavor
- Blue Buffalo Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Duck & Potato
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Cat Food
Is My Pet Overweight?
You can tell the difference in a number of ways:
- You should feel her ribs by running your fingers along her flank.
- Look down at your feline from above–there should be a clear narrowing at the waist.
- Look at your kitty from the side–you should see a narrowing from this angle, too.
What is the Shelf Life of Wet Cat Food if it’s not opened?
This varies between brands and even by batch. Each can of cat food comes with an expiry date. Food should be used before the end of this date in order to be safe and nutritious. Depending on how long the food has been on the shelf since its production, you should get a year or more to feed the food to your cat. If you plan to keep them there for long periods of time, it should be stored in cool and dry places.
Cat Food for Smalls
Buy at Smalls
Summary: Smalls is a fresh cat food manufacturer and delivery service based in NYC. The brand used human-grade ingredients and premium animal protein sources including chicken, turkey, and fish.
- Human-grade ingredients and USDA-certified recipes
- Formula with high protein and low carbohydrate
- There are no artificial colors or flavors.
- Polite customer service and home delivery option
- Needs freezer-storing and thawing before use
You have a variety of options for cat food: dry, canned, gluten-free, and specialty
Cat food comes in different kinds and cats with different health conditions may need different kinds of diet. Below, we have listed different cat food brands according to their kind and specialty.
Best Cat Food For Outdoor Cats
- Purina Cat Chow is a Natural Dry Cat Food that’s Grain-Free and Natural. Naturals with Real Chicken
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
- Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food
- Special Kitty Outdoor 44 lb Bag of Dry Cat Food
- IAMS PROACTIVE HALTH Adult Dry Cat Food High in Protein with Salmon & Chicken Cat Kitty
- Royal Canin Active Dry Adult Cat Food – Adult Fit
- Purina Friskies Seafood Sensations, Dry Cat Food
It is easy to choose the best cat food if you are familiar with the basics of nutrition for each species. The cat is an obligate carnivore and could survive on raw prey. No matter what brand or price you choose, it is important that the food tastes like a prey-centric diet.
Want More? Browse Our Dozens Of Unbiased Reviews And Detailed Guides
Look Closely At The Ingredient Label
While all cat foods will feature different ingredients and offerings, pay attention to what is listed and the order. A high-quality protein source should be within the first few ingredients listed. “The list of ingredients is always presented in order of those that are present in greatest to least greatest quantity,” says Machell.
Wet Cat Food Reviews By Veterinarians – Our 2022 Favorites
- Human-grade fresh ingredients
- High in quality animal protein
- There are no preservatives
- Cheaper than other options
- Doesn’t require a prescription
- High protein for satiety
- Lower than other options
- Magnesium levels balanced
- High moisture content
- Consume high amounts of calories
- Smooth consistency
- It’s very palatable
- Highly digestible
- Designed to reduce food sensitivities
- It’s very palatable
The Top Picks
*Due to recurring availability and fulfillment issues, we’ve replaced Feline Natural with Smalls cat food as our top pick.