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Guide to the Best Cat Food in 2021

Are you struggling to find the best cat food for your kitty?

It’s challenging to know what is the best cat food to feed your feline friend. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll help you navigate through the options to find the best option for you.

We will make sure you can find something healthy, nutritious, and delicious for your cat.


Best cat food

My name is Derrick and I am an independent researcher for Simply Cat Care. I have a background in nutrition and fitness.

I am writing this article to help fellow cat owners find the best choices for their cat’s health.

I am not a veterinarian and recommend consulting one before changing your cat’s diet.

Let’s get into the article.


Product Review: Best Cat Food Choices For Top Health

Best Cat Food Overall: Feline Natural Variety Pack

Feline Natural Variety Pack Grain-Free Wet Cat Food, 3-oz pouch, case of 12

Premium grass-fed meat for top taste

3 unique choices in the pack to cut boredom

No grains or legumes for easy digestion

Easy to swallow pate texture

Omega 3 from green mussels for gut health

Pricey

Exotic flavors may put off some cats

SUMMARY

Cats can be finicky eaters. The problem is that they have very specific nutritional needs, which are different from dogs. It’s hard to know what the best diet for your cat is, and some pet food companies will tell you their products are ideal when they’re really not.

Feline Natural premium meat diet contains just what cats need in a healthy way. This variety pack contains no grains or fillers, and it includes all of the essential nutrients needed by cats to thrive without any unnecessary additives or preservatives. You’ll see a difference in your cat within days of switching them over.

The main downsides of this product are the cost and new flavors which take time to get used to.

INGREDIENTS

Hoki & Beef: Hoki, Water Sufficient for Processing, Beef, Beef Heart, Beef Lung, Beef Liver, Sunflower Oil, New Zealand Green Mussel, Flaxseed Flakes, Calcium Carbonate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement

Hoki & Beef: 1258 (kcal/kg) 107 (kcal/85g pouch)

Chicken & Lamb: Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Heart, Lamb Lung, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Flaxseed Flakes, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement

Chicken & Lamb: 1313 (kcal/kg) 112 (kcal/85g pouch)

Lamb & Salmon: Lamb Heart, Water Sufficient for Processing, Salmon, Lamb Lung, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Calcium Carbonate, Flaxseed Flakes, Dipotassium Phosphate, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement

Lamb & Salmon: 1211 (kcal/kg) 103 (kcal/85g pouch)

Best Cat Food Runner Up: Tiki Cat After Dark Variety Pack Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Tiki Cat After Dark Variety Pack Grain-Free Wet Cat Food, 5.5-oz, case of 8

Low in carbs (6.7% dry matter) for top health

Meat, eggs & organs to optimal nutrition

Real meaty chunks for picky eaters

No grains or carrageenan for easy digestion

Low in fat, may not suit active cats

No chicken free choices in the pack

SUMMARY

New Zealand knows how to make good cat food, and Tiki Cat After Dark is no slouch.

The product has plenty of great high-quality protein food sources and is 95% meat by weight. This is perfect for cat nutrition, being cats that enjoy a carnivorous dietary intake for optimal health. Like all the products I recommend, these foods don’t have any carrageenan or grains for tolerability.

The only downside of this product is the low fat and calorie levels. At 829 calories per kg, it’s a little low. Active cats may need some higher-calorie choices to help keep up with their calorie needs.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken & Quail Egg Recipe In Broth Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Quail Egg, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Heart, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Salt, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Tuna Oil, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement

Chicken & Quail: 829 kcal /kg, 129 kcal/can

Chicken & Lamb Recipe In Broth: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Heart, Lamb, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Salt, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Tuna Oil, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Chicken & Lamb Recipe: 766 kcal /kg, 120 kcal /can

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

Chicken Recipe: 823 kcal /kg, 128 kcal /can

Chicken & Beef Recipe In Broth Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Heart, Beef, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Salt, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Tuna Oil, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Chicken & Beef Recipe: 741 kcal /kg, 116 kcal /can

Chicken & Duck Recipe In Broth: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Heart, Duck, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Salt, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Tuna Oil, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Chicken & Duck Recipe: 732 kcal /kg, 114 kcal can

Chicken & Pork Recipe: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Heart, Pork, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Salt, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Tuna Oil, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Chicken & Pork Recipe: 741 kcal /kg, 116 kcal /can

Best Cat Food Dry Premium: Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Recipe Cat Food

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb Recipe Cat Food, 14-oz bag

Novel protein lamb for fewer allergies

Includes organs & bone for top health

No grains or potato for easy digestion

Available in venison flavor for more variety

Convenient like dry food without the nasties

Pricey

Strong smell out of the bag

Low in moisture

SUMMARY

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb is a premium cat food that has been air-dried, not cooked, or processed with chemicals, which makes it a great way to feed your cats while reducing the risk of salmonella poisoning.

It’s also an all-natural product that contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. The air-drying process also keeps the meat at its peak nutritional value by preserving vitamins and minerals for longer than traditional cooking methods. Because this brand uses only New Zealand sourced meats, you know you’re getting high-quality ingredients without any additives or fillers like corn gluten meal found in most pet foods today.

Now onto the downsides, and the main one is price.  It’s going to test the wallet but may save costs in the long run with fewer vet appointments.  The strong smell also puts off many owners and may not be pleasant for small apartments.

INGREDIENTS

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

CALORIC CONTENT: 5,600 kcal/kg, 318 kcal/scoop

Best Cat Food Dry Mid-Range: Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, 2.0-lb bag

Gelatin based & low in carbs for easy digestion

High protein (67% dry matter) for top health

Low in oxalates to reduce kidney stone risk

The circular kibble may not suit some cats

SUMMARY

Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Dry Cat Food contains the proper nutrition missing from many commercial cat dry foods. This product is high in protein and fat, and low in carbs. Cats with sensitive stomachs will appreciate the easy-to-digest real protein sources and no grains. The trick to this product is the use of animal gelatin to bind the product and not wheat gluten.

Another benefit of this product is the low levels of oxalate which help to prevent kidney stones. Feeding a cat this dry food is as good as it gets with no obvious flaws. The only downside is the circular shape of the food which may be a little different than the saucer shapes of many dry foods.

INGREDIENTS

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

Best Cat Food Dry Budget: Nulo Freestyle Indoor Cat Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food, 4-lb bag

High in protein (44%) for optimal health

Affordable

92% customer approval on Chewy

Suitable for all life stages

No grains or carrageenan for sensitive stomachs

Low in moisture (10%)

Additional plant foods may not be needed

SUMMARY

Nulo freestyle indoor cat duck recipe is a good alternative to most dry cat foods on the market. It’s a high protein choice (44.4% dry matter basis) with less reliance on carbohydrates (21.7% on a dry matter basis). Nulo doesn’t use grains (e.g. wheat, corn) which is part of the reason for this.

As with most dry cat foods, there are inherent disadvantages. The low moisture content (10%) makes this (and other dry foods) less appropriate as a sole source of nutrition. The product also uses lentils which may be less digestible than animal protein sources.

INGREDIENTS

Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Dried Sweet Potato, Dried Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxidine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract

Best Cat Food Canned Wet Budget: Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Pate Canned Cat Food

Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Pate Canned Cat Food, 3-oz, case of 12

Rich in animal protein for top health

Chicken broth for kidney health

Affordable price

Grain and carrageenan-free for easy digestion

Affordable price

Animal food sources unclear

SUMMARY

A premium product at a budget price is what you’ll expect with Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals.

Let’s look at the things we like. The first five ingredients are meat-based high protein foods with chicken broth giving your cat the hydration it needs. If you’ve been paying attention you’ll have noticed my penchant for not recommending products loaded with excess fillers and you’ll find that in this product. No carrageenan, no gluten, no grains, and no guilt that you aren’t providing your cat the right nutrition.

My only gripe with this product is the dry matter basis carbohydrate level is 12.3%. Indeed, that’s not exactly that high in any case and most likely lower due to the conservative crude protein, crude fat, and crude fiber analysis given on the can.

The meat ingredients are not named (e.g. chicken, turkey, fish). Generally, named ingredients are more quality than unnamed which include any part of the meat.

INGREDIENTS

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Liver, Turkey, Fish, Natural Flavors, Minerals [Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Vitamins [Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement]

Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Cat Food

Do you want to find out what the best food for your cat is?

The guide will help you understand how to choose the right food and why it’s important.

I will give you tips on how to make sure your cat gets all of the nutrients they need from their food.

Finding the best food is difficult, but this guide will make things easier and help ensure your kitty stays healthy and happy.


What Do I Feed My Cat For Optimal Health?

The best food for cats is a high protein wet canned food high in animal-based foods and moisture.

Cat’s are obligate carnivores.

This means cat’s evolved to consume a diet high in animal-based foods such as mice. In the wild, a cat eats many times a day catching prey for food.

Cat’s don’t tend to consume any plants or grains in the wild. They tend to rely on high protein diets (e.g. chicken, fish, mice) to fuel their bodies.

A cat doesn’t need carbohydrates (sugar) in its diet at all since its liver produces sugar for its body from protein.

To learn more about why a cat needs a high meat diet check out this helpful article.

What Ingredients Should I Look For In The Best Cat Food?

When choosing cat food, look for animal-based ingredients (e.g chicken, lamb, beef, fish) to make sure that your cat gets the best from their food.

Cat’s need taurine in their diet, so makes sure that the cat food has this ingredient as well.

Taurine is in animal-based foods but is often supplemented in carbohydrate-rich cat food brands.

Supplementation isn’t always something I trust since it is possible for manufacturers to miss an ingredient and cause serious health problems. See this case of BFF cat food, which led to many cat illnesses due to not supplementing essential vitamin thiamine.

Learning how to read a cat food label is a useful skill that will help you understand which ingredients are in the food and how much of each is in it.

Cat food labels must follow certain guidelines, so they all contain the same type of information.

Learn more about reading a cat food label in this helpful article.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid Feeding My Cat?

Cats are carnivores and so, their bodies have adapted to best process meats.

Cats need protein, and they need it from meat sources; the issue is that there are many other ingredients in cat food that cats may not be able to process as well or at all.

Here is a list of things to avoid when buying cat food:

1. Corn, Wheat, and Soy

These ingredients are mostly used as fillers and have no nutritional value. Cats have a difficult time digesting grains in high quantities.

Soy is another common filler ingredient that can lead to thyroid issues and other health problems. Also be careful of organic pet foods that use these filler grains (organic wheat, corn) which sound attractive but don’t benefit your cat.

2. Artificial Colors or Flavors:

Flavorings and dyes are not necessary for cat food, as the food should have a pleasing smell already!

There is no need to make it more attractive with unnatural colors or flavors. The sole purpose of these ingredients is marketing – making cat owners think that their cats will like the product and imitating a meat-like flavor (that cats love) with flavors and colors.

While dyes can make food look more appealing to humans, there is no need for it at all in cat food. Cats are not attracted by bright colors like we are and these ingredients only serve to waste money.

The most important things for cats are smell and taste. High-quality meat products serve this purpose.

3. By-Products

Any ingredient with a vague name should be avoided as it usually refers to low-quality ingredients. Some examples of generic animal parts are meat and bone meal, animal digest, and animal liver flavor.

Whilst cats eat a lot of meat-related parts, they may be put off by some others. Cats tend to avoid eating the digestive system of rodents for example [2].

4. Carrageenan

Carrageenan is a thickening agent made from seaweed, which is not suitable for cats on its own. However, it is often put into cat food alongside many low-quality meat and seafood ingredients and acts as a binding agent.

Carrageenan may also lead to inflammation in the intestines of your pet.

What types of cat food help a cat with obesity?

Too many carbohydrate-rich cat foods contribute to feline obesity. This is because these types of cat food can cause an increased likelihood of following a typical age-related weight gain trend for cats.

As many as 30% of the pets in the United States are overweight or obese, and similar statistics likely apply to cats around the world [3].

In the wild, cats rarely eat any carbohydrate foods at all and have adapted to high protein intakes. Additionally, a cat’s metabolism is different from humans in that they are able to utilize protein for energy with more efficiency.

Within the last few years, scientists have been doing more research on feline obesity and solutions for it. Low carbohydrate foods may help cats lose weight by reducing their caloric intake without reducing dietary satisfaction or quality [3].

Wet canned cat food is lower in carbohydrates and a better choice for weight control.


What types of cat food help a cat with urinary tract infections (UTIs)?

Knowing what types of food are best for cats with UTIs is essential in order to keep your kitty healthy.

There are a few things to look for when shopping for a UTI diet.

First, check out the ingredients list. Make sure the food doesn’t include any additional chemicals or preservatives that may be harmful to your kitty’s body and not beneficial in treating the disease.  Also, look at the nutritional content of the food. High protein and low ash are important components of a UTI diet.

High ash is bad for your cat because it has a high level of minerals such as magnesium. Magnesium is bad for your cat because it restricts the removal of fluids from your cat’s body, and increases dehydration risk, making a UTI worse.

How do you know if your cat food is too high in ash? The ash content of cat food is on the guaranteed analysis of the product label.

In general, a higher ash content usually means that there is less meat protein in the product. However, it’s important to understand that some pet food manufacturers will list low levels of ash in their products while others might not include this number to make it harder to decide whether the food is right for you.

The ash content in dry cat food ranges between 7% and 9%, while wet food has an average of 4.5%. Anything over these ranges may be less desirable for your cat.

Check out our article on how to read a label for more help.

If your cat is eating a dry plant-based diet, it may be smart to switch him over to high-quality canned food that will hydrate his body so the urinary tract infection does not become worse. Case reports have shown recurring urinary tract problems feeding cats dry plant-based diets.

Also if you do catch a UTI early on, making sure to get plenty of fluids is very important. Cat’s don’t tend to drink a lot of water and mainly look for food sources of water. Wet canned food is a great source of electrolytes and other nutrients that will help your cat with UTI.

If you are unsure whether or not your cat has a UTI, go to the vet immediately. Cats can’t tell us when they have pain and discomfort, so it’s up to us as an owner to keep track of their health.

If you notice a change in your cat, with their urination in particular, then a UTI might be the culprit and you should head to the vet.

These symptoms include:

  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Blood in urine
  • Straining to urinate for long periods of time
  • Crying while trying to use the litter

Should I feed my cat dry or wet canned cat food?

Wet cat food is a better choice for your cat’s health and well-being. The best brands of wet canned cat food are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and have lots of moisture content.

Wet food can be more expensive than dry but you should consider what is best for your pet long term.

When it comes to what kind of food to feed your cat, the debate between dry and wet usually rages on. While there are benefits and drawbacks to either side, a lot will depend on your individual circumstances.

In general, wet food is better for cats than dry because:

(1) Cats are carnivores, meaning they get their nutrients from meat – which is the main ingredient in most wet foods.

(2) Cats’ digestive systems are not well-equipped for digesting carbohydrates. While some dry cat food does contain protein, the carbohydrate content is often too high and can cause obesity and diabetes in cats.

(3) Wet food contains higher amounts of moisture than dry food. This is beneficial for cats because their bodies are not well equipped to handle dehydration.

Some brands of dry cat food use fewer carbohydrate ingredients or omit them altogether (e.g. Ziwi Peak Air-Dried cat food and Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Dry Cat Food).


What is wrong with budget cat food?

Not all budget cat food is bad for your cat but there are three specific issues that can arise and it’s worth mentioning them.

The first is the quality of ingredients used in making the food; while cheaper brands will buy lower-quality cuts of meat for their cat food, premium brands will only buy meat from healthy animals.

Cat’s have a strong sense of smell. An ‘off’ smelling cut of meat, even if disguised by flavors, is enough to put a cat off its meal.

The second problem with budget cat food is the number of fillers and preservatives that go into the food. While these help with preserving the cat food, too much can cause an upset stomach in a cat.

A final problem is artificial colors used for giving the food its bright appearance. It’s a natural reaction for brands wanting to make an attractive ‘fresh’ looking product, but these artificial colors can cause allergies or food intolerances in some cats.

Given the above points, it’s understandable why a lot of owners may feel best sticking to premium cat food brands and sacrifice on cost. With budget cat food there is just too much room for cutting corners that could be harmful to your furry friend.

Generally, wet canned cat food is a better budget buy. Most budget dry cat food is high in carbohydrates which is not optimal for your cat’s health.

We’ve recommended our top budget picks in this article to help you find something without breaking the bank.


Which cat food brand is the healthiest?

There are a few reliable cat food brands such as premium brands Ziwi peak and Feline Natural as well as affordable brands such as Fancy Feast and Nulo.

Each of these cat food brands is healthy for your cat because they all contain the nutrients that cats require to live a long and healthy life.

We tend to recommend foods with better track records of success and consistently high-quality products among their entire range.


What is the best cat food for kittens?

Kittens need food that has a high protein content to help them grow. Food that is low in protein cannot provide a feline with the nutrients it needs to survive and could possibly make your kitten sick. Kittens also benefit from a higher fat content, as it helps their body and brain develop at a faster rate.

There are many different types of cat food on the market today that have been specifically designed for kittens — or even just cats in general. It is important to check the label and see what exactly you are feeding your kitten. Do not assume that every “kitten” food is the best choice for your feline as some contain a lot of carbohydrate foods that aren’t necessary to a cat’s diet.

In order to find the best food for kittens, it is essential to become educated on what exactly they need nutritionally. The three primary macronutrients that should be present in a kitten’s diet are protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

Kittens require higher levels of protein than adult cats because of the rapid growth requirements of the stage they are in. Carbohydrates aren’t necessarily bad for kittens in small amounts, but it is better to get them feeding foods designed for their bodies.

Kittens also need to be fed at least three to four times a day in small amounts, which is much different than feeding an adult cat. which may subsist on less (although many cats prefer a lot of frequent small meals).

You don’t need a “kitten” food but look for the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) statement that says “for growth or for all life stages” on the packaging. This means the food has enough nutrients for cats and kittens.

Check out my article on the best cat food choices for a kitten.


What is the best cat food for seniors?

Wet canned cat food with a high protein, fat, and moisture content is the best choice for senior cats.

Senior cats start to lose some of their sense of taste and smell, which causes them to eat less. If your senior cat seems picky with the food that you give it, try a new flavor or brand.

Be aware that sometimes when an older cat is put on a different type or flavor, it may actually throw up more often than usual. Take your time to introduce a new taste and smell to your cat. Sometimes older cats get ‘stuck in their ways’.

Remember, that aging involves many changes to health and behavior. Some of these are ‘normal’ but many are helped by diet.

Some symptoms of aging include:

– Loss of appetite

– Gaining weight even with a reduction in food intake

– Drinking more water than usual

– Not as playful, or only playing during the nighttime

– Less interaction with its environment

Senior cats need a higher protein and fat diet as they struggle to digest these foods as well.

High-quality protein and fat are important for cats, so make sure your cat is still getting this in his diet.

Cats also need a higher level of moisture in their diets as they age, because it is harder to drink water than it was when the cat was younger.

Check out my article on the best cat food for older cats with bad teeth for some great ideas.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I transition my cat to a new diet?

The best way to transition a cat to a new diet is by slowly mixing the food together.

This method allows your cat to adjust by introducing it very gradually to the change in food.

You should feed him or her half of their regular meal and half of the new meal. Follow this method for about a week, then switch to entirely the new brand.

It’s important to take this slow and easy approach as it can cause digestive upset and vomiting if done too quickly.

You don’t want that because it can lead to your cat not wanting to eat at all!

Remember to heat cat food to room temperature before serving to enhance smell and taste.

If you have concerns about your cat, follow the guidelines for transitioning to a new diet recommended by your vet. If you don’t have a vet, it is still safe but be sure to talk with your local veterinarian before making any drastic changes in your kitty’s diet.


How much should I feed my cat?

All living things require energy to live and perform metabolic processes. Energy from food is called calories or kilojoules.

Cat’s require enough calories for optimal health.

The calorie requirements of your cat vary depending on a lot of factors [1]. This includes age, weight, activity, desexing, type of food, and pregnancy [1].

To work out how many calories your cat needs you need to do an assessment. This involves weighing your cat and then adjusting their needs based on the aforementioned factors (e.g. age).

We go in-depth into calculating your cat’s needs in this helpful guide over here.


How often should I feed my cat?

Cat eating schedules vary from cat to cat, as well as different life stages.

Most adult cats will be able to stay in good health with three meals but some prefer smaller meals during the day. Kittens may need up to 4 meals a day for health for their age growth needs.

Calculating your pet’s energy needs by weighing your cat can give you a more precise number of calories to provide on the menu for the day. Calculate your cat’s calorie requirements using this guide here.

If you want to get more help with feeding frequency, check out my handy guide over here.


Do cats need dry cat food?

No.

Cat’s don’t need dry cat food for good health. Cat’s are obligate carnivores and consume animal-based foods.

The reason dry cat food is popular is due to convenience and cost-effectiveness. It is cheap to mass-produce and supply for cat owners. Cat owners like leaving the food out for their cats as they go on with their day. A lot of dry cat food is heavily flavored with meat to make it seem appetizing to cats – and makes owners happy enough to continue using the dry food.

Cat’s need a low carbohydrate diet that matches what they would consume in the wild. Dry food is usually high in carbohydrates which has no relevance to cat nutrition.

Cat’s also need moisture in their food as they cannot adapt to low moisture food with enough drinking. This can lead to kidney issues (e.g. crystals, stones, urinary tract infections).

Some dry cat foods are better than others. Freeze-dried cat food is an adequate replacement, but I don’t recommend dry cat food as a complete and balanced source of nutrition.


What sort of cat food bowl should I use to feed my cat?

Cat’s prefer a shallow and wide bowl to eat out of because it causes less irritation on the whiskers.

The food should be on the floor or table and elevated if your cat has mobility issues. Some bowls have elevated designs to help with this.

Stainless steel is a food material for cat food bowls because it does not absorb food smells or change the taste of food. This type of bowl is also dishwasher safe.

Check out my guide to the best food bowl for help finding a bowl.


Conclusion: Best Cat Food for Top Health

That wraps up this article on the best cat food.

It is important to know the best food choices for your cat and how much they should be fed, but it’s also essential to understand what ingredients are healthy or unhealthy in a cat’s diet.

This article covers all of these topics and more so that you can make informed decisions about feeding your pet. Please feel free to share with any friends who may need help deciding on their own cat’s diets!

The information in this article is taken from the scientific literature and updated daily as new research becomes available. While the information in this article is believed to be accurate, it cannot replace veterinary assistance and supervision. Please consult with a veterinarian regarding all of your pet’s health care decisions or for any questions you have about cat nutrition.


Our Verdict: Best Cat Food Overall

Feline Natural Variety Pack

Our best cat food choice is the Feline Natural variety pack. This pack is loaded with premium high-protein meats to give your cat everything it needs to live a happy life.

Check out our product review summary below.

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