3 Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

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Disclaimer: As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our comparisons.

We’ve tested and reviewed over 50 cat food products over the past year to find what’s best.

Tiki Cat After Dark comes out on top as the best overall choice for weight loss.

It’s got a winning combination of low calorie and high protein content which help trim down overweight cats.

Our 3 best wet cat food for weight loss picks:

Best Overall
Tiki Cat After Dark
Tiki Cat After Dark

Premium quality cat food packed with protein.

Calories/kg: 751
Age: All ages
Taste: 4.5/5
Ingredients: 5/5
Protein: 78%
Best Price
Runner Up
SCC Basic Picture 2 1
Sheba Perfect Portions

Comes in portion controlled packs.

Calories/kg: 783
Age: Adult cats
Taste: 4.5/5
Ingredients: 4/5
Protein: 44%
Best Price
Best Budget
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Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers

Affordable and tasty option for picky cats.

Calories/kg: 793
Age: Adult cats
Taste: 5/5
Ingredients: 4/5
Protein: 50%
Check Price

Helping overweight cats lose weight is important, as it reduces risk of early mortality.

It might come as a surprise, but wet cat food is the best choice for weight loss.

This type of food is lower in calories, and will help with portion control. Those are key factors to help cats trim down.

In the rest of this article I’ll explain my best wet cat foods for weight loss choices and provide a weight loss guide.

Finally, I’ll answer frequently asked questions on this topic to help you further.

Why Trust This Article?

As a dietitian, I have a background in researching nutrition for humans, but have taken my hand at cat food research.

That gives me an advantage as I have the skills and know-how to sort fact from fiction in the cat world.

Whilst I am not a veterinarian, I have taken every effort to ensure I’ve picked out the best cat foods for weight loss.

Please note that this article is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

3 Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss Picks

I’ve chosen these 3 wet cat foods based on an unbiased scoring system which grades cat food on five criteria:

  • Value for Money:
  • Ingredient Quality
  • Nutrition
  • Flavor
  • Customer Rating

To learn more about how I calculate and grade food, check out our review guidelines.

Best Overall Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss

1. Tiki Cat After Dark
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Taste: 4.5/5
Nutrition: 5/5
Ingredients: 5/5
Customer Rating: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 2/5
Overall: 4/5
Why do I recommend this cat food?

It’s hard for me to look past Tiki Cat After Dark these days as a first choice recommendation.

It’s a human-grade quality cat food that smells and looks amazing. Our fussy cats like it too.

With it’s low calorie content it’ll help overweight cats trim down and get to a healthy weight in no time.

It’s the price which is a little confronting though.

Key FeaturesInformation
Kcal/kg (market ave)751 (1,040 wet; 4,130 dry)
Cost/oz. (market ave)$0.62 ($0.53)
Key features for Tiki Cat After Dark *dry matter basis

Premium human-grade quality

Low calorie for weight control

Smells and looks great


Very pricey

No chicken free options

Best Indoor Cat Food for Weight Loss

2. Sheba Perfect Portions
Sheba Perfect Portions cat food photo
Taste: 5/5
Nutrition: 3.5/5
Ingredients: 4/5
Customer Rating: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 3/5
Overall: 4/5
Why do I recommend this cat food?

The design of Sheba Perfect Portions is well…perfect for weight loss.

To help cats lose weight you want to control calories and portions. With this cat food, you can do just that with no troubles.

It’s picky cat friendly which means less wasted food.

The quality is reasonable, packed with mostly meat based foods. Price is good too.

It’s got a little bit of tapioca starch in the pack (not ideal for diabetic cats) and is only for adult cats. Those are the main downsides here.

Key FeaturesInformation
LifestageAdult (1-7 years)
Kcal/kg (market ave)783 (1,040 wet; 4,130 dry)
Cost/oz. (market ave)$0.36 ($0.53)
Key features for Sheba Perfect Portions *dry matter basis

Portion controlled packs

Low calorie for weight control

Great taste for picky eaters


Added tapioca starch

Only for adult cats

best Budget Cat Food for Weight Loss

3. Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers
Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers
Taste: 5/5
Nutrition: 4/5
Ingredients: 4/5
Customer Rating: 4.5/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall: 4/5
Why do I recommend this cat food?

Fancy Feast are one of the more reliable options on a budget.

The taste usually impresses most cats. Fancy Feasts gravy options are bit lower than calories than the rest of their range.

They offer a variety of flavors in the pack which can help mix up flavors and keep things interesting.

I’ve found the quality can vary from tin-to-tin with some stinking up the house a bit.

Key FeaturesInformation
LifestageAdult (1-7 years)
Kcal/kg (market ave)783 (1,040 wet; 4,130 dry)
Cost/oz. (market ave)$0.28 ($0.53)
Key features for Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers *dry matter basis

Variety of flavors

Low calorie for weight control

Fussy cat friendly


Carbs could be lower

Only for adult cats

What to Look For in Cat Foods for Weight Loss?

Weight loss is about calories in vs calories out.

To help your cat lose weight, decrease calories.


In theory yes.

The goal is to get your cat to a body condition score of 5. Here’s a body condition score chart to check where they’re at.

The average cat needs ~300 kcal per day to maintain a healthy weight.

Cat’s at most risk of weight gain include:

  • Middle aged cats (8-10 years)
  • Males
  • Neutered cats
  • Indoor bound cats
  • Free-fed cats
  • An ‘all dry cat food’ diet
  • Mixed breed cats

More than half of US pets are overweight or obese.

Addressing your cats weight is important to prevent the following:

Here’s our buying tips:

AAFCO Nutrition Guidelines

Decreasing calories helps cats lose weight, but they still need enough micronutrients.

These help keep your cats energy levels, coat, skin and digestion in top shape.

Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals. There are 25 micronutrients needed for health.

A deficiency of micronutrients leads to disease and poor health. 

How do you know if your cat food has enough of these nutrients?

Check the label.

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defines how many micronutrients cats need for good health.

The label shows if the cat food meets these nutrient guidelines.

Look for the following statement:

[insert food] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profile for [insert lifestage]:

Cat food is either suited to sole feeding and supplemental feeding

Supplemental cat foods do not contain all the nutrients your cat needs. These are only good for occasional feeding.

Sole feeding cat foods are a complete meal that you can feed your cat exclusively. 

However, you also want to make sure the cat food is life stage appropriate. Cats need more or less nutrients at different stages of life.

Here are the following categories of cat food:

  • All life stages: Sole feeding option for all life stages
  • Growth: Sole feeding option for kittens and lactating cats
  • Maintenance: Sole feeding option for adults (1-7 years)
  • Supplemental feeding: Only for treats or toppers. Not a complete meal.

As an example, if you have a three year old cat, you can go with maintenance cat food.

For a kitten aged eight months, you’d want to use cat food for growth or all life stages.

Quick notes:

  • There are 25 micronutrients cats need for good health.
  • AAFCO set guidelines to cat food manufacturers to meet these needs.
  • Look for the statement of nutritional adequacy and choose life-stage appropriate cat food.
A statement of nutritional adequacy on a cat food
Choose cat food formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO as a sole feeding option

Choose Lower Calorie Cat Food

If you’re trying to reduce the calories in your cat’s diet for weight loss, choose lower calorie food. 

Logical right?

To find out the calorie content, check the side or back of the cat food label

It will come in either serving size (either per cup or per tin for dry and wet foods respectively) and/or kcal/kg basis.

The best way to compare different cat foods is by looking at the kcal/kg. This way you can compare dry, wet, pouched and canned foods easily. 

Lower calories = better for weight loss.

Quick notes:

  • Check the calorie content on the back or side of the cat food label.
  • Calories content is presented in either serving size and/or kcal/kg basis.
  • The easiest way to compare foods is to use the kcal/kg basis (less is better for weight loss).

Wet Cat Food is Best

Using the calorie comparison, it’s easy to see that wet cat food is your best option for weight loss.

Wet cat food has four times less calories per weight.

This is one of the reasons for high rates of obesity in cats only fed dry cat food, especially when free fed.

Free-feeding is unique to dry cat food and a key reason for weight gain

The combination of being able to freely pour dry cat food at will and the huge calorie density are what make dry cat food less optimal for weight loss.

Wet cat food with its portion control design and lower calorie content is much more appropriate.

Quick notes:

  • Wet food is four times less calorie dense than dry cat food.
  • For this reason, wet cat food is best for weight loss.
  • It’s easier to overfeed dry cat food if free-feeding (i.e. leaving a full bowl at all times).

Choose High Protein Cat Food

Choosing any old low calorie cat food won’t do. 

You’ll want to make sure you’re choosing high protein options. 


A high protein diet helps maintain muscle and keep the metabolic rate high.

High protein diets also decrease insulin requirements in diabetic cats. Overweight cats have a higher risk of diabetes.

Cats also prefer a high protein diet. A low protein diet can result in food rejection in fussy eaters.

I suggest aiming for at least 40% protein on a dry matter basis. 

This covers the needs of cats of all life stages and provides extra for fussy cats.

Use an online calculator.

Use the guaranteed analysis on the back of the label and pop that into the calculator.

Quick notes:

  • High protein diets help keep the metabolic rate high (i.e. more calories burned).
  • Cats prefer eating high protein diets (i.e. better for picky eaters).
  • Aim for 40% protein (dry basis) as this meets the needs of any cat.

Choose Low Carb Cat Food

Why would a low carb diet be helpful for weight loss?

When lowering calories, you have to cut calories from either or all macronutrients:

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrate

Both fat and carbohydrate provide energy (calories) in the diet. Fat is more calorically dense than carbohydrates (9kcal/g compared to 4kcal/g).

So why not cut out the fat instead?

When given a choice, cats prefer a moderate-fat diet (25%) over a low-fat diet (10% energy). Animal fats like tallow are the tastiest fat sources for cats.

Interestingly, there’s some evidence (from the late 1990’s) that economy dry food is associated with leanness in cats. Budget dry food is usually higher in carbs (not always).

Why would high carb diets help?

Cat’s can reject high carb foods due to the ‘carbohydrate ceiling’ effect. This might protect a cats body, which is sensitive to high carb intakes.

The problem is this creates shortfalls of protein, a nutrient critical to a cats health.

So it’s an interesting idea in theory, but in practice maybe not ideal.

A low carb diet also improves the health of diabetic cats. Since many overweight cats have or may get diabetes, it’s a good idea to keep carbs low.

Keep in mind that cats have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates, so there’s no issue with it being removed.

Some sources have suggested high carb diets are superior for weight loss and recommend dry cat food with four times more caloric density.

Does that make sense? 


Experts suggest aiming for fewer than 25% carbs dry matter, or even less in diabetic cats (15%). Fortunately, most wet cat food is low carb anyway so it’s not hard to meet this.

Quick notes:

  • Low carb diets improve the health of diabetic cats (many are overweight).
  • There’s no dietary requirement for carbohydrate.
  • High carb diets can lead to nutrient shortfalls.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wet cat food is best for weight loss.

Feeding your cat canned cat food is linked with a lower risk of obesity (63% vs dry cat food).

Human-grade raw meat, organ, and bones diets are also protective, albeit controversial.

Ultimately, wet cat food is less calorie dense than dry cat food.

That makes it easier to control total calories, which is the key to weight loss.

Losing weight is a calories in and out equation.

To lose weight your cat needs fewer calories and/or more calories burned through activity.

The main way to tackle weight loss is to offer your cat a lower calorie cat food.

Some things will make weight loss harder.

This includes:

  • Neutering
  • Lack of exercise
  • Age
  • Calorically dense diet
  • Free feeding

Neutering lowers testosterone and increases food intake. Not much to do here.

Middle-aged cats (8-12 years) burn fewer calories. Choose lower calorie cat food at this age.

Indoor cats don’t get a chance to forage and play.

Environmental enrichment increases your cat’s play to help burn calories.


  • Cat trees
  • Perches
  • Scratching boards
  • Cat toys


There’s a lower risk of obesity with wet cat food (63% lower risk) compared to dry cat food.

Wet cat food is four times less calorically dense and easy to portion by design.

By eating fewer calories than they use.

Indoor cats tend to exercise less than outdoor cats and need fewer calories.

Use an online calorie calculator to find out how much to feed your cat, and stick to that.

I recommend sticking to wet cat food for overweight cats.

If you use dry cat food, be mindful not to free-feed as it’s easier to give your cat too many calories for their needs.

Check the body and muscle condition chart.

Signs of excess weight include:

  • Can’t feel ribs
  • Bloated
  • Fat on the face and neck

Ask a vet if you’re unsure.

The main possible reason is age.

Middle aged cats have lowered metabolic rates.

A cat between 7-11 years is at higher risk of weight gain. Make sure to adjust the calorie intake of middle aged cats.

Use an online calculator.

This helps you get a precise number.

Weigh your cat.

Use the Cat Plus Person (CPP) method.

CPP Method:

  1. Weigh yourself (person weight)
  2. Hold cat and weigh (person + cat weight)
  3. Subtract person weight from person + cat weight

See example:

Example: Joe wants to weigh his tabby cat

  1. Joe weighs himself. He is 70kg.
  2. Joe holds his cat and weighs. The scale reads 75kg.
  3. Joe’s tabby is 5kg (75 – 70 = 5)

Tiki Cat After Dark.

It has only 16% fat (dry basis) and up to 78% protein.

With only 751 kcal/kg, it’s a low calorie morsel that will help overweight cats trim down.

Yes, I think this is a good idea.

Since wet cat food is less calorie dense than dry cat food, it’s a logical choice.


To lose weight, give cats a low calorie diet.

A high protein wet cat food is the best choice for weight loss.

Weigh your cat and use a calculator. Portion the right amount by checking the label of cat food.

Add toys and other items for play. This helps your cat burn more calories.

Best Overall
Tiki Cat After Dark

Low calorie for weight control

Low carb for diabetes control

Suitable for all ages

Grain free for easy digestion

Filler free



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I'm qualified dietitian that's turned their attention to cat nutrition. My goal is to help tease out the science on how best to feed your cat.

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