Disclaimer: As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons.
As carnivores, cats don’t need carbs.
Unfortunately, most cat foods these days are carb loaded to the brim. Not fun!
In this article, I’ve sorted the popular cat foods to tease out the best.
I’ve also included a frequently asked questions section to help answer diet related questions.
So what’s best?
Let’s get into it!
I am a cat enthusiast and independent researcher. I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. This article is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.
25 Best Wet Cat Foods Ranked for Carbs (Low Carb Cat Food List)
Here’s a full list of popular wet cat foods ranked from low to high carbohydrate.
You can see the price of the the product on the right.
What Is the Healthiest Wet Cat Food?
I’ve always recommended Feline Natural on this website as the healthiest wet food. And I’ll continue to do so!
It’s high in protein. It’s got grass-fed animal produce. It’s suitable for all life stages as a complete meal.
The only downside is the price and the taste which some cats don’t like. Other than that, try it!
What Is the Best Cat Food for Indoor Cats?
I like Tiki Cat After Dark. It’s low in carbs and calorie density.
This will help lower your cats total calorie intake to help cats stay at a healthy weight. Great stuff!
Our cat tester Oscar enjoyed his Tiki Cat After Dark. It’s a great product, but is also a little pricey.
10 Best Dry Cat Foods Ranked for Carbs (Low Carb Cat Food List)
Here’s a full list of popular dry cat foods ranked from low to high carbohydrate.
You can see the price of the the product on the right.
|Best Low Carb Dry Cat Foods||Lifestage||Carbs||Cal/kg||Price|
|Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Chicken||All||0.3%||4,030||$$|
|Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Lamb||All||4.7%||5,600||$$$|
|Tiki Born Carnivore Kitten Deboned Chicken & Egg||All||13.6%||3922||$$|
|Go! Solutions Chicken, Turkey & Duck||All||17.2%||4,298||$|
|Solid Gold Indigo Moon With Chicken & Egg||All||19.0%||3,958||$|
|Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Roasted Venison||All||20.2%||3,745||$|
|Crave Chicken With Protein||Adult||21.6%||3,788||$$|
|Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & Rice||Growth||24.9%||4,370||$|
|Acana Bountiful Catch||All||25.6%||3,800||$|
Unfortunately, most dry cat foods are high in carbohydrate.
What’s the Healthiest Dry Cat Food?
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried is the healthiest dry cat food. It contains no added grains is very low in carbohydrate.
This food is also chock full of high quality animal-based ingredients. Great stuff all round.
We tested this food with our cats who liked it.
According to research, cats prefer a diet of ~12% carbs dry matter or less.
For long term health, a low carb diet is best for most cats. Read more about low carbohydrate diets for cats in this deep dive article here.
My recommendation is to stick to one the lower carb dry foods and use it in moderation. Stick to wet foods most of the time to give your cat the moisture they need.
Let’s use the pareto principle for cat food.
80% wet, and 20% dry. Use dry sparingly!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Cat Food Has the Least Amount of Carbohydrates?
The lowest carb wet cat foods are:
- Fussie Cat Premium [0.0% carbs]
- Tiki Baby Cat Chicken & Egg [0.0% carbs]
- Hound & Gatos Duck & Liver [0.0% carbs]
Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein dry cat food has no carbohydrate content as well.
What Cat Food Is High in Protein Low in Carbs?
Tiki Cat After Dark is high in protein and low carb.
On a dry matter basis their chicken product offers 77% protein, and 0.1% carbohydrate.
Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein is again the best high protein and low carb dry food. It’s 67% protein and 0% carbohydrate.
Is Grain-Free Cat Food Low in Carbs?
Not always. Sometimes cat food manufactures still add other high carb ingredients beside grains that include:
- Sweet potato
Be careful not to assume that grain-free also means low carb, because it usually does not.
Is Canned Cat Food Low-Carb?
Most canned cat food is low carb compared to dry foods. Pate tends to contain fewer carbs than gravy based cat foods.
Carb rich foods can often help thicken up gravy products. It varies from brand to brand though.
What Are Easily Digestible Carbohydrates for Cats?
Cat’s are able to digest finely ground cooked starches best. This includes things like rice, wheat, and potatoes.
How Do I Know What Carbs Are in My Cat Food?
Start by checking the ingredients list. Look for carb rich ingredients including:
- Tapioca starch
- Sweet potatoes
If these ingredients are high on the list, they’re probably high in amount.
If the label including a carb rich ingredient, it’s probably high in amount (e.g. chicken and rice dinner).
The only real way to know how many carbs are in the cat food is to use a calculator. Here’s a carbohydrate calculator you can use.
Check the guaranteed analysis on the cat food label and enter the information. Then you’ll know how many carbs are in the food.
Is Fancy Feast Good for Diabetic Cats?
Yes, most Fancy Feast wet cat food products are very in carbohydrate and suitable for diabetic cats. Steer clear of their dry food though, it’s high in carbs.
How Many Carbs Should a Cat Have a Day?
Cats have zero requirement for carbs.
As long as you are choosing foods around or under this, you’ll be feeding your cat the proper amount of carbs.
What Percentage of Carbs Should a Cat Eat?
Aim to give your cat less than 12% carbs on a dry matter basis.
This is what cats prefer based on research.
What Is Considered High Carbs in Cat Food?
Anything over 12% on a dry matter basis is ‘high’ for our purposes. I recommend limiting cat foods that are over this amount.
Is Dry Cat Food High in Carbs?
Typically dry cat food is high in carbs compared to wet cat food. This is due to having more carb rich foods like rice, wheat, and oats.
How Many Carbs Are in Dry Cat Food?
We’ve looked at 20 popular dry cat foods and the average carbs was 25% on a dry matter basis.
Cats have no dietary need for carbs. This means you don’t need to look for food that contains carbohydrate.
For your cats health, it’s best to offer foods lower in carbs. This can help prevent diabetes among other health conditions.
Use the list in this article to help find suitable cat foods to keep the carbs down in your cats diet. We recommend cat food with less than 12% carbs dry matter.