Full Low Carb Cat Food List

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As carnivores, cats don’t need carbs.

The essential nutrients cats need are in meat, which is what cats evolved to eat.

Unfortunately, most cat foods these days are carb loaded to the brim. Not good.

This article contains a high-protein and low carb cat food list to help you make the right choice for your cat.

I’ve also included an FAQ to answer more queries on this topic.

Low Carb Wet Cat Food List

Here’s a list of low-carb canned cat food ranked for total carb content on a dry basis.

Price and protein content are included for comparison.

Low Carb Wet Cat Food ListTextureLifestageCarbsCal/kgPrice
Fussie Cat Tuna With Salmon FormulaAspicAdult0.0%612$$
Tiki Baby Cat Chicken & EggShredsAll0.0%1175$$$
Hound & Gatos Duck & LiverPateAll0.0%1,222$$
Tiki Cat After Dark ChickenShredsAll0.1%751$$$
Fancy Feast Savory Centers Pate With SalmonPateAdult1.0%966$$
Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb FeastPateAll2.1%895$$$
Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & Liver EntreePateGrowth2.1%1,321$$
Wellness Smooth Loaf ChickenPateAdult2.6%1,116$$
Instinct Original Grain-free Real RabbitPateAll3.2%944$
Wellness Core Tiny Tasters DuckPateAdult3.7%1,291$$
Dave’s Naturally HealthyPateAdult3.7%1245$
Nulo FreestylePateAll5.8%1,225$
Sheba Perfect Portions PatePateAdult7.5%1,093$$
Earthborn Holistic Monterey MedleysShredsAdult7.5%N/A$
Natural Balance Limited IngredientPateAdult7.7%1,220$
Low carb wet cat food list.

Low Carb Dry Cat Food List

Here’s a list of low-carb dry cat food ranked for total carb content on a dry basis.

Price and protein content are included for comparison.

Low Carb Dry Cat Food ListLifestageCarbsCal/kgPrice
Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein ChickenAll0.3%4,030$$
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried LambAll4.7%5,600$$$
Tiki Born Carnivore Kitten Deboned ChickenAll13.6%3922$$
Go! Solutions Chicken, Turkey & DuckAll17.2%4,298$
Solid Gold Indigo Moon With Chicken & EggAll19.0%3,958$
Orijen OriginalAll20.0%4,120$
Taste of the Wild Rocky MountainAll20.2%3,745$
Crave Chicken With ProteinAdult21.6%3,788$$
Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & RiceGrowth24.9%4,370$
Acana Bountiful CatchAll25.6%3,800$
Low carb dry cat food list.


Quick answers:

  • Low Carb Cat Food: No official guidelines; ideal for diabetic cats is less than 12% carbs (dry basis).
  • High Carb Cat Food: Over 12% carbs (dry matter basis) considered high; may lead to protein underconsumption.
  • Effects of High Carbs in Cats: Can cause elevated blood sugar; unnecessary due to cats’ ability to produce sugar from protein (gluconeogenesis).
  • Fancy Feast for Diabetic Cats: Most wet products are low in carbs and suitable; avoid high-carb dry food.
  • Best Low Carb Dry Food for Cats: Ziwi Peak Air-Dried; grain-free, low in carbs, high-quality animal ingredients.
  • Cats and Carbs: No need for carbs, regardless of being indoor or outdoor cats; all cats thrive on meat.
  • Low Carb Diet for Cats: Essential for diabetic cats; unclear benefits for adult cats; long-term trials lacking.
  • High Protein, Low Carb Cat Food: Tiki Cat After Dark and Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein are recommended.
  • Choosing Low Carb Cat Food: Cats prefer diets with less than 12% carbs; healthier as cats are carnivores.
  • Grain-Free ≠ Low Carb: Grain-free foods may still contain high-carb ingredients like potatoes, tapioca, corn.
  • Canned Cat Food and Carbs: Generally lower in carbs than dry food; pate usually has fewer carbs than gravy.
  • Digestible Carbohydrates for Cats: Finely ground cooked starches like rice, wheat, potatoes.
  • Identifying Carbs in Cat Food: Check ingredients list for high-carb items; use carbohydrate calculator for precise content.
  • Cat’s Carb Requirement: Cats require zero carbs; aim for foods with low carb content.
  • Carb Percentage for Cats: Preferably less than 12% carbs on a dry matter basis.
  • Dry Cat Food and Carbs: Often high in carbs due to ingredients like rice, wheat, oats.
  • Carbs in Dry Cat Food: Average carbs in 20 popular dry cat foods is about 25% on a dry matter basis.

Long answers:

What Is Considered a Low Carb Cat Food?

There are no guidelines for what constitutes ‘low carb cat food’.

Cats don’t need any carbs at all.


However, for diabetic cats experts suggest limiting carbs to less than 12% on a dry basis to help manage blood glucose levels.

Research as far back as 1936 shows a cats liver doesn’t tolerate a high carb diet and produces lactic acid (a waste product).

What Is Considered High Carb Cat Food?

There are no guidelines about what is high carb or not.

Anything over 12% on a dry matter basis is ‘high’ for our purposes to optimize blood glucose control.

I recommend limiting cat foods that are over this amount.

What Happens if Cats Have Too Many Carbs?

Commercial cat food with a high carb content can lead to elevated blood sugar levels.

Why bad?

Cats make sugar from protein from a process called gluconeogenesis. Adding sugar isn’t necessary when a cats body is already optimized to do so.

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.

Learn More:

What Is the Best Low Carb Dry Food for Cats?

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried.

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.

Learn More:

Do House Cats Need Carbs?

No cat needs carbs, whether they are ‘indoor’ or ‘outdoor’.

All cats are carnivores and all cats have survived and thrived on meat.

Do Cats Need a Low Carb Diet?

Diabetic cats need a low-carbohydrate diet to optimize blood sugar control.

One study showed 68% of diabetic cats went into remission with low carb cat food, compared to 41% fed medium carb cat food over 16 weeks.

The jury is out on how much adult cats benefit from carbohydrate reduction, and there’s a lack of long-term trials comparing the effect of both.

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.

Why Choose Low Carb Cat Food?

Health and taste.

According to research, cats prefer a diet of ~12% carbs dry matter or less.

As for health, low carb is best as cats are carnivores. They don’t need or benefit from any carbs.

Learn More:

Is Grain-Free Cat Food Low in Carbs?

Not always.

One study found the mean carb content of grain-free foods is 64g/1,000 kcal compared to 86g/1,000 kcal for cat food with grains.

Sometimes cat food manufactures still add other high carb ingredients beside grains in grain-free cat food including:

  • Potato
  • Sweet potato
  • Tapioca
  • Corn
  • Pea
  • Chickpea

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.

Learn More:

How Do I Know What Carbs Are in My Cat Food?

Start by checking the ingredients list. Look for carb rich ingredients including:

  • Wheat
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Tapioca starch
  • Cereals
  • Sugar
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Rice

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.

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.

Learn More:

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.

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. I recommend cat food with less than 12% carbs dry matter.

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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.