After 39 hours spent researching the best cat foods, we think Purina Friskies Wet Cat Food is the best for most people.
This choice is based on several criteria: brand, type, size, flavor, life stage, calories, balanced nutrition, high-quality proteins, vitamins & minerals, fibers, organic, grain-free, gluten-free, artificial preservatives, and easy to digest, among other things.
|Product||Price||Overall Rating||Quality||Appearance||Taste||Balance||Value for Money||brand||type||size||flavor||life stage||calories||balanced nutrition||high-quality proteins||vitamins & minerals||fibers||organic||grain-free||gluten-free||artificial preservatives||easy to digest|
|Purina Friskies Wet Cat Food||Check Price||4.8||5.0||4.5||4.5||5.0||5.0||Purina Friskies||Wet||11 lbs||Seafood||All ages||127 kcal / can||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Evolution Diet Dry Cat Food||Check Price||4.9||5.0||5.0||4.5||5.0||5.0||Evolution Diet||Dry||40 lbs||Vegan||All ages||Not specified||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Purina Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food||Check Price||4.6||5.0||4.5||4.0||4.5||5.0||Purina||Wet||11.25 lbs||Seafood, poultry, beef||Adult||99 kcal / can||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Hill’s Digestive Care Dry Cat Food||Check Price||4.4||5.0||4.5||4.0||4.0||4.5||Hill's Pet Nutrition||Dry||8.5 lbs||Chicken||All ages||508 kcal / cup||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain-Free Dry Cat Food||Check Price||4.3||4.5||4.5||4.0||4.0||4.5||Blue Buffalo||Dry||11 lbs||Fish||All ages||391 kcals / cup||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
- 1 Selection Of The Best Cat Foods
- 2 Best Cat Food Buying Guide
- 2.1 Quality Sources of Protein
- 2.2 Vitamin Enriched Food
- 2.3 Cats with Special Needs
- 2.4 Choosing Food for Kittens
- 2.5 Food for Older Cats
- 2.6 Cats with Food Allergies
- 2.7 Diet Foods
- 2.8 Undesired Weight Loss
- 2.9 Wet Food
- 2.10 Dry Food
- 2.11 Flavors of Cat Food
- 2.12 Kittie Treats
- 2.13 Feeding Multiple Cats
- 2.14 Outdoor vs. Indoor Cats
- 2.15 What’s in the box?
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions
- 3.1 Do I need to buy the most expensive cat food to ensure its quality?
- 3.2 How long does cat food last?
- 3.3 My cat won’t eat the food I give it, what should I do?
- 3.4 I’ve noticed that my cat is becoming heavier and less active, what should I do?
- 3.5 I have a busy schedule, what can I use to help care for my cat?
- 4 Sources
The best cat food can keep your feline companion happy and healthy through the years.
With the proper nutrition, your cat will be agile and playful while maintaining a healthy, smooth coat with minimal shedding. Your pretty kitty will definitely be the cat’s meow!
Just like their owners, cats need to stay active and fit in order to live their nine lives to the fullest. A major component of a healthy lifestyle for both humans and felines is a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
Cat food comes in a variety of brands and flavors that will entice even the pickiest of kitties. Look out for vet recommended cat food and cat food comparison lists for the best wet cat food and the best dry cat food.
While cats can’t be put on a diet of green tea and oatmeal in order to stay in shape, getting your cat an automatic cat feeder and cat water fountain can help you control their portions and keep your cat hydrated.
In addition to choosing the right cat food, allowing your pet to be active is also another major component of good health. Consider buying a cat toy (or two!) to have fun and bond with your fur baby. Toys with catnip can make playtime even more enjoyable.
Selection Of The Best Cat Foods
Best Cat Food Buying Guide
Quality Sources of Protein
You wouldn’t want to eat food riddled with fillers and synthetic ingredients every single day, so why would you let your beloved pet eat food made with iffy ingredients and low-quality standards?
Always make it a point to look at the nutrition label and ingredients list at the back of the packaging before you buy cat or kitten food. All felines are carnivores therefore require animal protein. The best cat food contains ingredients such as chicken, beef, or fish and will not include fillers such as soy protein.
Vitamin Enriched Food
Just like humans, cats and other pets also need to eat nutritious food that contains enough calories and vitamins for healthy growth and optimal function.
Cats need taurine for all their bodily functions, and it is an amino acid only found in animal protein. In order to maintain their sharp eyesight and reflexes, cat food should also contain vitamins A, B, and E. For healthy bones and a strong immune system, look for cat food enriched with calcium and vitamins C and D.
Cats with Special Needs
If you are an owner of multiple cats, you would agree that no two cats are the same. Cats of different breeds, ages, sizes, and sexes each have their own unique needs. Some cats are even born with genetic defects which require more specialized care.
It’s best to work with your cat’s veterinarian for any special dietary needs. The vet will be able to give you a customized diet plan with specific foods to buy (that you can actually find) so your cat will be happy and healthy for years to come.
Choosing Food for Kittens
If your cat is less than one year old, it is still considered a kitten. Because kittens are not fully matured both physically and neurologically as compared to adult cats, their dietary needs have special demands.
The best cat food for kittens should contain DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid), folic acid, and other vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to promote optimal brain and nerve development which are critical during a kitten’s first several months of life.
Food for Older Cats
At the latter end of the age spectrum, older cats have their own needs that differ significantly from both kittens and early adult cats. Senior cats, over the age of 10 years, may lose their usual appetite due to diminished taste buds or have trouble eating due to weak gums and loss of teeth.
The best cat food for older cats should be easy to chew and digest. Dry food with smaller sized or even wetted kibble is easier on older teeth. Mixing wet with dry food is also a good option.
Cats with Food Allergies
It’s common for people to be allergic to cats, but did you know that cats can have allergies too? Look out for itching, fur thinning, and diarrhea. Itching due to allergies may get so severe that a cat cone may be necessary.
The best cat food for cats with allergies does not contain grains, soy, or artificial ingredients. Cats can be allergic to plant-based or non-meat proteins which can cause inflammation, malabsorption, and nutritional deficiencies. The best cat food is natural because it is less likely to cause allergies.
It may be cute seeing a fat cat like Garfield, however real cats can suffer immensely from being overfed. Cats are meant to be agile and active and have smaller, lighter body frames in order to achieve their sharp reflexes and flexibility.
The best cat food for overweight cats contains the right amount of protein for their size and age. It also contains less saturated fat and carbs to prevent excessive weight gain. Portion control and regular exercise should also be practiced.
Undesired Weight Loss
Although overweight cats carry several health risks, excessive or undesired weight loss in your cat can be just as bad. If your cat’s eating habits change, frequently vomits, and has changes in bowel movements, these may lead to malnutrition.
First, consult with a vet to determine if your cat has any allergies or illness. Cat flea treatment and deworming may be in order and can be done at home. The best cat food for cats that throw up or suffer with diarrhea should provide additional nutrients in order to replenish what was lost.
Wet cat food typically comes packaged in aluminum cans or plastic pouches. This type of cat food provides a more “real food” feel, better replicating the flavor, smell, and texture of fresh meat.
Wet cat food comes pre-portioned, so it is ideal for feeding one cat a complete meal. Cats of all sizes and ages can enjoy wet food because there is less strain on the teeth. Cats who are not interested in eating dry food will more likely eat wet food.
Dry food comes in boxes or plastic sacks of various volumes and flavors. Typically, dry cat food is a mix of an array of bite-sized shapes with individual flavors that provides a tasty blend that will entice even the pickiest of cats.
If you own multiple cats or use an automatic food dispenser, dry cat food is ideal. Once the bag is opened, it can be resealed and stored safely for weeks to months, so buying in bulk can save you both time and money.
Flavors of Cat Food
Felines are known to have acute senses of hearing, smelling, and seeing, but less often highlighted is their sense of taste. While containing a smaller number of taste buds, a cat’s tongue is unique and equipped with highly specialized taste buds.
Cats are carnivores and have a taste palate that is different from omnivores such as humans and dogs. Because of this, cats tend to snub food that is sweet or contains vegetables and gravitate toward more savory flavors such as roasted chicken, steaks, and salmon.
Everyone deserves a treat every now and then, and this of course, includes our feline friends! Cats enjoy receiving treats and using treats as a form of reward during behavioral training and while teaching them tricks or training them to walk with a cat leash and harness is an effective way to give positive reinforcement.
Snacks should be bite-sized morsels packed with protein. Giving bits of human food like table scraps from a chicken dinner may seem like a good idea, but keep in mind that cats do not digest cooked human food the same way we do.
Feeding Multiple Cats
Although cats are highly independent pets, they can get lonely too. Having multiple cats living in your home can be a lot of fun but requires more dedication to ensure that they all get an equal amount of attention and care.
It takes trial and error to find the best cat food in order to satisfy the individual tastes of your cats. Placing food bowls in a cat cage or cat carrier can help separate your cats during feeding time.
Outdoor vs. Indoor Cats
Outdoor cats enjoy being free to act upon their instincts of hunting small prey. These cats are still fed cat food when they return home, however they have access to freshly caught meat in the form of bugs, rodents, and birds. Outdoor cat food should be full of nutrients to fuel their adventures.
Indoor cats on the other hand tend to be more sedentary. The best cat food for indoor cats should contain protein and just enough fat and carbs to sustain their less demanding energy needs.
What’s in the box?
As they say, “what goes in, must come out”, and this applies to your cat as well. With the proper nutrition, your cat will have daily droppings left in the litter box. What you find in the litter box can give you the scoop on the quality of the cat food.
Dry, pellet-like droppings are hard to pass and are often accompanied by constipation. The best cat food for constipation is wet food or a mix of wet and dry cat food, along with proper hydration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to buy the most expensive cat food to ensure its quality?
Always remember that all cat food is not created equal! Certain brands of cat food can be more expensive than others due to the quality of the ingredients and extra costs due to packaging design and advertisements.
Just because something is expensive does not always mean it is of higher quality. Make it a habit to read the labels and ingredients list before making a purchase. Testimonials and cat food recommendations are available on the internet; however the best indicator of quality is a healthy cat with a good appetite.
How long does cat food last?
The shelf life of cat food is dependent on the type and storage method of the food. Dry food is made for storing for longer periods of time, both when the seal is intact or broken. It can be stored in its original bag or transferred to an air-tight container for several months.
Wet cat food on the other hand must be kept sealed until it is chow time. Cans and pouches give wet food a shelf life of years, but once opened should be consumed immediately.
My cat won’t eat the food I give it, what should I do?
Cats can be picky eaters at times, which is normal. Getting a new flavor or formulation of cat food may fix the problem. Mixing wet and dry food is another way to make cat food more appetizing to your feline friend.
If your cat still won’t go near its food bowl, it would be prudent to pay a visit to the veterinarian. Oftentimes refusal to eat is a sign of illness or social distress. The vet would be able to identify the problem and offer treatment options.
I’ve noticed that my cat is becoming heavier and less active, what should I do?
Chunky cats are cute, however, they are not exempt from the negative effects of obesity. The increase in body weight makes your cat easily fatigued and takes a toll on their joints.
Practice portion control and feed your cat at regular intervals. Reduce your cat’s weight by encouraging time away from the cat bed with a cat scratching post or cat scratching pad to keep them active and maintain nail length.
I have a busy schedule, what can I use to help care for my cat?
Like many people, you probably work nine-to-five to provide for yourself and your family. However, your cat may end up missing a few meals if you need to do overtime at the office!
Invest in an automatic cat feeder to ensure your kitty doesn’t starve. For unwanted “gifts”, a normal cat litter box with cat litter may not be enough. An automatic cat litter box with a cat litter mat will keep your home fresh. A cat tree can also keep your cat entertained while you’re away.
- Dry cat food, National Institutes of Health, Nov 1, 2007
- Philippines: 2017 Dog and Cat Food Brief, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service, Jul 26, 2017
- Pet Food Safety, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Feb 12, 2018
- Nationwide recall of certain cat food products due to potential health risk to pets, Georgia Department of Agriculture, Jun 15, 2015
- Cat food, Wikipedia
- How Often Should You Feed Your Cat?, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
- Research Update: New insight into grain-free cat diets, Clinical Nutrition Service, Jul 3, 2017
- Food for Thought on Cat Food, Veterinary Medicine at Illinois, May 6, 2013
- Choosing Dry or Wet Food for Cats Makes Little Difference, University of Missouri, Nov 28, 2007
- From Cat Food to Sushi Counter: The Strange Rise of the Bluefin Tuna, Smithsonian, Sep 11, 2013