Foods

The 12 Best Cat Foods

These are our picks for the best cat foods on the market today. Rest assured that our recommendations contain only the finest natural ingredients. In this article we will discuss everything you need to know about nutrition, so you can make the best decision for your kitty. 

 

Our top picks:

Blue Buffalo Wilderness
  • A high level of good quality protein 
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids
  • A unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • Contains antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables 
  • Blend of probiotics
  • 100% natural: grain free, no by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.
Hill’s Science Diet
  • Supports digestive health 
  • Added natural fiber reduces occurrence of hairballs.
  • Clinically proven antioxidants (vitamin C and E) 
  • Made from natural, high-quality ingredients and free from artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Manufactured in the United States, with strict quality and nutrition controls which exceed industry standards.
Royal Canin
    • Promotes healthy teeth
    • Stool odor reduction
    • Helps indoor cats maintain a healthy weight
    • Helps manage hairballs
    • Manufactured in the United States, with strict quality and nutrition controls.
Instinct Original
  • Cage-free chicken is the #1 ingredient
  • Contains 81% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils, 19% fruits, vegetables 
  • Boosts immune health
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics
  • 100% Natural: grain free, no potato, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-product meal, no artificial colors or preservatives.
Taste of the Wild Canyon River
  • Trout is the #1 ingredient.
  • Protein rich recipe
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics 
  • Chelated minerals to maximize nutrient absorption.
  • Natural antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables
  • Perfectly balanced omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Grain free, no corn, no wheat, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Purina Cat Chow Naturals
  • Made with real chicken and salmon
  • Healthy, digestible carbohydrates
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Added fiber to help control hairballs.
  • 100% complete and balanced
Blue Buffalo Wilderness
  • A high level of good quality protein 
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids
  • A unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
  • Contains antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables 
  • Blend of probiotics
  • 100% natural: grain free, no by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.
Hill’s Science Diet
  • Supports digestive health 
  • Added natural fiber reduces occurrence of hairballs.
  • Clinically proven antioxidants (vitamin C and E) 
  • Made from natural, high-quality ingredients and free from artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Manufactured in the United States, with strict quality and nutrition controls which exceed industry standards.
Royal Canin
    • Promotes healthy teeth
    • Stool odor reduction
    • Helps indoor cats maintain a healthy weight
    • Helps manage hairballs
    • Manufactured in the United States, with strict quality and nutrition controls.
Instinct Original
  • Cage-free chicken is the #1 ingredient
  • Contains 81% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils, 19% fruits, vegetables 
  • Boosts immune health
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics
  • 100% Natural: grain free, no potato, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-product meal, no artificial colors or preservatives.
Taste of the Wild Canyon River
  • Trout is the #1 ingredient.
  • Protein rich recipe
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics 
  • Chelated minerals to maximize nutrient absorption.
  • Natural antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables
  • Perfectly balanced omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Grain free, no corn, no wheat, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
Purina Cat Chow Naturals
  • Made with real chicken and salmon
  • Healthy, digestible carbohydrates
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Added fiber to help control hairballs.
  • 100% complete and balanced

What is the Best Cat Food ?

Feeding your cat a good diet is one of the most important ways to keep him healthy, and help him live a long life. But what makes a cat food great?

We understand that the choice can be overwhelming, and catchy pet food advertising can sometimes be misleading. Should you go for dry or wet food, or both? Which nutrients are important, and which ingredients should you avoid?

In this article we will discuss the important things to consider when choosing a food for your adult cat. We have also hand picked our favourite dry and wet cat foods, which are all complete and balanced to give your cat everything he needs.

How to Choose an Adult Cat Food?

You should select the best cat food for your own budget, lifestyle, and your pet’s individual needs. You need to consider things like the nutritional content, price range, flavors and if you want dry or canned food.

There are a few important things to consider before choosing a cat food for your kitty. If you keep these in mind you can choose a diet that meets all of your cat’s nutritional needs.

How old is your cat?

Cats have different nutritional requirements at different stages of their lives. For example, kittens require a diet higher in protein and fat than an adult cat, to help them grow and develop properly.  While senior cat food generally has lower calories, with added supplements to support aging joints, and help keep the kidneys healthy. Most regular adult cat foods are aimed towards cats between 1-8 years of age.  

Is your cat neutered?

Neutered cats tend to have a slightly lower metabolic rate than their non-neutered companions, therefore they can easily put on some weight and are at higher risk of obesity.  ‘Neutered’ diets are a good idea for neutered cats, as these diets have a lower level of calories then regular adult diets.

Does your cat have any medical conditions?

If your cat has a medical condition, then a specific diet might help manage his condition better. Prescription diets have been carefully and scientifically created to help support cats through a variety of conditions. There are hypoallergenic diets to help cats with allergies, hairball diets to reduce the frequency of hairballs, and prescription obesity diets to encourage healthy weight loss. Some prescription diets are even an important part of treating certain diseases, such as renal diets to support kidney function and urinary diets to dissolve bladder stones or prevent recurrence. Your veterinarian can advise you if your cat would benefit from a specific diet to help any medical conditions he has.

Is it easy to get the food?

The last thing you want to do is start your cat on a new cat food, and then realize its nearly impossible to get it regularly. Can you get your cat food from your local pet shop or veterinary clinic? If you order online is the shipping expensive, where is it shipped from and how long does delivery take? Its not good to make sudden changes in your cat’s diet every time you run out of the food, or the delivery is delayed.

Does it meet AAFCO standards?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a voluntary organization in the United States that sets nutritional guidelines for each life stage of an animal’s life. They also set recommendations and guidelines for listed ingredients, how products are labelled and advertised, and making sure feed companies don’t mislead clients.

If the AAFCO statement says the cat food is “complete and balanced” then you know that it is good quality. “Complete” means the product contains all the nutrients that cats require, while “Balanced” means the nutrients are present in the correct ratios.   

Which is Best: Dry or Wet Cat Food?

The debate of dry vs. wet cat food continues to divide veterinarians, pet nutritionists and cat owners worldwide. Everyone has their own opinion on what to feed their cat, and whether dry or wet food is better.

We think that feeding a wet diet or a combination of dry and wet food is best for your cat.

The truth is there are advantages to both types of food, so let’s take a look at each one in a little more detail:

DRY FOOD (kibble)

Dry food is also known as kibble. It can be given on its own as a complete diet, but most commonly it is used along with a wet food option. Dry food is perfect for free-feeding or ad libitum feeding. This is when you allow your cat to browse on food throughout the day as opposed to strict meal-times, and it gives your cat more freedom to choose when she wants to eat. Wet food tends to spoil faster and may attract flies, therefore is not a good option for free feeding.

Pros

  • Dry food diets are convenient, easy to feed, and leave less mess
  • They have a much longer shelf life than canned food once opened
  • Usually cheaper per meal
  • Easy to measure out the exact amount of food required
  • Dental dry diets: can help reduce the build of plaque and tartar
  • Good for free feeding

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates, which may promote obesity and diabetes
  • Some cats dislike the hard texture of kibble
  • Low in moisture, so your kitten will need to have a higher water intake  

WET FOOD (canned)

Most cats seem to prefer the taste, texture and smell of canned food.  Feline wet food is available in a variety of pouches, cans and trays. Single sachets and small cans can be very practical and convenient for single use. However, canned food spoils easily and usually needs to be refrigerated if it’s opened and not used straight-away.

Pros

  • Single sachets and tins may be practical for some people
  • Meaty content, high in protein and fat
  • High water content helps keep your cat hydrated
  • May have benefits for the kidneys and urinary system
  • Most cats prefer the smell, texture and taste

Cons

  • More expensive per serving
  • Spoils easily, has a short shelf life once opened
  • Can be messy    

Best Adult Dry Cat Food

Now, lets take a look at our six favorite adult cat dry foods. This list has been compiled from our own research and vet recommendations. We have included a variety of brands, some which offer natural and raw ingredients, some are grain-free, and others have a more scientific approach to feline nutrition.  However, each selection is nutritionally balanced to meet the nutritional needs of a normal adult cat.

Let’s take a look at each one in more detail:

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness range is inspired by the diet of the lynx, so you can offer your cat a diet like nature intended it to eat. Real chicken is the number one ingredient, so you know your cat is getting the real meat he craves. It is a high protein, grain free recipe that is made using only premium, natural ingredients.

Key Benefits

  • A high level of good quality protein for all your cat’s energy needs.
  • Sweet potatoes and peas offer healthy, digestible carbohydrates to fuel your cat’s adventures.
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat.
  • A unique blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support the immune system.
  • Contains antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables (carrots, blueberries, cranberries).
  • Blend of probiotics and natural sources of fiber for healthy digestion.

100% natural: grain free, no by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.

Hills Science Diet Kitten

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Dry Food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats aged between 1-6 years old. Indoor cats aren’t as active as cats with an outdoor lifestyle, and therefore they require a lower level of calories to help prevent obesity. This irresistible recipe, is rich in savory chicken and made with natural, great tasting ingredients such green peas, apples, cranberries, carrots and broccoli. 

Key Benefits

  • Supports digestive health to make the litter box clean up easier.
  • Added natural fiber reduces occurrence of hairballs.
  • Clinically proven antioxidants (vitamin C and E) for a healthy immune system.
  • Made from natural, high-quality ingredients and free from artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
  • Manufactured in the United States, with strict quality and nutrition controls which exceed industry standards.

Taste of the Wild Canyon River

The Taste of the Wild range is formulated using a variety of premium real meat, vegetables, legumes and fruits, each chosen for their specific health benefits. This meat rich, grain free and all natural recipe, satisfies your cat’s natural cravings. The Canyon River flavor is made with delicious trout and smoked salmon. Although this is not a hypoallergenic diet, the novel protein options it contains can be a good option for sensitive cats or those with food allergies.

Key Benefits

  • Trout is the #1 ingredient.
  • Protein rich recipe to help build strong, lean muscles and provide lots of energy.
  • Contains prebiotics and probiotics to support a healthy digestive system.
  • Chelated minerals to maximize nutrient absorption.
  • Natural antioxidants from real fruits and vegetables, to boost the immune system.
  • Perfectly balanced omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, for healthy skin, shiny coat and promote overall wellness.
  • Grain free, no corn, no wheat, no artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Instinct Original Real Chicken

Instinct believes in the power of raw nutrition and the superior benefits it can offer your pet. The raw frozen recipes are freeze dried to remove the moisture and lock in the nutrients, then crushed and tumbled with dry kibble. This means you get the convenience of feeding dry food, but with all the benefits of pure, raw food too.

 

Key Benefits

  • Cage-free chicken is the #1 ingredient, offering real high quality protein to support strong, lean muscles.
  • Contains 81% real animal ingredients and nutritious oils, 19% fruits, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients.
  • Boosts immune health– natural antioxidant ingredients like carrots, apples and cranberries.
  • Guaranteed levels of live, natural probiotics to boost gut health.
  • 100% Natural: grain free, no potato, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-product meal, no artificial colors or preservatives.

Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original

Purina is one of the oldest pet food companies in North America, and their pet diets are based on years of scientific research studies. The Cat Chow Naturals dry food range offers a tasty, high protein, complete and balanced diet at an affordable price.

Key Benefits

  • Made with real chicken and salmon, for a tasty, protein-packed meal.
  • Healthy, digestible carbohydrates for increased energy.
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Added fiber to help control hairballs.
  • 100% complete and balanced

Royal Canin Adult Dry Food 

Royal Canin is another one of the big players in the pet food market, with a long history of producing high quality and scientifically backed recipes. This Indoor Adult dry cat food provides a deliciously complete and balanced recipe, while specifically meeting the needs of indoor cats aged between 1 to 7 years. Cats that have an indoor lifestyle are at risk of obesity, and higher frequency of hairballs due to more hair shedding. This formula has been designed to manage these specific indoor cat problems, allowing your cat to thrive.

Key Benefits

  • Promotes healthy teeth and slows formation of tartar with crunchy kibble texture and added essential minerals.
  • Stool odor reduction, through unique highly digestible protein (L.I.P), added fiber and selected nutrients to promote digestive health.
  • Helps indoor cats maintain a healthy weight– moderated calorie and fat content.
  • Helps manage hairballs- with optimal blend of healthy fiber.

Manufactured in the United States, with strict quality and nutrition controls

Best Adult Wet Cat Food

We have done all the research and hard work, and made a list of our favourite adult cat wet foods. While many cats find canned food very appealing due to its meaty taste and smell, some wet foods are much more nutritious and balanced than others. Our top six adult feline wet foods provide your kitty with everything she needs, as part of a complete and balanced diet.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Canned

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Canned Cat Food is a deliciously tasty wet food for adult cats, made with only premium, natural ingredients such as chicken, vegetables and fruits. Blue Wilderness cat diets are based on the diet of the lynx, so its all natural and high in protein, just like wild cats eat.

Key Benefits

  • Real chicken is the #1 ingredient, to give your adult cat all the energy she needs.
  • Smooth pate texture, is irresistibly tasty.
  • Enhanced with all the essential vitamins and minerals your cat needs.
  • Contains Flaxseed, a rich source of essential omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of fiber to promote healthy digestion and a shiny coat.
  • Grain free, gluten free, no by-product meals, no corn, no wheat, no soy, no artificial flavors or preservatives.

Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entree Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

The Wellness brand is well known for its focus on holistic nutrition, and is a good option for health conscious pet owners. They use only natural, wholesome ingredients to promote good health and wellbeing for your kitty. This protein rich recipe is packed with real chicken, chicken liver and turkey to support lean, strong muscles and fuel all your cat’s adventures. However, there are a variety of other delicious protein rich flavors and textures available to tempt your little one.

Key Benefits

  • High in real, high quality protein: chicken, chicken liver and turkey.
  • Loaded with antioxidants from carrots and cranberries.
  • Added omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
  • Real chicken broth helps keep your cat hydrated and supports urinary health.
  • Prebiotics, probiotics and healthy fiber support digestive health.
  • NO grains, NO carrageenan, NO artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.

Royal Canin Feline Adult Instinctive Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food

Royal Canin’s Feline Adult Instinctive canned food is made with high quality protein and bathed in delicious gravy, to tempt even the pickiest kitties. The recipe has been formulated for an optimal balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates, as well as a great taste and palatability, which is instinctively preferred by adult cats.

Key Benefits

  • Formulated with an optimal ratio of proteins, fat and carbohydrates to help support long term health.
  • Precise blend of essential vitamins and minerals, and omega fatty acids to maintain optimal health and wellbeing.
  • A moderate calorie level to help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Tried and tested delicious taste: formulated to be instinctively preferred by adult cats.

Earthborn Holistic Harbor Harvest Grain-Free Natural Canned Cat Food

Earthborn Holistic specializes in producing 100% natural and wholesome pet food that supports your cat’s overall health. This is a great option for environmentally conscious pet owners, as this brand is committed to recycling, sustainability and environmentally friendly manufacturing processes. Harbor Harvest Canned Cat Food combines premium ingredients like salmon, tuna, whitefish and a variety of vegetables but there is a delicious variety of paw lickingly good flavours available.

Key Benefits

  • Protein rich recipe contains salmon, tuna and whitefish as the top ingredients.
  • Contains omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
  • Guaranteed levels of vitamins and minerals to support a healthy immune system, and taurine for healthy heart and eyes.
  • 100% natural recipe: no grains, no artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
  • Focused on environmental sustainability and protection.

Fancy Feast Classic Pate Canned Cat Food

The Fancy Feast Classic range is brought to you by Purina, so you know you are getting great nutrition and high quality, but at an affordable price. It offers a protein rich recipe in a deliciously smooth pate texture, which your cat will love. This irresistible combo is available in three yummy flavors: tender beef feast, chicken feast and turkey& giblets feast.

Key Benefits

  • 100% complete and balanced
  • Real, high quality meat is the #1 ingredient.
  • Supports urinary health and good hydration with lots of real broth.
  • Added vitamins and minerals to support overall health and well-being.
  • Grain –free recipe, perfect for sensitive cats.

Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Turkey Favorites

Pro Plan is a premium range from Purina, offering advanced nutrition and extraordinary taste, backed by Purina’s years of experience and quality assurance. They use only real tender turkey or chicken meat with delicious gravy to make a meal that cats will find difficult to resist.  This variety pack includes three tasty options for adult cats: Purina Pro Plan’s Chicken & Rice Entree, Turkey & Rice Entree, and White Meat Chicken & Vegetables Entree.

Key Benefits

  • Protein rich recipes contain lots of real turkey or chicken.
  • Irresistible gravy meat flavor.
  • 100% complete and balanced advanced nutrition for adult cats.
  • Formulated with 25 essential vitamins and minerals, for optimal health.
  • Added taurine, an essential amino acid, important for healthy eyes and a strong heart.

Dry Food and Hydration 

Dry cat food contains a higher level of carbohydrates and calories, and may put your cat at higher risk of obesity and diabetes in the long term. Commercial dry diets contain a maximum of 10% moisture. On the other hand, canned food contains a much higher level of water, sometimes up to 85% moisture.

Feeding your cat an exclusively dry diet, could reduce your cats water intake and increase his risk of developing kidney disease or lower urinary tract diseases. Although, research studies have found conflicting evidence on this.

For example, one study found that feeding your cat a diet high in dry food, was a risk factor for development of “feline Lower urinary tract disease”. However, other  studies found no link between between a dry or wet diet and the development of feline interstitial cystitis (FIC) or chronic renal insufficiency in cats.

Some research has found that cats eating a dry diet only will drink approximately half the amount of water, compared with cats eating canned foods. Therefore, most veterinarians will recommend a wet food diet for your cat if he has any kidney or urinary tract problems, to help increase his water intake.

How Can You Keep your Cat Hydrated?

Water really is essential for life, and making sure your cat stays hydrated is just as important as feeding it the right food.

This survey on the drinking habits of pet cats revealed that cats like to use different drinking options in the home, and they prefer to drink from a small bowl located away from their food.

Some tips for keeping your kitty hydrated include:

  • Always have fresh, clean water available
  • Offer your cat several water points in different places throughout the home
  • Keep the water bowl away from the feeding area
  • Use smaller water bowls (<15cm diameter)
  • Cats tend to prefer ceramic bowls over metal ones, but you could offer your cat different choices
  • Keep the food and water bowls away from the litter box
  • Using a cat water fountain, adding ice cubes or a low-salt broth to the water bowl are all good ideas to increase water intake

What is the Healthiest Adult Cat Food to Buy?

A healthy cat food is one which uses wholesome, natural ingredients packed with a high level of real meat protein. It should have the right balance of essential vitamins and minerals, amino acids (especially taurine) and omega-3 and-6 fatty acids, all of which are important for your cat’s health and wellbeing.

A healthy adult cat food needs to have the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Naturally, a cat’s diet shouldn’t contain lots of carbohydrates, and if your cat eats too much carbs then it may be at higher risk of obesity and diabetes.

Ideally a healthy diet shouldn’t contain artificial flavors, additives or preservatives, and shouldn’t be filled with plant based protein sources like soy.

All our favourite adult cat food choices are pretty healthy, but our picks for the healthiest goes to Blue Buffalo Wilderness and Taste of the Wild cat food brands. 

What Cat Food do Vets Recommend?

In the United States, Hills Science Diet pet food is veterinarians number one choice to feed their own pets.

Every veterinarian has their own personal recommendations for which cat food they think is best. Some vets want a science based approach to a diet, some recommend a local cat food brand, while others prefer natural or raw ingredients.

However, every veterinarian will agree that above all your cat needs a complete and balanced diet, one that provides all the nutrients that your feline friend requires. It is a good idea to ask your veterinarian which diet they would recommend for your cat.

Which Human Foods are Not Safe for Cats? 

There are lots of foods that we regularly eat and enjoy that could be very dangerous for our cats. You might want to share some human food with your cat as a special treat, or give some leftovers from your own dinner, but first you should make sure it is safe.

 

Common human foods which you should not give to your cat include:

  • Dairy products
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Chocolate
  • Tea, coffee or energy drinks
  • Raw meat or raw fish
  • Onions and garlic
  • Xylitol (sugar free sweetener)
  • Raw dough
  • Alcohol

Many cats aren’t interested in human food, but some are ravenous little rascals and may try to raid the trash or snatch something from your dinner plate. Therefore, try to keep human food and snacks out of their reach.

Cats Are Obligate Carnivores- What Does that Mean?

You might have heard that cats are carnivores, but in fact they are obligate carnivores. This means they have special dietary needs and different requirements compared to humans or dogs.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they NEED to eat meat to thrive and survive.

Over time cats have evolved to rely on a meat based (high protein) diet to meet their energy needs.  That’s why we recommend that you feed your adult cat a diet that is rich in highly digestible protein. Plant based sources of protein don’t give cats all the nutrients they require to stay healthy.

Is Your Cat a “Picky Eater”?

Some cats are “picky eaters” and need to be tempted to eat, others gobble everything down without a second thought. Most cats prefer canned food over dry food, and the addition of gravy is especially tempting.

For fussy cats you need to consider which flavors your cat seems to like. You may need to try different flavors and textures, and maybe try out a few different types of food. Some cat food brands offer a variety of flavors within the same range, which might be a good option for those cats who need a rotation of flavors to keep them interested- that way you don’t run the risk of tummy upsets by changing their food regularly.

 

Final Thoughts

We know that you want the best for your furry feline, and that by feeding a great diet you can help your cat live a long and healthy life. Remember to choose a diet which is complete and balanced, with natural, wholesome ingredients and high in good quality meat protein. Hopefully our favourite dry and wet food choices for adult cats have been helpful for you on your quest to find a suitable diet for your kitty.

 

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