Best Canned Cat Food
This post was first released on January 28, 2010 and is updated often
I get the question, “What are the best canned cat foods?” or “What is the best canned cat food?” at least 10 times a week.
My decision to put my cats on wet food only came from reading this website by a veterinarian – Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. If you are looking to transition your kitty, this is where to start. We had to transition Charlie and Trigg and this post explains how we did it –Transitioning Charlie and Trigg from Dry Food to Wet Food Only.
Here is more recent interview with Dr. Pierson – there is audio, so you can listen to her reasoning behind not feeding dry food.
Dr. Jean Hofve, who has done a lot of interviews with us, has written an eBook on, What Cats Should Eat: How to Keep Your Cat Healthy with Good Food. And is another way to learn about feline nutrition and to find the best canned cat food out there.
My favorite wet food is a variety of brands and flavors so that they don’t get hung up on having the same thing. And, of course, flavors and brands that they will actually eat because at the end of the day, if they aren’t eating, that’s a whole other problem.
Whenever switching a kitty to new food, you’ve got to do it slowly, and I also always use probiotics to prevent diarrhea. I always have Purina Fortiflora Feline Nutritional Supplement Box on hand – the probiotics help with good bacteria in the stomach lining and my cats really like the flavor of the Purina Fortiflora. In fact, if I can’t get them to eat something, I will usually sprinkle it on top because it just comes in little packets that are easy to rip open and sprinkle on. The Conscious Cat also has an article about the importance of Probiotics and the different brands available.
Updated Jan 12, 2017 -I feed Charlie and Trigg:
- Ziwi Peak (Rabbit & Lamb is their favorite, but I also give them Lamb and Venison)
- Weruva (grab a Weruva Variety Pack Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Pack of 12, 3 ounce cans) on Amazon to try it out)
- Weruva Cats in the Kitchen
- Wellness Natural Grain Free Signature Selects Flaked Wet Cat Food Variety Pack Box
- Nature’s Variety Rabbit
- Merrick Purrfect Bistro Chicken Pâté Canned Cat Food
- Merrick Purrfect Bistro Duck Pate Canned Cat Food
- Hounds and Gatos
Additionally, I feed them mid-day freeze dried treat – Whole Life Pet Treats.
I used to feed them, and might try again (sometimes Charlie and Trigg just stop eating a certain flavor, so I take it out of our rotation and may or may not reintroduce it):
- Tiki Cat (grab a Tiki Cat Gourmet Whole Food 12-Pack 9-Flavor Variety Pack on Amazon to try it out)
- Wellness Signature Selects Grain Free Shredded Chicken & Chicken Liver Natural Wet Canned Cat Food
- and others.
I also usually order from Chewy.com and am subscribed to sites like Pet360 – they sometimes offer promo codes that make buying from them cheaper. There are other brands that I like, like Nature’s Logic, but they won’t eat it. My brother’s cat will though – so don’t eliminate it entirely. You’ve gotta find the brands, flavors, etc. that work for you and for your cat.
Check out this post about how Floppycats’ readers get their cat food). When figuring out flavors, I first buy two of every flavor locally to make sure the cats like it enough to get a full case. I also sometimes go in on an order with my mom to split cost and number of cans. I try to keep up-to-date with online pet food deals.
I am not a nutritional expert and although I have tried, I am unsuccessful in getting into the details of it. There are some readers that are very knowledgeable, so I hope they will comment!
Liz Eastwood of the Natural Cat Care Blog keeps a Best Canned Cat Food List
Bottom line is that dry food is not healthy for a carnivore, your cat, and should not be the main diet. However, you might want your cat to like dry food in case of emergency purposes, like hurricanes or boarding situations. However, an all dry food diet can lead to chronic issues (as kidney failure, UTIs, struvite crystals, stones, obesity, diabetes, and the need for frequent dental cleanings and possibly tooth extractions) for your kitty and therefore it is best to avoid those. Also since a lot of dry foods have grains and byproducts, your kitty could develop an allergy to one of the foods. If you need to feed your kitty dry food, then consider one that has no by products or grains. If it is necessary to feed dry food, only do so as a snack, not as a full meal.
The best canned cat food is that which does not have any byproducts, fillers or toxins. Always be sure to read labels of your kitty’s canned food and choose a food with no by products or grains. Since cats are carnivores, grains are not their friend.
List of Best Canned Cat Foods:
- Best Canned Cat Foods According to Liz Eastwood of the Natural Cat Care Blog
- Recommended Foods from Mythicbells Persian Cats
- Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
- Susan Thixton’s TheTruthAboutPetFood.com’s The List
Many Ragdoll breeders and cat aficionados do not recommend food made by Iams, Eukanuba (same company as Iams), Hills (Science Diet), Nutro, Purina etc.
You might be interested in the Cat Food CARBOHYDRATE & CALORIE CALCULATOR
Certainly, another food route to consider is the raw food diet. There are many companies that make raw food that is pre-packaged so that you do not have to do it yourself.
- Nature’s Variety (easiest to find)
- Stella & Chewy’s (each batch tested for bacteria and salmonella)
- Bravo (usually cheapest)
- Primal (usually most expensive)
- Rad Cat (Higher priced, use free range meat)
If you decide to go the raw food diet route be sure to avoid feeding dry food and raw food at the same time. Since dry food has many ingredients that aren’t needed, it takes longer for your kitty to digest. However, with raw food, kitties use all the nutrients and therefore they have fewer stools, less volume and no smell!
Also, when considering the raw food diet, be sure to never feed your kitty cooked bones. Raw bones are soft and easy to digest, whereas cooked bones will splinter and will cause choking and/or death.
An important part of the feeding process is plenty of fresh water. Be sure to refresh your kitty’s water bowl on a daily basis if not more frequently. Cats like to have fresh clean water; in fact, many cats like to have ice cubes in their water dish because the ice cubes keep the water as fresh as possible.
You might consider using a pet fountain because the water gets filtered and recycled.
- Glacier Point Fountains
- Keith Davitt Thirsty Cat Fountain
- Pioneer Pet Raindrop Ceramic Drinking Fountain for Pets
- Drinkwell Multi-Level Lotus Ceramic Drinking Fountain
Plastic Fountains (don’t recommend these for kitties with acne problems):
- Catit Design Senses Fountain with Water Softening Cartridge
- Petmate Drinking Fountain
- Cat Mate Pet Fountain
I should mention that Charlie, Trigg, Caymus and Murphy have no interest in drinking water now that they are on wet food only. So I don’t find fountains as important for wet food only feeders.
Check out this chart on best canned cat food and others ones that aren’t so great.