Best Canned Cat Food
What Is the Best Ragdoll Cat Food?
I get the question, “What is the best food for a Ragdoll cat?” or “What are the best-canned cat foods?” or “What is the best-canned cat food?” or “What’s the recommended diet for Ragdoll cats?” at least 10 times a week.
What to feed your cat is an essential part of cat ownership and care. Therefore, I have compiled the resources here for a good reason, and I update this page often.
After reading this feline veterinarian’s website, I decided to put my cats on wet food. It’s called Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM. So, if you have not ever read that website – stop reading this one and go read that one!!
At 13, my cats were transitioned to an entirely raw food diet – I believe that’s the ideal diet for any cat.
If you want to transition your kitty from dry cat food to wet cat food or raw food, this is where to start. First, we had to transition Charlie and Trigg and this post explains how we did it – Transitioning Charlie and Trigg from Dry Cat Food to Wet Cat Food Only.
All products featured on the site are carefully selected by the editor of Floppycats, Jenny Dean. In addition, we may earn a small commission when you purchase something through our affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
A Raw Cat Food Diet is Ideal
Please note: After running this site since 2008, I firmly believe the best food for cats is a raw diet. As of September 2022, my cats, after 13 years, are successfully on raw food – many thanks to Pam of Purrrfectly Holistic for helping us get there so quickly.
Others have had the same struggle with transitioning their kitties to a raw diet, and have told me it took them 6 years to transition their picky eater. So, you have to decide what will work for you based on your situation. I definitely believe raw cat food is the healthiest Ragdoll cat food (and for all cats).
This video shows how I am feeding my cats raw. I am feeding them balanced diets made by Fetching Foods with a bit of Primal freeze-dried pork on top – and for Charlie, a minnow from Fresh is Best. And I use an Etekcity scale to weigh the 2 ounces I give each.
Highlights of This Page:
- Raw Cat Food is Ideal
- Cat Probiotics are helpful when transitioning
- Reader Favorite, Canned Cat Food (on Amazon):
CATINFO.ORG is the HOLY GRAIL OF FELINE NUTRITION. Please read it before you read the rest of this page. Please listen to this video below if you don’t have time to read it. It discusses what is the best food for cats and why.
Homemade Raw Diets
Some readers make their own food for their kitties. For example, Jamie, a Floppycats’ reader submitted this story of her homemade raw journey: Homemade Raw Cat Food for Ragdoll Cats: One Reader’s Journey Another reader explained how she feeds Frankenprey. And we also have this page that features recipes from three reputable sources for homemade raw cat food recipes.
Here is a more recent interview with Dr. Pierson – there is audio, so you can listen to her reasoning behind not feeding dry cat food.
Do you have Netflix or Amazon? Then, watch the pet food industry documentary Pet Fooled on Amazon.
Holistic veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve, who has done a lot of interviews with us, has written an eBook. It’s titled, What Cats Should Eat: How to Keep Your Cat Healthy with Good Food. This eBook is another way to learn about feline nutrition and to find the best foods for cats out there.
We also had a great interview with Dr. Jean that you might find helpful – Is Grain-Free Cat Food Bad for Cats? An Interview with Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM
I am not a feline nutritional expert, and although I have tried, I have been unsuccessful in getting into the details of it. However, some readers 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 cat 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 cat food diet can lead to chronic issues such as kidney failure, UTIs, struvite crystals, stones, obesity, diabetes, and the need for frequent dental cleanings and possibly tooth extractions. Therefore, it is best to avoid those for the sake of your kitty’s health.
Also, since many dry cat foods have grains and by-products, your kitty could develop an allergy to one of the foods. If you need to feed your kitty dry food, consider one with no by-products or grains. If it is necessary to feed dry cat food, only do so as a snack, not a full meal.
The best-canned cat food has no by-products, fillers, or toxins. Always read the 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.
How to Transition a Kitty to New Cat Food
Cat Food Transition Instructions
In most cases, a 7-day transition is ideal, but in drastic changes, 10 days or more is suggested:
- 2-3 days: 75% old food, 25% new food
- 2-3 days: 50% old food, 50% new food
- 2-3 days: 25% old food, 75% new food
This plan gives your kitty’s digestive tract the needed time to adjust to the new food and minimizes the risk of an upset stomach.
Cat Probiotics and Other Supplements
It’s imperative to remember when switching a kitty to new cat food, you need to do it slowly. I always use cat probiotics to prevent diarrhea. I used to always have Purina Fortiflora Feline Nutritional Supplement Box on hand. They recently had a minor issue, so I went to the readership to see what they used.
You can read the discussion on Facebook about probiotics. For cat probiotic pills, I take one of the capsules out of the jar (it’s refrigerated). Open it up and then divide the powder inside into two ramekins. I then cover one of the ramekins and save it for the next day. Then I add about 1/2 teaspoon or a full teaspoon of water to the other ramekin – mix the probiotics with the water and then offer it to Charlie.
He usually will drink/lap it up – but sometimes I have to put it in a syringe and slowly put it in his mouth. In an interview with a holistic veterinarian, Dr. Jean Hofve, she mentioned that all geriatric cats should be on omega 3’s, probiotics, digestive enzymes, and antioxidants.
Here are the ones she likes:
- Antioxidant: Only Natural Pet Whole Food Antioxidant Blend
- Digestive Enzymes: Only Natural Pet Vital Digest
- Cat Probiotic: Only Natural Pet Probiotic Blend
- Omega-3: MOXXOR – use MOXXOR coupon code “FLOPPYCATS” to get 10% off of your purchase.
Cat Pre & Probiotics:
As of July 2021, I have started using these wonderful products on Charlie and Trigg, and suspect I will use them for the rest of their lives. I have seen many improvements – including gut health, energy, happiness, contentment, and more.
They have 3 products that actually combine things:
- Adored Beast Love Bugs has prebiotics and probiotics
- Adored Beast Healthy Gut has prebiotics and probiotics + digestive enzymes
- Adored Beast Gut Soothe has prebiotics and probiotics + inflammatory herbs
This video features Julie Lee of Adored Beast explaining the differences between their 3 products.
Canned Cat Food I Fed My Ragdoll Cats
My favorite wet cat food is a variety of brands and flavors so that they don’t get hung up on having the same thing. And, of course, cat food flavors and brands they will actually eat because, at the end of the day, if they aren’t eating, that’s a whole other problem.
My cats stopped eating canned in August 2022. When they did eat canned, this is what I fed them.
- Farmina N&D Prime Boar & Apple Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Farmina N&D Pumpkin Boar & Apple Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Farmina N&D Pumpkin Duck Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Farmina N&D Pumpkin Quail Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Farmina N&D Quinoa Skin & Coat Duck Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Farmina N&D Quinoa Skin & Coat Quail Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Koha Limited Ingredient Duck Paté Wet Cat Food
- Koha Limited Ingredient Turkey Paté Wet Cat Food – 3oz
- Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Duck Grain-Free Shredded / Minced 3oz
- Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Cravings Duck & Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food Pouch – 2.8oz
- Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Cravings Purrfect Pate – Duck & Chicken Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Cravings Savory Shreds – Chicken & Chicken Liver Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
- Stella & Chewy’s Carnivore Cravings Savory Shreds – Chicken & Turkey Wet Cat Food 2.8oz
Freeze-Dried Raw to Try
I like to buy from companies like our local independent pet food store or Chewy. They will let me return opened food that my cats won’t eat while I am transitioning them to raw.
- Vital Essentials Duck Dinner Patties Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food, 8-oz bag
- Vital Essentials Turkey Dinner Patties Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food, 8-oz bag
- Vital Essentials Pork Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food, 8-oz bag
Additionally, I feed them mid-day freeze-dried treats – Whole Life Pet Treats.
Sometimes I use the Whole Life Pet treats as a topper and have been known to use Eden Foods Bonito Tuna Flakes on top of their food if they will not eat it. I randomly also sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on their food to entice them to eat it. However, in July 2021, Charlie started having allergic reactions to fish, so I had to stop doing that.
Here are more brands and flavors I used to feed them. Sometimes Charlie and Trigg would stop eating a particular flavor, so I would 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 Chewy to try it out)
- Wellness Signature Selects Grain Free Shredded Chicken & Chicken Liver Natural Wet Canned Cat Food
- Wellness Natural Grain Free Signature Selects Flaked Wet Cat Food Variety Pack Box
- Hounds and Gatos
- Nature’s Variety Rabbit
- Ziwi Peak Chicken
- Merrick Purrfect Bistro Chicken Pâté Canned Cat Food
- Merrick Purrfect Bistro Duck Pate Canned Cat Food
- Ziwi Peak – you can buy it from their website.
- Feline Natural
- Weruva (grab a Weruva Variety Pack Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Pack of 12, 3-ounce cans) on Chewy to try it out)
- Weruva Cats in the Kitchen
- Earthborn Holistic Catalina Catch Mackerel Dinner with Shrimp Wet Cat Food
- And others.
- I like other cat food brands, like Nature’s Logic, but they won’t eat it. My brother’s cat will, though – so don’t eliminate it entirely. You must find the brands, flavors, etc., that work for you and for your cat.
Changing Cat Food Flavors
When figuring out cat food flavors, I first buy two of every flavor. Then, I shop locally (or through websites or stores I can order online or over the phone by the can) to make sure the cats like it enough to get an entire case. I also sometimes share an order with my sister to split the cost and number of cans. Transitioning cat food flavors is a slow process. So be patient, and don’t rush the process.
Where to Buy Cat Food and Get Help.
Feeling overwhelmed? Want help in figuring out what cat food to buy? Try these fantastic stores – and you can talk to a knowledgeable person on the phone!
- Healthy Spot – Reader Kristie reported that you can buy individual cans of cat food here and have them shipped to you. This is an excellent option if you need a local store that carries food and want to try a new one without buying an entire case.
- Luke’s All Natural – 1-855-752-5853 – Luke’s is a locally owned pet store in south Florida that sells natural pet food and has a super knowledgeable staff.
- Only Natural Pet – 1-888-937-6677 – Only Natural Pet is a pet store in Boulder, CO, that sells natural pet food and has a super knowledgeable staff.
Where to Buy Cat Food in Bulk
- Amazon.com – Prime members get free and quick shipping on many canned and dry cat foods, including freeze-dried raw.
- Chewy.com – So many pet owners love and know about Chewy for their free shipping and quick shipment (usually arrives in 2 days).
- Luke’s All Natural – 1-855-752-5853 – Luke’s is a locally owned pet store in south Florida that sells natural pet food and has a super knowledgeable staff.
- Only Natural Pet – 1-888-937-6677 – Only Natural Pet is a pet store in Boulder, CO, that sells natural pet food and has a super knowledgeable staff. Use Only Natural Pet Promo Code “CANLOVE” 20% OFF all Cases of Canned Dog & Cat Food. This coupon is valid for one-time use and expires on 12/31/2019.
- Petflow.com – Like Chewy, PetFlow carries most major brands – FREE shipping on orders over $49. I order from PetFlow.com monthly for the price, free shipping (no tax in my state of Kansas), and quick shipment (usually arrives in 2 days)
- Pet360 and other sites – I am subscribed to sites like Pet360 – they sometimes offer promo codes that make buying from them cheaper.
- How Floppycats’ readers get their cat food – be sure to read the comments!
List of Best Canned Cat Foods:
- Best Canned Cat Foods According to Liz Eastwood of the Natural Cat Care Blog
- 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 specialists do not recommend food made by Iams, Eukanuba (same company as Iams), Hills (Science Diet), Nutro, Purina, etc.
You might be interested in:
Raw Food for Cats
As I mentioned above, I believe a raw cat food diet is the best food for a cat. Many companies make pre-packaged raw cat food, so you do not have to make it yourself.
- Bravo (usually cheapest)
- Darwin’s Natural Pet Food
- Fetching Foods
- Hare Today
- Instinct (easiest to find)
- Primal (usually the most expensive)
- Raw Paws Pet Food – Save 10% On All Orders on Raw Paws Website – Code RAWTAKE10
- Savage Cat Food
- Stella & Chewy’s (each batch tested for bacteria and salmonella)
- WAzzOR – raw delivery in OR and WA states.
If you decide to go the raw cat food diet route, avoid feeding dry and raw food simultaneously. Since dry cat food has many ingredients that aren’t needed, it takes longer for your kitty to digest.
However, with raw cat food, kitties use all the nutrients; therefore, they have fewer stools, less volume, and no smell! Also, when considering the raw cat food diet, never feed your cat cooked bones. Raw bones are soft and easy to digest, whereas cooked bones will splinter and will cause choking and/or death.
Cat Water Fountains:
An essential part of the feeding process is plenty of fresh water. Be sure to refresh your kitty’s water bowl daily, if not more frequently. Cats like to have fresh, clean water; in fact, many cats like ice cubes in their water dish because the ice cubes keep the water as fresh as possible. In addition, consider using a pet fountain because the water gets filtered and recycled. Read our cat water drinking fountain review.
Ceramic Cat Water Fountains:
Plastic Cat 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
When my Ragdoll cats were transitioned to wet only, they no longer had an interest in drinking water. That is because now that they are on wet food only, they get water with it. Therefore, I find fountains less important for wet food-only feeders.
Feed your kitty in a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel dish. This is because plastic dishes tend to hold bacteria and can cause cat acne.
Further Reading on Feline Nutrition
Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,
Hi Jenny- thanks for all the great information! Can you please explain how you go about introducing various food brands if you have multiple brands that go into rotation in your cat’s diet? I know about slowly transitioning when you start a new brand of food, but I only understand how to switch from one to another. How does that work when you feed your cat many different brands? Do you slowly introduce one type of food at a time and then another one until they can tolerate it and then just give different brands for different meals after that?
Oh gosh, I don’t recall how I did it. I just have always given them multiple brands. Maybe transition to one – keep the old one – and then you have them on two. Then use those two to introduce a third. Then use those 3 to introduce a 4th. Does that make sense? I mean, sometimes, I just offer them a new food and see if they’ll eat it without having to transition. Sometimes that works too – but might cause diarrhea.
That makes sense. Thanks for the ideas!
Good deal – if that doesn’t work, please let me know. I also am trying to get mine on raw now – so if that’s something you’re interested in, I am not sure if I would waste time with more canned foods.
I’ve tried to transition my cat to freeze-dried and raw food. Unfortunately, he threw up within minutes. I am also stuck with a full wet food diet for the past year, but my cat has extremely sensitive stomach. He would throw up and have diarrhea on a lot of the wet food brands even the good ones like ZiwiPeak.
It is very frustrating because he is a picky eater. I am uncertain how to fix his sensitivity, but hopefully one day he will be able to expand his diet.
I wonder if working on the gut health might work? Check out Adored Beast and you can send them questions before you buy.
You mentioned that you don’t recommend freeze dried raw. Why is that?
I don’t see where I didn’t recommend it – but I really am not opposed other than it’s DRY – so if you rehydrate it, then it’s OK- but ideally, raw wise, I prefer frozen or homemade, so that the moisture content is there and also there are no preservatives.
Your video says that you feed 2 packets, 2 times a day. Which means 4 packets per day. But is this per cat?
It just depends on their hunger level. What I feed mine shouldn’t matter to what you feed yours – every cat is different. You want to feed for your cat and your cat’s needs. Your veterinarian will be able to tell you calorie wise. I don’t count calories for mine because on wet food only they don’t have weight issues.
Hi there! I appreciate your post and all the info you provided. I too had visited cat.org and have read a bit on what to feed cats, and continually come across recommendations to either feed raw or wet only. I am planning on getting a ragdoll kitten in the near future, and so I messaged a few breeders that I have looked at with questions, including if they feed their kittens/cats wet or dry or both.
One breeder (with very good reviews) got back to me and said they feed the kittens dry. They also said that ragdolls do not tolerate wet food well in general, and often get gas or diarrhea from it. Is this something anyone else has observed, or have you ever heard this? I was surprised to get this response.
No. Unfortunately, most breeders are very poorly informed about nutrition (and dry is super cheap, easy, etc) – they don’t have to be because they have young cats and they have them for short periods of time. Catinfo.org is the one to trust.
With that said, if you like the breeder, you can always transition the kitten to your desired diet once they;ve been home for a bit.
For example, mine came from a breeder that fed dry – I transitioned them to wet food after 2 weeks of being here.
Also – be sure to grab your FREE eBook Copy of A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide! It’s free through November 22-26, 2020. Please also share with your friends who might benefit from it!
Thank you for your quick response! I am new to owning cats so trying to do my research! I already downloaded the ebook guide, thanks for such a helpful resource!
Do you have any wet food brands you recommend?
Be sure to read this page – it answers your question – but keep in mind, I NEVER recommend on the site – I cannot. I do not know you, your cat or your financial situation. All I can do is share what I do.