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.

Melia Luxury Pet Cat Bowl with Canned Food In It
Melia Luxury Pet Cat Bowl with Canned Food In It

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.

This website uses affiliate links that earn a commission at no additional cost. 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.

Raw food contains only the high-quality proteins, vitamins, fiber, and minerals that meet a cat’s nutritional needs, with none of the artificial flavors, preservatives, corn or other grains that your feline friend just doesn’t need. It has a high moisture content when prepared with something like beef gravy or chicken broth (suited to cats), and a texture that cats tend to enjoy.

It’s a good diet choice for almost any life stage, including a senior cat. However, with kittens it may be best to feed them the same food they were eating at the breeder until they’re ready to transition.

Look for raw food providers that are approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and that ideally use human-grade ingredients, so that you know the quality is excellent.

Highlights of This Page:

  1. Raw Cat Food is Ideal
  2. Cat Probiotics are helpful when transitioning
  3. Reader Favorite, Canned Cat Food (on Amazon):
    1. Weruva Variety Pack Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Pack of 12, 3-ounce cans)
    2. Tiki Cat Gourmet Whole Food 12-Pack
    3. 9-Flavor Variety Pack Weruva Cats in the Kitchen
    4. Feline Natural

Important Information:

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 formula 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 or kibble is not healthy for a carnivore, your cat, and should not be the main diet. Cats need a high protein diet consisting of animal protein, primarily lean muscle mass but with some organ meat and calcium.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 disease, urinary tract health problems (UTIs), struvite crystals, stones, obesity, diabetes, and the need for frequent dental cleanings and possibly tooth extractions. While some kibbles will meet the nutritional requirements of your cat, they also include wheat and grain products that aren’t needed and can cause health issues, especially to sensitive stomachs.  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 label to check the ingredients list 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. Taurine is one of the good amino acids, and fatty acids along with vitamin e help to boost the immune system, so they’re good ingredients to look for.

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:

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 products prebiotics and probiotics
Adored Beast Love Bugs Gut Soothe and Healthy Gut differences
Adored Beast Love Bugs Gut Soothe and Healthy Gut

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, these are some of the best wet cat foods they would eat:

  • 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.

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.

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 the taste 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

  • – Prime members get free and quick shipping on many canned and dry cat foods, including freeze-dried raw.
  • – 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.
  • – Like Chewy, PetFlow carries most major brands –  FREE shipping on orders over $49. I order from 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:

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.

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:

IPETTIE Ceramic Pet Drinking Fountain

Plastic Cat Fountains (don’t recommend these for kitties with acne problems):

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.

 | Website

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,

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  1. My last cat and my current cat have both had grain-free restricted diets, so they’ve primarily been on Weruva’s Cats in the Kitchen line for canned. My last two cats actually were on canned food alone for the last few years of their life, and Weruva was the best bang for my buck, plus the pet store would let me order a case at a discount. I’ve also ordered it online.

    Tiki brand is my favorite treat food – there are whole chunks of fish, squid parts etc. My cats have always gone completely bonkers for anything in that line.

    Canned food in general is more spendy than dry per serving, but there are a few brands that come in the bigger cans like dog food (Weruva is one of them). If she’s been doing well on Blue Buffalo it should be a pretty easy transition, but I’ve always mixed the two together for at least a few weeks until they get used to having only canned and not feeling hungry all the time.

  2. Such a great re-post, Jenny! Thanks for keeping this updated and relevant for all of us!!! So much great information about kitty nutrition can be found in this post…PAWESOME!! 🙂 <3

    Great job!!! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!!!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  3. Ashley Tarrant says:

    Benji has been eating Fancy Feast classic (Pate in Canada) and today I realized that leaving a can of food out over night is probably not a good thing or maybe the food is no the good for him. He’s always had stinky poops with the canned food but now this morning he is having cow patty poops and it’s getting all over his furr (TMI: he ended up eating small pieces of poop that was on his bumb which mad a mess)…. thinking about trimming the furr around his bumb because it’s so bad right now.

    I’m wondering if I should change the food to a more higher quality? They go through three to four 3 ounce cans a day anyways so a little more money on a higher quality of canned food won’t be bad.

    1. is he having the loose stool from the same flavors/brands? or have you switched flavors? you might need to give him pumpkin or a probiotic to help his stools harden.

      1. Ashley Tarrant says:

        I ended up switching them to hounds and gatos canned food. I give them all the flavours except beef since they don’t like it. I’m now trying to introduce weruva cats in the kitchen canned food. I gave them a little too much to try out and mila my oldest cat ate everything’s then threw it all up (regurgitation is my guess since she at every it so fast) so I’m going to give it another try tonight but by doing the transition steps with what’s left in the can.

        I’m wondering how many brands should introduce to them in a weeks time? This would be the 2nd since she didn’t even want to try the 1st unmixed or mixed. I have 2 other brands of canned food that I would like for them to test out. Also how often should I switch brands? Should I just keep a variety of different brands (hounds and gato, weruva, Canada fresh, RAWZ) they like on hand and feed them randomly? I want to give them as much of a variety as possible just not sure how to go about it.

        1. Wet cat food goes sour in two hours. Part of feeding wet is learning how much they’ll eat per serving (once they’re fully transitioned to wet only) and putting about that out multiple times a day.

  4. Craig B Heseman says:

    Sooo after reading all of this I am confused.
    Okay so Betty White our first ragdoll we fed with high end store bought Royal Canin wet food. Which she loved and still begs for it till this day. I call it “love arching” when she begs But I digress. Our vet told us that we needed to put her on dry food cause her teeth were not looking so good. The vet said the hard food helps clean the cats teeth. Is this accurate? So after we got her teeth cleaned we switched her to Royal Canin hard food. Haven’t had a the vet mention anything else about her teeth. We’ve put Charlie Brown our newest ragdoll on Royal Canin hard food as well with store bought meaty wet food as treats for both. So I’m not supposed put them on dry food?

    1. Please read – it will answer your questions about dry food and teeth cleaning – I would also think of switching vets if a vet thinks that!

      1. Craig B Heseman says:

        Thx Jenny, I will. Awesome site and YouTube channel by the way.

  5. Ger Posadas Dimailig says:

    Has anyone tried the Darwin’s Raw Cat food. I’ve used it on my British shorthair and look forward to using it on our future Ragdoll. My 2 year old cat has been doing pretty well on it since Feb. I found it quite affordable at about about $1.46 a day after I did some calculations.

    Do we have a lot of Raw Diet feeders on here? How has it worked out for you? I’ve been really happy with this diet for my cat. His fur is definitely so much smoother and just as they promote, less smells in the kitty litter and small compact poos noted as well.

    Looking forward to hearing what everyone else has to see about this.

  6. Christina says:

    Excellent and informative repost Jenny. I’m going through this now. Also find that if your cat doesn’t tolerate chicken brand x may not be chicken in itself, it could be the way brand x makes it.
    Liked the Probiotics link. Still may lean toward sharing my live stuff (smile)

  7. Vicki Moore says:

    I have 4 cats, 3 female and one male. Two of the females and the male have transitioned to wet food pretty well, but my Dilute Tortoise shell refuses to touch it. So far I have gone through all the Friskies, Nine lives, and Meow Mix wet foods and she just wont eat. I have tried Microwaving it to no avail. I have some Sheba at home now that we are going to try starting tomorrow. I love her to death but I am on a fixed income and can’t keep wasting money on food that doesn’t get eaten. She is the pickiest cat I have ever had. lol

  8. Dementia Boy says:

    Hi, Deidre,

    A cat needs a carb like a fish needs a bicycle.

    I think the fruit & veggie thing is a marketing ploy. Pet food companies have caught on to the anti-oxidant foods human eat and are trying to persuade us that blueberries are good for our cats, too. Nonsense. Omega 3 is good for cats, provided it’s not in capsule form with all the extra kwap like corn oil.

    When I was researching cat foods and harassing poor Jenny every day with my findings, I was appalled at what I found. Citrus is the new “thing.” Oh, good, let those gastrointestinal juices start fomenting.

    The experts – Dr. Pierson and Dr. Hofve, for example – say to keep carbs under 10% of a cat’s daily diet. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. The stuff that congeals the cat food – potato starch, let’s say – usually represents more than 10%. Add the garden bounty of berries, yams, green beans, peas and carrots, and the carb % goes over 25%.

    In this thread, Jenny has included links to, a calorie/carb counter, and Liz’s blog (sorry, I can’t remember the name; Liz is on sabbatical, but you can still read her findings and the comments, where all the cat nutrition fanatics come out.)

    Although I feed my cats primarily raw, there’s one food with some carbs that I feed les enfants terrible. Nature’s Variety. The green beans and peas and carrots are big enough for the cats to spit out easily. It’s kind of cute.

    What are the foods your guy wants to eat? Since he’s male, I’d be concerned about fish as well as carbs. Liz says to feed “big fish” no more than once a week. I have no idea what small fish are–guppies? Trout, more likely.

    It IS a struggle to find a variety of good foods that your exquisitely individual cat will eat. As Lynn said, we continue to look for the Holy Grail of cat food. But you’re not going to find it in the garden.

  9. I’m wondering about the foods with berries, veggies and pumpkin in them. Do cats benefit from these foods or are they added as filler? As obligate carnivores, I have to think that cats do not need or benefit from these added foods. My cat doesn’t seem to like them and this is what is causing me to have to eliminate many brands from his menu. I’m still researching and doing a lot of reading. It seems that the foods he wants to eat are the ones that he shouldn’t be eating…

  10. Janet Knowlton says:

    Patti – I would NOT leave food out for 10 hours! I am sure it has spoiled and the reason for kitty’s vomiting. Maybe I would try putting down enough so that she eats it all – maybe a half a can. Are you feeding her too much? The feeding directions on the cans are so misleading. I feed my two one and a half cans a day each with some kibble sprinkled on top, maybe a tablespoon. I can’t imagine feeding them 3 cans a day each. They are kittens and weigh 10 and 14 lbs, ages 7 mos and 10 mos. According to the directions that is not enough BUT both are getting enough as I cannot feel a rib anywhere! Tummies are full! If I free fed them? They would weigh a ton. Both are complete pigs.

    1. Hi, Janet:

      Thanks for your info! I do appreciate it. 🙂

      I don’t really think Pink Sugar is getting more than 2 cans in an entire day. We toss alot of food in the garbage (probably waste about 1 to 1.5 cans a day). The only time we leave the food out for a long time is overnight. So, I guess we won’t do that anymore. It’ll just make her hungrier in the morning so I guess that’s a good thing and she might even eat most of a can.

      Starting today, I put out 1/2 can for her to eat and put the rest in the fridge for her first meal of the day. She’s now eating the rest of the can that was in the fridge. I have a timer set for 30 minutes. If she doesn’t finish it in 30 minutes I’ll put the leftovers back in the fridge for her next meal, etc…


      Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂

      1. janet Knowlton says:

        Sound like a much better plan and if she eats it all then you can always give her more. I think more frequent meals with less is better than huge meals less often…just like us humans! I still feed my pigs 3 times a day. I wish I could go to 2 times but they would stage a major protest. Good luck with Pink Sugar.

        1. Thanks, Janet! 🙂

          The Three Little Pigs, eh? lol 🙂

          Big hugs!

          Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂

          1. Dementia Boy says:

            I agree with Janet re: leaving the food out for a short period of time, especially now that the weather is warming up. Did Pink Sugar just vomit or was there a furball included?

            My cats require so many calories that no cats I know compare to them. I feed them at least five times a day. I wonder if Ragdolls have slower metabolisms or, conversely, if ferals have hummingbird metabolisms. William ate about 400 calories a day–more before his psychotropic medications took effect–and the girls eat close to 1000 each. They’re less than half the size William was.

            Feed what works for Pink Sugar, not what the can says.

            I have weird sleeping patterns, so the cats go without food three hours in the afternoon or early evening and another three hours at night. I’ve found that if I feed them a bunch of food when I wake up–“bunch” is in the tummy of the beholder–they’ll throw up. So I just give them half the amount I feed throughout the rest of the day; otherwise, they’ll vomit because they gobble. An hour later, I’ll feed them more.

          2. Hi, DB!

            No furball. Just liquified food from what she ate last.

            Appreciate the info!

            Big hugs!

            Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂

  11. Dementia Boy says:

    What can I contribute in any meaningful way to this discussion? “Mad scientist” is my default mode. But you’re not here to learn Mad Scientist 101. If you want to learn about calculating carbs and limiting minerals, there are other places to do that. I’ll just make a couple notations.

    (1) Cats need a lap more than they need a microscope.=)
    (2) Feed your cat wet food only. Then, fed her some more wet. As a snack, feed her some wet. Finally, feed her some wet. If in doubt, fed her some wet.
    (3) It doesn’t matter how good a food is if your cat can’t or won’t eat it. By “can’t,” I mean allergies; by “won’t,” I mean repeated attempts to feed it are met with “the look” or worse. If I consider a food so-so, I won’t make a lot of effort to convince my grrrllls to eat it. If I consider a food excellent, I’ll try all sorts of treachery and subterfuge to get them to eat it.
    (4) There is no Holy Grail of cat food (sorry, Lynn). All we can do is attempt the balance the good, the bad, and the ugly. And the best way to do this is through rotation–offering your kitty many brands and varieties. If you’re not already doing this, start with foods that are similar in protein/fat content. Otherwise, you’ll run into digestive issues.
    (5) A cat needs a carb like a fish needs a bicycle. (Am I the only one old enough to remember this variation of a feminist slogan?) AAFCO does not require pet food companies to list carb % in the guaranteed analysis, which is not a guaranteed analysis at all. (Uh-oh, getting close to The Rant again.)
    (6) Are you willing to compromise? For example, are you willing to accept one ingredient you don’t like? Two? What are you willing to trade? I’ll accept EVO’s carrageenan because my cats do so well on EVO and it fits their protein/fat requirements; I will no longer accept it in any other canned food. I can’t accept yeast (Jolie has an immediate inflammatory response); I won’t accept menadione, or synthetic Vitamin K.

    I would not suggest that ANYONE feed their cats what I’m currently feeding mine. Their diet has been constructed with Jolie in mind; Isabella is doing well on it, too. They eat about 80% raw and radcat (different meats, different mad scientist formulae) and 20% canned, different brands. Hound & Gatos is as close to the Holy Grail as I’ve been able to find, but I could find 100 people who would say the opposite. It’s all about your very own cat–sometimes I lose sight of that =)

  12. Dementia Boy says:

    Ai, yi, yi.

    Several months ago–it was the day Jolie had her dental–I looked over Jenny’s list and began what I *thought* would be a short foray into the good, the bad, and the ugly of wet cat food. I joined or lurked on every cat food blog I could find.

    Little did I know that I was falling into a bottomless abyss. And I found more bad, ugly and just plain weird than good. Companies seem to be trending toward the exotic–pineapple, green-lipped mussel, spirulina. Did you know that goat has fewer calories per ounce than either dove or squirrel? Do you need to know this?

    Anyhoo, I’ve done a lot of research and have junk all over my computer as well as on notepads. I hope Jenny keeps this up for a while as I need to put my links in some sort of order, hopefully with the accompanying bullet points. Oh, yeah, those (tossing them into the abyss).

    Sometimes we forget the most obvious. #1: Cats are obligate carnivores. In a perfect world (or mouse), carbs would represent 1-2% of a cat’s total calories. You can achieve this only at the expense of #2: Rotation, which I’ll come back to later. So Dr. Pierson says to keep carbs under 10% of daily calories.

    But how do you figure this out? It ain’t easy. Some companies actually have this information on their websites. Some companies will give it out to individuals. Some companies you’ll never hear from again.

    Grab a can of cat food from your shelf. Add up ALL the numbers under “guaranteed analysis.” (Note the “min” and “max”) Do these numbers add up to 100%?? If so, great!! If not, how far off from 100% are they? 98%? 92%? Because we’re going to have to do some adding and subtracting.

    I know that most of you have probably looked at the following links repeatedly. Look at ’em again. Look at “dry matter” or “ME” analysis. See if you can find one of your foods in there.

    I would not have launched into my diatribe with “dry matter analysis” had a certain revelation–clutching hand to heart–not come to light. (Humming “Mission Impossible” theme song, but it makes my nose bubble.)

    Going in search of my own carbs now. Shall return.

    1. You can also just feed mice!

      I feed Prossimo mice, chicks and quail. Interesting he refuses rats.

      Generally I feed one type of animal per day. Super easy!

      With regard to canned food I have Evangers Game Meats in my disaster preparedness kit ( – any thoughts from the experts?

      1. Dementia Boy says:

        Please tell me more about the mice, chicks and quail. Do you–how do I say this?–grow and dress your own? Does Prossimo catch them? Do you get them from a feed supply store or…? If you don’t feel comfortable writing here, please write to me at when you have a moment (if you don’t mind).

        I’m certainly no expert, but that’s never stopped me from meowing loudly. I, too, have a disaster preparedness kit, that I rotate out every six months. Funny, when I think of Evangers (or Wysong), I *think* of disasters or camping. Since Prossimo’s diet closely resembles the prey model (except for chicks), it would be perfect for a disaster kit.

        Have you tried it out on him yet? I “test drive” a can of Hound & Gatos and Evo from each new case, substituting the new cases for the older ones. I don’t want to be in the middle of an avalanche only to find that the stuff is moldy. Plus, I’d want to make sure that the cats would eat it if they hadn’t tried it before. (Evangers or Wysong wouldn’t work for me as my cats don’t follow a prey model–their metabolisms require more fat.)

        How long are you prepared to be in disaster mode? If it’s more than a week, I’d also bring along whatever you add to Pro’s food as the Evangers isn’t complete. There’s never a good time for a disaster to strike but, with respect to Evangers, the time is NOW while the company is still under strict FDA scrutiny for past misdeeds.

        I’ve complied with mandatory evacuation orders three times here, once in Marin. The longest we’ve been gone has been five days. So I always prepare for 10. Now I only have to prepare for two cats; in the past, I’ve prepared for up to eight. And after all the preparedness, the cats wouldn’t eat.

        1. I admire you guys for feeding prey. I just can’t do it. I think a lot of us would be interested in the gory details so please share here. OK Dementia Boy why don’t you start a business and sell disaster kits for cats! I’d pay for it! I am so bad I have not done this for the humans or animals. Do you live in Marin County now? That’s where I live.

          1. Dementia Boy says:

            Waving over the hill to Janet!! I live in Tahoe now (the “cheap” side), but I lived in Inverness for a long time. I bought my first house there before California housing prices skyrocketed. Sometimes I regret selling that house, but if I hadn’t sold it, nothing else would have been possible–especially snarky Jolie.

            I remember floating with my daughters, the cats and the dogs (Lhasa Apsos) in a raft down Hwy 1 when western Marin basically just crumbled down. Their father was hanging out with Jerry Garcia in Novato and didn’t have a clue as to what was going on further down the coast. I think this was in ’84? Right before we moved here, over 40 days and nights of rain.

            I love Marin but I don’t know if I could move back there. First, I couldn’t afford it. Second, the traffic would drive me crazy. Third, there’s just no break between Novato and Petaluma now, and that makes me sad. Fourth…meh.

            But Marin was the last time the cats were inside/outside, Max the unofficial greeter (beggar?) of Point Reyes, terrorizing the hills, trudging home with battle wounds and foxtails, trying to pull huge crows through the doggie door. You know the clay that’s in NV Instinct, Nature’s Logic and some other foods? I can never spell or pronounce it, so I call it Mt. Tamalpais clay. =)

            I’m good with ideas but not production. Why don’t we put our collective heads together and just brainstorm what needs to go into a disaster kit? Food, water, medical and comfort are some basic categories.

            I keep my junk in soft-sided, strapped and wheeled suitcases, which fit beneath the cats’ stroller. (I think the stroller was made for a mid-size dog.) I haven’t fooled with it since Zen and William died, but it’s about time. I’m prepared for cross-country skiing, hiking and driving.

        2. @Dementia Boy, hmmm, FDA scrutiny? Past misdeeds? That doesn’t make me feel confident. I gave it to him once during his transition to raw.

          A major earthquake would be the disaster I would have to worry about here. More than likely it would a “shelter in place” situation and the suggestions are that you are able to do so for 2 weeks.

          When he first got here, he killed and ate two birds he caught on the balcony. I had left some furniture in places where it made it make it easier for him to jump close to the bird feeders so it was my fault. He was outside for 9+ months before arriving so my assumption is that he fed himself quite often.

          I order Prossimo’s whole prey. If you Google for reptile feeders, you can find multiple suppliers and compare prices, shipping and specials.

          I’ve ordered from Layne Labs and Rodent Pros. Right now Rodent Pros has a flat-rate shipping special of $30 for a regular sized box as well as some great specials.

          Once a week I also feed him a 1/4 cup of a rough ground (I do it myself) of rabbit (rabbit carcass with bones & organs – no fur, head or feet though), and that’s when I give him some Omega 3. He refuses rabbit and Omega 3 in any other form. They only way I can get him to eat this is with copious amounts of tuna juice or several crushed dried anchovies.

          I also have a local processor and I can get big (5-10oz) whole prey quail really reasonably which is how I started Prossimo on whole prey.

          For treats, he only gets dried anchovies which is is totally crazy for! He gets about 4 a week. I dehydrated my own shrimp but he won’t eat it. I am going to try freeze drying it to see if he’ll eat that. I also have some freeze dried duck hearts that he really likes but they are so expensive I only give 1 every other month or so.

          1. Dementia Boy says:

            Great information, Christy–thank you!! Yes, I remember Prossimo’s story.

            I am becoming even more extreme in my dotage. I’m beginning to think that chase-and-eat is the way to go. Still, I can’t let the cats outside here, and I don’t want mice scurrying about my house. But there’s the greenhouse (34 x 17), a catio by any other name. I have a few herbs and plants (catnip, of course) in it to keep up appearances.

            I wouldn’t worry about Evangers for the time being. They’re being monitored closely. Because of that,I think it’s probably safer to buy from them than from anyone else.

          2. @Dementia Boy, I’ve been deemed extreme for sure! I don’t mind it though because it’s SO easy to feed this way, the dude is happy & healthy and the litter box is so much easier to deal with due to his diet.

            I would totally support Prossimo catching and eating his own food on a regular basis but my home doesn’t doesn’t have the right set-up for it so he’s stuck with sub-contracting the job to me (I’ve changed the job description from “catch” to “buy” though for my sensitive human requirements!).

            Thanks for the feedback on the Evanger’s, I really appreciate it.

          3. Dementia Boy says:

            Delayed reaction: Omega 3.

            Does Prossimo really HATE Omega 3? When I still had the four cats (maybe five, going back to Muse), I’d break open capsules on the cats’ canned food. Everyone liked it except Jolie. She HATED it. Even if it was mixed in with the food, she wouldn’t touch it.

            I then had the brilliant idea of dribbling it on her paw. (I should always question twice, thrice, my “brilliant” ideas.) Jolie had a fit, bucking up and down, slamming herself against the walls, but no way would she touch that Omega 3. So I had to wash it off and apologize profusely.

            I use krill oil now, but I still remember that Omega 3 incident.

            I think I’ll try a whole quail today; usually, I get it coarsely ground. The butcher here always has interesting stuff.

          4. @Dementia Boy, he hates it but his reaction was refusing his food if I just drizzled it or Krill Oil on his food.

            If I tried putting it on his paw or nose he would refuse his food but he started to become highly suspicious of me and ready to pounce with his giant claws & teeth at any point during the day. I decided that keeping our relationship one of trust, as well as all of my body parts and skin in tact was more important than the supplement!

            Not a Miss Jolie reaction though that’s for sure!

  13. Always great to see this info! Thanks, Jenny!

    As many of you may remember, we began transitioning our lovely Pink Sugar girl (who just turned 16 months old today!) to wet food a few months (has it been that long?) ago. I think it was back in December when we switched from Blue Buffalo dry food to Fancy Feast Classic Pate varieties (the only one of the Fancy Feast products without carrageenan in them) and Sheba pate (also carrageenan free) varieties.

    She has transitioned successfully and is eating two small cans of food during a 24 hour period now. I never see her drinking water out of her pet fountain or the glass measuring cup that she loves so much (for some strange reason) now that we are feeding her wet food. But that’s okay ‘cuz her litterbox leavings are AWESOME! No more UTIs! YAY! 🙂

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Pink Sugar 🙂 <3

    1. Hi, Jenny!

      I have e-mailed you with this info, too, to cover my bases. 🙂

      As you know, we began Pink Sugar’s transition to an all wet food diet back in December (I think it was December). Anyway….

      We’ve been feeding her an entire 3 ounce can of wet food about 2 – 3 times a day. On average she only really eats about 2.5 cans a day. The rest gets thrown away (usually because it’s been left out too long and she won’t touch it).

      We’ve left the wet food out for her to feed on for as long as 10 hours (mostly overnight) but now I’m thinking that may not be so healthy for her. She had a vomiting incident the other day (it was just her wet food that was coming back up) and the first time this has happened since we transitioned her. I don’t know what caused her to get sick and throw up (in every room in the apartment…sigh). But I’m wondering if I should not be leaving her wet food out for such long periods of time. So, I did some research on the web and lots of sites say to leave the food out for no longer than 30 minutes to an hour (depending upon the temperature in your house).

      THE QUESTION: How long do you leave the wet food out for Charlie & Trigg to eat before you either take it up and store it in the fridge for later or throw it out?

      Thanks so much!

      Patti & Pink Sugar (Who is all better now and vomit-free! Yay!)

  14. Nicole Montemayor says:

    I quite enjoyed reading your interviews with Dr. Jean a while back regarding cat food and allergies. Early on when I adopted Dahlia she had a kennel cold and a parasite that we had to take care of, at that point I was feeding her Weruva brand wet foods and she was having tummy problems. I thought perhaps it was still a parasite we weren’t seeing but when my vet didn’t really put in much effort in helping me find a solution that didn’t require giving her a bunch of antibiotics and probiotics to offset the havok it was going to cause to her insides I decided to do some more research on food allergies. Turns out, after limiting her diet to 1 protien and eliminating chicken that that’s what it was. A chicken intolerance/allergy! I was so relieved…

    I haven’t pinned down if she’s also sensitive to beef but I keep her away from it anyway just in case, I don’t want to put her through the troubles anymore.

    So, bottom line, I’m very pro 1-protien wet foods with all the extra bonuses of no preservatives, etc. My favorites are:

    • Addiction
    • Nature’s Variety Instinct & Limited Ingredient Instinct (the normal variety doesn’t have chicken in the non-chicken cans, the other protein is turkey which she is fine with.
    In both cases her favorite flavor is by far the duck, but she also eats buffalo, turkey, venison and rabbit.

    I want to try Hound & Gato as it’s also limited ingredient but haven’t got around to it because she loves Addiction so much!

    I don’t bother with fish flavors, I’m worried about the ingredients and usually they seem to have carrageenan.

    1. Janet Knowlton says:

      Nicole – isn’t it interesting about the chicken allergy? My older kitten is also allergic to chicken. Took a long time to figure that out too. I fear venturing out to try new things since I am having great luck with the single ingredient instinct. I agree with the fish ones. I will have to try Addiction.

      1. Nicole Montemayor says:

        Yes, we started with Instinct initially but I found it to be somewhat pricey so I looked around for other things and found Addiction. I like it because they are all game proteins and yet the quality is fantastic and the price is pretty good too. I buy through and since I typically buy over $79 in product every couple of months the shipping is free. Turns out to be a pretty comparable deal! Fortunately there is a mom and pop pet shop near my house that stocks Instinct in case of an ordering emergency…

        Glad you were able to find the allergy as well, I had no idea it was so common. My two older cats were happy as could be before they passed with no allergies at all.

  15. I have been feeding my Ragdolls Katy and Kirby Wellness Core Liver and Turkey and Fancy Feast Turkey kitten variety. A few months ago I started them on Young Again dry food. Jennifer a rep from Young Again recommends these two specific brands which are very low carb. Katy and Kirby seem really happy with these foods and their coats are very soft and silky. I noticed that a few really good breeders were using Young Again dry food and I thought I would try it.

  16. thanks for this. gives me a better idea on what to try. is that lotus, juicy available on amazon? i didn’t see it there.

    1. Doesn’t look like it is yet – you might contact Lotus and ask them to put it on there? They might not have had a chance to do so yet.

  17. Dementia Boy says:

    I am going to try really hard not to be a weirdo.

    I will be back with some links. I will write in bullet points. I will write in subject-verb-object format. I will not behave like a member of the…I have forgotten what the Chicago columnist called me (note: I live nowhere near Chicago but that does not stop me from harassing people who work there who have the audacity, the hubris, to disagree with me) but it had “crazy” and “cat food cult” in it. This columnist did say one thing (sniff) that I believe to be true: Talking about cat food is like talking about religion and politics.

    1. You are the one I was hoping would really add to this discussion – weird or not, I say go for it!

      1. Dementia Boy says:

        Oh, sure, Jenny, feed me to the crazy cat ladies =)

    2. We love the crazy lady that has a wealth of information. Your posts always make me crack up! Thanks for your help on wiggly eyes.

    3. Hi, DB!

      Okay. Here it is. Very short and to the point: I think YOU ROCK!!!!!

      (I so enjoy reading your comments full of wisdom, good and bad experiences and humor!)

      Big hugs!

      Patti & Pink Sugar (who says “I lubz me sum krazee kitteh ladeez!”) 🙂 <3

      1. Dementia Boy says:

        Does Pink Sugar have a job yet?? =)

        1. Nope. (And, I don’t think she’s even trying at all…)

          She told me that since we have a Constitutional Monarchy here in our household (and she is the Crown Princess, after all) she can’t hold a normal job like all the other kittehs in the world. She said she could only inspire the commoners and be a good example of etiquette, poise and class. (Of course, right after she said that she began to lick her fuzzy hind end…) 🙂 <3

          1. Dementia Boy says:


            Yes, Her Royal Heinie is an inspiration to kittehs everywhere!!

            Hugs and bunny kicks right back at ya.

  18. nyeca chino says:

    Any suggestions for kittens? I have a 6 month old Ragdoll, and I was looking for these brands for her. Is Blue wilderness the same as blue spa wilderness? I managed to pick up a few cans of this today, but I didn’t want to start introducing it if it isn’t one of the recommended brands.

    1. Dementia Boy says:


      No, they’re not the same. One has carrageenan; one does not. Another has a bunch of carbs. Unfortunately, I don’t remember which is which. There’s also Blue Spa Select. If you have good eyesight AND a magnifying glass, check the label for carrageenan.

      I have written to the parent company and asked them to change the labels–I’m sure they’ll get right on that–because there are a lot of crazy cat ladies out there who will spend money on the right stuff. When these same crazy cat ladies are faced with a sea of shiny aqua cans (not the shiny green ones), all of which have “blue” and “wild” on the label, they get confused.

      1. Whatever happened to Dementia Boy? You are very weird and for some reason I like that?!

    2. I have two kittens, 6 mos and 8 mos and they are eating Nature’s Variety Single Ingredient Turkey canned meat. This had been a godsend for my older kitten who had loose poops. Apparently he was allergic to chicken. So if you have poop issues this has worked for me. Anyway, highly recommend these. No carrigeenan, grain-free, no byproducts, fillers. Great stuff. I buy it on Amazon. They also eat the same brand of dry as a topping on the wet food (like a tablespoon) ONLY because the younger one is such a pig he would eat me out of house and home. I go through 2 cans a day right now. It’s not cheap at $2/can.

  19. Does anyone know of a good pet water fountain I can buy that will work with a European plug outlet? I live in Sicily, Italy. Thanks in advance!

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