If you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Top 10 Best Cat Foods in 2021

After doing extensive research and analyzing labels, OwlRatings’ editors compiled the list below of the best cat foods on the market.

Reasons to look for a good cat food

Your fur friend is a part of your family. Thus, you want to ensure that you feed them food that is not only delicious but also beneficial to their health. However, it can be daunting to find the best food for your cat that is ideal for their life stage and satisfies their dietary needs.

If you are a pet parent and you are confused about which cat food to get for your feline, you are on the right page. In this article, we will review the best cat foods on the market to help you make an informed decision.

Since cats have unique dietary needs, we understand how important it is for you to find the most suitable food for your cat. Our product roundup is detailed and will help you narrow down your list.

Best overall

Meow Mix Tender Centers cat food

Meow Mix Tender Centers cat food

This cat food is designed to provide your cats with balanced nutrition without sacrificing palatability.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

This delicious cat food is composed of kibbles that have a tender center and are crunchy on the outside, which is far from the usual cat food. It is formulated with 100% complete and balanced nutrition to give your cat all the necessary vitamins and minerals so he can lead a healthy and happy life.

It comes in two irresistible flavors including chicken and salmon depending on what your cat enjoys. This product’s top five ingredients include whole ground corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and whole wheat.

It includes all the necessary minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that aid in boosting your cat’s immune system. Other ingredients include animal fat, corn syrup, animal digest, glycerin, and phosphoric acid.

This means that it is low in protein and high in carbohydrates, which may be an issue since protein is highly essential for cats. On the other hand, the corn syrup may cause allergy and cause your cat to add weight.

Best for kittens

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula cat food

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula cat food

Purina ONE’s kitten food has a high protein content and is ideal for ensuring your cat’s nutritional needs.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

If you are buying food for your kitten, this dry kitten food from Purina may be worth considering. It is a healthy kitten formula that is highly recommended for kittens between 0 to 1 years.

Real chicken is its first ingredient and it is packed with 40% protein to give your kitten highly digestible protein. Hence, you can be assured that your kitten is getting adequate protein to develop a lean and healthy body and develop strong muscles.

It comes in the chicken flavor and is perfect for all breeds. In this cat food, there is a DHA nutrient, which is found in the mother’s milk. This nutrient helps with brain and vision development.

On the negative side, it may contain high carbohydrate content and the chicken by-product may be a lesser quality ingredient. You may also want to be cautious if your cat suffers from corn, soy, seafood, and beef allergies.

Since it is dry food, it can serve you a long time. You can also leave it out for your cat to eat when you go to work without worrying that it will spoil.

Best for weight loss

IAMS Proactive Health Weight & Hairball Care cat food

IAMS Proactive Health Weight & Hairball Care cat food

Nourished with Omega fatty acids and L-carnitine, this cat food helps burn fat, maintain metabolism, and keep your cat’s soft and shiny coat.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

Looking for a healthy diet to help your cat with weight loss or weight management? If so, you may want to put IAMS dry cat food on top of your list. Made with chicken and turkey, this food can help your cat keep in its best shape, regardless of its age or size.

The first ingredient is chicken, which helps your cat get lean, strong muscles, and energy to play. It is also formulated with the right nutrition to aid with healthy digestion, urinary tract health, and hairball control.

Made with a proprietary blend like beep pulp and prebiotics, the IAMS health cat food reduces hairball and makes digestion easy for your kitten. We love that this protein-packed recipe is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to make your cat’s coat soft, shiny, and healthy.

Another great ingredient in this cat food is L-carnitine, which aids in boosting metabolism and burns fat. This will help your cat maintain ideal body weight and condition as they age.

Other essential nutrients include calcium and potassium to promote a healthy heart and Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for a shiny coat and healthy skin. With this high-quality cat food, you can be assured of 100% complete & balanced nutrition with zero fillers.

It is free from synthetic dyes, wheat, and artificial preservatives. However, you should note that this product may contain a bit of corn, which can be allergen for some cats.

Best for sensitive stomach

Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach cat food

Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach cat food

Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Cat Food was thoughtfully manufactured for cats with sensitive stomachs.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

This dry cat food from Purina comes in the turkey flavor and is formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs. It is easily digestible and you don’t need to worry anymore about feeding your cat with a sensitive system.

It contains real turkey as the first ingredient and your cat will enjoy its flavor. It is also formulated with added nutrients, vitamins, and minerals to offer a 100% complete and balanced diet. Impressively, the kibbles have a crunchy texture that is not only easy to digest but also helps to reduce plaque build-up.

To ensure immune and gut health, this cat food is packed with prebiotic fiber. The 35% protein content in this recipe supports strong muscle growth and a healthy heart in cats. There is also an optimal amount of vitamin E, Omega-6, and antioxidants that supports skin and coat health.

Although this cat food is renowned to support your cat’s immune system, sensitive stomach, and sensitive skin, there is still a need to monitor it for allergies. This is because it contains a lot of filler agents, and the digestive system of some cats may not handle it.

Best affordable

Purina Friskies Canned cat food

Purina Friskies Canned cat food

Featuring varieties of flavors, this 40-can pack is best for your pet adult cat who is hungry for more.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

This variety pack is worth considering if you are in the market for the best affordable cat food that will give you great value for money. With the Purina Friskies variety pack, your cat will enjoy different dish flavors each day.

This wet food pack is composed of 40 packs that come in 4 different flavors including Salmon Dinner, Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Dinner, Chicken & Tuna Dinner, and Mariner’s Catch. Each of these seafood and poultry recipes has a smooth pate texture that not only tastes great but is also easy to nibble at and it has a great aroma.

Your four-legged friend will be tempted to dish it any time. This wet food is especially beneficial if she does not drink adequate water as it can help increase her water intake.

Besides, it provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition to support your cat’s health. Your cat will get all the necessary minerals and vitamins to promote overall health and wellness. The high-quality protein will give your cat the strength they need to explore and get active.

Still, we were concerned about the quality of this cat food as most of the ingredients are quite cheap. Also, the packaging quality is more ordinary than is expected of this product.

Best wet food

Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers cat food

Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers cat food

This product is rich in animal protein and offers three flavors to choose from.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

This is another value pack that is not only great value for money but also the best option for your feline friend that enjoys wet food. This food is also great for picky eaters thanks to its three delicious flavors of beef, chicken, and turkey.

With each flavor, you get three cans to make a total of 24 cans. Your cat won’t get bored with the same flavor each day. This recipe is made with high-quality ingredients and you will feel good knowing that you are feeding your cat with nothing but the best.

The food includes petite kibbles that have a tender texture and irresistible taste that your cat won’t resist. There are also meaty morsels that are cooked well and have an appetizing texture. This variety pack is packed with essential minerals and vitamins for balanced nutrition. However, you should note that it is not completely grain free and can cause allergies in some cats.

It has complete nutrition that promotes the overall wellness and health of your cat. The recommended for an average size adult cat that weighs 2.5 pounds is 1 can daily. Hence, it is more suited for kittens rather than larger cats.

Best premium

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy cat food

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy cat food

This is the best premium cat food that you can consider for your kittens and mature senior cats.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

The Sheba Perfect wet cat food is composed of irresistible gravy that cats of any age can easily enjoy. This pack contains 24 twin packs, 12 of which have the Gourmet Salmon Entrée flavor. On the other hand, 6 twin-packs contain Sustainable Tuna while another 6 twin-pack features Delicate White Fish & Tuna Entrée flavor.

The gravy is flavorful, moist and can help with digestion and urinary health. Since it is a free grain recipe, it is great for cats with sensitive stomachs. Plus, it is crafted using premium ingredients and important minerals and vitamins. But you should know that it may contain meat and poultry by-products which can be low quality.

We are impressed that with this pack, you will get 48 servings, which will sustain your cat for a long time. Something that stands out about this cat food is that it features individual trays, which are easy and convenient to use.

However, although the company says that you simply need to peel and serve without messy leftovers, it is easier said than done. The packaging is somehow difficult to open and can cause a mess if you are not careful.

Are you worried about serving your cat low-quality food? Worry no more! This wet cat food is free from artificial flavors, preservatives, grain, wheat, soy, and corn. Therefore, you can rest easy knowing that it won’t harm your feline friend.

Best for indoor cats

Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium cat food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium cat food

Filled with vitamins and minerals, this cat food is the best choice for keeping your indoor cats healthy and in top shape.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

If your cat spends most of the indoors, Rachael Ray’s dry cat food may be just what they need to stay strong and keep full. This product is made from a combination of farm-raised chicken, real salmon, wholesome lentils, and a superfood blend that gives a fantastic taste and meets the unique dietary needs of your indoor cat.

All the ingredients are natural and do not contain grain, filler, gluten, or poultry-by products. Instead of artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors, it is crafted with top-notch ingredients with added minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.

On the other hand, the lack of grain may come with potential risks. Also, some customers are confused about the corn gluten meal ingredient as listed by the manufacturer in this cat food.

With natural prebiotics sourced from pumpkin, your cat will develop a healthy digestive tract from eating this food. It is also great for your feline’s immune system thanks to the berries that are rich in antioxidants. Most pet parents notice an improvement in the overall health of their cats with sensitive stomachs.

The kibbles have a crunchy texture and are easy to chew. Your feline will devour this delicious cat food.

Best for senior cats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein cat food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein cat food

This product is made of high-quality and natural ingredients mixed with essential vitamins to provide your senior cat optimum nutrition and help them maintain an active lifestyle.

  • Taste :
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

The Blue Buffalo cat food is a delicious way for you to feed your senior fur friend. It is a high-protein-packed cat food that contains a generous amount of real chicken to help your cat build and also maintain lean muscles. Generally, it is crafted with the health of your adult cat in mind.

The recipe is also rich in healthy carbohydrates like peas and sweet potatoes to support your cat’s active lifestyle. Nevertheless, the concentration of carbs may be relatively higher than we would like.

There is a generous amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote the health of cat’s skin and coat. Amino acids are also included to support both the eye and heart health of your cat.

A unique spec of this cat food is the exclusive LifeSource Bits included. This is a unique blend of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for a healthy immune system. All the ingredients are natural and there are no artificial flavors, preservatives, wheat, corn, soy, or byproduct meals.

Best for hairballs

9Lives Dry cat food

9Lives Dry cat food

This product is best at maintaining a balanced and complete nutrition for your adult pet cat who may have weight and hairball problems.

  • Taste:
  • Features:
  • Healthy:
  • Value for money:

If you want to reduce your cat’s hairballs, look no further than 9Lives Dry cat food. Infused with flavors of chicken and salmon, this cat food is perfect for all cats regardless of their life stages. 9Lives cat food can support the nutritional needs of indoor cats so they can live well.

We recommend this product for maintaining the health of your adult cat thanks to its 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition. The recipe can support hairball control, making it perfect for cats that are prone to hairball.

It features high-quality protein that will give your cat strong and lean muscles. The ingredients come with essential minerals and vitamins so your cat can have a healthy heart and a clearer vision.

On the downside, it has high carb content and contains artificial colors. We also don’t like that the amount of by-products is higher than that of meat.

What to look for in a good cat food

Here are some things to keep in mind to help with your selection of the best cat food for your feline.

1.   Understand the types of cat foods available

There are different types of cat food available in the market for your legged friend. Therefore, it is best to understand each type and select the most suitable for your feline based on its breed, dietary needs, and temperament. The different types of cat food include:

Dry cat food– This type of food is made of small nuggets that are compressed and are high in carbohydrates. This type is dehydrated and does not contain a lot of moisture.

Wet cat food– As the name suggests, this type is moist and soft and usually comes packed in cans. Unlike dry cat food, it has low calories and high moisture content, making it suitable for cats that have a hard time staying hydrated. Wet cat food is also perfect for pickier eaters.

Special formula cat food– If your feline has any health issues like bone disease or obesity, then this cat food is an excellent choice. It is specially formulated to address various medical issues.

Raw cat food– This food is composed of meat, vegetables, and grains. It is more like the natural diet of cats and is rich in extra supplements.

2.   Ingredients

When shopping for cat food, make sure that you check the ingredients to know what is in your cat’s food. Compare the nutritional content of different brands to find the one that is best suited for your cat. Always navigate through the first five ingredients on the cat food label to know what it is mostly made of.

Although expensive, the best cat food will contain animal products in the top five ingredients. Others may contain three animal products and two vegetables in the top five ingredients, which is okay. Generally, just ensure that the food contains an adequate amount of protein since cats are carnivorous.

Also, there is a list of ingredients that you should avoid when looking for cat food. This includes low-quality ingredients and those that could cause serious health problems to your feline when ingested.

3.   Check source of ingredients

Just as you ensure that your food is sourced in the best places, your cat’s food should also be sourced the right way to ensure safety and hygiene. It is best to choose US-based companies that guarantee the use of high-quality ingredients.

It should be without any artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Ingredients from cheap locations can cause health problems like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and kidney disease.

FAQ

What are AAFCO standards and do they matter when selecting cat food?

Association of American Feed Control Officials, or AAFCO, is tasked with setting the nutritional pet food guidelines in the USA. It defines the ingredients, testing standards, and the labeling of pet food to ensure that it is 100% complete and balanced nutritionally.

According to the AAFCO minimum standards, adult cat food should have at least 9% fat, 26% protein, and include essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. Food formulated for kittens should contain 9% fat, 30% protein, and be rich in vitamin A, phosphorus, and calcium than adult food.

This information is crucial to ensure that you feed your cat a balanced diet.

How much carbohydrate should I feed my cat?

The recommended amount is about 1-10% of carbohydrate concentrations. It is not advisable to feed your cat foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes, peas, wheat, and soy. This is because high concentration can lead to health issues like digestive problems and obesity.

Is it okay to feed my cat with animal by-products?

Animal by-products are basically parts of animal carcasses. While this may sound disgusting to many, animal by-products are very nutritious for cats. The only issue with these ingredients is that they can cause digestibility issues since they are sourced from the body parts of several animals. Hence, you don’t know from which animal these parts are from.

What is the healthiest cat food?

According to AAFCO, the healthiest cat food should be complete and balanced in nutrition. It should also be crafted with high-quality ingredients and packed with meat rather than plants to meet the protein needs of carnivores.

Final verdict

Unlike popular belief, finding the right food for your cat is easy as long as you understand their dietary needs. Being carnivores, you want to ensure that you find foods that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates to resemble the diet of raw prey.

Also, make sure that it is high quality and gives your cat the necessary nutrients to keep them happy and healthy. After going through this review and analyzing each product, we hope that you will find the right cat food for your feline friend.

Become a member

Become a member of our large community for free. Our newsletter grant access to exlusive content, premium reviews, giveaway contests and much more.

By continuing, you accept the privacy policy.
Absolutely no spam. Unsubscribe any time!