Your feline friend deserves to eat the most healthy cat food, right? But when you look at the price tag of those companies, which claim to make the highest rated cat food, it seems hardly possible to buy healthy food. Besides, the ingredients of many products are also not very comforting, containing all sorts of nasties.
So, how can we choose healthy cat food at reasonable prices? There are so many options on the market, which makes the choice even more difficult.
This article will help you find the best food for kittens. You will learn about the kinds of cat food, quality brands and see the top 10 foods available. At the end you will find a buying guide, where I will try to teach you how to choose what is best for your cat.
Let's get started!
Top 10 best cat foods
You know how many cat foods there are on the market. And all the manufacturers claim their product is the most natural, tasty, healthy and so on. But is it really so?
Having analyzed dozens of cat foods, read many ratings and reviews, We've come up with this top 10 list for you. But, different cats have different needs. That is why the list is divided into three sections. First, you will see the 4 top cat foods for adults, followed by the 3 best for kittens and concluding with the 3 for older cats.
10 2oz. packets
Natural flaked shipjack tuna
10 2.1oz. tubs
Grain free ocean fish recipe
Pack of 24 3oz. cans
Chicken and lobster
Venison and Salmon
3oz. packs of 24
5.9 pound bag
Types of cat food
You, as well as every other cat owner , have to decide on the kind of food you will feed to the animal. Most of us make our choice based on the price, if the cat likes it, and what you understand your cat needs.
When you've made a choice of food, it doesn't mean you have to stick with it for the rest of the cat’s life. You can mix their meals to introduce variety in their diet. Bear in mind that, you should follow the guideline of the food you choose, especially adjusting it to the particular age, size and activity of your pet.
So, what types of food are there?
Wet cat food. This type of food has a high moisture content. It is sterilized by being cooked at very high temperatures. Generally, but not always, it's sealed under pressure, so there is no air and it doesn't go bad. Wet food comes in cans, foil trays and pouches. The food itself is usually either chunks in gravy/jelly or meatloaf. Sometimes, it is also frozen or chilled.
Dry cat food. This is the opposite to wet food because it has a low moisture content. There are different kinds of dry food. But all of them are mostly the same by the nature. The difference is in the shape. You can buy shaped pellets and kibbles, flakes like cereals and biscuits. Dry food comes in bags or boxes. Despite what many people think, it contains fresh or dry meat. When serving you either give dry food to the cat as it is or add water or gravy. Read the manufacturer's instructions to know how to serve it.
Semi-moist cat food. It comes in the shape of soft pellets that have a chewy texture. Usually, semi-moist food is only a treat. So, be sure to read the instructions as it may not include all the necessary nutrients for your cat’s daily diet. You can generally buy it packed in sachets.
Frozen and freeze-dried cat food. This type of food is considered to be the healthiest because it is basically a raw product that has been frozen or freeze-dried. You should always check the expiry date and follow the storage instructions with this food. If it is spoiled, your cat can get sick, so be careful.
Grain free cat food. It is a fairly new type of cat good on the market and it has already gained popularity. Grain free means that is is made without grains because some cats are allergic or just don't like them. When a cat has sensitivity to grains, it can lead to itchy, dry skin and upset stomach. That is why grains are substituted with vegetables such as sweet potatoes to avoid the problem. However, if your cat doesn't have any such problems, there is no need to feed him grain free food just because it is so popular now.
Raw food. There's a new trend in animal feed where you feed them a raw diet containing meat and vegetables. It's closely aligned to how your cat would have eaten before it became domesticated. You usually buy food at the butcher or the supermarket and the meat can be anything from raw chicken breast to livers, and intestines. Vegetables are also introduced to vary the diet.
There is another distinction in the types of cat food. It can be either complete or complementary. The label will always tell you which kind it is.
Complete cat food. It got the name because the ingredients are nutritionally complete. It provides the right amount and proportion of nutrients for your cat's daily diet. It means that you don't need to add other food. Your cat will get all the necessary vitamins, minerals and proteins just from eating complete cat food.
Complementary cat food. This food is mostly given to animals as a treat. You cannot use complementary food for every cat's meal because it does not include all the nutrients that are so important to keep your cat healthy and happy.
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Top Cat Food Brands
There are so many manufacturers of cat food emerging on the market every year, that it is hard to keep track.
Some companies have been known for ages, but it does not mean their products have the same quality as they used to. Other companies have just started to produce cat food and have good quality ingredients, but you don't know about them.
Here are the brands that deserve your attention (in no particular order):
Founded in 1989 by actor Dick Van Patten. Headquartered in Burbank, Los Angeles. The full name of the company is Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods. It is a commercial natural pet food manufacturer which is a subsidiary of Big Heart Pet Brand. The company is known by such slogans as "Food For a Lifetime" and “the finest food you can buy for your pet”.
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
Founded in 1907 by Burton Hill.Headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. The company is marketed simply as "Hills", a subsidiary of Colgate-Palmolive. It is a large scale producer of pet nutrition, such as dog and cat foods.
Founded in 2008. The predecessors of the company are Old Mother Hubbard (1926) and Eagle Pack Pet Foods (1970). Headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. It is part of the Berwind Corporation. Their current slogan is “Your pet’s wellbeing is at the heart of all we do, that’s why we do whatever it takes to make the healthiest natural products for the pets that depend on us”.
Founded in 1967 by a French veterinary surgeon after he successfully treated a number of skin and coat conditions in pets by feeding them a cereal-based diet he prepared in his garage. Now the company researches breed specific nutritional requirements of dogs and cats. A subsidiary company of Mars incorporated.
Founded in the 1894. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. It is a subsidiary of Nestlé and as of 2012, the second-largest pet food company globally and the largest in the United States.
Nutro Products, Inc.
Founded in 1926. Headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. It is another subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated.It is the developer and manufacturer of the Max, Natural Choice and Ultra brands of pet food and Greenies treats.
Best food for adult cats
Purina Purely Fancy Feast Natural Cat Food
Purina Purely Fancy Feast is insanely popular among cats and their owners. It is a wet type of cat food that comes in ten 2-Ounce plastic tubs. It is complete and includes vitamins and minerals to provide balanced daily diet for adult cats. It is truly natural, the manufacturer claims there are no by-products, fillers or artificial preservatives in the contents. You can choose between 7 different variations of real ingredients. Because of this there is difference in color and texture of different Purina Purely Fancy Feast kinds.
Most cats love these tender and soft little chunks in a broth. They lick it clean and ask for more.
Purina Purely Fancy Feast used to be appetizers. It gained popularity among cat owners in that version. However, Purina charged the formula and many pet parents became suspicious if the cat won't like it. True, some reviews say the cats are not as enthusiastic as they used to be about this cat food. But those who try it the first time, report the cats love it. So, maybe it is due to the fact that cats just don't like change.
Anyway, there is another disadvantage of Purina Purely Fancy Feast. The portions seem to be too small. And with the directions saying to feed an average size adult cat 1 tray per 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of body weight daily, it may be too expensive for some people. So, although it is complete cat food, you may use it as a treat.
Overall, Purina did a great job creating this cat food. If you buy the Natural Flaked Skipjack Tuna taste, you will see that it looks and smells just like canned tuna intended for human consumption.
Muse by Purina Natural Grain Free Hand Fillet Fish with Topper Wet Cat Food
Yes, this is another Purina cat food. We're not trying to advertise or anything, because it is in fact the most popular food for cats.
Like the first one in the list, it is wet food and it comes in ten 2.1-Ounce Tubs. You can choose between three flavors: Herring & Salmon Recipe, Ocean Fish Recipe or Tuna & Tilapia Recipe. All three of them are grain free and gluten free. The contents do not include chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat or soy, as well as artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. What it includes is real hand-filleted fish as the first ingredient. This food has all the necessary essential nutrients for your cat.
Your cat will appreciate the taste and you will like how natural this food looks. You can actually see real pieces of fish, not unidentified meat pate.
There is always a chance that your finicky cat will refuse to eat any kind of food. A nice bonus is that if your cat doesn't like it, they will refund your purchase price.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Canned Grain Free Wet Pate Cat Food
Wellness offers a great choice with its complete grain free wet pate care food. Everyone can find something his cat will like because there are as many as 9 different flavors. Plus, there is a best sellers variety pack if you want to try a bit of everything. You can also choose the size of cans (3, 5.5 or 12.5 ounce). They come in packs of either 12,24 or 30.
It is complete cat food that comes in pate made of all natural ingredients, with no meat by-products, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Other key ingredients include sweet potatoes, carrots, essential vitamins and minerals, fresh, whole cranberries and blueberries.
If your cat likes this Wellness food, you will like how healthy he looks after eating it. Many reviews noted they saw improvement if the cat had excessive throwing up, urinary tract issues, and significant weight loss. The fur also feels softer and sheds less.
Taste of the Wild Cat Food
Give your cat the taste of the wild with this cat food. It comes in two flavors: Trout and Salmon or Venison and Salmon.
It is another grain-free formula. It has sweet potatoes that provide your cat with a lot of energy to run around and play. The ingredients also include fruits and vegetables to supply natural antioxidants and support a healthy immune system together with overall good health.
This food is for all life stages, not only adult cats. So, if you have several cats of different ages, you won't need to buy them all personal food. This is also the only dry food that made it to this list of 4 best adult cat food. You will love the price and your cat will most likely like the taste.
Now, let's see the best cat food for kittens
Wellness Complete Health Natural Canned Grain Free Wet Pate Cat Food. Kitten Formula
I've already mentioned this kind of Wellness product. Only now it is their special kitten recipe.
It has high quality proteins and essential fatty acids for complete and balanced diet for your kitten. It doesn't include growth hormones and steroids, but has many vegetables and berries that help to maintain proper urinary tract health and develop the whole organism of your growing kitty.
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food for Kittens
This is another Wellness kitten food, only now it is dry.
This formula is grain free and includes everything needed for complete and balanced everyday nutritionally rich diet for your kitten. It is rich in proteins, with chicken, turkey and cranberries. It also has the calories and DHA needed for healthy development of your kitten. It is, of course, all natural.
Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Indoor Dry Cat Food
This Hill’s product is recommended for kittens, from weaning until 1 year old and pregnant or nursing cats. The food helps healthy digestion for easy litter box clean-up. It includes only natural ingredients plus vitamins, minerals and amino acids precisely balanced tailored for kittens with an indoor lifestyle.
The 3 foods for older cats.
Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food, Senior Health Recipe
It is all natural cat food for senior cats. The recipe is made with carefully chosen, authentic ingredients for everyday healthy diet.
Aging cats have unique health needs. Wellness claims heir formula provides balance of nutrient-rich whole foods, vitamins and minerals for whole-body nutritional support of senior cats. It improves overall health and vitality, healthy weight, nutrient absorption, skin and coat health, digestive health, urinary tract health.
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food Adult 11+
Hill's has a series of cat foods for all ages. For older cats they created adult 11+ and adult 7+.
This cat food contains only natural meat, fruit, berries and vegetables, as well as vitamins, minerals and amino acids to defends the body and brain of your old friend against aging.
Hills Science Diet Adult 7+ Hairball Control
It is amazing how today you can find cat food that precisely fits your cat's needs. For example, this product is specially created to help avoid the formation of hairballs in older cats.
Adult +7 has natural fiber that comfortably reduces hairballs. It also helps support internal organ health for senior cats.
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I have to admit, there is no single best food. What is right for your friend's small kitten won't be right for a cat you've had for 15 years. You can choose the cat food that will be perfect for your little friend. But there are a lot of factors to consider.
Let's see what they are:
You want meat as the first ingredient;
If your cat has allergies, buy grain free cat food;
The less artificial ingredients, the better;
Look for good brand history without many recalls;
Choose dry, wet or both. The first is cheaper, the later is supposed to be better for your cat. You can always mix them or choose raw;
And the most important thing, always read the contents, so that you know what your cat is eating.
I think, it is great that there is such a big choice of really healthy and natural cat food on the market. You don't have to cook for your cat any more. And the cost is very acceptable in most cases.
I hope this article helped you and bon appetite to your cat!