Best Cat Food Reviews & Buying Guide of The Most Popular Brands

excited cat waiting for food outside

Last Updated on October 14, 2020 by Kristen Chapple

The two very crucial words in caring for a pet are “nutritional needs.” Like people, cats require the right nutrition to remain healthy and enjoy a life free from sickness.

But selecting the right diet is never easy. If you check into a pet food store, there are too many choices — dry food, freeze-dried, wet and more! So, how do you pick the best cat food brands? No need to worry anymore because we are here to help.

We went to the market, identified the most popular brands, and let our cats try them out. Check out our reviews to know about their formulation, and select the ideal option for your cat.

The Nulo Dry Cat Food is our top pick. It is formulated carefully using all-natural ingredients that will keep your cat healthy and maintain their energy levels.

The Best Cat Food Reviews Are:

ProductDetails
1. Nulo Dry Cat Food

  • Protein sources: 80% animal-based (turkey or protein)
  • Carbs sources: Grain-free
  • Nature of food: Dry
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2. Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food

  • Protein: 4% proteins from salmon, veggies, chicken, and venison
  • Carbs: Low-GI carbohydrates
  • Suitable for: Cats of all ages
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3. Wellness Dry Cat Food

  • Proteins source: Chicken
  • Fiber sources: Flaxseed and cranberries
  • Nature of food: dry
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4. Blue Buffalo Adult Dry Cat Food

  • Nature of food: Dry
  • Main protein source: Chicken
  • Other ingredients: Wholesome whole grains, fruits, and garden veggies
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5. Ziwi-Peak Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Recipe

  • Protein source: Free-range reared beef
  • Nature of food: Wet
  • Special dietary needs: Non-GMO, grain-free
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6. Sheba Perfect Portions Paté

  • Source of proteins: Real beef, chicken and turkey
  • Nature of food: Wet (paté)
  • Special dietary needs: grain-free
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7. Nature's Logic Cat Food Feline Meal Feast Chicken

  • Nature of food: Dry food
  • Protein source: Real animal meat
  • Special dietary needs: Gluten-free, high-protein
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8. Fromm Dry Cat Food

  • Protein sources: Duck, turkey, and pheasant
  • Nature of food: Dry
  • Special dietary needs: Grain-free
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9. Orijen Dry Cat Food

  • Protein source: chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Nature of food: Dry
  • Special dietary needs: Grain-free, biologically appropriate
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1. Nulo Dry Cat Food — First Choice

Coming out at the top on our list is Nulo Dry Cat Food, which contains all-natural ingredients and recommended by veterinarians for pet owners who want super-healthy cats. The content satisfies all the nutritional needs of felines and will pave the way to a healthy and happy cat.

Cats are obligate felines, which simply means that they need a diet with a lot of protein. Nulo Dry Cat Food is formulated to deliver high quantities of proteins. To make the food more helpful to your cat, the first 3 to 4 ingredients are all proteins derived from animal sources. Our cats really loved this food.

Another awe-inspiring thing about Nulo Dry Cat Food is that it is grain-free. But the formulation goes beyond simply being grain-free by including red lentils and yellow peas to help supply steady energy to your cat and keep the food dry.

Further, the food contains patented BC30 probiotics that survive cooking and help to keep the gastrointestinal system of the cat in top condition.

Specs

  • Protein sources: 80% animal-based (turkey or protein)
  • Carbs sources: Grain-free
  • Nature of food: Dry

Pros

  • Grain-free recipe with no corn, wheat, soy or white potato
  • High-protein and low-carb formulation
  • Comes in small kibble size that is easy to chew
  • Uses patented BC30 probiotics for a healthy gastrointestinal system
  • The food is enriched with calcium and phosphorous for stronger bones, skeleton, and immune system

Cons

  • Your cat might not like the taste

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2. Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food — Runner Up

Coming second on the list is this Taste of the Wild Dry Cat Food, a feast that is irresistible to cats. The food is formulated using a combination of proteins from venison, chicken, salmon, and trout. We liked the combination because it ensures that your feline will get the right mix of amino acids for better health.

One of the most notable things about cats is that they are very playful. Therefore, this cat food is carefully prepared to supply your cat with all the energy it needs to run across the compound, climb trees, and keep you happy.

We liked the balanced nature of the food because it is highly digestible and contains low-GI carbs such as peas, blueberries, and raspberries. This means that your cat will grow healthy lean-muscles, which will make it a lovely ‘athlete.’

There is nothing as lovely as seeing your cat with smooth fur on the skin dash in the compound or relaxing on the couch. This cat food was prepared with fatty acids and micro-nutrients to help your cat have a smooth and attractive appearance.

And that is not all! The food also contains probiotics to keep the cat’s digestive system healthy and strong. Simply put, this is the best food for whole-body health.

Specs

  • Protein: 4% proteins from salmon, veggies, chicken, and venison
  • Carbs: Low-GI carbohydrates
  • Suitable for: Cats of all ages

Pros

  • Suitable for cats or all ages
  • Enriched with minerals and probiotics for whole-body health
  • The food contains taurine for healthy heart and eyes

Cons

  • Pricey

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3. Wellness Dry Cat Food

Who doesn’t like roasted chicken? Even cats do. To provide your cat with this irresistible delicacy, you should consider this Wellness Dry Cat Food, which has everything that your feline needs for super health. Well, with this food, our cat could not have enough!

The most notable ingredient in the food is the high-quality protein derived from chicken. The meat is lean and also rich in fatty acids, which are crucial for strengthening your cat’s immune system. It also helps to make it tasty and enjoyable.

One of the common problems facing many felines is urinary tract infections. But Wellness Dry Cat Food is formulated using cranberries that are rich in vitamin C, which help to keep the bacteria and other infections at bay. The vitamins also work with antioxidants from Rosemary to further prevent other diseases.

Another ingredient that makes this food standout is fiber. By including about 3% fiber in this food, you are sure of two things; the cat is able to optimize the absorption of nutrients from the gut and reduce stomach upsets. Vets also recommend high-fibre diet because it helps cats to avoid problems such as diabetes.

Specs

  • Proteins source: Chicken
  • Fiber sources: Flaxseed and cranberries
  • Nature of food: dry

Pros

  • Prepared from premium proteins
  • Good even for cats suffering from problems such as diabetes
  • Formulated using grain-free carbs
  • A great selection for adult cats

Cons

  • Sold in big heavy bag

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4. Blue Buffalo Adult Dry Cat Food

Clearly deserving a spot in our list of top cat food is this Adult Dry Cat Food from Blue Buffalo. The food enjoys a lot of trust from pet owners because it is available in a wide array of flavours.

You can opt for the single-meat protein sources such as chicken, turkey, salmon or a combination of the three, and enriched with brown rice. We preferred the combination of the three, and our cats enjoyed every moment on the bowl.

Furthermore, the food also contains an assortment of natural vegetables that improve the profile with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. But what makes the food more outstanding is the inclusion of five-strain of gut-friendly probiotics, which help improve digestion, and nutrients absorption.

We liked the balanced nature of the ingredients, especially proteins from chicken and carbs from brown rice because it provides just the right amount of calories for ideal body weight. So, you can expect your cat to be more energetic, stronger and happier when playing outdoors or indoors.

Specs

  • Nature of food: Dry
  • Main protein source: Chicken
  • Other ingredients: Wholesome whole grains, fruits, and garden veggies

Pros

  • Prepared with a perfect blend of ingredients that makes it the first recommendation by vets
  • Formulated with Omega 3 & 6 for stronger immunity, shiny coat, and healthy skin
  • A lovely flavor loved by most cats

Cons

  • Not recommended for young kittens

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5. Ziwi-Peak Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Recipe

Another cat food we found remarkable in every aspect is this Ziwi-Peak Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Recipe because it is formulated to mimic natural feeding in the wild. Ziwi wanted to stand out by offering cats a meal that is not just ethical, but sustainable too.

They did not disappoint. Therefore, whether you have a young kitten or older cat, this recipe will keep it healthy and happy.

Like a leopard’s mealin the wild, this cat food does not contain carbohydrates. It is formulated with no grain, soy, potatoes, wheat or rice so that your cat is able to feel natural right in your home. Furthermore, the packaging uses BPA-Free cans, which are free from artificial gums such as sodium tripolyphosphate or tetrasodium pyrophosphate.

For most cat owners, the desire is to have a feline that grows naturally, going through all the stages in good health. To achieve this, you need to ensure that the food provided to the feline is free from growth stimulants and antibiotics.

This is why this food was formulated. The ingredients used to make the cat food are sourced from animals that are 100% free-range and grass-finished. Also, the animals are free from antibiotics and GMOs.

Specs

  • Protein source: Free-range reared beef
  • Nature of food: Wet
  • Special dietary needs: Non-GMO, grain-free

Pros

  • Free from antibiotics that can be harmful to cats
  • The food can be fed on cats of all ages
  • Formulated with high protein quantities and essential minerals
  • Grain-free

Cons

  • Some cats experience stomach upsets
  • Expensive

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6. Sheba Perfect Portions Paté

This Sheba perfect portions paté is another delicious treat for your cats. From the formulation to the ease of use, this is one brand of food carefully prepared for perfection. We really liked the easy-to-open tear packages that offer the perfect portions for each meal.

The food is prepared using real meat from beef, turkey, and chicken that ensures your cat gets all the nutrients it needs for good health. To strengthen your cat’s immune system, the food is enriched with all the essential minerals and vitamins. The flavour is also impressive, and our cats really loved it.

Another notable thing is that this food comes in a number of flavours, allowing you to select the one that your cat prefers. And since the food does not contain grains, you are sure of one thing; your cat will enjoy a delicacy close to what it would get if it was in the wild.

Specs

  • Source of proteins: Real beef, chicken and turkey
  • Nature of food: Wet (paté)
  • Special dietary needs: grain-free

Pros

  • Comes in easy to use cat food trays
  • It is formulated with no grains, corn, wheat or soy
  • Can be used to feed both young and mature cats

Cons

  • Some people complain the portions are too tiny
  • The food is expensive.

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7. Nature’s Logic Cat Food Feline Meal Feast Chicken

The last cat food to make our list of the best cat food brands is this Nature’s Logic Feline Beef Feast. The food is carefully formulated to deliver both high-quality nutrients and awesome flavour. Even if your cat had previously refused to take other foods, do not give up before trying this formulation.

The food is prepared using highly palatable and nutrient dense-meat based dry foods. To make it more nutritious, the food is enriched with selected concentrates of vegetables and fruits. This implies that your cat will always have an ample supply of vitamins and minerals for better health.

Nature’s Logic also did a good job by including useful probiotics and digestive enzymes. When we tried this diet, the stomach upsets that were common with our cats simply vanished. Besides, we liked it because it works well for cats of all stages.

Specs

  • Nature of food: Dry food
  • Protein source: Real animal meat
  • Special dietary needs: Gluten-free, high-protein

Pros

  • Prepared with over 60% animal proteins
  • Have high naturally occurring taurine
  • Enriched with probiotics and digestive enzymes for better gut health
  • Can be fed to both young and older cats
  • Does not contain artificial flavours, colours or preservatives

Cons

  • Need to be introduced slowly to avoid gastrointestinal disorders

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8. Fromm Dry Cat Food

Fromm FourStar Cat Food Gamebird (5 lb)

Next on our list is this Fromm Dry Cat Food that has become one of the top recommendations by vets. Prepared using turkey and duck, this cat food is rich in most amino acids meant to help your feline remain strong, healthy, and looking attractive.

We also liked the fact that it only takes a short moment after starting to use the cat food to see your cat change into a livelier, healthier, and more attractive feline.

Take a closer look at the ingredients of this food, and you will realize that it is prepared with human-grade meat and seafood for higher protein supply. Furthermore, the food is enriched using an assortment of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. This means that you are sure of giving your cat all the proteins and vitamins it needs for good health.

Within a few days of using this food, our cats’ fur started becoming shinier and fuller. The high-quality but low carbohydrates in the food also makes the cats strong and playf. So, if you are disappointed with the food you are using today, this will be one great alternative to consider.

Specs

  • Protein sources: Duck, turkey, and pheasant
  • Nature of food: Dry
  • Special dietary needs: Grain-free

Pros

  • Works well for cats of all ages
  • The formulation is balanced for whole-body health
  • A lovely taste that is loved by cats
  • Helps to regulate digestion and promote a smooth appearance

Cons

  • The food can result in weight gain

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9. Orijen Dry Cat Food

ORIJEN Dry Cat Food, Cat & Kitten, Biologically Appropriate & Grain Free

Mention Orijen and most pet owners will give you a nod about its products because of its commitment to quality. This notion is evident in their Orijen Dry Cat Food that is known for healthier and happier cats.

Unlike other brands that outsource their production, Orijen Dry Cat Food is prepared by combining all ingredients in their kitchens. The food is prepared using fresh ingredients, including turkey and fish, supplied by trusted people.

When looking for cat food, it is important to think about the pet as a wild canine and pick the option that nourishes other animals such as leopards and jaguar.

This is the approach used to prepare Orijen Dry Cat Food because it contains 90% raw animal ingredients, including organ cartilage, bone, meat and organs. The food has ample minerals and vitamins that help to keep the cat’s immune system strong so that it can fight most diseases naturally.

If you have cats at different stages of growth, maybe some are old while others are younger, the food will be a perfect choice because it suits them all — no need to place separate orders.

Specs

  • Protein source: chicken, turkey, and fish
  • Nature of food: Dry
  • Special dietary needs: Grain-free, biologically appropriate

Pros

  • Can be fed to cats of all ages
  • Made with high-quality and locally sourced ingredients
  • Prepared with fresh, never frozen ingredients
  • Very good for sensitive stomach

Cons

  • May result in foul-smelling droppings
  • Expensive

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Buying Guide

It’s estimated that cats kill somewhere between 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds in the U.S. each year and they say you are what you eat right?

Now that we have looked at the top foods out there, you are way closer to identifying the best cat food brands that will keep your feline healthy and happy.

So, here is a comprehensive guide to help you pinpoint the best:

The Core Of Cat Nutrition

When looking for cat food, it is crucial to start by understanding that they have different nutritional needs compared to other domesticated animals. Because cats are obligate carnivores, it implies that their systems are adapted to all meat diets.

Therefore, although it is okay to go for food that has some additional carbs, your cat can only tolerate them in small quantities. So, what should a good cat food include?

  • Protein (should form the biggest percentage)
  • Amino acids, especially taurine and arginine
  • Omega-3 and Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Minerals such as calcium and phosphorous
  • Vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C

Dry Vs Wet Cat Food

Many cat owners out there wonder: “Which is better between the dry kibble or wet food?” Well, it gets pretty confusing here because many experts give opinions largely based on the human feeding model, which is not always correct when it comes to cats.

For example, some argue that dry food is like junk to cats and should be avoided, but this is not always correct.

So, let us demystify this argument:

Dry Cat Food

Dry cat food (kibble) is prepared using animal products, but you should be careful because some might have texturized vegetables and fillers. As the name suggests, dry food is low on water content.

So, you need to ensure that your feline has ample water supply nearby. Dry food comes with several benefits:

  • It allows your cat to do some practice with its teeth
  • If the food does not contain junk, it will be a great way to remove tartar from the cat’s teeth
  • You can leave the dry food around so that your cat can feed on it freely

Wet Cat Food

Wet or canned cat food, also referred to as canned food, usually contains about 75% moisture. Some experts argue that wet food is better because many obligate carnivores hydrate their bodies by taking fresh meat. However, this does not imply that you should not provide your cat with clean water when feeding it on wet food.

Wet food is prepared to provide your cat with a clear reflection of what it would be getting if it was in the wild. Most companies usually blend meat with small amounts of vegetables, especially spinach for an additional supply of energy and vitamins.

We need to indicate that cats can easily get bored by taking the same type of food. So, do not just conclude that your cat is not feeling well because it is simply looking at the wet food and walking away. The better way to handle it is by offering the cat both hard and wet food on different days or feeding times.

Note that unlike dry cat food, wet food cannot be left on the feeding plate over a long period. We recommend 2-3 hours, and this we are talking from experience.

When we used the food, it got dry within hours. And there was another problem: it used to attract a lot of ants, especially when left overnight. So, the faster the cat clears the feeding plate, the better.

The Age Of Your Cat

Your cat’s nutritional needs depend on various circumstances, such as weight and age. If you have a kitten, she will require a lot of energy because the body is growing rapidly.

So, you might want to look for food that is specifically formulated for kittens, especially those made with nutrients to aid eye and brain development. The food should also have ample folic acid for stronger cell development.

For adult cats (between one and six) and senior cats (beyond seven), it is important to feed them based on their weight and activity level. The moment your cat hits seven, you should start thinking of food that can help to support aging bones.

So, look for foods formulated with high levels of calcium, vitamin E, and vitamin C to help boost their immune system. The food should also contain ample amino acids that can help to keep their fur and skin as soft as possible.

Note that if you have a condition that makes you feel unsure of the type of food to buy, it is advisable to seek help from a vet.

Top Rated Cat Food Should Have the Right Label

Just like you look for food labels when buying your own food, the same applies to cat foods out there. Some of the healthiest cat foods out there are formulated to meet the requirements given by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

AAFCO is an advisory group that helps to oversee the regulations of animal feed production and labeling. The members of AAFCO include volunteers drawn from various government agencies, veterinary schools, and animal interest groups.

The standards recommended by AAFCO are used in most US states. You can consider any product to be nutritionally-sound if it has a “complete and balanced label.”

As you look for the labels that point at the leading cat foods, it is also crucial to understand what should not be contained. So, here are some things that you should avoid:

  • Chemical preservatives such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and ethoxyquin
  • Excess of carb fillers such as wheat gluten. Indeed, the healthiest cat foods contain minimal or none of them
  • Artificial flavors and colors, including Red 40, Blue 2, caramel coloring, and Yellow 5

Premium Is Not Always Better

Unlike other products, when dealing with feline food, expensive branding does not always mean high-quality. Note that it is perfectly okay to select the top brands because many have stuck with high-quality diets for years.

Indeed, these top brands are likely to have better quality control protocols, and vet staff to formulate their diets. But this does not imply that you cannot get good cat food from a startup.

However, you will need to do more research to identify a good startup with high-quality food formulation for your cat.

Final Thoughts

Feeding your cats with superior grade nutrition ensures they stay healthy, prevent diseases, keep them cheerful, and increase their lifespan.

Our reviews above have highlighted the best that the market has to offer. They are formulated with high-quality proteins, come with balanced energy sources and minerals that make your cat feed and feel natural.

While we stand with the nine top cat foods in our reviews above (they are the gateway to healthier cats), this Nulo Dry Cat Food was the best of them all. It has all-natural ingredients, is reasonably priced, and highly recommended by vets.

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