Cats, as anyone who has ever found themselves owned by one can attest, are finicky little things.
Despite having nine lives, they’ll convince you that they’re going to die if you don’t get them exactly the right food. (Mouse that’s been running around goodness knows where? Yup, that’s fine, no problem – what do you mean I’m expected to eat the bargain basement kitty kibble?! What kind of monster are you?!)
And of course, pets of all shapes and sizes become part of the family, and your independent, self-centred kitty is no different. You want the best for them, because you want them to feel loved, so that maybe, just maybe, they’ll be a little more affectionate. (But not too much – you don’t want something clingy and needy. That’s why you got a cat, not a dog, after all.)
With more cats now living indoors, both for their own safety (as cats really don’t understand traffic) and for the continuation of local bird and wildlife species, getting your pet the right mix of nutrition can be a challenge.
Wet, or moist, cat food is generally better for all-round health, as it typically has a higher meat content, and is more nutritious. Cats often prefer it, too.
However, wet cat food, particularly if you have several cats, can take up a lot of space. In the summer, canned pet food can really pile up, especially if your pet doesn’t eat it all at once. (Mine don’t – they prefer to eat little and often.)
Also, moist cat food isn’t ideal for indoor cats, who don’t have access to the variety of edible textures that help keep those tiny teeth in tip-top condition.
Dry food provides the crunchy texture to help with dental health and hygiene, and is less pungent in hot weather. It is also better value for money, as you get more for your dollar than with wet food, and is easier to store, and it’s much faster to ‘prepare’.
However, unless you commit to finding the best-quality dry food, many kitty kibbles are quite low in nutritional quality (this is true of most dry pet foods generally.)
So how about something in between? Is it possible to get the best of both worlds?
While it is very hard to find actual semi-moist cat food these days, many pet food brands will market “cat food toppers”, which are essentially the same thing, although, if you intend to feed these exclusively, rather than adding them to (usually) wet food for a little added nutrition and texture, you will, of course, need to use more than the recommended amount.
Semi-moist cat food, as well as meeting your cat’s need for nutrition and texture, provides something a bit different for them to engage with. This is particularly important for indoor cats, who lack the opportunities for stimulation afforded to cats who can be given the freedom to come and go at leisure.
These are the top five cat food toppers, or semi-moist cat foods available. Of course, bear in mind that cats are as individual as we are, and your cat may not care at all for the highest-rated, best-quality-ingredients food available. It’s about finding what works best for your feline friend.
Many cats are sensitive to grains and cereals, as they are not a natural part of the feline diet, so buying grain free food, where possible, is desirable. Of course, as grains are used – in human food, too – as cheap bulking agents, grain free food is more expensive. This item features 24 pouches.
Some cats refuse to eat the semi-moist chunks, and will just lap the gravy they come in. If this is the case with your cat, it would be better to find a high quality wet cat food that they will eat, as they won’t be getting sufficient nutrition.
While this semi-moist topper features high quality ingredients, and is both appealing to many cats with digestive issues, the pouches do not contain a lot of food, and so work out quite expensive. Even more so if you have more than one cat, and are feeding this as a standalone semi-moist food rather than mixed with canned food or kibble.[amazon box=”B00NT16S1C” template=”horizontal”]
Again, like most semi-moist foods, this is intended as an addition to either kibble or canned food, so, if you are feeding it exclusively, you’ll need to use several pouches in a day.
The pouches are quite small, and can be messy to feed. However, cats do seem to enjoy this food, probably because it is made with 70% whole prey-foods, giving it a much more cat-appealing scent, and a higher and tastier protein element.
The use of a high percentage of whole prey-food means that the texture and digestive elements are closer to what your cat would eat if they were free-ranging in the wild. This makes Wellness Trufood ideal for indoor cats, who are completely dependent on humans for the necessary variety in their diet.[amazon box=”B01BF1DX10″ template=”horizontal”]
This is a grain free meal topper – again, if you are feeding it exclusively, as a semi-moist food, you will need to use several packets a day to ensure your cat is getting sufficient nutrition.
This cat food seems to be much more appealing to a broad spectrum of catitudes than other varieties, and offers a greater range of flavors.
Again, as with all of these kinds of “complementary” foods, there is not a lot in a pouch, which does make it quite expensive if you’re having to feed it as an exclusive food for a picky kitty.[amazon box=”B01F9F5O06″ template=”horizontal”]
Offering a grain-free, protein focused food, this is, again, intended as an addition to either canned cat food or kibble, so, if you are feeding it exclusively, you will need to use several pouches per day.
This is a high-quality pet food that comes in several varieties, including plain chicken (contrary to the stereotype, a lot of cats don’t like fish flavored cat food!), and it is clear, as soon as you open the pouch, that the focus of this food is meat, rather than something rehydrated.
It’s the kind of cat food you can easily see how you would make yourself, if you were so inclined, which is exactly what you’re looking for.[amazon box=”B06Y2B2NV4″ template=”horizontal”]
A freeze-dried food, this simply needs a little water added to bring out the full, unimpaired flavor of good quality raw meat.
This is particularly appetizing to older cats, who are often reluctant to eat, and can therefore provide much-needed reassurance for anxious humans.
Again, this is intended as a complementary food to kibble or canned cat food, so you will need to use several pouches a day if you are feeding exclusively.[amazon box=”B01H37CBOU” template=”horizontal”]
Until pet food companies bring back actual semi-moist cat food (which they are starting to do in the UK, although it is currently limited to just a couple of the leading brands), meal toppers are the only “semi-moist” option available. As they are intended to be used as an occasional addition to a main food, they do become expensive to feed exclusively, particularly if you have more than one cat.
Hopefully the British trend will spread to the USA too, and give us more options on how to feed our pets.