If you’ve taken the time to go to a search engine and ask it what the healthiest cat food brands are, there’s no doubt you’re a good person. But you don’t have time to do months and months of research – and that’s where we come in.
The first version of this article was written back in 2014 and we’ve been updating it ever since.
In our research, we’ve uncovered some surprising facts about cats and the food they should – and shouldn’t – be eating. Here are the main conclusions.
Cereals and kibble have their place – they’re certainly more convenient for us humans. But if you’re talking about a cat’s nutritional needs, dry food is not right for felines.
The cats we bring into our homes descend from desert cats. There, where there’s little water, a cat gets its liquid from the food it eats. That’s why desert cats don’t get thirsty the way you or I would – they get all the water they need from eating the prey they catch.
So think about it – if your house cat is only eating dry food it probably isn’t getting the water it needs. It has been said that house cats fed dry food live ‘in a constant state of dehydration’. Sure, cats will drink water from a bowl, but they will never get enough.
If a cat isn’t getting enough water, it’s going to be vulnerable to getting deadly feline sicknesses like obesity, allergies, diabetes, bladder and kidney stones, and many, many more.
Only by eating a species-appropriate diet will cats get the water they need to stay healthy.
There are times when you might have to feed your cat dry food (because it’s more convenient for YOU), but in terms of THEIR health there’s a clear winner. Wet food, be it raw or canned, is the closest they will get to their natural diet.
For maximum health benefits, rotate what your cat eats with 2-4 different brands of canned food that your cat likes. If you only serve the same food again and again your cat’s immune system will weaken and they might develop allergies.
Here are the brands we love and recommend – note that while canned food is best, we understand there are times you need to use kibble, so we’ve included the best brands for that too.
Innova was a big favorite of ours, so we were sad when the line was discontinued. The Evo line aims to combine a cat’s ancestral diet with modern nutritional know-how.
Which is all great. That’s why you get grain-free, high-protein products like this turkey and chicken formula. It’s all the goodness of canned food in convenient kibble form. Thanks, science!
This particular brand has graced our lists many times before, and continues to hold a eminent place among the other foods as one of the healthiest and more well rounded alternatives to kibble and cheaper food options for cats.
It’s made with all-premium, all-natural ingredients with none of the garbage that will do more harm to your cat than good. There are different flavors, too, so if your cat loves it you can give them different protein sources from the same brand.
“This is one of the best canned, grain free foods out there,” one expert points out, “I highly recommend it.”
This brand offers a holistic approach to making cat food, so as you’d expect it’s grain-free, balanced, and perfect for kittens and cats of all ages and sizes. My cat is positively addicted to the tuna and tapioca in gravy version.
On top of being easily digestible, the creators of this food tell us its aroma is succulent enough to tempt even the pickiest of cats, saying, “with the help of this meal, you can keep your cat’s coat and skin healthy and shiny.” It is also said to improve feline immune systems, and keeps bones and teeth well fortified.
They are the official pet food partner of Best Friends Animal Society and provides over 1 million meals of Instinct to their adoption centers. As you’d expect, it’s high-quality fare from top to bottom, and made with cat biology firmly in mind.
This is a brand that does its best to provide a quality product, but has more problems than the others on the list finding recipes that cats really go for. That’s a shame because their intentions are spot on.
If your cat loves the taste, great! But maybe start with a small pack and see how your cat responds to the flavor.
We hope you enjoyed our article about healthy Cat Food Brands! Check out some other cat food articles here.