The Best Wet Cat Food – #2 Best Protein Cat Food
Wet food is a great way to give your cat a delicious and nutritious meal. Veterinarians actually recommend alternating between protein sources and dry and wet food for your cat. Switching up their food prevents them from getting bored of the same thing; adding in wet food is a great way to make sure that your feline friend stays hydrated. Deciding which cat food to buy can be tedious, especially if you’re not sure how to compare brands. Below, we’ve compiled five of our favorite wet cat foods, as well as a few tips to help you choose the right one.
Purina Friskies Canned Wet Cat Food 40 ct. Variety Packs
by Purina Friskies
Even cats get bored of the same old thing, which is why your cat is sure to love the different flavors in this variety pack.
As opposed to your typical paté wet food, this wet cat food from Purina Friskies is shredded, which introduces a new texture that cats go crazy for. Friskies has a few large variety packs, but this is our favorite because of the wide variety of flavors. The flavors in this pack include beef in gravy, turkey and cheese in gravy, ocean whitefish and tuna in sauce, and chicken and salmon in gravy, adding a nice variety to your cat’s diet.
Although Friskies wet food will meet the basic nutritional needs of your cats, some people aren’t pleased with how it does so. It doesn’t matter to everyone, but this cat food contains meat byproducts and is not organic. So pet owners who prioritize organic ingredients should look for a different option.
Best Protein Cat Food
Sheba Perfect Portions Paté Wet Cat Food Tray Variety Packs
This seafood variety pack from Sheba comes with perfectly portioned servings of soft, moist paté that cats find irresistible.
Sheba prides themselves on being a premium cat food brand, but what really sets them apart? For starters, their paté is packed with high quality ingredients, including whitefish, salmon, chicken, and tuna. Additionally, you won’t find any fillers, such as corn, wheat, or soy, which provide little nutritional value for your feline friend. We also love the unique packaging, with portions that make it easy to serve an amount of food that you know your cat will finish.
Depending on the size of your cat, you may end up going through this pack pretty quickly. Luckily, it’s not too expensive, but we recommend feeding your cat a combination of wet and dry food to keep things interesting and to make the wet food last longer.
Best with Poultry
Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Collection Wet Cat Food Variety Packs
by Purina Fancy Feast
Your cat will come running when they hear you open a can of Purina Fancy Feast. Instead of a strange, artificial texture, this wet food has tender, meaty chunks marinated in a hearty, flavorful gravy.
This Fancy Feast variety pack comes from a brand synonymous with exceptional pet care. This wet food is perfect for cats who can’t get enough poultry and owners who don’t want their space to smell like fish. A can of Fancy Feast makes a well-balanced meal for cats of any age and provides them with the essential vitamins and minerals they need to keep their bones, joints, and fur healthy. Cats love the savory gravy, and we love that it gives them a little bit of added hydration.
The only drawback of this wet food is that the gravy can get a little messy when your cat is dining. However, many customers have found their cats tend to lick up every drop of gravy, so this problem tends to solve itself.
Best Variety Pack
Meow Mix Tender Favorites Wet Cat Food
by Meow Mix
Costing less than $0.50 per cup, it’s easy to stock up on this complete and balanced wet cat food variety pack from Meow Mix.
You get a little bit of everything when you buy this surf and turf variety pack. The flavors include tuna and whole shrimp in sauce, chicken and beef in sauce, and salmon and crab meat in sauce, all of which feature real meat that even the pickiest kitty will devour. A hefty dose of essential vitamins rounds out this wet cat food to make it a complete and balanced meal. We also love how easy the cans are to open. No struggling with metal cans, you can just tear the lid off and pour the food out.
This cat food contains some fillers and artificial coloring that some people like to steer clear of, but it also keeps the cost low. Overall, the ingredients in this wet cat food look a lot better than many other wet cat foods at the same price point, which is why it made our list.
Best Natural Cat Food
Almo Nature Complete Cat Wet Food w/Mineral and Vitamins Grain Free
by Almo Nature USA Inc.
Almo Nature uses high-quality, natural ingredients and absolutely no grains, resulting in a protein-rich, nutritious meal for your cat.
Whether your vet has recommended your cat go on a grain-free diet or you just prefer an all-natural option, Almo Nature is our go-to brand. They offer a wide variety of flavors to choose from, but our favorite is the chicken with sweet potatoes and gravy. No matter what flavor you decide on, real meat is always the first ingredient and the rest of the ingredients are all-natural, including vegetables, natural flavoring, and added vitamins and minerals.
Although many customers seem to be pleased with the food, it is hard to ignore its price tag. This wet cat food is a little pricier than the others, but that’s to be expected since it is all-natural and filler-free. Still, if you’re on a budget, regularly buying this food may put you in a bind.
What Really Matters
Having a named protein source, such as tuna, chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef as the first ingredient is a great sign when shopping for wet cat food. One protein isn’t superior over the others, and oftentimes, more than one protein source is listed, so go with whatever flavors you know your cat likes. Vets recommend switching up protein sources so your cat can enjoy various flavors, so it doesn’t matter what specific protein is listed, as long as it at the top of the ingredient list.
While it is true that cats don’t need carbs to the same degree as humans, some carbs are actually good for your cat. It’s pointless to try to avoid them completely unless your cat has an allergy or sensitivity and your vet recommends a grain-free wet food. Instead, be on the lookout for high quality grains and try to avoid frivolous carbs like corn, wheat, and soy. These carbs contribute very little to your cat’s daily nutritional needs and are the most common food allergens in cats. Examples of high-quality grains that add a healthy dose of vitamins and carbs include rice, barley, and oats.
Since you’ll be regularly buying food for the duration of your cat’s life, considering the price is always smart. Sometimes it’s hard to compare the costs of multiple wet foods because different packs come with different numbers of cans and the cans are usually different sizes. You may have to do a little math, but the best way to compare costs is to consider how many cans of food your cat eats per day based on their weight, and then determine how many cans you will need per month. It can be easy to dismiss the cost the first time you buy wet food, but the cost will add up over time, so you don’t want to get in over your head.
What’s in Right Now?
The majority of pet owners are turning to inexpensive variety packs. However, inexpensive doesn’t always mean low-quality. The most popular wet cat foods are those that are packed with high quality proteins and vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy and balanced diet. Another trend we’ve seen dramatically rise in popularity is wet cat food with gravy. Cat food with gravy tends to have a more authentic meaty texture and many resemble actual shredded meat, which many cats seem to like better than your typical paté.
Expensive wet cat foods are typically seen as the best of the best, but they can set you back over $2 per can, so we don’t recommend it for the average cat. These cat foods can even be a total waste of money for average cats, since they are typically specialty foods, like grain-free, organic options and that are designed for cats with various allergies or health conditions. Talk to your vet–they know the most about your cat’s health–if they recommend a specialty wet cat food, it definitely is worth spending a few extra bucks to ensure the health of your cat. But if your cat is healthy with no health problems or dietary restrictions, we recommend looking for a wet food that won’t put as big of a dent in your monthly budget.
Mid-range wet cat food typically costs between $1 and $2 per can and their quality usually reflects the price point. They tend to be better than most cheap foods and contain less fillers and byproducts, and there are even several organic options at this price. Mid-range cat foods are ideal for cat owners who care about high quality ingredients more than cost, but still don’t want to spend hundreds on cat food per year.
Even cheap wet cat food that costs less than $1 per can provide your cat with a delicious and nutritious meal. The most important thing to avoid is artificial preservatives and misleading labels that include words like “premium”, because any brand can slap something that sounds nice on their label. However, the brand must meet certain nutritional needs to be able to put “Complete and Balanced” on their label, so try looking for that specific phrase. Cheap wet foods are more likely to contain large amounts of byproducts and “meals”, like chicken meal, but these aren’t necessarily bad.
How can I tell if a wet cat food is for kittens, adults, or seniors?
Some foods are designed specifically for kittens, while others are formulated for senior cats. Certain keywords will clue you in as to what life stage the food is designed for. For example, cat food that is good for cats of all ages will often use the phrase “complete and balanced for all life stages“. However, wet food that is intended only for adult cats may say something like “for adult maintenance.” Food formulated for kittens focuses on growth and reproduction. It’s imperative to make sure you get a wet food that is appropriate for your cat’s current life stage because it will meet their unique nutritional needs.
Are meat byproducts bad for cats?
Byproducts may be something you want to avoid in your personal diet, but they are perfectly fine for cats to consume. Meat byproducts are typically the parts of the animal that aren’t meat, including bones, fur, beaks, organs, feet, etc. We know it may sound gross, but these non-meat parts contain a ton of nutrients and more closely resembles their carnivorous diet in the wild. So, although you don’t want byproducts to be the first ingredient, there’s no need to shy away from them altogether.
Is wet food better than dry food?
Most vets recommend alternating between feeding your cat wet and dry food, but one is not objectively better than the other. Both are necessary to give your cat a complete diet as they both provide different things. Dry cat food tends to be higher in carbs, but wet food is a great source for hydration. Even though neither is healthier than the other, that doesn’t mean your cat won’t like one better than the other. Still, it’s important to keep their diet varied because too much of either can lead to obesity and other health problems.