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The Best Cat Food of 2022

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All featured products are chosen at the discretion of the author. However, Great Pet Care may make a small affiliate commission if you click through and make a purchase.

When it comes to keeping your cat healthy and happy, it’s important to pick the highest quality food for them to enjoy. With this in mind, our review team has curated a list of the best cat food of 2022, based on a combination of customer reviews, quality ingredients, and price.

Whether your feline fancies dry cat food or wet cat food, we understand that you want to keep your cat in optimal health—today and in the future. So all the brands we recommend offer the nutrition and protein your cat needs to fulfill this goal.

Read on to find the best fit for your cat—depending on their age, their preferences, and your family’s lifestyle.

Our List

13 Best Cat Food Options to Consider

Best Overall Cat Food

Our Pick: Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food

kitten eating Smalls human-grade fresh food
FlavorFresh BirdFresh Other BirdFresh Cow
Life StageAllAllAll
FormGround, smooth, or pulledSmooth or groundSmooth or ground
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liverTurkey thigh (skin on), chicken liverGround beef 90% lean, beef liver, beef heart
Protein Analysis17% min18.5% min15% min
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

We love Smalls because they are a brand that puts felines first. It’s a cat food brand really dedicated to optimal cat nutrition, small batches, fresh ingredients, and excellent customer service. Their Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food is exactly what it says it is. It’s human-grade quality, USDA certified, and made from humanely harvested and sustainable protein sources. The food is available in four different recipes: Bird (Chicken), Cow, Other Bird (Turkey and Chicken Liver), and Fish. There are no preservatives, no mystery fillers, and no artificial colors. The recipes are lightly cooked and delivered to your home as part of a cat food subscription service, making your life easier! What’s not to love? 

Highlights

  • Human-grade, USDA-certified recipes.
  • 4 different fresh food options to choose from.
  • Humane and sustainable protein sources.
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
  • Home delivery makes it easy. 

Things to Consider

  • This food should be kept in your freezer until 24 hours before you are ready to serve it. It can last up to 12 months when frozen. 
  • Smalls Fresh Cat Food does need to be refrigerated. It can be kept in a sealed bag or container in the fridge for 5-7 days after opening. 
  • Smalls is only available as a subscription. However, you’ll receive 25% off your first trial order. You can postpone orders at any time.  

Sample buyer review… “I can’t even begin to tell you all the positive changes I’ve seen in my cat! Weight loss. Better attitude. Less bloating. Improved coat. More satisfied. Less begging. Completely lost interest in treats.”

Read more buyer reviews at Smalls.com

Best Dry Cat Food

Our pick: Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Natural Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Cat Food
FlavorChicken and Brown Rice
Life StageAdult
FormDry
Protein (Ingredients)Deboned chicken, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal
Protein Analysis32% min
Calories402 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

When it comes to deciding what dry food to feed your feline friend it can be tough to know which is the right fit amongst the abundance of choices. We believe Blue Buffalo’s Indoor Health Natural formula is an excellent dry food that stands apart from other dry-food options available. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Great First Ingredient. We love that the first ingredient in this formula is deboned chicken: a high-quality protein that aids in healthy muscle development.
  • Optimal Nutrition. What makes this formula so special is its focus on optimal nutrition. It’s made with Blue Buffalo’s signature LifeSource Bits—a combination of specific antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins curated by animal nutritionists and veterinarians with the intention of supporting your cat’s overall health.
  • Superior Balance of Omegas 3 and 6. This particular Blue Buffalo cat food is formulated to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin through an optimal balance of omegas 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.

Sample buyer review“I finally found a dry cat food that all 4 of my cats devour and I have tried MANY! To think that they’re eating healthy also, what a plus. The tiny kibble is perfect also.” 

Best Wet Cat Food

Our Pick: Tiki Cat Emma Luau Variety Pack

Tiki Cat Variety Pack
FlavorTilapiaWild Salmon & ChickenWild SalmonChicken & EggSucculent ChickenAhi Tuna & Mackerel
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
FormShreddedShreddedShreddedShreddedShreddedShredded
Protein (Ingredients)Tuna, chickenSalmon, chickenSalmonChicken, dried eggChickenTuna, mackerel
Protein Analysis17% min15% min14% min17% min16% min17% min
Calories83 kcal/can71 kcal/can59 kcal/can70 kcal/can69 kcal/can72 kcal/can
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYes

Canned wet cat foods are a great option for cats who struggle with staying hydrated as they contain a higher moisture content. They also work wonders for the pickier eaters. Tiki Cat’s Emma Luau Variety Pack is an excellent choice when it comes to choosing wet food for your feline friend.

  • Heart Health. All of these formulas contain taurine which helps support heart health.
  • No Harmful Ingredients. Tiki Cat’s recipes are only made with pure ingredients and are free from grains, wheat, corn, soy, GMO ingredients, MSG, and carrageenan.
  • Necessary Hydration. These formulas help cats stay properly hydrated without the hassle

Sample buyer review… “My 4-year-old Burmese turns her nose up at most things, and even sometimes a food she’s previously loved. She was rejecting everything a few months ago and I bought Tiki Cat partly out of desperation/partly because I liked the label, ha! She has loved this since day one and I like how I am feeding her something I recognize and could possibly be in a can of my own food. She gobbles it all up and licks the bowl clean.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Best Limited-Ingredient Cat Food

Our pick: Raised Right

Raised Right Cat Food
FlavorOriginal TurkeyOriginal ChickenTurkey & Pumpkin PateChicken & Pumpkin Pate
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdult
FormFresh frozenFresh frozenFresh frozenFresh frozen
Protein (Ingredients)Turkey thigh, turkey heart, turkey liverChicken thigh, chicken heart, chicken liverTurkey thigh, turkey heart, turkey liverChicken thigh, chicken heart, chicken liver
Protein Analysis21% min20% min21% min20% min
Calories344 kcals / cup 368 kcals / cup376 kcals / cup408 kcals / cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYes

Human-grade pet food company Raised Right crafts their whole food, limited-ingredient recipes under the guidance of veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker and pet food formulation expert Steve Brown. Their food is lightly cooked in a human-grade facility and free of preservatives and high-carb fillers. Adult cats can feast on four recipes that contain a single source of animal protein, such as turkey or chicken. Other ingredients include carrots and blueberries or pumpkin, flaxseed and cod liver oils, spearmint, dried kelp, egg shell powder, taurine, and thiamine mononitrate for a complete and balanced diet. 

Highlights

  • Adult cat food is available in four, single-source protein recipes: turkey, chicken, turkey and pumpkin pate, or chicken and pumpkin pate
  • The first three ingredients are animal protein (e.g., turkey thigh, turkey heart, and turkey liver)
  • Meets AAFCO requirements for complete and balanced diet
  • Every batch of food gets lab safety tested for pathogens to help ensure it’s safe to eat
  • Serve as complete meal or mix with existing diets
  • Free shipping when you order a full box (16, 1-pound bags)

Things to Consider

  • You can order a sample box with 4 bags but you’ll need to pay shipping
  • Let defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then scoop your pet’s portion
  • Serve fresh for six days from the fridge after defrosting

Best Eco-Friendly Cat Food

Our pick: Open Farm Homestead Turkey & Chicken Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

FlavorHomestead Turkey & Chicken
Life StageAll
FormDry
Protein (Ingredients)Humanely raised turkey, humanely raised chicken, ocean whitefish meal, herring meal
Protein Analysis41% min
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

This high-quality, protein-rich kibble is packed with delicious farm-to-food-bowl flavor cats love. We love that Open Farm’s ethical, eco-responsible practices are good for pets, people, and the planet, too! 

The company’s commitment to sustainability means every bite is built from 100% humanely raised chicken and turkey meat paired with nutritious superfoods like non-GMO pumpkin, carrot, and turmeric. You can even trace where every ingredient comes from using the lot number on the bag. Speaking of bags, Open Farm offers a free, nationwide recycling program for its Hopen Farm Homestead pet food bags — a pet industry first!

Highlights

  • Made from ethically sourced proteins raised on family farms
  • Includes superfoods like cranberries and dandelion greens for UTI health
  • Herring and whitefish oils provide omega-3 fatty acids
  • Free of fillers, by-products, or unnecessary preservatives
  • Commitment to transparency and sustainability
  • Free, recyclable packaging program — a pet-industry first!

Things to Consider

  • Doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs, so be sure your cat is properly hydrated
  • Manufactured within the US, but formulated in Canada
  • Given the farm-fresh nature of the ingredients, customers should be especially mindful of any “best before” dates before offering it to their cat

Sample buyer review… “Love the quality of this food. We can see exactly where the meat was sourced from, and there are no harmful and unnecessary fillers. There is no pungent, nasty smell, and my cats love it!”

Read more reviews on OpenFarmPet.com

Best High-Protein Cat Food

Our Pick: Orijen Original Recipe High-Protein Cat Food

FlavorChicken, turkey and wild-caught fish
Life StageAll
Form Dry
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, turkey, whole mackerel, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), flounder, chicken liver, whole herring, eggs, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, chicken fat
Protein Analysis40% min
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

If you’re looking for a high-protein cat food to fuel your pet’s daily adventures, consider Orijen’s Original Recipe High-Protein Cat Food. It’s crafted with high-quality ingredients like meat, organs, cartilage, and bone. We also love that it’s rich in omega fatty acids from wild pollock to help support your cat’s skin and coat health and taurine to support a healthy heart.

High-protein meats are the first ingredients. Features real chicken, turkey, and mackerel as delicious protein to fuel your cat’s active lifestyle and help maintain lean muscles.

Made with up to 90% real animal ingredients. This formula is made to fit the wholeprey diet, meaning that it contains organ meat, cartilage, and bones, which are all nutrient-dense food additions for your feline friend. 

Caters to all life stages. This is a great high-protein cat food for cats of all life stages, including kittens or seniors. 

Sample Buyer Review:If my cat could eat this food only he would. He likes the ingredients and so do I. Well done. A bag lasts about a month in our house. I do give him more wet food for his urinary tract health and he could care less about it, but he will race out of the room the moment he hears the dry food bag!”

See more buyer reviews on Amazon.com

Best Grain-Free Cat Food

Our pick: Purina Beyond: Ocean Whitefish and Egg Recipe 

Purina Beyond cat food
FlavorOcean Whitefish & Egg
Life StageAdult
FormDry
Protein (Ingredients)Hake, chicken meal, dried egg product
Protein Analysis35% min
Calories392 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Have a cat with food allergies or a sensitive stomach? Then a grain-free formula might be the perfect fit! We landed on Purina Beyond’s Grain-Free formula as the best grain-free option for cats. Here’s why:

  • Great First Ingredient. Purina Beyond is formulated with real Ocean Whitefish as the first ingredient, giving your cat the necessary protein to grow strong muscles.
  • Contains Natural Probiotics. This recipe also includes natural probiotics to promote healthy digestion, along with added vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
  • A Taste Cats Love. Cats absolutely love the taste and you can rest easy knowing this formula is full of nutrients and free of harmful ingredients. Even your pickiest eater will love this option while also receiving all of the healthy benefits.

Sample buyer reviewMy youngest kitten (7 months old) has food allergies. We’ve narrowed it down to wheat, corn, or soy. I have a total of five cats and trying to find a food they would all eat seemed impossible…My kitten ate it, she liked it, and she didn’t break out or vomit. Then the rest of them came sniffing around. Hallelujah, they all LOVED it.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Best Kitten Food

Our pick: Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula

Wellness-kitten-pate-cat-food
FlavorChicken Entree
Life StageKitten
FormSmooth pâté
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, chicken liver
Protein Analysis11% min
Calories97 kcal/can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

In order for your kitten to grow into a healthy, happy cat, it’s important to make sure you give them proper nutrition right from the start. Below we explain why we suggest Wellness Complete Health Kitten Formula as an excellent option for your little one.

  • Great First Ingredient. The first ingredient is protein-rich chicken to help aid in muscle development.
  • Nutrient Rich. This formula is packed with nutrients to support your kitten in their physical and mental development such as antioxidant-rich cranberries, vitamins, balanced minerals, omega fatty acids, and essential taurine.
  • Full Spectrum Goodness. Wellness Complete emphasizes that this recipe supports the 5 signs of kitty wellness—a lustrous skin and coat, a healthy stomach, bright eyes, strong teeth and gums, and plenty of energy and immune health.

Sample buyer review… “My kitten had never been a glutton or driven crazy by food or treats. But when I introduced this stuff to her, she went BANANAS. She LOVES this stuff, just gobbles it up right away and I’m happy because I know she’s getting really healthy food and that she’s enjoying it.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Best Cat Food for Seniors

Our pick: Purina Pro Plan Prime Plus Adult 7+

Purina proplan wet cat food variety pack
FlavorOcean Whitefish & SalmonSalmon & TunaCod & Shrimp
Life StageSenior 7+Senior 7+Senior 7+
FormPâtéPâtéPâté
Protein (Ingredients)Ocean whitefish, liver, meat by-productsSalmon, liver, meat by-productsCod, liver, chicken, meat by-products, shrimp
Protein Analysis10% min10% min10% min
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

Our aging cats often need special nutrition, and this seafood variety pack from Purina is one of our top senior cat food picks. It’s formulated specifically for cats who are over 7 years old and comes with three different flavors—Ocean Whitefish & Salmon, Salmon & Tuna, and Cod & Shrimp. All the flavors in this pack help senior cats build lean muscle mass and protect their immune systems. We also like that it’s a highly digestible formula, which is easy on an aging cat’s gut. 

Highlights

  • Designed specifically for aging cats 7+
  • Variety pack allows felines to try new flavors
  • Nutrients support lean muscle mass and a cat’s immune system
  • Cats with dental problems will find this food easier to eat than dry kibble
  • The price is affordable

Things to Consider

  • It’s a pâté formula, which not all cats will enjoy
  • This pack comes with 3-oz cans only
  • Uneaten food should be refrigerated after opening

Sample buyer review“As my cat gets older, she seems to have more issues with digestion and was getting pickier on what she would eat. Foods for sensitive stomachs didn’t work. With the Purina Pro Plan senior, she is cleaning her bowl again.

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com

Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food

Our pick: Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Chicken Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

FlavorChicken & Brown Rice
Life StageAdult
FormDry
Protein (Ingredients)Deboned chicken, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal
Protein Analysis32% minimum
Calories422 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

This cat food from Blue Buffalo made the top of our list of Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Foods— and for good reason. It features prebiotics to support healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, deboned chicken as the first ingredient, and wholesome grains like brown rice, oatmeal, and barley. You’ll also find an assortment of veggies and fruits, including peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, and antioxidant-rich cranberries and blueberries, on the ingredient list. 

Highlights

  • FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) prebiotics for healthy digestion 
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids from flaxseed and fish oil for skin and coat support 
  • Protein from deboned chicken and chicken and fish meals help build and maintain strong muscles
  • Enhanced with special blend of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (LifeSource Bits) to support immune system, lifestage requirements, and oxidative balance
  • No chicken/poultry byproduct meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Available in 5-, 7-, 10- and 15-pound bags
  • Subscribe on Amazon and save 5% on your delivery

Things to Consider

  • Some reviewers say they had to mix it with other dry food to appeal to their finicky cats

Sample buyer review… “One of my cats was having trouble keeping food down. She loves this food and hasn’t had any more problems with food intolerance!”

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

Best Cat Food For Indoor and Outdoor Cats

Our pick: Merrick Purrfect Bistro Dry Cat Food

Merrick Purrfect Bistro
FlavorGrain Free Chicken & Sweet PotatoGrain Free Salmon & Sweet PotatoGrain Free Healthy Kitten RecipeHealthy Grains Chicken & Brown RiceHealthy Grains Salmon & Brown Rice
Life StageAdultAdultKittenAdultAdult
FormDryDryDryDryDry
Protein (Ingredients)Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey mealDeboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey mealDeboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, chicken liverDeboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey mealDeboned salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal
Protein Analysis38% minimum38% minimum41% minimum36% minimum36% minimum
Calories410 kcal/cup412 kcal/cup387 kcal/cup397 kcal/cup400 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYes

Suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats, Merrick’s Purrfect Bistro dry cat food recipes are rich in animal protein, with deboned chicken or salmon as the first ingredient. Choose from healthy grains (brown rice, barley, oatmeal) or grain-free (sweet potato, peas) varieties. Your cat will reap the benefits of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids for skin and coat support, antioxidants for immune system support, and probiotics for healthy digestion. Merrick also has a grain-free Healthy Kitten Recipe that has higher protein and fat content, plus DHA to support healthy brain and eye development. 

Highlights

  • Deboned chicken or salmon as the first ingredient
  • Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat
  • Highly digestible with healthy grains or fresh produce
  • Probiotics also support healthy digestion
  • Cooked in the USA in facilities that uphold strict FDA guidelines
  • Available in 4-, 7-, and 12-pound bags
  • Subscribe on Amazon and save 5% on your delivery

Things to Consider

  • Kibble is pretty small in size, which turns off some cats, reviewers have noted

Sample buyer review… “Been giving this food to our cat since he was a kitten. He loves it, once he even tore open the bag before we had a chance to put it away. Our vet told us that he was the healthiest cat she’s seen in awhile and told us to keep doing what we were doing. We mix a small handful of this with some Tiki Cat wet food. Our cat loves it and has maintained his energy, his poop is also very manageable and does not stink.”

Read more reviews on Amazon.com

Best Newcomer Cat Food Brand

Our pick: Made by Nacho Dry Cat Food

FlavorChicken, Duck & Quail Recipe
Life StageAdult
FormDry
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, chicken meal, freeze-dried chicken livers, deboned duck, quail, chicken livers
Protein Analysis32% minimum
Calories455 kcal ME/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Inspired by celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s 6-year-old orange Maine Coon cat, Made by Nacho is a relative newcomer to the cat food market. Many pet parents are fans of the Chicken, Duck & Quail recipe with bone-broth-coated kibble and freeze-dried chicken liver pieces for extra protein. Featuring cage-free chicken as the first ingredient, this recipe also contains wholesome grains, pre- and probiotics, and fiber-rich fruits and veggies. 

Highlights

  • Real chicken as the first ingredient, plus deboned duck, quail, and chicken livers as additional sources of protein
  • Bone broth serves as a source of protein and collagen to support healthy skin and coat
  • Fruits and veggies like apples, blueberries, pumpkin and squash, are packed with antioxidants to support your cat’s immune system
  • Pre- and probiotics support digestive health and nutrient absorption
  • Contains added vitamins, minerals, and taurine
  • No corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Available in 2-, 4- and 10-pound bags

Things to Consider

  • U.S. made but ingredients are globally sourced
  • Mainly available through PetSmart, though you can find some items on Amazon or buy direct through the Made by Nacho site
  • If your cat isn’t a fan of chicken, also available in Salmon, Whitefish & Pumpkin or Beef, Rabbit & Pumpkin recipes

Sample buyer review… “My boy isn’t a picky eater by any means but he was fast to eat this food up. I’ve slowly been upgrading his food and love the ingredients and nutrients it has. I was searching for cat food that had meat as the main ingredients, healthy grains, few or no legumes, good sources of protein/fiber, and pre/probiotics. The food hit every mark I was searching for.”

Read more reviews on PetSmart.com

Best Hairball Control Cat Food

Our pick: Hill’s Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control

Hills Science Diet for Hairball Control
FlavorChicken
Life StageAdult
FormDry
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, pork fat
Protein Analysis29.5% minimum
Calories327 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Cat hairballs are unpleasant for both pets and their people. Thankfully, there are a number of cat foods formulated to help reduce hairball development. A good hairball control cat food contains increased fiber and fatty acids for skin and coat support. This pick from Hill’s Science Diet has more than 9 percent crude fiber from ingredients like whole grain wheat and beet pulp, as well as fish oil for omega-3s, to reduce hairballs. It also has controlled urinary pH and low magnesium to support your cat’s urinary system.

Highlights

  • Contains high-quality fiber, fatty acids, and antioxidants for healthy digestion, skin and coat, and immune system support
  • Chicken as the first ingredient
  • No chicken byproduct meal, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Available in 3.5-, 7-, and 15.5-pound bags (bundle with canned food also available)
  • Subscribe on Amazon and save 5% on your delivery

Things to Consider

  • Made in the USA but ingredient are globally sourced
  • Contains corn gluten meal and wheat gluten

Sample buyer review… “I have had this on subscribe and save for almost a year now. Since switching to this food and brand, my cat’s hairballs have reduced greatly. Was about once a month or so, and it now about 2-4 times a year.”

Read more reviews at Amazon.com

Cat Food Buyer’s Guide

Cat eating food from bowl

Choosing the best cat food for your feline family member can seem daunting. With all the varieties and formulations available, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We asked veterinarian Dr. Sarah Machell, medical director at Vetster, to offer some advice on what to look for and consider when shopping for cat food. Here’s what she had to say:

Consider Your Cat’s Life Stage

One of the first things pet parents should do when choosing a cat food is to pick a food formulated for their pet’s specific life stage. “Life stages in cats can generally be broken down into the segments of baby kitten, adolescent, spayed/neutered adult, senior, and geriatric,” says Machell. “Across these life stages there are differing needs when it comes to energy requirements, diet digestibility, and nutrient composition.”

Look Closely at the Ingredient Label

While all cat foods will feature different ingredients and offerings, pay attention to what is listed and the order. A high-quality protein source should be within the first few ingredients listed. “The list of ingredients is always presented in order of those that are present in greatest to least greatest quantity,” says Machell.

Check for the AAFCO Seal

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a non-profit organization that offers guidelines for pet foods to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. If the seal is present on the bag or container of cat food, it has been formulated to meet those guidelines. “Having an AAFCO seal of approval can be a piece of mind for a cat owner to know that the manufacturer of the diet has taken some effort to work within their recommended standards,” says Machell. 

Consider Your Cat’s Medical Needs

All cats have individual dietary needs, and some cats may require special diets due to certain medical conditions or digestive issues. Machell explains that a medical diagnosis from your veterinarian may bring about a dietary change. This is common in the management of certain conditions such as kidney disease or allergies. In these cases, it’s important to work with your veterinarian to find the best cat food for your pet’s specific needs. 

Take Cost Into Account

“It is always important to work with a diet that fits within your budget,” says Machell. Use your veterinarian as a resource to come up with some suggestions for cat foods that won’t break the bank.

Keep in mind that specialized diets and prescription cat foods may be more expensive than other cat foods, but the cost tends to be worth it in the long run. “A specialized diet may be more expensive,” says Machell, “but if that expense spares your cat illness and distress, then it also likely spares you expensive veterinary care.” 

Cat Food FAQ

Cat eating from two bowls

When it comes to cat food, there are plenty of questions out there. We have the answers to some of the ones that pop up most frequently. 

What Is in Cat Food?

Cat food is made up of a combination of protein (like chicken, fish, beef, and liver), carbohydrates (like grains, corn, and certain vegetables), fats, vitamins, and minerals. 

All cat food manufacturers include their own blend of ingredients to make dry cat food, wet cat food, and fresh cat food. All ingredients should be clearly marked and listed on the cat food packaging. 

How Much Is Cat Food?

Cat food costs range quite a bit depending on the brand and type of food that you decide to feed your cat. Pet owners can expect to pay, on average, anywhere from $120 to $800 per year on cat food. 

Dry cat food in 5- to 10-pound bags tends to range between $8 and $60 per bag, while bags over 20 pounds range from $15 to $80 per bag. Wet cat food tends to range from $6 to just over $100 per case, depending on the size and quantities of the cans. Fresh, freeze-dried, or raw cat food delivery services tend to be more expensive than purchasing dry kibble or cans of wet food. 

How Much Food Should I Feed My Cat? 

Cats will need different amounts of food based on their life stage and the type of food you are feeding. Consult with your veterinarian and follow the directions on your cat’s food packaging to determine the appropriate serving size. 

Can Kittens Eat Adult Cat Food?

No, it is not recommended that kittens eat cat food formulated for adult cats. Kittens have specific nutritional needs and require more calories than adult cats. Kittens should be fed kitten food that is formulated for kittens or for all life stages. 

Cat Food Storage Tips

It’s important to take all the proper precautions to store your cat’s food appropriately to ensure freshness and avoid potential contamination or spoiling. Follow manufacturer recommended storage instructions, which can be found on the food packaging, and use or throw away food by the “best by” date. 

“Dry foods obviously have a longer shelf life than canned or fresh foods and should be kept in a cool, dry, airtight container and opened canned diets not consumed should be refrigerated,” says Machell. 

Always keep the original cat food packaging, even if you store the food in a different container. This will help you check your cat’s food against any cat food recalls should they arise. 

Conclusion

Keeping your cat healthy and happy begins with a diet that is focused on optimal nutrition and pure ingredients. We hope that our curated list helps you find the best formulas for your feline friend depending on their specific needs and your specific wants. 

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