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14 Best Wet Cat Foods of 2023 Approved By Vets

Cat eating wet cat food
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When you bring a new cat home, one of the first decisions you have to make as a new pet parent is what type of cat food to feed your feline. And while there are hundreds of foods and cat food brands on the market, most cat owners will choose between two types of formulations—wet cat food and dry cat food.

While there are benefits and drawbacks to both, wet cat food can offer a variety of benefits to our feline friends. “In general, wet food tends to be higher in fat and protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to dry food,” says Dr. Ericka Carroll, a San Francisco-based veterinarian who works for Hello Ralphie, a telehealth platform. “Wet food also has significantly high moisture content compared to dry food.”

Finding the best wet cat food for your four-legged companion will come down to your cat’s individual needs and preferences. But this guide will provide vet-recommended information about what to look for and consider when shopping for wet cat food and which brands and formulas you should consider for optimum nutrition.

Best Wet Cat Food Snapshot

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.

Subscription + Delivery
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Wet Cat Food
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Wet Cat Food
  • Subscription and delivery makes it extra fresh.
  • All human-grade, fresh ingredients.
  • Choice of three proteins and two textures.
  • Made in the USA.
Farm to Bowl
Open Farm Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food
Open Farm Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food
  • Proteins sourced from partner farms and fresh-caught fish.
  • Palate-pleasing, stew-like formula.
  • No fillers or byproducts.
  • Delivery available or purchase from pet stores.
Consomme
Tiki Cat Luau Wet Food
Tiki Cat Luau Wet Food
  • Made from non-GMO ingredients. No grain. No potatoes.
  • Packed in broth for added moisture.
  • 80 percent protein.
Gravy Variety Pack
Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Turkey Favorites Variety Pack
Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Turkey Favorites Variety Pack
  • Packed in gravy for rich flavor.
  • 24-count pack is a good value.
  • Made in U.S. facilities.
Grain-Free Fish
Purina Beyond Grain Free Wild Salmon
Purina Beyond Grain Free Wild Salmon
  • Wild-caught salmon is first ingredient.
  • Grain-free pate.
  • Prebiotic fiber.
  • Variety of flavors to choose from.
Science for Seniors
Hills Science Diet Wet Cat Food For Senior Cats
Hills Science Diet Wet Cat Food For Senior Cats
  • Made specifically for cats 7 years and up.
  • Available in two different sizes.
  • Often recommended by veterinarians.
For Cats 12+
Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food
Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food
  • Formulated for cats over 12 years of age.
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids to help joints.
  • Thin slices of meat in gravy is appealing for senior felines.
Kitten Variety Value
Fancy Feast Kitten Classic Pate
Fancy Feast Kitten Classic Pate
  • Really great value for 24 cans.
  • 4 different flavors for kittens to try.
  • Formulated specifically to help growing kittens.
Grain-Free Kitten
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Chicken & Salmon Recipe
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Chicken & Salmon Recipe
  • Great grain-free, pate kitten formula.
  • Moisture rich, high in protein.
  • Added vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
Sensitive Stomach and Skin
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food
  • Supports both digestion and healthy skin and coat.
  • Available in two different recipes.
  • Veterinarian recommended for digestion.
  • Made in the USA.
Limited Ingredient
Hill’s d/d Duck Formula
Hill’s d/d Duck Formula
  • Single source of protein (duck).
  • Formulated to support skin and food sensitivities.
  • Rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids.
  • Prescription diet.
Moderate Calorie
Royal Canin Weight Care Thin Slices in Gravy
Royal Canin Weight Care Thin Slices in Gravy
  • Moderate calorie food to keep cats fit.
  • L-carnitine helps maintain healthy weight.
  • Contains fiber to help cats feel fuller.
Food For Weight Loss
Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Wet Cat Food
Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Wet Cat Food
  • Protein is balanced to help cats safely lose weight.
  • Real turkey, ground formula.
  • Offers a money-back guarantee.
Veterinary Diet For Weight Loss
Hill's r/d Weight Reduction Chicken Flavor
Hill’s r/d Weight Reduction Chicken Flavor
  • Ground texture in light gravy
  • Contains L-carnitine, fiber, and antioxidants
  • Intended for intermittent feeding

Is Wet or Dry Food Better for Cats?

Wet cat food and dry cat food

The answer to this question is really based on your cat’s needs and your own personal lifestyle and budget. Most commercial wet food and dry food formulas provide cats with a complete and balanced diet. However, there are some major differences between wet cat food and dry cat kibble. 

“The primary difference between dry and wet cat food is that dry food contains less moisture,” says Dr. Rachel Barrack of Animal Acupuncture in New York City. “Dry food is approximately 10 percent water, whereas wet food is up to approximately 80 percent moisture content. Dry food is therefore more energy dense and may be higher in calories. Often it is also higher in carbohydrates.”

Wet cat food generally has higher protein content than dry food, which could be a benefit to cats, says Dr. Carroll. “Given that wet food tends to be higher in protein and fat compared to dry foods, when fed in appropriate portions, it can help keep cats lean and trim and thus have overall positive health benefits,” she explains. 

But wet cat food also comes with some drawbacks. “While you can leave kibble out for cats to graze on throughout the day, wet cat food should all be eaten at meal times,” says Dr. Shawna Garner, U.S. lead veterinarian at on-demand video consultation platform, FirstVet.

Dry cat food is also usually less expensive than wet food and easier for pet parents to manage. “Dry food is typically thought of as more convenient for pet owners as it can be left out all day without spoiling,” says Barrack. “Due to moisture content, wet food requires refrigeration once opened so as not to spoil.”

If you’re trying to choose which formulation is better for your cat, discuss your options with your veterinarian.

Wet Cat Food Benefits

In addition to the high protein content, wet cat food also has other benefits for feline health and wellness. 

“Cats frequently suffer from bladder and kidney disease,” says Carroll. “The extra moisture found in wet food can help maintain bladder and kidney health.”

Garner adds that wet food can also be beneficial to weaning kittens. “Wet cat food can be useful for helping kittens transition from a liquid to a solid diet,” she says. “As kittens still don’t have their permanent teeth until they are around a year old, wet food is much easier for them to chew than kibble.”

Because of its softness, wet cat food may also benefit senior cats with dental problems or missing teeth. 

Additionally, wet cat food tends to be more pungent and flavorful than dry kibble. So it’s often used to help cats eat when they are sick or picky about their food. 

Best Wet Cat Food of 2023: Overall Picks

The following foods all combine nutritional ingredients, complete nutrition, and palatability. They are also highly recommended by veterinarians and cat parents and have price points that make them accessible to the majority of families. 

Here are our favorite wet cat foods of the year:

Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Wet Cat Food

Smalls Ground Bird Cat Food
FlavorFresh BirdFresh Other BirdFresh Cow
Life StageAllAllAll
TextureGround, smooth, or pulledSmooth, ground or pulledSmooth or ground
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liverTurkey thigh (skin on), chicken liverGround beef 90% lean, beef liver, beef heart
Protein Analysis17% min/11.5-oz package18.5% min/11.5-oz package15% min/11.5-oz package
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

Cats can be finicky eaters, but that’s where Smalls steps up to the plate—or, rather, the bowl! Smalls human-grade fresh cat food is protein-rich and picky-cat friendly. Their gently cooked, all-natural wet cat food recipes are available in three proteins—chicken, turkey or beef—and rounded out with healthy veggies like green beans, peas, kale, or spinach to provide important vitamins and minerals. No mystery meats or by-products, artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or sketchy stuff here—just pure goodness delivered to your doorstep. You can also choose from two different textures, smooth or ground. Talk about putting cats first! 

Highlights

  • Cat food subscription service with doorstep delivery
  • Human-grade, high-protein, grain-free recipes
  • Wet food is available in three proteins and two textures 
  • USDA-certified, humanely-harvested, and sustainably-sourced ingredients
  • No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives 
  • Contains enough taurine to exceed AAFCO standards
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • When you open your delivery, you can keep one packet of wet food in your fridge but the rest should be stored in the freezer until 24 hours before you are ready to serve it.
  • Smalls wet cat food can be kept in a sealed container or bag in the fridge for 5-7 day. It can last up to 12 months when frozen. 
  • This is a subscription-only service, but you can easily postpone upcoming orders via text or email.

Open Farm Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food

FlavorHarvest Chicken Homestead TurkeyChicken & SalmonWild-Caught SalmonGrass-Fed BeefHerring & Mackerel
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
TextureRustic blendRustic blendRustic blendRustic blendRustic blendRustic blend
Protein (Ingredients)Humanely raised chickenHumanely raised turkeyHumanely raised chicken, wild Pacific salmonWild Pacific salmonHumanely raised beefWild-caught herring, wild-caught mackerel
Protein Analysis7% min8% min8% min8% min8% min8% min
Calories143 kcal/156 g carton185 kcal/156 g carton138 kcal/156 g carton135 kcal/156 g carton172 kcal/156 g carton116 kcal/156 g carton
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYes

Every bite of Open Farm Rustic Blend human-grade wet food is packed with tender meat, rich broth, and 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 recipe features ethically sourced proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, and salmon, paired with local produce and nutrient-dense superfoods. You can even trace where every ingredient comes from using the lot number on the bag. The palate-pleasing, stew-like formula is perfect for picky eaters and delivers the moisture and nutrients cats need, packaged responsibly for the good of the planet.

Highlights

  • Made from ethically sourced proteins raised on partner farms and fresh-caught fish
  • Includes nutritious superfoods like coconut oil, turmeric, and dandelion greens for  healthy skin and coat, which helps in the prevention of hairballs
  • Free of fillers, by-products, or unnecessary preservatives
  • Available in single-protein formulas for cats with limited-ingredient diets.
  • Easy to serve, resealable, BPA-free packaging
  • Commitment to transparency and sustainability
  • Doorstep delivery available from Open Farm, or purchase from local pet stores.

Things to Consider

  • 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.

Tiki Cat Luau Wet Food

Tiki Cat Luau Wet Food
FlavorAhi Tuna & ChickenWild Salmon & ChickenWild SalmonChicken & EggSucculent ChickenAhi Tuna & MackerelTilapiaSeabass
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
TextureFlaked, shreddedFlaked, shreddedFlakedShreddedShreddedFlakedFlakedFlaked
Protein (Ingredients)Tuna, chickenSalmon, chickenSalmonChicken, dried eggChickenTuna, mackerelTilapia, mackerelSeabass, mackerel
Protein Analysis16% min15% min15% min15% min16% min17% min11% min11% min
Calories153 kcal/6 oz can, 72 kcal/2.8 oz can153 kcal/6 oz can, 72 kcal/2.8 oz can151 kcal/6 oz can, 71 kcal/2.8 oz can146 kcal/6 oz can, 69 kcal/2.8 oz can225 kcal/10oz can, 134 kcal/6 oz can, 63 kcal/2.8 oz can150 kcal/6 oz can, 71 kcal/2.8 oz can113 kcal/6 oz, 53 kcal/2.8 oz can124 kcal/6 oz can, 59 kcal/2.8 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards? YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

There’s a lot to love about Tiki Cat Luau wet cat food, which also received high marks on our Best Vet-Approved Cat Foods of 2022 list. These recipes are made from non-GMO ingredients, are grain and potato free, and are made with 80 percent protein (on a dry matter basis). There’s a variety of flavor options to choose from, ranging from chicken and salmon to sea bass and tilapia. The protein sources are always the first ingredient listed on the label, and these recipes are formulated with additional vitamins and important ingredients like taurine to provide cats with optimal nutrition.   

Highlights

  • High-quality poultry and fish ingredients.
  • A variety of recipes to choose from.
  • No byproducts or fillers.
  • Non-GMO ingredients, grain-free, and gluten-free.
  • Packed in broth for added moisture and nutrition.
  • Meets AAFCO standards. 

Things to Consider

  • Should be served at room temperature.
  • Like all wet cat foods, it should be refrigerated after opening.
  • These are not pate recipes. They are chunks of fish and poultry.

Purina Pro Plan Wet Cat Food Chicken and Turkey Favorites Variety Pack

Purina Pro Plan Wet Cat Food Variety Pack
FlavorChicken & RiceTurkey & RiceWhite Meat Chicken & Vegetable
Life StageAdultAdultAdult
TextureChunks in gravyChunks in gravyChunks in gravy
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, liver, meat by-productsTurkey, liver, meat by-productsChicken, liver, meat by-products
Protein Analysis11% min11% min10% min
Calories71 kcal/3 oz can71 kcal/3 oz can65 kcal/3 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

If your cat is a gravy fan, then this variety pack of chicken and turkey favorites from Purina Pro Plan is a great option. This 24-count pack offers three different recipes including Chicken and Rice, Turkey and Rice, and White Meat Chicken and Vegetable. All the recipes are packed with healthy skin and coat ingredients such as vitamin A, linoleic acid, and omega-6 fatty acids. They are also packed in gravy for a yummy taste that most cats go crazy for. “Canned food with gravy can be an excellent choice for picky cats, it comes in a variety pack so you can rotate flavors, and this food is budget friendly for cost-conscious pet parents,” says Dr. Sarah Wooten, a Colorado-based veterinarian. Wooten adds that Purina Pro Plan has been around a long time and is backed with decades of research.

Highlights

  • Turkey and chicken options packed in gravy.
  • 24 count pack is a good value for the money.
  • Ingredients to help your cat’s skin and coat.
  • Made is U.S. facilities.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.

Things to Consider

  • Not non-GMO.
  • Contains about 40 percent protein.
  • This pack contains 3-oz cans.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Wild Salmon Recipe Pate Wet Cat Food

Purina Beyond Grain Free
FlavorWild SalmonTrout & CatfishChicken & Sweet PotatoCanadian Duck & Sweet PotatoArctic Char & SpinachAlaskan Cod
& Spinach
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
TexturePatePatePatePatePatePate
Protein (Ingredients)Salmon, chicken, fish broth, liver, dried egg productTrout, fish broth, chicken, liver, catfish, egg productChicken, chicken broth, liver, ocean fish, egg productDuck, fish, duck broth, liver, chicken, dried egg productArctic char, fish broth fish, liver, chicken, dried egg productCod, chicken, fish broth, liver, dried egg product
Protein Analysis10% min10% min10% min10% min9% min10% min
Calories99 kcal/3-oz can99 kcal/3-oz can97 kcal/3-oz can102 kcal/3-oz can102 kcal/3-oz can94 kcal/3-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYes

Purina’s Beyond natural cat food line keeps things simple with recognizable ingredients and added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. This grain-free pate features wild-caught salmon as the first ingredient, plus natural prebiotic fiber.  “While there’s no evidence that grain is harmful to cats, people may wish to avoid it if someone in their home has celiac disease or if their cat has been diagnosed with a grain allergy,” explains Dr. Catherine Barnette, a veterinarian based in Florida. If your cat isn’t a fan of salmon, Purina has a number of other grain-free wet cat food recipes in the Beyond line, such as Trout & Catfish or Canadian Duck & Sweet Potato.

Highlights

  • Wild-caught salmon is the first ingredient
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No poultry by-product meal
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Meets AAFCO standards
  • Variety packs available if your cat likes to mix things up

Things to Consider

  • Only available in 3-oz cans
  • Feed one can per 3.5-4 pounds of body weight daily, divided into two or more meals.

Best Wet Cat Food For Older Cats

Sometimes senior cats need a change in diet to make sure they are getting the right balance of calories and nutrients. Seniors may be less active than kittens or adult cats and need fewer calories in their diets. 

Also, older cats are more likely to suffer from kidney problems, heart disease, and joint problems, so specially formulated foods can keep them healthier for longer.

Here are our picks for the best wet cat food for older cats:

Hills Science Diet Wet Cat Food For Senior Cats

Hills Science Diet Wet Cat Food For Senior Cats
FlavorChicken and Vegetable
Life StageAdult
TexturePate
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, turkey
Protein Analysis6.3% min
Calories87 kcal/2.9 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Hills Science Diet is a trusted brand that is recommended by veterinarians and plenty of cat parents. This recipe, which is available in both chicken and turkey flavors, is suited for cats who are 7 years and older. It’s formulated to help senior cats maintain lean muscle mass and is packed with vitamins that support immune health and kidney function. “Older cats have different nutritional needs than young adult cats,” Dr. Wooten says. “This senior food is easily digestible, has high levels of antioxidants to slow aging, supports kidney health, and is made in the USA.”

Highlights

  • Designed specifically for cats older than 7.
  • Helps support lean muscle mass.
  • Available in two different can sizes—2.9 oz and 5.5 oz.
  • Recommended by veterinarians.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.
  • Made in the USA.

Things to Consider

  • Only available in chicken and turkey flavors. No fish options.
  • It does contain chicken byproducts, but they are not harmful to cats.
  • Some reviewers did say that the smell is pretty strong, but that’s the case for many wet cat foods. 

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food
FlavorMeat
Life StageSenior
TextureLoaf in sauce
Protein (Ingredients)Pork by-products, chicken liver
Protein Analysis8.5% min
Calories122 kcal/5.1-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Royal Canin is a brand that really focuses on food specific for your cat’s life stage. And this formula is meant for cats who are 12 years of age and older. “A cat’s nutritional needs change over their lifespan,” Barnette says. “Not only do their metabolisms slow down with age, they often need higher levels of certain vitamins and minerals. This diet is created specifically to support the needs of aging cats.” It’s made with omega-3 fatty acids to help your feline maintain healthy joints and it supports kidney health with controlled phosphorus levels. The ratios between proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are balanced to help provide what senior cats need.  

Highlights

  • Thin slices of meat in gravy is appealing and flavorful.
  • Formulated with omega-3 fatty acids for joint health.
  • Low phosphorus food to support kidney health.
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee. 
  • Meets AAFCO standards.

Things to Consider

  • This formula does contain pork byproducts.
  • Comes in 3-oz. cans. 
  • The chunks may not be great for cats with dental problems.

Best Wet Cat Food For Kittens

As previously mentioned, kittens can benefit from wet food because it is easier to chew than dry kibble and can help them transition from a liquid diet and wean them onto regular food more gradually. 

Look for wet cat food that is formulated specifically for kittens, since these recipes will include the right vitamins, nutrients, and calories growing kittens need. These are some of our favorite wet cat food options for kittens.

Fancy Feast Kitten Classic Pate

Fancy Feast Kitten Classic Pate
FlavorOcean WhitefishTurkeySalmonChicken
Life StageKittenKittenKittenKitten
TexturePate with milkPate with milkPate with milkPate with milk
Protein (Ingredients)Ocean whitefish, liver, meat by-products, chickenTurkey, liver, meat by-products, fishSalmon, liver, meat by-products, fish, turkeyChicken, liver, meat by-products, fish
Protein Analysis12% min11% min11% min11% min
Calories90 kcal/3 oz can95 kcal/3 oz can90 kcal/3 oz can94 kcal/3 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYes

We love this variety pack from Fancy Feast because it offers four different flavors that are all made specifically with kittens in mind. Options include Ocean Whitefish, Turkey, Chicken, and Salmon. The pate texture of these recipes make it easy for kittens to eat these—even if their teeth are still coming in. You’ll find real poultry or seafood as the first ingredient in all of the formulas and they contain a touch of milk for added richness. Plus, you really can’t beat the price at under $15 for a pack of 24 cans! 

Highlights

  • Variety pack offers different flavors and options.
  • Real poultry and seafood is first ingredient.
  • Formulated for growing kittens during their first year.
  • Great value.

Things to Consider

  • Contains milk. Though some cats can drink milk in small quantities, most adult cats are lactose intolerant. Kittens are better equipped to digest milk than adult cats
  • Cans are 3 ounces and should be refrigerated after opening.
  • Not meant for adult cats.
  • Pate texture. 

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Chicken & Salmon Recipe Wet Cat Food

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten
FlavorChicken & Salmon
Life StageKitten
TexturePate
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, liver, chicken broth, pork lungs, salmon
Protein Analysis11% min
Calories105 kcal/3-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

This moisture-rich wet cat food is formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of kittens. “This diet has all the nutrients your growing kitten needs, without any grains,” Dr. Barnette says. Made with real chicken and salmon, Purina ONE Healthy Kitten contains added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to support your kitty’s overall health.

Highlights

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Moisture rich and high in protein
  • Formulated to meet nutritional needs of kittens up to 1 year old

Things to Consider

  • This is a grain-free kitten food.
  • Only one flavor
  • Feed one can per 3.75 pounds of body weight daily, divided into three or more meals, and adjust as needed to maintain ideal weight

Best Wet Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs

If your cat is prone to digestive problems, finding a wet cat food for sensitive stomachs could help cut back on diarrhea, gas, loose stools. A digestive food won’t necessarily be a cure-all for all of your cat’s issues, so make sure to consult a veterinarian before feeding your cat a special diet. 

Here are some of our favorite wet cat food options for cats with digestive problems. 

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food
FlavorChicken and Vegetable
Life StageAdult
TexturePate
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, turkey
Protein Analysis6.3% min
Calories87 kcal/2.9-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Hills offers a variety of prescription cat foods to help with certain digestive issues, but if your cat has minor digestive upset or only experiences it once in a while, this non-prescription option is a great one to try. “This is a good, over-the-counter option for cats that have sensitive stomach and/or skin,” Dr. Wooten says. “It is backed by years of research, and cats often show improvement in coat quality, stool quality, and appetite.” The food is formulated with prebiotic fiber to help support your cat’s gut health and omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E keep your cat’s skin and coat soft, hydrated, and healthy. 

Highlights

  • Supports healthy digestion and skin and coat.
  • Available in two different recipes—Chicken & Vegetable or Tuna & Vegetable.
  • Healthy, easy-to-digest ingredients.
  • Veterinarian recommended.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.
  • Made in the USA.

Things to Consider

  • This is not a pate or gravy formula. It’s chunkier.
  • Comes in 2.9 oz cans.
  • On the expensive side for wet cat food.

Hill’s d/d Duck Formula Wet Cat Food

d/d Duck Formula Wet Cat Food
FlavorDuck
Life StageAdult
TexturePate
Protein (Ingredients)Duck, duck liver
Protein Analysis8% min
Calories178 kcal/5.5-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Sometimes cats develop food sensitivities or food allergies, and common ingredients in cat food—such as chicken or beef—can cause issues. If that’s the case, trying a limited-ingredient wet cat food may help. This limited-ingredient prescription diet from Hill’s is formulated to support skin and food sensitivities in cats. It features duck as the sole animal protein. “This prescription diet is available only through a veterinarian, but it is designed to be truly restricted in its ingredients,” Dr. Barnette says. “It’s produced on a dedicated manufacturing line, to reduce any risk of contamination with other food proteins. This makes it a great choice for cats with more significant skin allergies or gastrointestinal sensitivities.”

Highlights

  • Limited-ingredient recipe featuring novel animal protein (duck)
  • Rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • Designed to improve digestion, stool, skin, and coat quality
  • Comes in 5.5-oz cans
  • Meets AAFCO standards

Things to Consider

  • Only one flavor
  • This is a prescription diet that requires authorization from your veterinarian
  • More expensive than over-the-counter limited-ingredient foods

Best Wet Cat Food For Weight Loss

If your cat is struggling to lose weight, diet plays a big role. Your veterinarian may recommend switching to a wet cat food for weight loss to try to keep your cat’s calories regulated. Before starting your feline friend on a weight-loss food, make sure to discuss the change with your cat’s vet. 

Here are our top picks for wet cat foods designed for weight loss. 

Royal Canin Weight Care Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food

Royal Canin Weight Care
FlavorChicken
Life StageAdult
TextureSlices in gravy
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken by-products, chicken liver, pork liver, pork by-products, pork plasma
Protein Analysis9% min
Calories54 kcal ME/can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

If your cat is slightly overweight, Dr. Barnette recommends this weight care cat food option from Royal Canin. It is formulated with L-carnitine to help metabolize fat and adapted protein content to help maintain muscle mass while supporting healthy weight loss. It’s also enriched with fiber, which can make cats feel full longer. Feed alone or pair with your cat’s preferred dry kibble.

Highlights

  • Formulated with L-carnitine to help with fat metabolism
  • Adapted protein content
  • Enriched with fiber to help cats feel fuller.
  • Meets AAFCO standards

Things to Consider

  • Chicken is the only available flavor.
  • Comes in 3-oz cans.

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Wet Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan weight management
FlavorTurkey and Rice
Life StageAdult
TextureGround
Protein (Ingredients)Turkey, liver, meat by-products
Protein Analysis12% min
Calories77 kcal/3 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

This ground wet cat food formula is made with real turkey and designed to help cats maintain lean muscle mass while safely slimming down. The amount of protein in this food is meant to help cats lose fat. While it won’t help cats shed a lot of weight without exercise, this food is a great option for felines that need to get rid of a couple pounds. “This is a good, over-the-counter weight loss food for cats that is budget-friendly,” Dr. Wooten says. “Canned food is good for weight loss because it contains higher moisture and less calories than dry food.”

Highlights

  • Made with real turkey.
  • Protein is balanced to help cats lose fat and maintain muscle. 
  • Ground formula.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.
  • Offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Most reviewers say their cats love the taste.

Things to Consider

  • Not an all-natural formula.
  • Does contain meat byproducts.
  • Available in 3-oz cans.

Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d Chicken Flavor Wet Cat Food

Hill's r/d Chicken Flavor
FlavorChicken
Life StageAdult, Senior
TextureGround in gravy
Protein (Ingredients)Pork liver, pork by-products, chicken
Protein Analysis6.5% min
Calories122 kcal / 5.5 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only

Hill’s r/d clinical nutrition is a prescription cat food designed to support weight loss. In fact, it’s clinically tested for healthy weight loss in 4-8 weeks. With therapeutic L-carnitine levels and an optimal blend of soluble and insoluble fiber, this chicken flavor wet cat food helps metabolize fat and maintain lean muscle while also helping your cat feel full and satisfied.“Restricted-calorie over-the-counter foods can only restrict your cat’s calories to a certain extent, because of the nutritional requirements that have been established for commercial cat foods. Prescription weight loss diets, such as r/d, are lower in calories than the diets that you can purchase over-the-counter,” Dr. Barnette explains. However, it’s not recommended for long-term feeding. “These diets are not designed for long-term use and should be used only under the guidance of a veterinarian, but they can be an effective way to help bring your cat down to a healthy weight.” 

Highlights

  • Made with chicken
  • Ground texture in light gravy
  • Contains L-carnitine, fiber, and antioxidants
  • Comes in 5.5-ounce can
  • Made in USA with global ingredients

Things to Consider

  • Requires authorization from your veterinarian
  • Only available in chicken flavor
  • Intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only, not for long-term feeding

Wet Cat Food FAQ

Cat eating wet food from bowl

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

How much wet food should I feed my cat? 

The amount of wet food you should feed your cat depends on a variety of factors, including his or her age, weight, and activity level. For example, a growing kitten over 4 months old may eat about 1.5 to 2 cans of 5.5-ounce canned kitten food per day. Follow the recommended feeding instructions on the label, or talk to your veterinarian if you are still unsure about the right serving size. 

Can I feed my cat only wet food?

Yes, if your cat prefers wet food over dry, it is OK to feed only wet food, so long as the formula you choose is complete and balanced. However, kittens may benefit from having access to both wet and dry foods, to ensure you are supporting their nutritional needs as they grow.

Can kittens eat regular cat wet food? 

No, kittens should not eat adult wet cat food, they should eat food that is formulated specifically for kittens or for all life stages. Kittens grow rapidly and require higher levels of fat, protein, calories, and minerals than adult cats to support healthy growth. Kittens should not be transitioned to an adult cat food diet until their metabolism slows down, which is typically around 8 months of age.

How long can wet food sit out? 

Unlike kibble, wet cat food cannot be left out for cats to graze on all day long. “If wet cat food is left out for too long it may cause a stomach upset for your cat due to bacterial growth, and it also won’t be very appetizing once it has been left to dry up,” says Dr. Garner.

If your cat does not empty his bowl after one to two hours, any leftover food should be discarded. Consider splitting your cat’s daily portion of wet food into multiple smaller meals throughout the day if he regularly leaves food behind in his bowl.

Does wet cat food need to be refrigerated? 

After opening a can of wet cat food, Dr. Carroll says that any remaining food should be stored in the fridge (preferably in an airtight container) and served later—within 1-2 days of opening. “This storage issue can be avoided by opting for smaller sized cans,” she adds. 

Can you freeze wet cat food?

If you’re considering putting wet food in the freezer, check the label beforehand. “Some wet cat foods can be frozen, but make sure to check the packaging first,” says Dr. Garner.

Should I mix water with wet cat food? 

Wet or canned food already contains up to 80 percent moisture, but if your cat needs encouragement to drink more, you can pour a little water or low sodium or no salt added broth onto their food to help keep them hydrated. When serving already-opened wet cat food, you can add a bit of warm water to the mix to refresh it and add moisture.

Why Trust Great Pet Care

Our editorial and product teams have more than a decade of experience writing pet-focused content and providing product recommendations to pet parents. We’ve worked for leading pet-industry brands including PetSmart, Petco, Chewy, and petMD.com. We pride ourselves on offering unbiased insight and this list of wet cat foods is based on extensive product knowledge and brand research.  

Additionally, we consulted two veterinarians to narrow down our recommendations. These experts include:

We also asked for wet cat food buying advice from three veterinarians. These experts include:

We also had this article reviewed for medical accuracy by Dr. Emily Swiniarski, medical director of the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, Illinois.

Besides consulting with veterinarians, Great Pet Care also compiled this list of best wet cat foods based on the following criteria:

AAFCO nutritional standards: The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a non-profit organization that sets nutritional standards for pet food. Cat foods that feature the AAFCO statement on the label are considered a complete and balanced diet. 

Access and availability: The cat foods on this list are accessible to pet parents for both in-store and online shopping. They represent a variety of price points, giving cat owners a wide range of options to meet their budgetary and lifestyle needs.

Safety and quality. In addition to choosing diets that meet AAFCO nutrient profiles, we prioritized diets formulated by qualified nutritionists and brands that adhere to strict quality control and safety measures. We also looked for brands that conduct feeding trials and product research to ensure palatability and digestibility. 

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