6 min read

The Best Cat Food Brands for Your Cat


Written by Wag! Staff

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 08/21/2023, edited: 08/29/2023

The food you choose to feed your cat is important because it will help to keep them looking and feeling happy and healthy. 

So, what’s the best cat food, you ask? Well, leading and well known brands include Purina, Royal Canin and Hill’s. But, there isn’t really one cat food brand that stands out among the rest as it’s more important that you choose the best cat food for your pet and their specific needs. 

So, whether you’re on a budget, have an elderly cat or a cat with health issues - here’s some of the best options to consider for your pet’s diet.

Best wet cat food

The best canned cat food brands include: Instinct, Soulistic and Purina Pro Plan.

It’s entirely up to you whether you feed your cat wet or dry food. A benefit of wet food is that it contains more moisture - 75% to 78% (compared to 10% to 12% in dry food.) This makes it more filling. However, it must be consumed within a few days once opened.

Canned food is also the best food for diabetic cats. This is because it’s high in protein and moisture and low in carbohydrates. You should always speak to your vet though, to determine the best diet for a cat with diabetes.

Our friends at Cat Food Advisor have looked closely at the pros and cons of wet and dry food. Here you can discover more of the best brands of wet food too.

Best dry cat food

The best dry food brands include: Wellness, Purina One/Beyond and Royal Canin.

If you choose dry food one benefit for you is that it is often cheaper - so will help to keep costs down, whether you choose to feed it exclusively or as a combination with wet food.

You do need to look out for a AAFCO complete and balanced statement. This means the food has the right balance of protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. What’s also important to note is that cats are carnivores so meat must not only be one of the ingredients but the main ingredient.

You want to avoid: by-products, meat and bone meal, added sugar, chemical preservatives and carrageenan.

Careful not to overfeed your cat dry food - it’s best to determine how much they need and then measure it out

Check out Cat Food Advisor for some more of the best dry cat food and things to consider when choosing dry food.

Best cat food for kittens

The best brands for kittens include: Wellness, Blue Buffalo and Hill’s (dry) + Instinct, Purina, Royal Canin and Wellness (wet)

Firstly, you need to look for food that is labeled for kittens. They need different nutrients to adult cats and that will be found in the food that is specifically formulated for them. Again, look for the AAFCO label and you’ll know it has exactly what they require.

You can choose wet or dry food, or a combination of both. However, you may find that the wet food can be beneficial to them at first as it’s softer and so easier to chew and swallow.

Kitten food should be fed until your cat is around one. After this they are considered an adult and you can move onto one of the other options.

Check out some of the best kitten food over on Cat Food Advisor to help you decide what to feed your pet.

Best senior cat food

The best brands for seniors include: Hill’s, Nutro and Purina (dry) + Royal Canin, Hill’s and Wellness (wet.)

A senior cat is considered over 11 years old. Senior cats require the same nutrients as an adult cat - with some added extras such as omega-3 fatty acids.

Make sure you are buying food that is specifically labeled for seniors (and AAFCO complete and balanced), so you know they are getting exactly what they need from the food.

Older cats may not be as active as they once were. Senior food is often lower in calories to account for this and you want to make sure you are keeping an eye on the portion sizes.

Again, you can choose between wet and dry food but, like with kittens, wet food might be easier for senior cats that have issues with their teeth and gums. It also helps their digestion and is beneficial for those with kidney disease.  

It’s best to speak to your vet as your cat gets older to be sure you are feeding them the best diet for both their age and any health concerns they may have.

Best cat food for indoor cats

The best brands for indoor cats include: Merrick, Natural Balance, Iams and Go!

If your cat is an indoor cat then their diet doesn’t have to be entirely different to a cat that goes outdoors but there are a few things to consider. Particularly, that they won’t be getting as much exercise as outdoor cats.

You’ll find some brands specifically state on the packaging that it is for indoor cats. These are lower in calories

Check out the best cat foods for those cats that stay indoors over on Cat Food Advisor.

Best natural cat food

The best natural cat food brands is: Applaws

This is considered a wellness cat food because it’s high in animal protein, resembling their natural diet. It has high-quality ingredients and includes meat, blood, bones as well as organs. It doesn’t have artificial ingredients and it’s low in carbohydrates.

Best raw cat food

The best raw cat food brand is: Stella and Chewy’s

If natural food is so beneficial for your pet, then perhaps a raw diet is good for them too? Wel, although raw food has become very popular in recent years it isn’t always advised. 

Supporters of this diet believe there are many health benefits. However, it’s important to be aware that this diet can contain disease-causing bacteria which can make your cat sick. Raw food diets are often more expensive too. If you’re considering a raw food diet it’s always best to speak to your vet first. 

Commercial raw diets can be freeze-dried (as with Stella and Chewy’s) which reduces the risk of pathogens.

Best cat food for weight loss

The best cat food brand for weight loss is: Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Dry Cat Food

Obesity can be common among cats. But whether your cat needs to lose weight because they have been eating a few too many treats or for health reasons, you need to make some changes to their food. 

To help with your cat’s diet you could reduce their portion size and give them less treats. But, it would be beneficial to find food that will help with their weight loss too.

When browsing the cat food look out for the ones that say ‘diet’ or ‘weight management’.

Best cat food for sensitive stomach

The best cat food brands for sensitive stomachs include: Royal Canin, Hill’s and Purina

Does your cat have a sensitive stomach? This could be due to an allergy or intolerance - and could result in vomiting or diarrhea. If so, you’ll be pleased to know that there is food specially formulated to help with this. Just look out for ‘sensitive stomach’ on the label. 

This food is low fat, has more processed protein, low fiber and easily digestible carbohydrates. It also often has omega fatty acids and pre and probiotics.

Best cat food for allergies

The best cat food brand for allergies, is: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Hypoallergenic

If your cat has allergies then you want to look for hypoallergenic food. This includes ingredients that they aren’t likely to have an allergic reaction to. You want to look out for ‘sensitive skin and stomach’ on the label. You may also see it referred to as ‘hydrolyzed’.

Best cat food for kidney disease

The best brand for cats with kidney disease, is: Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Adult Renal Support D 

Is your cat in the early stages of kidney disease? The right food can help to slow progression and at this stage they should be eating a high protein diet. Look for ‘renal support’ or ‘kidney care’ on the label. This food is low in phosphorus. 

Like with any health issues, you should always speak to your vet before changing their diet to ensure you are feeding them the best possible food that will benefit them. You’ll likely want a prescription diet - especially if their kidney disease is more advanced.

Best cheap cat food

The best cheap cat food brands include: Nutro, Blue Buffalo and Rachael Ray Nutrish (dry) + Natural Balance, Blue Buffalo and Purina (wet)

You may be on a budget but that doesn’t mean your cat has to miss out on nutritional benefits. There are plenty of options that are AAFCO complete and balanced, while being affordable and offering the same nutrients as more expensive brands. 

You don’t have to choose between wet or dry to make it more cost-effective either. Both have options that will save you money without scrimping on the ingredients – particularly the protein. 

The affordable wet food also contains similar levels of moisture to more costly brands, helping to keep cats full and hydrated. 

Don’t forget - as well as buying them the best food, you also need the best cat food bowls to serve it up in.

As a pet parent, it’s important to make sure you keep your cat fit and healthy. As well as ensuring you are feeding them the best possible diet, browse and compare pet insurance from top providers to ensure they are covered for any unexpected health issues. You can also sign up to a wellness plan which will include all their routine appointments.

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