Best Cat Foods
Wet food or dry food, and how often should they be fed? Your cuddly felines deserve the best in everything, including nutrition. Learn everything you need to know about choosing the right cat food for your precious pets.
Grain-free and packed with essential nutrients, Fussy Cat’s dry food collection comes in 3 delicious flavours and 2 sizes.
Nutritionally balanced diet
Picky cats loved the taste
Not very hydrating
- Value for Money2.5 (2)
- Pet's Life StageAdult (3)
- Side Effects Yes (2) · No (1)
- Smell3.0 (1)
Purina’s highly palatable wet cat food treat for your precious felines comes in a wide variety of meat and seafood flavours.
Uses real meat
Variety of flavour options
Good portion size
Not suitable for everyday use
This vet-backed dental-friendly kibble by Hill's has reviewers raving about the noticeably clean effects it has on their cats’ teeth.
Contains Vitamins A, E and C
Suitable for everyday use
Can clean teeth
Uses by-products & corn
Purina One Cat · includes 5 listings
Much-loved pet brand, Purina’s extensive range of dry cat food targets adult cats, indoor cats, those with urinary tract infections, are prone to hairballs, have sensitive stomachs and are overweight.
Nutritionally balanced for everyday use
Targets specific ailments & lifestyles
High level of protein
Tasty for fussy cats
- Value for Money4.5 (2)
- Pet's Life StageAdult (2)
- Side Effects Yes (0) · No (2)
- Smell4.0 (2)
This tasty lactose-free cat milk by Whiskas provides your kittens and adult cats with hydration, calcium and taurine to supplement their diets.
Tasty for cats
A great form of hydration
Contains calcium and taurine
For occasional supplemental feeding only
All cats, like humans, are unique and they require different foods depending on many varying factors. A kitten is going to require different nutrients than an adult car or a senior cat and those with specific health problems may require a different diet. All the best cat foods contain enough animal-based protein in their diets to mimic a natural feline diet along with useful vitamins and minerals to support healthy bodily functions.
Best cat food for different cat life stages
What to feed kittens
Kittens need up to three times more calories, fats, proteins and nutrients than adult cats since they are growing at a rapid pace. By 6 months old, they will have reached 75% of their adult body mass so it’s essential that they get the best start early on in terms of nutrition.
Kittens will be weaned from their mother’s milk between 4-8 weeks old, and after this, food using a kitten specific formula should be given until a cat is 12 months old. These contain higher amounts of protein, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C and other vitamins to support growth, healthy bones and the immune system.
They can come in the form of wet, canned food or dry food, often known as kibble - although these will be softer than adult kibble. After 12 months, they can transition to adult cat food. Kittens should be offered food around 3-4 times a day, similar to human infants, they need frequent feeding. After they become adults, they can be fed 2 times a day. Many cats prefer to graze and eat throughout the day, in which case dry food can be used.
What to feed adult cats
Adult cats are not one-size-fits-all and have many varieties too - your cat’s lifestyle, body type and taste preferences will determine the best cat food to choose.
Unlike kitten food, adult cat food contains fewer calories to minimise the chance of weight gain. However, the caloric intake of your cat should be determined by how active your cat is and if they are an inside or outside cat.
Special can be used with indoor cats to reduce the chance of hairball regurgitation - this diet contains higher amounts of fibre and special enzymes to prevent the formation of hairballs in the stomach.
What to feed pregnant cats
Pregnant cats can be fed with a kitten formula at around 4 weeks into their pregnancy. Your cat will require more calories and protein during this period and this diet should be continued until 8 weeks after giving birth when all the kittens have been weaned.
When switching cat foods, it’s important to do it as gradually as possible to make it easier on your cat’s digestive system. It’s preferable to do this over 7-10 days by slowly mixing more of the new food with the old food each day until the old food has been completely replaced.
What to feed senior cats
Cats older than 7 years require a higher concentration of protein and controlled levels of fat and carbohydrates to maintain energy levels and help with digestion. In addition, cat foods tailored for senior cats will contain vitamins and minerals geared to help with aging joints and to boost the immune system. Some brands offer cat food tailored specifically for cats over the .
Pros and cons of types of cat food
Dry cat food
- Longer shelf life
- Cheaper than wet or raw food
- More calories than wet food & need to be fed less often
- Can be left out all day
- Compatible with food dispensers & food puzzles
- Less moisture & should be supplemented with a drinking bowl
- Less flavour/appealing texture
- Contains more preservatives
Dry cat food, otherwise known as kibble, is a very convenient option for many who want to leave food out for their cat to munch on throughout the day. Overfeeding may be mitigated with a timed feeder for cats that need to curb their eating. It provides great nutrition in a compact size and cats need to be fed less often due to the higher caloric ingredients. They are generally cheaper and have a longer shelf life than their wet food counterparts, making them a convenient option for many cat owners.
However, they contain less moisture than wet foods and may not be suitable to be used exclusively on cats susceptible to urinary problems. In addition, they contain preservatives to support their long shelf-life.
Wet cat food
- High moisture content
- More meat protein and fewer carbohydrates
- Less artificial preservatives
- More expensive
- Shorter shelf life
- Can’t be left out for longer than 4 hours
Wet foods are highly palatable for cats and fussy eaters due to their texture and smell mimicking natural meat more closely - they should be served at room temperature. They also contain less artificial preservatives and a higher amount of protein.
The water-content makes this a great option for cats that are not keen drinkers or breeds prone to urinary tract infections as they can get their moisture intake from their food - similar to felines in the wild. They contain fewer carbohydrates than dry food and are good for cats that need to lose weight or require fewer calories due to a sedentary lifestyle.
Wet cat food can be more expensive than dry food and harder to store. They also cannot be left out for longer than 4 hours, therefore your cat cannot eat it intermittently throughout the day.
Raw and homemade cat food
- Chemical preservatives-free (such as BHA & BHT)
- High meat-based protein & hydrating
- Very appetising for cats
- Time-consuming to prepare
- Risk of contamination when using raw meat
An option for cat-owners with a lot of free time to spoil their kitties is a raw cat food diet. This luxurious option provides cats with a very natural and nutritious diet based on uncooked meats which are great for their stomach and teeth. These meal-plans should be based on a vet-approved nutritionally balanced diet and prepared in accordance with health and safety standards to keep both you and your cat safe.
If you don’t want any risk of contamination, another alternative is homemade cat food which involves using cooked meats/fish (boneless and skinless) and small amounts of carbohydrates such as rice or potatoes. Homemade cat food is still tailored specifically towards cats - you should not feed them a human diet, and never feed your cat onions, grapes, raisins or other ingredients that are toxic to them.
You can also provide your kitty with a mix of both dry, wet and homemade cat food for more variation. Cat treats can also be given occasionally in addition to meals but not as a substitute.
Cat foods for health conditions
Part of the reason premium cat foods can be so expensive is that they target specific health conditions such as urinary health, sensitive digestion, hairballs or sensitive skin. and have many products to help manage conditions.
Some cat foods require a prescription from a vet which can be used to treat problems such as urinary diseases or weight-management - these will have ‘prescription’ or ‘veterinary’ in the title. However, foods which prevent these conditions are available without a prescription.
: Neutered male cats and certain breeds of cats are prone to urinary tract infections, investing in some urinary care cat food can go a long way for the health of your cat. These diets restrict the amount of minerals in them such as magnesium and calcium which can contribute to urine crystals forming. They also have a higher moisture content.
: If your cat needs to regulate their calorie intake, choosing a cat food with a weight-control recipe which is low in fat and high in fibre can be a good way to satiate hunger while reducing your cat’s weight.
Cats that experience sensitive stomachs or skin can benefit from a diet that is low-carb and high in protein for easier digestion. In addition, fatty acid supplements, vitamin E and omega-6s can help relieve itchy skin and keep a fur coat healthy and nourished.
: The best dental-friendly diets are rich in moisture and grain-free, this lends well for many good quality canned foods and raw foods. Foods and treats that rub on the gum are also helpful in eliminating plaque.
Best and worst cat food ingredients to look for
The back of any cat food pouch will contain the ingredients listed in order of proportional weight. You should check to see that the main ingredient is meat or fish. Cats are obligate carnivores and rely on meat or fish to provide them with essential amino acids such as taurine. This is found in high concentrations in animal-based proteins and is necessary for healthy vision, digestion and a functioning immune system.
Other great ingredients to look out for include fish oil, flaxseed, vitamins E and A, prebiotics, glucosamine, fibre, chicken fat, rice and cranberries.
Cheap cat food products may contain animal by-products or “meat and bone meal” which should be avoided as they are a mix of animal leftovers and have minimal protein or nutritional value. They are also far less digestible.
Other ingredients to avoid include added sugars, excess grains and carbohydrate fillers (corn or wheat), chemical preservatives (CHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propyl gallate) and artificial colours and flavours.
You can browse our site today for helpful reviews on the top cat food brands and products.