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Best Cat Food For Indoor Cats

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As a cat parent, I’m always concerned about my cat’s well-being. Selecting the perfect food can be challenging amidst marketing noise. Veterinarian Brennen McKenzie, known for his science-backed pet care blog, offers reassurance. He emphasizes that there isn’t a single “perfect” cat food, and most cats can flourish on a diverse range of diets. Unlike feral cats, who eat whatever prey or scraps they find, our pets benefit from the excellent nutrition found in conventional commercial cat foods. So, rest assured that you have plenty of suitable options for your feline companion.

To help you choose the perfect cat food for your beloved pet, we’ve teamed up with experts who will walk you through the best options and explain why you might prefer one brand or type over another. We’ll dive deeper into these criteria shortly, but it’s important to note that some factors depend on your cat’s specific needs, often tied to their age. Meanwhile, other aspects are more subjective – as any cat owner knows, our feline friends can be quite picky and have their own mysterious preferences.

The Best Cat Foods

Purina Pro cat food

Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Chicken Entrée in Gravy Wet

Life stage: Adult

Nutritional breakdown: High protein, moderate fat, low carb

Wet food or dry food: Wet, meat-in-gravy

Approximate cost per ounce: $0.34

As previously discussed, there isn’t a single “best” cat food, but according to the veterinarians I consulted, Purina Pro Plan appears to meet the nutritional needs of most adult cats without specific requirements. Purina stands out due to its dedicated veterinary nutritionists and substantial investment in research and development, making it a preferred brand among veterinarians like Cori Blair of Feline Health. Blair praises Purina for its continuous product testing and research efforts to optimize cat food. She recommends the Pro Plan canned food for its balanced palatability and quality, causing minimal GI issues.

Chyrle Bonk, a veterinarian and consultant at Excited Cats, appreciates Purina Pro Plan for its high-quality yet affordable and widely available options. She notes that it prioritizes meat as a primary ingredient, ensuring high protein, moderate fat, and ample healthy fiber content.

Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Life stage: Adult

Nutritional breakdown: Very high protein, low fat, very low carb

Wet food or dry food: Wet, meat in gravy

Approximate cost per ounce: $0.38

If your cat has a preference for meat-in-gravy recipes, Berg suggests considering Weruva’s chicken-in-gravy flavor. It’s praised for its rich protein and low carbohydrate levels, a recommendation echoed by pet-nutrition consultant Susan Lauten. This option is grain-free, which may appeal to some, though it’s worth noting that “grain-free” doesn’t always guarantee superior healthiness, as mentioned earlier.

Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Variety Pack Canned

Life stage: Adult

Nutritional breakdown: High protein, moderate fat, moderate carb

Wet food or dry food: Wet, meat in gravy

Approximate cost per ounce: $0.25

Saving on cat food is fine as long as it’s nutritionally balanced. This Fancy Feast choice is priced at $24 for 30 tins, notably more affordable than the previously mentioned Weruva, albeit with smaller cans. Berg emphasizes that Fancy Feast isn’t necessarily the “McDonald’s for cats,” as some might think. Many Fancy Feast options are actually rich in protein and low in carbohydrates. 

This assortment of protein-packed, meat-in-gravy flavors meets these criteria, making it a suitable choice for cats who enjoy variety in their meals.

Whole Paws Grain Free Chicken Pâté

Life stage: Adult

Nutritional breakdown: Moderate protein, fat, and carbs

Wet food or dry food: Wet, pâté

Approximate cost per ounce: $0.25

Jen Trolio, senior editor at Strategist, has been providing her two indoor tabby cats with Whole Paws pâté food from Whole Foods Market’s pet-food line for over a decade. Despite occasionally trying other brands, Trolio consistently returns to this formula due to its moderate price, minimal odor, and grain-free ingredients. She notes that her cats experience fewer digestive issues with this food, particularly her more sensitive feline. 

The smooth consistency of this food, as opposed to chunky or firm options, seems to be easier on their stomachs. While wet cat food may never be a delight for the senses, Trolio finds Whole Paws pâté less offensive than other choices. She divides a 5.5-ounce can between her two cats every morning and evening. As her cats approach their 16th year, Trolio can’t pinpoint all the factors contributing to their longevity, but she believes that their food choice “surely isn’t harming them.” She also appreciates that Whole Paws offers flavors like turkey and salmon, which her cats enjoy.

Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Cat Food

Life stage: Adult

Nutritional breakdown: Very high protein, low fat, very low carb

Wet food or dry food: Wet, shredded

Approximate cost per ounce: $0.68

If you peruse Pierson’s chart, you’ll find that Tiki Cat offers a wide range of options with high protein and low carbohydrate content, a brand Susan Lauten speaks highly of for both wet and dry foods. However, it’s worth noting that a significant portion of Tiki Cat’s offerings are fish-flavored, which can be very appealing to cats due to its salty taste. Still, some veterinarians, including Berg, caution against feeding cats too much fish as it has been associated with hyperthyroidism. It’s advisable to consult your vet to determine whether you should limit fish in your cat’s diet. This particular variety features shredded chicken and is tailored for cats who prefer their food with a bit more texture.

Reveal Natural Limited Ingredient Grain Free Variety

Reveal Natural Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Variety

Life stage: Adult

Nutritional breakdown: Very high protein, low fat, low carb

Wet food or dry food: Wet, shredded

Approximate cost per ounce: $0.57

Strategist deals editor Sam Daly used to provide her two cats with the aforementioned Tiki Cat option. However, she found the brand to be somewhat costly, especially since her cats weren’t finishing their portions. On a spontaneous decision, Daly tried Reveal’s cans, which turned out to be $7 cheaper than Tiki Cat, although they are slightly smaller at 0.33 ounces. While the shredded texture of the food resembles that of Tiki Cat, Daly notes that it’s somewhat less pungent, which may not matter to her cats but matters to her. Additionally, Reveal’s food contains more broth. Daly even expressed her surprise at how both the chicken and fish varieties of Reveal looked and smelled like something humans would eat. Now, her cats eagerly consume their meals.

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