The Best Food for Your Cat: My Recommendations

cat with food bowl

Last update: August 2019

Editor’s Note: Even tough this article was first written in 2012, I periodically update the information to keep it current. I try to answer as many general questions in the comments as I can. I cannot always verify the veracity or accuracy of information or recommendations provided by readers in comments.  If you would like me to evaluate a brand or product not mentioned on the list in this post, or if you would like individualized advice for your cat, please schedule a consultation. This post contains some affiliate links*.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet.

Never feed dry food

Cats shouldn’t eat dry food; even the grain-free dry varieties are too high in carbohydrates.

Dry food is the equivalent of junk food for cats.  It’s really not all that different from feeding sugared cereals to kids. Cats are obligate carnivores: this means they need meat not just to survive, but to thrive. They cannot get enough nutritional support from plant-based proteins such as grains and vegetables, because, unlike humans and dogs, they lack the specific enzyme that processes plant-based proteins metabolically. They need few or no carbohydrates in their diet. Feeding foods high in carbohydrates can lead to any number of degenerative diseases, including diabetes, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. Dry food is the leading cause of most urinary tract problems, and it is responsible for the obesity problem among cats. Dry food has also been implicated as one of the contributing factors to diabetes, which is reaching epidemic proportions. 1 in 50 cats may be affected, with overweight cats being at increased risk.

And contrary to the myth that just won’t die, dry food does not clean your cat’s teeth. Most cats don’t chew their kibble long enough for any of the scraping action that is the theory behind this myth to kick in. What little they do chew shatters into small pieces. Some pet food manufacturers offer a “dental diet” that is made up of larger than normal sized kibble to encourage chewing, but in my years at veterinary practices, I’ve seen many cats swallow even those larger size pieces whole. Additionally, dry food leaves a carbohydrate residue in the cat’s mouth that actually encourages growth of tartar and plaque.

Articles about feline nutrition, and one-on-one consultations

You can find many of the articles I’ve written about this topic in the Feline Nutrition section right here on this site. I also provide one-on-one consultations if you need help with transitioning your cat to a healthier diet.

What I look for in a food

  • Protein is listed as the first ingredient on the label, and the meat/poultry used is fit for human consumption. If the meat is organic, that’s even better.
  • The food is grain-free (no rice, barley, or any other grains. Even though these are considered healthy in human nutrition, cats’ digestive tracts are not designed to digest the unnecessary carbs).
  • The food does not contain by-products, corn, soy, or any other fillers.
  • Ideally, I’d like to see no carrageenan in the food. Some of the brands on the list below have carrageenan in some of their flavors, so check labels carefully.
  • Ideally, I’d like a food to be GMO-free. Some of the brands on the list below may contain GMO’s.

Avoid fish-based foods

A word about fish: most cats love fish-based foods. I recommend using them sparingly or avoiding them altogether. The primary fish used in cat food are salmon, tilefish (usually identifed as ocean whitefish on the label) and tuna. Each of them presents health issues, because fish can contain toxic doses of common water pollutants, heavy metals, and other contaminants.

Sadly, much of the fish that goes into pet food is contaminated with heavy metals and other toxins. (On a side note, that is also true for fish sold for human consumption.) Mercury is considered one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern by the World Health Organization.

Fish used in pet food manufacturing often contains whole fish, guts and bones, which can increase phosphorus levels of the food. This can be a problem for cats with kidney disease.

Some cats are sensitive to fish-based diets and develop urinary tract problems that resolve when fish is removed from their diet. Additionally, fish based foods may contain menadione, a synthetic form of vitamin K, which has been banned by the FDA for use in human supplements.

My recommendations

I am often asked what brands I recommend. Unfortunately, there are many diets on the market that sound good based on what the pretty packaging says, but when you take a closer look at the label, you realize that there’s not much substance behind the marketing claims. The brands listed below are foods that I either currently feed to Allegra and Ruby, or have fed to them in the past.

This list is not meant to be exclusive, and it does not mean that there aren’t other really good diets out there. It just means that these brands are the ones I’m comfortable with after doing thorough research.

I recommend the following foods (listed in no particular order). If you would like me to evaluate a brand not on this list, I would be happy to do so – please contact me for fees for this service.)

Best Wet Cat Foods

Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein™ is available from Chewy.com.

Weruva Read my full review of this brand here. Wervua is available from Amazon and from Chewy.com.

Hound and Gatos is available from Chewy.com.  Some varieties of Hound and Gatos are available from Amazon.

Tiki Cat. I only recommend the poultry-based flavors. Tiki Cat is available from Chewy.com. Some formulas are also available from Amazon.

Soulistic. This brand is exclusively sold by Petco (and also available from Amazon), but is produced under the same processing standards as Weruva.

Ziwi is available from Chewy.com.

Nature’s Variety Instinct

Best Raw Cat Foods

Darwin’s Natural Pet Food

Balanced Blends Raw Pet Food

Vital Essential

My Pet’s Pride

Stella and Chewy’s

Nature’s Variety is available from Chewy.com.

Raw Paws Pet Food

Primal Pet Foods

Dehydrated raw diets

The Honest Kitchen is available from Chewy.com.

Stella and Chewy’s is available from Chewy.com.

Primal Pet Foods Primal Pet Foods dehydrated formulas are available from Chewy.com. Some formulas are also available from Amazon.

Vital Essentials is available from Chewy.com.

Gently cooked diets

NomNomNow

Balanced Blends

Smalls

Additional Reading

How much should I feed my cat?

How to wean your cat off dry food

How to get finicky cats to eat

How to read a pet food label

Homemade food for your cat: healthy, simple and economical

The right diet for cats with kidney disease

Feeding your cat: know the basics of feline nutrition by Dr. Lisa Pierson

*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon. The Conscious Cat is an affiliate partner of Chewy.com. The Conscious Cat is an affiliate partner of NomNomNow. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

Photo: istockphoto

1,291 Comments on The Best Food for Your Cat: My Recommendations

  1. Diane
    August 10, 2019 at 11:58 am (7 days ago)

    I really appreciate your food recommendations, as I have a cat who was recently dx with lymphoma and I have been looking for a high caloric food for her.

    On another note, while I understand (and generally agree with) your reasoning for avoiding dry food, I have a 16yo who refuses to eat anything else. She is completely healthy, with no tartar or plaque on her teeth. *shrug* Go figure.

    Reply
  2. Marina
    July 17, 2019 at 9:32 pm (1 month ago)

    Hi! I just noticed that Instinct (Nature’s Variety) is no longer on your list of best wet cat foods. Just wondering what happened. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm (4 weeks ago)

      That was an error on my part, Marina. I still recommend this brand, and I just corrected the list to include it again.

      Reply
      • Estefany
        July 18, 2019 at 2:31 pm (4 weeks ago)

        Hi Ingrid – what are your thoughts on the FDA report that was recently published regarding grain free food causing heart related issues?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          July 19, 2019 at 5:20 am (4 weeks ago)

          I’m following the story, but I have not seen anything that really explains definitively that the grain-free diets are causing the incidents of DCM. I think we simply don’t know enough about this issue yet. I will definitely update once I have more information that makes sense to me.

          Reply
  3. Jennifer King
    July 17, 2019 at 12:32 am (1 month ago)

    Hello there,
    I’m curious if you recommend Koha brand wet cat food?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 17, 2019 at 5:20 am (1 month ago)

      I’m not familiar with that brand.

      Reply
  4. Sinvanor
    June 28, 2019 at 6:21 pm (2 months ago)

    I can’t afford wet food. Not with the amount my kittens will need to eat. From what I understand, the only real difference is that wetfood has more moisture, but also less calories and less nutrition per gram because it’s mostly water. If my kitties are drinking enough water, then it seems like dry should be okay.

    And yes, it’s not ideal to have one that has any grains whatsoever, but I know a lot of people myself included who could never have cats if the best feed was necessary. It’s ridiculously expensive where I live.

    I will of course watch my kittens and pay attention to their health and weight and get some wetfood if I notice they aren’t drinking much. But otherwise, I’ve heard from many sources that wet vs dry, Kitten vs adult, all of it is marketing schemes and everyone wants to sell something, no matter what credentials. It’s frustrating. I want what is best for my kitties but also doable financially. For now, I checked the dry food and it’s 34% protein, main ingredient is chicken and turkey then 24% fat and the rest carbs. Having a higher protein ratio and fat ratio reduces the carbs, but protein is the most important and generally the higher the better.
    All food I looked at had some form of some plant material or filler, even the really expensive stuff. I also made sure that the phosphorus and calcium levels were in acceptable ranges. I also got a water fountain to encourage drinking from running water that is steel plated where the water “flows and sits.

    I also had a cat that lived to be 18+ and she was on pretty mediocre dry food and some wet, wet more as she got older since it’s harder on teeth when they are seniors.

    Reply
  5. Cheryl
    June 19, 2019 at 5:33 am (2 months ago)

    Also going off my last comment I wanted to know for a senior female cat 16 years old is it important I buy her senior wet food only ,, should I not get any wet food that says adult? What about all stages? Thanks I didn’t see much info for senior cats , she also pukes once a day and has hyperthyroidism she takes thyroid medicine

    Reply
  6. Cheryl
    June 19, 2019 at 5:00 am (2 months ago)

    Hello, I have a 16 year old female cat
    She was eating halo wet canned food for year or 2 and recently stoped liking it so I switched her food over to instinct wet food flavors chicken, turkey, rabbit cans and I did bring in instinct rabbit dry food she does like it and was eating it but sense switching her to this food she started having symptoms. she was peeing outside of her box her bowels were really huge and her butthole is pushed out a lot and her behavior was different she didn’t come by me for pets she just laid in a certain spot all day she didn’t meow, you know she didn’t have her usual behavior but she did stop puking for the 5 days she’s been puking once a day for few years now,, but her other symptoms was a factor to not keep her on this food so I eliminated the dry food only and I’m only feeding her Instinct wet food now she did stop peeing outside the litter box a few days now and right away her behavior improved but now she’s back to her daily puking and she is starting to have white to gray-ish stools not the entire stools are discolored just one or 2 and the rest of the stools is brown. Also she does have hyperthyroidism and I have been giving her medication for 3-4 or more years now. So just wondering what I can do and if instinct wet food is a good food for her with her age and symptoms? Thank you

    Reply
      • Cheryl
        June 19, 2019 at 10:46 am (2 months ago)

        Yes I have let the vets know for while now, and had full blood panel test, X-rays, it’s like they don’t know how to pinpoint on what to do and always let it slide, my last vet I seen 2 months ago said it could be ibs and recommended some medication if I decide to go that route but we were working on getting her thyroid levels down we focused on that more, I just don’t know what to do, I haven’t really found a good vet I like in a while now, do you know of any good vets in Macomb Michigan? It’s a long shot but never know, should I get her tested for more things and go from there, I feel like I just can’t keep waiting on a vets help, is there something I can do in the mean time should I get her on probiotics? She eats instinct wet canned food, could you help give me your thoughts on where I can take action with this things I can do on my own and also I will consider going to the vet and what to ask for them to do for my cat?than you so much

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          June 19, 2019 at 3:34 pm (2 months ago)

          Ask for a referral to an internal medicine specialist. Here’s a database that lets you search for one nationwide: https://vetspecialists.com/ If your regular vet hasn’t already done an ultrasound, that would be a start. They may recommend additional testing such as biopsies. It is challenging to manage multiple conditions, which is why a specialist may be a good choice.

          Probiotics can certainly help, but are not a substitute for getting to the root of the problem. I recommend these two: http://amzn.to/YRaNcE and https://amzn.to/2XsWYtM

          Reply
          • JoAnn
            June 19, 2019 at 5:07 pm (2 months ago)

            Look up holistic actions website, and try a homeopathic vet!

  7. Ken
    June 16, 2019 at 11:33 am (2 months ago)

    Curious to know what you think of Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Dry food — seems to have no fillers or vegs in it, keeping the carbs very low. Thanks in advance!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 16, 2019 at 5:03 pm (2 months ago)

      If you absolutely must feed dry, Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein is one of the better choices.

      Reply
      • Ken
        June 16, 2019 at 6:46 pm (2 months ago)

        Thanks for the response Ingrid! You are a truly valued resource!!
        Have been feeding FirstMate Tuna (one guy will only eat fish) which is grain and gum free. It gets its carbs from potato. Seems the Clean Protein dry has a lower percentage of carbs than even most wet food.
        May use this to supplement, and thank you again for your feedback.

        Reply
  8. CJ
    May 17, 2019 at 11:15 pm (3 months ago)

    Looks like Addiction isn’t making canned cat food anymore.

    Reply
  9. frances kelley
    May 17, 2019 at 5:21 pm (3 months ago)

    wondering how you feel about joe’s comment about synthetic vitamin k being added to dr elseys clena protein wet food. is it not good for cats? thanks

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 18, 2019 at 5:29 am (3 months ago)

      Vitamin K is a controversial ingredient in pet food, but there is also a lot of misinformation about it out there. I’ve been unable to find consistent information on it from reliable sources.

      Reply
      • frances kelley
        May 18, 2019 at 7:20 am (3 months ago)

        thank you ingrid

        Reply
  10. Joe
    May 17, 2019 at 4:22 pm (3 months ago)

    i tried the dr. elsey’s food but out of 4 cats nobody liked it …i just read this on a review 2019 –Dr, Elsey’s has started adding Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (synthetic vitamin k) to what used to be a premium cat food. Too bad.

    Reply
    • Michelle
      May 17, 2019 at 5:52 pm (3 months ago)

      Is it in the wet food? I can’t find it in the list of ingredients. My cats love the Turkey cans, but if this is true, I’ll stop buying it.

      Reply
      • Joe
        May 17, 2019 at 6:03 pm (3 months ago)

        i found it on rabbit and turkey and pork ..but you’re right not turkey … is this because its synthetic is the bad thing about it ?

        Reply
  11. Kelly Washeleski
    May 13, 2019 at 11:21 am (3 months ago)

    I would like to know for hard core dry food rescued cat what is the best dry you would recommend? It isn’t an option to not give her a little dry, I will cut way back but I have to give her a little. Please no judgment just a sugg. as to the best dry I can offer her. Thanks

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 14, 2019 at 5:23 am (3 months ago)

      The best option, in my opinion, if you must feed dry is Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein.

      Reply
      • Kelly Washeleski
        June 19, 2019 at 9:55 am (2 months ago)

        I looked into the sugg. for dry and quite frankly I can’t afford those prices. I did however find a grain free dry cat food at Aldi’s and she loves it. It is round pellets and Protein is the first ingredient. She likes the wet food the best and I do give her fresh protein as well. Am I really a bad pet owner then? I have had many cats that lived until almost 20 without the grain free knowledge I have today, what is the difference then? Was I just lucky my whole life? I only had 1 cat a male tabby with a crystal problem and bought him low/no ash and he never had an issue before. Vet rec. the low/no ash. Thanks

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          June 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm (2 months ago)

          You are not a bad pet owner! The fact that you are educating yourself about feline nutrition makes you an excellent cat parent in my book. Feed the best food you can afford on your budget, keeping in mind that even the least expensive wet food is always a better choice than dry food. Look at some of the Fancy Feast varieties, the classic line can be a good option for cat parents on a budget: http://bit.ly/chewyfancyfeastclassic You might be able to find sales on that brand at places like Costco, etc.

          Reply
  12. Kelly Washeleski
    May 13, 2019 at 10:44 am (3 months ago)

    I adopted a stray that a neighbor moved and left to her own demise. We thought she was the neighbor (whom has animals) cat and when my husband complained to the neighbor about the cat ripping up our garbage he told my husband the situation. Well I adopted her and took a few weeks to get her into house and comfortable. Long story longer she was pregnant. She had the kittens 3 weeks ago and she is very thin now. I want feed her a can of food a day and all the dry she can eat. I also make her eggs, and protein/chicken/steak etc…. I read your article and will look for a grain free dry. My question is, can I keep giving her protein that I cook along with her wet food or is that harming her? I have no problem cooking for her I just want to cook the right things. Thanks so much. PS I love Miss Kitty and we are keeping one of the kittens. She is Calico and she had 3 calico’s Female and one Red tabby with white legs and it is a male. This is my first cat that had kittens. I have had cats and kittens before but never a pregnant cat.

    Reply
  13. Janis
    March 23, 2019 at 11:31 am (5 months ago)

    My cat is super finicky and will only eat a pâté style of wet food. Any suggestions? I’ve been feeding him Wellness chicken and turkey pâté but he has developed an aversion to them. I’m pretty desperate.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  14. Emily
    March 22, 2019 at 3:57 pm (5 months ago)

    Hi! I’ve read this article several times in the past, and came back to it because I’m looking for a new food to add into our rotation. I seem to remember Natire’s Logic being on your list, and it’s one my cat Misty seems to do very well with. Has there been a change to this product that resulted in it being removed from your list of recommended foods? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 23, 2019 at 5:26 am (5 months ago)

      I still think Nature’s Logic is a good food, but the veggie/fruit content is a bit higher than I’d like to see in their new formulas.

      Reply
      • Emily
        March 23, 2019 at 7:44 am (5 months ago)

        That’s good to know, thank you! I wasn’t aware they had updated their formulas. I’m going to try adding Dr. Elsey’s and Nature’s Variety Instinct into the mix. They seem comparable to Nature’s Logic, with far fewer fruits and vegetables. I always mix a pate with Weruva Cats in the Kitchen chicken or turkey…so hopefully Misty will have a quick and easy transition! Thanks again.

        Reply
  15. frances kelley
    February 25, 2019 at 9:46 am (6 months ago)

    is the raw frozen bites a dood diet for cats or is it more like dry kibble. thanks

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 25, 2019 at 10:30 am (6 months ago)

      The raw frozen bites are a complete raw frozen meat diet, not kibble, and yes, they are a good choice.

      Reply
  16. Sharyl
    February 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm (6 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    I don’t see Small Batch on our list of raw food and wanted get your thoughts about it. Our kids love it. We had tried many prior.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 13, 2019 at 6:27 am (6 months ago)

      I think it’s a great brand and I really wanted my girls to love it, but they’re kind of “meh” about it.

      Reply
  17. Carra
    February 2, 2019 at 10:25 am (7 months ago)

    My 12 year old cat was just diagnosed with cancer. He is also diabetic, but in remission. He has a tumor in his stomach area. This is all new to me and I’m trying to gather as much information as possible.

    I’d like to know what food is the best type/kind for him to eat? I want to ensure the highest quality of care and food for him. Thank you in advance for your time.

    Reply
      • Carra
        February 3, 2019 at 12:40 pm (6 months ago)

        Thank you, Ingrid. Based on the info in your blog, I went to the store this week and purchased several quality can foods for Johnny. I’m quickly learning that the “junk” can food, and tuna water, might be the only two things that encourages him to eat right now. So, as you said, eating something is better than not eating at all. What are your thoughts on feeding him cooked meat and tuna water… or baby food? I will grab some nutritional yeast and bone broth today.

        Also, surgery is not an option and my vet thinks euthanasia is the path to take. I’m choosing to honor him and this stage of his journey by saying no to chemo or radiation and opting for a more holistic route. Signs of cancer cachexia are present, but he’s still using the litter box, playing some, moving and jumping, responding to touch, toys and love and eating some… these are all good signs imo. He is on CBD oil and fluids now and there is an immune support product for cats with cancer that I ordered. Any thoughts on this product? It is called Life Gold by Pet Well-being.

        I appreciate your blog, your time and willingness to share with us all. Thank you

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          February 4, 2019 at 6:21 am (6 months ago)

          Feeding only cooked meat and tuna water longer term will lack nutrients that he needs, and so does baby food. Both are good to entice him to eat, but not as an actual meal. That said, at his stage, it’s still more important that he eats SOMETHING rather than that he eats the perfect diet. If he likes cooked meat, you may want to take a look at this article: https://consciouscat.net/2013/01/21/homemade-food-for-your-cat-healthy-simple-and-economical/ I’m not familiar with the Life Good product, but I’ve heard good things about it. And I agree with you that what your describing doesn’t sound like he’s quite ready to leave. This article may be helpful to you, too: https://consciouscat.net/2016/02/08/hospice-for-cats/

          Reply
          • Carra
            February 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm (6 months ago)

            Thank you for the additional links, Ingrid. My kitties are my babies and your blog has been helpful on many levels.

      • shelley
        February 4, 2019 at 9:52 pm (6 months ago)

        Carra: I’m a believer of Life Gold. Several years ago my cat had large cell lymphoma. 3 vets gave him less than 2 months. but lived another full year, agranted he did receive chemo, but I started him immediately on Life Gold. He also received ozone therapy. I found that he like Natures Variety Instinct and Primal Freeze Dried Venison and also the chicken. I used purified water to hydrate it, crushed it up with a fork to almost canned food consistency, but not soupy. I also ground up organic chicken hearts. The key is as low in carbohydrates as you can possible do, because they turn to sugar and sugar feeds cancer. In addition I put him on Luxolite from Vitality Science. It is a bentonite clay. From their website >Luxolite is negatively-charged and works like a magnet to attract positively-charged toxins such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and many more and carries them out of the body within hours. “When clay is consumed, its vital force is released into the physical body and mingles with the vital energy of the body, creating a stronger, more powerful energy in the host. The natural magnetic action transmits a remarkable power to the organism and helps to rebuild vital potential through the liberation of latent energy.”

        “When the immune system does not function at its best, the clay stimulates the body’s inner resources to awaken the stagnant energy. It supplies the body with the available magnetism to run well. Clay is said to propel the immune system to find a new healthy balance and strengthens the body to a point of higher resistance.” So I did away with all plastic, only filtered water, liquid gold, and the bentonite clay. In addition the vet prescribe Low Dose Naltrexone .25ml for 9 pound cat. Not expensive but has to be compounded by a pharmacy. If I had to heat up food, I heated so slightly that I could touch the bottom of the pan. I also believe in organic bone broth, but my cats don’t particularly like it

        Reply
        • Carra
          February 5, 2019 at 10:18 pm (6 months ago)

          Shelly, thank you for sharing with me. Ozone therapy and Luxolite are on my list to research now. Good to hear that about the Life Gold! A few of the reviews had me concerned. Did your cat like the taste of it? Any direct changes you noticed with Life Gold? So far, he’s not interested in home cooked meat, Nature’s Instinct protein or kitten food and he did not like the nutritional yeast either. We’re already on the filtered water (learned that with a bladder stone) and I’ll be sure to check out the Primal Freeze, too.

          Reply
        • Shelley
          February 11, 2019 at 10:49 pm (6 months ago)

          No Simon did not like the taste of the Life Gold, so I put the dropper as far back to the side of his mouth to get it in him and try to by pass a lot of his taste buds. Simon was already pretty far into stage 4 when I started it, so I did not see outwardly signs other than he lived a pretty descent life for another year along with the Luxolite clay. I’ve continued raw feeding since and all of my other cats like it cold right out of the fridge. Balanced Blends out of Colorado would be my favorite complete raw pet food. I also get raw food from Raw Feeding Miami.The food from this company is truly raw, with this food “chicken grinds” I add Alnutrin Supplements individual packets that are pre measured for 1 pound pkg of meat. No I do not cook the food as that actually cooks out the nutrients, but like I said I may just slightly warm it, but its still raw when they eat it. Sick cats are naturally more picky in MHO. Here are a couple of good sites, the first one was a blog that I followed at the same time, although her kitty lived longer than mine http://catwithcancer.blogspot.com/search/label/Natrum%20Phos https://www.petcoach.co/article/feeding-the-cat-with-cancer/ Hopefully its ok that I’ve posted these 2 sites. I invested a large amount of my time learning how to make Simon comfortable with the hopes of betting his cancer. If your kitty won’t eat, the vet can prescribe for you an antihystamine that will make him hungry. If you would like me to share all the websites that I collected in hopes of saving my cat, you can find me on facebook under Shelley Bennett my picture shows a dog and cat setting together in the yard and you can msg me.

          Reply
          • Carra
            February 15, 2019 at 8:29 pm (6 months ago)

            Thank you for sharing this with me, Shelley. My sweet Johnny passed earlier this week. 🙁

          • Ingrid
            February 16, 2019 at 6:21 am (6 months ago)

            I’m so sorry, Carra.

          • shelley
            February 16, 2019 at 11:20 pm (6 months ago)

            Carra, I’m so sorry for your loss of Johnny. It’s rough watching them be sick and not be able to help them, but you tried the best that you could and he knew that. A wise holistic vet that I use told me that pets are not like people. As they start that transition, they don’t think about how much they will miss us or leaving us behind, they just don’t think the way we do, although they do know that we love them and we are crying cause we are sad about what they are going through. That helped me a lot. My little Thomas passed away a couple of weeks ago of Infammatory Bowel Disease. We fought that nasty disease for 4 years and I watched him waste away, but as long as he showed interest in life, I let him be and kept treating him, but on a Saturday afternoon, his eyes looked at me and it was just there, time to say goodbye. I provided him a great life until he got sick and I did everything in my power to treat him, just like you did with Johnny. My heart is sad for you. Take care

  18. Sarah
    January 23, 2019 at 3:57 pm (7 months ago)

    Ingrid there is a new food called tiny tiger on chewy. Have you looked at it and thoughts?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 23, 2019 at 5:18 pm (7 months ago)

      At a quick glance, they use by-products, potato starch is high on the list of ingredients, and they use “natural flavors,” which can mean a lot of different things.

      Reply
    • Mike
      February 1, 2019 at 9:31 am (7 months ago)

      Hey Sarah,

      Granted I’m not Ingrid, but I have a ton of experience in this, working for a popular NYC animal rescue for nearly 20 years.

      Tiny Tiger LLC is available exclusively from chewy.com, which to me is immediately a red flag. Secondly it’s always discounted to make people think hmm why not, let’s give it a try? (AKA corporate over care.) Thirdly, if you look at the cases and cans, it’s clear this is not some new pet food company but someone who’s already spent hundreds of thousands on a complex processing line; the cans and labeling and case printing look very suspiciously like the output from the mega-conglomerates like Nestle Purina Petcare (aka Fancy Feast etc.) or Mars Petcare (aka Royal Canin, etc.)

      Not that there’s anything inherently bad about these guys, they kept millions of America’s pets alive and healthy for many, many years! But when your decisions come from a board room and not from the love of animals, there’s going to be issues. (please remember that even Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance is no longer the Natural Balance people fell in love with, but now owned by a mega-group of corporate investors and venture capitalists wanting a slice of the multi-billion-dollar pet care market, and you should stay up on this kind of info. It’s crazy.)

      But, no. Not at all. That alone doesn’t make them bad. What makes Tiny Tiger questionable is when *entire cases* of the food are donated to our shelter, and our shelter animals won’t eat it. They clearly have quality standards different than whatever the main production line is, because every 3rd can in the case is ignored and buried by cats that are not remotely ‘spoiled’ and were scavenging and/or living off human food scraps until they were rescued.

      That is not a good sign, regardless of what any label says. It may be a way to dump substandard food on the market, it may be a legitimate attempt to make a high-quality affordable cat food. I have no idea, nor am I judging them. I’m just sharing the experience of someone who opens cases of food at a time, not single cans. There’s something up with this stuff if rescues won’t eat it.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        February 2, 2019 at 6:37 am (7 months ago)

        Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Mike!

        Reply
        • foundercat
          July 31, 2019 at 12:43 pm (2 weeks ago)

          i order all of our pet food from chewy and switched to tiny tiger when it appeared on line. After several cases, my maine coon’s coat changed from soft and shiny to coarse and dull. It was quite dramatic. She also developed mats which she never had previously. I’ve switched back to her prior food, and am pleased that her fur is becoming soft and shiny again. Am appreciative of Mike’s comments which I read today. He described my experience and I’m so glad I stopped feeding her tiny tiger.

          Reply
  19. Amy
    December 28, 2018 at 7:35 pm (8 months ago)

    Hi, Ingrid! I was hoping to find recommendations for kitten food but most of the canned formulas recommended here do not even have a kitten formula.
    Also, I wanted to let you know so you can update your list: Bravo no longer has canned options, raw only. And Nature’s Logic canned says on their website “to be used as intermittent or supplement feeding only”.
    Of the 1 or 2 brands listed here that do have kitten formulas, they are 11-12% in protein which seems to be a bit too much right now for my little girl (very stinky b.m. and gassy).
    Anyway, LOVE what you do – just wanted to let you know so you can update and maybe offer some kitten suggestions down the road. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Amy
      December 28, 2018 at 7:59 pm (8 months ago)

      **I was basing the info on Bravo and Nature’s Logic by their brand websites.

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 29, 2018 at 6:32 am (8 months ago)

      Kittens can eat adult formulas, they just need more food per pound of body weight than adult cats, and they will need more frequent meals. Use label recommendations as a starting point, and feed your kitten as much canned or raw food as she will eat until she is about four to six months old, in three or four meals a day, then she can be fed as an adult cat.

      Thanks for the info on Bravo and Nature’s Logic!

      Reply
  20. Jeannie Lindheim
    December 20, 2018 at 8:34 am (8 months ago)

    I HEARD THAT GRAIN FREE CAT FOD IS NOT GOOD FOR CATS

    WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS THANS

    Reply
  21. Melissa Hayes
    December 13, 2018 at 11:47 pm (8 months ago)

    I raised my Scottish Fold on a well-regarded dry food. I continued with the adult dry food of the same brand. The only canned food she would eat was absolute junk. She also began to pork out on only 1/3 cup this dry food. I then abandoned dry food completely and switched her to FreshPet Select. It is a refrigerated, cooked food (not raw), chicken flavor. She is doing great: plush coat, minimal defecation, improved muscle tone, and clean teeth (I am a veterinarian, too, and I also believe that dry food does not translate to clean teeth). I would recommend this food to those that want to feed a fresh, minimally-processed food but raw is not an option for them.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 14, 2018 at 6:11 am (8 months ago)

      Thank you for sharing your experience with a minimally processed diet, Melissa. It’s always refreshing to hear a veterinarian help dispel the myth that dry food cleans teeth.

      Reply
  22. Christy
    December 13, 2018 at 9:50 pm (8 months ago)

    Hi! Have you looked into Cornucopia? I’m curious to see your thoughts. I have two senior cats, one of which is having struggles with liver issues. The Vet recommended Hills prescription diet, which I obviously refuse to feed. They haven’t eaten dry in years. I’ve tried almost every food out there! My liver kitty has to be careful with sodium, so it’s a challenge. I tried the Cornucopia food on a whim out of desperation. I just wish so many of the formulas didn’t have fish! Though it is wild-caught. They also have some type of allergies! I tried the NV LID Turkey, but they hate the peas!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 14, 2018 at 6:12 am (8 months ago)

      I’m not familiar with Cornucopia, but would be happy to evaluate it for you.

      Reply
      • Gwen Van Kleef
        December 21, 2018 at 6:54 pm (8 months ago)

        Best cat food on the market. I live in Canada and I ship it to a US address and bring it over. Saved my kitty.

        Reply
  23. Melanie
    November 6, 2018 at 1:49 pm (9 months ago)

    RE: Soulistic. I can’t find any flavors other than chicken that do not have tuna. Am I missing them? I’ve been buying Grain free Gluten free Soulistic Duck Dinner in Gravy, Lamb Dinner in Gravy and Beef Dinner in gravy. I just noticed that all of these have tuna broth as the first ingredient and tuna as the third ingredient. In fact the only Soulistic I could find without fish was chicken. I am trying to rotate through choices other than chicken. My kitties were loving Soulistic. Thank you for your great website!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm (9 months ago)

      Yes, the only Soulistic flavors without fish are the two chicken ones.

      Reply
    • Mary
      November 10, 2018 at 10:21 pm (9 months ago)

      I just bought the chicken and turkey which does not contain any fish and is carrageenan free unlike some of their others. My cat loves it!

      Reply
  24. Randy
    November 4, 2018 at 5:21 pm (10 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid, What is your opinion on Merrick’s Limited Ingredient Diet line of can food? Thank you, Randy

    Reply
      • Nancy Wagner
        November 6, 2018 at 3:28 am (9 months ago)

        We’ve been feeding our two Siamese cats this food for about 5 years – alternating between chicken and salmon pate. Not sure what the ingredients were originally, but here are the first 5 ingredients now:
        DEBONED CHICKEN
        CHICKEN BROTH
        CHICKEN LIVER
        NATURAL FLAVOR
        PEA PROTEIN

        Reply
        • Nancy Wagner
          November 6, 2018 at 3:56 am (9 months ago)

          Full list of ingredients:
          Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Flaxseed Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite) , Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate).

          Reply
          • Joe
            May 17, 2019 at 4:12 pm (3 months ago)

            Hi Ingrid they stopped stocking this at chewy but they are not saying its discontinued ..this is a much more economical choice and a few of my cats like it ….any chance you’d review it again ? and thanks for purina …if its good enough can it be on your list ?

      • Dale
        December 3, 2018 at 5:57 pm (9 months ago)

        Whats the besr food for my cat, she seams bloated, and big belly, is dry food no good..

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          December 4, 2018 at 6:25 am (9 months ago)

          If your cat seems bloated, you need to get her checked out by your vet. As I explain in this article, cats should never eat dry food. You can find the brands/foods I recommend in the list in this article.

          Reply
  25. Leslie
    October 13, 2018 at 10:36 pm (10 months ago)

    Just acquired a kibble addicted 5 year old cat that I hope to transition to wet canned, and eventually raw. He will only eat pate (doesn’t like Tiki Cat, for example or real cooked meat) in very small quantities. Your article doesn’t mention pea protein, which I am seeing in foods and dislike. Any suggestions for a pate with no veggies or fruit, carageenan, peas or pea protein? Don’t like to see flaxseed either as it gets rancid very easily, but this may be a tall order. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 14, 2018 at 5:38 am (10 months ago)

      I agree with you on pea protein being a poor substitute for meat protein. Of course, it’s cheaper, which is why it’s showing up in so many formulas. Try Dr. Elsey’s, Bravo, or Hound and Gatos – when I last checked, none of them contained pea protein, but formulas change, so it’s always a good idea to read labels.

      Reply
      • Nancy Wagner
        October 14, 2018 at 2:08 pm (10 months ago)

        Our 2 cats would NOT eat anything with peas in it. So after trying about a dozen other brands, we finally came up with Merrick’s Limited Ingredient chicken or turkey – pate. The Pate was the key. We also add to that Life Extension Multi-Nutrient Formula vitamins and home make poached ground chicken. It took a couple of weeks to wean them off kibble and onto our recipe, but now they’re fine.

        Reply
    • Joann
      October 26, 2018 at 7:37 pm (10 months ago)

      Yes,Cornucopia

      Reply
  26. Tammie
    October 11, 2018 at 7:54 am (10 months ago)

    This is the first time I have been to this site. Hoping it is OK to ask a question. I have a 11 year old cat. Seems she has runny stool about every 3 or 4 days in the same exact place, which is right in front of our sliding patio door, where I will see it in the AM when I let the dog out. The vet thinks it is a behavior problem. I currently am feeding her Blue canned food. I also have another cat that I got 2 years ago but the cat that has the problem was doing it prior to getting this cat although the problem is getting more frequent. Do you think it would be helpful to give a probiotic or switch to one of the brands you have listed?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      October 11, 2018 at 8:05 am (10 months ago)

      A probiotic might help, but it does sound like there’s a stress/behavioral component to the issue. I would place a litter box in the spot where she eliminates and see if that fixes the problem. This is not a permanent solution, once she uses the box, you can very gradually move it to a better location in the same room.

      Reply
      • Pat Nelson
        January 28, 2019 at 7:16 pm (7 months ago)

        Is there a probiotic that you recommend?

        Reply
    • Zofia Fronczak
      July 31, 2019 at 11:40 pm (2 weeks ago)

      Be careful with Blue Buffalo canned food . They use one very dangerous ingredient ” carrageenan ” . Check on line what this can do to your cat or person but cats a little ? I lost 4 cats to cancer when I feed my cats only canned Blue Buffalo . Don’t take a risk ,please it was so painful for me and them also . I have no proof because nobody checked the tumors after theirs dead . But 4 cats die during the 9 month only and cats were a different ages not old .

      Reply
  27. Jeannie Lindheim
    September 29, 2018 at 9:35 am (11 months ago)

    I was just told that grain free might not be the best for cats.
    What is your thought on this? Thanks so much~

    Reply
  28. Deborah starks
    September 9, 2018 at 8:46 am (11 months ago)

    Is there a update on the brand of can foods for our cats n kittens that is best for them?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 9, 2018 at 3:57 pm (11 months ago)

      Even though the original post date is 2012, as stated in the annotation at the top of this post, this list is kept current.

      Reply
  29. Allie
    September 5, 2018 at 5:33 pm (12 months ago)

    How do you feel about added salt (sodium chloride) in canned food? I have been doing extensive research on your recommended brands, and MOST of them have added salt listed as an ingredient. I’ve read salt causes heart and kidney disease and hypertension (much like in humans). I’m trying to feed the best possible canned food to my cats. Thank you for your help.

    Reply
  30. Jeannie Lindheim
    August 27, 2018 at 7:02 am (12 months ago)

    I feed my cats canned cat food. Purina beyond is my choice with very little wellness indoor dry mixed in. Also backwoods wet is also good. I never would feed my cats raw. Too many problems.

    I don’t understand your comment about wellness food. I don’t use dry food.

    would you recommend wellness food with carregenan? thanks~

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 27, 2018 at 7:31 am (12 months ago)

      I do not recommend any foods with Carrageenan. Raw food is the optimal diet for cats, but I understand that not everyone is comfortable with it.

      Reply
  31. Jeannie Lindheim
    August 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm (12 months ago)

    Thanks so much. Yes, they did talk the carrageenan out of all Wellness wet food

    Reply
    • Zofia
      August 27, 2018 at 9:56 pm (12 months ago)

      The carrageenan – read online about this ingrienient .
      I feed my 3 cats with Blue Baflo can food with this ingrienient in and they ( 3 of them ) die with the same tammy cancer in 9 month time they all were gone . I still miss my cats ,they were not old to die .

      Reply
  32. Jeannie Lindheim
    August 26, 2018 at 1:55 pm (12 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid,

    I had my cat on Primal Freeze dried for 2 years. He LOVED it, but recently doesn’t want it. So I switched to the food he used to eat- Wellness Turkey Pate- no carrigenan, grain free, etc. I tried about 10 different foods when we adapted him and he didn’t like any of them. What about this type of Wellness food? Thanks~

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 26, 2018 at 4:36 pm (12 months ago)

      I haven’t looked at Wellness in a while, but all their formulas used to have carrageenan. It sounds like maybe they took it out?

      Reply
      • Jeannie Lindheim
        August 26, 2018 at 4:48 pm (12 months ago)

        Thanks Ingrid.

        Yes, they did take out the carrageenan. 🙂

        Reply
      • Ron
        August 27, 2018 at 3:18 am (12 months ago)

        I feed my cats canned cat food. Purina beyond is my choice with very little wellness indoor dry mixed in. Also backwoods wet is also good. I never would feed my cats raw. Too many problems

        Reply
  33. Sharyl
    August 25, 2018 at 8:35 pm (12 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid,

    We have been feeding Vital Essentials, but have heard they are changing their formula and it has been so hard to get, so we tried Small Batch. They do list salmon oil in their ingredients. I was wondering if you are familar with the brand etc. Our Vet says they are comparable to VE.

    Thank you,

    Reply
  34. Karen
    August 19, 2018 at 6:14 pm (12 months ago)

    My cat seems to have a sensative stomach and vomits up her food every few days. Raw diets have been tried in the past and she is now eating Tiki cat wet food. She also eats a dry kibble, grain free, Vital Cat duck flavored. She has also been allowed to eat the dog’s dry kibble; Stella and Chewy’s raw blend. Her vomit tends to be chunky as though she is not completely digesting the dry kibble. Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks!

    Reply
  35. Emily
    August 14, 2018 at 4:25 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi there!

    I’m not sure if you — or anyone else, really — will read this comment, but I’ll try anyway as a desperate first-time cat owner.

    I adopted my cat, Diamond, from a local shelter at the end of June. In pretty much every way she is healthy, and at her checkup in July, the vet was super impressed with her health.

    However, being a girl in her 20’s who’s never owned a cat before, I simply followed the diet they had been giving her at the shelter. They would free-feed the cats kibble but give them two wet food meals a day. So…that’s what I did. Diamond was a bit picky about the wet food but she loves dry food to the point that she will eat no matter WHAT I put down in front of her. This is where the problem lies: last night, before bed, I tried to simply just “put away” her kibble, and she went nuts. Like, whining and climbing on me and purring in my ears kind of nuts.

    A lot of the websites on transitioning cats from a dry to wet diet only account for cats eating dry kibble on a free-feed schedule, but Diamond and I are a bit different. I’ve done a lot of research on how to wean her off of the kibble, but again, none of them are really relevant for us.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I’m just not sure what to do anymore! Any guidance you could provide, or resources you could point me toward, would be incredibly appreciated.

    Thank you so much, and thank you for all you do for the kitties with your site!

    Reply
    • Lana
      August 26, 2018 at 7:45 am (12 months ago)

      Hi Emily,

      I’m co-signing Ingrid’s comments. Cats are creatures of habit. Just be patient and remember not to beat yourself up over it.

      Since my cats still prefer some kibble, and i do leave 60kcals out at night since they are actively playing when I’m asleep, I purchased water fountains to encourage them to drink more water. I prefer the Pagoda style that Ingrid recommended because it’s an ideal size for cats,made of ceramic and not plastic, and has parts that are easy to clean.

      Make sure you transition them to the best quality kibble you can afford, if they are eating a cheaper variety. Make sure you check the Guaranteed Analysis and look for .2% taurine. You might only get as close as .15%. Taurine is super important for cats. Wet foods more than always have less than dry food and raw diets typically can not guarantee any taurine. A food can claim to be natural but if it doesnt have the necessary nutrients for your cat, it’s not a superior alternative. So recognize you may have to add taurine and other supplements.

      This is shedding season so make sure you brush your cat frequentl in addition to making sure their diet contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Many dry foods add these as well. It helps keep their coat nice and shiny.

      Also make sure you give them something like Tomyln laxatone a few days a week to help them pass furballs and also poop easier with all of that dry food in their system.. Getting them to take it may be tricky. I wipe a small dallop on top of my cats upper lip on the side, wait for them ro lick it off, then apply more when it’s done. Greenies Smartbites are a good supplement.

      That’s the basics. Other than scheduled playtime around feeding (Da bird and laser toys are sure hits) to encourage them to eat more at feeding time and rest afterwards, you’re good to go.

      Reply
  36. Helen Burley
    August 9, 2018 at 10:19 am (1 year ago)

    Hi, I’ve just started feeding Weruva. they do like the fish products. Are the fish products also the same human grade food as the chicken? I understand that fish should be limited but they get tired of the Fowl Ball and the Double Dip. Unfortunately one of my cats is food sensitive to the Lamb so I’m limited. Also I was going to try them on the GO cat food but all of their food contains salmon even if the name of the food is chicken.

    Thanks,

    Helen

    Reply
  37. simone
    July 26, 2018 at 3:02 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you for the helpful article. My problem is none of the commercial brands listed seem to have KITTEN food. What would you recommend for a kitten? thank you.

    Reply

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