As a pet parent, you want to give your cat the very best life possible, and that includes the best cat food. Many pet owners struggle with finding the right food for their cat, choosing from dry or wet. However, there are many benefits that the best wet cat food offers that dry just doesn’t. Because wet cat food closely mimics their diet in the wild, most felines also find it very enticing, which can make it a great choice for even the pickiest eater.
As a cat parent myself, I’ve struggled with finding a food that offers a complete, well-balanced formula. After researching several products, reading wet cat foods reviews, and feeding different brands to my own cats, I came up with ten products that all cats will love. These nutrient dense foods are loaded with all the right vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your cat needs in order to thrive. I’ve created this buyer’s guide, which includes all the information you need to look for when you’re searching for food for your cats, how to ensure it offers a well-balanced complete formula, and why your cat may benefit more from eating canned cat food as opposed to dry kibble.
Below, you’ll see the comparison chart that I’ve created, which includes food ratings, important product information, and the complete list of foods that made it onto my list.
Wet Cat Food Comparison Chart
Best Wet Cat Food Overall-Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Intense Beauty Canned Cat Food
This Intense Beauty formula by Royal Canin promotes a shiny, thick, healthy coat and skin health. This is a well-balanced formula that includes important nutrients, such as omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. This food will also support a healthy weight, so it’s a good choice if you have an obese cat or one who often overeats. The manufacturer recommends three cans of food a day for felines that weigh up to nine pounds.
- Grain free
- High quality animal protein
- Reasonable price
- Low in carbs
- Contains wheat gluten
This chicken recipe is made by a top brand, is low in carbohydrates, and high in protein. It features a simple ingredient list, so you won’t find a formula that’s loaded in artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This recipe is perfect for adult cats and seniors and includes the right amount of fat, protein, and omega 3 fatty acids, that promote skin, coat, and immune health.
Complete and Balanced Nutrition-Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food
This grain-free wet food comes loaded with flavor and novel protein sources that you won’t find anywhere else. Lobster and sardine is a popular flavor blend from Tiki Cat, although their variety pack contains a wide range of proteins that most felines will love, including mackerel, crab, and prawn. Not only do these seafood blends provide the essential amino acid taurine, but they also contain healthy fats that will make your cat’s coat glossy, thick, and healthy.
- Grain free
- Nutrient rich
- Low in carbohydrates
- Promotes weight loss
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Contains no veggies
One of the top cat food brands, Tiki Cat has done it again by creating a formula for adults and kittens that’s loaded with nutrients, healthy fats, and a flavor that all cats will love. This animal protein rich food offers real protein, a healthy fat source, essential vitamins and nutrients, and a higher moisture rating, which can supplement a cat’s water needs.
Purina Fancy Feast Pate Adult Canned
This wet food by Fancy Feast is made in the United States and includes real meat ingredients that are sure to stimulate even the pickiest eater’s appetite. This is one of the best wet cat foods for adults, containing a high quality protein source, a grain free formula, and a pate texture that makes this food easier to eat, especially for cats with dental issues. Fancy Feast claims this canned cat food is gourmet quality, featuring finely ground meat and a grain free recipe that’s designed to support cat health by eliminating many common allergens such as wheat and corn.
- Grain free
- Made in the United States
- Contains essential fatty acids
- High in protein
- Protein is the first ingredient
- Can cause digestive upset in some felines
This leading canned cat food is made in the United States, contains whole ingredients, including protein and fat, amino acids, and other nutrients that support a healthy immune system, skin, and coat, all of which are designed to meet your cat’s nutritional needs.
Best Food for Kittens-Royal Canin Cat Health Nutrition Loaf in Sauce Wet Kitten Food
This canned cat food by Royal Canin is specifically designed for kittens up to twelve months of age and it contains the optimal ratio of carbs, fat, and protein, so it will meet the energy and nutritional needs of a growing cat. The antioxidant profile supports a kitten’s developing immune system. The vitamins and minerals in this formula will promote healthy digestion and growth, which is also due to the addition of prebiotics, fiber, and digestible proteins.
- High quality animal proteins
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- High in protein
- Grain free
- Strong odor
A popular cat food company for many reasons, Royal Canin continues to create the type of kitten formula many cat owners are looking for. This canned cat food features essential vitamins and minerals, a soft texture that makes it much easier for kittens to chew, and a flavor your cat will love.
Best Chicken Recipe-Tiki Cat Luau Wet Food
This grain free canned cat food by Tiki Cat is loaded with moisture, which can help to supplement your cat’s water needs. This cat food is made with real chicken, which is listed as the first ingredient. This nutrient rich canned cat food is well-balanced, low in carbohydrates, and does not contain preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, or fillers.
- Contains omega 3 fatty acids
- Includes essential vitamins and minerals
- Grain free
- Aids in weight loss
- Natural recipe
- Small can size
If you’re tired of wasting money on expensive canned formulas that your cat turns their nose up at, then this latest formula by one of the top cat food manufacturers can be a great alternative, especially if you’re searching for a wet formula that can help your pet maintain a healthy weight, and one that promotes immune, skin, and coat health.
Tiki Cat has created a chicken recipe formula that’s loaded with healthy fat, lean whole protein, and designed to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. Unlike competing brands, this cat food manufacturer creates formulas that are free from harmful additives that can cause skin, coat, and health issues.
Best Food for Active Indoor Cats-Purina Pro Plan High Protein Adult Wet Cat Food
Purina is a canned cat food brand that most pet parents are familiar with. Their latest formula is made with real chicken, including chicken livers, which are nutrient rich. Meat is listed as the first ingredient, so you can be confident that this formula contains the vitamins and minerals that are essential for felines. The omega 3 fatty acids will promote skin and coat health, while the formula includes a total of twenty-five essential nutrients that will support a healthy immune system.
- Contains healthy fat
- Will keep your cat full
- Contains omega 3 fatty acids
- Good for senior cats and adults
- Hearty recipe
- Strong odor
Like many of the leading canned foods on the market, this product is designed to mimic a cat’s natural diet in the wild. It’s also a good choice for cats who are prone to constipation and cats who don’t drink enough water, since the foods in this formula are loaded with moisture. Pet parents will appreciate the low price, while a kitty will love the real chicken flavor and hearty formula.
Best Grain Free Canned Cat Food-Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Turkey Chicken Grain Free Wet Cat Food
This chicken turkey formula by Blue Buffalo is grain free and contains all the nutrients your cat needs to stay healthy and active. Unlike competing canned foods, this product features a natural formula that’s enhanced with vitamins and minerals. It also contains two types of animal proteins. Your cats will love the real chicken turkey flavor, especially senior cats who tend to lose their sense of taste and smell as they age. This recipe is a great choice for both adults and seniors and features the type of high quality protein formula that’s designed to promote muscle growth and coat and skin health.
- Natural recipe
- Grain free
- Contains chicken turkey
- Includes chicken liver
- Can cause flatulence
This chicken turkey recipe is free from meat by products, does not contain wheat or corn, and is also free from preservatives and artificial flavors. Unlike competing products , this product contains the type of natural ingredients that are designed to improve digestive health, muscle growth, and a healthy immune system. This complete formula is perfect for high energy indoor cats in need of a high protein cat food that’s low in carbs and loaded with flavor.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Purrfect Entrees Wet Food
Rachael Ray’s line of dry food is a big hit with many felines. But if your pet has high moisture needs, making the switch to wet food can be crucial to their health. The Rachael Ray Nutrish wet food is grain free, and contains no meat byproducts or filler ingredients. This chicken recipe includes whole meat and organs, such as chicken liver. Unlike dog food, wet cat formulas tend to have a more palatable flavor and texture that cats find very appealing. The high quality animal protein, combined with real veggies and added taurine, vitamins, and minerals provides well-balanced complete nutrition for a cat.
- Contains chicken liver
- Contains significantly more moisture than dry food
- Grain free
- Natural recipe
- Meat is the first ingredient
Designed to keep your cat healthy and active, while promoting immune, coat, and skin health, this tasty recipe is the best food for cats of all life stages.
Made from whole chicken, including organ meats such as chicken liver, this complete meal by Rachael Ray features small, tender chunks of real veggies and white meat chicken, in a thick gravy that cats will love. This brand also offers a wide variety of flavor options, so you can switch up and offer your cat different healthy lean meat options.
Best Food for Senior Cats-Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Grain Free Cat Wet Food
Tiki Cat is one of those brands that creates unique blends of meats, veggies, and added nutrients, all designed to help a cat thrive. This grain free cat food is designed for all life stages, but it’s a great option for seniors, especially those who struggle with chronic constipation. This is a tuna and pumpkin formula that’s loaded with fiber and moisture, rich in proteins, and features tuna as the first ingredient. Both adult cats and seniors cats will love this hearty food that offers a gentle source of fiber. The fiber content will aid in digestion and will leave a kitty feeling full longer, so this recipe is a great choice for obese cats as well.
- Grain free
- Contains healthy fat
- Better source of moisture than dry food
- Natural recipe
- Will help cats struggling with constipation
- Can cause diarrhea
Most cat experts agree that senior cats can benefit from wet cat foods, since they’re high in moisture and include added nutrients that are designed to support their aging body. This pumpkin and tuna formula includes many important nutrients that can give your cat the fuel they need to thrive. Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and it’s high in vitamins C and A, both of which support immune health. The moisture in this recipe is perfect for seniors who don’t drink enough water. This high moisture broth is designed to provide cats with the extra hydration they need, especially as they age. If you’ve been feeding your senior dry food and they’re struggling with dehydration and constipation, now is a good time to make the switch to wet cat foods that contain the nutrients they need. Both senior cats and adults will love the rich tuna flavor, the added healthy fat, and essential vitamins and minerals that boost immune health and aid in digestion.
More Bang for Your Buck-Weruva B.F.F. OMG – Best Feline Friend Oh My Gravy! Grain-Free Natural Wet Food for Cats
This grain free chicken turkey cat food recipe contains healthy fat and a grain free formula that makes this wet food a great choice for a cat with skin and coat issues. The unique recipe features a thick gravy base that’s made out of chicken stock. The recipe also focuses on hydration, offering a balanced formula that includes added antioxidants, healthy fat, minerals, and vitamins, all of which are designed to support a healthy immune system, muscle growth, and skin and coat health.
- Grain free
- Made by one of the top brands
- Includes foods your kitty will love
- Excellent hydrating power
- Low price
- May cause digestive upset in felines with sensitive stomachs
Do you have a picky kitty? A cat that refuses to eat most types of pet foods? You’re not alone. This grain free formula was created with picky cats in mind, so while it may be low in carbs and unhealthy fat, it scores well in the flavor department. This is mainly due to the thick gravy recipe that most felines will find irresistible.When you’re searching for the right canned food for cats, look for a product that focuses on hydration and includes added nutrients that are specifically designed to help a cat thrive. This formula is available in pouches or cans and includes a thick gravy that delivers the hydration your cat needs, especially if he or she has a poor coat, dry skin, or suffers from constipation.
Best Wet Cat Food Buyer’s Guide
Both canned and kibble cat foods can be beneficial to your cat’s health, but many cat owners prefer to feed their cats wet canned food for several reasons. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most important benefits that wet food has to offer.
Food that Mimics their Diet in the Wild
A cat is an obligate carnivore. In the wild, they mostly ate meat. This is because meat contains important amino acids that a cat needs in their diet in order to thrive.
Some types of plant-based foods also contain amino acids but feeding a cat a plant-based diet only can cause a variety of health problems since plants do not have the most essential amino acids found in meat, such as taurine. Taurine is an amino acid that cats need for proper nutrition, healthy muscles, growth, development, heart health, and vision health.
A cat’s diet should consist mainly of meat. This is because a cat has a very short digestive tract, which can make it difficult for their bodies to digest carbs and food that’s plant-based. While a cat can still consume carbs, you’ll mainly see a lot of filler in kibble, such as corn.
The biggest benefit of offering wet foods for cats is the higher moisture content. The moisture percentage in wet food ranges from seventy to eighty percent. In dry cat food, the moisture content ranges from five to ten percent. In the wild, cats mainly received most of their hydration from the moisture in their meat. These days, even domesticated cats will get most of their hydration from their pet food, which is why you don’t see cats drinking water as often as you see the family dog.
If you have a cat that struggles with chronic constipation or dehydration, then switching to wet cat foods can significantly help both of these problems.
Wet food features a higher percentage of protein compared to dry, which can be a good thing if you have a cat that’s overweight. This is because wet foods consist mainly of protein, while dry food offers high levels of filler carbs, which can be very fattening.
Factors to Consider
There are many important factors you’ll want to consider before you choose a new food for your cat.
The first, is the nutrient content.
Just like with the foods you eat, you need to check the pet food’s label to learn more about the types of nutrients it contains, what percentage is protein, whether or not the food contains preservatives, fillers, and additives.
With wet formulas, the ingredients should mostly consist of meat proteins. Manufacturers will list the ingredients in decreasing levels of importance. This means the first few products make up the bulk of the food. Aside from the protein source, the other ingredients should consist of moisture, fiber, and fats. You’ll also want to check the quality of the protein and avoid foods that contain meat byproducts.
Canned formula has to contain preservatives, otherwise it would have a very short shelf life. Once you open up a can of food, it usually has to be consumed within twenty-four hours. However, because of the preservatives it contains, unopened cans have a relatively long shelf life.
Because all wet foods have preservatives in it, make sure you choose a product that contains all-natural preservatives, which can be a healthier alternative than cat foods that contain BHT or BHA. Healthy preservatives include vitamin E and salt.
What to Avoid
With food, there’s obviously some key ingredients that you’ll want to avoid. These are the ingredients that can cause digestive upset in some pets, or, over time, a pet can develop an allergy to certain ingredients, such as gluten. Ideally, you’ll want to steer clear of flavoring, additives, and dyes. In many cases, preservatives are unavoidable. As I mentioned above, some types of preservatives are required to prevent the wet food from spoiling. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to the types of preservatives used.
Now you know more about wet foods and the benefits that come with making the switch from dry, such as improved hydration and effective treatment for constipation. Below, I’ll go more in-depth regarding the best ingredients and how they can be beneficial to your pet’s health.
Cats require a high protein diet because protein provides the essential amino acid taurine. While it’s true that many protein rich foods can be a good choice for your feline, you’ll need to pay attention to which types of proteins the food contains, since some cats may have developed an allergy to certain types of proteins. Additionally, not all protein sources are good for your pet. Some low-quality pet foods may contain meat byproducts, which are derived from parts of the animal that are deemed unsuitable for human consumption. But many cat parents want the best for their pets. You can avoid products that contain these poor-quality protein sources by reading the label and searching the list of ingredients. In many cases, you’ll find that low quality protein is described as fish or poultry, without stating what type of fish or poultry it is.
You’ll also want to look for the term “meal”, such as “chicken meal” “beef meal” since this also doesn’t give you a clear picture of the type of protein quality in the food.
Look at the product labels and choose foods that clearly list the protein source, such as chicken, salmon, lamb, or turkey.
It would be great if food manufacturers would create a protein loaded formula that contained mainly animal-based protein, but most cat foods contain a high percentage of carbs. These carbs don’t offer much in terms of nutritional value and instead are used as filler, or as a plant-based protein. In the wild, cats do consume a small percentage of carbs from plant life, but this mainly comes from the stomach contents of the animal they’re consuming. In other cases, a cat may consume vegetation to clear their digestive tract, if they have an upset stomach. Thanks to evolution, cats are no longer carnivores, but obligate carnivores. This means that their body has evolved to digest carbs, which is a good thing considering the types of carb-loaded products many manufacturers try to pass off as healthy food.
If you want to feed your felines a diet that more closely resembles what they would eat in the wild, then look for foods that offer a higher protein content and a lower carb content.
Some carbs do contain important vitamins and minerals that can be beneficial for your cat, however, the food itself should still have a low carb content, since excess carbs can be stored as fat.
Look for the highest moisture content possible. On average, you’ll come across foods that contain anywhere from forty percent up to eighty percent moisture. Dry kibble contains just ten percent moisture. The best wet cat food will contain at least seventy-five percent moisture.
As I mentioned earlier, taurine is an essential amino acid that all felines need and it’s found in meat. Some cat foods are enriched with taurine, which is great, since this higher level of taurine really is essential for vision and heart health.
Canned Cat Foods Versus Kibble
The biggest reason many pet owners opt for kibble instead of wet food is cost. Kibble is more affordable and it has a longer shelf life, compared to canned. But, if you want to give your cat the very best and ensure they remain hydrated, wet food is the best option. Feeding felines a dry food diet is also more convenient for most pet owners.
You can set out a bowl of kibble in the morning and leave it out all day, allowing your cat to graze and eat whenever they feel like it. You can’t really do that with wet, which starts to smell after being left out for more than an hour. Kibble also makes less of a mess compared to wet.
In terms of hydration, canned will win every time. With an average moisture content of ten percent, kibble isn’t the best choice for cats that don’t drink enough water. Kibble also has a higher sodium content compared to wet, which can also lead to constipation, bloating, and dehydration.
Urinary Tract Infections in Cats
Both male and female indoor felines are prone to UTIs, feline idiopathic cystitis, kidney stones, and lower urinary tract disease, all of which can be caused by chronic dehydration. Because wet food offers a significantly higher moisture rating, your cat will be less prone to these health issues if you switch from kibble to canned.
Cats can be very choosy when it comes to what they will and won’t eat. Fortunately, because wet food closely resembles the taste and smell of their natural diet, most cats will find canned more appealing than dry. Felines also have a very sensitive sense of smell, so they’ll find the strong scent of wet chow very appetizing.
Higher Protein and Fewer Carbs
Wet food offers more meat and fewer carbs, which is what makes it more expensive compared to dry.
Both Types of Foods Have Preservatives
You may be surprised to learn that both canned and dry contain comparable amounts of preservatives. Fortunately, there are pet manufacturers for both canned and wet that will use natural preservatives such as vitamins E and C. While these natural preservatives don’t extend the shelf life of both foods as long as artificial preservatives, they’re a better choice for your pets.
Additionally, most types of canned foods are naturally preserved during the canning process, which is why it will require fewer preservatives compared to dry. Since canned contains more actual meat and fewer carbs, it also doesn’t contain the same higher levels of artificial colors and flavors.
BPA is one preservative that you’ll want to avoid, if you decide to make the switch to canned. BPA is part of an epoxy lining that’s found in some cans and it’s designed to significantly extend the shelf life of those foods to prevent it from spoiling, however, this preservative has been closely linked to a number of health problems in people. Fortunately, many animal food manufacturers no longer use this preservative, although there are still some that do.
A Solution for Obese Cats
Is your cat getting old? Are they inactive? Is your pet more than a couple of pounds overweight? If so, switching to wet food can help to aid in weight loss.
Why? Because of the higher moisture rating. The higher water content that’s found in this type of food will make your cat feel full faster, without having to eat more. So, they’ll feel just as full as they would after eating their dry cat food, without all of the calories.
Additionally, the higher protein content promotes satiety, which will prevent your cat from returning to their bowl for more food after just a couple of hours.
If your pet is fed a kibble diet only, it can be more difficult for them to lose weight. Because of this, many vets recommend switching a feline to a wet diet, since you’ll have more precise control over the portions, it will boost hydration, and they can eat less and still feel full, thanks to the higher water content.
When fed only kibble, it can be very hard for a cat to lose weight. Because dry food is very dense and it doesn’t include much moisture, it’s easy for pets to overdo it. It can be very challenging to try and cut down on the portion size and still maintain a balanced nutrition for your pet. Because of this, canned is often the easiest and best solution for overweight pets.
Cats that are older that have lost teeth may benefit from the switch to wet food, since it’s not difficult to chew and crunchy like kibble is. Cats with gum issues, broken teeth, and missing teeth can have pain when chewing. Different textures, such as shredded or pate wet food can be a great solution since they won’t have to chew.
Felines with sensitive stomachs or pets that are recovering from constipation, diarrhea, or another type of illness can also benefit from the high moisture rating found in canned formulas. This increased moisture will make it easier for a feline to digest. If your cat is prone to hairballs, then switching to wet can also help reduce hairballs in most long-haired cats, due to the higher moisture rating.
Keep in mind, if you’ve fed your pet kibble most of their life, then making the switch to wet cat food can also upset their stomach and may cause vomiting or diarrhea, if you don’t gradually make the switch. Vets recommend decreasing their kibble by ten percent and adding ten percent of wet cat food. Add ten more percent of the wet and decrease the kibble by ten percent, two to three days later. This transition can take several days, but it’s the best way to prevent digestive upset.
Experts typically blame meat for skin and coat allergies, but grains can also be the culprit. Most wet cat food is grain free. A grain free formula can be very beneficial to felines that have an allergy to certain grains. Many experts believe that felines don’t require a diet loaded with grains and prefer a diet that’s high in lean meats. However, experts can also agree that the cat has evolved over the years, so their bodies are now able to easily tolerate and digest certain types of grains. But, if you believe your cat may be suffering from allergies, opt for a grain free formula and monitor your feline’s symptoms. If your cat is no longer experiencing dry flaky skin, a dull coat, or no longer grooms excessively, then their past diet may have been to blame.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should Cats Not Eat?
Cats should never eat the following foods:
- Dairy products such as milk and cheese. Cats are lactose intolerant.
- Dog food
- Raw eggs
- Raw protein
Can I Feed My Cat Chicken Every Day?
You can feed your pet chicken daily, as long as it’s part of a well-balanced diet. Additionally, you should ensure the chicken is cooked well and doesn’t contain any bones. Feeding a cat only chicken daily can lead to many different nutritional deficiencies.
What Meat is Best for Cats?
Cats are meat eaters and require protein derived from meat for vision, heart, and reproductive health. Cooked poultry, beef, and fish are all great protein sources for cats.
What is Better for Cats-Chicken or Fish?
Felines love both types of protein sources. Chicken is a better lean protein source, while fish is an excellent source of fatty acids.
How Much Canned Food Should a 10 Pound Cat Eat?
If you want to feed your cat wet food, read the product’s label to determine feeding size based on weight. You can also speak with your pet’s vet for recommendations in terms of portion size and daily caloric needs.
If you’re looking for the right food that can improve and maintain your feline’s health, canned is the clear winner. Your pet will benefit from the switch to the best wet food, even if you decide to offer it only a few times a week. In terms of weight loss, meat protein content and quality, and urinary tract health, canned can provide a wide range of benefits to your pet. But when it comes to pets, there’s no universal solution. Choose a product that works the best for your pet and one that meets their unique tastes and nutritional needs.