The 8 Best Canned Cat Foods of 2019

Delight their palette with these smart food choices

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Nutro Max Adult Wet Canned Cat Food at Amazon

"This wet food is made only with real chicken—no unwanted byproducts—and includes plenty of essential vitamins."

Best for Weight Loss: Avoderm Natural Weight Control Cat Food at Amazon

"It uses simple, healthy ingredients, and is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your cat’s immune system."

Best for Weight Gain: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Cat Food at Amazon

"It’s great for helping your underweight cat build muscle, and doesn't contain grains, gluten, carbohydrates, starches, or flours."

Best for Seniors: Royal Canin Aging 12+ Wet Cat Food at Amazon

"The texture is perfect for senior cats, and provides some of the same benefits you’ll find in feline joint supplements."

Best Grain-Free: Instinct Original Grain-Free Canned Cat Food at Amazon

"Terrific for cats with sensitive stomachs, this food leaves cats full, happy, and free of any discomfort after eating."

Best for Allergies: My Little Lion Rabbit Canned Cat Food at Chewy

"Ideal for cats with food allergies, thanks to its alternative protein source (rabbit) and lack of starches, potatoes, and additives."

Best Natural: Newman's Own Organic Turkey & Liver Dinner at Chewy

"In addition to listing organic turkey as the first ingredient, it’s also grain-free, and includes essential vitamins and minerals."

Best Food Topper: Evanger's Wild Salmon Canned Cat Food Supplement at Chewy

"With just three ingredients—salmon, fish broth, and guar gum—this supplement can add some extra protein into your cat's diet."

  • 01 of 08

    Best Overall: Nutro Max Adult Wet Canned Cat Food Chicken Supreme

    Nutro Max Adult Wet Canned Cat Food

     Courtesy of Amazon

    For an all-around great canned cat food, we’re fans of Nutro’s Max Adult products. This wet food is made only with real chicken—no unwanted byproducts—and includes plenty of essential vitamins and minerals to keep your cat healthy and energized. Each 3-ounce can contains around 70 calories and has a guaranteed analysis of 8 percent protein, 4.5 percent fat, 1 percent fiber, and 82 percent moisture. With high-quality ingredients and a savory flavor, it’s sure to please even picky feline eaters.

    Customers write that their cats love Nutro Max Adult Wet Canned Food, and it's reliably enticing to cats who tend to turn up their noses at certain foods. While it’s not overly expensive, it’s visibly higher quality than many lower-cost food options, and it translates to food that cats love and owners can feel good about choosing.

    Combining wet food with dry kibble? We’ve got you covered on the best premium dry foods out there.

  • 02 of 08

    Best for Weight Loss: Avoderm Natural Indoor Weight Control Cat Food

    If your cat could stand to shed a few pounds, you might want to consider switching him to a weight-control food, like this one from Avoderm. This wet food is rich in high-quality fats and oils, with Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids derived from avocados. It consists of 8 percent protein, up to 5 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and 78 percent moisture. It uses simple, healthy ingredients (chicken broth and chicken are the first two), and includes plenty of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support your cat’s immune system.

    Customers write that their cats have lost a healthy amount of weight after switching to Avoderm Natural Indoor Weight Control Cat Food. Its flavor is just as enticing as fattier, more caloric foods—so if you’re looking for a wet food to help with your feline’s weight management, this is a great option.

    Check out our roundup of the best cat foods for weight loss.

  • 03 of 08

    Best for Weight Gain: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme

    Being underweight is just as much of an issue for cats as being heavyset, so you’ll want to make sure your cat’s getting the right food if you’ve noticed some weight loss. Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau is a grain-free canned food that’s high in protein, with shredded chicken as the first ingredient. It’s great for helping your underweight cat build muscle, but leaves out grains, gluten, carbohydrates, starches, and flours that could set off a sensitive belly. The food has a guaranteed analysis of 16 percent protein, 2.6 percent fat, 0 percent fiber, and 80 percent moisture.

    According to one customer, Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau helped their cat return to a healthy weight after dropping 10 pounds due to kidney disease. The high-quality, recognizable protein source makes it a great alternative to many other products, while the high moisture content can be helpful if your cat tends to under-hydrate.

  • 04 of 08

    Best for Seniors: Royal Canin Aging 12+ Thin Slices in Gravy Wet Cat Food

    Cats develop different dietary needs as they age, and Royal Canin Aging 12+ Cat Food is a great option as your pet enters their senior years. It contains Omega-3 fatty acids to promote joint health during the aging process, while controlled phosphorus levels provide kidney support. The protein source (pork and chicken) is designed to be highly digestible, and the food also provides a healthy ratio of fats and carbohydrates intended to be enticing to picky eaters. It has a guaranteed analysis of 9 percent protein, 2.5 percent fat, 1.8 percent fiber, and 82 percent moisture.

    Customers write that the texture of Royal Canin Aging 12+ is perfect for senior cats (it’s gravy-heavy with tiny chunks), and provides some of the same benefits you’ll find in feline joint supplements. Some owners mention that their senior cats seem to have more energy than usual after starting on this food, even jumping on the couch or their cat tree with renewed vigor. 

    You’ve got your senior covered. How about your little one? Check out our list of the best wet foods for kittens.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Best Grain-Free: Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

    Grain-free foods are popular for pets with sensitive stomachs or food allergies, and we think the best grain-free canned cat food is Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe.

    Made with 95 percent real chicken, turkey, and chicken liver (the other five percent is fruits and vegetables), this food is completely free of grains, corn, wheat, and other ingredients that tend to cause allergy flare-ups and other food sensitivities. It has a guaranteed analysis of 10 percent protein, 7.5 percent fat, 3 percent fiber, and 78 percent moisture, and includes Omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil.

    Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe is a terrific food for cats with sensitive stomachs. Customers write that it leaves their cats full, happy, and free of any discomfort after eating.

  • 06 of 08

    Best for Allergies: My Little Lion Rabbit Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Cat food

    My Little Lion

    Another grain-free option, My Little Lion is ideal for cats with food allergies, thanks to its alternative protein source (rabbit, the first ingredient) and lack of starches, potatoes, and additives like xanthan gum.

    Like many grain-free foods, it also does away with corn, wheat, soy, and peas to ensure it’s easily digestible and won’t set off allergies. The food is high in moisture, helping keep your cat hydrated, and has a guaranteed analysis of 12.5 percent protein, 6.5 percent fat, 2 percent fiber, and 78 percent moisture. It’s suggested to be used as a topper for dry food, but can also be served on its own.

    Customers write that their cats can’t eat My Little Lion’s grain-free food fast enough. If your cat has been struggling with food allergies, a novel protein source (like the rabbit used here) might help alleviate some of their issues. While this food is a tad expensive, using it primarily as a topper can make it slightly more economical.

    Looking for more foods for cats with allergies? We’ve rounded up a few of the best hypoallergenic cat foods.

  • 07 of 08

    Best Natural: Newman's Own Organic Grain-Free Turkey & Liver Dinner

    Cat Food

    Newman's Own

    If you’re always on the lookout for the USDA organic sticker on the food you purchase for yourself, it’s become much easier to do the same for your cat. Newman’s Own makes a great organic canned cat food, with organic turkey listed as the first ingredient. It’s also grain-free, and includes essential vitamins, minerals, and the amino acid taurine to aid in heart function and digestion. Use it either on its own as a tasty topper for your cat’s dry food.

    Newman’s Own Organic Grain-Free has a guaranteed analysis of 10.5 percent protein, 6 percent fat, 1 percent fiber, and 78 percent moisture. Customers say it has a good consistency (it’s a paté) and enticing flavor that’s a hit with their cats. The fact that it’s organic also gives buyers confidence in the quality of the ingredients they’re feeding their cat.

  • 08 of 08

    Best Food Topper: Evanger's Grain-Free Wild Salmon Canned Cat and Dog Food Supplement

    Evanger's Grain-Free Wild Salmon Canned Dog & Cat Food Supplement

    Looking for a delicious complement to your cat’s meal? Evanger's Wild Salmon Canned Cat Food Supplement can encourage your cat to finish their dinner. This canned salmon contains only three ingredients—salmon, fish broth, and guar gum—and is intended to supplement your cat's usual meal if they need the additional protein.

    This canned supplement has a guaranteed analysis of 10 percent protein, 6 percent fat, 1.5 percent fiber, and 78 percent moisture. Reviewers mention that the texture can take a little getting used to for cats and humans, but once they do, many pets enjoy the flavor of it mixed in with their wet food, dry food, or vitamins.

Our Process

Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular canned cat food on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 30 different canned cat food overall, screened options from 13 different brands and manufacturers, read over 125 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 1 of the canned cat food themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

What to Look for in Canned Cat Food

Age of cat When buying canned cat food, you’ll want to consider how old your cat is. Different products are formulated especially for kittens, adult cats, or seniors. These various products will have different ingredients that cater to your cat’s specific nutritional needs.

Ingredients It’s always a good idea to look at the ingredients when choosing a canned cat food. Experts say you should look for a named source of protein, such as salmon or chicken, rather than a meat by-product. You’ll also want to see just how much filler, or carbohydrates, are in the formula, as cats are carnivores and cannot digest large amounts of carbs very well. 

Nutritional needs Certain cats have specific nutritional needs, whether it’s ingredients that prevent hairballs or low-calorie foods to help them lose or maintain weight. Many canned cat foods are specially formulated to help achieve your pet’s health goals, but keep in mind that these types of formulas are often more expensive.