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Wet food or dry? It’s an age-old debate in the world of cat ownership, and there’s really no right answer—it all depends on your feline (many cat owners use both). With canned wet foods, a higher moisture content can be especially helpful with cats who struggle to drink enough water to stay hydrated throughout the day. Fortunately, there are plenty of great canned foods on the market, with options ranging from grain-free and allergy-friendly to easily digestible options for your senior kitty.
Not sure where to start? Take a look at our picks for the best canned cat foods you can buy right now.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.