Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Nutro Max Adult Wet Chicken Supreme at Amazon
"Made with only premium ingredients and universally beneficial additives."
Best for Seniors: Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition at Amazon
"A wet food specifically for cats over the age of 12."
Best Grain-Free: Nature’s Valley Instinct Grain Free Wet at Amazon
"Grain-free and made without by-products or additives."
Best Limited Ingredient: Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Wet at Amazon
"Can help eliminate skin and stomach issues."
Best for Hairballs: Hill's Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control at Amazon
"Contains ingredients that will help aid in digestion and eliminate hairballs."
Best High Protein: Crave Grain-Free High Protein Wet Trays at Amazon
"Great alternative to traditional canned food, as they are made up of 12% protein."
Best Variety Pack Cat Food: Purina Friskies Savory Shreds at Amazon
"Can add some much needed variety to your cat’s overall diet."
01 of 07
Best Overall: Nutro Max Adult Wet Canned Cat Food Chicken Supreme
Nutro Max Canned Cat Food Chicken Supreme is our pick for overall best wet cat food because it’s made with only premium ingredients, contains no by-products and includes universally beneficial additives that are great for any cat’s diet. Made up of 8% crude protein and 4.5% crude fat, the chicken flavor is a particularly popular choice for many cat owners. This formula is great for adult cats who could use more hydration in their diet, but who don’t have any chicken or grain allergies.
Reviewers rave about Nutro Max, stating that their cats love it — and unlike other foods, doesn't cause upset stomachs. Nutro comes in five-ounce and three-ounce cans, both of which have a reasonable price. Reviewers agree that this food is a well-priced, premium cat food perfect for their felines.
02 of 07
Best for Seniors: Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+
As your cat ages, he or she could greatly benefit from a food that is specially formulated for seniors. Royal Canin, a well-trusted brand that has been around since the 1960s, created a wet food specifically for cats over the age of 12. The tender slices are made to be gentle on older cat gums and teeth, and the food contains reduced phosphorus to support aging kidneys. It also has added fatty acids to help protect joints and reduce the effects of arthritis.
Reviewers say that their elderly cats have shown dramatic improvements after changing to Royal Canin. Be sure your cat doesn’t have allergies to any of the ingredients before feeding, but switching your senior cat to a food formulated for his or her needs can make a world of a difference in overall health.
03 of 07
Best Grain-Free: Nature’s Valley Instinct Grain Free Wet Cat Food
Many cat owners decide to pursue a grain-free diet to ward off gastrointestinal or skin issues, especially in cats who have shown symptoms of grain allergies. Our choice for the best grain-free wet cat food is Nature’s Valley Instinct. It comes in eight varieties, including chicken, duck and salmon, all of which are grain-free and made without by-products or additives. It also contains Omega fatty acids, which help provide healthy skin and coats. Made of 10% protein and 6.5% fat, Nature’s Valley’s first four ingredients are chicken, turkey, chicken liver and chicken broth. Instead of getting its carbohydrates from rice or grains, it contains peas and ground flaxseed.
While a handful of our top wet foods are grain-free, we love Instinct because of the variety it provides cat owners and the top-shelf ingredients Nature’s Valley uses.
04 of 07
Best Limited Ingredient: Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food
When an animal exhibits symptoms of allergies such as dry skin, thin coat or excessive licking, many vets recommend a limited ingredient diet to help eliminate the problem food source and to minimize food sensitivities. Blue Basics’ Limited Ingredient wet cat food comes in four flavors, including one specialized for kittens. Each recipe includes one protein source (such as whitefish, duck or turkey) and a carbohydrate source made up of potatoes and peas. Since many food allergies originate from chicken and beef, it’s a great choice to eliminate this first.
Blue Basics Limited Ingredient also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which help support healthy skin. While a limited ingredient diet is best introduced under the guidance of a veterinarian, finding the right food for your cat with allergies can help eliminate skin and stomach issues.
Interested in seeing more options? Check out our guide to the best hypoallergenic cat foods you can buy now.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best for Hairballs: Hill's Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control Cat Food
Hairballs are a way of life for many cat owners, especially those with long haired, elderly or ill cats. If your feline friend struggles with digesting cat hair and you find surprises on your carpets and furniture, a food that helps eliminate hairballs and promotes smooth digestion is a good choice. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control is our pick for cats with hairballs. Recommended for adult-aged cats (1-6), Hill’s Science provides a healthy dose of magnesium and fiber, both of which help aid in digestion and eliminate hairballs. The chicken flavor is universally appealing to most cats, as long as they don’t have poultry allergies. Reviewers say Hill’s Science completely stopped hairballs in their long-haired cats, and helped cats with urinary and bladder issues as well.
06 of 07
Best High Protein: Crave Grain-Free High Protein Wet Cat Food Trays
Cats need a higher protein diet than other pets because they break down amino acids at a higher rate. Younger, active cats, as well as geriatric cats who no longer metabolize food at the same rate, can benefit from a higher protein diet. The Crave High Protein Wet Food Trays are a great alternative to traditional canned food, as they are made up of 12.0% protein (a standard wet food is about 8-10%) and 6.5% crude fat. Crave comes in six flavors, including chicken and salmon and trout, so you’re sure to find one your cat loves to gobble down.
Some reviewers used Crave as a protein-rice topper for dry food, while others say it’s a perfectly complete meal for their cats. If you’re looking for a high protein wet food, give Crave a try.
07 of 07
Best Variety Pack Cat Food: Purina Friskies Savory Shreds Pack
In the wild, cats enjoy a variety of different foods that give them various nutrients required for a healthy diet. Most cat foods, on the other hand, can make it difficult to get the same variety of foods at home. This is why a variety pack can be beneficial for your cat. Such packs typically come with many different types of meat, vitamins, minerals, and other healthy additions. This can add some much needed variety to your cat’s overall diet on a daily basis.
For the feline friend who likes some variety, the Purina Friskies Savory Shreds Pack comes with 32 individual cans for beef, chicken, and seafood. To complete the meal, each can is also infused with various sauces and gravies that add an additional layer of taste. For nutrition, the food offers a balance of necessary elements like vitamins and nutrients both young and adult cats need on a daily basis.
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.