The Best Cat Foods

When choosing cat food, you will be met with the decision between dry or wet diet varieties, and each has its own merits. A premium cat food is always recommended, with real ingredients and no fillers, preservatives, or artificial colors. When transitioning your cat to a new diet, you should always mix it with their current food for a few days to allow time for their stomach to adjust.

If you have a kitten, you’ll want to check out our review of the best kitten food.

We reviewed dozens of cat foods to identify the best of the best, based on Amazon reviews, nutrition, ingredients, cost, and other considerations.

Top Pick
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Iams Proactive Health Original

A premium dry food for adult cats, with chicken as the first ingredient.

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$32.99 USD

After extensive research, we have identified Iam’s Proactive Health Original Cat Food as our top pick. It stood out as a clear winner because it supports your cat’s health with quality ingredients, prebiotics, protein, and essential nutrients.

For well-behaved cats, you can offer them a treat. Read our review of the best cat treats.

The 5 Top-Rated Cat Foods

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and may be subject to change

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallIam's Proactive Health Original Cat Food4.7
Runner UpHill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food4.2
Best Budget BuyMeow Mix Dry Cat Food Original4.6
Best Wet Cat FoodPurina Fancy Feast Medleys Adult Wet Cat Food4.6
Best Senior Cat FoodNutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food4.6

Our Top Pick: Iams Proactive Health Original

The Iams Proactive Health Original Cat Food is ideal for anyone who is looking for a premium dry cat food. This kitty kibble is rich in proteins which will help to enhance their strong, lean muscles. When you choose Iam’s you will be supporting your cat by contributing to a healthy, active lifestyle. The genuine chicken flavor will have them licking their chops, and you can rest assured the mix will give them complete and balanced nutrition.

There are no fillers, and this dry cat food includes prebiotics, beet pulp, calcium, and potassium. These ingredients work together for digestive and heart health. In addition, omega 6:3 will make their coat soft and silky, and the crunch will keep their breath fresher by reducing plaque build up. The fiber blend is suitable for both indoor, and outdoor, adult cats.

The results are in, and Amazon shoppers have been impressed with this cat food giving it a rating of 4.7 stars. When compared to other brands they found this to be gentle on tummies and bowels. Some cats reportedly had cleaner stools, and nausea was eliminated. Even typically fussy eaters were happy to eat this cat food. Shoppers generally found this to be value for money, and it is priced around $30 depending on which package you choose. Also available in Salmon Tuna, and Original flavors.

Iams Proactive Health Original Key Features:

  • Reduces plaque build-up
  • Protein rich
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Healthy digestion

Our Runner Up Pick: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Runner Up
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Hills Science Diet Dry Cat Food

An adult cat food which is gentle on sensitive stomachs and skin.

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$41.99 USD

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food is another high-quality option for your favorite felines. This dry cat food is recommended by vets and is made in the USA with global ingredients. The most notable feature of this cat food is that it is gentle on sensitive stomachs and skin, while still supporting their digestive health. Changing your kitties diet could be enough to see them with shinier fur and neater stools, and these are just two benefits you may notice when switching to Hill’s Science.

Antioxidants, Vitamin E, prebiotic fiber, and Omega 6 are some of the key nutrients to look out for, and with this variety, the first ingredient is tasty chicken. There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, and there is a focus on a more natural formula.  When you purchase pet food from Hill’s Science, you will be supporting Hill’s Food, Shelter, and Love Program. The brand is helping to give food to 100,000 hungry cats in shelters each year, with the aim of them being rehomed.

This is a popular choice on Amazon, and it has a high star rating of 4.2. One of the reasons this cat food didn’t reach our number one spot is that it contains a cheap, common filler called corn gluten meal. A few pet owners also noted the formula had changed slightly between purchases. Besides this, the reviews were mostly positive with many cats thriving with this dry food in their diet. It faired well for cats who were prone to upset tummies, and didn’t cause a reaction for those with allergies. If you are struggling to find food for a fussy, sensitive cat then this is definitely a product worth trying. The price varies between size, but expect to pay around $50 for 4 x 3.5LB bags.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Source of fiber
  • Made in the USA
  • Natural ingredients
  • Recommended by veterinarians

Best Budget Pick: Meow Mix Dry Cat Food Original

Best for Budget
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Meow Mix Dry Cat Food Original

Complete and balanced nutrition with an affordable price tag.

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$21.73 USD

If you are on a budget, try the Meow Mix Dry Cat Food Original for your kitty cat. Having one serve of dry cat food in the morning will let them graze throughout the day, so they will never go hungry. Despite the low price, they will still be getting balanced nutrition with protein, essential vitamins, and minerals. There are six mixes to choose from, and the Original recipe features everything cats love with chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish.

Meow Mix has been around for over 40 years, and is a brand that has kept plenty of cats happy and healthy during this time. This dry cat food is proudly made in the USA.

It has been rated over 1400 times on Amazon, with a score of 4.6 stars. Besides only costing $12 for a 16lb bag, there were other positives from cat owners. Their beloved pets seemed to love the size and texture of these biscuits, and even fussy eaters were satisfied after eating. If you are concerned your fur baby isn’t drinking enough water you can add some of the Meow Mix wet food to their diet. Cats who were eating this were happy and healthy, with more energy for play.

Meow Mix Dry Cat Food Original Key Features:

  • Balanced nutrition
  • Quality protein
  • Nibble throughout the day
  • Tempting flavors

Best Wet Cat Food: Purina Fancy Feast Medleys Adult Wet Cat Food

Best Wet Cat Food
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Purina Fancy Feast Medleys

Premium wet cat food with tender ingredients.

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$22.78 USD

We have selected the Purina Fancy Feast Medleys Adult Wet Cat Food as the best wet cat food we could find. When you serve Purina Fancy Feast your pet will feel pampered and cared for, every single day. Designed for adult cats, these meals provide them with complete nutrition and tender bites they will love. This Medleys pack features 12 cans in 3 different varieties with Tender Tuna, Turkey, and Chicken. Each comes with added vegetables and a classic light sauce. There are other flavors available, so the preference of any cat can be catered to.

This gourmet cat food can either be served every day, or as a treat when mixed with a dry version. An average sized cat would need one can per day, but their body type will be the best indicator in determining whether more, or less, is required.

Fancy Feast is a best seller on Amazon, and currently has a rating of 4.6 stars. Points were lost as some cans arrived damaged or missing, and some cats had loose stools while adjusting to their new diet. Despite this, it was easy to eat for senior cats, and most enjoyed the texture and flavor. The cans are convenient to store and open, and users mentioned it looked more like “real food” than other brands they have used. Cats who were fans of these dishes would lick the bowl clean, and many meowed frantically while waiting to be served. Buying in bulk is surprisingly affordable, and the Primavera Variety Pack costs $20 for 24 cans (2 packs of 12).

Purina Fancy Feast Medleys Adult Wet Cat Food Key Features:

  • Premium cat food
  • Mix of flavors
  • Tender ingredients
  • Complete and balanced nutrition

Best Senior Cat Food: Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food

Best Senior Cat Food
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Nutro Wholesome Essentials Senior Cat Food

Get all of the nutrients your older cat needs.

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$34.99 USD

For older cats, the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food is a smart choice. You want your cat to live a comfortable and long life, and feeding them this food is one way to support their health. Designed to meet the unique requirements of indoor, senior cats over the age of 7, Nutro has created a tasty menu with non GMO ingredients. Most cats love chicken, and this dry cat food includes farm-raised chicken and brown rice. The brand works closely with farmers to source only the highest quality ingredients, and focus on additions which will promote a healthy digestive system, and a shiny coat. Antioxidants will help older cats preserve their immune system, and taurine is good for their hearts. Older cats may be prone to dehydration, so make sure you offer them fresh water as part of their daily diet.

1/3 of a cup per day would be suitable for a 4 pound cat, while a 16 pound cat would need 3/4 cup per day. For cats over 1 year, there are also Adult versions available in either chicken or fish.

The Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food has been receiving positive reviews on Amazon, and has a rating of 4.6 stars. Long term users were happy to continue to use this cat food, as their pets enjoyed the flavors and never seemed to get bored. Cats appeared to be healthy, and were easily able to maintain the correct weight for their body type. Pet owners were impressed by the quality of the premium ingredients, and did not notice any sensitivities or allergies as a result. One added benefit was cleaner smelling cats, as it significantly reduced any body odors. There are different sizes available, and a 14lb bag is priced at around $30. Some packs come with a seal to maintain freshness.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Senior Cat Food Key Features:

  • Farm raised chicken
  • Essential nutrients
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Non-Gmo ingredients

Who Should Buy Cat Food

If you currently have a cat or are considering adopting one, you will need to ensure they have a suitable diet. Unless you are prepared to cook the meals yourself, you will likely be looking for a prepackaged variety. Kittens, adults, and senior cats will all have different needs, and it is important you choose a product designed specifically for their stage in life. One of the biggest decisions you will make is between wet or dry food, or a mixture of both. Whatever you choose, it is recommended you stick to one brand, and if your cat is new to the family you may like to discuss their diet with their previous owner.

All cats are unique, and while some prefer to graze, others may not be aware of their limits and will need to be given portions. Always look for premium ingredients and foods which are made specifically for cats. Remember, human scraps are not generally satisfactory for providing cats with the nutrients their bodies need. You can check with your local veterinarian for more information on maintaining your cat’s health.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Iams Proactive Health Original

A premium dry food for adult cats, with chicken as the first ingredient.

buy now
$32.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

Cat food should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting cat food:

  • Ingredients. When choosing cat food, the ingredients will likely be one of your top priorities. Cats are carnivores and need animal protein, so meat should be one of the first ingredients. While corn, wheat gluten, and grain are cheap fillers, they are not necessary for your cat’s diet and may even cause allergies. Wet cat food should have a high water content, and vegetables can give them extra vitamins and minerals. Cats need something called taurine for heart and retinal health which they don’t naturally produce, and this should be included in their meals. Most cats love fish, but it should be given as a treat, not as an everyday food as it could lead to a thiamine deficiency.
  • Product type. You will first need to decide between wet and dry food, before choosing a specific product. If your cats are home alone all day, you may like to offer them some dry food for grazing, and wet food in the evening. If you are mixing food types be mindful of quantities to prevent overfeeding.
  • Taste. You may have good intentions, but if your cat is a fussy eater it may be a case of trying different options until you find one they like. Just like humans, cats can be put off by certain textures, smells, and flavors. You may even notice your cat changes their mind from week to week. Other cats have no preference and will eat just about anything. If you find a meal your fussy cat enjoys and it meets their nutritional requirements – stick to it!
  • Cost. The cost of cat food may determine which brand you choose. They vary greatly in price, but buying in bulk can significantly reduce the monthly food bill without having to sacrifice on quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I feed my cat?

There are a few factors which will determine how much you should feed your cat. These include size, weight, activity levels, any illnesses, age, and food type. While you should always read the directions, a 3 ounce can of wet food per day should be suitable for a 3 – 4-pound cat. A larger cat may need two, or more, of these smaller tins. If you prefer to feed your cat dry pet food, a 4-pound cat would need approximately ½  a cup per day, and a 12-pound cat would need ¾ of a cup. If your cat eats everything in sight, ration their food throughout the day.

You should always feed your cat based on their ideal weight, because overweight cats may need encouragement to eat less. An active cat will need more than a senior cat, and a pregnant or nursing cat will need additional calories in order to support her kittens. Cats will generally let you know if they aren’t eating enough, and a content cat is a sign you have found the right balance.

Do cats need wet food every day?

Often vets will recommend wet food because cats have a digestive system which requires muscle based meats and plenty of water. Cats can become dehydrated, and if they do not have wet food in their diet they will need to drink twice as much. For this reason, it is important to provide them with accessible, fresh drinking water throughout the day.

Cats with diabetes are at a greater risk of dehydration and should have wet food included in their diet. A premium cat food which is free from fillers is the best choice, regardless of whether it is wet or dry.

Is dry or wet food better for cats?

This is a debatable topic, but it really depends on the ingredients. A portion of quality dry cat food is recommended over a cheap, wet cat food which is lacking in nutrients. Remember, cats do need to keep hydrated, and wet cat food is one excellent source of water. Dry foods can be easier to digest and give your cat cleaner stools. Some cats will prefer one over the other, which will likely influence your purchasing decision.

Can I mix wet and dry cat food?

Both dry and wet cat foods have their benefits, and you can certainly mix the two. Dry cat food is good for oral health, and you could try serving this in the morning, and wet cat food at night. Older cats may find wet food easier to chew, but if you do want to include some kibble you can mix some of each in the same dish. Every cat is different, and pet owners would know their puss will make it clear if they don’t approve!

Other Cat Foods We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Iams Proactive Health Original

A premium dry food for adult cats, with chicken as the first ingredient.

buy now
$32.99 USD

We looked at 20 other cat foods. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best cat foods list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your cat. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Cat Food for Indoor Cats

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient

Designed to be gentle on your cat’s stomach, this is suitable for those with sensitivities. The ingredient list is short, with a blend which is protein rich and has no added fillers.

Key Features:

  • Enhanced with vitamins and minerals
  • Natural ingredients
  • For a shiny coat

Cost: $35

Instinct Raw Boost Indoor Health Grain Free Recipe

Instinct Raw Boost Indoor Health Grain Free Recipe

This recipe uses real, raw ingredients which will be beneficial to your cat’s health. There are no artificial colors or preservatives, and it is made in the USA.

Key Features:

  • High in protein
  • Raw ingredients
  • Stool odor control

Cost: $25

9 Lives Dry Cat Food

9 Lives Dry Cat Food

Give your indoor cat the nutrients she needs with this dry food from 9 Lives. A balanced formula for your adult furry friend.

Key Features:

  • Weight management
  • Essential vitamins
  • Lean protein

Cost: $13

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

Your cat will love the taste of this one, with quality ingredients coming from trusted farmers. Includes natural fiber and antioxidants which are key to a strong immune and digestive system.

Key Features:

  • Healthy skin and coat
  • Weight management
  • Aids digestion

Cost: $31

Wellness Core Cat Food

Wellness Core Cat Food

A protein-rich, indoor cat food which is free from grain and packed with nutrition. Premium, natural ingredients are a priority for the brand, and the cat food is made in the USA.

Key Features:

  • Grain free
  • Made in the USA
  • Indoor formula

Cost: $40

Cat Food Variety Packs

Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Wet Cat Food Variety Packs

Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Wet Cat Food Variety Packs

Give your cat a choice with a 24 pack of Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers featuring 3 different varieties. Slow cooked and tender, even the fussiest feline will finish their meal.

Key Features:

  • Tender bites
  • Balanced nutrition
  • Gourmet ingredients

Cost: $15

Meow Mix Savory Morsels Wet Cat Food

Meow Mix Savory Morsels Wet Cat Food

Mix it up with a box of 12 stay fresh cups in 3 flavors. These single serves will give your cat the nutrition they need as part of a balanced diet.

Key Features:

  • Single serves
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Savory gravy

Cost: $8

Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food Variety Pack

Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food Variety Pack

What you see is what you get, because there are no artificial colors, preservatives or fillers in these recipes. A handy pack containing 12 serves, made with real chicken.

Key Features:

  • Grain free
  • No artificial colors or preservatives
  • No fillers

Cost: $11

Friskies Wet Cat Food Variety Pack

Friskies Wet Cat Food Variety Pack

40 5.5 oz cans in 4 varieties will keep your kitty purring for a while. They will be sure to enjoy the texture and taste of the shredded chunks and savory gravy.

Key Features:

  • Made with real meat
  • Shredded chunks
  • Balanced nutrition

Cost: $20

Cat Food with Fish

Applaws Tuna and Sardine Mousse Wet Cat Food

Applaws Tuna and Sardine Mousse Wet Cat Food

There are just 5 ingredients in this cat food mousse, giving them all of the nutrients they need while being palatable for sensitive tummies. A light texture and human grade fish make this a meal they will meow for.

Key Features:

  • Dolphin friendly
  • 100% natural
  • Taurine for a healthy heart and eyes

Cost: $27

Halo Natural Dry Cat Food

Halo Natural Dry Cat Food

With only whole meat and no meat meal, Halo pride themselves on using only the very best ingredients. A premium dry cat food which will see your cat looking, and feeling fit and healthy.

Key Features:

  • Originative proteins
  • Whole meat
  • Non GMO vegetables

Cost: $20

Nulo Adult and Kitten Grain Free Canned Wet Cat Food

Nulo Adult and Kitten Grain Free Canned Wet Cat Food

A low carb, high meat formula makes this a healthy option for your favorite feline. Weight management will be easy, and the risk of kidney and heart disease will be reduced.

Key Features:

  • Nutritionally balanced
  • Promotes eye health
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $13

Petcurean Now Fresh Grain Free Fish Adult Recipe Cat Food

Petcurean Now Fresh Grain Free Fish Adult Recipe Cat Food

Fresh fish, Omega 3 and 6, and probiotics provide a delicious cat food which is good for their overall health. Easy to digest and free from any artificial preservatives.

Key Features:

  • Balanced formula
  • Omega oils
  • Pure coconut oil

Cost: $28

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Entree Wet Cat Food

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Entree Wet Cat Food

Sheba brings you premium wet cat food packaged in convenient twin pack trays. It is soft and easy to chew and contains real protein, vitamins, and minerals to meet their dietary requirements.

Key Features:

  • 24 twin pack trays
  • Real protein
  • Free from corn, soy, and wheat

Cost: $15

Grain Free Cat Food

“I and love and you” Essentials Grain Free Can Cat Food

I and love and you Essentials Grain Free Can Cat Food

This brand uses real meat and vegetables to create their grain free cat food. Every meal will be safe for furry friends will allergies, and free from the common filler, carrageenan.

Key Features:

  • No fillers
  • Protein rich
  • Gentle on stomachs

Cost: $13

Muse by Purina Grain-Free Natural Recipe

Muse by Purina Grain-Free Natural Recipe

Your furry muse will lick the bowl clean when you serve up this nutritious wet cat food made with real chicken and carrot. Gluten and grain free, this is a gourmet option rich in nutrition.

Key Features:

  • Hand filleted chicken
  • Essential nutrients
  • Natural goodness

Cost: $88

Reveal – Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food

Reveal - Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food

When it comes to ingredients in cat food, less is best and that is the basis of this limited ingredient dish. Give them a grain free meal with no added colors or preservatives.

Key Features:

  • Sustainably sourced
  • Dolphin friendly
  • Limited ingredients

Cost: $42

Simply Perfection Super Premium Grain Free Seafood Dinner

Simply Perfection Super Premium Grain Free Seafood Dinner

A premium option for all cats, including those with digestive sensitivities and allergies. The first ingredient is fish, and it comes with added Vitamin E, A, D3, and B12.

Key Features:

  • Added vitamins
  • No artificial fillers
  • Recyclable packaging

Cost: $22

Solid Gold Indigo Moon Holistic Dry Cat Food for All Life Stages

Solid Gold Indigo Moon Holistic Dry Cat Food for All Life Stages

Your cat will benefit from this grain free recipe, which is high in protein and low in carbs. It is made with chicken and eggs, and includes superfoods for added nutrition.

Key Features:

  • High protein
  • Gluten free
  • Made in the USA

Cost: $12

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe

Real turkey and duck are the key ingredients in this crunchy cat food. It is suitable for cats of all ages and is made in the USA.

Key Features:

  • High quality proteins
  • Made in the USA
  • Farm recipes

Cost: $25

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