Cat guardians have to navigate a world where supermarket shelves are full of food brands that care more about sales than your pet’s nutrition. We know how hard it can be to separate the chaff from the healthy crunchies.
To save you time and effort, our experts went on a quest to track down the brands that put the needs of pets first. Here are the best cat brands that are safe to consume, nutritious – and tasty!
1. Smalls Fresh Cat Food Packages
Smalls created a range of meals that use only human-grade meat. The latter include different textures of chicken, beef, and turkey. So, whether your picky feline only eats smooth, paste-like meat or a heap of chunky, ground meat, Smalls has plenty of options for you. Every meal is free of additives, artificial colors, and preservatives, making Smalls a truly natural and healthy food choice to serve to your pets.
- Delivers straight to your door.
- Money-back guarantee if your cat decides to hate the food!
- Human-grade recipes.
- Packs are perfectly sealed to keep food fresh.
- Some recipes contain vegetable oil.
2. Hill’s Science Diet – Urinary Health and Hairball Control
Hill’s has a good reputation for a reason. This brand creates custom diets for specific feline needs and in this case, we found their best dry food for cats that need a little help in the bladder and hairball departments! Most cat owners encounter both issues, which makes this kibble a mainstay in many homes.
Formulated with just the right amount of magnesium, you can rest assured that your pet’s entire urinary tract system is getting the support it needs. The kibble also contains more fiber to reduce the formation of those pesky hairballs in the most comfortable way possible.
- Effective urinary tract health diet.
- Made with natural ingredients.
- Supports healthy hair and skin.
- Cannot treat severe urinary tract infections.
3. Royal Canin
Royal Canin is the result of nutritionists and veterinarians coming together and designing a range of products to suit the various needs of cats and dogs. What makes this brand so trustworthy is that each product is put through extensive tests before being rolled out to the public. In other words, you know that you are getting a safe and nutritious food product that is designed to help with obesity, kidney health, achy joints, or other health conditions!
- Created by medical experts.
- Extensively tested.
- Tasty flavors.
- Wide variety for specific health issues.
- On rare occasions, owners struggle to find specific products on shelves due to shortages.
4. Purina Pro Plan Cat Food
This brand is an affordable choice if you have to watch your wallet. Don’t worry that the better price means that Purina has cut corners when it comes to nutrition and taste. The brand has science-backed recipes that are based on healthy carbs and proteins. Most of their products can also assist with the treatment of specific health conditions or life situations. For example, there are nibbles for indoor cats, food that eliminates hairballs, and diets that keep older cats well-fed and active.
- Scientifically formulated.
- A range of health-specific products.
- Advanced nutritional choices.
- Some of their products list vaguely named animal by-products as ingredients.
Merrick started about 30 years ago in a Texas kitchen and today, the company holds true to its founder’s promise to hand-craft healthy meals for your pet. They don’t add fillers or artificial nasty stuff to their products, which means that your cat can look forward to more natural nutrition. They make food for both cats and dogs but their line of kitty products is designed to contain all the minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber that felines need to stay happy.
- Real whole foods.
- Designed by nutritional experts.
- Specific products for hairball elimination.
- Not widely available in all stores but can be ordered online or found in specialty stores.
VetDiet is a young, family-run business that is already making huge waves in the world of pet nutrition! They have their own Health and Nutrition Advisory Board to ensure that only premium ingredients make their way into VetDiet cat recipes and products. Indeed, this company prioritizes the health and well-being of pets above all else.
Their range for cats is not only tasty but it also serves the needs of all ages, from kittens to golden oldies. If your pet has special needs like weight control or immune system support, then VetDiet has several food products just for your cat.
- A strong focus on nutrition and special needs.
- Tasty products.
- Product recommendation feature on their website.
- Not as widely available in stores as more established brands.
7. Farmina Pet Foods
This brand might not be as well known as Purina or Hill’s but we chose Farmina to be on our list because we are impressed with their impeccable process and dedication to creating top-notch cat food. They only use heavily vetted raw ingredients from the best farms and rely on science and experts to create recipes that promote health in pets. Farmina doesn’t use GMO products or artificial additives in any of its products.
- Uses the latest science to create healthy meals.
- Farmina works closely with nutritional experts.
- Products are designed for health and well-being.
- More expensive than most other brands.
8. Iams Cat Food
If you love variety, then Iams might be your top brand. They have a huge selection of cat food – dry and wet – that is based on your cat’s age, activity levels, and dietary requirements. You also don’t have to wonder what might be best for your feline friend. Iams has a very handy tool on their website that allows you to enter your pet’s age and needs, and Iams will instantly suggest the best food products.
- Wide selection of flavors.
- Great products for indoor cats.
- All ages.
- Highly digestible food.
- Cats need to be switched over gradually to Iams to avoid stomach troubles.
9. Earthborn Holistic
Earthborn Holistic might not be widely known but this company has been producing healthy meals for pets for almost a century! As their name suggests, their main focus revolves around using only fresh ingredients and selling holistic products.
Their cat and dog food are packed with the finest proteins, including whitefish, lamb, and chicken. You can also expect a couple of power-packed ingredients like vegetables, fruit, and berries for stomach health, while ancient grains are included to keep your pet’s immune system in shipshape condition.
- High-quality ingredients.
- Holistic meals and snacks.
- A good range for cats.
- Not as widely available in stores as more established brands.
10. Nutro Cat Food
Nutro is another dependable choice if you prefer natural and GMO-free food for your feline. This brand has a strong focus on flavor, high-quality ingredients that are not modified, and sourcing their ingredients from trustworthy farmers. Serving cats in all their life stages, Nutro selects every ingredient for a healthy purpose and never as a useless filler. You can look forward to great choices for your kitten, old cat, or pet with special needs.
- Good ethical standards.
- Amazing flavors for cats.
- Specific health-related products are available.
- Needs a 6-day transition to Nutro products to help pets adjust without stomach troubles.
Q: Do I really have to gradually switch my cat over when I try a new brand?
Yes. In most cases, a cat’s stomach will rebel if you suddenly change its diet in a drastic way. This can lead to troublesome symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. A good brand will have its optimal switch-over schedule printed on the back of its product.
Q: Can my cat stay healthy if she only eats dry kibble?
It’s a common myth that cats will gradually become ill when they only eat dry foods. To be fair, cats will deteriorate if the kibble is a low-quality product. But according to vets, if you feed your cat high-quality, nutritious dry food, then there should be no health problems.
Q: Can my cat eat a lot of tuna?
When it comes to fish as a food choice, tuna is surprisingly problematic for cats. Not many owners know that cats can become addicted to the taste of tuna, making them forgo most other food and this can lead to malnutrition. Feeding your cat too much tuna also runs the risk of giving your pet mercury poisoning.
Q: I’ve heard that giving milk to a cat is a bad idea. Is this true?
In general, yes. Most cats are actually lactose intolerant. The popular image of a cat lapping up a bowl of cow’s milk hides this unfortunate reality and owners continue to give their feline pets milk, leading to problems like an upset stomach and nausea.
Q: Can I give my cat yogurt instead of milk?
Despite the fact that yogurt is often made with cow’s milk, yogurt is indeed a safer choice for your cat’s digestive system than milk. However, not every type of yogurt will do. The safest type is unsweetened and plain yogurt. Any product that contains sweeteners is dangerous for your pet, so avoid them.
Q: Can I trust a grain-free cat food brand?
Grain-free food for both cats and dogs is becoming more popular. However, veterinarians are worried about a link that appears to connect grain-free food with heart problems in dogs. Thus far, no such link seems to exist for cats. Experts feel that a good quality grain-free product should pose no health risk for felines.