– Cats need lots of protein and fat in their diets to be healthy, so it’s important that you feed them the best cat food you can buy: ZiwiPeak’s wet food. Packed with premium ingredients that are ethically farmed and locally sourced, ZiwiPeak sets a new standard for quality when it comes to nutrient-rich cat food.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they have a biological need for meat. Your cat may be able to digest certain plant products in limited amounts, but protein should be the focus of his diet and it needs to come from premium animal sources. A high-quality cat food will always list a source of animal protein as the first ingredient with plenty of healthy animal fats and limited carbohydrates. Never purchase a cat food that is made with corn, wheat, or soy ingredients, or one that uses artificial additives like colors, flavors, and artificial preservatives.
Shopping for cat food can be a challenge because there are so many options to choose from. Unless you have a thorough understanding of your cat’s nutritional needs and knowledge of how to read a pet food label, you might find the task a bit overwhelming. You’ll be glad to know, then, that we’re done the hard work for you. We’ve scoured the reviews and taken a deeper look into the best pet food brands on the market to bring you our top five picks for high-quality cat food brands.
Although the ZiwiPeak wet cat food is our top pick, for various reasons laid out in the slides below, you should also consider Acana’s dry cat food, Nature’s Variety wet cat food, Wellness grain-free cat food, and Castor & Pollux’s organic cat food.
The best cat food overall
Why you’ll love it: ZiwiPeak is setting a new standard for cat food with its moisture-rich canned foods and nutrient-dense kibble.
A premium pet food company will not only use high-quality ingredients, but its manufacturing processes will be safe as well. ZiwiPeak is our top choice for cat food brands because it is a trustworthy company that makes every effort to produce the best cat food products on the market.
The company’s formulas are made with 95 percent fresh meat, organs, bone, and seafood ingredients that are 100 percent sourced from New Zealand using ethical farming practices. Furthermore, ZiwiPeak’s products are all-natural, grain-free, and made without fillers and artificial additives.
The ZiwiPeak brand makes it onto the top ten cat food lists for Reviews.com and Heavy. It also receives excellent ratings from independent pet food review sites. Although this company may be based in New Zealand, all of its ingredients are of the highest quality for both its wet and dry food. Its kibble is air-dried to retain the maximum nutritional quality while still offering pet owners the convenience of dry food. ZiwiPeak canned foods are moisture-rich, packed with protein, and full of natural flavor.
The Conscious Cat describes ZiwiPeak cat food as, “the equivalent of a wild prey diet,” which is exactly why this brand is our top choice. Not only is ZiwiPeak cat food made with more than 95 percent raw meat and organs, but it is carbohydrate limited and free from grains, by-products, fillers, and artificial additives. This brand offers excellent digestibility as well as complete and balanced nutrition without the need for a long list of synthetic supplements. Simply put, ZiwiPeak cat food contains all of the healthy nutrients your cat needs with nothing he doesn’t.
Not only is the quality of the ZiwiPeak brand undeniable, but its products are made with novel proteins like venison, mackerel, and lamb to minimize the risk for triggering food allergies or sensitivities. Every recipe is naturally grain-free and the air-dried recipes are so nutrient-dense that you can actually feed your cat less without compromising his nutrition.
Pros: Air-dried recipes are similar in nutritional quality to raw food, many recipes feature novel proteins, all formulas are grain-free and carbohydrate-limited, recipes are made with at least 95 percent meat ingredients, formulas are designed to mimic a wild prey diet for cats, no carrageenan in canned foods
Cons: Limited selection of product choices, very expensive, not readily available in all locations, some cats may not like the air-dried texture
The best dry cat food
Why you’ll love it: Protein-rich and limited in carbohydrates, Acana dry cat food features lots of real meat ingredients in formulas designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of wild cats.
Some cat food brands offer a wide variety of products for every need, which can make it difficult to choose. The Acana brand of cat food offers just four dry cat food recipes, but all of them are made with fresh, regional ingredients and formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats in all life stages. If you’re in the market for a premium dry cat food product that is loaded with real meat ingredients and limited in carbohydrates to mimic your cat’s natural diet, we recommend Acana.
The Acana brand creates what they call “biologically appropriate diets” for dogs and cats. These are protein-rich formulas made with high inclusions of fresh meat, including nutrient-rich organ meats, designed to nourish your cat’s body through the use of fresh, wholesome ingredients. Acana doesn’t rely on synthetic supplements as heavily as many cat food manufacturers, though every recipe contains probiotics to support your cat’s healthy digestion.
Named among their top 10 best dry cat food brands, The Cat Digest makes note of Acana’s use of high-quality ingredients which include premium animal proteins and digestible grain-free carbohydrates. This brand also topped the list of dry cat food brands as rated by Heavy – reviews mention the brand’s excellent reputation for quality as well as their focus on real meat ingredients. They also comment on the fact that the brand is made entirely in the US using regional ingredients. The brand also receives the approval of The Pet Health & Nutrition Center.
Choose from four dry cat food recipes in the Acana Regionals line of products – Meadowland, Wild Atlantic, Grasslands, and Appalachian Ranch. These recipes feature premium proteins like free-run chicken, nest-laid eggs, and wild-caught fish.
Pros: All recipes are protein-rich and carbohydrate-limited, ingredients are sourced regionally from trusted suppliers, all products made in company-owned kitchens in the United States, recipes designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of wild cats, all formulas supplemented with probiotics
Cons: Costs around $5 per pound, only four recipes to choose from, no kitten-specific formulas available, no canned food options for cats, some recipes contain common proteins that may trigger food allergies in some cats (like chicken and fish)
The best wet cat food
Why you’ll love it: Made with 95 percent meat ingredients, Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Wet Food offers the nutritional benefits of a raw food diet with the convenience of more traditional wet cat food.
Wet cat food is moisture-rich to keep your cat hydrated. It also tends to be lower in carbohydrates than dry food and richer in flavor. The texture may also be more appealing to finicky eaters. If you’re looking for a premium brand of wet cat food that uses only the highest quality ingredients, we recommend Nature’s Variety, specifically the Instinct line of products. A privately-held, natural pet food company, Nature’s Variety has mastered the art of crafting nutritious and delicious wet foods for cats.
The Instinct line of products from Nature’s Variety is designed to provide the nutritional benefits of raw food with the convenience of traditional cat food. This brand seeks to make each recipe as pure and simple as possible, using only real meats, digestible carbohydrates, and healthy supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. Every recipe is also packed with natural flavor to satisfy your cat’s cravings for meat.
Nature’s Variety tops the list of recommended cat food brands offered by Purrfect Cat Diet and it is listed among the top ten wet food brands by The Cat Digest. Reviews for this brand speak to the simplicity of each recipe as well as the use of high-quality ingredients including real animal proteins, grain-free carbohydrates, and healthy supplements. A favorable review from Kitty Catter also notes that Nature’s Variety canned foods offer similar nutritional quality to a raw food diet but with the convenience of canned food.
When it comes to wet cat food, Nature’s Variety offers selections in three product lines – Instinct Originals, Instinct Ultimate Protein, and Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets. The Ultimate Protein line includes one formula made with 95 percent chicken and the Originals line features three 95 percent protein options – chicken, duck, and lamb. The Limited Ingredient Diets line includes three protein options as well and all of Nature’s Variety’s canned foods are grain-free.
Pros: Made with premium ingredients to mimic the quality of raw food, recipes made with 95 percent meat ingredients, recipes are complete and balanced for all life stages, all formulas are grain-free for digestibility, plenty of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, high moisture levels
Cons: Limited number of protein options to choose from, some recipes contain common proteins that may trigger food allergies in some cats (like chicken and fish), expensive compared to other brands
Buy the 12-pack of Nature’s Variety Instinct 95 percent Chicken Formula Canned Food on Amazon for $22.68
The best grain-free cat food
Why you’ll love it: Naturally grain-free and packed with premium proteins, the Wellness CORE line of products is our top pick for grain-free cat food.
Though some cats can tolerate grains, the ideal diet for cats is one that is rich in animal proteins, limited in carbohydrates, and grain-free. Grain-free carbohydrates offer better digestibility for cats while still meeting their needs for energy and dietary fiber. If you are looking for a reputable cat food brand that offers a variety of grain-free options for both dry food and wet food, we recommend the CORE line of products produced by Wellness.
The Wellness brand is one of several made by WellPet, LLC, though all of its products are designed to follow a holistic and natural approach to pet nutrition. Wellness cat foods are formulated by animal nutritionists and veterinarians to provide the ideal balance of carefully selected, high-quality ingredients to nourish your cat’s body for health and longevity. The CORE line of products is specifically designed without the use of grains and every recipe is focused on premium proteins like chicken, turkey, duck, salmon, venison, and lamb.
Expert reviews for the Wellness brand from Heavy and Love to Know speak to the fact that this brand doesn’t use any artificial additives or by-products and every recipe is supplemented with probiotics for improved digestion and essential fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Some pet owners note that even their most finicky eaters enjoy Wellness CORE grain-free foods. The Cat Digest names Wellness as one of the top 10 brands, as do many other pet food review sites.
The CORE line of grain-free cat foods by Wellness includes a large selection of dry food and wet food products. Choose from four dry food recipes for kittens, adults, and indoor cats as well as one original recipe formulated for all life stages. There are five product lines for wet food including patés, shredded entrees, chunky recipes, and dual-meat duos.
Pros: All recipes are naturally grain-free, formulas made with premium proteins including novel proteins like venison and duck, recipes are supplemented with probiotics for healthy digestion, decent selection of products to choose from, no artificial additives or by-products, rich in nutrition and natural flavor
Cons: Fairly expensive (dry food costs upwards of $3 per pound), some recipes contain common proteins that may trigger food allergies in some cats (like chicken and fish), some dry foods contain plant proteins (like pea protein)
The best organic cat food brand
Why you’ll love it: For premium-quality, organic dry and wet food for cats, you can’t beat Castor & Pollux’s handcrafted recipes.
Even some of the top pet food brands on the market don’t use organic ingredients, but if you want to feed your cat the best of the best, an organic cat food brand may be the way to go. Our top pick for organic cat food is Castor & Pollux, a company that was founded more than twenty years ago but still remains a leader in the organic and natural pet food industry. In fact, Castor & Pollux was the first company to offer a complete line of organic pet foods.
Handcrafted in small batches to ensure nutritional quality and integrity, Castor & Pollux’s organic cat foods are made with real chicken, lamb, or salmon as the first ingredient. Every recipe offers uncompromised quality for 100 percent complete and balanced nutrition. This brand supplements each formula with organic flaxseed to provide omega fatty acids for skin and coat health as well as fiber to support your cat’s digestion and plenty of protein for lean muscle mass.
The Organic Authority names Castor & Pollux among its top choices for organic pet food, and this brand makes the list of the 14 best premium dry foods for cats on The Spruce. A review by Natural News mentions that certified organic, free-range chicken is the first ingredient in every one of this brand’s dry foods, which remains true, except for the new Healthy Kitten recipe, which features organic turkey as the main protein.
Not only does Castor & Pollux offer organic cat food, but it offers a wide variety of products including dry food and wet food options. In fact, this brand offers two complete product lines — Organix and Organix Grain-Free. Both are made with the same premium-quality animal proteins and other organic ingredients, though the grain-free line features alternative carbohydrates like potatoes and tapioca.
Pros: Made with premium-quality certified-organic ingredients, both original and grain-free recipes available, recipes for adults as well as kittens and seniors, non-GMO ingredients, produced in certified organic kitchens, no low-quality fillers or by-products, high in protein
Cons: Kibbles at the bottom of the bag may break up, limited selection of products, some recipes contain common proteins that may trigger food allergies in some cats (like chicken and fish)