Today’s best cat foods–reviews of canned and raw options

eating wet food 300x241 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options

SMALL UPDATE April 2014  (Blue Buffalo Bistro removed because discontinued. Blue Buffalo Wild Delights removed due to adding carrageenan. Also see July 2013 changes noted here)

The cat food world changes A LOT. When I have time, this list MAY occasionally be updated. You can help others by sharing info in the Comments. 

Scratching your head in the cat food aisle? I’ve been there.

In fact, I’ve become a bit obsessive about how to choose the best cat food. I hope the hours of research and time I put into it will help you–and your cat.

If you’re curious, I explain how I selected these cat foods here.

If your cat has special health issues, please be sure to consult with a good vet about their food. If your cat has an illness and weakened immunity, it’s probably a good idea to avoid raw meat as a precaution against bacteria.

To assure you these food reviews are unbiased, I never use an affiliate (referral) link for a cat food.

FIRST PLACE
CANNED OR RAW CAT FOODS

WHAT’S
TO LOVE

COST

SPECIAL
CONCERNS & TIPS

Primal, RAW
frozen
primal raw 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Some ingredients are organic (not the meats though).
Small company focused solely on quality pet food.
Omega 3s (fish oil)
Raw is considered most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Very low starch, grain
LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
Tip: See their helpful food portion calculator provided online (it’s challenging to calculate amounts without it)
Uses water High Pressure Processing to kill bad bacteria while preserving the enzymes that make raw food nutrients so available.
Bravo Balance RAW frozen  Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Hormone-free, grass-fed red meats; no antibiotics

 

LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT: Only the BALANCE formulas are appropriate to serve to cats without adding appropriate supplements.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with kidney issues or constipation.
Radcat RAW Frozen radcatraw 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Omega 3s (fish oil)
Simple formula
Most ingredients are organic or pasture-raised.
Raw is considered most easily digested,
nutrient-available form of cat food.
Very low starch, grain free
VERY HIGH compared to others on this list.
HOWEVER, this is because the recommend serving size is larger than the serving size recommend for other raw products.
AND Rad Cat says some cats may not need as much as they recommend, depending on cat size and activity level.
TIP: You can get 4 for the price of 3 of any Rad Cat size at Pet food Express stores (at least in California). Saves a bundle!
Not quite as convenient to serve as other raw food because it’s
not pre-portioned
Good news for cats with constipation: Uses organic egg shell calcium instead of ground bones, so it may be more suitable for cats with constipation. (Works best for our cat who can’t digest ground bone!)
 
 
Tiki Cat Koolina Luau canned and  Puka Puka Luau (both chicken)
 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Very low starch, grain free
Manufactured in a human food factory
USDA certified chicken
Very simple ingredients– easy on digestion
No BPA in cans
No carrageenan
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Made inThailand at a human food factory.  USDA certified chicken.
Feline’s Pride RAW Frozen felinespride 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Good variety of selections: Cornish hen, turkey, chicken, duck, and more
Simple recipe (best digestion)
Omega 3s (fish oil)
Recommended by Feline
Nutrition Education Society

and Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM is also a fan
Low starch, grain free
MED (when extra shipping costs are added) daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Order online at www.felinespride.com
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
Darwins RAW frozen  Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
All meats are hormone-and antibiotic-free and free-range
Claim human-quality ingredients
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Simple recipe (best for digestion)
MED-LOW
Lab-tested to meet and exceed AAFCO guidelines
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation
 Pure Vita canned  PURE VITA1 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Grain free, low starch
Fairly simple ingredients
Manufactured at company-owned US plant
Fish meal is cetified ethoxyquin-free
No carrageenan

 

 

MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Good news: Though formula includes potato starch, the carb percentage remains very low (under 5%).
Good news: Controversial ingredient Menadione (synthetic K) was removed from product.
Hound & Gatos canned hound 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
No BPA in can lining
No carrageenan
Low starch, grain free
Claim human-quality
US food and factory
Very simple ingredients are ideal for sensitive digestion
LOW-MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Available at Pet Food Express
Best online price may be at PetFoodDirect.com
PAW NATURAW RAW frozen  Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Organic meats!
Low starch, grain free
Variety of formulas
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation
They also have a freeze-dried raw cat food that looks good.

SECOND PLACE
CANNED OR RAW CAT FOODS

WHAT’S
TO LOVE

COST

WHY 2nd PLACE
& TIPS

Primal Freeze Dried RAW
 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
More convenient than raw frozen food.
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Some ingredients are organic (not the meat)
LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT: Add water  –  Cats can get dehydrated & accidentally overeat if you don’t add water.
All raw dehydrated food are in 2nd place because they require water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
Feline Natural Raw Freeze Dried by K9
 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
More convenient than raw frozen food.
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Nice simple ingredients are easy on digestiom (if you add water as instructed –
cats accidentally overeat if you don’t)
Clean New Zealand sourced ingredients
LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT: Stir in warm water (at about body temp); don’t have to wait to serve. Cats can get dehydrated & accidentally overeat if you don’t add water.
All raw dehydrated are in 2nd place because they require added water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
“Has been tested and exceeds the AAFCO minimum requirements” – including taurine. (Shane Bartlettf, K9 Natural Food)
Honest Kitchen GRACE DEHYDRATED
grace grain free cat food 4lb 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Only pet food legally allowed to call themselves “human grade” (they won a lawsuit). Company owned US plant is certified for organic and kosher products by the state of California.
Meat is steamed at low temperatures to kill pathogens while conserving nutrient quality, then dehydrated.
Grain free
LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because contains starchy ingredients, making carb count a bit higher than first place foods. NOTE “Grace” is lower in carbs and simpler in ingredients than “Prowl”
You need to add water soak it for about 15-20 minutes before serving.
Introduce gradually. Texture is unique–some cats resist it. Ours like it better with ground turkey added.
Tip: Best deal I found on a trial
size
is at their online store.
Ziwipeak, Raw air-DEHYDRATED
ziwipeak 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Omega 3s (fish oil)
No hormones and antibiotics
8% more moisture than most dry foods–more if you add water.
More convenient than raw frozen food.
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free; nice simple ingredients
LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT To support kidney and urinary wellness in healthy cats, I would not serve this without mixing in some water.
All raw dehydrated food are in 2nd place because they require water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
Several experts say dry foods are too dehydrating for cats with kidney problems.
Stellas Freeze Dried RAW
Only the Chicken, Duck, and Turkey are Menadione-free.
STELLA CHEWY Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
More convenient than raw frozen food.
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Nice simple ingredients are easy on digestion
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
All raw dehydrated are in 2nd place because they require added water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
Avoid the seafood formulas, as they contain Menadione.
IMPORTANT: Add water; rehydrate for 1 minute.  Add water as instructed.
cats can get dehydrated & accidentally overeat if you don’t.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
LOTUS canned
lotus 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
No carrageenan
No ethoxyquin in fish
Very low starch, grain free
All ingredients sourced from US, Canada,
New Zealand
Made in small batches in US
Claim not to have BPA in lining
Medium daily feeding cost compared to
others on this list.
In 2nd place because contains large fish (4th ingredient), so should not be fed exclusively due to concerns about accumulated ocean pollution toxins and/or extra iodine affecting thyroid health over time.
Taste of the WILD canned
tastewild 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
No BPA in cans
No carrageenan
No ethoxyquin in fish
Low starch, grain free
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because contains large fish, so should not be fed exclusively due to concerns about accumulated ocean pollution toxins and/or extra iodine affecting thyroid health over time.
Also contains small amount of menadione sodium bisulfite (controversial form of vitamin K)
Nature’s Variety Instinct LID canned

LIDcat duck 5oz 0 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Meats sourced from US and New Zealand
(except rabbit)
No carrageenan
Very low starch, grain free
No BPA in 5.5oz and 3 oz cans
GMO free
Owned by an independent pet food company (rather than large conglomerate). Manufactured in US at APHIS EU Certified plant.
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because some consumers are concerned about the montmorillonite clay. Opinions about it are all over the map. Some consider it detoxifying, some say it could have contaminants. Here’s another company’s exploration of the topic.
Statement from Nature’s Variety: “Our vendor tests the Montmorillonite Clay used in our diets for toxins and it is guaranteed toxin-free.”
I prefer the LID formulas as they have more simple ingredients than other Nature’s Variety canned recipes.
ADDICTION Carrageenan-free formulas only: Duck, Venison, Buffalo, Rabbit, Turkey
ADDICTION 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Grain free
No carrageenan
Manufactured in company-owned New Zealand plant
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because contains starchy ingredients, making carb count a bit higher than first place foods.
Also because many formulas large fish, so those should not be fed exclusively due to concerns about accumulated ocean pollution toxins and/or extra iodine affecting thyroid health over time.
Soulistic canned Carrageenan-free formulas only: Good Karma, Harvest Sunrise
 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Claims human-quality food sources and “free range” chicken
No GMOs
Grain free
No Carrageenan (Good Karma and Harvest Sunrise)
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because contains starchy ingredients, making carb count a bit higher than first place foods.
Other carrageenan-free formulas were removed from this list because they contain controversial ingredient Menadione (synthetic K)
Manufactured in Thaliand at USDA-approved human food facility
You’ll find it at PETCO
Stellas Freeze Dried Raw
STELLA CHEWY Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
More convenient than raw frozen food.
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Nice simple ingredients are easy on digestion
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT: Add water; rehydrate for 1 minute.  Add water as instructed –
cats can get dehydrated & accidentally overeat if you don’t.
All raw dehydrated are in 2nd place because they require added water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
Great Life Essentials canned  greatLife 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Meats sourced from US
No carrageenan
Low starch, grain free
No GMOs

 

LOW daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because Great Life uses the Evanger’s plant  (US) for processing their own canned (not dry) formulas. In 2010 Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices on their own formulas (since corrected). Therefore, some are uncomfortable with any foods processed at the Evangers factory.
SOJOS Freeze Dried Raw   Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
USDA meat
Variety of formulas to choose
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT: Add water to ensure proper amounts of food and moisture; Cats can get dehydrated & accidentally overeat if you don’t add water.
All raw dehydrated foods are in 2nd place because they require added water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with kidney issues or constipation
Meets (exceeds) minimum nutritional levels established by the AAFCO.com.
Tiki Cat Hanalei Luau Wild Salmon, canned
tikisalmon Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Sources through environmental fishing practices; seafood sustainability and food safety guidelines
Manufactured in a human food factory (quality is visible—looks and smells like human food)
Omega 3’s
No carrageenan
No BPA in cans
Low starch, grain free
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list
In 2nd place because contains large fish, so should not be fed exclusively due to concerns about accumulated ocean pollution toxins and/or extra iodine affecting thyroid health over time.
No longer contains menadione (controversial synthetic vitamin K).
Note: Avoid the TikiCat formulas that have grain (rice) in them. (This Wild Salmon one doesn’t have it.)
Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice canned
Lifes Abundance Instinctive Choice Cat Food sm Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Simple ingredients, include organic chicken
Omega 3s (fish oil)
No carrageenan
Very low starch, grain free
No BPA in cans
US ingredients only
MED-HIGH daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because Instinctive Choice is manufactured in a Simmons Food facility – Simmons bought Menu Foods. (However, dreadful 2007 Menu Foods incidents/recall was related to foods with wheat gluten from China. This food does not contain wheat gluten or ingredients from China.)
Most cats love this food.
I can only find it online–by the case. I suggesting getting their trial size first.
You can save money & time with their auto-ship option.
 
Weruva Grain Free Pouches
 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
No carrageenan
Simple ingredients
Grain free
Responsive customer service
Certified GMO-free
HIGH daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
In 2nd place because contains starch, making carb count a bit higher than 1st place foods.
Beef is from Australia & New Zealand. Fish is from international waters, except for Tilapia, which is farmed in Thailand. Chicken is from Thaliand.
Manufactured in Thailand in human-food processing facility.
Wellness Healthy Indulgence pouches with GRAIN FREE labels only
wellness pouches 150x150 Todays best cat foods  reviews of canned and raw options
Grain free
High moisture
Less fuss than cans
No carrageenan
VERY HIGH daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Instructions say feed 2 pouches for every 5 lbs of cat, so an active 10 lb cat would need 4 pouches per day – that’s a lot.
In 2nd place because contains starchy ingredients, making carb count a bit higher than first place foods.
CAUTION: The pouches not labeled Grain Free contain oat fiber, which is gluten-free in this case, but may not be the most digestible substance for cats.

 

If your cat’s favorite natural cat food didn’t make the list…

Many cat foods almost made this list. There were so many foods, I had to be brutal in selecting.

See These natural cat foods didn’t make the “best” list: here’s why (includes the Runner Ups!).

Maybe I missed a food. Let me know if you have questions–I won’t always be able to answer every question personally, but I will add foods you ask about to my “To Be Researched” list.

I also started a list best dry cat foods here–with some health caveats.

Resources

Where to find these foods

  • Only Natural Pet Store (carries most of these foods – affiliate store chosen for their reasonable prices)
  • Amazon.com and Petfooddirect.com carry many of these foods.
  • Many brands are available online directly from the company that makes them
  • Your local pet food store (especially if holistic) may have some brands
  • Whole Foods carries Primal cat food

How to get your cat to eat new foods?

Resources for making cat food

Making your own raw cat food can cost even less than the packaged raw cat foods, and is one the healthiest things you can do for most cats.

However, it is absolutely essential that you do it right, and add proper nutrients—serious health problems could result if you don’t add the right nutrients.

Easiest way to get started making your own cat food with the right nutrients is to use a good supplement product like a Feline Instincts mix: You just order one of their mixes. Alnutrin is also a good supplement source for homemade cat food. If you’re in Canada or Europe TC Feline may be ideal for you. Others can get TC Feline in the US here. All these sources provide recipes and instructions so it’s not a mysterious process!

Some experts say you shouldn’t use store-bought meat (unless you cook it before adding supplements) because there are concerns about bacteria. Instead, they say you should grind your own or order from source that freezes immediately after cutting or grinding: Hare-Today carries many types of meats.

Tips: The No Bones About It or Alnturin with Calcium mixes are best for cats who have constipation issues. Feline Instincts and TC Feline also both have bone-free special mixes and recipes for cats with kidney problems.

Your experience? Let’s talk!

None of these foods are perfect, but they met my “best of” criteria. However, every cat has different needs, just like you and I do.

I welcome your experiences, opinions, and contributions in the comments below.

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1,158 Responses to Today’s best cat foods–reviews of canned and raw options

  1. Richard September 18, 2014 at 8:52 am #

    I buy Nature’s Variety canned chicken and lid turkey for my cat. I like this brand because it doesn’t contain additives like carageenan, “natural flavors”, or menadione sodium bisulfite that can cause health problems. However, I don’t like that it has peas and carrots. I pick them out and add a tablespoon of water (my cat prefers the pate type, not chunks of meat). I also give him Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried raw chicken. He won’t eat it hydrated, only dry, that’s fine. I just make sure he always has a bowl of clean water available. I’ve done a lot research and found these are the best commercial brands for cats.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RJWYT786F6CE2/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B001TLY77Q

    ttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/6735842/

    • Larry September 18, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      I also feed Nature’s Variety canned chicken and Lid turkey along with Nature’s Variety dry.My cat likes this food.

  2. tig519 September 13, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

    Great to find this blog. With the abundance of “healthier” can foods out there, is it possible to have the “rejected” list posted as well?

    My 5 year old persian male has had FUS issues and recently also developed struvite crystals. His brother has not had any of these issues. Unfortunately, they have been eating primarily fancy feast elegant melodies and royal canan dry (persian recipe). Getting them to switch to a different diet has been very difficult (frankly I don’t feel I’ve been even a little successful). They will eat the prescription dry food only, forget about the wet. Our vet recommended trying natures instinct rabbit (with peas) formula. They put their nose up at like that and all of the other grain free foods I’ve tried so far. It’s been 10 days and I’m concerned that we’re not making any progress.

    Any suggestions on:
    Foods that are best for this condition?
    How to successfully get them to like any of the new foods.

    • Bonnie Magallanes September 13, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Hi tig519, I am sorry you are having issues with your kitty. Try Orijen, the cat & kitten one, They only have dry food, but it is 80%meat and on 5% carbohydrates compared to other dry food that is 25 to 35%. They also have the “Red” which is very good also. Giving them this food may just take care of your kitties issues. It is worth a try, however, it is pricy.

      • Jan September 19, 2014 at 8:45 am #

        It doesn’t matter if it’s 80% meat, it’s still dehydrated food and cats with FUS need moisture, lots and lots of it. There’s a lot of fish in Orijen too which is not good for cats with FUS.

    • Jan September 19, 2014 at 8:41 am #

      Never give dry food to a cat with FUS issues unless it’s the prescription one, but even then I would keep trying to get him to eat the canned prescription food for now – have you tried putting a food he likes on top of it just to get him to try it? They need canned only to get more water into them. I tried a holistic dry food for my cat who had FUS issues thinking that it the ingredients were more natural, it would be ok but I learned the hard way, it’s not. He re-blocked and had to be rushed to vet for a 2nd time.

  3. Russ September 13, 2014 at 11:56 am #

    I am working through similar issues – net, it looks like Inflammatory Bowel Disease (*not* Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and my now 14-year-old orange tabby has been showing signs of it, most notably the chronic vomiting, since kittenhood.

    This article may help you on the clinicals. My vet, who understands this issue fairly well, pointed me to it because it is fairly comprehensive.

    http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=598

    The approach that I’m trying over here is the “novel protein” one. In short, this means disappearing whatever protein sources were routine in his diet and replacing them with other ones. During this process I figured out that he has an allergy to (or at least a sensitivity to) fish. How? I yanked all the fish, and boom, his symptoms got better. Not perfect, but a *lot* better. Less-frequent vomiting, and less belly-guarding. Is your tux kitty crouching without setting her belly on the floor? That’s what I mean by belly-guarding – it’s a sign that her GI tract is in discomfort.

    All along I have been feeding high-quality foods to my cat, most of them taken directly from this blog post. So I was then down to chicken, duck, and lamb (various formulations of each). I realized that his “won’t eat” things were mostly the fish items I had just gotten rid of – so then I thought, ‘maybe this cat just plain knows what upsets his stomach.” So out went the chicken, which he was not as iffy about as the fish, but still iffy. Boom – more improvement, but still not done. Out went the Nature’s Variety LID duck, because he was on and off about eating it. Tried Nature’s Variety LID lamb, but he basically won’t touch it. Tried Nature’s Variety non-LID pork – he likes that – but I’m going to hold it in reserve for now.

    So here’s the overview.

    Before:

    – BFF and Weruva pouches, almost all with tuna, salmon, or chicken in them
    – Tiki Cat salmon (canned)
    – Nature’s Variety Instinct LID duck, canned

    After, stage 1:

    – Wellness Healthy Indulgence (pouch), Turkey+Duck formula
    – Nature’s Variety Instinct non-LID rabbit (contains pork) (canned)
    – Nature’s Variety Instinct non-LID pork (canned)

    He eats the rabbit formula consistently. Next up is to try Nature’s Variety LID venison (contains pork). If that works I’m going to ditch the Wellness turkey+duck, just because those ingredients have been in his diet for a while and I want to desensitize him.

    Point of all this being: the novel protein approach holds promise, and counterintuitively, the best approach may be to narrow the range of protein sources (fish, beef, lamb, rabbit, venison, pork) rather than having a broad range; this avoids developing across-the-board sensitivities that would undermine changing foods (in the future) to get the cat to eat. And, secondly, if your cat is snubbing a protein source, maybe kitty knows best.

    Hope this helps.

    • Bonnie Magallanes September 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Try Orijen, which is pricy, but will probably eliminate your cats IBS. They only have dry food, but is a meat product and not like a lot of products that have a high carbohydrate count. They have the cat and kitten dry food and the one called “Red.” They are both excellent and you will see a big difference in your cat all the way around. I don’t like the 6 fish dry food they have because I think too much fish. Good luck!

    • Larry September 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Has anyone tried feeding Natures Variety LID Turkey?

  4. Joseph September 8, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    Hello everyone I’m having an issue with my 13 yr old tuxedo wearing little girl. Over the course of the last year ans a half she’s seen 4 vets who can’t seem to narrow down her issues. The last vet at the NYC humane society seems to believe she has ibd Along with helobactor bacteria. Her belly grumbles a ton and then she unloads everything from Her belly and I mean everything. This was happening 3 times a week if not more and was causing her to get dehydrated. She was put on pred for a month and. A help double antibiotic . Her systems have calmed down some. But she is still vomiting and different food trigger it. Ie tried every raw on this list and then home prepared raw and the committing stayed the same. Her vomiting seems to setting down with nature’s variety instinct health 25% less calories in chicken but she the problem is she will eat it for a day or 2 then snub it and I have to crush a treat and powered the top to get her to eat this food again but too much treat powered up will cause her to vomit from what ever is in the treat ( greenies hairball chicken) I’m ata. Loss of what food to feel my 5lb girl. We’ve tries. She won’t ea any canned duck lamb or rabbit. Loves seafood but has some type of allergy. We’ve tried. All of nature’s variety including lid, soulistic,blue buffalo ,natural balance lid, pride, random ones I’ve seen in local pet stores and she can’t eat dry food because h belly bloats out and vomits like the exorcist.
    The docs are now help . what is a limited ingredient topping of sort. And what kind of food can you all recommend for a vomiting kitty?

    • Bonnie Magallanes September 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      I feel for you, but for your cat too. I have 5 cats and they are all about 10 years old. I have a 5 lb. Bengal who has always been fussy about her food. I feed all my cats, except her, Wild Calling canned food, and you can find it at a pet food store, or ordering online from the company. My little Bengal will only eat Friskies shredded chicken or turkey canned food. Then I put a little hard food on top of it. She has been this way for 10 years and I can never get her to change to another food. Every once in awhile, I try a different canned food with chunks or bits, as she will not eat pate. The other 4 of my cats eat Orejin hard food, and is pricy, but is a wonderful dry food. It doesn’t have so much of a carbohydrate content, I think it is 5%, where as, most other dry foods have from 25%to 35%, and this could be the source of your little kitty vomiting. I don’t like Friskies either, but feeding this to my Bengal is better than starving. Orejin is made in Canada and they have the cat & Kitten, Red, and 6 fish varieties. I don’t feed the 6 fish because I think too much fish is not good for them. I know too much Tuna is not good for them and one vet told me that too much fish can eventually make their hair fall out. One of my cats had IBS and I went through all the cat foods, and now since the Orejin dry food, he is fine. Another good dry food is Pure Vita made by Nutra Source, and sometimes I give them this dry food too. You can find it in the pet food stores and online at Mr. Chewys. I think if your kitty’s belly swells up, then there is probably something wrong and I would request a radiogram from a good vet, even though it is pricy. This is probably the only way you are going to find out what is wrong. My little Bengal has asthma and the radiogram is how I found it out, so she takes medication for this and is fine now. Another good dry food is Acana also made in Canada. Good luck with your little kitty and I hope she gets better. It sounds like it could be an intestinal problem too. What state & city do you live in? I live in Schertz Texas and if you live anywhere around here I can recommend a good vet.

    • Jan September 19, 2014 at 8:54 am #

      Have you ever tried a homemade cooked diet? I use one from petdiets.com and one from balanceit.com. My current cat doesn’t even have hairballs like my previous cats did and I think it’s due to the food. My vet said hairballs are from irritation of the stomach so I think my last cats who ate dry food were irritated. I got the recipes from those sites because they are run by veterinary nutritionists who formulate the diets.

  5. cseeman September 8, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    I contacted Merrick regarding their use of carrageenan in their cat food. I was concerned because my FIV+ kitty periodically vomits when eating a variety of the foods on this blog but never when eating Merrick. Yet I have no trust in carageenan as an ingredient. Below is the response they sent me. Interesting comment about acceptance Oregon Tilth Organic but he also notes that their Organix brand has no carrageenan.

    Hello Craig,

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
    Carrageenan is an approved pet food ingredient. We use semi-refined carrageenan in some of our canned foods to ensure the most appealing texture. All of the documented research shows no risk at the levels that we use in the product. It is less than 1% of the formula. This small amount is added to help with the consistency of our products. All of our ingredients and formulas are approved by the Oregon-Tilth Organic Certifiers.

    Our sister company offers a few recipes that do no contain carrageenan, Organix Turkey, Brown Rice & Chicken, Organix Turkey & Seafood, Organix Turkey & Spinach, Organix Turkey & Salmon, Organix Grain Free Chicken Pate, and Organix Grain Free Turkey Pate.
    If there is anything else we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Sincerely,

    Twyla Waddell
    Pet Parent Relations, Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
    Tel: 1-800-664-7387
    http://www.merrickpetcare.com | http://www.castorpolluxpet.com

  6. cseeman September 7, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    I have a 3 year old FIV+ cat who vomits once or twice a week. My vet, who normally does not like dry food, is recommending that I try dry in this case. He loves Primal Raw Freeze Dried and, in fact, will only eat it dry rather than reconstituted. Might this be OK as a dry food (with a full water bowl always of course)?

    BTW I’ll mention that, from the list, Nature’s Variety LID, Hound & Gatos have been part of the vomiting problem. He refuses to eat Lotus entirely. “Runner up” foods such as Halo and Weruva (grain and carrageenan free) also result in him vomiting once a week or more. In fact the only canned food that he’s never vomited is Merrick (tried in desperation) which has carrageenan and I certainly don’t want him eating that.

    • Bonnie Magallanes September 7, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

      I am sorry to hear your cat has FIV. Try feeding your baby Orijen, the cat & Kitten one. It is pricy, but probably the best on the market. It has only 5% carbs compared to others that have from 25 to 30%. They don’t make canned cat food, but is strictly a meat product. I have 5 cats and they all do well on Orijen. Wild Calling is a good cat food. Good luck!

      • cseeman September 8, 2014 at 9:02 am #

        He was TNR’d by my vet and when found to be FIV+ she couldn’t release him. I had just lost a cat (to FIP no less) so she contacted me to foster/adopt. He’s very healthy and our vet has personal interest in him so he has free health care. We are working through health issues as you might guess they could pose a threat to his immune system. This is why food is such an important issue.

        I’ve been giving him Orijen treats, which he loves, so this is an EXCELLENT suggestion. Thank you so very much Bonnie!

    • Jan September 19, 2014 at 9:05 am #

      Have you tried canned Organix? It’s owned by Merrick and some of the flavors don’t have carrageenan in them. I would be concerned with feeding dry only, especially to a male cat as they are more prone to blocking up from struvite crystals. Be very careful if you feed dry only, make sure he drinks a lot of water. But ideally, you should try to get him to like more canned, even Fancy Feast canned sometimes is better than 100% dry food.

  7. Liz September 6, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    Ziwi Peak’s website indicates their canned wet food has been reformulated and they have eliminated carrageenan. May be list worthy now?

  8. Anna N September 6, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    Just wanted to bring to your attention two new TikiCat varieties that I just noticed today when placing an order for TikiCat Succulent Chicken that look like they could possibly (hopefully) be added to the ‘First Place’ list of food sometime in the future. TikiCat Gourmet Carnivore Chicken With Duck ~ ingredients are Chicken Consomme, Chicken Breast, Duck Breast and Olive Oil and TikiCat Gourmet Carnivore Chicken With Turkey ~ Chicken Consomme, Chicken Breast, Turkey Breast and Olive Oil. They are not single protein but the ingredients are simple like that of the TikiCat Chicken line and don’t contain any bizarre fillers.

  9. jjj1984 August 30, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    I have two kittens, one 7 months and one 5 months, the younger one being extremely food sensitive. He developed eosinophilic lesions on his neck, and moved to a hypoallergenic diet which ruined his digestive system. After being told by the vet that he’s unsure what sort of future the kitten has, I made the decision to switch them both to raw (Stella Chewy freeze dried) and novel protein rotational diet. His lesions have cleared, and his tummy is just fine. To boot, his coat is stunningly shiny and so is his sisters. HIGHLY recommended for cats with digestion issues, IBS, or food ssensitivities.

    • laura September 2, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

      Hi I am new here and my cat Otter just experienced a new house move mixed with diet change per the dr. All was equally bad and he wouldn’t eat for days. Kitty ER determined he was dehydrated and will need blood work if he’s not eating by tomorrow. I got him to eat baby food and will only touch the beef. What flavors does Stella Chewy freeze dried come in and is there a wet canned food from stella? I am glad he is finally eating but I don’t want him on baby food for the rest of his adult life. I just now fed him beef fancy feast just to get him to eat something, what are your thoughts on fancy feast and if not a fan how do I transfer a very picky eater to something “natural?” I really don’t want to have to spend 500 bucks on him to find out he was just stressed and is a picky eater. HELP!

      • jjj1984 September 2, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

        Sorry you are going through this. So first things first, get the blood work done to make sure there isn’t something underlying causing him not to eat. Animals are instinctual and although they can be picky, if they are healthy they won’t starve themselves because they hate the smell of chicken. Stress could definitely play a factor, but it is imminent you get the required tests if he isn’t eating…and help him get the fluids he needs to help establish energy.

        As for food…Fancy Feast is the equivalent of McDonalds in my opinion…fine to get some calories in him for now, but long term it isn’t a healthy viable option for kitty. A tip, add some lukewarm water to the food to make it more appetizing and to inject extra hydration into kitty.

        Vet bills are expensive, but lots of vets offer flexible payment plans…so ask for sure :).

        Stella Chewy comes in several fish flavours which my cats can’t have, there’s duck duck goose which they adore, and a turkey one they are fond of. They also eat novel protein grain free wet food like venison, rabbit and duck as it is good for cats with sensitive tummies. If you are cost sensitive and your kitty does have a sensitive tummy there are homemade options as well that won’t be as expensive. I warn in advance, stella chewy runs your cdn $25. + tax for a week’s worth for one kitty. So $100 month for food per cat. Not to dishearten you , you can always try this for now to see if it helps and then ease back other food later on when kitty is a bit stronger.

        Best of luck :)

        • laura September 3, 2014 at 12:09 am #

          Thanks for replying so quickly. I haven’t cancelled my Dr apppointment so I will be going in the am.. I divided the little can of fancy feast up last night and he ended up eating the entire small can. Yay. Does Petco have Stella food or do I have to get it elsewhere? Is there other similar products that you recommend for a possible upset tummy? The reason why the Dr changed his diet was because I noticed him making this weird coughing sound, vomiting frequently, and his stool was almost a grayish color. So he wanted to do Science diet D/D which my other vet said it’s not a hypoallergenic food but more of a protein diet. I really don’t know who to believe and what food I should try if I can’t get this Stella stuff locally. Also, Otter was an outdoor indoor kitty so Is there something I can do to replace what he gnaws on outside? What about those little squares of grass they sell in Petco or walmart….are those safe? I want him to be happy and I don’t want him completely depressed because he has limited outside time now…with me walking him on a leash.

          • Logan September 6, 2014 at 8:08 am #

            You can order Stella and Chewy online from Chewy.com or Petflow.com- they both offer free shipping for orders over 49 dollars. I order from both of those sites – or, you could call around to specialty pet stores in your area to find out if they carry it or if they will special order it.

  10. Kaz August 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm #

    What is everyone’s thoughts on how much worth one should put in the AAFCO statement on cat food labels? I noticed the AAFCO statement on the Nature’s Variety Raw Instinct cat food reads this way:

    “Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Duck Formula provides complete and balanced nutrition for cats of all life stages and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests.”

    One website lists this this as the worst label of the three (http://www.drfrits.com/how-to-read-pet-food-labels.html), but I’m not really sure how much I believe anymore!

    What do you folks think?

  11. Jan August 8, 2014 at 7:01 am #

    Taste of the Wild is made by Diamond – they’ve had many recalls of their dry food for aflatoxins and salmonella. I wonder if the canned food is made at the same plant as the dry food.

  12. Susie August 1, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

    Top-rated Hounds & Gatos just posted the following on Facebook — their honesty is refreshing:
    HG hopes to have more US Rabbit in a few more weeks. In the meantime Pet Food Direct.com has 92 cases of CAT RABBIT available. We refuse to buy from Asia and we learned that the France Rabbit was imported from China. Thanks.
    UPDATE:
    Pet Food Direct has 93 cases of Cat Rabbit- (the last for a few weeks)
    http://www.petfooddirect.com/product/52556/hound-and-gatos-100-percent-rabbit-formula-canned-cat-food

  13. Jacque July 29, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    What about Freshpet Cat food? I didn’t see it on any list. I’m looking into switching my cats food to a healthier option and one thats tasty and actually good for him to eat. I always feel terrible feeding his dry cat food. It can’t be good for him. Any help would be great. Thanks!

    • Peter August 3, 2014 at 6:30 pm #

      I too would love to know how Freshpet Select rates. Seems decent, affordable, and increasing in availability! But how does it stack up? Going to be giving it to my kitten tonight!

    • Jan August 8, 2014 at 7:07 am #

      From Dr Lisa Pierson’s website:

      “This food is very expensive on a calorie basis. One reason is that it
      is very high in water at ~84%. Note that it only has 80 calories per
      5.5 ounces whereas other foods have 2 – 2.5 X more calories. Most
      cats require at least 180 – 225 calories per day. Therefore, you will
      need to feed a lot of this food to meet your cat’s caloric needs”

      Here’s the chart where it says that:

      http://www.catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf

  14. godsitalianstallion July 12, 2014 at 9:39 pm #

    Anyone happen to know the least expensive food on this list?

  15. Kaz July 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm #

    Hi! I am inquiring about a possible update to this list that includes the new formula for Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw. They have recently changed their formula to be separate for cats and dogs, whereas it used to be offered for cats and dogs in one bag. I am wondering if this is still OK and still to be considered a top food to feed. A Nature’s Variety representative said that the only difference in the duck bites variety is the addition of taurine, but I wonder if that lis really true as some of the analysis percentages seem changed. Also, they are distributing it in a smaller bag for cats, and vendors like Petco and Pet Supplies Plus are charging around the same price which REALLY stinks. I really hope an update can be provided!

    I left a rating/review on the Nature’s Variety instinct raw duck bites for cats site, but am disappointed that they have not posted it or addressed my concerns. It makes me feel as though they only post the good reviews, and don’t really care when consumers have concerns.

    http://www.instinctpetfood.com//product/instinct-grain-free-raw-frozen-duck-diet-bites-cats

    • Liz-cat July 15, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

      Kaz, thanks for bringing up the product change. I wasn’t able to make a decision with a quick glance at the new version of Natures Variety Raw, so I’m removing it from the page for now. That doesn’t mean I think it’s bad, just that I don’t have time to fully analyze it and put on the list officially.

      • Kaz July 16, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

        Thanks Liz! I totally appreciate the lack of time to keep an ever changing list up to date! Do you think you will update it in the near future, seeing as it used to be one of the top foods on the list? Thank you again… I come back to this list again and again when I run into problems, just like now! :)

    • Jan July 16, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Dogs and cats should have different formulas as their nutrient needs are not the same – here’s a list of the differences:

      http://www.catsofaustralia.com/cat-nutrition.htm

    • Susie July 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      They cut out a bunch of plants and added turkey AND taurine. The min. crude fat is higher with the new formula: from 2.0% to 9.0%. I would think this is an improvement, but will wait for Liz’s expert opinion.

      OLD Ingredients:
      Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Apples, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Ground Flaxseed, Montmorillonite Clay, Broccoli, Lettuce, Spinach, Dried Kelp, Apple Cider Vinegar, Parsley, Honey, Salmon Oil, Olive Oil, Blueberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Persimmons, Inulin, Rosemary, Sage, Clove

      NEW Ingredients:
      Chicken (Including Ground Chicken Bone), Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Turkey Bone, Yeast Culture, Pumpkinseeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Apples, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Salt, Cod Liver Oil, Dried Kelp, Carrots, Spinach, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Blueberries

      • Kaz July 24, 2014 at 3:24 pm #

        Thank you Susie! I would love an update but I know Liz is busy too! I was actually concerned about the duck variety, since that’s what we are feeding him.

        I have continued feeding it to him (I introduced the new stuff gradually so it wouldn’t be a shock). I am really upset that I didn’t know they were doing this, I am signed up for updates, etc through their website. I would have planned better, but we ended up having to go to several different stores to find one that still had the old stuff on the shelves. Anyway… [end of rant :) ]

        Thank you for posting the chicken, because I’m sure a lot of people use that too :)

        =^.^=

      • Liz-cat August 1, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

        I think the fat is fine. Less plants and fruits is good too. Wish they hadn’t switched to cod liver oil because it contains vitamin D. My thinking on D for cats has evolved since I found out that, in recent years, at least one study has shown cats with tooth resorption have a significantly higher serum concentration of vitamin D than cats without it. They need some D, but unfortunately the amount in cat food is not well documented or regulated.

    • Jeannie August 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Kaz, I have been feeding my cat Raw Lamb from NV and have seen miraculous results on my cat that has had IBS/D. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, they changed their formula and also have gotten rid of the Lamb from their new “cat” formula. I have extensively discussed the possibility of feeding the Raw Lamb Dog formula with added taurine supplements with my cat-exclusive vet. She says this is a no go.

      I also tried to contact Natures Variety to get details of the change in formula, and was met with a lot of “you need to talk to your vet”, and very little details that I could relay to my vet. Anyway, the change in formula, the removal of Lamb, and the downsizing of volume (meaning a subsequent increase in cost and shopping trips to get the same amount of food before the change) has caused me to write the company with my concerns, just like you. Of course my online letters were conveniently unanswered due to “never receiving them”.

      This is why I have come to this list, to discover new options that I hope work just as well. I am hoping it is for reasons similar to this; price increase, poor customer service, diminishing variety, and changing formula, that I am not seeing Natures Variety on this list.

      • Kaz August 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

        Hi Jeannie! IT sounds like we have something in common :) Maybe a few things, we like to feed our cats something good and nutritious and we never heard from Nature’s Variety. They never responded to my comment, it looks like they are posting only “good” comments. Go figure. I’m not sure what to do now…

        What are you feeding your kitty now? I’m in the market for something better and am interested in hearing! :)

        • Jeannie August 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

          Hi Kaz. Thank you for asking. We are finding something different very slowly. I am not sure if my Squiggles digestion issues were from the type of protein, additives, grain, or if it has to do with “dry” vs “wet”. I just know that she gradually got to the point where she could not stomach chicken or beef dry foods. This included the Perscription Z/D diet or Fortiflora, foods that you give to an animal that is having digestive issues to make them better :/
          Since the lamb has been what she recovered on, and I am finding very few raw “lamb” cat foods on the market anymore, we are currently and very slowly exploring duck. Unfortunately, it is the Natures Variety Raw Duck that I got at a good price. If the duck works, we will switch to a raw “duck” food NOT made by Natures Variety! Previous to the duck trials, we tried Natures Variety Instinct RawBoost Salmon and lamb kibble, but we started seeing softer stools pretty quickly, so that didn’t work. Like I say, not sure if it was the salmon, the dry kibble, or what.
          This page has been an invaluable resource into the brands I might try, and hunting out the vendors and pricing will be my next step. Primal and Rad Cat are the first contenders and I will update in a couple of months in case you are still interested.
          It is truly a balance between Squiggles health, availability, and cost. NV used to be the best, satisfying all three parameters, that is until they pulled this reformulation/downsizing their volume/dodgy customer service stunts (as you well know)
          PS. I sent NV another email, this time just asking an unrelated question in a nice way, never heard back. (Frustrated emoticon!!)

          • Kaz August 29, 2014 at 10:26 am #

            Too funny Jeannie!

            I understand your frustration, 100%. We had our kitty on a Trader Joe’s canned wet food which we added a large amount of water to, and he loved it until one day he started displaying signs of IBD. We took him off of it and tried several different foods, none of which worked very well. I did a lot of research as well, and started him on a probiotic (we use Culturelle, unflavored capsules of course), and mixed that with a teaspoon of Earth’s Best Winter Squash baby food. He gobbles that stuff down like nobody’s business! I am not sure what really worked, the culturelle, or the squash! But I have read and heard that probiotics do wonders for tummys that get wrecked during gastric upset. I do know that he does sometimes have bouts of gastro-irritation (not sure what else to call it), and at that point we start him on the culturelle and squash mix.

            We also use the raw Duck from Nature’s Variety Instinct foods, and leave him a small bit of their turkey/duck formula dry food to munch on during the day or at night. I’m really interested in trying a different food but am also doing it slowly, because I’m just not sure what to trust these days. Pet food is such a big business… Really makes me wish I had the time to make my own, but in reality I don’t. The new formula doesn’t seem to work with him very well. I drove around and found a place that still had some older bags which don’t expire until December 2014. I’m not sure what to think since the newer formula bags expire in a few weeks…

            The whole Nature’s Variety thing seems just fishy to me, for lack of a better word! I also sent them an email last night, but it probably was not as nice as yours. :)

  16. Larry July 10, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Petsmart noe has Natures Variety canned & dry cat foods

  17. Liz-cat July 8, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    This is a special message JUST for those of you who are subscribed to this comment thread.
    I have good news: after much hassle + confusion for some comment-subscribers about how to unsubscribe, AND after way too many spammers leaving comments, I’m going upgrade to a smarter, better 2014 Comments system!
    **The downside is for the folks who are subscribed and want to keep getting updates on this thread: you’ll no longer receive new comments – you’ll have to resubscribe on the new comment system in about 24 hours to get new comments again. Sorry about that.**

  18. MimiLee July 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm #

    I wish a company would make a grain free, 100% organic dry food. There are currently none on the market.

    • Peter August 26, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      I give my rescued cat Stella and chewy’s freeze dried chicken. He doesn’t like it hydrated, only dry. I think freeze dried raw is better than most dry food.

  19. Best cat food seeker July 7, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Please be certain to inform your readers about carrageenan in foods which includes products that don’t advertise it as such but list it is seaweed (red seaweed such as Dulse found in Rad Cat raw frozen). Carrageenan is not good for humans or animals.

    • Leannan July 7, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Good Job, catching the hidden carrageenan. I’ve been avoiding it (in my cat’s food) for almost 3 years now and previous stomach issues have all resolved. I want to let you guys know that I ordered online, for the first time, and I’m thrilled with the amount of money I saved! I ordered only what I knew would be eaten, by someone, eventually, and ended up getting PRIMAL freeze-dried “raw” for $17.39 a 14 0z bag (the BIG bag) including shipping and tax … instead of the $31 including tax that I had been paying! I shopped individual sites and worked out the Total $$ to be able to determine actual price per bag. My local stores were not keeping it stock, and rarely followed through on special orders I requested, so I thank them for their crappy service, they lost a significant per customer, average monthly sale … and I got to buy sweet new mary janes, on sale of course.

      • Darren July 7, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

        Hi Leannan, that’s a great price for the 14 oz bag. I’ve been paying about $21 after shipping at Amazon or Chewy or Wag. May I ask where please?

        • Kathleen July 11, 2014 at 12:41 am #

          PetFoodDirect had/has a special 4 bag bundle, so to speak, that was cheaper than buying them separately. I used the promo code for that monthly promotion because it was slightly better than the discount for signing up for auto ship. Then I emailed Primal and asked if they could reissue the unused manufacturer coupons they sent me, via email, when I signed up on their site. months ago. I didn’t “see” the email with coupons (that were to be printed out) until after they had expired.
          Then you snail mail those printed out Primal coupons, within 30 days (Double Check, in case I’m mistaken) to PetFoodDirect, making certain that you follow their protocol.
          Something else I’m going to do: Ask Primal if they will be raising “Beef” prices any time soon, and ask if they are going to be able to keep the BEEF and Salmon “in stock” at online sites and retail businesses, with no back orders

        • Kathleen July 11, 2014 at 12:47 am #

          Leannan here, I didn’t realize I had used my middle name, Kathleen, when I replied just now. Not trying to confuse you, I’m just really sleepy.

    • Pat P. July 12, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

      Best cat food seeker: Your information about Rad Cat containing carrageenan, as dulse, is incorrect. Coincidentally, I was concerned about that very ingredient, recently, and emailed them this week. Dulse is a red seaweed, Pulmaria palmata, not one from which carrageenan is extracted. It is an extract from Irish Moss, Chondrus crispus, which is a very different species, and not even closely related, except for being a red alga. Even Irish Moss is not a total concern, because carrageenan is only part of the plant, an extract. The rest of the plant is not a problem. Dulse is a good source of vitamins, minerals and trace elements and is high in protein. They developed Rad Cat because of their own cat having IBD, and claimed they would never do any thing to harm their cats. They were very upset that I even insinuated that they would be using carrageenan and disguising it as Dulse. Be careful about spreading inaccurate information before you know the truth. A lot of people are concerned about carrageenan and want to avoid it. In addition, many people feed Rad Cat, including myself, and it is listed as a good food, by Liz, on this site. You might, unnecessarily, upset a lot of people, because you didn’t do sufficient research.

      • Jolie Cosette July 13, 2014 at 12:24 am #

        Pat, thank you so much for doing the necessary research. Sorry you had to do it in the first place due to misinformation.

    • Liz-cat July 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

      While it’s true that carrageenan is a processed extract of seaweed, I have not seen any evidence that the problems with carrageenan (eroding gut health) are found with eating seaweed in its natural form. I believe it’s the processing of the carrageenan extract that creates the problem with carrageenan. Good article by Dr. Hofve here: http://www.rodalenews.com/carrageenan-pet-food
      [I posted this earlier, but just moving this reply up under the proper Comment here]

  20. Anna June 30, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Thanks so much for this list! It is so helpful right now as we are trying to find a food that works for our little persian, who is both picky and has a sensitive stomach!

  21. Andrea A June 27, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    Have you triede of Nulo ..small co. in Texas? nice people and good info….i had to give a case of H and G to the pet food bank..no one in my local group would eat it

    • Chris June 27, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

      Hi Andrea,

      Nulo has an exclusive at PetsMart, how small can they be?

      Unfortunately, I looked at the ingredients and I saw that they use natural flavors.
      I don’t buy anything with something listed that’s as ambiguous as natural flavors.
      I’m not wild about legumes in my cats food either. They seem to be showing up more and more with grain free.

      Sorry your group didn’t go for H&G.

  22. Chris June 26, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Hello,

    I have an update for you regarding Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried food. The recipes with seafood all contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of vitamin K). Only the Chicken, Duck, and Turkey are Menadione free.

    Thank you for bringing this ingredient to my attention. I never would have spotted it if it weren’t for you.

    I was feeding Stella & Chewy’s Chicken and Salmon, along with Evanger’s canned Organic Turkey and Butternut Squash. My cats were reasonably happy with it, but erring on the side of caution, and less carbs – I went with your suggestion, and switched to Hounds and Gatos. I don’t like all the gums in them, but at least they’re not carrageenan.

    I now feed my 3 cats Hounds and Gatos Chicken, or Rabbit, along with Stella & Chewy’s Chicken, and Turkey varieties.
    Much cheaper than Stella & Chewy’s exclusively. If I only had one cat that’s what I would feed.
    They all love Stella and Chewy’s, and will chase after and eat the dry nuggets like treats.

    I always ensure they get enough water with the Freeze Dried food. I add a good amount of water to the canned food and stir in the Stella & Chewy’s. This keeps their interest in the canned food, and it makes a nice gravy. Sometimes they’ll just lick it dry and I add more water and freeze dried to freshen it up.
    My male Maine Coon is fighting lean and looks great. My overweight brindle female is now slowly losing weight, and has more energy and confidence. My other brindle female has always been lean and remains that way.
    They also all love ice cubes in the water bowl every day.

    My 2 cents, and a hearty thank you for yours,

    Chris

    • Liz-cat June 26, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

      Chris, thanks, that’s very helpful. So good to hear your cats are doing well too!

      • Chris June 27, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

        You’re Welcome Liz!

        It’s so daunting to find species appropriate food these days. Thanks for taking the time to investigate, and post your findings.

        You certainly provide a valuable public service, by keeping this site up.

        I estimate that my overweight “Samantha” has lost about 2 lbs. so far, and should lose about 2 more. It’s so nice to see her want to, and be able to jump up to her perches. She’s much more active, and her personality is shining again.

        So far, H&G and S&C is the winning combo for me, and the cats.
        Price (Not the least expensive, but worth it), convenience, availability, taste, and ingredients. Not easy to get all these to match up.

  23. Darren June 23, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    I recently tried Wellness Signature Selects shredded white meat chicken & liver and chicken & turkey varieties. Was hoping to find a USA made alternative to the TikiCat Puka Puka Chicken or Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken the cats like. Both claim grain free, no meat by-products. I did spot Carrageenan after I got it home. Didn’t matter, though, since neither cat would even taste it. A couple hesitant sniffs and they would rather not eat at all. And one of the two cats is ALWAYS hungry and wanting food. Honestly, they didn’t look as appealing to me as the TikiCat or Weruva, either! On the plus side, I tried ZiwiPeak Venison & Fish air dried again. My less aggressive eater likes it, as she likes Feline Natural raw. Which is handy since the other cat won’t eat her food if she’s not around at meal time or is being finicky.

    • Bonnie June 23, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      I have tried Tiki Cat, and the Wellness cans you are talking about and I have 5 cats and none of them would eat it. I have started giving them dry food of “Pure Vita”, and this was one that was recognized by Dr.Liz. I haven’t tried their canned food yet, but I will have to order online because no pet store around here sells it. My cats were previously eating the dry food, Orijen, but seemed to rich for them and would barf it up sometimes. They really like this Pure Vita dry good and looking forward to trying the canned Pure Vita. No Carregeenan in the canned food, and all ingredients look ok in both dry and canned. I still feed them the canned food “Wild Calling” and they like that one too. Good luck to you and your furry babies.

      Bonnie

  24. Bonnie June 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm #

    Looking at the best cat foods opinions, I bought Pure Vita today, the dry food, and my cats love it. All five! Now I need to find where I can buy the canned food also.

  25. Pat P. June 20, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    I am concerned about the companies who do not list their canned foods as BPA-free (if there really is such a thing). The food is cooked at very high temperatures, in the can, to sterilize the contents (also destroying nutrients), which means that the chemical will be absorbed in the food. That can’t be good.

    Any comments?

  26. Sage June 18, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

    It is great to have a compiled list such as this. However, as a long time raw feeder, I feel that there is some misinformation here. Namely, while it is true that too much ground bones leads to constipation, cats absolutely MUST have around 10% of their raw diet to be made up of bones. This percentage is not a absolute but a great ballpark because it is based on the ratio of protein, bones, and organs of cats’ natural prey in the wild (e.g., mice).

    Also, it is absolutely NOT true that calcium from ground egg shells acts differently from calcium from ground bones (as stated in the “Special Concerns and Tips” section for “Radcat RAW frozen”). In other words, too much ground egg shells can lead to constipation just as much as too much bones.

    • Liz-cat June 19, 2014 at 11:11 am #

      I appreciate everyone weighing in about their own experience. My experience and observation with other cats has been that ground bones are very hard for SOME cats to digest (undoubtedly cats who are prone to such trouble to begin with), resulting in serious constipation or blockage that has even required a medical procedure. However, those same cats have not been affected by something like Radcat, where the eggshell or calcium source is not in pieces as large as ground bones.

  27. Betsy Larey June 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    I have an overweight cat 17lbs, should be 12 max. I have her on Wellness Core indoor formula. She gets two 5.5 oz cans a day. She lost 2 lbs (was 19 ) but is stuck on 17. My vet wanted her on royal canin but I read the label and it was garbage. I don’t want to cut her portions down any less as she acts like she’s starving.
    Can you recommend any anything else? I don’t want her to get diabetes.
    Thanks for any suggestions you may have

    • Jan June 25, 2014 at 8:46 am #

      This site is very helpful:

      http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felineobesity

    • Possum's Person July 10, 2014 at 12:13 pm #

      Wellness Core is full of carbs even though it is grain-free. It also contains meal and other ingredients to avoid. Some cats don’t metabolize carbs very well and gain weight from them. Try some of the brands on Liz’s list that have low or zero carbs. You are also feeding your cat a LOT! Try decreasing the amount you are giving a little at a time. This is easier if you can divide it between more meals per day. To get our 17.5-pounder down to 14 lbs, we began feeding everyone 4 small meals a day instead of 2 bigger ones. It is a bit more time-consuming, but it worked. And I never fed any of my adult (indoor, not very active) cats more than a single 5.5-ounce can a day.

      • hpicardi July 10, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

        Hi, along the lines of some other comments, please be careful about DRASTICALLY IGNORING the feeding guidelines by the manufacturer. Some sound absolutely crazy and, granted, you can deviate a little (+/- 15%) based on your cat’s age, weight condition (over/under weight) and activity level (indoor, etc). But feeding a 17 lb cat ONE 5.5 oz can of Wellness Indoor CORE per day (as might be interpreted by some newer members to the blog from this thread) is cutting the manufacturer’s recommended amount by about 50%. Please keep in mind that manufacturer’s (and AAFCO) COUNT on you feeding approximately recommended amounts for cat to receive minimum amount of nutrients, vitamins, etc. Drastic modifications (lowering) of recommended amounts will result in fewer calories but also inadequate amounts of what they need. This is why not all foods are the same!!!

        • Possum's Person July 15, 2014 at 10:24 am #

          Interesting. Thing is, I’d never feed Wellness Core. Why feed foods that aren’t on Liz’s list? That’s why we come here: to find the BEST foods. It amazes me that people read this site and still want to talk about dry foods, or canned brands that would never make Liz’s list because they are so unhealthy. Her list is posted for a reason: so we can stop feeding cats garbage, literally.

          The canned foods I use (Nature’s Variety Instinct, Hounds & Gatos, etc.) do recommend about a can per day for indoor adult cats in the 10-14 pound range. They are 95% protein (with water, of course) and more nutritious than foods with fillers like grains and starch. The more protein and fewer carbs you feed cats (dogs and people are different), the better, both for nutrition and weight maintenance. AAFCO recommendations may be fine for cheapo food that’s full of fillers, but you don’t have to feed so much volume when you’re giving cats the protein they need in more concentrated, higher-quality foods. (I support TruthAboutPetFood and have my own opinions of AAFCO….)

          After a couple of years of feeding only high-protein/no-carb foods, all of our cats are at healthy weights and have beautiful, silky coats, and no health issues. Two had previously been overweight but lost weight easily over time, getting one can (or frozen raw) each, divided in four meals a day. There is not much clamoring for more between feedings. For omega-3s, everyone gets a sardine (low-sodium, packed in water) once a week. When I move and can have a real freezer, I’ll be making my own raw food for our cats. I know that’s the best way to feed them, but right now, I can’t store it.

          • Jolie Cosette July 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

            Possum’s Person, your conclusions are not quite accurate.

            Just because a food didn’t make Liz’s list doesn’t mean it’s garbage. Liz uses certain criteria to determine HER best; I use other criteria, based on the age, health, metabolisms, quirks and other specifics of my two cats, to determine MY best. Low phosphorus and other mineral content is a priority with me.

            Although I feed my cats 80-90% raw by calorie count, I do add some wet food, or I’ll open a can of wet to tide the cats through the night. I’m very familiar with both NV’s Instinct and Hound and Gatos. They are NOT 95% protein. They ARE 95% quality meat, but both are high in fat. Many formulae and charts are available to determine protein/fat/carb/other ratio.

            Some of the CORE varieties are carb-heavy; some are not. Both ZiwiPeak and CORE’s venison formulas are low in carbs, but both contain carrageenan.

            I don’t know why you think you’re feeding zero carb food. You’re not.

            Your initial comment shocked me, but I attempted to be civil. I’m finding it difficult to be civil when you insist on giving misinformation. I’ve fostered–and assisted in the euthanasia of–many cats with hepatic lipidosis, some who were put on crash diets, some who became inappetant due to illness. This is a fat cat disease. Certainly I would recommend substituting some high protein/low fat food (Weruva, for example) for the CORE indoor, but you get nowhere giving bad information with a snarky tone. You can be responsible for killing a cat if someone believes you.

          • Cheryl August 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

            I see Wellness Core on her list as one of the best dry foods. Am I missing something?

    • Jolie Cosette July 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      I second Jan’s suggestion.

      Just a word of caution: Cut her calories back s-l-o-w-l-y or you risk hepatic lipidosis, a very common and often fatal condition affecting dieting fat cats.

  28. Bonnie June 15, 2014 at 9:31 pm #

    I bought some Precise dry cat food, but I haven’t given my cats this food yet. The ingredients look ok to me. What do you think of this cat food.

    • Bonnie Magallanes July 29, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      Liz, I was asking about Precise dry cat food, and I don’t see it on the best cat food list. How do you rate this food. The ingredients look better to me than pure vita.

      • Liz-cat August 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm #

        Hi Bonnie, I’m not rating dry cat food anymore, sorry. I barely have time to keep up with the wet food!

  29. sha smith June 15, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    I have tried a lot of them but……..picky cat. she does love Nutro Natural Choice Chicken Cuisine. have u rated it?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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