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

UPDATE September 2016  (Stella and Chewy’s freeze-dried removed because all formulas now contain Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex. Earlier update: new additions and some movement from 2nd to 1st place in the October 2015 changes noted here.)

The cat food world changes A LOT. When I have time, this list is updated. Meanwhile, 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 and answer FAQ’s about it here.

My main concern with cat food is how it affects:

To me, these issues are even more important than the quality and source of the micro-ingredients in a food and who manufactures the food. Of course, I would never use a cat food created in China, but high quality pet food canning plants are few and far between even in the US. Now, there are some small ingredients I’ve taken a great interest in – such as carrageenan and BPA. This is because there may be life-threatening problems associated with these substances if they are consumed regularly over time. On the other hand, people ask about a lot of ingredients, like guar gum, that are not – to my knowledge thus far – known to be a big risk.

I think it’s easy, out of concern for your cat, to lose sight of the forest for the trees. So for me it’s about minimizing risk while keeping the higher priorities (above) in perspective and making sure we have enough good options to choose from.

Today’s best cat foods

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 with weakened immunity, some vets recommend avoiding raw meat as a precaution against bacteria.

Tip: On mobile, click the “+” signs for more info on each food.

FIRST PLACE
CANNED OR RAW CAT FOODS

WHAT’S
TO LOVE

COST

SPECIAL
CONCERNS & TIPS

Radcat RAW Frozen
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.
Uses water High Pressure Processing to prevent bad bacteria while preserving the enzymes that make raw food nutrients so available.
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!
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!)
Ziwipeak Canned Cat Food  Ziwipeak Canned
Meat ingredients are sourced from grass-fed farming with no hormones or antibiotics used. No BPA in can lining. No carrageenan (removed). Very low starch, grain free.
Sourced only from fully traceable, approved New Zealand farms. Manufactured in company-owned facilities in New Zealand

 

HIGH
They listened -removed carrageenan!
Primal, RAW
frozen
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 prevent bad bacteria while preserving the enzymes that make raw food nutrients so available.
Includes Montmorillonite Clay (from Azomite) that is tested as contaminant-free.
While Primal contains more plant matter than I like to see in a cat food (making it more complicated for digestion), the fact that it’s raw outweights that issue and keeps it in the 1st tier.
Nature’s Variety Instinct LID (Limited Ingredient) canned

LIDcat_duck_5oz_0
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
Manufactured in US at APHIS EU Certified plant.
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Recently moved from 2nd place to 1st place tier because the Montmorillonite Clay is tested to be toxin-free. According Nature’s Variety rep: “Our vendor tests the Montmorillonite Clay used in our diets for toxins and it is guaranteed toxin-free.” 
LID formulas are best as they have more simple ingredients than other Nature’s Variety canned recipes.
Wild Calling Canned Cat Food  Wild Calling
Grain-free
No artificial anything
Ingredients source in the US
Very low carb
No carrageenan
Family-owned
MED-LOW
Readers have reported that Wild Calling uses the Evanger’s Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. In 2010, Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices in their own formulas. While this is appalling, it had nothing to do with their plant’s canning of other small brands. And, it has been corrected. In my opinion, this food has too many good features to overlook because they need to use one on of the few available US pet food canning  plants (Evangers) to package their food.
Weruva Grain Free Cats in the Kitchen (cans + pouches)
No carrageenan
Simple ingredients
Grain-free
Responsive customer service
Certified GMO-free
Made in human-food processing facility
No BPA in can lining
MED -HIGH daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
Moved from 2nd to 1st place because no longer contains starch ingredient.
Beef is from Australia & New Zealand. Fish is from international waters, except for Tilapia, which is farmed in Thailand. Chicken raised in Thaliand.
Manufactured in Thailand in human-food processing facility.
Tiki Cat Koolina Luau canned and Puka Puka Luau (both chicken) tikiKoolkinapuka_pukatiki
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
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 darwins
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  
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  
No BPA in can lining
No carrageenan
Low starch, grain free
Claim human-quality
US food and factory
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
There is a misprint on some cans that indicates the product contains Vitamin D2. I have been contacted by the owner of Hound & Gatos, who assures me that it is a misprint; the product still contains D3, not D2. We assume the misprint will be corrected on future labels.
Holistic Select Grain Free Canned Holistic Select Grain Free canned
Grain free
Ingredients are US only, with exception of Duck from Germany, Lamb from New Zealand
MED
Several plant ingredients, however these are all in powder form, making them simplier for cat digestion.
Readers have reported a rumor (yet to be confirmed) that Holistic Select uses the Evanger’s Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. In 2010, Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices in their own formulas. While this is appalling, it had nothing to do with their plant’s canning of other small brands. And, it has been corrected. In my opinion, this food has too many good features to overlook because they need to use one on of the few available US pet food canning  plants (Evangers) to package their food.
PAW NATURAW RAW frozen PAW_NATURAW
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
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 as instructed – otherwise the carb count is too high, plus 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 some people may overlook this.
Includes ground bones—not recommended for cats with
kidney issues or constipation.
Includes Montmorillonite Clay (from Azomite) that is tested as contaminant-free.
Ziwipeak, Raw air-DEHYDRATED  
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: Add water as instructed – otherwise the carb count is too high, plus 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 some 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.
FirstMate Limited Ingredient Canned  FirstMate - limited Ingredient
BPA free
Made in Vancouver, Canada
Uses free-range chicken. Vitamin and mineral supplements are sourced from North America, Germany and France.
Meats sourced from US, except Duck from Germany, Lamb from New Zealand/Australia.
MED
In 2nd place because contains some starch, making carb count slightly higher.
Party Animal Canned Cat Food  Party Animal
Grain free
Hand-crafted in small batches
Organic protein sources, oils, fruits, vegetables.
Made in USA
MED
In 2nd place because it contains several plant ingredients ingredients (harder for cats with sensitive digestion)
Feline Caviar Wet Food  Feline Caviar
Grain free
No GMO’s
Omega 3:6
Free-range chicken
Ingredients sourced from U.S. with the exception of lamb meal and venison meal from New Zealand; kelp from Norway
HIGH
In 2nd place because Feline Caviar uses the Evanger’s Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. In 2010, Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices in their own formulas. While this is appalling, it had nothing to do with their plant’s canning of other small brands. And, it has been corrected. In my opinion, this food has too many good features to overlook because they need to use one on of the few available US pet food canning plants (Evangers) to package their food.
Feline Natural Raw Freeze Dried by K9
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. Add water as instructed – otherwise the carb count is too high, plus 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 some 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
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.
IMPORTANT: Add water as instructed – otherwise the carb count is too high, plus 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 some people may overlook this.
Also 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”
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.
LOTUS canned
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
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)
ADDICTION Carrageenan-free formulas only: Duck, Venison, Buffalo, Rabbit, Turkey
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
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
ORGANIX Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Organix
GMO-free certified.
Organic (meats and protein sources as well as flaxseed, cranberries and carrots)
No carrageenan
Made in USA
omega-6 and 3 fatty acids,
No artificial preservatives, growth hormones or antibiotics in organic ingredients—ever
MED
In 2nd place because Organix is owned by Merrick, which was bought by Purina in 2015. They say the company will still operate independently with no changes. The takeover process will take many months. For these reasons, I would say the product is probably still fine for now, but after 2016, let’s revisit what’s happening with Merrick and the quality of its ingredients. (If you notice anything, let me know. I have already had too many complaints about the Merrick canned cat food and removed it from this list in March 2016. I believe Organix food has more of chance of maintaining quality thanks to certified organic standards.)
 Impulse by Halo   Impulse by Halo
No grains
No rendered meats
Includes omega 3 + 6
Ingredients sourced in US, except lamb from New Zealand and peas from Canada
Includes a Quail formula, which is a good novel protein for cats with digestive tracts requiring alternatives (it also contains chicken though)
MED-HIGH
A little dry – try mixing a splash of water
Moved to 2nd place because Impulse now uses D2 instead of D3. While I’ve disqualified other foods because of they contain D2, I am revisiting this decision because we don’t have all the facts yet on D2 vs. D3. However, we know D2 is not utilized as easily, especially in cats, and there was a study that found mortality rate went slightly up in humans taking D2 and DOWN in humans taking D3 – see Mercola article.
Also, the president of the Vitamin D Council is anti-D2: “If you take ergocalciferol…[D2]…be warned…It does not normally occur in the human body and is probably a weak agonist at the receptor site, meaning it may actually partially block vitamin D actions. Ergocalciferol is the villain in most of the reported cases of [Vitamin D] toxicity in the world’s literature.”

 

Great Life Essentials canned  greatLife
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 Illinois plant for canning their formulas. Personally, I don’t consider this a big risk, but some are uncomfortable with it. In 2010, Evangers was found by the FDA to be using dishonest practices in their own formulas. While this is appalling, it had nothing to do with their plant’s canning of other small brands. And, it has been corrected. In my opinion, this food has too many good features to overlook because they need to use one on of the few available US pet food canning  plants (Evangers) to package their food.
SOJOS Freeze Dried Raw  SOJOS
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Grain free
USDA meat
Variety of formulas to choose
MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
IMPORTANT: Add water as instructed – otherwise the carb count is too high, plus 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 some people may overlook this. Also, this food contains a starchy ingredient (sweet potatoes), so carb percentage will be higher than the many foods on this list that don’t contain a significant starch.
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
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
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 Food after Menu Foods messed up big time in 2007. (I personally don’t think this is much of a risk though because Simmons is not Menu Foods and the 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.
Wellness Healthy Indulgence pouches with GRAIN FREE labels only
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.

While all of these cat food choices are unbiased and based solely on what I would buy, I have started to allow some links on this page to be affiliate links in order to keep this blog funded.

Most cats resist unfamiliar food at first! Buy and try SMALL at first AND use these smart tips to help your cat accept new foods:

If your cat has IBS symptoms or digestive issues

See How treatment-resistant feline IBS symptoms healed in one month and What to feed cats with feline IBS, diarrhea, or frequent hairballs.

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

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. Here’s the scoop!

 

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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1,938 Responses to Today’s best cat foods–reviews of canned and raw options

  1. A September 18, 2018 at 9:18 am #

    **alert!!**

    Feline’s Pride is now called My Pets Pride and apparently has been scamming people of their money and food since 2016. People were receiving rotten food with the change of owners, or not receiving product at all. I did a search on their yelp to see if they are still having problems and scamming people.. they are.

    I would consider removing them from this list.

  2. Jo Singer July 27, 2018 at 10:04 am #

    Our cats love Weruva however, my vet doesn’t love that it contains guar gum. SIGH… As far as the Tiki Puka Puka Luao is concerned, not only do they love it- it has no gum in it at all. The fluid content is great- and our cats lap it up. I just wish I could get them on raw. They just don’t have any interest in it. Our now two angel kitties loved raw and thrived on it. Double Sigh.

  3. Barry July 27, 2018 at 5:20 am #

    I really can’t justify paying more for cat food than what I pay for prime filet mignon. I can buy fresh fish or beef for a lot less money. I don’t use commercial hamburger but I don’t have a problem paying $4.00 or less for meat and fish. It only takes a few seconds to finely dice enough for a couple of meals or I can do batches and freeze in serving size containers. $16. a pound for frozen cat food is ridiculous. Raw chicken is different from my perspective. That I want to cook first because of the bacteria risk. I have seen frozen rabbit on occasion in the stores but I haven’t purchased any yet. Why pay$12+ a pound to have someone grind up meat and package it. Do it yourself save $$$$ and then you know exactly what is in your cat’s food.

    Barry

    • Suze July 27, 2018 at 6:55 am #

      I agree, plus you know the quality is tip top. I give my cats chicken thighs, hearts, cooked hamburger, raw beef cubes, turkey, occasionally lamb…. no pork and they’re sensitive to fish. I add a few crunchy biscuits that contain duck and flax seed, plus a multivitamin. I add chicken or bone broth to make a gravy, which they love. In rare cases I give them high quality carb free dry food when I’m in a super rush (and they regard this as a treat, lol), plus I have high quality, carb free wet food cans of duck or turkey, too. Once in awhile I sprinkle cat nip on top, which they go nuts for. I also occasionally add a little colloidial silver or slippery elm. They just turned 8 years old and so far zero health issues or need for dental cleanings.

      • Nicole July 27, 2018 at 7:04 am #

        I think if I fed any dry kibble it would only be Acana or the like. I keep rad cat lamb around bc for whatever reason, it makes my cats cost look like a million bucks ( although I would never eat baby meat myself or meat other than fish for that matter). Hare Today Turkey chunks are amazing. He loves them. I love ordering from them but I’m gonna get away from all the grinds next go around and get into the whole prey thing. Gonna need a kiddy gate to keep him from taking it to the sofa though. Be aware, they run.
        I always keep good cams of food around just in case, AS.WE ALL SHOULD, party animal, natural balance is decent,

      • Barry July 27, 2018 at 7:46 am #

        I found your site in search of carb free cat foods. My primary search is for some dry. kibble that I can use as treats. We have two rescue cats that are 3 and 6 years old. The male is a large Bombay at 16 pounds the female is 10 pound tabby. We have had them for 7 months now. They both could lose a couple of pounds. They put the weight on eating some so called grain free high quality cat food that supplemented their wet food. They both really liked the dry food and of course put on the weight. We call it “kitty crack” now and have them almost entirely on both canned (convenient) and fresh meats and fish. I worry about giving them raw poultry.

        What carb free brand of dry food do you buy?
        How do you determine the quantity and frequency to feed your cats?
        What additional nutrients do I need to add to their wet food?

        Thanks,
        Barry

        • EffieA July 27, 2018 at 8:18 am #

          I have a large breed Norwegian forest cat, the trick to know the quantity is cutting back if you see they are gaining weight as it means they are eating too much and don’t do free feeding rather stick with schedules feedings by giving them their food two or three times a day and then putting it away afterwards till next feeding time. My cat already knows his feeding schedule and will go to his mat when it time to eat. He eats a can a day in which is about 5.5 to 6.5 oz divided into three feedings, he has a healthy body fat mass and thick beautiful mane and fur. I don’t do fish except salmon oils, don’t do dry food or treats (they cause weight gain, health issues, and so on). Perhaps try doing more play time to up their activity to lose weight. High quality grain free raw and canned food generally cause cats to lose weight if they are gaining, cut back on quantity and again don’t give dry food if you can. My cat is a on a rotational meat diet in which he eats different type of meat (duck, guinea fowl, rabbit, lamb, venison, etc..) a day from different brands such as halo, bravo, ziwipeak, hounds and gatos, go! Lid, and sometimes nature variety or lotus’ just juicy lines and so on.

          • Nicole July 27, 2018 at 8:37 am #

            ARCANA/ ACANA dry is the only dry food worth anything..

          • EffieA July 27, 2018 at 9:11 am #

            It depends as they under went some manufacturing and ingredient changes and not all are made in excellent quality such as those manufactured in the US vs Canada. Best to get from Canada if you can in which i heard is practically difficult as they rather just ship you the food manufactured from their US factory. The Champion Orijen or Acana has great reviews etc but it is still dry food, with 10 percent moisture or less and this caused my friends’ bengals to suffer health issues and so on even with three water fountains nearby. My cat suffered his first and last uti due to this dry diet and he normally drinks adequate amounts of water with two water bowls and two large water fountains nearby. After the all wet diet transition three years ago, he has zero health issues, no allergies, and thick coat and grown more inches as expected of his breed. If you think about it, dry food is still heavily processed and people report health issues are reversed or improved when switch to either raw or high quality canned food diet such as the person that wrote this blog as they are more species appropriate for feline diets. Now i understand for occasional convenience, some will feed dry but it shouldn’t be the mainstay daily intake food diet for them. Recently, my male friend was not convinced and felt his champion acana and Orijen was great for his Norwegian forest and just underwent two painful blocked mucus plugs with a high chance of reoccurrence. He had extreme difficulty switching to all wet diet as dry kibble is like crack even high quality premium ones, yet great determination was made and he finally got his cat to transition, no problems and allergies have disappeared since then.

          • Jerilin July 27, 2018 at 9:28 am #

            Acana/Orijen may seem good on paper and may be good for some but the formulas all have high magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and other minerals and you are almost guaranteed a urinary blockage on this diet. Plus when I tried it once years ago the crazy amount of rich fish and weird vegetables,etc,etc caused my cats diarrhea, constipation and to be just miserable in the potty.

            See my list above for dry (which should always be used as supplemental only to the wet, no more than 30% in a day) that has both controlled mineral values and is lower carb. It is extremely hard to find both. Pro Plan dry is vet recommended across whole of USA by “traditional” vets. Hollistic vets recommend Solid Gold Indigo Moon and Farmina N&D as better grain free options for urinary health. Dr. Elsey’s was formulated by a cat only veterinarian and is low minerals. In dry or wet the “meat” has to be cut with something to bring down the mineral values is the short answer. Better to be cut with proteins (Purina) then vegetables (ridiculously expensive canned/dry),imo. I always serve a cat broth pouch cut with water alongside leaving to go out of the house with any dry meal for guaranteed cat hydration. The cats LOVE the broth much more than a plain water bowl lol. Nature’s Variety Instinct, Merrick, Acana and many other grain free dry kibble are definitely not recommended due to risk of urinary blockage. I have tried every cat food brand out there at some point or other. Wishing everyone here the very best of health to any and all cats.

          • Mary C July 28, 2018 at 6:54 am #

            You mentioned you give your cats several different brands, rotating them. I know you should be adding new foods gradually to avoid digestive issues. Does your cat do well changing brands regularly. My cats get bored with the same flavor, so I sometimes change types withinn the same brands, like just Weruva. My one cat will throw up occasionally, even if I give her a different flavor that she hasn’t eaten for a while. One thing I will mention is that Igive both of my cats Darwin’s raw for her evening meal and she has no problems digesting it and actually prefers the raw food over the canned. The other cat prefers canned, so I always give them the canned in the AM. But they both are fussy! They act like they’re starving in the morning, but then will walk away after I put the food down. I don’t like to leave wet food down for too long, especially in the summer. It’s like a food game they’re playing. My husband will comment that they’re on a food strike again.

          • EffieA. July 28, 2018 at 9:43 am #

            It is a balance as I started giving him different meat protein on a daily basis at a very young age to decrease the chance of the digestive upsets and no issues, in fact he demands it like that ha ha. One time, i forgot and ended up giving him the same meat two days in a row and he definitely didn’t like that and let me know not to make that mistake again! I highly recommend doing a slow transition such as give them different meat variety’s or brands on a weekly basis if that is the route you want to consider, and any time you are about to first change the meat (or brand) of the week, do half of the old and new so they won’t be surprised or off putted. I do the same, I’ll put the food up less than 30 mins if not eaten and bring it out again for the other timed feedings, the other half i have it In the a canned covered with a bpa free silicone- like top cover, refrigerated. May i ask Do you use a wide dish, my cat has sensitive whiskers and prefer wide foodware. I sometimes Have to dip a bit of food on his nose so he can lick and stimulate his interest, or i put it on mat or paper towel and he likes to sniff from there and eat and then go to the dish and eat the rest. Yep cats are weirdos. My cat has this weird loveable trait- he insists on being petted and loved before he eats, if he doesn’t get it- he won’t eat lol

          • Suze July 28, 2018 at 11:07 am #

            My brother and sister cats (just turned 8) were rescued at 8 weeks and I started them on a rotation diet with about half homemade. They’re basically not finicky so if they really don’t like something I don’t make them eat it, just change it. I can’t imagine what it must be like for a predator to rely on someone else where, when, and what they eat – 24/7!!!

            I try very hard to make them happy and healthy, and they reward me with kisses and tails up in the air. So far they are healthy and have great teeth and gums. I have done loads of research on pet food, feeding and pet health. For instance, a ‘finicky’ cat may be acting out not because of the type of food, but because she doesn’t like the bowl or where it’s placed on the floor. Or they may be bored and depressed. Exercise and ‘catification’ is crucial. Attention every day is mandatory.

            All pet owners should take time often to see things from their pet’s point of view. I feel so very sorry for the millions of pets that are forced to eat the exact same cheap food every day for years – a guaranteed way to shorten a life and end up with vet bills, as well as it being very unnatural to them.

          • EffieA. July 28, 2018 at 12:00 pm #

            Agreed about the meat variety as no one food or brand is perfect as we do this for ourselves, but why not apply the same principle to our fur babies! Yep, my blue lion’s allergies have long ago disappeared and he is very healthy with long luxurious fur and mane, the vet always comment about his great health and healthy weight size (he is a big cat in length and height due to his breed). Also forgot to mention, some cats if tall like mine or even if regular sized may benefit from having a little stand or pedestal to put the dishware on top of, this helps relieve pressure off their back and legs and sustains balance and even helps their digestive system. I have the petrageous’ set the table elevated pet dining table stand in gizmo size, purchased from amazon. My cat loves to eat off this. Or you can get a wooden chopping block in a certain thickness if you prefer

        • Jerilin July 27, 2018 at 8:30 am #

          Hi Barry!!
          I don’t think the person who wrote the article replies here… I agree with you that the very expensive canned food is not worth it. If you are very concerned with ingredients probably easiest and cheapest to make your own. Make sure you are using a balanced recipe that has all the essential vitamins and nutrients and less than 10% bone. High bone content means high mineral content which means urinary blockage. When I made my own cat food for a period I used Alnutrin with calcium (for boneless recipes) and Alnutrin without the calcium supplement when making recipes with bone.

          As far as the kibble question..there is really NO carb free kibble. I will list the best low carb ones that I use (no more than 30% in a day). I have also made sure the magnesium and ash percentages are controlled (less than 0.10% dry matter magnesium) to prevent urinary issues.
          Dry:
          1) Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein Chicken dry food (grain free) (4.5% carbs dry matter basis)
          2) Solid Gold Indigo Moon (grain free) 17% carbs dry matter basis (no other Solid Gold formula recommended just this one)
          Other options I love that are not grain free:
          1) Purina One Healthy Kitten Formula (only this Purina One-please use no other) by far best value for your money-not grain free. 20-22% carbs approx dry matter. Very high protein like most Purina. I feed to adult cats..”kitten” diet is just marketing ploy.
          2) Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin and Stomach Lamb and Rice (approx 23% carbs dry matter) very high protein. I use basically all the dry pro plans besides weight management because of the higher minerals content and savor chicken and rice because of higher carbs.

          For wet food I have made homemade in the past but I currently use:
          1) Fromm Beef Pate (has pearled barley)
          2) Fancy Feast Beef and Liver Classic (grain free)
          3) Fancy Feast Primavera Pate white meat chicken
          4) Fancy Feast Creamy Delights chicken pate
          5) Friskies Turkey and Giblets classic pate
          6) Friskies Mixed Grill Classic Pate, also Poultry Platter
          7) Wild Frontier Duck and Turkey cuts in gravy (as a topper on the pate)
          8) new Weruva Pates occasionally, Weruva Truluxe steak frites.
          9) Sheba cuts in gravy Turkey flavor (only this one, the other flavors higher in carbs) (as a topper on the pate)
          10) Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Spinach Pate, Beef and Carrots Pate sometimes.
          Note: All these wet and dry foods are extremely high protein and also have controlled magnesium and ash for urinary health and my cats absolutely thrive on these foods. Have a good day.

          • EffieA July 27, 2018 at 9:25 am #

            She occasionally responds as she is very busy. However there are great distinctions from low to high quality premium food as mentioned Purina and friskies although wet is still better than dry food, but not superior to others higher quality canned brands (Of course not all are superior or perfect) as what the main factor to take into account as not all protein is equal meaning there is a difference between plant and animal protein. Felines require higher content or all of animal protein, but many companies such as those listed above choose cheap low quality plant protein and other fillers to satisfy the percentages and keep the cost low, the ingredients are often questionable when considering the type of mineral and vitamin such a small vitamin k etc…used as well as type of meat or region), etc..

          • Jerilin July 27, 2018 at 9:41 am #

            It is up to you re ingredients if the Vitamin k used by many companies even “high end” ones is a deal breaker or not. The canned Purina recipes I mentioned above are all animal protein only no plant protein is used.Most are completely grain free. The dry recipes obviously have some plant protein but more animal then plant. If you must have the best ingredients, all animal protein etc then there are options like the Dr. Elsey’s and weruva,etc but budget is a concern for many and multiple generations of cats of mine have thrived on the listed Purina foods and lived long lives. High protein and low carb, and lower magnesium/urinary health is the biggest consideration I factor when picking foods so I will not shell out big bucks for Hound and Gatos for example when it is mainly fat. Heart to heart I’m sure your cats are doing lovely too 🙂

          • Laurie September 17, 2018 at 6:05 pm #

            Jerilin, I do buy some of the top recommended foods from this list. But I recently saw this post by a vet on facebook which talks about the magnesium issue, which I fully understand. I see you mentioned that in your comment so maybe you can answer this. Do you know if the foods on this list are also fine in terms of magnesium content? I don’t exactly know how to be sure. Would it directly state “magnesium” in the ingredient list? I am particularly curious because one of my three cats has developed crystals in his urine (idk if they are struvite crystals or some other kind, or even if there ARE other kinds) and the vet had me put him on a prescription diet (Hills c/d) which is like way more expensive than the expensive things on this list. i’m wondering if the Hound & Gatos and Nature’s Instinct LID, which I’d been feeding him and which I still feed my other two, are also fine in terms of the magnesium/nutrient mixture, or if it’s possible that they are why he got crystals, and if so, maybe he could do fine on a cheaper diet than what I was giving him, instead of a more expensive one?

            Here is the post I saw that made me wonder:

            Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, when Dr. T was but a lad freshly graduated from veterinary school, there was a disease in cats called F.U.S. – “Feline Urologic Syndrome.” Cats, especially those who preferred dry foods, would make nasty, razor blade-like crystals in their urine. These cats would strain to urinate, pee all over the place (particularly places where the owner would notice, like your bedspread or favorite chair), and pass blood in their urine. Male cats, neutered or otherwise, would obstruct and become completely unable to urinate. These cats could die in as little as 24 hours, and often required several days in the hospital with a catheter in their bladder before they could reliably regain the ability to pee by themselves.
            Then the Research Fairy discovered that the problem was NOT the ASH in the diet, but a complex interaction between the amount of MAGNESIUM in the food and the nutrient mixture that resulted in urine with a high pH (low acidity) and high concentration. The combination of these things resulted in the precipitation of little razor blade (struvite) crystals in the urine, which cut up the bladder lining, caused pain and bleeding, and could ultimately result in the formation of sandy plugs that made it impossible for the poor boy cats to pee.
            “HURRAY!” cried the happy cat owning villagers and veterinarians. “Hurray!” cried the makers of cat foods, who rushed to adjust their food recipes to eliminate the problem. “Meow!” cried the kitties who no longer were forced to pee bloody urine all over the place.
            When the foods were improved, FUS became (pretty much) a thing of the past. Veterinarians were forced to come up with a new name – “Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease”, and later, “Feline Interstitial Cystitis” for the cats who continued to have similar problems even when the crystals were not present in their urine.
            And it looked like everyone would live happily ever after.
            BUT time passes, and the memories of men (but not women) are short. As the decades passed, new manufacturers of cat food came on the scene with new, and often very expensive kitty diets with catchy names. The wisdom of the past having been forgotten, these diets were no longer formulated in a way that prevented the formation of struvite crystals. And then, much to the despair of kitties and kitty lovers and veterinarians, the dreaded struvite crystals crept back into the urine of kitties, and some cats started to suffer – again – from a disease that had become all but a thing of the past.

          • Jerilin September 18, 2018 at 6:38 am #

            Hi Laurie,

            I would be glad to help you out. The magnesium % for cats is never usually listed on a can. You need to contact the manufacturer to find out that information. Ask them for the dry matter % magnesium. It needs to be at or less than 0.10-0.11%. I try to keep phosphorus at or below 1.2% dry matter if possible. If the manufacturer will only give you “as fed” values and not dry matter (more accurate) it needs to be at or below 0.25%. I don’t know specific numbers for either of the two brands you asked about but I do not feed Nature’s Variety because they are one of the worst offenders for both dry and wet for formulating cat foods with excessively high magnesium. Also the Nature’s Variety and Hound and Gatos pates tend to have lower protein %. I like to see the % of calories from protein at least at 36%. Look for the chart at catinfo .org that says protein/fat/carb chart to see for the specific formula you are currently feeding. One new gripe I have with SOME of the Purina foods I previously mentioned as good is the amount of soy protein. Soy is a phytoestrogen and is said to be causing thyroid issues in cats. I don’t like to see it used as a protein in cat food. Pea Protein is ok but I don’t like to see it overshadow the meat protein or the cat tends to poop a lot and it contributes to the carb %. Cats are extremely picky but here is my current list of fed foods. Keep in mind there are other extremely well formulated foods that my cats just won’t eat. My cats don’t like Weruva shredded chicken foods because of the stringy tough texture of the chicken and many Weruva foods caused my cats diarrhea. The new Weruva pates have not though but some of my cats won’t accept their texture. Tiki Cat shredded foods are too high in magnesium!!! Ok here’s what I’m using…none of it is perfect but I am most concerned about cat nutrition, high protein and urinary health but do have some unacceptable ingredient concerns. I have 11 cats so I do feed one dry meal to help with cost but if you can wet is better (though try to avoid BPA as much as you can)…I feed fish but ask about mercury and look at the species of fish fed..

            Wet: Purely Fancy Feast white meat chicken, chicken and beef, salmon and beef flavors, Muse Shredded Chicken and spinach cup, Muse shreddded chicken and anchovies pouch, **Nutro Max Cat Chunks in Sauce-all flavors, highly recommended (I do increase the protein by adding Crave or Wild Frontier chunks into it), Earthborn Hollistic Catalina Catch & Monterey Medley (chicken ones are high carb), Weruva Mideast Feast, Weruva new pates (my cats hate the ones with chicken..I recommend salmon flavors and lamb and mackerel), Purina Beyond Chicken, Beef & Carrot chunk in gravy, Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain canned chunks in sauce (only a couple of my cats will eat this though), Solid Gold Five Oceans Shredded tuna foods (all routinely screened for mercury), Fancy Feast Classic pates (I try to feed the ones lowest in Phosphorus so beef and turkey), Purina One Turkey Pate, Sheba classic pate, Nutro chunky loaf pate, Nutro Senior soft loaf chicken, Crave (Nutro) chunks in gravy foods, Sheba Cuts in gravy (turkey flavor only), Lotus Just Juicy Shredded (extremely expensive), Naural Balance Catatoulli Stew (heard it was reformulated so buy at own risk), Merrick Backcountry chunks in gravy pouches (my cats hate Merrick pates and some of them have high magnesium or phosphorus), Fromm Classic Pate Turkey & Duck flavor. I used to feed some Weruva TruLuxe flavors but my cats have started rejecting them and I have noticed some looser stools.
            Dry (for 1/3 meals): **Dr. Elsey Clean Protein-highly recommended, Farmina N & D, Solid Gold Indigo Moon, Purina Beyond Wild Turkey & Lentil (at the very top end of my allowed dry carb %—25%, I add more of the freeze dried chicken to it and mix with the Elsey’s), Purina Pro Plan True Nature Kitten Chicken and egg (see my previous comment on carbs also a lot of pea protein), Annarmet (sp?) Fish & Chicken formula, Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain (magnesium is 0.12% so I mix with appropriate foods, Pea Protein amount is high but it’s economical), Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Recipe (magnesium is 0.14% max on B.B. dry foods so I mix with something more appropriate) (kitten recipe is lower carbs than the regular adult Wilderness dry by a smidge but I do feed the adult ones mixed in for taste especially salmon and duck), American Journey Chewy dry cat foods (see B.B. comment on magnesium, mixer food, this food is essentially generic B.B.). I do also have a prescription for Hill’s MD diabetic/weight cat food (be careful with the wheat gluten and make sure your cats aren’t allergic) (I don’t have a diabetic cat..)( I do not suggest any other Hill’s dry food than this)
            Treats: Pure Bites freeze dried one ingredient, other freeze dried one ingredient treats, Blue Buffalo semi moist high protein cat treats (Chicken and Duck, Chicken and Salmon, Chicken & Turkey, use the dry above as treat.
            Have a great day!!

          • Jo Singer September 18, 2018 at 7:42 am #

            Good morning fellow cat lovers.

            I visited Chewy this morning and searched for two of the wet foods we feed (we are trying SO hard to transition to raw), and while these are only three of the canned foods I searched, looking for magnesium content, since many of the cat foods sold on Chewy does have a nutritional list for most of the foods they carry, Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Fowl Ball has 0.03%, and Instinct Nature’s Variety Limited Ingredient doesn’t list magnesium on the nutritional contents. I checked Wellness Core chicken and turkey (we don’t feed this) and it too had 0.03% magnesium. We rarely feed any food that contains fish, since fish can be irritating to the bladder, and invite FLUTD- which dry food does also from what I have been learning. The other day I received an ad from Nom-Nom, so I checked their chicken formula and while the first ingredients is meat, there are also too many fruits and veggies in their formula. I wrote to Nom -Nom inquiring about the reason for so many plant proteins in their ingredients, they responded to me very quickly saying that their recipes are based on the recommendations by their veterinarian who states that this formula was created to mimic cats’ ideal prey since these items may be found in the prey’s digestive tract. The percentage of fruits and veggies is about 10%. The problem is that the prey animal consumed by a cat has the plant protein digested already. Lacking the enzyme to easily digest carbs, carbs are not an ideal species appropriate diet. 10% is a substantial amount, in my opinion.So, another disappointment. Thankfully one of our cats does like small test pieces of raw chicken and raw beef. Just wish our other cat so so inclined, still I am working on it. I would much rather grind our own and add the necessary supplements to make their diet both nutritionally complete and species appropriate.

        • Geo55 July 28, 2018 at 3:53 pm #

          If you are going to feed some dry food, imo the best out there is made by Young Again. It is low carb with a healthy nutritional profile. I feed my cats wet meals and give them a small amount of YA Mature Health dry food as snacks- usually less than a tablespoon at a time since a diet of low carb, grain free wet/ raw food is the only really healthy kind for a cat. I recommend calling Young Again and speaking to Jennifer who does a great job explaining why their food is so much better than the average corn-laden, crap-based dry food on the market. (800) 311-6646.

  4. Susanne June 27, 2018 at 9:26 am #

    i discovered Riplee’s Ranch brand, Canadian made. Ordered it by post. It has no gums. Google and try it out if you like.

    It uses human grade meat.

    My cats actually will eat it.

    Often the most healthy brands they won’t

    Worth a try for others looking for healthy, and fresh, as they make it in small batches, food.

    The Ontario rep let me pay for a sample box so I could try some first rather than starting with a whole case.

    i am always looking for fresh, as some brands the edges look dark of the food and not fresh. And for natural filler rather than gums,
    and for human grade meat.

    The price….its the same around as pet store brands.

  5. tcat1 May 13, 2018 at 8:13 pm #

    Lotus makes other food than the fish one. My kitties eat the Just Juicy Chicken and Just Juicy Turkey and love it.

    • EffieA. May 13, 2018 at 8:40 pm #

      I also Used to get lotus just juicy lines as they contain no fish, but was so disappointed the last recent times as the pork and venison was so little in quantity and mostly liquid, especially factering price the past batches were more fulfilling. May i ask Is the turkey quantity more thicker- meaning more meat and not mainly juice or stew? I would post a pic of the pork but did on chewy reviews.

  6. Susan May 10, 2018 at 10:53 am #

    Holistic select constipated my cat, too much filler. I rotate lots of brands of food otherwise cats can get an allergy,
    I don’t believe allergy is usually for life, just take it out for awhile and add back later small amount.
    All the foods have some filler, so I rotate a lot of brands.

    Wild Calling, Romeo, Party Animal, Healthy indulgence,
    Wellness stew couple times a week which I add filtered water to,
    keeps my cat regular,
    and also few times per week the Weruva pate chicken and pumpkin.
    The wide variety at least 8 different brands seems to keep him healthiest and out of the vet
    with constipation, and none of my cats seem to have allergy .

    Don’t think any of the brands don’t have fillers. There is occasional one that is supposed to be healthy but they won’t eat it, still through trial and error I have about 8 or more brands that they will eat, and just rotate everyday.

    I always open 2 or more cans so if one cat likes one type more and the other cat likes other brand more, then I am not throwing stuff away.
    Working out okay with the limited amount of brands available in Canada, which is annoying we are not allowed to buy from America our closest neighbour, pet food that is in a can. as U.S. has a lot more choices of pet food.

    My cats get a few kIBBLE a few times per week, I found this to actually help my cats stay regular, even though kibble has a bad rap, it has worked giving a small amount, better for my cats, then not giving any. he was constipated often when I previously tried completely moving kibble. Also keeps them happier like a treat..

    I’m not ever going to eat cake or ice cream even though I know it is not good for me, I will have it in moderation so I get it on behalf of how my cats feel,
    Also an avid believer if cats can go outside monitored and walk on grass and they are trained by putting in significant time with them to not run away then of course they should be like a natural cat was intended to be.

    My cats have never run away, but I hang out with them, and had put my time in with training. Its been 7 years here now with them having a great life of some outside time. There has not been problems like some people think like cat fights or dying birds.

    I only mention this because cats have got a bad rap, whereas someone who never allowed a dog out of the house would be criticzed.

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