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.
JUNE 2016: RadCat announced a voluntary recall of specific batches of food due to bacteria detected. See this FAQ to check your batches and learn more. It is unlikely your cats will eat the tainted food even if you give it to them, but avoid it so your cat doesn’t get sick.
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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1,588 Responses to Today’s best cat foods–reviews of canned and raw options

  1. Christine August 13, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    Any updates on the Organix grain free canned foods?

  2. josinger14 August 14, 2016 at 7:42 am #

    Our almost 16 year old CRF kitty loves Nature’s Variety limited Ingredient Turkey formula. I just wish the company would remove the peas- I have to pluck them out and try not to lose the meat- since he is CRF we need to be careful about phosphorus, which peas are high in. I am certain that there could be another veggie (although I am not hot on veggie protein) they could use. Just my thoughts about this product. And he doesn’t like the Lamb formula- but our one year old OSH loves it and I am not that concerned with the peas in that formula. Why are they using veggie protein at all? Scratching head……

  3. Jennifer August 17, 2016 at 4:44 am #

    It seems that. Stella & Chewy changed their poultry freeze dried formulas to now contain pea fiber and menadione. 🙁

    • J.R. September 9, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

      I just noticed this on a new 18 oz bag of Duck, Duck, Goose. I am so disappointed. Guess I will be cutting out freeze dried, as I hate dealing with the primal freeze-dried, or look into fresh is best.

      • LisaM September 18, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

        Fresh is Best freeze dried is excellent actually, I’ve used their FD turkey, my cats loved the food. The bone meal used is human grade, a source of MCH calcium, per FIB. The food is a bit pricey but that is because they make small batches to ensure freshness. FIB doesn’t use mixed tocopherols, which can be a combo of Vit E and soy and/or corn. They use Vit E as a preservative.
        For cats that may have CKD or require a lower phosphorus food, the food is among the lowest freeze dried foods I’ve found. There are a few veggies but it’s still on the low carb end. Finally, their customer service is excellent, Stacy, the founder of FIB always responds to email inquiries with thorough and detailed answers. I love this company. 🙂

        • J.R. September 24, 2016 at 4:47 pm #

          Thanks for the info, Lisa. I will consider them. But my one dominant cat has decided that she’s not into freeze dried these days…sigh!

  4. Frank August 17, 2016 at 6:45 am #

    Hi,

    I just brought home a 4 month old kitten and am wondering what quality wet food people recommend. I’m having trouble settling on what to try- thanks!

    • maria oppenheimer August 17, 2016 at 10:09 am #

      My kittens liked wellness core kitten and blue healthy gourmet kitten in chicken flavors. It seems that they’re easier to please when they’re kittens, they become more finicky as they get older…

      • Effie A. August 17, 2016 at 11:25 am #

        Hello frank, it is best to do a rotatational meat varieties to prevent finicky behavior later, Good brands that I know or experienced- wild calling, go!, weruva, tiki, lotus just juicy line, ziwipeak, nature variety brands (including limited ingredient ones), and so forth could be good for any cat or kitten, just make sure it states for all life stages. I tend to avoid chicken or fish ones because my two years old cat’s allergies but other than that he is thriving and growing (already 31 inches long). Also if you can’t find these brands at your local stores, check out chewy.com- great customer service and policies, someone mention naturalpet.com (I could be wrong) if you want to buy singles instead of cases. I fed these brands since my kitten was allowed to eat solids (had him since he was 4 weeks old). I strongly advise avoid dry food (that was a frustrating and painful experience for my fur baby and me).

        • Frank August 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

          Effie,

          Thanks for the great response. All of the brands you mentioned were ones that I’ve found in my research. So you recommend rotating brands? How often? I always thought this would upset the kittens stomach. Also you don’t recommend any dry food at all? I heard Orijen was great so I was going to try that. Thanks!!

          Frank

          • Effie A. August 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

            Sometimes the stomach can be a little upset or gassy when first starting out the meat rotations, you can slowly start on one meat for a week or half and half of different meats and then the next meat varieties in the same manner the following weeks in which the stomach adjust eventually. I feed a different meat variety on a daily basis (I.e- Monday is beef, Tuesday is lamb, etc.. Also of different brands too). Orijen is a great maker, but I wished they produced wet food, it depends if your cat is male, dry food can make him more prone to uti and etc.. Even with lots of water – Stoney has two water fountains too, he drank more than two cups of water daily and still got a uti (his first and last ever hopefully) and it was so hard to get him to eat wet food as he was addicted to dry food- took me four-five months to transition to an all wet diet, his allergies are gone now too. The problem with dry food- can be more prone to diseases, obesity, it’s addictive, dehydration (only had a max of 10 percent moisture compared to wet food min of 78%), etc.. If you have to feed dry, do make sure it is only a small portion of his diet versus wet food.

          • Frank August 17, 2016 at 1:44 pm #

            Thanks for the insight! My plan when i get him is to start him on Natures Variety wet food and a small amount of Orijen dry. Do you recommend slowly mixing the new food with his old food or is it safe to just switch to the new? I think he’s been eating the cheap stuff, given shelters can’t afford the quality food.

          • Effie A. August 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm #

            Most generally do it slowly as you suggested, mixing the old with the new before completely switching to the new brand or meat varieties

          • geo55 August 17, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

            Excellent advice from Effie A. I also want to echo her concern re: dry food. They really do get addicted to it. I only give dry as an in-between meal snack or in the very early morning before I am ready to get up and serve breakfast. ( I mix it with crumbled Whole Life freeze-dried Chicken treats.) Very important that the carbohydrate content of all their foods be kept to a minimum. Most canned and especially dry foods are way too high in carbs. Imo, the best dry food on the market is made by Young Again: https://www.youngagainpetfood.com/cat-food.html. They are a small company with integrity. (If you call, ask for Jennifer, who can explain their philosophy to you and send you some samples.) I still believe that wet/ raw food is much preferable to a dry diet. If you are going to feed a dry food, then do try YA.

  5. LCH August 22, 2016 at 9:23 am #

    I’m curious what the complaints about Merrick since the buyout are. Is it just the general fear that being owned by Purina MAY have negative consequences, or have pets begun to have health issues who continued to eat Merrick post-buyout? If the latter, then I obviously don’t want to use it!

    • geo55 August 22, 2016 at 12:42 pm #

      I would like to know this as well. Am still feeding Merrick Perfect Bistro Salmon in my rotation, cuz it’s one of the few better foods they’ll eat.

  6. EffieA August 24, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    I’m curious on bravo as once listed as a top brand on this list, what happened? Worth trying? I noticed Stoney still isn’t a fan of wild calling cowabunga sadly, haven’t tried turkey. Still no word if anyone tried pure vita as well?

    • LilacSerenity August 25, 2016 at 11:24 am #

      same here. i’ve noticed my girls aren’t fans of beef flavor no matter the brand. definitely try wild calling turkey and duck flavors, mine love it!

      • EffieA. August 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

        Does the turkey from wild calling smell the same as the beef one if you don’t mind my asking? I noticed it is the smell that seems to drive off my cat and now he refuses to touch it. Lol these frustrating and finicky cats! I’m going to try pure vita next time.

        • LilacSerenity August 29, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

          It definitely smells different! I myself don’t like the smell or the look of beef recipe (although, in all fairness, it does smell like real beef), but both duck and turkey smell delicious! They differ from each other as well. I also have “triple delight” in my rotation, which is lamb, salmon, and chicken, and it also has its own smell. Little tip though: I don’t know about the other brands, but Chewy listed wrong ingredients for Wild Calling cans, so for the correct ingredients you should check their own website – those are the ingredients listed on the actual cans I received from Chewy (which are much better than in Chewy’s description, btw).
          As for PureVita, I personally wouldn’t feed it to my cats ’cause of their poor ingredients – pea flour and potato starch listed as third and fourth ingredients! It also has tomato paste (wtf?), which can be too acidic for cats, and more importantly it contains Calcium Sulfate – a freaking plaster!
          I myself am looking for another brand to add to my rotation that’s as good quality as Wild Calling. Any advice is welcome!

          • EffieA August 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

            Thanks! I may give wild calling one more try but with Turkey. I also am considering bravo wet canned food, just need to check them out more

          • EffieA. September 18, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

            Well I’m back searching for a turkey pate variety, Stoney first liked the turkey and duck for the first three or four cans of wild calling but after that he refused it completely, frustrating! It is the smell as it seems to put him off oddly. Any other canned suggestions would be helpful?

          • Linda September 19, 2016 at 7:35 am #

            I have finally found something my cat will eat – other than Fancy Feast. Although, I am not sure about all of the ingredients – but I am buying from Earthwise Pet Food store and it appears to be a better quality than some. It is Party Animal Cocoliscious – there are several pate’s and they are similar to Wild Calling in texture. Maybe a little more soupy, but she seems to like that and I figure she’s getting more water that way. Oddly, she likes the Pork/Lamb the best. Both have been turning their nose up at the Wild Calling, and I’ve tried most all of them. And FYI folks, the Wild Calling Alley Gator I bought recently was beyond smelling bad. There is no way I would have even tried to let/get my cats to eat it. If your cat likes pate, you may want to try the Cocoliscious.

  7. Ali August 28, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

    Any thoughts on Nutro? Thanks 🙂

    • Christine August 28, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

      The Nutro Natural Choice Soft Loaf kitten formula is thought to be quite good – although it does have guar gum and ‘natural flavors’ which bothers some people. But it’s very high in protein and very low in carbs which is awesome.

      The Nutro Max cat adult formulas also has a good protein/fat/carb ratio (High protein, low carb). But be aware there’s a lot of variation between flavors.. some have xantham gum/carrageenan, and others have some sort of meat broth (i.e. turkey broth or chicken broth) as the first ingredient, so be sure to check the ingredients for each flavour and decide if that’s the one you’re comfortable with.

  8. Justin August 30, 2016 at 1:21 am #

    Soulistic wet food has sunflower seed oil in it. Wouldnt this be bad for cats long term without counteracting omega 3’s? Also, I was going to get Holistic, but than found Peppermint Leaf Powder in the ingredients. Peppermint is a very well known toxin to cats, am I missing something here? I really like your blog, and have been using it to get my cats off of wellness signature. But as you can see I have run into complications. Thank You

  9. Patricia September 1, 2016 at 5:42 am #

    Hi!

    Wondering what your thoughts are in Earthborn Holistic canned foods, as of yet two formulas don’t have carageenan: Chicken Catcciatori and Monterey Medley. I feed my Siberian those and she is doing well, also I have been wanting to try the Addiction duck formula, but concerned now about the carbs, what’s the percentage?
    Also what are your thoughts on Agar Agar? It seems that it comes from red seaweed like carageenan and has similar binding properties. Doing my research I read that it contains carageenan. Ziwipeak and Lotus Juicy canned varieties use it as a binder so I’ve been avoiding those….

    Please advise?

  10. Francene September 10, 2016 at 7:25 am #

    Hi, I bought FirstMate Chicken Formula cat food. Just an F.Y.I. Its Free Run chicken formula and not Free Range. TY

  11. AH September 10, 2016 at 11:25 pm #

    Raw food has risks, too. See: http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/recall-alert-rappel-avis/hc-sc/2016/59284r-eng.php

  12. Micky September 14, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

    Seriously love your blog. Thank you for putting in so much time and effort to help many lost cat owners find their way. You make it easy and simple to provide a better life for cats!! I am curious what your opinions on some litter products are, do you have an article regarding this?

    • geo55 September 15, 2016 at 10:24 am #

      I haven’t seen her do a rating of litter products…But healthier to stick with fragrance free or unscented litter. Most clumping clay litter is scented and cats don’t need to breathe in a lick extra chemicals!

    • Wilma Blake September 15, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

      Hi, Micky. I don’t know what criteria one uses for evaluating litter. Like Geo, I avoid scented litter. And, as with food, it doesn’t matter how good a litter is if your cat won’t use it.

      My eldest cat has always been picky/particular about litter–not just the type, but the amount in the boxes (3″ precisely) and the cleanliness of the boxes (clean but not too clean; when I wash or replace boxes, I put the old litter back in.) Perhaps this is due to her incredibly furry feet–with cats, who knows?

      I use the sandiest clumping litter I can find. I buy Integrity at the local feed store and Pestell’s Easy Clean on line. Both cost about $17 for 40-lb. bags. The bags are about twice the size of Dr. Elsey’s, a gravelly litter which my eldest simply won’t use.

      • EffieA. September 15, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

        It depends on the type and as others expressed, on the cat’s preferance. Most prefer corn, wheat, or walnut based types aside from pellet ones as being safer than clay or crysal based ones. My cat always used the walnut based from blue brand and I love the yellow bag as it has the best clumping power to me.

  13. Justin September 19, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Just got off the phone with Holistic Select cat food, and they didnt give me a complete answer on peppermint. They talked about how they use it for certain vitamins, and how its in a powder form, and in small amounts that it shouldnt cause problems. ASPCA and other sites list it as toxic.

    http://pets.thenest.com/peppermint-scent-affect-cats-8620.html
    http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/toxic-and-non-toxic-plants/mint

    and others via google

    Just because its in small amounts (middle of ingredients) doesnt mean it cant accumulate. You should really take them off the list just because of that. Its a way bigger issue than a can’s lining, guar gum, or something else. When you call it also asks to press 2 for them and 1 for wellness; so they are in the same company holder as wellness who is not on your list. I really hope you consider this. Also, catmint and peppermint are two completely different kinds of menthol.

    • Liz September 20, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

      Appreciate your concern and research here. Will take it into consideration. The first link above is mainly referencing *essential oils* which are many times stronger than powders and extract and I do believe that all essential oils are a risk. However, that’s not what is in Holistic Select. Also, the only serious source I’ve seen that implies mint (in general) is toxic to cats is the ASPCA database, but honestly I think this may be an misunderstanding – I think they are referring to Pennyroyal, which is toxic for all of us – they do reference it on that page. It may be that too much peppermint could upset a cat’s stomach – not saying I doubt that, but deadly toxic? I question that.

      • Justin September 20, 2016 at 9:37 pm #

        Thank You so much for commenting Liz. I am not trying to act arrogant, its just because we lost a cat at 6 years of age and no Vet could figure out what was wrong with her. She had kidney failure over no time and kept having blood discharges. We fed her good wet food for a year, coming off of top shelf dry, and spent thousands on vet bills. I really do think it was the food, hence my apprehension; I wont let it happen to her sisters. The links I promised. Again, you probably already know this since your site is vast with info, but some you may find interesting. I didnt take all items as truth, and instead cross referenced them with each other, and used common sense for cats diets or google for further clarification. Some are better than others. Some have redundant info, but facts that arent listed anywhere else, so google for cross reference is nice.

        http://www.reviews.com/cat-food/
        http://consciouscat.net/2012/03/22/the-best-food-for-your-cat/
        http://consciouscat.net/2012/06/14/rotation-diet-for-cats/
        http://truthaboutpetfood.com/which-pet-foods-have-bpa-free-cans/
        http://catinfo.org/
        http://www.catinfo.org/?link=cannedfoods
        http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=470
        http://www.happycatshaven.org/what-to-feed-what-to-avoid/
        http://www.petsafe.net/learn/pet-food-the-good-the-bad-and-the-healthy
        http://veterinaryholistics.com/nutrition/dog-cat-food-ingredients-avoid/

        You eliminated some brands since they are affiliated with other brands that you didnt like, so how about wellness and Holistic select being in the same franchise? Again, not trying to insult, just clarification for your reasoning.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WellPet…….Supported by phone call that asks to press one number for wellness and another for holistic.

        Also, too much mineral content in cat food can cause urinary tract problems including infection, cystitis and bladder obstruction. So double check your cat food to make sure they arent getting over the RDA amount; or if your creating your own, not to overdo it.

        Good info once again, and I really do appreciate your efforts. If only we could get a similar blog for water fountains.

        Remember people to get your cat/s multiple areas for water away from food and litter; even if they are on wet food. Cats are picky so they may like it in one spot, rather than another. Some prefer ice cube cold water,, some really moving, others still. Generally fountains help most though. Beware of ceramic because it can chip (could contain toxins in glaze), Plastic harbors bacteria over time even if cleaned thoroughly. Not to mention the same reasons for why people should avoid it too. Stainless steel is iffy because a cat may scare themselves via their reflections, others dont like the metallic taste. Some people use glass bowls with fish filters, but you still have plastic in there; and some cats dont like the waterfall effect and the bacteria/hair in filter tube. I wish they made reasonably priced glass filters with with only a plastic motor (bare minimum). Glass is cheaper than ceramic and steel, dont know why pet companies dont do it. Ceramic is just as fragile as glass, so that argument doesnt work.

        I have a glass bowl with tap water. Another glass bowl with a underwater tiny motor (PetSafe Drinkwell Hy-Drate) and reverse osmosis water. The last fountain for our cats is a plastic multi-teir one with RO water too. Since plastic is the only thing one will drink, since its good if cats play with water, i have that. I will replace the plastic fountain and petsafe one once a year, so bacteria infestation doesnt get out of control and by than the plastic will probably be leeching more. Small price to pay in order to make sure they are hydrated (hopefully). Cats can be stubborn when it comes to drinking so unfortunately its trial and error/money down.

        Thank You again for letting me spread this info, hopefully it helps others. Our cats are now on Soulistic and Wild calling, they like the latter more. They were on wellness signature which they boycott now. Still on the lookout for one more brand to replace soulistic, since it has too much water in my opinion that the cats dont like it. Water should not be over 78 max on label. I also may just add a third brand that is a similar price if I dont replace it.

        PLEASE ……spread the message guys that dry food DOES not clean cats teeth; its a myth that wont stop. Also spread to avoid cats getting declawed. It shortens their lifespan, since its a tendon and they cant fully utilize their body. Its banned in much of Europe too because of this, its very cruel.

        • geo55 September 22, 2016 at 11:07 am #

          Thank you, Justin for sharing your comprehensive research.

          • Justin September 23, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

            You’re welcome

          • Maricela Vargas September 23, 2016 at 11:52 pm #

            Does anyone have any experience or opinion on Young Again pet food?! I’m thinking of switching my cat from Origen to Young Again.

          • geo55 September 24, 2016 at 10:51 am #

            IMO, Young Again is the best dry food on the market. It is low-carb and doesn’t suffer the feeding problems of most other dry foods. Diabetic cats who are switched to it often can come off insulin. My three large Ragdoll cats eat primarily wet food, but have YA as snacks. I’ve yet to hear of a cat that doesn’t like it. If you call over there, talk to Jennifer who is great at explaining how YA is different.

          • Maria O September 24, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

            Maricela. I have used Young Again, I bought it for one of my kitties that was diabetic. Unfortunately about a month after starting the Young Again, all 4 of my cats passed away within a span of 2 months. The diabetic one became very ill throwing up and the runs. Another one developed and died from kidney problems, another heart… to make a long story short, I really believe it had something to do with switching them to the Young Again food. They were all older cats ranging in age from 8 – 17 years old. I hate to say anything negative about this company because I don’t really have any proof, but I truly believe it had something to do with all of my cats passing shortly after feeding them Young Again. I now have 2 kittens and I will only feed them wet food from the list above and Orijen dry. When I saw your post, I had to let you know. I miss them terribly.

          • Maricela Vargas September 24, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

            Thank you so much for the response and I’m terribly sorry about your loss. I cannot even begin to imagine what terrible sadness you must be going through. I’m very apprehensive about switching over and everything on their website sounds convincing, I’ve even spoken to the rep and they’ve sent samples and charts and graph comparisons but I just don’t hear much about them from regular folks aside from what they have on their own website.

          • geo55 September 24, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

            Maria O: So sorry to hear about the tragic passing of your cats! I’ve only heard good things about Young Again, so was surprised to hear about your experience. I can see why you’ve formed that opinion.

    • EffieA. September 20, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

      I don’t use this brand you mentioned so I can’t attest how my cat fares on it, but I did read that link and other sites that stated that there are distinctions on peppermint in powder form vs oil form in which the latter is more questionable . There are others that expressed disagreement with other brands on the certain ingredient listings or manufacturing plant origins, but what I did and others expressed is that we can continually educate ourselves and use the best judgment possible, because sadly there isn’t any pet food including canned that is perfect unless one actually makes it at home (home raw feeding perhaps).

      • Justin September 20, 2016 at 8:37 pm #

        Thank you

  14. Justin September 20, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

    Really, you didnt post my comment because I said you should remove Holistic select from your page because it has peppermint in it; which is toxic to cats. I thought this was the page to share information?

    • Chrisine September 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

      Hey Justin I see your aug30 post above if that’s what you’re talking about. But I would also like to know wtf peppermint is doing in that food… I’ve fed my cats a few cans of this stuff so now I’m worried.

      • EffieA. September 20, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

        From I read peppermint extract, the powder, and herb itself isn’t toxic or harmful although not much nutritional beneficial while the oil is questionable and also it depends on how much they put – so if it is listed on the first few five or six, then it is prominent while listed further down the ingredient lists implies very little amount in it. In terms of sunflower oil provides omega fatty acids, although not as superior to salmon oil etc..it isn’t harmful or toxic and I notice my cat didn’t suffer any ill effects on lotus but i do rotational diets of variety of meats and brands with differing ingredients. Also, I see your first comment listed Justin, wasn’t omitted, I even have missed some of mine before due to so many messages here 🙂

        • Justin September 20, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

          I screened over multiple times, and it wasnt there; so must have been technical or something. As soon as I posted my second comment, the first one appeared again which had the links in it. Thank You for the clarification, but still feel uneasy on that brand being top shelf for cat food, its cheap now too. I am also hesitant since they are in league with wellness. I posted some more links above to Liz. Hopefully it helps other cat owners out since they can use it as a guide to further narrow down the selections.

          • EffieA. September 20, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

            Understandable and good to have a dialogue as it brings a new awareness that others may have missed, especially even me. Thank you

    • Wilma Blake September 20, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

      I think Holistic Select and Whole Earth are two of the most dangerous “premium” foods on the market, for different reasons. Think of fruit dehydrators–and then imagine industrial strength dehydrators. Or, weigh a bunch of fresh basil, dry it, and then pulverise it. The weight diminishes more than considerably.

      Does powder minimise the carb load? No. My cats’ guts know carbs.

      My name is new here, but I’m not. I’ve simply forgotten my sign-in from two years ago.

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