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

SMALL UPDATE Mar 2020: Wild Calling was removed because it went out of business.

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 NO LONGER IN BUSINESS   : (
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.
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.
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%).
Contains controversial ingredient Menadione (synthetic K)
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.
Stellas Freeze Dried RAW Dinner Morsels

More convenient than raw frozen food.
Raw is considered the most easily digested, nutrient-available form of cat food.
Low starch, grain free
Nice simple ingredients are easy on digestion

No carrageenan

MED daily feeding cost compared to others on this list.
All raw dehydrated are in 2nd place because they require added water to be healthy and many people may overlook this.
No longer contains menadione!
IMPORTANT: Add water; rehydrate for 1 minute.  Add water as instructed.
cats can get dehydrated & accidentally overeat if you don’t.
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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2,045 Responses to Today’s best cat foods–reviews of canned and raw options

  1. kitkat July 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    There is a new cat food at my local pet store, Wild Calling. Made in U.S.A., good ingredients, except for the guar gum. Google the name, because I have trouble getting my posts to show up if I use links in them.

    • SE July 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

      It’s not bad — better than most — but the Brewer’s Yeast is worse than the Guar Gum,

      Wild Calling Cat Food, Duck Flavor

      Guaranteed Ingredients

      Duck, Water (Sufficient for Processing), Liver, Guar Gum, Brewers Dried Yeast, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source Of Vitamin C], Thiamine Mononitrate [Source Of Vitamin B1], Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Source Of Vitamin B6], Riboflavin Supplement [Source Of Vitamin B2], Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferric Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide).
      ________________________________________________

      dried brewers yeast (1 stars) found in 1% of pet food products analyzed
      Can become toxic to liver, waste product of beer and ale industry.

      Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/report_pet_food_ingredients_8.html#ixzz2Y1KrG2BW

      Guar GumThe use of guar gum in canned foods has been shown to reduce the bioavailability of proteins, as in the following study:
      “Guar gum, a soluble nonstarch polysaccharide (NSP) , is a common ingredient in canned cat foods and has been shown to decrease the digestibility of protein in diets for cats (Harper and Siever-Kelly, 1997).”

      There are a lot of studies out there showing that guar gum is inappropriate for cats, which has me wondering why the pet food industry insists upon using it in their food………perhaps so the customer must purchase more product in order to fulfill nutritional needs? Actually, a more realistic assumption is that it provides the right consistancy to be pallatable for cats. Some cats are very picky about texture and consistancy.

      • Rhonda Shaw July 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

        I can’t find any studies showing that brewer’s yeast is toxic at all. I can only find that it is good source of B vitamins. I myself love nutritional yeast and use it recipes. I think I’d rather have brewer’s yeast in a cat food than guar gum, but it is virtually impossible to find a canned food that doesn’t use it, with the exception of Fromm canned food. I think that food is great, but very expensive.

        • SE July 15, 2013 at 1:10 pm #

          Two places I found a description of Brewer’s Yeast described as a bad ingredient. It’s often mixed with garlic (also bad for cats) and sold as a deterrent for fleas. A highly controversial ingredient, as many other places say it’s okay, even raw food sites. My feeling is, if a cat wouldn’t eat it in the wild, then why feed it to them in the house?

          “Brewer’s Yeast Extract: Condensed liquid left over from brewery process. Can become toxic to the liver.
          Major source of pet allergies and a host of other problems in cats and dogs.
          Found in low quality pet foods.
          In nature, carnivores (dogs) and obligate carnivores (cats) don’t eat brewer’s yeast extract.
          You will never, ever find brewer’s yeast extract in high quality commercially available pet foods, nor will you ever find it in healthy recipes for homemade pet meals. Where you’ll find it are in very affordable, highly processed, very low-quality pet foods.
          Pet foods containing quality ingredients never, ever use brewer’s yeast extract in any of their foods.”

          and

          Brewers Yeast

          “According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Brewers Yeast is made from a one-celled fungus called Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is used in making beer. It has a bitter taste and may cause gas. There is speculation that loose stools, so problematic in commercially-fed pets, could be connected to this ingredient. It has not been studied in children but is not recommended. Brewers yeast contains B-complex vitamins but does not contain B12, an essential vitamin found in meat and dairy products. While Brewers yeast and/or garlic are thought to repel fleas, treatment for parasites should not be included pet food.”

          Look for a site called “Pet Food Ingredients Revealed!” (this site doesn’t seem to allow links) and also Roger Biduk’s site “Best of Cat and Dog Nutrition”, and also do other research on the net — there are many places to read about pet food ingredients. Some sites list every ingredient as necessary or at least okay, which makes me smell a rat they were put there by someone in the pet food industry — especially if something as vile as “Animal Digest” is described as a flavor enhancer. YUCK! I’ve been researching cat food ingredients for almost three years now and STILL haven’t found a dry or canned food I totally trust. It’s very sad to know that most of the brands, even ‘high-end’ ones, have ingredients in them that over time can harm or even kill a beloved pet. I would never trust one brand to deliver all a pet’s needs, either.

        • Lynn August 5, 2013 at 8:05 am #

          The reason you can’t find information to support the remark that brewer’s yeast is “bad” is because there isn’t any. Brewer’s yeast does not harm cats. It’s the same exact thing as “nutritional yeast” that you find in your health food store.

          People really need to cite their sources on these blogs imho. Too much bad information.

          I have nothing to do with Wild Calling; I just heard about them myself & ordered single cans to try but my cats are refusing it thus far for the most part. They did nibble on the Pheasant, but walked from the chicken…

    • kitkat July 22, 2013 at 2:04 pm #

      Update to my post. The manufacturer of Wild Calling is Evangers. Evangers has had at least three legal problems in previous years, which can be googled. My thoughts are if they cut corners, their food is probably not what I want to buy.

      Regarding Brewer’s Yeast, it is a filler that raises the level of protein. I would rather pay for meat protein.

  2. Jenny July 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Have you heard of Lotus cat food? We went to a pet event at a local pet store and they had vendors giving out samples and things. We got a bag of Lotus dry food and a can of wet Lotus cat food. It’s grain free, but I’ll have to read more about it.

  3. Sasha June 29, 2013 at 9:13 pm #

    I am truly delighted to glance at this website
    posts which contains tons of helpful information, thanks for
    providing these statistics.

  4. Terry June 26, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

    Hi
    My cat is a seven year old Somali. She has had a long history-first as a breeders cat, then adopted by a women who kept her in the basement for a year b/c “Mama” didn’t get along with the existing cat.

    That given, she has what I feel are food allergies. Based on what I’ve read, she has all the signs of such allergies – scratching around the head, neck , ears and chin- to the point to where she has scabs.

    I have tried several of the food recommended above, but the problem is that she refuses to eat wet food. I feel that eventually, wet food will be the best for her.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much
    Terry

  5. Susan June 26, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    Hi, and thanks for this list.
    I’m interested in trying the Great Life Essentials, Tiki Cat, and Hound and Gatos, and I wonder if you can (1) rate them for low pH, and (2) compare them to Hills and Iams low pH formulas my vet has my cat on.
    My 4-year-old had urinary tract issues his first year of life, and I’ve had him on those since.
    I’m looking for the healthiest low pH options.
    Thank you!
    Susan
    Mr. Chooks’ Mom

  6. コンバース June 25, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    ことは困難だけについて彼を贈与、のボトルこの好きな香りはについてカスタマイズ驚き。猫靴またはキャタピラー靴ブランド1つですの最も祝福靴ブランドのその驚くべき長寿。

  7. allie June 25, 2013 at 5:21 pm #

    I i picked up some raw frozen “Oma’s pride” food and wanted to know what you thought of it. It requires the addition of taurine (there are few ingredients) but is very economical and actually looks like meat (primal, etc are a light gray while oma’s looks like the stuff you buy in human stores). thank you!

  8. wendy June 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

    What is your feeling on the Filadea dry cat food? I feed a bit of dry with canned food and wanted you thoughts, since this is the brand the breeder suggested when I bought my persian!

  9. Yuki June 23, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I recently bought the Tiki Cat food with chicken and egg in it and was wondering how slow of a process is it to switch foods. Right now she’s eating a vet prescribed food that is filled with unneeded carbs and by-products and who knows what else. All the doctors are one-minded people who thinks the prescribed food is the only food that will help her with her condition plus they tell me that less protein is better.

  10. judith ziimbalist June 17, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    Since you have a Wellness product on your list…the pouches…how do you feel about Holistic Select for cats…made my Well Pet. I called the company and they said they do not source out of China except for the minerals and taurine.

  11. Maddie June 14, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi everyone, I would like your input on something regarding vet’s office experiences.

    One of my cats has felines herpes and he is currently having his third outbreak in the past year. This one I know 100% stems from our recent move to a new house and subsequent vacation. The second day that we returned I was already seeing symptoms with his eye being red and inflammed and started to squint and close. I called his vet and asked that they fill his prescription of Interferon eye drops and more Lysine powder as I was running low. I called back a second time to get a price quote. I was quoted around $50.00 The next day I drove 30 minutes to pick up the medicine through the pouring rain on my lunch break and once I went to pay they told me to pay around $64.00 and some change. I told the woman that I had been quoted $50.00 the day before she looked over her notes and said, “Well you ordered the meds with me and I didn’t give you a price so…” – basically she was implying that I was making it up. I told her I had called back
    Thanks.

    • Maddie June 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

      later and asked for a price from a different person, but when I didn’t know the other person’s name she said there was nothing she could do. I was running late for returning back to work so I paid and left. Today, I open the meds and the bottle of drops is LESS than HALF full! I was angry and dug up my vet receipt from March, only 3 months ago, and it confirmed my suspicion that the drops were $24.50 tree months ago and now they are $38.50 and it seems like I am getting less of them! I am so infuriated I called today and told them that there is no reason the price could have jumped so much in so little time and I needed a refund on the difference. The girl said their “financial manager” would call me back. I’ve called twice and haven’t been able to speak to anyone that can help me and that guy hasn’t called me back and I am starting to doubt that he will.

      Here’s my question to you: What is my recourse? I am appalled. It is obvious that this is price gouging. There is no barcode or price on the drops themselves, the secretarys just type in whatever price they want. They know that my cat is having an outbreak and needs meds and they jacked the price up on purpose. What can I do here? Have you dealt with something like this personally? How do I find a vet/ vet’s office that don’t do things like this? I find this to be extremely unethical and I am considering filing a complaint. Are there no laws that protect consumers from this?

  12. Stana June 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    Hi. I’ve taken an interest in the Nature’s Variety Instinct Dry Cat Food and was wanting to give it try, but I read some reviews on Amazon that included symptoms like: vomiting, diarrhea, overtly smelly stools, doubled stool size and even un-picky cats not wanting anything to do with this brand of food. Can someone please help me to understand the reason behind these symptoms?? I’ve also taken interest in the RAW food but I want to introduce the dry food first as my cat is use to such.

    • steph gas October 10, 2013 at 6:10 am #

      i’ve been feeding my three cats nature’s verity instinct chicken for… hmm, at least 8 or 9 months now with no issues. switching a cat’s food can cause vomiting, diarrhea, stinky poop, etc. what i like about this kibble is that it’s 86% animal. the other 14% are fruits, veg, etc. to get a balanced diet. most people try to slowly transition their cats to a new food – not doing so can cause a lot of digestive issues for a few days.

      you may be surprised by your cats – you might put down some raw food and your cat might just LOVE it! one of mine dug right in on day one and has constantly tried to steal the other cat’s foods. she love love loves raw! what i did was switch my kibble-addicts to a better kibble – the nature’s variety instinct chicken – and started offering one wet food meal a day. i originally started with weruva cats in the kitchen because it had a consistency that my pickiest eater liked. after a few weeks of that, i started introducing different raw options like stella & chewys freeze dried (mine don’t like the raw frozen stuff at this point). stella & chewys makes single serving pouches, so you could pick up two or three flavors to see how your cat likes it. i rehydrate with warm water because two of mine hate cold stuff. once i got my cats on just raw and some nature’s verity kibble, the litter boxes have been SO much more manageable! just be sure to always offer fresh water.

  13. Vanessa June 12, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    For anyone looking for frozen raw cat food in Canada, I have found a few contenders. To Liz, the creator of this amazingly resourceful website, please take these foods into consideration when compiling your list as your hard work really helps take the confusion out of this process for a lot of us. A few brands I discovered:

    Red Dog Blue Kat http://www.reddogdeli.com/
    irRAWsisible http://irrawsistiblepetfoods.com/
    Amoré Pet Foods http://amorepetfoods.com/
    Natural Instincts http://www.naturalinstincts.ca/
    Karnivor http://www.karnivor.ca/index.php?lang=en
    3P Naturals http://www.3pnaturals.com/

    I live in Montreal, some of these foods are available in stores sparsely strewn around the city, but never kept in stock at all times and sometimes not all the types and sizes are available. Ordering online means we have to wait and pay more for shipping, but I’m sure most canadians agree that there is a vast amount of products that we just do not have access to here (cat food or otherwise).
    …. Also, this question may have been asked before but I noticed a higher content of protein in raw food preparations then in the canned food ones. Assuming that more protein is better, the discrepancy between the two is very high. Also, there is a much higher percentage of protein in dried food preparations…would you be kind enough to wield your skills and demistify this??

    • Jan June 18, 2013 at 11:44 am #

      You might find the answer to that on this site – it’s pretty informative and it’s written by a vet who feeds raw:

      catinfo.org

      Jan

  14. DanH June 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm #

    I would rather not go all the way to raw food for our cat, but would like to roughly mimic the canned food she likes while still providing good nutrition. She likes cooked shredded stringy chicken from Weruva and Tiki Cat and not much else.

    Could anyone provide a pointer to recipes for fully cooked chicken that also adds some additional material (bone, extra nutrients) to make this meal complete. I’ve searched for such recipes but have only seen raw or partly cooked chicken recipes.

    • kitkat June 12, 2013 at 10:22 am #

      I tried to post links yesterday, but it didn’t work. Google TC Feline cooked to find a recipe for cooked cat food that uses purchased premix. There is also a link on the page to BBQ chicken cat food, where you buy a grocery store pre-cooked chicken and add the TC Feline premix to it.

      I haven’t tried this, so I don’t know what the results are.

    • Jan June 18, 2013 at 11:49 am #

      Here’s one but you need to add the mix as it won’t be sufficient in vitamins, minerals, etc without it:

      http://tcfeline.com/category/recipes/

      There’s also petdiets.com (recipes are $25 and you have to buy Balance It supplement to go with them). Or you can get the recipes for free from Balance It when you buy the supplement.

      Jan

  15. Laurie June 9, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    I’m starting to switch my four cats to Nature’s Variety Instinct frozen raw medallions after feeding them three brands of canned foods on this list — NV Instinct, Tiki Cat chicken, Hounds & Gatos (and also Nature’s Logic as 1/4 of their’ daily diet). My four cats split four different cans of food each day and finish it all. My local pet store can get me bags of NV in any flavor; they also carry Primal, which I haven’t tried.

    I see that these frozen NV formulas ALSO contain montmorillonite clay as their canned foods do! As well as a long list of veggies, fruits, flax, etc. While those ingredients together are supposed to make up only 5% of the food, it still seems like there’s lots of stuff that doesn’t really belong in a cat’s diet, which also has potential for dietary upsets or allergies. I’m curious to know your thoughts on this. Since a lot of the same ingredients are in the NV cans I buy, I don’t expect anything to go wrong, but it does seem weird to put apples, persimmons, etc., in cat food. The NV medallions just seem like this is the easiest way to give my cats the benefits of raw, and they’re already getting the clay in two of their current foods. I’ll probably save $100/month on food if I switch them to frozen raw. (And I know that making it myself is cheaper and better but I’m not evolved enough to do that yet!)

    • Lisa June 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm #

      Laurie,

      When cats kill their prey in the wild they ingest not only the meat, but also the contents of their stomachs, which may include fruit such as berries and apples, as well as veggies.

      My cat Vita loves apples, red and blueberries! If I drop any berries on the floor she’ll gobble them up. When I am eating an apple she comes right up to me and starts purring.

      As for the NV medallions, it is not a complete diet. You will need additional supplements that NV provides (as samples), which come in powder forms. So far, I have only seen lamb and beef. You can of course also use other supplements. These also enhance the flavour of the food.

      • Laurie June 9, 2013 at 2:16 pm #

        Thanks for your message. I have read that the “contents of stomach” theory is controversial among some vets and cat persons who study raw diets and promote them. Usually, my own outdoor cats (from the ancient past) would leave me the entrails of the animals they killed and ate… and maybe a head, so I’d know what it was. Cats are obligate carnivores, is the main thing; and NV gets that. I never had a cat show any interest in veggies or fruits. Cake and cookies, on the other hand….

        According to my bag of frozen NV, the medallions are AAFCO approved and 100% nutritionally complete for dogs and cats, meaning there’s enough taurine, etc. That said, I will add Omega 3 oil. I will be feeding their chicken, lamb, and duck, and possibly their bison, once I do a little research into NZ bison.

    • Megan June 9, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

      I started reading your post and thought I was reading something I wrote. We’ve tried the same foods except for the NV raw. I switched mine over from the NV canned to freeze dried raw by Feline Natural Raw(K9 Natural) and it has only a few ingredients. I want to try the actual frozen raw though. You might like this one! I don’t like that the other brands have those in there but only in minuscule amounts. I heard a lot don’t like the NV raw.

      • Laurie June 9, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

        Hi Megan,

        My cats have loved any raw food they’ve had, not that I’ve given much more than samples and a chub or two. Right now, only one of my cats gets a nightly NV medallion to give him more calories. He yells for it and I can’t even let it warm up from the fridge. The other three cats are extremely interested; I have to play defense to keep them away. I’m not worried about them not liking it.

        My local stores don’t carry K9 Feline Natural Raw, although they are interested in exploring new brands. I found it time-consuming to rehydrate Stella & Chewy’s because it’s large pellets. While I attacked it with a fork to hurry it along, my cats were going mad to be fed. One of them smacks me to hurry me up routinely… I have a feeling they’ll all be eating their NV at fridge temperature.

  16. Lilian June 8, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    I bought Nature’s logic canned food based on the recommendations here a few months ago. It turned out that there were plastics in the food….

    • APB June 9, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      Can you elaborate? I see no recall for Nature’s Logic. What did you find in the food?

      • Lilian June 25, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

        Hi, I probably should not have said plastics that definitively. It was something unusual in the food. I normally mixed the canned food with a little bit of water. When I was mixing it that day, I found something black, plastic-y and in the shape of coil (about 2-3mm long) in the food. I have never seen anything like this in canned food before. Perhaps it’s a type of food that I am just not aware of, but I did not feel comfortable feeding my cat something I don’t know. Since I saw no recall from Nature’s logic, I assume this was just one isolated case. I have since then moved on to other brands.

  17. Melissa June 4, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Hi Liz-Cat,
    I have been feeding our cat raw food for about a year now and have finally settled on the bravo balance brand as she didn’t like the natures variety and the primal is a bit more expensive and is a little higher in caloric content. But we need something to give her on those days when we have forgotten to take her food out of the freezer (oops). Is it better to give her the freeze dried (with water of course) or the canned? She likes both, just wondering if you had an opinion of one being better than the other?

    • Liz-cat June 4, 2013 at 11:43 am #

      Melissa, yes, always good to have a backup. Freeze dried raw with water is even better than canned, in my opinion, because it’s raw. Raw means enzymes are still intact so the nutrients and food are more digestible.

  18. Doobie Keebler May 31, 2013 at 11:34 am #

    How about Party Animal organic canned cat food?

    • Yuki May 31, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

      Can someone recommend a canned food that is good for a cat that has megacolon/constipation issues? I’m tired of having to give my cat prescribed food from the vet that smells and looks awful, plus she won’t eat it so I’m constantly encouraging her to eat. And the vet doesn’t know anything about cat nutrition and what’s good for them in the long run. Thank you.

      • Shasta May 31, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

        Yuki, have you seen this article on cat constipation by Dr. Jean Hofve? http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/constipated-cats/

        The article itself doesn’t mention a specific food, but it has a ton of helpful suggestions. It’s also a very popular article, so I’d recommend reading through the comments as well–a number of posters there have shared their own nutritional approaches to cats with the same problem.

      • Liz-cat June 4, 2013 at 11:35 am #

        Yuki, I don’t know of a food specifically for that issue, but try adding a side 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of plain canned pumpkin (like Libby’s 100% pure – no added ingredients). This works like a charm for most constipated cats. “Easy go” from Vitality Science works too, added to food, but it’s more expensive than canned pumpkin. Pumpkin is much more digestion friendly than other starches, as it’s a monosaccharide starch/fiber. Good for gut flora.

    • Suze June 29, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      Thanks for that — looks promising and I’m going to try it! err… my cats will, lol

      Party Animal Duck canned

      Ingredients:

      Duck, Duck Broth, Organic Squash, Organic Sweet Potatoes, Organic Eggs, Organic Liver, Organic Cranberries, Organic Golden Flaxseed, Organic Olive Oil, Organic, Guar Gum, Dicalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Thiamin Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D2 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide).

  19. Dee May 26, 2013 at 5:37 am #

    Hi , I have been changing cat foods trying to put my cat’s on the best diet for them. There’s so much out there that comes my way after I’ve put them on one food or another. I tried raw but they won’t eat it . I guess at 11 yrs old they are set in their ways. Now on one website I’ve learned the food company’s that are listed here still have supplements that are made in Asia , China being one of the countries. They are synthetic vitamins and minerals. The one company that doesn’t outsource for supplements is Nature’s Logic. So I’m going to try their cat food.I hope I don’t find out later anything negative. And they don’t use carrageenan either.

    • Jan June 18, 2013 at 11:58 am #

      This is what is says about NL in this chart:

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

      “Uses whole foods for nutrients as opposed to synthetic vitamins;
      currently involved in feeding trials; at this time, not labeled as
      complete diets.”

      The chart is from Dr LIsa Pierson, DVM

      Jan

  20. Ann B May 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm #

    Liz, Love this blog! the content and people’s comments are so helpful. Thank you for such wonderful site.

    Regarding cat food, I have become somewhat obsessed with the type of food I give to my 2 cats as well. One of them is extremely healthy, but the other one has a bizarre upper respiratory issue. He has a chronic sinus problem that became so bad, the skull section on top of his right eye deformed. He also gets sneezing fits and is sensitive to a lot of things. I have cleared my house from all harsh cleaning products as well as strong smelling cat littler. Giving him a Grain Free diet has definitely been of great help. His sneezing has gone down (less sensitive) and his weight too!! I have tested Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Halo, Instinct, Solid Gold and Natures valley.

    For the most part they haven’t had any issues switching from one brand to another and it seems like I will be changing again. Didn’t know that Wellness has carageenan. Thank you Natural Cat Care Blog for that insight! I think I will try to 1. take dry food away (Which they adore) and 2. move them to one of the options of frozen raw food mentioned above. I have read many blogs about doing your own raw diet for cats and have to say that I’m still worried. I’m worried about the bones size that will come out from the grinder as well as potential bacteria (even though cats are much better at processing bacteria than we are)

    Does anyone know if some of the raw food companies tell you about where the ingredients come from? Including supplements? After reading Food Pets Die For by Ann Martin, I realize that we really don’t know much about the plants that source many of the ‘side’ ingredients. Many natural pet food companies claim ‘all natural ingredients’ but when you dig deep you find that many of the supplements are actually made in unregulated plants in other countries with products that can end up being toxic.

    • Julie May 26, 2013 at 3:46 am #

      Hi Ann, I’m so sorry to hear about your kitty’s respiratory concerns and applaud you for all you’re doing to help him! There is a lot of great information about feeding raw food and several good supplier options on this site: http://feline-nutrition.org/the-faq. We have been feeding our kiddies raw for the past 8 months. It takes a little more planning and effort, however the health benefits and peace of mind knowing what is in their food are definitely worth it! We purchase from Hare Today Gone Tomorrow and use the recipe on Dr. Lisa Pierson’s site: http://www.catinfo.org. Best of luck to you!

      • Ann B May 28, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

        Julie,
        Thank you for the links! I will check them out to get more informed on the topic. Don’t want to go trying stuff out without knowing anything about it first, specially if its raw diet 🙂

  21. Diane Brown May 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    I have been looking for a healthy cat food without questionable ingredients, I quit Wellness because of the carageenan, and now am trying Evangers, can you tell me what you think of Evangers. Thank you

  22. Diane Brown May 20, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    I have been looking for a healthy cat food without questionable ingedients, I quit Wellness because of the carageenan, and now am trying Evangers, can you tell me what you think of Evangers. Thank you

  23. Dee May 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm #

    What about pure vita grain free chicken dry food? I just got a free sample at my natural pet food store. I have 2 cats who are almost 11 yrs old and they’ve always had dry food out to graze on when they want. I am looking for something better to replace the frohm’s they are eating now. They are very picky when it comes to their canned food, all they will eat is fish. I know the mercury in it isn’t good for them to eat all the time but one cat has kidney problems and whatever wet I get into him is good. I always mix it with ro water and blend to get more water into him.I’m going to try some canned hound and gatos soon as I get to the store I found that sells it. I’ve tried raw and they won’t eat it. Any advice will be appreciated, Thanks, Dee

  24. D.J. May 20, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    Thanks Diane and Jackie,

    Gosh, I just don’t know now. More confused than ever. I’m trying to find a low cost healthy choice cat food. I wish a store near me would carry the Feline Natural so I could just buy a small package that would be returnable if my kitties don’t like it.
    Thanks for the input of doggie.com. I really don’t want a hassle.

    I like to have freeze dried so that I can make small batch. one cat like to graze and only likes the freshly opened cans. Once it goes in the fridge even if I warm it up, he won’t touch it. He likes Grandma Lucy’s but I think it’s just too much potatoes (20%)..it smells like mashed potatoes.

    I’m thinking about Great Life Essential cans if I can’t find a lowish cost freeze dried food. Has anyone tried this and if so, which online company is cheapest.

    Thanks
    Thanks!

  25. Jackie May 20, 2013 at 7:02 am #

    The discount is only good on the first order. I’ve tried ordering from doggiefood before and did not have a good experience. They claimed the product was available when in fact it wasn’t and e-mails to the company went unanswered. When I phoned them, they were not even sure of the status or when they will have the food in stock and I had to cancel my order.

  26. D.J. May 19, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

    Hi. Where do you buy Feline Natural Raw Freeze Dried by K9? There are no stores anywhere near me that carry this brand. Which online website would you recommend or is the least expensive. Thanks!

    • Jackie May 20, 2013 at 6:46 am #

      Hi D.J., I order it from Chewy.com. Not many stores carry this product and even online you will not find an abundance of offerings. Chewy has the lowest price and also there’s free shipping if you order $49 and I almost always receive the order the next day.

      • Diane May 20, 2013 at 6:52 am #

        Check out doggiefood.com. If you sign up for their email list, you get a daily discount code (17%)…..cheapest prices I have found anywhere. They also have the $49 free shipping deal.

  27. stan May 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Any suggestions on how I can get my cats to eat the natures variety raw they refuse to touch it

    • Dante May 14, 2013 at 9:18 pm #

      Have you tried warming it to “prey temperature” yet?

      I feed 100% raw and just run the tap until it’s hot and add a bit of that heated water to the plate then mix to warm the meat. Felines are very olfactory driven and warming the food increases it’s scent dramatically.

      If that doesn’t do the trick you can resort to a “topper” as an enticement. Bonito flakes, tuna juice, and fortiflora are all popular choices for that.

    • Julie May 26, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      Hi Stan, we sprinkle Stewart Flavor Enhancer (100% beef and chicken liver flavors available from http://www.petandhorse.com) or Intelliflora (from http://www.PSC Pets.com) and also crush some dehydrated pure lamb (www.wholelifepet.com – they also have many other flavors – all of them make great healthy crunchy treats). Ours seem to need a little something to get them going, then they will eat the rest – especially if they are hungry. I hope your cats find at least one of these options to their liking! 😉

    • Melissa June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am #

      Stan,
      Have you tried different flavor or brands? I tried the Natures Variety Raw and the only one my cat would eat is the chicken and I had to put some canned food or dry food over the top for her to eat that. The other flavors she wouldn’t even touch, or if she did she threw it all back up within about 5 min. Through trial and error, I have found that she only likes certain brands and flavors (bravo balance chicken/turkey, stella and chewys, and some primal.) So it could just be they don’t like that brand or flavor.

  28. Stacey May 12, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Just wanted to add an update about what I found out about the Newman’s Own Organic beef and liver canned cat food. I had been feeding my cats this cat food, which they loved, then when I ordered more the ingredients were different. The new batch contained carrageenan and guar gum. I wrote the company and they confirmed that they have changed the ingredients in order to prevent separation of liquids. I was very disappointed because I thought I had finally found a food I could stick with. I have one cat that is very picky and she had liked the Newman’s beef and liver, now that they’ve changed their ingredients my picky cat will no longer eat it and I personally don’t like that they added carrageenan and guar gum.

  29. D.J. May 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Thanks Tricia for your input.
    Jasmine, I actually bought the Grandma Lucy’s yesterday. My kitty loves it. I like that I can mix as little or much as I want at a time so there’s less waste. It smells good but just like mashed potatoes. When I bought it I was thinking grain free but wasn’t thinking about the starchy potatoes. so I wanted to ask before I opened the package.

    I emailed the company yesterday and they responded back to me right away.Great customer service.They told me that potatoes are 20% but that I can add more of my own protein to the meal. I don’t think I can return the package since I opened it so I will have my kitty finish it. I don’t think I will get it often but once in a while to change things up.

    I was feeding Hounds and Gato’s which seems really really healthy for several months but my kitty all of the sudden got tired of it. Plus my vet says to change things up every 3 months for variety and so they don’t get so picky.
    I had a sample of Stella and Chewy’s and my kitty really liked it but it is expensive. I might rotate that when it goes on sale.

    I think I’m going to try Great Life Essentials next.

  30. Tom Randall May 11, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    Wow another great site for those of us trying to find better food choices for our kitties. Ingrid from the conscious cat referred me here and I’m definitely glad of it. Our food saga started because our youngest kitty Saul has been having digestive issues since we took him in in September. The short version is after reading a lot of info on Ingrid’s site we took him off of dry food and added probiotic to his food and the chronic diarrhea he had been having that nothing would get rid of was gone within 24 hours.

    So we are now working on getting all five of our cats onto a better food, they’ve eaten dry food all their lives, not the cheap crap but still dry stuff. At least we had stopped free feeding quite a while ago and had moved to set meal times. At this point we’re giving them the Weruva canned chicken and the fish once in a while. Unfortunately the cost for this is more than we are going to be able to continue doing forever so I am going to research some of the foods on here to see if we can come up with some reasonable compromises between cost and quality.
    We’ve tried giving them the nature’s variety instinct raw, both the beef nd the chicken. Saul is the only one who will eat this he snarfs up every bit, the others will just pick at it or not eat it at all so canned stuff is where we are for now although I’d consider the freeze dried stuff that one of you mentioned. So that’s where we are for now.

    Best regards,

    Tom Mary Beth and the furries.

    • Soxfan May 11, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      I have 4 cats, 3 with digestive issues. They were on dry food for years and just free-feeding. Last summer I made the change to Wellness canned. They were all fine until around 3 months ago and they then started to vomit all the time, The oldest stopped eating and lost quite a bit of weight. The cost was starting to add up as well. They are now on canned Friskies-I know, not the best but it is cheaper. I am trying to find a good brand with low cost, but, I doubt that exists. Also, I would love to investigate raw food, but, again, the cost of that sends me over the edge-we just bought a house!! Thanks for any help or info.

      • Shasta May 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

        Hi Soxfan: Yeah, the premium brands do get very expensive. I’m able to fit them into my budget right now, but that certainly hasn’t always been the case. Making your own raw cat food might be a good option for you, particularly since you’d be saving money by making large batches. http://www.catinfo.org/?link=makingcatfood has some good info on DIY cat food.

        If you have a Trader Joe’s near you, I’ve heard good things about their wet food, and it’s extremely affordable. Another brand to consider might be Merrick Before Grain. My cats love their quail and chicken flavor, and at ~1.42 for a 5.5 ounce can, it’s more affordable than many other grain-free options. It certainly would be a step up from Friskies if it would work with your budget.

        • Soxfan May 11, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

          Hi Shasta- Thanks for this info. Trader Joe’s is not that close, but, I could buy in bulk. 1.42 a can is quite a bit for the Merrick brand. I know it is better for them, but, I just can’t swing that at the moment. One of them also has sinus issues-he contacted some sort of infection as a kitten in the shelter (where he was for a year) and now has chronic sinus infections. When he sneezes (all of the time) lots of disgusting stuff comes out and is all over my house-blech!!!!!!!! He has been on various antibiotics for years-all to no avail. The grain free food helps him and another one of my cats with asthma-again, the cost. Anyway, thank you again for your info. I have read the catinfo site many times-that is where I originally went to last summer and literally spent HOURS comparing and contrasting the nutritional info for the many types of canned cat food out there. My cats are all overweight and I wanted to get the correct amount of carbs/protein/fat based on the advice from the catinfo site. Thanks, again!

      • Diane May 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

        Raw does not have to be more expensive. I was feeding 3 cats good quality grain free canned foods. Now….I make my own raw food, using ground whole prey mixes with Alnutrin supplement. I am feeding 3 cats AND 3 small dogs for HALF what I was spending on just the cat food. My guys get chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit, beef, pork, duck, quail, venison…..2-3 different proteins every 2 week period. I usually make up 24 pounds of food every 2 weeks. They will also eat heart chicken hearts, gizzards, and strips of chicken or turkey thigh.

        • Soxfan May 11, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

          Hi Diane- Where do you purchase all of the meat? And, if you don’t mind me asking, how much do you pay for all of it? What exactly is the cost comparison between the good quality canned food you were feeding your cats and the raw food now? Also, what brand of canned were you using? Thanks so much for your responses. Soxfan

        • kelley June 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

          Can you explain what ground whole prey mixes are? Does it come packaged like this? If not, what do you do? What do you buy? I am all new to this. Where do you buy your Alnutrin supplement? What is the exact recipe for your raw cat food?

    • Tracy Janzen May 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

      I can relate. I have a little Siamese girl who has suffered chronic diarrhea for years. We tried all of the usual tests, medications, diet modifications, probiotics, trial after trial after trial with no success. I finally found the cause of the trouble, completely by coincidence. I was running out of the usual dry food when I found out that it was not being made anymore. It was a problem because I had difficulty finding a replacement that did not contain any ingredients that she was allergic to. By the time I did find a replacement, I had run out of the dry food, so had not fed any of it in a couple of days. Kitty’s diarrhea was almost totally resolved. The problem is, I can’t find a wet food that is allergen free that she will eat enough of to maintain her weight. I was forced to go back to the dry food, and the diarrhea returned immediately. Still on the hunt for a good quality food that she will eat well. However, even if I can avoid the allergens, there always seems to be something else that i don’t want (carageenan, synthetic vitamins, etc.). I cringe every time that I have to put dry food in her bowl, knowing that it’s what is causing her problem. So frustrating.

      • Stephanie May 13, 2013 at 8:18 am #

        Tracy, what dry foods have you tried? Have you tried blue buffalo duck and potato? My cat that had loose stool is doing well on it.

        Stephanie

        • Tracy Janzen May 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

          Hi Stephanie,

          I have looked at the Blue Buffalo products, and found that the dry foods contain oatmeal and rice ( my cat is allergic to grains/glutens), canola oil and flaxseed (both controversial ingredients) and caramel color (linked to cancer). Also, my picky girl will not eat duck. Thanks for the suggestion though, every little bit helps!

          • Megan May 13, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

            Honestly, Tracy, when we buy commercial foods, there are going to be “controversial” ingredients.. I agree with those mentioned, except for flaxseed, which is still a good source of omega 3’s and 6’s. I just wouldn’t out rule a food just because it has flaxseed. It’s great that your picky for your cat’s benefit, a lot of us are the same way, but that dry food is the worst above all! Have you thought about commercial raw at all? Or making your own food? There are recipes everywhere online, sounds like the least amount of ingredients is what she needs. Look into feline natural raw, listed above as well.. Only 4 ingredients..

      • Megan May 13, 2013 at 8:48 am #

        Hi Tracy: what is an allergan for your cat? They are many foods that are listed above that are great allergan free choices, so there’s really no reason to still be feeding the dry food.. I guess I’m confused on what brands you’ve tried and what you haven’t tried. Nature’s Variety Instinct canned in chicken is one of my favorites, along with Tiki Cat in the chicken flavors(very short ingredient list) and Nature’s Logic in the chicken. Change up the proteins so they don’t develop an allergy to a certain protein. Can you provide a little more clarification on the allergans?

        • Tracy Janzen May 13, 2013 at 4:43 pm #

          She is allergic to grains/glutens, soy and fish. The Nature’s Variety Instinct contains montmorillonite clay which seems weird (information is limited and non-specific), flaxseed (a controversial ingredient), and is processed in the same facility that processes rabbit sourced from China. The Tiki Cat chicken contains fish oil, and all other varieties are fish as well. Tiki Cat produced in Thailand, so is questionable. Nature’s Logic contain montmorillonite clay. Additional problematic factor is lack of availability in my area.

          • Megan May 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

            In terms of grains/gluten, that is very easy to avoid by making sure there is a no grains, low carb ratio to protein and fat, and a lot of the foods above meet that criteria. Montmorillonite clay is controversial because some say it’s totally fine, and others are iffy about it. There are a lot of websites that support that if you do a simple search. With the selections available, I would much rather feed the clay over carrageenan, and other harmful ingredients. Yes, the rabbit is sourced from China, but the chicken and other flavors are NOT. So, I don’t understand the worry on that one. The facility that once was Menu Foods was bought out by another company, as well. The Tiki Cat chicken contains fish oil because it’s a source of Omega 3’s, otherwise, there is no fish content in the 2 chicken flavors. Nature’s Logic is one that is recommended by “The Truth About Pet Food” writer Susan Thixton, and her list is very small… Again, with the clay, you pick your battles. Your much better off feeding a premium food with the clay over dry food ANY day.. Dry food robs the moisture in an animals body. The number one step recommended by most people in the cat world are to get rid of the dry food completely because there are so many cons to feeding it. Nature’s Variety and Nature’s Logic are really good choices when we look at the picture overall. Of course, there is raw feeding, commercially, and making your own food, with the vitamins included. Feline Natural Raw is a really great choice being that it’s freeze dried or raw. The omega 3 they use is green lipped mussel, which is recommended by Dr. Jean Hofve (little big cat).

          • Tricia May 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

            My cat has food allergies too – she can’t eat anything that has poultry or fish in it. That is one of the reasons my cats eat raw now. She’s currently doing very well on Primal Rabbit and Rad Cat lamb.

            Have you looked into Rayne? Their foods are very limited in ingredients. You can order their maintenance diets online without a prescription. I know their rabbit is sourced from Italy. The trays I believe would be cheaper than their frozen foods as far as shipping goes.

      • Julie May 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

        Oh, I can relate to your frustration! One of our cats also had chronic diarrhea since he was a kitty (he’s almost 3 now). The vets suspect food allergies. It cleared up completely within 2 days after switching him over to a raw rabbit diet using Dr. Lisa Pierson’s recipe (catinfo.org). Yes, raw is a little more expensive and more inconvenient to make, but nothing compared to the stress, frustration and cost of the diarrhea messes, vitamin b 12 shots, numerous trips to the vet for rounds of antibiotics, dealing with diaper rash cream, and separating food dishes for our other two cats and trying to referee them. I was exhausted from continuously reading cat food labels and experimenting with new foods, and so stressed because our little guy was miserable. Now our life is much more simple. I know exactly what they are eating (I purchase rabbit from Hare Today Gone Tomorrow) and the supplements recommended in Dr. Pierson’s recipe. I also supplement with Complete Probiotics for Pets (Mercola) and Stewart Flavor Enhancer (100% beef or chicken liver powder) from Petandhorse.com. The litter boxes no longer stink and each cat only has about one “job” per day. I consider it an investment our entire family’s emotional health and feel like we’re preventing more problems, and expenses down the road because we’re keeping our cats’ immune systems strong. I thought I would share our experience in case it might be useful to you. And, I know that every situation is different – I hope you find simple answers soon!

        • Tracy Janzen May 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

          Thanks Julie. I’m afraid there are no simple solutions for me. I have done the whole exhausting food search, which basically has taught me that you can’t buy a commercially prepared cat food that doesn’t contain some kind of garbage ingredient or another. Unfortunately, purchasing online is not an option because I live in Northern Alberta, Canada. The rates for shipping come out to more than the cost of what I’m actually trying to buy. This really limits my options. After a year and a half of effort, I’m just about at the end of my rope.

          • Julie May 26, 2013 at 3:52 am #

            Hi Tracy, Oh, I would be too! I completely understand. The shipping is a fortune for us within the U.S. – I cannot imagine paying even more. Are there any local farmers you could purchase the meat from as another option?

          • Tracy Janzen May 28, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

            Unfortunately, no there are few local farmers. I live in oil country, so farms are few and far between. 🙁

    • Kidsncritters123 June 25, 2013 at 9:25 am #

      Nature’s Variety has a product called “Instinct Raw Daily Boost”. It’s a freeze dried raw powder supplement that you just sprinkle over the food. It works like magic to entice cats to eat. Just the sound of the lid coming off the can brings all the cats running. You can use it on raw meals for reluctant eaters or use it as a nutritious topper to canned or kibble so they receive some of the benefits of raw feeding in a convenient freeze dried form. I’ve even used it to get sick cats to eat by mixing a little warm water with a couple of teaspoons of boost.

  31. Tricia May 11, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    I tried Grandma Lucy’s a couple of years ago. As I recall I ended up returning it because my cats wouldn’t touch it and it looked like it was mostly potatoes. If you can get Stella and Chewys that is much better quality. Primal also recently came out with a freeze dried food which I would guess is pretty good – my cats love their frozen food.

  32. Mike Wirths May 10, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    Great informative website!! Just checked Great lifes website but it seems that fruits and vegetables are on their ingredient list, I thought it was free of that stuff?

  33. D.J. May 10, 2013 at 9:12 am #

    Hi. Has anyone heard of Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Cat Food-Freeze Dried? Thanks!

    • Jasmine May 11, 2013 at 2:00 am #

      Hi D.J.

      I asked about this on another thread too but received no response. Would love to get an opinion on this particular food!

  34. Lynette May 8, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Thanks so much for doing this and your hard work. It’s great but my cat has diabetes and kidney disease and needs low protein and low phosphorous – none of these foods will work so is there another list for low protein, low phosphorus ??????

    I hope to hear from you. Thanks
    Lynette

    • Stephanie May 8, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      Lynette and tanya, my oldest cat had urinary issues. Stay away from anything with fish. Most wet food is about 10 % protein, I don’t know how much lower you’ll be able to get. I had luck with dry food only diets, currently using blue buffalo duck and potato. They also make a turkey and potato grain free for sensitive systems. They also have wet foods to go with this dry food. You don’t have to go to a strictly wet food diet. Most cats don’t drink enough water but my cat I think can’t tolerate fish or fish oil. Maybe yours is the same?
      Good luck!
      Stephanie

  35. Tanya May 8, 2013 at 1:01 am #

    Hi, I have a kitten with urinary health issues and the vet recommended MediCal food for support but I don’t like what I see on the ingredient list. Do you know if any cat foods that are non gmo, grain free and/or natural that are healthy for urinary health?
    Thanks!

    • Micah May 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      When my cat turned 12 he had urinary health problems. If the problem is renal (kidney) in origin there is this food called RENAL LP that helped my cat recover and live well another 1 1/2 years when we thought he may be done for. But I would of course ask your vet if issue is similar and said food would help!

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