We made it our mission to find the best wet cat food in 2019, and we’re pleased to say we think we accomplished it. Pipping the rest to the post, Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Cat Food Variety Pack is our top choice.
As Joey and Oscar get older, their nutritional needs are changing. And so we’re always keeping an eye on the most popular types of cat food around. We’re also getting more of our readers telling us what their cat’s favorite foods are and why, which brings us to this, our best wet cat food 2019 reviews.
Our Top Picks For The Best Wet Cat Food
Dry Cat Food vs. Wet Cat Food
Wet or dry food? Which is better for you cat? When deciding which one to feed your cat, it’s important to know what the benefits of each are, along with any disadvantages. From cost and convenience to taste and nutritional value, they both have their pros and cons.
Dry Cat Food
At a glance, dry cat food or kibble is convenient, affordable, and it has a longer shelf life. Some might say it is also better for your cat’s dental health in the long run, but there is no hard evidence that points to this.
When it comes to its disadvantages, dry cat food can have quite a high carbohydrate content. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, especially for indoor and older cats.
Some dry cat foods have plant-based proteins rather than animal-based ones, and they can contain more artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Something else to consider when it comes to kibbles is that they generally have a low moisture content. In the wild, cats don’t need to drink a lot of water because they get the moisture they need from the food they eat. If you do go the dry food route, your kitty must have access to fresh drinking water at all times, to avoid him becoming dehydrated.
Wet Cat Food
Obligate carnivores at heart, cats need animal-based proteins more than anything else. And the best quality wet cat foods contain these in the form of poultry, red meat or seafood.
Because canned cat food has more moisture than the dry food varieties, you don’t have to worry as much that your cat is getting the water he needs. This is especially important if he has any health issues such as diabetes, bladder infections, cancer, or kidney disease.
The cost can often be a determining factor, especially if you’re on a tight budget or have a lot of cats to feed. But don’t be put off by this. There’s a wide range of high-quality soft cat food options for you to choose from that are easy on the pocket. You could also consider variety packs with 12, 24 or 40 cans. It’s a great way to shop for the best quality affordable wet cat food.
Canned or kibbles?
In our opinion, there is no right or wrong answer. What you feed your cat will be determined by his likes and dislikes together with his age and any dietary requirements he might have. It will also depend entirely on his mood on any given day.
Wet food or kibbles, whichever one you choose, remember that:
The Best Wet Cat Food Reviews: Our Top 7 Picks
Purina Beyond Grain Free
Overall Winner: Best Wet Food for Cats
Purina provides some of the best quality affordable wet cat food options around, and an absolute favorite of ours at the moment is the Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Cat Food Variety Pack.
This grain-free wet cat food ticks all the boxes as far as we are concerned. The real animal-based proteins and vegetables provide your cat with all the nutrition he needs to stay healthy. And the delicious flavor combinations of Wild Salmon, Trout & Catfish, Ocean Whitefish & Salmon, and Chicken & Sweet Potato give him the variety he loves, just like nature intended.
Each can of grain-free wet cat food contains as much as 78% moisture and is packed with essential minerals including taurine, zinc, folic acid as well as all the vitamins to support a healthy heart and strong muscles, aid digestion and give your kitty a shiny coat.
We love that there is a traceability guarantee with every purchase, which means you’re able to track and trace the source of the ingredients. It is great to see a big manufacturer taking the environment seriously.
Purina Friskies Savory Shreds
Best Canned Cat Food on a Budget
In the wild, cats are primarily carnivores and have a smorgasbord of different foods to choose from. Our challenge, when it comes to our cats’ diet, is providing them with variety, the way nature intended, while at the same time making sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need.
Purina Friskies Savory Shreds Canned Wet Cat Food Variety Packs do just that. The four different flavor combinations mean your cat is getting the variety he craves, along with the nourishment he needs and the tastes he loves.
Made with real meat, seafood, and poultry, each serving contains the essential vitamins and minerals such as zinc, taurine, as well as folic acid to keep your cat healthy. Cats love the shredded texture, and delicious flavors, and their owners love knowing that their cat’s nutritional needs are being met.
Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet
Healthiest Wet Cat Food for Older Cats
Considered by many to be one of the best grain-free wet cat food options available, Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Natural Adult Flaked Wet Cat Food provides your furry feline with all the nutrition he needs and the convenience you love.
Made with real chicken, fish and shrimp, the delicious and nutritious Blue Buffalo recipes pack a powerful protein punch and best of all, there are no processed grains, wheat, corn or soy. Carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberries, flaxseed, fish oil, and taurine are just some of the high-quality ingredients that provide your cat with the essential minerals and vitamins he needs to stay healthy.
Offering you great value for money, the Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet variety pack contains more than 80% moisture with just the right amount of protein. This makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best wet cat food for older cats or for cats with health concerns.
Purina Pro Plan Kitten Canned Wet Cat Food
Healthiest Canned Cat Food for Kittens
To give your kitten the very best start in life, you must feed him the best can cat food. This means choosing one that is formulated to meet his particular nutritional needs. Purina Pro Plan Kitten Canned Wet Cat Food does just that.
The Focus line from Purina provides your bundle of fur with all the protein, moisture, and taurine he needs to grow. And because it is aimed specifically at kittens, each serving contains docosahexaenoic acid or DHA, an essential omega-3 fatty acid that supports healthy brain and eye development.
The protein-rich Chicken & Liver Entree recipe is also packed with all the vitamins and minerals your kitten needs for strong bones and muscles, a healthy immune and digestive system and a shiny coat. Each of the 24 3-ounce cans will provide up to three meals, which means, as far as our canned cat food reviews go, your kitten’s getting all the goodness he needs at a really affordable price.
I and Love and You Canned Cat Food
A Round of ‘Apaws’ for our Winner of Best Wet Cat Food Brands Category
From the clever names like Whasically Wabbit Pate, Oh My Cod, Purrky Turkey, Beef, Right Meow and Chicken Me Out to the eye-catching packaging, it is easy to see why I and Love and You Canned Cat Food is often voted best canned cat food for indoor cats.
Not only is this one of the best grain-free wet cat food options around, but it is also one of the very few cat foods that don’t contain carrageenan. Used as a thickener for human and pet food, the jury is still out on the potential dangers of this ingredient, but it’s worth keeping in mind if your cat is prone to food allergies or sensitivities.
The specially formulated recipes are grain-free but packed with antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, which means your cat can carbo-load the way nature intended. As you would expect of quality wet cat food, there are also no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Your kitty will love the delicious Oh My Cod, Purrky Turkey and Chicken Me Out Pate flavors, and you’ll love that he’s getting the very best nutrition your money can buy.
Hill's Science Diet Adult savory Entrée Variety Pack
Best Easy to Digest High Protein Wet Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Adult savory Entrée Variety Pack is the perfect wet food choice for cats between the ages of one and six. With the recommended amounts of protein, moisture, and essential minerals like taurine, the specific formula ensures your cat is getting a well-balanced and complete diet.
Covered in a delicious gravy, the tasty chunks of real chicken, liver, and turkey are easy on your cat’s digestive system, so you know he is absorbing all the essential nutrients his body needs to stay healthy.
Hill’s Science Diet is often recommended by vets, especially for older cats or cats with health issues. And best of all, your purchase goes towards supporting a shelter pet. Good quality wet cat food for pet owners with a conscience, what’s not to like?
Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Wet Cat Food Medleys Primavera Collection
Best High Protein Wet Cat Food
You don’t get much closer to a deluxe gourmet meal than the Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Wet Cat Food Medleys Primavera Collection. The variety pack comes in three delicious flavor combinations, including White Meat Chicken, Turkey, and Tuna Primavera, all finished off with a delicious gravy that your cat won’t be able to resist.
Rich in antioxidants and packed with essential vitamins and minerals, the balanced and complete recipes that make up the variety pack are made with real tuna, chicken and turkey as the main ingredients and are perfect for adult cats that have a taste for the finer things in life.
If your cat is particularly fussy and turns his nose up at other brands, then it’s worth giving the Medleys Primavera Collection a try.
The Best Wet Food for Cats: Your Essential Buying Guide
The best quality wet cat food will provide your kitty with a complete and nutritious diet that targets his age and specific needs. But what makes one product better than another? Why are some brands called ‘premium’ while others are referred to as budget-friendly? And what about fillers? Are they as bad as some people say?
Our best wet cat food reviews give you the information you need when you have specific products in mind. But if you’re considering one that’s not on our list, or you’re all about the details, then you’ll appreciate our essential buying guide.
Your cat’s food label should have something called a Guaranteed Analysis, which shows you at a glance what macronutrients are in the food, and how much.
To meet a cat’s nutritional needs, there should be a good amount of protein, moisture, and up to 5% fat. High-quality wet cat foods will also have a small amount of taurine and even ash.
When you’re deciding on the best food for your cat, you must keep his age, activity levels, and health in mind. For example, an indoor older cat won’t need as much protein and fat as an active, still developing kitten. And a cat with poor digestion will need more fiber than one that’s in good health.
Cats are carnivores which means they need meat to survive and thrive. Whether it is red meat, fish, or poultry, the best canned food for cats should have an animal-based protein as one of the main ingredients.
Our reviewed products all contain real meat as the number one ingredient and the food you choose for your cat should also.
The dreaded ‘F’ word – fillers. For some cat owners, fillers in their cat’s food is an absolute no-no. But to be fair, in the wild, a cat’s diet will include a small number of fruits, vegetables, corn, wheat, and carbohydrates, albeit in the form of byproducts found in their prey’s stomach.
This is why we are not entirely anti them. For us, it is more about the types of fillers used. Refined and processed carbs and grains are less healthy than natural ones. If your cat suffers from any food allergies or intolerances, you will want to pay more attention to these particular ingredients.
Another ingredient found on labels that often leads to fiery debate is byproducts. As is the case with fillers, some argue that byproducts are fine. After all, a wild cat’s diet will include the bones, cartilage, organs, fur, feathers or scales of its prey.
And the experts agree. Byproducts can contain far more vitamins and minerals than a piece of white meat. The concern is when these are from an unknown or questionable source. Generally, it is better to choose a wet food that has been tested and approved by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). We also recommend buying from brands that source their ingredients responsibly and have specific quality-control checks in place.
Quality vs. cost
Don’t be fooled into thinking an expensive wet cat food is better than one that costs less. Instead of going on the price alone, rather look at the company behind the brand. Does it source its ingredients responsibly? Do they spend time and money doing research, or are they all about the hype and on-trend buzzwords?
And then there’s the other end of the scale. Really cheap cat foods may contain questionable ingredients from unknown sources. If you’re unsure of what the best quality affordable wet cat food options are, take a look at our reviews or ask your vet for a few recommendations.
Talking of buzzwords and hype, watch out for these. When it comes to your cat, you want to give him the very best, and food manufacturers know this. Using words like ‘premium’, ‘ultra-premium’, ‘deluxe’ or ‘human-grade’ are all smart ways to make you think you’re getting a quality product.
But did you know that ‘ultra-premium’ products don’t have to include different ingredients or ingredients of a higher quality than those offering a well-balanced diet? Our advice is not to get caught up with all the trendy buzzwords marketers use to get you to part with your hard-earned cash.
The Best Wet Cat Food: Frequently Asked Questions
Is protein really that important for my cat?
Given that cats are carnivores, protein is an essential ingredient in their diet. And ideally, they should come from an animal source. Look for wet cat foods with chicken, turkey, salmon, ocean whitefish, tuna, or red meat to ensure your kitty’s getting the protein he needs.
Are carbohydrates a problem in my cat’s wet food?
Experts agree that some carbohydrates in your cat’s wet food aren’t a problem. After all, in the wild, he would be eating grains, vegetables, and fruits as a byproduct of his prey.
Of course, if your cat has a problem digesting them, shows an intolerance or is putting on weight, you might want to curb the carbs.
Are byproducts bad?
In the same way, carbohydrates aren’t necessarily bad for your cat, neither are byproducts. Wild cats don’t only eat the meat of their prey, they also dine on the bones, liver, lungs, kidney, and heart.
The best wet cat food brands will contain quality byproducts that aren’t only nutritious, but necessary.
Why does wet cat food contain moisture?
Generally, cats don’t like drinking water, and in the wild, they will get their moisture from their prey. But how do you know your cat is getting enough liquid?
One of the main reasons people choose canned food for their cat is because of the moisture content. By looking at the Guaranteed Analysis, you will be able to tell how much water the food contains and get an idea of how ‘runny’ it will be.
Do I need to give my cat water if she’s eating wet cat food?
The answer to this is absolutely. Dehydration in cats can cause significant health problems and even lead to death.
Whether your cat is eating wet food, dry kibbles, or a combination of the two, you should make sure he always has access to fresh drinking water.
Why are there different wet foods for kittens and cats?
Kittens and cats have very different nutritional needs, which is why they have different food. Kittens need protein-rich diets with extra vitamins and minerals to support their developing bones and muscles, as well as their brains and eyesight. As cats get older, their dietary requirements change, and as a result, they need fewer calories and less protein.
There are also wet food options for cats with specific health needs. If you are not sure which formula is best for your kitty, it is a good idea to ask your vet for a recommendation or two.
When can my kitten start eating adult wet cat food?
Generally speaking, you should look at changing your kitten’s food when he turns one.
We suggest looking at adult options just before this so you can transition slowly from the kitten formula to the adult food. During this time, you should keep an eye on him to see how he is responding to the new diet.
Should I follow the feeding guidelines on the food label?
The feeding guidelines on a label are precisely that, a guide. But as a general rule of thumb cats need between 25-35 calories per pound of their total body weight.
But it also depends on your cat’s needs. An active cat that spends a lot of time outdoors might need more, while an indoor cat will need less. A pregnant cat or one that is nursing will eat more than usual, and a cat getting over an illness might not eat at all for a day or two.
How many times a day should I feed my cat?
Cats that eat dry food are sometimes free-fed, which means they have access to their kibbles all day. But if you have a breed of cat that’s notorious for its over-eating, this isn’t a good idea.
If your cat eats wet food, then it’s recommended to feed him twice a day, usually in the morning and again in the evening. Kittens and nursing cats may need to be fed up to four times a day.
How do I know if my cat is overweight?
There are a few ways to tell if your cat is overweight. You could check by running your hands along his sides to feel for his ribs. While you should be able to feel them easily, you shouldn’t be able to see them.
Or you can check your cat from above and the sides. You should see a definite narrowing at his waist from both angles.
Is it okay to give my cat ‘human’ food?
Although it is tempting to give your cat bits and pieces from your plate, it is recommended that you don’t. Not only can it lead to him gaining weight, but some human foods are toxic to cats.
And dog food?
No, we don’t suggest you feeding your cat dog food either. As mentioned previously, cats have particular dietary needs depending on their age and health, which are also very different from a dog’s.
Can I store wet cat food?
It’s best to look on the label to see if, or how long, wet cat food can be stored. It’s recommended that uneaten food should be thrown away after approximately four hours. Opened cans can usually be stored in the fridge for a week.
Is it okay to change my cat’s wet food?
If we know anything about cats is that they’re stubborn as all heck. And single-minded. He will let you know soon enough when he is ready for a change, just like he’ll let you know when he doesn’t like the newest flavor you’ve just bought.
Sound familiar? The important thing is to gradually change foods, slowly introducing the new one so that you can keep an eye on any changes or adverse reactions.
Have we included your cat’s wet food of choice? Or perhaps you’ve got one you really want us to know about. Tell us in the comments below so we can spread the word.