Best Healthy Cat Food
Cats need a large amount of high quality animal proteins in their diets, because they are obligate carnivores and cannot survive without it. This is why it is super important to find the best healthy cat food which is high in protein and has all the nutrients your kitty needs to live a healthy and enriched life.
When it comes to cats, shopping for cat food can be a challenge because not only are there so many options to choose from, cats are complicated creatures who require a properly balanced diet with lots of nutrients and protein. It does not matter if you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, this guide will help you choose the best cat food which is healthy and has everything your kitty needs.
- 0.1 Countdown of Top Rated Healthy Kitty Food
- 0.2 2. Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food by Nature's Variety
- 0.3 3. Weruva TruLuxe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
- 0.4 4. BLUE Healthy Gourmet Wet Cat Food
- 0.5 5. BLUE for Cats Adult Dry Cat Food
- 0.6 6. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend With Real Salmon Dry Cat Food
- 0.7 7. ACANA Regionals Wild Atlantic Dry Cat Food
- 1 Dry Foods
- 2 Wet Foods
- 3 Feeding Cats
Countdown of Top Rated Healthy Kitty Food
Now you know a little more about cat foods and what you should be looking for, here is a list of our favourite best healthy cat food currently available on the market. Now, this list does contain some dry foods, but these are low-carb versions!
Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Cat Food is a very good potential dry food if you’re passionate about only buying organically-sourced foods, and want to provide good nutrition.
This recipe has quality nutrition for pure and complete benefits for your cat. The limited carbohydrates used in their organic formulas are flaxseed which has omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, cranberries and organic brown rice. All of these formulas are supplemented with added fiber, helping to support your cat’s digestion and protein for lean muscle mass.
Instinct Original Grain Free Natural Wet Canned Food is carefully made so it is similar to what cats in the ancient times would have fed on: meat with a sprinkling of veg and a little bit of fruit. It offers whole and balanced nutrition for cats of all ages.
With 95% chicken, turkey and chicken liver being the primary ingredients, this is a great food. The remaining 5% is composed of fruit, vegetables and other wholesome ingredients. It is free from grain, corn, wheat, soy and artificial colours and preservatives, so it is natural and there are no allergen concerns at all.
It is packed full of animal protein with natural chicken as the primary ingredient, so this formula is sure to provide all your cat’s dietary protein needs and promotes growth.
Weruva TruLuxe Grain-Free Canned Food is a very good healthy cat food, and an analysis of its ingredients shows that they are all natural and unique, which makes for some very interesting formula names.
Their formulas come in all sorts of interesting blends (beef and pumpkin) and include some meats rarely seen in cat food (basa). I am going to take their formula called ‘Peking Ducken’ as an example, which contains chicken and duck. These animal-based proteins are wholesome and provide lots of it. Plus, these meats are coated in a tasty gravy which makes the food all that extra bit palatable.
With more protein and less carbohydrates than average, this is a very healthy food which is great for cats that spend most or all of their time indoors.
BLUE Healthy Gourmet Wet Cat Food is targeted especially towards older and more mature cats, but it is still a very healthy cat food which can be fed to cats of all ages and life stages. It is targeted towards older cats because its formula is a specialist blend of limited ingredients, which is made for cats who have sensitive stomachs. This means the ingredients are limited to only the good stuff.
The primary ingredients in this food are always high-quality animal-based proteins, such as chicken in the chicken entrée formula. Some of these foods do contain some carbohydrates, such as healthy brown rice which is used mostly as a filler. But, it is a complex carbohydrate which means it is easily digestible.
There is a whole lot of protein in this food (typical for limited ingredient foods) and a low amount of carbohydrates which, again, makes it a great choice for indoor cats who do not get as much exercise as their outdoor counterparts. The high amount of fat means it may not be a great choice for kittens with lots of spare energy.
Blue Buffalo’s dry food for indoor cats is made with real de-boned chicken supplemented with grains such as barley, oatmeal and brown rice. Like a lot of Blue Buffalo’s other formulas, this food is mainly aimed at cats who have sensitive stomachs, food allergies or other dietary problems.
Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food is a firm favourite with cat owners all across the nation; Purina are a brand held in high regard by pet owners and are consistently recommended by veterinarians and animal dieticians for their high-quality foods.
This food also does not have any unnecessary fillers, additives or low-quality ingredients. All the ingredients Purina have used in this formula are there for a reason and are serving a purpose; none are there just to bulk up the product and give it extra weight.
Acana Regionals Wild Atlantic create their cat food formulas with fresh and sustainable ingredients sourced from regional suppliers, which are used to satisfy your cat’s nutritional demands.
The foods which Acana make support “biologically appropriate diets”, which is a fancy way of saying that their food is rich in high-quality animal proteins, thanks to the presence of lots and lots of fresh fish and meat, including organ meats and meat meals. Acana do not use any additives, preservatives or synthetic ingredients in their foods, which makes it some of the best food available on the market; Acana’s food only contains ingredients which your cat needs in his or her diet.
This formula contains mackerel as its primary ingredient, along with lots of other fresh fish such as whole herring, mackerel meal, silver hake and herring meal. All of these seafood ingredients are wild-caught which mimics your cat’s evolutionary diet.
Dry cat food and kibbles have been the go-to food and, for the most part, the preferred choice of cat owners for decades. Why? Because it’s convenient, and the manufacturers usually claim that their food is “complete and nutritious” to drive sales. Dry food is very easy to feed, and most cats love it.
Although this is great news for you, unfortunately for your kitty, most commercial dry foods are the equivalent of junk or fast food for cats and feeding lots of dry food to cats is like feeding high sugar foods to young children.
Why? Because dry foods contain lots of carbohydrates which cats do not need. Cats only need protein to survive and have no nutritional need for carbohydrates; they get added on as weight.
Because of the very high amount of carbohydrates in most dry cat foods, large amounts of sugar get absorbed into your kitty’s bloodstream which can disrupt your cat’s natural metabolic process. This can lead to diabetes in extreme cases… not good!
In addition to this, cats who are overly dependent on dry food are more likely to develop urinary diseases and issues. Whilst cats who only eat dry food will probably drink more water, it is very difficult for a cat to get all of the moisture it needs to support bodily functions from dry food alone, and this is why canned wet food should always be the go-to choice.
However, there are some healthy dry cat foods out there and we will look at these later on.
Wet foods are typically the foods you find in cans or pouches, and these usually have a higher amount of protein because they are fresh. Plus, they have lots of water and moisture which is vital for your kitty, who does not get any from dry food.
Personally, I always feed my cats wet food and very rarely feed a dry food unless I buy a very high-quality one which is nutritionally balanced. In these cases, I also supplement with extra water or protein-based broths such as chicken or fish.
As I have mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores and they need meat to survive and thrive, which means the Best High Protein Cat Foods are really useful and worth looking at. As a cat owner, we should always try and replicate our kitties’ wild diets with specially designed food. There are four points to remember when picking food –
High Protein is Important
Cats need to be getting a lot of animal proteins in their diet, not plant proteins, but animal proteins which are of a high quality, such as chicken or turkey – a cat cannot survive without protein, because they use this for energy. As an example, an adult cat almost three times more animal-based protein in their diets than dogs.
If your kitty was living in the wild, he or she would feed off of small animals such as mice, which would result in a large amount of protein intake. Over thousands of years, evolution has made cats dependant on protein, because in the wild they would never come across or eat things such as vegetables, fruits or other carbohydrates. This is especially relevant if you have an outdoor cat. So, when it comes to protein –
- High quality meats either raw or cooked such as lamb, chicken or turkey are great options for your cat.
- Wet canned foods are a good shout too; this is the next best thing to plain cooked or raw meats and typically have a decent amount of protein in them.
- Dry cat food and kibbles do have some protein, but often it is the case that they don’t contain very much. This does depend on the brand, however.
Fat Content is Also Important
As humans, we are always told that fats are bad and should only be consumed in moderation, so we avoid them.
Although we do not need excess fats, cats do. Cats get their energy from fat, whereas we humans use carbohydrates for ours. Fats are important for your cat’s health, and you should not be afraid to provide your cat with a decent amount of it as it is where they source their energy.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids benefit your cats fur and coat, keeping it strong and healthy. Plus, these help joint and muscle development too.
No Carbohydrates, or Very Little
Cats do not need carbohydrates; they have no nutritional need and their bodies cannot process them. Despite this, many dry food brands use corn, wheat and other grains as fillers to bulk the food up and make it look bigger. Low Carb Dry Cat Food for Diabetic Cats is also perfectly healthy for regular cats, too, or the Best Diet Cat Food.
- Cats cannot digest and have no need for carbohydrates, so a healthy cat food should never have a high amount of these in them.
Add Extra Moisture
huge source of your kitty’s hydration is from canned or wet foods, which is usually in excess of 70% moisture content.
In contrasting this to dry food, which is usually less than 10% moisture, you can see which is the winner. If you have a cat who eats lots of dry food, you should add extra moisture to their diet because cats will rarely drink water from bowls.
If your cat has a wholly dry diet, supplement their food with canned food or add water to get extra moisture in. An even better method is to add chicken or fish broth so it is more appetizing.
If you are finding your cat is not getting enough water, consider investing in the Best Cat Water Fountain which can help entice water drinking.
Another Note on Carbohydrates
As I have mentioned many times here and in other articles, cats are obligate carnivores. I’m sure I do not need to mention what this means again! Cats are unique because they cannot process carbohydrates in any form – raw or processed – yet a majority of commercially-produced dry cat foods are super high in processed carbohydrates such as wheat, rice and corn. It’s pointless, though; your cat can do nothing with it.
Unlike we humans and other mammals, cats do not get their energy - which they need to move around and hunt - from carbohydrates, instead they get it from proteins and fiats primarily. Carbohydrates, at least the processed kind, are usually passed out in the feces.
Why can’t they process them, you ask? Well, cats are wired to convert gluconogenic amino acids and fat into energy rather than starch. This has happened over millions of years of evolution; your cats liver has no ability to produce enzymes which convert starch into energy. This is why they just pass straight through the system.
The Round Up
A cat’s nutritional needs are quite complicated and it is all to easy to feel flustered when searching for the best healthy cat food, but it is really very simple. Although there are a huge number of brands and products out there, only a select few are healthy and provide all the nutrition your cat needs… some of these have made our list, but there are many more out there.
Basically, all you should be looking for are wet (or high quality dry foods) which contain a lot of protein, minimal amounts of carbohydrates and some fats. Additional vitamins, nutrients, Omega fatty acids and other supplements are a bonus, too. It is not hard to figure out what is good and what is bad when you read the label and see the ingredients for yourself.