Best Canned Cat Food: 5 High Quality Options (Updated 2017)
I know you care about the nutritional value of the food your cat is eating, and that you want the best value for your dollar too, so I'm going to compare and contrast five popular brands of canned cat food so that you can make the most informed decision in today's pet food aisle.
Know Two Things About Cats
Cats are what is known as obligate carnivores. What this means is that they need meat in their diet in order to survive.
A cat's diet should consist of mostly animal protein, with very little plant material, fillers, or carbohydrates in it.
Cats are also unique in that they don't make amino acids and vitamins within their bodies, like all omnivores and herbivores do, they get all of these things from the meat that they are eating since the animal that they are eating has already converted ITS food into amino acids and vitamins for them.
What this means, for example, is that cats can't make Vitamin A out of the beta-carotenes from a carrot like I can, and the same goes for many other building blocks of nutrients for cats, like taurine, arginine, and tryptophan.
The bottom line is that cats are custom made to be carnivores, and so I should feed them like carnivores - with lots of meat!
Unfortunately, this can be a problem with today's commercial diets, because (all) dry foods tend to have a lot of plant material in them. The plant materials help form the ingredients into the kibble that I'm used to, and manufacturers often use ground yellow corn to do this.
Because a cat's digestive system is specifically made to digest meat, when I feed them meals high in plant materials (like corn) and carbohydrates, they tend to become obese, get diabetes, and can have lower urinary tract problems--which can all be painful, expensive to treat, or even fatal.
What this means in shorthand is that when you're buying cat food—no matter WHAT it says on the front of the package (Indoor/Outdoor Formula, Hairball Formula, etc.) check the ingredients first to find out whether it's a good food or not.
The highest quality foods will have meat listed as their first ingredient—and by-products or by-product meal doesn't count!
Also look at the guaranteed analysis for a high protein content—in dry foods strive for close to 40%, in canned foods look for over 10%.
So, you've heard of the Atkins Diet for humans, right?
Now veterinarians are recommending The “Catkin's Diet”—high-protein and low-carbohydrate meals for cats. This means avoiding foods that contain corn, wheat, rice, and starches, because they have a high glycemic index, which can be very detrimental to a cat's health.
The Purina formula called DM (Diatetic Management), originally marketed as a prescription diet for diabetic cats, is currently the highest-protein dry food available on the market, but it is much too expensive for most cat owners, costing about $6.00/lb.
So what's the alternative?
Top 5 Best Canned Food!
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click above to read customer reviews on Amazon.
Canned cat food is high in protein, which I now know is great for a cat's health, and low in carbohydrates, another bonus, and it also has a lot of water in it, which helps protect your cat's urinary tract. I'll now visit a few commercially available canned cat foods, so that you can decide what's best to feed your feline companion in order to ensure a long, healthy life.
And The Winner IS (Drumroll Please!)
All in all, the above five foods are great for your cat nutritionally, and all of them have everything she needs in her diet.
But the last three are definitely better than the first two—and who doesn't love a little variety as far as mealtime goes—you could feed all three! When you are looking for canned cat food, remember—high protein and low carbohydrate foods are best, as well as those with the fewest fillers, by-products, and dyes.
I hope that this has been an informative and fun journey that will better your cat's health for years to come.