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Finding just the right food that your finicky cat will eat can be a royal pain. With so many options available on the market, it’s hard to know which ones are the best for your cat’s health and satisfaction. Hopefully, this article and list of the best cat foods for 2023 will help in your quest for the best food for your furry feline.
The list below includes a variety of options, from wet to dry, high-protein to limited-ingredient, and eco-friendly to premium. When putting this list together consideration was given to various factors including, but not limited to:
- nutritional value
- quality of ingredients
- customer reviews
We strived to be sure that each cat food on our list meets or surpasses the nutritional needs and standards of feline nutrition.
Whether your cat has certain needs or you’re just shopping for a new high-quality cat food, the following cat food list may help you sort it all out. So, without further delay, let’s take a look at the best cat foods for 2023.
Important Nutrients for Cats
When it comes to choosing the best cat food, you need to pay attention to the nutrient levels your cat needs to stay purr-fectly healthy and happy. Here are the key nutrients that should be included in your cat’s diet:
Protein builds and repairs all the cat’s bodily tissues, including the muscles, bone, blood, nerves, and organs. It’s also necessary for infection protection, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. Any high-quality cat food should contain at least 25% protein, with the protein being sourced from red meat, poultry, or fish. Always buy brands that list the protein source as the first ingredient on the label. If the label doesn’t list real meat first (Not Meat Byproducts!) then don’t buy it.
Fat is an essential nutrient that stores and releases energy. Fat is needed to metabolize the fat-soluble vitamins. Fat’s properties help the cat maintain its healthy skin and coat. Fat is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function. A good cat food should contain at least 9% fat, which should be sourced from wholesome chicken fat or fish oil.
Cats don’t need carbs in their diet, but they do benefit from a small amount of them. Carbohydrates provide energy and help significantly with digestion and nutrient absorption. However, cat foods need to be balanced with appropriate high-quality, easily digestible carbs like those from sweet potatoes or peas. Avoid cat foods that include complex filler grains like corn or wheat since those are of little value to cats and can cause them some digestive distress.
Vitamins are essential for cats because they are needed for various bodily functions. Integral functions including healthy eyesight, immune system support, and the proper absorption of other nutrients are very dependent on specific vitamins. A good cat food should include vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as all of the B-complex vitamins.
Minerals in food are necessary for cats because minerals are needed for bone growth, bone repair, body integrity, tissue repair and maintenance, cellular integrity, fluid balance, blood chemistry, and nerve function to name a few. A good cat food should contain minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, as well as trace minerals like iron, zinc, and copper.
Types of Cat Food
Choosing the right type of cat food can be a time-consuming and tough thing to do. There are a ton of confusing cat food choices and each has its own pluses and minuses.
Here is a brief description of the most common types of commercial cat food:
Dry Cat Food (Kibbles)
Dry cat food is the most popular type of cat food. Boxed or bagged, dry cat kibbles can be stored for a long time if needed and it is easy to feed. Dry cat food is also cheaper than other types of cat food, plus you are not paying for canned water. But, because it has a lower moisture content, dehydration and related problems may happen if your cat doesn’t drink enough water. Senior cats and cats missing teeth can have a hard time chewing and digesting kibbles.
Wet Cat Food
Wet cat food, a.k.a. canned cat food, has a much higher moisture content than dry cat food. The added moisture means the cat food is softer and easier to chew so it’s a good option for cats with bad teeth or gums. Wet cat food is usually a bit higher in protein and has fewer carbs than dry cat food. However, on a dry basis, wet food is more expensive than kibbles. Once opened, wet cat food can spoil in a few days and it can be a bit messy to feed the cat.
The grain-free cat food is designed to meet the dietary needs of cats, providing them with the meat and seafood they crave in every can. The protein-rich cat food contains real fish, real meat, and real protein, offering delectable seafood and chicken flavours in every bite.
Semi-Moist Cat Food
Semi-moist cat food is a pouched type of cat food that is soft and chewy. Semi-moist is higher moisture than dry cat food (kibbles) but lower than wet (canned) cat food. Semi-moist cat food is easy to bowl and feed, has a longer shelf life than wet cat food, and is much easier to chew than kibbles. Unfortunately, it is more expensive than kibbles and is usually loaded with more preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Raw Cat Food
Raw cat food is a recent marketing innovation made from uncooked meat, bones, organs, and sometimes veggies. Similar to the prey diet of wild cats, raw cat food is thought to have some special health benefits that the above kinds of cat food may not have. Raw cat food is naturally high in protein, moisture, essential nutrients, and cats like it. However, it is not all good news. Raw cat food tends to be expensive, time-consuming and messy to prepare, and it may be a risk of bacterial contamination of kitchen areas, utensils, and you.
Top 10 Best Cat Foods for 2023
You likely know how important it is to feed your cat with the best possible food.
Here are the top 10 best cat foods for 2023:
|96% Turkey & Turkey Liver Pate Canned Cat Food|
|Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food|
|Original Recipe High-Protein Cat Food|
|Human-Grade Fresh Raw Cat Food Subscription|
|Open Farm Homestead|
|Turkey & Chicken Dry Cat Food|
|Royal Canin Veterinary Diet|
|Adult Selected Protein PR Dry Cat Food|
|Tiki Cat Emma Luau Variety Pack|
|Best Wet Cat Food|
|Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food|
|Best meat-in-gravy cat food|
|Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Indoor Senior Recipe Dry Cat Food|
|Best Senior Cat Food|
|Hill’s Science Diet|
|Adult Indoor Cat Dry Cat Food|
These 10 selected (unranked) cat foods were based on their quality, nutritional value, and sales. Each food is usually offered in different types, including dry, wet, and canned. These brands are generally fed to cats of different ages and dietary needs.
Disclaimer: As a cat owner you should understand that not all cats are the same. Some cats may have specific dietary needs or health restrictions that require a different type of food than those listed above. Always ask your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet.
Choosing the Right Cat Food
Deciding on the right cat food for your favourite feline can be daunting. So making an informed decision is very important to your cat and you.
Here are two pointers that might help you:
- Read the Ingredients List–It’s very important to know what’s in your cat’s food. Look for real meat sources like beef, pork, venison, chicken, turkey, or fish as the first ingredient. Don’t buy cheap cat foods that list by-products, fillers, and artificial preservatives in the ingredients list. Be sure the cat food meets the nutritional needs of your cat’s life stage.
- Consider Your Cat’s Age and Health–Cats’ nutritional needs change as they age:
This dry cat food is specially formulated for adult cats to promote heart health by including taurine, and to maintain kidney and bladder health with balanced minerals. It also contains high-quality protein to help build and maintain lean muscle in adult cats.
When it comes to the best cat foods for 2023, the most important thing we can say is to buy a responsible brand. If you are unsure, then ask your vet. You don’t want to feed your cat buddy a cheap or unknown brand. It just makes no sense to risk your cat’s health just to save a buck or two. Always buy a trusted, responsible and reputable cat food that you trust. One that has a good reputation for quality and safety. You can also check the label for the AAFCO certification ensuring the cat food meets or surpasses the feline nutritional standards.
Stay organized and keep track of your pet’s health, grooming, and care with our easy-to-use cat care planner.