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best wet cat food for indoor cats of 2024

best wet cat food for indoor cats of 2024

When looking for the top wet cat food for your feline friend, it is crucial to think about the ingredients as well as whether the food suits your cat's requirements. There are various options available for different stages of life, such as kittens and older cats, along with grain-free options and recipes made for cats with sensitive stomachs. I have selected the best wet cat foods based on advice from veterinarians.

What to look for when choosing the best wet cat foods

When selecting the top wet cat food, it is important to consider various factors. To provide guidance on what to look for and how to make the best decision for your cat, I consulted with veterinarians.

Complete and balanced diet

According to the The veterinary medicine and biomedical sciences department at Texas A&M University.Giving your cat only meat to eat may lead to deficiencies in essential nutrients like vitamins, fatty acids, and minerals. Providing your cat with a well-rounded canned food diet can help ensure they receive adequate protein and minimal carbohydrates, which can meet their nutritional requirements and possibly prevent obesity.

Certain foods are being promoted as supplements or additions to a complete and balanced diet. When selecting a wet food as the main diet for your cat, ensure that it is labeled as a "complete and balanced diet."

Named meat sources and amounts

Dr. Bethany Hsia, who is a mobile veterinarian and also a co-founder, is actively involved in her profession. CodaPet , emphasizes the significance of searching for animal-based proteins listed as the top ingredients in pet food. This signifies that the food has a high concentration of those proteins. She suggests looking for specific named meat sources such as chicken, turkey, beef, or fish, and avoiding generic terms like meat by-products or animal digest, which may denote lower-quality protein sources.

Carbohydrate content

Dr. Alex Crow, a veterinarian and proprietor of PetHealthGuru , he mentions that cats do not require a lot of carbohydrates in their food. He suggests choosing cat food that has a low carbohydrate content, preferably less than 10%.

Whole ingredients

Dr. Hsia advises cat owners to inspect their pet's food for natural ingredients such as fruits and vegetables. She points out that these ingredients can offer important nutrients that contribute to their overall well-being.

Limited ingredients

Dr. Crow advises that cat food of higher quality typically has shorter ingredient lists. It is best to avoid products with long lists of ingredients or those that are challenging to pronounce.

Taurine

Taurine is a necessary amino acid for the well-being of your cat, as stated by ..Lake Michigan Animal Hospital is a veterinary clinic located near Lake Michigan.Taurine plays a vital role in metabolic functions and nutrient storage. A lack of taurine can result in various health problems such as developmental issues, digestion issues, hair loss, diabetes, tooth decay, and blindness. To prevent a deficiency and promote your cat's wellbeing, ensure their diet includes taurine-rich foods.

Brand reputation

When selecting a food item, it is crucial to take into account the reputation of the brand as well. Banfield Pet Hospital In order to be labeled with the logos of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a cat food product must adhere to specific criteria. These logos indicate that the food is safe, free of harmful substances, manufactured in clean environments, and accurately labeled for your cat.

Texture

According to Dr. Crow, it may be necessary to test out various types of wet cat food to figure out which texture your cat prefers. Cats can be choosy when it comes to textures, so trying different options is key to finding the one your cat likes best. Wet cat food textures range from smooth pate, chunky pieces, and meat shreds, to a variety of gravies and broths.

Life stage

It is important to choose a high-quality cat food that is appropriate for your cat's life stage. As cats grow, their nutritional requirements change, so it is crucial to select a food specifically formulated for kittens if you have a young cat. Dr. Hsia emphasizes the importance of providing a wet food for kittens with sufficient levels of essential nutrients, such as high-quality protein, to support their growth and development.

On the other hand, older cats have a metabolism and digestion that operate at a slower pace. Dr. Hsia explains that wet food made for senior cats usually have reduced phosphorus levels to promote kidney health, include ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support, and have a softer texture which makes it easier for older cats to consume.

Our top picks for the best wet cat foods

Best wet cat food for indoor cats: Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Herring Dinner is a nutritious cat food option.

Wellness Complete Health Cat Food contains a variety of protein sources such as chicken, whitefish, and herring. The formula is free from grains, making it suitable for cats with food sensitivities, and promotes overall health including skin, coat, digestion, and the immune system. There are other recipes available within this line to provide variety during mealtime and to discover your cat's preferred flavor.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key components: Chicken, chicken liver, and whitefish
  • The guaranteed analysis includes a minimum of 10% crude protein, a minimum of 5% crude fat, and a maximum of 1% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Includes taurine, with benefits for the heart.
  • Contains a variety of natural foods such as cranberries, sweet potatoes, blueberries, carrots, and squash.

What we don’t like:

  • High cost per can
  • Contains a meat by-product

The bottom line:

Wellness Complete Health Cat Food contains a variety of proteins such as chicken and herring, as well as whole fruits like blueberries and cranberries to provide comprehensive nutrition.

Top wet cat food for cats that live indoors

Wellness Complete Health Cat Food Chicken & Herring Dinner

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Best wet cat foods for senior cats:  

Tiki Cat Senior Mousse with Chicken & Pumpkin in Broth

Tiki Cat Senior Mousse is designed with a soft texture and broth to assist older cats with dental problems in eating more easily. It is made with real chicken for protein and includes pumpkin for fiber to aid slower digestion in senior cats. This food is free of grains, animal by-products, artificial colors, and flavors, and comes in various flavors to choose from.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Senior (11+ years)
  • Key components: Broth made from chicken, chicken meat, and pumpkin.
  • This product is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 10% crude protein, 2% crude fat, and a maximum of 1% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • Senior cats find it easy to eat food with a smooth texture.
  • Additional water is needed because of the high level of humidity.
  • Gentle fiber from pumpkin
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids

What we don’t like:

  • Low fat content
  • Not manufactured in the United States

The bottom line:

The Tiki Cat Senior Mousse is specially made for older cats that may have dental problems or a decreased interest in food, thanks to its creamy texture and real meat protein.

Top choices for older cats when it comes to wet cat food

Tiki Cat Senior Mousse with Chicken & Pumpkin in Broth

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Best wet cat foods for kittens:  

Purina ONE Grain Free Healthy Chicken & Salmon Recipe Pate Wet Kitten Food

The Purina ONE Grain Free Wet Kitten Food contains real meat high in protein to help with your kitten's growth. This recipe includes plenty of moisture to keep your kitten hydrated, and the soft pate texture is easy for young kittens to eat. Made with top-quality ingredients like chicken and salmon, this food is free of fillers and artificial additives. It's worth noting that Purina also has options for dog companions in the household. best dog food brands  ,  best senior dog foods  ,  best dry dog foods  , and Top dog food for shedding pounds .

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Kitten
  • Key ingredients: Chicken, liver, and a base of chicken broth
  • Minimum of 11% crude protein, minimum of 6.5% crude fat, and maximum of 1.5% crude fiber is guaranteed in the analysis.

What we like:

  • High protein content from real meat
  • Includes salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • No corn, wheat or soy

What we don’t like:

  • Only available in one flavor
  • Contains meat by-products

The bottom line:

The Purina ONE Grain Free Wet Kitten Food contains a significant amount of protein from actual meat, and does not contain any fillers, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Top wet cat food options for young cats

Purina ONE Grain Free Natural Pate Healthy Kitten Chicken & Salmon Recipe Wet Kitten Food

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Best wet cat foods for sensitive stomachs:

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Vegetable Entree Canned Cat Food

The Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin formula contains protein from high-quality meats such as chicken and turkey. This grain-free recipe is perfect for cats with food sensitivities and is formulated for easy digestion. Natural ingredients like cranberries, fish oil, and spinach provide additional nutrients and fiber, promoting digestive and skin health.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key components: Broth made from chicken and a blend of chicken and turkey meat.
  • Minimum guaranteed levels of nutrients in this product include 6.3% crude protein, 4% crude fat, and a maximum of 1.5% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • Protein is sourced from authentic meats such as chicken and turkey.
  • Incorporates natural ingredients such as carrots and spinach

What we don’t like:

  • Attention cat owners of choosy eaters: There have been reports from some pet owners that their cats refuse to eat certain food.

The bottom line:

Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin contains wholesome ingredients such as chicken and turkey, which are chosen for their digestibility and ability to promote healthy skin in your cat.

Top cat food options for cats with delicate stomachs

Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Vegetable Entree Canned Cat Food

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Best wet cat foods for weight loss:  

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Healthy Weight Natural Weight Control Chicken Adult Wet Cat Food

The Blue Buffalo True Solutions Healthy Weight Control is specially formulated to assist cats in reaching and keeping a healthy weight. It contains protein from high-quality sources such as chicken and whitefish, with each can containing only 86 calories. Additionally, the inclusion of whole fruits and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cranberries, and green beans further aids in weight management.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key components: Chicken, poultry broth, and chicken liver
  • Minimum guaranteed levels of nutrients in this product are 8.5% crude protein, 4% crude fat, and a maximum of 3% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • Rich in fiber to keep cats satisfied.
  • It includes L-carnitine, which may assist in reducing body weight.
  • No corn, wheat or soy

What we don’t like:

  • Only one flavor available

The bottom line:

The Blue Buffalo True Solutions Healthy Weight Natural Weight Control formula can aid your cat in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, with a low calorie count of 86 per can and plenty of fiber to promote a feeling of fullness.

Top wet cat foods for reducing weight

Blue Buffalo True Solutions Healthy Weight Natural Weight Control Chicken Adult Wet Cat Food, 3-oz can, case of 24

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Best wet cat food for weight gain:  

Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food

The Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate has a high amount of fat and protein from actual chicken and turkey to help your cat gain weight. Each can contains 131 calories and comes in six flavors to keep mealtime interesting for your cat. This food is made with high-quality ingredients and does not contain any undesirable ingredients such as corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key components: Chicken, broth made from chicken, and chicken liver
  • Minimum content of crude protein is guaranteed to be 10%, minimum crude fat content is guaranteed to be 7.5%, and maximum content of crude fiber is guaranteed to be 3%.

What we like:

  • Available in six flavors
  • The primary ingredient in this product is chicken raised without being confined in a cage.
  • Includes a variety of fruits and vegetables such as peas, carrots, cranberries, and blueberries.
  • Contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
  • No corn, wheat or soy

What we don’t like:

  • High cost per can
  • The actual Chicken and Duck flavors are not produced in the United States.

The bottom line:

The Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate is specifically crafted to be enticing to cats due to its high protein and fat levels, as well as its variety of five flavors. This product may also help cats maintain or gain weight.

Top quality wet cat food for increasing body mass

Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food

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Best grain-free wet cat food:  

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Chicken Recipe Pate Wet Cat Food

The Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Chicken Recipe Pate uses deboned chicken as its main protein source. It includes necessary nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and taurine for a well-rounded diet, but does not contain any grains. This cat food also avoids artificial additives such as colors, flavors, and preservatives, ensuring that your cat receives only wholesome ingredients.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key ingredients: Chicken meat, chicken liver, and chicken stock.
  • This product is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 10% crude protein, 5% crude fat, and a maximum of 1% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • Deboned chicken is the first ingredient
  • Made in the USA
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives are used.

What we don’t like:

  • Several cat owners have mentioned that their cats are refusing to eat the new formula.
  • Contains a meat by-product

The bottom line:

The Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Chicken Recipe is made with deboned chicken as the main ingredient and does not contain any grains, providing top-quality nutrition.

 Best grain-free wet cat food 

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Chicken Recipe Pate Wet Cat Food

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Best natural wet cat food:  

Raised Right Original Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

The Raised Right Original Turkey Adult Cat Recipe is a veterinarian-formulated low carbohydrate diet made with high-quality ingredients like blueberries, carrots, dried organic kelp, and flaxseed oil. It is lightly cooked and frozen for easy storage. Simply defrost the package, serve your cat, and refrigerate the unused portion for up to six days.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key components: Thigh meat of turkey, heart of turkey, liver of turkey
  • Minimum guaranteed analysis includes 21% crude protein, 8% crude fat, and maximum 2% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • The first 3 ingredients are meat
  • Includes natural components such as spearmint and dehydrated kelp.
  • Includes taurine
  • Free of grain, like rice, corn and wheat
  • Free of preservatives
  • Available in four flavors
  • Meets the standards set by AAFCO for adult maintenance.
  • Laboratory safety has been assessed in order to confirm that it is devoid of foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella.

What we don’t like:

  • Packaged in a larger quantity for the purpose of being separated into individual servings.
  • Must be defrosted

The bottom line:

The Raised Right Original Turkey Adult Cat Recipe is made with high-quality whole foods fit for human consumption and does not contain grains, potato, rice, oats, squash, yam, or any artificial preservatives. As a result, it is a natural and uncomplicated choice to incorporate into your cat's diet.

Best natural wet cat food 

Raised Right Original Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

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Best budget wet cat food:  

Fancy Feast Petites Grilled Chicken & Rice Entree Gourmet Pate Wet Cat Food

Although many high-quality wet cat foods can be costly, the Fancy Feast Petites recipes offer nutritious options at a more budget-friendly price. The Grilled Chicken & Rice recipe includes chicken broth and chicken as the main ingredients, and the tray design allows for easy portioning. The food is free of artificial preservatives and colors, and comes in nine different flavors to keep your cat's meals interesting. You won't have to refrigerate any leftovers.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Primary components: Broth made from chicken, chicken meat, and wheat gluten
  • Minimum levels of nutrients in this product include 10% crude protein, 2% crude fat, and maximum 1.5% crude fiber.

What we like:

  • Small serving sizes to avoid waste
  • The top two ingredients in this dish are chicken broth and chicken.
  • Available in many flavors

What we don’t like:

  • Contains meat by-products
  • Contains wheat gluten

The bottom line:

The Fancy Feast Petites recipes contain authentic meat with no artificial preservatives or flavors, providing high-quality nutrition at a reasonable cost.

Best budget wet cat food 

Fancy Feast Petites Grilled Chicken & Rice Entree Gourmet Pate Wet Cat Food

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Best wet cat food for hairball control:  

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Hairball Control Savory Chicken Entree Canned Wet Cat Food

The Hill's Science Diet Adult Hairball Control Savory Chicken Entree contains a high amount of fiber to prevent hairballs. It also includes vitamin E, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat in your cat. The recipe is made with real chicken and turkey meat, which is a good source of protein.

Specifications:

  • Life stage: Adult
  • Key components: H2O, poultry, and offal from turkey and chicken.
  • This product is guaranteed to contain a minimum of 7% protein, 4% fat, and a maximum of 2% fiber.

What we like:

  • Chicken is high on the ingredients list
  • Supports skin and coat health
  • Contains taurine for promoting general well-being.

What we don’t like:

  • Contains meat by-products
  • Contains corn and wheat products

The bottom line:

The chicken entree for cats contains fiber to aid in reducing hairballs, and also vitamin E and omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat.

The top choice of wet cat food specifically designed to help control hairballs in cats.

Hill's Science Diet Adult Hairball Control Savory Chicken Entree Canned Wet Cat Food, 2.9 oz., Case of 24

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Wet cat food benefits

According to  Bond Vet Wet cat food has advantages such as higher moisture content compared to dry food, which aids in keeping your cat hydrated. It may also be preferred by picky eaters and could benefit cats with specific health conditions like kidney disease and chronic constipation. If you are unsure if wet food is suitable for your cat, consult your veterinarian for guidance.

best wet cat food for indoor cats

Is wet or dry food better for cats?

Bond Vet acknowledges that there are advantages and disadvantages to both wet and dry cat food. It can be beneficial and suitable to feed your cat either wet food, dry food, or a mix of both. When determining the best food option, the age of your cat may play a role. Young kittens may require wet food to ease teething discomfort, while some senior cats may prefer wet food, which can aid in weight management.

How we selected the best wet cat food

When selecting the top wet cat foods, we paid close attention to the ingredients. Our emphasis was on products containing wholesome, high-quality components such as protein sources, fruits, and vegetables. We opted for foods with a high protein content and minimal carbohydrates, while also avoiding those with inferior ingredients like artificial fillers, preservatives, or colors.

We selected high-quality brands with strong reputations and sought out a variety of recipes and textures to provide diversity in your cat's diet. This allows you to experiment with different flavors and discover your cat's favorite.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What ingredients should I avoid in wet cat food?

Dr. Hsai emphasizes the importance of steering clear of generic meat sources such as meat by-products or animal digest, as they may be of lower quality compared to specific meat sources like chicken or turkey. She advises against consuming foods with excessive fillers like corn, wheat, or soy, as well as artificial additives like colors, flavors, and preservatives.

How can I introduce a new food to my cat?

Gradually introducing your cat to a new food is essential to avoid stomach issues during the transition. CityVet It is advised to gradually introduce your cat to a new type of food over a period of a week. However, some cats may need two to three weeks for a smoother transition. Start by blending 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food on days one and two, then mix 50% of each on days three and four. Transition to a 75% new food and 25% old food blend by days five and six. By day seven, your cat should be fully transitioned to eating 100% of the new food.

Can I mix dry and wet cat foods?

Yes, it is possible to combine both types of foods. Bond Vet advises that if you choose to mix them, it is important to decrease the amount of each food you give to maintain a balanced diet. For instance, if you want to feed your cat a mixture of wet and dry food in equal parts, you should only provide half the recommended amount of wet and half the recommended amount of dry food based on your cat's size, age, and activity level.