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The Best Wet Cat Food

Veera/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated June 2022

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need a diet high in protein. Wet food is an excellent option for cats to provide the nutrition they need to thrive. Here are our top wet cat foods we recommend.

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  Best for Weight Best All-Natural Formula Best Grain-Free Choice Best for Senior Cats Best for Kittens
 
  Purina Pro Plan
Weight Management
Instinct
Original Grain-Free Pate
Blue Buffalo Wilderness
High-Protein Wet Cat Food
Hill's Science Diet
Wet Cat Food
IAMS
Perfect Portions Healthy Kitten Wet Food
 
Our SummaryThis formula offers taste cats love specifically designed to help them maintain a balanced diet.Grain-free, high-protein cat food made from cage-free chicken and contains no fillers.This high-protein, grain-free wet cat food features a smooth texture your feline won't be able to resist.Wet cat food made with high-quality protein and natural ingredients available in two flavors.This pate kitten food comes in a two-pack that is easy to peel.
ProsWeight management, turkey flavor, high protein.Grain-free, made with cage-free chicken, vegetables and fruits, no fillers, good for all ages.Grain-free, high-protein, smooth texture, multiple flavors, natural ingredients.High-quality protein, antioxidants, vitamins, for senior cats.Twin-pack, easy-peel trays, pate chicken recipe, grain-free meals, no preservatives.
ConsNot all cats may like flavor, no guarantee to lose weight.May contain bone fragments.Thin, watery formula.Dry consistency. Small portions are only made for kittens.
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The Best Wet Cat Food

A kitten eats wet food from white ceramic plate placed on the wooden floor and place mat.
Veera/Shutterstock.com

Buying Guide for Wet Cat Food

Gray kitten eating wet cat food on a white plate.
Elizabett/Shutterstock.com

Why buy wet cat food?

Wet food is typically made with fresh or frozen meats and additional products that include fats, proteins, vitamins, and sometimes grains. Another benefit of feeding wet food is the higher water content in this food format. Canned cat food typically contains fewer carbohydrates than dry food, which is important to watch as cats that intake too much glucose can develop health issues like diabetes.

What should you consider when buying wet cat food?

  • Ingredients: Always read the ingredients list when picking out cat food to make sure meat, not meat by-product, is the first ingredient. It’s best to avoid certain “junk foods” starting at the beginning of the list, including fillers like corn, cornmeal, wheat, or other named proteins. Cats are carnivores, and meat should be the primary source in their diets.
  • Grains: It’s common for cat foods to be filled with grains because it’s a cheap ingredient, but it will not keep your cat satisfied or healthy. Grain-free foods are a great alternative.
  • Needs: Sometimes, your cat has particular health needs to satisfy, like diabetes, dental problems, or weight loss, and there are different foods to help with these scenarios.
  • Cat’s Age: Consider your cat’s age as there are foods geared toward kittens, adults, and senior-stage cats that will give them greater benefits and longevity in life.

What types of wet cat food are there?

In addition to the classic cans, wet cat food also comes in pouches as snacks and meal toppers. The most common form of wet cat food comes as a pate, which is pureed meat that is compressed in a can. There is also canned meat in gravy or broth, which are both higher in calories and could come with vegetables. Flaked cat food is also popular, and this usually has smaller pieces of meat combined with bits of bacon or cheese. Pouched food can come in stew or broth form, which typically includes bits of meat and vegetables. Lastly, there are meal toppers, which are made of freeze-dried fish and come in oil to put on top of your cat’s food.

Our Picks for the Best Wet Cat Food

Best for Weight

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management

This formula offers taste cats love specifically designed to help them maintain a balanced diet.

Pros: The Purina Pro Plan Weight Management cat food is formulated with high-quality protein, including real turkey. There are 24 three-ounce cans; each provides the right amount of protein and rice to help cats lose fat and not muscle. You’ll be happy to find that this formula will provide complete and balanced nutrition for your feline friend.

Cons: Cats can be finicky, so not all felines may like this flavor and food formula. Also, there may be no significant weight loss with this food.

Bottom Line: Each can is a tasty experience that meets the unique needs of your cat while giving them a healthier portion and caloric intake to keep their weight down.

 

Best All-Natural Formula

Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate

Grain-free, high-protein cat food made from cage-free chicken and contains no fillers.

Pros: This grain-free cat food is made with cage-free chicken, vegetables, fruits, and wholesome ingredients. It is high-protein cat food with responsibly sourced cage-free chicken as the first ingredient. There are no fillers, including grain, potato, corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, by-product meals, artificial colors, or preservatives. Kittens and cats of all ages can eat this food.

Cons: Because of the formulation of this raw cat food, it may contain bone fragments.

Bottom Line: This pate cat food is made from real meat and packed with animal protein for strong, lean muscles. You know you’ll be getting the best with this raw-inspired cat food made in the USA.

 

Best Grain-Free Choice

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Wet Cat Food

This high-protein, grain-free wet cat food features a smooth texture your feline won't be able to resist.

Pros: This grain-free cat food is high-protein and has a smooth texture. The food comes in chicken, salmon, or duck flavors and contains fine, natural ingredients that are enhanced with vitamins and minerals. There are no chicken or poultry by-product meals, no corn or wheat, no soy, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Cons: Not all cats may like these flavors, and the formula is thin and watery.

Bottom Line: You get what you’re promised in this all-natural wet food formula from Blue Wilderness; there are no fillers, grains, or hidden ingredients.

 

Best for Senior Cats

Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat Food

Wet cat food made with high-quality protein and natural ingredients available in two flavors.

Pros: If your cat is older, this high-quality protein cat food made of turkey will help it maintain lean muscle. The formulation includes antioxidants plus vitamins C and E for feline immune support. It is made with reliable ingredients in the USA and is highly recommended by most veterinarians.

Cons: The consistency is a bit drier than other foods.

Bottom Line: Give your senior cat the food and care it deserves with this highly recommended and trusted formula.

 

Best for Kittens

IAMS PERFECT PORTIONS Healthy Kitten Wet Food

This pate kitten food comes in a two-pack that is easy to peel.

Pros: This package of twin-pack easy-peel trays is in perfect portions for kittens. The pate chicken recipe features two individual grain-free meals that keep your kitten full and satisfied. There are no artificial preservatives in this food.

Cons: Because of their tiny portions, these are best for kittens.

Bottom Line: Though these may be small, they pack a punch for your growing kitty with a perfect balance of flavor and nutrition.

Final Thoughts

Whether your cat is a kitten or a senior, there are plenty of wet cat food options that are specific to their needs and tastes. Keep your feline friend happy with one of these formulas, and consult with a veterinarian if you have specific questions.

Rachel Shubin Rachel Shubin
Rachel Shubin is a freelance journalist who is passionate about telling stories. Along with writing reviews for LifeSavvy, she writes a book column for Cape May Magazine and is a reporter for the Cape May Star & Wave Newspaper. When Rachel is not writing, she can be found advocating for mental health awareness and animal rescue, reading novels, exploring Cape May, or working on her polymer clay jewelry business, Piper + Pearl Co. Read Full Bio »
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