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Compare the best wet cat food

How to read labels and choose the best nibbles for your kitty.

Feeding your cat a healthy, balanced diet is an essential furparent duty. But store shelves brimming with brands might leave you weak as a kitten. Consider ingredients, price and your feline friend’s preferences when shopping for moist food.

Compare premium wet cat food

NameAvg. price
Gluten freeGrain freeNutritionPurchase
Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Entree in Gravy
Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Entree in Gravy
$20.29/packYesNoCrude Protein (Min) 11.0%,
Crude Fat (Min) 2.0%,
Crude Fiber (Max) 1.5%,
Moisture (Max) 80.0%, Ash (Max) 2.7%,
Taurine* (Min) 0.05%
Whiskas Adult 1+ Years with Lamb Mince
Whiskas Adult 1+ Years with Lamb Mince
$1.50/canYesNoCrude Protein 8.5%,
Crude Fat 5%
Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Tuna with Tilapia and Pumpkin
Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Tuna with Tilapia and Pumpkin
$10.69/canYesYesCrude Protein (min) 11.0%,
Crude Fat (min) 1.8%,
de Fiber (max) 0.5%,
Moisture (max) 84.0%,
Ash (min) DM 1.5%
Wellness Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Salmon
Wellness Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Salmon
$29.47/canYesYesCrude Protein (min.) 10.00%, Crude Fat (min.) 3.50%, Crude Fiber (max.) 1.00%, Moisture (max.) 85.00%, Ash (max.) 2.00%, Magnesium (max.) 0.025%, Taurine (min.) 0.05%
Weruva Classic Paw Lickin’ Chicken
Weruva Classic Paw Lickin' Chicken
$YesYesCrude Protein (min) 10%, Crude Fat (min) 1.4%,
Crude Fiber (max) 0.5%, Moisture (max) 85%, Ash (max) 1.2%,
Taurine (min) 0.05%, Calcium (max) 0.20%,
Phosphorus (max) 0.17%, Magnesium (max) 0.018%
Ziwi Peak Moist Rabbit & Lamb
Ziwi Peak Moist Rabbit & Lamb
$67.72/packYesYesCrude Protein min. 11%,
Crude Fat min. 3.5%,
Crude Fibre max. 2%,
Moisture max. 78%, Ash max. 3%,
Chondroitin Sulfate min. 300mg/kg,
Calorie Content 1100 kcal ME/kg | 203 kcal ME/185g can | 81 kcal ME/85g can
Ziwi Peak Moist Venison
Ziwi Peak Moist Venison
$62.93/canYesYesCrude Protein min. 9%,
Crude Fat min. 4.5%,
Crude Fibre max.1%,
Moisture max. 78%,
Ash max. 3%
Hills Prescription Diet i/d
Hills Prescription Diet i/d
$56.04/packYesNoProtein 40.6%, Fat 26.7%, Crude Fiber 2.7%, Carbohydrate / NFE 24.8%, Calcium 1.17%, Phosphorous 0.8%, Sodium 0.39%, Potassium 1.06%, Magnesium 0.087%, Taurine 0.69%
Weruva Best Feline Friend Tuna & Shrimp Sweethearts
Weruva Best Feline Friend Tuna & Shrimp Sweethearts
$34.99/packYesNoCrude Protein (min) 12%,
Crude Fat (min) 2%, Crude Fiber (max) 0.2%,
Moisture (max) 83%, Taurine (min)0.05%
Data obtained February 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

Feeding your cat

A balanced diet is essential for giving your cat all the nutrients needed at any life stage. It ensures a healthy coat and skin, provides all the energy to tackle the day and positions your furbaby to live a long and healthy life.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need to eat meat to survive. So while they can digest some plant products, a high-quality source of protein should be a key ingredient in their diet.

Because cat food labels list ingredients in order of weight, look for an animal protein — beef, chicken or tuna — listed first on the food you choose.

The nutritional needs of cats also vary as they age. For example, growing and energetic kittens need a diet high in protein and fat to help them grow into a healthy adult, while golden oldies who spends most of the day snoozing in the sun need a diet that’s low in fat and easy to digest.

What types of cat food are available?

cat food

A key dilemmas new cat owners face is whether to feed their pet wet or dry food. Dry food is generally cheaper and more convenient, and it can help remove plaque and tartar from your kitty’s teeth.

But wet food comes with a higher water content, helping to keep your pet hydrated. It’s also an important defense against feline lower urinary tract disease and kidney disease, providing sufficient water intake. As an added bonus, wet food is generally more palatable to cats than dry food.

In many circumstances, a combination of both wet and dry food offers the best balance for your cat. But ask your vet for advice if you’re unsure about the right diet for your kitty.

How to compare wet cat foods

Pet food labels contain a lot of useful information, but only if you know how to make sense of it all. Weigh a few key factors when comparing one wet cat food with another.

  • Complete and balanced. A key feature to look for on a label is whether a product provides a complete and balanced diet for your pet at a particular life stage. Look for a statement about nutritional value that references the American Association of Feed Control Officials. This indicates that the food is designed to provide all the nutrients that your cat needs, and in the right quantities, as outlined by AAFCO requirements.
  • Ingredients list. Confirm that a source of protein
    like beef, chicken, poultry, turkey or fish is listed first in the ingredients. Also look for taurine, an essential amino acid that must be included in nutritionally complete cat foods.
  • Ingredients to avoid. Depending on your cat, you may want to keep an eye out for specific ingredients and terms on a pet food label:
    • Meat by-products or “derivatives.” Some experts argue that the inclusion of by-products is nothing to worry about, as these are the sorts of things that cats eat in the wild. However, the AAFCO disagrees, which means you might prefer to steer clear of meat by-products altogether.
    • Artificial colors and preservatives. Just like processed foods for humans, many cat foods contain artificial colors, dyes and preservatives. Do your research if you’re not sure what a specific ingredient is.
    • Ambiguous terms like and/or between ingredients. Ambiguity can mean that the contents of your wet cat food change from one batch to the next, resulting in an upset stomach for your fussy feline.
  • Manufacturer. Research the company behind the food to learn how long they’ve been in business, where they source their ingredients and what research and testing goes into their food. Look into the company’s safety record and whether it’s ever had to recall its products.
  • Country of origin. Check where the food is manufactured, and read about the food safety standards and regulations in place in that country. In 2007, there was a widely publicized recall of cat and dog food brands made in China and found to be linked to kidney failure in pets.
  • Your cat’s age. Because a cat’s nutritional needs changes as they get older, read the label to see which life stage a food is designed for. Experts say to buy kitten-specific foods until your cat reaches 12 months old, which is when it’s time to start feeding them an adult diet. Senior foods are often necessary from around seven years old, while some manufacturers specifically formulate food for kitties 12 years and older.
    • Kitten diets are higher in fat and protein to help maintain their active lifestyle and promote healthy growth.
    • Adult cats have lower energy requirements than playful kittens, and their diets focus on providing all the protein, fat, vitamins and minerals needed to stay at a healthy weight and in optimal condition.
    • Senior cat food is low in fat to cater to the slower metabolism and sedentary lifestyle of an aging pet. These diets are also designed to promote joint health and reduce the workload of the kidneys.
  • Your cat’s lifestyle. Consider how your cat spends the day. For example, outdoor cats generally need more calories in their diet than indoor cats, while active cats have higher energy needs than those of kitties who spend most of the day asleep on the couch.
  • Special dietary requirements. Some cat foods are specially designed to help tackle specific health problems. You’ll find products that promote urinary tract health, kidney health, weight loss and joint health and even foods to prevent hairballs. Talk with your vet before starting your pet on a special feeding plan.
  • Grains. Grain-free diets have surged in popularity in recent years, with some people believing a low-carb, high-protein diet is best for their cat. Talk with your vet about the pros and cons of grain-free food if you’re considering such a diet for your pet.
  • Feeding guidelines. Labels provide guidelines for how much food to give to your pet based on their weight. It also gives you an idea of how many meals you’ll get out of one can. But use this information as a guide only. Your pet may need more or less food based on their age, metabolism, lifestyle and body condition.
  • Price. Cheap, no-frills supermarket brands are more likely to contain low-quality ingredients and may not meet all of your pet’s nutritional needs. Premium brands can be substantially more expensive, but they’re often backed by years of research and testing to ensure they provide a complete and balanced diet. And while they cost more up front, they’ll help your cat stay in the best possible shape and could lower your vet bills in the long run.

Which wet cat food is best for my pet?

The best cat food for your pet depends on your kitty’s age and lifestyle, as well as which ingredients you feel comfortable feeding them and how much you’re willing to spend.

Of course, your cat has the final say. If they turn their nose up at a particular food, there’s little you can do except try another option.

Read the label closely, and compare the pros and cons of those products you’re considering. We compare five popular wet cat food varieties to get you started.

The goodThe bad
Ziwi Peak Moist Venison
  • High quality
  • Includes green mussels for joint health
  • Expensive
  • Some complaints from fussy eaters
Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Entree in Gravy
  • Plenty of positive reviews
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Not cheap
  • Some issues with sensitive stomachs
Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Salmon
  • A hit with fussy cats
  • Lots of positive reviews
  • Pricey
  • Some customers complain about mushy rather than flaked consistency
Weruva Best Feline Friend Tuna & Shrimp Sweethearts
  • Sustainably sourced ingredients
  • No preservatives
  • Strong odor
  • Some negative customer reviews
Purina Beyond Paté Grain Free Ocean Whitefish & Spinach Recipe
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
  • No poultry by-product meal
  • Not always loved by finicky cats

Top 9 sites to buy pet supplies online

Bottom line

Treating your cat to nutritious wet food can help them live a healthy, happy life. But you’ll want to match age to diet, read the nutrition label and talk with your vet to find the best wet cat food for your cuddly kitty.

How did we choose these products?

We looked at the price, ingredient lists, overall quality and online reviews to compile our list of the top wet cat foods.

Frequently asked questions

What if I feed dog food to my cat?

Cats and dogs have vastly different nutritional needs. Your furry friend needs to eat pet food specifically designed for kitty consumption.

What’s the healthiest wet cat food?

You’ll find many healthy choices on your store’s shelves. But start by checking the ingredient lists on your pet’s food to determine its nutritional value.

Top brands known for offering healthy, premium options include:

  • Fromm
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Nulo
  • Nature’s Logic
  • Ziwi Peak
  • Wellness

How much wet food should I feed my cat?
Ask your vet for specific recommendations. In general, an eight-pound cat may need two three-ounce cans of wet food a day.

Image: Shutterstock

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