8 Best Wet Cat Food: Your Buyer’s Guide

best wet cat food

Cats need a lot of moisture in their diet, especially when compared to other pets. Whether you use it as a topper for dry food or the main course, show the cat in your life that you love them by considering our best wet cat food options.

Nature's Variety instinct wet cat food Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Grain free
  • No fillers or additives
  • Real chicken is the first ingredient
Price: $35.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Designed to aid digestion
  • Low glycemic carb sources
  • No fillers, additives nor carrageenan
Price: $12.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
solid gold wet cat food Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cheaper than comparable brands
  • No additives or fillers
  • Live probiotics
Price: $30.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 93% meat, which is the first ingredient
  • No additives, fillers or carrageenan
  • Free-range and sustainable farming practices
Price: $44.52 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Taste of the wild wet cat food Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Reasonably priced
  • No artificial additives or grains
  • Pre and probiotics for digestion
Price: $37.93 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Formulated to aid digestion
  • No grains nor carrageenan
Price: $45.36 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
i and love and you wet cat food Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Grain and carrageenan free
  • No fillers or additives
  • Antioxidants and omega-6 and 3 fatty acids
Price: $18.57 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good variety of flavor options
  • No additives
  • Made in the U.S.A.
Price: $54.74 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain Free Wet Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Grain free
    • No potato, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives
    • Real chicken is the first ingredient
    Cons:
    • Texture can vary between flavors
    • On the dry side compared to other wet foods
    • Some reviews suggest the formula has changed

    We included Nature’s Variety on our best dry dog food brands post because it’s what I feed my dogs. This is a protein-focused food consisting of 95 percent meat and five percent fruits and vegetables, which provide antioxidants. There are no grains, corn, or soy, and with seven flavors to choose from, there’s likely to be one your cat will love. Twelve packs of 5.5 ounce cans and 24 packs of three ounce cans are available.

    First Six Ingredients (Chicken variety):

    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Chicken broth
    • Chicken liver
    • Ground flaxseeds
    • Montmorillonite clay

    Flavors Available:

    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Duck
    • Lamb
    • Rabbit
    • Salmon
    • Venison
  2. 2. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Canned Wet Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Designed to aid digestion
    • Low glycemic carb sources for slow-burning energy
    • No fillers, additives nor carrageenan
    Cons:
    • Some recipes are only available in one can size
    • Cat reception varies depending on flavor
    • Guar gum and agar agar are used in place of carrageenan

    Similar to “I and love and you”, Nulo is a relatively new brand focused on grain free recipes that help maintain consistent energy levels and weight in pets. The company was founded to offer a pet food that addresses the growing problem of animal obesity, and as a result, this food features low glycemic carbohydrate sources. That means that the energy lasts longer, “slow-burn” in their terms, and could be a good choice for pre-diabetic or overweight cats.  Each recipe utilizes a mix of multple animals for higher protein from meat content.

    First Six Ingredients (Duck and Tuna variety):

    • Duck
    • Chicken
    • Turkey liver
    • Duck broth
    • Tuna
    • Natural flavor

    Flavors Available:

  3. 3. Solid Gold Holistic Meat & Gravy Canned Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Cheaper than comparable brands
    • No additives or fillers
    • Live probiotics
    Cons:
    • Some varieties are only available in 3 oz. cans
    • Water is the first ingredient on some flavors
    • Recipes containing shrimp have actual shrimp bits in it - polarizing for some

    Solid Gold was founded in 1974 and led an early charge incorporating human-grade foods into holistic pet nutrition. The use of human-grade oils like olive, canola, and salmon promote skin and coat health, while their formulations tend to be relatively limited ingredient on the whole.

    In addition to their canned recipes, they recently introduced a couple of new lines including Holistic Delights, a bisque-like food that uses coconut milk as a source of calcium.

    First Six Ingredients (Mackerel & Tuna Shreds variety):

    • Water
    • Mackerel
    • Tuna
    • Tapioca
    • Canola oil
    • Tricalcium phosphate

    Flavors Available:

  4. 4. ZiwiPeak Canned Cat Cuisine

    Pros:
    • 93% meat, which is the first ingredient
    • Limited ingredient - no additives, fillers or carrageenan
    • Free-range and sustainable farming practices
    Cons:
    • Ingredients sourced from New Zealand - could be a turn off for some
    • All recipes have 3 percent mussels for protein, glucosamine and chondroitin - could be a problem if your cat doesn't like the flavor
    • Some varieties are quite strong smelling

    Compared to the ZiwiPeak dry formula we included on our best dry cat food brands list, the wet food variety isn’t so much more expensive than comparable meals. The price is very reasonable considering that all the meat used is human-grade and free-range, while 93 percent of each variety is meat. To achieve this, they supplement each recipe with three percent green-lipped mussels, which have the added benefit of introducing glucosamine and chondroitin. They use no grains, rice, corn, soy, potatoes, nor controversial ingredients like carrageenan and guar gum. The consistency pate-like with chunks of meat throughout. This is top-grade stuff that will provide high-quality nutrition for your cat.

    First Six Ingredients (Lamb variety):

    • Lamb meat
    • Lamb liver
    • Lamb lung
    • Lamb tripe
    • Lamb heart and kidney
    • New Zealand green-lipped mussel

    Flavors Available:

    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Hoki
    • Lamb
    • Mackerel & Lamb
    • Rabbit & Lamb
    • Mackerel
    • Venison
  5. 5. Taste of the Wild Canned Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Reasonably priced for a premium option
    • No grain, corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
    • Pre and probiotics for digestion
    Cons:
    • Limited flavor options
    • Guar gum used in place of carrageenan
    • Some find tomatoes and berries undesireable ingredients

    Taste of the Wild has long been focused on treating your domestic pets as the decedents of wild creatures that they are. Featuring five different animal protein sources, the “fillers” here are potato starch and pea flour, which are readily digested by your cat. Supplemental amino acids and vitamins make this a nutritionally complete option. The new formula is medium sized chunks in gravy, not shreds nor pate.

    First Six Ingredients (Rocky Mountain variety):

    • Salmon
    • Fish broth
    • Chicken broth
    • Chicken liver
    • Chicken
    • Dried egg whites

    Flavors Available:

    • Rocky Mountain Salmon & Venison
    • Canyon River Trout & Salmon
  6. 6. Holistic Select Natural Canned Grain Free Wet Pate Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Real meat is the first ingredient
    • Formulated to aid digestion and nutrient uptake with pre and probiotics, natural fiber, digestive enzymes and digestive botanicals
    • No grains nor carrageenan
    Cons:
    • New formulas have slightly more calories per serving
    • A bit pricey
    • Pate drier than other brands

    Holistic Select makes an appearance on our grain-free dog food post thanks to good ingredient selection and digestibility. The non-meat ingredients in these recipes are all aimed at better digestion and include pumpkin and papaya as natural, gentle fiber. Pre and probiotics and digestive enzymes are also included, but grains, soy, and corn are not. Available in three, 5.5, and 13 ounce cans.

    First Six Ingredients (Turkey variety):

    • Turkey
    • Chicken liver
    • Chicken broth
    • Chicken
    • Ground flaxseed
    • Potassium chloride

    Flavors Available:

  7. 7. “I and love and you” All Natural Canned Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Grain and carrageenan free
    • No fillers or additives
    • Plenty of antioxidants and omega-6 and 3 fatty acids
    Cons:
    • Price varies depending on flavor
    • Too light on the gravy in the stew recipes
    • Some cats find the pate texture unappealing

    “I and love and you” was suggested to us multiple times by cat owners as a newer brand that is taking over for some of the old guard products. Cats we know seem to enjoy it and they have a wide variety of flavors to answer the needs of picky eaters or those with allergies. This fast-growing brand is dedicated to grain free foods and is a founding member of the Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition. Their foods are also carrageenan free, if that is a concern. Made in the U.S.A. with no corn, grains, soy, or rice.

    First Six Ingredients (Oh My Cod! Pate variety):

    • Cod
    • Chicken liver
    • Chicken
    • Fish broth
    • Cranberries
    • Spinach

    Flavors Available:

    • Chicken Me Out Pate
    • Oh My Cod! Pate
    • Chicky-Da-Lish Stew
    • Purrky Turkey Pate
    • Salmon Chanted Evening Stew
    • Savory Salmon Pate
    • Tuna Fintastic Stew
    • Whasically Rabbit Pate
    • Beef, Right Meow! Pate
  8. 8. Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food

    Pros:
    • Good variety of flavor options
    • No carrageenan, artificial colors, flavors or byproducts
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Consistency may be too thick for some cats
    • Cat reception appears to vary widely on flavor

    In our best dry cat food brands post, I noted that Wellness CORE is the brand I most frequently fed my last cat. She loved it and it kept her full between meals. It’s a meat-heavy food, presented in the traditional pate form in most flavors, with select flavors being offered in shredded form in the “Hearty Cuts” offering. You can also get Signature Selects, which is chunk meat in gravy.

    First Six Ingredients (Beef, Venison & Lamb variety):

    • Beef
    • Beef broth
    • Beef liver
    • Lamb liver
    • Venison
    • Lamb

    Flavors Available:

There is a difference when shopping for food for dogs and cats. According to WebMD, "Pound for pound, cats need twice the protein humans and dogs do."

That means while it's an option to feed your dog a grain free diet, it really isn't optional for cats. Feeding cats foods with lots of grain based filler will lead to weight gain as their bodies tell them to keep eating for want of protein. If you've noticed your cat howling for food, that may be an indication that it's time to switch up their diet.

Additionally, cats can be somewhat picky when it comes to drinking water. Whether the problem is the water quality, the vessel, or the cleanliness of the water, they're more resistant to drinking adequately compared to dogs, who, as we all know, will happily lap up a mud puddle at the dog park. If you're feeding your cat a completely dry food diet, you'll have to increase their access to water they'll actually drink.

This may mean getting additional water bowls or investing in a water fountain. Dry food is, as the name implies, dehydrated to about ten percent moisture. Switching to wet food for at least one meal per day helps to ensure that your cat is getting enough water, which can contribute to better health overall.

See Also:

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