Food is love! When we offer quality wet and dry food to our felines, we do our best to keep them healthy. But some cats are picky, and others have unique nutritional needs. Then there is the cost factor and the ultimate question, “How much money should I spend on cat food?”
Here we’ll cover the best cat foods you can buy in 2023. We’ve included 12 wet and dry foods, and we’ve based our decisions on:
- Professional formulas
- Consumer reviews
- And price
That last item matters a lot, because we all need to draw the line somewhere at cat food costs. So enjoy this list of the best cat foods available in 2023.
1. Royal Canin Brand
Royal Canin is the leader — by far — in our list of best cat foods. The Royal Canin feeds include vet-approved formulas for every imaginable breed and health situation. Most common kibble formulas — like standard Kitten, Adult, and Senior — are available at online retailers like Chewy and Amazon, as well as veterinary offices and local feed stores.
Specialty formulas (like urinary crystal prevention) must be ordered online or through your vet.
- The price per bag ranges from $25 to $75 depending on the formula, which makes these feeds more expensive than any grocery store brand, but still far less than other prestigious brands.
- Canned feeds range from around $1.25 to $2.00 per can, depending on the formula. Again, high for cat food, but far from the most expensive.
- Consumer reviews agree these feeds are all palatable and picky-eater-approved.
We love Royal Canin because it offers specially formulated and sized feeds for rare and elite hybrid cat breeds. Cat parents can find wet and dry meals for every breed or condition. Royal Canin has the food your kitty will eat if you have a Maine Coone with dental problems or a Bengal with urinary crystals. However, most Royal Canin feeds are NOT grain-free, and that’s a deal-breaker for some cat parents.
2. Hills “Science Diet” Cat Foods
Another well-respected vet-formulated food is Hills Science Diet products. Science Diet boasts terrific reviews online, and it’s a go-to brand for most vets. The “Kitten” and “Adult” feeds are a bit cheaper than other elite cat food, but the “Prescription” formulas are priced a bit higher.
Hills formulas are available at online retailers like Chewy, and they are a standard offering at most vet offices. You won’t often see them in grocery stores or local feed stores.
3. Fancy Feast Canned Wet Foods
Fancy Feast is a reliable standard. This Purina Mills product is considered a top-shelf grocery store feed available everywhere, from dollar stores to gas stations. The ingredients are correct, and consumer reviews are mainly positive. Even the choosiest kitties seem to love it. It’s not the most prestigious food on the market, but it does a great job hydrating our feline friends.
Fancy Feast canned cat foods get bonus points for being affordable. Simply put: it’s cheap, everywhere, and your cat WILL eat it!
4. Purina Pro-Plan Veterinary Diets
Designed to compete with Royal Canin and Hills Science Diet, this Purina product is also vet-approved. It’s a bit cheaper than Science Diet, and some formulas are considerably less expensive than Royal Canin. However, consumer reviews suggest that kitties who favor Royal Canin will be reluctant to make the switch.
These formulas are trusted, and diabetic feeds, in particular, have great consumer reviews. Getting your hands on this specific strain of Purina products can be challenging, but they’re almost always available at Chewy.
5. Blue Buffalo “Carnivora” Wet and Dry Cat Foods
Carnivora blend cat foods provide superior grain-free nutrition that cats LOVE. Do the math, though, and you’ll find they’re far more expensive than Royal Canin. They’re easy to find. Chewy and Amazon carry them, as will many locally-owned feed stores. We’ve even seen them on the shelves at high-end grocery stores and niche pet boutiques.
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Dry Cat Food
Another grain-free choice, specially formulated for indoor cats. Wilderness is on the expensive side of cat food, but boasts excellent reviews. There was a time when this niche feed was hard to get, but today it’s available everywhere — pet stores, feed stores, online retailers, and even your neighborhood grocery store.
7. Perfect Portions
Sheba is a well-known brand of cat food, and it’s always a reliable product. It fits the middle of our list perfectly because of its average price and medium availability. You might find this standard cat food available at your local grocery store, or you might not. It’s always available online at Chewy and Amazon.
Customer reviews reflect some issues with the packaging, however:
- If ordered online, the packaging is sometimes dented or damaged.
- It’s hard to open the plastic containers without spilling strongly scented juices.
The portion size seems suitable for most standard house cat breeds, like Domestic Short Hairs. Larger breeds — your massive Highland Lynx or tall Savannah-type cats — will find these portions only perfect for a snack.
8. American Journey Grain-Free Cat Food by Chewy.com
American Journey tells a patriotic story. This Chewy-only brand of cat food is made entirely of US harvested ingredients, milled, processed and canned in the US! On top of that, it’s incredibly affordable.
Customer reviews are mostly positive, though some picky kitties won’t eat it. The only challenges are that you will only be able to get this feed from Chewy. So if you ever have a customer service disagreement with them or choose to boycott the company for some reason, you’ll be switching foods.
9. Purina Mills Purina ONE
Purina ONE is a reliable standby that’s available anywhere. Grocery stores, drug stores, pet stores, and online retailers like Amazon and Chewy will have this quality food ready for purchase. It’s very affordable and boasts solid reviews from cat owners.
If you’re looking for a high-gloss coat for your show cat, comprehensive nutrition for a nursing queen, or grain-free formula, this isn’t your best choice.
10. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Cat Food
Taste of the Wild is available online and at most pet stores and animal feed stores, and online at Chewy. This grain-free formula is affordable as premium cat foods go, but it’s more expensive than most grain-free varieties.
Customer reviews for this cat food are usually good, but sometimes mixed. Picky cats seem not to care for it, which can be a deal-breaker for the price. That’s why this popular cat food is only ten on our list.
11. AvoDerm Grain-Free Tuna with Lobster & Crab Meat
AvoDerm cat foods are terrific for long-haired breeds and any short hair breed that might suffer from dandruff. Online reviews are outstanding, but this specialty formula does come at a cost. Expect to pay at least $20 for a five-pound bag, making them more expensive than Royal Canin and Hills Science Diet.
AvoDerm can be challenging to find since the supply chain struggles of 2020. Shop for it online at Chewy.com, or in person at luxury pet stores.
12. AvoDerm Natural Chicken & Herring Dry Cat Food
This formula is NOT grain-free. It’s more affordable than the grain-free version, but just as challenging to come by. Online reviews are pretty good, and many cat-owners believe this food makes a big difference to overall health and coat condition. It can be difficult to find, and some reviewers have struggled to buy this food since the 2020 pandemic.
Did We Miss Your Favorite Brand?
Now you’re armed with the knowledge to choose the best cat food for your feline, based on price, availability, ingredients, and more. Did we miss out on your favorite brand? Tell us in the comment below. We’d love to share that information with others.