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Best Wet Cat Food (2022) – The 10 Healthiest Canned and Soft Food Brands

Posted in: Cat Food - Last Updated: March 21, 2022 - Author: Jan Travell
Posted in Cat Food 
Last Updated: March 21, 2022  
Author:  Jan Travell

The best wet cat food is made with your cat’s diet and nutrition needs in mind. In order to buy the best canned cat food you can, you need to look for high quality healthy wet cat food suitable for a carnivore.

Therefore, to fulfill your cat's health requirements, you should buy the best wet food for cats knowing it is rich in fresh animal-sourced protein (high protein) and free from plant-based fillers. Also, you'll want to know that the wet cat food brand you choose is manufactured by people with a reputation for making safe, trustworthy products.

Top rated wet cat food will also contain sufficient fiber and have a texture that appeals to your cat. And, of course, you'll want it to be absolutely delicious for your kitty.

best wet cat food

In this buying guide, you’ll learn which ingredients to look for and which to avoid. You’ll find out why the “first ingredient rule” is wrong and how to evaluate cat food ingredient lists instead. We’ll talk about meat byproducts, recall history, sourcing, and other controversial topics.

At the end of this article you'll know how to pick the healthiest wet cat food. 

But, why should you listen to us? How do we know what's the best wet food for cats?

Because we've done the research and testing for you!

best wet cat food

We've tested more than 100 types of wet cat food in the last year. We've also talked to cat food experts and feline nutritionists as well as our resident vet to gather all the research on what makes the best wet cat food. Then we've surveyed our 1 million plus social media community asking what they consider to be the best soft cat food.

We've combined all that data and the canned cat foods we pick below are trusted by us and proven to be some of the best you can choose.

Best Wet Cat Food - Our Pick

The best wet cat food we tested is the Ziwi Peak canned cat food. This brand has an excellent repuation for quality and production standards. Further, they use high quality ingredients from the whole of the animal providing a high protein and high texture wet cat food. To demonstrate this, in our research, all the cats who tried it loved the taste.

Significiantly, the Ziwi Peak wet food received the highest overall average score from our community survey, even though it wasn't the bestseller. That's largely because high quality comes at a price and this brand is definitely more expensive than some options. But, it's worth it!

ZiwiPeak Canned Cat Food

Our choice as the best wet cat food you can buy for your cat!

ZIWI Peak Canned Wet Cat Food – All Natural, High Protein, Grain Free, Limited Ingredient, with Superfoods (Venison, Case of 12, 6.5oz Cans)

Once you’ve learned how to identify the best wet cat food, we’ll dive into our tested and certified list of the top 10 best wet and canned foods on the market.

So, first, let's look what makes a good wet cat food.

Wet vs. Dry Cat Food - Which Type is Better?

Let’s start with one of the most fundamental debates in the cat food world—is wet cat food or dry kibble better?

wet vs dry cat food

Wet cat food has lower plant content than dry food.

Most dry cat food manufacturers use high-carbohydrate ingredients like corn, wheat, potatoes, or tapioca. These starchy ingredients are binders and help the kibble to maintain its shape.

Wet food manufacturing works differently. You can make wet food with nothing but meat, water, and supplements. Therefore, wet foods are usually relatively simple and species-appropriate. Not to mention that these formulas using mainly meat will be more dense in nutrients and taste better to your cat.

Wet cat food provides the hydration your cat requires.

Think of the last time you ate popcorn without anything to drink on the side. That’s a rough representation of how your cat feels on a dry diet. Most dry cat foods have less moisture than a bowl full of unbuttered popcorn and cats rarely drink enough to make up for it.

Having originally dwelt under arid desert conditions, it appears that cats evolved to thrive in a dry environment. This means that they have low thirst drives. Rather than drinking from a puddle, stream, or bowl, they prefer to get their hydration from juicy prey.

best wet food for cats

The fact that many cats now have water bowls and water fountains does nothing to change the feline desire to drink. When a cat is given a water-depleted diet, they may drink more than they would while eating high-moisture food, but they will not take in enough water to thrive.

The most apparent consequence of chronic dehydration is a tendency to develop feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD.

Is dry cat food better for your cat’s dental health?

While dry food may be marginally better than wet food for dental health, it’s certainly not a solution to periodontal disease.

Any minimal abrasive effect is balanced by the increased carbohydrate content of dry cat food, which leaves a starchy film on your cat’s teeth and contributes to plaque buildup.

If you feed your cat wet food, brush their teeth daily, and supplement their diet with raw meaty bones or specially-made dental treats.

They’ll be much better off than a cat who eats a dry diet and receives no other dental care.

How to Find the Best Wet Food for Cats

Read the ingredient list. Here’s how to do it the right way.

It’s important to read the ingredient list on cat food labels. Maybe you've heard that the first ingredient makes or breaks a food. While this is true in part,

it’s an overly simplistic analysis method and is exploited by cat food manufacturers to create the illusion of a meat-rich food.

Cat food ingredient lists are written in order of weight. 

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If a recipe includes one pound of chicken along with fifteen ounces of potato and fifteen ounces of potato protein concentrate, chicken will be the first item on the list, despite the fact that potato is the predominant ingredient.

Further, the weights of the ingredients are calculated before the food is cooked.

Once the water is cooked out, the chicken will weigh considerably less, but the ingredient list won’t tell you that.

Nevertheless, the cat food brand can proclaim that their food has “real meat” as the first ingredient and many consumers will be excited to see wholesome chicken leading up the ingredient list.

Instead of relying on rules of thumb, think critically.

Look at every ingredient and ask yourself what purpose it serves and how it fits into a strictly carnivorous diet.

If the ingredient list describes a food made primarily from clearly-named pieces of animals and has very little or no plant parts, then it’s probably a relatively good choice for your cat.

Seek out highly-digestible protein sources.

As obligate carnivores, cats require large amounts of protein, ideally from animal sources.

Animal protein is easy for their bodies to metabolize and produces very little waste.

healthiest wet cat food

Different sources of protein have varied bioavailability levels. Protein from corn gluten meal, for example, is less bioavailable than protein from poultry by-product. 

When cat food manufacturers load up their foods with plant protein as a cost-effective alternative to meat, they boost protein percentages on the label, but fail to provide an efficiently nourishing food.

Are meat by-products a wholesome source of animal protein?

On a cat food label, animal by-products, meat by-products, poultry by-products, and by-product meals refer to meat ingredients that would otherwise be discarded after human meat processing.

According to the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) the following defines meat by-products:

“Meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”

A pound of meat by-products could be primarily beef muscle meat and organs or it might be minimally-digestible pig intestines.

It’s impossible to know which animal parts are used and from which types of animals they were sourced. For example, meat by-products may involve non-slaughtered animals, sometimes those who were euthanized by drug injection.

Because they’re nutritionally ambiguous, meat by-products aren’t an ideal ingredient in cat food. They’re particularly problematic for cats with food allergies or sensitivities. 

To achieve the nutritional complexity of meat by-products without sacrificing ingredient integrity, superior cat food manufacturers use specifically-named, high-value animal parts, including muscle meat, organs, and bones.

Avoid ingredients that could harm your cat over time.

Some ingredients or additives are generally considered safe and are therefore included in cat food, but pose a health risk over time. 

Carrageenan - This algae derivative makes wet cat food nice and thick, but it could worsen inflammation and may have carcinogenic properties.

Artificial Colors - Many artificial colors are associated with negative health effects. Even if there was no evidence that synthetic food dyes cause behavioral and physical problems, they’re not necessary. Artificially-colored cat food is an insult to your intelligence, so get offended and reject any food made with dyes. 

Certain Preservatives - The preservatives BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin may harm your cat over time. 

Too Much Fish - Fish is often contaminated with heavy metals and toxic waste. Additionally, fish-based canned foods may contribute to hyperthyroidism as your cat ages.

BPA - While not an ingredient in your cat’s food, this chemical is used to line cat food cans and is worth talking about here. It’s speculated that eating out of BPA-lined cans may increase your cat’s risk of developing hyperthyroidism in their senior years. You can usually avoid BPA by choosing small cat food cans or asking the manufacturer.

Look for a species-appropriate nutrient breakdown.

Generally, cats require a diet that’s rich in protein with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

A mouse might be 70% moisture, 19% protein, 6.3% fat, and 1.7% carbohydrate. 

This prey-model nutrient distribution will support good health and is a healthy guideline for wet cat foods.

Note that because carbohydrate matter isn’t printed on cat food cans, you’ll need to estimate the carbohydrate percentage using this formula or a calculator like this one.

Best Wet Cat Foods - 10 Top Rated Choices

Now that you’ve learned what to look for in the best wet cat food, here’s our list of the best canned cat food on the market.

All of these foods are made primarily from high-quality animal protein and are low in carbohydrate-dense plant ingredients. 

best canned cat food

We rate these as the healthiest wet cat food options that are also affordable.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall

ZIWI Peak Canned Wet Cat Food – All Natural, High Protein, Grain Free, Limited Ingredient, with Superfoods (Venison, Case of 12, 6.5oz Cans)

Ziwi Peak Canned Cat Food

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Runner Up

SHEBA PERFECT PORTIONS Wet Cat Food Paté in Natural Juices Savory Chicken, Roasted Turkey, & Tender Beef Entrées Variety Pack, (24) 2.6 oz. Twin-Pack Trays

Sheba Perfect Portions Paté

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best For Kittens

Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, 5.5 oz. Cans (Case of 12)

Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain Free

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best Stew-Style

Tiki Cat Gourmet Whole Food 12-Pack King Kamehameha Luau 9-Flavor Variety Pack Pet Food

Tiki Cat Wet Cat Food

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best for Seniors

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Cat Food Gravy, Urinary Tract Health Chicken Entree - (24) 3 oz. Pull-Top Cans

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Urinary Tract

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best Limited Ingredient

Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care, Grain Free Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Indoor Turkey 5.5-oz cans (Pack of 24)

Blue Buffalo Basics Grain Free Wet Cat Food

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best for Weight Loss

Weruva Classic Cat Food, Paw Lickin’ Chicken with Chicken Breast in Gravy, 5.5 Ounce (Pack of 24)

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Chicken Frick ‘A Zee

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best for Weight Gain

Wellness CORE Grain Free Canned Cat Food, Chicken, Turkey & Chicken LiverPate, 5.5 Ounces (Pack of 24)

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Cat Food

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best Organic

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Turkey Recipe (24) 3oz cans

Castor & Pollux Organix Turkey Cat Food

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

Best Value

Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken Feast - (2 Packs of 12) 3 oz. Cans

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast

  • Grain Free
  • Appropriate for weight loss
  • Organic
  • Limited Ingredients

1. Overall Best Wet Cat Food: ZiwiPeak Canned Cat Food

ZIWI Peak Canned Wet Cat Food – All Natural, High Protein, Grain Free, Limited Ingredient, with Superfoods (Venison, Case of 12, 6.5oz Cans)

Ziwi Peak is a brand with an exceptional reputation in multiple significant areas.

Their foods feature high-quality ingredients representing a whole prey-inspired variety of animal parts. Ziwi Peak foods contain kidney, tripe, liver, lung, and bones.

These ingredients contribute to Ziwi Peak’s consistently species-appropriate macronutrient profiles with generous amounts of meat-sourced protein, low carbohydrate content, and moderate fat.

Customer reviews indicate that their foods are delicious and cat-friendly.

Finally, Ziwi Peak has an excellent reputation for quality and safety.

The foods are made in New Zealand with local ingredients and adhere to the country’s stringent safety regulations.

Overall, Ziwi Peak appears to be one of the most trustworthy companies in the pet food industry today.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Ziwi Peak’s most popular recipes.

Ziwi Peak Venison Cuisine Ingredients

Venison, Water Sufficient for Processing, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Chickpeas, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Pros

  • Excellent safety reputation
  • Made with whole prey-inspired meat ingredient
  • Highly digestible

Cons

  • One of the most expensive foods on the market
  • Ziwi Peak canned foods contain chickpeas
SHEBA PERFECT PORTIONS Wet Cat Food Paté in Natural Juices Savory Chicken, Roasted Turkey, & Tender Beef Entrées Variety Pack, (24) 2.6 oz. Twin-Pack Trays

Sheba Perfect Portions Paté is a cat food that your furry friends will love! One big benefit is that it is a really convenient food for us owners.

This food comes in serving trays with two portions. You just snap the tray in half, peel the cover off, feed pussycat, and save the other side for your cat’s next meal. Minus washing up!

This particular type includes three varieties - chicken, turkey and beef. They are all made without corn, soy, or wheat acting as unnecessary and artificial tummy fillers. With a smooth and light consistency this will be a big winner with your feline friends. 

There is very little waste with this food as there can be with canned food. Reviewers also love this food and brand with a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Amazon.

It’s pawfectly clear that Sheba Perfect Portions Paté is a winner.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Sheba’s most popular recipes.

Sheba Perfect Portions Pate Ingredients

Chicken Broth, Salmon, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Poultry By-Products, Meat By-Products, Guar Gum, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Sulfate), Added Color, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Vitamin E Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex [Source of Vitamin K Activity]), DL-Methionine, Salt, Taurine.

Pros

  • Made out of grains, corn, wheat, or soy - no artificial ingredients
  • Easy to use - zero mess
  • Easily digestible formulas

Cons

  • Fiddly to get lids off
  • More expensive
  • Chicken is present in all varieties - including beef and turkey versions
Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food, 5.5 oz. Cans (Case of 12)

To support kittenhood development, choose a high-calorie food rich in excellent protein and the vitamins and minerals kittens need.

Nature’s Variety Instinct offers a grain-free kitten food made with a hearty concentration of animal ingredients, minimal plant matter, and boosted levels of DHA for healthy brain and eye development.

It has high calorie and high protein content to fuel your kitten’s activity and rapid growth.

Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Chicken Kitten Food Ingredients

Chicken, Beef Liver, Chicken Broth, Salmon (Source of DHA), Eggs, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3, Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley.

Pros

  • Formulated for kittens
  • Made primarily from animal ingredients
  • Rich in high value protein

Cons

  • Contains several plant ingredients

4. Best Stew-Style Wet Cat Food: Tiki Cat Wet Cat Food

Tiki Cat Gourmet Whole Food 12-Pack King Kamehameha Luau 9-Flavor Variety Pack Pet Food

Those of you with some culinary experience will understand that making gravy involves flour, cornstarch, or other high-carbohydrate thickeners. 

This is why pate foods are typically better than canned foods with shreds, morsels, or chunks in gravy.

Because they’re typically lower in carbohydrates, most of the foods on this list are pates. 

If your cat prefers chunks, shreds, or strips of meat in gravy, he might like wet food from Tiki Cat

This company offers a wide variety of canned foods featuring shredded meat in broth.

These broths are free from common thickeners like potato starch, tapioca starch, and other carbohydrate sources, making the foods appropriate for your carnivorous kitty.

Even cats with diabetes can safely enjoy Tiki Cat shreds.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Tiki Cat’s most popular recipes.

Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin (Vitamin B3), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin K3 Supplement.

Pros

  • Great for cats who prefer shreds and stew over pate-style foods
  • Species-appropriate ingredients
  • Wide variety of formulas and flavors
  • Free from thickeners or starches

Cons

  • Uses sunflower oil

5. Best Wet Cat Food for Seniors: Purina Pro Plan Focus Urinary Tract Health

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Cat Food Gravy, Urinary Tract Health Chicken Entree - (24) 3 oz. Pull-Top Cans

As cats become more ‘senior’ a common problem can be urinary issues.

With the Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Urinary Tract Health Formula this can potentially be prevented before issues kick in. 

Cats prone to urinary problems benefit from a diet low in magnesium. They also benefit from foods that keep the pH level as neutral as possible.

This will avoid the formation of urine crystals in their bladders. This variety of Purina provides just that.

With a high moisture content (78%), this food also keeps your cat hydrated.

This helps with urination allowing for a healthy ‘pee-schedule’ preventing the formation of crystals in the bladder. 

This food has close to 3000 reviews by Amazon customers!! Many reviewers have mentioned their senior cats have reacted well to a regular diet of this wet cat food

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Purina’s most popular recipes.

Purina Pro Plan FOCUS Urinary Tract Health Formula Ingredients

Water Sufficient For Processing, Meat By-Product, Chicken, Wheat Gluten, Corn Starch-Modified, Artificial And Natural Flavors, Soy Flour, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Added Color, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide. C-4664.

Pros

  • Low magnesium content
  • Keeps a neutral PH
  • Great for hydration
  • Perfect for senior cats

Cons

  • High corn content
  • Some cats take a little time getting used to it

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Blue Buffalo Basics Skin & Stomach Care, Grain Free Natural Adult Pate Wet Cat Food, Indoor Turkey 5.5-oz cans (Pack of 24)

This limited ingredient canned wet cat food is made from the finest single protein sources and many cat owners report that their kitties find it irresistibly tasty.

It’s also grain and gluten free and will support the dietary and nutrition needs of adult cats.

In this flavour, Blue Buffalo starts with real turkey, and adds in healthy fruits and veggies that are suitable for cats, and then further vitamins and minerals are added for a nutritionally perfect meal every time.

This canned cat food is made to encourage gentle digestion for your kitty.

The wet cat food is made in pate-style to be easy to eat and is made with a limited-ingredient recipe that does not contain any chicken, beef, dairy, eggs, grain, gluten, by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors or preservatives.

Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Ingredients

Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Peas, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Cellulose Powder, Cranberries, Blueberries, Pumpkin, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Sunflower Oil (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin Supplements.

Pros

  • Single source high quality protein
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Easy to digest

Cons

  • Sometimes hard to find
  • More expensive than some other options

7. Best Wet Cat Food for Weight Loss: Weruva Classic Grain-Free Cat Food

Weruva Classic Cat Food, Paw Lickin’ Chicken with Chicken Breast in Gravy, 5.5 Ounce (Pack of 24)

Weruva foods are made from simple ingredients like shredded chicken and other meats in gravy.

They’re quite moisture-rich, which makes them low-calorie and satiating.

These are qualities that will help you out when your cat’s on a diet and this Weruva recipe is our pick for weight loss.

Weruva doesn’t give you many calories to the dollar, so it may not appeal to budget-conscious shoppers.

If you don’t like the idea of paying top dollar for a food that’s 85% water, you may prefer to add your own water to a more calorie-dense food. 

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Weruva’s most popular recipes.

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Paw Lickin’ Chicken Ingredients

Chicken (Boneless, Skinless Breast), Chicken Broth, Potato Starch, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Xanthan Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Nicotinic Acid (Vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Pros

  • Meat-centric, species-appropriate foods
  • Low calorie content
  • High water content makes these foods satiating

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Contains starchy thickeners
  • Contains sunflower oil - not an animal sourced fat

8. Best Cat Food for Weight Gain: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Cat Food

Wellness CORE Grain Free Canned Cat Food, Chicken, Turkey & Chicken LiverPate, 5.5 Ounces (Pack of 24)

CORE is Wellness’ line of grain-free, meat-based food.

At around 40 calories per ounce, this food is one of the highest-calorie foods on the market.

This makes it a good choice for cats who need to gain weight. 

Wellness CORE foods are primarily made from high-quality animal ingredients and are low in carbohydrates, but they tend to contain plant-based additives such as ground flaxseed and ground potatoes. 

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Wellness CORE’s  most popular recipes.

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Chicken & Turkey Ingredients

Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Meal, Turkey Liver, Dried Ground Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Cranberries, Guar Gum, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Pros

  • High calorie food can help cats gain weight
  • Appetizing recipes
  • Made primarily from animal-source ingredients

Cons

  • Wellness CORE foods are some of the most plant-rich on this list

9. Best Organic Wet Cat Food: Castor & Pollux Organix Cat Food

Castor & Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Turkey Recipe (24) 3oz cans

Many brands claim to offer natural cat food, but few can claim organic certification. Castor & Pollux ORGANIX is one of the few that can.

All ORGANIX cat foods have USDA Organic certification and are made with 95% or more certified organic ingredients.

While this brand offers some of the only USDA certified organic foods on the market, they’re not the most species-appropriate.

Castor & Pollux foods are meat-rich, but they also contain peas, coconut flour, pea protein, and other plant ingredients. 

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of Castor & Pollux ORGANIX’s most popular recipes.

Castor & Pollux Organix Turkey Cat Food Ingredients

Organic Turkey, Water Sufficient for Processing, Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Dried Peas, Organic Coconut Flour, Organic Dried Egg Product, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Carrots, Organic Cranberries, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Niacin, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Pros

  • One of the few organic cat foods on the market
  • Primarily made from nourishing meal ingredients
  • Relatively affordable

Cons

  • Made with excessive plant ingredients

10. Best Cheap Wet Cat Food: Purina Fancy Feast Classic Feast Wet Cat Food

Purina Fancy Feast Grain Free Pate Wet Cat Food, Chicken Feast - (2 Packs of 12) 3 oz. Cans

Here’s some fantastic news for budget shoppers.

Most economy wet cat foods are grain-free, meat-rich, and have very little carbohydrate matter. Fancy Feast Classics are a long-time favorite.

They’re tasty, affordable, and their ingredient lists are more species-appropriate than those on some super-premium brands. 

Despite the good qualities of Fancy Feast, it’s not perfect.

Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast, for example, contains synthetic ingredients, including artificial flavors and added food dyes. 

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of one of the most popular Fancy Feast Classics recipes.

Purina Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast Ingredients

Chicken, Poultry Broth, Liver, Meat By-Products, Fish, Artificial And Natural Flavors, Tricalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Added Color, Salt, Minerals [Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Taurine, Vitamins [Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement], Sodium Nitrite (To Promote Color Retention).

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Species appropriate meat concentration with minimal planr content
  • Free from carrageenan and chemical preservatives

Cons

  • Made with meat by-products
  • Contains artificial flavors and colors

What should you do if your cat won’t eat wet food?

Now that you’ve learned how to choose a great wet cat food and have gotten to know ten of the best foods on the market, your remaining challenge is to get your cat to eat their new and improved diet.

Cats who’ve eaten moist food all of their life will likely transition to a new product easily, but kibble addicts might need a twelve-step program.

First, if your cat is free feeding throughout the day, they need to stop.

Free feeding is a problem for several reasons.

For one, cats who eat wet food can’t freely eat throughout the day, so any cat moving onto a wet diet will need to kick their grazing habit.

Secondly, if your cat is hesitant to eat wet food, you’ll need to use hunger to your advantage.

Cats who free-feed don’t get hungry enough and lack motivation to try something new. 

To break your cat of the free feeding habit, start taking away your cat’s food after fifteen minutes, regardless of how much they’ve eaten.

Eventually, your cat will learn to eat within the allotted time lest they go hungry.

Start moistening your cat’s dry food to help them become comfortable eating a softer food.

It’s important that the moistened food is tossed into the trash or at least refrigerated after a few hours.

When it gets wet, dry food becomes a breeding ground for toxic mold and other potentially harmful organisms. 

Mix wet food into the kibble.

In addition to moistening your cat’s dry food, you may place a small amount of wet food on top of their dry food, gradually increasing the wet food quantity until it’s replaced the kibble altogether. 

The transition may take days, weeks, or even months—it all depends on how stubborn your cat is and how good their wet food tastes.

You might have to deal with some pitiful meowing or dirty looks from your cat, but in the end, the transition to wet food is worthwhile.

Cats deserve a hydrating, meat-rich diet, and the best wet cat food embodies those nutritional ideals in a convenient form.

Best Wet Cat Food - The Verdict

Hopefully we've given you plenty of expert research and data backed advice to help you choose the best wet cat food for your cat.

To conclude, the surefire winner from our community survey, as well as being the pick of our feline nutritionist advisor and our vet recommendation, is the Ziwi Peak as best canned cat food.

It can make a solid claim to be the healthiest wet cat food and all our cats in tests were very keen on it.

Then again, any one of our 10 top rated brands is a good pick as the best wet food for cats, depending on the specific health and nutrition needs of your cat.

You can find our thoughts on cheap can cat food here as well.

If you take on board the advice in this guide any one of these ten recommended wet cat food brands is a good choice.

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About the author

Jan Travell is a lifelong cat owner and a feline expert. She's been the Cats and Kittens lead editor from the start. She lives in rural France with her two rescue cats, Tigerlily and Mr.Gee. Her senior kitty, Ducati, passed over the rainbow bridge recently at the ripe old age of 22.

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