Canned meat with sauce

For many cats, wet cat food makes up the vast majority of their diet. It’s about the closest our feline friends can get to an authentic menu of small critters and birds, without causing carnage among the neighborhood’s wildlife.

The trouble for pet owners is that wet food quality varies widely. The best stuff can be fit for human consumption, while the worst can be fattening, stuffed with strange ingredients, and contribute to poor dental hygiene.

Adding to the complexity is the pickiness of many cats. Some won’t eat wet food without combining it with dried kibble; others won’t eat food that’s been left out for a certain amount of time, and most will only consider a certain selection of flavors, turning their nose up at anything else. As owners know, cat’s seemingly arbitrary rules about their food can also change overnight, leaving you wringing your hands as your cat looks on with disdain.

Luckily, there are some actionable steps you can take to promote good feline nutrition. When you know what separates quality wet food from the bargain basement stuff—as well as what your cat is looking for in their diet—then their erratic food preferences can start to make a little more sense. We can’t promise that you’ll ever completely understand why your cat suddenly turns down certain meals, but we can share our extensive research with you, to help inform your future shopping decisions.

How we determine the best wet cat food

We’ve looked into every major wet cat food product on the market today, to develop a comprehensive list of the best wet cat foods for 2020. We made our decisions based on several metrics including protein content, additive profile, and price.

Below, you’ll find explainers on why these metrics matter, as well as the factors you should be considering when shopping for your cat’s next dinner.

Let’s get into the meat of things, starting with your cat’s individual needs…

What are my cat’s specific needs?

Selecting the right food for your cat’s life stage is a key first step in managing their diet. Are they just finding their feet in kittenhood, living their best adult cat life, of relaxing into seniority?

Kittens require the strictest feeding routines, and are likely to crave more protein to support their muscle development. They also need more food in proportion to their body weight than adult cats. The Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine recommends kittens up to six months in age are fed three meals a day, while those six months and above can taper to twice daily, or even once per day if they’re relatively inactive.

As they age, cats tend to decrease in lean body mass and crave less protein, to the point where senior moggies may have a hard time digesting excess protein in their diet. Studies on feline dietary preferences out of the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine at Oregon State University suggest higher average internal levels of ‘sulfated microbial catabolic products’ in senior cats. These are considered indicators of insufficient protein-breakdown, meaning that the gut microbiome of older cats can be less capable of handling super-high protein food.

To help determine the right level of proteins and other nutrients for your cat, most states legally require wet foods to display a Life stage nutritional adequacy claim somewhere on their label. Under most state pet food regulations, there are four main life stage categories of pet foods:

  • Gestation/lactation
  • Growth
  • Maintenance
  • All life stages

If you feel that your cat would benefit from an even more specific diet, it’s always worth consulting with your vet. Gastrointestinal issues are among the most common sources of discomfort for pets, and ensuring that their diet matches their sensitivities can be an easy fix.

Dry food is often favored by owners who prefer to leave out bowls for their cat to graze on during the day. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with this, doing the same with wet food is not recommended, especially in warmer climates. Leaving food out for grazing may also contribute to overeating and weight gain in some cats.

In general, average-sized adult cats should keep to a daily schedule of around 3 ounces of food per 3 pounds of body weight daily. Occasionally exceeding this amount with treats and kibbles is fine, but feeding regularity is a major determinant of healthy weight in pets.

Of course, your cat’s feeding schedule also needs to work for you. If the morning work and school commute means there’s just not time for kitty breakfast, don’t worry. Feeding in the quieter afternoon or evening is just as good. Your cat will value the feeding routine rather than the specific time you feed them, and is likely to follow your precedent.

Remember that feeding instructions listed on pet food labels are usually based on the average cat, not your individual moggie. Consider how their size, breed, and lifestyle affects their needs, then make alterations to portion sizes as necessary.

For particularly demanding cats, you can split their portions up into as many as ten small meals per day, helping cast the illusion of extra dinner!

Cat lifestyle is another major determinant of dietary needs. With a survey by the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention finding that as many as 50 percent of US cats classify as obese, it’s crucial for owners to consider their cat’s activity levels when planning their meals.

In general, advice to owners of cats with weight problems tends to boil down to, ‘feed less, exercise more.’ But with so many bad pet food choices out there, the equation is often more complex than calories consumed versus calories burned. It’s true that your cat should be working off any excess energy through playtime or exploration, but will also be impossible for your cat to maintain their weight if they’re either (a) over-eating, or (b) eating a super calorie-rich diet that’s inappropriate for their needs.

If you are already feeding your cat a wet diet, however, you can pat yourself on the back. Studies suggest that cats are better able to self regulate their feeding when consuming wet food, than when given dried alternatives. This can help with owner guilt, as your cat is less likely to plead for more food as soon as they’ve finished up their bowl.

Jokes aside, feline obesity is often termed the number one nutritional deficiency in cats, so it’s definitely something to be taken seriously. An overweight cat is at high risk of many common ailments, including diabetes mellitus, lower urinary tract disease, osteoarthritis, and skin conditions.

Most cats have a low thirst drive, which means they’re not naturally inclined to drink water. Instead, they hydrate through the food they eat. While us humans can also derive hydration from our food sources, in cats, it’s far more pronounced.

Today’s house cats first originated as predators in arid countries, and they still retain many of those once-essential desert-related behaviors. If you’ve ever seen your cat impulsively lick from a dripping faucet, you’ll know what I mean. Likewise, most mogs will always look for a moisture-rich food source before turning to the water bowl.

Here, wet food is definitely the way to go. Dry food usually ranges between 6 and 10 percent water, while wet food averages out at 75 percent water. This is highly preferable as it roughly matches the water content of live prey. Good hydration promotes urinary tract health and helps maintain kidney function—an organ that cats can often experience issues with.

If you’re in the process of switching your cat over to wet food, don’t be too concerned if their water intake decreases. Ironically, less drinking likely means they’re better hydrated on their wet diet, and no longer need to supplement. Even if they don’t make too much use of it, your cat should always have access to a source of fresh clean water.

What should I be looking for in good wet cat food?

According to a US industry NAICS market report, sales of dry cat food have declined considerably over the past five years, thanks to the increased awareness and availability of natural and organic pet food alternatives.

While wet cat food is still a processed product, many owners feel that it strikes a good balance between freshness, naturalness, price, and convenience. This is largely true, with more quality wet food brands appearing on shelves each year.

However, not all wet foods make for a beneficial alternative. A long-time lack of regulation across the pet food industry means that owners can be left to rely on their own wits when determining quality. To help narrow down the field, look out for guaranteed nutritional labels—specifically, food adheres to American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines.

While the AAFCO doesn’t directly certify or endorse pet foods, most states across the country have adopted some version of the AAFCO Model Pet food Regulations into their own laws. So knowing that your chosen brand meets these standards is a great starting point.

Here’s a few certification labels and fine print statements to look out for in your cat’s food:

  • Complete and Balanced. This term is more than just marketing speak. The word ‘Complete’ means that cat food contains all the basic required nutrients, while ‘Balanced’ means the nutrients are present in minimally preferable ratios.
  • USDA Organic badge. Organic certification lets you know that the majority of ingredients used were sourced from organic farms.
  • MSC Blue Label. Certification from the Marine Stewardship Council shows that fish products are sourced from sustainable fisheries.

If you only have time to look for one sign of quality, however, make it the food’s Nutritional adequacy statement. AAFCO calls the adequacy statement “the most important part of a label,” as it demonstrates that your cat’s food at least meets the minimum standard requirements for nutrition and safety. The nutritional adequacy statement is required to conform to a standard format, making it easy to spot. Here’s what you’re looking for.

Wet cat food Pouches and trays are typically high in water content, and can be more convenient to serve. But they also tend to be more expensive per calorie. To help ensure you’re getting the right value for money, don’t go for anything with a maximum water content of above 80 percent.

Single serving-type packages can also cause more waste, so anything recyclable is always a good move.

Cans won’t significantly hamper freshness or moisture content, but if you’re portioning out food from a larger tin, it may be a good idea to transfer the contents into a refrigerable, air-tight container. Due to a combination of manufacturing efficiency and consumer interest, cans (at least, the large size ones) are becoming less available in many areas of the country.

There are some owner reports of their cats eating happily wet food from pouches, but refusing to consume food from cans. This may be because cans can minorly affect the flavor of food. As of now, this is unsubstantiated, but if you do have a fussy cat, you may want to consider single serving pouches. That way, it’s easier to switch up flavors and keep their interest.

Cats have higher requirements for protein, and the amino acids contained therein, than humans and dogs. The AAFCO ‘complete and balanced’ Profile for adult cats sets the minimum level of crude protein at 26 percent on a dry matter basis. But ideally, your cat will be eating far more than that. Most reputable sources recommend protein consumption of around 50 percent. In other words, half of what your cat eats should be some form of protein.

With most wet cat foods looking alike, it can be hard to tell protein sources apart—but it’s important to do so, as some sources are definitely better than others. Try to make your selection from products that:

  • List a whole meat or fish (i.e. the muscle tissue of an animal) as the top ingredient, and ideally the top three.
  • List all sources of animal protein far higher up the ingredients list than any plant-based proteins.
  • Don’t use meat meal as their primary protein source (though meal as a secondary source may be acceptable, depending on the age and overall health of your cat.)

On the topic of meat meals, any confusion can be avoided by some quick revision on common terminology:

  • Meat byproducts are most parts of an animal other than its muscle tissue—this can mean connective tissue, organs, and bones.
  • Meal is the result of rendering slaughtered animal product down to a concentrated form, and may or may not be specified i.e. ‘beef meal’ or ‘meat and bone meal.’
  • Chicken-flavor or beef-flavor is just as it sounds—food that’s been flavored to taste like chicken or beef. The flavoring used might contain small meat traces, and the ingredients may include meat meal, but meat itself will not be present in the cat food.

The best advice we can give here is to shop as if you were buying meat for yourself. If you headed to the grocery store for some roast chicken, would you feel happy leaving with a ‘chicken by-product,’ or an item that advertises itself as chicken, when meat is only the fifth largest ingredient?

Cats prefer to source their nutrients from animal products, which is the major reason why quality of meat source matters so much. Remember, the rendering process serves to concentrate meat products, which can make them appear more nutritious—but this is simply because whole meat contains water weight, not because it’s less healthy.

Also, some chemical or mineral additives that sound scary are in fact important amino acids that your cat cannot easily synthesize by themselves. According to the AACFO, common beneficial additives include: DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, L-Threonine, DL-Tryptophan, Taurine, DL-Arginine, and L-Tyrosine. While you’re more likely to find these kinds of additives in dry foods, there should be no issue with their inclusion in wet products.

Top of the priority list for feline nutrients and minerals are:

Unprescribed vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful to cats, so never enter into a course of supplementation without a veterinarian’s approval. It’s worth repeating that cats will always prefer animal sources of vitamins and minerals.

Fat is your cat’s primary energy source, and as such, the feline species is designed to process fat far more efficiently than carbohydrate. The vast majority of cats do very well on higher fat diets, and can usually accommodate having up to 50 percent of their calories from fat sources.

Again, some fat sources are better than others. Mostly, high-fat meat trimmings from the human market, not lean muscle meat, are what make their way into the pet food chain—which is fine—but, whatever the fat source, the key is to ensure a steady supply of essential fatty acids.

Essential fatty acids are those fats your cat is unable to synthesize by itself. As a result, they need to be present as part of their regular diet. For cats, essential fats include linoleic and arachidonic acid, more commonly known as types of Omega-6. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA are also beneficial to your cat’s diet, though they’re not technically essential fatty acids. A regular supply of Omega is known to support brain function and the body’s response to inflammation.

  • Omega-6 can be found in the poultry fat (chicken, turkey, duck, etc.)
  • Omega-3 can be found in fish oils (commonly salmon and krill) and plant oils (commonly flax, canola, and soybean oil.)

It’s worth spending some time on this category, as owners can be perplexed by the fact that many, even reputable cat food brands often list carbohydrates in their recipes for our supposedly carnivorous pets.

In fact, if we take AAFCO guidelines of 25 percent fat and 26 percent protein into account, then cat foods may be as much as half carbohydrate, which seems pretty unpalatable. Mostly you’ll find levels of between 1 and 25 percent carbs (in terms of dry matter) when looking up nutritional profiles of the major cat food brands.  These will be made up of ingredients such as grains, soy, and legumes.

Here, there’s a big difference between ingredient stuffing, where manufacturers bulk out their product with low-value goods to raise their profit margin, and the inclusion of carb-based macronutrients, as well as starches, which may be necessary to process the pet food. Even though wet foods usually contain smaller amounts of carbohydrate than dry, starches and gelling agents are still needed to give protein its loaf structure, and distribute it within the jelly.

The key takeaway is that cats can eat carbohydrates; they just shouldn’t eat too many. While Big Cats are obligate carnivores—meaning that they can only persist on meat—researchers aren’t so firm on the modern day house cat’s carnivorous credentials. We do know that all cats must eat meat as a constant part of their diet, but new data is suggesting that house cats may have evolved their metabolism in order to process energy from carbohydrates sources, too.

Many moggies may actually choose carb-heavy foods when given the option. A study by Oregon State found that cats on average chose to get 43 percent of their calories from carbohydrate sources, and only 30 percent from protein. But like us, just because cats often gravitate towards carbs, it doesn’t mean they’re good for them. Excess carbohydrates can lead to feline obesity and diabetes (conversely, feline diabetes remission has been associated with low-carbohydrate diets.)

In general, we’d recommend keeping carbohydrates as low as possible—less than 15 percent is a good start, though there is no official requirement for any carbs at all in a cat’s diet. Beware seemingly low carbohydrate percentages that actually reflect a food’s high moisture content, and avoid canned food that skimps on fats and proteins in favor of grain or other non-meat ingredients.

Blurry Background of Animal feed product department in supermarket.


Put all of those ingredient sub categories together, and you get the following recipe for a top-quality wet cat food diet:

  • Choose age-appropriate brands for your cat. Older cats and those with a reduced metabolism can struggle to process excess protein, which can lead to cardiovascular and kidney issues.

  • Feed on a regular, once or twice daily schedule that matches your cat’s lifestyle, not according to average portion recommendations, or how much your cat thinks they should be eating!

  • Expect your cat to hydrate mostly from their food, but keep a fresh water source out in case they need an extra drink.

  • Only feed your cat food that meets AAFCO standards and displays a Nutritional adequacy statement. Remember that AAFCO recommendations are only a minimum.

  • Protein is the mainstay of your cat’s diet, and the only food group they can’t live without. Always ensure a good quality, whole meat protein is the primary ingredient in their food.

  • Fats are your cat’s energy source, and also help with vitamin absorption. Omega 6 and Omega 3 are the best essential fatty acids to look out for.

  • Carbohydrates are ok, but only in minimal quantities, and never as a replacement for essential proteins and fats.

Oh, and if you’re looking for unlisted carbohydrate amounts, simply add the protein, fat, fiber, moisture, and ash to calculate the leftover percentage. If you’re comparing brands or product types, you can take the (sometimes misleading) moisture content out of the equation by converting listed ‘as fed’ percentages into dry matter. Here’s an explainer from PetMD on how to make the conversion.

With that said, here are the Best Wet Cat Foods that money can buy right now!

The best wet cat foods of 2020

Tiki Cat Velvet Mousse Chicken Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

For cats observing a low calorie diet, Tiki Cat created their Velvet Mousse Chicken Grain-Free cat food.

Tiki Cat Velvet Mousse Chicken Grain-Free Wet Cat Food
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Key Benefits

  • Mouthwatering (for cats) chicken blend, made into a soft and satisfying mousse, which gets the pickiest cats eating

  • Source of high-quality protein and amino acids to support muscles

  • Grain-free recipe

  • High in moisture from chicken broth, which helps to provide supplemental hydration for your cat

  • Low-carb ingredients (no potatoes, corn, wheat, or rice), which makes it great for cats with sensitive stomachs

  • Great for cats at all stages of life, from your kitten to your old feline friend, it will complete their meat cravings, and provide lots of nourishment

As a high-quality wet cat food, Tiki Cat ensured this recipe was thoughtfully made using whole sources of protein as part of a grain-free, high-protein diet. Featuring an irresistible silky texture, this velvety mousse will tempt the pickiest eaters.

Blended with sensitive kitties in mind, Tiki Cat left out grains, potatoes, corn, rice and wheat, for a low-carb wet cat food. Chock-full of well-balanced ingredients, Tiki Cat added essential nutrients, such as: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, omega fatty acids and taurine for muscle maintenance and overall support. Whether your feline is a kitten, or getting up in years, this velvet chicken mouse cat food is an excellent choice.

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg, Sunflower Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Source Of Vitamin C), 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.

Caloric Content

990 kcal/kg, 79 kcal/pouch

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

As a canned cat food, blended with only the finest ingredients, Blue Buffalo Freedom’s Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe packs in all the nutrients with a taste cats love.

Blue Buffalo Freedom Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
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Key Benefits

  • Nutritious source of wet cat food for adult cats.

  • Key Benefits

  • Smooth texture and quality taste that appeals to the majority of cats.

  • Main ingredients of chicken and chicken broth make this a great source of protein, and will keep your cat full of energy.

  • Free of grains, byproducts, gluten, corn, wheat, soy, any artificial flavors, and preservatives. Making this a great natural product, and ideal for cats with stomach sensitivities.

As a canned cat food, blended with only the finest ingredients, Blue Buffalo Freedom’s Indoor Adult Chicken Recipe packs in all the nutrients with a taste cats love. Formulated without worrisome ingredients, you won’t have to worry about sensitive kitties reacting to artificial flavors, artificial coloring, grains, gluten, corn, soy, wheat, peas, preservatives or by-products. 

Made with the intent of providing muscle maintenance and real energy, Blue Buffalo began with whole sources of protein, and followed with fruit and veggies. Cats will enjoy this pate-style wet food, crafted with only the finest ingredients. Plus, pet parents and felines alike will especially appreciate the BPA non-intent cans Blue Buffalo uses for all of their canned wet cat food products.

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Natural.

Caloric Content

1,179 kcal/kg, 97 kcal/3 oz can, 178 kcal/5.5 oz can, 418 kcal/12.5 oz can

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Older kitties, with their own set of needs, will love canned wet food from Blue Buffalo Wilderness.

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Key Benefits

  • Smooth texture and packed full of taste!

  • Main ingredient is chicken to help with muscle growth and maintenance

  • Specially formulated using DHA and taurine, which support cognition, as well as heart health

  • Does not contain any of the following: byproducts, grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy

  • No artificial flavors or preservatives

A grain-free chicken canned cat food, formulated for mature cats, provides wholesome ingredients sans worrisome ingredients, such as: taurine, DHA, by-products, preservatives, artificial flavors, corn, soy or wheat.

A smooth pate texture makes Mature Chicken Recipe canned cat food easier to eat, with a delicious flavor cats love. Blue Buffalo Wilderness wet cat food supports healthy muscle growth, with real chicken, fruits and vegetables. Added vitamins and minerals support heart health, as well as cognitive development – a necessity for aging felines.

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Potatoes, Pea Flour, Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Fish Oil, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Salt, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols.

Caloric Content

1,130 kcal/kg, 96 kcal/3 oz can, 176 kcal/5.5 oz can

Feline Natural Chicken & Venison Feast Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Feline Natural ensures each product is made using New Zealand sourced, free-range, grain-free sources of protein.

Feline Natural Chicken & Venison Feast Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
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Key Benefits

  • Made in New Zealand using local sources of high-quality grass-fed meats (chicken and venison).

  • Natural formula with no wheat, rice, soy, or gluten. Making it friendly to most felines with food allergies.

  • No artificial ingredients, preservatives, additives, or gelling agents.

  • Made using fresh New Zealand water.

  • Great for all ages and breeds. Can be used during pregnancy and lactation periods as well.

  • Green-lipped mussel is added to the ingredients, which has the highest concentration of omegas-3’s of any marine or plant life. This makes it an incredible source of healthy fats.

Sensitive kitties will appreciate the simplicity of ingredients, palatable texture and flavors offered by Chicken & Venison Feast grain-free canned cat food. Suitable for felines of any age, including pregnant and nursing mothers, Feline Naturals produces their wet cat food without gelling agents, gluten, rice, soy or wheat.

You can trust each aspect of Feline Natural’s wet cat food was thoughtfully blended together for immune system support, and muscle maintenance. Omega fatty acids, sourced from green lipped mussel, New Zealand sourced fresh water, taurine, vitamins and minerals all work together to support feline organs and overall health. Cats will enjoy each bite of non-GMO ingredients, in a pate-style texture.

Chicken, Venison, Water Sufficient for Processing, Venison Kidney, Venison Liver, Venison Blood, Flaxseed Flakes, New Zealand Green Mussel, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Caloric Content

862 kcal/kg

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Poultry Pleasers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

Incorporating a feline’s favorite poultry flavors, Wellness CORE Grain-Free Poultry Pleasers canned cat food provides an enjoyable, well-balanced meal.

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Poultry Pleasers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food
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Key Benefits

  • Available in 2 different poultry recipes

  • Ingredients made using real chicken, duck, and turkey

  • Free of wheat, corn, soy, or animal byproducts

  • Preservative-free. Does not include any artificial colors or flavors either

  • Provides a complete and balanced nutrition profile for your cats everyday feeding needs

Utilizing real sources of protein, Wellness CORE includes chicken, duck and turkey without preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, corn, soy, wheat or by-products.

Support cognitive function and development, muscle maintenance and organ operation with whole foods. When felines receive a nourishing, protein-centered diet, with real ingredients and zero filler, they become what nature intended: energetic, well-rounded, healthy and happy. Keep your cat purring and extend their life by feeding real food, like Wellness Core canned wet cat food.

Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Liver: 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.

Turkey & Duck: Turkey, Pork Liver, Turkey Broth, Duck, Cranberries, Guar Gum, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, 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.

Caloric Content

Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Liver: 1,365 kcal/kg; 213 kcal/can

Turkey & Duck: 1,375 kcal/kg; 215 kcal/can

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

With its first 6 ingredients being animal-based, Wellness Core Natural stands out as one of the most meat-rich recipes on this list.

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Key Benefits

  • Wet food

  • 12% protein

  • 7.5% fat

  • 4.4 (181 ratings)

  • First 5 ingredients: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal

High-levels of DHA from whole turkey and turkey broth help digestibility as well as overall health maintenance, while a lack of carrageenan, artificial flavors, or byproducts means a carbohydrate content of just 0.5%. The lower the carbohydrate, the easier a kitten is likely to be able to digest a formula.

“This food is a noticeable step up: my kittens devour their food, it smells delicious, and their coats are silky soft.”

“I think he really likes how soft and juicy it is. Unfortunately, it is not in my budget to continue feeding.”


Canned, wet food is generally better for cats because of its quality ingredients, high meat protein and less carbohydrates than dry kibble. On the other hand, dry cat food is a lot cheaper to feed your cat than wet cat food. But – you get what you pay for! And wet food is a very nutritional, healthy and tasty choice. But both types of food can easily offer quality ingredients.

Just remember that every cat is different and always consult with your vet on what foods are optimal depending on their age, weight, and health conditions.

Of course! As long as your cat is getting the right nutritional content, then a wet and dry food diet is a very healthy option – in alignment with recommendations from your veterinarian.  Offering up wet food boosts moisture, protein and is also very palatable. 

Most cat owners find that dry food is more convenient to buy and serve, especially if you have to leave your house during the day. Dry cat food is easier to leave out for your cat to eat and it can last much longer without accumulating bacterial growth compared to wet food. Dry cat food is also beneficial for your feline’s teeth, keeping them strong and clean as they chew each piece of kibble.

Some cat owners will feed a combination of both wet and dry food, supplementing a majority dry food diet with wet food that has all natural ingredients.

Many vets and animals experts highlight the value of wet cat food for its moisture content. Cats may not drink as much water at their leisure, even if you leave it out beside their food. But when you serve them wet food – they can get the hydration they need to stay healthy and mimic their diet in the wild more. 

Because of its high moisture and high protein content, wet food also has less carbohydrates. Most cats don’t fare well on carbs such as wheat, soy, rice or corn.

Your cat’s diet needs to include the right balance of the six major nutrient groups to maintain optimal health:

  • Proteins. This needs to be the first ingredient listed. Avoid artificial flavourings/by-products and only choose food with pure animal protein. This includes beef, chicken, fish, lamb and turkey. 
  • Healthy fats and oils. These are often already in animal proteins, but can also be additionally supplemented, especially Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Minerals. Iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are several good minerals to look for.
  • Vitamins. Vitamins C and E. 
  • Carbohydrates. Most cats survive best with a high protein/low carb diet. Carbs aren’t bad, but should be offered diligently and in small amounts.  Preferably through veggies and fruits such as sweet potatoes, carrots and apples. 
  • Water.

Any good quality manufactured cat food should provide your cat with this basic nutritional balance that is made up of premium sourced, sustainable products. It’s always good practice to check the nutritional labels – the highest quantity ingredient will usually be listed first.

This will highly depend on factors such as your cat’s weight, health, age, activity level, etc. Consult with your vet to see what they recommend depending on your cat’s needs. But generally, you can feed your cat wet food any time of the day. They just don’t need wet food every day unless recommended by your vet. The main thing to keep in mind is wet cat food doesn’t keep when left out as much as dry food does. That’s why most cat owners prefer the convenience of being able to leave dry food out all day for their cat to nibble on. Then in the evenings when you’re home, you can offer up wet cat food. 

But if your feline friend doesn’t drink enough water, doesn’t enjoy dry food or has a specific health condition then switching to include wet, canned food every day will be highly beneficial.

As previously mentioned, wet cat food doesn’t last that long once it’s removed from its pouch or can. Unlike dry food, you cannot leave wet food out all day for your cat to pick at. Because of it’s high moisture content, it’s a magnet for bacteria to feast. 

A good rule of thumb is to throw it away after it’s been left out for 2-4 hours. Store any remaining food within a sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Unopened cans are fine at room temperature and can keep up to 2 years if left unopened in a cupboard. 

The frequency that you serve cat food will depend on their age, weight and health. Kittens should be fed more for their growing bodies – up to 3 meals per day. But once your cat becomes an adult at around six months of age – she or he will fare just fine eating once or twice a day. 

You can feed your cat wet food daily, but you certainly don’t have to. The best times to feed your cat are at dawn and dusk when they would normally feed in the wild. Check the can or consult with your veterinarian for feeding recommendations. 

In general, you can feed an average-sized adult cat one 3-ounce can per 3 to 3-1/2 pounds of body weight daily. You should adjust this amount depending on whether you also feed your cat dry kibble.

Room temperature is best. Even if you store remaining wet food in the fridge, most cat’s don’t find cold food palatable. For this reason, you can leave it out for 15 minutes to get to room temperature before serving. 

Another good technique is to mix wet and dry food together to keep the texture interesting. The combination of dry kibble with wet protein will be a tasty surprise!

Most cats prefer wet, canned food because of its high moisture and protein quantity. It’s not only better health wise, but the soft texture and strong aroma make it quite appetizing. It also most closely mimics how cats would eat their prey in the wild. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need pure animal protein to survive.