Choosing the Best Wet Cat Food

A happy cat is a well-fed cat! If you want to feed your feline friend wet food, then you’re definitely on the right track. Aside from dry cat food, wet cat food also includes the moisture, protein, fat and juicy flavours that cats need and love. 

Cats that have more wet food are less likely to drink large amounts of water, while cats that eat primarily dry food will usually drink a lot of water. Dry food has between 6 and 10 percent water while wet food averages at 75% water. That’s quite a difference! Many cat owners will feed a combination of both wet and dry cat food, but find that canned wet foods are ideal for cats who aren’t hydrated enough. 

Trying to decide on the best wet cat food is like trying to decide on a paint color, it can feel simultaneously limitless and impossible. After all, there’s plenty of wet canned cat food claiming to include this and that, but how can you really tell quality wet cat food apart? 

Well, we have your back on this. Here are our top considerations to help you find the best wet cat food:

Type of Cat

Is your pet cat a kitten, adult, senior or ill cat? Making sure that you are picking the right canned wet food starts with looking out for food that is most suited to your cat’s needs. For example, kittens might need more vitamins and protein for muscle development, whereas senior cats might need more calcium (for bone strength) and Vitamin C (for immunity). 

Products will sometimes state the life stage that they’re targeting, but if not, double check with your vet. 

Nutritional Content

Look out for guaranteed nutritional labels, specifically food that has the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) label. Otherwise, wet cat food that has these nutritional ingredients is good in our books!

  • Named Protein: Be wary of products that include words like “chicken-flavour” or “fish extracts”. The number one ingredient should be pure protein without added artificial preservatives. Look for food that’s at least 45 percent protein;

  • Iron: For healthy blood and tissue;

  • Zinc: To maintain healthy eyes, skin and bones;

  • Biotin: Helps to regulate energy and develop healthy skin; and,

  • Vitamins C and E: Packed with natural antioxidants to support a healthy immune system.

Watch out and avoid canned wet food that has too many carbohydrates and grains to prevent weight gain and stomach issues!

Flavour

Generally, most cats will prefer wet food over dry food, and to be honest, we understand why! There’s a lot more variety and flavour combinations, but the popular ones include meat, poultry and seafood. The other upside? Canned wet foods are smaller in portion, so there’s lots of room for mixing and matching to see what flavours your cat takes a liking to.

Top Wet Cat Foods

Overall, you’ll find that wet food is slightly pricier than dry food, but we’re willing to give our special members of the family the best, no? Here are our top wet cat food choices that you can buy right now to satisfy your cat’s health and taste buds!

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. 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.

  • 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

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. 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.

  • 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. 

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. 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.

  • 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

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. 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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. 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.

  • 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

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

Wellness CORE formulated their Natural Grain Free Turkey and Chicken Liver Pate canned kitten food in order to support the body of a growing kitten. Perfect for kitties in need of extra energy, Wellness CORE focused on whole sources of protein, by utilizing turkey, chicken liver, turkey broth, chicken and even herring.

A grain-free recipe removes fillers, including carrageenan, making room for more balanced ingredients. Wellness CORE created their canned wet kitten food without byproducts, grains, artificial flavors and artificial colors. Additional taurine, vitamins and minerals also mean optimal muscle growth and overall kitten health.

  • Only uses ingredients which are analyzed for the best health outcomes for cats

  • High in protein, which is great for kittens who are growing and need as much energy as they can get to reach their full potential!

  • High in DHA for proper brain (cognition) and eye development

  • Grain-free

  • Provides a balanced diet for everyday use

  • Grain-free recipe provides a complete and balanced everyday diet for your kitten. Free from carrageenan, artificial colors, flavors, or byproducts

Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Herring, Natural Flavor, Cranberries, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dried Kelp, Chicory Root Extract, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, 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.

Caloric Content

108 kcal/3-oz can, 199 kcal/5.5-oz can

FAQ

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.