Letting The Cat Out of The Bag– 8 Best Wet Cat Foods

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If you ever wondered what the best wet cat food is, then this is the article for you.

Which is Better? Dry or Wet Cat Food?

Whether you are a first-time cat owner or a seasoned veteran, one of your most important decisions would be deciding if to feed dry or wet cat food. Cats are obligate carnivores. Their diet needs to contain real meat or be supplemented with vitamins and minerals from real meat. 

best wet cat food

Veterinarians and cat owners prefer wet cat food because the best wet cat food brands are usually made of real meat.

At a glance, Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Pate Wet Cat Food is the best wet cat food on the market for this year.

 It comes in a can, and it is packed with flavor and has a smooth, silky texture.

  • It is made of real meat and fish.
  • Chicken or fish is the main ingredient. 
  • It comes in a pack of a dozen with three recipes (chicken, turkey & fish). 
  • It does not have any artificial flavors or preservatives. 

Guaranteed analysis 

  • Crude Protein 10% (min)
  • Crude fat 6% (min)
  • Crude Fibre 2% (max)
  • Moisture 78% (max)
  • Taurine 0.10% (min)

Best Wet Cat Food: At a Glance

  1. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Pate Wet Cat Food (Best Wet Cat Food For All Life Stages) 
  2. Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Collection Wet Cat Food Variety Packs (Best Inexpensive Wet Cat Food For Adult Cats)
  3. Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food Tray Variety Packs (Best Wet Cat Food For Cats With Allergies)
  4. Wellness, Cat Food Can Minced Chicken Dinner, 3 Ounce (Best Wet Cat Food For Adult Cats With Grain Allergies)
  5. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Urinary & Hairball Control, Savory Chicken Recipe (Best Wet Cat Food For Indoor Cats and Best Wet Cat Food For Urinary Health)
  6. Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food with Whole Seafood in Broth for Adult Cats & Kittens (Best High-Protein Wet Cat Food For Growing Cats)
  7. Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food, 2.8 Ounce Cups, Grain-Free (Best For Adult Cats)
  8. Reveal – Grain-Free | Wet Canned Cat Food | 2.47oz Cans – Premium Nutrition, 100% Natural, No Additives, and Limited Ingredients (Best Environmentally- Friendly Wet Cat Food)

The Benefits of Wet Cat Food

There are many benefits to feeding wet cat food. Most wet cat food has a high protein content similar to the natural diet of cats. The smell of wet cat food is also more attractive to cats than that of dry cat food. The best wet cat food for picky eaters usually has a ‘real meat’ or ‘real fish’ odor.

Cats are traditionally designed to be hunters, so a high protein intake is necessary to keep your cat in good health. Not just for fast-growing kittens, but adult cats will need a minimum amount of animal protein in their diet. The average guaranteed protein range in the best brands of wet cat food is 9-16%.

Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats. It is widely distributed in meat tissue and is needed for maintaining a cat’s health. Most wet cat food brands will guarantee an average taurine level of 0.05%. 

In cats, taurine is critical for vision as well as a healthy immune system. It is also vital in cardiac muscle (heart muscle) function. Cats who are not fed sufficient taurine levels can develop diseases such as Feline Central Retinal Degeneration (FCRD) and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). 

Cats who suffer from Feline Central Retinal Degeneration soon lose their vision and become blind. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a condition where the heart muscles get thinner, and the heart loses function. As a result, the circulation is affected, and a lot more blood stays in the heart than usual. This can lead to organ failure and eventually death.

Most of the top brands of wet cat food, which are made with real fish or meat, do not contain by-products and fillers–this is an advantage over dry cat food, which can be packed with fillers such as chicken by-products, wheat, soybean, and corn. 

We know that many cats are picky drinkers and can stay off the water bowl for long periods. With an average moisture guarantee of 70-80%, most wet cat food will help keep your cat hydrated. The soft texture also enhances its palatability. 

The softness and meat-like texture of wet cat food lessens the difficulty of getting young kittens to eat adequate portions. In addition, the best wet cat foods for kittens are very flavorsome and have high protein and fat content, which is essential for healthy growth. 

Cats of all ages will choose to eat wet over dry food. This is more important for young kittens and picky eating elderly cats. It brings added enrichment to their daily lives. 

There are many more varieties of wet cat food recipes and flavors than you would find in dry food. Most of the good wet cat food brands have four to six different recipes in a single package. Cat owners prefer this over dry cat food, which usually comes as a single recipe in a pack. 

The Disadvantages of Wet Cat Food

As much as we can all agree that wet cat food is a better choice to dry, there are some disadvantages to feeding wet cat food that we cannot deny. 

The soft texture does not give the teeth any resistance and does not help in teeth cleaning. As a result, cats fed on only wet food usually develop Periodontal Disease (gum disease) and have bad breath. Over time they may even lose teeth or need veterinary dental care. 

Even the best wet cat food for indoor cats can still have a very strong odor, that coupled with the cat being a messy eater, can leave the entire house smelling like salmon or tuna. It is very easy for cats fed on wet food to make a mess around the house. 

Unlike dry cat food that you can leave out for the day so the cat can take a little bit at a time, you will need to have a feeding schedule in place when feeding your cat with wet food. 

dry cat food

A cat is more likely to attempt eating the entire day’s serving in one sitting if left out. As a result, owners who feed wet cat food will have to divide the day’s ration into multiple small servings. This can be very time-consuming.

What is The Best Way to Store Wet Cat Food?

You should note that some of the best wet canned cat food will come with multiple servings in a single can. This can create problems for storage as well as maintaining freshness and flavor. Even the best tasting wet cat food can lose flavor if not stored correctly. 

Firstly, we should note that canned wet cat food usually has a longer shelf life than dry cat food. However, from the time you open the can or bag, this changes completely. 

An opened can or sachet of wet cat food will have to be refrigerated. Some of the most expensive wet cat food brands will have caps for the cans enclosed in the packaging. However, the best affordable wet cat foods may not have such luxuries. 

The best way to store wet cat food after it is opened would be in an enclosed container in the refrigerator. If there are multiple servings in the can or sachet, a lid should be fitted to the can or the sachet placed into a container and closed. This should be kept refrigerated until it is needed for feeding. 

Most of the best-rated wet cat food will maintain its freshness and flavor if stored as directed above. Some may come with a guide for how long the wet food can be fed after being opened. 

Which Are The Best Wet Cat Food Brands?

Here are the best eight wet cat foods we tested and reviewed for this year. Let the experts at I Love Veterinary give you a breakdown of why these are the best and which products you should get for your cat. 

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Pate Wet Cat Food

Best Wet Cat Food For All Life Stages 

It’s made of all-natural ingredients, and real chicken, turkey, or fish is the main ingredient and comes in a package of 12 cans (four cans per recipe) 

Pros 

  • It has a variety of three recipes
  • 100% natural; no artificial flavors or preservatives
  • No chicken by-products 
  • No wheat, corn, or soybean
  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamins B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B7,B9 & B12
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin D3
    • Ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate
    • Taurine
  • Portion size is adjustable and can be refrigerated after being opened

Con

  • 5 oz can makes feeding messy

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude protein (min) 10%
  • Crude Fat (min) 6%
  • Moisture (max) 78%
  • Crude fibre (max) 2%
  • Taurine (min) 0.10%

Purina Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Poultry & Beef Feast Collection Wet Cat Food Variety Packs

Best Inexpensive Wet Cat Food For Adult Cats

This is Amazon’s choice in canned cat food from Purina Fancy Feast. 

This comes in  24 x 3 oz cans packaged with chicken, turkey, and beef-flavored meaty morsels in a flavorful poultry broth.  This gives you great value for your money. 

Pros 

  • It comes with a high-quality ingredient seal
  • 100% complete balanced nutrition
  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamins B1,B2,B3,B5,B6,B7,B9 & B12
    • Vitamin K
    • Vitamin D3
    • Ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate
    • Taurine
  • Tender meaty texture 
  • Portion size can be adjusted; it can be sealed and refrigerated after being opened

Cons

  • Has meat by-products in the ingredients 
  • Contain soy flour and wheat gluten in the contents
  • Possesses corn starch in the product
  • Has artificial flavors

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude protein (min) 9%
  • Crude Fat (min) 2%
  • Moisture (max) 82%
  • Crude fibre (max) 1.5%
  • Taurine (min) 0.05%

Sheba Perfect Portions Cuts in Gravy Wet Cat Food Tray Variety Packs

Best Wet Cat Food For Cats With Allergies

It is one of the best grain-free wet cat foods for cats of all life stages. It comes in two packs of 18x 2.6 oz twin pack trays (72 servings total). It has three recipes: chicken, salmon, and fish, and comes in single-serving packs.

Pros 

  • Made with premium ingredients (chicken, tuna, salmon)
  • High-quality protein that cats love.
  • Grain-free (no corn, soy, or wheat)
  • Does not include meat by-products in the ingredients. 
  • Supports healthy skin and coat with Vitamin E and Omega-3s & -6s 
  • Has essential vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamin D3
    • Ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate
    • Taurine
  • Natural flavor

Con

  • Cannot adjust feeding portions

Guaranteed Analysis 

  • Crude protein (min) 7%
  • Crude Fat (min) 2.5%
  • Moisture (max) 84%
  • Crude fibre (max) 1.5%
  • Taurine (min) 0.06%

Wellness, Cat Food Can Minced Chicken Dinner, 3 Ounce

Best Wet Cat Food For Adult Cats With Grain Allergies

It is a formulated chicken-flavored adult maintenance wet cat food made from real chicken. It is also one of the best grain-free wet cat foods and comes in 12x 3oz cans. 

Pros 

  • No meat by-products
  • Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamins B12
    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin D3
    • Ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate
    • Taurine
  • Tender meaty texture 
  • Adjustable portion sizes and can be refrigerated after being opened. 
  • No artificial flavor (natural flavor)
  • It comes with an AAFCO statement

Con

  • Only one flavor (chicken)

Guaranteed Analysis 

  • Crude protein (min) 8%
  • Crude Fat (min) 5%
  • Moisture (max) 82%
  • Crude fibre (max) 1%
  • Taurine (min) 0.05%

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Urinary & Hairball Control, Savory Chicken Recipe

Best Wet Cat Food For Indoor Cats and Best Wet Cat Food For Urinary Health

This is Amazon’s choice in canned cat food by Hill’s Science Diet. 

This is the #1 Veterinarian recommended adult wet cat food for support of the entire urinary system. It comes in a 24 x 5.5 oz can package.

Pros 

  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • High-quality protein helps elder cats maintain muscle mass
  • Supports healthy skin and coat with Vitamin E 
  • Has essential vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamins  B12
    • Vitamin D3
    • Ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate
    • Taurine
  • Adjustable portion sizes;  5.5 oz cans can be sealed and refrigerated after being opened 
  • Natural flavor
  • It comes with an AAFCO statement

Cons

  • It only comes in one flavor (chicken)
  • Contains meat by-products in the contents of the product
  • Soybean meal is listed in the ingredients
  • Corn starch is present

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude protein (min) 7%
  • Crude Fat (min) 3.5%
  • Moisture (max) 78%
  • Crude fibre (max) 4%

Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food with Whole Seafood in Broth for Adult Cats & Kittens

Best High-Protein Wet Cat Food For Growing Cats

This is Amazon’s choice in canned cat food by TIKI Pets.

It has six recipes, making it one of the wet cat foods with the most varieties per package. In addition, the high-moisture, protein-rich formula closely replicates the natural prey of cats. 

Pros 

  • Made with high-quality ingredients
  • Made with real fish and meat (real protein) 
  • Supports healthy skin and coat with Vitamin E 
  • Rich in vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamins  B1, B2, B3, B6, B12
    • Vitamin D3
    • Vitamin A
    • Taurine
  • Non-GMO
  • Many recipes:
    • Tuna and crab surimi
    • Ahi tuna and crab in broth 
    • Mackerel and sardines in calamari consomme 
    • Sardine cutlets in lobster consomme
    • Ahi tuna 
    • Sardine cutlets in sardine consomme 

Con

  • The package only comes with twelve 2.8oz cans

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude protein (min) 16%
  • Crude Fat (min) 2%
  • Moisture (max) 79%
  • Crude fibre (max) 0.5%
  • Taurine (min) 0.04%

Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Cat Food, 2.8 Ounce Cups, Grain-Free

Best For Adult Cats

It is intended for adult cats but can be fed to kittens as well as pregnant queens. It comes with a package of 24 x 2.8 oz tubs of shredded chicken in sauce.

Pros

  • Real chicken is the main ingredient
  • No meat by-products or filler material
  • No wheat, corn, or soybean
  • Natural wet cat food
  • Supports healthy skin and coat with Vitamin E 
  • Added vitamins and minerals
    • Vitamins  B12
    • Vitamin D3
    • Vitamin A
    • Vitamin C 
    • Taurine

Con

  • Only one recipe 

Guaranteed Analysis 

  • Crude protein (min) 9%
  • Crude Fat (min) 5%
  • Moisture (max) 79%
  • Crude fibre (max) 3.5%
  • Taurine (min) 0.05%

Reveal – Grain-Free | Wet Canned Cat Food | 2.47oz Cans – Premium Nutrition, 100% Natural, No Additives, and Limited Ingredients

Best Environmentally- Friendly Wet Cat Food 

It is a limited-ingredient grain-free food that has six different recipes. Each recipe is made with ingredients that are ethically & sustainably sourced with environmental and social impacts considered. It comes in a package of 24 x 2.47 oz cans, each containing a single recipe. 

Pros 

  • Made with 100% natural ingredients 
  •  The six available recipes include:
    • Ocean Fish 
    • Tuna with Sea Bream
    • Chicken breast 
    • Chicken with cheese 
    • Tuna with Seaweed
    • Tuna with Crab

Cons

  • Taurine is not listed in the guaranteed analysis
  • Not the best for weight gain; crude protein (8%) and crude fat (0.1%) is lower than the specified average intake

Guaranteed Analysis 

  • Crude protein (min) 8%
  • Crude Fat (min) 0.1%
  • Moisture (max) 95%
  • Crude fibre (max) 2%

What to Consider Before Buying Wet Cat Food

Lifestage of your cat

Cats at different life stages will have different nutritional needs. For instance, fast-growing young kittens will need to consume more protein and fat in their diet than an adult cat will. Elderly cats will need less protein but simultaneously require a diet with high-quality protein.

When buying wet or dry cat food, you should always consider what stage of development your cat is at. Getting the right food for your cat’s stage of life is essential to maintaining good health. 

Nutritional Needs

Cats being obligate carnivores, will all need sufficient Taurine in their diet. Therefore, owners should always look for the minimum percentage of Taurine in cat food before purchasing it. 

Growing kittens, pregnant and lactating queens, and sick and elderly cats will all need balanced nutrition with adequate minerals and vitamins. This is as important as protein and fat content. 

Allergies

Owners of cats with soy or wheat gluten allergies should consider buying grain-free or all-natural cat food. Luckily, most grain- and gluten-free cat foods are also hypoallergenic. 

Your veterinarian may recommend a specific brand of wet cat food that would be best for your cat with allergies. 

Essential vitamins and minerals

Taurine is the most important essential vitamin for cats. Most cat food brands will display the minimum guaranteed taurine percentage on the labeling. For example, you would want to buy food with 0.05% taurine or higher. 

A balanced nutritional feeding regime will need to have Vitamin E for skin health, B vitamins for cell function, and Vitamin D3 for strong bones. Therefore, you should always purchase cat food with the needed essential vitamins and minerals. 

Fat Content

Some owners may think that fat in the diet is a bad thing. But, you should know that fat is fundamental in maintaining the good health of your cat. 

Young and very active cats will need the caloric boost of a high-fat diet to give them the energy required in their active life. 

Your cat also needs fat for making hormones and keeping its skin and coat healthy. So when buying food, you should get a low-fat diet (1%) for your elderly inactive indoor cat and a high-fat diet (3-5%) for your young active, and outdoor cats. 

Protein Content

When you are heading out to buy some cat food, you would want to know about the protein content.

Over the years, I have had clients ask me if they can feed their cats with soy protein or vegan protein. I had to remind them that cats are obligate carnivores and need real meat protein in their diet.

The first thing you should check is the guaranteed minimum crude protein percentage. For example, a good quality wet cat food will have a minimum crude protein guarantee of around 8% or higher.

The type of protein is as essential as the crude protein percentage. Real meat or fish is considered to be high-quality proteins. Some cat foods will make up their protein percentages by using animal by-products and soy protein. 

You should buy cat food with protein sourced from real meat or fish.

Ingredients

The first ingredient is the most abundant content in the food, so when purchasing a brand of food for your cat, owners should start by reading the label. The first ingredient in the best wet cat food brands is usually real meat. 

When buying cat food, it is wise to check that meat by-products, wheat or corn, are not listed in the first five ingredients. 

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I Love Veterinary’s Final Verdict

The jury is out! After a closer look at the top eight best wet cat foods this year, we can agree that Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Natural Pate Wet Cat Food is the best wet cat food available on the market. 

It has complete nutrition for cats of all life stages and comes in a 12 can variety pack with three recipes (chicken, turkey and chicken, ocean fish, and tuna).

Naturally canned wet food is enhanced with essential vitamins and minerals but doesn’t have any artificial flavors or preservatives. It does not have any corn, soy, wheat, or meat by-products. 

The wet savory pates have chicken, turkey, or whitefish as the first ingredient, making them packed with flavor and moisture. 

The guaranteed analysis is on or above the recommended levels (crude protein minimum 10%, crude fat minimum 6%, Moisture maximum 78%, and Taurine minimum of 0.10%). All these benefits and you can still buy it at an affordable price.