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In this report

Finding great cat foods for every budget

In the wild your cat would get perfectly balanced, ideal nutrition, neatly wrapped into one small package: a mouse. Commercial cat foods essentially try to replicate that delicate balance of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. Some do a surprisingly accurate job, critics say. We found good cat foods at every price point -- from 60-cent canned supermarket cat food to $40 bags of frozen gourmet duck for your cat.

Among cat foods, there are three main choices:

  • Dry cat food can be convenient, but some veterinarians say dry-fed cats don't get enough moisture. Others say dry food works fine. Meat-rich dry cat foods with little or no grain are the critics' choice for carnivorous cats. Top brands cost $13 to $25 for a 5-pound bag.
  • Canned cat food comes closer to a cat's wild diet, reviews say. It's wet, and it usually packs more meat and less starch than dry food. Gourmet cat foods use human-quality meats and veggies; expect to pay about $1.50 for a 5.5-ounce can of these ultra-premium brands, versus 60 cents for the best supermarket cat food we found (Trader Joe's).
  • Raw frozen cat food does the best job impersonating prey. Raw meat and organs are ground up in exact proportions to give cats all the nutrients they need. Prices vary wildly, depending on what species your cat dines upon. The Best Reviewed frozen raw cat food offers varieties ranging from chicken at $18 for a 3-pound bag, up to $25 per bag for frozen rabbit.

Finding the best cat foods in every category comes down to evaluating each one based on the quality of its ingredients, safety (history of recalls, etc.) and value. Critics aren't shy about pointing out the foods that fall short. Our expert sources scrutinize cat food labels and closely follow cat food recall news. Cat owners fill in the final pieces of the puzzle -- whether cats seem healthy while eating a certain food they enjoy, for instance, or whether they turn up their finicky noses at it.

Cat Food Runners Up:

Evo Cat and Kitten Food Est. $1.35 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Est. $21 for a 3-lb. bag

4 picks including: CatInfo.org, PetsumerReport.com…

Wellness Chicken Formula *Est. $1.50 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Merrick Cowboy Cookout Est. $1.40 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken Est. $1.65 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast Est. 65 cents for a 3-oz. can

3 picks including: Petco.com, CatInfo.org…

Feline's Pride Gourmet Chicken Est. $26 for a 3-lb. bag

3 picks including: CatNutrition.org, CatInfo.org…

Nature's Logic Feline Dry Kibble -- Chicken Est. $27 for a 7.7-lb. bag

3 picks including: About.com, PetsumerReport.com…

Natural Balance Original Ultra Est. $17 for a 6-lb. bag

2 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Canidae All Life Stages Formula Est. $1.60 for a 5.5-oz. can

2 picks including: CatInfo.org, PetsumerReport.com…

Wysong Au Jus Chicken Est. $1.55 for a 5.5-oz. can

2 picks including: PetsumerReport.com, TracieHotchner.com…

Evo Turkey and Chicken Formula Est. $22 for a 6.6-lb. bag

2 picks including: About.com, Christian Science Monitor…

California Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Formula Est. $15 for a 5-lb. bag

2 picks including: About.com, PetsumerReport.com…

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EVO Cat & Kitten Canned Cat Food
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $73.62 $42.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Merrick Cowboy Cookout Meat, 5-1/2-Ounce, 24 Count
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $34.22   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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The Honest Kitchen Grace - 2 lb
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $29.99 $29.49   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Nature's Logic Canned Food - Chicken - 12 x 5.5 oz
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $36.53 $18.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Fancy Feast Gourmet Cat Food, Classic Chicken Feast, 3-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $14.40
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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NATURE'S LOGIC/ NL Enterprises - FELINE CHICKEN KIBBLE 7.7LBS
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $33.44
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Natural Balance Original Ultra Premium Formula Cat Food, 6-Pound Bag
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $16.99 $14.43   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
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Wysong Chicken Au Jus Canine/Feline Canned Diet, 5.5-Ounce
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $37.09   
Average Customer Review:  

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