Cat Food: Ratings of Sources
Susan Thixton reviews and rates cat foods based on their first five ingredients. If Thixton deems all five to be quality ingredients, the food gets 5 paws; four quality ingredients, 4 paws, and so on. (Canned food can earn a maximum of 4 paws because the extra water or broth -- although beneficial -- doesn't count as a quality ingredient here.) Thixton reports on each company's manufacturing facilities, supply chains, controversial ingredients, etc. This is an excellent site for checking out specific brands, both big and small.
Thixton also maintains this blog, where she digs deep into the world of pet food and nutrition, researching ingredients, reporting on news and recalls, and more. Selected reviews from PetsumerReport.com are reprinted on occasion. Thixton also offers a subscription-based list of foods that she would personally feed a pet; it includes 12 cat food brands.
The FDA posts pet food recalls on its website, organized by date. This is the place to find out whether a cat food you're using -- or are considering using -- has been recalled.
This is an excellent site for all-around cat information. About.com cat guide Franny Syufy names her choices for the best canned cat foods in this list, all of which she says "could form a sound basis for your cat's diet." They are ordered in the preference of her own cats. Natural Balance leads the list, with Syufy complimenting the company on its testing program. Although each cat food gets only a short write-up, the site does address almost every imaginable question about cat food, and the background information articles are helpful.
Here, Syufy lists the best dry cat foods. She says she would feed any of them to her cats and personally rotates through several of the named foods. She recommend to alternate these foods with "premium canned food for a well-balanced diet for your cat."
Although Lisa Pierson, a veterinarian, is a proponent of feeding cats a raw-meat diet, her site includes a list of what are called high-quality commercial cat foods. The list is based on nutritional information provided by the manufacturer rather than on testing, but the accompanying discussion explains the rationale for inclusion in extensive detail.
This website analyzes cat foods based on their ingredients and provides ratings for quality and price. Each food is discussed, and the editors comment on strong points and weak ones. Cat foods are listed alphabetically rather than by score, but there are also lists that name the best cat foods and best grain-free cat foods. However, the site rates only dry food varieties, not canned.
Here, you'll find reviews (with star ratings) for many popular cat food brands on the market. A wide variety of cat food brands are rated, with five selected to be included in a list of the "best" cat foods, though some that rate just as well -- and in some cases higher -- don't make the cut and the reasons are not explained.
Originally written in 2010, but updated several times since, this list contains both top choices and solid second place choices. Liz Eastwood explains her criteria and priorities for including foods in the list. Each food is annotated with information on its pluses, cost, and any special concerns or tips to be aware of.
This helpful tool at 1800PetMeds.com compares cat foods' ingredients -- both premium and supermarket brands. It's easy to search and compare up to three foods at a time, and a handy chart lets you know which ingredients each food has and why it's good or bad. The advice here matches up well with other reliable sources, but only a limited number of foods is included.
Amazon.com sells everything from supermarket cat food to high-quality brands and varieties that are hard to find anywhere else. Cat foods of all types often get hundreds of reviews, while a handful draw thousands. Some reviews are short and not very helpful, but others go into long detail about what makes a cat food good or bad.
Chewy.com is another destination where you can find feedback for a wide variety of cat foods. Many foods have fewer reviews than at Amazon.com, though it's not unusual to see dozens or even hundreds of owner-written opinions for a given variety.
Cat food sold at OnlyNaturalPet.com skew toward the higher-end varieties. Several of the natural foods sold here have amassed more than 100 reviews. Most get fairly high ratings.
This is the website of Petco, a large chain of pet supply stores. You can browse foods by type or brand, but navigation is a little bit of a nuisance as each food's rating is shown on the main page -- but you'll need to click through to the product page to see how many reviews each food has accumulated. Many cat foods get no more than a handful of reviews, though others get more considerable feedback.