What every best Cat Food has:
- More meat, less grain in the top five ingredients.
- No corn, wheat or soy as carbohydrate sources.
- No artificial preservatives.
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. (Wet 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, shelf life, 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.. Thixton also offers a subscription-based list of foods that she would personally feed a pet; it includes 10 cat foods.
Like most other sites that review cat food, Reviews.com analyzes the ingredient lists to find top choices. It also considers factors such as recall history and country of origin of some products. The site's admittedly strict criteria eliminates a number of foods that score well elsewhere. Brands that are disqualified are listed, and the reasoning behind those decisions is given. The final list includes 18 brands.
This site analyzes more than 2700 cat food formulas covering more than 160 brands. Top brands in various categories, and why they merited inclusion, are listed here. Links in the lists go to in-depth reviews that discuss nutrition, ingredient quality and any possible allergens. Reviews for foods that don't make the top choice lists can be found on the site as well.
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.
Although Lisa Pierson, a veterinarian, is a proponent of feeding cats a raw-meat diet, her site includes comprehensive information about selecting a high-quality commercial wet cat food based on its nutritional profile. To aid in that, she has put together a Cat Food Composition chart that lists each food's caloric distribution (what percent of calories come from protein, fat, or carbs), phosphorous content and calories per can. She no longer recommends specific foods, but does list food that are not recommended because their maker was not willing to share nutrient analysis data. No dry foods are recommended at all.
This article names the six best dry foods and the four best wet food for cats, along with a list of top cat food brands. Selections are based on an analysis of ingredients, as well as pet owner feedback and company reputation. In addition to the reviews, there is good general information on cat foods and feeding.
While experts prefer wet cat foods, for many reason, that's not always a practical solution. Here, Franny Syufy profiles four dry cat foods with high meat content and that are completely grain free.
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.
Amazon 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 is another good destination to find feedback for a wide variety of cat foods. Some foods have fewer reviews than at Amazon, and some have more, so it's not unusual to see dozens or even hundreds of owner-written opinions for a given variety.
Though it's a little harder to use than Chewy (the number of reviews that a food gets is not listed on the main navigation page), and foods get a little less feedback overall, PetFlow is largely similar. One plus is that PetFlow carries some brands that Chewy does not.
This helpful tool at 1-800-Pet-Meds 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.
Cat food sold at Only Natural Pet skew toward the higher-end varieties. Several of the 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. Many cat foods get no more than a handful of reviews, though others get more considerable feedback. Reviews tend to be brief, but customers can say whether they would recommend the cat food.