Vet-Approved Cat Foods of 2022

As the owner of a 10-year-old cat, I’m constantly thinking about how to keep her happy and healthy. Choosing the right food is a major part of that equation, and wading through a sea of marketing claims can make it a surprisingly difficult task. If you’re like me — overwhelmed by the options out there from grain-free and raw to human-grade and freeze-dried — veterinarian Brennen McKenzie, who blogs about science-based pet care at the SkeptVet, may help put your mind at ease: “The reality is that there is no one ‘right’ food, and most cats can thrive on a broad variety of available diets,” he says. “Compared to the haphazard diet of whatever prey and scavenged dead things that feral cats can find, our pets have an excellent source of nutrition in conventional commercial cat foods.”

But even with that comforting guidance, there are still hundreds of cat food formulas to choose from, so I asked McKenzie and 11 other experts to guide me through the different options and explain why a cat owner might choose one brand or type of food over another. As explained in the criteria below, some of the determining factors will depend on your cat’s specific needs (often determined by their age), while others are more subjective (as cat owners know, picky felines often have their own unexplainable preferences).

Read on for the criteria we considered, or click on any of the links below to jump straight to our top cat food picks.

Best shredded cat food

Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

If you browse Pierson’s chart, you’ll see Tiki Cat offers many options that are high in protein and low in carbs, and Lauten likes the brand’s wet and dry foods. Lots of Tiki Cat food is fish-flavored, which is extremely attractive to cats because of its salty taste, but some vets, including Berg, actually discourage feeding cats fish because fish-flavored cat food has been linked to hyperthyroidism. Your vet can help you decide whether or not you should limit fish in your cat’s diet. This variety features shredded chicken and should appeal to cats who like their food a little chunkier.

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