10 new additions to best cat foods list

bestfood_forcat1 10 new additions to best cat foods list cat food reviews cat food

Updated Nov 12, 2012 (changes in red)

A very big thank you to everyone who has visited the Today’s Best Cat foods pages and suggested foods to investigate.

I have been trying to keep up behind the scenes—even resorting to Excel spreadsheets for tracking. (Confession: I hate spreadsheets—I know, what a baby!)

Without further ado…

10 additional canned and raw foods

These are the new foods you’ll now see on the Today’s Best Cat foods page:

A few cat foods didn’t make it

There were a few brought to my attention that didn’t make it. For more about prior foods that didn’t make it and why, see this post.

Runners up (one iffy ingredient)

  • BFF canned (made by Weruva): (most formulas have carrageenan, but go with Tuna & Chicken and Tuna & Pumpkin, which are carrageenan- free; also all formulas have tuna–I wouldn’t want to feed tuna everyday because of toxins that accumulate in large fish)
  • Earthborn Holistic, grain-free canned: (carrageenan) also has the controversial Menadione Sodium Bisulfite
  • Fussie Cat, grain-free formulas: (this product may turn out OK, but it’s not clear yet if their “gelling agent” is carrageenan. They were using a food color preservative too, but claim to have stopped. See a great investigative post about Fussie cat here on About.com.)

Others requested but rejected

  • Petguard Organic Chicken and Vegetables canned: (grains)
  • Solid Gold Gourmet canned : (grains and carrageenan)
  • Dry cat food: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Weight Management: (carbs are way too high! ~44%)
  • Dry cat food: California Natural Grain Free: (carbs too high ~29%)
  • Dry cat food: Earthborn Holistic Feline Vantage (with grains): (grains; carbs too high ~28%) (Just to confuse matters, Earthborn also has a grain-free dry that is OK)

See pictures and more about the “winning” foods on Today’s Best Cat foods.

From our cats to yours: Bon appetit!

Love to hear your thoughtful thoughts! Leave a reply...


  1. Have you checked Young Again Zero Carb Dry food? I know in general dry foods are not as good, but I would like to know more about Young Again. It sounds good from what I have read. It is only available online.
    I have been trying for 2 months to change my cat over to wet food and it is a struggle. He is diabetic and will go for long periods without food rather than eat more than 2-3 bites of canned food. He will only touch Ziwi Peak canned food. He will even walk away if I put salmon down for him. I have spent hours researching online for ideas to help with the food switch. Thanks for your great and informative website.

    1. We had our diabetic kibble addict on Young Again Zero Carb food for nine months, he loved it. Our other cat didn’t hardly touch it, but she ate mostly whatever she could charm off of the neighbors if we weren’t offering canned food that day.
      The customer service at Young Again was great. Had many telephone conversations with the owner. Answered all of our questions. The food did a great job of not reaking havoc with our cat’s blood sugars. Only thing that made us stop using it was due to the fact that dry food is unhealthy due to hydration issues.
      Unfortunately we now have chronic kidney disease to deal with on top of the diabetes with our senior aged cat. If we would have known where we were headed with the CKD we would have switched to all canned or all raw sooner than we did.
      Young Again is very upfront about their products. Very helpful, would recommend them for support. Just be aware that having dry food around is like having “cat-crack” in your pantry…they smell it from a distance!

  2. i wish i could stop serving “wellness”, but my 15 year old is very fond of the grain free chicken and my 2-½ year olds are on wellness grain free ‘core’ for breakfast and the sliced chicken for dinner… sometimes they will eat “weruva” fowl ball chicken which has no carrageenen … the issue is that they really prefer chicken, and do not go for venison, nor veal, nor lamb which are in most of the “blue wilderness” and “ziwipeak”…
    still, i want to get the carageenen out of their diet, so i tried the “instinct” which they all rejected… then i tried “pure vita”, and they are so-so with it; BUT i do not know whether to keep trying because the chicken stew dinner has pea fiber and flax seed — which is not on the website ingredient list, but is on the can–yikes!
    i am thinking of “soulistic” and/or “hounds and gatos” next… any suggestions?

  3. I, for one, have decided to not feed my 2 kittens anything with carrageenan in it. I believe my 6 month old was getting diarrhea from it. Not 100% sure but since I switched him off of a couple of brands with it (Wellness & Earthborn) he has not had diarrhea since. I just think it is questionable and I wish these companies would stop using it. Other companies like Nature’s Variety Instinct do not use it. I am having fabulous luck with Instinct with both kittens. Just my two cents!

  4. i think you are amazing! somewhere in the late night reading on your website, i thought you asked us to forward any info we may receive from a cat food company… so i paste here the reply i just got from wellness regarding carageenen,,, i also asked about pea protein but they did not address that…

    Dear Marlene,

    Thank you for taking the time to write Wellness®. We are certainly happy to pass on your thoughts about carrageenan and pea protein to our Research and Development Team. Regarding carrageenan, we’d like to share with you some important information about this ingredient.

    • Carrageenan is a natural carbohydrate that has been extracted from a variety of red seaweed
    • There are two types of Carrageenan: Degraded and Un-Degraded
    • Un-Degraded (food-grade) Carrageenan is all that is used in WellPet products
    • Carrageenan is used to help prevent separation of liquids, improve loaf structure and add texture that pets love
    • Un-Degraded (food-grade) Carrageenan is quite expensive and is used in very small amounts
    • Un-Degraded (food-grade) Carrageenan has been used on a large scale in worldwide food production since the early 1930’s
    • Un-degraded (food-grade) Carrageenan’s safety has been assured by the FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) status
    • Both the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization consider this sea vegetable non-toxic, non-teratogenic and non-carcinogenic
    • Some recent research actually shows that Un-Degraded (food-grade) Carrageenan resists degradation in the digestive tract and is therefore unlikely to even be absorbed
    • Degraded carrageenan has been chemically treated (hydrolyzed with acid) and is a known carcinogen and is not used in any WellPet products

    We are staying on top of the latest research regarding carrageenan and will continue to evaluate alternative ingredients. On behalf of our team here at WellPet, we value your patronage and thank you for your continued support of our products. We look forward to continuing to provide you and your pet with only the best in animal nutrition.

    If you have any additional questions or would like further details we ask that you please call our Consumer Affairs Department at (800) 225-0904. Our representatives are available to assist you Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

    Thanks again for contacting us.

    WellPet Consumer Affairs Team

    1. Marlene,
      Thanks for all the info you shared. We see contradictory information from various sources. Here’s bad news research about UNdegraded carrageenan: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5410598/ dated 2007. Plus, the World Health Org in 2011 decided carrageenan is too questionable for infant formulas. For now, for the sake of putting foods on the “Best” list, I take these concerns and studies more seriously than industry-funded studies or statements. However, I still put otherwise good foods with carrageenan on the “almost fabulous” Runner’s up list. https://loveofacat.com/2012/04/these-natural-cat-foods-didnt-make-the-best-list-heres-why-finally/ Because I realize the risk is probably minimal when the amounts are very small and the cat doesn’t eat carrageenan foods exclusively for his entire life.

  5. Why do you say the “ground bone content” is not appropriate for cats with kidney or constipation issues? They have to get their calcium/phosphorous too!

    1. Because high phosphorous levels can make kidney disease progress more quickly, and it appears that ground bones make the phosphorous levels less than ideal. Also, some cats with constipation have a lot trouble digesting the ground bones. We had a cat who needed an emergency procedure because of this! Since then I’ve heard of that happening to other constipated cats too.

      1. I have had the understanding that it’s important to have the phosphorous/calcium ratio be correct and to keep the Phosphorous levels as low as possible if your cat has kidney issues.
        I am aware of the products Epatikin and Aluminum Hydroxide for treatment of cats with elevated Phosphorous in their blood. Also have read many people attest to the addition of Azadoyl (sp?) for helping with kidney problems. But when purchasing the Azadoyl you have to make certain it has been stored at 40•F.
        Our pet has difficult to regulate Feline Diabetes, Stage 1 kidney disease, symptoms of IBS and FIV positive. He also has a heart murmer (unknown cause). We have a lot of difficulty finding the best diet for him. We have tried prescription food, all wet canned, and recently switched to raw food, which has had the best results to date.

        1. My cat has diabetes and renal failure( stage2 ) trying to figure out best by her too. Did it take a while for your cat to get use to raw food? Do companies give samples ? One small bag I noticed of stella and cheweys seems so pricy. My cat is on vets Iams renal food and just recently select 2 types only of earthborne canned, but now I just learned about the bad ingredient in the gravy part? Maybe I should switch her can again? Then again, she barely touches the chicken in it, just the gravy.

  6. OK I am at my wits end. We got a kitten a month ago and I am continuing to feed him what the breeder was feeding – Earthborn Primitive Feline for dry and Earthborn canned. I know there is carrageenan in the canned and I have tried to get off of it. My problem is ever since we got him he has had pudding poops. Not diarrhea but mushy and it’s really driving me insane as he will step in it and you can image what that means. I bought a lot of different canned all grain-free- Tiki Cat, Instinct, Fussie Cat, Weruva and a couple others that are free of the bad ingredients. I have tried all dry, all wet, different canned, forti flora to get his system back in sync, probiotics etc. All of course introduced very slightly. No change in the poop so now I am wondering if he is allergic to chicken as everything I have been giving him has chicken in it. I hear fish has to be very limited so not even doing fish until I figure out what the problem is. He has been tested for everything and all comes up negative. No parasites, no diseases. He is very healthy. I feel like I need a good bland diet now. Should I try something without chicken? Has anyone gone through this? I have done so much research but more confused than ever. Help!

  7. Your lists have helped out a lot in my searches. A few things:

    – I just discovered Weruva’s Cats in the Kitchen variation, which is grain, starch, and carrageenan free, so it should be a good addition to the tuna formulas.

    – You’ve mentioned a few foods that -just- didn’t make it because of carrageenan, but Wellness wasn’t part of those. Do you have any other objections to the grain-free and Core versions other than carrageenan? Or could Wellness be part of the Almost-Made-It list?

    – What about the Pride foods by Instinct? They seem to be very similar ingredient-wise to the Instinct formulas, but with more water, so they’re a bit cheaper, as well. What’s your take on these?

    – I try to take account of foods that include organs in their ingredients. I don’t think I saw those qualities in your analysis of the selection, but maybe it would be a helpful thing to include? I’ll treat my cats to ZiwiPeak once in a while because despite the carrageenan, it’s nice to know they can get animal hearts into their diet, but I’m not sure how important or healthy an addition a heart or a lung really is.


  8. My cat has struvite crystals and does not like the prescribed canned food nor does it seem that healthy. Do you have a list of healthy foods that would promote good bladder health? I could keep her on the dry prescribed but would like to add a good canned food.
    She will only eat Friskies Special Diet.

    1. You just need to look at the ingredients. Any species appropriate diet will promote good health, including bladder. The cheap stuff, including Friskies, will not cut it.

      High moisture, high protein, low carb, grain free, no soy, no corn, no mystery meats, etc. You only need to look at the ingredients. Raw is the best you can offer! There’s some good commercially made brands out there: Nature’s Variety Instinct (treated with HPP, not truly raw as treated with HPP, but better than cheap food.), Nature’s Logic, Small Batch, Feline Natural, and Bravo! (some formulas of Bravo treated with HPP). There’s also some dehydrated raw diets. Just add water: Stella and Chewys and Feline Natural (Feline Natural makes both dehydrated and non dehydrated).

      The next best is canned with real, identified meat like chicken, rabbit, beef, etc. listed first. No corn, soy, grains, meat meal, meat and bone meal, animal digest, anything with ‘tallow,’ etc. If they dont tell you what the meat source is, it can be anything! Road kill, dead cats and dogs from shelters and vet offices, zoo animals, etc.

      For a cat with crystals, it’s even more important to feed a diet high in moisture. Here’s some of the canned that my local all natural pet supply store carries:

      Hound and Gatos (I use this one a lot when raw isn’t defrosted),
      Nature’s Logic (I like them. All vitamins come from food),
      Nature’s Variety Instinct (You want the Instinct line. these are grain free)
      Blue Buffalo Wilderness
      Wellness Core
      Tiki Cat (Check ingredients. Some formulas have grains)
      Natural Planet Organics
      Pure Vita

      I cant remember if all the brands I listed have some formulas with/without grains, so just check the ingredients. 😉

      I hope this helps! You should check youtube for Dr. Becker’s pet food advice. She’s very good!

    2. I appreciate this list….Dr Peirson (catinfo.org)suggested any wet food to get your cat to eat it when you have a UTI. I cannot tell you how many of these “good” canned foods I have in the cabinet and opened in the refrigerator. My cat just will not eat them. I am going to try placing it on the plate with her Friskies and go from there. I have tried food toppers(chicken),tuna juice and Weruva chicken to entice her to eat these canned foods. She is now crystals free….so now I can try out new foods more frequently. I am trying to reduce dry food even more (1/4 cup daily) so I am trying the grain free on the list. I also have 5 bags of dry cat food that have been introduced unsuccessfully. She likes Blue Buffalo..I am trying to find the wilderness grain free. Thanks for the information .

      1. Don’t you love it? I have determined my kitten is allergic to chicken so I have about 2 cases of chicken based canned food that I can’t use! I could start a pet food store! I just switched to Instinct Single Ingredient Turkey and my kitten’s poop issues have resolved! He loves it. Have you tried that one? I am gradually getting off of the kibble but he really loves the Instinct dry turkey as well. I just can’t go raw quite yet but that is probably the next step…

  9. Hi: We are getting a kitten and now I’m going crazy trying to find the best cat food. The breeder recommends Earthborn but I have learned the canned is made in Thailand! I assume the dry is made there as well That really bothers me. I want to buy products made in the US. Do you know where Life’s Abundance, grain-free is manufactured? How do you feel about Wellness? Do you know where their products are manufactured? Neither website has this info. Thanks!

  10. Do you have any data on Performatrin Ultra the holistic canned cat food (Pet Value’s own brand)? Thanks!

  11. Have you heard of Seattle’s Natural Pet Pantry? They make great raw food for cats, as well as raw and cooked stews for dogs. They do their own deliveries, so it’s pretty much for the Western WA and Portland, OR regions.

  12. Have you seen Weruva’sCats in the Kitchen canned food? The label says grain, starch, and carageenan free and it meets AAFCO standards.

  13. Hi,
    I was wondering if you have heard of Petcurean Go! cat food. I have been feeding my cat this food for several years. She loves it and seems to be doing well on it. I was also wondering about By Natural cat food. I would love to know what you think about these two. Thanks so much! 🙂

  14. Hi Liz –
    On most of the Raw Foods that made the list, you mention Omega 3 (fish oil) as a benefit, but it’s not listed in the ingredients of those products. Thanks so much for your site, it’s great!

    1. Thanks Michelle. About those raw foods – where I mention fish oil (omegas), they DO have it – it’s usually listed as Salmon oil or sardine oil though.

  15. Hi Liz,

    Lots you’ve added to the list, wow. Bravo, Soulistic, and Addiction caught my attention and I’ll be looking in to those.

    Great that you include a Runners Up and Reject list. Nice to know which ones to avoid and why.

    The list is very helpful.


    =^-^= Hairless Cat Girl =^-^=

  16. Hey!
    I see you added the addiction cans. Does that mean the avengers controversy I saw is not true? Lol I hope so, because I really liked this company. Let me know what changed your mind about them. 🙂

  17. OH – BFF is Weruva’s other line, not a Merrick product. There’s at least one option (Tuna and pumpkin) that doesn’t have carageenan in it, possibly more than one flavor. Agree on the not all tuna all the time, but the tuna and pumpkin flavor w/o carageenan is an alternative my boys will actually eat (unlike the Earthborn.)

    1. HollyAnne, thank you on all accounts – I have made corrections. I added Earthborne WITH grains to rejected pile, but it looks like the Grain Free Earthborne just squeaks by as OK with 18.5% carbs. I expect to add it to Best Dry Foods list.

      1. oh good 😉 Glad I didn’t just dump something horrible in their kibble pail (yeah, I know, it isn’t great they even have a kibble pail, but at least it is respectable kibble lol)

        Weruva has two new products in the pipeline I understand – BFF pouches (which have no carageenan) and Cats in the Kitchen cans – super clean, no carageenan, no starch at all! Sounds pretty awesome (if the furry boys will eat it.)

        1. Tried the BFF pouches on the crew. Factoring in the fact that it is fish based so something they will get now and then (besides the fact that a 3 oz pouch doesn’t go far when I have 9 faces to feed), they went nuts! Seriously, it was rather hilarious, growling, don’t you dare touch my flavor, get out of my bowl, are you kidding, I’m not moving, no you can’t share, tough it you ate yours too fast.

          I know what I’m bringing home for holidays and special days!

  18. Very happy to see Stella & Chewy’s make the list! I’m still iffy about raw with my crowd but most of them are crazy for Stella & Chewy’s. Sebastian clawed his way through the pantry door to get to it!

    I wanted to add Earthborn canned to my rotation (just to make sure they’d eat SOMETHING besides their precious Weruva), no go. No one would touch it at all. However, they love the Earthborn kibble – as kibble goes is the grain free version a decent option? (says only 18% carbs which is similar to Orijen or Nature’s Variety isn’t it?)

  19. Wow – that’s a lot of new foods! And a lot of it is raw, too. 🙂 Oh, and when I talked to you about Soulistic, I forgot to say that it’s only available at Petco (Though I really wish other places would sell Soulistic, too). I’m gonna have to check out SOJOS.

    1. Makayla, thanks so much for contacting me about Soulistic. It’s good to know that a place so common as Petco does carry it, though hopefully others will too. Thanks for mentioning where people can get it.

      1. Thanks – I’m still really glad how many new foods there are. Also, I didn’t even realize that the gelee formulas had carrageenan, and I was about to try a few, too! It’s a good thing you caught that 🙂

      1. Hi Carol. I’m certainly not an expert but have spent the last 6 weeks “researching” cat foods to feed the new kitten that comes home next week (yay!)

        I had questioned agar agar as well. My understanding is that agar agar is the raw from of red algae or seaweed used as a gelatin replacement. It also has great nutritional value and has been used for thousands of years in Asian cultures. Although carrageenan is also made from red algae, it’s the chemical process used that changes the molecular structure and causes the problems. Again, this is just what I have been able to interpret form the articles that I have read.

        I’ve come to the realization that pretty much every brand of cat food (at least every brand that I can afford) has at least one ingredient that I wish was not included. In my research I found most raw foods contain montmorillonite clay, which is claimed to be healthy. I just can’t, in good conscience, feed my cat any kind of clay (and it is an actual clay). I find it hard to believe this would have been part of an ancestral diet. But that’s just me.

        To keep things in perspective – in 1996, when I adopted my last kitty, the “right” thing to do was free feed kibble. My boy lived a healthy 19+ years on Royal Canin dry food. So there you go.

        Bottom line – the one thing that no one has been able to figure out how to can is love and respect – which is probably the most important ingredient needed for a happy, healthy cat. That’s all on us.