As cat parents, we’ve all been there—you splash out on gourmet-style cat food, lovingly pour it into your cat’s bowl, and wait for the appreciation, only to have your cat turn their nose up and stalk off. Figuring out which kinds of food and flavors your cat enjoys involves a bit of trial and error, but some cats are just really hard to please!
We checked out some veterinary advice and had a look around for quality complete and complementary cat foods that seem to be popular with fussy cats to give you some ideas of products your cat might enjoy.
A Quick Look at the Winners of 2023
|Best Overall||Dine Desire Tuna Fillets & Prawn||
|Best Value||Purina Pro Plan Adult Salmon Dry Food||
|Premium Choice||Royal Canin Aroma Exigent||
|Best for Kittens||Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine||
|Vet’s Choice||Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin Adult||
The 8 Best Cat Foods for Picky Cats in Australia
1. Dine Desire Tuna Fillets & Prawn in a Seafood Sauce – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Tuna, prawn, whitefish, gelling agents|
|Calories:||Not listed by the manufacturer|
Many cats are attracted to the strong, distinctive smell of fish, so if you’ve got a picky eater on your hands, you might want to try something seafood-based like Dine Desire Tuna Fillets & Prawn in a Seafood Sauce—our best overall cat food for picky cats in Australia. This pack contains 24 85 g cans of complementary cat food that can be fed in conjunction with your cat’s regular, complete diet.
The tender chunks are accompanied by a seafood sauce, so this mashup of fishy scents might make your cat’s regular diet more tempting and palatable. According to several reviews, this fishy formula went down a treat and quickly became a favorite. On the downside, it’s not a complete diet—only complementary.
2. Purina Pro Plan Adult Salmon Dry Cat Food – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Salmon (dehydrated salmon, salmon), brewer’s rice, dehydrated chicken natural glucosamine source, whole grain wheat|
The best cat food for picky cats for the money is Purina Pro Plan’s salmon-flavored dry recipe. With real salmon as the first ingredient and all the essential nutrients and vitamins cats need, including Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, this formula is high-quality yet affordable, so it’s certainly worth considering if you’re budgeting.
Purina Pro Plan’s salmon recipe is designed to enhance coat condition and support mobility, joint health, kidney health, and immune health. Several user reviews have been very positive, but just bear in mind that the recipe contains chicken, so it’s not a good choice for cats with poultry allergies.
3. Royal Canin Aroma Exigent Cat Food – Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Maize, dehydrated fish, animal fats, wheat|
Exigent formula by Royal Canin was designed specifically for fussy, difficult-to-please cats. For this reason, the kibble is strongly aromatic to tempt cats that use their sense of smell to determine what they do or don’t want to eat. In addition, it supports a healthy weight and urinary health. It’s suitable for cats between the ages of 1 and 7 years old.
According to many user reviews, this formula goes down a treat with fussy cats. On the downside, this is a pretty expensive cat food, which is why we’ve selected it as our premium pick on this occasion.
4. Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Roasted Chicken & Rice Medley – Best for Kittens
|Main ingredients:||Chicken broth, chicken, pork liver, carrots|
For fussy kittens, we recommend a reputable and high-quality brand like Hill’s Science Diet. This roasted chicken and rice medley comes in a gravy sauce and contains no artificial flavorings or preservatives. It contains vitamins C and E to support immune health, minerals to support bone and teeth health, and protein for muscle health.
This recipe is also formulated to be as appealing and tasty as possible for kittens. It has received glowing user reviews for the most part with praise for its inoffensive smell, tastiness, and because you can actually see the vegetables in it. On the other hand, the high price has been brought up quite consistently by reviewers, though some are happy to pay for quality.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Adult – Vet’s Choice
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn|
A sensitive stomach can turn what should be a pleasant eating experience into a stressful one for all parties. Our vet’s recommendation for picky cats is this sensitive skin and stomach formula with chicken and brewers rice by Hill’s Science Diet. The first ingredient is chicken, and the formula contains prebiotic fiber, Omega-6 fatty acids, and a variety of added vitamins and minerals.
Some users have commented that this product is great for their picky felines and has improved digestive issues. As with any product, however, it didn’t suit every cat and, like other Hill’s Science Diet products, is not the most budget-friendly option.
6. Applaws Tuna & Prawn Natural Wet Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Tuna, fish broth, prawn, rice|
|Calories:||Not listed by the manufacturer|
What we like about this tuna and prawn recipe by Applaws is that it’s made with 100% natural ingredients—tuna, fish broth, prawns, and rice—and contains no fillers or additives. These cans of complementary cat food are formulated to be added to your cat’s dry food to make it more varied and tastier or served alongside their usual wet food.
Judging by user reviews, cat parents are happy with the natural ingredients and value for money. Please note, however, that this is only a complementary food formulated to add variety to complete cat foods—it’s not a complete diet in itself.
7. Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Chicken Adult Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, lamb and fish products, cereal and vegetable products, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids|
|Calories:||83 kcal/100 g|
This chicken-flavored recipe by Purina Pro Plan is formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs. It comes in flake form and is a balanced and complete diet with inulin for better nutrient absorption. The first ingredient is real chicken which comes in a gravy sauce, and it’s made in Australia—another bonus.
User reviews are largely positive and point to a recipe that’s great for fussy cats and cats with sensitive stomachs. The portion sizes have also been praised. However, some have expressed that they wish there were more than 12 pouches in a pack, which is disappointing for the high price.
8. DINE Melting Soup Tuna & Chicken Wet Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Tuna, chicken, gelling agents, flavors|
|Calories:||30 kcal/100 g|
If you’re looking for a way to spice up (not literally!) the dry food your cat is bored of, this melting soup chicken and tuna recipe might be worth trying out. Made with real seafood and chicken in broth, this complementary food can be mixed in with dry food or served as a side dish for your cat’s regular wet food. There are 12 x 40 g pouches in each pack.
Several users have left great reviews for this product—some consider it a great treat, and some are pleased that it can offer cats a bit of extra hydration. On the other hand, some wish for larger portion sizes. It’s also important to be aware that this is a complementary food, not a complete diet.
Buyer’s Guide — Buying the Best Cat Foods for Picky Cats
First of all, if your cat has lost their appetite all of a sudden or is showing other symptoms of being unwell (weight loss, lethargy, changes in eating and drinking habits, etc.), we recommend getting them checked out by a vet to make sure an underlying health condition isn’t putting your cat off their food rather than simple fussiness.
For picky cats, some vets recommend feeding wet foods as these tend to be more palatable. That said, every cat is different—some cats may love dry food and completely ignore wet food. If this is the case, it’s likely best to stick to the kind of food they most enjoy and work on identifying the flavor or flavors they love.
If the problem is that your cat simply isn’t as excited as they once were about their dry food, you could try mixing things up by adding some complementary wet food in gravy, sauce, or broth to their meals.
As mentioned above, many cats love wet food because it tastes good to them and has a more natural “meaty” texture, so adding a bit of extra, tasty hydration could be the answer.
Moreover, seafood like tuna and salmon tend to be attractive to cats because they have a very strong and distinctive smell that many cats like. For this reason, you might consider switching from lamb or chicken to a seafood-based product.
In addition to catering to your cat’s taste and texture preferences, we recommend choosing your cat’s complete or complementary food from a well-known and reputable brand.
Often, reputable brands (i.e. vet-recommended brands) are more expensive, but you can certainly find budget brands that produce quality food. It’s also important to make sure the food you choose is suitable for your cat’s age and won’t trigger any allergies or sensitivities your cat has (i.e. chicken allergy).
To recap, our best overall cat food for picky cats in Australia is the tuna fillets and prawn complementary food by Dine Desire—a highly-reviewed formula that seems to be very popular with fluffy diners. Our best value-for-the-money pick is Purina Pro’s salmon dry food for adult cats, which is an affordable recipe made with real salmon and packed with nutrients.
For our premium choice, we went for Aroma Exigent by Royal Canin—a dry food made especially for fussy cats, and for little cuties, we chose Hill’s Science Diet’s roasted chicken and rice recipe for kittens. Our vet’s choice is another Hill’s Science Diet recipe—this time, the sensitive stomach and skin formula.
We hope these reviews have given you a good idea of what tantalizes your fussy feline’s tastebuds. Good luck!