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10 Best Wet, Canned & Soft Cat Foods in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Wellness canned cat food

Canned food may be the best option for your cat for a variety of reasons. It offers more moisture than dry foods, which can be helpful if you need to increase your cat’s water intake. You can’t simply explain to a cat that they need to drink more water, so choosing a canned food is often the best option.

However, not all canned food for cats is made equal. Some are pretty high-quality, while others are full of fillers and low-quality ingredients. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your feline is eating healthy and complete food.

In this article, we’ll help you do just that. We’ve reviewed several of the best wet cat foods on the market to help you choose the best option for your feline.

hepper cat paw dividerA Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Tuna, Chicken, Fish & Shrimp Variety Pack Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Tuna, Chicken, Fish & Shrimp Variety Pack
  • Flaky texture to encourage picky eaters
  • High moisture content
  • Plenty of high-quality meat ingredients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    American Journey Pate Chicken Recipe American Journey Pate Chicken Recipe
  • Grain-free
  • High protein content
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Wellness Complete Health Turkey Formula Wellness Complete Health Turkey Formula
  • Omega fatty acids and antioxidants added
  • Grain-free
  • Turkey as the first ingredient
  • Tiki Cat Hana Grill Ahi Tuna with Crab Canned Cat Food Tiki Cat Hana Grill Ahi Tuna with Crab Canned Cat Food
  • High in omega fatty acids
  • High in protein
  • Contains mostly meat
  • Weruva Funky Chunky Chicken Soup with Pumpkin Canned Cat Food Weruva Funky Chunky Chicken Soup with Pumpkin Canned Cat Food
  • Very high protein content
  • Chicken broth as the first ingredient
  • Some high-quality veggies included
  • The 10 Best Wet, Canned & Soft Cat Foods – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Tuna, Chicken, Fish & Shrimp Variety Pack – Best Overall

    Blue Buffalo Tastefuls wet cat food

    We recommend the Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Tuna, Chicken, Fish & Shrimp Variety Pack as the best overall wet cat food for most felines. This variety pack includes a few different formulas by Blue Buffalo. It is an easy way to keep your cat’s diet varied and ensure that your feline isn’t getting bored of eating the same food over and over again. The moisture content is relatively high at 82%, thanks to the broth and water throughout their formulas.

    Each formula includes an impressive ingredient list, but they are all pretty high-quality. For instance, the chicken flavor includes chicken as the first ingredient, with chicken liver and dried egg product following close behind. This ensures that the food has a high protein content and plenty of amino acids from meat. The formulas differ in their exact protein content, containing 9% and others containing 10%.

    The flaky texture is designed to encourage even the pickiest felines, though there are some reports of not all cats liking it. This is to be expected with any food, though.

    It is made without fillers, artificial flavors, preservatives, by-products, corn, soy, wheat, or artificial flavors.

    Pros
    • No preservatives, corn, soy, wheat, or artificial flavors
    • Flaky texture to encourage picky eaters
    • High moisture content
    • Plenty of high-quality meat ingredients
    • Variety of flavors included
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. American Journey Pate Chicken Recipe – Best Value

    American Journey Pate Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Even if you’re on a budget, you can still feed your cat high-quality wet food. American Journey Pate Chicken Recipe is less expensive than many other options, but it is also extremely high-quality. The large majority of this food is meat. Chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver are the first three ingredients. The protein content is at 10%, which is relatively high as far as wet foods go. This is plenty high for most cats to thrive. Unfortunately, the moisture content is a bit lower than most, at only 78%.

    This food is completely grain-free and doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy. It includes all the essential amino acids that your cat needs, including taurine for a healthy heart. Omega fatty acids are also included to improve your cat’s skin and coat. Cranberries and similar ingredients improve your cat’s immune system and help them stay healthy.

    There are no corn, wheat, or soy in this food to be helpful for cats with sensitive stomachs. It also doesn’t include any by-products or artificial colors. Overall, this is the best wet cat food for the money.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • Meat products as the first three ingredients
    • High protein content
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    Cons
    • Low moisture content

    3. Wellness Complete Health Turkey Formula – Premium Choice

    Wellness Complete Health Turkey Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    For those who are looking to feed their cat one of the best options out there, we recommend Wellness Complete Health Turkey Formula. It is a bit more expensive than some formulas, though it isn’t the most expensive out there in the least. It is 100% grain-free and includes turkey as the first ingredient. Chicken liver and chicken broth follow behind as the second and third ingredients.

    This formula includes a variety of beneficial ingredients, like cranberries. This increases the number of antioxidants in the food, which may support your cat’s immune system. Omega fatty acids are included for a healthy coat and skin, while taurine keeps your cat’s eyes and heart strong. Overall, this is a complete formula that includes everything you may want in your cat’s food.

    The moisture content is pretty average at 78%. This may be good enough for some cats, but those with health problems will likely want a formula that is a bit higher in water.

    Pros
    • Omega fatty acids and antioxidants added
    • Grain-free
    • Turkey as the first ingredient
    • Nutritionally-complete formula
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Somewhat low moisture content

    4. Tiki Cat Hana Grill Ahi Tuna with Crab Canned Cat Food

    Tiki Cat Hana Grill Ahi Tuna with Crab canned cat food

    This is a lesser-known brand, but their Tiki Cat Hana Grill Ahi Tuna with Crab Canned Cat Food is quite good. It includes mainly just tuna, tuna broth, and crab. The rest is added vitamins and nutrients, like sunflower seed oil. These are necessary to provide your cat with a complete diet. Out of all the formulas we reviewed, this one is the highest in protein at 18.4%. The crude fat content is only at 2.3%, however, which is a bit low.

    This formula is very rich in omega fatty acids. The fish combined with the sunflower oil help ensure that your feline’s coat and skin stay healthy. We particularly recommend this formula for felines with skin problems, as the extra omegas may help. This diet is complete and balanced for all life stages, including kittens and adults.

    There are no corn, wheat, soy, peas, or grains in this food. Instead, it is all meat, which may be an excellent option for picky eaters.

    The only main problem with this formula is that it is pretty expensive. The cans are small, so you will have to purchase more of them for your feline than you might otherwise. The moisture content is also only at 77%, which is lower than most on the market.

    Pros
    • High in omega fatty acids
    • High in protein
    • Contains mostly meat
    • No corn, wheat, soy, peas, or grains
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Low moisture content

    5. Weruva Funky Chunky Chicken Soup with Pumpkin Canned Cat Food

    Weruva Funky Chunky Chicken Soup with Pumpkin Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    The Weruva Funky Chunky Chicken Soup with Pumpkin Canned Cat Food is a pretty decent canned cat food. The first ingredient is chicken broth, which is quite rare. This puts the moisture content all the way up to 87.5%. This is extremely high and makes the cat food suitable for cats who need to increase their nutrition seriously. Chicken is the second ingredient and works as the primary source of protein and fat.

    The protein content is a bit low at 8%. However, you have to take the high moisture content into account as well. The food is much watery than other options. This may not be a good option for all felines, but it will benefit those that need extra water in their diet.

    Besides the chicken, this formula also includes various veggies like pumpkin, carrot, peas, and potato starch. These have varying degrees of quality. Pumpkin is an excellent option for many cats, and the carrots included offer many extra nutrients. However, the peas artificially raise the protein content, as they are high in protein themselves. The potato starch works to hold the canned food together – not provide many nutrients of any sort.

    Pros
    • Very high protein content
    • Chicken broth as the first ingredient
    • Some high-quality veggies included
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Not very high in protein

    6. Fancy Feast Classic Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Feast Canned Cat Food

    Fancy Feast Classic Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Feast Canned Cat Food

    At first glance, Fancy Feast Classic Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Feast Canned Cat Food appears to be relatively high-quality. It includes ocean whitefish as the first ingredient. This is a high-quality option, especially if your feline is sensitive to chicken or other common proteins. However, the other ingredients are a bit subpar.

    Liver is the first ingredient. This ingredient is typically considered high-quality, except that we don’t know what kind of liver it is. It could be from anything, which is a bit troubling. Fish and meat by-products follow as the next two ingredients. None of these are exceptionally high-quality. “Fish” is a bit vague, though we can assume that it is probably high in omega fatty acids. Meat by-products are probably the lowest-quality meat you can put in a cat food. Not only is it the leftover pieces of the animal, but we also have no idea what animal it came from.

    This formula is grain-free and pea-free. However, we don’t feel like this overturns the use of very low-quality meats.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Omega fatty acids
    • Ocean whitefish as the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Low-quality meats included
    • Only 78% moisture

    7. Tiny Tiger Chunks in Extra Gravy Tuna Canned Cat Food

    Tiny Tiger Chunks in EXTRA Gravy Tuna Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    As we move further down our list, we encounter more and more low-quality ingredients. The Tiny Tiger Chunks in Extra Gravy Tuna Canned Cat Food fits this mold well. The first ingredient is fish broth, which increases the moisture to 82%. If your cat needs to increase their hydration for some reason, this is a high-quality option. Tuna is the second ingredient, though the description incorrectly states it as the first ingredient.

    However, meat by-products are included just a bit further down on the ingredient list. Again, this is a highly low-quality option. By-products mean that it is simply the animal’s leftovers, including nutrient-dense organ meats and things like feathers. The source is entirely unnamed so that this meat could be anything. It is the equivalent of “mystery meat” in the cat food world. Other low-quality ingredients like potato starch are used as well.

    This food is grain-free and doesn’t include any corn or soy either.

    Pros
    • High in moisture
    • Grain-free
    • No corn, wheat, or soy
    Cons
    • Meat by-products included
    • Lower-quality ingredients throughout

    8. 9 Lives Seafood & Poultry Favorites

    9 Lives Seafood & Poultry Favorites Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    9 Lives Seafood & Poultry Favorites is another relatively inexpensive option. However, it is cheap for a reason. This particular variety pack includes a variety of different flavors. But the ingredient lists aren’t that different from each other.

    All the formulas include meat by-products as their first ingredient and primary protein source. This is mystery meat. You have no idea what animal this meat comes from since it is labelled as simply “meat.” Furthermore, the term by-product means that it could be nearly any part of the animal that people don’t usually eat. This includes the ears, snout, hooves, and feathers of the animal. Some of these things are nutritious, but others are not. You don’t know what you’re getting.

    There are various other low-quality ingredients as well, such as artificial flavors and poultry by-products. There is very little whole meat in each formula.

    This food isn’t very moisture-heavy either. Many users reported adding water to it to increase the moisture content.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Some whole meat included
    Cons
    • Meat by-products included
    • Artificial flavors and similar low-quality ingredients added

    9. Meow Mix Tender Favorites Poultry & Beef Cat Food Variety Pack

    Meow Mix Tender Favorites Poultry & Beef Cat Food

    It doesn’t take long to realize that Meow Mix Tender Favorites Poultry & Beef Cat Food Variety Pack is one of the worst cat foods currently available on the market. It is incredibly inexpensive, but it should only be fed if it is the only way you can afford to pay your felines. While feeding your cats something is better than feeding them nothing, this food contains many points of contention for us.

    All of the flavors included in this variety pack are about the same. Fish broth is included as the first ingredient, which raises the moisture content to 82%. If your cat needs plenty of extra hydration, this may be a suitable option for you.

    Tuna is included as the second ingredient, followed by several other whole meats, depending on the flavor. Finally, tuna by-products are included as the third ingredient in the turkey recipe. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing since we know that the by-products are coming from tuna. This likely includes things like the scales and fins of the fish, which are cats would naturally eat in the wild anyway.

    Besides the occasional by-product, other less-than-stellar ingredients are included as well, such as wheat gluten

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • High moisture content
    Cons
    • By-products included occasionally
    • Lower-quality ingredients

    10. Friskies Classic Pate Poultry Platter Canned Cat Food

    Friskies Classic Pate Poultry Platter Canned Cat Food

    Friskies Classic Pate Poultry Platter Canned Cat Food is a famous brand, mainly because it is so cheap. However, it is exceptionally inexpensive for a reason. It does include a decent amount of protein at 9%, but the ingredients it uses to reach this protein level are disappointing. For instance, the first ingredient is poultry.

    This isn’t a terrible ingredient, though we don’t exactly know the type of poultry. It is sub-par at best. Water helps add some moisture to the food as the second ingredient, but meat by-products follow. This is a highly low-quality option. By-products can mean anything that isn’t eaten by people – certain organ meats, cartilage, feathers, and similar parts of the animal. You don’t really know what parts are used in this particular cat food. The source isn’t labelled either, so we don’t know what animals the by-products come from.

    Similar ingredients are throughout the ingredient list. Poultry by-products show up later, for example. Liver is included, but the source isn’t named.

    The moisture level sits at a somewhat decent 78%. While this isn’t great, it isn’t necessarily terrible either.

    Pros
    • Decent amount of protein
    Cons
    • Extremely low-quality meats throughout
    • Plenty of by-products
    • Lower moisture content

    Related Read: 10 Best Cat Feeding Mats (For Food & Water) – Reviews & Top Picks

    hepper cat paw dividerBuyer’s Guide

    If you’ve already decided that your feline needs wet food, then half of the battle is over. However, there are still many other factors to consider when choosing the right cat food for your feline. Things like cost, moisture content, ingredients, and protein level are all going to play a role in the quality of your cat’s diet.

    In this section, we’ll help you figure out how to choose the best cat food for your feline.

    The Ingredient List

    When considering what cat food to purchase for your feline, you should always check the ingredient list. Preferably, the food should include plenty of meat. Animal products should be the obvious focal point of the food, with grains and veggies taking a backseat. If the food only contains one meat source and a slew of processed grains, you should likely look elsewhere.

    Remember, the ingredient list is organized by weight. Be sure to consider the water content of the ingredients and how that may affect their standing on the list. For instance, whole meat is often an excellent choice for cats. However, it is made up of high amounts of moisture. In dry food, this is removed before the food is crafted. If the meat is weighed and the ingredient list written before the meat is dehydrated, then the ingredient list may not be accurate. Meat meals, which have already been dehydrated, often provide a more accurate representation.

    You should avoid high levels of plant-based protein and other nutrients. Cats cannot absorb and use specific plant-based vitamins and minerals. If the majority of protein in their food comes from peas, they may not absorb some essential nutrients. Any veggie with the word “protein” after it on an ingredient list is a no-go. You also have to watch for veggies that are naturally high in protein, like peas. These may make it seem that the food has high protein levels, but much of the protein may be plant-based.

    Ensure the meat included is high-quality. Whole meats and meat meal are often your best options. By-products can be nutritious, but there is no way of knowing what sorts of by-products an ingredient list refers to. It can be super nutritious organ meats or filler, like feathers. Ensure the sources of all the meat are listed. You want to know if you’re feeding your cat chicken, fish, or something else entirely. If the ingredient is listed as “meat,” it may be because the company doesn’t want you to know what kind of meat.

    cat licking mouth after eating
    Image Credit: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock

    Macronutrients

    The macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. All living things need a specific ratio of these macronutrients to thrive. As obligate carnivores, cats need mostly protein and fat. They may prefer 55% of their diet to be pure protein, based on various scientific studies.

    They require very few carbohydrates in their diet. Many would only eat prey items in the wild, which would hardly include any carbohydrates. One study found that cats carefully restrict their carbohydrate intake, suggesting that they can only digest carbohydrates up to a certain level. Cats who were allowed to control their own diet for an extended period began restricting their carb intake more.

    Life Stage

    The life stage a food is designed for matters. Kittens need a higher level of protein and fat since they are growing. However, adults don’t technically need as much, though many of them prefer it. Very high-quality cat foods are often listed for all life stages, as they include enough protein for kittens and adults alike.

    You should choose a food that best matches your cat’s life stage. For example, if you have a kitten, be sure you are feeding them appropriate food. Switch over to adult food slowly when they become old enough. Switching too fast can cause digestive upset and similar problems.

    It is important to note that seniors don’t have any specific needs above what a typical adult cat needs. Most cat foods marketed for senior cats just include vitamins and minerals that may be helpful for specific diseases that tend to affect a cat in their old age. For instance, many will include omega fatty acids for arthritis. So, if your cat is aging fine on their adult cat food, there is no reason to switch to a senior option.

    cat eating food
    Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

    Added Nutrients

    There are many nutrients that a cat food might contain that aren’t technically required. However, they can be pretty helpful for certain felines. For instance, omega fatty acids are essential for your cat’s skin and coat health. This is typically found in fish, but some brands that aren’t using fish-based protein in their food will add omega fatty acids separately.

    If your cat has skin problems, these omega fatty acids may be helpful.

    There are tons of different nutrients a cat food could conceivably add. For example, many include antioxidants of some sort. In addition, while not technically a nutrient, many cat foods include added probiotics, which can help with stomach problems.

    If your cat has a specific health problem that you’re trying to remedy, then you may be on the lookout for certain additives. However, for most felines, these are simply lovely extras. Not every cat needs food with omega fatty acids. If your cat doesn’t, there is no reason to search out food that explicitly contains this added nutrient.

    Ingredients to Avoid

    There are quite a few ingredients you should look to avoid when purchasing cat food. First and foremost, artificial ingredients typically aren’t the best choice for your feline. Artificial colors simply add something to the food that may upset your cat’s stomach. Your cat doesn’t care what the food looks like.

    You may choose to avoid by-products. Again, these aren’t necessarily bad. However, what exactly they are is unknowable. For example, many people don’t want to feed their cat mystery meat.

    You should also avoid feeding your cat soy, which isn’t good for them on any occasion. Sadly, soy is quite common in cat food and can have biological effects.

    Many people will suggest avoiding foods that contain ingredients you can’t digest. However, this doesn’t exactly work with cat food. Many cat foods are fortified to ensure that your feline is consuming everything they need. Some of these vitamins may be difficult to pronounce, but that doesn’t mean that the food is terrible.

    hepper cat paw dividerConclusion

    Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Tuna, Chicken, Fish & Shrimp Variety Pack is a great wet food option for most cats. It includes high moisture content, as well as many high-quality meat products. In addition, the varied flavors allow you to keep your cat’s diet a bit interesting and ensure that they are getting all the nutrients they need.

    If you need a budget option, we recommend the American Journey Pate Chicken Recipe. It isn’t the absolute cheapest option out there, but its value is remarkable. It doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy and is completely grain-free. It features quite a bit of high-quality meat as well.

    We hope that our reviews helped you choose the best wet food for your feline.

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