Cats are famously picky eaters. If you find yourself struggling to find a cat food that your cat likes, you’re not alone! This is a common problem. Many cats will even suddenly turn their nose up at a food that they’ve been eating for months. Fortunately, there are plenty of options for healthy cat food in both wet and dry forms.
The following reviews will give you the top 9 best cat foods for picky cats in Canada. These all offer high-value nutrition in flavours that your picky cat is sure to love.
A Quick Glance at Our Favourite Picks in 2023
|Best Overall||Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Flavour||
|Best Value||CRAVE Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food||
|Premium Choice||Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Chicken Luau||
|Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin||
|Hill’s Science Diet Senior 7+ Canned Food||
The 9 Best Cat Foods for Picky Cats in Canada
1. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Flavour Cat Food – Best Overall
|Main ingredients:||Chicken meal, peas, sweet potatoes, chicken fat|
Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Flavour is a high-protein cat food made from smoked salmon and roasted venison. It’s loaded with antioxidants with no artificial ingredients. Prebiotics and probiotics are included in the recipe to ensure easy digestion and to soothe sensitive tummies. These qualities are what make it our recommendation for the overall best cat food for picky cats in Canada.
Taste of the Wild prides itself on recipes that closely resemble what a cat would eat in the wild. It prioritizes meat protein to appeal to your little carnivore’s senses and taste buds. The downside to this food is that it’s expensive, but if you have a truly picky cat that won’t eat most foods, this one is a great choice.
2. CRAVE Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food – Best Value
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, split peas|
CRAVE Indoor Adult is specifically formulated for indoor cats. It provides all the nutrients that your housecat needs to stay healthy but has a slightly lower fat content to prevent weight gain. This food is available at a much lower cost than most other premium brands, making it the best cat food for picky cats in Canada for the money.
This food contains high-quality meat protein and no by-products, corn, or soy. The only downside is that it’s only available for purchase in 10-pound bags. There are no sizes smaller or bigger, so you’ll have to adjust your purchasing habits accordingly.
3. Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice
|Main ingredients:||Deboned chicken, chicken meal, dehydrated chicken liver, dried egg product|
Tiki Cat’s Born Carnivore cat food is our premium choice recommendation. This food provides large quantities of the ingredient that cats need most: meat. It’s a high-protein kibble with primarily animal-sourced ingredients. Since it appeals to a cat’s inner carnivore, it’s a good option for picky cats. The kibble is baked to give it a softer texture than traditional kibble, which also helps improve the flavour.
Unfortunately, the Tiki Cat Born Carnivore foods are expensive compared to most other options. This is likely due to the high amount of meat ingredients included in the recipes. When the ingredients are expensive, so is the food.
4. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, whole-grain corn|
Our next recommendation for picky cats is Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin. This recipe contains extra prebiotics to aid with digestion and support gut health. It also includes omega fatty acids and vitamin E to promote skin and coat health.
While an upset stomach isn’t always the reason that your cat is picky about food, it sometimes is. There’s no harm in feeding them sensitive digestion food, even if this isn’t the issue. Hill’s Science Diet is commonly recommended by veterinarians for its nutrition profile. It’s made with real ingredients and no artificial fillers. While it’s a bit on the pricey side, it is worth every penny in nutritional value. However, it’s important to point out that this food is not considered hypoallergenic.
5. Hill’s Science Diet Senior 7+ Canned Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Water, chicken, turkey giblets, pork by-products|
|Calories:||90 kcal/2.9 oz. can|
Hill’s Science Diet Senior Canned Food appeals to picky cats because of its strong smell. This recipe is formulated for senior cats over the age of 7, but Hill’s also makes wet food designed for kittens and adult cats ages 1-6. This food is packed with high-quality animal protein and offers complete nutrition by itself. If your cat loves it, you won’t have to worry about mixing it with dry food to ensure that they’re getting enough nutrients.
This is an expensive option, but it’s recommended by veterinarians, so you can feel good about what you’re feeding your cat.
6. Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, dried egg product|
Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials is formulated specifically to support your cat’s gut health. If your cat’s gut isn’t healthy, they won’t want to eat. This food contains meat as the number-one ingredient and is rich in antioxidants to support your cat’s immune system. It also has added vitamins and minerals to support skin and coat health.
One bonus of Purina Pro Plan cat food is that it’s nutritionally complete for all ages and life stages. If you finally get your picky cat to eat this food, you won’t have to worry about switching it as they age. Some users complain that the food smells strong. This quality is what makes it appealing to cats, but it may not be appealing to certain owners.
7. Weruva Classic Recipes Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Chicken broth, chicken, tuna, pumpkin|
Weruva Classic Recipes has over a dozen different flavours of wet food that aren’t available from any other brand of cat food. If you feel like your cat has tried every flavour there is, there’s a good chance that Weruva makes one that they haven’t. Most of the recipes are chunky in texture, which picky cats love. This food is also available at a budget-friendly price tag.
These foods contain more broth than most other wet foods, but there is variation between recipes. If your priority is finding nutritionally complete wet food that appeals to your cat, Weruva fits the bill.
8. Instinct Grain Free Minced Recipe Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Salmon broth, salmon, chicken liver, egg whites|
|Calories:||88 kcal/3.5 oz. bowl|
Instinct Grain Free Minced Recipe is textured slightly differently than most other wet cat foods. This food comes in bowls rather than cans, providing you with an open-and-go meal. It’s high in animal proteins and smells strongly like fish. This appeals to picky cats but does make the food unappetizing for some owners.
Instinct wet food is nutritionally complete, so you can feed it as a standalone meal. Unfortunately, wet food diets aren’t the cheapest, so you may want to choose to use this as a topper to dry kibble to make meals more appealing to your cat.
9. Purina Friskies Gravy Pleasures Cat Food
|Main ingredients:||Water, chicken, liver, wheat gluten|
While we all want the absolute best nutrition for our cats, sometimes you’ve got to choose what they will eat instead of what you want them to eat. Cats often dictate what they will and will not tolerate. This is where Purina Friskies Gravy Pleasures comes in.
Compared to most of the other foods on this list, this gravy-soaked wet food isn’t particularly nutritious, but it still contains all the essential vitamins and nutrients that your cat needs to stay healthy. If you’re worried about feeding this exclusively, you can dribble it over a more nutritious dry food to enhance the flavour.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Cat Food for Picky Cats in Canada
Why Cats Are Picky Eaters
Whether cats are picky eaters depends on who we’re comparing them to. There are certain humans who are picky eaters and refuse to eat various foods, but more than likely, your cat is getting the same food every day. Compared to dogs, cats are definitely more discerning in their food choices, but this is because they are totally different species with different digestive systems.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This means they need meat to survive, and their diet should represent that. Unlike dogs, though, cats won’t eat just anything to survive. They don’t avoid certain foods to be picky; their digestive system is adapted to eating meat, and eating new foods can upset their sensitive digestive system.
Scientifically speaking, this refusal to try new things is called neophobia. Cats also suffer from boredom and monotony when it comes to their food. If they are fed the same thing for too long, they may decide to look for something else or simply refuse to eat.
While it might be your cat’s wild instincts driving their pickiness, anytime that your cat stops eating, you should get a medical checkup from your vet. Sometimes, a refusal to eat is a sign of an underlying medical condition.
When to Worry About Picky Eaters
Many feline health problems can cause a lack of appetite, ranging from kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, pancreatitis, asthma, conjunctivitis, and fever. Cats can stop eating for absolutely no reason at all or for a very serious reason, so it’s important to know what you’re dealing with.
Long-term refusal to eat can be dangerous. If a cat doesn’t eat for 3–4 days, they can begin to suffer from a dangerous liver disease called hepatic lipidosis.
What to Look For in Food for Picky Cats
Assuming that your cat has a clean bill of health and they are just being picky, there are a few things to look for in cat food that will have a better chance of appealing to your finicky feline.
The first step to getting a cat to eat is giving them “stinky food.” Any food with a strong odor to it is more likely to appeal to your cat. Foods that don’t naturally smell can be enhanced by microwaving them for a few seconds to increase their aroma.
Why is this so important? Cats have a far more acute sense of smell than taste. Foods that smell appeal to your cat’s most powerful sense.
Some cats will refuse to eat foods that are a certain texture. Many wet foods are served in pâté form, and chunks are smothered in gravy or have a stew consistency. Just like people, certain cats prefer certain textures. You may have to try a few different ones before you find one that your cat likes.
Most cat foods contain either chicken or fish as the primary protein source. Sometimes, picky eaters prefer a novel protein, like duck, rabbit, beef, or lamb. A new protein will smell different, and your cat may appreciate the different flavour.
Fat is especially appealing to a cat’s appetite. This doesn’t mean you should pick the food with the highest fat content, but foods that are high in fat tend to taste better than low-fat varieties.
Make sure the fat in your cat’s food comes from a quality source, like omega fatty acids, which will also help their skin and coat health.
Just because a cat is picky, that doesn’t mean they should be fed junk food in an effort to make them eat. Feeding low-quality foods can teach your cat to prefer them to high-quality, nutritious recipes. While it is fine to use a certain food as a treat or a topper to more nutritious food, a cat’s primary diet should consist of quality, nutritious ingredients.
The temperature of your cat’s food can make a difference in whether they choose to eat it. While you should keep wet food in the refrigerator to keep it from spoiling, it shouldn’t be fed cold. Cats prefer their food at room temperature.
If you store food in the fridge, give it a quick spin in the microwave before feeding it to your cat, making sure it’s not too hot before putting it in your cat’s bowl.
Dry Food or Wet Cat Food?
This is a question that plagues many cat parents. In most cases, the strongest argument is on the side of wet food when it comes to feeding picky cats. Wet food has more moisture, is typically less processed than dry food, and usually has a lower carbohydrate content. However, strong arguments can also be made for feeding your cat dry food.
If your cat doesn’t drink much, wet food may be a better choice to keep them hydrated. In the case of a picky cat, the scale usually tips to whatever food the cat will actually eat. While most prefer wet food, some cats will only eat dry kibble, no matter how stinky the wet food is.
Dry food can be heated to improve the smell or can be moistened to increase the water content. It’s also more economical to feed for the long term.
The main takeaway is that either wet or dry food is a good choice for picky cats, as long as they eat it and it’s nutritionally complete.
It can be challenging to find food for your picky cat. Hopefully, these reviews have given you a few ideas on what to look for. To recap, the best overall cat food for picky cats in Canada is Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Flavour. This high-protein food is designed to mimic a cat’s natural diet and appeals to ./their carnivorous nature. The best cat food for picky cats for the money is CRAVE Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food. This recipe is specifically formulated for indoor cats, has lower fat content than most other brands, and is available at a budget-friendly price.
Our premium food recommendation is Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Chicken Luau. This kibble is baked to create a softer texture than traditional kibble, making it more appealing to picky cats. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin is our vet’s choice cat food for picky cats. This recipe contains high-quality ingredients and targets your cat’s sensitive digestive system to ensure that they are absorbing all the nutrients that they need.