Top 5+ Cat Foods: Best Cat Foods Reviewed

Which is the best cat food for your cat? My picks for the top 5 cat foods for 2016 are chosen for their higher quality ingredients and their approximation to a cat's natural diet in the wild - mainly the kinds of foods cats hunt.  No, the the top 5 foods don't contain rats and rabbits; but they do consist almost totally of protein, the same high grade protein that is sold for human consumption - no fillers or by-products.  

Unlike the top 5 rated dog food products I reviewed in a separate article, unfortunately only one of the 5 top cat food brands received a 5-star rating. Does that mean that pet food companies are trying harder to match demands for top quality dog foot then they are for cat food?  I wonder...

I think the lower ratings may be in part due to the fact that cats have more complicated dietary needs than dogs.  For example, the percentage of carbs needed in a cat's diet can depend on a variety of factors including the age of the cat.   And there is a variety of opinions by experts on what is ideal for cats. What is consistent is the agreement that cats need high quality proteins to flourish. 




How We Picked Our Top 5 Recommended Cat Foods 

This is a list of the top 5 best cat foods that are popular and thus readily available in most grocery and pet stores and ones that are relatively more affordable. This is not a list of the absolutely best cat foods you can feed your cat with almost unlimited time or unlimited budget. If you want to feed your cat the highest quality food possible, you would need to make your own cat food or buy one of the super premium higher priced cat foods. So this is a list focused on cat foods that are overall good values and easy to purchase.

The Pet Food Review recently announced its top 5 cat food picks for 2016. I like the quality of the reviews from this source and use their recommendations as my starting reference.  I took their top 5 picks, double checked the ingredient lists looking for human grade ingredients and then scoured the reviews and comments from users on Amazon, Walmart and Petsmart to come up with our own ranking and list.  (If you are curious as to what we think are the worst cat foods, take a look at our picks for the Top 8 Worst Cat Foods.) 

Based on this analysis, here are my picks for Top 5 Best Cat Foods To Feed Your Cat:


1.  Orijen Cat Food

Orijen Cat And Kitten FoodsOrijen Cat And Kitten Foods

'Yes, Orijen received a 5-star rating from Pet Products Review, and it's well-deserved, considering it is nourishing and 'biologically appropriate.'  Orijen, which comes in dry and wet formulas and a variety of protein choices for cats and kittens, has a 75 percent protein content to a 25 percent fruit and vegetable content. In terms of high quality proteins, we are talking about things like real eggs, free range antibiotic free chicken and fresh wild caught fish. It is also grain free. Customers say that their pickiest of cats love this brand; the only negative comments are about the higher price of it as compared to some other cat foods. Clearly, the higher quality ingredients require the higher price tag. Orijen does not make a canned diet for cats. (See reviews and buy Orijen cat food here.)


2. Taste of the Wild Cat Food

Taste of the Wild cat foodTaste of the Wild cat food

Taste of the Wild is another cat food brand that cats seem to like, which is always a plus for cat owners. Owners like it too, although some would prefer to have chicken as the main ingredient rather than chicken meal.  But the reviewers support the brand, noting that it is less expensive than Orijen, but suggest that Taste of the Wild is great nutrition for a good priceGrain free, Taste is made in dry and canned versions. (See reviews for and buy Taste of the Wild Cat Food here.)


3.  Halo Cat Food

Halo cat foodHalo cat food

Reviewers and cat owners like the fact that Halo looks and smells like human food, especially, of course, the canned Halo.  But some cats may not be attracted to the canned food for some reason, and some seem to prefer the dry version. Halo does use all human grade products, adds vitamins and minerals to the mix, and makes both grain and grain-free diets for your cat. There are no additional preservatives, fillers or artificial colors.  Like some other pet foods, Halo was started by a cat owner who wanted to solve his own cat's (Spot) health problems. (See reviews for  and buy Halo Cat Food here.)


4. Natural Balance Cat Food

Natural Balance cat foodNatural Balance cat food

Natural Balance is a solid choice for owners who are looking for a reasonably priced, readily available cat food  sold dry and in cans.  The drawback, as reviewers see it, is that the brand includes more carbohydrates than the other top brands, although it does contain plenty of natural, fresh proteins too.  Cats seem to like it and owners often comment on their cats' fuller fur and additional muscle tone after lifting five pound dumbbells. (See reviews for and buy Natural Balance Cat Food here.)


5.  Newman's Own Cat Food

Newman's Own cat foodNewman's Own cat food

A notch or two high from human-grade pet food is organic pet food, and that's what Newman's Own includes.  It's all organic, from beef to rice to even a special process for rendering the chicken fat.  Cats and owners seem to love it, and the reviewers like it too. Although protein is the number one ingredient in Newman's Own, reviewers seem less thrilled with the levels of grains and veggies in the food.  Some cat owners report that their cats 'eat around' the grains and veggies, but cats, after all, are carnivores.... Taurine, an essential amino acid for cats, a well as pro-biotics are an added benefit of Newman's Own. (See reviews for and buy Newman's Own Cat Food here.)

Cats need a high quality protein rich diet in order to live a healthy and long life. These 5 cat foods are some of the best available of the more popular and affordable cat foods and we recommend them for your cat.

Other Great Cat Foods

There are some other premium cat foods that are not as widely available but still worth considering as well if you are willing to search for them in stores or order them online.  Some folks argue that these less well known cat foods are of a much higher quality and use a better manufacturing process than the more popular cat foods listed above (since manufacturers for almost all of those mentioned above have had manufacturing issues or product recalls in the past). 

These premium cat foods are not always more expensive than the popular cat foods and certain flavors are better deals in terms of pricing. They all use high quality human grade or organic proteins as their primary ingredients, they don't have unwanted preservatives, formulations or dyes, and are made by manufacturers with good to excellent reputations. The reviews (when available) are usually rave reviews for these cat foods.

Our favorites of the smaller brand cat foods are by:

ACANA Cat Food (you can see reviews and order this here),

Addiction Cat Food (you can see reviews and order it here)

Blackwood Cat Food (you can see reviews and order it here)

By Nature Cat Food (you can see reviews and order it here)

Eagle Pack Cat Food (you can see reviews and order it here).

Earthborn Holistic Cat Food (you can see reviews and order it here)


Like with human diets, higher quality foods will make a huge difference in the well being and health of your cat. All of the top cat foods we recommend are well like by many cats. But each cat is different and will have preferences. So if any one of the foods recommended above  does not seem to be well liked by your cat, don't give up. Just try another quality brand or perhaps even a different flavor in the same brand. You are sure to find one that one that is great for your cat and  that your cat will love.

If you pick one of these tasty foods, your cat is likely to squeal out "Yumm Yum Yum" like this adorable kitty.

If you are curious about what are the worst foods for your cat, check out our picks for 8 Worst of the Popular Cat Foods.



Sources: Cat Food ReviewsAmazon, Reviews, Walmart and PetSmart

10 Best Products For Your Cat...Sold on Amazon
Top 5 Dog Foods for 2016


Originally published March 2012 and updated yearly. Last updated June 2016. 

Some of the sites we link to are affiliates. We may earn a small commission if you use our links.

Lady Bee
Pet News

Sep 11, 2012
by Anonymous
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Similar results as to what

Similar results as to what i've found for dog food too! Is that a coincidence or are these brands just setting the bar higher?

I know Orijen is doing very well for themselves. Halo, I have heard, every single cat loves Halo products. They aren't cheap, but they aren't the most expensive either.. which is nice! Taste of the Wild being a Diamond food scares me a bit. Natural Balance seems to have their stuff together too!


Sep 27, 2012
by Anonymous
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NO DRY FOOD IS OK FOR CATS. I DON'T CARE HOW MUCH IT COSTS OR HOW GOOD IT SUPPOSEDLY IS! ALL CATS SHOULD BE ON A CANNED FOOD DIET. EVEN CANNED FANCY FEAST IS BETTER THAN ORIJEN DRY. and if you keep feeding your cat dry foods......diabetes is more than likely eminent! if your vet tells you its ok to feed dry the other direction and find a good holistic type vet and you will get better info and your cat will live a much longer, healthier life!

Oct 5, 2012
by Anonymous
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I really am sick and tired

I really am sick and tired of the "DANGER, DANGER" warnings about kibble cat food! My first 2 cats were fed whatever dry cat food I found at the supermarket (mostly Purina One). They both lived to 19 years old and were in great health until their last year. On the other hand, my sister had siblings - 1 died at 6 years old; the other at 9 due to kidney failure. My belief is that cats are like people; some live long lives in spite of "bad" food and "bad" habits - others die young. I am feeding my cats higher quality foods that are mostly grain free. They eat kibble and it's supplemented with canned food every night. My oldest is 13 and in great health.

Jan 27, 2013
by Anonymous
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My o my how did cats ever

My o my how did cats ever survive a single day as pets before the proliferation of wet canned food? Its amazing there are even any cats around and they are not all extinct having been killed off by kibble!

Aug 26, 2014
by Anonymous
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the best cat food on the

the best cat food on the market is by far blue buffalo canned food

Jan 16, 2015
by Anonymous
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Natural Balance was bought

Natural Balance was bought out by Del Monte, so did the quality go down? My cat got sick on Blue Basics dry - the food was a lighter color than usual - might be a fluke thing, but am scared to try it again. Have never tried Orijen. My cat liked Instinct rabbit, but vet said the raw coating was dangerous. Newman's Own good, but the wet food gave my cat gingivitis and the dry contains soy. Vet said wet food causes dental problems. Food best if ingredients from USA, not China. GMOs not good for people or pets, so organic good. Maybe try to make my own (with vet's help) if I can't find a good brand. I'm still searching...

Mar 17, 2015
by Anonymous
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~~you only need to have 1

~~you only need to have 1 male cat (rarely a female) develop crystals or worse yet stones in their urinary tract due to dry food without the SO index! boy blocked 4 times, in 1 incident, & had to have surgery to save his life....cost...$ pay now for dry food with a SO index, only found at vets (in Canada anyway), a totally wet food diet or pay later!...cats are carnivores & never ate fruits or veggies that I know of....

Jun 23, 2015
by Anonymous
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I can't help but notice this

I can't help but notice this article post date is 6/3/15 yet the URL is "..cat_food_reviews_2012" and there are comments dating back to 2012. Since the ingredients change over time, how old is this info exactly? Many thanks!

Jun 23, 2015
by kat
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The article was first

The article was first written in 2012 but has been updated every year since then and was last updated June 2015. We check reviews and ingredients list and user comments over the past year to come up with the list.  The information is accurate as of June 2015. (Update - It's been updated again for 2016 and will be updated yearly.)

Jul 1, 2015
by Anonymous
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Multiple lawsuits have been

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against The Blue Buffalo Company claiming, among other things, that the company falsely represents that pet food does not contain ingredients – such as chicken/poultry by-product meals and corn – when it actually does contain these ingredients. The lawsuits were transferred to another court where several related lawsuits making the same allegations will be heard together. To learn more look up these cases:

◾Fisher et al v. The Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. et al, Case No. 14-cv-5937, C. D. CA.
◾Teperson et al v. The Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd et al, Case No. 14-cv-1682, S. D. CA.
◾Delre et al v. Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd, Case No. 14-cv-768, D. CT.
◾Renna et al v. Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd., Case No. 14-cv-833, D. CT.
◾Mackenzie et al v. The Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd., Inc., Case No. 14-cv-80634, S. D. FL.
◾Stone et al v. Blue Buffalo Company Ltd., Case No. 14-cv-520, S. D. IL.
◾Keil et al v. Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd., Case No. 14-cv-880, E. D. MO.
◾Hutchison et al v. Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd., Case No. 14-cv-1070, E. D. MO.
◾Andacky et al v. The Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd., Case No. 14-cv-2938, E. D. NY.

I decided to try a 12oz bag

I decided to try a 12oz bag of Orijen "Cat & Kitten" dry chicken
kibble for Jean Grey, our neighborhood Brazilian Shorthair, based on
this article's recommendation. Jean Grey prefers better-quality wet or
canned food (Whiskas, Spot's Stew from Halo, etc) but the Orijen lasts through the day without her wolfing it down so I consider it a good alternative to wet food.

Steve Levenstein
Creature Features

Jul 10, 2015
by Anonymous
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You should try Acana. Trust

You should try Acana. Trust me, your cat will thank you:-)

Jul 22, 2015
by Anonymous
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My cats love cantaloupe. One

My cats love cantaloupe. One loves a lot of different fruits and berries. She cries for muscadine grapes, which is bad for her, I have to eat them outside. I only give fruits occasionally and tiny bits. Crack open a cantaloupe and they come running.

Sep 11, 2015
by Anonymous
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Do you have recommendations

Do you have recommendations for cat treats? So far, I just give my cat a bite of my scrambled eggs as a treat... she seems pretty happy with it.

Sep 14, 2015
by Anonymous
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My cat ate Fancy Feast until

My cat ate Fancy Feast until I heard that it was not of "good quality". I switched him to Weruva and Orijen, but he seems to have developed allergies (he scratches around his head and neck, and hurts himself). I have to switch his food around again, and I'm really confused now. Thanks for this article and all the comments. I'm just going to keep reading, pray about it and hope I choose the right food so my cat's allergies go away. I'm trying to avoid putting him on corticosteroids (they almost killed me last year).

Oct 10, 2015
by admin2016
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You should be very careful

You should be very careful in serving fruit to your cats. some of them like grapes can be toxic. For a treat, we recommend you give snacks sparingly as most are very caloric without much nutrition. Feel free to give the cat a small slice of cheese or some tuna fish. Of you can give them a packaged snack that is well rated. We will cover that in an article on our site since so many folks have asked about good snacks.

Nov 28, 2015
by Anonymous
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I would give my cat a yogurt

I would give my cat a yogurt as his treat.He LOVES IT

Nov 28, 2015
by Anonymous
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The foods that are good for

The foods that are good for cats are all free of by-products. This makes it so healthy. None of us want to feed cats disgusting animals parts that have no nutrition. Remember the dog food was checked, I believe it was in the U.S.. It had dogs in it with collars and whatever. So we need to check what is in our cats food.

Dec 9, 2015
by Anonymous
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21 years as a "vet" is

21 years as a "vet" is probably the reason you are so misinformed. You think what you learn in school is the end all be all. If it's not in a text book you think it's bad. Take a look at veterinary medicine before big pharma took over and maybe you will loose your ego and wake up. You probably don't even insist on, let alone recommend, the most basic ESSENTIAL Probiotics to the patient you prescribe antiobiotics. Your killing their immune systems. Just like doctors. Wake up and do a little homework. There were vets before pharmaceutical companies and guess what....they were holistic just without the name! A good vet never stops learning. 21 years is long enough. With that attitude, it's time for retirement to protect our precious animals from the likes of you.

Jan 7, 2016
by Anonymous
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My Siamese had crystals in

My Siamese had crystals in his urethra. I got powdered ascorbic acid, sprinkled a little on his wet food 3 or 4 times a month, and he's been fine for years now. The vets were killing him with antibiotics.

Jan 22, 2016
by Anonymous
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Awesome post ! Thanks for

Awesome post ! Thanks for sharing your tips related to cat food, it was very informative and helpful, I look forward to your posts every day.

Mar 27, 2016
by Anonymous
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Our cats refuse to eat

Our cats refuse to eat Natural Balance. They like Soulstice & Wellness.

May 5, 2016
by Anonymous
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Why are Natural Balance and

Why are Natural Balance and Halo on your 5 best Food list
Ingredients such as:
Canola Oil, DL Methionine, pyridoine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, pea fiber,salmon oil
are the worst (look it up)
also Natural Balance has added the ingredient Rosemary Extract (good for humans but
a killer in cats & dog foods)
Sure my cats would like to eat this, but I am their guardian here on earth, so why are all
the above ingr necessary?
Jul in Arizona

Jun 6, 2016
by kat
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Unfortunately, store bought

Unfortunately, store bought cat foods are not as well made as store bought dog foods. In choosing which are the best cat foods, we had to work with the cat foods that are widely available. So basically, this list is really about the best cat foods easily available, not the best foods ideally...if that makes sense.

What I recommend is that you feed your cats one of these foods for their basic meals. If and when  you have time and energy, supplement or switch out these foods (on a regular basis over time) with home made cat foods to try to give your cats a better overall diet.  Home made cat food is not hard to make and there are tons of recipes available that your cat may enjoy  I find that a can of tuna, salmon or mackeral (or other cooked meat like chicken or turkey)  mixed with a little bit of steamed brocolli or carrotsis a nice and easy supplement for my cat.

Jun 25, 2016
by Anonymous
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Something you didn't mention

Something you didn't mention here are the brands, 2 of which you list, that are tested at a laboratory testing facility known for the extensive abuse of animals.

Please consider posting cruelty free products and research your suggestions to a better extent before recommending.

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