The 5 Best Budget Cat Foods : Low Cost but Quality


What cat food is good for your cat but better for your budget? Buying a cheap bag of food is not always an easy solution in the long run, since it can lead to issues like vitamin and mineral deficiencies or weight gain in older cats. If you are on a tight budget but want to give your fur babies a healthy and nutritious life, then finding a low cost and quality cat food is key. Being aware of ingredients, good and bad, will help with choosing the best budget cat foods for your wallet.

5 Best Budget Cat Foods

IAMS ProActive HealthChicken & Tuna (5 / 5)
Rachel Ray NutrishSalmon & Brown Rice (4.5 / 5)
Beyond By PurinaWhite Fish & Egg (4.5 / 5)
Eagle Pack Natural Cat FoodChicken (4 / 5)
Nutro Max Indoor AdultChicken & Salmon (4.5 / 5)

Tips for Reading the Label 

As a cat owner, it is important to learn what to look for on cat food labels. By law, ingredients must be listed in decreasing order according to weight. Labels may also say the cat food is for certain life stages, growth or for indoor or outdoor cats. In general, cats need a variety of nutrients to survive, including protein, water, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Before buying a cat food always check the ingredients on the label. One of the first 5 ingredients should always be a protein of some sort and not a by product (by products include items like: beaks, tainted meat, feathers, hooves, etc. ). No more than 10% of the calories listed should come from carbohydrates (soy, peas, grains, potatoes, etc). Grain free is always ideal.

Wet food is usually better for your cats than dry foods. Dry foods tend to be heavily processed and have high carbohydrate content with very little water content. We will discuss this in another article.

Here is a list of ingredients your cat’s food should contain:

  • Protein from meat poultry or fish
  • Amino Acids and most importantly taurine for heart health
  • Fatty acids such as omega 6 and omega 3
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K and water solubles C and B complex


IAMS Proactive Healthy Adult

Iams is a hearty cat food formula that contains high-quality proteins for muscle maintenance. It also features a tailored fiber blend, including probiotics and beet pulp, to maximize nutrient absorption. This wholesome cat food, enriched with antioxidants for a healthy immune system, contains 0% fillers as well as seven essential nutrients for a healthy cat heart.

Veterinarians recommend IAMS for pets and IAMS does guarantee satisfaction with its products and will replace the product or refund your money. However, IAMS does claim no fillers but corn meal is listed in the ingredients.


Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe is made with simple and natural ingredients. Salmon, which is the number one ingredient, combined with wholesome brown rice, vegetables and essential vitamins, minerals and taurine is everything your cat needs. Plus there’s no ground corn, wheat, soy, by products or fillers.

As an extra bonus, a portion of proceeds from each sale of Nutrish is donated to The Rachael Ray Foundation, which helps animals in need through Rachael’s Rescue. That will make any pet owner feel good about spending a few extra bucks on “budget” cat food.


Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ocean Whitefish & Egg Recipe 

Beyond by Purina dry cat food recipe contains real poultry or fish as the number one ingredient and never any corn, wheat or soy, poultry by-product meal or added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Purina is a long time, well known pet food producer and with 8 decades of experience created Beyond for pet nutrition in mind.

With ocean whitefish as the #1 ingredient, no poultry by-product meal and the inclusion of Taurine, Vitamin E & A, this food is a healthy and nutritious choice for your cat.


Eagle Pack Natural Dry Cat Food

Eagle Pack Natural Dry Cat Food, Chicken Meal Formula is formulated with protein, fats and carbohydrates combined with antioxidant support and omega fatty acids to support cats who live primarily indoors.

Made in the USA and over 25 years of producing pet food, Eagle Pack uses quality ingredients, like real proteins. No corn, wheat, meat by-products, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are listed in the ingredients, while chicken meal, rice and peas are in the top positions. Although this cat food is on the pricier side of the “budget” foods, it is an all around balanced and nutritious product.


NUTRO MAX Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

NUTRO MAX CAT Dry indoor adult cat food is made with select ingredients, as well as omega fatty acids for balance and wellness on a budget. Made with real proteins, vitamin E, taurine, vitamin C, tomato pomace, cranberries, and blueberries it provides an excellent sources of antioxidants for a healthy cat diet.

This dry cat food provides the nutrients your cat needs at a great value. The first ingredient is chicken meal made from real chicken with most of the water and fat removed. This food is made with easily digestible brewers rice and is available in weight control options for cats who maybe a little less active.



Talk to your Veterinarian

Changing your cats food is not always a good idea. If your cat is on a prescription diet or is being treated for a medical condition, ask your veterinarian about brands that can be substituted to reduce your household costs.

Human Food

While table scraps and last nights left overs maybe a tasty treat for your cat, it should not take the place of qualified cat food containing the added vitamins and minerals your cat needs. Cats in particular need taurine, arginine, niacin, preformed vitamin A as well as specific types of essential fatty acids. Cats that are deficient in any of these quality cat food ingredients can suffer severe health problems.


There is no one-size-fits-all cat food and since some cats are more finicky than others, you may need to try several before your cat decides what he prefers. Also choose a food that meets the nutritional needs of your cat type, whether it be indoor, outdoor, overweight, kitten, adult or has medical issues. No matter what the cats needs there is a quality budget brand that will meet the nutritional needs of your furry friend and not drain your bank account.

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