5 Best Budget Cat Foods – Low Cost but Quality
Which cat food is good for your cat but even better for your budget? Buying a cheap bag of cat food is not always the best choice in the long run, since it can lead to issues like vitamin and mineral deficiencies or weight gain, especially 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.
Quick Links: Our Picks for The Best Budget Cat Foods
- Best Well Balanced Cat Food – IAMS Proactive Healthy Adult
- Best Grain Free Cat Food– Rachael Ray Nutrish
- Best Gluten Free Cat Food – Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free
- Best Indoor Cat Food – Eagle Pack Natural Dry Cat Food
- Best for Skin & Coat – NUTRO MAX Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food
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
Top 5 Best Budget Cat Foods Reviewed
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.
- Does not contain fillers
- High quality protein used
- Supports cats digestive systems
- Chicken is 1st ingredient
- Veterinarian recommended
- May make some cats gassy
- Some cats refuse to eat it
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.
- Real salmon is 1st ingredient
- No artificial flavors or preservatives
- No by products or fillers
- Added vitamins, minerals and Taurine
- Does contain meal
- Price seems to keep increasing
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, gluten 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.
- Real whitefish is 1st ingredient
- Made without corn, wheat or soy
- Grain free
- No by-products
- Contains meals
- High in sodium
- Pricey for “budget” type 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 with premium natural ingredients
- Great for indoor adults cats
- Omega fatty acids helps control shedding
- Helps maintain weight
- Made in USA
- Contains meal
- Some cats refuse to eat
- Somes cats have allergic reaction to yeast
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, 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.
Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a life long cat lover. She also writes for various other pet related websites. She is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy and happy lifestyle for their fur-babies.