10 Best Budget Cat Foods – Low Cost But Quality

Nutrition Reviews August 20, 2021

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10 Best Budget Cat Foods – Low Cost But Quality

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Best Budget Cat Foods

Are you searching for an inexpensive cat food that is good for your cat but even better for your budget? Of course buying the highest quality cat food you can consistently afford is ideal, because a cheap bag of cat food is not always the best choice in the long run.

Over time, low quality cat food 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 kitty a nutritious food, then finding the best budget cat foods that are high protein, low carb is key.

To help you out, we compiled this list of the best budget cat foods you can buy on a budget without sacrificing quality.

Why Should You Trust This Review?

  • I’ve been a cat mom for 30 plus years
  • I have volunteered at cat shelters for over 15 years
  • I frequently confirm information with veterinarians
  • I did 12 hours of research on this cat food

Quick Look: The Best Budget Cat Food Reviewed And Compared

IMAGE PRODUCT  
  • Does not contain fillers
  • High quality protein used
  • Contains no fillers, corn, soy, grain, wheat, rice, or potatoes
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American Journey Cat Food Review

American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • Turkey is 1st ingredient
  • Grain Free
  • Resealable bag
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Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken Dry Cat Food
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • No fillers
  • Includes potassium and calcium
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Meow Mix Cat Food Review

Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food
  • Essential vitamins and minerals included
  • Very low cost option
  • Made in the USA
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Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

  • Contains animal-sourced fat
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Veterinarian recommended formula
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Fancy Feast Cat Food Review

Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Pate Canned Cat Food

  • Contains animal-sourced fat
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Veterinarian recommended formula
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Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain Free Cat Food

Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain Free Cat Food

  • Grain free formula
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Supports every life stage
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Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Indoor Grain-Free Turkey & Chickpea Formula Dry Cat Food

  • Grain free formula
  • Turkey is the first ingredient
  • Limited ingredient diet with a single animal protein source
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Iams Perfect Portions Optimal Metabolism Chicken Recipe Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Trays

  • Doesn’t contain any animal by-products
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Grain free
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Hill's Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken & Rice Medley Canned Cat Food

  • Doesn’t contain any animal by-products
  • Contains high amounts of protein
  • Veterinarian developed
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The 10 Best Rated Budget Cat Foods Reviewed

#1 Smalls Cat Food – Chicken Recipe

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 21.2% Min
  • Crude Fat 8.05% Min
  • Crude Fiber 0.4% Max
  • Moisture 66.1% Max
  • Ash 2.25% Max

Ingredients

Chicken Thigh, Chicken Breast, Chicken Liver, Green Beans, Peas, Water sufficient for processing, Chicken Heart, Kale, Vegetable Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Salt, Taurine, Magnesium Gluconate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, cNiacin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Selenium, Dried Kelp, Biotin, Vitamin B12


This Smalls chicken recipe is sourced from chicken thigh, as well as chicken breast, liver and heart. Lets look at the first 5 ingredients.

Chicken thighs offer a richer tasting and juicy protein with good fats for heart health.

Chicken breasts are a good source of protein, are low in fat, low in sodium and are a low-carb food.

Chicken liver is a good source of copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc as well as high in protein, fat and vitamin A. Further down is chicken heart which contains fatty acids, vitamin A, B and iron.

Green beans are full of fibre and are naturally low in carbs and fat but still help satisfy hunger. They contain minerals like potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and even calcium as well as vitamins A, C, and K.

Peas contain high amounts of fiber, lysine and some level of tryptophan. However, peas are often considered a replacement for grain type fillers in grain-free cat foods.

#2 American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 40.0% Min
  • Crude Fat 15.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber 4.0% Max
  • Moisture 10.0% Max
  • Taurine 0.15% Min

Ingredients

Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product, Pea Protein, Peas, Deboned Chicken, Natural Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Salt, Spinach, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, L-Carnitine, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract


To better understand the American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Deboned turkey is the clean flesh without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey and exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. Turkey meat is higher in cholesterol and lower in protein than chicken but a good source of essential nutrients.

Turkey meal is a good source of high-quality protein because it contains more protein than fresh turkey. Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed.

Chicken meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as chicken but in higher concentrations.

Tapioca starch is a highly digestible food source and is important in dry food for shape, texture and density of kibble. This is very important, as mouth feel and the structure of the kibble.

Dried egg product is eggs separated from shells and is considered a quality protein. They are highly digestible, and they provide a great source of antioxidants and nutrients.

#3 Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken Dry Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein: 32.0% Min
  • Crude Fat: 15.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber: 3.0% Max
  • Moisture: 10% Max
  • Taurine: .15% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Corn Grits, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Fructooligosaccharides, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract


To better understand the Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken Dry Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Chicken By-Product Meal is made up of the clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels up and the production costs down. This is considered a “suitable” source of protein for pet food.

Ground Whole Grain Corn is a natural and wholesome ingredient that supplies essential fatty acids, protein, carbohydrates and natural antioxidants.

Corn Grits offer very limited nutritional value and they are essentially a filler and just empty calories.

Corn Gluten Meal does contain protein but not the kind of protein that cats digest very well. Cats have to eat twice as much corn to get the same amount of protein that they would from animal proteins.

#4 Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 31.0% Min
  • Crude Fat 11.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber 4.0% Max
  • Moisture 12.0% Max
  • Taurine 0.1% Min

Ingredients

Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Animal Digest, Calcium Carbonate, Turkey By-Product Meal, Salmon Meal, Ocean Fish Meal, Phosphoric Acid, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement], Minerals [Ferrous Sulfate (Source of Iron), Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2, Rosemary Extract


To better understand the Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Ground Yellow Corn may provide some beneficial nutrients to cats, but is not biologically appropriate. Corn is difficult to digest and pales in comparison to animal protein. Corn used as the primary ingredient in cat food is an inexpensive source of calories.

Corn Gluten Meal does contain protein but not the kind of protein that cats digest very well. Cats have to eat twice as much corn to get the same amount of protein that they would from animal proteins.

Chicken By-Product Meal is made up of the clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels up and the production costs down. This is considered a “suitable” source of protein for pet food.

Soybean Meal is a common source of protein in many cat foods because it is less expensive than meat proteins. Soy contains enzyme inhibitors that have been known to produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake in cats.

Beef tallow is the fat extracted from rendered beef, and by law, must not be derived from chemically euthanized animals.

#5 Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein: 34.0% Min
  • Crude Fat: 13.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber: 2.0% Max
  • Moisture: 12% Max
  • Taurine: 0.5% Min

Ingredients

Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Wheat Flour, Liver Flavor, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Glycerin, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Choline Chloride, Sodium Bisulfate, VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], Taurine, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], L-Cysteine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine. B415517


To better understand the Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Rice Flour provides a source of energy and fiber as long as the bran and germ of the grain are included. We do not know if this is true with this ingredient and if brown or white rice was used.

Corn Gluten Meal does contain protein but not the kind of protein that cats digest very well. Cats have to eat twice as much corn to get the same amount of protein that they would from animal proteins.

Chicken By-Product Meal is made up of the clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels up and the production costs down. This is considered a “suitable” source of protein for pet food.

Beef Fat is considered an important protein source. It also provides omega-3 and the omega-6 fatty acids which helps with skin and coat.

#6 Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Pate Canned Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 9.0% Min
  • Crude Fat 5.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber 1.5% Max
  • Moisture 78% Max
  • Taurine 0.05% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Liver, Turkey, Fish, Natural Flavors, Minerals [Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Guar Gum, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Vitamins [Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement]


To better understand the Fancy Feast Gourmet Naturals White Meat Chicken Recipe Pate Canned Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Poultry broth is rich in vitamins, minerals and collagen. These components can help improve your cat’s digestion and overall immunity.

Liver contains high amounts of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, trace minerals and is an amazing source of omega 3 and six fatty acids.

Turkey is a high quality protein full of nutrients and is highly digestible. It is low in calories and high in Selenium and Tryptophan both of which benefit the immune system.

Fish is a great source of protein and safe for cats when not fed consistently. It can be great for immunity boosting, muscle growth and tissue growth. Unfortunately we do not know what type of fish is being used.

#7 Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain Free Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 32.0% Min
  • Crude Fat 11.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber 3.0% Max
  • Moisture 12.0% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, chicken by-product meal, cassava root flour, soybean meal, pea starch, pea protein, beef fat naturally preserved with mixed-tocopherols, lentil flour, canola meal, dried yeast, natural liver flavor, phosphoric acid, salt, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, MINERALS [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], taurine, potassium chloride, VITAMINS [Vitamin E supplement, niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), riboflavin supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), folic acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (Vitamin B-7), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (Vitamin K)].


To get a better understanding of this Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain Free Cat Food, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Chicken By-Product Meal is made up of the clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs and intestines which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size. This is a cheap way for pet food companies to keep the protein levels up and the production costs down. This is considered a “suitable” source of protein for pet food.

Cassava Root Flour is often used in place of grains. It is a vegetable that is used to produce tapioca and is used as a thickening agent in pet foods. It is an unremarkable ingredient and offers very small amounts of vitamin C and fiber.

Soybean Meal is a common source of protein in many cat foods because it is less expensive than meat proteins. Soy contains enzyme inhibitors that have been known to produce serious gastric distress, reduced protein digestion and chronic deficiencies in amino acid uptake in cats.

Pea Starch is a thickening agent used in grain free pet foods. It is a source of carbohydrates and fiber but is also a way to increase protein levels in food.

#8 Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Indoor Grain-Free Turkey & Chickpea Formula Dry Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 30% Min
  • Crude Fat 8% Min
  • Crude Fiber 4% Max
  • Moisture 12% Max
  • Taurine 0.15% Min

Ingredients

Turkey, Chickpeas, Turkey Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Potatoes, Dried Beet Pulp, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Salt, Choline Chloride, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (source of phosphorus), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Inulin, Citric Acid (preservative), Rosemary Extract


To better understand the Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Indoor Grain-Free Turkey & Chickpea Formula Dry Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

Turkey is a high quality protein full of nutrients and is highly digestible. It is low in calories and high in Selenium and Tryptophan both of which benefit the immune system.

Chickpeas have been known to combat inflammation because they’re loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, fiber, and protein.

Turkey meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Turkey meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as turkey but in higher concentrations.

Peas contain high amounts of fiber, lysine and some level of tryptophan. However, peas are often considered a replacement for grain type fillers in grain-free cat foods.

Pea protein is a plant protein and can not replace animal protein. While it maybe high in fiber it is simply a way to increase protein levels in cat food.

#9 Iams Perfect Portions Optimal Metabolism Chicken Recipe Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Trays

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein: 9.0% Min
  • Crude Fat: 5.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber: 1.0% Max
  • Moisture: 78.0% Max

Ingredients

Chicken, Water, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Fish Oil, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Tapioca Starch, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, L-Carnitine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Oxide Color, Iron Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex


Here we analyzed the first five ingredients to get a better understanding of what is included in this Iams Perfect Portions Optimal Metabolism Chicken Recipe Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Trays.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Water is added to cat food to increase moisture.

Chicken Liver contains high amounts of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, trace minerals and is an amazing source of omega 3 and six fatty acids.

Chicken Broth is rich in vitamins, minerals and collagen. These components can help improve your cat’s digestion and overall immunity.

Dried Egg Product contains essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals, promoting strong and healthy skin, coat, bones and brain function.

#10 Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken & Rice Medley Canned Cat Food

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 6.5% Min
  • Crude Fat 2.0% Min
  • Crude Fiber 2.0% Max
  • Moisture 78% Max
  • Taurine 0.02% Min

Ingredients

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Pork Liver, Carrots, Wheat Gluten, Spinach, Rice Starch, Rice, Powdered Cellulose, Fish Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Potassium Alginate, Calcium Chloride, Monosodium Phosphate, Chicken Fat, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Lactate, Calcium Gluconate, Guar Gum, Egg Flavor, L-Lysine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Citrate, Iodized Salt, Magnesium Oxide, minerals (Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate), Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Beta-Carotene


Here we analyzed the first five ingredients to get a better understanding of what is included in this Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken & Rice Medley Canned Cat Food.

Chicken broth is rich in vitamins, minerals and collagen. These components can help improve your cat’s digestion and overall immunity.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Pork liver contains high amounts of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, trace minerals and is an amazing source of omega 3 and six fatty acids.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including healthy beta-carotene.

Wheat gluten is a substitute for high-quality protein sources in pet food. Many pet food manufacturers add cheap grain products like wheat gluten to cat food as filler, to save on cost.


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.

Affordable 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:

  • Natural, whole-food ingredients
  • High-quality animal proteins (at least 30%)
  • Healthy, animal-based fats (about 15% to 20%)
  • Digestible carbohydrates and fiber
  • Essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
  • No by-products, fillers, or artificial additives
Remember, changing your cat’s 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 and healthy 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.

Conclusion

There is no one-size-fits-all cat food and since some cats are more finicky than others, you may need to try several foods before your cat decides what he prefers.

Choose a high protein, low carb cat food that meets the basic nutritional needs of your cat, whether your cat is indoor, outdoor, overweight, kitten, adult or has medical issues. No matter what your cats preference, there is a quality budget brand that will meet the nutritional needs of your furry friend and not drain your bank account.

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.
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