6 Best Budget Cat Foods – Low Cost but Quality

Best Budget Cat Foods

Which inexpensive 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 the best  budget cat foods that are low cost but quality, is key.

Quick Links: Our Picks for The Best Budget Cat Foods

  1. Best for the Money – IAMS Proactive Healthy Adult
  2. Best Cheap Dry Cat FoodRachael Ray Nutrish
  3. Best Value Cat FoodPurina Beyond Natural Grain Free 
  4. Best Indoor Cat FoodEagle Pack Natural Dry Cat Food
  5. Best Inexpensive Dry Cat FoodNUTRO MAX Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food
  6. Best Affordable Wet Cat Food – AvoDerm Wild By Nature Cat Food

Best Budget Cat Foods Reviewed

ImageProductFeatures

Best for Money

Iams Pro-Active Health
  • Does not contain fillers
  • Supports cats digestive systems
  • Chicken is 1st ingredient
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Best Cheap Dry Cat Food

Rachel Ray Nutrish
  • Salmon is 1st ingredient
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • No by products or fillers
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Best Value Cat Food

Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free
  • Whitefish is 1st ingredient
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • Grain free
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Best for Best Indoor cats

Eagle Pack Natural
  • Premium natural ingredients
  • Helps control shedding
  • Maintain weight
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Best Inexpensive Dry Cat Food

Nutro Max Indoor Adult
  • No by -products
  • Promotes healthy skin & coat
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
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Best Affordable Wet Cat Food

AvoDerm Wild By Nature Cat Food
  • No by -products
  • High quality protein
  • All natural ingredients
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#1 IAMS Proactive Healthy Adult

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$1.2/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 15%

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 affordable 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.

The Good

  • Does not contain fillers
  • High quality protein used
  • Supports cats digestive systems
  • Chicken is 1st ingredient
  • Veterinarian recommended

The Bad

  • May make some cats gassy
  • Some cats refuse to eat it

#2Rachael Ray Nutrish

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$1.3/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 14%

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.

The Good

  • Real salmon is 1st ingredient
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • No by products or fillers
  • Added vitamins, minerals and Taurine

The Bad

  • Does contain meal
  • Price seems to keep increasing

#3 Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ocean Whitefish & Egg Recipe

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$1.9/ Ib
  • Food Type:Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 14%
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.

The Good

  • Real whitefish is 1st ingredient
  • Made without corn, wheat or soy
  • Grain free
  • No by-products

The Bad

  • Contains meals
  • High in sodium
  • Pricey for “budget” type food

#4 Eagle Pack Natural Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$2.8/ Ib
  • Food Type: Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 14%

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 inexpensive cat food is on the pricier side of the “budget” foods, it is an all around balanced and nutritious product.

The Good

  • Made with premium natural ingredients
  • Great for indoor adults cats
  • Omega fatty acids helps control shedding
  • Helps maintain weight
  • Made in USA

The Bad

  • Contains meal
  • Some cats refuse to eat
  • Somes cats have allergic reaction to yeast

#5NUTRO MAX Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$1.5/ Ib
  • Food Type:Dry
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 30%
  • Fat: 15%

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 affordable 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.

The Good

  • No by products
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat
  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • 100% money back guarantee

The Bad

  • Contains meal
  • Some cats have allergic reactions
  • Strong odor

#6 AvoDerm Wild By Nature Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Price: ~$0.53/ Oz
  • Food Type: Wet
  • Made in: USA
  • Protein: 13%
  • Fat: 2%

Wild By Nature’s Avoderm Consommé is made with wild caught fish and is grain free. It provides a healthy balanced meal for your cat by using high quality ingredients that ensure that you are providing the optimum nutrition your cat needs. It also has vitamins, minerals and antioxidant nutrients to help support your cat’s immune function.

AvoDerm Wild By Nature is formulated to be rich in high quality fats and oils with a balanced Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio.

These nutrients, in the right proportions, are important to keeping your cat’s skin healthy. Avocado and avocado oil is included and can help support the skin and coat from the inside out for the protection your cat needs.

The Good

  • No by products
  • All natural ingredients
  • High quality protein

The Bad

  • Some cats refuse it
  • Pricey
  • Soupy texture

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:

  • 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
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 before your cat decides what he prefers.

Choose a healthy cat 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 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.

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