Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > 14 Best-Tasting Cat Foods for Picky Cats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

14 Best-Tasting Cat Foods for Picky Cats in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

cat eating hepper nom nom bowl

Notorious for being picky eaters, cats can be put off their food due to anything from the smell or the texture. They’ll even turn their nose up at food that they’ve previously eaten without fuss!

Fortunately, there are many different cat foods available. Whether you want to give your cat wet food for the first time or stick with dry, the variety of flavors, textures, and nutritional benefits will keep your cat guessing and help them maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

These reviews will introduce you to healthy, nutritional, and tasty cat foods to help you find a new brand to entice your fussy feline to devour every morsel.

divider-cat A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • Protein-packed fresh food
  • Amazing flavor for picky cats
  • Chicken thigh, breast, and liver as primary ingredients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    American Journey Duck Dry Cat Food American Journey Duck Dry Cat Food
  • Contains deboned duck
  • Grain-free
  • 40% protein
  • Third place
    Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Cat Food Hill's Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Cat Food
  • Vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids
  • Recommended by veterinarians
  • Gentle on sensitive stomachs
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Dry Cat Food
  • Formulated for kittens
  • Real chicken
  • Grain-free
  • Wellness CORE Poultry Variety Canned Cat Food Wellness CORE Poultry Variety Canned Cat Food
  • Grain-free
  • Contains sunflower oil
  • Supports urinary health
  • The 14 Best-Tasting Cat Foods for Picky Cats

    1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food Subscription — Best Overall

    smalls freeze-dried raw and human-grade fresh cat food on a white tray

    Smalls Fresh Ground Bird Recipe is our top choice for overall best-tasting cat foods for picky cats. This quality fresh food contains 42% chicken thigh, 37% chicken breast, and 5% chicken liver, providing your cat with impressive protein and nutrients. The food contains 15.5% protein, along with high levels of antioxidants and micronutrients from natural sources to mimic a cat’s natural diet. Even the pickiest cats seem to love the taste of this premium fresh food!

    Being high-quality and human-grade, this food is expensive and only available through a subscription on the Smalls website. These subscriptions are very convenient, however, since you can have your cat’s favorite food delivered right to your door.

    Pros
    • Protein-packed fresh food
    • Amazing flavor for picky cats
    • Ground Bird Recipe has chicken thigh, breast, and liver as primary ingredients
    • Full of healthy vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Expensive

    2. American Journey Duck Grain-Free Cat Food — Best Value

    American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

     

    Weight: 5 or 12-pound bags
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: Grain-free, no wheat, no soy, no corn, high-protein

    Available in two bag sizes, the American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is the best value dry cat food for picky cats. The recipe uses real, deboned duck and contains several necessary vitamins to promote a healthy and balanced diet. Taurine keeps your feline’s heart and eyes in tip-top shape, antioxidants support their immune system, and omega fatty acids work to keep their coat and skin in top form.

    Grain-free with no wheat, soy, or corn, this dry food is high in protein and makes a nice change from the popular chicken and beef flavors.

    While this food uses natural ingredients and real duck, it’s unsuitable for kittens. Some cats, particularly seniors, may struggle to eat dry food.

    Pros
    • Contains deboned duck
    • Grain-free
    • 40% protein
    • Contains taurine, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids
    Cons
    • Not suitable for kittens
    • Some cats struggle to eat dry food

    3. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food

    Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food (1)

    Weight: 5 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: Sensitive digestion, pea-free

    Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Chicken & Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food is another great pick. With a choice of three different size bags (3.5, 7, and 15.5 pounds), this recipe is gentle on sensitive stomachs and contains prebiotic fibers to help digestion. Along with supporting a healthy gut, this dry food also promotes healthy skin with its use of omega-6 and vitamin E.

    Recommended by veterinarians, the chicken and rice formula is made with real ingredients, and there are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or flavorings.

    But it’s important to note that Hill’s Science Diet dry cat food is pricey. It’s also not hypoallergenic for cats that suffer from dust allergies.

    Pros
    • Vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids
    • Recommended by veterinarians
    • Gentle on sensitive stomachs
    • Bags come in three sizes
    Cons
    • Not hypoallergenic
    • Expensive

    4. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Dry Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (1)

    Weight: 5 pounds
    Life stage: Kitten
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: High-protein, grain-free, no corn, no wheat, no soy

    The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is specially formulated to support your kitten’s growth. Along with containing real chicken for your meat-loving fussy eaters, this dry food has DHA and ARA fatty acids for healthy development, the same nutrients found in mother’s milk.

    Grain-free with no corn, wheat, or soy, this high-protein kitten food is great for avoiding common kitty allergies. Included in the formula is a careful blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to promote a strong immune system. 

    Only available in two small-size bags, the Blue Wilderness kitten food is one of the more expensive cat foods on this list.

    Pros
    • Formulated for kittens
    • Real chicken
    • Grain-free
    • Contains DHA and ARA fatty acids
    Cons
    • Unsuitable for older cats
    • Only available in small bags
    • Expensive

    5. Wellness CORE Selects Poultry Variety Canned Cat Food

    Wellness CORE Signature Selects Poultry Selection Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    Weight: 4 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Wet
    Special diet: Grain-free

    Grain-free and containing real meat, the Wellness CORE Selects Poultry Variety Canned Cat Food another good wet cat food for picky cats. As a variety pack, this option has three flavors in one box of eight cans, giving your fussy feline a break from overused flavors. This selection includes chicken and chicken liver, chicken and turkey, and chicken and beef. All three choices are boneless and drenched in a savory sauce.

    Sunflower oil supports your feline’s fur and skin health, while the high-protein and moisture content promotes urinary health.

    Wet food is smellier than dry food, so if your picky eater does turn their nose up at this choice, you may find flies buzzing around their food bowl.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • Variety pack: chicken, turkey, or beef
    • Contains sunflower oil
    • Supports urinary health
    Cons
    • Smells more than dry food
    • Attracts flies if uneaten

    6. Fancy Feast Savory Centers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    Fancy Feast Savory Centers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food

    Weight: 5 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Wet
    Special diet: Smoother texture

    Inspired by cats that prefer smooth pâtés and gravy to meat chunks, the Fancy Feast Savory Centers Variety Pack Canned Cat Food combines both textures into a tasty meal for even the fussiest eaters. With four flavors ranging from chicken, salmon, tuna, and beef, this multipack has an equal amount of six cans each for a balanced variety.

    Promoting a nutritional diet, these pâtés contain a gravy-filled center and essential vitamins and minerals to keep your favorite fussy feline healthy. Taurine and vitamin E supplements keep your cat’s eyes, skin, and fur in excellent condition.

    Some owners complained about the smell being stronger and more unpleasant than other wet food brands.

    Pros
    • Four flavors
    • Gravy-filled center
    • Grain-free
    Cons
    • Unpleasant smell

    7. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (1)

    Weight: 15 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: Grain-free, high-protein

    Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is a blend of protein from roasted venison and smoked salmon, combined with antioxidants from fruit and veg. High in protein and completely grain-free, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

    The formula includes both prebiotics and probiotics to help your cat’s digestive system and ease sensitive stomachs. Omega fatty acids promote skin and fur health, and a carefully constructed mix of other vitamins and minerals ensures the full support of your feline’s immune system.

    While this brand of dry food is a great option to choose for your cat, the price is a little high.

    Pros
    • High-protein
    • Grain-free
    • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Expensive

     


    8. American Journey Minced Chicken Recipe Cat Food

    American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (1)

    Weight: 5- ounce cans
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Wet
    Special diet: Grain-free, no wheat, no soy, no corn

    Designed to entice picky cats to eat, the American Journey Minced Chicken Recipe Cat Food uses real chicken and a grain-free formula to convince your cat to dig in. Including omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, this wet cat food also uses a variety of necessary vitamins and minerals for your cat’s health and well-being. This food has no wheat, soy, corn, or poultry by-products, so your cat’s diet will be balanced and free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors.

    This cat food comes in 3.3-ounce or 5.5-ounce cans in 24-count packs but only has one flavor per box. Like most wet cat food, it’s smellier than the dry alternatives. While the scent can entice cats to eat, it will also attract flies if left out for too long.

    Pros
    • Real meat
    • Grain-free
    • Omega-3 and -6
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Only one flavor pack

    9. Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Multipack Cat Food

    Sheba Perfect Portions Seafood Pate Variety Pack Grain-Free Cat Food Trays (1)

    Weight: 96 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Wet
    Special diet: Grain-free, no wheat, no soy, no corn, pea-free

    Pre-made into purr-fect serving sizes, the Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Multipack uses real chicken, turkey, and beef in natural gravy. Each portion contains a mix of vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fish oils, and taurine for a balanced diet, healthy fur, and a strong immune system.

    Suitable for adults, nursing cats, and kittens, this recipe can be used on its own or mixed with dry food, depending on your cat’s weight and dietary requirements. All three available flavors are grain and pea-free and contain no wheat, soy, or corn.

    Although the plastic pots are designed to be easy to open, the packages are not recyclable.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • Variety pack
    • Real chicken, turkey, and beef
    • Easy-open packets
    Cons
    • Non-recyclable
    • More chicken than turkey or beef flavors

    10. Crave Chicken & Salmon Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Crave Adult Chicken and Salmon Dry Cat Food

    Weight: 10 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: Grain-free, no wheat, no soy, no corn, high-protein

    Formulated with indoor cats in mind, Crave Chicken & Salmon Grain-Free Dry Cat Food provides all the necessary nutrients that your house cat needs to stay healthy. Made with real chicken, this dry food contains no meat by-products, wheat, soy, or corn, and is rich in protein.

    With a focus on mimicking wildcat ancestral diets, this food provides a healthy dose of carbohydrates to help your cat maintain their energy levels and immune system.

    Bought in 10-pound bags, it’s a long-lasting cat food, but there isn’t an option to buy a smaller or larger bag. This brand is also a little expensive.

    Pros
    • 40% protein
    • Real chicken
    • No meat by-products, soy, corn, or wheat
    • Grain-free
    Cons
    • Expensive

    11. Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Variety Pack Pate Wet Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Tastefuls Cat Food

    Weight: 79 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Wet
    Special diet: No wheat, no soy, no corn

    This variety pack by Blue Buffalo Tastefuls boasts a range of flavors from salmon, ocean fish, and tuna to chicken to suit cats that have different tastes. Each of the four options comes in a tasty pâté. The recipe contains real meat and high moisture content while avoiding wheat, soy, and corn. Supporting flavors include brown rice and sweet potato for added nutritional benefits.

    Cats that don’t enjoy chunks of meat and the runniness of gravy in other canned foods might appreciate the smooth, moist texture of these pâtés.

    Like other wet food brands, this one has a distinct odor that some people—and cats—may find displeasing, and it may attract flies if left uneaten. 

    Pros
    • No wheat, soy, or corn
    • Four flavors
    • High moisture content
    • Real meat
    Cons
    • Smelly
    • Attracts flies

    12. Friskies Tasty Treasures Gravy Variety Pack Wet Cat Food

    Friskies Tasty Treasures Gravy Prime Filets Variety Pack Wet Cat Food

    Weight: 4 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: Support urinary health

    Friskies Tasty Treasures Gravy Prime Filets Variety Pack Wet Cat Food packs protein, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids into this multipack to keep your cat in top shape. This 24-can pack has four flavors—chicken and tuna, chicken, ocean fish and tuna, and turkey—in either gravy or sauce to support urinary health.

    With chunks of real meat in each can, your cat can enjoy the chewy and moist texture while maintaining a balanced diet. Taurine and other essential vitamins are also included to make sure your feline is healthy both inside and out.

    Formulated for adult cats, kittens won’t receive the necessary nutrients to promote healthy growth and development.

    Pros
    • Variety pack
    • Supports urinary health
    • Real meat
    Cons
    • Unsuitable for kittens

    13. Friskies Seafood Sensations Dry Cat Food

    Friskies Seafood Sensations Dry Cat Food (1)

    Weight: 22 pounds
    Life stage: Adult
    Food form: Dry
    Special diet: High in fatty acids and antioxidants

    Containing real salmon, tuna, and shrimp, Friskies Seafood Sensations Dry Cat Food comes in three different-sized bags (16, 22, and 30 pounds). The balanced mix of salmon, tuna, and shrimp is a favorite among seafood-loving cats.

    Included in the formula is a range of fatty acids and antioxidants to make sure your cat’s immune and digestive systems stay strong and healthy. A small amount of seaweed is also included in the recipe to give your fussy feline another flavor to explore.

    Unfortunately, this dry cat food isn’t grain-free and is unsuitable for cats with grain allergies. There are also no smaller-size bags to test with your picky cat.

    Pros
    • Real salmon, tuna, and shrimp
    • Contains fatty acids
    Cons
    • Not grain-free
    • Only available in large bags

    14. Fancy Feast Broths Variety Pack Cat Food

    Fancy Feast Broths Variety Pack Cat Food

    Weight: 05 pounds
    Life stage: Adults
    Food form: Food topper, treats
    Special diet: N/A

    If your cat is a particularly fussy eater, the Fancy Feast Broths Variety Pack Cat Food is a light, nutritious broth created to convince picky cats to eat their meals. Using real ingredients, the packets are pre-made into serving size and appeal to all seafood-loving cats.

    Each 12-pack contains a variety of tuna, whitefish, and shrimp; tuna, anchovies, and whitefish; and wild salmon and vegetables.

    Formulated to enhance your cat’s existing diet of wet food, the Fancy Feast broths aren’t meals on their own and are intended as toppings. While they add a new flare to familiar cat food, you’ll need to buy the wet food itself separately.

    Pros
    • No by-products
    • Contains tuna, shrimp, whitefish, salmon, anchovies, and vegetables
    Cons
    • A food topper, not a meal in itself

    divider-cat

    Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best-Tasting Cat Foods for Picky Cats

    Picking the best tasting cat food can be daunting, particularly when human noses don’t think much of any type of pet food. If your cat has never turned their nose up at food before, knowing the possible reasons will help you figure out where to start in your search for food that they’ll eat.

    cat eating food from a bowl
    Image Credit by: Viktor Lugovskoy, Shutterstock

    Boredom

    If you’ve ever made a hearty meal where the leftovers last for several meals, you’ve probably gotten a little tired of eating them after a few days. Cats are no different. If the only food that they have is a chicken-flavored pâté—which may or may not be real meat—and nothing else for a week, they’ll get bored.

    It can be an easy trap to fall into, especially when you know that your cat is a fussy eater. When you finally land on something that they like to eat, it’s tempting to feed them the same thing over and over. The problem is, the new food that your cat eats will quickly turn into the bane of your feline’s life.

    This is why variety packs are so popular. While some big boxes of canned food offer only one flavor, multipacks give you the ability to switch between flavors and keep your cat guessing. It’s still a good idea to buy different flavored variety packs every so often, though, just to make sure your fussy feline doesn’t get bored.

    Wrong Texture

    Cat food isn’t much different from human food. Along with a mixture of flavors, there are different textures too, from crunchy to smooth and from shredded to chunky. You can have dry food or a meal drenched in gravy.

    Your cat has preferences just like we do, and sometimes, those preferences change depending on their mood or how often they eat the same type of food. Every so often, they just want to sink their teeth into something chewy rather than crunch through a pile of kibble.

    Wrong Temperature

    Temperature also plays a part in your cat’s desire to eat. If it’s a hot day, eating something warm is unpleasant at best. Likewise, cold days don’t lead to wanting a meal straight from the fridge. Above all else, cats enjoy comfort and aren’t shy about turning away from anything that gets in the way of their ability to relax.

    Stress

    Stress is enough to put anyone off their food, even cats. Our feline friends like routine as much as we do, and if their day is interrupted by a house move or a trip to the vet, they may just sulk their way through dinner.

    Similarly, if you change their food too suddenly, you could worry them unnecessarily. Different brands use different recipes, and as a result, the smells associated with the food change.

    All cat food packets have instructions for easing your cat into a new brand for a reason. If you suspect a sudden change in your feline’s diet is why they’ve stopped eating, try blending the new food with the old and slowly get them used to the new taste that way.

    cat after eating food from a plate
    Image Credit by: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock

    Not Hungry

    Even with all the will in the world, if your cat isn’t hungry, there’s no way that you’ll convince them to eat. They’d much rather take a nap and eat later. It can be worrying, but if you have an indoor cat, remember that they’re not as active as their outdoor trekking counterparts. They don’t need as much energy to keep them out of trouble. Not eating their dinner may be their way of saying that they’d rather continue napping and are just not hungry.

    Or, if your cat is one of the outdoorsy types, consider checking in with your neighbors. You may find that your cheeky feline has been coaxing food out of other sources.

    Health Problems

    There is a chance that your cat is suffering from an illness that’s putting them off their food. If you’ve ruled out every other possibility on this list, consider taking your fussy friend to the vet. A veterinarian will be able to tell you if there’s an underlying health issue bothering your feline.

    Hepper 360 Cat Feeder, Stainless Steel, Anti-Chew...
    • NO MESS - The 360° tray on this cat food and water bowl set has a raised design to catch and...
    • WHISKER FRIENDLY - Shallow and wide metal containers with flat bottoms ensure your kitty can enjoy...
    • CHEW-SAFE MATERIALS - Kittens and cats love chewing on silicone and soft rubber - but it's a choking...

    High-quality cat food is an important part of fostering a long and healthy life for your cat but the right cat food and water dish will promote good posture, offer whisker relief, and aid in good digestion. The Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite bowl since it offers all of the above and is beautifully crafted to meet modern home stylings. The wide tray design catches any food and water spills and the entire setup is dishwasher safe. Learn more about the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl here.

    At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    divider-cat

    Final Thoughts

    Cats can be picky about many things, including the food that they eat. Fortunately for us, there’s a wide selection of meals for you to experiment with.

    To recap a few of your options, our overall best cat food for picky cats is the Smalls Fresh Ground Bird Recipe, which combines a variety of flavors with plenty of vitamins for a balanced diet. The American Journey Duck Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, our best value cat food, contains real deboned duck and is rich in protein.

    That’s the end of this article. We truly hope that you find a food that your cat will love after reading these reviews.

    Our vets

    Want to talk to a vet online?

    Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

    Our vets