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Home > Cats > 8 Best Premium Cat Foods in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

8 Best Premium Cat Foods in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cute kitten eating dry cat food

Choosing cat food isn’t always a straightforward thing to do. However, you already know that it’s your job to provide for your cat’s basic needs, and of course, you want only the best for your feline pal.

That’s why it’s essential that you feed your cat only the best premium cat food. You want food that’s full of nutrients and meets the requirements of your cat. In addition, many cat owners don’t realize that a cat’s nourishment needs change over time, so their food should change over time as well.

Our reviews of the best premium cat foods of the year will help you find the right cat food to keep your cat healthy and happy no matter what stage of their life they’re in. Whether it’s wet or dry cat food, we’ll give you what we think is the best in the reviews below.divider-cat

A Quick Comparison of Our 2023 Winners

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription
  • Human-grade fresh ingredients
  • High protein content
  • Easy-to-use subscription service
  • Budget Buy
    Second place
    Rachael Ray Nutrish Cat Food Rachael Ray Nutrish Cat Food
  • Small kibble for easy chewing
  • Premium cat food at an affordable price
  • Contains real meat, poultry, or fish
  • Third place
    Royal Canin Feline Cat Food Royal Canin Feline Cat Food
  • Easy for young kittens to eat
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Immune system support
  • Nutro Perfect Portions Cat Food Nutro Perfect Portions Cat Food
  • Single Serving Meals
  • Grain-Free
  • Easy to Chew Pate
  • Crave Grain-Free Cat Food Crave Grain-Free Cat Food
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
  • Contains real meat for protein
  • Supports the immune system
  • The 8 Best Premium Cat Foods

    1. Smalls Fresh Bird Cat Food Subscription – Best Overall

    Smalls human grade fresh food bowl with kitten

    Weight: 11.5 ounces
    Life Stage: All stages
    Flavor: Chicken
    Food Form: Fresh

    Smalls Fresh Bird is a high-protein, low-fat fresh meal made with USDA-certified ingredients. The Smalls brand does not include fillers, preservatives, or vague ingredients in any of its cat food. Available in ground and smooth textures, their fresh cat food is of human-grade level, so you can feel confident that your cat is getting a top-quality meal with the best ingredients. This cat food is only available through a convenient subscription.

    The chicken recipe includes protein made up of 91% chicken breasts and thighs, 6% liver, and 2% heart. Fresh Bird is Smalls’ top recipe for picky cats, and it’s our winner for best overall premium cat food. Compared to competing premium brands, Fresh Bird has more protein, less fat, and fewer carbohydrates. The amount of protein in Fresh Bird will help keep your cat active and healthy without any by-products or unnecessary ingredients.

    All in all, we think this is the best overall premium cat food available this year.

    • USDA-certified human-grade ingredients
    • 21.2% crude protein
    • Only 8.05% crude fat
    • 66.1% moisture
    • Requires a subscription

    2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food – Budget Buy

    Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium

    Weight: 14 lbs.
    Life Stage: All Breed Sizes
    Flavor: Chicken and Brown Rice
    Food Form: Dry

    The Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Cat Food is a great budget premium cat food, in our opinion. This dry cat food has small kibble, making it easier for cats to chew and then swallow while still keeping the crunch that cats love and the big flavor this cat food is known for.

    It’s a bit cheaper than other premium cat foods but has earned its place as one of the most popular cat foods on the market today. The recipes for this food use only real meat, poultry or fish, because everyone knows protein is the biggest concern with our feline pals.

    The only drawback to this food is that it could contain corn, something you don’t want to feed a cat with digestive issues.

    • Small kibble for easy chewing
    • Premium cat food at an affordable price
    • Contains real meat, poultry, or fish
    • Might contain corn

    3. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Food

    Royal Canin Feline

    Weight: 3 oz
    Life Stage: Kitten/Adult
    Flavor: Varies
    Food Form: Wet/Gravy

    When it comes to your kitten, you want a balanced and highly nutritious diet. The Royal Canin Kitten Food gives you just that. While it may be a little more expensive than many items on our list, it’s worth the price as it’s an excellent source of protein and helps your kitten build a healthy immune system.

    The protein content is ratioed well with the fat and carbohydrate content, along with other nutrients your kitten needs to be healthy, making this wet food a win for kittens and cat owners. The food is also full of antioxidants that your kitten needs for a healthy immune system.

    The pieces are thinly sliced and put in gravy, making it easy for young kittens to eat and enjoy as they transition to hard food. While it may be a bit expensive, it’s essential to note that this food is often recommended by vets for kittens that have digestive issues as well.

    • Easy for young kittens to eat
    • Excellent source of protein
    • Immune system support
    • Expensive

    4. Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Natural Wet Cat Food

    Nutro Perfect Portions

    Weight: 2.6 oz
    Life Stage: Any
    Flavor: Turkey and Chicken
    Food Form: Wet

    Many cats like to eat different flavors of cat food. Our feline friends love Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Natural Cat Food. This grain-free product comes in twin packs of single-serving meals and features turkey and chicken flavors. The trays are individually sealed and snap apart to give your cat the food he wants on the day he wants it.

    Filled with high-quality protein, this food is grain-free, making it perfect for cats that suffer from allergies or have sensitive stomach issues.

    The food is an easy-to-chew paté, which is excellent for older cats or cats that suffer from dental issues and have a hard time eating.

    The only issue with this premium cat food is that the packages can be difficult to open, resulting in splattered gravy across countertops and bowls. You can remedy this by opening the individual packages over the sink, however.

    • Single serving meals
    • Filled with high-quality protein
    • Easy to chew pate
    • Grain-free
    • Packages can be hard to open

    5. Crave Grain Free High Protein Indoor Adult Cat Food

    Crave Grain Free High

    Weight: 10 lbs.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Chicken and Salmon
    Food Form: Dry

    Real chicken is the first ingredient in this dry cat food, making it one of our favorite premium cat foods. Crave Indoor Adult Cat Food comes in a variety of flavors, including chicken, chicken with salmon, salmon, ocean fish, and more.

    The number one ingredient in this cat food is meat so that your cat can get the protein he needs to be healthy and thrive. One of the best things about this food is that it supports your cat’s immune system with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E. While it can be a bit expensive, it provides the right protein and nutrients for energy, immunity support, and helps to build healthy muscles as well.

    • Comes in a variety of flavors
    • Contains real meat for protein
    • Supports the immune system
    • Expensive

    6. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Chicken & Rice Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Weight

    Weight: 7 lbs.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Chicken and Brown Rice
    Food Form: Dry

    As your feline companion ages and becomes less active, it’s possible that they’ll become overweight. A high-quality weight control cat food can help with that problem. That’s why Blue Buffalo Weight Control Dry Cat Food comes in at number six on our list of premium cat foods.

    Containing real deboned meat and no artificial preservatives, this chicken and brown rice flavored cat food is excellent to help with weight loss.

    The food contains premium natural ingredients such as cranberries, pumpkin, spinach, and blueberries to ensure your cat gets the nutrients and minerals he needs, without all the ingredients that caused him to gain weight to begin with.

    The only drawback of this weight loss dry cat food is that some bags aren’t resealable, and some cats refuse to eat the blend.

    • Contains real deboned meat
    • Contains no artificial preservatives
    • Contains premium all-natural ingredients
    • Some bags aren’t resealable
    • Some cats refuse to eat this food

    7. Purina One Sensitive Systems Natural Dry Cat Food

    Purina One Sensitive

    Weight: 7 lbs.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Turkey
    Food Form: Dry

    Quite a few cats suffer from sensitive skin and stomach problems. If your cat is one of them, then we recommend Purina One Sensitive Systems Natural Dry Cat Food to help with the problem. Made for cats with sensitive skin and stomach issues, this formula is easy to digest and great for your cat’s skin.

    Featuring real turkey, coupled with a chicken by-product, this natural food is chockful of protein your cat needs to be healthy. With real carrots, peas, and other natural ingredients, this is an excellent choice for cats who have health issues.

    While this is a bit more expensive than other brands on the market today, we feel it’s worth the extra cost for the peace of mind in knowing you’re putting your feline companion’s health first.

    • Easy to digest
    • Good for sensitive skin
    • Features real turkey
    • More expensive than some other brands

    8. Ziwi Peak Mackerel & Lamb Canned Wet Cat Food

    Ziwi Peak Canned Wet Cat Food

    Weight: 6.5 oz.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Mackerel and Lamb
    Food Form: Wet

    If you’re looking to treat your furry feline to a portion of food they’ll love, can we recommend Ziwi Peak Canned Wet Cat Food containing superfoods mackerel and lamb. Made with 92% bones, organs, raw meat, and seafood, this five-star food will light up your cat’s taste buds and have them meowing for more.

    The company has free-range and sustainable farming practices, which is a double win-win for you and your cat, as well as the environment. Limited ingredients with no fillers, by-products, and additives mean that you can feel good about feeding this treat to your cat.

    The only drawback to this wet cat food is that it can get super expensive if it’s the only thing you feed your cat. However, if you alternate it with a portion of high-quality dry food, then you should be fine.

    • Farming practices are free-range and sustainable
    • Limited ingredients
    • Raw meat, bones, and organs add up to 92% of this food
    • Can be expensive if it’s all you feed your cat


    Buyer’s Guide: What Should You Look for in a Premium Cat Food?

    Now that you have an idea of what we feel are the best premium cat foods on the market today, it’s time to move into our buying guide. Unfortunately, many cat owners aren’t sure how to choose the best cat food for their furry feline friends. So, in this section of our guide, we’ll give you a few suggestions for doing just that.

    Consider Your Cat’s Stage of Life

    When choosing the right premium cat food, you must first consider your cat’s life stage. As your cat grows, he’ll have unique nourishment needs, and what he needs to stay healthy as a kitten won’t be the same as when he’s a senior cat.

    During the years when he’s most active, you’ll want a portion of food that provides plenty of energy and nutrients to keep up with the active life he leads.

    Once your cat becomes a senior, the food you fed them as a kitten and an active adult will change. Find food that will help your cat in his golden years at this point.

    Image Credit: sweetlouise, Pixabay

    Consider Essential Nutrients

    Amino acids, minerals, and vitamins are essential nutrients to look for in cat food and to help your cat lead their best life. You want cat food that has at least the minimum of these nutrients and nothing less.

    One thing to keep in mind is that your cat does not need carbohydrates in its diet, so that’s something to watch out for as well.

    Consider Flavor

    This, of course, isn’t essential to your cat being healthy, but it’s necessary to make sure they eat the food you buy them and keep your furry friend happy. You don’t eat flavors that you don’t like, do you? Well, cats have specific flavor preferences as well.

    Some felines are pickier than others. For example, one cat may gobble up tuna-flavored cat food, while another cat in your family turns his nose up at it. Sometimes, finding a flavor combination your cat enjoys can be challenging, so try different flavors until one clicks, and you’ll have won half the battle.

    These are just a few tips for finding the best premium cat food for your feline. Remember, sometimes it takes time to find the right cat food, so do your research and never give up.

    a calico cat eating from metal bowl at home
    Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

    FAQs: Premium Cat Food

    We’ve gotten a lot of questions over the years about feeding cats and choosing the correct premium cat food to meet a cat’s needs. We’ll address some of your questions in the next section.

    Is It Possible for Dry Cat Food to Go Stale?

    One of the biggest questions we get is whether dry cat food can go stale or not. Just like with any other pet or even human food, it can go bad.

    Make sure to always check the expiration date on wet and dry cat food before feeding it to your cat. Keeping the food in the original bag can help the food stay fresh longer, as these bags are intended to do just that.

    For best results, store the bag in a cool, dry location, and always seal it up correctly so that air can’t get in and damage the food.

    Cat eating outside
    Image Credit: MaraZe, Shutterstock

    What Should You Look for in Cat Food?

    You already know that the cat food you choose should be full of vitamins and minerals your cat needs to be healthy. You also want to ensure the cat food has a high level of protein and fiber as well. Turkey, fish, chicken, and other proteins are great for giving your cat energy and helping him live an active life.

    Fiber helps with your cat’s digestion, so make sure to choose a cat food that has fiber according to your cat’s needs. Remember that each stage of your cat’s life will also call for different nutrients to be given.

    If you’re unsure which is the best cat food for your cat, then it’s best to make an appointment with your vet so he or she can recommend the right food to meet your cat’s dietary needs.

    Do your research when searching for high-quality cat food, no matter which stage of life your feline pal is in. Remember, the older your cat gets, the more his needs will change. This, coupled with regular visits to the vet and love and patience from you will go a long way towards keeping your cat healthy and happy for many years to come.

    himalayan cat white eating hepper nom nom bowl

    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!


    Final Thoughts

    This concludes our reviews of the best premium cat foods as we see them. For the best overall cat food, Smalls Fresh Bird contains real human-grade meat and provides support for your cat’s immune system. Our second pick was the Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Cat Food for its affordable price and easy-to-eat small kibbles. We hope you enjoyed this article and have found the perfect food for your furry friend!

    Featured Image Credit: AlexanderDubrovsky, Shutterstock

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