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10 Best Premium Cat Foods in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

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 for 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 10 best premium cat foods of 2021 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 Favorites

Image Product Details
Winner
Crave Grain Free High Protein Crave Grain Free High Protein
  • Comes in a variety of flavors
  • Contains real meat for protein
  • Supports the immune system
  • Second place
    Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium
  • Small kibble for easy chewing
  • Premium cat food at an affordable price
  • Contains real meat, poultry, or fish
  • Third place
    Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free
  • Single Serving Meals
  • Grain-Free
  • Easy to Chew Pate
  • Royal Canin Feline Health Royal Canin Feline Health
  • Easy for young kittens to eat
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Immune system support
  • Castor & Pollux Organix Castor & Pollux Organix
  • Grain-Free
  • Contains free-range chicken
  • USDA Certified to be organic
  • The 10 Best Premium Cat Foods – Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Crave Grain Free High Protein Indoor Adult Cat Food – Best Overall

    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 the best overall premium cat food, in our opinion. 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.

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

    2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Cat Food – Best Value

    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 the best cat food for the money, 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.

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

    3. Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Natural Wet Cat Food – Premium Choice

    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 premium choice for these feline friends is 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 pate, 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.

    Pros
    • Single Serving Meals
    • Filled with High-Quality Protein
    • Easy to Chew Pate
    • Grain-Free
    Cons
    • Packages can be hard to open

    4. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Wet Kitten Food – Best for Kittens

    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 who have digestive issues as well.

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

    5. Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

    Castor & Pollux

    Weight: 10 lbs.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Organic Chicken and Sweet Potato
    Food Form: Dry

    When it comes to keeping your cat healthy with great-tasting organic food, Castor & Pollux Organix Grain-Free Dry Cat Food makes the grade. This food is USDA certified to be organic and has an organic chicken and sweet potato flavor that many cats love.

    What we like the best about this cat food is that it’s not only cooked in an organic kitchen but that it features free-range chicken as its main ingredient. This grain-free dry food also contains superfoods such as cranberries, flaxseed, and even coconut oil to give your cat the best nutrition possible. With no artificial preservatives, antibiotics, or growth hormones, this is a win-win for any cat, no matter the age of your cat.

    There have been reports of some cats refusing to eat this blend, so make sure to test your cat on it before making a final decision.

    Pros
    • Grain-Free
    • Contains free-range chicken
    • USDA Certified to be organic
    • Contains a superfood blend
    Cons
    • Some cats won’t eat it

    6. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice Adult 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.

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

    7. Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dry Cat Food

    Merrick Backcountry

    Weight: 6 lbs.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Game Bird
    Food Form: Dry

    Number seven on our list is Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dry Cat Food for cats who enjoy a little raw in their regular diet. Full of protein, including raw fish and game birds that are freeze-dried, that helps keep the food tasting fresh, this grain-free product is something that most cats crave.

    With a taste and feel your cat will love, this food is an essential part of your cat’s diet as it’s a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, something your cat needs to keep its healthy fur and skin. In addition, the food is all-natural and is excellent for digestion.

    The only thing we didn’t like about this food is it contains turkey and chicken meal.

    Pros
    • Great for Digestion
    • Grain-Free
    • Excellent source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
    Cons
    • Contains turkey and chicken meal

    8. 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.

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

    9. Meow Mix Hairball Control Cat Food

    Meow Mix Hairball Control Cat Food

    Weight: 6.3 lbs.
    Life Stage: Adult
    Flavor: Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, Ocean Fish
    Food Form: Dry

    No one likes to hear their cat coughing and hacking up hairball all over their nice clean carpets. However, all cat owners know it’s bound to happen. However, the frequency of it happening can be controlled with a good quality hairball control cat food.

    We recommend Meow Mix Hairball Control Cat food, as it’s certainly up for the job. With flavors such as chicken, turkey, ocean fish, and salmon, you can be sure that your cat will love the dry cat food. All the while, it’ll be helping to control and reduce those hairballs, and it’s easy to digest as well.

    With the meats included, this food is an excellent source of protein for your furry friend also. The only drawbacks are that the ingredients aren’t all-natural, and it contains a few by-products, so make sure to read the ingredients list to ensure it’s the right choice for your cat before purchasing.

    Pros
    • Helps control hairballs
    • Easy to digest
    • Excellent for protein
    Cons
    • Not all natural
    • Contains by-products

    10. Ziwi Peak 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, these 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.

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

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    What Should You Look for in a Premium Cat Food?

    Now that you have an idea of what we feel are the top 10 best premium cat foods on the market today, according to us, 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.

    Cat-eating-in-a-food-bowl
    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 his best life. You want a 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.divider-cat

    Cat Food FAQ

    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.

    Store the bag in a cool, dry location, and always seal it up correctly so that air can get in and damage the food for the best results.

    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 can recommend the right food to meet your cat’s dietary needs.

    Do your research when searching for a 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.

    divider-cat

    Final Thoughts

    This concludes our review of the top 10 best premium cat foods as we see them. For the best overall cat food, Crave Grain Free Cat Food contains real meat and provides support for your cat’s immune system. Our second pick was the Racheal Rae Nutrish Premium Cat Food for its affordable price and easy-to-eat small kibbles.

    Our premium choice went to Nutro Perfect Portions Wet Cat Food for its individual packets, and it’s easy to chew food for cats who are seniors or have dental issues. These are our opinions of the best premium cat foods out there today.


    Featured Image Credit: AlexanderDubrovsky, Shutterstock

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.