All cats require a balance of animal protein and healthy fats in their diet, as well as essential nutrients. The quality and volume of ingredients largely determine the price of cat food, but a higher price tag doesn’t guarantee higher quality. It’s important to understand your cat’s nutritional needs before you start shopping so you can choose wisely.
Here are some things to look for when shopping for healthy cat food:
- 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
In addition to knowing what to look for in high-quality cat food, you should also know what factors influence the price. Simply put, animal protein is more expensive than plant protein and wholesome, natural ingredients cost more than by-products. Dry food is generally cheaper than wet food and fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried cat foods are at the top of the price range.
It’s up to you to strike the right balance between quality and affordability but, lucky for you, we’re here to help! Read on to see our top picks for the healthiest cat food on a budget.
Purina Beyond Indoor, Grain-Free, Natural Dry Cat Food
This indoor recipe features fresh salmon as the main ingredient with chicken meal as a supplemental source of concentrated protein. It also contains grain-free carbohydrates and beneficial supplements.
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Canned Food
If your cat prefers wet food, this grain-free chicken recipe is packed with protein to support strong muscles with plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for overall health.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food
With real chicken as the first ingredient, this affordable dry food recipe is kept simple to deliver balanced nutrition and natural flavor without the use of artificial additives.