I recently received a notification from Reviews.com that they had published a new cat food guide.
I dismiss most notifications that I get from various companies, but this one was different.
This was a very detailed guide and I liked the methodology that was used. I could tell that they put a lot of time and effort into it.
So I decided to write a summary of their cat-food study here on Home Hints.
Disclosure: I have not received any money or any other type of compensation from Reviews.com to write this post. I simply like their cat-food study and feel it is a good fit for the Pets category on Home Hints.
Characteristics of the Best Cat Foods
Reviews.com spent weeks analyzing over 1700 cat-food formulas and reading cat-food studies. They also surveyed over 90 veterinarians and over 400 cat owners.
They determined that recommended cat foods had the following characteristics:
- Are made with the highest-quality, premium ingredients.
- Are made primarily with healthy whole proteins.
- Contain no controversial, artificial ingredients, additives, preservitives, or by-products.
With this starting point, they began eliminating formulas that didn’t have the above characteristics.
How the Best Cat Foods Were Determined
Reviews.com took their large list of cat foods and:
1. Eliminated Formulas Not Made Primarily With a Specific Real Meat
What you want to see is some form of a specific real meat listed as the first ingredient. Salmon meal or chicken meal is ok. “Meat” meal is not ok because we don’t know what kind of meat it is.
Many of the popular store-brands have corn meal listed as the first ingredient. These were eliminated.
2. Eliminated Formulas That Contain Controversial Ingredients
These ingredients include:
- Brewers Rice
- Caramel Color
- Carrageenan Gum
- Meat By-Product
- Meat Meal (unspecified meat)
- Ocean Fish
- Rendered Fat
- Sodium Nitrite
- Vitamin K3
- Xanthan Gum
3. Eliminated Formulas Based on Manufacturing and Customer Satisfaction Criteria
Cats foods not manufactured in the United States, Canada, or New Zealand were eliminated. Many other countries do not have proper laws to provide cat-food safety and protect quality.
Cat food brands with significant recall histories were eliminated.
Formulas with customer-satisfaction issues were also eliminated.
Recommended Healthy Cat-Food Formulas
After the elimination process, Reviews.com came up with 145 formulas across 36 brands that they could recommend.
I am not going to list all of the formulas here.
Go to the Reviews.com Best Cat Food Guide to see their complete methodology and the full list of recommended cat food brands and formulas.
Our Cat Food Picks Based on the Recommended Formula List
I separated the Review.com recommended cat foods into 3 basic categories and then picked what I thought would be best for my cats.
Best Premium Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
To me it looks like Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals Grain-Free Salmon Tunachovy is a top choice in this category.
This is a gourmet cat food. It is a little pricey. But remember, this article is not about the cheapest cat foods. It is about the very best cat foods, so expect to pay more.
The full nutritional profile can be found on the Fromm Salmon Tunachovy product page.
The cat food is made at USDA-inspected plants in Wisconsin.
Best High-Quality Canned Wet Cat Food
Ziwi Peak Moist Cat Food looks like one of the best brands of canned cat food that you can buy. It is made in New Zealand.
The ingredient profile of this food looks very nutritious to me. It is not cheap but true quality never is.
I don’t like to use the marketing buzzword “human grade” when describing cat foods. I will say, however, that a cat eating this food would have a healthier and more nutritious diet than I do.
Most Affordable Healthy Cat Food
Affordable and healthy cat food is an oxymoron. Generally, if a cat food is healthy, it is not going to be super-cheap. But we’ll do the best we can here.
For value, I recommend Earthborn Holistic Feline Vantage.
A close runner-up is Eagle Pack Natural Indoor cat food.
The ingredients of both products look very similar. Both are great dry cat foods for the money and both are made in the USA.
I hope this article helps you find a healthier cat food for your cats.
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