Best Wet Cat Food USA 2013?

Female cat selects newman's own

Female cat selects Newman’s own. Photo of cat by littlebell1984

Any article on the best wet (canned) cat food will always have shortcomings because:

  1. nothing is as good as a mouse and;
  2. we don’t really know the customer’s true opinion on the subject, and;
  3. there is a plethora of manufacturers, recipes and strange ingredients making it all rather confusing…

Burdened by these barriers to doing something worthwhile and meaningful, the next best things to do, as far as I am concerned, is to scour the internet and gather together the views of the so called “experts” and “customer” reviews. However, I believe that “customer reviews” regarding cat food is a slight misdescription. It should be rephrased, “buyer’s reviews”.

As I did about 4 years ago, I am compiling a list of the best ranked wet cat foods from any reliable source to see if one or two manufacturers rise to the top like the proverbial cat’s cream. Of course, at a basic level the best cat food should be the most expensive. That will usually be the case. Also, the manufacturers of cat food should behave in an environmentally responsible way. Some of the reviews I have seen include this factor in their selections.

Here is a list of best canned (wet) cat foods from many websites….

….On my assessment (not a precise science), the best manufacturers on this survey¬† – the ones that come up the most often – are:

  • Wellness
  • Newman’s
  • Weruva
  • Merrick

Four years ago the best on my assessment were:

  • Nature’s Logic
  • Newman’s
  • Merrick
  • Innova EVO
  • Halo’s Spots.

I have to conclude that the best canned or wet cat food 2013 is manufactured by:

  1. Newman’s
  2. Merrick
  3. Wellness

It may seem a slightly haphazard assessment and I have not been able to select a particular can (recipe) from each of these three manufacturers that stands head and shoulders above the rest. I think it has to be slightly haphazard as there are too many variables etc. But if these names come up routinely as the best, I think we should take notice.

My personal choice, amongst the three, would be Newman’s because I liked him as an actor. There appeared to be a bit of the rebel in him. That is frivolous. One last, important, point; as far as I am aware profits from Newman’s cat food goes to charities.

If anyone can add some hard science coupled with experience, fire away…..


Comments

Best Wet Cat Food USA 2013? — 7 Comments

  1. The Merrick and Wellness are both in our regular rotation and I’ve sometimes picked up a can of the Newman’s for a change. So it sounds like we agree.

    It’s hard to find a perfect commercial cat food. Usually they’re either too high in carbs or too high in fat. Or both! I still feed some of the high fat ones anyway; I figure it’s not so bad for most cats.

    I feed a variety of canned food in addition to raw. I started doing that when I was feeding all canned, I fed them a few different brands in case one had too little or too much of some vitamin or mineral or amino acid or something, hopefully the others would balance it out. Also in case a food becomes unavailable, they will already be used to other options.

    I like the protein / fat / carbohydrate ratio in some of the Merrick foods because it is closer to a cat’s natural diet ( a mouse or rat). It is higher in animal protein than most “premium” byproduct-free cat food, yet still pretty low carb. It’s also pretty low phosphorus, at least the ones mentioned below and most of the other non-fish ones in the regular line (the old ones with the silly names).

    For example, measured as a percent of calories
    Merrick Cowboy Cookout – Protein: 52 Fat: 42 Carb.: 5
    Grammy’s Pot Pie – P: 50 F: 42 C: 8
    Surf & Turf P: 49 F: 47 C: 3

    On the other hand, Merrick’s Before Grain (BG) line, is higher in fat; lower in protein, and carbs. For example the BG Quail & Chicken is P:33 F:66 C: 2

    That’s very much like the Wellness. for example…
    Wellness Turkey P: 31 F: 65 C: 4
    which is typical. In their regular line, the ones with both poultry/meat and fish have a bit more protein.

    The Wellness Core is not a lot different from the regular Wellness. Then Wellness have come out with a line of minced / sliced / cubed stuff that is mostly 12-14 % of calories from carbohydrate.

    I have enjoyed Paul Newman’s films , too , and I like that his company donates to charity, and I buy some of his food products for humans. I occasionally get a can of the cat food, but it’s both pretty high fat and a bit higher in carb than I would want to feed a lot of the time. It’s not that much different than others, and it is a pretty decent phosphorus amount. But basically if a cat food is that high in fat, I want it to be lower carb. or vice versa. For example….
    Newman’s Turkey & Brown Rice – P 28 F 63 C 9
    Actually, considering that the foods have “Rice” in the name I was surprised they were not higher in carbs (at least according to the data they gave Dr. Lisa Pierson of http://www.catinfo.org ). but the info they gave to her said their foods are mostly 9 or 10%. That is about the upper limit of what I would feed. ( Normally a cat’s diet would be like 2% carb) Newman’s Beef and Liver one is 20% carbs! That one is too high.

    Most of the “premium” canned cat food is definitely higher in fat. Companies that want to be able to say the food is ‘grain free” and “low glycemic” , and “byproduct free”, tend to try to cut costs by increasing the fat level.
    For most cats that is less of a health risk than high carb, though some percent of cats may have digestive problems from high fat, and it also means high calorie, so one has to watch the amounts. and for cats who need to lose weight, one can’t just assume that all canned food is equal. ( and if the cat is on a diet to lose weight, you want to make sure he/she is getting enough protein to not lose muscle.

    But food that is high fat is much is a certainly better for a cat than being high carb, since cats’ bodies are not made to process a lot of carbohydrate. It’s not just that it is “filler” and less nutritious — it’s actually bad. It has been shown in studies that carbs ( including rice) raises their blood sugar more and it stays high longer compared to a human or dog — 12 hours after eating it. plus their pancreas has to pump out more insulin than normal to deal with that carbohydrate load. Eventually that can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes. Plus, too much dietary carbohydrate makes their urine too alkaline and encourages production of struvite crystals that can cause urinary tract problems.

    Of course these things are worse with dry food, which is nearly all 20 to 50 % calories from carbohydrate, and some are even higher!

    Of the foods you mentioned from 4 years ago, I am curious about Nature’s Logic but haven’t tried it.
    I stopped feeding the Innova Evo after they were sold to P&G. I’ve never tried feeding Halo.

    • Great comment, maewkaew. I think you agree in principle with the conclusions of my “survey”, which pleases me. Please forgive me, but remind me of what you do? You are clearly heavily involved with cats and companion animals.

  2. I’m glad you guys like my (long) comment. Got a bit carried away, I guess.

    I ‘ve had a long fascination with cats and other animals. I’ve loved wonderful cats over the years. including quite a few Siamese and Siamese mixes ,both pedigree cats from good breeders and cats adopted from shelter and rescue. I’m interested in cat behavior, health, welfare, history of cat breeds, etc. I prefer the original type of Siamese as they were up to the 1950s and still are in Thailand today, and I have Old Style Siamese that are shown as “Thai” in TICA.

    It was when my wonderful old Sia-moggy Louis, adopted from Siamese Rescue back in 1999, was diagnosed with feline diabetes in 2006, that I finally realized I needed to start learning for myself about feline nutrition. So that became very important to me to become informed and feed a diet appropriate for their species. I don’t want to make the same mistakes again with other cats that I have made in the past out of ignorance.

    Michael , I’ve enjoyed your site and have recommended it to people looking for info on and pictures of wildcat species or cat breeds. I don’t always agree with
    everything on there, but hey, that’s why we are all individuals. I think we agree about some of the most important things. for ex feral cats, declawing and extremes in breeding. and it sounds like nutrition, too.

    Cheri

  3. Cheri… thanks for the info… reading this has captured my attention and will defiantly go to Dr. Lisa Pierson page to learn more about cat food ! I have been changing my diet to a nutritional rich diet but I certainly need to do the same for my cat and learn what he needs nutritionally. Thanks for opening my eyes to that ! :)

    Michael … thanks for this posting you have provided the means for me to learn what my best friend needs to be healthy and happy !!! :)

    • My pleasure. The page is a starting point to find the best wet cat food. It is more expensive but it may work out cheaper in the long run with improved cat health.

  4. I have tried most of the foods mentioned above. After learning of the nutritional value of many mentioned, I’ll give them a try. I test the food on all four cats. One indoor, two outdoor (one still quite wild) and the in and outdoor master of the house Marvin. The full time indoor cat won’t touch wet food period. Most of the brands mentioned, the three other cats won’t eat it. The one consistent brand they like is the Weruva. But not all the varieties. The hands down favorite is the Paw Lickin Chicken and the Talapia. So when all is said and done, offering the best of the best won’t work if they don’t eat it!

    Thanks for the comprehensive article Michael, and of course all the fabulous comments.

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