Chihiro licking lips - yummy - I liked that high quality canned cat food - photo by fofurasfelinas
How do you decide what is the best canned cat food? First cat food is country specific. There seems to be a wider range in the USA. And is it better quality generally and of better value in the United States? Possibly. That complicates matters. Cats have their own tastes so a canned cat food that is the best on paper may be sniffed at and left by your cat. On that basis it cannot be said to be the best canned cat food for you (I mean, your cat).
Franny Syufy the author of the cats section on About.com has I think recognised the difficulty in selecting the best and gone for decent to high quality canned cat food that her cats like. She is an American lady and the food therefore is available there. Here are ten for adult cats: Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance, Nature's Logic, Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken Canned Cat Food, Drs. Foster and Smith Canned Cat Food, Halo's Spots Stew for Cats - Original Flavor, Wellness Chicken Canned Cat Food, Newman's Own Chicken and Brown Rice, Evolve Natural Canned Chicken Formula, Innova EVO Canned Cat Food, Merrick Cat Food.
Interestingly, the first, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance, has a relatively low crude protein content and high moisture (water) content compared to some of the others at 9% min (compared to Dr. Fosters at 45% on dry matter basis).
Ingredients to avoid
Anyway, who spends hours reading the ingredients? Who has the time and inclination? Some have but most don't. If we are into checking ingredients we should look for the following and avoid the food: by-products, animal digest, "meat”, corn, corn gluten, wheat gluten, BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin (preservatives), meat by-products, meat meal, meat by-product meal.
If you want to boil it down (or fry it up) the best canned cat food is the most expensive cat food that your cat likes and that as near as possible replicates a natural raw diet. In the US the so called healthy cat foods are considered the best, made for example by Wellness, Eagle Pack, Drs Foster and Smith.
Which brings me to commercially produced raw cat food because few people have neither the time nor the inclination to prepare their own homemade cat food.
In my experience it is not available in the UK. In the USA there are companies that make it, one being: http://web.archive.org/web/20110314044954/http://www.felinespride.com:80/products/catfood.aspx (link broken 9-4-11). If I was in the US I would buy this and see what happened.
Cats with digestive problems and toilet problems (Irritable bowel disease urinary tract diseases) are sometimes miraculously cured by eating a more natural food. Some of the stuff that is in canned cat food can for example cause allergic reactions.
Top ten in a poll
In a USA website poll (Share Ranks best cat food -- unverified as to authenticity) these came out as the ten best canned cat foods in this order: Avoderm Select Cuts Kitten & Adult, Natural Balance, Avoderm Natural Kitten & Adult, Blue Buffalo Spa Select, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Halo's Spots Stew for Cats, Newman's Own Chicken and Brown Rice, Nature's Logic, Merrick Cat Food, Innova EVO (top ten)
Best Canned Cat Food - USA
Cross checking the above poll results with Frany's recommendations we come up with: Nature's Logic, Newmans, Merrick, Innova EVO, Halo's Spots.
Iams / Eukanuba allegedly do animal testing - avoid the food.
UK Best Canned Cat Food
The big problem in the UK is price. I don't think people in the UK are prepared to pay the price for high quality cat food. Lets make a price comparison with US products. 90 grams (3.2 ounces) of Merrick cat canned cat food cost $1.31 (80p in UK money) from their site (1.12 grams per penny). 936 grams of Applaws high quality cat food cost £6.79 (1.4 grams for each penny spent). The price is similar in fact. OK, most, nearly all people in the UK buy canned cat food from the supermarket and are therefore buying mainstream cat food that is not of the highest quality.
One example of good quality (but largely unknown) canned cat food might be: Applaws Cat Food 6 x 156g or Porta 21 - 6 x 156g. The prices are in the £6-7 range for 6 small cans.
Associated Page: Best Dry Cat Food
Photo: by fofurasfelinas published under Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license.