Best wet cat food

What kind of cat food to feed your feline is one of the first decisions you must make as a new pet owner when you bring a new cat home. The majority of cat owners will select between the two formulation types of wet cat food and dry cat food, despite the fact that there are hundreds of other diets and cat food brands available.

While both have advantages and disadvantages, moist cat food can help our feline friends in a number of ways. Dr. Ericka Carroll, a veterinarian in San Francisco who works for Hello Ralphie, a telehealth platform, explains that wet food generally tends to be higher in fat and protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to dry food. In comparison to dry food, “wet food also has a much higher moisture content.”

The ideal wet cat food for your canine friend will depend on the specific requirements and preferences of your cat. However, this article will explain what to look for and take into account when purchasing wet cat food, as well as which brands and formulas to consider for the best nutrition.

Table of Contents

Best Wet Cat Food of 2022: Overall Picks

The foods listed below all combine nutritive components, total nutrition, and flavor. Additionally, they come highly recommended by cat owners and are affordable for the majority of families. Here are some of our top picks for wet cat food this year:

Smalls human-grade fresh wet cat food

FlavorFresh BirdFresh Other BirdFresh Cow
Life StageAllAllAll
TextureGround, smooth, or pulledSmooth, ground or pulledSmooth or ground
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liverTurkey thigh (skin on), chicken liverGround beef 90% lean, beef liver, beef heart
Protein Analysis17% min/11.5-oz package18.5% min/11.5-oz package15% min/11.5-oz package
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

Cats can be picky eaters, but Smalls comes up to the plate—or rather, the bowl—in that situation! Smalls fresh cat food is of human-grade and is picky-cat friendly. It is protein-rich. They provide three protein options in their gently cooked, all-natural wet cat food recipes: chicken, turkey, or beef. The recipes are completed with nutritious vegetables like green beans, peas, kale, or spinach to add vital vitamins and minerals. Pure goodness delivered at your door, no mysterious meats or byproducts, no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or dubious ingredients. Additionally, you have a choice between smooth and ground textures. Talk about prioritizing kitties!

Open Farm Rustic Blend Wet Cat Food

FlavorHarvest ChickenHomestead TurkeyChicken & SalmonWild-Caught SalmonGrass-Fed BeefHerring & Mackerel
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
TextureRustic blendRustic blendRustic blendRustic blendRustic blendRustic blend
Protein (Ingredients)Humanely raised chickenHumanely raised turkeyHumanely raised chicken, wild Pacific salmonWild Pacific salmonHumanely raised beefWild-caught herring, wild-caught mackerel
Protein Analysis7% min8% min8% min8% min8% min8% min
Calories143 kcal/156 g carton185 kcal/156 g carton138 kcal/156 g carton135 kcal/156 g carton172 kcal/156 g carton116 kcal/156 g carton
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYes

The wonderful farm-to-food-bowl flavor cats adore is packed into every bite of Open Farm Rustic Blend human-grade wet food. We adore that Open Farm techniques ethically and sustainably benefit people, animals, and the environment. Every recipe, which reflects the company’s dedication to sustainability, combines regional produce and nutrient-dense superfoods with chicken, turkey, beef, and fish that are ethically sourced. With the help of the lot number printed on the bag, you may even find out where each item is from. The stew-like, palate-pleasing composition provides the moisture and nutrition cats need in an environmentally friendly container, making it ideal for picky eaters.


  • made using freshly caught fish and ethically sourced meats produced on partner farms.
  • Contains nourishing superfoods for healthy skin and coat, such as coconut oil, turmeric, and dandelion greens, which help prevent hairballs.
  • With no extra fillers, byproducts, or preservatives
  • Formulas with a single protein are available for cats whose diets contain few ingredients.
  • Easy-to-serve, resealable, BPA-free packaging
  • dedication to sustainability and openness
  • Open Farm offers doorstep delivery, or you can buy from neighborhood pet retailers.

Things to consider

  • made in the US but using Canadian formulation.
  • Customers should be very careful of any “best before” dates before giving it to their cat because of the farm-fresh nature of the ingredients.

Tiki Cat Luau Wet Food

FlavorAhi Tuna and ChickenWild Salmon and ChickenWild SalmonChicken & EggSucculent ChickenAhi Tuna and MackerelTilapiaSeabass
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
TextureFlaked, shreddedFlaked, shreddedFlakedShreddedShreddedFlakedFlakedFlaked
Protein (Ingredients)Tuna, chickenSalmon, chickenSalmonChicken, dried eggChickenTuna, mackerelTilapia, mackerelSeabass, mackerel
Protein Analysis16% min15% min15% min15% min16% min17% min11% min11%
Calories153 kcal/6 oz can, 72 kcal/2.8 oz can153 kcal/6 oz can, 72 kcal/2.8 oz can151 kcal/6 oz can, 71 kcal/2.8 oz can146 kcal/6 oz can, 69 kcal/2.8 oz can225 kcal/10 oz can, 134 kcal/6 oz can, 63 kcal/2.8 oz can150 kcal/6 oz can, 71 kcal/2.8 oz can113 kcal/6 oz., 53 kcal/2.8 oz.124 kcal/6 oz can, 59 kcal/2.8 oz can
meets AAFCO standards?YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes

Tiki Cat Luau wet cat food scored highly on our list of the Best Vet-Approved Cat Foods of 2022 and has a lot to offer. These dishes include non-GMO ingredients, don’t use grains or potatoes, and contain 80% protein (on a dry matter basis). There are many other flavor options available, including chicken, salmon, sea bass, and tilapia. In order to give cats the best nutrition possible, these recipes are created with extra vitamins and crucial components like taurine, which are always specified as the first ingredients on the label.


  • high-quality components for the fish and poultry.
  • There are numerous recipes to choose from.
  • Non-GMO, gluten-free, without byproducts or fillers, and free of grains.
  • for additional moisture and nourishment, packed in broth.
  • Meets AAFCO standards. 

Things to consider

  • At room temperature, it should be served.
  • After opening, it should be refrigerated, just like all wet cat food.
  • These are not recipes for pate. They are pieces of chicken and fish.

Purina Pro Plan Wet Cat Food Chicken and Turkey Favorites Variety Pack

FlavorChicken & RiceTurkey and RiceWhite Meat Chicken & Vegetable
Life StageAdultAdultAdult
TextureChunks in gravyChunks in gravyChunks in gravy
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, liver, and meat by-productsTurkey, liver, and meat by-productsChicken, liver, and meat by-products
Protein Analysis11% min11% min. 10% min.
Calories71 kcal/3 oz71 kcal/3 oz65 kcal/3 oz
AAFCO standards?YesYesYes

This combination pack of chicken and turkey favorites from Purina Pro Plan is a fantastic choice if your cat like gravy. Three different recipes are included in this 24-count pack: White Meat Chicken and Vegetables, Turkey and Rice, and Chicken and Rice. All of the recipes are loaded with substances that are good for the skin and coat, like vitamin A, linoleic acid, and omega-6 fatty acids.

Additionally, they are covered with gravy for a delicious flavor that most cats adore. In addition to coming in a variety pack so you can switch up the flavors, canned food with gravy can be a great option for picky cats and is affordable for pet parents on a tight budget, according to Colorado-based veterinarian Dr. Sarah Wooten. Wooten continues by saying that Purina Pro Plan has been around for a while and is supported by years of research.


  • Options for chicken and turkey packed with gravy Price-wise, a 24-count pack offers good value.
  • ingredients produced in American factories to benefit your cat’s skin and coat.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.

Things to Consider

  • Not non-GMO.
  • Contains about 40 percent protein.
  • This pack contains 3-oz cans.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Wild Salmon Recipe Pate Wet Cat Food

FlavorWild SalmonTrout & CatfishChicken & Sweet PotatoCanadian Duck & Sweet PotatoArctic Char & SpinachAlaskan Cod
& Spinach
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
Protein (Ingredients)Salmon, chicken, fish broth, liver, dried egg productTrout, fish broth, chicken, liver, catfish, egg productChicken, chicken broth, liver, ocean fish, egg productDuck, fish, duck broth, liver, chicken, dried egg productArctic char, fish broth fish, liver, chicken, dried egg productCod, chicken, fish broth, liver, dried egg product
Protein Analysis10% min10% min10% min10% min9% min10% min
Calories99 kcal/3-oz can99 kcal/3-oz can97 kcal/3-oz can102 kcal/3-oz can102 kcal/3-oz can94 kcal/3-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYes

With familiar ingredients and additional vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, Purina’s Beyond natural cat food line keeps things straightforward. The primary ingredient in this grain-free pate is wild-caught salmon, which is also combined with natural prebiotic fiber. Although there is no proof that grain is detrimental to cats, Dr. Catherine Barnette, a Florida-based veterinarian, says that consumers may want to avoid it if someone in their home has celiac disease or if their cat has been identified as having a grain allergy. If your cat doesn’t like salmon, Purina also offers additional grain-free wet cat food recipes in the Beyond range, such as Canadian Duck & Sweet Potato and Trout & Catfish.


  • The primary component in this dish is wild salmon.
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • No poultry by-product meal
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Meets AAFCO standards
  • If your cat enjoys variety, there are variety packs available.

Things to consider

  • Only available in 3-oz cans
  • Feed one can per 3.5–4 pounds of body weight daily, divided into two or more meals.

Best Wet Cat Food For Older Cats

Senior cats occasionally require a diet modification to ensure they are receiving the ideal ratio of calories to nutrients. Seniors may have reduced energy needs than kittens or adult cats since they are less active.

Additionally, because kidney issues, heart disease, and joint issues are more common in senior cats, specially prepared meals can help them stay healthier for longer. The top wet cat foods for elderly cats are highlighted in the list below:

Hills Science Diet Wet Cat Food for Senior Cats

FlavorChicken and Vegetable
Life StageAdult
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, turkey
Protein Analysis6.3% min
Calories 87kcal/2.9 oz meets
AAFCO standards?Yes

Veterinarians and many cat parents endorse the reputable brand Hills Science Diet. This recipe is appropriate for cats who are 7 years of age and older and is offered in both chicken and turkey tastes. It is loaded with vitamins that support kidney and immunological health and is designed to assist elderly cats maintain lean muscular mass. Older cats have different dietary requirements than young adult cats, according to Wooten. This senior food is created in the USA, readily absorbed, high in antioxidants to slow aging, and improves renal function.


  • specifically made for cats older than seven.
  • Helps support lean muscle mass.
  • 2.9 oz and 5.5 oz can sizes are both offered.
  • Recommended by veterinarians.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • only available in the flavors of chicken and turkey. No choices for fish.
  • Although it does contain chicken byproducts, cats won’t get sick from them.
  • Although some reviewers did mention that the smell is rather overpowering, many wet cat foods have the same problem.

Royal Canin Aging 12+ Canned Cat Food

Life StageSenior
TextureLoaf in sauce
Protein (Ingredients)Pork by-products, chicken liver
Protein Analysis8.5% min
Calories122 kcal/5.1-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

When it comes to cat food, Royal Canin really concentrates on what stage of life your cat is in. Additionally, cats above the age of 12 are supposed to use this formula. Over the course of their lives, cats’ nutritional needs alter, according to Barnette. “In addition to having slower metabolisms as individuals get older, they frequently require more of some vitamins and minerals. This food was developed especially to meet the requirements of aged cats.” It is prepared with omega-3 fatty acids to promote the health of your cat’s joints and controlled phosphorus levels to assist kidney health. To help meet the needs of senior cats, the proportions of proteins, lipids, and carbs are carefully balanced.


  • The flavor of thin pieces of pork in gravy is attractive.
  • designed with omega-3 fatty acids for healthy joints.
  • foods low in phosphorus that promote kidney health
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee. 
  • Meets AAFCO standards.

Things to consider

  • Pork byproducts are present in this formulation.
  • Comes in 3-oz. cans. 
  • For cats with dental issues, the chunks might not be the best option.

Best Wet Cat Food For Kittens

Wet food, which is easier to chew than dry kibble, can, as was already noted, help kittens transition from a liquid diet and wean them onto normal food more gradually. For the vitamins, nutrients, and calories that developing kittens require, look for moist cat food that has been specially prepared for kittens. These are some of our top picks for kitten wet cat food.

Fancy Feast Kitten Classic Pate

FlavorOcean WhitefishTurkeySalmonChicken
Life StageKittenKittenKittenKitten
TexturePate with milkPate with milkPate with milkPate with milk
Protein (Ingredients)Ocean whitefish, liver, meat by-products, and chickenTurkey, liver, meat by-products, and fishSalmon, liver, meat by-products, fish, and turkeyChicken, liver, meat by-products, and fish
Protein Analysis12% min11% min11% min11% min
Calories90 kcal/3 oz95 kcal/3 oz.90 kcal/3 oz94 kcal/3 oz meets
AAFCO standards?YesYesYesYes

We adore this Fancy Feast variety pack since it comes in four distinct tastes and is all created with kittens in mind. Salmon, turkey, chicken, and ocean whitefish are available options. Even though their teeth are still forming, kittens may easily chew these dishes thanks to their pate-like texture. All of the formulations use actual poultry or fish as their initial ingredient and a small amount of milk for richness. Furthermore, the pricing of under $15 for a 24-can bundle is unbeatable!


  • The variety pack provides a range of flavors and choices.
  • The primary ingredients are fresh seafood and poultry.
  • made with growth in mind for kittens during their first year.
  • Great value.

Things to consider

  • includes milk. Although some cats can consume tiny amounts of milk, the majority of adult cats are lactose intolerant. Compared to adult cats, kittens are better able to absorb milk.
  • Three ounce cans need to be chilled after opening.
  • Not meant for adult cats.
  • Pate texture. 

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Chicken & Salmon Recipe Wet Cat Food

FlavorChicken and Salmon
Life StageKitten
Protein (Ingredients) Chicken, liver, chicken broth, pork lungs, salmon
Protein Analysis11% min
Calories105kcal/3 oz.
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

This moist, wet cat food is intended to satisfy the special dietary requirements of kittens. Without using any grains, this meal offers all the nutrition your growing kitten needs, according to Barnette. Purina ONE Healthy Kitten, which is made with genuine chicken and salmon, has extra vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to promote your cat’s general health.


  • The primary ingredient is chicken.
  • protein-rich and moisture-rich
  • designed to suit the dietary requirements of kittens up to one year old

Things to Consider

  • This is a grain-free kitten food.
  • Only one flavor
  • Feed one can per 3.75 pounds of body weight daily, divided into three or more meals, and adjust as needed to maintain ideal weight

Best Wet Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs

Finding a wet cat food formulated for sensitive stomachs could help reduce diarrhea, gas, and loose stools if your cat is prone to digestive issues. Make sure to speak with a vet before giving your cat a special diet because a digestive food won’t always be a panacea for all of your cat’s problems. Here are some of our top picks for wet cat food for cats who have digestive issues.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Canned Cat Food

FlavorChicken and Vegetable
Life StageAdult
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken, turkey
Protein Analysis6.3% min
Calories87 kcal/2.9-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Hills offers a number of prescription cat meals to aid with certain digestive problems, but if your cat just sometimes or has minimal digestive trouble, this over-the-counter choice is an excellent one to try. Wooten adds that this is a good over-the-counter choice for cats with sensitive skin and/or stomachs. It is supported by years of research, and cats frequently display improvements in their appetite, coat condition, and stools quality. Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin E are included in the food’s formulation to help maintain your cat’s skin and coat soft, supple, and healthy. Prebiotic fiber supports your cat’s gastrointestinal health.


  • supports healthy skin, hair, and digestion.
  • Available in either the chicken and veggies or the tuna and vegetables recipes. wholesome, easily absorbed components
  • Veterinarian recommended.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.
  • Made in the USA

Things to Consider

  • This recipe is not for pate or gravy. It has more bulk.
  • Comes in 2.9 oz cans.
  • On the expensive side for wet cat food.

Hill’s d/d Duck Formula Wet Cat Food

Life StageAdult
Protein (Ingredients)Duck, duck liver
Protein Analysis8% min
Calories178 kcal/5.5-oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Common ingredients in cat food, such chicken or beef, can be problematic if your cat has food sensitivities or allergies. Try a wet cat food with less ingredients if that’s the case; it might help. This Hill’s prescription diet with fewer ingredients is designed to help cats with food and skin sensitivities. Duck is the only animal protein present. According to Barnette, “This prescription diet is only offered by a veterinarian, but it is designed to be really limited in its ingredients.” “It is created on a separate assembly line to lower the possibility of cross-contamination with other dietary proteins. For cats with more severe skin allergies or gastrointestinal sensitivity, this makes it a perfect option.”


  • a dish with few ingredients that uses an unique animal protein (duck)
  • Rich in omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
  • formulated to enhance quality of skin, coat, stools, and digestion
  • Comes in 5.5-oz cans
  • Meets AAFCO standards

Things to Consider

  • Only one flavor
  • This is a prescription food that needs your veterinarian’s approval before use.
  • pricier than limited-ingredient over-the-counter foods

Best Wet Cat Food For Weight Loss

Diet is a key factor if your cat is having trouble losing weight. To try to maintain your cat’s caloric intake under control, your veterinarian may advise switching to a wet cat food. Make sure to talk to your cat’s veterinarian before switching your pet to a weight-loss diet. Here are our best recommendations for wet cat foods made with weight loss in mind.

Royal Canin Weight Care Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food

Life StageAdult
TextureSlices in gravy
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken by-products, chicken liver, pork liver, pork by-products, pork plasma
Protein Analysis9% min
Calories54 kcal ME/can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

Barnette suggests this Royal Canin weight care cat food if your cat is a little overweight. It is made with L-carnitine, which aids in fat metabolism, and has an adjusted protein composition to support healthy weight loss while preserving muscle mass. Additionally, it is fiber-enriched, which may help cats feel fuller for longer. Feed your cat’s preferred dry kibble alone or in combination with it.


  • Formulated with L-carnitine to help with fat metabolism
  • Adapted protein content
  • fiber-rich to make cats feel more satisfied.
  • Meets AAFCO standards

Things to Consider

  • The only taste offered is chicken.
  • Comes in 3-oz cans.

Purina Pro Plan Weight Management Wet Cat Food

FlavorTurkey and Rice
Life StageAdult
Protein (Ingredients)Turkey, liver, meat by-products
Protein Analysis12% min
Calories77 kcal/3 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Yes

This real turkey-based ground wet cat food mix is formulated with the goal of assisting cats in safely losing weight while maintaining lean muscle mass. This diet contains enough protein to encourage fat loss in cats. This food is a wonderful choice for cats that need to lose a few pounds, while it won’t help them lose a lot without exercise. This is a cost-effective, high-quality over-the-counter weight-loss food for cats, according to Wooten. Because canned food has more moisture and less calories than dry food, it is beneficial for weight loss.


  • Made with real turkey.
  • To assist cats reduce fat and maintain muscle, protein intake is balanced.
  • Ground formula.
  • Meets AAFCO standards.
  • Offers a money-back guarantee.
  • Most reviewers claim that their cats enjoy the flavor.

Things to Consider

  • Not an organic recipe.
  • Has meat byproducts in it.
  • Available in 3-oz cans.

Hill’s Prescription Diet r/d Chicken Flavor Wet Cat Food

Life StageAdult, Senior
TextureGround in gravy
Protein (Ingredients)Pork liver, pork by-products, chicken
Protein Analysis6.5% min
Calories122 kcal / 5.5 oz can
Meets AAFCO Standards?Intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only

A prescription cat food called Hill’s r/d therapeutic nutrition promotes weight loss. In reality, it has undergone clinical testing for 4–8 weeks of healthy weight loss. This chicken-flavored wet cat food promotes lean muscle maintenance and fat metabolism while also making your cat feel full and pleased. It also contains therapeutic levels of L-carnitine and an ideal combination of soluble and insoluble fiber.

“Because of the nutritional standards established for commercial cat feeds, restricted-calorie over-the-counter foods can only significantly reduce your cat’s calorie intake. R/D and other prescription diets for weight loss have fewer calories than over-the-counter diets “Explained by Barnette. It is not suggested for long-term feeding, though. These diets are not intended for long-term usage and should only be used with a veterinarian’s approval, but they can be a useful tool for getting your cat to a healthy weight.


  • containing chicken
  • texture ground in light gravy
  • L-carnitine, fiber, and antioxidants are present.
  • Comes in 5.5-ounce can
  • US-made with international ingredients

Things to Consider

  • requires your veterinarian’s approval
  • only available in the flavor of chicken
  • intended solely for supplemental or intermittent feeding; not for long-term feeding

FAQs: Best Wet Cat Food

There are several uncertainties around wet cat food. Some of the questions that come up the most frequently have answers.

How much wet food should I feed my cat? 

The quantity of wet food you should give your cat will vary depending on a number of variables, such as their age, weight, and level of activity. A growing kitten older than four months old, for instance, would consume 1.5 to 2 cans of 5.5-ounce canned kitten food per day. If you’re still unclear about the recommended serving size, see your veterinarian or follow the feeding recommendations on the label.

Can I feed my cat only wet food?

If your cat prefers wet food to dry food, you are permitted to provide solely wet food as long as the formula is balanced and full. To make sure you are meeting their nutritional needs as they develop, kittens, however, may benefit from having access to both wet and dry foods.

Can kittens eat regular cat wet food? 

No, kittens shouldn’t consume adult wet cat food; instead, they should consume food designed for kittens or all life stages. In order to support healthy growth, kittens need more fat, protein, calories, and minerals than adult cats do. Cat food for adults shouldn’t be introduced to kittens until their metabolism has slowed down, which is usually around 8 months of age.

How long can wet food sit out? 

Wet cat food cannot be kept out for cats to nibble on all day like kibble can. According to Garner, if wet cat food is left out for an extended period of time, it may lead to bacterial development and upset your cat’s stomach. It also won’t taste very appetizing once it has been allowed to dry up. Any food that remains in your cat’s bowl after one to two hours should be thrown away. If your cat frequently leaves food in his bowl, think about dividing his usual supply of wet food into several smaller meals throughout the day.

Does wet cat food need to be refrigerated? 

Dr. Carroll advises that any food that is left over after opening a can of wet cat food should be refrigerated (ideally in an airtight container) and consumed later—within 1-2 days after opening. Choosing smaller-sized cans will help you avoid this storage problem, the author continues.

Can you freeze wet cat food?

Check the label of any wet food you plan to freeze before doing so. Garner advises customers to check the package before freezing some wet cat meals.

Should I mix water with wet cat food? 

Even though wet or canned food already includes up to 80% moisture, you can add a little water or low sodium or no salt added broth to it to assist your cat stay hydrated if they need some more encouragement to drink. You can add a little warm water to the mixture when serving wet cat food that has previously been opened to rehydrate it and add moisture.