The Best Cat Food: A Comprehensive Guide for Pet Owners

16 Minute Read
Updated June 21, 2024

Choosing the best cat food for your feline friend can feel overwhelming, given the many options available. Whether you have a kitten, an indoor cat, a senior cat, or one with specific dietary needs, you’ll want to ensure your furry friend has the proper nutrition.

Diet plays a significant role in overall feline health. Factors such as age, lifestyle, and health all need to be considered when shopping for the best cat food for your feline friend.

Our goal with this guide is to explore the proper nutrition for cats. We will also examine how to choose the best cat food and review some top options available in Canada.


The Importance of Proper Nutrition for Cats

Every cat is different, which means that no one cat food is going to be one-size-fits-all. It's important to determine the factors that contribute to your cat's unique dietary needs so that you can choose the best cat food. 

The three most important factors are age, health, and lifestyle. Take a look at how these factors can influence which cat food you choose.

Feeding For Your Cats Age

The dietary needs of cats can change as they age. Opting for a high-quality and meat-rich diet is recommended at any age, but the specific formula you choose may need to change as your cat enters different stages of life. 

Kittens require a calorie and nutrient-dense diet to support their growth and development needs, while adult cats may thrive on a diet with more moderate calories.

As cats get older and less active, they may need fewer calories, but they benefit from many of the same growth and development nutrients as kittens. Choosing a diet that best suits their lifestage will help them maintain healthy weight and muscle mass, and benefit their overall health.

Diet Needs to Match Lifestyle

Your cat's lifestyle and activity can also factor into choosing the best cat food. Dietary need can change depending on their environment. Indoor vs outdoor cats typically have very different activity levels that can affect what type of food and how much of it they need. 

Breed characteristics can also affect lifestyle. Certain breeds are prone to high-energy lifestyles, like Bengals, and these cats may benefit from a high-protein diet like raw cat food to suit their energy needs.  

If you have multiple pets who play together or if you have a highly stimulating environment that allows your cat to chase and climb, they may need a diet that offers the calories they need to stay active.

Special Dietary Needs

Another important consideration when choosing the best cat food for your feline pal is their individual health issues. Obesity, allergies, skin and coat health, and even dental health can be supported through diet.

If your cat is showing any signs of health issues, the diet you choose can help. Always make sure to check in with your vet to ensure the correct steps are being taken to address any health issues and get proper medical care before switching food. 


How to Choose the Best Cat Food

The first step in choosing the best cat food is understanding your furry friend’s nutritional needs. 

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet high in animal protein. When choosing cat food, look for products with high-quality protein sources like chicken, beef, or fish listed as the first ingredient. 

Avoid cat foods that contain excessive fillers like corn, wheat, and soy, as these can cause digestive issues and provide little nutritional value. Kibble will offer more carbohydrates compared to popular feeding options like wet cat food and raw cat food, but you can opt for formulas that use low glycemic and limited whole grains.

Reading Cat Food Labels and Ingredients

It’s true, most people don’t take the time to read the labels on pet food. However, when shopping for food for your cat, you’ll want to see exactly what’s in the cat food you plan to purchase for your feline buddy. 

Understanding the labels and ingredients listed on cat food packaging can help you make informed decisions. 

Look for:

    • Named Protein Sources: The first ingredient, ideally the first few ingredients, listed should be specific animal proteins such as chicken, beef, or salmon.
    • By-products: Skip cat foods with ingredients like animal by-products. Named organ meats are a healthier option.
    • No Artificial Additives: Avoid foods with artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives. If a food is labelled as beef or chicken flavoured, there is a high chance that the "flavour" comes from artificial ingredients instead of meat.
    • Limit Carbs: While many carbohydrate-heavy ingredients offer nutrients and fibre, cats do not have a high requirement for them, so opt for foods that are geared to nourish a carnivore.

Being able to spot poor-quality ingredients and clever marketing tricks can help you avoid unhealthy quality cat foods and choose the most nutritious option for your cat.


Best Cat Foods in Canada


When it comes to choosing the best cat food for your cat, it can be a little overwhelming to compare so many brands and types of cat food. Understanding what makes a particular cat food stand out can help you make an informed decision.

Let’s evaluate the best cat foods in Canada. Each one is a yummy and nutritious option for your furry feline friend. 

Best Overall Cat Food

Though no one cat food works for every cat, many of the best cat foods are designed to suit the needs of the average cat. Look for cat foods that offer high-quality protein sources, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals from real food ingredients that support immune health and coat condition.

Here are some great options for the best overall cat foods:

Raw Cat Food

The most natural and best overall cat food is raw. Raw cat foods offer nutrients in their most natural state. Feeding your cat the type of food their bodies are designed to eat is a great way to ensure they maintain optimal health. Here are a few of our top raw cat foods:

Open Farm RawMix for Cats


If you prefer the convenience of kibble, then we recommend cat kibbles that include the benefits of freeze-dried nutrition. Open Farm RawMix for Cats is one of the best overall cat foods. This product combines high-quality protein and wholesome vegetables and superfoods with the superior flavour and nutrition of freeze-dried raw meat.



Best Canadian Cat Food

Supporting local brands can ensure freshness and quality. With some of the highest standards for pet nutrition in the world, Canadian-sourced and made cat foods offer formulas you can feel good about feeding for feline family members. 

Check out our top pick for the Best Canada Cat Foods:

Smack Dehydrated Cat Food


Sourced from only a trusted network of ranchers, farmers, and fishermen, Smack Cat Food is one of the highest-rated cat foods in Canada. Their formulas are packed with real food ingredients that offer premium nutrition and optimal digestion for cats of all ages. 

Shop Smack Pet Food

Canada Fresh Wet Cat Food

canada-fresh-chicken-cat-food-smallCanada Fresh Wet Cat Food is an excellent choice, offering a variety of flavours made with locally sourced ingredients. Choose from single-protein or multi-protein diets to provide your cat with the variety and nutrition she deserves. Each formula is carefully crafted to support total body health with key ingredients like liver and salmon oil.

Shop Canada Fresh Cat Food

Want even more wet food recommendations? Check out our list of the Best Wet Cat Foods in Canada.

Best Indoor Cat Food

Indoor cats have different nutritional needs compared to their outdoor counterparts. They tend to be less active, making them more prone to weight gain. Plus, they can’t graze on bits of grass and other natural food sources. 

Commercial foods that are designed for the nutritional needs of indoor cats are formulated to provide balanced nutrition while managing calorie intake.

Our number 1 pick for best indoor cat food is:

Acana Indoor Cat Food


Acana Indoor Cat Food is formulated to meet the unique needs of indoor cats, providing balanced nutrition and helping manage weight. This multi-protein diet helps to support digestion, control hairballs, improve skin and coat, and maintain a healthy weight for all adult cats.

Shop Acana Cat Food

Best Senior Cat Food

As cats age, their dietary requirements change. You’ll want to give your elderly kitty a diet that meets their needs and also tantalizes their appetite. Senior cats need more easily digestible proteins and nutrients that support joint health and cognitive function. 

Here's our most popular senior cat food:

Tiki Cat Silver


Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Silver Senior Health Dry Food is an excellent choice for older cats who are starting to slow down a bit but still need plenty of healthy proteins to maintain energy and muscle mass. It contains key ingredients like pumpkin and prebiotics to support digestive health and immunity in ageing cats.

It's not uncommon for older cats to prefer wet diets, so check out Tiki Cat Silver Canned Cat Food. Following the same high nutrition standards as the kibble option, this west cat food supplies plenty of moisture to help protect urinary and kidney function.

Shop All Tiki Cat

Best Kitten Food

Proper nutrition is a necessity for cats at all life stages, but kittens have unique dietary needs. They are feisty and growing so you’ll want to concentrate on providing your little one with the best food available. 

Kittens require higher protein and fat levels to support their rapid growth and development. Other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A are also essential during kittenhood.

Many types of foods, like raw cat food, are excellent choices for growing kittens, you may feel more comfortable feeding a diet specifically crafted for growth like this one:

Orijen Kitten Food


Quality kitten food like Orijen Kitten Food provides the essential nutrients needed for a healthy start in life plus most youngsters find the food yummy. Orijen Kitten Food is packed with high-quality proteins and essential nutrients to support the growth and development of kittens.

Pair this wholesome diet with Orijen Wet Kitten Food to the moisture, flavour, and nutrition a growing kitten needs to thrive.

Shop Orijen Cat Food

Check out our full list of the Best Kitten Foods for even more suggestions and tips.

Best Weight Management Cat Food

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for a cat’s overall health. Overweight cats are at risk for various health issues, including diabetes and arthritis. Obesity is one of the leading health conditions in cats, and it all starts with a healthy diet and appropriate portion control.

Try this fat cat food and take care of your cat's weight loss journey:

go! Solutions Weight Management + Joint Care


Go! Solutions Weight Management + Joint Care Grain-Free Chicken Recipe is designed to help cats lose weight while supporting joint health.  It’s hard to convince your kitty to lose weight but with tasty food, your kitty will be more willing to diet. With premium animal proteins and healthy fibre, this cat food is both tasty and will leave your hungry hungry cat feeling full and satisfied.

Shop go! Solutions Cat Food

Best Sensitive Stomach Cat Food

Is your kitty prone to stomach upset? Cats with sensitive stomachs require special diets that are gentle on their digestive systems. Look for limited ingredients to eliminate foods that your cat doesn't digest well, and opt for formulas that offer digestive aids like prebiotics to help support your cat's natural gut ecosystem.

Check out our best limited-ingredient cat food for sensitive stomachs:

KOHA Limited Ingredient Cat Food


KOHA Limited ingredient Wet Cat Foods are grain and potato-free single protein formulas that are easy to digest and offer healthy fibre, like pumpkin and a high moisture content to help support the digestive process. Choose from a variety of proteins to support rotational feeding and offer a wide range of nutrients.

Shop Koha Cat Food

Best Cat Food for Picky Eaters

Cats and picky eating often go hand in hand. They are guided by taste and smell, but more importantly, they are guided by texture, which makes finding the right combination of all three a challenge. You can keep trying new flavours until you are blue in the face, but the best way to encourage better eating habits in a picky cat is to find the texture that best suits them. 

Find the right diet for your picky cat:

Weruva Cat Food


Weruva Pet Food offers a variety of flavours and textures to appeal to even the fussiest eaters, ensuring your cat enjoys their meals. Choose from Weruva classic pates and stews, Truluxe shredded formulas, and many more. You'll find just about every taste and texture available to keep your picky cat excited about mealtime.



Best Cheap Cat Food

Let's face it, owning a pet is expensive. You want the best for your cat, but it's more important than ever to be budget-conscious. There are a lot of junk foods for cats out there with an appealing price tag, but scraping the bottom of the barrel for food often leads to some hefty vet bills down the road.

The good news is that you don't have to overspend to get premium cat food that you can feel good about feeding to your cat. Here's one of our best-selling and affordable cat foods:

Fussie Cat Food


Quality cat food doesn’t have to break the bank. Fussie Cat Food provides balanced nutrition at an affordable price, making it the best cheap cat food option. Choose from one of three market fresh dry recipes and pair it with one of Fussie Cat's Premium Wet Foods.

Shop Fussie Cat Food

Best Urinary Cat Food

Urinary health often gets overlooked when choosing the best diet for cats. You might not think of it at all until something goes wrong. The problem is that urinary tract issues are painful and expensive, and it's always easier to prevent them than it is to treat them. 

Shop our top urinary care wet food for cats:

Nutram Urinary+ Wet Food


Nutram Urinary+ Wet Food Cups support urinary tract health with a balanced formula, making it ideal for cats with urinary issues. This easy-to-digest formula contains healthy animal proteins and a combination of cranberry and celery to support bladder health.

Shop Nutram Cat Food


The Best Cat Foods Make Healthy Cats

Choosing the best cat food is essential for your pet’s health and happiness. Whether you’re looking for the best food for cats and kittens, the best cat food for indoor cats, or specific dietary needs like weight management or sensitive stomachs, there are high-quality options available. 

Brands like Open Farm, Orijen, Acana, Tiki Cat, and KOHA offer a variety of products to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. By understanding your cat’s specific requirements and reading labels carefully, you can make sure that your furry friend receives optimum nutrition for all life stages and needs.

Investing in high-quality cat food not only supports your pet’s health but also improves their life and can save you big on vet bills down the road. 


Best Cat Food FAQs

What is the best food for cats and kittens?

The best food for cats and kittens depends on their specific needs. Brands like Instinct, Orijen, Open Farm, and Tiki Cat offer high-quality cat formulas that suit different dietary needs and life stages. At Homes Alive Pets, we carry a wide array of cat foods for every stage of your feline’s life. 

What is the best cat food for indoor cats?

Pick an indoor cat food that is well-balanced and supplies them with all of the nutritional needs they need. Formulas like Acana Indoor Cat Food are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats, helping to manage their weight and overall health.

What is the best senior cat food?

As your cat ages, their needs change and you’ll want to supply your elderly feline with all of the nutrition they need to thrive while supporting their ageing bodies. Shop brands like Tiki Cat, go! solutions and many more at Homes Alive Pets.

What is the best cat food for weight loss?

Chunky cats thrive on diets that are calorie-dense and high in protein. This plus healthy sources of dietary fibre helps your cat better use calories and stay full for longer. Shop brands like Instinct, go! Solutions, and Vetdiet for premium weight loss cat foods.

What is the best cat food for sensitive stomachs?

Feeding high-quality food can help your kitty overcome an upset stomach because the food is more digestible. Try limited-ingredient diets and foods that contain digestive aids, like probiotics. Koha, Farmina, Nutram, and many more brands offer foods suitable for sensitive dog digestion.

What are the best cat food brands in Canada?

Some of the best cat food brands in Canada include Open Farm, Big Country Raw, Acana, Tiki Cat, Primal, and Canada Fresh. Every cat is different, so the food that helps them thrive should be chosen based on their individual dietary needs.

What is the best cheap cat food?

Just because cat food is affordable does not mean you are skimping on nutrition.  At Homes Alive Pets, we offer a wide assortment of quality cat foods at thrifty prices. Fussie Cat Food offers quality nutrition at an affordable price, making it one of the best cheap cat food options.


Written by

Homes Alive Pets


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