Best Cat Foods Of 2023: Top 4 Brands Recommended By Expert Reviews

Cats are if anything, particular, so why should the food you give them be anything less than the best cat food around? Growing research indicates the importance of a healthy diet for not only humans, but also for our pets. If you’re looking for the best cat food on the market according to experts, StudyFinds is here to help.

Feeding your cat the best food is of course important to ensure peak health for your feline. A study from  the University of Guelph finds that the average weight of a cat is growing. According to researchers, cats continue gaining weight well into adulthood — and the average weight of a neutered, adult domestic cat has increased over the past twenty years or so. “It might not seem like much but [the weight gain] is still a significant amount for a cat,” lead author Adam Campigotto says. “We do have concerns with obesity in middle age, because we know that it can lead to diseases for cats, such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and cancer.”

While turning to homemade food could seem like a good idea in theory, a study by researchers at the University of California, Davis revealed serious health risks when it comes to making your cat food from scratch. While recipes written by veterinarians had fewer nutritional deficiencies than others, all of them still had some issues, with most lacking in concentrations of three or more nutrients.

The best way to ensure your precious pal is getting all the nutrients they need with none of the added junk? Leave it to the professionals. However, assessing cat food labels can be tricky. You need to know what to look for in order to ensure your pet’s diet is meeting nutritional guidelines, and staying away from additives like artificial flavorings or processed ingredients. 

StudyFinds set out to find the best and highest rated cat food across expert websites. For our findings, we visited 10 leading pet websites to see which products and brands were most recommended to help your feline friend live their happiest, healthiest, and longest life

The List: Best Cat Food Brands, According To Experts

1. Smalls

Smalls rates highly as one of the top foods for cats given its impressive list of USDA-certified, humanely-harvested, and sustainably-sourced ingredients with no BPAs, preservatives, fillers, or mystery-ingredients. “They recommend a cat food option that is made fresh with fresh human-grade ingredients or freeze-dried raw and shipped right to your door, making this one of the best cat food brands,” Veterinarians writes in its review. “It satisfies the cat’s nutritional needs, prevents obesity, and has excellent moisture content. Plus, based on the needs, it can be made as cat or kitten food.”

The company offers customized portion sizes based on your cat’s age and weight, taking out the guesswork of how much your cat should eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

“It’s a cat food brand really dedicated to optimal cat nutrition, small batches, fresh ingredients, and excellent customer service. Their Human-Grade Fresh Cat Food is exactly what it says it is. It’s human-grade quality,” Great Pet Care writes.

2. Purina

Purina’s diverse line of cat foods earned a top spot on nearly every list of expert reviews. The brand was particularly well-rated for its line of prepared foods for older cats

“As your cat ages, it can have issues digesting as much protein as it used to when it was younger, and this food reflects that with its inclusion of brown rice and a larger amount of crude fiber than you will find in most foods formulated for younger cats. This will help aid the digestive system,” Veterinarians writes.

Purina is also known to employ full-time veterinary nutritionists, while placing an emphasis on research-driven development for its products. 

“As cats age, their nutritional needs change significantly. Senior diets typically contain a lower caloric density, to reduce the risk of obesity in older cats,” writes New York Magazine. “This food also contains antioxidants, fatty acids, and other ingredients that are also designed to maximize the health of older cats.”

3. Hill’s Cat Food

Hill’s Science Diet is an industry leader in cat food innovation and research, making it a trusted name in many households. 

“This brand is a standard-bearer when it comes to AAFCO- and WSAVA-compliant foods, and it employs over 200 scientists at its Global Pet Nutrition Center,” Self Magazine writes. 

The cat formula is made with the perfect balance of protein and fiber to help meet the needs of everyday indoor cats. “This wet food was created to help your cat’s kidney stay healthy,” NBC News notes.

4.  Royal Canin

Royal Canin, which is also highly rated for its line of dog food, is well-loved due to its meals especially made for cats of all ages, with recipes rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

 “It’s important to find a food that your kitten finds palatable,” NBC News writes, “Kitten food is highly digestible so they do not suffer from discomfort as their digestive systems are weaker.”

Royal Canin specifically formulates its products for cats with adverse food reactions, making it a safe choice for a variety of pet-owners. 

“Therapeutic diets like these are manufactured under strict parameters that prevent cross contamination with any other ingredients,” Great Pet Care says in its review.

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Before making any significant changes to your cat’s diet, it’s always best to first speak with your veterinarian to make sure the products are appropriate for your pet.

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer


  1. I’m not sure that all cat foods were reviewed before the article was written. There are several very good raw food brands out there. Stella and Chewy’s is my favorite. It’s by far my pets’ favorite too.
    I have personally given Hill’s, from my veterinarian office, to several cats in my lifetime. My cats have never liked it. My dogs don’t even like their dog food!
    I’m not sure HOW Purina ended up here! As far as I’ve seen in my comparisons, Purina has never had a food that would even compare to the raw diet foods out there.
    Do you want to see a huge difference in your cats coat and health?
    I HIGHLY recommend Stella and Chewy’s brand. NO QUESTION.

    1. I thought it was my cat. My cat also doesn’t care for Hills. Not sure how Purina ended up on the list as well. My cat will eat Purina but I just don’t see it as the top 4 food for pets. Is this a list comparing all pet foods?

    2. Preach! Royal Canin, Hills, and Purina, I despise them all equally. I actually started using Savage Cat frozen raw recently and it took my cats a bit of convincing to get on board with it since they were used to kibble/canned but they eat it up like crazy now – it closely resembles RadCat. Granted I still use Annamaet Sustain 29, Farmina, and Fromm kibble mixes if I need to prep something quickly, and they still love that as well, but not quite like the raw and wet stuff. For canned I use mainly farmina and weruva and maybe some others if I feel like changing things up.

    3. Agree. My cats never like ‘diet’ hills. Also…Purina? Yeah…if you want your cat to live a shorter life. My car eats Blue Buffalo wilderness dry food and several wet foods (tiki cat, grandma’s kitchen, etc). This article obviously did not review all the other expensive brands.

  2. Cats are obligate carnivores. The best food is Raw meat. You don’t have to worry about processed kibbles that denaturs proteins or water depleted diets with high amounts of carbohydrates. The pet food industry needs to change. Animals are just surviving from kibbles but not thriving

  3. wet food is best for you kitties – they don’t drink enough, so they need to get water from wet food. dry kibble is so bad for them. and hill’s and royal canon have some of the worst ingredients i’ve ever seen for such an expensive food. seriously. especially royal canin! are you kidding, at that price! instinct is a great brand, so is wellness (especially wellness core). tiki cat is another great one.

  4. Please look into the over the counter foods of Purina, Hills, and ESPECIALLY Royal Canin. They aren’t as good as they boast. It’s mostly corn, by-product, filler and VERY high I’m preservatives. None of which is good for your kitties. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE research these things and ingredients before making these lists. Not sources, just read the bags

  5. Who are the experts that are referenced in this study? Royal Canin is not one of the best, especially for the price point. It’s full of fillers. I’d have to agree that Smalls is a good brand, though. This article reads like a paid promotion.

    1. Marta ! Girl all I did was scroll down and seen your comment and bursted out laughing !!! Sometimes we need people like you to tell us we’re not wrong ! And don’t you like how they say “ leave it to the professionals “ yea the professionals that kill are babies sooner then needed .

      I tried smalls but she wasn’t a fan and it’s too expensive when she does t clean the bowl, so I went back to CAT PERSON which she seems to LOVE, but I just wanted to venture off and see but I tell ya, you can’t trust nothing , you gotta have your own trial run and look at all the ingredients and basically compare them.

      But I appreciate you being honest ! It will help a lot of people weather they wanna believe it or not

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