The best cat food brands of 2024 include Hare Today, Viva Raw, and other healthiest options that I recommend as a pet nutritionist.

I’ve worked with over 400 cats. I’ve been studying cat food, nutrition, and AAFCO labeling since 2017.

I’m constantly enrolling in various nutrition education programs. And I also purchased Susan Thixton’s 2023 and 2024 list.

I’m including mostly cat food brands that I have personal experience with.

Healthiest cat food brands I recommend:

Important: Please read through FAQ below before changing your cat’s food.

Disclaimer: I earn a commission if you purchase through affiliate links below. No additional cost to you.

Best cat food brands I recommend (quick review):

Best cat food category:Where to buy:
Homemade cat foodHare Today
Complete rawViva Raw
Freeze-dried rawQuest
Wet (adults only)Raised Right
Wet (adults and kittens)Smalls
DryOpen Farm

All of the pros are very similar among these reviews. There is one con I will not mention over and over again. And that is the minimum order requirement for shipping.

Please know that these companies are shipping perishable foods. They have to have a minimum for shipping. Otherwise, the food would arrive spoiled. And you don’t want that!

This minimum for shipping exists regardless of the food you buy online. Even for human food suppliers!

Hare Today Raw Pet Food Supplier – Best Homemade

Hare Today is an FDA- and USDA-inspected raw pet food supplier. I’ve been a paying customer since 2019. I started Jericho on homemade raw with Hare Today’s products.

hare today cat food supplies

Hare Today pros:

  • 19 different proteins to choose from
  • Ingredient origin information available
  • Whole prey, chunks, ground, freeze-dried, treats, supplements
  • Excellent rewards program
  • Nutritional supplements available
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list

Hare Today cons:

  • No complete and balanced cat food available (not great for beginners)

Hare Today is for you if you’re interested in homemade raw cat food.

Easy homemade food: Buy meat, bones, organs chubs. Plus supplements Alnutrin for meat and bone and fish oil. All on Hare Today.

For advanced raw feeders: You can get just about every part you need here! Check out my homemade cat food recipes to get started.

Buy Hare Today on their website. Create an account and earn discount points on purchases.

I’d only suggest this option for people who are already feeding raw. If you’re currently feeding raw and would like to learn how to make cat food you can join my course Homemade Cat Food Starter Kit.

Viva Raw Complete – Best Complete Frozen Raw for Adults and Kittens

Viva Raw Complete for Cats is made with human-grade quality ingredients in USDA kitchens. My mom’s 4 cats enjoy a subscription to Viva Raw. And they always send free products for Jericho to test and review. Spoiler alert: he loves them all!

viva raw complete food for cats

Viva Raw pros:

  • Great variety of meat ingredients
  • Whole food sources to complete the meal
  • Single protein source options
  • Complete for adult cats and kittens
  • Viva is transparent and values customer feedback
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list

Viva Raw cons:

  • No mental stimulation benefits from chewing on raw meaty bones

I tested Viva Raw complete beef, turkey, and chicken with Jericho, and he loved all three!

This is the cleanest complete raw you’ll find for your cat. There are only 3 added supplements!

Buy Viva Raw Complete from their website and use code JESSCATICLES to save 20% on your first order.

Darwin’s Natural Pet – Best Runner-up Complete Frozen Raw for Adults and Kittens

Darwin’s sells complete ground raw food.

Darwin’s raw cat food pros:

  • Whole sources of meat, bones, and organs
  • Full nutritional analysis available upon request
  • Free pet food consultation available
  • Specialty diets available with vet prescription
  • Complete for adult cats and kittens
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list

Darwin’s cons:

  • Lack of protein variety
  • No mental stimulation benefits from chewing on raw meaty bones

I don’t have personal experience with Darwin’s. However, many people in raw feeding communities recommend and love Darwin’s.

I also appreciate that they have specialty diet options for CKD cats.

Buy Darwin’s on their website. Tell them about your cat and get 10 lbs of food for just $14.95!

They also have a veterinary diet for CKD cats (not eligible for new customer discount).

Steve’s Quest Cat Food – Best Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Steve Brown has been formulating pet food for years. He sells freeze-dried and frozen raw cat food. Jericho and my mom’s 4 cats enjoyed their beef and chicken freeze-dried raw cat food.

quest cat food

Quest cat food pros:

  • 100% whole foods no synthetic supplements
  • Specifically-named meat ingredients
  • Easy to portion and serve
  • Potentially available at your local pet store
  • Complete for adult cats and kittens
  • No synthetic supplements
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list

Quest cat food cons:

  • No mental stimulation benefits from chewing on raw meaty bones
  • Freeze-dried raw is the most costly fresh food feeding option

Freeze-dried raw is perfect for raw beginners. Quest Cat Food is very easy to portion and serve.

I also like to recommend freeze-dried for cat parents who are feeding dry food. You could serve freeze-dried as is or sprinkle on top of the dry food.

This will help your cat get used to eating it gradually. Then you would slowly rehydrate it daily to get your cat used to eating it rehydrated.

Check Steve’s online store locator if you prefer to buy from local pet stores.

Or buy on Quest Cat Food website and use code JESSCATICLES to get 20% off.

switch to raw blueprint video course

Ready to switch your cat to a species-appropriate raw diet? Get my proven plan that has helped 200+ picky cats thrive on raw!

Raised Right – Best Wet Cat Food with Minimal Supplements

Raised Right is lightly cooked, high-protein, low-carb food created by Dr. Karen Becker and pet food formulator Steve Brown. My mom’s 4 cats have tried Raised Right.

Raised Right cat food

Raised Right pros:

  • Whole sources of meat and organs
  • Very low in carbohydrates
  • Minimal synthetic supplements
  • Lab safety test results available for every product
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list

Raised Right cons:

  • Lack of protein variety
  • No mental stimulation benefits from chewing on raw meaty bones
  • Complete for adult cats only (no kittens)
  • Raised Right is more costly than raw

This is the closest you’re going to get to a healthy “home-cooked” meal without cooking it yourself.

Buy Raised Right on their website.

FAQ – Isn’t spearmint toxic to cats?

The ingredients state “Organic Spearmint” not “spearmint essential oil”. This is very different. This food is formulated by holistic veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker, and Raised Right uses human-grade ingredients. If you have other questions regarding the ingredients, please contact them.

Smalls – Best Subscription Wet Cat Food

Smalls cat food also contains human-grade quality ingredients. They are lightly cooked and shipped frozen. My mom’s 4 cats enjoy a monthly subscription to Smalls.

smalls wet cat food

Smalls cat food pros:

  • Veterinary nutritionists on staff
  • Large variety in proteins
  • High in meat-based protein, low carb
  • Includes whole muscular and secreting organs
  • Complete for adult cats and kittens

Smalls cat food cons:

  • Long list of synthetic supplements
  • Not on Susan Thixton’s 2024 list (but was on 2023 list)
  • No mental stimulation benefits from chewing on raw meaty bones
  • Smalls is more costly than raw

Their food is easy to portion and serve. And the subscription makes it simple for busy cat parents.

My mom’s 4 cats enjoy a free subscription to Smalls every month.

Tell them about your cat, and they will set up a trial subscription for you. Use code CATICLES for $5 off your first order.

Just Food for Cats – Best Wet Cat Food for Picky Eaters

Just Food for Cats is made in open kitchens that you can visit. Currently, their only protein option for cats is fish and chicken. My mom’s 4 cats have had Just Food for Cats.

just food for cats

Just Food for Cats pros:

  • Veterinarian-formulated
  • Human-grade quality ingredients
  • Includes fish which is helpful for picky cats
  • Includes whole muscular and secreting organs
  • Lightly cooked from fresh ingredients
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list

Just Food for Cats cons:

  • Long list of synthetic supplements
  • No mental stimulation benefits from chewing on raw meaty bones
  • Lack of protein variety
  • Complete for adult cats only (no kittens)
  • Just Food is more costly than raw

Cats often develop an addiction to fish. And this can cause picky eating.

So I’d suggest Just Food for Cats if your cat is currently eating low-quality fish-flavored wet food.

JFFC can help your cat get used to eating better-quality ingredients. Then you can transition to more protein options.

Use this link to their website to get 35% off your first auto-ship.

Open Farm – Best Dry Cat Food

Open Farm’s cat food ingredients are also of human-grade quality and humanely raised. The “best” dry food doesn’t exist. But at least these ingredients are of better quality.

Open Farm pros:

  • No mystery meats or by-products
  • Human-grade quality ingredients
  • Protein variety available
  • Humanely-raised ingredients
  • On Susan Thixton’s 2024 list
  • Options for adult cats and kittens

Open Farm cons:

  • Dry food of any kind is not appropriate for cats long term

I would only suggest this dry food if your cat is very picky about transitioning off his current dry food.

Some cats need to transition to “better quality” dry before switching to wet or raw.

Please do not feed dry food long-term!

Buy Open Farm on Amazon.


Can I mix dry food with raw food?

Yes but only if you properly wash dishes between meals. Dry food is not a bacteria-free superhero food. Do not leave uneaten food in the dish. Discard uneaten food and wash the dish instead.

Can I feed dry food forever?

No. I don’t recommend relying solely on dry food only. Open Farm is human-grade quality. But it is still too low in moisture for cats.

I only recommend this product to get your cat off low-quality kibble because it is similar in texture, but it is much better quality. This will help your cat get adjusted to eating better quality food without realizing it.

Then I suggest transitioning to wet or raw. You can also supplement dried food with raw if you want.

Do pet food companies pay you to review their food?

No. I am not sponsored by any company.

I only receive a commission if you click through my affiliate links and make a purchase and/or you use my discount code. Think of my website as a pet food store. I receive a portion of the sale since I am the business owner. But companies do not pay me to “stock” (aka talk about) their products.

Read more about me and my approach here.

Will my cat eat it?

“Will my cat eat it” is not a fair benchmark for rating cat food. All cats are sensitive to food changes. And most cats are picky about new food. Especially if the current diet is an all-access 24/7 buffet of kibble and/or fish-flavored food.

Use my Switch to Raw Blueprint to transition cat food properly.

What about bad reviews on product pages?

Take negative reviews with a grain of salt. Every cat is an individual. Also, most people don’t know that cats are extremely sensitive to food changes. These people may have switched cat food too quickly.

You will shock your cat’s system if you switch food too quickly. This can cause many problems. If your cat isn’t eating it now, you need to transition cat food slowly. That applies to all types of new food regardless of its quality.

Additionally, most people are unaware of cat food label rules and definitions set by AAFCO. If you don’t understand AAFCO guidelines you don’t understand what you’re buying and reviewing.

What about cat food options and label rules outside the US?

I only feel comfortable recommending options that I have personal experience with. I live in the US so I review US brands.

Please learn how to read labels to find cat food that works for you. Use these US brands as an example of what to look for.

The AAFCO pet food label rules are the same in Canada, but I am not sure of other countries. It seems that other countries have adopted some of AAFCO’s rules.

EU check FEDIAF. NZ check MPI. AU check PFIAA.

There are far too many countries for me to cover everything. Please research this for yourself.

What about dog food?

The same AAFCO label guidelines apply to dog foods as well. Check out my best dog food brands list.

Final thoughts on best cat food brands

These are the best cat food brands that I have found based on years of research and experience. Most also made it on Susan Thixton’s 2024 list. And I have personal experience with them.

Frankly, there aren’t a lot of good-quality commercial cat foods out there.

That’s why my top suggestion is always homemade cat food.

But at the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your cat.

So you should learn how to read cat food labels and study feline nutrition. That way you don’t have to rely on me or anyone else to tell you what to feed your cat.

Education is the best tool you have.

Still need help switching your cat to raw? Check out my raw feeding cats guide next!