This best cat food brands list is based on years of research and experience.

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 list.

All products on this page made it on the list! There are many more options on the list. But these are the cat food brands that I have personal experience with.

These are the best cat food brands for indoor cats and kittens:

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

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

Get straight to shopping at the table or read my full reviews for all options below.

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

Hare Today Raw Pet Food Supplier – Best Homemade (Advanced)

Hare Today is an FDA- and USDA-inspected raw pet food supplier.

hare today cat food supplies

Why I recommend:

  • 19 different proteins to choose from
  • Ingredient origin information available
  • Whole prey, chunks, ground, freeze-dried, treats, supplements
  • Excellent rewards program
  • Nutritional supplements available

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

I’ve been a paying customer of Hare Today since 2019. Jericho loves everything I get.

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. Use code BLOG15 for 15% off.

Buy Hare Today on their website. Create an account and earn discount points on purchases. Use my PDF toolkit for instructions, meal prep tips, and more.

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 join my membership Homemade Made Simple.

Viva Raw Pure Blends – Best Base for Homemade (Beginner)

Viva Raw Pure Blends are made with human-grade quality ingredients in USDA-kitchens.

Viva raw alnutrin

Why I recommend:

  • Perfect base for homemade cat food
  • Lots of variety in proteins and textures
  • Fresh, human-grade quality
  • Subscriptions available for busy cat parents

I tested and reviewed Viva Raw with my mom’s four cats. They were licking the package, mixing bowl, and plates clean.

They absolutely loved the food!

Viva Raw also tests their food for nutritional analysis.

Buy Viva Raw on their website (20% off with that link). Use my Viva Raw page for instructions to make the food, meal prep tips, and more.

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.

viva raw complete food for cats

Why I recommend:

  • Great variety of meat ingredients
  • Whole food sources to complete the meal
  • Single protein source
  • Complete for all life stages

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.

Why I recommend:

  • Whole sources of meat, bones, and organs
  • Full nutritional analysis available upon request
  • Free pet food consultation available

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 provide a complete nutritional analysis based on AAFCO feeding guidelines.

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).

Darwin’s is formulated for all life stages.

switch to raw blueprint course

Ready to ditch high carbohydrate kibble and switch to a more natural, fresh food diet? My Switch to Raw Blueprint is for you!

Steve’s Real 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.

quest cat food

Why I recommend:

  • 100% whole foods no synthetic supplements
  • Specifically-named meat ingredients
  • Easy to portion and serve
  • Cheapest raw at your local pet store

Steve’s Real Food is complete and balanced for all life stages. His food is very easy to portion and serve. Perfect for raw beginners.

And no synthetic supplements!

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

Buy Steve’s freeze-dried raw food online:

Use code JESSCATICLES for 20% off.

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.

Raised Right cat food

Why I recommend:

  • Whole sources of meat and organs
  • Very low in carbohydrates
  • Minimal synthetic supplements
  • Lab safety test results available for every product

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

My mother used to feed Raised Right to her 4 cats.

Buy Raised Right on their website. Use code PETS20 for 20% off your first box. Suitable for adult cats only.

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.

smalls wet cat food

Why I recommend:

  • Veterinary nutritionists on staff
  • Human-grade quality ingredients
  • High in meat-based protein, low carb
  • More protein variety than Raised Right

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. Suitable for all life stages.

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 is fish and chicken.

just food for cats

Why I recommend:

  • Veterinarian-formulated
  • Human-grade quality ingredients
  • Includes fish which is helpful for picky cats

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. Suitable for adult cats only.

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.

Why I recommend:

  • No mystery meats or by-products
  • Human-grade quality ingredients
  • Humanely-raised ingredients

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. Suitable for adult cats only.


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 affiliate links and make a purchase. 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” their products.

Read more about me, my website, and how I make money 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 label rules outside the US?

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. And also made it on Susan Thixton’s 2023 list.

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.

Need help switching your cat’s food properly? My Switch to Raw Blueprint Course is for you!