The Absolute Best Wet Cat Food

Written by Shannon Amber
Updated: February 16, 2023
© Lightspruch/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall wet cat food is Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy.
  • More than 50% of cats are overweight. The right cat food can help them reach their ideal weight and maintain strong, lean muscles.
  • Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that at least 70% of their diet must come from meat.
  • When you’re shopping for the best wet cat food, consider protein, quality, and ingredients.

Today’s housecats mainly live indoors and are primarily sedentary. So it should come as no surprise that more than 50% of cats are overweight. The right nutrition can help them shed excess pounds and support strong and lean muscles.

Some cats have more refined dietary needs, others may have a sensitive stomach or skin. We’ve compiled a list below of the absolute best wet cat foods to meet any cat’s dietary needs. Additionally, all of the selections chosen meet and exceed the standard for balanced nutrition established by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re feeding your cat the best wet cat food available.

  1. Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy
    • Help manage your cat's weight
    • Contains L Carotene
    • No fillers or by-products
    • Includes vitamins and minerals
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Poultry Grain-Free Variety Pack
    • Multiple flavor options
    • Include real chicken, fruit, and vegetables
    • No wheat, soy, or corn
    • Added probiotics and antioxidants
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Pate Variety Pack
    • High-quality protein is essential for cats
    • Includes flavors like chicken, salmon, and duck
    • Added amino acids
    • No by-product meals, soy, corn, or wheat
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Wild Salmon Pate
    • Contains only real quality ingredients
    • No flavors, preservatives, or artificial colors
    • Contains Taurine and Magnesium
    • Includes Vitamin A and D
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Wellness Natural Grain-Free Gravies Chicken Dinner
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    • Grain-free
    • No artificial colors, byproduct meals, or carrageenan
    • Contains real chicken
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  6. Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe
    • Contains over 95% protein
    • Added vegetables and fruits
    • No grains or potatoes
    • Contains chicken, chicken liver, and turkey
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals’ Top Picks for Best Wet Cat Food

#1 Best Overall: Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy

If you have a cat who has a tendency to lounge around and has put on a few pounds, Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy fed at scheduled times can help manage their weight. It’s formulated with L-carnitine, which has been proven to support a healthy weight.

Some brands may use fillers or by-products which don’t provide proper nutrition to keep your cat full. Instead, Blue Buffalo includes fiber to help ensure your cat is satisfied after their meal. Additionally, it’s made with natural ingredients and includes vitamins and minerals. Your cat will appreciate that there are no by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, or flavors. Blue Buffalo‘s True Solutions Fit and Healthy will keep your cat satisfied and help them achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Guaranteed Analysis (may vary by flavor): Crude Protein 8.5% min, Crude Fat 4.0% min, Crude Fat 9.0% max, Crude Fiber 3.0% max, Moisture 78.0% max, Vitamin E 85 IU/kg min, Taurine 0.10% min, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C)* 30 mg/kg min, L-Carnitine* 100 mg/kg min.

Some pet parents reported that their cats didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy

ProsCons
This wet cat food is formulated with L-carnitine, which has been proven to support a healthy weight.Some pet parents reported that their cats didn’t like this food.
Blue Buffalo includes fiber to ensure that your cat is satisfied after their meal.
This recipe is made with natural ingredients and includes vitamins and minerals.
It’s free from by-products, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and artificial preservatives.
It’s formulated to keep your cat satisfied and help them reach and maintain a healthy body weight.
Best Overall
Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy
  • Help manage your cat's weight
  • Contains L Carotene
  • No fillers or by-products
  • Includes vitamins and minerals
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best Variety Pack: Merrick Purrfect Bistro Poultry Variety Pack Wet Cat Food

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Poultry Variety Pack Wet Cat Food provides cats with the quality nutrition and protein they need as natural-born hunters. This variety pack includes multiple flavor options (duck, chicken, and turkey) that are sure to keep your cat satisfied and nutritious, high-quality ingredients that have been specifically selected to support your cat’s nutritional requirements.

Ingredients for the chicken recipe include chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, fruit, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals. There is no wheat, soy, or corn added to any of the flavors included in the variety pack. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids ensure that your cat has a healthy skin and soft fur. Additionally, probiotics are added to maintain healthy digestion, as well as antioxidants, which will support your cat’s immune system. And with a variety of flavors to choose from, your cat will look forward to mealtime.

Guaranteed Analysis (may vary by flavor): Crude protein 10.00%min, Crude Fat 5.00% min, Crude fiber 1.00% max, Moisture 78.00% max, Ash 2.5% max, Taurine 0.1% min.

Some reviewers reported that their cats experienced digestive issues, including diarrhea and vomiting, after eating this food.

Pros and Cons of Merrick Purrfect Bistro Poultry Variety Pack Wet Cat Food

ProsCons
This variety pack provides cats with the nutrition and protein they need.Some reviewers reported that their cats experienced digestive issues, including diarrhea and vomiting, after eating this food.
It includes duck, chicken, and turkey flavors.
The recipes include real poultry protein, fruit, veggies, vitamins, and minerals.
They are free from wheat, corn, and soy.
These recipes are enhanced with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health.
Probiotics are included for digestive health and antioxidants to support your cat’s immune system.
Best Variety Pack
Merrick Purrfect Bistro Poultry Grain-Free Variety Pack
  • Multiple flavor options
  • Include real chicken, fruit, and vegetables
  • No wheat, soy, or corn
  • Added probiotics and antioxidants
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best High-Protein: Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Pâté 

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Pâté provides the high-quality protein your cat requires as an obligate carnivore.

All members of the cat family are obligate carnivores. This means that at least 70% of their diet must consists of meat. While your cat is much smaller than lions and tigers, their dietary needs are the same. They require high-quality protein to have the energy necessary to play, hunt, and explore.

This variety pack includes chicken, salmon, duck, and many more. The number one and first ingredient is always an animal protein, which is vital to support muscle development. Amino acids are added to support heart health, as well as flaxseed, which contains omega-3 fatty acid that promotes healthy coat, skin, and digestion. As a high-quality product, it’s free from by-product meals, soy, corn, wheat, artificial preservatives, or flavors.

Guaranteed Analysis (may vary by flavor): Crude Protein 10.0% min, Crude Fat8.0% min, Crude Fiber 1.5% max, Moisture 78.0% max, Taurine 0.10% min

Several reviewers reported that their cats didn’t like this variety pack.

Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Pâté 

ProsCons
This variety pack is filled with the high-quality animal protein your cat requires as an obligate carnivore.Several reviewers reported that their cats didn’t like this variety pack.
The first ingredient in each flavor is an animal protein, which is essential to support muscle development.
The recipes are enhanced with amino acids for heart health, and flaxseed, which contains omega-3 fatty acid, for coat, skin, and digestive health.
These recipes are free from by-product meals, soy, corn, wheat, artificial preservatives, and flavors.
Best High Protein
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Pate Variety Pack
  • High-quality protein is essential for cats
  • Includes flavors like chicken, salmon, and duck
  • Added amino acids
  • No by-product meals, soy, corn, or wheat
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best with Pre-biotic Fiber: Purina Beyond Natural Wet Cat Food in Gravy

Purina Beyond Natural Wet Cat Food in Gravy includes only real, quality ingredients and contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors. This recipe focuses on providing your cat with high-quality protein, which is essential to fueling bodily processes, providing the energy they need, and building strong muscles.

Also included are minerals such as taurine, which is essential for cats to have a healthy metabolic function, and magnesium, which supports strong teeth and bones. Thoughtfully selected vitamins include A, which aids in healthy vision, and D, which is essential for a healthy skeletal structure. With a variety of flavors, your cat is sure to find one, or all, that they’ll love.

Guaranteed Analysis (may vary by flavor): Crude Protein 9.0% min, Crude Fat 2.0% min, Crude Fiber 1.0% max, Moisture 82.0% max, Ash 3.5% max, Taurine 0.05% min.

Some reviewers said that their cats didn’t like this cat food.

Pros and Cons of Purina Beyond Natural Wet Cat Food in Gravy

ProsCons
This wet food recipe contains only real, quality ingredients and is free from artificial flavors, preservatives, and colors.Some reviewers said that their cats didn’t like this cat food.
The primary focus is on protein, which cats need to fuel their bodies, for energy, and to build strong muscles.
It also includes minerals such as taurine for metabolic function health and magnesium for strong teeth and bones.
Vitamin A aids vision health and D is essential for a healthy skeleton.
Best With Pre-biotic Fiber
Purina Beyond Grain-Free Wild Salmon Pate
  • Contains only real quality ingredients
  • No flavors, preservatives, or artificial colors
  • Contains Taurine and Magnesium
  • Includes Vitamin A and D
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Premium Grain-Free: Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free

Wet cat foods often lack all the nutrients your cat needs, but with Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free your cat can have complete and balanced nutrition. Their entrees are grain-free, which is great for your cat’s digestive system as they only have a limited capacity to process starches. Other brands will often use corn, wheat, and soy to provide the carbohydrates your cat needs to burn fuel for their many metabolic activities. However, these grains can be taxing on their digestive system.

Along with the gravy mixture, your cat is sure to enjoy its many different flavors. Your cat will also appreciate that their nutrition contains no artificial colors, byproduct meals, or carrageenan (a thickening agent). This delicious and simple formula helps not only support their digestive health but their immunity as well.

This recipe includes taurine for heart health, and the nutrients your cat needs for a lifetime of wellness.

Guaranteed Analysis (may vary by flavor): Crude Protein 8.0% min, Crude Fat 3.0% min, Crude Fiber 1.0% max, Moisture 82.0% min, Taurine 0.10% min.

A few reviewers said that there were issues with quality control, including puffed, damaged, or leaking cans.

Pros and Cons of Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free

ProsCons
This grain-free canned cat food is ideal for felines since they have a limited capacity to process starches.A few reviewers said that there were issues with quality control, including puffed, damaged, or leaking cans.
It’s free from corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, byproduct meals, and carrageenan.
This recipe includes taurine for heart health.
Best Premium Grain-Free
Wellness Natural Grain-Free Gravies Chicken Dinner
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial colors, byproduct meals, or carrageenan
  • Contains real chicken
Check Chewy Check Amazon

6. Best for Balanced Nutrition: Instinct Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Chicken

An excellent way to support balanced nutrition for your cat is by choosing wet food like Instinct Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Chicken that provides high-quality protein with every meal. Your cat uses a lot of energy when they play and hunt, and to make sure that they can enjoy these activities long-term a high-protein and grain-free choice is best.

Instinct Original Grain-Free is excellent nutrition comprised of simple, healthy ingredients. The pâté texture will be easy for your cat to chew. And with a recipe containing over 95% protein such as turkey, chicken, and chicken liver, and 5% veggies, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients like vitamins and minerals, it will provide satisfy all of your cat’s nutritional needs.

Instinct skipped adding grains or potatoes, which are starches that can be harder on your cat’s digestive system. Lastly, no artificial preservatives or colors have been added. With this balanced nutrition, your cat is sure to have all the energy they need to enjoy the activities they love most. 

Guaranteed Analysis (may vary by flavor): Crude Protein 10.0% min, Crude Fat 7.5% min, Crude Fiber 3.0% max, Moisture 78.0% max, Omega-3 Fatty Acids 0.2% min, Omega-6 Fatty Acids 1.0% min.

Some reviewers said that the manufacturer changed the recipe and their cats were displeased.

Pros and Cons of Instinct Grain-Free Minced Recipe with Real Chicken

ProsCons
This pâté-style food is easy for cats to chew.Some reviewers said that the manufacturer changed the recipe and their cats were displeased.
The recipe contains over 95% protein from turkey, chicken, and chicken liver, and 5% vegetables, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients.
It’s free from grains and potatoes, starches that can be difficult for cats to digest.
It’s also free from artificial preservatives and colors.
Best For Balanced Nutrition
Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe
  • Contains over 95% protein
  • Added vegetables and fruits
  • No grains or potatoes
  • Contains chicken, chicken liver, and turkey
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Absolute Best Wet Cat Food: What to Look For

When selecting the best wet cat food there are three considerations to consider: protein, quality, and ingredients. We’ve expanded on these aspects below to help better inform you so that you can make knowledgeable decisions about your cat’s nutrition.

Protein

Being carnivorous, protein derived from animals is vital for cats. The dietary protein they receive provides specific amino acids that they can’t make on their own. Without these amino acids, there can be serious health problems with their urinary tract and immune system. Make sure to review your cat’s food and ensure it contains high-quality proteins such as chicken, fish, and turkey. Review the guaranteed analysis and look for options that have at least 8% minimum crude protein.

Quality

Nutrition that includes high-quality protein and ingredients is essential for cats. Often used in cat food are by-product meals and starches such as corn, wheat, and soy. These provide little nutritional benefits and often cause your cat’s digestive system to work harder to break them down. Instead, stay away from nutrition that contains grains, fillers, or thickening agents, and focus more on quality proteins and fats which will provide your cat with the carbohydrates it needs to fuel energy and build strong muscles.

Ingredients

Reviewing the ingredients in your cat’s wet food is very important. You might see an ingredient you don’t recognize, if so it’s easy to look it up and find out what benefits it does or doesn’t provide. Often used in wet food are thickening agents and grains, which aren’t beneficial to a balanced diet and are often unnecessary. Instead, look for ingredients such as high-quality proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Your cat won’t receive all the nutrients they need on their own, so selecting a wet food that includes natural ingredients along with vitamins and minerals is a great way to ensure they have a balanced diet.

The Different Types of Wet Cat Food: Pros and Cons Compared

When choosing the best wet food for your cat it’s important to know the different textures of wet that exist. There are minced selections, pate, cuts in gravy, and entrees. Different brands may have their take on phrasing however these are the most common. With the different textures available your cat is sure to find a delectable choice, even if they’re the pickiest of eaters. We’ve compared their pros and cons below so finding the right selection for your cat will be easy once you better understand their tastes and preferences. 

  • Minced: Food chopped into small pieces and incorporated with a gravy or broth mixture. This is a great option to provide texture but also beneficial moisture that your cat needs.
  • Pâté: A soft palatable option that has been blended together and provides essential moisture for your cat.
  • Cuts in Gravy: Often made without any grains, it will provide finely chopped quality proteins in either a broth or gravy.
  • Entrees: Consists of a high-quality protein that incorporates healthy vegetables and fruits which is chopped or flaked in either a broth or gravy.

Minced

ProsCons
Appealing textureSome cats may not like the texture
Includes gravy or broth which provides moistureSome cats may lick up the gravy but not eat the food
Easy to chewCan be more expensive

Pâté

ProsCons
Soft and blendedIt may contain too much moisture and not enough protein
Provides essential moisture for your catCan lack important vitamins and minerals
Easy to chewTexture may not suit all cats

Cuts in Gravy

ProsCons
Appealing textureTexture may not suit all cats
Includes gravy or broth which provides moistureSome cats may lick up the gravy but not eat the food
Easy to chewCan be more expensive 

Entrees

ProsCons
High-quality proteinCan be more expensive 
Minced or chopped textureSome cats may not like the texture
Includes healthy fruits and vegetablesCan be more expensive 

About the Author

Shannon's experience as a pet parent shapes her writing and empowers her to produce informative and engaging content. She has a wonderful poodle-terrier mix named Nelson, and together, they enjoy long walks, outdoor adventures, and playing with his many toys.

The Absolute Best Wet Cat Food FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do vets recommend wet cat food?

Most veterinarians will tell you that you can feed your cat any high-quality cat food whether it’s wet or dry. That’s because premium cat food generally meets or exceeds the nutritional guidelines established by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials).

Are there any advantages to wet cat food?

Wet cat food provides better hydration because water (or broth) is usually the first ingredient. It is also tastier than dry food, which is why many people add it to dry food as a topper.

Because it’s soft, it’s ideal for senior or ill cats that may have lost interest in eating. The flavor may entice them to eat vital calories as well.

Has my cat food been recalled?

As of February 15, 2023, none of the cat foods in this review have been recalled according to the Food & Drug Administration’s Recalls and Withdrawals website.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.