The Top High-Protein Cat Food For a Healthy Pet

Written by Alan Lemus
Updated: March 7, 2023
© iStock.com/kozorog

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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall high-protein cat food is Tiki Cat Grilled Sardine Can Cat Food.
  • When you’re shopping for the best high-protein food for your cat, consider the source of protein, life stage and overall health, and price.
  • There are pros and cons for the two types of cat food that we considered in this review: dry and wet. We listed the pros and cons for your convenience.

As a cat owner, you are either constantly enchanted by your cat’s adorable antics or concerned about its well-being. You understand that keeping your cat happy and healthy includes keeping them active with toys for exercise and providing them with a nutritious diet.

Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require a diet that is rich in proteins and low in carbohydrates. With hundreds of cat foods on the market, each with ads claiming to be the best, which one do you pick? That’s where we come in. We scouted out the best high-protein cat foods you can buy and provided our honest, informed assessment. So all you have to do is choose the one that best meets your cat’s nutritional needs while satisfying its tastebuds.

  1. Tiki Cat Bora Bora Grill Sardine Cutlets in Lobster Consomme
    • 11% protein content
    • Sardine is the prime ingredient
    • Rich in omega fatty acids
    • Certified for human consumption
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
    • Available in both dry and wet options
    • Grain-free
    • Added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
    • Made with natural ingredients
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  3. Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food
    • Perfect for easy digestion
    • Easily chewable
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    • Contains DHA for brain and eye development
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  4. Purina ONE Ideal Weight Adult Dry Cat Food
    • Budget-friendly option
    • Grain-free
    • Contains mix of protein, minerals, and fats
    • Trusted brand by vets
    Check Chewy Check Amazon
  5. Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
    • Contains mix of venison and salmon meat
    • Contains fruits, vegetables, minerals, and vitamins
    • Easily digestible
    • Boost the immune system
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

A-Z-Animals Top Picks for High-Protein Cat Food

#1 Best Overall: Tiki Cat Grilled Sardine Can Cat Food

The #1 Best Overall high-protein cat food is Tiki Cat Grilled Sardine Canned Cat Food. It’s a premium choice for pet owners because of its nutritious formula. It has a high-protein content of 10% (minimum). Moreover, the formula hosts sardines as its prime ingredient, which is a high-protein animal source.

Instead of water, the second ingredient in this canned food is lobster broth, for tastebud-tempting hydration. Plus, it is rich in omega fatty acids for skin, coat, and joint health. This is a major plus point for cats with arthritis. 

A few reviewers reported that their cats didn’t like this food, which should come as no surprise since cats are renowned for being finicky.

Pros and Cons of Tiki Cat Grilled Sardine Can Cat Food

ProsCons
This canned cat food includes 10% (minimum) of protein, with sardines as its prime ingredient.A few reviewers reported that their cats didn’t like this food.
The liquid in this canned food comes from lobster broth, not water, for the ultimate in taste-tempting hydration.
It’s rich in omega fatty acids for skin, coat, and joint health.
Best Overall
Tiki Cat Bora Bora Grill Sardine Cutlets in Lobster Consomme
  • 11% protein content
  • Sardine is the prime ingredient
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Certified for human consumption
Check Chewy Check Amazon

2. Best for Adult Cats: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken 

The second choice on our list is a favorite among almost all adult cats, the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken recipe. The best thing about this cat food is that it is available in both dry and wet recipes. The formula contains a mix of real chicken and grain-free ingredients like sweet potato and peas. 

Another main attraction of this item is that it comprises a blend of nutritional ingredients to provide a healthy option for cats. This blend includes antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for a boost in immunity. In addition, it is available in a bag of different sizes to either store in bulk or to feed multiple cats. 

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

 Pros and Cons of Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken 

ProsCons
This food is available in dry and wet formulas.Some reviewers said that their cats didn’t like this food.
The recipe includes real chicken and grain-free ingredients such as sweet potatoes and peas.
It’s enhanced with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
It’s available in a variety of different bag sizes so you can store them in bulk or feed multiple cats.
Best for Adult Cats
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Available in both dry and wet options
  • Grain-free
  • Added antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Made with natural ingredients
Check Chewy Check Amazon

3. Best for Kittens: Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food, Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver

Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food, Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver is our top choice for kittens. Its nutritious formula is made up of cranberries, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, and of course, the star ingredient, meat. This blend of ingredients is perfect for easy digestion, boosting immunity, and providing strength to the eyes and teeth.

In addition, the moisture present in this cat food is a great way to keep the kittens hydrated. The moisture also turns the cat food into soft, easily chewable food for the kittens to easily eat their meal. 

Some pet parents said that their kittens didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Wellness Core Natural Grain Free Wet Canned Cat Food, Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver

ProsCons
This kitten food is rich in cranberries, healthy fats, minerals, vitamins, fruits, vegetables, and of course, the star ingredient, meat.Some pet parents said that their kittens didn’t like this food.
These ingredients are formulated to be easy for kittens to digest, boosting their immunity and support eye and teeth health.
The moisture content in this canned food helps to keep kittens hydrated. It also makes it softer and easier for them to eat.
Best for Kittens
Wellness CORE Natural Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food
  • Perfect for easy digestion
  • Easily chewable
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Contains DHA for brain and eye development
Check Chewy Check Amazon

4. Best Value: Purina ONE Adult Ideal Weight High Protein

Purina ONE Adult Ideal Weight High Protein is rich in protein (real turkey is the first ingredient) and can help overweight cats to reduce weight. It’s a healthy alternative containing a mix of protein, minerals, fats, healthy grains, vitamins, calcium, and fatty acids. It also contains L-carnitine, a chemical that the body produces to convert fatty acids into usable energy.

If your cat has different preferences, you can try out different textured options available with this product; wet and dry cat food. Despite being a budget-friendly option, it does not compromise on its quality. It is a trusted brand by vets and promotes a healthy life with good metabolism for cats. 

Some verified buyers said that their cats didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Purina ONE Adult Ideal Weight High Protein

ProsCons
This cat food is rich in protein, with real turkey as the first ingredient.Some verified buyers said that their cats didn’t like this food.
It’s formulated to help overweight cats lose weight with a mix of protein, minerals, fats, healthy grains, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
It also contains L-carnitine to help your cat’s body convert fatty acids into usable energy.
This formula, which is trusted by vets, is also available in a wet food version.
Best Value
Purina ONE Ideal Weight Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Budget-friendly option
  • Grain-free
  • Contains mix of protein, minerals, and fats
  • Trusted brand by vets
Check Chewy Check Amazon

5. Best Natural: Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain 

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain is last on our list but it is the best natural cat food. It carries a high nutritional content due to the unique mix of venison and salmon meat. The formula is further infused with different fruits, vegetables, minerals, and vitamins found in the wild. Together, they make a super-formula that is easily digestible for cats.

In addition, this cat food is trusted to boost the immune system, metabolism, and overall energy of the cat. It aims to provide the same health to the cat as it would find in nature, only in refined form. 

A few reviewers reported that their cats didn’t like this food.

Pros and Cons of Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain 

ProsCons
This natural cat food has a high nutritional profile due to its unique mix of venison and salmon.A few reviewers reported that their cats didn’t like this food.
The recipe also includes fruits, veggies, vitamins, and minerals that combine to make an easily digestible super-formula for cats.
It’s formulated to boost cats’ immune systems, metabolisms, and overall energy.
Best Natural
Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Contains mix of venison and salmon meat
  • Contains fruits, vegetables, minerals, and vitamins
  • Easily digestible
  • Boost the immune system
Check Chewy Check Amazon

Choosing the Best High-Protein Cat Food: What to Look For?

When purchasing high-protein cat food, there are some factors that you need to consider. Here is a brief description so you can avoid buying low-quality cat food.

Source of Protein 

Cats are obligate carnivores and while soy-based proteins are good as additional nutrients, they are not what your cat needs. Hence, you should always pick cat food that contains meat, eggs, fish, or poultry, because they contain all the amino acids that your cat needs for a healthy diet. 

Life Stage and Overall Health

Felines have different nutritional needs during each life stage: kitten, adult cat, and senior. Kittens, for example, require a much more nutrient-dense, calorie-rich diet than adult cats do. Indoor cats that get very little exercise need to get sufficient nutrients without excess calories. Senior cats often lose their appetites and frequently have dental issues, so they need to be enticed to eat soft, flavorful, canned food.

If your cat has a tendency to develop hairballs, you’ll want to feed them a diet formulated for that issue. There are also special diets for overweight cats and those with certain diseases. You’ll need to take any of these special needs into consideration before selecting a cat food.

Price

Another important factor is price. Many cat food products are quite expensive but they do not necessarily have a formula that is better than cheaper alternatives. The main thing you can focus on for budget-friendly high-protein cat food is finding a common protein like chicken, fish, or meat. 

Different Types of Cat Food: Pros and Cons Compared

Of course, you want what is best for your pet, but before you decide on the best high-protein cat food, it is essential to know what type of cat food your cat may want. Basically, there are a few types, let’s see the pros and cons of each type.

 Dry Cat Food

ProsCons
Contains a nutrient-rich formulaHard to chew for some cats
Easy to feedMay restrict water intake due to dry and crunchy bites
Easy to store

 Wet Cat Food

ProsCons
Huge variety of textures  (chunky, heavy, flaked, broth, pureed, shredded, etc.) May contribute to weight gain
Soft consistency with hydrated formula 

About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

The Top High-Protein Cat Food For a Healthy Pet FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Is high-protein cat food good for cats?

Yes. Because of the high protein content in cat food, it is easily digestible and helps in reducing obesity.

What percentage of protein should cat food be?

Generally, it depends on your cat. However, 26% is considered a solid protein percentage in cat food.

What happens if a cat has too much protein?

It neither harms the cat nor benefits it. All the excess protein will eventually convert into urine and pass out of the cat’s body.

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