Here are our best recommendations as of September 2014 (Ziwi Peak updated 02/2016):
Please see the articles below for more background information:
What should I feed my cat?
Ingredients: what to feed and what to avoid
Tiki Cat canned cat food
Promoted as the “lowest carbohydrate food on the pet food market,” this is a very limited ingredient but balanced food.
ADVANTAGES: This is one of the best pure meat foods for getting your cat’s protein percentage where it should be. Most have no gravies or fillers. It is available at Pet Health Store and Mike’s Natural Pet in Colorado Springs, as well as Natural Grocers.
DISADVANTAGES: You must read the labels closely as some have “vegetable gums,” especially the line with rice in it. All foods have sunflower oil, either instead of or along with species appropriate fish oil. Because of having less fillers, this is an expensive line.
Petsmart’s Authority brand canned cat food
This is Petsmart’s house brand, readily available.
ADVANTAGES: All the pate flavors are made with whole meat. Although they all have guar gum in them, none have carrageenan. It is palatable to most cats and medium range in price.
DISADVANTAGES: All flavors have chicken in them and most have fish, so if you’re looking for a single-protein food, you might avoid this one.
Evangers canned cat food
There are several different lines; we recommend the Classic, Organic and Game Meat lines.
ADVANTAGES: Limited whole meat ingredients, wider choice of proteins and palatability. If using the Game Meat line, be aware this is only meat, no added vitamins and minerals, so cannot be used as your cat’s sole food source. It is available at Pet Health Store and Mike’s Natural Pet in Colorado Springs, as well as some Natural Grocers.
DISADVANTAGES: May be harder to find, is more expensive and all contain guar gum.
Nutro’s Natural Choice canned food
Kitten canned food:
ADVANTAGES: Appears to be whole chicken with pork broth, fairly simple formula. Readily available. DISADVANTAGES: Has guar gum.
Adult canned cat food, Minced Chicken Formula:
ADVANTAGES: Appears to be whole chicken with “egg product” and pork broth, fairly simple formula. Readily available.
DISADVANTAGES: Has guar gum. The turkey loaf formula has carrageenan, so read labels.
Hound & Gatos canned cat food
These are single protein source cat foods, if you need to limit your cat to one protein.
ADVANTAGES: Unique flavors such as rabbit and trout. Palatable, simple formulas. It is available at Mike’s Natural Pet in Colorado Springs.
DISADVANTAGES: All have 3 kinds of gum in them: xanthan, guar and cassia. They are also more expensive and harder to find.
California Natural canned cat food
The canned version from this Evo subsidiary.
ADVANTAGES: Appears to be from whole meat sources.
DISADVANTAGES: All versions have carrageenan and guar gum in them. May be only available online.
Ziwipeak Daily Cat canned cat food
This company says their food is closest to a “wild-prey, natural diet.”
ADVANTAGES: The food is a very simple formula and comes in rabbit with lamb. It is available at Pet Health Store. All formulas now are carrageenan free.
DISADVANTAGES: The larger animals may not be appropriate prey for a small animal like a cat. It can only be found at specialty food stores or online and is very expensive.
Organix Organic Grain-free Pate formulas
If you’re concerned about supporting sustainable agriculture, this is probably the only line available. ADVANTAGES: Whole chicken for the protein. Available at some health food stores.
DISADVANTAGES: All lines contain peas and pea fiber to replace the grains, as yet unresearched for cats. They also have flaxseed, carrots, alfalfa, cranberries and yucca, many unresearched or known toxins for cats. The shredded formulas also have carrageenan and cellulose.