This guide was written by Joe Francis
Updated: September 18, 2020
The dangers of dehydration are huge, and no one can deny that water is crucial to your cat’s health, just like it is ours. It helps regulate body temperature, promotes joint health and mobility, and ensures proper chemical reactions within the body. Though there’s no replacement for water itself, adding wet cat food to your cat’s diet is one way to maintain your cat’s hydration throughout the day. You don’t want to feed your cat any old kind of wet food, however. You want to make sure that whatever you’re giving her uses quality ingredients, isn’t made with any chemicals, and has additional nutritional benefits besides adding hydration.
In this guide, we explore the different options available to you, what you should consider, and review the best wet cat foods on the market.
If you are looking for the best foods for kittens you can check out our best wet cat food for kittens guide.
Best Wet Cat Food
We've compiled the best rated wet cat foods from this guide for easy viewing. You can view a full breakdown of our reviews here.
Overall Best Wet Cat Food
Best Wet Cat Food For Sensitive Stomachs
Most Affordable Wet Cat Food
What ingredients should I look for in wet cat food?
What should you avoid in a wet cat food?
Cheaper wet cat foods are often filled with cheaper alternatives to meat. Here is a quick list you should look to avoid to keep your cat healthy.
Wet Cat Food Reviews
These are our top wet cat foods in the UK, including great options for cats with dental health issues, sensitive stomachs or older cats. We have included major cat food brands in our reviews including Natures Menu, Felix and Whiskas. Our wet cat food reviews are ordered by overall rating from highest to lowest.
1. Natures Menu Cat Food Pouch Multipack (48 x 100g)
These Natures Menu cat food pouches offer a complete and nutritionally balanced meal for your cat. Each pouch contains raw meat which is particularly beneficial for cats with sensitive stomachs or food intolerance's (these are gluten free). Each flavour contains 70% of real meat (chicken, tuna or salmon), is packed with essential vitamins and minerals with no meal derivatives included.
Best Wet Cat Food for Older Cats
Natures Menu also offer a similar product aimed at senior cats. The pouches have similar ingredients, but are designed to help digestion and consumption for older cats. You can find out more here.
2. Scrumbles All Natural Wet Cat Food
Scrumbles cat food is produced in the UK and Ireland and is made with the best of British meat. Containing a high 70% meat content, but coming in a mousse type texture, this is a great pick for cats with no teeth, dental health issues or sensitive stomachs. The natural ingredients included in this cat food help to improve your cats skin and coat. The 85g packets are a good option for most small cats, and can help with weight loss and portion control for larger ones!
3. Applaws 100 Percent Natural Wet Cat Food Multipack
This product is known for its rich meat content that is high in natural taurine, a compound that promotes lean muscle tissue development as well as eye and heart health. Ingredients are meat forward, meaning that your cat will certainly be eating more meat than anything else. The other ingredients include rice, broth, and water. It is also easily digestible and free of additives and preservatives. The smaller pouches are a great option for smaller cats.
4. Lily's Kitchen Natural Wet Cat Food, Pack of 4 (8 x 85g)
Lily's Kitchen Natural Wet Food is another food to contain a high percentage of quality meat. The recipes are all nutritionally well-balanced and contain the all-important taurine. It is the perfect balance of fresh meat and moisture, vitamins as well as chelated minerals that help your pet absorb nutrients optimally. Each meal has salmon oil mixed in, making it rich in important fatty acids—no meat mill, no meat fillers — just natural cat food.
5. Felix Mixed Selection in Jelly Cat Food
The Felix mixed selection offers the most affordable wet cat food in this list. Another one that’s proven in giving your cat 100% of the nutrients she needs for good health. Its recipes are specially prepared by professionals, making them highly suitable for adult cats and their special dietary requirements. The meat to other ingredient ratio is comparable to that of Whiskas, but you end up getting more product for your money.
6. Whiskas Wet Food Pouches
Whiskas Adult Cat Pouches are succulent, mineral-rich, versatile and gravy-soaked meals prepared for adult cats in their prime years. . Though it isn’t as meat-heavy as other products, it does fortify with important vitamins and minerals. The low meat content makes this a much more affordable wet cat food, proving significantly cheaper than others on this list. Whiskas recommends their wet food as a stomach-friendly option, with it also being great for your cat’s skin and coat and urinary-tract health.
7. Gourmet Cat Food – Perle Chef’s Collection
Gourmet Cat Food by Perle Chef’s Collection is a whole set of flavorful recipes of chicken, lamb, duck, and chicken meat cooked in luscious gravy. It’s great for cats aged 1 to 7. It has tempting options that will surely keep your pet’s taste buds happy with every 85g pouch. Not to mention, each pouch, conveniently sealed for freshness, has all the essential vitamins and minerals required to keep your adult cat healthy.
8. Sheba Fine Flakes in Jelly Wet Cat Food Pouches
All meals are packed in a tasty jellied gravy with no additives or preservatives. Sheba works well for both adult and senior cats and has been certified by Grüner Punkt – ARA. You may think that such a popular brand name may cut costs to use less meat and more filler, but that’s not the case with Sheba. Though it does use 45% meat and animal derivatives, there is more meat than anything else.
Wet Cat Food Editors Picks
Why wet cat food?
As with us humans, water in cats helps eliminate toxins out of their bodies. And that is why wet food is so helpful to cats – it helps bring water inside.
Yet another reason you’ll want to feed your cat wet canned food is that it’s the closest to her natural meal: mice. Wet cat food has the same food structure. Besides, most dry foods are laden with carbohydrates, which isn’t great for felines – not because they can’t digest carbs, but simply because they become stronger and healthier with more protein and fat in their diets.
By feeding your cat wet canned food, you also help her avoid obesity and diabetes. Even with diabetes, giving your pet a high protein diet can help her heal from the disease.
And here’s a misconception that needs fixing: feeding cat kibble helps clean their teeth. Studies show this isn’t quite accurate because cats hardly chew kibble. Even if they did, it’s too tiny to achieve the tooth-cleaning effect.
Of course, there are other benefits to feeding your cat protein-rich wet food, such as making body her leaner and stronger. It’s also a good way for her to keep muscle mass as she ages.
Also, just as you wouldn’t want to eat the same food every day, your pet will love the variety that wet cat food can offer. Dry food tends to be boring and will probably taste the same every single meal. By adding wet cat food in your pet’s diet, you can keep her happy by keeping her palate entertained with a variety of flavours and textures. There’s an incredible range of wet cat food out there that you can choose from, from seafood-inspired to creamy to gravy-drenched and more.
Wet cat food also contains the same essential nutrients as dry food, such as iron, zinc, and biotin, but is more easily digested. The more digestible food is, the more its nutrients are absorbed into the body.
How much wet food should I feed my cat?
This depends on the size and health of your cat. Each cat food manufacturer will have recommended daily servings which are normally between 3 and 4 pouches per day (between 250-400g per day) for a cat weighing 4kg. If you are unsure it is best to contact your local vet.
How often should I feed my cat wet food?
You can feed your cat wet food daily. Some food manufacturers recommend alternating meals between dry and wet, but this depends on the dietary needs of your cat.
Do cats need wet food?
Cats don't necessarily need wet food in their diet, but wet food does have added benefits that dry food cannot provide. Cats need water, which wet food helps to hydrate your cat, along with providing variety in their diet and promoting lean body mass.
Can you feed your cat wet and dry food?
Yes! Many cat food manufacturers recommend a mixed meal plan of dry and wet foods to keep your cats diet varied and ensure they are enjoying the benefits of both food types.
Wet Cat Food Buying Guide
The fact that you have many wet cat food products to choose from is an advantage – it means you have many options and better chances of choosing what’s really best for your cat. However, it can also make the choosing process harder. So how do you make a wise choice for your beloved pet? There are a few basic facts you need to know as a responsible pet owner.
What to Look For
When buying wet cat food, make sure the label indicates the following:
- Specific protein source (for example, “chicken” instead of simply “meat”)
- Protein source listed first
- Expiration date
Just as you need to know what to look for when buying wet cat food, you also have to know what to avoid. Don’t buy a product if the whole label includes or suggests that one of its main ingredients is the following:
- Added sugars
- Meat and bone meal, or animal digest
- BHA, BHT, propyl gallate and ethoxyquin (these are chemical preservatives)
- Cornmeal (used as a filler)
In any case, keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores, which means, while vegetables are a healthy addition to their diet, these animals thrive mainly on meat. Also, take note that no pet food maker is allowed to state that their product is “complete and balanced” unless they pass certain criteria.
For example, the food should have passed feeding tests for the cat age recommended, and the food’s composition should be well within established nutrient levels. If there are any preservatives in the pet food, these should be scientifically proven to be safe for both pets and people. Lastly, current policies for cat food manufacturing calls for the use of natural preservatives only.
Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)
In the UK, all wet cat food that uses animal byproducts (milk, eggs, shellfish, etc.) must be registered with the APHA. If you are buying wet food from a local business, scrutinize it if you see any of these ingredients. The Food Standard agency also does not permit the manufacturing of commercial raw pet food in standard kitchens or in kitchens that make food for human consumption.
The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
If you are purchasing wet cat food outside of the UK, make sure you see that the food you’re buying is regulated by The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFC). The AAFC is a consultancy group that recommends appropriate regulations governing manufacturing and labelling practices of animal food producers, including wet cat food makers. It is composed of regulatory officials from different bodies and agencies around the United States and worldwide, animal protection groups, and veterinarian colleges.
Investing in a Good Cat Food Brand
In an effort to reduce their expenses, a lot of inexperienced cat owners go for the least expensive products they can find in stores. But this counterproductive for two key reasons. Cats each as much food as they require to maintain good health. So if they eat more carbohydrate-filled products, it can negatively impact their health. Secondly, feeding your cat nutritionally substandard food for years can cause or aggravate serious medical issues.
Invest in a good brand and let your pet benefit from quality. What’s great is that you don’t even have to buy each product and try it out. Do your research, read reviews, and stick to reputable sources. It’ll be easy to narrow down the options and make the best choice.