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9 Best Grocery Store Cat Foods in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Siamese cat eating dry food from a bowl

If you are a cat owner, you know one of the most difficult things about raising your cat is feeding them healthy food that will provide them with the nutrients they require without upsetting their delicate digestive system. It’s even more difficult now with Covid 19 because many of the most popular brands are no longer available, causing owners to scramble to find a new brand that their cats will eat. We have chosen nine brands that you can still find in the grocery store to review for you so you can see the difference between them. We’ll give you the pros and cons of each one and tell you how our cats liked it so you can learn more about the difference between them. Keep reading while we discuss ingredients, omega fats, probiotics, packaging, and more to help you make an informed decision.

divider-catclaw1A Quick Comparison of Our Winners 2021

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Blue Buffalo Indoor  Adult Cat Food Blue Buffalo Indoor Adult Cat Food
  • Feature iconHigh-quality protein
  • Feature iconFormulated for indoor cats
  • Feature icon LifeSource bits
  • Best Value
    Second place
    9 Lives Daily Essentials 9 Lives Daily Essentials
  • Feature icon30% protein
  • Feature iconContains omega fats
  • Feature iconContains taurine
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Purina Beyond Grain Free Cat Food Purina Beyond Grain Free Cat Food
  • Feature iconGrain-free
  • Feature iconLimited ingredients
  • Feature iconNo artificial colors or preservatives
  • Best for Kittens
    Kitten Chow Nurture Kitten Chow Nurture
  • Feature icon40% protein
  • Feature iconOmega fats
  • Feature iconResponsibly sourced ingredients
  • IAMS Proactive Health  Indoor Cat Food IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Cat Food
  • Feature iconHelps burn fat
  • Feature iconHelps reduce hairballs
  • Feature iconContains omega fats
  • The 9 Best Grocery Store Cat Foods

    1. Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Natural Adult Dry Cat Food – Best Overall

    Size: 15 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Deboned chicken

    Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Natural Adult Dry Cat Food is our pick as the best overall grocery store cat food. This brand uses all-natural ingredients to provide your cat with the best possible nutrition. It contains deboned chicken as its first ingredient to provide high-quality protein, and it also includes fishmeal that provides beneficial omega fats. Peas and eggs increase the protein even more, and oats and rice provide the fiber that will help keep the digestive system stable, reducing constipation and diarrhea.

    The only downside we experienced while using Blue Buffalo Indoor was that some of our cats wouldn’t eat it even when we slowly introduced it into their food.

    To conclude, we think this is the overall best grocery store cat food this year.

    Pros
    • High-quality protein
    • Formulated for indoor cats
    • LifeSource bits
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like it
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    2. 9 Lives Daily Essentials – Best Value

    9lives Daily Essentials

    Size: 20 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Ground corn

    9 Lives Daily Essentials is our pick as the best grocery store cat food for the money. It’s quite inexpensive for a twenty-pound bag compared to other brands, and it contains plenty of protein to give your cat energy and strong muscles. There is also taurine and omega fats in the ingredients that will help keep your cat healthy.

    The downside to 9 Lives Daily Essentials is that it’s mostly corn, and while most of our cats like it, it also contains chemical preservatives and artificial dyes that can cause health problems in some cats.

    Pros
    • 30% protein
    • Contains omega fats
    • Contains taurine
    Cons
    • Contains BHA
    • Artificial dyes
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    3. Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food & Toppers – Premium Choice

    Beyond Simply Grain-Free

    Size: 16 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Chicken

    Purina Beyond Grain Free, Natural, Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food & Toppers is our premium choice grocery store cat food, and it contains no artificial colors or preservatives. This limited ingredient food contains no corn, soy, or other grains that provide no nutritional value to a carnivorous cat.  The limited ingredients reduce the risk of your cat suffering an allergic reaction and make it easier to narrow down the cause of the problem if it does.

    The downside to Purina Beyond is that it’s quite expensive, and the price has risen higher since covid-19. We also noticed it gave several of our cat’s smelly gas and soft stools.

    Pros
    • Grain-free
    • Limited ingredients
    • No artificial colors or preservatives
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Can cause smelly gas
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    4. Kitten Chow Nurture – Best for Kittens

    2Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Cat Food

    Size: 14 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Chicken by-product meal

    Kitten Chow Nurture is our pick as the best for kittens. This brand is very high in protein at 40%, which will help provide the energy and building blocks it requires to grow into a strong and healthy cat quickly. They responsibly source all ingredients, and it contains omega fats which help with brain and eye development and is a critical nutrient for kittens. It’s fortified with vitamins and minerals to provide your cat with a balanced meal.

    Most of our kittens like to eat Kitten Chow Nurture, and we were impressed with its high protein, but there are no real meat ingredients, only chicken by-products and fish meal.

    Pros
    • 40% protein
    • Omega fats
    • Responsibly sourced ingredients
    • Provides a balanced meal
    Cons
    • No real meat
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    5. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food

    Iams ProActive Health Indoor Dry Cat Food

    Size: 22 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Chicken

    IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food uses a special formula that helps your cat control its weight and contains ingredients that help reduce hairballs. It features chicken as the first ingredient and contains no artificial colors or preservatives. It has omega fatty acids to help improve your pet’s coat, and there is 10% less fat than in the original IAMS formula.

    We liked reviewing IAMS Proactive, and it’s not difficult to find in your local grocery store. However, it contains a lot of corn, and some of our cats didn’t like it.

    Pros
    • Helps burn fat
    • Helps reduce hairballs
    • Low fat
    • Contains omega fats
    • No artificial preservatives or dyes
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like it
    • Lots of corn ingredients
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    6. Fancy Feast Classic Seafood Feast Variety Pack

    Fancy Feast Seafood Classic Pate

    Size: 12 3-ounce cans
    Type: Wet food
    First Ingredient: Salmon, Cod, Ocean whitefish

    Fancy Feast Classic Seafood Feast Variety Pack is the first wet food brand on our list. It’s perfectly suited for cats with constipation and can even help get stubborn cats eating again. This food contains no corn or other grains that only serve to add weight to your cat. Each package contains three flavors, so it’s easier to find one your cat likes, and it contains taurine, which is essential for your pet’s health.

    The downside to Fancy Feast is that the high moisture content can cause loose stools and even diarrhea in some cats. We also have a few cats that don’t like it, no matter which flavor we tried.

    Pros
    • Taurine
    • Variety of flavors
    • Grain-free
    Cons
    • Can cause loose stools
    • Some cats don’t like it
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    7. Purina Pro Plan

    Purina Pro Plan Complete

    Size: 16 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Chicken

    Purina Pro Plan is a popular brand that is easy to find in most grocery stores. It features chicken as the first ingredient and contains other sources of protein, including eggs, fishmeal, and poultry by-products. It also contains omega fats which will help with brain and eye development, and antioxidants to help boost the immune system. Taurine is also in the ingredients, which is an essential nutrient for cats.

    The Downside to Purina Pro Plan is that the bag is difficult to open, and it gave several of our cat’s loose stools, so you may want to introduce it slowly.

    Pros
    • Omega fats
    • Prebiotic fiber
    • Antioxidants
    • Taurine
    Cons
    • Hard to open the bag
    • Can cause loose stools
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    8. Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach

    Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food

    Size: 16 pounds
    Type: Dry kibble
    First Ingredient: Turkey

    Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach is the third brand made by the Purina company on our list. This brand offers your cat a high protein diet using turkey as its first ingredient as well as eggs and chicken by-product meal to reach 34% protein. It has vitamin and mineral fortification, and there are also omega fats in the ingredients, but there are no chemical preservatives or artificial dyes.

    The downside to Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach is that the kibble is tiny, and our cats got it all over the floor while they were eating. Several of our cats didn’t like it, and those that did would often have loose stools and occasional diarrhea.

    Pros
    • 34% protein
    • Omega fats
    • Vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Tiny kibble
    • Some cats don’t like it
    • Can cause loose stools
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    9. Sheba Perfect Portions

    1Sheba Perfect Portions Paté Wet Cat Food Tray Variety Packs

    Size: 24 2.6-ounce cans
    Type: Wet food
    First Ingredient: Chicken

    Sheba Perfect Portions is the final brand on our list and the second wet food. This brand offers your cat three varieties to choose between, and each contains chicken as the first ingredient. There are no artificial colors or dyes in any variety, and they all have important taurine and omega fatty acids.

    The downside to Sheba is that the packaging is extremely hard to open, and the individual-sized packages will have you struggling frequently. These plastic packages are also bad for the environment. Only about half of our cats would eat this food, and each had a flavor it didn’t like. It also gave several of our cat’s loose stools and even diarrhea due to the high water content.

    Pros
    • No artificial colors or dyes
    • Taurine
    • Omega fats
    Cons
    • Hard to open packaging
    • Plastic packaging
    • Can cause loose stools
    • Some cats don’t like it

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    Buyer’s Guide: Buying the Best Grocery Store Cat Foods

    Protein

    Your cat is a strict carnivore, so the most important ingredient in any food is animal protein. We recommend choosing a brand that lists real meat like chicken, turkey, salmon, or lamb as the first ingredient. Animal protein contains taurine, which is an essential nutrient that cats can’t produce. Protein is also necessary for muscle development and energy.

    Taurine

    As we mentioned earlier, taurine is an essential nutrient that comes from animal protein. Some brands will also add taurine supplements to the ingredients to increase levels. A lack of taurine in the diet can cause your cat to develop poor eyesight and heart problems, among other health problems.

    Omega Fats

    Omega fats help with brain and eye development in your cat, and it also helps your pet produce a healthy and shiny coat. Omega fats will also help reduce swelling, and it’s especially helpful as your cat ages and develops arthritis.

    Wet Food vs Dry Food

    We have both wet and dry food on our list, but we recommend a dry kibble for most people. Dry food is often less expensive, easier to store, and helps keep your cat’s teeth clean while providing a complete and balanced meal. Wet food also provides a complete meal, but it’s usually much richer than dry food and higher in calories. The higher moisture content in wet food can also cause your pet to have loose stools and even diarrhea. Wet foods are best for cats suffering from constipation or are dehydrated. It’s also helpful for getting cats to eat their medicine since cats often prefer wet food and are more likely to eat a hidden pill.

    What to Avoid

    We recommend avoiding foods that have corn listed as the first ingredient because these brands often cause weight gain. Meat by-products can be a great way to increase protein, but it shouldn’t be the first ingredient, and we recommend avoiding foods with artificial colors and preservatives, especially for food you intend to serve long term.

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    Conclusion

    When choosing your next grocery store cat food, we highly recommend our pick for the best overall. Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Natural Adult Dry Cat Food has all-natural ingredients and doesn’t contain any harmful preservatives or dyes. It’s formulated for indoor cats and contains LifeSource Bits, which are vitamins and minerals that help boost your cat’s immune system. If you have a lot of mouths to feed and need something inexpensive, our pick for the best value is a smart choice. 9 Lives Daily Essentials provides your cats with a high-protein diet at a reasonable price.

    We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide, and it has helped answer your questions. If we have helped you improve your cat’s diet, please share this guide to the best grocery store cat foods on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Featured Image Credit: catinrocket, Shutterstock