Best Pâté Cat Foods 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Last Updated on: August 24, 2020

It goes without saying that as cat parents, we always want the best for our furry friends. When it comes to choosing the best food for your cat, it can be a tricky decision. Cats are notoriously fussy creatures, so sometimes it can be difficult to know which type of food to select to appeal to your cat’s taste buds.

Wet food is a great choice, thanks to its high protein content. Pâté has a smooth and appealing texture that many cats love. The high water content is also great for making sure your cat stays hydrated, especially important if they suffer from urinary issues.

Luckily, we’re here to help. Along with our team of cat colleagues, we tested 10 of the best pâté cat foods available on the market today. From limited ingredient versions for cats with allergies to pâtés made with a high proportion of quality meat and grain-free recipes packed with antioxidants, our reviews are designed to help you choose an option to best suit your cat’s needs.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Instinct Original Grain-Free Instinct Original Grain-Free
  • Made from 95% meat
  • 10% protein
  • Comes in cases of 12 or 24 cans
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Purina Friskies Classic Purina Friskies Classic
  • Provides 100% nutrition
  • 10% protein
  • Attractive texture and aroma for cats
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Wellness Complete Health Wellness Complete Health
  • Grain-free
  • 10% protein
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
  • American Journey Grain-Free Variety Pack American Journey Grain-Free Variety Pack
  • No meat by-products
  • 10% protein
  • Available in two flavors
  • Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free
  • 10% protein
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Available in two can sizes, 3 oz. or 5.5 oz.
  • The 10 Best Paté Cat Foods — Reviews 2020

    1. Instinct Original Pâté Wet Canned Cat Food — Best Overall

    Instinct Original Grain-Free Pâté Wet Canned Cat Food

    Our first choice is the Instinct Original Grain-Free Pâté. This pâté is high in protein, containing 95% meat sourced from cage-free chicken, turkey, and chicken liver. The other 5% is made up of a blend of wholesome fruits, veggies, and a blend of vitamins and minerals. You don’t need to worry about providing extra supplements, as this pâté contains everything your cat needs to stay healthy, including omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E, vitamin A, and of course, taurine.

    This cat food is made in the U.S.A., using ingredients that are primarily sourced in the U.S.A. but also from other countries as and when needed. We were pleased to see that it’s free from grain, soy, and potato, as well as made without any artificial colors or preservatives. You can confidently buy this pâté knowing it’s a great choice for your cat!

    Pros
    • Comes in cases of 12 or 24 cans
    • Made from 95% meat
    • All-natural ingredients
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • 10% protein
    Cons
    • None that we can see

    2. Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Poultry Cat Food — Best Value

    Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Poultry Platter Canned Cat Food

    As the best pâté cat food for the money, we recommend giving Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Poultry Platter a go! The smooth texture is appealing to many cats, meaning you should see a clean bowl after every meal. The added vitamins and minerals are designed to provide 100% of the nutritional needs of both kittens and adult cats. This is great if you have a multi-cat household with both young and old cats, as you can feed this to all of them with confidence.

    While the Purina Friskies Classic is indeed great value for money, the only reason it missed out on our best overall spot is that while it does contain turkey as the first ingredient, it also contains poultry by-products, which some owners prefer not to feed to their cats.

    Pros
    • 10% protein
    • Provides 100% nutrition
    • Attractive texture and aroma for cats
    • Added vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Contains poultry by-products

    3. Wellness Complete Health Pâté Cat Food — Premium Choice

    Wellness Complete Health Pâté Canned Cat Food

    As a premium pâté cat food, we suggest the Wellness Complete Health Pâté Canned Cat Food. While it’s true that this is a more expensive option than some of the other cat food we reviewed, you can be sure this contains a range of the finest ingredients. This includes real chicken as the first ingredient, which has been combined with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to keep your cat in the best of health.

    The savory sauce that surrounds this pâté is designed to be irresistible to even the fussiest of cats, as well as helping keep your cat hydrated. You can feed this to your cat confident in the knowledge that the nutrient-dense recipe contains absolutely everything your cat needs to stay strong and energetic. The only downside is that being at the more expensive end of the market, it might prove cost-prohibitive, especially if you have multiple cats.

    Pros
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors
    • Grain-free
    • 10% protein
    Cons
    • Expensive

    4. American Journey Pâté Grain-Free Cat Food

    American Journey Pâté Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Coming in at number four is the American Journey Pâté Grain-Free Canned Cat Food. Each multipack of 12 cans contains two flavors: six cans of turkey flavor and six cans of chicken. This is great if your cat enjoys a variety of different meats. Each of these does contain real meat as the first three ingredients, which is excellent news if you’re looking for a high-quality pâté that supports your cat’s development of lean muscle mass.

    As well as plenty of real meat, this pâté also contains antioxidants and phytonutrients from cranberries and blueberries. The addition of fish oil and flaxseeds provides omega-3 fatty acids, including DHA and EPA. The addition of these ensures that your cat’s skin and coat are healthy and glowing.

    Pros
    • Available in two flavors
    • 10% protein
    • No meat by-products
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Contains guar gum and xanthan gum

    5. Merrick Purrfect Chicken Pâté Cat Food

    Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Up next, we have the Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pâté Canned Cat Food. This pâté includes high-quality tender chicken as the first ingredient, which is blended with organic alfalfa for fiber and cranberries for their antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. The tasty gravy that surrounds this pâté does a great job of keeping your cat well hydrated too.

    There are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in this pâté. Nor does it contain any soy, grain, or wheat. This makes it a great choice for cats on a limited-ingredient diet, as you won’t need to worry about any hidden ingredients causing an allergy flare-up. The omega-3 fatty acids also help keep your cat’s skin and fur soft, glossy, and in the best of health.

    Pros
    • Available in two can sizes, 3 oz. or 5.5 oz.
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Suitable for kittens and adult cats
    • 10% protein
    Cons
    • Contains guar gum and xanthan gum

    6. Instinct Limited Grain-Free Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Coming in at number six, we have the Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Pâté Canned Cat Food. If your kitty needs to watch their weight and suffers from allergies, then this is an excellent choice. This pâté is made with cage-free turkey as the first ingredient, which is then combined with a limited number of other ingredients designed to be gentle on your cat’s digestive system while also providing all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

    One thing we would watch out for is that once the can is opened, this cat food can spoil more quickly than some other brands. So, be sure to use each can as quickly as possible, and select the smaller 3-oz. can if you’re only feeding one cat. If your cat doesn’t need to lose weight, this pâté may not contain enough calories to help them build and maintain their muscle mass.

    Pros
    • Available in 3-oz. or 5.5-oz. cans
    • 5% protein
    • Provides 100% balanced nutrition
    • Good for cats on a diet
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Spoils quickly once opened

    7. Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Next up, the Purina Fancy Feast Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food will appeal if your cat loves fish-based pâtés. Besides real cod as the first ingredient, this pâté contains a tasty fish broth for an irresistible taste sensation, as well as sole and shrimp, sure to appeal to most cats!

    While the list of ingredients isn’t quite as natural as some of the choices outlined above, this is still a great choice of a balanced and grain-free pâté that will provide 100% of the nutrients and vitamins your cat requires. What’s more, this Purina Fancy Feast pâté also offers great value for money.

    Pros
    • Contains 12% protein
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Contains meat by-products
    • Contains colorings
    • Contains guar gum

    8. Blue Buffalo Healthy Pâté Adult Canned Cat Food

    Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pâté Adult Canned Cat Food

    Next up, the Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pâté Adult Canned Cat Food is designed specifically to provide balanced nutrition for indoor cats. This taste pâté combines real chicken as the first ingredient. This is blended with a range of other high-quality ingredients, including chicken liver, brown rice, carrots, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and flaxseed.

    While some cat food brands use wheat as a thickening agent, this isn’t the case with Blue Buffalo, so this pâté is wheat-free. If you have multiple cats, this pâté is also available in larger 12.5-oz. cans, one of the only pâtés we reviewed to be found in a can this size. This is far better than having to open multiple small cans every day.

    Pros
    • No meat by-products
    • 10% protein
    • Available in 3-oz. cans, 5.5-oz. cans, and 12.5-oz. cans
    Cons
    • Contains guar gum and carrageenan
    • Formulated for indoor cats only
    • Expensive

    9. Purina Beyond Wild Salmon Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Purina Beyond Grain-Free Wild Salmon Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Coming in at ninth place, we have the Purina Beyond Grain-Free Wild Salmon Canned Cat Food. This budget-friendly smooth pâté contains wild-caught Alaskan salmon as the first ingredient. This is supplemented by chicken, fish broth, and liver. Unfortunately, the meat source of the liver isn’t listed, so if your cat has allergies to a particular type of meat, then it’s not easy to tell whether the Purina Beyond contains this or not.

    On the plus side, as well as real meat, this recipe contains essential vitamins and minerals, vegetables, and eggs. The tempting taste is great for persuading picky cats to eat their dinner, while the high moisture content helps make sure your cat is staying well hydrated at the same time.

    Pros
    • Budget-friendly
    • 10% protein
    Cons
    • Contains guar gum
    • Some meat sources not labeled clearly
    • Not suitable for kittens
    • Only available in small cans

    10. Merrick Limited Diet Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Pâté Canned Cat Food

    Last on our list of the top 10 pâté cat foods is the Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Pâté Canned Cat Food. If your cat is on a diet, then this is a great choice, but bear in mind that the calorie content may not be enough for cats on a normal maintenance diet. The limited-ingredient list is suitable for cats with allergies, but it does still contain enough flavor to tempt fussy cats into finishing their dinner.

    As well as using chicken as the only animal protein, this pâté also contains antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and all the vitamins and minerals your cat needs to stay healthy while you keep an eye on their calorie intake.

    Pros
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Not enough calories for maintenance diets
    • Contains guar gum
    • Only 8% protein
    • Expensive

    Buyer’s Guide

    We all want the best for our cats, and that includes what we choose to feed them. From dry kibble to pâté, there’s such a huge range of options out there that it can be hard to know where to start. Here in our buyer’s guide, we’ll go over the most important considerations, so you know exactly what to look for when making your choice.

    Benefits of wet food

    While dry kibble is undeniably convenient, there are plenty of benefits to using wet cat food too. Cats don’t have a high thirst drive, which means they can be prone to becoming dehydrated more easily when eating dry kibble. This can increase the risk of your cat developing urinary issues.

    Wet cat food, including pâtés, can contain up to 75% water, compared to just 6% water in kibble. This means feeding a wet diet can help your cat stay hydrated and healthy.

    Higher percentages of protein are also found in wet cat food versus dry. As obligate carnivores, cats thrive on a diet that’s high in good-quality meat proteins.

    Important things to consider when finding the right cat food pâté for your cat

    There are a few things to bear in mind when selecting the best pâté cat food for your feline friend. Let’s take a look.

    • Age of cat. Cats and kittens can have different nutritional needs, and some wet cat foods are specifically designed to suit one or the other, but not both. On the other hand, a few of the pâtés we reviewed have been formulated to specifically meet the requirements of both adult cats and kittens. These are a great choice if you’re feeding cats of different ages because you can then use the same food for them both. If you’re unsure, check the label, as most brands will state the age range their food is designed for.
    • Indoor or outdoor. Indoor cats have slightly different nutritional requirements than outdoor cats. So, if your cat lives indoors, it’s a good idea to select a pâté that has been specifically designed for indoor cats so you can be confident their nutritional needs are being met.
    • Some cats can be notoriously fussy and may turn their noses up at particular flavors. If you know your cat has a preference for say, chicken, then look for a pâté that uses this as the main ingredient. The same goes for a cat who prefers fish. Of course, cats do love to be contrary, so multipacks of different flavors are also available if your cat thinks that variety is the spice of life!
    • Specific dietary requirements. There are plenty of choices to suit all dietary requirements on our best-of list. So, if your cat is on a diet or needs a food with a limited range of ingredients, they’re covered and so are cats that require a grain-free or pure protein diet.
    • Can size. Pâté cat foods are available in a range of can sizes, with 3 oz. and 5.5 oz. being the most popular. One brand we reviewed, Blue Buffalo, also offers a 12.5-oz. can. If you only have one or two cats, then the smaller can sizes will suit you fine, but if you have multiple cats, you’ll find that you’re going through many small cans per day! In this case, selecting a brand that offers a larger can size is a great idea, as it makes for less waste and simpler meal times without multiple cans to open.
    • Guar gum as an ingredient. Some pâtés list guar gum as an ingredient, as well as xanthan gum or carrageenan. These are added as a source of fiber or to thicken and stabilize the ingredients. But they can cause allergies in some cats, so you might want to avoid them if your cat is sensitive and suffers from allergies to certain ingredients.

    Conclusion

    After exhaustive testing, we found the best overall pâté cat food to be the Instinct Original Grain-Free Pâté. Made from 95% meat, this pâté is packed full of cage-free chicken, as well as all the vitamins and minerals that your cat needs to stay happy, healthy, and satisfied.

    As the best value pâté cat food, you can’t go wrong with Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Poultry Platter. The smooth texture of this pâté is appealing to most cats. It’s also suitable for cats of all ages, meaning if you’re feeding kittens and older cats at the same time, you can be confident that this pâté will provide for the nutritional needs of them both.

    Hopefully, our reviews have made it a little less stressful for you to navigate your way through the huge range of cat food pâté available to choose from. We’ve included something to suit all types of cats and their various diets, so from grain-free to limited ingredients or simply a tasty pâté full of fish, we’ve got you covered.


    Featured Image: Thomas B. from Pixabay