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10 Best Wet Cat Foods of 2021 | Canned, Soft, & Pâté Cat Food Reviews

tabby cat sitting next to a food plate_Veera_shutterstockCats can be so much fun to live with. If they aren’t entertaining their human family members, chances are that they are offering support after a long day at work or during a stressful experience that the family is going through. A cat’s loyalty alone deserves quality care and affection from their human companion. In addition to showering them with attention, making sure they are well-groomed, and taking them to the vet, one important aspect of providing your cat with quality care is giving them the best food possible. Good nutrition supports good health and a long, happy life for your cat.

But what kind of food should you be feeding your feline family member? Not just any food will do. If you don’t want to work with your veterinarian and prepare homemade food for your cat, you should avoid the budget foods at the grocery store and focus on high-quality commercial food instead. If you are interested in offering wet food to your kitty, you have come to the right place.

There are tons of great options on the market, but some are of higher quality than others for various reasons. We scoured the options and have identified 10 wet cat foods that are outperforming the rest. The following are our reviews for the best wet cat foods in 2021 to consider for your furry companion. Hopefully, this list will make your job of choosing the purrfect food for your cat a breeze!

Cat ball divider 1A Quick Glance at the Winners of 2021

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Wellness Complete Health Pate Canned Cat Food Wellness Complete Health Pate Canned Cat Food
  • Feature iconFeatures chicken and liver for protein
  • Feature iconWhole-food immune system support
  • Feature iconExcludes artificial ingredients
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley Canned Cat & Kitten Food Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley Canned Cat & Kitten Food
  • Feature iconSuitable for most cats with allergies and sensitivities
  • Feature iconOptimal digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Feature iconHolistic formula
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Wet Canned Cat Food Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Wet Canned Cat Food
  • Feature iconMade in the United States
  • Feature iconNatural sources of omega fatty acids
  • Feature iconMade with chicken, turkey, and liver for delicious flavor
  • Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Cat Food Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Cat Food
  • Feature iconSoft texture
  • Feature iconFor cats of all ages
  • Feature iconEasy to chew
  • Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
  • Feature iconMade with real chicken breast and broth
  • Feature icon16% crude protein
  • The 10 Best Wet Cat Foods

    1. Wellness Complete Health Pate Canned Cat Food — Best Overall

    1Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entree Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    This premium wet cat food has chicken and liver as the first ingredients, followed by flaxseed for a healthy coat and carrots and cranberries for immune support. Not included in the ingredients list are grains of any kind. This formula is free of artificial colors and preservatives, which could be detrimental to your cat’s overall health.

    It is designed to support optimal digestion so your kitty will not end up with bloating and gas problems after a meal. Wellness Complete Health Pate is supplemented to balance all your cat’s vitamin and mineral needs as time goes on. Featuring a healthy dose of taurine in each bite, you can rest assured that with this pâté your cat will maintain strong heart muscle functionality and a healthy immune system. Not only is this our top pick for best wet food for cats, but it is also the best pâté cat food out there.

    • Features chicken and liver for protein
    • Includes whole-food immune system support
    • Excludes artificial ingredients of any kind
    • A little more expensive than other options on this list
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    2. Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley Canned Cat & Kitten Food — Best Value

    2Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley Grain-Free Natural Canned Cat & Kitten Food

    We think that Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley is the best wet cat food for the money because it’s fairly priced, is designed for true carnivores, and supports growth spurts as kittens turn into adults. Grain-free and full of protein, this wet cat food features skipjack tuna and mackerel to support healthy joints and bones. Formulated with fish broth, each bite will help keep your kitty hydrated throughout the day.

    Potatoes are included to encourage healthy digestion and nutrient absorption, which is necessary for a strong immune system. The gravy in this food includes supplementation to ensure that your cat will get all the nutrients that they need as they age. As a holistic formula, this food is suitable for cats with allergy and digestion sensitivities. However, the cans are hard to open, which can make impatient cats a little cranky right before mealtime.

    • This holistic formula is suitable for most cats with allergies and sensitivities
    • Meets the nutritional needs of kittens and adult cats
    • Encourages optimal digestion and nutrient absorption
    • The cans are harder to open than most others on this list
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    3. Instinct Original Grain-Free Wet Canned Pate Cat Food — Premium Choice

    3Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Chicken Recipe Wet Canned Cat Food

    This is a whole-foods option for your cat that is sure to have them running to mealtime. The included chicken, turkey, and liver not only have superior taste but are also high-quality sources of protein to keep your cat strong throughout life. Peas, carrots, and blueberries are included to protect the eyes, brain, and immune system.

    This best canned cat food is formulated with omega fatty acids in the form of fish oil to help protect the heart and slow the development of kidney disease, which can be important for cats of geriatric age because they have a high prevalence of the disease. Made in the United States, this food is free of soy, wheat, and animal by-products. The one downside to this pâté is that it’s a little thicker in texture than some kittens and older cats can handle. This problem can be solved by mixing it with a little bit of water, which is one of the reasons why this food is still a leader on our list for best pâté cat food.

    • Made with chicken, turkey, and liver for delicious flavor
    • Includes natural sources of omega fatty acids
    • Made in the United States
    • The thicker texture might be hard for kittens and old cats to eat
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    4. Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Canned Cat Food

    4Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO Loaf In Sauce Canned Cat Food

    This special wet cat food formula is designed to support optimal urinary tract health by diluting unneeded minerals in the body and increasing the amount of urine that is produced so the minerals don’t build up and cause problems, like the development of kidney stones and crystals. Not only can older cats enjoy this formula, but younger felines can also eat it to maintain their urinary tract and kidney health as they age.

    Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Urinary SO comes in a pâté-like texture for ease of chewing and includes both chicken and pork for protein and rich flavor. Unfortunately, it does not include whole-food sources of antioxidants, and it does have both wheat and natural flavors, which can negatively affect cats with allergies and food sensitivities.

    • Specially formulated to support healthy kidneys and urinary tract systems
    • Cats of all ages can enjoy the formula
    • Features a soft texture that is easy to chew
    • Does not include whole food antioxidants
    • Does include wheat and “natural” flavors
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    5. Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    5Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau cat food is packed with flavor and nutrition. This formula is made with real chicken breast that is hormone-free and simmered in broth until tender. Featuring 16% crude protein, this food will keep your cat’s muscles, bones, and cardiovascular system healthy, no matter their age. The texture is that of a consommé, which most cats love.

    But the texture can be tough for kittens with tiny teeth to properly chew. Blending it before serving would avoid this problem. Supplemented with the perfect blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to meet the nutritional needs of all cat breeds. However, no whole-food source of omega fatty acids is mentioned in the ingredients list.

    • Made with real chicken breast and broth.
    • Features 16% crude protein.
    • The food may be too textured for young kittens.
    • Does not include a whole-food source of omega fatty acids.
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    6. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Canned Wet Cat Food

    6Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pate Canned Cat Food

    What’s unique about Merrick Purrfect Bistro canned cat food is that it includes yucca schidigera, which has been shown to reduce the offensive odor of fecal and urine waste. The food is made up of 78% moisture to ensure that your kitty stays hydrated, no matter how hot it is outside. Deboned chicken is the main source of protein here.

    Dried cranberries and alfalfa meal enhance the antioxidant power of this formula overall. You won’t find any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in the ingredients list. When it comes to flavor, we found that our cats could take this formula or leave it. They certainly didn’t come running when we popped a can open, but they didn’t stick their noses up at it either.

    • Made with yucca schidigera to reduce feces and urine odor
    • Formulated to support optimal hydration
    • Some cats may not appreciate the flavor or texture
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    7. American Journey Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    7American Journey Minced Salmon & Tuna Recipe in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

    While American Journey canned cat food does include chicken liver, it switches things up a little by adding salmon and tuna to the recipe. Egg whites are also at the top of the ingredients list for extra protein and a big dose of essential amino acids. The added flaxseed provides all the omega fatty acids that your kitty will need as they get older.

    Cranberries and blueberries are also thrown in as a rich source of antioxidants. However, the included natural flavors are questionable because we don’t know where they come from. We also found it tough to get the last bits of food out of the crevices inside the container, which gave us a feeling that we were wasting money, even if only a few cents.

    • Made with salmon and tuna
    • Features flaxseeds as a whole food source of omega fats
    • It’s hard to get all the food out of the crevices in the can
    • Includes an unknown source of natural flavors
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    8. Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pate Indoor Adult Wet Cat Food

    8Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Pate Chicken Entree Indoor Adult Canned Cat Food

    This formula is made specifically for adult cats, so kittens should be fed another option from this reviews list instead. Your fully grown cat will love the thick gravy that envelops the pâté. This food is made with real meat and liver, sweet potatoes, and brown rice for great all-around nutrition.

    It includes no soy or wheat, making it a good option for cats with food sensitivities. There isn’t anything special about this food compared to the others on our reviews list, but it is affordable, and it does contain all the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that your adult cat requires to thrive.

    • Comes with an affordable price tag
    • Includes no allergens
    • Nothing makes this a unique food that stands out from the competition
    • The pull-tabs on the cans sometimes break before they get fully opened
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    9. Purina Fancy Feast Classic Canned Cat Food

    9Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast Canned Cat Food

    Purina has made a household name for itself by providing consistency when it comes to their food formulas and textures. Fancy Fest Classic cat food is one of the most budget-friendly quality wet foods that you are likely to find on the market. This classic pâté is easy for cats of all ages to chow down on. It comes in standard-sized cans that can be paired with reusable plastic lids.

    Chicken, liver, and broth are the first ingredients on the list. But both animal by-products and artificial flavors closely follow. The food itself is made in the United States, but it is unclear when the ingredients are actually sourced from. Also, we noticed that a couple of cans in our case of food weren’t sealed completely and had to be thrown away.

    • More budget-friendly than most other options on this list
    • The soft pâté texture is easy for cats of all ages to eat and properly digest
    • Made with animal by-products and artificial ingredients
    • It isn’t clear where the ingredients are sourced from
    • Some cans may not be properly sealed after shipping
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    10. Purina Friskies Classic Pâté Canned Cat Food

    10Friskies Classic Pate Liver & Chicken Dinner Canned Cat Food

    This is another affordable food option by Purina that deserves a mention on our reviews list. Cats seem to adore the flavor and texture, and you will appreciate the ease of opening each food can up. Friskies Classic Pate is formulated with all the vitamins and minerals that your cat needs, but most of the nutrients are provided via supplementation.

    This food comes in a wide variety of flavors and does include real fish and chicken. However, it also has both poultry and beef by-products. Rice is also included, which may not be necessary for your cat if they are healthy, in which case, the rice takes up valuable space that could be better filled with real meats.

    • Features easy-to-open cans
    • Formulated to provide complete nutrition
    • Includes by-products and artificial ingredients
    • Formulated with rice, which is unnecessary for most cats
    • Water is the first ingredient on the list as opposed to nutrients
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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Wet Cat Food

    Choosing the best canned wet food for your cat can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. This buyer’s guide should help make the process of choosing a new food easy and even enjoyable overall. Here are a few tips to follow when comparison shopping.

    Pay Attention to Texture

    It’s important to keep in mind that wet cat food comes in multiple types of textures, some of which your feline buddy may not enjoy. Also, some textures might not be suitable for your cat based on their age or the condition of their health. So, the texture should be one important aspect to focus on when comparing different foods to one another.

    If your cat is used to eating dry food and human food snacks, they will probably enjoy the shredded and minced food options the best. If your kitty is incredibly young or really old and doesn’t have a full set of teeth, a pâté option would probably be most suitable. Then there are consommé options that are ideal for cats that are just learning to chew solid foods.

    Sample Before Committing

    Consider testing out a few different food options from our reviews list before choosing just one to continue feeding your cat in the future. Doing so will allow you to determine whether your kitty likes the taste and can handle the texture. You will have an opportunity to inspect the quality of the packaging and ease of managing the leftovers.

    Buy just a couple cans of each food option that you’re considering for your cat. Then, try each out for a couple of days to see how your cat reacts. Take note of how easy it is to open the can and how long it takes to get the food out. In the end, you should have a clear idea of which one stands out from the crowd.

    Consult Your Veterinarian

    Consulting with your veterinarian is one of the most important things that you should do before deciding which canned wet food to feed your cat. Let them know the types of foods that you are considering so they can help you determine whether they are appropriate for your furry family member. Your vet can recommend specific ingredients that will support the health of your cat, while advising you on which ingredients can prevent future health problems. At the very least, your vet will provide you with peace of mind and give you confidence in the food choice that you end up making for your cat.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    All the best wet cat food brands and options featured on our reviews list are made of quality ingredients that you can feel good about feeding your feline companion. Our favorite pick is Wellness Complete Health Pate because it is full of quality ingredients and lacks anything artificial. It’s also easy on digestion. A close runner-up is Earthborn Holistic Monterey Medley, as it is priced fairly and supports the health of both kittens and full-grown adults.

    The one you choose should come down to your budget, your ingredient preferences, and your veterinarian’s recommendations. Which of the wet cat foods on our reviews list most interest you? Have you and your cat tried any of them? If so, what did you both think? We invite you to let us know your thoughts in our comments section below.

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    Featured image credit: Veera, Shutterstock