Proper cat nutrition is key to increasing not only health and well-being in cats, but also extending their lifespan.
Sadly, not every pet owner can afford the top-rated best cat foods with expensive price tags. So we’ve scoured the pet food market and found the best cheap cat food brands that are of good quality, considered good by vets, and have positive reviews from pet owners.
As cat food prices continue to increase, and the economy is at a standstill, it’s only fair that pet owners are on the lookout for the best cheap cat foods that will provide their felines with all the necessary nutrition, high amount of protein, vitamins and minerals, but would not break the bank.
In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between expensive cat food and cheap cat food, advantages and disadvantages, and whether cheapest cat food means bad quality or not. We’ll also do the best cheap cat food brand review, including these top five foods:
|Cheap Cat Food Choices||Price|
|Sheba Perfect Portions Multipack||$$$$|
|Purina One Grain Free Classic||$$$|
|Wellness Complete Health Natural Food||$$|
|Muse by Purina Natural Food||$$$|
|Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor||$$|
Picking the best cheap food for cats
Picking good quality cat food – not just any cat food – is important to ensure that your feline gets all the nutrition she needs that will eventually strengthen your cat’s immune system, improve her coat, skin, and the digestive system.
That being said, if your’re on the lookout for inexpensive cat food brands, then you’re run into several issues to consider: quality of ingredients, and the taste (for your cat).
It’s important to find the good balance between all three: affordable cat food that is good quality and healthy for the cat, and the one that your cat will still enjoy eating.
If you’re a cat owner already, then you know that not all cat food brands are affordable, and while some expensive cat foods really are of the highest quality with human-grade ingredients and so forth, others are simply expensive.
The same applies to cheap cat food brands – not all cheapest cat foods are of bad quality, with some better than others.
Remember that canned/wet cat food will always be more expensive than dry.
In this roundup of the best cheap cat food brands, we’ve looked at the ingredients of these products, what vets say about picking cheap food for cats and what were responses from other pet owners in their cheap cat food reviews. Here’s what we’ve got.
What are the Best Cheap Cat Food Brands?
Perfect Portions Multi-pack Salmon Whitefish Tuna: Available at Amazon
Is your cat a fan of wet food? If so, he or she will love Sheba’s Perfect Portions Grain-Free Poultry Entrees cat food. This wet cat food is affordable AND grain-free. The best part? You won’t find a ton of unnecessary fillers in this recipe either.
Sheba has even went above and beyond with this cat food. Each portion is the “perfect portion” for your cat. Giving your cat exactly what they need for a nutritious meal. With this option, you’ll also see that the first ingredient will ALWAYS be a high quality animal meat protein.
Grain Free Classic Chicken Recipe Premium Pate: Available at Amazon
Here’s a great, affordable canned cat food option from Purina ONE. Purina ONE SmartBlend Healthy Metabolism Recipe’s formula is loaded with salmon. I can’t think of one cat that can resist the smell or taste of salmon.
This best cheap cat food brand from Purina One is good option because it also has most of the anti-oxidants that cats require: Vitamin A and Vitamin E in particular, as well as a Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3. Plus, a balanced blend of omega-6 fatty acids.
Natural Dry Food:
Here’s an option from well known cat food brand, Wellness. Wellness provides your cat a grain free meal at an affordable price. You don’t find that often. You can also find this cat food in chicken and indoor herring.
This inexpensive cat food from Wellness is a great option due to ingredients, company’s reputation and the well balanced nutrition in this food. It includes a high quality animal protein (turkey, chicken, and herring), balanced mixed of vegetables, folic acids, and taurine.
Natural Grain Free Dry Food: Available at Amazon
Here’s a very affordable option from Muse by Purina. It’s a grain free cat food with a nice mix of proteins. The first ingredient listed is always a high quality meat. There’s also many different flavor options with this cheap cat food.
This fourth best cheap cat food brand from Muse by Purina is yet another affordable option that provides a good amount of nutrients, protein and other essentials for the cat. This cat food formula also includes Vitamin A and Vitamin E as well as very important omega-6 fatty acids.
Indoor with Hairball Care Food:
You know it’s good when it comes from Chicken Soup for the Soul. They put their heart in everything they do and the company has a great reputation among pet owners. That stands true even for the cat food they produce. All without digging too deep into your pocketbook.
This affordable and inexpensive quality cat food option is made of limited ingredients. Limited ingredient cat food is perfect for cats who suffer from allergies. The first ingredient you’ll find listed in salmon. You’ll also find a healthy mix of salmon oil for DHA support.
Nutrisca Grain Free Food Chicken Flavor:
Here’s yet another affordable grain free cat food option for cat owners on the budget. Nutrisca Grain Free cat food’s first ingredient is chicken. You’ll also find another yummy mixture of apples, blueberries, and carrots. As well as spinach, beets, celery, and carrots.
It’s been said that even the pickiest cat will dive into this meal, and most pet owners in the reviews confirm this. Nutrisca’s inexpensive cat food formula is packed with nutrition and added beneficial ingredients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D3. As well as a healthy balance of taurine and folic acid.
Natural Dry Food Grain Free: Available at Amazon
Here’s another fishy, affordable cat food option from Purina. This cat food isn’t just grain free. It’s also gluten free! The first ingredient is ocean whitefish. We all know how hard it is for a cat to resist the smell and taste of fish.
Purina is one of the main manufacturers of affordable, best cheap cat food formulas and their Beyond foods also mixes in a healthy dose of Vitamin A and Vitamin E. You can also find taurine in this grain free cheap cat food option. As an added bonus, this dry cat food at eggs in it. Eggs are high in protein and easy for cats to digest.
Zero Grain Natural Dry Food:
Rachael Ray has become popular with her healthy yet inexpensive cat food formulas. First, it was her meals for people make everyone happy. But, she doesn’t stop there. With Rachael Ray’s line of cat food you can’t go wrong. This includes her chicken and potato formula she has in her Nutrish Zero Grain cat food.
This best cheap cat food brand is packed with nutrition for cats. You won’t find any grains in this cat food, which many owners like. Rachel Ray price is always on the cheaper side. Nutrish Zero Grain is loaded with vitamins. It has Vitamin E, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12, and sources of Vitamin C. As well as omega 3 fatty acids.
Classic Feline Multi-Pro Recipe: Available at Amazon
Victor Mers is one of the least popular manufacturers in the US, but it’s a popular cat food brand in the UK. This company offers a gluten-free cheap cat food option with their Victor Mers Classic Multi-Pro Dry Cat Food. The first ingredient is real chicken. You won’t find any artificial flavors or colors in this cat food.
If you’re looking to promote healthy nails and coats – you’ll want to take a look at this best cheap cat food formula from Victor Mers. It’s loaded with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are superb at keeping a cat’s nails and coat healthy, shiny, and beautiful.
MAX Cat Indoor Adult Roasted Chicken Food: Available at Amazon
Finally on our list of best cheap cat foods is Nutro – a trusted name among the pet industry, and easily the cheapest cat food brand that’s good quality out there. You can find this cat food brand almost anywhere you go that sells pet food. Their food always makes sure to bring your cat a balanced diet. Nutro’s diets have so many nutritional benefits.
You’ll find omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in this best cheap cat food formula. It’s also packed with anti-oxidants; Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E are present in this meal although not in high amounts. Nevertheless, it’s very popular among pet owners and majority of cats are reported to love the taste of this best inexpensive cat food and improve in their digestion.
Cheap Cat Food Doesn’t Always Mean Bad Cat Food
The saying “you get what you pay for” doesn’t always apply to every product. The same goes for the best cheap cat food. Just because it’s cheap doesn’t mean the food you feed your cat is necessarily bad. Instead of looking at the price alone, take a much closer look at the ingredients and the manufacturing process.
The pet industry is a booming market. In fact, over half of American households own at least one pet. Which means quite a bit of money is spent taking care of our pets needs. We foot the bill for cat treats, cat food, cat toys, grooming, and veterinarian trips. Those numbers add up. Pet owners in the United States spend over $65 billion dollars a year on their pets. Over $23 billion of that alone is on food.
As cat owners, we know how much it costs to feed our cats. It’s not cheap and it adds up. Especially if your cat is the type that meows at the food bowl. Even if the cat food bowl is still half full. This means we’re constantly on a mission to cut costs and find most inexpensive cat food brands. Pet owners aren’t the only ones looking to cut cost though.
Keep in mind, the best cheap cat food doesn’t always mean it’s bad quality. You will always want to look at the ingredients first and assess is based on that. For the most part, the first ingredient should always be a high protein meat such as chicken or salmon.
The economy hasn’t been at it’s finest for quite some time now. As a result, pet food manufacturers are also seeking ways to cut cost. A lot of the ingredients in our cat’s foods are being replaced with what are called “fillers”. Instead of the good, wholesome ingredients that did fill your cat’s food. So learn how to spot those bad cat foods.
Cats require more protein than dogs. This is because their diet in the wild is mostly meat based protein. In fact, in the wild, only about 2% of their diet consists of carbohydrates. But, also remember that it isn’t just about the protein percentage listed on the cat food bag. It is about where those proteins come from. This is especially important since there are animal proteins and plant-based proteins. Ideally, when picking the best cheap cat foods, your cat deserves a healthy dose of proteins from animal sources.
The cheap cat food listed above offers a lot of great nutritional benefits for your cats. Aside from nutritional benefits, they also are loaded with beneficial vitamins and fatty acids. All which are necessary for your cat to continue a healthy life with you. They are affordable, too. They are a win/win situation for you and your cat.
Ingredients for Picking Out the Best Cat Food
Pet food companies are smart when it comes to marketing. They know the right words to say that lure the pet owner right in. Especially if it’s in bright colors on front of the bag. For example, most cat owners are aware of how important protein is to a cat’s diet. So, they may seek out a high protein diet for their expensive cat food brands.
There are so many cat foods available that have the claim “high protein”. But, that’s when you should really do your research. Some of these proteins aren’t exactly animal proteins. Which, in fact, is what is easiest to digest for your cat. Instead they’ll have a load of plant proteins. These proteins don’t exactly benefit your cat.
That’s why when picking the best cheap cat food you want to look at ingredients. As a rule, the first ingredient should always list a meat. The law requires that all pet food manufacturers to list ingredients by weight. For example, let’s say the first ingredient is chicken. That means there’s more chicken in the food than any other ingredient.
But, just because it lists “chicken” as the first ingredient doesn’t mean it’s the best choice.
You’ll also want to look at other ingredients listed. Of course, you’ll want to look out for a high number of filler ingredients. These may include, but are not limited to, corn, soy, feathers, hulls, and even weeds. These ingredients have no nutritional benefit for your cat. Instead they benefit the food manufacturers wallet.
Here are the ingredients you should look for in the best cat food brands:
- Chicken Liver
- Chicken Heart
- Chicken fat
- Sunflower oil
- Salmon oil
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
When finding the best inexpensive cat food brands, try to see if they have majority of these ingredients (one protein source as first ingredient + additives).
Inexpensive Cat Food vs Bad Quality Cat Foods
In conclusion, inexpensive cat food brands aren’t always the bad quality ones. There’s two things you should always remember when choosing your cat’s food. Cheap doesn’t always mean bad. But, at the same time, expensive doesn’t always mean good.
There are plenty of expensive cat foods out there. They will list the first ingredient as some amazing, exotic meat protein. Most of the time, it goes downhill from there. Then the ingredients start to list plant protein fillers. One after another, after another.
But, you read the “Guaranteed Analysis” and it says the protein percentage is high. So, it has to still be high quality, right? Well, the simple answer is no. That protein percentage is based on all the proteins in the food. Including the plant based protein.
The above best cheap cat food brands aren’t cheap in quality. They are cheaper in price though. At the same time, they offer your cat a nutritional balance they not only deserve. A nutritional balance they also need, in order to ensure a healthy, long life.