Which Canned Food For Cats Do Vets Recommend?

Hardly any cat owner these days is sure which cat food is the right one for their own darling because the opinions of other owners and self-proclaimed experts differ widely.

It is clear that the mouse is usually the ideal food, with its own stomach contents, tendons, bones, and all the trimmings. So it’s no wonder that numerous cat owners have now switched to the so-called BARF.

However, many discourage feeding raw cat food for a variety of reasons and gravitate towards industrially produced types of food. This is mainly because when feeding raw food, many additives have to be added and numerous cats ultimately suffer from deficiency symptoms due to incorrect compositions, which are associated with fatal consequences that can even be dangerous for the animals concerned.

Most vets tend to mix dry and wet food so that the benefits of both types of food can be enjoyed. However, with the many different types, it is not easy to find the perfect canned food for cats, so in this article, we will show you in more detail what veterinarians say you should look out for when buying canned food and what can be harmful for cats in wet food. Of course, veterinarians have different ideas and tend to use different brands.

The benefits of wet cat food

Wet food comes with many benefits that can be clearly seen, so it’s no wonder veterinarians recommend using it either as a sole food or in combination with dry cat food.

As the name suggests, wet cat food contains a high moisture content. This is particularly beneficial for cats that drink very little and therefore have a higher need for fluids. Most varieties are up to 80 percent water on average, which means that cats that get very little exercise can get most of their daily hydration needs from feeding wet food, giving you peace of mind as the owner.

Unfortunately, cats are known to be among the animals that drink very little. For animals that are prone to urinary stones, are often constipated, or even suffer from kidney disease, wet food is the ideal food and can alleviate the symptoms.

Furthermore, it is a fact that most cats prefer to eat wet food over dry food. So cat food is also ideal if you keep particularly fussy velvet paws that refuse many other types of food. The water allows the aromas in the food to unfold more easily, which means that wet food tastes better and more intense than dry food. In addition, the typical wet food contains more protein than other cat food, which the animals also perceive as positive and tasty.

Wet food keeps for a particularly long time. So it is not uncommon for unopened cans to keep for up to two years and the food is and remains fresh, tasty, and healthy even after a long time.

Due to the very high water content in canned food, the calories are diluted. As a result, this food can also help to avoid obesity. Of course, canned food is also available as a special diet food for cats that are already overweight.

The advantages at a glance:

  • high water content;
  • covers a high demand for moisture;
  • Cats prefer to eat;
  • keeps for a long time in sealed cans;
  • Calories are diluted – can prevent obesity;
  • simple in dosage;
  • large selection of different varieties;
  • can be easily stored.

What must be considered urgently when buying canned food for cats?

When buying cat food, you should not buy every food or just look at the prices. The quality of the feed plays an important role. This should cover the needs and requirements of your velvet paw, be healthy, and also free of additives that unnecessarily burden your velvet paw.


Unfortunately, many types of wet food are rich in sugar. However, the cat does not perceive sugar as a sweet taste at all. However, it serves to make the food look tasty and palatable. However, not for the cat, but solely for us cat owners. Sugar is also unhealthy, makes you fat, and can also cause tooth decay in cats. For this reason, it is advisable that cat food does not contain sugar.

Animal by-products

Very few cat owners have thought about what it means when the term “animal by-products” is written on the cat food can. This is not high-quality meat. But on the contrary. This is often inferior slaughterhouse waste, which is difficult for cats to digest.

This includes, for example, fur, urine, and other waste that the cats would not normally eat but are blinded by the attractants in the food. On the other hand, it is different with wet food types that list the animal by-products very precisely, because not all of them have to be bad. Because the liver, heart, and stomach also belong to this category but are healthy for cats. For some varieties, for example, it does not say meat and animal by-products (including 4% rabbit), but 90% rabbit (made up of 90% muscle meat, 5% heart, and 5% stomach).

Vegetable by-products

In addition to animal by-products, there are also vegetable ones. These also have no place in wet cat food, because this is mainly soy, which is pretty cheap, and grain waste. Of course, these are not to be found in a cat’s natural diet, because cats do not consume carbohydrates for energy, but proteins. It is also a fact that the cat’s intestines are too short to completely break down the long-chain carbohydrates, which means that they cannot be digested completely. For this reason, it is important to keep the carbohydrate content in cat food, whether wet or dry, as low as possible. Vegetable material also causes the animal’s vital organs to be put under excessive strain, which in the worst case can lead to the organs aging faster and cats dying of kidney failure caused by poor nutrition.

The components of wet food

The individual analysis values of canned food can be used to determine whether it is high-quality food. We give you some examples:

Components Important to know
Crude protein reflects the protein value in wet food

the value should be between 5 – 15%

pay attention to whether these come from animal or vegetable substances

for animal proteins, the value may be higher than 15%

Fat the proportion of raw fat should be between 2 – 7 P%

animal fats are healthier than vegetable fats

Avoid vegetable fats if possible

Raw ash shows the number of inorganic substances


the value should be between 1.5 – 2%

Crude fiber Crude fiber is dietary fiber

indigestible for cats

a high value can indicate many plant-based ingredients

the value should be kept as low as possible and be below 1.5%

Humidity the value should be between 50 – 70%

an important component in wet food

Minerals, Additives, and Vitamins – What Should and Shouldn’t Be in Canned Cat Food?

This should be included:

Taurine: Taurine plays an important role in your cat’s metabolism and also strengthens the animals’ eyesight. In addition, the heart is strengthened. Taurine is found in both meat and offal. However, veterinarians do not agree on how high the taurine value in cat food should be, so opinions range from 400 – 2500 mg per kilo of cat food.

Vitamins: Of course, vitamins are also particularly important and are also contained in the offal and meat. However, these can be destroyed during feed production if the heat is too high.

Calcium and phosphorus: Calcium and phosphorus are important for the bone structure and kidneys of cats. These should be in the ratio of 1.2 to 1 (calcium 1.2 – phosphorus 1).

Potassium and Sodium: These ingredients are also very important and should be listed in all canned foods. The ideal ratio here is 2.1 potassium to 1 sodium.

This should not be included:

Sugar and flavor enhancers: Flavor enhancers have the job of distracting the cat from the poor quality of the ingredients, as is often the case with some cheap products. Sugar also leads to tooth decay and obesity. If it is high-quality feed with a nice high meat content, additional flavor enhancers are not required.

Dyes: High-quality cat food does not need any dyes, because their main task is to make the cat food look more valuable and appetizing, which is not intended for the cat, but for the cat owner.

Gelling agents: These have the task of binding the meat juices to create a sauce or tasty jelly. Unfortunately, E numbers or starchy substances are often used here, which can harm the cat.

Preservatives: These have the task that the feed has a longer shelf life. Artificial preservatives, such as potassium sorbate, also known as E303, should therefore be avoided. Natural antioxidants, such as citric acid, aren’t quite as bad.


If you ask ten vets about special canned food for cats, you’ll probably get 10 different answers. This is mainly due to the fact that many veterinarians are not exactly trained in the direction of cat food or take part in training courses from special manufacturer brands, which they then sell themselves. It is therefore important for you as a cat owner to pay attention to the individual ingredients yourself and to use a can of cat food that lists all the ingredients instead of a type that does not. Because good cat food does not need to disguise individual ingredients and keep them secret. High-quality canned food not only tastes good to your cat but also provides it with all the important nutrients it needs for a healthy life.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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