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Which grain-free cat food is best?

Domestic cats thrive on protein-rich diets, but there is a lot of low-quality cat food out there that includes plenty of filler, usually grains such as wheat or corn. These grain-rich foods can cause allergies and digestive issues for your cat. Grain-free cat food features animal protein as the primary ingredient and is perfect for owners who want to mimic their cat’s natural diet and those with cats that are allergic or sensitive to grain. Blue Wilderness Dry Cat Food is first-class grain-free cat food.

What to know before you buy grain-free cat food

Wet vs. dry food

Wet cat food tends to be more appealing to picky eaters as well as elderly cats that might struggle with dry food. Dry food is easy to store, less prone to spoiling and more convenient.

Consider the protein source

Think about the protein source in your cat’s grain-free cat food, especially if they have any allergies or food sensitivities. There is some single-source cat food as well as multi-source cat food and cat food with byproducts.

Fat content

Most cats thrive on diets that contain about 15 to 20 percent fat and 30 to 40 percent protein. Some grain-free cat food brands have heavier fat content, so consider this when you’re selecting cat food.

What to look for in quality grain-free cat food


Single-protein sources are usually the best options for picky eaters. You can test out some samples before you buy a full bag of grain-free cat food.


Most traditional cat food includes wheat or corn as carb fillers. Grain-free cat food tends to eliminate fillers that are harmful to your cat’s health, but they might still include carbs and fillers. The top grain-free cat foods have carbs such as sweet potatoes, potato starch and green peas.

Shelf life

Most grain-free cat food lasts about four months before expiring.

How much you can expect to spend on grain-free cat food

Grain-free cat food ranges in price from about 7 cents per ounce to 35 cents per ounce. The most inexpensive grain-free cat food costs about 7 to 13 cents per ounce or approximately $12-$20 for a 10-pound container of cat food. Midrange grain-free cat food goes for about 14 to 17 cents per ounce or around $22-$28 for 10 pounds. High-end grain-free cat food varies in price from about 18-35 cents per ounce.

Grain-free cat food FAQ

Do you need special grain-free kitten food for younger cats?

A. Yes. Kittens are developing and growing fairly rapidly, so they need their own specialized kitten food to meet all of their nutritional needs. You should feed your kitten grain-free kitten food until they’re about 12 months old.

When you do switch their diet to adult cat food, make the switch over about a week, gradually mixing in the new adult cat food with their kitten food little by little over the course of the week.

How can you tell if your cat has a grain allergy?

A. There are some telltale signs of a potential grain allergy, including vomiting, very bad breath, noticeable gas, foul-smelling or watery stool, grooming injuries or scabs, red or flaky skin, hair loss in patches, endless grooming, and excessive scratching and itching.

If you find your cat has a grain allergy, immediately switch their diet to a high-quality, single-protein and grain-free cat food. You will see noticeable results and changes within a few weeks of switching to this new grain-free cat food.

Is grain-free cat food lower in carbs?

A. Some grain-free cat food is lower in carbs, but low-carb and grain-free don’t mean the same thing. Grain-free cat food often still has carbs in the form of tapioca, lentils, peas and potatoes.

If you have a cat that needs to lose weight or a sedentary cat, consider the carb content in their food and select food with less carbs and more protein.

What’s the best grain-free cat food to buy?

Top grain-free cat food

Blue Wilderness Dry Cat Food

Blue Wilderness Dry Cat Food

What you need to know: This consumer-favorite cat food from Blue Wilderness is a healthy and delicious choice for cats that is full of protein.

What you’ll love: This Blue Wilderness cat food comes with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for coat and skin health and is meant for cats of all needs and ages. There are no chicken byproducts in this cat food.

What you should consider: Your cat might experience some urinary problems when they first transition to this cat food.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top grain-free cat food for the money

Purina Beyond Dry Cat Food

Purina Beyond Dry Cat Food

What you need to know: This grain-free cat food from Purina provides a wholesome formula that’s gentle on your cat’s stomach.

What you’ll love: This cat food includes fruits and vegetables as well as crunchy kibble in each serving. There are some dry cat food recipes available in a wide range of choices, and the cat food is a budget-friendly alternative to many competitors.

What you should consider: This cat food includes a fairly high sodium content and has a pungent smell.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

CRAVE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

CRAVE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

What you need to know: This well-formulated grain-free cat food from CRAVE offers an amazing mix of nutrition and taste from fish and poultry.

What you’ll love: This cat food includes some top-quality animal proteins and no corn, soy or wheat proteins. The cat food is made with salmon and chicken and is full of protein to boost your cat’s energy.

What you should consider: This cat food contains a fairly high level of phosphorus.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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