These are my top choices of quality canned food for maintenance in cats (for adult cats). Any of them would form a fine basis for your cat's diet, supplemented by dry food, as needed. The bottom line is that the best food is wasted, if your cat won't eat it, so don't be too focused on the numbers. The order is based mostly by my own cats' reaction to these foods, and as we know, cats will sometimes turn up their noses today at yesterday's favorite.
Like the other foods chosen here, Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance contains no by-products. The top named ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Duck, Salmon, Carrots, Brown Rice Flour, and Fish Meal. It has a pleasant aroma, a nice paté consistency, and my test cats dive into it every time it is served.
My cats have eaten Nutro foods from the first, and Nutro remains a consistent favorite. Top listed ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Giblets, Chicken Liver, Lamb Liver, Mackerel and Rice. Gluten. Guaranteed analysis (converted to dry matter): protein 45%, fat 22.7%, fiber 4.55%.
This product rounds off my own personal rotation of canned cat foods. My test cats love the flavor, and I love the aroma, consistency, and quality control. Top named ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Brown Rice, Egg Product, Whole Ground Flaxseed, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Guar Gum, Whole Blueberries, Whole Cranberries, and Kelp. Guaranteed Analysis (dry matter basis): Crude Protein 45%, Crude Fat 32%, Crude Fiber 5%. (Only available from the manufacturer.)
Spots Stew contains no chemicals, fillers, or by-products. Named ingredients are Chicken, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Celery, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Green Beans, Water, Green Peas, Turkey. One of the original "homemade" cat foods, and still a favorite of many cats
Wellness presents an enigma to cat owners who appreciate the quality of the food. Some cats love it and will dive right in, while others turn their noses up at it every time. It's on the high end of the price range, so I'd suggest buying a can or two, before investing in a whole case. Top ingredients: deboned Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, and Vegetable Gums. Guaranteed analysis (converted): Protein 45.45%, fat 27.27%, fiber 4.55%
Paul Newman's signature cat foods use Bell & Evans Chicken. These chickens are fed a 100% natural all-vegetable diet with NO antibiotics. The named grains are also grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizer. First named ingredients: Organic Chicken, Sufficient Water for Processing, Ocean Whitefish, Brown Rice, Flaxseed, Oat Bran, Guar Gum, Dried Kelp. Although pricer than most other premium foods, Newman's Own is well worth rotating in your cat's diet.
My cats' reaction to Evolve is also an enigma. The food smells absolutely wonderful, and is a nice, juicy paté. They loved it when I first introduced it to them, but recently have been spurning it - a shame, because its ingredients are excellent, and the price is very reasonable. Top named ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Ocean Fish, Brown Rice, Carrots, Cranberries, Cottage Cheese, and Peas. Guaranteed analysis: Crude protein 45.5%, crude fat 27.27%, fiber 6.82%
Innova, made by Natura Pet Products, has to score high on any list of cat foods. The canned variety is no exception. Top ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Spring Water, Whole Eggs, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Potatoes, and Herring. Guaranteed analysis (converted): protein 44.48%, fat 30.82%, fiber 5.74%. Note: Innova may be hard to find in the major pet food stores, but generally can be found in smaller stores or feed and grain stores. (Site has a store-finder.)
Merrick Cat Food is considered to be "gourmet" food, and can be obtained in several different flavor combinations. As an example, the Merrick Southern Delight flavor contains Chicken, Chicken Broth, Catfish, Crawfish, Brown Rice, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Zucchini, Fresh Granny Smith Apples, Olive Oil, and other wholesome ingredients. The link offers a variety of eight different flavors in 3.2 oz cans; good for a quick trial.
This food, which contains only Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, and Water Sufficient for Processing should not be used as an every-day diet for cats.(Even Dr. Wysong recommends alternating foods for a balanced diet.) However, for cats with high-protein needs, or cats with allergy problems, it is an excellent limited-ingredient diet for stabilizing a cat's digestive tract.