The 15 Best Cat Food Brands For Picky Eaters

  • Time to read: 12 min.

All cat owners know that cats can be pretty pedantic when it comes to their food. It isn’t always easy to keep up with what they like, and just when you think you have found the right food for them, they change their tune again. You’ve tried dry cat food, wet cat food, dry cat food mixed with wet cat food, but nothing seems to be good enough for your fussy cat. So, what cat food should you turn to? What is the best cat food for picky eaters?

The 15 Best Cat Food Brands For Picky Eaters Are;

  • Crave Pate Grain-Free Cat Food
  • Fussie Cat Premium Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
  • Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
  • Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Cat Food
  • Tiki Cat Grain-Free Wet Cat Food
  • Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Real Meat Wet Cat Food
  • Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Low Carbohydrate With Poultry Or Fish Consommé 
  • Weruva Classic Cat Food Mideast Feast With Grilled Tilapia And Whole Meat Tuna And Gravy
  • Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Recipe Grain-Free Cat Food
  • Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Natural Indoor
  • American Journey Dry Cat Food
  • Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna And Wild Salmon Entrée 
  • Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Rabbit Recipe
  • Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken And Rice Medley
  • Purina Muse Natural Ocean Whitefish And Mackerel Recipe

Don’t worry; you have come to the right place! This article will discuss the abovementioned, highly recommended cat food brands formulated explicitly for picky eaters. So, the next time your cat looks at his food with disapproval, you have everything you need to make an informed decision to select a food he simply can’t resist!

What Makes A Cat Food “Good”?

The following factors are vital to determine whether your cat is eating a healthy and nutritious diet. The best cat foods contain;

  • Real meat, fish, and organs as healthy and clean protein
  • Specified fowl, fats, and fish oils that support a healthy brain, joint, and coat
  • Natural pro and prebiotics to promote healthy digestion
  • Small amounts of high-quality carbohydrates (pumpkin or brown rice)
  • Low to no grain content
  • Named foods such as duck liver, specifying precisely what meal is used in the recipe (stay away from products that list “meat meal” or other unnamed by-products)

Ingredients To Avoid

Picky eaters are sure to detect harmful ingredients in their food because they are more sensitive to it. If your cat is struggling to eat, make sure their food does not contain the following;

By-Products

By-products could contain indigestible things like hair, horns, or intestines. Try to avoid buying cat food with unnamed meats as they consist mainly of leftover bits from the slaughterhouse that humans don’t want to eat.

Unspecified Fats And Oils

These oils and fats often come from sick animals and are of inferior quality. They can cause severe stomach cramps and indigestion for your cat, a major reason for him to stop eating his food.

Grains

Cats are obligate carnivores, and their bodies do not require grains as they live mainly on meat in the wild. Grains such as wheat and corn can cause allergic reactions in cats and are used purely to bulk up food for mass production.

Sugar

Refined sugar, fruit, and regular sugar cause many health issues in cats, such as stomach cramps, diabetes, and obesity, and should be avoided at all costs.

Artificial Colors

These additives can cause digestive and allergic reactions. The following artificial colors are often used in the production of cat food;

  • Yellow5
  • Red40
  • Blue2
  • Yellow6
  • Red3
  • Caramel color

Dairy

This may come as a surprise because many of us give milk to our cats, but it is really bad for them. Their sensitive stomachs struggle to digest cow’s milk, and it irritates the gut. Water is the best and only option you should give to your cats.

The 15 Best Cat Food Brands For Picky Eaters

The table below contains 15 of the highest recommended cat foods that you can feed to your cats that are fussy over their food;

Product NameDescriptionFirst 5 IngredientsSpecial Diet Features 
1)Crave Pate Grain-Free Cat Food This is high-quality cat food with real meat and no artificial ingredients. This recipe contains animal broths for added hydration and is budget-friendly. Picky eaters love the meaty flavors in this pate. 
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
TurkeyChicken liver
Pork broth
Turkey broth
Chicken heart
Fish oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients

No WheatNo SoyNo CornHigh-quality proteins
2)Fussie Cat Premium Grain-Free Canned Cat Food




A soft yet chewy textured cat food made with high-quality ingredients. Fussie Cat is known for catering to picky eaters. Even though this cat food has half the calories of other canned foods, it still contains an array of essential nutrients. 
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Tuna
Water
Chicken meat
Sunflower seed oil
Calcium carbonate
Omega-3
Low in saturated fats
Potato-free

Six essential amino acids

High in Vitamin B6, Phosphorus, and Vitamin B12
High-quality protein
Pea-free
No artificial flavors or colors
3)Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Canned Cat FoodThis product is made of high-quality ingredients and is almost always featured on the “top cat food” lists. The texture of this cat food could entice even the pickiest of eaters as it is chewy, chunky, and has a delicious gravy that cats absolutely love!
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Chicken
Chicken broth
Water
Turkey
Chicken liver
Gluten-free
No Corn
No Soy
No Wheat
Pea-free
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
4)Sheba Perfect Portions Grain-Free Cat FoodSheba is a good-quality wet cat food at a reasonable price (less than a dollar per pack). It is packed with all the necessary nutrients, minerals, and vitamins and contains lots of tasty gravy cats love.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Beef
Chicken
Water
Poultry liver
Chicken broth
Fish oil (source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
High-quality protein
Gluten-free
No Corn
No Soy
No Wheat
Pea-free
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
5)Tiki Cat Grain-Free Wet Cat FoodMost reasonable price for one of the best cat foods (just over a dollar per pack). This recipe contains real broth and is available in various exciting flavors such as wild-caught flaked tuna, tilapia, and shrimp and caters to cat with chicken allergies. Tiki Cat wet cat food has a lovely chunky, flaky texture that most picky eaters prefer.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Flaked tuna
Tuna broth
Pumpkin
Tilapia
Sunflower seed oil
Sunflower seed oil (rich in omegas)
Sensitive digestion
Contains essential amino acids
Contains taurine
Added vitamins and minerals
High-quality protein
Gluten-free
Pea-free
Contains pumpkin
Non-GMO
No artificial flavors or colors
6)Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Real Meat Wet Cat FoodThis brand offers a variety of 7 different flavors (including whitefish, duck, rabbit, and beef). The strong-smelling gravy makes this an irresistible food for cats, even the fussy ones.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Rabbit
Lamb broth
Beef broth
Beef liver
Lamb
Salmon oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
High-quality proteins
Amino acids
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
7)Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Grain-Free Low Carbohydrate With Poultry Or Fish In Consommé For Adult CatsThe simple ingredients in this product offer your cat food that is close to nature by sticking to the basics. Even the founder of Tiki Cat shows on a video how she eats the food herself, so you can be sure that it contains no harmful ingredients.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Chicken
Chicken broth
Sunflower seed oil
Tricalcium phosphate
Taurine 
Sunflower seed oil (rich in omegas)
No Potato
No Gums
Non-GMO
Pea-free
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
8)Weruva Classic Cat Food Midwest Feast With Grilled Tilapia And Whole Meat Tuna And GravyWith more than a dozen unique flavors to choose from, it makes it easy to find the perfect one for your picky cat. Weruva Classic cat food features trevally, mussels, squid, shrimp, and many more. The taste and smell of the trevally and shrimp are especially irresistible to picky eaters. Fussy cats love the chunky, meaty texture of this beautiful product.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Tuna 
Water sufficient for processing
Tilapia
Potato starch
Sunflower seed oil
Sunflower seed oil (rich in omegas)
Carrageenan-free
No Corn
No SoySupports a healthy tract
Non-GMO
Low carbohydrates
Added vitamins and minerals
Pea-free
Gluten-free
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
9)Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Pacific Catch Recipe Grain-Free Cat FoodThis feline diet provides cats with plenty of good protein. The kibble is mixed with freeze-dries raw protein pieces, which gives your cats a nutritional boost and has a taste that picky cats go crazy for.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Deboned salmon
Salmon meat
Whitefish meal
PotatoesPeas
Omega-3 Fatty AcidsOmega-6 Fatty AcidsHigh-quality protein
Added vitamins and minerals
Aids digestion
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
10)Blue Buffalo Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Natural Indoor Adult Dry Cat FoodThe limited ingredients in this recipe allow you to choose a specific flavor they enjoy the most. Each recipe’s single meat flavor will help you pinpoint which meat your picky eater will actually eat. If the main ingredient is chicken, and your cat eats it every time without too much fussiness, then you know that your cat likes chicken.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Deboned duck
Duck meal
Pea proteinTapioca starch
Peas
Omega-6 Fatty AcidsFish oil (source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids)Contains pumpkin
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
Contains cranberries and blueberries (great sources of antioxidants)
11)American Journey Dry Cat FoodThis is a budget-friendly product with great reviews from buyers who own picky cats. The first four ingredients are sourced from animals, so cats fall in love with its meaty flavor. 651 buyers gave this product a 5-star review.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Deboned salmon
Salmon meat
Tapioca starch
Menhaden fish meal
Dried egg product
Canola oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)Contains flaxseed
Contains taurineContains blueberries and cranberries (great sources of antioxidants)Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives)
12)Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna An Wild Salmon Entrée In Broth Grain-Free Canned Cat FoodThis recipe is loaded with nutritional goodness and real protein, giving it a burst of natural meaty flavors that picky eaters love! It has thin, flat, long pieces of real salmon, shrimp, and tuna in a delicious tuna broth. Most buyers gave this fantastic and nutritious product 5-star reviews.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
TunaTuna brothMackerelSalmonWater for processingSunflower oil (essential fatty acids)High-quality fish protein
Contains taurinePea-free
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
13)Instinct Original Grain-Free Pate Real Rabbit Recipe Wet Canned Cat FoodThis product features flavorful ingredients that most cats seem to love, even the picky eaters.The secret is in the name. Cats have an instinct to catch their prey, and the taste and texture of this product are close to nature. Picky eaters love the meatiness from the high-quality protein that is used.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
RabbitPorkPork liverPork brothGround flaxseedsFish oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)High-quality protein
No Potato
No Corn
No Wheat
No Soy
Contains pumpkin
Contains blueberries and cranberries (a great source of antioxidants)
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors and colors
14)Hill’s Science Diet Kitten Healthy Cuisine Roasted Chicken And Rice Medley Canned FoodAnother carefully designed product by Hill’s Science Diet, this formula provides all the necessary nutrients that a kitten needs in his early growth and development. Kittens love the taste of the real, wholesome chicken in a delicious, mouthwatering sauce, even the pickiest of kittens!
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Chicken BrothChickenPork LiverCarrotsWheat glutenFish oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
Contains taurine
Clinically proven antioxidants
Vitamin E & C (for a healthy immune system)
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
15)Purina Muse Natural Ocean Whitefish And Mackerel Recipe Grain-Free Pate Canned Cat FoodThe ingredients in this recipe are carefully selected to ensure the taste of authentic, high-quality meat that even the fussiest of cats can’t resist. The formula contains high-quality vegetables, which add natural hydration and is a wonderful source of antioxidants.
This recipe does not contain grains or by-products.
Ocean Whitefish
Chicken
Liver
Fish broth
Mackerel 
No Corn
No Wheat
No SoyContains taurine
Added vitamins and minerals
No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

What Can You Do To Encourage Your Cat To Eat?

Indoor felines often experience stomach problems, and so many products on the market make it even worse. Some cats are just picky by nature, but some kitties simply refuse to eat their food because it makes them feel sick.

The ongoing trial and error of finding the perfect food that our cats want to eat can become very expensive. To prevent wasting more time and money on undesired cat food, look out for the following on the packaging to ensure you make the right choice.

Variety

Reinvigorate your cat’s enthusiasm for eating by selecting a variety of flavors. A fussy eater won’t want the same food over and over, and soon enough, will turn up their noses. Find a highly recommended brand by buyers that own picky eaters and try out all of the flavors. Rotate the flavors every day. Adding bone broth or tuna water could also help to improve the taste and smell of their food.

Texture

The shape and texture of a cat’s food are very important to consider if you are struggling with a picky eater. Chunkier, softer food is closer to the consistency of a wild diet; therefore, it is best to read the label carefully to ensure you don’t select food with a texture they dislike.

Allergen-Free

If your cat keeps on having unpleasant allergic reactions to the food, the chances are good that they will stop eating it. Ensure that the food you are purchasing is free of many common allergens or any ingredients that could upset their sensitive stomachs.

Establish An Eating Routine

If your cat is fussy when it comes to eating, incorporate a set routine by sticking to a feeding plan. Instead of allowing free-eating, set specific feeding times for each meal throughout the day. Avoid changing what, when and how you feed your cats. This could be disruptive and cause them to lose interest in their food.

Transitioning Your Cat To A New Food – Tips

Don’t change your cat’s food all at once. Start by adding small portions (25%) of the new food to your cat’s regular food for about 3 days. During these three days, pay close attention to your cat’s energy levels, bowel movements, and possible allergic reactions. Discontinue the new food if the following happens;

  • Skin irritation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation

If these symptoms go away after discontinuing, you can be sure that it is the new food causing these unwanted side effects.

If none of these symptoms occur, start adding 50% of the new food to 50% of the regular food. Return to 25% if your cat refuses to eat and try the 50/50 ratio again after a few days. Continue to monitor them for any side effects, and for the next two days, move from 50/50 to 75% new food and 25% regular food.

If all is well after two days, try 100% of the new food. Again, if your cat seems to become fussy, return to 75/25 for a bit longer and keep trying to get to 100% of the new diet.

This is the safest, most effective way of transitioning your cat to the new food, as their tummies need time to adjust to the new ingredients.

Can You Feed Human Food To Your Picky Eating Cat?

There is a reason why cats have their food, and we have ours. So many foods that are safe for humans to consume are toxic and unhealthy to cats. NEVER feed the following foods to your cat;

  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Shallots
  • Onions
  • Fried foods
  • Most vegetables
  • Raw Eggs
  • Potatoes
  • Seasoned food
  • Prepared food
  • Avocado (Contains Persin)
  • Green tomatoes
  • Milk
  • Chocolate (could contain Theobromine which causes chocolate toxicity in cats)
  • Bread dough (containing yeast)
  • Citrus fruits
  • Coconut (flesh and water)
  • Nuts (especially Macadamia nuts)
  • Raw meat (could be contaminated with Salmonella or E. coli bacteria)
  • Raw fish (could carry bacteria)
  • Salt 

It is safer to stick to a diet that is designed for cats to avoid compromising their health.

In Conclusion

Having a cat that is a picky eater isn’t the end of the world. Although it can be stressful to constantly have to worry and wonder whether your cat is eating enough, there are so many different tricks for you to try to improve his appetite.

Now that you know about the fantastic recipes on the market, specially formulated with fussy cats in mind, you can go and explore them to find the one that your cat loves the most. Remember to be patient and be sure to make his eating experience one that makes him come back for more every time!

References