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You shouldn’t have to choose between feeding your cat well and sticking to your budget.
As a loving cat owner, you want to ensure your cat’s basic nutritional needs are met, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy top-shelf cat food. You should buy the highest quality cat food you can consistently afford, but there are plenty of affordable options out there.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the healthiest cat food options on a budget. Before we get into it, however, let’s talk about how to strike the ideal balance between quality and affordability.
What to Look for in a Healthy Cat Food
All cats require a balance of animal protein and healthy fats in their diet, as well as essential nutrients. The quality and volume of ingredients largely determine the price of cat food, but a higher price tag doesn’t guarantee higher quality. It’s important to understand your cat’s nutritional needs before you start shopping so you can choose wisely.
Here are some things to look for when shopping for healthy cat food:
- Natural, whole-food ingredients
- High-quality animal proteins (at least 30%)
- Healthy, animal-based fats (about 15% to 20%)
- Digestible carbohydrates and fiber
- Essential vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids
- No by-products, fillers, or artificial additives
In addition to knowing what to look for in high-quality cat food, you should also know what factors influence price. Simply put, animal protein is more expensive than plant protein and wholesome, natural ingredients cost more than by-products. Dry food is generally cheaper than wet food and fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried cat foods are at the top of the price range.
It’s up to you to strike the right balance between quality and affordability but, lucky for you, we’re here to help! Read on to see our top picks for the healthiest cat food on a budget.
10 Healthiest Cat Food Options on a Budget
Feeding your cat well shouldn’t have to mean emptying your wallet. If you shop smart, you can find a product that suits your cat’s nutritional needs as well as your budget.
Here are our top picks for the best affordable cat food:
This indoor recipe features fresh salmon as the main ingredient with chicken meal as a supplemental source of concentrated protein. It also contains grain-free carbohydrates and beneficial supplements.Buy Now on Amazon for $10.45
If your cat prefers wet food, this grain-free chicken recipe is packed with protein to support strong muscles with plenty of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids for overall health.Buy Now on Chewy for $38.66
With real chicken as the first ingredient, this affordable dry food recipe is kept simple to deliver balanced nutrition and natural flavor without the use of artificial additives.Buy Now on Amazon for $10.87
Chewy’s in-house brand delivers wholesome natural nutrition with real meat as the first ingredient and fresh fruits and vegetables to provide digestible sources of key nutrients.Buy Now on Chewy for $24.99
This recipe is just one example of the many flavorful wet foods Weruva has to offer. Their products are made with real animal protein as the main ingredient with no artificial additives.Buy Now on Amazon for $33.99
This grain-free dry food delivers “goodness from the earth” with healthy, wholesome ingredients like real chicken, fresh peas, and potatoes as well as beneficial supplements.Buy Now on Chewy for $37.99
Made with premium animal proteins, this dry food features roasted venison and smoked salmon in a recipe designed to provide balanced nutrition in the way nature intended.Buy Now on Amazon for $30.99
Formulated to support the five signs of wellness in cats, this canned food promotes healthy skin and coat, regular digestion, strong immunity, energy, and balanced nutrition.Buy Now on Chewy for $37.56
Amazon’s in-house brand, Wag offers a variety of affordable options in wet and dry food for cats. This chicken and giblets recipe features fresh chicken and wholesome fruits and veggies.Buy Now on Amazon for $19.99
With chicken meal as the first ingredient, this cat food is rich in protein and natural flavor. It’s also an indoor formula which means it helps with weight maintenance and hairball prevention.Buy Now on Chewy for $17.09
Money-Saving Tips for Feeding Your Cat
Saving money on cat food isn’t an impossible task. Online retailers like Chewy and Amazon offer discounts for subscriptions and you can often find coupons on the manufacturer’s website. Some manufacturers also offer rebates and rewards.
Be careful about buying in bulk to save money because dry cat food starts to lose its nutritional integrity after you open the bag. Wet cat food is shelf-stable for up to 2 years as long as it hasn’t been opened but only lasts about 5 days once you break the seal.
Looking for affordable options in grain-free cat food? Check out our top picks HERE.