Taking care of a being other than yourself can be an expensive feat. In fact, if you compute how much you spend on your pet’s food alone, it may shock you. That’s why it is a good idea to look for healthy and legitimate ways to reduce costs when it comes to your cat’s upkeep. For that reason, we have come up with a compilation of some of the cheapest cat food options on the market.
Healthy is the keyword here, you don’t want to feed your fur baby something that is detrimental to their health. So, rather than opting for any cheap option on the market, here are a few that will still give your pet what their body needs.
1. Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Canned Cat Food
It may be a cheaper alternative, but this is a healthy option for your feline friend. It comes packed with ingredients such as lean meat, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Even better is the fact that Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Canned Cat Food is void of any corn, soy, wheat, colors, carrageenan, or artificial flavors. When you cross those off the list, you are left with a healthy cat food option.
Cat owners also like the fact that it is packed with healthy protein sources, even better they are named protein sources. The manufacturers use food options like eggs, chicken, and salmon, which make for better muscle and cardiovascular development. There are also great sources of essential fatty acids that make for a more robust immune system.
Since it is a wet cat food option, it is a great way to ensure that your pet gets all the hydration they need to thrive. It does not just keep your cat well-hydrated, it equally makes for better urinary tract health. You will like the fact that this recipe (and their other options) are specifically created by nutritionists and animal specialists to ensure that your cat gets the most out of its diet.
2. Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Cat Food
Brought to you by the well-known chef, Rachel Ray herself, this cat food option is a great choice if you are in the market for cheap but healthy dry cat food. This savory cat food has a named protein source as its first ingredient, in this case, it is U.S farm-raised chicken. That accounts for the tasty flavor of the Rachel Ray Nutrish Premium Natural Dry Cat Food as well as its ability to contribute to lean muscle development.
Other ingredients included are vegetables, wholesome brown rice, minerals, essential vitamins as well as amino acids. That is not all, there is also a handful of healthy and tasty ingredients such as beet pulp, which is a great source of natural fiber. It is also packed with probiotics which are much-needed to ensure that your cat has a healthy gut.
Even more, these tasty bites come in a perfect size, as such, they are easy to chew and swallow. Nevertheless, they maintain a nice, crunchy texture that makes them irresistible to your pet.
3. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Healthy Dry Cat Food
This brand has been putting out high-quality cat food for quite some time, so there is no doubt that IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Healthy Dry Cat Food is a viable option. Here, the first ingredient is chicken which is a good source of protein for your pet. You can rest assured that your pet will have enough energy to thrive as well as develop robust muscles and cardiovascular health. There is also a good blend of natural fiber and prebiotics in the mix.
This ensures that your pet is armed with a healthy digestive tract and they are less prone to digestive unrest. That is not all, there are the much-needed omega 6 and 3 fatty acids in the mix, as such, your pet will have healthy skin and coat. Altogether, this food option is made using some of the finest ingredients sourced in the U.S. Each package contains a 22 lb. bag of cat food, which is about 9.98 kilograms of cat food.
4. Authority Wet Cat Food Indoor Kitten Chicken Entree
This wet cat food option is just what the doctor ordered if the aim is to give your cat a balanced diet. Authority Wet Cat Food Indoor Kitten Chicken Entree will not just give you good value for your money. Even better is the fact that it comes with a handy serving spatula to sweeten the deal. They are particularly useful when it comes to cleaning out the food from the can into your cat’s bowl. For more convenience, the can is conveniently sized so it is quite easy to peel the lids back to open them.
But that is not all, there are so many other things that make this such a great option. This cat food happens to be a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, as such your pet will develop healthy skin and a luscious coat. Altogether, this is particularly necessary when they are kittens, thankfully, this cat food is more suitable for kittens as well as young cats that are under the age of year. You will equally like the fact that there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives in the mix.
5. Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Cat Food Every cat owner knows that Purina is not a bad brand as a whole, for that reason the Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Wet Cat Food is on this list. Just as it is with all Purina products, high-quality protein is the first ingredient in the mix.
In this case, it is delicious duck meat that is not just tasty but is packed with enough protein to properly fuel your pet. It contributes toward muscle development and robust cardiovascular health. Even better is the fact that this is a grain-free recipe that is equally void of artificial colors and flavoring.
What it does have is a blend of healthy ingredients that are sure to nourish your cats like never before. Complementing the duck is a range of wholesome veggies, such as carrots and sweet potatoes. It is even more appealing because of the pate texture that your cat has no choice but to love. As such, mealtime will always be a great time for your pet.
6. WholeHearted All Life Stages Canned Cat Food
Besides the fact that it is a great option regardless of the life stage, WholeHearted All Life Stages Canned Cat Food has so many upsides. Many cat owners like the fact that this is a grain-free option that is packed with a range of healthy ingredients that will no doubt contribute to your cat’s all-around wellbeing. Here, the first ingredient is chicken which does not just make for a tasty meal, but it goes a long way to nourish your pet. The chicken here is complemented by a rich savory gravy that will keep your cat coming back for more.
Making it even better is the fact that this cat food option is free of any by-products or artificial food coloring. There is also no corn, soy, or wheat in the mix, so your pet’s digestive health is not on the line. Altogether, this is a healthy and affordable option for all pet parents.
7. Purina Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food
If you have a finicky cat, then Purina Fancy Feast Wet Cat Food is just what the doctor ordered. This tasty meal is all you need to turn mealtime into your pet’s favorite time of the day. The first ingredient here is a natural high-quality protein that comes in the form of flaked fish and shrimp. This flavor alone is enough to entice your pet and whet their appetite. Thankfully, it is not just tasty, it is also as nutritious as they come while being available at quite a steal.
It is packed with essential vitamins and minerals which all go a long way to boost your pet’s all-around wellbeing. Even better is the fact that it is not packed work calories that will end up blowing your pet up. So, they can have a generous serving without the looming risk of feline obesity.
8. American Journey Grain-Free Cat Food
Here is a cat food option you can stand behind confidently, on one hand, it is tasty and on the other hand, it is as nutritious as they come.
American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is made with real turkey as the first ingredient and as such you are sure that a high-quality protein source is in the mix. Even better is the fact that it is made without grains, poultry by-product meal, corn, soy, and wheat. What it does have in the mix are wholesome fruits as well as vegetables and deboned chicken.
There is also a good measure of antioxidants which go a long way to boost your pet’s immune system. Taking it up a notch is the taurine component that is great for vision as well as cardiovascular health. Altogether, this is a healthy option for your cat and your pocket.
Cheap Cat Foods Buying Guide
It’s safe to say that there are so many cheap cat food options out there, it is easy to get lost inside the good and the bad. Even with the great options presented above, you still have to narrow it down since your cat can’t possibly eat all of them. With that in mind, we have come up with a buying guide that will help you hone in on the perfect cat food for your pocket and your pet. Here is everything you need to know.
Vital Ingredients to Look Out for When Buying Cat Food
Even if you are going for a more affordable option, you need to ensure that the food you pick is packed with protein. Aim for at least a 25% protein content; it is also important to look for something with a named protein source, not ‘meat derivatives’ or ‘meat by-products. Sure, these can be in the recipe, but as the first ingredient, you may not get the most out of it.
It’s also a good sign when you see names like a lamb, salmon, whitefish, chicken, tuna as well as any organs like chicken hearts.
The latter, among other named organs, is a good source of taurine which is a much-needed amino acid for cats. While humans can synthesize it quite easily, cats need to get it from the food they eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Without it, they could go blind or develop cardiovascular conditions. So, look out for protein and taurine sources upfront.
Fat is a vital part of any cat’s diet. They work hand-in-hand with protein to ensure that cats lead healthy life. As a whole, felines need to consume at least 20 to 24 percent of fat. This may sound like a lot, but cats need food that is high in fat to thrive. It is also proven that cat food with a high-fat content tastes a lot better, so finicky cats won’t be able to resist it.
Since fat can equally be unhealthy, it is easy to think that avoiding high-fat food options can lead to obesity. But this is not the case when it comes to cats, the prey that they would readily hunt if they were out in the wild mostly comprises protein and fat. As such, their nutritional needs and requirements can only be met with an optimum fat content in the mix.
Altogether, it is important to look out for a named fat source, such as fish oil and chicken fat, that way you can monitor the percentage in the option you pick.
When it comes to cats, carbs are not the most ideal ingredient to add to their diet. You see, cats are carnivores in nature and as such do not rely on carbohydrates as a source of energy. So, they have some problems when it comes to digesting carbohydrates, especially grains. This can lead to food aversions, allergies, and indigestion. Unfortunately, most dry cat food depends heavily on carbohydrates which act as the fillers that hold other ingredients together.
Especially when corn is introduced to the mix, many cats cannot handle it and as such, they may end up developing stomach cramps, irritable bowel disorder, runny stools, and even vomiting. There is a way to let them eat their cake and have it, with carb sources like green peas and potatoes, or simply use dry food as a treat and wet food as their main meal.
– Vitamins and minerals
For any feline to have a healthy immune system, there must be some healthy omegas in their diet. The go-to options are Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which go a long way to nourish their skin and coat. The main food sources to look out for in this regard are fish oil, eggs as well as flaxseed. So, once these are on the label, you can be sure that your cat will receive a healthy dose of Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Probiotics are another element that you should look out for when picking out cat food, they ensure that their digestive health is just as important as their overall health. Probiotics are basically the good kind of bacteria that reside in the gut. Having them present is essential to completing digestion as well as the complete absorption of nutrients.
Besides that, these healthy bacteria go a long way to boost your cat’s immune system, so they should always be in the mix to ensure that your cat’s digestive and all-around health is intact.
Since BHT and BHA are not fit for cat food, let alone any beings’ food, this is a more healthy alternative. It is often featured in premium food brands and is considered to be a source of Vitamin E. Even better is the fact that it contains Vitamin A and some preservatives. The only downside is that they are not quite as efficient as BHA and BTA so you really need to keep an eye on the maximum shelf life to ensure that your cat remains healthy.
Bad ingredients/additives to Avoid in Cheap Cat Food
You shouldn’t only look out for the good stuff when it comes to cat food, there are some ingredients you should flat out avoid. For instance, chemical preservatives like Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) are often used to preserve dry cat
food. These compounds have been discovered to be harmful and may even lead to cancer. So, try to steer clear of cat food options that include them.
– Rendered fat
There is healthy fat and then there is rendered fat; no one needs to tell you which one you should stay away from. Since fat makes food more flavorful as a whole, rendered fat takes it to an even higher level. It is added to kibble to make it more appealing to your feline friend. That would be alright if it did not lead to a range of problems such as salmonella as well as toxins.
– Carbohydrate fillers
Remember, carbs are already not part of a cat’s natural diet, as such, carb fillers are even worse. Most cat food options have up to 50 % fillers included in the mix and that does not leave room for other essential nutrients. The worst ingredients in this category are fillers like cornmeal or gluten, they cause digestive unrest and flare-up allergies. Altogether, this is not good for cats with conditions like diabetes, overweight cats, and seniors.
– Food dyes
Even in food fit for human consumption, it is advisable to stay away from some dyes. It is even more imperative that your cats stay away from food dyes thanks to their simple digestive systems. Options like Red 40, Blue 2 as well as Yellow 5 and 6 have been discovered to cause everything from hypersensitivity to cancer. Also, there’s caramel color which has recently joined the no-no list, it is said to contain 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE) which has already been established as a carcinogenic substance.
– Meat/poultry by-products
Let us start by saying that not all meat by-products are detrimental to your pet’s health. But, meat by-products are cloaked in a shroud of mystery since you never really know which organs or animal parts are used in its production. Even worse is meat meal which is produced by a rendering process that is not regarded as safe by most animal owners and lovers.
For the most part, the meat used in this process is not even fit for consumption by humans. Also, during the rendering process most, if not all of the natural enzymes and proteins, so it does not add any value to your cat’s all-around well-being. Altogether, it is a low-quality source of protein and should not be consumed in high quantities.
This ingredient is a no-no as fat as cat food is concerned; it comes in the form of a red seaweed that is often used as a thickening agent. It is frowned upon by most since it is potentially
carcinogenic. Sure, it is used in human foods, but that’s not too dangerous since it does not come in a degraded form.
Nevertheless, it could start degrading once in the cat’s digestive system which potentially exposes your pet to cancer. It does not definitely cause cancer, but why take the chance when there are so many other healthy thickening agents on the market?
Is Cheap Cat Food Any Good?
We are not going to lie, you truly get what you pay for when you opt for cheaper cat food options and you really should not expect anything more. Nevertheless, if you want to tread down that road, you might as well choose one that is listed above. They are not as bad as some of the more generic cat food options out there.