- The Best Low-Carb Cat Food
- 1. Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food
- 2. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food
- 3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food
- 4. Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food
- 5. Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Grain Free Wet Cat Food
- 6. Crave Grain Free High Protein Wet Cat Food Trays
- 7. Instinct Grain Free Dry Cat Food
- 8. Nulo Grain Free Dry Cat Food
- 9. Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Low Carb Grain Free Dry Cat Food
- 10. Ketogenic Pet Foods Natural Dog & Cat Food
Cats are obligate carnivores - meaning they require nutrients from animal products. In other words, cats need nutrients that are found only in animal products, in order to live a healthy, happy life. We've selected the best low carb foods and paired them with a guide to help you navigate the process. Here’s our list of the best low-carb cat food options for your cat to eat, in order to mimic their natural diet.
The Best Low-Carb Cat Food
CRUDE PROTEIN 16.0% min
CRUDE FAT 2.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 0.0% max
MOISTURE 78.0% max
ASH 2.0% min
TAURINE 0.2% min
This low carb cat food is extremely popular for good reason. A good level of protein, combined with grain-free cat food, this wet cat food is ideal for most adult cats – not just obese cats. A very high level of moisture means that this option can help with standard health issues that most commercial cat foods don’t even come close to.
Plenty of added vitamins and minerals are included, while still using low ash meat proteins. In other words, it provides balanced nutrition while maintaining urinary health and being extremely enticing to your feline friend.
Easy to open cans with ideal portion sizes
Added taurine helps with heart health
No added fillers or preservatives
Ideal for cats with allergies or sensitive stomachs
Customers note that these have a strong odor
Some cats don’t like the texture
Crude protein 40.0% min
Crude fat 18.0% min
Crude fiber 4.0% max
Moisture 10.0% max
Taurine 0.16% min
Omega-6 fatty acids 3.0% min
Crave have stormed the market with their range of completely grain-free, high protein cat food options – and this dry cat food is no different. High-quality proteins and fats make up the majority of this dry food, suiting the natural diet of the obligate carnivores in your life to a tee.
This low carb food offers plenty of added benefits, including omega-6 fatty acids for optimal brain health. At the same time, being low carb, cat parents will be pleased to know that this high protein cat food is ideal for outdoor cats, while remaining suitable for diabetic cats.
Made with quality protein from quality sources
Contains no by-products and no soy, corn or wheat
Great for cats with gluten sensitivities or allergies
Limited flavors compared to others
Still has some unnecessary additives
Crude protein 8.0% min
Crude fat 5.5% min
Crude fiber 2.0% max
Moisture 78.0% max
Taurine 0.1% min
Omega-3 fatty acids 0.15% min
Omega-6 fatty acids 1.0% min
L-carnitine 10 mg/kg min
We’re a big fan of the many benefits of Blue Buffalo food, and this canned food is another great option from the brand. Mix in this paté with dry food or use it as a standalone serving, as this low carb cat food has been created to be used alongside other high protein foods, as well as on its own.
Created for senior cats, the added chicken broth can make this option a little watery for some tastes. However, if you do decide to mix this with your own food, you can be sure that the smell and taste will entice your cat into eating much more healthily.
Pate formula is enticing to cats
Designed as part of a low-carb diet for senior cats
Added taurine to promote healthy brain function
No grain, gluten, by-products or artificial flavors or preservatives
Can be a little watery for a paté
Tabs can sometimes pop off the lid when opening
Crude protein 10% min
Crude fat 1.4% min
Crude fiber 0.50% max
Moisture 85% max
Ash 1.2% max
Calcium 0.20% max
Phos 0.17% max
Magnesium 0.018% max
Taurine 0.05% min
Another option that choose chicken broth to encourage cats to eat their low carb cat foods, this choice from Weruva offers plenty of additional benefits, alongside a low carb diet. A high moisture content can help maintain your cat’s body. However, some customers have noted that their cats aren’t too keen on eating the chunks – despite lapping up the broth itself, quite happily!
Grain-free wet cat food uses shredded chicken as the main ingredient
This canned wet food uses a broth-based gravy to entice cats
Plenty of added vitamins and minerals to help cats with health issues
High moisture content of this low-carb wet food helps with cats prone to UTI’s
Some cats will enjoy the broth but not the chunks
Poor customer service noted by customers
Crude protein 11.0% min
Crude fat 1.8% min
Crude fiber 0.5% max
Moisture 84.0% max
Taurine 0.04% min
Another option in low carb canned cat food, this selection from Tiki is a great choice for those seeking the best for their cats. This pack offers four different flavor types, using naturally-occurring ocean fish oil, as fish is the main ingredient in each type.
As well as these nutritious oils, this low carb wet cat food is ideal for diabetic cats, those with sensitive stomachs and for helping to maintain a healthy weight in your cat. Just be aware that this choice is smaller (and therefore has less servings) than many other options on our list of the best low carb cat food.
Uses very high quality ingredients
High moisture content helps with inflammatory bowel disease and urinary infections
Uses fish as the main ingredient in each variety
Smaller cases don’t last as long as others on the list
Can cost much more over time
Crude Protein (Min.) 9.0%
Crude Fat (Min.) 3.5%
Crude Fiber (Max.) 1.0%
Moisture (Max.) 82.0%
Ash (Max.) 3.0%
Taurine (Min.) 0.06%
Crave is a grain-free wet food with no artificial flavors or preservatives. The product also contains essential vitamins and minerals. It comes in “dual packs’ with two different flavors. It has a low 9% carbohydrate percentage and comes in the same size of turkey pate as a pate. Of course, it’s not just the carbohydrate percentage that makes this such a great option.
These wet foods come in easy-to-use portion sizes – meaning there’s less waste for you, while your cat’s food offers the right size to maintain a healthy weight. As low carb wet cat food options go, this choice offers both a low carbohydrate content and grain-free foods for your cat.
Perfectly packaged for less waste
Grain-free, nutrient rich cat food
Made with high quality protein from chicken
Can be difficult to find in stores and online
Smaller portions aren’t ideal for large breeds
Crude protein 41.0% min
Crude fat 21.0% min
Crude fiber 3.0% max
Moisture 9.0% max
Vitamin e 100 iu/kg min
Ascorbic acid (vitamin c) 85 mg/kg min
Omega-3 fatty acids 0.45% min
Omega-6 fatty acids 3.0% min
Bacillus coagulants 60,000,000 cfu/lb min
Another great choice in high protein low carb cat foods, this choice from instinct is an amazing choice in dry food. Suitable for all life stages, this is one of the lowest carbohydrate dry cat food choices on the market.
Plenty of added vitamins and minerals work to maintain your cat’s health, while the protein itself comes from cage-free chickens. Customers have noticed that this low carb food has a strong odor – but that just makes your cat’s food more enticing to your pet!
81% is made up of animal ingredients, with nutritious oils
High protein low-carb cat food
No chicken meal or by-products used in the ingredients
Customers note that this cat food has a strong odor
Lower moisture content than canned food choices
Crude protein 40.0% min
Crude fat 17.0% min
Crude fiber 5.0% max
Moisture 10.0% max
Calcium 1.10% min
Phosphorus 0.9% min
Vitamin a 2,250 iu/kg min
Vitamin e 300 iu/kg min
Taurine 0.2% min
Omega-6 fatty acids 3.2% min
Omega-3 fatty acids 0.5% min
Ascorbic acid 65 mg/kg min
Bacillus coagulants 80,000,000 cfu/lb min
Nulo have offered an amazing choice in dry cat food with this indoor option. Perfect for those seeking a high protein diet for their diabetic cat, while still offering a healthy level of fat and ample vitamins and minerals to maintain a healthy immune system, this choice has proven to be extremely popular with pet owners.
With deboned duck, chicken and turkey meal, and deboned cod as the main ingredients – and massive 82% of the final product is made up of animal proteins. This is one of the best low carb cat food options on the market, today. However, this does mean you’ll pay a premium for these high-quality cat foods.
82% of animal proteins are made from deboned duck, chicken meal, turkey meal and deboned cod
Added omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for optimal brain health
Added probiotics to aid in digestion
Very expensive when compared to other brands
Small kibble pieces mean that larger cats are unlikely to chew while eating
Our final option from Tiki is a low-moisture, high protein choice in dry food. This is the closest you’ll come to zero carb cat food. But it should be noted that, again, you’ll be paying a premium for getting the best low carb cat foods on the market.
This dry food offers much more than the standard commercial cat food, although the low moisture content isn’t ideal for cats who struggle with urinary issues. That being said, it’s perfect for obese cats and uses deboned chicken breast, chicken liver and more, to suit your cat’s natural dietary requirements.
Uses non-GMO ingredients
Free from artificial colors and preservatives
No animal by-products
Very expensive option
Bag isn’t resealable, so loses freshness quickly
Last on our list of cat foods, is this option from Ketogenic Pet Foods. This is more of a treat than a standalone product, although it can be used as both (provided you also have additional supplements to meet your cat’s needs). Instead, you can use this as an occasional treat, or use it as a food topper on top of dry food, to help encourage your cat to eat.
Low fiber makes this option difficult to recommend if your cat struggles with inflammatory bowel disease or similar. However, it’s still a great choice if your cat is turning their nose up at cat foods and needs a little nudge in the right direction!
Very high protein, low carb cat food
Keto diet can help your cat lose weight
Animal protein comes from salmon
Provides plenty of essential nutrients
Not suitable for all cats – seek out veterinary advice first
Low-Carb Cat Food Buying Guide
What is Low Carb Cat Food?
Just like in human food, cat food is made up of the three core nutritional components - protein, fat and carbohydrates. Recently, the latter has made big news as the keto diet has spread as a way of managing weight problems and lowering the risk of diabetes and similar weight-related health concerns. As such, low carbohydrate foods have become increasingly popular.
These days, vets are beginning to recommend high protein and low carb foods for our feline friend. Luckily, the American Feed Control Officials - the people in charge of dictating what can be advertised on the labels of pet food - have made it clear what can and can't be advertised as being a low carb wet cat food or low carb dry food.
Low carb cat food is dictated by the guaranteed analysis. Owners will need to consider the whole percentage (100%), then take away the percentage of protein in the analysis, then the fats. What's left is carbohydrates. So, the higher the protein and fat content, the lower the carbs in the cat foods.
Things To Consider When Buying Low Carb Cat Food
As we know, the main thing to consider when buying low carb cat food (whether that's dry food, pate or wet cat food), is the carbohydrate percentage in the guaranteed analysis.
Of course, cats still need a good-quality, balanced diet. Low carb cat food, therefore, needs to be made up of a good level of fat (for providing your cat with energy) and a good level of protein (the building blocks of all cell tissue).
However, it's always important to provide your cat with additional support when required. So, supplements should be added, if applicable, to help to maintain your cat's immune system. Similarly, you should consider your cat's own, individual differences when choosing cat food.
Some cats are allergic to chicken, and therefore should avoid everything from chicken liver through to meal by-products and similar. You should always check the list of ingredients if your cat has a sensitive stomach, and opt for grain-free options if you can. Head over to our review of cat food for sensitive stomachs for more alternatives.
Grains such as soy, wheat and corn as usually used as a filler in wet and dry foods, and offer no nutritional value to your cat. Therefore, the best cat food also has no fillers, artificial preservatives or colors.
We endeavour to make our low carb cat food list as comprehensive as possible, so as best to suit the wide range of different individual needs. Of course, if you're ever concerned about your cat and their diet, you should always consult with a veterinarian, who can give you further advice.
Benefits of Low Carb Diet for Cats
The biggest benefit of a low carb diet is the appeal to the cat's natural dietary requirements. Cats are predators, naturally, and their simple digestive system is designed to deal with lots of protein and very little carbs.
They can also have trouble when it comes to digesting plant-based food. As such, many cats may still feel hungry after eating.
Cats are also susceptible to weight-related health problems in all life stages. Just an extra one or two pounds can make a huge difference to the likelihood of your pet having health problems in the future.
To avoid joint problems, eye concerns, liver, stomach and other health concerns, you should always be mindful of what your cat is eating. Opting for a low carb diet is just one of the ways you can help maintain your cat's health for years to come.
Our Top Pick
The Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food comes at the top of our list for low carbohydrate, rich foods that offer real meat to your cat while providing them with a balanced diet. There's no doubt that those looking to maintain their cat's health should try this wet cat food, first.
While many cat food options will use by-products such as organ meat, this cat food uses shredded muscle meat. As such, you can see the benefits of feeding your cat low carb cat foods from the first few meals. For more options, check out our detailed review of the best organic cat food.
Suitable for cats with feline diabetes, overweight cats and those who just want to restore metabolic balance to their cat, cat parents will be pleased to know that canned cat food covers all bases, and more.
Low-Carb Cat Food FAQ:
Q: What Cat Food is Low in Carbs?
Any type of cat food can be low in carbs. However, if cats may prefer one over the other when it comes to wet or dry low carb food. As well as this, wet food is more likely to have a lower carb content, due to the higher moisture content available in each type.
As such, always go by the guaranteed analysis, and don't forget to take away the percentage of moisture, as well the protein and fat percentages. This will leave you with the amount of carbs left in the food and make it easier to see which option has the lowest carbs.
Q: Does Your Cat Need a Low Carb Diet?
Not all cats need low carb food. Indeed, older cats have lower energy and can be perfectly happy on standard senior food. Similarly, nursing cats should never be placed on a low carb option, as they require a high caloric intake to make up for the energy burned while nursing.
If you're ever concerned about whether your cat should be on a different diet, do check with your local vet. They know you and your cat better than we do, and have access to their records. As such, they can provide you with more accurate information.
Q: What Should I Look For on the Food Label?
As with all cat food, you should always consider the ingredients of the cat food itself. Good quality meats should come at the top of the list (including fish, if this is what the cat food advertises as). Additionally, you should always try to opt for low-grain or grain-free cat food, as explained earlier.
After this, you should look at the guaranteed analysis. This analysis breaks down the ingredients as a percentage. If you're looking to pop your cat on a diet that uses low carbs, then this is where you'll find all the information you'll need.
The guaranteed analysis, however, still doesn't provide carb content. As such, you'll need to subtract the percentage of proteins, fat and minerals (also referred to as "ash") in order to to calculate the percentage of carbohydrates.