Best Value Wet Cat Food [Quality and Affordable]

best quality affordable wet cat food

Are you looking for excellent quality wet cat food that’s affordable? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the best value wet foods for your beloved companion. 

In this article, we help you understand what to look for in good quality cat food—as well as reviewing our top-ten wet food selections. These are:

  1. Purina Fancy Feast Grilled Poultry and Beef Collection
  2. Purina Friskies Shreds
  3. Sheba Perfect Portions
  4. Earthborn Holistics Monterey Medley
  5. Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken Wet Cat Food Pouches
  6. Meow Mix Tender Favorites
  7. Purina Pro Plan
  8. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
  9. 9Lives Variety Pack Favorites
  10. Tiki Cat Grill

What to Look For in a Good Quality Cat Food

Cats can be fussy eaters, so finding the right food for your feline isn’t always easy. We want our cats’ next meal to taste good, but we also want it to provide the nutrients for a healthy lifestyle. 

Is it Complete and Balanced?

Keep an eye out for foods that state they are “complete and balanced.” For a manufacturer to be able to describe their food as “complete and balanced,” it needs to either:

  • Have passed a feeding trial set by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)
  • Contain all the nutrients listed in the AAFCO nutrient profile at the recommended level.

Protein Source

Check the ingredients. They’re listed in order of predominance by weight. If there’s a real meat or poultry product in the top three, you’ve got a good source of protein.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat to survive. They get the protein they need and amino acids such as taurine from meat and fish. Taurine helps maintain vision, heart function, and healthy digestion. Humans and dogs can manufacture their own taurine, but cats can’t. Therefore, all cat foods should contain some form of meat to fulfill your cat’s needs. 

Moisture Content

It’s natural for cats not to drink vast amounts of water. So, they must get the hydration they need from the food they eat. This prevents constipation and dehydration.

Life-Stage Feeding

Sometimes cat food manufacturers provide products for the life stages of your cat. Kittens, adults, seniors, and geriatric cats all require different amounts of protein, so it makes sense to produce different foods for them. 

Some foods may say they cater to more than one life stage. The feeding directions on the product packaging should explain the quantity of food needed for each life stage and size.

Name of the Product

The naming of your cat’s food is crucial, as it’s the first thing that you look at when purchasing. Manufacturers must adhere to Four rules set by AAFCO when naming food to help show consumers the percentage of the title ingredient in their pets’ food. These are:

  1. Ninety-five percent rule-When given a simple name like “Chicken cat food,” the named ingredient must account for 95 percent of the product. This doesn’t include water used for processing, vitamins, minerals, and flavor enhancers. When the latter ingredients are considered, the named ingredient must account for 70 percent of the overall product. Foods like this will contain very few ingredients.
  2. Twenty-five percent rule-Words like dinner or entrée are used if the named ingredient makes up less than 95 but at least 25 percent. Again this doesn’t include water for processing and condiments. If these are included, it should equate to 10 percent.
  3. Three percent rule-When the word “with” is in the product name, the title ingredient needs to make up three percent of the product. 
  4. Flavor rule-If, for example, a product is labeled “Beef Flavor,” it must be detectable. Trained animals with specific tastes are used to detect these flavors in foods labeled this way.

Reviews of the Best Value Cat Food

Purina Fancy Feast Grilled Poultry and Beef Collection

It seems cats love the taste and texture of Purina’s grilled fancy feast collection. This is a complete and balanced diet with all the vitamins and minerals your cat needs. This food covers all the life stages of your beloved pet by adjusting the amount given to them according to weight and age. 

Praised by customers for portion size, the 3-ounce cans are the perfect fill for your cat. However, some cats will want more than their fill of this deliciously flavored food.

The first ingredient in the fancy feast is real meat, which is an excellent source of protein. However, we can see that meat by-products are also pretty high on the list. Meat by-products aren’t always bad, but the source isn’t specified, so, essentially, we don’t know what we’re getting.


  • Value for money.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Quality ingredients.
  • Good flavor choice.
  • Great texture.
  • High moisture content.


  • Contains meat by-products from unknown sources.

Purina Friskies Shreds

Friskies shreds is another complete and balanced diet from Purina—for kittens up to adult cats. You’ll find all the essential nutrients your cat needs to be included in this hydrating, rich, and tasty food. Unfortunately, like the fancy feast, Purina contains meat by-products from an unknown source in the shreds. 

Friskies have a unique texture that is particularly inviting for fussy eaters. Many customers say that their cats prefer the savory shreds to the chunks of meat usually found in wet food. However, some pet owners found the food too rich for their cats.

This pack is excellent value for money, with 24 cans containing 5.5 ounces of delicious meaty shreds. You’ll find three different flavors to keep your cat’s tastebuds tantalized.


  • Complete and balanced.
  • Inviting texture.
  • Protein sourced from meat.
  • High in hydration.
  • Affordable.
  • Good choice of flavors.


  • Some customers found the food too rich for their cats.
  • Unknown meat source high on the ingredients list.

Sheba Perfect Portions

This fancily packaged cat food is suitable for all life stages. It comes in 24 conveniently sized twin pouches to limit wastage. Each tray contains a split 2.6-ounce serving (1.3 x 2), making it great for fussy cats who enjoy frequent flavor changes. Some pet owners have reported difficulties in opening the packaging resulting in spillage.

Perfect Portions is a complete and balanced food produced with high-quality sourced protein that’s high in moisture. Most consumers say their cats love the taste—looking at the ingredients, you can see why. It’s full of delicious meat products that would be difficult for any cat not to love.

Sheba claims that all their fish is sustainably sourced. So, you can rest assured they’re looking after the ocean while providing your cat with a great meal.


  • Conveniently sized pouches.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Real meat proteins.
  • No by-products.
  • Great source of hydration.


  • Difficult to open.

Earthborn Holistics Monterey Medley

This great-quality product is complete and balanced for kittens and adult cats. You get a choice of 3-ounce or 5.5-ounce cans, ideal if your cat requires a larger meal than most. Unlike the other products on our list, this has a medley of flavors in the can, but only one variety is provided.

The ingredients in Earthborn Holistic are high-quality, and it’s primarily made with well-sourced animal proteins that give fantastic flavor. The fish is flaked from the bone to provide a natural texture your cat will adore. Consumers say the taste was a massive hit in their house.

Earthborn Holistic was recently subject to recall due to potential salmonella contamination at the facility where it’s manufactured. Although this food was not affected, it was worrying for consumers, who may have lost faith in the manufacturer.


  • Proteins from high-quality sources.
  • Cats love the flavor.
  • Natural texture.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Free from by-products. 


  • Lack of faith in the manufacturer.

Whiskas Purrfectly Wet Cat Food Pouches

The largest variety pack on our list, Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken contains 40, 3-ounce pouches. These pouches seal in the flavor, and they’re easy to open and pour at mealtimes. 

This delicious meal is nutritionally complete and balanced, with a high moisture content for adult cats—so no need to worry about your furry friend’s water intake.

Whiskas source their protein from real meat—you will find no by-products among these ingredients. The majority of consumers say their cats love the taste of this range. However, some reviewers report their felines ate around certain parts of their meal, suggesting a variation in quality.


  • Complete and balanced.
  • Proteins sourced from real meat.
  • High moisture content.
  • Great taste.
  • Affordable.
  • Easy to open.


  • Possible variation of quality within the product.

Meow Mix Tender Favorites

Tender Favorites are suitable for kittens and adult cats, providing them with all the nutrition they need in this complete and balanced diet. This Meow Mix product is high in moisture and provides your cat with real meat proteins. It contains all the nutrients your feline friend needs throughout the day.

This poultry and beef variety pack includes three great flavors that customers say cats love. However, the turkey and giblets recipe seems to contain more tuna and tuna by-products than turkey and giblets.

The convenient easy to open packaging makes it easy to serve at dinner time. However, reports of bones in the product may leave you wanting to check through the food.


  • Real meat proteins.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Convenient packaging.
  • High moisture content.
  • Great taste.


  • Occasionally bones have been found.
  • Animal by-products from unknown sources in some recipes. 

Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan contains all the essential nutrients your adult cat needs for a healthy balanced diet. The primary source of protein is real meat, although meat by-products are also used, again, from an unknown origin.

The 3-ounce portions are perfectly sized to avoid any waste, and the ring pull makes them easy to open. So your feline friend doesn’t have to wait too long for their delicious meal.

The high-moisture content helps keep your cat hydrated, and the tender meaty flakes provide an exciting taste and texture for your feline buddy. The majority of customers say their cats love the taste of this food, even the fussy eaters. 


  • Complete and balanced.
  • Easy to open the can.
  • High-moisture content.
  • Good portion size.
  • Great taste.


  • Contains meat by-products from an unknown source.


Blue Buffalo Wilderness

Meat or fish is always the first ingredient in these protein-packed feasts. This is a complete and balanced adult cat food free from grain, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives. This tasty dish is also high in moisture to help keep your cat healthy and hydrated. 

These 3-ounce cans are full of smooth, enjoyable pâté that your cat will love lapping up. Consumers have complained about suspected recipe change, stating that their cats just don’t like it anymore. However, most of their customers are extremely happy with the product, and so are their feline friends.


  • Excellent protein source.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Free of by-products.
  • Great flavors.
  • High moisture content.


  • Suspected recipe change after some cats stopped enjoying the food.

9Lives Variety Pack Favorites

9Lives meals contain real meat proteins that are high in hydration, and each one a complete and balanced meal aimed at adult cats. Although, on the packaging, it does state quantities can be adjusted according to your cat’s age and weight.

With 24 cans, each containing 5.5 ounces of delicious meaty chunks in gravy, this is great if you’re on a budget. Most reviewers found that their cats enjoyed the taste of this food, so they have to put up with the pungent smell that comes from this product. 

However, in the ingredients list, we can see meat by-products, which are essentially an anonymous food source. We don’t know what parts of the animal are used, so we can’t clarify its benefits, if any.


  • Affordable.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Tasty.
  • High moisture content.
  • Real meat proteins.


  • Contains anonymous meat by-products.
  • Pungent smell.

Tiki Cat Grill

Tiki Cat Grill contains excellent high-quality ingredients to provide your cat with a complete and balanced diet. This seafood variety pack includes 12 cans, each holding 2.8 ounces of food. The recipes are rich in protein, free from by-products, and come in six great flavors to keep your feline intrigued.

With reports that cats find this food extra tasty, it’s worth trying. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the inclusion of real shredded crab and whole prawn—felines won’t be able to resist. However, some consumers have found fish bones in this food, so quality control may need improvement.


  • High-quality ingredients.
  • Complete and balanced.
  • Free from by-products.
  • Extensive choice of flavor.


  • Quality control.


Is wet or dry food better for my cat?

Wet and dry foods both have benefits. Wet diets contain more moisture which helps keep your cat hydrated. Wet foods also contain better sources of protein for carnivorous felines. Dry diets tend to be cheaper and help prevent tartar buildup.

Can cats live on an exclusively wet diet?

Yes, your cat can live exclusively on a wet diet. Stick to the feeding guidelines suited to your cat’s life stage and consult your vet if your cat becomes ill.

How much should I feed my cat?

How much you feed your cat depends on the food’s calorie content and your feline’s life stage and physical well-being. Check the feeding guidelines on your cat’s food packaging. This calorie calculator could help if you’re still unsure how much you should be feeding your cat.

How do I switch my cat from dry food to wet food?

Switching your cat’s diet from dry food to wet food should be a gradual change. This requires you to mix in small amounts of wet food to the usual dry kibble and gradually increase the quantity over several weeks. Contact your vet for more information.


While the best quality foods may not be the cheapest, you have to decide what you are willing to compromise. Are you happy settling for second-class ingredients to save money, or will you spend that little extra for quality? 

Real meat proteins help prevent obesity and build lean muscle leading to better overall health. When proteins are sourced from real meat, quality is increased, but so is cost. 

If you’re looking for an excellent quality, affordable product, then Purina’s Fancy Feast could be for you. It’s nutritionally complete and balanced and gives you plenty of food for your cash. 

Meat by-products are present in the ingredients of Fancy Feast; however, they have met the guidelines set by AAFCO. This means that the by-products haven’t had a negative effect on nutritional quantity and balance.

You can’t put a price on good health and nutrition. Sheba Perfect Portions may not be the cheapest, but it contains fantastic ingredients. It’s 100 percent complete and balanced, meeting the needs of both kittens and adults. 

The Perfect Portions range is full of quality meat products that are sustainably sourced and high in moisture. So if you don’t mind reaching a little deeper into your pockets, then this is a great choice.

Olivia Davis

Olivia is the editor-in-chief at Cat Food Tip. She's in charge of making sure that every post is up to standards and contains accurate information that's comprehendable and fun for readers.

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