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Europe and North America top the list when it comes to global pet food production, each manufacturing about 9.4 million tons of pet food each year.
While Germany and the UK are two of the biggest contributors to global pet product sales, the Spanish pet industry is catching up. More Spanish citizens own pets than ever and the Spanish pet food market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years.
In this guide, we’ll briefly discuss what your cat needs in terms of nutrition. We’ll also talk about the kind of cat food you’ll find in Spain and introduce you to our top picks.
NOTE: We’ve compiled a list of some of the highest quality cat food brands available in Spain based on product availability in online pet stores that serve Spain. To learn more about how we came to our top picks, scroll to the bottom of the page.
At A Glance: Best Cat Treats To Buy In Spain
Want a quick look at the best cat foods reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.
- High-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient
- Contains fresh chicken and chicken liver
- Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
- Top two ingredients are high-quality animal proteins
- Primary source of added fat is animal-based
- Doesn’t contain any artificial additives or grains
- Contains four different sources of animal-based protein
- Salmon oil provides plenty of omega-3 fatty acids
- Rich in moisture to support healthy digestion and hydration
Why Should You Trust Us?
Having reviewed over 224 of the world’s most popular cat food brands and hundreds of formulas. We spent hours researching, contacting pet food companies, and analyzing labels. With the help of our cats, we’ve also accumulated hours upon hours of hands-on experience with different cat foods.
Based on that research, we’re bringing you an updated list of the best cat food brands and products available in Spain. We’ve researched the brands themselves and evaluated individual recipes to bring you our top picks.
What Does Balanced Nutrition Look Like for Cats?
The single most important factor to consider when shopping for cat food is whether it’s a nutritionally balanced and species appropriate option for your cat.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means they require a meat-based diet. Animal proteins and fats are absolutely essential. Not only are plant-based proteins and fats less biologically valuable to your cat, but they’re hard to process and can contribute to digestive issues and other health problems.
Animal protein is the foundation of a healthy feline diet, so look for a meat, poultry, or fish ingredient at the top of the list.
Ideally, two out of the top three ingredients and three out of the top five should be animal-based – at a minimum. Remember, more protein is almost always better, and the carbohydrate content of your cat’s diet should be as low as possible. Be particularly careful to avoid low-value grains and fillers like corn, wheat, and soy.
Keep in mind that growing kittens will need higher protein and fat content than adult cats. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) recommends a minimum fat content of 9% (dry matter) for all cats with 30% protein for kittens and 26% for adult cats. To keep your cat’s diet more in-line with his ideal ancestral diet, however, you should aim for a fat content closer to 20%.
In addition to making sure the cat food you choose contains the right concentration of protein and fat, be sure to look for potentially harmful ingredients.
Avoid cat foods that are loaded with vaguely named ingredients or by-product meals (like poultry meal versus chicken meal). Don’t choose a cat food that has an incredibly long list of ingredients either, especially if it includes artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
The Pet Food Market in Spain
Challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic aside, the pet industry in Spain has been growingly steadily for years. As of 2020, Spain had more pets than children under the age of 15 years.
According to a 2022-2027 projection published by Mordor Intelligence, the Spanish pet food market is expected to register a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 5.8% over the next five years. While dog food dominates the pet food market in Spain, there were 3.8 million cat owners in 2020.
The same research conducted by Mordor Intelligence reveals that pet food market in Spain in consolidated with a few big players holding the majority share. The top five companies in the Spanish pet food market are:
- Mars, Inc. (and its affiliates)
- Nestle SA
- Hill’s Pet Nutrition
- Affinity Petcare SA
- Saturn Petcare GmbH
Mars Petcare is one of the leading providers of science-backed nutrition for pets with the Royal Canin line accounting for a significant portion of those products. This company is also responsible for familiar brands like Sheba, Iams, and Whiskas, all of which are available in Spain. In May of 2021, Mars Petcare opened a new plant in Arévalo, Spain and expects to nearly double its production from 26,000 to 50,000 tons of pet food by 2024.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition products are divided between two lines: Prescription Diet and Science Plan (Science Diet in the U.S.). The first of these is a line of therapeutic pet foods which require a prescription to purchase while Hill’s Science Plan cat foods offer “biology-based pet nutrition” for all cats and dogs.
According to a 2018 global survey, Affinity Petcare SA grossed the highest annual sales in Spain at nearly €369 million. Affinity’s sales doubled Nestle Purina’s at €117 million. Some of the brands that fall under the Affinity umbrella include Advance, Ultima, and Brekkies.
Saturn Petcare GmbH is a private label pet food brand based in Germany. They manufacture pet food in bulk for companies to put their own name on.
The 8 Best Cat Foods in Spain: Our Top Picks
While big names like Mars Petcare and Hill’s Pet Nutrition may be among the biggest sellers in the Spanish pet food market, their products probably aren’t going to be the most species-appropriate choice for your cat. The top five pet food manufacturers in Spain listed above seem to prioritize quantity over quality, making heavy use of fillers, by-products, and artificial additives.
In this roundup, I made an effort to include brands that will be familiar to North American readers but primarily pet food brands specific to Europe. The eight products reviewed below may not be the absolute best of the best, but they represent some of the higher quality options that will be familiar and accessible for Spanish pet owners.
How Did We Come To Our Top Picks?
Writing about pet food sold in countries outside my home country (the United States) is challenging. The selection sold by online retailers doesn’t always paint an accurate or comprehensive picture of the pet food brands sold in local pet stores.
In this particular roundup, I researched some of the most popular online pet retailers in Spain (according to a blog published by Ohla Living, a lifestyle and family blog out of Valencia, Spain) and browsed their selection. I couldn’t find detailed information about many pet food brands headquartered in Spain, partially due to the language barrier and the limitations of Google Translate.
For these reasons, I’ve chosen to primarily include big-name brands that are easily accessible as well as products that seemed to deliver good quality and balanced nutrition based on the information provided about the products by individual retailers.
At Cats.com, we seek to provide relevant and accurate information to our readers, but we recognize that our abilities may be limited in certain subjects. We welcome comments and criticism from our Spanish readers who may have a more comprehensive understanding of cat food availability in Spain. We’re always willing to update our articles to make them as useful as possible.
There is no shortage of options available to pet owners in Spain, but it can be tricky to separate out the products that are the most popular from the ones that actually suit your cat’s carnivorous nutritional needs.
Keep in mind that these recommendations are made based on products available from online retailers – availability may be different in stores. This roundup also doesn’t account for local Spanish-made brands that may not have much of an international online presence.
Whether you choose one of the products reviewed above or go with something else, be sure to select a meat-heavy product balanced with healthy animal-based fats and low carbohydrate content.