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Best Vet Recommended Cat Food: Top 6 Brands Reviewed

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comments-icon Medically reviewed by  Dr. Bartley Harrison, DVM
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Note: Veterinary review of this article includes only the medical information in this article. The veterinarian reviewing this article does not personally endorse, recommend, or vouch for the efficacy or claims of any product mentioned in this article.

The best vet-recommended cat food is more than a prestigious label. It is species-appropriate, made by a trustworthy company, and, if it’s a prescription food, effective in its targeted therapy.

Because it has so many benefits for underweight or sickly cats, we’ve chosen Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d as the overall best vet-recommended food. In addition to Hill’s Prescription Diet, we’ve reviewed four other vet-recommended cat food brands and chosen top recipes from each.

Before we get into the reviews, let’s take a critical look at the world of vet-recommended food. We’ll explore which brands vets recommend, learn what makes vet-recommended food special, and talk to vets about which foods they recommend.

At A Glance: Best Vet Recommended Cat Foods To Buy

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Want a quick look at the products 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.

Overall Best
Picked by 31 people today!

Hill’s Prescription Diet

  • Rich in animal protein and fat
  • Full of specific organ meats rather than animal by-products
  • Many customers credit this food with restoring or stabilizing their cats’ health
Premium Pick
Picked by 31 people today!


  • Made primarily with animal-based protein and fat
  • Scientifically formulated to be low-glycemic
  • Free from low-quality fillers and synthetic additives
Best for Kittens
Picked by 25 people today!

Hill’s Science Diet Liver & Chicken Kitten Food

  • Rich in animal protein
  • Contains fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids for brain and eye development
  • Low carbohydrate content compared to other Science Diet recipes
Best For Sensitive Stomachs
Picked by 31 people today!

Royal Canin Feline Care Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Gravy

  • Contains over 40% protein as dry matter
  • Seems to be liked by picky eaters
  • Many cat owners report positive digestive results
Best Grain-Free
Picked by 31 people today!

Iams Perfect Portions Optimal Metabolism Chicken Recipe

  • Protein appears to come primarily from animal sources
  • Rich in animal-sourced omega-3 fatty acids
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
Best For Adult Cat
Picked by 25 people today!

Purina Pro Plan Adult Chicken & Rice Entrée in Gravy

  • Fresh chicken as the main source of protein
  • Contains 55% crude protein measured as dry matter
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Why Should You Trust Us

Having reviewed over 229 of the world’s most popular cat food brands and hundreds of of formulas. We spent hours researching, contacting pet food companies, and analyzing labels. With the help of our cats, we also got hands-on experience with a few foods.

Between reviewing specific brands and researching feline nutrition, we’ve learned which brands and products are worth buying and putting in your cat’s bowl.

Based on that experience, we’ve chosen the 6 products described below as the best vet recommended cat foods you can buy in 2023.

When You Hear The Words “Vet-Recommended Cat Food”, Which Brands Do You Think Of?

You probably think of Hill’s Prescription Diet, Science Diet, Royal Canin, Iams or Eukanuba, and Purina Pro Plan.

What Do These Brands Have In Common And Why Do So Many Veterinarians Trust Them?

First, all of these brands are produced by companies with strong foundations. They’re large, well-established companies with plenty of money to spend on state-of-the-art manufacturing, research, and product development.

Secondly, These Companies Want To Be Recommended By Veterinarians.

Veterinary endorsement and approval are priceless if you want to become an authority brand. These brands have spent decades establishing themselves as icons of scientific animal nutrition. While their reputations owe something to merit, you can’t ignore the role of marketing.

Though we’re starting to put together a picture of what vet-recommended food is in general, veterinarians are as dynamic and varied as anyone else. They don’t all agree on nutrition. Some don’t even recommend foods with the words “vet-recommended” on the label.

To understand what veterinarians think about feline nutrition, I set out to talk to real vets about cat food, asking how they choose the best food, which brands they trust, and what they feed their own cats.

Here’s What A Few Veterinarians Have To Say About Cat Food

Sara Ochoa, DVM is a practicing veterinarian in East Texas and a veterinary consultant for DogLab.com. Sara says that when picking cat food, she looks for “an AAFCO statement saying that it is a full balanced diet,” adding that “there are certain low-end foods that do not meet these requirements.”

The brands she recommends are Science Diet, Royal Canin, Purina Pro Plan, and Eukanuba. If these brands are too expensive for her clients, she recommends “any of the Purina lines such as Purina One, or Purina Cat Chow. Also I recommend Iams cat food from the grocery store.” What does Sara feed her own cat? Hill’s Science Diet.

Dr. Joanna Woodnutt, MRCVS is a vet living and working in the UK. When asked what she recommends to her clients, Joanna emphasizes the importance of weight control, noting that “It’s important to select the right food for your cat’s age and neuter status. I often find myself recommending a neutered/sterilised diet as these are slightly lower in calories and around 50% of cats are overweight. It’s hard to encourage a cat to exercise more, so it’s all about getting the food right.”

Megan Teiber, DVM is a practicing veterinarian in the greater Chicago area and veterinary consultant for cat furniture brand tuft + paw. She notes that veterinarians have differing opinions on feline nutrition and that veterinarian recommendations may change as research brings facts to light.

When recommending a diet to her clients, she looks for foods that follow AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) and WSAVA (World Small Animal Veterinary Association) guidelines. Specifically, she emphasizes that “among other criteria, WSAVA only recommends manufacturers that employ full time veterinary nutritionists.” Companies that meet this criterion include Iams, Hill’s, Purina, and Royal Canin.

After ruling out foods that don’t meet AAFCO and WSAVA standards, Dr. Teiber advocates for a canned diet. “Canned food helps cats to stay better hydrated, feel more satiated, and can prevent and manage health conditions such as obesity, cystitis (bladder inflammation), and diabetes. I typically recommend a lower carbohydrate diet for most of my feline patients. Canned foods naturally have higher protein and lower carbohydrate content than most dry foods.”

Best Vet Recommended Cat Food: Our Top 6 Picks

In the following segment, we’ll review each of the top vet-recommended brands and their best recipes. While the brands were chosen strictly based on veterinarian recommendations, the top products were chosen based on the criteria outlined in our article on the overall best cat food.

Here’s a brief summary of the qualities we look for:

  1. Minimal carbohydrate content
  2. High-quality animal protein
  3. High in moisture
  4. Free of potentially harmful additives

We’ll also be looking at a few prescription cat foods. Any prescription foods must live up to their promises, having demonstrated benefits for cats suffering from the intended condition, be it obesity or kidney failure. Sometimes, this means that a prescription food is good for sick cats, but deviates from the nutritional standards we’d look for in other foods.

#1 Hill’s Prescription Diet

Hill's Prescription Diet ad Urgent Care with Chicken Wet Dog & Cat Food

Hill’s Prescription Diet foods are only available with a veterinarian’s prescription. In fact, Hill’s has trademarked the “prescription diet” name. Most similar foods are called “veterinary diets” to avoid infringing on the Hill’s trademark.

Recipes in this line target health conditions and special needs, including IBD, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and urinary tract health. Most, but not all, Prescription Diet recipes get good reviews. Some customers say they save lives.

Like all Hill’s Pet Nutrition products, Hill’s Prescription Diet foods are backed by the company’s research and development department and large expert staff.  They’re manufactured in company-owned facilities from what the company calls “carefully selected” ingredients.

Hill’s Prescription Diet foods have been recalled at least twice.

It’s impossible to unequivocally declare one Prescription Diet recipe as better than the rest. They’re all made to do something different. The urinary care recipe isn’t going to be a good choice if your cat doesn’t have urinary tract problems—and so on.

After reviewing the Hill’s Prescription Diet lineup, however, one recipe stands out as a particularly beneficial option for its intended purpose. That recipe is a/d Urgent Care. If you have a cat in desperate need of nutritional support, this food could be a lifesaver.

It’s not the best food for healthy cats, but it’s not for healthy cats. This recipe was made for cats recovering from serious illness, accidents, surgeries, and metabolic changes.

Each can contains 183 calories, so it’s calorically dense with plenty of animal protein and fat. It contains a combination of liver, meat, heart, and pork protein isolate as highly nutritious, palatable, and ultra-digestible sources of animal protein. The food has increased potassium levels and increased B vitamins to give an energy boost. Its paté texture is creamy-soft for sensitive cats or those with bad teeth.

The food gets positive reviews from customers, who say that it has helped their sick or senior cat gain weight and stay healthy.


Water, Turkey Giblets, Pork Liver, Chicken, Corn Flour, Pork Protein Isolate, Fish Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Chicken Liver Flavor, Natural Flavor, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Taurine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Potassium Citrate, Magnesium Oxide, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Beta-Carotene.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 8.5%
Crude Fat: 5.2%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 38.64%
Fat: 23.64%
Fiber: 2.27%
Carbs: 35.45%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 29.38%
Fat: 43.65%
Carbs: 26.96%

What We Liked:

  • Rich in animal protein and fat
  • Full of specific organ meats rather than animal by-products
  • Many customers credit this food with restoring or stabilizing their cats’ health
  • Low carbohydrate content

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive

#2 Farmina

Farmina began as an English food research company that later partnered with an Italian livestock feed producer to create pet food. The brand is owned by the Russo Magimi company and works closely with veterinary research institutions to formulate their pet foods using the latest scientific findings.

The Farmina brand manufactures its foods in several locations around the world including Italy, Serbia, and Brazil. Their ingredients are sourced primarily from Italy, New Zealand, and various European countries and produced in accordance with the food safety and quality standards set forth by the European Union.

By partnering with the Chair of Animal Nutrition at the University of Naples Frederico II, Farmina Vet Research is able to gather and publish clinical data. The brand offers a selection of dry and wet cat foods, including several prescription-only foods in the Vet Life Feline line.

Farmina products have been certified as effective by third parties and, to our knowledge, the brand has never had a product recall.

Featuring fresh boneless chicken and dehydrated chicken as the top two ingredients, this dry food recipe is made primarily with animal-based protein. Supplemental sources of animal protein include dried eggs and herring while sun cured alfalfa meal provides some plant protein.

The food relies primarily on animal sources of fat like chicken fat and herring oil. These ingredients provide a concentrated source of energy as well as essential fatty acids. The herring oil is particularly rich in skin- and coat-supporting omega-3s.

This is a grain-free recipe, but it doesn’t contain beans or peas like many grain-free formulas do. It contains about 48% protein on a dry matter basis and around 22% fat, however, so it still contains roughly 30% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis. While most dry cat food is high in carbs, Farmina pet foods are formulated to have a low glycemic index.

The food contains about 412 calories per cup and is formulated for adult cats.


Boneless Chicken, Dehydrated Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Dried Whole Eggs, Herring, Dehydrated Herring, Herring Oil, Pea Fiber, Dried Carrot, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Inulin, Fructooligosaccharide, Yeast Extract, Dried Pomegranate, Dried Apple, Dried Spinach, Psyllium Seed Husk, Dried Sweet Orange, Dried Blueberry, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Turmeric, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Zinc Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Manganese Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Ferrous Glycine, Copper Methionine Hydroxy Analogue Chelate, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Aloe Vera Gel Concentrate, Green Tea Extract, Rosemary Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative).

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 44%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 1.8%
Moisture: 8%
Ash: 8.5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 47.83%
Fat: 21.74%
Fiber: 1.96%
Carbs: 19.24%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 39.9%
Fat: 44.05%
Carbs: 16.05%

What We Liked:

  • Made primarily with animal-based protein and fat
  • Scientifically formulated to be low-glycemic
  • Free from low-quality fillers and synthetic additives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Fairly high in carbohydrates
  • No dry food provides the moisture cats need

#3 Hill’s Science Diet

Hill's Science Diet Kitten Liver & Chicken Entree Canned Cat Food

Science Diet is a Hill’s Pet Nutrition brand focused on what the company calls “biology-based nutrition” for all stages of cats’ lives.

The company is known for industry-leading nutrition research and employs over 220 veterinarians, food scientists, technicians, and Ph.D nutritionists.

The Hill’s Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas is a world-class research facility that bolsters the status of Hill’s as a leading authority on animal nutrition. Hill’s Science Diet cat food is manufactured in company-owned facilities located in the United States.

With the exception of some of their canned recipes, Science Diet products tend to be carbohydrate-heavy and full of plant ingredients. Almost all of them contain a combination of select cuts of meat and vaguely specified by-products.

Science Diet dog and cat food has been recalled several times due to issues ranging from melamine in 2007 to a vitamin D-related recall in early 2019.

After reviewing the Science Diet lineup, this kitten food appears to be one of the brand’s best products. It’s not a great choice for every cat, but if you have a kitten or a pregnant or nursing cat, this is one of the best vet-recommended foods you can give her.

As kitten food should be, this food is relatively high in protein and calories to support early stages of growth. At 15% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis, it’s a little bit on the high-carb side, but low in carbohydrates compared to most Science Diet recipes.

It doesn’t contain any artificial flavors or chemical preservatives, but does contain carrageenan, a seaweed-derived thickener, which  may have carcinogenic and inflammatory properties in some forms. Food-grade carrageenan is generally considered to be safe for consumption.


Water, Pork Liver, Pork By-Products, Chicken, Chicken Fat, Egg Product, Corn Starch, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Pork Protein Isolate, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Ground Pecan Shells, Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Powdered Cellulose, Flaxseed, Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Citrus Pulp, Iodized Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Locust Bean Gum, Fish Oil, L-Lysine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Pressed Cranberries, Taurine, Carrageenan, Oat Fiber, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Beta-Carotene.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 12.4%
Crude Fat: 7.9%
Crude Fiber: 0.6%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 56.36%
Fat: 35.91%
Fiber: 2.73%
Carbs: 5%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 37.94%
Fat: 58.7%
Carbs: 3.37%

What We Liked:

  • Rich in animal protein
  • Contains fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids for brain and eye development
  • Low carbohydrate content compared to other Science Diet recipes

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some reviewers say the food has an odd, unappetizing texture
  • Contains carrageenan

#4 Royal Canin Cat Food

Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Gravy Canned Cat Food

Since its inception in the 1960s, this brand has earned its title as pet food royalty. It has a rich history, massive product offering, and global distribution.

Royal Canin was the first manufacturer of dry pet food in France and the first European company to use an extrusion machine. Now a Mars subsidiary, Royal Canin is a global company with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, France, Russia, China, South Africa, Argentina, Poland, and the UK.

Royal Canin’s more than one hundred cat food recipes are available in veterinary offices around the world. Their vast selection includes food for almost everything you could think of, targeting specific life stages, body sizes, lifestyles, health conditions, and breeds.

Royal Canin has been recalled at least three times.

Formulated for cats one year and older with sensitive digestion, this wet cat food formula contains a mixture of chicken and pork by-products as well as pork and chicken liver. It also contains salmon, pork plasma, and gelatin as supplemental sources of animal protein.

While this recipe contains numerous animal proteins, it also contains wheat flour, modified corn starch, and wheat gluten. It also appears to rely on vegetable oil as the main source of added fat.

Though this formula contains over 40% crude protein measured as dry matter, the fat content is fairly low and the carbohydrate content is high. The same can be said for many Royal Canin cat foods, though their formulas are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Overall, the quality of the ingredients in this food could certainly be higher but, according to customer reviews, it appears to be a hit with picky eaters and many cat owners report that the food helped resolve their cat’s digestive issues.


Water Sufficient For Processing, Chicken By-Products, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Salmon, Chicken Liver, Wheat Flour, Pork Plasma, Modified Corn Starch, Vegetable Oil, Natural Flavors, Powdered Cellulose, Wheat Gluten, Gelatin, Sodium Silico Aluminate, Carob Bean Gum, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Taurine, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin Supplement, Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement], Trace Minerals [Zinc Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite].

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 7.5%
Crude Fat: 2%
Crude Fiber: 1.7%
Moisture: 82.5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 42.86%
Fat: 11.43%
Fiber: 9.71%
Carbs: 36%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 40.2%
Fat: 26.03%
Carbs: 33.77%

What We Liked:

  • Contains over 40% protein as dry matter
  • Seems to be liked by picky eaters
  • Many cat owners report positive digestive results
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy use of wheat and corn products
  • Relies primarily on plant-based fat
  • High carbohydrate content

#5 Iams Cat Food

Iams Perfect Portions Healthy Adult Chicken Recipe Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Trays

This well-known brand dates back to 1946, when it was created by an autodidactic animal nutritionist named Paul Iams. The brand is all about “nutrition that’s tailored to bring out their unique best”. All Iams recipes are crafted for cats of specific life stages and activity levels.

Iams calls their food safety program one of the strictest in the business, noting that it exceeds FDA and USDA standards. The company adds that they receive superior ratings from the American Institute of Baking, an independent certification authority for the human food industry.

Nevertheless, Iams has been recalled six times since 2004.

While Iams dry cat foods feature plant-centric ingredient lists and high carbohydrate contents, the Perfect Portions line of wet cat foods is a little more species appropriate. This particular recipe is formulated for healthy adult cats with protein from chicken, poultry liver, and dried egg product.

This wet food contains roughly 41% crude protein and nearly 23% crude fat, both measured as dry matter. While some of that protein comes from vaguely named poultry liver, most of it appears to come from whole animal sources like chicken and egg.

Fish oil appears to be the main source of added fat in this recipe and, though the source isn’t named specifically, it can be expected to provide plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. The food is relatively low in carbohydrates but it is thickened with guar gum which has been known to trigger digestive upset in some cats.

Some customers complain that the “perfect” portions are too small while others suggest it’s the ideal amount for small appetites and senior cats.


Chicken, Water, Poultry Liver, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Fish Oil, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Tapioca Starch, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Oxide Color, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3.5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 22.73%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 15.91%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 36.52%
Fat: 49.28%
Carbs: 14.2%

What We Liked:

  • Protein appears to come primarily from animal sources
  • Rich in animal-sourced omega-3 fatty acids
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Relatively low in carbohydrates

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Portion size is very small
  • Contains some vaguely named ingredients

#6 Purina Pro Plan Cat Food

This Purina brand emphasizes performance, excellence, and expertise. Each Pro Plan formula is created with the combined expertise of over 400 scientists, including pet nutritionists, vets, and animal behaviorists. The Pro Plan lineup includes veterinary diets targeting feline health conditions, life stage-specific foods, and recipes for healthy cats of all ages.

Purina Pro Plan is manufactured in the United States in Purina-owned facilities. The company uses ingredients sourced from around the world.

In 2016, tubs of Purina Pro Plan wet dog food were recalled due to inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals. Other Purina brands have been recalled multiple times.

The Complete Essentials line of cat foods from Purina Pro Plan is designed to deliver balanced nutrition for cats in different life stages. This adult cat food recipe features fresh chicken as the primary protein, supplemented with liver and meat by-products.

Though this food contains about 55% crude protein measured as dry matter, it’s hard to tell how much of it comes from whole food sources like chicken and how much from vaguely named ingredients like liver or “meat” by-products. Wheat gluten is also a plant-based source of concentrated protein which may contribute significantly to the total protein content.

Despite being made with several high-carb ingredients like rice and modified corn starch, this recipe contains less than 20% carbohydrate. It’s also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.


Water, Chicken, Wheat Gluten, Liver, Meat By-Products, Rice, Soy Flour, Corn Starch-Modified, Glycine, Salt, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, MINERALS [Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Taurine, VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement], Choline Chloride.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 11%
Crude Fat: 2%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 80%
Ash: 2.7%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 55%
Fat: 10%
Fiber: 7.5%
Carbs: 14%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 58.96%
Fat: 26.03%
Carbs: 15.01%

What We Liked:

  • Fresh chicken as the main source of protein
  • Contains 55% crude protein measured as dry matter
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains several vaguely named ingredients
  • Made with corn, wheat, and soy ingredients

Whether it’s a prescription food or formulated for daily care, the best vet-recommended food goes beyond the label to deliver top-notch nutrition and benefits that justify its price tag.

Your veterinarian should be a feline nutrition ally—an expert who can help you to make smart decisions to ensure your cat’s long-term health.

Don’t be afraid to ask your veterinarian critical questions about her nutritional recommendations. Ask how she chooses a good food, which brands she trusts, and, if she has a cat, what she feeds him. You and your vet should work together to understand the why behind the recommendations.

By maintaining a critical mindset, asking the right questions, and recognizing your vet’s expertise and limitations, you can feel confident that both you and your vet are making the right choices for your cat’s health.

Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.
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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

14 thoughts on “Best Vet Recommended Cat Food: Top 6 Brands Reviewed”

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  1. Angela

    Hi I have a question my vet really wants my cat to stay on royal cane high fiber response gastro dry food .but my cat has lose stools and shedding alot .I wondering if my cat does do well with all the by product s and no meat etc.i really want to see if my cat needs limited ingredients plus the prescription food is expensive.for what it doesn’t offer

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hey there Angela,

      I’m not a vet, but I see no reason why it would be unsafe to try a little bit of something other than the Royal Canin food. Your cat’s not even doing well on this diet, so why keep on buying it?

      Royal Canin food isn’t magical. It’s not medicine. Don’t be afraid to question your vet and make a decision that makes sense to you.

      Our article on the best cat food for sensitive stomachs might help you find a good alternative:




      1. Margo McClary

        We are having a hard time getting our cat to eat after having three teeth removed. The only thing she wants is Temptations surfers delight. My guess is that is not a good diet for an older cat. She had been eating Hill’s Prescription Diet for urinary care-stress formula (cd).
        I am wondering if Hill’s Urgent care, or their kitten food would help get her back on her feed.

        1. Donna Peters

          My cat has Pancreitis . He has to eat a special diet only which he doesn’t like. He can also have chicken breast. Only the breast baked or boiled. I buy freeze dried chicken breast pulverize it into a powder and put a little in his food and he eats it. I hsve 5 cats and they all go nuts on this but it’s too expensive to give to all. Very loose stools are also part of this disease. I give him cat probiotics abd digestive enzymes for cats and he has made huge improvements . I would have him checked for an infection. Animals usually recover from pulled teeth rather quickly.

  2. janis ian

    this article is so wrong. vets spend only a week in school focusing on nutrition. how can you call “11% protein” “high” ? you are wrong. cats need to have at LEAST 60% protein, but in their primal times they at 95% protein, 5% fat, and 0 carbs. so yeah, grains are unnecessary for a cat’s health, and protein and taurine and obligatory. cat’s are obligatory carnivores, meaning they NEED high meat content. they are obligated to eat lots of meat. 11% is just not going to cut it. also, purina, royal canin, and science diet are NOT part of the top 5 food brands. purina ONE is the only acceptable branch from purina and science diet is barely ok. just stay away from royal canin. instead, try NutriSource, Fromm, Victor, or Diamond Naturals for lower priced cat food. for high end, the best of the best? Orijens, Nulo, Taste of the Wild, or FussieCat. those are all kibbles, but if you have the money for it and really want to spoil your babies, just go raw. Primal, Oc Raw, and Stella and Chewy’s are great options. don’t forget to shop Local!!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Janis, thank you for your comment. To clarify, the 11% protein content you mention is calculated on an as-fed basis. It appears that on a dry matter basis, this food is closer to 81% protein.

    2. Shan

      Finally something factual. A recent study in the UK showed cats need extremely high protein, since they are true carnivores. Also science diet is a crap brand that pays vets for endorsement. Read the ingredients and it is the same as cheap junk, with corn and other fillers. This article is junk and has no actual data about what felines dietary requirements are, or info about how vets are paid by food companies to endorse them.

  3. Sue

    I have 2 new rescue kittens, 1 is 10 wk. 1 is 12 wks. both are on the small side. I have a headache researching which kitten food is the best. Depending on what site you are looking at. I just like to know 1 or 2 that is considered the best of the best. Thank you.

  4. Carolyn

    Origen has recalls and Just Food For Cats that you have listed only sells dog food. Grrrrrr…..
    Ridiculously hard to just find unbiased reviews.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Carolyn, thanks for commenting! Where did you see that Just Food for Cats only sells dog food? Their company name is still JustFoodForDogs, but, as far as I can tell, they do offer a recipe for cats, which you can view here. Regarding Orijen, most pet food brands, especially popular ones, have been involved in recalls at some point. Having reviewed over 80 brands over the last couple of years, I don’t consider Orijen’s recall history to be one of the more concerning in the industry. The Australia-limited recall was not due to problems with the food itself. Instead, it was related more to the safety processing the product underwent before being sold in the country. Nonetheless, we don’t generally recommend it as one of the best dry food brands on the market, so I’m not sure why this Orijen having been recalled suggests that our reviews are biased. I’m sorry that you’re disappointed, and I hope this cleared things up at least a bit. Let me know if you have any other requests or ideas for improvement. Best, Mallory