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The Cultured Cats’ Favorite Budget-Friendly Cat Food

Budget-Friendly Cat Food Recommendations from Our Cats to Yours!

Different cats have different tastes. This can make finding foods that work for everyone in the clowder can be somewhat difficult. However, there are certain things to try to look for in terms of cat food. Ingredients, guaranteed analysis, and price are some of the most important factors that you have to look at when it comes to picking out a wet cat food. Taste is important for the cat(s) as well, but it’s hard to know the reaction to that without trying it out. These are some of the tried and true favorites by The Cultured Cats.

Is It Necessary?

It may seem like a more expensive food that’s often viewed as more of a treat, but it can be extremely crucial to your cat’s overall health. Cats may love to eat, but they don’t tend to be great water drinkers. Many cats won’t choose to regularly drink enough water to keep there bodies hydrated. In fact, many ailments that cats face are due to the fact that they’ll allow themselves to be chronically dehydrated. Wet foods provide added moisture that help to keep cats hydrated and which also keeps them healthier.


Cats are obligate carnivores. Because of this you want as many of the ingredients to be meat as possible. The first ingredients are the most important as these are the things of the highest concentration. Therefore, these are the ones to be the most mindful of.

Guaranteed Analysis

Guaranteed analysis tells you how much of some of the most important components are present in the cat food. This is similar to the nutrition label on our food. Protein, moisture, and fat are the most crucial points to look at. Ideally, your cat’s wet food will have at least 9% protein, 7% fat, and 75% moisture. Many foods won’t hit all of these points, but try to get as close to them as possible. The fat levels often fall short, so make sure that if their wet food isn’t providing everything they need, they are getting it in other foods that are being offered.


It’s easy to pick out the top rated cat foods, but budget is often left out of the conversation. So many people will run to opposite ends of the spectrum rather than finding a happy medium. There are pricey foods that will hit all of the points and it’s great if you can afford to constantly give your cat these things. However, this isn’t possible for many pet owners. That doesn’t mean you should go and grab corn-dense snack foods from the bottom shelf though. There are in between options that will more easily fit into the budget while giving your cat the best nutrition possible.

The Cultured Cats Favorites

The Cultured Cats have a variety of dietary needs and your cats probably do too. We have two with sensitive stomachs, one who will only eat if the food remains highly varied, and one who will eat absolutely anything. (Thank you, Litten!) We try to balance these factors as best all of the above factors for our cats. They eat one meal of wet food per day and also have access to an appropriate amount of high quality dry food throughout the day. These are the best wet foods for cats as voted on by our clowder.

*All foods on this list are up to the standards of the AAFCO to ensure that your cat is getting the nutrition that they need in order to thrive.

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from at no extra cost to our users.

Tiki Cat After Dark

Tiki Cat After Dark Variety Pack has something that all the cats like. The pack comes with 5 flavors. At least the first 5 ingredients of each of the flavors are meat ingredients making it a very natural diet for cats in terms of packaged foods. It’s a high-quality shredded food in chicken broth. The moisture is this food is really high ranging from 81-83% depending on the flavor. The protein is also higher than in most canned cat foods ranging from 12-13.4%. The fat levels are lower than ideal at only 2-2.4%. Cats love the taste and the ingredients are really top notch. This is an all-around great choice. However, it’s not as easy on the budget as many of the other options.

Purina One True Instinct

Purina One True Instinct is the go-to budget food that all of the cats enjoy. Each flavor has 80% moisture, 11% protein, and 4% fat according to the guaranteed analysis. This tends to be the food that they devour the quickest. The ingredients are include three of the first five ingredients being meat-based. The fat is low, but for the price, this is a really well-balanced option.

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls

Blue Buffalo Tastefuls are really reasonably priced for how great the ingredients are. Four of the first five ingredients are meat-based and the outlier is just some water for extra moisture. The biggest downfall is that this food has one of the lowest protein levels ranging at 9-10% depending on the flavor. The fat content is pretty variable ranging at 2-4%. It has 82% moisture content with both broth and water as top ingredients making this a great mid-priced option for cats prone to dehydration.

Fancy Feast Petites

Our cats seem to believe that Fancy Feast Petites are a treat rather than just any other meal. These are super convenient in their pre-portioned packages. Four of the first five ingredients are meat based and the price for the variety pack is fair. The guaranteed analysis lists the protein at 10%, the fat at 2%, and the moisture at 82%. This is another high moisture choice for cats prone to dehydration and seems to be a crowd-pleaser in terms of taste.

Instinct Original Grain Free

Instinct Original Grain Free seems to check all of the boxes in terms of nutrition for cats. It boasts 95% meat ingredient content. It has one of the best guaranteed analysis statistics layouts that we’ve seen with 10% protein, 7.5% fat, and 78% moisture. It’s extremely well-balanced and grain free too. The box isn’t the best on the budget, but it’s not astronomically high either. The biggest downfall for the food is that it’s a pate. For this reason, The Cultured Cats likely wouldn’t vote for this option as much as us humans would. They don’t particularly care for pate and some of them need to be coaxed to eat it. However, if a cat is fine with pate foods, this is a really great choice all-around.

Different cats will have different tastes so there’s no need to remain loyal to a single brand. There are varying qualities of food and the price between them can also fluctuate widely, meaning you have to consider all these factors when deciding which food is best for your cats.

These are some of our cats’ 5 favorite foods. Comment below and let us know which foods your cats prefer!

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