11 Best Chicken Cat Foods

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina is a content writer at iHeartDogs. She loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby and creating informative content for pet parents.Read more
| Published on September 24, 2023
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As an expert in cat health and nutrition, I understand the importance of selecting a high-quality, balanced diet for your feline friend. Chicken is one of the most common and well-liked protein sources in cat food, offering essential nutrients like amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. In this article, we will explore the best chicken-based cat foods available on the market, taking into consideration factors such as ingredient quality, nutritional balance, and palatability to ensure you’re making the best choice for your cat’s well-being.


#1 – Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner Morsels Grain-Free Cat Food, 8 oz bag

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner Morsels Grain-Free Cat Food is a natural and protein-rich meal that mimics a cat’s ancestral diet. It is made with responsibly sourced meats and fortified with vitamins and minerals to support whole-body health. This grain and gluten-free cat food is easy to digest and is great for improving skin and coat health.

Best For: Cats with allergies and picky eaters.


#2 – Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Meals Grain Free Recipe Cat Food 9.5 Ounce (Pack of 1)

The Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Meals Grain Free Recipe Cat Food is a freeze-dried cat food that offers a more natural and less processed alternative to kibble. It contains a higher amount of real meat and nutrient-rich organs, providing better nutrition for cats. This raw cat food is made with high-quality ingredients, including real meat and whole food ingredients, and is free from grains, corn, wheat, soy, legumes, artificial colors, and preservatives.

Best For: Best overall.


#3 – Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken And Salmon Formula, 14Oz.

The Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken and Salmon Formula is a complete and balanced diet for cats of all life stages. It is made from chicken and salmon raised without antibiotics or added hormones, and it is free from grains, gluten, corn, wheat, and soy. This product is best for pet owners looking for high-quality cat food made with natural ingredients.

Best For: Best ingredient sourcing


#4 – BIXBI Rawbble Freeze-Dried Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 3.5 oz – 95% Meat and Organs, No Fillers – Pantry-Friendly Raw Cat Food for Meal, Treat or Food Topper – USA Made in Small Batches

The BIXBI Rawbble Freeze Dried Cat Food is a pantry-friendly raw cat food made with 95% meat and organs, with no fillers. It is made in small batches in the USA with USDA-inspected and passed free-range chicken. This cat food is grain-free, gluten-free, and does not contain any animal meal, added hormones, or antibiotics.

Best For: Cats on a raw food diet.


#5 – Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Chicken Nuggets, Complete Meal Healthy Grain Free Raw Dog Food, Crafted in The USA (14 oz)

The Primal Freeze Dried Dog Food Chicken Nuggets is a complete and healthy grain-free raw dog food. Made with cage-free chicken and organic fruits and vegetables, this product is free from corn, wheat, soy, lentils, and legumes. It offers convenient and delicious raw nutrition that is ready to serve, providing high digestibility for maximum nutrient absorption.

Best for: Best overall dog food.


#6 – CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Cat Food with Protein from Chicken, 10 lb. Bag

The CRAVE Grain Free Adult High Protein Natural Dry Cat Food is a dry cat food made with real chicken as the main ingredient. It is formulated with all natural, real ingredients inspired by a cat’s natural diet, providing essential nutrients for muscle development, digestion, and a healthy immune system. It does not contain any chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy protein.

Best For: Cats in need of a complete and balanced diet.


#7 – Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food, Chicken 11-lb

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food is a grain-free formula specially designed for indoor cats. It is made with real chicken to support lean muscle mass and contains BLUE’s exclusive LifeSource Bits for immune system health. This natural cat food is free from chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, and preservatives.

Best For: Indoor cats with specific dietary needs. (best ingredient sourcing)


#8 – Wellness Complete Health Gravies Grain-Free Canned Cat Food, Chicken Dinner, 3 Ounces (Pack of 12)

The Wellness Complete Health Gravies Grain-Free Canned Cat Food is a grain-free wet cat food that is protein-dense and full of meaty flavor. It contains real chicken as the first ingredient, along with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids for complete and balanced nutrition. This cat food also supports healthy hydration and doesn’t contain any added carrageenan, wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Best for: Best overall.


#9 – Tiki Cat Luau Shredded Meat, Succulent Chicken Recipe in Chicken Consumme, Grain-Free Balanced Nutrition Wet Canned Cat Food, For All Life Stages, 2.8 oz. Cans (Case of 12)

The Tiki Cat Luau Shredded Meat is a grain-free wet canned cat food that provides balanced and nutrient-rich nutrition for cats of all life stages. It is made with real chicken as the first ingredient and offers high moisture content, which helps to hydrate cats. This cat food also contains real fish and real meat, making it a protein-rich option for cats.

Best For: Cats of all life stages looking for balanced and grain-free nutrition.


#10 – Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Premium Natural Dry Cat Food, Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe, 14 Pounds (Packaging May Vary)

The Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Premium Natural Dry Cat Food is a high-quality cat food that is specifically formulated for indoor cats. It contains real salmon, wholesome lentils, and a unique Superfood Blend to support the dietary needs of indoor cats. The small kibble size is easy for cats to chew and swallow, and it includes natural prebiotics from pumpkin for a healthy digestive tract. This cat food does not contain any added poultry by-product meals or fillers, ground corn, wheat or soy ingredients, artificial flavors, or preservatives.

Best For: Indoor cats who need a natural and complete diet. best overall


#11 – Tiki Cat Born Carnivore High Protein, Deboned Chicken & Egg, Grain-Free Baked Kibble to Maximize Nutrients, Dry Cat Food, 5.6 lbs. Bag

The Tiki Cat Born Carnivore High Protein, Deboned Chicken & Egg, Grain-Free Baked Kibble is a dry cat food that is formulated to mimic a cat’s natural prey diet. With a guaranteed 47% protein, it is made without animal by-products, corn, wheat, and soy. This grain-free, non-GMO food is baked to preserve nutrients and enhance flavor, providing cats with a minimally processed and deliciously crunchy meal.

Best For: Cats on a high-protein, grain-free diet


What Are The Benefits of Chicken-Based Foods for Cats?

Chicken-based foods offer a range of benefits that make them a popular choice for cat owners seeking high-quality, nutritious options for their feline friends.

  1. High-Quality Protein Source: Chicken is a high-quality, easily digestible source of animal protein, which is essential for muscle development and repair in cats. It provides all the essential amino acids that cats require for optimal health.
  2. Rich in Nutrients: Chicken meat is not only rich in protein but also provides essential nutrients such as vitamins (like B6 and B12), minerals (including selenium and phosphorus), and healthy fats, all of which contribute to a cat’s overall well-being.
  3. Palatability: Most cats find chicken to be extremely tasty, which makes chicken-based foods a good option for finicky eaters or cats who may be recovering from illness and have reduced appetites.
  4. Less Allergenic: While some cats do have poultry allergies, chicken is generally less allergenic compared to other protein sources like beef or fish, making it a suitable option for many cats with sensitive stomachs.
  5. Weight Management: Chicken is relatively low in fat, especially when compared to red meats like beef. A chicken-based food can be a good option for cats that need to manage their weight, as long as it’s formulated to be a balanced diet.
  6. Wide Availability: Chicken-based cat foods are widely available in various forms, including dry kibble, wet food, and even freeze-dried or raw options, offering versatility for different feeding preferences.

By understanding these benefits, you can make an informed decision about whether a chicken-based food is appropriate for your cat’s specific needs and conditions.


Frequently Asked Questions About Chicken Cat Foods

1. Are chicken-based foods suitable for all cats?

Chicken-based foods are generally suitable for most cats unless they have a specific allergy or sensitivity to chicken. Always consult your veterinarian before making significant changes to your cat’s diet, especially if your cat has a known food allergy or other medical issues.

2. Do chicken-based cat foods offer a complete and balanced diet?

A high-quality chicken-based cat food that is labeled as “complete and balanced” should provide all the essential nutrients your cat needs. Look for foods that meet the nutritional profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

3. Can a chicken-based diet help my cat lose weight?

Chicken is generally a lean protein, which can be beneficial for weight management. However, portion control and the overall caloric content of the food are also crucial factors. If you’re concerned about your cat’s weight, consult your veterinarian for a tailored feeding plan.

4. My cat is allergic to chicken. What are the alternatives?

If your cat is allergic to chicken, there are many alternative protein sources available, such as duck, turkey, fish, or even exotic meats like venison. Always consult your veterinarian for advice tailored to your cat’s specific needs.

5. Is fresh chicken better than chicken meal in cat food?

Chicken meal is a concentrated form of chicken protein and can be a valuable ingredient in cat food. Fresh chicken has a higher moisture content, so it’s not necessarily better than chicken meal; it depends on the overall formulation of the food.

6. Can I feed my cat a homemade chicken-based diet?

While it’s possible to prepare a homemade chicken-based diet for your cat, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure the diet is balanced and provides all essential nutrients.

7. Are there any risks of salmonella with chicken-based cat foods?

High-quality commercial cat foods undergo stringent quality control to minimize risks like salmonella. If you’re feeding raw or homemade diets, there’s a higher risk, and you should follow proper food safety guidelines.

8. What should I look for in the ingredient list of a chicken-based cat food?

Look for “chicken” or “chicken meal” as the first ingredient to ensure the food is primarily composed of chicken. Also, watch for fillers like corn, soy, and by-products, which might dilute the nutrient value of the food.

9. Are grain-free chicken-based foods better for my cat?

Grain-free doesn’t necessarily mean better. Some cats may benefit from grain-free diets due to allergies or sensitivities, but grains can also offer essential nutrients. Consult your veterinarian for personalized advice.

10. Can I switch my cat to a chicken-based food immediately?

When changing your cat’s diet, it’s recommended to make the transition gradually over a week to minimize digestive upset. Mix the new chicken-based food with your cat’s current food, gradually increasing the proportion of the new food each day.


Conclusion: Best Chicken Cat Foods

Choosing the right cat food is a critical decision that affects your cat’s health, longevity, and overall quality of life. Chicken-based cat foods offer the benefits of a high-quality protein source, rich in essential nutrients. However, it’s important to weigh these advantages against other factors like ingredient transparency, any potential food sensitivities your cat may have, and of course, taste preferences. Armed with the knowledge from this article, you are now better equipped to make an informed decision that satisfies both your cat’s nutritional needs and your own criteria for quality and responsibility.

iHeartCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.