Cat Food Rating Index

BrandScoreGradeMore info
NomNomNow48A-Read Review
Ziwi Peak48A-Read Review
Hound & Gatos48A-Read Review
Lotus47A-Read Review
Crave47B+Read Review
Nulo47B+Read Review
Sheba42BRead Review
Wellness41BRead Review
Purina Beyond41BRead Review
Halo41BRead Review
Wysong40BRead Review
Acana40BRead Review
Canidae40BRead Review
Fromm39B-Read Review
Hills39B-Read Review
Taste of the Wild38C+Read Review
Merrick38 C+Read Review
Purina36 C+Read Review
Orijen36 C+Read Review
Rachael Ray35 CRead Review
Natural Balance34 CRead Review
Friskies34 CRead Review
Royal Canin33 CRead Review
Nutro33 CRead Review
Blue Buffalo32 CRead Review
Iams31 DRead Review
9 Lives31DRead Review

How do we rate cat food brands?

The We’re All About Cats Standard is at the heart of all our brand reviews. This rating system has six equally-weighted dimensions—species appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. Brands are rated in each of these areas on a scale of 1 – 10 for a total score of 6 – 60.

Here’s how we rate cat food brands according to the We’re All About Cats Standard.

Species-Appropriateness

Cats are predatory carnivores and therefore, species-appropriateness is determined by a food’s nutritional similarity to a fresh rodent, bird, small reptile, or another prey animal.

A brand selling only dry plant-based foods with no nutritional supplements would score a 1 on our species-appropriateness scale, while a brand selling moisture-rich fresh food made with meat, organs, and supplements would earn 10 points.

Ingredient Quality

We measure ingredient quality by investigating the safety and digestibility of a food’s ingredients. Human-grade foods receive the highest ratings, while brands using animal or plant by-products receive scores of 5 or lower. The use of potentially harmful additives like dyes, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives further reduce a brand’s ingredient quality score.

Product Variety

We look for a variety of proteins, options for cats with various health needs, and multiple textures to suit unique preferences.

In addition to sheer variety, ingredient quality and species-appropriateness weigh into this rating. A brand with a small selection of excellent foods will score higher than one offering an equally small selection of low-value foods.

The highest ratings are awarded to brands with a broad product variety, including canned, raw, freeze-dried, and multi-textured recipes with varied proteins for a rotational diet.

Price

We evaluate a brand’s value by comparing its daily feeding costs to brands that use similar ingredients. The highest price scores are given to foods that combine great quality with a reasonable price.

Customer Experience

Multiple aspects of customer perception and experience play into our final customer experience score.

To evaluate buyer experience, we read customer reviews on Amazon, Chewy, and other retail sites. We look for comments about the food’s texture, packaging quality, and customer service.

Next, we evaluate customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs and browse forums for discussions about the brand. We look for mentions of the brand in media outlets, looking for articles about lawsuits, scandals, and opinions on the brand. While on these sites, we read the comment section to see what readers are saying.

Finally, we may contact the brand by phone or email, evaluating response time, friendliness, and willingness to share information.

The highest ratings go to brands that consistently receive positive reviews, provide great customer service, and aren’t involved in lawsuits or scandals.

Recall History

To rate a brand on recall history, we take into consideration how many times the company has issued a recall, the severity of the recalls, and how well the company responds to these events.

Brands that have never been recalled receive the highest recall history score. Ratings below 3 are assigned to brands with multiple serious recalls and a history of deception or evasiveness.

Grading System

After tallying the brand’s scores in all six key dimensions, we convert them to a letter grade for easy reference and comparison to other brands.

A51/60 and above
A-48/60 to 50/60
B+45/60 to 47/60
B42/60 to 44/60
B-39/60 to 41/60
C+36/60 to 38/60
C33/60 to 35/60
D30/60 to 32/60
F30/60 or less

Interpreting Cat Food Ratings

Brands with an A to A- grade should be at the top of your list when shopping for cat food. They stand out with superior nutrition, great customer experience, and high ingredient quality. In many cases, they’ve never been recalled.

Brands between B+ and C score well in some areas and fall short in others. You can find great products from these brands, but it will take more effort compared to top-rated brands.

While brands rated C- or lower may be good choices, they usually have problems. Common flaws include quality control issues, low-value ingredients, or a messy recall history.