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The 6 Best Premium Low Carb Cat Food Options of 2020

Today, we’ll review 6 excellent options for low carb cat food. Because of it’s high-quality and great value, our favorite low carb cat food is Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food.

So whether your cat is overweight or diabetic, we have a low carb cat food option for your feline friend.

Our top 6 low carb cat food picks:

  1. Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food
  2. Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low Carb Wet Food
  3. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Low Carb Dry Cat Food
  4. Nulo Grain-Free Low Carb Dry Cat Food
  5. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-dried Morsels
  6. Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Recipe

Low carb cat foodsDiabetes in cats

Diabetes Mellitus is a serious and complex disease. And sadly, it isn’t uncommon in cats. Between 0.2 and 1 percent of cats in the general population are believed to suffer from diabetes.

Diabetes affects the hormone insulin. This is a condition in which the body cannot properly produce or respond to the hormone insulin. This results in elevated levels of the sugar glucose, which is the main source of energy for the body.

The Cornell Feline Health Center tells us that the cells in a cat’s body need sugar in the form of glucose for energy. And glucose in the blood needs insulin. Insulin signals when the time is right to absorb glucose. By absorbing glucose, cells get the vital fuel they need and lower levels of glucose in the blood.

Although experts are yet to find all the possible causes, carbohydrates could be a culprit. Low carb cat food diets designed to manage feline diabetes are the preferred option.

With this in mind, it’s important that you treat your cat’s diabetes.

Clinical signs of diabetes in cats

  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst
  • Loss of appetite
  • Decreased energy levels. Your cat may not show the same interest in playing or climbing their cat tree.
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration

This disease can ultimately lead to a coma or even death in severe cases.

Being obese increases your cat’s chances of getting diabetes. If you notice any of these signs or other behavioral changes, consult your vet!

What is the best cat food for diabetic cats?

One of the first steps to treating diabetes in cats is transitioning them to a low carb diet.

According to Catinfo.org, “In the wild, your cat would be eating a high protein, high-moisture, meat/organ-based diet, with a moderate level of fat and with only approximately 1-2 percent of her diet consisting of carbohydrates.”

The best food for cats with diabetes is high in protein but low in carbohydrates. Most canned cat foods are low in carbs, making it the ideal choice. Yet not all cats want to eat low carb wet food.

If your cat’s condition is severe, your vet may recommend a prescription diet or an all canned-food diet

Diabetic cats aren’t the only ones who can benefit from eating high protein low carb cat food.

Low carb food actually suits your cat’s natural nutrient requirement better than high-carb diets. Cats need a high percentage of protein in their diet. Their bodies simply aren’t suited for breaking down carbs.

What is low carb cat food?

A low carb cat food is considered to have a percentage of up to 12 percent carbohydrate. Always read the label and check the ingredients on the back.

Ingredients that are red flags include by-products or organs that have been deemed “unfit for human consumption.” Avoid high carbohydrate grains like corn, wheat, rice, or soy.

Ingredients that should be included and that you want to see listed first are muscle meat like chicken or poultry. You should look for protein from a named meat or poultry source, taurine, and other vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and fatty acids.

In many cat foods, carbohydrates generally include grains, but also legumes, and potatoes. All these contain starch, which may cause weight gain. Although your cat can digest such components, they simply don’t need them to stay healthy.

Is dry cat food high in carbs?

Dry food manufacturers need starch (which is full of carbs) to bind the kibble. Some amounts of starch are necessary to make dry cat food. According to PetMD.com, for some individuals, canned food is far superior. 

“The dry food contains almost three times the amount of sugars and starches in comparison to the canned food.”

Some cat foods have as much as 35 percent carbs!

Pet owners are demanding both low carb wet cat food and low carb dry cat food. Some cats have a preference!

What dry cat food has the lowest carbs?

There are many low carb dry cat foods. Some brands worth checking out include:

  • Nulo
  • Crave
  • Instinct
  • Tiki Cat

However, grain free canned food is the lowest in carbohydrates. The moisture content is also higher and mimics a cat’s natural diet.

A tabby cat eating raw cat food.

Choosing the best low carb cat food

Choosing a new food for your cat isn’t easy.

Brand Reputation

With cat food, you always want to check the brand’s reputation in food forums and with your local pet store staff.

Sadly, not all pet food brands are trustworthy. Some use questionable ingredients, or, produce low quality food.

We recommend checking out consumer reviews as well as for any potential recalls. If you’re interested in having this information readily available then check the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Ingredients and nutritional analysis

With low carb cat food, dry or wet, meat should be the first ingredient on the list. This shows that it’s high protein cat food.

Looking at cat food labels can be confusing! The AAFCO now has guidelines on what brands must include and what claims they can’t make.

  • Always read the cat food label: There is a system for listing the ingredients on your cat’s food label, and understanding it will help you pick the best ingredients.
  • The FDA mandates that ingredients must be listed from most to least based on their weight.
  • The majority of your cat’s food is made from the first few ingredients listed, so be sure they aren’t fillers. Instead, look for whole foods.

Animal protein and fat are crucial ingredients that should be included in your cat’s food. Because your cat is an obligate carnivore, it needs nutrients like taurine.

However, if your feline friend has diabetes, we recommend asking your vet about the best choices.

In low carb cat food, there should be around 50 to 60- percent protein and should have a percentage of up to 12 percent carbohydrates.

If you want some help, we recommend checking out the AAFCO nutrient profiles. Here, it shows the recommended percentages.

 

What is the best low carb cat food?

We compared dozens of products to find the best low carb cat food brands.

1. Best overall: Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06VSK9KNG&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=lelubobo 20&language=en USir?t=lelubobo 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06VSK9KNGThe canned Weruva low carb wet cat food recipe is a formula based on shredded chicken. This option includes cage-free, bone, and skinless white-meat chicken.

This option is excellent for kitties who need to lose a few inches. It’s free of grains, corn, wheat, or soy, as well as gluten. There are no carrageenan, artificial colors, or preservatives.

What we like about Weruva is that you can see what’s in it. When opening the can, the content is chicken—it sort of resembles chicken soup.

The formula works to support a healthy urinary tract. It’s low in magnesium, phosphorus, and ash, but high in moisture. It also contains a healthy dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals.

If your cat isn’t into chicken, Weruva offers a large selection of other flavors. This includes fish, eggs, beef, among many others.

Pros

  • Real shredded chicken
  • Free of grains, wheat, corn, gluten, among others
  • Fortified with antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins
  • Supports urinary health
  • Several other flavors are available

Cons

  • Your cat may not enjoy the consistency. The sauce is thicker than water but not as thick as a heavy stew.

2. Tiki Cat Grill Grain-Free, Low-Carbohydrate Wet Food

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B077L2R3QT&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=lelubobo 20&language=en USir?t=lelubobo 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B077L2R3QTThis formula from Tiki Cat is a grain-free mackerel and sardine blend.

What’s great about this brand is that it always uses real animal protein. There are no artificial fillers to mimic the flavor, only authentic wild-caught seafood.

In addition to being grain-free, the recipe also doesn’t contain any carbs or by-products. It’s rich in omega fatty acids, helping your kitty’s coat and skin.

The seafood pieces sit in a calamari consomme. It’s high in moisture, suggesting it’s suitable for cats that need to hydrate

The formula is suitable for all life stages.

Pros

  • Consists of wild-caught seafood
  • No carbs or by-products
  • Rich in omega fatty acids
  • Delicious shellfish consomme
  • High in moisture
  • Suitable for all life stages

Cons

  • Cat owners claim that there are literally chunks of sardine. “Eyeballs and all. Not even close to Pate.”

3. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Low Carb Dry Cat Food

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B071HGT9YB&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=lelubobo 20&language=en USir?t=lelubobo 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B071HGT9YBIf your cat prefers dry kibble, we recommend this option from Crave.

This low carb dry cat food contains chicken and salmon. It’s specially formulated for indoor kitties.

The first two ingredients are real chicken and chicken meal. It’s also high in protein-containing up to 40 percent in the single bag.

The formula is grain free. The kibble is free of corn, wheat, soy, and by-product meal. It’s a balanced diet.

Crave also offers other flavor options, including chicken, salmon and ocean fish, turkey or chicken, and duck.

Pros

  • Formulated for indoor cats
  • High in real protein
  • Free of grains, wheat, and soy
  • Several flavor options available

Cons

  • The recipe contains some carbohydrates
  • Not suitable for allergic cats

4. Nulo Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B00NRBB5D0&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=lelubobo 20&language=en USir?t=lelubobo 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B00NRBB5D0Nulo’s grain-free low carb dry cat food is suitable for indoor kitties who need to cut down on the carbs.

The formula is free of corn, wheat, soy, tapioca, and white potatoes. Instead, it’s high in meat, consisting of 83 percent animal-based protein so that your cat gets its daily dose of amino acids and a better overall flavor.

The low carb count is why this diet made the list. Nulo included only low glycemic ingredients, such as lentils, chickpeas, and sweet potato.

It also works to improve gut flora and maintenance. It includes a patented BC30 probiotic, beneficial for food digestion, metabolism regulation, and immune response.

The kibble consists of small disk-shaped morsels that have a nice texture.

Pros

  • Contains only low glycemic ingredients
  • Includes 83 percent animal protein
  • Maintains gut flora
  • Aids in metabolism regulation and immune response
  • Disk-shaped morsels

Cons

  • The kibble has a strong odor
  • Pieces may be too small for some cats

5. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-dried Morsels

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01GZ3SHBO&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=lelubobo 20&language=en USir?t=lelubobo 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B01GZ3SHBOIf you want to try a raw diet, we highly recommend looking at Stella & Chewy. This freeze-dried recipe consists of 98 percent cage-free chicken, organs, and bone.

The bag includes bite-sized morsels of high-quality protein, enriched with taurine and probiotics. All the ingredients are responsibly sourced, and no component comes from China.

The brand produces all its food in its U.S. factories with care. It manufactures its products in an all-natural, minimally processed way. It’s then quickly freeze-dried to preserve flavor and nutrition.

Thanks to the process, much of the protein contains its natural state, so it doesn’t need a lot of added ingredients and hormones to provide a balanced meal.

The formula is free of antibiotics, fillers, and grains. It’s suitable for all life stages and works wonders as an afternoon treat.

Before serving, add a little water to increase the moisture content.

Pros

  • Contains 98 percent animal-based protein
  • Responsibly sourced ingredients
  • Made in the U.S.
  • Aids in digestion and appetite
  • Suitable for allergic cats
  • Rich in nutrients and flavor

Cons

  • Nuggets crumble easily
  • A few pieces may contain large or sharp bones

6. Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Recipe

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B06XDP4H17&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=lelubobo 20&language=en USir?t=lelubobo 20&language=en US&l=li3&o=1&a=B06XDP4H17If you’re looking for a low-carb, high-protein kibble, Instinct has a viable option. This grain-free chicken recipe offers up to three times more protein than other dry foods. The low carb cat food kibble is highly digestible, helping your cat get all its needed nutrients.

A great feature is the raw freeze-coated kibble. It increases the flavor and nutrient count, providing your cat with a wholesome meal.

Included in the formula are healthy doses of natural probiotics aiding digestion. There are also omega fatty acids and antioxidants. It maintains the skin, coat, and immune system.

The formula is entirely free of grains, corn, potato, soy, and by-product meal. Instinct also excluded artificial colors and preservatives.

It’s minimally processed in the U.S., using high-quality ingredients. The formula is suitable for adult or senior cats.

Pros

  • Consists of real chicken
  • High in protein
  • Raw freeze-coated kibble
  • Rich flavor
  • Minimally processed
  • High-quality ingredients

Cons

  • Contains dried tomato and rosemary extract
  • Contains more calories than others

Carbs? No thank you!

Low carb cat food is ideal for cats with diabetes. Your feline friend isn’t made to break down carbohydrates, which often lead to obesity, diabetes, and other potential health issues.

Fortunately, there are plenty of low carb cat foods on the market. Today, our favorite is the Weruva Grain-Free Natural Canned Wet Cat Food. It’s made with real chicken and added nutrients, but it has minimal carbs.

Alina Prax
Latest posts by Alina Prax (see all)
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