Why Low Carb Cat Food?

Speaking of a human health, the diet is a very controversial issue. Whether it’s a protein-rich or a carb one, there are many theories to follow.

However, the body of your feline works absolutely differently and needs special approach. Naturally, fluffy cats are predators, which basically eat protein-based food, so that the ratio between proteins and carbs they consume in nature is huge. This is the essential need of their bodies. Protein is what they strive for to have their organisms function well.

So, when it comes to your furry pet’s diet, the choice of food is obvious and unanimous.

The first and main factor is the structure of their digestive system itself, that is built to quickly break down protein. Your cute and fluffy cats are created to eat other animals, like mice. There’s no way a cat would eat grass in a wild nature. Their physical needs desire flesh and blood to acquire essential for living nutrients.

Eating a low-carb diet is totally beneficial for a cat’s health. It provides the growth of muscle mass and overall development.

It also helps to keep a normal weight, which is the key to longevity. Otherwise, there is always a risk of aged cats’ diabetes. If you choose a high protein diet, there’s no need to worry. The main goal of low-carb cat food is to maintain a normal weight for your pet. If weight loss is the primary and the only goal for you – please read a guide with the best diet cat food written by Kimberly K. Baumgart RVT, LVT.

Maybe you are still not sure, whether this type of diet is suitable for the lovely kitten. After thorough research and considering tones of opinions, I’ve finally got something to reassure you that a low-carb diet is worth it.

Benefits of Low Carb Cat Diet

First of all, it’s the boost of energy. Proteins are easily digested, so that your lively cat shouldn’t sit still for a long time and gain weight. They become more active and energetic.

The next vital thing is the absence of digestion system problems. Carbohydrates sometimes may cause diarrhea, vomiting, gases and overall bad condition. The risk of diabetes is also caused by carbs, specifically by a high level of sugar that transfers into the blood. That’s why giving  cats the food they are created to eat is the key to the truly healthy pet.

Absorbed fats lead to high quality fur and perfect skin. It’s totally amazing to pet your fluffy feline, which has a thick fur with no hairballs. There’s no need to clean the apartment 24/7, as your cat don’t shed a lot. The risk of other illnesses is decreased too. If a cat eats same food as it would do in its natural environment, you shouldn’t worry about any illnesses or inflammations. Getting all needed components a cat’s organism will be absolutely fine. Obesity won’t come.

The reason for gaining weight is the lack of protein in each meal. So that the pet needs to overeat to get the necessary amount of essential elements.

It’s obvious, that before switching to another diet type it’s necessary consult the vet. Of course, every cat’s organism is special and you need to keep balance in proteins, fats, carbs and moisture.

Summing up all the facts that were mentioned, you may be sure that low carb diet is definitely beneficial for a lovely pet’s health. It may bring more joy and energy in a kitten’s life and ensure longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a low carb cat food?

Low carb cat food contains less carbohydrates than any other type of cat’s product. It means that the percentage of carbs are lower than the one of protein and fat. It’s not necessary know a lot to detect this kind of meal. Just look at the sticker and you’ll see the ratio between all ingredients. Low carb food usually contains less than 30% of carbs in it. However, many companies are not likely to put this information on the sticker so it’s possible learn how to do it yourself.

How to calculate carbs level in cat food?

If the manufacturer didn’t mention the amount of carbs in the product, anyone can easily do it. First of all you have to find out the ratio among all other ingredients. It’s written at the sticker. Just add up all the ingredients in percentage, wet product example: Protein 10.0% + Fat 9% + Fiber 1.5% + Moisture 78.0%=98.5. That means there’s 1,5% of carbs in it. Do exactly the same procedure with dry product and figure out the real numbers.

How to find out if the food is a low carb high protein one?

It might be a complicated question for those who’s just got a cat. The only way is to read the list of ingredients. However it’s also necessary to understand what exactly you are looking for there. Low carb dry food means there’s no more than 30% of carbohydrates in it. Commonly used carbs are wheat, corn and soy. The protein must be animal-based as it is the only one which your carnivore can digest. So find if the source of protein is from meat or fish. There’s always a list of components in percentage. If the choice is a wet type of food, there’s another ratio and the ideal percentage is like this: protein 12.0%, crude fat 2.0%, crude fiber 0.2% and moisture 83%.

Does my cat need a low carb diet?

Many cats quickly become obese if the type of food is not suitable for them. However, the owners start worrying about it only when they see the consequences of bad feeding. It may result in diabetes and other health problems. If the feline friend has such ones, it’s good to take care of choosing the right food option. If there are no vivid problems and the furry cat is absolutely happy, then it is all up to you. There is no urgent need to switch if they are doing okay. If you want to prevent any health issues and worry about it beforehand, you can choose this type of diet and be sure, that balanced food is just what the doctor ordered. If the cat has some health troubles, it’s better to start choosing something else instead of cat’s usual product. Besides, it’s preferable to consult a personal vet instead of making decisions by yourself. Just to be on the safe side!

How much low carb food can a cat eat per day?

Of course it depends on the cat’s age, so you have to check it out whether the food is suitable for kittens, for adults or for all life stages. In general, an adult cat will eat from 50-80 grams of dry food and from 170-210 grams of wet one. If you are having a little kitten, it will consume from 30-65 grams of dry product and approximately 170 of wet one. It’s individual so just try it out and see how your cat is feeling. If it is energetic, healthy and don’t beg human’s food, then be sure that you are doing everything right.

What low carb high protein wet food to choose for diabetic cats?

Diabetes diagnosis is not a disaster, as there are plenty of solutions to it. As a rule, wet food is better than dry one because it makes your cat full enough. It also has less grains, tretches, and the moisture don’t make them thirsty. Diabetic cat food should definitely contain much protein and less than 10% of carbs. There are even specially designed foods for diabetic cats. So the key factor is to look for a wet food, which contains more than 10-12% of protein. The best one is also with an option specially for diabetic cats. Their formula helps to keep blood sugar stable and has low calorie.

Good Dry Low Carb Cat Food

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Out of many ordinary foods, this one deserves special attention as it focused on a preventing degradation and preserving potency. There are not so many low carb high protein foods that have such an option. Blue Buffalo formula tries to meet many cat’s needs. Due to its components it can control weight and helps to build and maintain lean muscle mass. It also suitable for all life stages.

Natural meat ingredients may open your cat’s wild side. It consists of 30% of protein, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidant-rich ingredients and it is also grain free. The product is really multifunctional as the food also helps control hairballs and promote healthy digestion. The transitioning to Blue must be accumulative. From 25% to 100%, that’s why it will take 14 days all in all.

  • Weight control, healthy digestion, hairballs control.
  • Preventing degradation and preserving potency.
  • 30% of protein, essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidant-rich ingredients.
  • Some cats might gain weight on it.
  • Concerns over the recipe changes.
  • Quite expensive price.

2. NUTRO Wild Frontier Grain Free Dry Cat Food

The food is crafted not only to make your furry feline friend satisfied, but also healthy and well groomed. Their focus is on high quality ingredients to maintain healthy metabolism. As it influences cat’s general health, they take care of nutrients which can improve pet’s digestive function. Productively working digestive system is the key to healthy skin, shiny coat and absence of hairballs and any illnesses. Seeing your lovely cat looking beautiful and being active is the most desirable thing the owner wants to observe. That is why the formula of this food satisfies not only cats but also their human parents.

It is available in six tastes and three packages. It is also protein-rich with 40% of it in food. However, the protein is taken not only from fish and chicken. There is also a blend of carbs in it that is a greatest product disadvantage. Of course, there is no corn, wheat or soy and it is grain free. Artificial flavors or preservatives are not in the components list as well. Eating habits of the wild are taken into consideration while creating a product. Reading all the reviews, I’ve got many good ones, but also some unsatisfactory things.

  • Many tastes.
  • Healthy metabolism-oriented.
  • 40% of Protein.
  • Contains pea protein.
  • Short expiration life.
  • Not for finicky cats.

3. Ketogenic Pet Foods – High Protein, High Fat, Low Carb

This product has great reviews and good characteristics. There are some cons, but in general, it worth buying. However, the main disadvantage is its price. It is too expensive and does not correspond to the market. The ratio between quality and the price of this product, is unreasonable. There are many similar items with lower prices. However, if you don’t need to save money it is one of the options you can give a try.

This item is meat-based, contains natural protein and fat-rich meals. All other components are created to keep metabolic balance and support immune system. It is available in 4 flavors. There are also nutritious oils, micronutrients and no bad ingredients. Besides, it is suitable for all life stages that may be counted as one of its advantages. It is also universal for cats and dogs. Some may say it’s a pro, I’d rather say it’s a con. Looking through tones of reviews, I’ve learned that narrowly focused products perform better.

It is available in six tastes and three packages. It is also protein-rich with 40% of it in food. However, the protein is taken not only from fish and chicken. There is also a blend of carbs in it that is a greatest product disadvantage. Of course, there is no corn, wheat or soy and it is grain free. Artificial flavors or preservatives are not in the components list as well. Eating habits of the wild are taken into consideration while creating a product. Reading all the reviews, I’ve got many good ones, but also some unsatisfactory things.

  • Meat-based, contains natural protein.
  • Keeps metabolic balance.
  • Suitable for all life stages.
  • For both dogs and cats.
  • Unreasonable price.
  • Chunks are big and hard to chew.

4. Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Chicken Recipe

I’m quoting a manufacturer: “Hill’s Pet Nutrition’s Mission: To help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets.”

It is perfectly said and I can prove you that they really try to make a decent product for your furry little ball. This company is super strict to their suppliers and take ingredients only from those, whose facilities meet stringent quality standards. Hill’s uses only high-quality ingredients and the main one is protein for lean muscles. Vitamin E and Omega-3 is added for making your kitten’s skin and fur beautiful. They also produced an item that contains balanced minerals for kidney & bladder health. Only 7 days needed to fully adjust to this type of food. Unfortunately, there are no flavors at all but it’s available in three sizes.

  • Only high-quality ingredients.
  • Balanced minerals for kidney & bladder health.
  • Packed with vitamins to give your adult cat healthy skin & fur.
  • No flavors.
  • Worse reviews after formula changes.
  • Many cats can’t eat only this food without mixing it with other products.

Good Wet Low Carb Cat Food

1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free Wet

There is one special thing about the Blue Buffalo Wilderness that makes it above many other products. The recipe of the product is inspired by the lynx’s diet. As your feline friend and lynx are both originated from cat’s family it is very wise to rely on the way lynx feeds in wilderness. I guess, it is a very good basis for a great quality product. The manufacturer claims, that 95% of the protein comes from real chicken and that it is 100% grain free. After a careful evaluation, I think, it is a good choice, as there is no artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy. It is also full of vitamins and minerals. The components are protein 10.0% fat 9% fiber 1.5% moisture 78.0%. It is represented in seven tastes and three sizes.

  • No corn, wheat or soy, no artificial flavor, color or preservatives.
  • Based on a lynx diet.
  • Contains vitamins and minerals.
  • A chance of finding bones in a meal.
  • Not suitable for picky eaters.
  • Concerns over recent formula changes.

2. Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Wet

It is a very great choice for improving your cat’s overall health and making it hydrated enough. This product is a great solution for keeping your pet’s water balance. Wellness Complete Health allows to control cat’s moisture intake. It contains perfect ingredients like carrots and sweet potatoes. Vitamins and minerals are also present. Fresh, whole cranberries and blueberries are added to help maintain proper urinary tract health. This product consists of a high-quality protein with no steroids or growth hormones. There is only one taste, that makes this food not universal. There are also doubts about the content because this balance of nutrients may not be suitable for each cat. However, for some furry ones it may be the best diet ever.

  • Balanced everyday nutrition.
  • Grain free, carrageenan free.
  • Controls moisture intake.
  • May not be suitable for each cat.
  • One type of flavor.
  • Specific smell and small servings.

3. Sheba Perfect Portions Pate Wet Cat Food Trays

Best budget choice! The quality of the product is competitive. It is the best value for money paid. It is made of fresh ingredients and has no corn, artificial flavors or preservatives. The main difference that makes this product special is package.

There’s no need to pour it somewhere and have messy leftovers, just snap, peel, and serve to your adult cat. The package has two serving trays.

Please, pay attention that for some cats it is not that easy to chew, and the servings are not big enough to make them full for a long time.

It may not be as healthy as other products. However, reviewers are satisfied with the quality of Sheba. I am sure your cat will be happy too, as the food consists of real protein that’s easily digestible. Pros:
  • Perfect package, no leftovers.
  • High quality ingredients.
  • Available in several flavors.
  • Small portions.
  • Problems opening the containers.
  • Tough muscle fiber.

Buyers Guide For Best Low Carb High Protein Food

Our lovely cats need special care and perfectly chosen type of food. No matter whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, it’s totally necessary to know which ingredients are essential for its well-being. There are many tricks sellers use to lure you into this world of cat foods. However, it’s obvious that it is you who need to know what’s best for the cat. I know, once you get to the shop where there are many options, you feel like a kid in a candy store. Seeing all catching commercials on TV, perfectly looking packages at the store you might be confused. Some brands have such an appealing label, that people want to trust it automatically. I prepared a guide to choosing the top low carb food for a cat.

List of Ingredients

One of the most important parts is reading the list of ingredients. You don’t need any special knowledge. All of them are listed in decreasing order. So, you already know that the most important thing is the amount of protein, as cats are meat eaters. Then look for chicken or fish first. Then quickly look through the list and if you find such components as vitamins, minerals or amino acids it’s more likely a high-quality product.


As you are looking for a protein-rich food, it’s important to know the needed amount in a package. Only some manufacturers skip this info, but almost all of them do mention the ratio. If a dry food has more than 30% of protein it may be counted as a good one. Foods with 40% of protein are way to go.

Talking about wet high protein food the numbers are different. There’s a moisture in them, which ranks first in percentage. That’s why the percentage of proteins in such kind of food is lower and should be higher than 10-12%. If it does, then you found a good one!

Plant proteins

There’s nothing life-threatening in a plant protein. However, you should be attentive that the product must consist of mostly animal source of protein. Predators, this is who our kittens are, do not consume plant protein in a wild nature. That’s why their organism digests animal based nutrients better. Nevertheless, if you found the food with decent price and ingredients (but containing some plant proteins) – there’s nothing crucial in it. Just take it with no worries.

Things to avoid

Many sellers are focused on meeting every cat’s needs. That is why they care about too sensitive furry friends and make the food smooth enough and easy to chew. If your cat is not the one, don’t think a lot about the food texture. However, if the cat’s digestive system is delicate, you’d better choose special food. Just to be on the safe side. Usually, manufacturers white down on package, that the product is grain free. Some reviewers text, that the product might contain bones. Then, read some reviews as well before buying. It is also helpful to consult your vet in case of any vivid problems.

The range of usage

There are many products which are designed specially for kittens. Other ones are developed for pregnant cats. Most of them are created for adult cats. It’s one of the key factors for adjusting the cat to this or that type of food. Each product has developed to influence positively on the fluffy cat’s health. Some of them are focused on a digestive system, other ones on skin and fur. There are foods for making urine and bladder work well. That is why something that may be beneficial for adult cats, may be super harmful for kittens. Then, while choosing the product, try not to look only at its tastes and package varieties, but also at range of usage.

Cat’s health condition

This factor also effects the choice of nutrition. If the cat is active, friendly and has a lot of energy. You don’t notice anything strange in its behavior. If the cat doesn’t beg your own food, probably, there is nothing to worry about. In such case, it’s possible to choose any type of food and be happy. Otherwise, if you are not sure that the pet is doing alright. If you notice that it may throw up from time to time. Some people say that their cat has vomiting. Maybe its runny stools depend on the type of food it eats. If you hear the cat pooping quite often, it might be also not a very good sign. In this situation, the best option is to consult a vet. Only then you’ll know what type of food is needed.

Energy components in food

This factor depends on your cat’s activity. If you are having an indoor cat, it doesn’t need much energy to spend on. This furry pet needs only normal energy content food to keep it active for cat’s everyday routine. However, if the cat walks outdoors, it’s better to boost pet’s energy with the type of food, that has more such kind of components.

The price

Having a cat means spending lots of money on it. That’s why it’s better to be prepared for it. They do need a high-quality food and we are responsible for it. Of course, there are many super cheap options and you may save your money. It looks rationally, but wouldn’t you agree that it’s not fair.

There’s a wide range of products you can choose to feed your pet. Sometimes the price is unreasonable and it’s not worth paying. Many products are top-rated ones and they are good, but quite expensive. There is always an alternative. There’s always an opportunity to find less popular brand or not that good product recipe, but for suitable price for you.

It is highly important to know what type of nutrition to choose for your lovely furry cat. That’s why I’ve done a thorough analysis of loads of products and owner’s reviews to prepare a decent list of foods. I hope this information will be useful to you! Besides, you are more than welcome to comment on your favorite product and share the experience. To know other opinions comes always in handy.

Jimmie is a cat enthusiast who is pretty good at product research. He shares his own experience and advice here on CatPet.


  • Mason5

    Thanks for the review, it’s been really hard to find low carb products, especially the wet ones. As for the dry products, I love NUTRO Wild Frontier, it has a lot of tastes, and it’s good for my cat because she is very picky. Anyway, are you planning to make an article about high protein and fiber products as well?

  • Bobby TheCat

    I didn’t realize how many cool products there are on the market right now! Your review is very detailed, however, now it will be very difficult to choose 1-2 products out of all, they all seem all right. It’s cool that you posted a guideline, I think it will make the process of choosing much easier. I’ll stick to the guide and then write what I have chosen; will be cool to compare the results with other owners.

  • Traveller4

    Thanks for the detailed low carb cat food list, seems like it’s my favorite article now cause our vet prescribed the low carb diet for my cat Lizzie. I didn’t know that you should also pay attention to the food texture. It’s a very helpful comment, so thank you for that; I guess I’ll show the article to the vet and we’ll discuss which product is the best for Lizzie. My friend has a cat who constantly eats high carb food, however, it is good for her health. So every pet needs a special treatment, I guess.

  • JennaT

    Thank God I came across this article in time; right now we are developing the diet for my cat. Our doctor advises to change the low carb brands from time to time, so the cat won’t get used to it. Right now I think Taste of The Wild will be perfect for my kitty, he loves the flavor and taste. Did you mention all the Taste of The Wild flavors available on the market right now?

  • Holly Kitty

    I guess it’s been quite a challenge to check all this high protein and low carb cat food on the internet. Thanks for the detailed guide, it is really helpful; now I won’t have to waste my time surfing the web. My sister’s cat is now on a low carb diet, and now the kitty looks great: perfect fur and skin. I think I should try one of the products, but I’ll consult the vet first.

  • MyFunnyValentine

    Love that you placed a FAQ section in the very end; I really didn’t know how much low carb food a cat can eat during a day. I went to the shelter near my house yesterday and I am thinking of taking another cat. The kitty’s name is Molly and she is diabetic; so it’s pretty cool I came across this article. It’s such a relief that there are plenty of products for diabetic cats on the market right now. Will there be an article about diabetic food?

  • Violet5

    Actually I thought I knew what a good low carb cat food is until I read this article; didn’t know that I missed so much. First, it’s a revelation that plant protein is not life-threatening, honestly, I was always afraid to buy products containing this ingredient. I also didn’t know that there is a product line for pregnant cats; my fluffy is expecting a baby so it’s a very useful information.

  • FluffyOne

    That’s so great you pay attention to different product lines in all your articles! It’s always cool when you can find a product which can be a solution to your cat’s problems, especially when your pet needs a special diet. For instance, I never paid attention to energy components in food, now I know how important it is. I will wait for your next article, you’re my fav here!

  • Nick Hammersmith

    Perfect guide, the low carb cat food diet is what my cat Athena needs. Actually, it’s my girlfriend’s cat, but now she moved to my apartment, so I became a cat owner. First, it was quite difficult cause I didn’t like cats at all, but now I love her to bits; I can play with her all day long. Athena loves Blue Buffalo; you mentioned that there can be some bones, but actually we never found them. Right now we also plan to test Wellness line as we have some issues with controlling cat’s moisture intake.

  • FunnyBunny10

    Love the article, it’s great that you add some FAQs in it; I’ve learned a lot. I always pay attention to the ingredients of the cat food, but I skipped the proportions part; right now I think I was wrong. So I am going to the supermarket in 2 hours; I will try to stick to the guide and buy the best food they have.

  • Genny Statson

    Thanks for the interesting guide, I was searching for some new food for my cat, and there you go. You wrote about a couple of grain-free products: Weruva B.F.F. – Best Feline Friend and Tiki Cat Born Carnivore. Which one is the best grain-free low carb cat food in your opinion? Thanks for your answer in advance; and I would love to read about the new product lines as well.

  • Lily Rose

    I would add that sometimes manufacturers don’t write the full list of ingredients on the package, so I guess it is not enough just to read it at the supermarket. I think all cat owners must read the full list on the official site of the brand. I once bought the grain-free food for my cat, but it turned out there still were some grain supplements in it. So it can be quite dangerous just to throw any food in your basket without proper investigation of the product history. Anyway, thanks for the guide, the FAQ part is brilliant!

  • Mike Pilsman

    Among all the reviews of low carb cat food that’s the best for sure! I know the topic pretty well, as I have my own vet clinic, so I can’t say that there was something new I came across in this guide. However, everything you mentioned here is correct, especially the FAQ part; that’s great that you do all this outreach work.

  • Loraine Nickolson

    Gosh, it’s so hard to find something worth further discussion on the topic! Thanks for the review, it’s really what I was looking for; my cat is diabetic, so it was really important for me to read that part where you describe the solutions to this problem. I mean it, I am sick and tired to explain to the sellers that 15% of carbs is too much for my kitty. Now I have the affirmation of the fact from you and my vet, thanks! Will you post any more articles about diabetic food?

  • Cillian111

    Thanks for the review, I’ve learned some new facts. What if my cat wants to eat more than 210 of wet low carb food? Will it be dangerous for her? I know that I should stick to the diet, but I am really concerned about her behaviour lately; she always wants some more; maybe I should buy food with higher protein percentage. What’s the highest protein low carb cat food?

  • Jane Whatsup

    Didn’t know that there is as much dry low carb food as wet one; it always seemed to me that there is much more wet one on the market. As a result I bought only wet products; however, my cat didn’t complain. My Boxer loves low carb food, and his fur is amazing; I think it’s all about both genetics and diet.

  • Milly Wayne

    Thanks for the review, right now I am re-reading the text trying to understand which product is the best for my kitten. Actually I love Sheba and Wellness brands; but my cat now refuses to eat Wellness one so I have to replace it. I think I’ll go to the vet and show him this article; besides, I would love to choose the product which will be both high-quality and not too expensive. What is the most affordable low carb cat food out of all that you’ve mentioned?

  • Gregory Unknown

    Low carb cat food is a revelation to me; I didn’t know that it makes cat’s fur so beautiful, but it’s truth! My Ricky is 5 years old and never ever in his life he had such a fur then after he started to eat wet and dry low carb high protein food! He is such a cutie now; however, my vet tells me that we must alternate the products from time to time. He says it will be better for my cat’s digestion. So thank you for the review, I will try some of the products on the list!

  • Fluffy Duffy

    Love the article, it’s quite informative and up-to-date; I didn’t know that there is a certain percentage of carb in cat’s food. Are there any contraindications in using this kind of food? Can low carb cat food cause hyperthyroidism or any other serious illnesses?

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