What are the 20 worst cat foods?

What are the 20 worst cat foods

The pain of losing a beloved pet is traumatizing and gut-wrenching. Especially those pets that died or got sick and passed away because of reasons that can be prevented, such as picking the wrong type of food to feed their cats, this may seem harmless but owners would be surprised how vital choosing the right cat food is to feed their furry friends.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the top 20 worst cat foods that can potentially harm kittens and adult cats alike.

Worst wet cat food brands the quick answer

The worst wet cat food you can get we have found to be: 9Lives Tender Morsels, Friskies Canned Pate, Friskies Ocean Whitefish Dinner and Whiskas Purrfectly FISH Tuna Entrée Cat Food, The worst wet canned cat food all have a tendency to low nutritional value and synthetic ingredients.

Get more details on the different bad wet cat food brands further down in the article.

Worst dry cat food brands the quick answer

The worst dry cat food we have looked at is: Royal Canin Adult Cat Food, 9Lives Indoor Complete Cat Food, Purina Kit & Kaboodle Cat Food, Special Kitty Gourmet Formula Cat Food and Friskies Indoor Delights Cat Food. Dry food without enough amino acids and too many empty calories.

Get details on the different bad dry food brands later in the article.

Check out our list of the best cat food for indoor cats

Can cats eat human food?

We all want to make sure that our kitties get the best kind of cat food for their nutritional needs. Though sometimes owners may be tempted to give their kitties table scraps and special treats, such as human food, keep in mind that certain food can be poisonous to cats. Especially human food. Yes, cats can eat human food in short, but we included human foods that are toxic to kitties in this list to note.

Low quality cat food

Based on research and reviews there are several low-quality cat foods that owners must watch out for, here are the qualities in cat food to note.

  • If the cat food contains carcinogenic ingredients.
  • Cat food that has 40% + carbohydrates (cats only need up to 2% of carbs in their diet)
  • Poor quality rendered meat products (can include everything to dead animals).
  • Cat food that lacks protein, cats should have a diet that comprises over 50% protein.

It’s uncertain that cats will feel pain, get sick or die because of low-quality food, but it increases the risk. It’s recommended that owners take into consideration the quality of the food they’re feeding their cats with.

The worst cat foods

First, let’s look at the worst human food that owners should never feed their cats with.

Worst human food for cats

Garlic and onions

Garlic and onion can damage a cat’s red blood cells that can lead to anemia. These are poisonous when consumed in large quantities. Exposure to concentrated forms of garlic or onion, such as garlic and onion powder, can also be toxic to cats.


Chocolate is fatal to dogs, but people may now know that it’s just as lethal for cats. The methylxanthines in chocolate can cause diarrhea and vomiting, muscle tremors, abdominal discomfort, seizures, high body temperature and abnormal rhythm to our furry friends.


Cats love milk, but cat parents should know that certain types of milk can be fatal to their little companions. Cats have trouble digesting the lactose present in milk that causes diarrhea or an upset stomach. Kitten formulas are available for those who want to feed their cats’ milk.

Raw food

Like humans, the consumption of raw meat or eggs can lead to E. coli or Salmonella in cats.


Food and beverages that contain alcohol can be dangerous for cats, ingestion of alcohol may lead to diarrhea, tremors, vomiting, trouble breathing, disorientation, coma, and death.

Do you have a sick cat? What food to give a sick cat.

Video: What human foods are bad for cats?

Worst dry cat food

Now that we know what human food to avoid feeding cats with, what are the worst quality cat foods are out in the market right now?

Royal Canin Adult Cat Food (Dry)

This Royal Canin Dry Can Food has chicken as its primary ingredient; however, the other ingredients serve no purpose and give no extra nutritional value. This cat food is mostly composed of empty calories or supplemental nutrients, it doesn’t give cats enough nutrition. Royal Canin is not a cheap brand either, there are modestly priced alternatives out there.

Purina Fancy Feast Savory Chicken and Turkey Cat Food (Dry)

Manufacturers add words such as fancy and savory in their product names to make it sound appealing, and in most cases, they fall flat and not meet expectations. This product uses brewer’s rice as its primary ingredient which is one of the lowest quality rice products out there and it contains poultry by-product meal which is grounded pieces of animal parts. This doesn’t properly give the nutrition a cat requires.

Purina Kit & Kaboodle Cat Food (dry)

The packaging of this one is appealing and features 4 flavors: Turkey, Liver, Ocean Fish and Chicken. The first ingredients this cat food has are ground yellow corn and corn gluten meal common in most pet foods, they lack amino acids that cats need to maintain healthily, and corn doesn’t provide the nutritional value at all. This also contains meat and bone meal which are rendered products from carcasses and tissues, not the best choice for cats.

Iams Proactive Health Chicken Adult Cat Food (Dry)

This cat food is made of poultry by-product meal, which isn’t even really chicken! There’s no meat product in this cat food and that’s useless since cats need meat in their diets being the carnivores they are. Always double-check the ingredients, even though they advertise meat and animal in the packaging most of the time, they’re just rendered products that give no nutritional value to cats.

Friskies Indoor Delights Cat Food (Dry)

Chicken by-product meal, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, and grown yellow corn, these five ingredients just emit low quality. Most of them are calorie fillers, there’s no nutrition in any of these prominent ingredients of this cat food.

Purina Cat Chow Indoor Cat Food (Dry)

This cat food lists cornmeal as its primary ingredient, which is finely ground bits of an entire corn kernel, though it is nutritious for cats, it is considered being highly allergenic. The main meat component of this is a poultry by-product meal, which is ground and rendered carcasses of slaughtered poultry, and it’s probably the lowest quality ingredient in cat food one can use.

Meow Mix Original Choice Cat Food (Dry)

This consists of Beef Tallow, which is preserved with mixed Tocopherols, beef tallow is rendered beef saturated fat. The fatty acids in this can be beneficial to a cat, tocopherols, however, present in this cat food is not a nutritional source but a preserver for beef tallow.  Though not that bad, there are still better alternatives out there.

Whiskas Indoor Cat Chicken Flavor Cat Food (Dry)

The ingredients in this cat food are poultry by-product meal, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, etc. The standard ingredients for low-quality cat foods, however, this includes dried plain beet pulp which is a wholesome fiber source for commercial cat food and provides probiotics to help with a cat’s digestion.

Special Kitty Gourmet Formula Cat Food (Dry)

This also used poultry by-product meal as its primary ingredient and this cat food mostly consists of mediocre ingredients like the previous entries mentioned. There’s nothing gourmet about this cat food.

9Lives Indoor Complete Cat Food (Dry)

This cat food mainly comprises calorie fillers and it has no real meat ingredient that’s essential in a cat’s diet.

Worst wet cat food

Iams Proactive Health Adult Pate with Tender Beef (Wet)

The first ingredients of this are chicken, beef broth, chicken by-products, beef, and meat by-products. Though the ingredients mentioned are better than the rest so far, it has beef-broth as its primary ingredient, which isn’t the actual meat itself! It offers nothing nutritionally, and it still uses rendered meat by-products to make it cheaper to make and more expensive to sell.

9Lives Tender Morsels (Wet)

Organic ingredients are always ideal, this cat food consists of rendered meat products, synthetic preservatives, and food dyes, which are terrible for cats.

Friskies Canned Pate (Wet)

This cat food uses everything synthetic that can be used in food, and it also uses dyes and rendered products. But most notable is that this contains carrageenan, which is a chemical compound that’s used in stabilizing components in foods and is rendered indigestible. That causes digestive and intestinal problems for cats.

Friskies Ocean Whitefish Dinner (Wet)

Calorie fillers make up this food, the same non-nutritional products, and non-protein products cats will get with this product. It’s cheap and affordable. Though it may fill up cats, it is very difficult for them to digest this food.

Whiskas Purrfectly FISH Tuna Entrée Cat Food (Wet)

Though Whiskas products may be loved by cats, there’s nothing good that will come out of eating this cat food. The top ingredients are tuna, soy oil, tricalcium phosphate, enough water for processing and carrageenan. We’ve already established that carrageenan is bad for cats, but how much water does this product need for it to be included in the top ingredients? This product consists of water, mostly resulting in no nutritional values for cats.

Common questions about cat foods

What is the healthiest food option for cats?

Organic cat food is the go-to healthiest food that cat parents can give their feline friends, but most people don’t have time to cook food for themselves and what more for their pets? There are great alternatives out there, but always take note if the cat foods have: The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) seal, high protein content, and organic ingredients.

Can cats eat and live on dry foods only?

According to Dr. Kallfelz, “Dry food is fine as long as it’s complete and balanced.” For most pet owners they are on a tight budget, and dry food is cheaper than wet food and other types of cat food, and not only that, dry cat food also stays fresher longer. If owners want to feed their cats solely dry food, they should provide their cats with tons of fresh water, which may help their friends avoid Urinary tract infections or blockages.

How many times in a day should a cat eat?

How many times should a pet owner feed their cats? It varies, if the owner just adopted a tiny kitten, they should be fed up to three times a day, however, for adult cats, that’s about one year of age they should be fed once or twice a day. But feeding once a day should be enough for most cats.


A cat’s diet is essential for their overall health, therefore owners should take into consideration the foods they feed their cats, from human food to processed cat foods, they should make sure it’ll benefit their cat’s health for their cats to live a long prosperous life with them.

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