Best Corn-Free Cat Food

It’s in your fuel, toothpaste, envelopes, breakfast cereal, cough drops, and your box of matches. It’s also probably in your cat’s food. Corn is one of the leading carbohydrate and protein sources in cat food, particularly budget-level dry kibble.

Because cats are supposed to have a primarily carnivorous diet, it is best to try to avoid plants and grains in your pet’s food.

It can be difficult to find foods that don’t have corn in them because sometimes they are “hidden” in the ingredient list, instead of just being listed directly as “corn.”

The following list will introduce you to six top-notch foods that don’t contain any corn—none of them are made with corn gluten meal, ground yellow corn, corn meal, corn starch, or maize.

Finding the Best Corn-Free Cat Food

Corn and its derivatives appear in several forms in cat food. You’ll find corn gluten meal as a source of protein, corn meal as a high-carbohydrate additive, and cornstarch as a thickener. Some cat foods mention the color of the corn as in “ground yellow corn”, a designation that doesn’t tell you much about the nutrient value of the ingredient.

Sometimes various forms of corn appear on the ingredient list, interspersed with other ingredients. While this can create the illusion that corn is a small part of the total product, a food made with ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, and corn meal as the second, fourth, and fifth ingredients is likely a corn-based product, regardless of whether or not meat is the first ingredient.

Is all grain-free cat food also corn-free?

Grain-free cat food is free from any type of grain. This means that it doesn’t contain corn or any corn derivatives, along with wheat, soy, rice, oats, barley, and other grains.

One shortcut is looking for grain-free cat food, but remember that the grain-free label doesn’t tell you everything you need to know.

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No grain-free cat food contains corn, but some grain-inclusive foods are corn-free. Additionally, not all grain-free foods are advertised as such. Some disregard the grain-free label as a gimmick, while other companies don’t feel it’s a valuable part of their marketing strategy.

Is all corn-free food expensive?

Corn is an ultra-economical ingredient and those savings are passed on to you, so corn-inclusive foods tend to be some of the cheapest on the market.

At first glance, it might appear that grain-free and corn-free foods are exclusively available for those with a large cat food budget. But it’s not all that bleak for those who aren’t willing to spend top dollar for corn-free foods.

The cheapest canned foods are typically corn-free with low carbohydrate content. Fancy Feast Canned Paté, Friskies Classic Paté, 9Lives, Meow Mix, and Tiny Tiger canned foods, for example, are all free of corn. Before you grab any cheap canned cat food at the grocery store, remember to read the ingredient list. Some canned foods, particularly stew-style recipes, contain corn starch as a thickener.

On the budget level, corn-free dry food is more elusive. There’s no grain-free 9Lives or Meow Mix kibble, but you can find affordable corn-free dry cat foods from brands including Kirkland Signature, Taste of the Wild, and Blue Buffalo.

Best Corn Free Cat Food – Top 6 Best Products

All six of the following foods are completely free of any corn ingredients. They also satisfy basic nutrition requirements. They’re made primarily from meat ingredients, have relatively low carbohydrate content, and are produced by companies with a reputation for high quality and safety standards.

Top 3 Best Dry Cat Foods Without Corn

Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas

Instinct by Nature's Variety Original Grain-Free with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food

This grain-free dry cat food is made without any corn, wheat, or soy. Nature’s Variety Instinct doesn’t include corn in any of their foods, so you can rotate between this recipe and others from the same brand.

Note that the food is made “with” chicken and is not designated specifically as a “chicken cat food”, so chicken isn’t necessarily the predominant ingredient in this cat food. In addition to chicken and chicken meal, the food contains turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and white fish meal as sources of animal protein.

As are all Nature’s Variety Instinct dry foods, this kibble is infused with the “pure, real nutrition of raw”. The kibble is tumbled in crushed, freeze-dried chicken liver and heart, giving it enhanced flavor and nutritional value. – Buy It


  • Limited-ingredient diet made for cats with allergies and food sensitivities
  • Made primarily from nourishing rabbit meat
  • Single-species protein source
  • Lower carbohydrate content than most dry foods
  • Primarily made with animal proteins
  • No corn or other grains


  • Contains plant ingredients not necessary for carnivorous cats

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Like all Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein™ foods, this product is corn-free with no grains.

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Dr. Elsey’s foods offer some of the lowest plant content and carbohydrate content of any dry food on the market. Instead of containing starchy ingredients like corn meal, the food is almost completely made from meat with gelatin as a binding agent.

It doesn’t contain high-protein plant ingredients such as corn gluten meal or pea protein. Instead, 95% of the food’s protein content is from species-appropriate animal sources.

Such a high concentration of animal ingredients translates to a more expensive product, and this Dr. Elsey’s kibble is more pricey than the average dry food. Compared to other foods, it’s  calorie-dense, so your cat won’t have to eat as much of it. – Buy It


  • Corn-free
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Virtually free of plant ingredients
  • Made primarily with species-appropriate animal protein


  • Expensive

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Venison Cat Food Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Venison Tripe, Venison Heart, Venison Lung, Venison Liver

This isn’t your typical dry food on multiple levels. Most relevantly, it doesn’t contain any corn or corn gluten meal. In fact, it doesn’t contain any starchy ingredients or plant protein sources. It’s an air-dried food made primarily from venison muscle meat, organs, and bone.

In addition to New Zealand venison, the food contains locally-sourced green-lipped mussel as a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin. These nourishing animal ingredients constitute 96% of the total recipe.

Because it’s virtually free of plant ingredients, it’s an extraordinarily low-carbohydrate dry food that matches your cat’s natural dietary requirements. Unlike most dry foods, it’s species-appropriate and a sound choice for most cats, including those on strict low-carbohydrate diets. – Buy It


  • Features venison, a novel protein
  • Limited ingredient food ideal for cats with allergies
  • Exceptionally low in carbohydrates
  • Free of corn


  • Expensive
  • Not all cats will like the air-dried texture

Top 4 Best Wet Cat Foods Without Corn

JustCats Fish & Chicken

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

JustCats Fish & Chicken recipe is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that’s perfect for adult cats of all breeds. This nutritionally balanced cat food contains yuca root to absorb and retain moisture, to help ensure your cat is always fully hydrated. Yuca root is also highly digestible. This recipe is grain free and gluten free. It is made with human-grade ingredients and the main source of protein is Alaskan Pacific wild-caught cod. Cod is low-calorie and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B12 & B6, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Cat food that contains easily digestible EFAs, like those in fish, helps contribute to a healthy, shiny coat. If you choose this food for your cat, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. Buy It


  • Gluten free
  • Grain-free
  • No growth hormones
  • Ideal for adult cats
  • Hydrating


  • More expensive than other cat foods
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Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Real Lamb Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Broth, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Ground Flaxseed

Instinct by Nature's Variety Original Grain-Free Real Lamb Recipe Natural Wet Canned Cat Food

Like all Nature’s Variety Instinct foods, this canned formula is free of corn and other grains. It’s primarily made from animal ingredients, with lamb and turkey liver constituting 95% of the total recipe. A small amount of eggs is also used as a source of protein and nutrients.

The recipe contains small amounts of plant ingredients including ground flaxseed and traces of artichokes, cranberries, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, and more. Nevertheless, it’s a low-carbohydrate food and a relatively species-appropriate choice. – Buy It


  • Made primarily from lamb and turkey
  • Rich in animal protein
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Corn-free without any other grains
  • No carrageenan


  • Contains egg, a common allergen

NomNomNow Chicken Chow Meow Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Breast, Thigh, and Liver, Asparagus, Carrot, Spinach, Cantaloupe

NomNomNow Chicken Chow Meow

NomNomNow is a cat food meal delivery service and maker of homemade-style, human-grade food for pets. Their foods are made in small batches and portioned out according to your cat’s calorie needs, then shipped to your door. This combination of high-quality ingredients and industry-leading convenience makes NomNomNow an excellent choice for those who wish they could make their own cat food but don’t have the time to do so.

All NomNomNow foods are made without any corn or any other type of grains. Though their recipes aren’t plant-free and contain fruits and vegetables, they are relatively low in carbohydrate content.

NomNomNow is currently only available in the United States. – Buy It


  • Made without any corn or other grains
  • Made from highly-digestible protein
  • Conveniently shipped to your door
  • Human-grade food
  • No carrageenan or other gums


  • Expensive

Ziwi Peak Chicken Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Chickpeas

Like all Ziwi Peak foods, this canned food is free of corn, wheat, soy, and other grains. Ninety-two percent of the recipe is dedicated to chicken, chicken organs, and New Zealand green-lipped mussels.

Unlike most byproduct-free canned foods, the product contains a variety of nourishing chicken parts, including muscle meat, liver, heart, and bones. This means that it provides a range of animal-sourced nutrients.

Thanks in part to the inclusion of chickpeas, the food is approximately 13% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis. – Buy It


  • Primarily made from animal protein sources
  • No corn ingredients
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Carrageenan-free


  • Contains chickpeas
  • Expensive

Corn Free Cat Food Brands

Here’s a short list of leading cat food brands that don’t include corn in any of their recipes. Note that companies may change their recipes at any time, so please refer to their sites for the latest information.

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