Top Recommended Brands for Pouch Cat Food

Whether your cat is a picky eater or you just want to feed him something a little closer to his natural diet, pouch cat food might be a good option to consider. Pouch cat food comes in many different forms with differing degrees of moisture content – each brand puts its own unique spin on it. In order to determine whether pouch cat food might be good for your cat, take the time to learn what it is, how to use it properly, and how to choose a high-quality product.

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What Makes Pouch Cat Food Different?

When it comes to commercial cat food products there are two main types – wet food and dry food.

Dry food is also known as kibble and it consists of an amalgamation of raw ingredients that have been blended into a cohesive product, cooked, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Wet food comes in a number of different forms including pates, shredded or chopped meats in gravy, ingredients in sauce or broth, and a variety of other options. Another option for wet food that doesn’t come in cans is pouch cat food.

In many ways, pouch cat food is similar to traditional wet food because it has a higher moisture content than dry food, anywhere from 50% to 85%. Pouch cat food is highly convenient for cat owners because you can simply tear open the pouch and pour it into your cat’s food bowl. Some pouch cat foods are complete and balanced, designed to be fed as a staple diet for your cat in replacement of dry food or traditional canned food. Many pouch cat foods, however, are not complete and balanced – they are designed to be used as mix-ins, toppers, or occasional treats for cats.

Quick Look : Top 4 Best Pouch Cat Foods

FoodPriceNutritionRating
Weruva Best Feline Friend Grain-Free PouchesWeruva Best Feline Friend Grain-Free Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.13/3 oz pouchA+5 stars
Natural Balance Platefulls PouchesNatural Balance Platefulls Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$.74/3 oz pouchA5 star
Wellness Healthy Indulgence PouchesWellness Healthy Indulgence Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.17/3 oz pouchA5 star
AvoDerm Grain-Free PouchesAvoDerm Grain-Free Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.29/3 oz pouchA-4.5 stars

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Tips for Feeding Your Cat Pouch Food

There are many benefits for pouch cat food over traditional dry food and even canned cat food. For one thing, many pouch cat foods come in single-serve pouches so you don’t have to worry about storing leftovers in the fridge and you don’t have to worry about measuring out the right portion size. Another benefit of pouch cat food is related to the moisture content. If you examine the natural diet of wild cats you will find that it consists primarily of whole prey – whole prey is made up of fresh meat, organs, raw bones, and connective tissues, most of which has a high water content. The high moisture content of pouch cat food, then, mimics the natural diet of wild cats in this way.

Not only is the moisture content of pouch cat food similar to the natural diet of wild cats, but the texture of the food is very similar as well. Dry kibble is cooked at high temperatures and forced through a machine called an extruder which kneads the dough and cuts it into the smaller pieces – the end product looks nothing like the original raw ingredients. Many wet cat foods, including pouch cat food, retain at least some of the shape and texture of the raw ingredients. For the most part, pouch cat food is also higher in protein than most dry foods and it also tends to be much lower in carbohydrates. Not only are both of these things important for cats in general, but they are particularly beneficial for cats that are overweight – they need a high-protein, low-carb and moderate-calorie diet to lose weight.

When it comes to feeding your cat pouch food, you may need to take a few days to transition him onto it if he is currently following a dry food diet. The best thing to do is to start by adding a tablespoon or so of the pouch cat food on top of his dry food when you feed him. After a day or two, increase the amount of pouch food while decreasing the dry food and mix the two together. If your cat doesn’t show any signs of digestive issues after a day or two, increase the amount of pouch food while also decreasing the amount of dry food again. Finally, cut out the dry food all together and start feeding your cat the pouch cat food alone. Some cats will take longer to make the transition than others, so just keep an eye on your cat and make not of any negative reactions.

How to Choose a High-Quality Pouch Cat Food

The process for choosing a high-quality pouch cat food is not significantly different from the process for choosing a quality product of any other type of cat food. Your three main concerns will be the AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy, the guaranteed analysis and, of course, the ingredients list. The American Association of Feed Control Officials is responsible to some degree for regulating how pet food and animal feed is manufactured and sold. They have developed specific nutritional profiles for dogs and cats in different life stages and all commercial pet food products must be tested or evaluated by AAFCO before being put on pet store shelves. If the product meets the basic nutritional needs of cats, it will carry an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy on the label that looks something like this:

“[Product Name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles”.

As long as the pouch cat food shows this on the label you can feel good about feeding it to your cat as a staple diet. If the product doesn’t carry this statement you can still feed it to your cat but be aware that it won’t meet all of his nutritional needs – it should only be used as a food topper, mix-in, or an occasional treat. You should also be aware that just because a product carries this statement of nutritional adequacy, it doesn’t necessarily indicate quality. A pet food product can be formulated to meet the minimal nutritional requirements of pets even if it is made with low-quality ingredients. This statement only indicates that the product meets the most basic nutritional needs of cats.

To help you further determine whether a pouch cat food is a high-quality product or not, take a look at the guaranteed analysis on the label. This will show the percentage of crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, and moisture in the product as well as the content for other key nutrients. Compare these values to different pouch cat foods to find one that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in fiber. A low fiber percentage generally indicates low carbohydrate content, though you still need to consider the sources for those carbohydrates as well as the sources for protein and fat. Keep in mind that wet foods and dry foods are measured differently when it comes to the guaranteed analysis because the moisture content is so drastically different – you cannot directly compare dry cat food to pouch cat food without converting the wet cat food to dry matter basis.

Finally, after taking a look at the AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy and the guaranteed analysis for the pouch cat food you need to examine the ingredients list. These lists are organized in descending order by volume – the ingredients that appear at the top of the list are present in the highest quantity. Bear in mind, however, that fresh meats like chicken, beef, and fish contain up to 80% moisture and after cooking the moisture content might be a little lower, reducing the total volume of protein. Wet foods are not cooked to the same degree as dry foods, however, so you don’t have to worry as much about the water content of the ingredients. You do, however, have to pay attention to the order of the ingredients as well as the quality.

At the beginning of the ingredients list you want to see at least one high-quality animal protein such as meat, poultry, or fish. Animal proteins are complete proteins which means that they contain all eleven essential amino acids that your cat is not able to synthesize on his own. Animal proteins are much more biologically valuable than plant proteins for this reason and because your cat’s body is physiologically adapted to digesting animal products more efficiently than plant products. Some pouch cat foods will list water or broth as the first ingredient – that is completely fine as long as protein comes next. You want to avoid any pouch cat foods that list a carbohydrate as the first ingredient (or the second if water or broth comes first).

In addition to quality proteins, you also want to see healthy fats and a low amount of digestible carbohydrates on the ingredients list. Like proteins, animal-based fats are more biologically valuable to your cat – some good options include salmon oil, chicken fat, or other fish oils. Plant-based fats like sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, or flaxseed are not bad for your cat but they are best as supplementary fats second to animal fats. For carbohydrates, a little bit is okay because they can provide your cat with dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients but too much carbohydrate can be hard for cats to digest. Focus on whole grains like brown rice or oats as well as gluten- and grain-free options like tapioca starch, green peas, and sweet potato.

On top of protein, fats, and carbohydrate you should look for other quality ingredients like dried fermentation products (natural probiotics) and chelated minerals (they are chemically bound to protein molecules, making them easy for your cat’s body to digest and absorb. You should also pay attention to what is missing from the ingredients list. Do not buy a food that features corn, wheat, or soy ingredients because these are fairly low in nutritional value for your cat. Avoid products made with artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors because your cat simply does not need them. As long as you follow these basic guidelines, you should have no trouble picking out a healthy, high-quality pouch cat food for your feline friend.

Best Cat Food Pouches 2020

If you need help getting started with your search for quality pouch cat food, consider some of the top-rated brands reviewed below. Each of these brands offers pouch cat foods that are rated complete and balanced by AAFCO for cats in all life stages.

FoodPriceNutritionRating
Weruva Best Feline Friend Grain-Free PouchesWeruva Best Feline Friend Grain-Free Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.13/3 oz pouchA+5 stars
Natural Balance Platefulls PouchesNatural Balance Platefulls Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$.74/3 oz pouchA5 star
Wellness Healthy Indulgence PouchesWellness Healthy Indulgence Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.17/3 oz pouchA5 star
AvoDerm Grain-Free PouchesAvoDerm Grain-Free Pouches
Read Reviews Next ArticleWhere To Buy Next Article
$1.29/3 oz pouchA-4.5 stars
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Weruva Best Feline Friend Grain-Free Pouches

5-star

Starting at $11.40/case of 12

The Weruva pet food company is known for producing high-quality pet foods and treats for both cats and dogs. This company uses all-natural ingredients and produces their recipes in human food facilities to ensure quality and safety. Each of their recipes features premium base proteins like chicken, beef, and fish as well as fresh vegetables and fruits for balanced nutrition. Though Weruva offers an assortment of both dry and wet food products for dogs, they only offer canned food and pouch food for cats. This may be because the company recognizes the fact that cats are carnivores and they need to follow a high-protein diet that many commercial dry foods simply cannot achieve.

In terms of their cat food offerings, Weruva has five different product lines including two dedicated product lines of canned foods, one dedicated line of pouch cat food, and two lines that include both cans and pouches. The Weruva line of products includes their original formula canned foods and the TruLuxe line is inspired by Weruva’s original recipes with some healthy updates. For pouch cat food, Weruva offers the Pumpkin Patch Up line, the Cats in the Kitchen Line, and the Best Feline Friend line. The Best Feline Friend line of pouch cat food is all-natural, featuring red meat tuna as the primary ingredient. These recipes are rich in protein, low in fat, and highly palatable for cats. For flavors, there are six different options, all of which are made with fresh meats in savory gravy with gluten-free carbohydrates and plenty of beneficial supplements.

Natural Balance Platefulls Pouches

4half-star

Starting at $17.76/case of 24

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The Natural Balance Pet Foods Company was founded in 1989 and it is a company known for its quality as well as the safety of its products. Natural Balance offers a wide assortment of recipes for cats and dogs including both dry food, canned food, and pouch food options. All of Natural Balance’s products are made with premium-quality ingredients in formulas that are specially designed to meet the nutritional needs of cats in all life stages. Their recipes are made without low-quality fillers and artificial additives, plus they come in a variety of recipes for cats with special dietary needs. Natural Balance offers grain-free formulas, low-calorie formulas, high-protein recipes, and many more, including a selection of moist pouch cat foods.

When it comes to pouch cat food, Natural Balance offers fourteen different recipes all within the Platefulls line of products. This line includes six recipes that are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats and every recipe is free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as artificial flavors and colors. Some of the recipes included in this line are Tuna & Beef in Gravy, Indoor Mackerel & Sardine in Gravy, and Chicken & Legume in Gravy. Natural Balance ensures that these grain-free pouch foods are complete and balanced, plus they are full of natural flavor that your cat is sure to love. They are also rich in omega fatty acids to support your cat’s healthy skin and coat.

ALSO READ:  Merrick Cat Food Review

When it comes to pouch cat food, Simply Nourish offers the Accents line of products. This product line includes a number of different products including purees, broths, sauces, and cuts of meat in broth for a total of twenty-one different options. The Accents Simple Cuts line of products includes pieces of real meat like salmon, chicken, and tuna in a delicate broth full of natural flavor. For purees, there are two flavors – Chicken & Rice and Beef and Lobster. With Simply Nourish Accents broths and sauces you can add flavor and moisture to your cat’s food – these products feature flavors like chicken Alfredo, chicken and beef Bolognese, and anchovy & tuna. These products are intended for supplemental feeding only, so be sure to feed your cat a complete and balanced diet, using these products only as food toppers or occasional treats.

Wellness Healthy Indulgence Pouches

4-star

Starting at $23.76/case of 24

The Wellness pet food company is known for following a holistic approach to pet nutrition – all of their recipes are made with premium-quality ingredients in carefully balanced formulas to nourish your cat’s whole body health. Wellness offers two main product lines for dry and wet food products. The Complete Health line of products is designed to meet the nutritional needs of cats in all life stages while the CORE line of products is completely grain-free. Wellness also offers a wide selection of wet food products and snacks or treats for cats, all made with the same quality ingredients as their staple diets and manufactured according to the strictest standards for quality. In terms of pouch cat food, Wellness offers two different product lines.

The TruFood line of cat food products is marketed as “living nutrition” for cats because it is made with fresh, all-natural ingredients. There are four TruFood Complements which are designed to be used as a mixer, topper, or snack for your cat. These four recipes feature quality proteins like shredded chicken breast, flaked tuna, and flaked salmon. Wellness also offers the Healthy Indulgence line of pouch cat food which includes Morsels, Gravies, and Shreds. These products feature quality proteins in flavorful gravies and sauces and they are actually complete and balanced for cats which means that you can use them as a staple diet. The Healthy Indulgence line of pouch cat foods includes fresh antioxidant-rich berries, grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and tapioca, and chelated minerals to ensure maximum nutrient absorption.

AvoDerm Grain-Free Pouches

5-star

Starting at $21.99/case of 24

The AvoDerm brand of pet food products is produced by Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods and it is widely known as a high-quality, all-natural pet food brand. What makes AvoDerm unique is the fact that they include fresh California avocado in all of their recipes. Avocados are rich in vitamins A, C, and E as well as dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and niacin – they are also an excellent source of essential fatty acids which help to support your cat’s healthy skin and coat. AvoDerm has been producing high-quality, natural pet foods for more than 30 years and they offer an assortment of both dry and wet food products for both dogs and cats. In terms of wet food, AvoDerm offers both cans and pouch cat food, all of which are considered complete and balanced by AAFCO.

When it comes to AvoDerm pouch cat food, there are four different options: Grain-Free Chicken & Duck in Gravy, Grain-Free Ocean Fish in Gravy, Grain-Free Salmon in Gravy, and Grain-Free Tuna in Gravy. As you can see, all of AvoDerm’s pouch cat foods are grain-free and they are also gluten-free. Instead of using corn, wheat, or soy ingredients, AvoDerm uses healthy, digestible carbohydrates like tapioca starch and peas. For omega fatty acids, AvoDerm includes avocado oil as well as sunflower oil and fatty fish like salmon. All of AvoDerm’s pouch cat foods are supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. They are made with all of the healthy ingredients your cat needs with nothing he doesn’t.

If you want to feed your cat a product that is higher in protein and moisture than the traditional kibble, pouch cat food might be a good option. You need to be careful when shopping for pouch cat food because not every product is complete and balanced – many pouch cat foods are designed to be used as treats or food toppers. To find a high-quality pouch cat food that is designed to be used as a staple diet, consider one of the top-rated brands reviewed above.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a freelance writer and a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine, Dog News. She is the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com award-winner for 2013. Additionally, Carlotta is the author of Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Health and Happy, as well as other books about pets. She is a guest writer for numerous website and blogs and a frequent pet food reviewer.

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  • I like to buy those wellness pouches for trooper on my cat food but they contain xanthan gum which is known to irate their GI track!! I also see carrageenan as well in some of the !
    Such a shame they charge arms and legs for these foods and still put those unnecessary things in them!!
    My cat has pancreatitis and have to be very careful!!

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