8 Best Low Carb Cat Food In 2022

LOW CARB CAT FOOD

This is our review of the best low carb cat food in 2021

Cats are carnivores with digestive systems optimized to thrive on high-protein animal products.

Although carbohydrates can provide your active cat with usable energy, fats are usually the primary energy source in feline diets.

Carbohydrates usually are added to dry food to be able to hold the kibble together.

Formulas high in carbohydrates might contribute to weight gain and high blood sugar levels.

As a feline Nutritionist and pet owner, I have bought various types of foods for my cats. My main concern always was how to provide the best nutrition for my pets. 

I believe that our pets deserve the best possible food that we can provide.

In this article, I aim to show:

  • top formulas for low carb cat food,
  • what ingredients are in branded pet food,
  • how this affects your loved cat,

So you can make an informed choice if particular cat food is best for your pet.

With so many options available on cat food shelves, it is easy to be overwhelmed which is the best cat food overall.

I recommend Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food as the best overall low carb cat food.

But every cat is different. So I researched the best low carb formulas in every category to help you make the best decision for your cat.

Keep reading for more details.

Our Best Low Carb Cat Food

  1. Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Best Overall Low Carb Cat Food)
  2. Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe Kitten Dry Food (Best Low Carb Cat Food for Kittens)
  3. Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best Low Carb Cat Food For Seniors)
  4. Annamaet Grain-Free Chicken & Fish Formula Dry Cat Food (Best Budget Low Carb Cat Food)
  5. Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food (Best Premium Low Carb Cat Food)
  6. Tiki Cat Hawaiian Grill Ahi Tuna Grain-Free Canned Cat Food (Best Low Carb Wet Cat Food)
  7. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pate Canned Cat Food (Best Low Carb Cat Food for Weight Control)
  8. Purina Beyond Grain-Free Trout & Catfish Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food (Best Low Carb Cat Food for Sensitive Digestion Cats)

8 Low Carb Cat Food Reviewed

All formulas meet AAFCO Guidelines for pet food.

 Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet.

Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Dicalcium Phosphate
  • Key Feature: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Low Glycemic, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, GMO-Free, Natural
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 16%, Crude Fat: 2.6%, Crude Fiber: 0%, Moisture: 80%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 0%
  • Caloric Content: 63 kcal/2.8-oz can, 134 kcal/6-oz can, 225 kcal/10-oz can
  • Type of Product: Wet Food/ Shredded
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Overall

The 16% protein from Chicken helps maintain healthy lean muscle mass for an active lifestyle.

Hormone and antibiotic-free shredded chicken is the first ingredient for animal-sourced protein to meet the nutritional needs of carnivores.

Chicken is high in protein to support healthy muscles, plus sunflower oil rich in omegas that nourish the skin and coat.

It also provides a balanced and complete diet for cats of all ages with essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and taurine.

This product is made with real chicken broth, so it provides essential moisture to keep your cat hydrated and support overall health.

The consomme-based formula is great for picky eaters and contains no grains, gluten, carbohydrates, starches, or flour.

High levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids also help support immune function. 

Most cat owners notice improvements in overall health after switching to this cat food. 

Some concern is raised due to high ash content (1.6% max). 

But what is Ash in cat food?

This refers to the minerals in cat food that are not burned off after being eaten. Crude ash content listed on the packaging of any cat food refers to the total number of minerals.

All cats need minerals in their diet. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful. The mineral in question is Magnesium, which has been shown to cause urinary problems in male cats in some studies. The magnesium level in this recipe per fed basis is 0.03%, which is below the advised 0.1% in cat foods.

Magnesium in high doses can be harmful to a cat. If you notice your cat straining to urinate, take them to a veterinarian right away.

Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe Kitten Dry Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Boneless Chicken, Dehydrated Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat, Dried Whole Eggs
  • Key Feature: Natural, GMO-Free, Low Glycemic, Grain-Free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 44%, Crude Fat: 20%, Crude Fiber: 1.8%, Moisture: 8%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 19.23%
  • Caloric Content: 412 Kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Kittens/ Growth
  • Best For: Kittens

This kitten food offers the concentrated nutrition that growing kittens need in a grain-free formula. Boneless Chicken is the first ingredient, providing a high-quality protein source rich in vitamins and minerals.

98% of protein is derived from animal sources.

The 19.23% estimated carbohydrate content boosts energy for playful kittens without contributing to excessive weight gain. There are no refined carbohydrates used in this grain-free recipe. 

This product does not contain peas, whole legumes, meals, or by-products.

Whole fruits and vegetables act as sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Growing cats need adequate nutrients to support healthy development.

Reviews share that pet parents had no trouble transferring to the Farmina brand from previous food. But some picky kittens may not like the taste.


Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Pollock, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Yellow Peas, Green Lentils
  • Key Feature: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Low Glycemic, No Corn No Wheat No Soy
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 38%, Crude Fat: 14%, Crude Fiber: 6%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 25.42%
  • Caloric Content: 431 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Dry Food
  • Life Stage: Seniors
  • Best For: Seniors

In their senior years, cats need a high-quality, palatable diet with easy to digest protein and a careful balance of nutrients.

Nulo provides Carnivore-friendly senior formula, which gets 78% of its protein from poultry and fish animal sources.

Grain-free and made without carb-heavy white potatoes or tapioca to help maintain a healthy weight.

It is made with a patented probiotic to support healthy digestion and a robust immune system.

Complete and balanced nutrition fortified with antioxidants and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids from Salmon Oil.


Annamaet Grain-Free Chicken & Fish Formula Dry Cat Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Field Peas, Dried Eggs
  • Key Feature: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Non-GMO, Human-Grade, Low Glycemic, Indoor, Weight Control, GMO-Free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 44%, Crude Fat: 20%, Crude Fiber: 3%, Moisture: 10%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 15.5%
  • Caloric Content: 390 kcal/cup
  • Type of Product: Grain-Free, No Corn, No Wheat, No Soy, Gluten-Free, High Protein
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Budget Low Carb Cat Food

The first ingredient is chicken meal, which is not a quality protein; however, it has health benefits.

It is a dry product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with and without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of Chicken, including feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.

It’s high in protein and amino acids to help strengthen and maintain your pet’s muscles. It’s also a high-quality source of glucosamine for joint health.

Whitefish meal has benefits of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.

Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): 

Fat is an important energy source for your cat. This ingredient helps transport nutrients and other substances across the body. Keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy.

Mixed-tocopherols are a natural form of Vitamin E.

Essential vitamin for cats:

  • Helps maintain optimal health,
  • Antioxidant to protect cells from damage (helps add oxygen to the cell body),
  • Improves immune system and fertility.

Field Peas:

Peas are full of vitamins, including Vitamin A, B1, B6, C, and K. Vitamin A promotes healthy eyes, muscles, nerves, and skin, while vitamin C can boost your pet’s immune system.

Dried Eggs:

They offer protein, immune-boosting properties, antibacterial qualities are highly digestible, and they provide a great source of antioxidants and nutrients.

Further Benefits:

  • This cat food supports urinary tract health with natural antioxidants from blueberries and cranberries,
  • Marine microalgae which provide a source of omega-3 fatty acids,
  • Prebiotics and probiotics are added to help promote beneficial gastrointestinal flora,
  • Contains taurine, an essential nutrient for cats that is important for healthy vision, GI function, heart health, and immune system function.


Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food

Low Carb Cat Food- Nulo
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Tuna
  • Key Feature: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Gluten Free, High-Protein, Low Glycemic, Pea-Free, Non-GMO
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 11%, Crude Fat: 6.5%, Crude Fiber: 0.75%, Moisture: 78%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 0.36%
  • Caloric Content: 193 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: Wet food/ Pate
  • Life Stage: Kitten/ Adult
  • Best For: Premium Low Carb Cat Food

This premium low carbohydrate cat food features an impressive 11% of protein.

As the first three ingredients have high-quality protein, it offers a low-carb option on this formula.

In addition, the liver is not just an excellent source of protein; it is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It offers significantly more nutrient-dense than muscle meat alone.

Turkey broth provides essential moisture in your cat’s dish for urinary tract health.

Tuna in small portions is good for Omega 3 fatty acids to maintain a healthy coat.

Additional benefits include.

  • Packed with whole-body health nutrients like vitamins, minerals, omegas, and essential taurine for overall well-being,
  • Complete and balanced diet for adult cats and kittens, with zero grains, carrageenan, meat by-products, corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavoring.

Cat owners who have purchased this food have noticed the difference in cats’ fur and coat. The pate is not as moist as some similar brands, but the cats did not mind. Some picky eaters might not like the flavor.


Tiki Cat Hawaiian Grill Ahi Tuna Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Tuna, Tuna Broth, Sunflower Seed Oil, Calcium Lactate, Tricalcium Phosphate
  • Key Feature: No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, Low Glycemic, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Pea-Free, GMO-Free, Natural
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein:16%, Crude Fat: 2%, Crude Fiber: 0%, Moisture: 78%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: less than 1%
  • Caloric Content: 74 kcal/2.8 oz can, 151 kcal/6 oz can
  • Type of Product: Wet Food/ Shredded
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Wet Cat Food

This canned cat food features high fish concentrations while excluding any grain or other simple carbohydrate-rich ingredients. 

The estimated carbohydrate content is less than 1%, making this food ideal for cats who need a limited carbohydrate diet.

Wet food generally has more moisture content, as cats are shy water drinkers. Consuming wet food will improve water intake for your cat in every meal.

Additional benefits:

  • Wild-caught shredded Ahi tuna is the first ingredient for animal-sourced protein to meet the needs of carnivores,
  • High protein to support healthy muscles plus sunflower oil rich in omegas that nourish the skin and coat,
  • Provides a balanced and complete diet for cats of all ages with essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and taurine,
  • Succulent shredded meat formula is great for picky eaters and contains no grains, gluten, carbohydrates, starches, or flours; made with a dolphin-safe catch.

Cat owners have noticed that his formula has excellent ingredients and no added fillers. Great for cats that love fish. Some cats do not like the shredded texture in this formula.


Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain-Free Chicken Pate Canned Cat Food

  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product
  • Key Feature: Grain-Free, Gluten-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein, Pea-Free
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 10%, Crude Fat: 5%, Crude Fiber: 1%, Moisture: 78%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 0.6%
  • Caloric Content: 94 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: Wet Food/ Pate
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Cat Food For Weight Control

Chicken:

An excellent quality real meat as the first ingredient provides lean protein for your cat’s balanced nutrition. Lean meats provide all necessary for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system.

Chicken broth:

Cats are known to be shy water drinkers, so if your cat’s food contains chicken broth, they will get hydrated better while eating.

The broth has excellent benefits for your cat’s body:

  • Detoxifies liver– amino acid- glycerine. Helps a cat’s liver to clear toxins from its body.
  • Helps digestive system– gelatine and collagen found in the broth will help strengthen intestine lining. Repairs leaky gut and aid digestion in a natural way.
  • Strong immune system– contains bone marrow to help fight disease better.
  • Joint health– contains glucosamine and magnesium for joint health. It might help Senior cats with arthritic symptoms.

Note:

The commercial Chicken broth might not be suitable for cats as it might contain garlic and onion, which are not suitable for cat foods.

Additional Benefits:

  • Grain-free recipe,
  • Formulated to provide a complete and balanced diet for cats and kittens, with a targeted blend of vitamins, minerals, and taurine,
  • Packed with antioxidants for immune health and omega-3 fatty acids to support healthy skin and coat,
  • Delectable pate texture is great for picky eaters and provides essential moisture to keep your cat hydrated and healthy.

Weight gain usually occurs when a cat overeats or doesn’t exercise enough, or both. Obesity leads to the accumulation of fat in the abdomen and may result in abdominal enlargement.

Note:

The cat food packaging guidelines are usually very generous, so start with half the amount and see if your cat is still hungry.


Purina Beyond Grain-Free Trout & Catfish Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food 

  • First 5 Ingredients: Trout, Fish Broth, Chicken, Liver, Catfish
  • Key Feature: Sensitive Digestion
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 10%, Crude Fat: 5%, Crude Fiber: 1.5%, Moisture: 78%
  • Estimated Carbohydrate: 2.2%
  • Caloric Content: 99 kcal/can
  • Type of Product: Wet food/ Pate
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Best For: Low Carb Cat Food for Sensitive Digestion

This formula has Trout as its first ingredient; this is an excellent source of protein for your cat. In addition, there is Chicken as an animal-based protein. 

The fish broth will provide water content for cats, which are known to be shy drinkers.

The high-protein wet cat food pate is made with no poultry by-product meal and no corn, wheat, or soy.

No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives go into this natural wet cat food which is made with added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to help support your cat’s overall health.

Few tips if your cat has sensitive digestion:

  • Sudden food change

Make sure to change your kitten’s food slowly and by mixing old and new food brands first.

  • Stress

Cats are prone to get stressed out for various reasons like loud noises, change of environment, diet change. 

Help your cat adjust by providing a quiet place to hide away and not be disturbed until they are ready to come out.

  • Allergies or food intolerances 

Can develop over time from giving them the same foods and ingredients.

  • Food too rich for cats who are prone to vomiting after eating

Protein and fats are essential ingredients for a cat’s overall health. However, a mix of meats in one meal can upset a cat’s stomach. Try a simpler or Limited Ingredient diet instead.

  • Large portion size

Some cats can finish up their meal fast and have an adverse reaction to a full stomach. Try to give cats smaller, more frequent meals and see if this helps for better digestion.


Low Carb Cat Food Buying Guide

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they eat meat, not plants. 

However, although carbohydrates are not an essential nutrient, it is a simple form of glucose. Most cells in the body typically use glucose as their primary energy source.

What are Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates are one of the three main macronutrients that your cat’s body uses to obtain energy.

Sugars, starches, and fiber from grains, fruits, and vegetables are all carbohydrates. These sugars are easily digested but may contribute to excessive weight gain in some cats.

Do Cats Need Carbohydrates?

Cats are carnivores who depend primarily on protein and fat from their diet. They do not need significant amounts of carbohydrates to stay healthy.

Cat foods with higher levels of carbohydrates could lead to feline obesity and diabetes mellitus.

Although fats and protein are easier to digest, carbohydrates appear in feline diets for extra energy.

Very active cats and outdoor cats might benefit from extra energy to support their active lifestyle. The amount given should be in balance on how active your cat is.

Benefits of Low Carb Diet

  • Lower chance of diabetes and reduced cat’s blood sugar levels,
  • Less risk of inflammatory bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, and a variety of other illnesses,
  • Cats can’t digest carbs as well as protein,
  • More carbohydrates in formula will mean less protein overall,
  • Potentially longer life.

What to Look for When Buying Low Carb Cat Food

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. 

And without carb content clearly named on the cat food label, it can be challenging to determine the best low carb diet for your cat.

Simple vs. Complex Carbs

There are few no-carb options for cats. Most formulas contain some sources of carbohydrates. The healthiest carbohydrates for cats are complex carbohydrates found in whole grains and grain alternatives.

Whole grains include the fibrous parts of the plant that are generally richer in vitamins and minerals. Simple carbohydrates from refined grains are high in sugar but low in fiber and nutrients. 

Grain-free formulas that use starchy vegetables as alternative sources of complex carbohydrates would be a better option for cats that need a low-carb diet. These ingredients take longer to break down and will not cause sharp blood sugar spikes.

Protein Source

Quality protein is a must in a cat’s diet. When looking at cat food labels, a real meat protein should be the first ingredient on the list.

An excellent quality real meat as the first ingredient provides lean protein for your cat’s balanced nutrition. Lean meats provide all necessary for a strong heart, good vision, and a healthy reproductive system.

Some research shows that cats do better on animals than fish protein as they would catch in the wild. Poultry and rabbit are the most popular options.

Healthy Fats

Fat is an important energy source for your cat. This ingredient helps transport nutrients and other substances across the body. Keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy.

Sometimes you will see that the fat is preserved with Mixed-tocopherols, which are a natural form of Vitamin E:

Essential vitamin for cats:

  • Helps maintain optimal health,
  • Antioxidant to protect cells from damage (helps add oxygen to the cell body),
  • Improves immune system and fertility,
  • Heart health.

Vitamins and Minerals

While the vitamin and mineral list on a bag of pet food can seem a bit daunting, they are vital components for the well-being of our pets. 

Vitamin and mineral supplementation is used in kibble and canned pet foods to balance the nutrient composition and ensure the healthiest pet foods possible. 

These supplements are used to provide essential nutrients in the correct ratios required by cats. While the goal is to use nutrient-rich ingredients to minimize the need for supplementation, nutrition, and food science tell us that optimal nutrition cannot always be achieved by natural food sources alone, making pet food supplementation necessary.

How to Calculate Carbs in Cat Food

The label of most cat foods does not contain the carbohydrate content of the formula. 

Add together the total moisture, protein, fiber, and fat content of the food before subtracting the result from 100. The remaining percentage represents the estimated entire carbohydrate content in the cat food.

In Conclusion

Feeding your cat the best low carb cat food can help manage the health conditions associated with feline obesity.

Carbohydrates can be an excellent source of energy. But excessive amounts of carbs can cause unwanted weight gain and contribute to the risks associated with high blood sugar.

I recommend Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme Grain-Free Canned Cat Food as the best low carb cat food overall. This high-protein, grain-free formula provides concentrated nutrition without 0% of carbohydrates.

Talk to your veterinarian today to determine if your cat may benefit from transitioning to a low-carb diet.

Keep reading for more

5 Best Food For Persian Cats

Purina Cat Chow Naturals Review. Find Out if This 1 Is The Best For Your Cat

5 Best Dog food for Yorkies

Which is the best dog food for Yorkies? I have tested top market products and found Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for Yorkie overall. As a canine Nutritionist and pet owner, I have tested various foods. My main

Read More »

5 Best Dog Food For Pomeranians To Be Happy

I tested top market products and found Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for Pomeranians overall. As a canine Nutritionist and pet owner, I have tested various foods. My main concern always was my dog’s health as they would

Read More »

5 Best Dog Food For Chihuahuas To Be Happy

What is the best dog food for Chihuahuas? I have tested top market products and found Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Small Breed Adult Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for Chihuahuas overall. The tiniest of canine community Chihuahuas are bellowed pets for many families in the

Read More »

5 Best Dog Food For Golden Doodles To Be Happy

What is the best dog food for Golden Doodles? I have tested top market products and found Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for Golden Doodles overall. As a canine Nutritionist and pet owner, I have tested various types of foods. My main concern

Read More »

5 Best Dog Food For Bulldogs To Be Happy

What´s the best dog food for bulldogs? I have tested top market products and found Purina Pro Plan Adult Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food to be the best dog food for Bulldogs overall. As a canine Nutritionist and pet owner, I have tested various types of foods. My main

Read More »

5 Best Dog Food For Golden Retrievers To Be Happy

Good quality food is one way to ensure your loved dog will have a long and healthy life. However, every dog is different and needs dog food that is nutritionally balanced and tastes good. I have tested top market products and found Purina ONE SmartBlend Chicken & Rice Adult Formula Dry Dog Food to be

Read More »

Save 35% on your next pet food offer

We have partnered with chewy.com to offer the best deal on quality pet food to our readers. If you click on the button below we will take you to their exclusive discount page

Sometimes my contents contains affiliate links, and if you find my writing helpful, clicking on it will help me make some money and get going

Table of Contents

MAIN MENU

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dace Lace

Dace Lace

I´m Dace Lace, a strong advocate for dogs and cats wellbeing. A happy pet makes a human happy! I´m an expert in cats behaviour and nutrition. Also, I have been all my life surrounded by cats and dogs, taking care of them

Save 35% on your next pet food offer

We have partnered with chewy.com to offer the best deal on quality pet food to our readers. If you click on the button below we will take you to their exclusive discount page