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11 Best Grain Free Cat Foods [2024]

11 Best Grain Free Cat Foods [2024]

As pet nutrition continues to evolve, grain-free diets have become increasingly popular. Grain-free cat food has numerous benefits–particularly for cats with grain sensitivities. Cats, as obligate carnivores, thrive on protein-rich diets, and grain-free cat foods can be a great option to fulfill their natural dietary requirements. 


However, with so many grain free cat foods on the market, finding the right one for your feline friend can get confusing! This post will review some of the best grain free cat foods on the market so you ensure your cat gets nothing but the best.


What is Grain Free Cat Food? 

Grain-free cat food is specifically formulated without grains like wheat, corn, barley, and oats. The right grain-free food will align more closely with the natural, carnivorous dietary needs of cats, focusing on high-quality proteins and eliminating common fillers. 


Some formulas may substitute grains with alternative sources of carbohydrates like lentils, sweet potatoes, and peas, which have varying degrees of nutritional benefit. Not all grain-free foods are created equal - but high quality foods can promote better digestion, overall health, and muscle development. 


Grain-Free vs Gluten-Free Cat Food

Both grain-free and gluten-free cat foods are designed to cater to cats with specific dietary needs, but they’re different. Gluten is a specific type of protein found in these grains, which can cause allergic reactions or sensitivities in some cats. 


Grain-free cat food eliminates all grains, whereas gluten-free cat food only excludes grains containing gluten, such as wheat, barley, and rye. This means that while grain-free cat food recipes are always free from gluten, gluten-free cat foods may contain grains. 


Despite these differences, both diets share a common goal: to reduce the risk of food allergies and digestive issues in cats. They often emphasize high-quality protein sources, including real meat, fish, or poultry, and may include alternative ingredients like pumpkin, which can provide more nutritional benefits.


Does Your Cat Need Grain-Free Cat Food?

The question sparks an ongoing debate among pet owners, nutrition experts, and veterinarians. On one hand, proponents of grain-free cat food argue that it mirrors a cat's natural, ancestral diet. In the wild, cats primarily consume protein from animal sources, and grains are not a significant part of their natural diet. This perspective suggests that grain-free diets can lead to better digestion, reduced risk of food allergies in pets, and overall improved health.


On the other hand, having a diet that includes grain isn’t bad either. Grain can be a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Grains are also easily-digestible sources of energy for your cats–and are an affordable option for many pet owners.

In the grain-free cat food debate, what we do know is this: not all cats are the same, and what works for one may not work for another. Some cats may indeed have grain allergies or sensitivities and could benefit from a grain-free diet. However, for cats without specific grain sensitivities, a well-balanced diet that includes grains can be perfectly healthy. 

Ultimately, it's important to choose a diet based on your cat's individual health needs, lifestyle, and any specific dietary restrictions diagnosed by a veterinarian. 


Best Grain Free Cat Food Brands

Choosing the best nutrition for your feline friend, whether it’s grain-free or not, is important for their health. To simplify your search, we’ve come up with some of the best grain-free cat food brands on the market today, each known for their quality ingredients, nutritional balance, and commitment to your cat’s overall health. 


1. KOHA Cat Food


KOHA Cat Food provides numerous grain-free options for your feline companions, including Limited Ingredient Pâtés, Poké Bowls, and Minimal Ingredient Stews. Specially created for cats with extreme food sensitivities and picky eaters, these recipes feature a single meat source, like 96% duck, ensuring high protein and easy digestion. 

Aside from ensuring a grain-free formulation, some grain-free options offered by KOHA are enriched with pumpkin for healthy digestion, New Zealand Green Mussels for joint health, and cranberries to support urinary tract health. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 

  • Limited Ingredient Diet Paté: This high protein paté is 95% meat. With only one meat per recipe, and being grain, pea, and potato free, this is the perfect food to keep even the most sensitive tummies happy! KOHA’s simple cooking methods keep nutrients as whole as possible, to ensure maximum nourishment.

The flavor profiles include novel proteins like Duck Paté, Rabbit Au Jus, and Turkey Paté. They also offer Chicken Paté.  Each recipe includes New Zealand Green Mussels to support joint health, pumpkin and turmeric to support digestion, and cranberries to support the urinary tract. Their trial pack includes all four flavors for your cat to try. 

  • Minimal Ingredient Cat Stew: These yummy stews are ideal for cats with sensitive tummies as they’re easily digestible (thanks to the pumpkin and turmeric), and free from junky fillers. 

The formulations include cuts of meat as a first ingredient, in a savory gravy for increased hydration. Flavors include Duck, Turkey, and Chicken Stew. All flavors include cranberries to support urinary tract health. Buy each flavor separately, or try their trial pack.

  • Poké Bowl: A delicious mix of red meat, wild-caught tuna, and other proteins in a tasty gravy. Flavors include Tuna & Salmon, Tuna & Pumpkin, Tuna & Lamb, Tuna & Duck, Tuna & Chicken, Tuna & Beef, and Tuna & Shrimp. 

Not only do these Poké Bowls make mealtime exciting (especially for picky eaters), but they’re easy to digest, and, as moisture-rich formulations, they increase your cat’s hydration. Bonus-these Poké Bowls are non-GMO and dolphin safe!


2. Instinct Cat Food

Instinct Cat Food provides a wide range of grain-free options to cater to your cat’s special dietary needs. These formulations focus on protein content, made with meat and vegetables. They don’t include fillers, grains, or gluten. Instinct also commits to using only raw ingredients, whether it’s dry kibble, wet food, or frozen bites. However, their recipes do include peas, which have minimal nutritional value.

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 

  • Original Grain-Free Pâté
  • Original Grain-Free Dry Food
  • Original Minced Recipe
  • Limited Ingredient Diet 
  • Raw Boost Mixers
  • Raw Boost Grain-Free Dry Food 
  • Raw Boost Healthy Weight Recipe
  • Raw Longevity Frozen Bites
  • Raw Longevity 20% Freeze-Dried Raw Meal Blend
  • Raw Frozen Bites
  • Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Pâté
  • Healthy Cravings Recipe


3. Purina Beyond Simply Grain-Free Natural Dry Cat Food

Purina Beyond Simply Grain-Free Natural Dry Cat Food features a range of grain-free options that include dry food and paté wet food. Its white meat chicken dry cat food includes chicken as the primary ingredient, but it’s also complemented by natural ingredients, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It also includes probiotics to support digestive and immune health. 


4. Smalls Human Grade Cat Food

Smalls Human Grade Cat Food is a protein-rich formula that’s good for picky eaters. It’s available in four proteins (chicken, turkey, cow, fish) and comes in either smooth or ground textures. These choices don’t include common grains like corn or wheat to suit your cat’s dietary needs.

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Fresh Smooth Bird
  • Fresh Ground Bird
  • Smooth Other Bird
  • Fresh Ground Other Bird
  • Fresh Smooth Cow
  • Fresh Smooth Fish


5. The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Caté

The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Paté (Caté) is a brand that’s made in the USA and uses local and global ingredients from trusted suppliers. These formulas are free from artificial preservatives, feed-grade by-products, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat, and soy. 

Their dehydrated cat food options can be added with a little bit of water to create a paté consistency and a bit more water to create a gravy. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Grain Free Dehydrated Cat Food
  • Grain Free Clusters
  • Grain Free Minced Recipe in Bone Broth Gravy
  • Grain Free Câté (Pâté)


6. Made by Nacho

Made by Nacho provides grain-free cat food options, including paté, bone broth with chicken shreds, treats, and flaked tuna cups. Their paté recipes are all grain-free, paired with bone broth, and provide a rich source of protein. It includes probiotics and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and is free from corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Freeze-Dried Duck Liver Treats
  • Freeze-Dried Chicken Breast Treats
  • Homestyle Bone Broth with Cage-Free Chicken Shreds
  • Grain Free Pâté
  • Grain Free Flaked Tuna Cup


7. Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild provides seven grain-free cat dry food options, including a lowland creek recipe with roasted quail and roasted duck, a rocky mountain recipe with salmon and venison in gravy, a canyon river recipe with trout and smoke-flavored salmon, and more. It features highly digestible meats and works for all stages of a cat’s life, from kitten to senior. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Lowland Creek Feline Recipe
  • Rocky Mountain Feline Recipe
  • Canyon River Feline Recipe
  • Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Recipe
  • Turkey Limited Ingredient Recipe



3. Crave

Crave only provides grain-free dry food options for cats that come in three flavors: chicken, chicken and salmon, and salmon and ocean fish. With 40% protein content, these recipes are made without soy, grains like corn or wheat, and artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food with Protein from Chicken
  • Grain Free Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food with Protein from Chicken & Salmon
  • Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food with Protein from Salmon & Ocean Fish


9. American Journey

Each of the grain-free options provided by American Journey Cat Food is designed for felines with sensitive stomachs. They feature limited ingredients for easier digestibility, including carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and peas, and fiber sources. 

These grain-free options are made without corn, wheat, or soy and contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • American Journey Grain-Free Dry Cat Food 
  • American Journey Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
  • American Journey Indoor Minced Recipe in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
  • American Journey Indoor Pate Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
  • American Journey Landmark Recipe in Broth Grain-Free Canned Cat Food


10. Orijen

The options provided by Orijen Grain Free Cat Food include treats, entrée wet food, dry food, and freeze-dried treats. It includes raw ingredients like meat, organs, and bone for your cat’s growth and development. Their grain-free wet food recipes are packed with 95% animal ingredients and are made without peas, legumes, gums, carrageenan, or lentils. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Entrée Wet Kitten Food
  • Entrée Wet Cat Food
  • Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food
  • Grain Free Cat Dry Food
  • Freeze-Dried Cat Treats


11. ZiwiPeak

Ziwi Peak Grain Free Cat Food features five available flavors with meats that are sourced from ethical farmers and farms: chicken, beef, lamb, mackerel and lamb, and venison. With their single protein recipes, you’ll know exactly what goes into your pet’s bowl. 

Grain-free Cat Food Options: 


  • Ziwi Peak Original Series Air-Dried Cat Dry Food (Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Mackerel & Lamb, Venison)
  • Ziwi Peak Wet Food Recipe (Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Mackerel & Lamb, Rabbit & Lamb, Venison)


Choose the Best Grain Free Cat Food 

Once you’ve decided, perhaps with your vet’s help, that grain-free cat food will be good for your feline companion, it’s time to choose from the best brands available. 

Look for brands that prioritize high-quality protein sources, minimal processing, and a balanced nutrient profile to ensure your cat gets the benefits of a diet that's as close to nature as possible. You might also want to avoid recipes that include common ingredients that cause stomach upset, such as starches, meat by-products, soy products, and artificial preservatives. 

For those seeking a top-tier grain-free option, the range of grain-free options at KOHA Pet Food certainly fits the bill. Their recipes are crafted with your cat's health and preferences in mind, offering a balanced, high-protein diet that mirrors their natural eating habits. 

Try KOHA Grain-Free Cat Food and witness the difference in your cat's health and vitality.

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