Best Cheap Cat Food – [Complete Guide with Comparison]

Portrait of a fluffy cat near a bowl with food looking up on a gray background

Finding a good cat food can sometimes be a troublesome task. Cats are usually picky when it comes to what they eat. An expensive or a cheap cat food can’t really determine whether or not, your cat would have a taste at it. Not to mention that expensive cat food would just be a waste if they are not into it. You’d rather have the best cheap cat food if you’re uncertain about your cat’s diet.

Fortunately, there are now lots of cheap cat food products available that’s not only cheap but also nutritious, naturally attracts cat and comes in big bags or pouches as it has large servings, economical and practical. Expensive cat foods on the other hand usually come in tin cans. It can either be a dry or wet cat food. Right then and there you’d know the difference between an expensive cat food and a cheap cat food.

However, treating your cats with an expensive cat food or treat isn’t really a bad thing. Once a while, a cat would want a different set of taste. Most cat owners would feed their cats with an awesome cat food or treat just to keep those taste buds stimulated but of course, at a controlled amount. You wouldn’t want your pet to get addicted to an expensive treat or cat food or you’d really end up tolerating their pickiness, not to mention you’d go way out of your budget.

Comparison Chart

Name
Top Pick
Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites - 16 lb. Bag
Runner Up
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag
Meow Mix Tender Centers, 3-Pound, Tuna & Whitefish
Purina Friskies 7 Cat Food - (1) 16 Lb. Bag
Budget Choice
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 2.5-lb
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Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites - 16 lb. Bag
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag
Meow Mix Tender Centers, 3-Pound, Tuna & Whitefish
Purina Friskies 7 Cat Food - (1) 16 Lb. Bag
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 2.5-lb
Aroma
Greatly attracts cat
Naturally attracts cat
Naturally attracts cat
Greatly attracts cat
Moderately attracts cat
Nutrients
Sufficient
High protein
Overall nutrition
Balance nutrition
High carbohydrates
Ingredients
Poultry meat and fishes
Chicken
Tuna and whitefish
Poultry meats and seafoods
Potatoes (flavored)
Editor's Rating
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Top Pick
Name
Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites - 16 lb. Bag
Image
Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites - 16 lb. Bag
Aroma
Greatly attracts cat
Nutrients
Sufficient
Ingredients
Poultry meat and fishes
Editor's Rating
5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
Price
Runner Up
Name
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag
Image
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag
Aroma
Naturally attracts cat
Nutrients
High protein
Ingredients
Chicken
Editor's Rating
4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Price
Name
Meow Mix Tender Centers, 3-Pound, Tuna & Whitefish
Image
Meow Mix Tender Centers, 3-Pound, Tuna & Whitefish
Aroma
Naturally attracts cat
Nutrients
Overall nutrition
Ingredients
Tuna and whitefish
Editor's Rating
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)
Price
Name
Purina Friskies 7 Cat Food - (1) 16 Lb. Bag
Image
Purina Friskies 7 Cat Food - (1) 16 Lb. Bag
Aroma
Greatly attracts cat
Nutrients
Balance nutrition
Ingredients
Poultry meats and seafoods
Editor's Rating
4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)
Price
Budget Choice
Name
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 2.5-lb
Image
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 2.5-lb
Aroma
Moderately attracts cat
Nutrients
High carbohydrates
Ingredients
Potatoes (flavored)
Editor's Rating
4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Price

Best Cheap Cat Food Reviews

1. Purina Friskies Gravy

Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites - 16 lb. Bag

The great thing about this cat food is that it naturally appeals the taste of your cat. It has a tempting and delicious taste that greatly excites your cat’s tongue texture as you prepare its dinner. At an affordable cost, your cat will enjoy a bag of dry cat food and give a wonderful and tasty experience that it long desires.

Product Highlights

The cat food is 100% balanced and healthy food. It was made using natural and non-toxic ingredients, specifically made for indoor cats but it may also be a good choice for outdoor cats. It uses a mixture of ingredients irresistible for cats. It is a cheap cat food that would really entice your pet’s cravings.

This aromatic food is a combination of real meat and seafood flavors where cats naturally love. It comes in a 16-pound bag rather than a small can to make it more economical. The food is best for all ages of cats, including old adults.

What's to like about the Purina Friskies Gravy

Apart from being cheap and affordable, the cat food is healthy and nutritious. Regardless of how much your cat eats, it won’t impose any danger or toxicity. Furthermore, the cat food provides all the essential vitamins and minerals your cat needs to sustain its everyday energy and resistance.

The part where it naturally attracts cat really comes in handy. Not all cats love the smell of cat food even though it’s delicious. Cats usually smell their food first before diving in. This cat food’s aroma is incomparable and irresistible wherein cats would just go and enjoy the meal with no doubt.

What's not to like about the Purina Friskies Gravy

The full-packed and aromatic meal results in an unpleasant and strong odor smell of feces. It could spoil really spoil a mood. It may not have the nutrition and diet provided by an expensive cat food but will be great in low-income times or if you’re feeding a clowder.

PROS

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    Very cheap and affordable for a 16-pound bag.
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    The irresistible aroma which attracts cat naturally.
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    Good for feeding groups of indoor or outdoor cats.

CONS

  • Not that nutritious compared to an expensive cat food.
  • Releases strong and foul odor as your cat defecates.
  • Not all cats would get attracted by the tasteful smell.

2. IAMS Proactive Health Senior Cat Food

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag

This cat food is made to target senior and adult cats. For a great and affordable price, this gives them extra health and physique boost. The cat food is delicious and smells great for cats but the main purpose would be a physical enhancement as cat’s bones, teeth, joints, heart, and weight plays a critical role in their life as they grow.

Product Highlights

It contains essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that nourish joints, bones, and muscles. It’s an important factor for cats to maintain a strong physique as it is their natural asset. It also keeps cat teeth healthy, enabling them to grind and chew their crunchy food without troubles.

Another great targeting benefit of this cat food is maintaining a healthy heart. It’s common with global warming and progressing heat of our climate that cats experience heat strokes and cardiac arrest as well, same with other types of pets. It is best to keep their heart strong and healthy.

What's to like about the IAMS Proactive Health Senior Cat Food

Not only that it feeds your cat to its stomach and appetite’s content, it also tries to maintain the health of their body. The mixture of essential vitamins and minerals focuses more on improving that cat’s physique rather than just feeding them and making them full.

What's not to like about the IAMS Proactive Health Senior Cat Food

It’s not really that beneficial for kittens. Small and baby cats would require growth nutrients and not maintenance food. Also, this food requires you to follow a guideline to avoid overfeeding or giving them too many nutrients that their body could handle. It comes with a feeding guideline that one should refer to.

PROS

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    Provides all essential nutrients needed by old and adult cats.
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    It highly attracts your cat’s appetite and food desires.
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    Maintains heart, weight and other physical assets of cats.

CONS

  • It’s not great for young cats or kittens.
  • The nutrients and vitamins that the mixture focuses on are intended for old and adult cats.
  • It requires you to follow a feeding guideline.

3. BLUE Wilderness High Protein Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, Chicken 2.5-lb

The best cheap cat foods do not only mean that it saves you some money but also must provide an adequate amount of nutrients that your cat needs. This cat food’s mixture is made to provide adult cats with enough protein to build their strength and muscles.

Product Highlights

The cat food is made from a mixture of potatoes with chicken flavor. It has enough protein to help your cat sustain their strength, build and repair their muscles as well as keeping them healthy and resistant to illnesses and diseases. It is also enriched with antioxidant nourishment from carrots, cranberries, and blueberries.

What's to like about the BLUE Wilderness High Protein Cat Food

The great thing about this cat food is the antioxidant ingredients. Most cat foods provide vitamins and minerals enough to sustain a day to day life of your cat but only a few products contain antioxidants that help your pet fight bodily abnormalities.

Additionally, it’s very healthy and does not contain an actual meat or any poultry products. It also does not include corn, soy, wheat or artificial ingredients which may cause complications to your cat.

What's not to like about the BLUE Wilderness High Protein Cat Food

Due to the fact that it doesn’t have poultry or fish meat, your cat might easily get bored with the food as the days go by. Not to mention that the aroma does not attract the cat. It may be hard for some cat owners to feed this to their cat but others don’t experience the same problem. The food, on the other hand, is very healthy if eaten by your cat.

PROS

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    The high protein diet helps growth and strengthens the body.
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    It provides cats with the energy they need for their everyday task.
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    Does not include poultry products and artificial ingredients.

CONS

  • Does not attract cats very much.
  • It doesn’t include meat which may lead to cats getting bored of the food.
  • Too much food may cause diarrhea and vomiting due to high protein content.

4. Meow Mix Tender Centers Cat Food

Meow Mix Tender Centers, 3-Pound, Tuna & Whitefish

Cats love fish and would rather choose them over poultry meats and other artificial ingredients. This product is perfect for cats as it is made from whitefish flavor and real tuna. Compared to other aromatic cheap cat foods, your cat could smell the scent of the tasteful tuna and would literally crave for it.

Product Highlights

The product comes in a 3-pound bag, enough to supply a cat’s meal for several days. It can also be good for people who own or feed a lot of cats. For a great price and a large packaging, you’d really save a lot. The food is very tasty and well-cooked. It has a crunchy layer outside but maintains a soft, chewable delight on the inside.

It is made from real and tasty tuna which extraordinarily attracts your cat. It is also packed with balanced nutrition good for kittens and adults.

What's to like about the Meow Mix Tender Centers Cat Food

Some cat foods are specific when it comes to cat age. There are cat food products that are only intended for kittens or for adults or for senior cats but this cat food is great for all ages. It has a general mixture of ingredients that fit and sustains the nutritional needs of cat regardless of age.

What's not to like about the Meow Mix Tender Centers Cat Food

Being good for all ages of a cat means that the food doesn’t have any specific benefits rather than just providing enough nutrients for sustenance. It may be good that a product would boast to benefit specific pet age such as kittens or adult cats so that you’d give your cat a specific food that could give them the boost they really need.

PROS

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    It comes in a large, affordable pack which could last for days to weeks.
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    Uses real whitefish and tuna fish as its main ingredients.
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    Attracts cat without the need of aromatic ingredients.

CONS

  • Does not specify what nutrition and benefits it focuses on.
  • Non-meat cat foods would sometimes imply that it includes some artificial ingredients.
  • Some cats might not get attracted as it lacks aroma.

5. Purina Friskies Seven Dry Cat Food

Purina Friskies 7 Cat Food - (1) 16 Lb. Bag

This is a crunchy, meaty and tasty cat food for your cats. It made from a combination of different types of poultry meats and fish balanced with sufficient amount of nutrients to replenish your cat’s strength and energy as well as providing them some extra resistance boost for their day to day activities.

Product Highlights

It uses real meat and fish ingredients, perfectly made in a crunchy snack. It is enriched with protein that greatly supports your cat build their strength, muscle, and resistance. The food is also packed with healthy anti-oxidants to support its immune system and help fight illness, diseases, and abnormalities.

What's to like about the Purina Friskies Seven Dry Cat Food

The food is mostly a combination of essential vitamins and minerals but the extra protein boost and anti-oxidants really is a great help. Cat’s asset is their agility and the strength of their legs. The extra protein boost will help them maintain and regenerate their muscles as they jump, crawl, run or do their activities.

The anti-oxidant is something that’s not present in most cat foods, especially with cheap cat foods. However, this gives you a chance to have an immunity-boosting food at a great and affordable cost.

What's not to like about the Purina Friskies Seven Dry Cat Food

This cheap cat food may be healthy but you might find it hard to feed it to your cat. It’s not that aromatic nor does it guarantee to attract your cat’s appetite. It seems like a letdown if a food that great and healthy won’t have the chance to get digested.

PROS

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    It’s fully packed with protein to help build muscles.
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    Includes anti-oxidant which is rarely present in cat foods.
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    The protein-rich food mostly came from real poultry meat and fishes.

CONS

  • May not naturally attract your cat to eat.
  • Eating too much might cause them to vomit due to high protein content.
  • Contains cornmeal, wheat, and gluten.

BUYER'S GUIDE

There are some things you need to put into consideration when buying a cheap cat food. These are key features that will help you determine if it’s the best choice for your cat at an affordable price. It will also help you avoid health issues, complications and putting your money to waste if your cat ends up not eating the food.

Key Feature 1: Aroma

Make sure that the food is made with a nice and tasty aroma. It will greatly do you a favor when the food naturally attracts cats. It will be useless regardless of how delicious or healthy a cat food is if your cat won’t have the appetite to eat it. Cats are picky and always smell their food first before having a bite. Foods that have tasty scent or aroma are really a plus.

Key Feature 2: Nutrients

Cheap cat foods may be affordable but there are so many cat food products at an affordable price which offers complete vitamins and minerals, some with extra resistance, protein and immunity boosters. Make sure to look for something that could at least provide the essential nutrients needed by your cat.

Key Feature 3: Ingredients

Cat food ingredients are an important thing to consider. There are some products, especially with cheap cat foods, that include high preservative contents and other unhealthy substances such as foods that include grain. There are some rare cases that cats have been reported as allergic to grains. It doesn’t really mean that it requires you grain free food but it would really be safe if you could at least avoid it.

F.A.Q.

How much food should I feed my cat?

Most cat food brands include instructions at the back of the packaging about how much you should feed your cat. Some even include a feeding guide just to keep your cat’s diet in check. Furthermore, it really is necessary to always check the instructions of the cat food as some may have high contents of specific vitamins and minerals that could lead to some complications if consumed at a large and uncontrolled amount.

How long cat a cat go without food?

Cats can continue to go for a maximum of 2 weeks without food. They can survive much less without water. It’s greatly advised to at least feed your cat once a day for it to be able to replenish the nutrients it needs to go on another day. If you plan on going on long trips or vacations, at least get your cat an automatic cat feeder, bring it to a home or have someone look at it.

How long does cat food last?

That depends. If a cat food contains real meats, the expiration date is shorter than cat foods that just use flavors and preservatives. However, cat foods with real meats and fishes are healthier compared to those that are not. If you’re worried about expiration, then just get the smallest pack of cat food made from poultry meat and fish so you can budget the food and time.

FINAL VERDICT

Regardless if how healthy and nutritious the best cat food is, it’s irrelevant if the cat won’t have the appetite to eat it. The thing that you’d generally want for a cat food is something that they can easily get attracted and, to the very least, provide them with enough nutrients to sustain their day to day activities. You’d just end up spending some money and wasting some food if cats won’t have any interest in the food you give as cats can be really picky eaters.

Sale
Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food, Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites - 16 lb. Bag
  • One (1) 16 Lb. Bag - Purina Friskies Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites Cat Food
  • Beef, Poultry And Seafood Flavors For The Tastes Cats Love
  • Appealing Shapes Keep Your Cat Excited At Mealtime
  • Rich Aroma Tempts Her To Her Dish
  • 100% Complete And Balance Nutrition For All Life Stages

The best recommendation among these cheap cat foods would be the Purina Friskies Gravy. It may not come in par with other best cheap cat food brands when it comes to vitamins and minerals, protein, immunity and resistance boosts, but it contains sufficient amount of essential nutrients that could sustain a cat’s daily energy and nutrients need. The food highly attracts cat where it almost guarantees a food that is served to be eaten rather than a healthy food getting spoiled.