Cats

Best Cat Foods for Picky Eaters: 4 Options

While some cats can resemble miniature garbage cans, others are incredibly selective eaters. It can be a little surprise that our feline friends would refuse cat food at all when you realize how much work is put into making it tasty for them.

The reason cats are picky eaters

The first question to ask is, “Picky in comparison to what?”
We frequently compare our cats to other animals, most frequently dogs, despite the fact that there are many fussy humans.
But the natural diets of dogs and cats differ significantly. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they must eat meat to stay alive. Because of this, their food in the wild consists primarily of meat and doesn’t vary all that much.
In contrast, dogs are omnivores, hunters, and scavengers. Dogs will consume a range of items in the wild (and at home), depending on what is available or what is in the trash.


Iram Sharma, one of our writers, goes into great length on Pupvine about this and many other subjects.
According to Live Science, our cats aren’t avoiding things that aren’t part of their regular diets intentionally to be choosy. They are actually just acting pragmatically, though. As a result of their delicate digestive systems and hyperadaption to eating meat, cats may become unwell or have stomach discomfort when they try different foods. Regardless matter whether the new food is simply a different species of prey.
For our domesticated cats, an upset stomach isn’t a big concern, but in the wild, where cats straddle the border between predator and prey, it might be fatal.
Today’s cats still have the neophobic inclination to avoid strange meals; scientists call this behavior neophobia.
Although it can be simple to assume that our cats are being theatrical or that the newest cat food is genuinely awful, it may actually be their wild instincts that are making them reject the expensive meal you just got!

Favorite Wet Cat Food for Picky Cats

With a clear understanding of what we want, let’s look at our top choices, starting with wet foods.

Overall Best: Merrick Backcountry

There are seven distinct flavors of Merrick Backcountry to pick from, many of which will be unfamiliar to your cat. I advise starting with the rabbit option because it appears to be the most well-liked among picky cats, but anything that deviates from the typical flavors of cat food is also worthwhile trying.
Individual pouches of this wet cat food are filled to the brim with foul gravy. Keep in mind that your cat’s sense of smell is stronger than its sense of taste, and that extra “stink” can really encourage a picky cat to dig in.
Additionally, Merrick Backcountry is competitively priced, which makes it simple to sample a few tastes. There is a variety pack option, but as of this writing, it was all centered towards poultry, so I’d recommend skipping that and creating your own mix instead.


Merrick Backcountry’s ingredients aren’t perfect, but the fact that the first six components are all animal-based puts it far ahead of many other cat food brands. As I’ve already indicated, sometimes we have to strike a balance between the nutritious value of the food and actually getting our cats to eat it when dealing with fussy cats. This dish, in my opinion, does a terrific job of treading that line.

Pick of the Month: Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau

The product we recommend the most is a serious cat food with a funny name. One of my favorite cat feeds on the market, Tiki Cat’s Puka Puka Luau is a terrific place for picky cats to start thanks to its high-quality ingredients and distinctive processing. There are numerous fish and chicken-flavored alternatives available, however there is a slight shortage of novel proteins on the menu.
But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that this food truly resembles a can of shredded chicken you might buy for human eating. In one video, the creator of Tiki Cat can even be seen chomping on some of her cat chow, proving how serious she is about her business.

Delivery of Smalls Cat Food as a High-End Alternative

Smalls is a high-end cat food delivery service that provides a huge selection of flavors and textures, making it an excellent choice for picky cats. In terms of wet food, you have the option of beef, turkey, chicken, and they also offer duck in their dry kibble selection.
The main advantage of this is that their trial box has samples of all three of their wet food tastes, allowing you to let your finicky cat choose their favorite. Afterward, you can choose which flavors to include or leave out based on your cat’s preferences. You can instantly exclude it if you are aware that your cat dislikes chicken.
Smalls is big on promoting its “human-grade” components, which means they process food according to the same rules as eating people. Even though your finicky cat might not give a hoot about it, it does give you some relief.


Despite the low carbohydrate level, there are still a few additional greens that I could do without. However, there is also a strong emphasis on items that are suitable for carnivores, some of which are more unusual, like beef heart.
Overall, Smalls provides premium ingredients that even finicky cats would find appealing, along with delivery convenience and peace of mind. Even better, by using this link and the promotional code BETTERWITHCATS, you may receive a lovely $5 discount. Even if you cancel right away after the trial, you may test out multiple premium recipes for only $30, which is a hard bargain to beat.

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Flavor is the most affordable option

Several lists of the finest cat feeds include Taste of the Wild, and for good reason. Without significantly sacrificing the quality of its ingredients, Taste of the Wild does an excellent job of maintaining its affordability.
The biggest concession that we typically witness is the inclusion of non-animal items in the top ingredient lists. Animal products will cost more than grains like corn, peas, or potatoes, and while potato starch is an ingredient in Taste of the Wild, it doesn’t appear until item 7. Prior to that, everything had animal origins, which is exactly what our meat-eating cats want.
The presence of chicken is the only drawback for finicky diners in this dish. Chicken is still a noticeable presence and makes up three of the first six ingredients in the Rocky Mountain taste, which is defined as Salmon & Roasted Venison. If you are already aware that your fussy eater won’t eat chicken, this may be a deal-breaker, and you can find more options in our inexpensive alternative.

Final Thoughts

You now have all the information you require to choose the best-tasting food for your finicky feline friend. How do you feel?

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