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Budget-Friendly Cat Food Guide

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Budget-Friendly Cat Food Guide

By PetMD

When considering the cost of feeding your cat along with all of your other expenses, it can be difficult to find that balance between what is best for your cat and what is best for your budget. Fitting everything into a tight budget can be a trial, and many families are having to make the very difficult decision of either giving up a member of the family — that is, the family pet — or switching to a low quality food.  Finding the best quality food that is available, at a reasonable price so that you do not have to consider giving your cat up, is possible if you follow some basic parameters.

Price is Only One Objective

Grabbing a bag of the cheapest food on the shelf is often not a good plan for the long term since it can lead to unintended consequences, such as vitamin and mineral deficiencies, or unhealthy weight gain (for grown cats). These health consequences alone can lead to clinical health problems requiring medical care, and now is not a good time to be taking chances with your pet’s health. Before deciding on the most economically viable food brand, do your research to make sure you are choosing the best formula at the best price.

Hunt Down the Best Prices Before Buying

Discount stores are a great place to begin comparison shopping, but before you decide on a brand or store, make notes of the prices offered at the big discount/super-stores as well as at the bulk and warehouse stores. In many cases, the prices are comparable, or one choice may be more convenient in terms of travel and location.

There is also the web to take into consideration as you hunt down the best food at the best price. Some web-based companies will offer loyalty discounts, discounted or free shipping, and even coupons for free samples of products. It can be worth it to invest the time in searching for the best deals.

Reducing costs does not only mean looking for the cheapest price, though. You might find that something as simple as switching from a wet food to a dry food can save quite a bit of money, since wet foods cost considerably more due to the type of packaging. Some cats will not miss eating wet food, while others have to be patiently weaned from wet food to dry, and still others have to be fed a mix of the two.

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Nicolas, selected from petMD

petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit


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3:17PM PST on Mar 6, 2014

It is March 7th and the arrows don't work. Hope you fix this soon.

2:56AM PST on Nov 24, 2013

Thanks for all this good information

11:12AM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

I’m a firm believer in you get what you pay for. I feed my cat a premium brand that is reasonably priced and he does great. I think a lot of the natural brands are a little over-priced and you have to be careful, but I did a lot of research and Natural Balance Ultra in my opinion has the best nutrition for the most affordable price.

8:22AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

I try not to feed my cat dry food, it is convenient and is certainly not species specific-cats are obligate carnivores and there is too much wheat and other filler in dry foods. One constantly has to be on guard when buying wet food to ensure that the top ingredient is not meat by products because that often means hooves, beaks and other undesirable parts of the animal that a cat would not normally eat either-it is ground up and added to meat.

4:47PM PDT on Jun 22, 2012

thanks so much!

1:20PM PDT on May 22, 2012

I just feed my cat pure meat. It might be a little more expensive than canned cat food, but I don't think it is - it seems to work out the same or cheaper. Anyway, am I the only one that thinks it's odd we're bombarded by the dangers of HUMANS eating carbs and not meat/dairy while at the same time told we have to buy commercial cat food for vitamins they don't even need? When cats are carnivores and people aren't? And we even see on TV VETS promoting biscuits??? Turns out domestic cats should be living for 30 years. We're killing them with rubbish food

11:50PM PDT on May 11, 2012

Wow good post. Try from this site though, it offers pet food on the budget.
-pet food
pet food

4:04AM PDT on May 10, 2012

interesting article thanks for sharing :)

6:25PM PDT on May 9, 2012


10:28AM PDT on May 5, 2012

thank you

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking


Can't a kitten get some sleep around here?

good information.

I will try some of them ! Thank you.

Such a tender moment.


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