Big List of Cheap/Budget Wet Foods for Cats. Any Other Recommendations Appreciated.


New member
Feb 16, 2023
We're always looking for cheapest/best value food, and I have done my best combining through Reddit, other forums, and review sites to make a good list of affordable and economical wet/canned foods for cats. Hopefully this guide will help some of you out.

My top tier "Budget but Still Healthy" choices
  • Steve's Real Food: Link to product- This is raw food that is labeled for both dogs and cats. Needs to be frozen, so make sure you have freezer space. Even though it may seem pricey up front, this food lasts a while as it is calorie dense, meaning cats don't need to eat as much per day.
  • Nulo Freestyle 12.5oz cans: Link to product - Highly recommended brand by various sites, not just me. Good food and value.
  • Wellness Complete Health 12.5oz cans: Link to product - Same description as Nulo, good food for cats.
Note: I would always check local pet stores for sales. I have gotten 20%-30% off on all the above brands as stores usually have sales. Please avoid Amazon, Chewy, etc. and support local, especially since it's actually cheaper! Some local stores have a slight discount if you buy an entire case.

Second tier "Budget but Still Healthy", as these are found at national chains and not local specialty stores
  • WholeHearted (Petco brand) 12 x 5.5 oz. cans: Get the ones that cost $15.48, as these are the cheapest per oz. There are over 20 versions, but I would stick with the ones with the highest calories/kcal to get the best value
  • Whole Paws (Amazon/Whole Foods brand) 5.5oz: Link to product - Stick to the 5.5oz cans, not the 3oz cans

Cheapest "I'm About to be Homeless, but I Have a Cat" wet foods
  • Special Kitty (Walmart brand) 22oz: Link to product
  • Paws & Claws (Tractor Supply brand) 22oz: Link to product
  • Forever Pals (Dollar General Brand): This brand has a 5.5oz (Link to product) and 22oz version (Link to product) - Surprisingly, it seems that the 5.5oz cans are cheaper per oz. I haven't checked locally if the prices hold up in stores, though. If someone could check and comment below, that would be great
  • 9 Lives (dollar store brand, found at Dollar Tree, 99 Cent Stores, and regular grocery stores): Link to product - This is the quintessential cheap brand. Stick to the 13oz Meaty Paté cans as these have the highest kcal. Cheapest I could find online are at Dollar Tree ($1.25), but please let me know below if you find them cheaper somewhere else. I haven't looked at prices in stores for these, and it may be cheaper in stores.
  • Heart to Tail (Aldi brand): Link to product - This seems like the one brand in this category that actually isn't too bad. I haven't tried it myself, so I can't put it in the above categories just yet.
These have fillers, unnamed meats, some questionable ingredients, but some people can't afford more, and that's okay. You get what you pay for with these, but wet food is still better than dry food. These foods are also good for foster parents and who feed community/stray cats.

If anyone else has other recommendations, please let me know! If you appreciated my post, please consider donating to your local shelter/rescue. I volunteer with Kitty of Angels in Los Angeles, any support appreciated.


Staff member
Nov 25, 2021
Welcome to Feline Forums. :)

That's a lot of food choices there. Which ones do you tend to use the most?

I'm with you on wet food being better than dry. Basically, cats should eat only wet food, with an occasional dry for a treat.

Being a cat rescuer must be rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time? Difficult job.