The 4 Best Organic Cat Foods of 2021

The best feed for your furry companion

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown
Made with free-range organic chicken or turkey and 'superfoods,' this brand is reasonably priced for organic cat food.
This food only contains simple organic ingredients, vitamins, and minerals, and it widely available.
A high-protein dry food made of organic farm-raised chicken and turkey.
There's no corn, rice, barley, or wheat used in this cat food, made by a family-owned and operated company.

Our cats are our babies, our companions, and they help us decompress at the end of a long day. They can help us cope with loneliness, depression, anxiety, and grief. Their unconditional love gives us purpose that also helps us live longer fuller lives. So it makes sense that we would want to feed them only the best cat food. Providing them with a high-quality organic diet is one way we can help ensure their long-term health and longevity.

But how do we choose? Plan to carefully read labels and look for important certifications when deciding which brand is right for your cat. There are a number of factors to consider when selecting an organic cat food (you can find a detailed discussion of factors after the list).

All USDA Certified, here's the best organic cat food:

Best Overall: Castor & Pollux Cat Organix Shredded Chicken

Castor & Pollux Organix Cat Shredded Chicken Recipe

To earn the top spot, an organic cat food must be reasonably affordable, widely available, nutritionally-balanced and have a proven track record with cats and their pet parents. Castor & Pollux have been making organic pet food since 2003. Since 2017, the entire Organix line of pet foods (both wet and dry) have been USDA Certified Organic.

The main ingredients are organic free-range chicken or turkey and the other organic ingredients are produced without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, artificial preservatives, added growth hormones, or antibiotics. Ten of their recipes are Non-GMO Project Verified. They are even cooked in the United States in an organically-certified kitchen. The Shredded Chicken and Chicken Liver recipe has a minimum of 8% crude protein and 5% crude fat. The line is also certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

Many recipes include “superfoods” like organic flaxseed, organic coconut flour, organic dried egg, and organic cranberries. The company also adjusts the fiber to help with hairballs. The foods are nutritionally balanced for all life stages, and a line of kitten foods is also available.

Best Wet Food + Best Budget: Purina Beyond Organic Natural Wet Cat Food

Purina Beyond Organic Chicken and Carrot Recipie

Canned wet diets are higher in moisture than dry foods, making wet foods closer in composition to what a cat’s wild carnivorous diet might resemble. Veterinarians recommend wet food over dry for cats who struggle with diabetes, urinary or kidney disease, to control calorie intake and weight and for picky eaters.

Purina Beyond Organic Natural Wet cat food comes in two recipes: organic chicken and carrot pate, and organic chicken and sweet potato pate. Organic free-range chicken is the first ingredient in both recipes, and raised sustainably in the United States without antibiotics or growth hormones and is free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

The food only contains other simple organic ingredients, vitamins, and minerals. Unlike some of the other brands, Beyond Organic also notes that it contains no poultry meal byproduct, which tends to be of lower quality. Both recipes are Non-GMO Project Verified and meet AFFCO standards for adult cats. Its organic status is also certified by Bioagricert S.R.L. They guarantee a minimum of 7% protein and 5% fat, which is not quite as high as some of the other brands.

Because Purina is a widely available brand, you are more likely to find it in pet and grocery stores than many other organic brands. You might also find it at more affordable prices.

Best Dry Food: Tender & True Organic and Antibiotic-Free Dry Cat Food

Tender & True Organic and Antibiotic-Free Dry Cat Food

Although wet food is closer to a cat’s natural diet evolutionarily, dry food has a number of advantages. Dry food is convenient, more affordable, and can be left out longer than canned food. But the diet’s specific nutrient and calorie content is more important than the form in which it comes.

Tender & True Organic and Antibiotic-Free Dry Cat Food offers 95% USDA Certified Organic and grain-free chicken and turkey recipes paired with chicken liver. Its ingredients are simple and their U.S. Organic farm-raised chicken and turkey are certified by the Global Animal Partnership (GAP), which means animals were raised humanely. Made from 30% crude protein and 18% fat, this food has added Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Each recipe is hormone- and antibiotic-free, and is made with no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. Tender & True also uses mixed tocopherols (vitamin E) as its preservative.

Available in 3 pound and 7 pound bags, this food is AFFCO Certified for all life stages.

Best Grain-Free: Evanger's Organics Canned Cat Food

Evanger's Organics Braised Chicken Dinner

Cats did not evolve to eat the grains humans have tried to put in their food. Corn, rice, barley, and wheat have all been associated with allergies and can cause problems with a cat's skin, fur, and digestion. Cats with sensitive skin and intolerances will benefit most from a grain-free diet.

Evanger’s Organics canned pet food has a long history of striving for a healthier diet for pets, and remains a family-owned and operated company. You can choose from three USDA Certified Organic recipes: organic beef, organic braised chicken, and organic turkey with butternut squash. Each is formulated in compliance with AAFCO standards for all life stages. They note that kittens, pregnant cats, and nursing cats may require two to three times the standard amounts, and reduced for less active or older cats. 

Evanger’s Organics are also certified organic by Oregon Tilth. You’ll find a minimum of 10% crude protein and 6% crude fat. This simple food, manufactured in Markham, Illinois, contains just a few main organic ingredients plus essential vitamins and minerals. It is grain- and gluten-free and has added omega-3 and 6 fatty acids to nourish skin and fur.

An added bonus is that their steel cans are confirmed bisphenol-A (BPA)-free with labels printed on recycled paper. Those requiring a kosher diet for their cat will be happy to know these recipes are also endorsed by the Chicago Rabbinical Council as kosher for cats as well.

Final Verdict

In an ideal world, we would feed out cats a diet that includes both wet and dry food. Castor & Pollux Organix Canned Cat Food (view on Amazon) that contains free-range organic chicken or turkey with added superfoods combined with the high-protein.

Tender & True Organic and Antibiotic-Free Dry Cat Food (view on Amazon) is an excellent place to start your cat on an organic, grain-free diet.

What to Consider When Choosing Organic Cat Food

Organic Certification

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates the use of the term “organic” in human and pet food. By law, the USDA must apply the same standard to cat food that they apply to human food. “Organic" refers to the way a crop or animal is grown or raised and handled. Organic crops must be grown on land free from pesticides for at least three years. The food itself must not contain toxic and persistent pesticides, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, synthetic growth hormones, antibiotics, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), or have undergone irradiation.

Organic livestock whose meat is used in pet foods must be fed organic feed, not be given antibiotics or hormones, and have access to the outdoors. To become USDA Certified, all of these requirements must be documented and have been confirmed via USDA inspection. Unless you see “USDA Certified Organic” on the label, it’s difficult to be sure the food is truly organic.

When only a portion of the ingredients are from certified organic sources, you’ll also see a percentage on the label, such as “95% USDA Certified Organic.”

Other Labels

Similarly, the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defines and regulates the term "natural" for pet food and animal feed. "Natural" means a feed or ingredient is derived solely from plant, animal, or mined sources that have not been produced by a chemically synthetic process. However, some ingredients can be labeled “natural” without actually being good or healthy for your pet. Look out for ingredients known as “fillers” that are low-cost and have little nutritional value. They’re added to make your pet feel full with fewer high quality ingredients by weight. Common ones are corn and wheat gluten, grain products, soy, animal byproducts and fruit and vegetable pulps. Stick to “grain-free” foods for cats with skin allergies, or fur issues, or digestion problems.  

If you live in the U.S., make sure your cat food is labeled with “made in the USA.” Standards for pet food production vary widely by country. Many foods produced in other countries have been tested and found levels of impurities like heavy metals and even plastic fillers that are unsafe for consumption.

Nutrition

It’s also important to look at the nutrition, moisture, and fat content of your cat’s food. Cats evolved as hunters so their natural diet would be primarily carnivorous. They would consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a nominal amount of carbohydrates. So watch for food with too many carbs that could contribute to obesity. Healthy carbs should come from ingredients like organic pumpkin, sweet potato, or brown rice.

Cats also require more than a dozen other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. The amounts of nutrients needed vary in each stage of life—from kitten to adolescent, during pregnancy and nursing, and as a senior cat. If your pet food is well balanced and complete for your cat’s current stage of life, they won’t require any additional supplements.

That brings us to raw foods. A recent trend in pet foods, raw food is said to be an optimal choice because heat has not degraded proteins and other essential nutrients. However, raw foods also carry an increased risk of salmonella and listeria bacterial infections that can result in diarrhea, vomiting, and eventually an infection of the nervous system.

To prevent spoiling and increase shelf life, manufacturers use natural preservatives in store brands. Non-synthetic preservatives include vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate or tocopherol acetate).

As in human food ingredient labels, ingredients are listed in order from most to least based on weight and include the percentages of protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Look for foods that list a high protein content of a specific meat first and if any grains are included, whole grains are best because of the nutrients they contain. Note that protein and fat content numbers will be higher in dry foods than in wet foods, because wet food percentages are reported on a wet basis and contain a high percentage of water while dry food percentages are reported on a dry basis. You should look for about 8% to 10% minimum for protein in wet foods or at least 25% in dry food. Fat content should be a minimum of 5% in wet food or 20% to 30% in dry food. Some cats will turn their nose up at foods with less protein or fat than is recommended. The average cat does best when eating both wet food and dry food throughout the week.

Probiotics

Many brands add probiotics, which promote a healthy intestinal tract flora that in turn reduces inflammation, strengthens the immune system and perhaps imparts other benefits. Domesticated cats aren’t eating a wild diet of rodents and other critters, so their guts aren’t exposed to the bacteria they would encounter in the wild. So opt for probiotics when you have the option, especially if your cat has a sensitive tummy or has recently taken antibiotics or other medications.

Introducing Your Cat to New Food

Be thoughtful when transitioning your cat to a new food. Don’t buy a lot until you’re sure your cat will eat it. Take your time deciding if it’s the right food for you and your cat. Your cat may have issues with palatability, mouthfeel, or the protein sources. Some early upsets go away after a day or two into the transition. If your first choice doesn’t fit, transition slowly to another.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Lorraine Wilde has had at least one cat companion in her home for the past 35 years. Two of her cats lived into their early twenties. She has only the highest of standards for what she feeds her pets.

Lorraine also holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and is a firm believer that consumers can make healthy, informed and environmentally-conscious choices to protect their families, their pets and our planet.