Best Cat Foods For Skin And Coat

Cats Jul 26, 2019
Written by | Updated Oct 26, 2021
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Best Cat Foods For Skin And Coat

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What does it take for your cat to have a healthy coat and skin? Well, for the most part, it depends what you’re feeding it. You can control your cat’s diet and ensure that it gets the nutrition it needs to have healthy skin and a shiny coat.

What’s the Best Cat Food For Skin and Coat?

We don’t want to waste a second of your time. So no long intro here, what is the best cat food for skin and coat on the market today?

At a Glance: Best Cat Foods For Skin and Coat To Buy

We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product. You’ll also find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Compare Best Cat Food for Skin and Coat

Overall Best
Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird

1. Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird

Best For Sensitive Cats
Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

2. Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Best For Fur Loss
Dr. Elsey's Cleanprotein Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food

3. Dr. Elsey's Cleanprotein Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food

Best Wet Food for Skin and Coat
Hound & Gatos 98% Chicken & Liver Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

4. Hound & Gatos 98% Chicken & Liver Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Best For Kittens
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

5. Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

Best Affordable
Fancy Feast Classic Tender Liver & Chicken Feast Canned Cat Food

6. Fancy Feast Classic Tender Liver & Chicken Feast Canned Cat Food

Protein
23.4% Min
Protein
52% Min
Protein
11% Min
Protein
10% Min
Protein
12% Min
Protein
10% Min
Fat
6.6% Min
Fat
15% Min
Fat
9.0% Min
Fat
9.0% Min
Fat
7.5% Min
Fat
5.0% Min
Fiber
0.3% Max
Fiber
3% Max
Fiber
1.5% Max
Fiber
1.0% Max
Fiber
1.0% Max
Fiber
1.5% Max
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
All Life Stages
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Adult
Life Stage
Kitten
Life Stage
Adult
Type
Fresh
Type
Dry
Type
Wet/Canned
Type
Wet/Canned
Type
Wet/Canned
Type
Wet
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States
Made In
United States

What Kind Of Food Is Best For Healthy Skin and Coat?

Cats are best off when they eat a simple diet without any artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or other ingredients that might wear down their health over time.

It is rich in protein, has moderate levels of fat, and minimal carbohydrate content. It may contain a pinch of prebiotic fiber to help your cat’s gut microbiota flourish and the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and keep his coat looking sleek.

For maximum digestibility and better control over your cat’s diet, you’ll probably want to steer clear of animal by-products and vaguely-named meats.

Our Top Picks For The Best Cat Food for Skin and Coat

You have seen which kind of foods are good for your cat’s skin and coat. Now we want to show you the products we think are best for encouraging healthy growth and a healthy fur coat and skin.

Here are our top picks for the best cat food for skin and coat you should consider:

Overall Best
1.

Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird

Product Info

  • Protein: 23.4% Min
  • Fat: 6.6% Min
  • Fiber: 0.3% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Fresh
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 23.4%
Crude Fat: 6.6%
Crude Fiber: 0.3%
Moisture: 65.4%
Ash: 0.9%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 67.63%
Fat: 19.08%
Fiber: 0.87%
Carbs: 9.83%
Pros
  • Healthy balance of protein and fat
  • Rich in moisture for hydration
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Sent right to your door when you need it
Cons
  • Only available as part of a subscription
  • Meals aren’t portioned for individual servings
Your cat can’t have healthy skin if his body isn’t healthy as well, so what he really needs is a balanced diet. Smalls fresh cat food is made with wholesome, human-grade ingredients and formulated specifically for cats to deliver complete and balanced nutrition.

This Smalls Other Fresh Ground Bird recipe is a particularly good choice because it is loaded with lean protein but balanced with healthy animal-based fats your cat needs for healthy skin and coat. This recipe starts out with fresh turkey thighs (skin on) followed by chicken liver and a small amount of fresh veggies for added nutrients. It’s all served up fresh which means plenty of moisture for hydration and healthy digestion.

Smalls is a subscription service, so, while you may not be able to place a one-time order, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing your cat food will be sent right to your door when you need it.
Best For Sensitive Cats
2.

Vital Essentials Rabbit Mini Patties Grain Free Limited Ingredient Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 52% Min
  • Fat: 15% Min
  • Fiber: 3% Max
  • Life Stage: All Life Stages
  • Type: Dry
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 52%
Crude Fat: 15%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 8%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 56.52%
Fat: 16.3%
Fiber: 3.26%
Carbs: 23.91%
Pros
  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Very straightforward, simple ingredient list minimizes exposure to potential allergens
  • Contains raw goat’s milk, which may help reduce inflammation
  • Features herring oil as a source of nourishing omega-3 fatty acids
Cons
  • Not all cats enjoy the rabbit taste
  • Expensive
While most Vital Essentials foods contain egg in addition to their primary protein sources, this freeze-dried rabbit recipe is a true limited-ingredient product. It contains a mix of rabbit muscle meat and organs. Raw goat’s milk and herring oil round out the recipe.

Let’s talk a little more about those additives. Raw goat’s milk isn’t a traditional ingredient in cat food and it’s not a normal part of the feline diet.

Even though, it’s rich in caprylic acid, which may reduce yeast overgrowth associated with allergies. It’s also an anti-inflammatory ingredient, which helps allergic cats feel better. For more food recommendations for pets with sensitive stomachs, check out ThePetNow.

Finally, the food contains herring oil. Fats aren't allergenic, so this ingredient is appropriate for most cats, including those who are allergic to fish. Herring oil is more than just safe for cats with food sensitivities—it’s highly beneficial.
Best For Fur Loss
3.

Dr. Elsey's Cleanprotein Turkey Formula Canned Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 11% Min
  • Fat: 9.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.5% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 11%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 50%
Fat: 40.91%
Fiber: 6.82%
Carbs: 2.27%
Pros
  • Contains highly bioavailable protein
  • Rich in omega-3s from salmon oil and green-lipped mussels
  • Does not contain carrageenan or potentially-harmful colorings, flavors, or preservatives
Cons
  • An expensive food
Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein is one of the most interesting pet food brands available right now. This company started off in the cat litter space and has recently ventured into cat food.

Their dry food is one of the few to use gelatin in lieu of traditional high carbohydrate binders and their wet food, like this turkey formula, is made with highly digestible meats and minimal additives.

Dr. Elsey's foods are enhanced with salmon oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, they contain green-lipped mussels, another source of omega-3s. These ingredients help to reduce inflammation and support skin and coat health.
Best Wet Food For Skin And Coat
4.

Hound & Gatos 98% Chicken & Liver Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 10% Min
  • Fat: 9.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 2.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 40.91%
Fiber: 4.55%
Pros
  • Primarily made from nourishing chicken muscle meat and liver
  • Rich in omega-3s from salmon oil
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Doesn’t contain carrageenan or potentially harmful food colorings, flavors, or preservatives
Cons
  • An expensive food
  • Some cats don’t like the taste or texture of Hound & Gatos cat food
This paté from Hound & Gatos is made from chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver. All of this protein-rich, nutrient-dense flesh is mixed with agar-agar as a thickener. It’s one of the safest thickeners or stabilizers used for cat food, so you can rest assured knowing it's safe.

The food has salmon oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to keep your cat's coat looking lustrous and soft.

Because it doesn’t contain any tapioca starch, potato starch, or other ingredients commonly found in other cat foods, this Hound & Gatos recipe is extraordinarily low in carbohydrates.
Best For Kittens
5.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & Chicken Liver Pate Canned Kitten Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 12% Min
  • Fat: 7.5% Min
  • Fiber: 1.0% Max
  • Life Stage: Kitten
  • Type: Wet/Canned
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 7.5%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 54.55%
Fat: 34.09%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 6.82%
Pros
  • Formulated to support small kitten development
  • Rich in animal-sourced protein
  • Supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil
  • Low carbohydrate content
Cons
  • Contains some plant ingredients
Until kittens are about a year old, they need even more protein than adults, using it to fuel their rapid growth and development. This kitten food delivers plenty of protein from nourishing sources like turkey, chicken liver, chicken, and chicken meal.

Kittens also need DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that helps with brain and eye development. This food provides that DHA with plenty of bioavailable fish oil.

In addition to those kittenhood essentials, this food is a generally solid product. It’s carnivore-appropriate with moderate levels of fat, plenty of protein, and minimal carbohydrate content.
Best Affordable
6.

Fancy Feast Classic Tender Liver & Chicken Feast Canned Cat Food

Product Info

  • Protein: 10% Min
  • Fat: 5.0% Min
  • Fiber: 1.5% Max
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Type: Wet
  • Made In: United States

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3.5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 22.73%
Fiber: 6.82%
Carbs: 9.09%
Pros
  • Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Inexpensive
  • Plenty of moisture keeps your cat satisfied
Cons
  • Contains some potentially low-value by-products
  • Made with added colors and artificial flavors
You don’t need to feed your cat an expensive diet to help him lose weight. Even economical foods like this Fancy Feast recipe can be a great option. This canned food is rich in moisture, primarily made from meat ingredients, and has low carbohydrate content.

With animal by-products and vaguely-named generic meats dominating the ingredient list, we can assume that this food’s ingredient quality and digestibility isn’t quite as high as that of Nom Nom, but it’s all species-appropriate and a decent option for cats on a diet.

If you’re on a tight budget, this Fancy Feast canned food will be worlds better for your cat than any comparable kibble.

What To Consider Before You Buy The Best Cat Food For Skin And Coat?

We know you want the best for your feline friend. That’s why we’ve included a list of things to consider as you shop for food for your kitty:

  • Food Quality- This should be your top concern. If you want your cat to be healthy, inside and out, then you need to feed it food that is made naturally, that contains few to no fillers and that is rich in nutrients. It also needs to be reliably sourced and made with wholesome ingredients.
  • Gluten-Free- One of the most common food allergens for cats is gluten. Food allergies can often lead to skin conditions. Any cat food that contains wheat will have gluten in it, and this common filler can be avoided by choosing grain-free or gluten-free foods.
  • Price- You don’t have to spend a lot of money on cat food to get something that is good for your cat. Natural cat food will be more expensive than commercial cat food, but it doesn’t have to be impossible to get. Take your time in comparing the choices out there and find something that fits your budget but is still good for your cat.
  • Fatty Acids- Some fat isn’t very good for your cat, and you need to be careful about the kind of fat your cat eats and how much of it is being ingested. Even though, there are healthy fats that your cat absolutely needs. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for a healthy coat and skin, so make sure they are included in the food you regularly feed your cat.

Final Purrs

We hope that one of the products we listed in this article will be suitable for your feline friend. Remember that not all cats are the same, and as such, what one cat likes, another cat may not like. That doesn’t mean you should settle for some low-quality food.

Just try a different one from our list. Eventually, you will find something that your cat likes. A cat eating high-quality food is a healthy cat, with a shiny fur coat and healthy skin. Healthy cats will be great companions, so get your cat the best food you can. He will love you for it!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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