Best Semi Moist Cat Food (May 2023 Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)
When it comes to cat food, it has always been a battle between dry food and wet food. Some cat owners (especially those with the fussiest cats), at one point in their lives, would have wished that something in between exists – something like the best semi moist cat food or soft dry food – not too dry and not too watery.
Well, aren’t you lucky? That type of cat food actually exists. You will not, however, find it labeled as semi-moist or soft kibble cat food. Thus, expect the task of finding the best one a bit tricky considering all the confusing labels. But, just hang on. We made sure to make things a bit more bearable for you.
To narrow down your choices, we made it a point to come up with a list of the top-rated foods of this type based on pet parents’ unbiased opinions. We also took into account the nutritional value each product offers, so expect to see foods that are AAFCO-approved and -certified.
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at a glance: our top 5 picks for semi-moist cat food
You love what you see? Purrfect! Rest assured that I put these products on the list specifically due to their genuine quality and not for other reasons. I would just like to be transparent with you and inform you that FelineLiving may obtain a share of sales or other monetary compensation from the links on this page. I hope your furry friends will love these reviewed products and that it will spark joy in each pair of feline eyes!
Our Top 5 Best Semi Moist Cat Foods
Weruva BFF OMG! (Oh My Gravy!) Pouches
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Instinct Raw Boost Mixers
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Natural Balance Platefulls
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Instinct Healthy Cravings Cat Food Topper
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Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels
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Semi-moist cat foods (also known as soft dry food) often come in pouches and are usually called cat food toppers, mixers, or meal enhancers.
Which one is the best?
That is something only you and your cat would know. As we all know, all cats are made unique. And this just makes the task of finding the best food in this category is challenging. But, help is right here.
Our detailed guide aims to help you save time, effort, and money. After reading this article, you will not only know the top semi-moist cat foods in the market, but you will as well learn about the pros and cons of feeding your cat semi-moist cat foods and what you need to keep an eye on to find the right one.
Still unable to find anything that can tickle your cat’s picky taste buds? Worry not. As an added bonus, we also came up with a list of alternative choices for your hard-to-please cat.
- Weruva BFF OMG! (Oh My Gravy!) Pouches
- Instinct Raw Boost Mixers
- Natural Balance Platefulls
- Instinct Healthy Cravings Cat Food Topper
- Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels
1. Weruva BFF OMG! (Oh My Gravy!) Pouches
Keep your adorable kitties happy and healthy with these grain-free and gluten-free semi-moist cat foods from Weruva. While its cover is truly attention-grabbing with its fun colors and cute graphics, this one does not fail to impress when it comes to its nutritional content.
Nutrition-wise, this may not be packed with protein like the leading kibble brand, but this moist topper surely meets the nutritional guidelines set by AAFCO. Considering this, you can be assured that your feline BFF is getting the love she deserves.
- No more leftovers, thanks to its tasty recipes.
- It comes in a variety of flavors including (but not limited to) Tuna & Salmon, Chicken & Shrimp, Tuna & Lamb, and Duck & Salmon.
- Containing loads of moisture, pet owners recommend this semi-moist mixer for cats with urinary tract infection and digestive issues.
- It is convenient to use with its easy-to-open pouch.
- Senior cats seem to like this moist kibble’s texture.
- Cat’s poop does not stink as much as they used to.
- It is made with high-quality ingredients with meat being part of its first three ingredients.
- It is more expensive.
- While this one is easy to open, you might need a spoon to get everything out of the packet.
- Cat owners would have to get used to its scent.
2. Instinct Raw Boost Mixers
Worried that your cat may not be getting enough protein in his diet? This semi-moist food may just solve your problem. Instinct’s Raw Boost Mixer is a topper that is made of freeze-dried, raw, and all-natural meat.
Aside from being packed with protein, this moist meaty goodness is carefully crafted minus the inexpensive carb-loaded fillers often seen in commercial cat food. Now, this may be free of grains, wheat, soy, corn, and potato, but take note that this is best reserved as a treat for your kitties.
Designed for supplemental feeding only, you would have to get your vet’s advice to know the appropriate portion sizes to give to your cats.
- It helps keep cat’s coats shiny and healthy.
- Cats love its taste.
- It comes in rabbit and chicken flavor.
- Variations specifically made to improve cats’ digestive health, and skin and coat health are available as well. Pet owners with cats suffering from IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) and skin issues attest to its effectiveness.
- It helps cats improve their appetite.
- Cats’ stool quality immensely improved.
- It is easy to store.
- Its scent is pet parent-approved.
- The size of the pellets is a bit big for smaller breeds or kittens. But, cutting it into half or crushing it into bits does the trick.
- It is pretty expensive.
3. Natural Balance Platefulls
Here is another pouched moist cat food that holds tons of nutrients that your feline friends will surely love. This one is also made in gravy sauce that cats just cannot get enough of.
Aside from being tasty (and did I say grain-free), this also provides complete and balanced nutrition with a formula made of high-quality animal protein and wholesome fruits and veggies. Give this one a try and your cats are sure to get a plateful of nutrient-filled goodness.
- It is much more convenient to use than canned cat food.
- This one gets high ratings for its taste.
- Bits of carrots and peas, as well as morsels of meat, can be seen, so you know that your cat is actually eating high-quality food.
- This helps combat constipation issues in cats.
- Choose from a variety of flavors. This includes Tuna & Beef, Salmon, Tuna, & Crab, Chicken & Pumpkin, Cod, Chicken, Sole, & Shrimp, Turkey, Chicken, & Duck, and more.
- This food is on the pricey side.
4. Instinct Healthy Cravings Cat Food Topper
If you are looking for the best semi-moist topper that is loaded with raw, all-natural animal protein, look no further. Instinct’s Healthy Cravings is just that. The brand also made sure to keep unwanted ingredients at bay by formulating this without wheat, soy, corn, potato, grains, and by-product meals.
Similar to Instinct’s Raw Boost Mixers, this one is also crafted as a complement and should be fed as supplemental food.
- All mixed in a savory gravy sauce, your cat can choose from Salmon, Tuna, Chicken, Rabbit, and Duck flavor.
- This semi-moist topper is easy on the stomach and works great for cats with tummy sensitivities.
- Most cats are satisfied with its taste.
- This semi-moist cat food has impressed both cats and cat owners with its quality.
- Compared to canned cat food, this one is much more convenient to use with its easy to open pouch.
- Emptying the pouch can be a bit tricky.
- It costs way too much.
5. Wellness Healthy Indulgence Morsels
The last on our top 5 list is from a brand called Wellness. With your pet’s health on top of their list of priorities, this brand made sure that your pets will enjoy each mealtime by providing them with high-quality chunks of all-natural, slow-cooked meat.
To amp up on taste, these delectable proteins are smothered in gravy crafted out of grain-free recipes. If your cat cannot resist the taste of gravy, then this might just be the best moist cat food for your dear kitty.
- Aside from Salmon & Tuna, this moist neal is also available in other tasty flavors like Tuna, Chicken & Chicken Liver, Chicken & Salmon, Chicken & Turkey, and Turkey & Duck.
- It helps alleviate vomiting and indigestion.
- Cats go crazy over its taste.
- Pet parents are impressed with its list of ingredients.
- This is expensive.
Semi-Moist Cat Food 101
In the cat food realm, wet cat food reigning supreme over dry food has always been the main topic. Little did anyone know about the existence of another contender – the semi-moist cat food – also known as soft dry food.
Pet parents would have surely asked about this type of food (especially those with finicky cats). However, one reason why this type of food is seldom talked about is that it comes in different labels. In fact, none of the foods on the list are labeled as such.
Differentiating it from the common dry food or wet food is so downright confusing. Even the pet food retailers seem to be at a loss here. So, it all boils down to this question:
What Makes a Cat Food Semi-Moist or Soft Dry?
When asked which one is wet food and which one is dry food, figuring the answer is easy peasy. Enter soft dry cat food or semi-moist cat food. Then it becomes a different story.
We all know that dry cat food is often called kibble. Wet cat food, on the one hand, is more often referred to as canned cat food. What sets the two apart (aside from its appearance and texture) is its moisture content. The same will apply to semi-moist cat foods.
Kibble would only have around 10% moisture, while canned cat food contains more or less 85% water. Those in between can be safely classified as semi moist cat food or soft kibble, with most of it having around 60-65% moisture content.
Another way to differentiate this type of food from others is through its packaging and its labels.
Soft or moist kibbles are usually marketed as a food topper, mixer, or cat food complement. Formulated to be used for supplemental feeding, it is important to take note that these so-called “semi-moist cat foods” (while they are AAFCO-approved) frequently lack in the nutrient department and are better off considered as a treat for your cats.
Semi-Moist Cat Food’s Evolution: From Tender Vittles to Food Toppers
Semi-moist cat foods were not always known as a healthy cat food choice. In fact, this type of food has gained a bit of a bad reputation in the past.
It all started in the 1970s. Ralston Purina Company, a Missouri-based pet food manufacturer, introduced Tender Vittles – a cat food that is not wet or dry. It was the very first of its kind.
Unlike common commercial cat foods that came in a bag or a can, this one came in a pouch. Being the first semi-moist cat food in a pouch and having a price that is cheaper than canned foods, pet parents and their feline babies adored it. Soon after its introduction, it became one of the most iconic and beloved food brands for cats.
Years after, people took notice of its harmful effects. Loaded with sodium to lengthen the product’s life span, and packed with sugar to improve its taste, the once-famous Tender Vittles had to be discontinued. Unfortunately, this gave cats health problems like obesity, anemia, diarrhea, and poor dental health.
Recently, though, a similar type of food has been popping out in the stands. Marketed as food toppers or cat food complement, pouched semi-moist cat food for felines is specifically designed to give canned food extra flavor and add moisture (or even protein content) to dry kibble.
Soft Dry Cat Food: Are you For it or Against it?
Whether your cats should eat soft kibble or not is up to you and your finicky cat. Remember, though, that seeking your veterinarian’s expert advice should be a standard procedure.
A cat’s health is always a pet parent’s priority. So, it is vital to consider your vet’s recommendations on the appropriate portion sizes to give your cat, and his take on your cat’s nutrient profile.
Still at a loss? Hopefully, this list of pros and cons can help you in your decision-making.
- It gets a thumbs up for convenience. Since most semi-moist kibble comes in recyclable pouches, pet parents can attest to how easy and quick it is to use these. Compared to canned food that is hard to open and eats up a lot of space in the storage, these slightly moist dry food are easy to use- from storing to feeding up to its disposal.
- It is good-tasting. Pet food manufacturers made sure that these toppers are overflowing in flavor. Often used to boost the appetite of our four-legged furballs (whether they are eating kibble or canned food), you will frequently see these semi-moist, tender kibbles drenched in gravy.
- It resembles a wild cats diet. Adding to this food’s palatability is its soft texture that is somewhat similar to what cats ate in the wild.
- It is recommended for senior cats and cats with dental issues. Cats, by nature, are already picky. Double that for senior cats and cats with dental issues. Moist cat food is always preferred over the crunchy kibble. Some, though, still want a bit of chunk or morsels in their food while being high in flavor. Here is where the somewhat moist cat food comes in handy.
- It does not offer complete and balanced nutrition. Given that these are not meant to be given exclusively to cats, a lot of these pouched semi-moist foods lack the nutrients a cat requires in their actual daily meals.
- It generally contains more salt and sugar than the common canned food or dry food. Since it is meant to be used as an appetizer, these are often loaded with artificial flavoring and ingredients.
Pro Tips : How to Make Sure You Are Buying High-Quality Soft Kibble Cat Food?
Semi-moist foods for cats, as you know by now, are often made with a lot of artificial ingredients that can cause more harm than good if eaten in big amounts over a period of time. Thankfully, pet food manufacturers have upped their game by producing healthy alternatives.
To make sure that what you are buying is of high-quality, just take note of these tips and you are good to go.
Look for a Trustworthy Brand
When searching for high-quality semi-moist food for cats, it is always good to look for a brand you can trust. It is not about which one is more expensive or which one is more popular. It all boils down on what users say about the brand.
Take a Good Look at Its Ingredients
To make sure that your cat is getting high-quality food, make it a habit to look at the first three ingredients on the labels. As a rule of thumb, ingredients on the labels are written based on their quantity. Ingredients with the most amount are written on the topmost part of the list.
Given this, you can expect to see foods packed with protein to have all the meaty ingredients written as the first ingredients on the labels.
If you see that the first few ingredients on the labels are plant-based proteins like corn gluten and pea protein, then that product is better off on the shelf. These foods are rich in carbohydrates – exactly the type of food you do not want your cats to eat.
A Few More Ingredients You Need to Keep an Eye On
Cats’ biological macronutrient requirement when it comes to food would be something that contains high protein, moderate levels of fats, and low amounts of carbs. If you find anything that contains omega fatty acids and probiotics, then consider this as a plus.
Fatty acids help in the treatment and prevention of allergies and arthritis, not to mention heart and kidney diseases. Probiotics, on the other hand, helps cats achieve optimal gut health and boost the immune system.
Alternative Semi-Moist Kibble Choices
Every pet parent had to go through the task of looking for the best food for their feline friends. Some may have had a stress-free experience while others are still having a hard time figuring out what their kitty wants. If you are the latter, then there is no harm in trying these alternative food options.
Amplify the Moisture Content by Adding Some Liquid
If your cats want semi-moist food, then give in to her wants by adding water, broth, or tuna juice to her kibble. This may not improve the food’s nutritional value, but it effectively does the job of improving the food’s texture.
In case you decide to follow this method, take note that moistened kibble is prone to spoilage and mold growth. So, if you are free-feeding, this method is not really recommended. Any leftovers should be refrigerated ASAP or disposed properly.
Moisten Kibble with your Cat’s Fave Wet Food
Another sure-fire trick to improve the texture of your cat’s kibble is by mixing it up with her favorite canned food. Not only does this make the texture of the food better, but it also improves its nutritional value. Some experts in the field even say that feeding your cat a mixture of dry and wet food is beneficial.
Consider Cooking Up Some Homemade Food for Your Pal
If you are a pet parent who has some time to spare to cook up a healthy meal for your cat, then this is a perfect option. This way, you can be ensured that your cat is getting quality ingredients.
Now, before you get your cooking utensils, make it a priority to get your veterinarian’s advice or seek the help of a board-certified vet nutritionist. By doing so, you can guarantee that your feline’s food indeed meets her dietary needs.
Is there a semi moist cat food?
While true semi-moist cat food is all but nonexistent in today's market, the closest wholesome alternative is Wellness CORE air-dried cat food. Most people selected it as the best semi-moist food because it's meat-based, relatively low in carbohydrates, and has a softer texture than the average kibble.
Is there a dry cat food that is soft and moist?
Semi Moist Cat Food, yes it exist. Sold in convenient pouches, semi moist cat food looked like kibble, but contained more water. It was more affordable than canned, and cats seemed to like it more than dry food.
Can I still buy Tender Vittles cat food?
Tender Vittles was a brand of semi-moist cat food manufactured by Nestlé under the Purina name. As of March 2007, the Tender Vittles product line was discontinued and abandoned by Purina in the United States but was relaunched by Retrobrands USA LLC.
Is it OK to moisten dry cat food?
Do consider adding water to dry kibble. Just take about a ¼ cup of filtered water and add it to the top of the bowl of kibble in order to moisten and enhance the flavor of the pet food. Cats often stand to benefit the most from doing this, as they frequently have issues with dehydration.