There’s nothing like owning a cat. These playful creatures can easily tug at your heartstrings and become fixtures in your life through affection they only show on their terms.
But it’s getting more expensive to feed our furry friends, which brings up a major downside to cat parenthood. So it’s crucial to know where you can find inexpensive, high-quality cat food.
The Best Places to Buy Cheap Cat Food With High-Quality Ingredients
Our pick for the best overall place to buy cat food is Amazon. The online retailer offers a massive selection, frequent promotions, savings through autoship, and plenty of low-priced options. Plus, it’s a convenient one-stop shop, as it has everything else your cat needs plus products for humans.
Other retailers that made the list shine in their own way, like having low prices, same-day delivery, or free in-store pickup.
Best Overall: Amazon
Amazon rose to stardom by offering the lowest pricing on just about everything they sell, from pet supplies to products for the humans in the household as well.
Knowing the sheer volume of sales Amazon does, most brands want to be featured on the company’s website, meaning you have access to almost any kind of cat food you could want. Amazon even offers prescription-grade pet food at fantastic prices.
You can filter the search results to find the food you’re looking for quickly, and if you’re a Prime member, you’ll enjoy free two-day shipping on most brands.
Moreover, you can sign up for regular automated deliveries on a schedule you choose through Amazon Subscribe & Save. That can save you up to 15% off the regular price of your cat’s food, depending on how many products you have on subscription.
Best for Free In-Store Pickup: PetSmart
PetSmart built its name by offering decent prices on high-quality name brands. Some cat food brands the company carries include Meow Mix, Iams, and Friskies.
The company offers competitive pricing on high-end name brands. But it’s not known for carrying lower-cost brands. Nonetheless, PetSmart shines when it comes to convenience.
Sometimes, you need cat food today. PetSmart provides free same-day in-store pickup. So you can get your hands on the food you need when you need it without worrying about expensive cat food sitting on your porch for anyone to take. Just place your order on your lunch break and pick it up on the way home.
Best for Same-Day Delivery: Petco
Petco is known for offering competitive pricing on the highest-quality brands in cat food.
You can filter your online search results to find the exact type of food you need. Whether you’re looking for kitten food, adult cat food, or an option for all life stages, it’s available at Petco. You can also filter by a host of other options, such as flavor, brand, and dietary preference.
While it doesn’t carry the lowest-cost brands, there is one area where Petco really shines.
In most areas of the U.S., Petco offers free same-day delivery. So you can have your fur baby’s food delivered right to your front doorstep within hours.
Like other pet stores, Petco carries a wide selection of treats, toys, and accessories for cats. Same-day delivery is also available on these products.
Best for Affordability: Walmart
Walmart made its name by offering some of the best prices on goods of all kinds.
It has a large selection of low-cost options for feeding your cat. However, if you’re looking for a specific high-end brand name or your cat has dietary restrictions, you may need to look elsewhere.
Nonetheless, Walmart is a low-cost, convenient option for the vast majority of cat owners. Moreover, with access to a wide selection of goods for pets and humans, it’s a one-stop shop for just about anything.
Best for Convenience: Chewy
Chewy rose to popularity by offering compelling promotions, low prices, and a convenient way to access cat food and pet supplies like treats and medication.
Chewy provides access to one of the largest food selections for your furry friends, with top brands like Fancy Feast, Purina One, and Blue Buffalo.
You can use filters to narrow the massive list of available options. Whether you need dry cat food or wellness options like grain-free, gluten-free, limited-carbohydrate, hairball-reduction, or even prescription foods, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
Being an online retailer, the company has limited overhead expenses and has done well at passing those savings to its customers.
Adding to the platform’s convenience, Chewy offers autoship, meaning you don’t have to remember to order your cat’s food. When you sign up for autoship, you’ll get 35% off your first pet supplies order, 20% off your first prescription medication order, and 5% off all future autoship orders of select brands.
Methodology: How We Select the Best Places to Buy Cheap Cat Food
We used four key metrics when evaluating the different places to buy cheap cat food. These metrics include brand availability, price, filtering options, and convenience.
While the goal is to buy cheap cat food, it’s essential to find a balance between cost and quality. That’s why the first thing we looked at was the selection of brands from each option. The more brand availability, the more weight we gave the option.
When determining brand availability, we paid close attention to the availability of brands focused on wellness and dietary restrictions too.
With the average cat owner spending hundreds of dollars per year on cat food and significantly more when they own multiple cats, we paid close attention to the prices offered through each option.
When assessing price, we looked at two criteria:
- Lowest Overall Price. First, we looked at the lowest-price cat food available, regardless of brand or food type.
- Lowest Prices on Specific Products. We also compared the prices of some of the most popular products when determining the most suitable options. In our comparison, we found that it’s crucial to shop around, as prices vary wildly from one supplier to the next.
Even if a retailer has the type of food you need at a competitive price, if you can’t find it, you’re not in very good shape.
We combed the websites of each pet food supplier paying close attention to the filtering options. In particular, those that offered options based on price, brand, life stages, and dietary restrictions received a heavier weighting than those that did not.
Finally, we focused on convenience. In particular, we looked for:
- Delivery Options. The most convenient options offered free delivery and same-day delivery or in-store pickup. We also looked for options that offered subscriptions.
- Other Product Availability. We looked at the other products available through the provider. After all, when you own a cat, food isn’t the only thing you need to buy.
- Human Product Availability. The ultimate convenience when buying cat food is the ability to purchase human products as well. As such, solutions that offered products for human cat companions were weighted more heavily than those that did not.
Best Places to Buy Cheap Cat Food FAQS
Taking care of any animal leads to multiple questions, especially when it comes to feeding that animal. A cat is no different. These are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding the purchase of cheap cat food.
Is It OK to Go With the Cheapest Option?
If you’re in a bind, food is food, and the cheapest option will do. On the other hand, remember that food quality makes a difference. It’s best to focus on finding food that’s best for your cat, then shop for the lowest prices on that particular food.
Keep in mind that feeding your cat the lowest-quality food for an extended period could result in health problems down the road, which can become quite costly.
Should I Buy Dry or Wet Cat Food?
You should consider multiple factors when determining if wet or dry cat food is best. Those include:
- Your Cat’s Weight. According to PetMD, dry cat food has been linked to obesity among our feline friends. If your cat already has an obesity problem, wet cat food is best.
- Your Budget. Wet cat food tends to be more expensive than dry varieties. As such, it can be tough to afford for cat owners with a limited budget.
- Health Conditions. Some health conditions lead to dietary restrictions that require a larger water intake. In these cases, wet food is the best way to go, as your cat will get more water from that than it would from dry food.
If you’d like your cat to experience the benefits of wet cat food but are on a budget that makes dry food the more feasible option, you can mix them to make the wet food last longer on a budget.
How Important Are Supplements?
Dietary supplements for cats are available over the counter. However, as with humans, overuse of supplements can lead to significant issues in a cat’s health.
If you think your cat needs a supplement, it’s worth spending a few bucks to take your pet to the vet and get a professional’s opinion. They can also help you determine how much to give your feline friend.
How Do I Safely Change My Cat’s Diet?
Cat’s stomachs are overwhelmingly sensitive. As a result, abruptly changing your cat’s food can result in diarrhea and other digestive system discomforts for your fur baby. If you’ve decided it’s best to change your cat’s food, do so in stages.
Simply add a little bit of the new food to the old food. Every day or two, increase the amount of the new food and decrease the amount of the old food by the same amount.
When Should I Change From Kitten to Adult Cat Food?
Kittens and adult cats have different dietary requirements, and it’s essential to start with kitten food and work your way to adult cat food. But many wonder when that transition should start.
In general, it’s best to transition your cat from kitten to adult food at 1 year of age. However, changes to food could affect your cat’s health. So it’s best to consult a veterinarian before making that decision.
How to Choose the Best Place to Buy Cheap Cat Food
Choosing the best place to buy cheap cat food is a relatively simple process. First and foremost, find suppliers that offer the food you need.
Once you’ve found suppliers, compare the prices to determine the cheapest place to buy. You’ll also want to look into how convenient shopping with that supplier is. If the price difference only amounts to a few pennies, it may be best to choose the option that offers the highest level of convenience.