Cat Food

Compare cat foods in New Zealand at Canstar Blue. Dine, Chef, Countdown Homebrand, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Hills’s Pet Nutrition, Jimbo’s, Pams, Purina, Royal Canin and Whiskas were compared for value for money, variety and range, pet enjoyment, packaging and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Dine

Dine prides itself on producing what it considers to be some of the world’s finest cat foods.


Cat Food

Cats are the most popular pet in New Zealand and according to the NZ Animal Companion Council an astonishing 44% of Kiwi homes will have a feline family member. But apart from providing shelter, we also need to feed our cats a nutritious diet to keep that coat silky smooth and the senses in tip-top condition. According to Canstar Blue’s latest survey (released July 2018), 53% of cat owners in Otago measure the amount of food they give their pet to stop them getting fat.  This is the highest level in the country and well above the national average of 45%. In addition to worrying about their cat’s weight, over one quarter of owners are also concerned that their pet may get bored eating the same food day after day. Depending on what you read, there is some evidence to suggest this could be true but another recommendation is that you move the location of the food bowl from time-to-time to keep life interesting.  Another thing to bear in mind is that as your cat gets older, its nutritional needs will change so it’s best to buy a food suitable for the age of your cat. But, as with dogs, it’s best to introduce a new food gradually to avoid irritating the stomach.

What we look for in our cat food

The most common place for buying our pet food is at the supermarket (83%) but some people do prefer to shop at a specialist pet store or at their vet. When it comes to what drives our (or our pets’) satisfaction, the most significant features were:

  • Pet enjoyment – 31%
  • Value for money – 27%
  • Variety and range – 23%
  • Packaging – 19%

The Canstar Blue Overall Satisfaction winner, Dine, was rated a maximum five stars for pet enjoyment and variety.  For value for money and packaging it received a respectable four stars. Pams was the only brand to receive a maximum five star rating for value for money.

Don’t feed your cat these foods

It goes without saying that the best thing for your cat to eat is cat food, but a lot of cats like nothing better than getting their claws on a tasty treat.  However, according to vets-now.com some things can make your pet extremely ill and, although tasty for us humans, should be completely avoided by your cat.

Food Type Effect
Alcohol Even a small amount – less than a teaspoon – can cause liver and/or brain damage to your cat
Chocolate The stimulant Theobromine, found in most chocolate, can cause heart problems, muscle tremors or seizures in cats
Coffee, Tea and energy drinks The caffeine in these drinks can again cause muscle tremors as well as heart palpitations and rapid breathing
Dairy products The cat that got the cream will probably also be the cat with the upset stomach.  Cats can actually be lactose intolerant so drinking milk can result in vomiting and diarrhoea
Grapes (and raisins) A lovely sweet treat for owners, there’s anecdotal evidence to suggest these harmless looking fruits are not the best thing for your cat to eat and cause various digestive problems
Onions (including garlic and chives) This smelly family is toxic for cats and can cause digestive problems or, in severe cases, anaemia
Raw meat, eggs or fish Uncooked foods present a higher risk of Salmonella or E.coli both of which can make your cat extremely ill
Xylitol (artificial sweetener) Although not a common sweetener for tea or coffee, it is used in a wide variety of everyday food products from toothpaste to low-fat soft drinks. However, in our pets in can cause hypoglycaemia (low sugar levels) which is linked to liver failure and blood clotting disorders.

If you suspect your cat has eaten one of the above, the best course of action is to take them to a vet to get them checked over.

Creature Comforts

Cats will mostly take themselves out to exercise, wandering the neighbourhood and sometimes even dropping in on the neighbours.  But once home and fed what other little perks are there for these feline family members?

According to our survey, nearly one third of cat owners will buy their pet a present on special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas.  This increases to over two in five owners aged between 18 and 29 years old, and women are more likely to do this than men. So, for all of those pets owned by a female under 30, you’ve really lucked out!  

But that only accounts for two days of the year, what about the rest of the time?

Three in ten people said they preferred their cat to some members of their immediate family and with that adoration, many cats acquired a space on their owner’s bed at night.  Cats belonging to 18-29 year old owners are once again top cats in this category as 45% of them will be allowed to find a spot on their owner’s mattress at night.

So cats, if you’re reading this and fancy a bit of pampering, find yourself a nice lady owner aged somewhere between 18 and 29 years old, turn on the charm and you should be purrrrrrfectly happy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 2,500 New Zealand consumers across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers who have purchased food for their cat in the last three months – in this case 1,015 New Zealanders.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Previously rated as ‘Pet Food’

Pet Food (2017)
Pet Food (2016)

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