It is important to ensure optimum feline health if you also want to have a more meaningful and long-lasting relationship with your pet. And what better way to do this than to give Garfield highly nutritious food? The best dry cat foods are rich in protein and low in carbs yet provide sufficient amounts of hydration to also address your cat’s need for water. Choosing the best cat food may not be easy since there will always be unscrupulous manufacturers that undermine high-quality food manufacturing at the expense of your fur baby's health. Don’t worry, though, as we’re here to share with you the result of our research on the 10 best dry cat foods in the market. Let’s take a look.

The 10 Top Rated Dry Cat Foods

Editor's PickProduct NamePriceRating
Best Air-DriedZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat FoodCheck Price on Chewy4
Best for Weight ControlBlue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control & Weight ControlCheck Price on Amazon4.7
Best for Joint ProblemsWellness Complete Health Chicken & Rice Check Price on PetSmart4
Best Freeze-DriedStella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner MorselsCheck Price on Chewy4.3
Best for KittensNature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Kitten FoodCheck Price on Amazon4.5
Best High-ProteinWysong Epigen Starch-Free Chicken FormulaCheck Price on Chewy3.8
Best for Immune SupportDr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula Check Price on Amazon4.5
Best HypoallergenicNatural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Chickpea FormulaCheck Price on PetSmart5
Best for Picky EatersPrimal Chicken & Salmon Formula Raw Nuggets Freeze-Dried Cat FoodCheck Price on Chewy4.1
Best for Indoor CatsHill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Chicken RecipeCheck Price on Amazon4.8
*Ratings are from Amazon, Chewy, and PetSmart at the time of publication and can change

1 Best Air-Dried: ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food

Best Air-Dried: ZIWI Peak Air-Dried Cat Food
Key features:
  • Brand: ZIWI
  • Allergens: None
  • First 5 Ingredients: Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver
  • Primary Proteins: Fish, lamb
  • Flavor: Mackeral and Lamb
  • Life Stage: All
  • Calories: 273 kcal/scoop
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$100

Limited ingredient foods are always a big benefit to animals and never more so than with cats. Their naturally carnivorous nature will love the grain-free, low-carb ingredients. And many users note that their cats are keen to jump into each dish and enjoy to their heart’s content. Being high in protein, this option also caters to their active lifestyle and is, therefore, a great choice for outdoor cats.

ZIWI has worked to include as many superfoods as possible, without marring the taste and overall nutritional value of the food. That makes this a great choice for those seeking to add any additional supplements to their cat’s diet, without reaching for multiple extras to work in on their own. In other words, this is a great choice for cats in all life stages.

Ingredients:

Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine.

What others say about it:
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My cat LOVES this food! She was a rescue so she had some eating issues when we got her. We tried all kinds of food but nothing seemed to satisfy her or nutritionally help her. She was always hungry and always wanted more to eat. I knew this was due to the lack of proper ingredients for a cat so I did some research and found Ziwi Peaks. It’s food made for cats with their needs in mind as felines. We chop it up in the Ninja for smaller bites and mix a bit of water in it. Not only is our cat satisfied but she never cries for more, she never leaves anything on her plate and she eats less due to getting the proper nutrients. We ran out for 2 days and she went back to crying and not eating what we had on hand. As soon as I opened the new bag she calmed right down and ate her food. Best product out there for our beautiful felines!

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2 Best for Weight Control: Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control & Weight Control

Best for Weight Control: Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball Control & Weight Control
Key features:
  • Brand: Blue Buffalo
  • Allergens: Barley, Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Barley, Brown Rice, and Pea Starch
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, pea protein
  • Flavor: Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 363 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$25

Clearly deserving a spot in our list of the 10 best dry cat foods is this kibble from Blue Buffalo. BLUE for Cats Adult Dry Cat Food enjoys the trust of a great number of feline pet owners because of its amazing array of flavor choices and clinical purposes. It typically comes in single meat protein sources like chicken, salmon, and turkey or a combination of the three and added with brown rice. 

In addition to this healthy wholesome grain, Blue Buffalo also includes natural vegetables to help provide the cat food with an exceptional profile of natural antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that are packed into a proprietary technology Blue Buffalo calls LifeSource Bits. What really makes the Blue Buffalo stand out is the inclusion of 5 different strains of gut-friendly probiotics to help improve the digestion of your feline friend. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control is one of 9 cat food recipes included in our Blue Buffalo Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Barley, Brown Rice, Pea Starch, Pea Protein, Powdered Cellulose, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Peas, Oatmeal, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseed (source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Calcium Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Calcium Chloride, Psyllium Seed Husks, Potassium Chloride, Potatoes, L-Lysine, Taurine, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Calcium Carbonate, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, Salt, L-Carnitine, Vegetable juice for color, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Parsley, Turmeric, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Dried Yeast, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Oil of Rosemary.

What others say about it:
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I ordered Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control dry cat food for my cat. She loves it. She isn’t having any problems with hairballs anymore. She is more active and playful.

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3 Best for Joint Problems: Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Rice

Best for Joint Problems: Wellness Complete Health Chicken & Rice
Key features:
  • Brand: Wellness Complete
  • Allergens: Gluten
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Deboned Chicken, Pea Fiber, Turkey Meal
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, pea, turkey
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 458 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$34

There’s no doubt that Wellness Complete Health Natural Dry Cat Food is one of the 10 best cat foods in the market especially for felines that are at high risk for the development of joint problems such as arthritis. One of the main advantages of Wellness Natural is that it includes chondroitin and glucosamine in its formulation, affording felines the ability to nourish and optimize the health of their joints. Wellness Natural has another big plus going its way. It contains one of the highest levels of crude protein in our list, currently rated at a minimum of 38%.

While this is naturally beneficial especially for young cats, making it an excellent kitten food, too high a protein level can be quite dangerous to cats that have kidney problems, however. Like the other products in our list, Wellness Natural uses chicken as its primary protein source although getting the salmon or the combination of salmon and turkey would be more interesting as these provide EPA and DHA for brain health and anti-inflammatory capabilities. Regardless, Wellness Natural should still be a great choice since it has an ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids plus the addition of natural antioxidants. If you want to find out more about their company, product lines, and recall history, read our review of Wellness Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Barley, Oats, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Calcium Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

What others say about it:
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I did very extensive research years ago when I first got my cat back in 2015. The owners were feeding him department store food and within a week of owning him I had him switched over to the Wellness Brand. There was an overall improvement to his health, his joints are great his fur is so soft and shines. He loves this food. Our other cat also loves this food. I would recommend this brand a thousand times over to anyone. Again it is a bit on the pricier side of foods. But you should want to give your cats the best so they can stay healthy.

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4 Best Freeze-Dried: Stella & Chewy’s Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels

Best Freeze-Dried: Stella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels
Key features:
  • Brand: Stella & Chewy
  • Allergens: Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken (Ground With Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 182 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$400

This freeze-dried raw food from Stella & Chewy has proven to be consistently highly rated. This is likely due to the quality content of the cat food as a whole – but it also comes with a wide range of additional benefits. Added supplements help to maintain the overall health of your cat, while grain-free food makes sure that every mouthful is packed with nutrients.

Everything is sourced from organic and sustainably sourced ingredients. Which, when combined with the top-quality production process, right made here in the US, offers unbeatable value for money. Your cat is sure to love this food and will reap the benefits of all the added goodness it has to offer.

Ingredients:

Chicken (Ground With Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Fenugreek Seed, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Dandelion, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

What others say about it:
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I bought this product a while back just a small bag to test on my cats and to find out if they would eat it. Well on the second day I found the empty bag on the floor and some of my little angels found the bag in a cabinet and helped themselves. I have one names you guessed it LUCY! She absolutely loves this she eats it dry I just smash it up a little but she begs me for this stuff. Some of my others sneak in and munch on it also but none like my little Lucy.

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5 Best for Kittens: Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Kitten Food

Best for Kittens: Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Kitten Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Nature’s Variety
  • Allergens: Egg, chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat, Egg Product
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, turkey, fish
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Kitten
  • Calories: 557 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$83

If it’s a high-protein dry cat food that you’re after, then Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain-Free Recipe is a splendid choice as it contains a minimum of 43.5%, especially for its kitten food variety. This is welcome news for those with kittens in their households as kittens require substantially higher levels of protein than do adult cats. The unique composition of Instinct guarantees that more than 4 out of 5 of its ingredients are based on animal sources while the remainder is what constitutes carbs like wholesome grains, veggies, and fruits. 

It also uses a variety of novel proteins in its formulations to help augment the grain-free nature of its design. It comes in duck, salmon, rabbit, and, of course, chicken. Its Kitten Chicken variant should be helpful in determining if your young feline is allergic to chicken or not. Adding to the health benefits of Instinct is the addition of 60 million colony-forming units of Bacillus coagulans, one of the beneficial bacteria that naturally reside in the cat’s gut. This helps improve digestion while boosting your cat’s immune system. For a full list of our favorite options, see our round-up of Nature’s Variety Instinct Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Egg Product, Chicken Meal, White Fish Meal, Tapioca, Natural Flavor, Lamb Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Carrots, Apples, Cranberries, Montmorillonite Clay, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin), Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Freeze Dried Chicken Heart, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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Been feeding this to my 20-year-old cat and she loves it. Wanted to find something with minimal ingredients and none of the carrageenan/guar gum/xanthan gum crap, and no menadione sodium bisulfite complex. This fits the bill. Happy with the amount of protein. Buy it by the case and I was worried she’d get sick of the same food, same flavor every day. Nope. Gobbles it down each time. Goes bananas when she sees the can. 🙂

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6 Best High-Protein: Wysong Epigen Starch-Free Chicken Formula

Best High-Protein: Wysong Epigen Starch-Free Chicken Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Wysong
  • Allergens: Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potato Protein, Meat Protein Isolate
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Turkey, Potato
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 435 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$32

The Wysong cat food offers an incredible dietary option for your adult cat, offering a grain-free alternative that is hard to compete with. Its main ingredients are entirely based on what your cat (and dog) would naturally eat and links them to their obligate carnivorous nature. Real chicken hit the top spot on this list, which leads to a massive 60% protein capacity.

Of course, that also means that these dry foods are not suitable for indoor cats or kittens. More importantly, however, the fresh meat basis on which this cat food was created can be far too rich for some cats, too. You’ll need to add this to your cat’s diet much more slowly than you would with competitors. Otherwise, your cat will have stomach problems – and eventually refuse to eat it.

Ingredients:

Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potato Protein, Meat Protein Isolate, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Gelatin, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds, Salt, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Tomato Pomace, Calcium Propionate (a preservative), Choline Chloride, Dried Kelp, Organic Barley Grass Powder, Dried Blueberry Powder, Dried Yogurt, Apple Pectin, Dried Kale, Dried Spinach, Dried Carrots, Fish Oil, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid (a preservative), Inulin, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Lactis Fermentation Product, Pepper.

What others say about it:
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I had been on the search for quality kibble that was more biologically appropriate for cats and finally settled on this one, which has an awesome formula. And a bonus, both of my cats loved it from the start. I highly recommend it.

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7 Best for Immune Support: Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula

Best for Immune Support: Dr. Elsey's cleanprotein Chicken Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Dr. Elsey’s
  • Allergens: Chicken, Egg
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Egg, Pork
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 554 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$60

Dr Elsey’s have done really well here, to create a cat food formula that takes the best ingredients and provide them at a really low price (all things considered). A high protein content means that this isn’t ideal for indoor cats or kittens – but works brilliantly for outdoor cats and active pets.

Plenty of added amino acids from appropriate sources help to keep your cat healthy and happy, too. Just be aware that the kibble pieces can be quite large for some smaller cats, and that you’ll need to make more frequent purchases, sadly, due to the smaller bag size.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharide, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Potassium Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Taurine, Salt, Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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This food is so good. I really had no idea the carbs ect I was dumping into my cat. I thought I was buying good food. My cat is long in general but he hit 18 pounds and was labeled obese. It’s 19 days today and I can already see his belly fat is getting smaller. Worth every penny.

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8 Best Hypoallergenic: Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Chickpea Formula

Best Hypoallergenic: Natural Balance L.I.D. Salmon & Chickpea Formula
Key features:
  • Brand: Natural Balance
  • Allergens: Fish
  • First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Chickpeas, Peas, Salmon Meal, and Pea Protein
  • Primary Proteins: Salmon, Chickpea & Peas
  • Flavor: Salmon
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 329 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$24

For those who are quite apprehensive about the allergenicity of certain cat food, Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food is a great option since it contains only a single meat-source protein, unlike other brands that provide proteins from multiple meat sources. The Natural Balance dry cat food sources its meat proteins from salmon, chicken, duck, venison, or turkey.

Each single meat protein is then added with a plant protein that is either green peas or chickpeas. The beauty of this formulation is that you can easily identify the protein that your pet is allergic to. It’s also rich in proteins and has significantly higher moisture content than the Blue Buffalo. It also comes with healthy prebiotics, essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins for optimum feline health. For more information on the brand, check out our Natural Balance Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Salmon, Chickpeas, Peas, Salmon Meal, Pea Protein, Dried Beet Pulp, Potatoes, Brewers Dried Yeast, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate (source of phosphorus), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Inulin, Citric Acid (preservative), Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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Have four cats and one of them is the pickiest eater I have ever seen. She never begs for food and never comes to eat when the others do. She asks for this food and absolutely loves it! Other than this, I can say that their coats feel amazing on this and my two that have issues with sensitive stomachs are doing really well on this good. Switching to this food has significantly reduced any allergy and other food-related issues we were having previously.

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9 Best for Picky Eaters: Primal Chicken & Salmon Formula Raw Nuggets Freeze-Dried

Best for Picky Eaters: Primal Chicken & Salmon Formula Raw Nuggets Freeze-Dried
Key features:
  • Brand: Primal Pet Foods
  • Allergens: Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Salmon, Chicken Livers
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Salmon
  • Flavor: Chicken and Salmon
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 128 kcal/oz
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$122

Best suited as a topper or to supplement your cat’s daily diet, these freeze-dried chunks work wonders for those seeking the very best for their pet. The high protein content comes from cat-appropriate sources, complementing your dry foods perfectly, if you’re after upping the health quota of your food.

Naturally filled with vitamins and minerals that help to support your cat, giving them healthy skin and ideal digestive system, this is an ideal – if expensive – choice. Just be aware that, due to the natural quality of this option, the quality of your bag may change from order to order.

Ingredients:

Chicken (with ground bone), Chicken Livers, Salmon, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cranberries, Organic Blueberries, Organic Kale, Organic Squash, Organic Carrots, Organic Apples, Organic Broccoli, Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Parsley, Organic Quinoa, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Fish Oil, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Coconut Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Ground Alfalfa, Dried Organic Kelp.

What others say about it:
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This has been a lifesaver. Although we were told to put our 14-year-old cat on a low protein diet for her failing kidneys, we tried a free sample of this and she gobbled it. She was not eating before this and was down to 5 pounds. Now she gobbles this and has put meat on her boney body and is doing great. It’s not cheap, but we’ll continue to buy it because it’s worth it. She eats is dry; we call it her “sawdust.” (We have a water fountain always running.)

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10 Best for Indoor Cats: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe

Best for Indoor Cats: Hill's Science Diet Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Hill’s Science Diet
  • Allergens: Corn, Gluten, Wheat, Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Fat
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 319 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$29

Hill’s Science Diet’s Indoor Dry Cat Food boasts of well-balanced nutrition for kitties. Its formulation places real chicken as its primary source of protein and fats while the addition of fish oil simply means that it has substantial amounts of EPA and DHA for anti-inflammatory and nervous system health, respectively. If there is one thing that you might be wary of with this cat food brand, that would be its allergenic grain content. 

Hill’s Science Diet’s Indoor Cat Food, unfortunately, contains wheat gluten, soy, and corn which can be a serious concern for those pet parents who are wary about pet allergies. Nevertheless, this formulation is specifically designed for tabbies that do not venture outdoors, giving them the kind of well-balanced nutrition they need. If they were more ‘outgoing’, we surmise Hill’s Science would formulate its product with more protein.

Read our in-depth review of Hill’s Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Fat, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Soybean Oil, Calcium Sulfate, Lactic Acid, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Green Peas, Apples, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli, Beta-Carotene.

What others say about it:
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My cat is about 2 years old, I decided to get him the more healthy type of food, I was worried about how he’d make the transition as I’ve read it takes time for cats to adjust and sometimes it upsets their stomachs. Well, I followed the transitional method shown while purchasing, and he took it like a champ! No litter box changes, he really enjoys this new food, and I feel like a better parent for making this a healthy choice for him.

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11 Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain
Key features:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Allergens: Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Pea, Potato
  • Flavor: Roasted Venison & Smoked Salmon
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 425 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$23

Taste of the Wild comes up frequently, when it comes to top lists, and it’s easy to see why. The company clearly know what customers want and how to provide the basics to cats. Indeed, the percentages of protein and fat are ideal for most, healthy adult cats and this suits many pet owners well.

However, with this option there’s one big thing holding it back. The main ingredients are mostly filler-based, with meat meal being the number one ingredient – as opposed to fresh chicken. Given that cats need to eat meat from high-quality sources, this is a major con to this option and why it sits at the bottom of our list. For a wider selection of choices, check out our Taste of the Wild Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Roasted Venison, Smoked Salmon, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Dl-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

What others say about it:
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Featuring an array of meats including chicken, roasted venison, salmon, and whitefish, this wonderful cat kibble boasts an ample 42% crude protein, with an equally elite crude fat content of 18%. Those cornerstone nutritional values are supplemented with a robust vitamin and mineral profile, ample Omega-3 fatty acids, and a whopping probiotics payload of 80 million CFU per pound.
More importantly, our tuxedo cat is as fussy as they come, she’s nearly nineteen, and Taste of the Wild’s Rocky Mountain Feline Recipe has been her preferred cat food for the better part of that long life. Testimony!

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12 Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe
Key features:
  • Brand: Rachael Ray
  • Allergens: Chicken, Gluten
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Brown Rice, Brewer’s Rice
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: All
  • Calories: 386 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$17

You really wouldn’t expect celebrity chef and TV personality Rachael Ray to do well in pet nutrition. However, ever since the establishment of its Nutrish brand of pet food, it has slowly climbed the rankings in the world of pet food. Whether this is because of the pull of her celebrity status or not, you can bet the Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food deserves to be mentioned in this list of reputable and trustworthy dry cat food brands.

What Nutrish promises is the absence of cereal grains in its formulation, making you feel more confident and safer about the allergies that might befell your pet. Nutrish also prides itself of not using any meals from poultry byproducts. At any rate, you can say Rachael Ray is right on the money when it comes to affording your feline friend good nutrition. 

Take a look at our review of Rachael Ray Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Brown Rice, Brewer’s Rice, Dried Peas, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Flaxseed, Fish Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Caramel (Color), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dicalsium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Carrots, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, L-Tryptophan, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

What others say about it:
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I’ve had this cat food for three days now. I’d never bought this brand before, but the price was right at only $6 and change for 6lbs and it’s a healthier brand. Well, the cats LOVE it! Even my very picky 15 year old boy who’s sick. He has cancer and will usually only eat pate can food now. Since buying this, he’s barely eaten his canned food, which he usually loves. The cats were almost exclusively on dry food until he got sick and didn’t want dey food anymore. The kibble is small, which I know is a reason he eats it so well. But I’m assuming the taste is also great. My other cat loves it as well. I went from 4+ cans of cat food per day between them to opening one can per day that goes most uneaten. It has only been three days, but if this pans out, I’ll be able to save a lot of money not buying so many cans, which is another plus.
I am extremely happy with this purchase and I highly recommend it.

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13 Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care

Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care
Key features:
  • Brand: Iams
  • Allergens: Corn, Gluten, Wheat, Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 302 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$19

The Proactive Health Specialized Care Adult Dry Cat Food formulated and manufactured by IAMS deserves its place in this list of the best cat food brands because of its well-balanced nutritional formula that takes into consideration the unique needs of a feline that prefers to stay indoors rather than go outside exploring. Each kibble of the IAMS Proactive is formulated to contain the right proportions of proteins, fats, moisture, and fiber with the addition of other healthy and all-natural ingredients to keep your feline happy and satisfied.

For more information on the brand, check out our Iams Cat Food Review.

Ingredients:

Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Turkey, Powdered Cellulose, Natural Flavor, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Caramel Color, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Bisulfate, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharides, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid], Taurine, Minerals [Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide], Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives), L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract.

What others say about it:
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My male cat is a big hungry boy, but rather picky. He loves this food! When the box comes he goes crazy – he can apparently smell what’s inside. He has chewed through the bag before when I left it where he could get it! I’m happy that this helps with his weight and digestive issues. Much less vomiting with this food.

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14 Cat Chow Gentle Sensitive Stomach + Skin

Cat Chow Gentle Sensitive Stomach + Skin
Key features:
  • Brand: Purina
  • Allergens: Corn, Gluten, Chicken
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey By-product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Rice, Chicken By-product Meal
  • Primary Proteins: Turkey, Soybean, Chicken
  • Flavor: Turkey
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Calories: 402 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$19

Purina’s Cat Chow Gentle Dry Cat Food formulation is one of the most unique products we’ve seen so far when it comes to kitty chow. The Cat Chow has effectively ditched the usual chicken meal into its formulation for the more novel, hopefully, less allergenic turkey. However, while it has replaced chicken with turkey, Cat Chow still contains corn gluten, soybean meal, and wheat flour. Nevertheless, the moderately high fiber content should help with more efficient fecal elimination while the moisture content is perfect for ensuring hydration in your cat.

Find out more about Purina Cat Food.

Ingredients:

Turkey By-product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Rice, Chicken By-product Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Whole Grain Wheat, Beef Fat Preserved With Mixed-tocopherols, Liver Flavor, Turkey, Inulin, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Potassium Chloride. E450420.

What others say about it:
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My cat has been a lifelong barter. Every meal, every day. No matter what it was, he’d gobble down his food and then immediately throw it back up (usually on my good rug). The vet said he just had a sensitive stomach or maybe a food allergy. We tried food after food. I bought this stuff because nothing else seemed to make any difference. As usual, he gobbled it down, but this time no barfing! I waited two weeks before reviewing just in case it was a fluke (he’s crafty like that) but he hasn’t vomited since the food change. He also loves the taste, so happy cat AND happy person!

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15 Solid Gold Indigo Moon Grain-Free High Protein Food

Solid Gold Indigo Moon Grain-Free High Protein Food
Key features:
  • Brand: Solid Gold
  • Allergens: Chicken, Fish
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Peas, Chicken, Dried Eggs
  • Primary Proteins: Chicken, Fish
  • Flavor: Chicken
  • Life Stage: All
  • Calories: 475 kcal/cup
  • Typical Monthly Cost: ~$35

Solid Gold have proven to be very popular with some pet parents of an adult cat. This particular option is great for grain-free cat food that can help your adult cat with allergies or a sensitive stomach. Free from corn, wheat and soy, there is also no gluten in this food.

At the same time, it still manages to balance protein fairly well – although the fat content is a little high. As such, a couple of reviewers noticed that their cat put on some weight, with this choice. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, it may be best to avoid this option.

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Peas, Chicken, Dried Eggs, Ocean Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Pumpkin, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid), Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Blueberries, Cranberries, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.

What others say about it:
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My cat is a picky eater, so I’ve been on a search for an amazing brand of dry food for quite a while. After trying this out, I can say with confidence that this is a high quality brand. It is also very healthy according to the ingredients on the back. My cat absolutely loves this food. He gets excited every day when I grab my measuring cup and open up the food pantry for his meal. I highly recommend it.

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Best Dry Cat Food: Buying Guide & FAQs

We understand the most common mistakes made by most newbie cat owners in selecting the most appropriate food for their pets. Like any other buying endeavor, you should always look for the quality of the products and less on the price. More importantly, however, is for you to determine the purpose of giving dry food to your cat. For example, growing kittens will require different nutrition from a cat that is already in its senior years. Also, some cats are not really active so they will require significantly fewer calories, lest they risk developing obesity. Choosing the right cat food is more about understanding the unique needs of your pet. We’ve prepared to guide you through the process of choosing the best dry food for your cat.

You may also like our guide on the Best Dry Food for Senior Cats.

What Should I Look for in the Best Dry Food for My Cat?

Feline chow typically comes in various types, ingredients, presentations, and flavors, among others. There clearly is no single product that can be considered ideal for any type of cat since every feline is inherently unique. Just as some of us don’t like chicken in our diets, so too some cats, although not by choice but rather because of necessity. That said, it is important to make sure you’re choosing the best dry food for your cat. But how do you do that? Here are some things you really have to look for every time you start scouring the shelves of pet food at your local pet store.

The 1st Five Ingredients on the Label Matter

Manufacturers are required by law to list their ingredients according to their proportion relative to the mass of the product. While dogs are known to thrive relatively well even with carbohydrates in their diets, cats, on the other hand, do not. That is why it is essential the first 5 ingredients listed on a product’s label must be primarily animal meats.

However, packing the full first 5 with only meat products can be a very expensive proposition which, sadly, will be passed on to the consumers in the form of a higher price. From the vantage point of manufacturers, this is simply not a good way to make money. As such, some would definitely include vegetables, wholesome grains, or even fruits in their first 5. Again, this is perfectly alright as long as the majority, say, 3 out of 5, of the principal ingredients, come from animal sources. The protein from animals is more easily digestible compared to proteins that come from certain plant products.

Also, there is a question of whether you should take whole meats, meals, or byproduct meals. Whole meats provide your feline with the best concentration of proteins and fats from a single source. Meals, on the other hand, can be a combination of different meats which have substantially higher protein content. The only issue is that, if your feline is allergic to animal proteins, identifying the allergen might prove difficult.

As for byproducts, there’s a bit of controversy as some manufacturers strongly advise against purchasing products that contain meat byproducts. But science actually says that byproduct meals are a good source of minerals that may not be present in whole meats. As long as you can ascertain the product has undergone meticulous processing, ensuring only the highest possible quality for your cat, then it should be a wise choice.

The Protein Question

If you’ve noticed our selection of the best cat food items, most have a protein content of 30% or more, at the very least. This is because cats are inherently carnivorous and they thrive primarily on animal-based proteins. We already know what proteins do to the body, especially to young kittens. That is why, depending on the developmental age of the cat you’re going to give the cat food to, you’d have to take note of the protein content.

Kittens require more protein because of their need for building tissues. Adult felines, on the other hand, will require just the normal amounts of protein to maintain the tissues. Elderly cats will require more protein again to help improve the integrity of the tissues amidst the ongoing changes associated with aging. However, if they have kidney disease, then they will need less protein.

Low Carbohydrates

As we have described above, cats are habitual predators. They pounce on living prey. While plants are living organisms, they don’t possess some of the innate characteristics of prey. As such, evolution has taught cats never to chow down on plants. However, many of the nutrients like antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins are found in plant food sources. Therefore, manufacturers have found a way to incorporate many of these healthy veggies, fruits, and grains into their recipes. However, since cats require proteins more than carbs, the carb content of dry cat food should be minimal. For more options, check out our detailed review of the Best Low-Carb Cat Food.

Artificial Ingredients

Everyone knows the implications of artificial ingredients and other synthetic chemicals on the overall health and wellbeing of pets. As such, it is imperative to educate yourself with the knowledge of the most common artificial ingredients that are toxic to pets, especially cats. Look for such substances in the ingredient list of a particular product. If none is written, then the manufacturer must have a very explicit statement saying their product doesn’t contain these harmful chemicals.

Safety Record

This is akin to the overall credibility, trustworthiness, and credibility of a pet food manufacturer. Understand that even big-name companies and well-established organizations can produce feline dry food products that are of questionable quality. It’s not so much about whether the product was utterly ineffective or not, but rather how the company managed such an issue. How were they able to overcome the odds of losing their client base because of such a product? One way to evaluate this is by looking at their performance in the years after the controversy. If they have been making good progress it simply shows their resilience. 

What Ingredients Should I Avoid?

best dry cat food

BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin

These chemicals are used to maintain the overall freshness of the cat food (and are also used in dog food or any other kibble). However, ethoxyquin is illegal to use for human consumption and can be harmful to ingest or touch. Of course, some manufacturers still use this in pet food, alongside BHT and BHA – both of which can be carcinogenic.

Meat Byproducts

The American Animal Feed Control Officials (A.K.A. American Feed Control Officials or AAFCO) defines meat byproducts as the following: “Secondary products produced in addition to the principal product.” While some chicken meals, or other meat meals, are unavoidable and can even be beneficial to adult cats, watch out for “meat by-product” or similar ingredients on the label.

Corn Meal and Carbohydrate Fillers

Any fillers that are added to the cat food have no nutritive value – but fill up your cat. So, it won’t be long before your cat gets hungry again. As such, fillers and meals can play with your cat’s blood sugar or lead to a wide range of different problems in the long run. Instead, opt for grain-free, filler-free dry cat food.

Keep Your Kitty Hydrated – Consider Investing in Water Fountain

Moisture is needed unless your feline friend can finish its bowl of water within the day. Cats are known to have a very low thirst drive. Their brains are not really wired to recognize thirst. As such, their cells may already be very thirsty and yet they still won’t drink. That is why it is imperative to give them access to free-flowing water as the continuous movement of water simulates the movement of prey. This arouses the cat’s curiosity, making them want to drink. That said, veterinarians actually recommend canned or wet cat food instead of dry kibbles because the moisture content of kibbles is so low, with the maximum typically in 15%. This pales in comparison to wet cat food which can have a moisture content of as much as 70 to 80 percent of its weight. We’ll have a separate discussion on why dry kibbles are still favorable, though.

Take a look at our review of Cat Water Fountains for more options.

Why Should I Give My Cat Dry Food Instead of Wet, Canned, or Raw?

We mentioned above that cats don’t have the drive to drink. That is why they must be trained to drink from their water bowls. However, if your feline is simply uninterested or hasn’t learned the art of drinking from its bowl, then you will need to give it wet or canned cat food. These contain a lot of moisture which should help hydrate your feline. Unfortunately, since 80% of the weight of the food is water, its nutrient content will have to make do with the remaining 20%. As such, nutrition-wise, wet or canned cat food is less superior to a portion of dry cat food.

This is one of the main reasons why it is better to give felines dry food. It has more nutrients packed into each kibble as it only contains about 12 to 15 percent water. That means the remaining 85 to 88 percent is composed of nutrients. This is where you will need to assign values to the protein, fats, and carbs.

There are other benefits to giving dry food to your feline. It’s more economical since it doesn’t spoil easily and each package is often good for a few weeks of feeding. The texture of the dry kibbles can also help provide healthier teeth and gums for your feline friend. Overall, unless your cat is not drinking water, then dry cat food is an excellent choice.

Cats require the right nutrients for them to develop into healthier, happier felines. In choosing their best nutrition, it is important to focus on high-quality proteins and to stay away from those that contain plenty of carbs and artificial ingredients. It is also important to look at the credibility of the pet food manufacturer as this can give you an idea of the quality of their product. And in case you’re wondering where to start, our 10 best dry cat foods should set you on the right path.

How to Switch or Transition Cat Foods

If you’re trying to switch dry kitten food, just be wary of the cat’s digestive system, which is extra sensitive at such a young age. While you may be using the right animal proteins and working with the finest dry cat food, you’ll still need to transition slowly.

Firstly, you’ll need to begin with a small amount of the new cat food, and the majority of the meal comes from the old dry cat food (or wet cat food, if you’re changing over from wet food). Do this same mixture for one or two days.

On the next day, you’ll need to add between a quarter and a third of the new dry cat food with the old dry or wet cat food. A few days after this, you need to switch the dry cat food so that it sits as half and half. Then, you’ll change the formula again to three-quarters of new dry cat food and a quarter of the older cat food. On the final day, your dry cat food should be completely made up of the new cat food.

Sources:

  1. Masayuki Funaba, Evaluation Of Meat Meal, Chicken Meal, And Corn Gluten Meal As Dietary Sources Of Protein In Dry Cat Food, National Center for Biotechnology Information
  2. Feeding Your Cat, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine

Best Dry Cat Food FAQs:

 

The best dry cat food offers high nutritive value, over caloric density. In other words, the dry food shouldn’t be filled with any unnecessary ingredients. These unnecessary ingredients include artificial flavors, corn, gluten, meal variations and preservatives.

Nor should it be packed with carbs over proteins and fats. Ideally, the latter two should come from animal protein, since this high-quality protein ensures the nutrition comes from the natural source – one which your cat would otherwise find in the wild.

 

Most adult cats will thrive with the healthiest dry cat food – and the best dry cat food has the best nutritive value. Which means you need to get dry cat food that supports grain-free diets – allowing the kibble to be packed with only the best stuff. Meaning no fillers, preservatives or grains, which are often used to add caloric density.

 

The simplest and easiest thing to mix dry cat food with is canned food. Wet cat foods are often more enticing to your cats, since wet food has a stronger scent and appeals to your cats obligate carnivore nature. Wet food also has the benefit of having a higher moisture content, so your cat food will therefore help to maintain your urinary tract health.

 

Every cat is different, and therefore the answer to this is different, depending on the type of cat you have. Indoor cats will need lower levels of protein, while outdoor cats need grain-free dry cat food, as this ensures the cat food is made up of the highest nutritive value possible.

Meanwhile, an adult cat will have different needs to a kitten. Kitten dry food often includes more fats and calories that adult dry cat foods. Indeed, this is the same rule followed in wet food, too. This is so your cat food supports healthy growth, leaving your kitten with a supported immune system, strong muscles and quality bones, too.

As such, how much dry food you need to feed your cat changes, depending on these and many other factors. However, as a rule, it is recommended that owners feed their cats roughly 24- 35 calories per pound.

 

Older cats are less active and often have more health concerns. As such, you need to be sure that your older cats are able to maintain a healthy weight, and that you can keep your cat’s teeth healthy. As well as this, you’ll need to find dry cat food that has a high moisture content. Not only will this keep your cat enticed, it’ll help to maintain urinary tract health, too.

Wendy Young

A freelance writer and word nerd, Wendy is a content writer with a knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership. For the past three years, she’s been researching and writing a huge range of different topics – but always comes back to her beloved pet articles. Lover of all things four-legged and owner of Harley, Pepper and Rush, Wendy is currently completing her MNSW at Edge Hill University.

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