Top Rated Dry Cat Foods List in 2018 + Buying Guide
In order to ensure your cat lives a long and satisfying life, you must engage to only provide the best in everything, and this includes the best dry cat food and plenty of toys. After going through numerous online product reviews ourselves, we have concluded that one of the most appreciated cat foods and a product you should consider is the Hill’s Science Diet Adult. It is recommended to provide a balanced nutrition for complete dental health in adult cats, it helps reduce plaque and tartar, and features a unique combination of vitamins and nutrients for improving the immune system. If the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Care is not available for purchase, you can also opt for the Royal Canin Health Nutrition as a great alternative.
- Comparison table
- Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
- Hill’s Science Diet Adult
- Royal Canin Health Nutrition
- Hill’s Science Diet Indoor
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient
- Royal Canin Adult Fit 32
- Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
- Frequently asked questions about dry cat foods
- Best dry cat food brands
Dr. Fox Recommends – Comparison & Yearly Report
There are numerous brands that offer complete and premium nutrition designed for cats so it is impossible for us to show you all their products. Nevertheless, we have selected some of the items most preferred by customers and we have showcased them below.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult
This food is specifically designed to meet the needs of your adult cat in terms of oral and cavity protection. It is recommended for a complete and balanced dental health in adult cats and will help reduce plaque and tartar.
The food features a unique interlocking fiber technology that will keep your cat’s teeth clean while also providing a fresh breath with every bite. Also, this food is packed with an amazing antioxidant blend of vitamins C and E that will support a healthy immune system.
Hill’s Science cat products are made of top-quality and easy-to-digest ingredients without containing any artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. The company’s products are loaded with high-quality sources of proteins from real chicken, lamb or salmon.
All kibbles contain real meat as the number one ingredient, as well as other carefully-selected ingredients to provide a healthy and balanced nutrition for cats of all breeds and ages.Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.99)
Royal Canin Health Nutrition
The product is available in three different package sizes, ranging from 3 pounds to 15 pounds. The food contains highly digestible proteins to provide a healthy nutrition and limit the odor and the number of stools.
The food is packed with specific nutrients that will provide the maximum quantity of calcium for building strong bones and teeth without allowing the extra calcium to contribute to the formation of tartar in the mouth.
In addition, this Royal Canin superior cat food will promote hairball elimination, one of the main problems cats of all ages and breeds have.
This item is specifically designed to meet the needs of indoor cats with limited physical activity so it contains a moderate number of calories per serving. This will promote a healthy lifestyle and will prevent your cat from dealing with weight problems and obesity in the future.Buy from Amazon.com for ($26.09)
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor
The product is available in four different options, including a specifically designed formula for adult cats and kittens. This Hill’s Science diet provides a healthy digestion for your cat in order to easily clean the litter box. The product is made of natural ingredients with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support a healthy lifestyle and a proper digestion.
The food doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives and is made with non-GMO ingredients. It is the perfect nutrition for indoor cats that spent most of their time sleeping and have a limited physical activity.
In addition, the food is designed to provide all necessary nutrients for a healthy development with a medium amount of calories in order to avoid overweight and obesity. We recommend you to transition to an Adult 7+ food diet once your cat turns seven years old.Buy from Amazon.com for ($34.99)
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient
This dry food is available in various delicious recipes, including green peas and chicken, green peas and duck, green peas and salmon or turkey-based recipes. The food is made with a powerful and natural source of animal proteins to provide a healthy and balanced nutrition for all cat breeds.
The food is made with high-quality protein sources, including real duck, turkey, and salmon meat and is grain-free. The limited ingredient diet will minimize the risk of allergies and diseases by only feeding your cat a limited number of foods their system tolerates. This also means no artificial flavors, no artificial colors and no preservatives.
There are even specific formulas for indoor cats that require a lower amount of calories and proteins but still need a balanced diet. This dry food contains all necessary ingredients for a complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Royal Canin Adult Fit 32
This product provides a complete and balanced nutrition for all adult cats. It contains 32% crude proteins, 13% crude fats, 5.5% crude fibers, and about 8% moisture to support the natural immune system.
It is also a rich source of vitamins, including vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D3, and E, and folic acid. All these vitamins are essential for a healthy growth and a shiny coat. Together with the chicken meal and brown rice, this complete feline food will not only improve your cat’s immune system, but will also help maintain strong teeth, bones, and a shiny fur.
This delicious recipe will also promote hairball elimination. On the other side, it does contain traces of corn, wheat, and gluten, so you might want to combine this dry food with delicious and organic snacks with a low-fat content. This food offers around 322 kcal per serving.Buy from Amazon.com for ($21.83)
Blue Buffalo Adult Dry
This delicious dry food is available in numerous flavors, including a chicken recipe, chicken and brown rice, salmon and brown rice or chicken and turkey. What we like about this product is that it also offers delicious options for indoor cats, for cats prone to overweight and obesity, as well as for cats with a sensitive stomach.
In other words, the Blue Buffalo food for adult cats is suitable for all breeds, including those that spend most of their lives indoors and don’t exercise regularly. You can also purchase the food in three different bag size options, ranging from 3 pounds to 15 pounds.
It is always advisable to offer a mild transition to a different food in order not to stress your cat or force it to eat something completely new. So, if your feline was used to other types of foods before, it would be best to start with the 3-pound bag to see how it adjusts.Buy from Amazon.com for ($32.99)
BLUE Wilderness High-Protein Grain-Free
This organic solution to your everyday cat food is made with all natural and organic ingredients to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle. It is enriched with all required vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and is also a rich source of fibers and delicious high-quality proteins.
You can choose between different flavors, including a weight control formula, chicken, salmon, duck or special formulas for indoor cats.
The chicken formula is rich in proteins and contains natural deboned chicken and sweet potatoes to provide a healthy source of carbs while minimizing the calorie intake per portion. It is also enriched with cranberries, blueberries, and carrots that are rich in vitamins and natural antioxidants and provide a healthy and strong vision, and a shiny coat.
The formula is grain and gluten free and doesn’t contain any poultry by-product meals. The product is also available in various package sizes, from 2 pounds to 12 pounds.Buy from Amazon.com for ($33.99)
IAMS Proactive Health
This product is available in four different recipes, each specifically designed to meet the needs of cats that deal with a lot of hairballs, those that require a special digestive care or those that mainly stay indoors. There are also plenty of package sizes to choose from, depending on your budget and your cat’s needs, from 3.5 pounds to 22 pounds.
As with all other IAMS dry feline foods, chicken is the number one ingredient. This delicious flavor offers a quality source of proteins that will help maintain strong and healthy muscles, while also providing the necessary amino acids for all carnivorous animals.
The food is also packed with a unique fiber blend that will reduce the formation of hairballs, as well as a mix of proteins and carbs that will provide the necessary levels of energy for your cat. In other words, the product contains just the right amount of energy for both active and indoor cats.
This 100% complete and balanced nutrition for your cat contains 0% fillers, chemical additives or preservatives.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Purina Beyond Grain Free
Luckily, there are plenty of natural and organic cat food recipes nowadays, so you can choose the one that is right for your pet. The Purina Beyond grain-free food could prove a good option for a low price as it contains an interesting recipe of ocean whitefish and egg that is not only delicious but also extremely nutritious.
The food contains at least 35% crude proteins and 14% crude fats, and it is also a valuable source of fibers, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and vitamins A and E.
The product doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, soy or poultry by-product meals. There are no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, meaning this food is safe even for the pickiest cats. The Purina Beyond is made with real whitefish which provides an important source of proteins, calcium, and fatty acids that will support a healthy and shiny coat.Buy from Amazon.com for ($29.9)
Rachel Ray Nutrish Natural
This product is made with real chicken as the number one ingredient for a valuable source of high-quality proteins in order to provide a healthy, balanced, and complete nutrition for your cat, regardless of its weight, age or breed.
This organic option doesn’t contain any ground corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products or fillers, which makes it the perfect food if your cat is sensitive or allergic to certain ingredients. In addition, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives.
This natural and organic feline food features a delicious recipe of chicken and brown rice and is enriched with all necessary vitamins, minerals, and taurine to promote a healthy growth, strong teeth and bones, strong vision, as well as a shiny coat.
It is important to feed your cat only organic and natural ingredients and keep a balanced diet to avoid any cardiovascular or weight problems in the future.Buy from Amazon.com for ($11.44)
Petcurean GO! Fit CF
This organic feline food is made with real duck, chicken or turkey as the first ingredients in order to provide a valuable and quality source of proteins. The product is also enriched with omega oils and natural fatty acids to help provide a healthy skin and a shiny coat.
In addition, the unique blend of proteins, minerals, vitamins, and amino acids will support a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet. The 4-pound bag is perfect for when you want a smooth transition from another type of cat food to the new Petcurean GO! Fit option.
And, speaking of fit, the food is perfect for cats that struggle with a chubbier physique or who don’t exercise as much as they should. The low-calorie recipe doesn’t contain any meat by-products, wheat, corn, beef, soy or artificial flavors and is perfect for all life stages.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Nulo Grain-Free BC30 Probiotic
This food is available in two delicious flavors, chicken and turkey. The grain-free recipe is 100% organic and provides a high-quality protein source alongside other delicious and nutritious ingredients.
The product doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, white potatoes, artificial colors or flavors, preservatives or tapioca, meaning it is safe for all cat breeds and ages. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and all its products are made in the United States to ensure top quality standards.
This high meat and low carb proprietary formula contains 83% animal-based proteins, pretty much the largest percentage you’ll find on the market. This increases the amino acids and also offers a better, more delicious flavor.
The product is also enriched with a patented BC30 probiotic to support a healthy gut flora. The good bacteria will improve food digestion, the metabolism, and the immune system.Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.43)
Halo Holistic Dry
If you’re looking for an organic food to feed your cat on a daily basis, Halo Holistic could prove the winning choice. The food is made with real whole chicken, grains, vegetables, and fruits for a balanced and nutritious diet as well as a delicious taste. There are no rendered meats, chicken meals or by-product meals in this food, only the best ingredients for your cat.
The food is easily digestible and is suitable for cats of all life stages, from kittens to senior cats. It is also improved with omega fatty acids that will promote a healthy and shiny skin and coat.
The added vitamins and minerals will promote a better immune system while also delivering strong muscles, strong teeth, and a good vision. In addition, there are no added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, so your cat will only indulge in 100% natural and organic ingredients.Buy from Amazon.com for ($22.99)
Orijen Dry Food
This grain-free formula is specifically designed to meet the needs of cats and kittens alike. This dry food is biologically appropriate and perfectly matches the diet a cat would usually have in the wild.
The product is made without grains which will eliminate common allergy sources and promote a better, stronger immune system. There are also no rendered poultry-meals or by-products added to the formula, but only 100% natural and organic ingredients.
The Orijen feline food contains zero preservatives and about a third of the meats used are refrigerated fresh. This will help to preserve a strong and delicious flavor, as well as all necessary proteins and ingredients your cat requires for a strong and healthy development.
The kibbles have the perfect size to meet the eating capacities of both adult cats and kittens and are easily digestible. All Orijen foods are made in Kentucky under strict quality control regulations.Buy from Amazon.com for ($64.88)
Wellness Core Original
This grain-free formula offers a complete and balanced daily nutrition for your cat. The food is enriched with delicious and top-quality proteins from turkey, chicken, whitefish, and herring to promote a healthy and strong immune system. These proteins are combined with real and fresh vegetables that contain all required vitamins and minerals.
The food is made with top-quality ingredients and only contains natural and organic sources of vitamins, proteins, and minerals. The food doesn’t contain any wheat, corn, soy or meat by-products and is 100% free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
All Wellness Core products are proudly made locally in the United States under strict quality control to ensure your cat receives a complete and healthy nutrition with every bag. In addition, this feline food is also enriched with antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and probiotics to promote strong bones and teeth, an improved vision, and a healthy-looking and silky fur.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Acana Regionals Grasslands
If you’re looking for a biologically appropriate type of food to feed your cat regularly, the Acana Regional Grasslands might be the right solution. This grain-free formula features limited ingredients and single-source quality proteins to limit the risk of allergies and other health issues often associated with heavy meals.
The Acana food is all natural and also features a limited amount of carbohydrates to reduce the risks of overweight and obesity in your pet. The Wholeprey diet is a concept developed by Acana and implies the use of top-quality proteins from meat, liver, tripe, and cartilage.
You can choose between different delicious flavors of lamb, duck, goat, fish or eggs. All the protein sources are enriched with freshly-grown and local Kentucky veggies, fruits, and botanicals. This will ensure a diversified source of energy for your cat without requiring the addition of fillers or extra calories.Buy from Amazon.com for ($59.35)
Acana Regionals Meadowland
Proudly made in the United States, the Acana Regionals food is the optimum source of vitamins and nutrients required for a healthy and balanced daily diet for your pet. The Meadowland food formula is designed to meet the needs of all cat breeds and life stages, so it can be successfully used both by adult cats and kittens.
The meat-based food contains biologically appropriate food ratios and is enriched with everything necessary for a healthy growth.
The recipe only includes top-quality ingredients and reliable sources of proteins such as cobb chicken, tom turkey, blue catfish, and rainbow trout. Each of these ingredients ensures the necessary intake of proteins, minerals, and fatty acids to promote a healthy bone system, strong teeth, improved vision, and a luscious and shiny coat.
In addition, the food is low in carbs but high on fresh veggies to provide the same level of energy without additional calories.Buy from Amazon.com for ($27.22)
Our Comprehensive Buying Guide
Finding quality dry cat food is not an easy task, especially since there are so many great products available on the market. There are certain things you need to take into account to make sure your pet receives the best nutrition without too many calories. So, in order to make sure you find great dry cat food for sale, here are some of the aspects you need to consider.
Keep in mind the first five ingredients on the label
Looking for cheap dry cat food is not always a good idea because the least expensive products probably reflect a similar low quality. Although dogs can easily live by with carbs, other carnivorous animals, like cats, are more pretentious.
Companies are forced to provide informative labels for their products and strictly state the order of the ingredients used to manufacture cat foods. The order of the ingredients is extremely important as it states the amount of each ingredient used.
When it comes to the top five ingredients, cats require a powerful source of proteins and fewer carbohydrates and fats. Thus, when searching for the best cat food, it is important for the product to contain organic and reliable sources of proteins from real meat and not meat by-products.
If you cannot afford constantly purchasing organic dry food for your cat with all top meat ingredients, at least replace your cat’s daily food with home cooked alternatives or products with no preservatives and artificial flavors.
Also, if you’re not sure which products to buy, you can always go through some reviews of dry cat food and see what other customers have to say about certain foods.
Top quality proteins
Another important thing to bear in mind when buying good dry cat food is to always address the protein matter.
Opt for quality sources of proteins, preferably single-source, meaning proteins from only one type of animal. This will ensure a lower list of ingredients on the label which will promote an improved digestion and lower the risk of allergies and other health problems.
On the other hand, a mixed source of proteins is not to blame as it may provide a better nutrition for your cat. If your cat has a healthy and strong digestive system, there is no reason not to feed it with reliable multiple sources of proteins.
From duck to lamb, chicken, eggs, whitefish or salmon, you will find there are plenty of alternatives in terms of flavors for your feline’s food. Chicken is the most common source of proteins and the one your cat will probably prefer. However, try to avoid meat by-products as they aren’t as nutritious as boneless chicken, for instance.
Good for the teeth
Foods should also come with high intakes of calcium and vitamins to ensure healthy and strong teeth. Although you may want to purchase additional dental care products for cats, it is always best for the food to provide at least some of the required nutrients and vitamins.
Some foods not only promote a healthy oral hygiene but will also make teeth stronger, reduce the risk of tartar and plaque while also providing a fresh breath. You can also opt for some dental treats for cats especially during the first years of life.
Choose to serve food in special cat food bowls and not directly from your hand or from the ground to avoid the spread of bacteria and other germs. It is highly important for your cat to have its own bowl for dry food and not to mix it with bowls for wet cat food.
The latter should be larger to maintain all the moisture and provide your pet a delicious meal up to the last drop.
Age appropriate food
Different age stages require different types of nutrition, especially when it comes to cats. For instance, senior cats will require a lower amount of calories and proteins in their foods while kittens need more proteins to grow strong and healthy.
So, when choosing the best dry food for kittens make sure the product you’re opting for is specifically designed to meet the nutritional needs of kittens. No matter the case, the kitten food should contain at least 40-45% proteins.
When it comes to the best dry food for senior cats, you can opt for low-calorie formulas with whitefish meat instead of regular chicken or lamb. Senior cats and kittens alike also require more calcium to promote healthy and strong bones and teeth.
The golden rule for feeding your senior cat is to watch out for the calorie intake. A single portion of food should have approximately 300-350 calories. Again, you can find inspiration in dry cat food reviews if you want a second opinion about a certain product.
If you’re not always at home to supervise your cat’s diet, you can rely on some automatic cat feeders that will always provide the perfect amount of kibbles to ensure your cat stays fit and strong.
Cat water fountains are also great for when you have a busy lifestyle that doesn’t allow you to stay at home too much. Such items will provide a constant source of freshwater and are perfect for when you have to go on weekend trips or stay extra hours at the job.
But how do you know what kind of bowl should you use for your cat? It really depends on your cat’s feeding routine. So, appropriate cat bowls are chosen according to your cat’s age and eating habits. For instance, kittens require smaller bowls of food as well as small kibbles, according to their growing bodies.
Although food bowls are mainly the same, some breeds with large hair might require different types of containers. For instance, food bowls for Persian cats are slightly different, similar to your cat’s physiognomy.
Persian cats are known for their flat and wide face which won’t fit into small dishes. Persian cats can also get messier while they eat so it would be best to opt for wider bowls with narrow edges.
Lastly, don’t forget to learn how to clean your cat’s bowl to avoid germs and bacteria from forming. It would be best to thoroughly clean the food container at least once a week if you feed your cat dry food and around every two days if your pet prefers wet food.
Although most food containers are safe to be used in the dishwasher, make sure to opt for a mild detergent, preferably without perfumes. Cats are extremely picky to smells and may refuse to eat from a bowl they don’t recognize by smell. Also, choose to serve food in special cat food bowls to teach your cat manners from a young age.
Frequently asked questions about dry cat foods
Will dry cat food hurt dogs?
Cats and dogs are similar animals with similar food needs. They are both carnivorous animals and their diet contains the same basic ingredients. However, dogs can benefit from larger intakes of carbohydrates for more energy since they are mainly more active and their bodies can also process these more efficiently.
On the other hand, cats require lower levels of energy as they are known to spend a great part of the day sleeping. Thus, their diet should be mainly based on animal proteins and less on fats and carbs.
So, to answer shortly, dry cat food won’t harm dogs but it may not be as delicious for both animals either.
Does dry cat food expire?
As with almost all other ingredients and foods out there, dry food for felines also comes with an expiration date. Top-quality kibbles are made using real meat and fresh vegetables to ensure a healthy and balanced diet. These ingredients are mainly dehydrated and then preserved cold to maintain their nutritional values.
Although some of the foods have extended expiration dates, it is not recommended to keep the food bags open for more than one month. The reason is that food will gradually lose its properties such as taste or smell by getting in contact with air and humidity. So, it would be best to store foods in dry and cool places, away from direct sources of heat or moisture.
Can rabbits eat dry cat food?
To put it in few words, although it may not seem at first, feeding your rabbit cat food could have disastrous health effects. As we previously stated, cats and dogs are mainly carnivorous animals, while rabbits are herbivorous animals.
They mainly eat fresh fruits, veggies, and seeds. Their digestive systems are not designed to cope with animal fats and carbohydrates, so feeding your rabbit dog or cat food can seriously damage their health.
Excessive intake of proteins can lead to kidney failure in rabbits while excessive fats and carbs will easily lead to obesity and heart affections.
Where to store dry cat food?
In order to preserve its flavors, smell, and nutritional values, dry cat food should be mainly stored in dry and cool places, away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. It is best to store your cat’s food the kitchen cabinets or in garages.
Keep in mind that food should be served as fresh as possible, even when it comes from bags and it is dry. All feline foods are packed in sterile environments to prevent bacteria, dust, mold spores or dirt from interacting with the food and altering it. Once you unseal the package, you will inevitably allow air and moisture to enter the pack and alter your cat’s food.
What is dry cat food made of?
In order for dry cat food to be nutritious and delicious, it must be made of natural ingredients with powerful and clean sources of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Cats are carnivorous animals so it is highly important to receive a large number of animal proteins as part of their daily diets.
Feline food should be made of real meat, preferably chicken, duck, lamb or whitefish, along with fresh vegetables for the required intake of vitamins. Also, in order to keep track of the calorie intake, the food shouldn’t contain too many carbs, fats or GMO ingredients.
Which is better? Dry cat food or wet?
This question doesn’t have a strict answer coming from veterinarians or pet lovers. It would be ideal for your cat to benefit from a diversified diet, based on both wet and dry foods. You could feed your cat daily dry food and provide special snacks or rewards made of wet food.
Either way, the food should be nutritious and adapted to your pet’s personal needs. Wet food is easily digested by cats of all breeds and ages, but it may not contain all required nutrients for a healthy and balanced diet.
On the other hand, dry food is often enriched with natural antioxidants, vitamins, fibers, and minerals to provide a balanced and complete nutrition according to your cat’s needs.
Can I feed my hedgehog dry cat food?
With hedgehogs becoming increasingly popular as pets, it comes as no surprise that some pet stores have seen the opportunity of creating specific hedgehog meals. Unfortunately, this type of food hasn’t been as nutritious as some pet owners would have expected. Often enough, the food was high in calories and low in what hedgehogs really required – fresh vegetables, seeds, fruits, and live insects.
Hedgehogs are omnivorous animals and they pretty much eat everything. The reason why plenty of owners decided to feed their hedgehogs dry cat food is that it was extremely nutritious and the kibbles were small enough for the pet to easily digest them. Yes, you can feed your hedgehog dry cat food as long as it’s not too high in calories or proteins.
Why is dry cat food better than wet?
As we already discussed, giving your cat wet or dry food is strictly your choice and its personal preferences. Some cats might require moist food once in a while, especially if they have problems with the digestive system or the kibbles are too big for them.
The main reason why dry food is better than the wet one is that it contains more nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and minerals, all absolutely necessary for a healthy growth and shiny coat. Although wet food might taste better, in the long run, you will want to feed your cat dry food to keep it strong and healthy.
How is dry cat food made?
The process of making dry cat food is quite complex as it mainly consists of dehydrating real meat and vegetables up to a solid form. The solid base is then usually turned into powder and mixed with a series of other necessary nutrients such as fibers, vitamins or fatty acids that will contribute to your cat’s strong immune system and healthy look.
The powder is then usually turned into kibbles of different sizes and tastes, depending on the food option you choose. It is always important to feed your cat kibbles that are specifically designed for its age and lifestyle to avoid further health problems, especially with the digestive system.
How much dry cat food per day does a kitten need?
Establishing the right amount of food for your kitten is a thing you should probably discuss with your veterinarian. Each kitty requires different care and a different diet, based on its age, weight, and breed.
However, most of the food packs you’ll purchase come with precise indications regarding the amount of food you have to offer on a daily basis, depending on your cat’s size, weight, age, breed, and lifestyle. It really depends on how nutritious the food is and how many proteins it contains.
Keep in mind that kitties require more vitamins and proteins to ensure a healthy growth and a strong immune system.
How to make dry cat food more appealing
Cats are pretty picky when it comes to their food so it is best not to change it too often. But even the pickiest kitties can be taught how to deal with new food, as long as you know how to do it. If you decided to change your cat’s daily diet routine you should start with a two-week transition.
This implies gradually adding an amount of the new food along with the old food to see how your cat copes with the new one. If you want to make dry food even more appealing, you can also try to mix it with delicious snacks or fresh cans of gourmet fish or meat.
How healthy is dry cat food
Depending on the type of food you purchase and how much you’re really willing to spend on your pet’s diet choices, dry food for cats can be extremely nutritious and healthy.
As opposed to wet food, dry food is full of vitamins, nutrients, and proteins in order to sustain a healthy growth and a strong bone system. This is why you should be very careful to the ingredients contained in the pack and look for natural, organic sources of proteins and vitamins.
If you made the right choice, your cat will not only enjoy a delicious and tasty meal but will also receive all necessary nutrients for a long and healthy life ahead.
How to compare dry cat food
With so many feline food manufacturers on the market, it’s hard to keep track of the best products. However, if you want to ensure you made the right choice, it is always best to read some online reviews and see what other customers have to say about different products.
Another way to compare dry food is by taking a close look at the ingredient list. Look for items with meat as their first ingredient. Proteins are extremely important for a cat’s development, so make sure the food you are purchasing contains as many as possible.
Best dry cat food brands
The history of Hill’s starts at the beginning of the 1930s. In the following decades, the company would grow to become one of the most successful food providers for pets in the world. Hill’s focuses on delivering quality and nutritious food for dogs and cats through its three main lines of products – Prescription Diet, Science Diet, and Ideal Balance.
Hill’s Science Diet was voted the number one choice by veterinarians when it comes to dry cat food because it provides the optimum diet for cats and kittens, regardless of their age, size, breed or weight. There are plenty of products to choose from, depending on your cat’s needs, and there are also special products designed to provide the perfect weight or to promote hairball elimination.
The award-winning brand for cat and dog food is the perfect choice if you care about your pet’s diet and want to provide a healthy, delicious, and nutritious food daily.
All the food is locally produced and benefits from natural and hand-picked top-quality ingredients. With Acana, your cat will only experience the freshest and most delicious ingredients for a healthy and nutritious diet.
Acana’s food is biologically appropriate, meaning it is specifically designed to mimic a cat’s diet living in the wild and only benefitting from organic and natural ingredients. This means your cat’s diet is based on 75% meat, is rich in proteins and contains a limited amount of carbs.
The company was founded in France over 50 years ago, in 1968. Royal Canin provides top quality food for cats and dogs in all stages of their lives. The division for cats includes different nutritious food based on your cat’s age and breed so that you’ll find specifically formulated products for kittens, adult cats, mature adults, and senior cats.
Each type of food contains a different amount of proteins, carbs, and fats to meet the needs of your cat and its lifestyle. Royal Canin also features different product categories, including Feline Breed Nutrition and Feline Nutrition Wet.
Eukanuba is part of the Marsh Inc. conglomerate which also makes Pedigree Petfoods, although it was originally part of Procter and Gamble’s portfolio until 2014.
Nowadays, the company produces 17 different types of dog food and 13 different formulas for cats. There are specific products designed to meet the needs of adult cats, kittens or cats with sensitive stomachs.
Eukanuba contains a rich variety of proteins both from animal sources and by-products, as well as carbs, fats, corn, soy, and wheat. Most of the ingredients are locally grown in the United States but some of them are imported from other countries too, including China.
Just like with other animal food manufacturing companies, Blue has a similar story. The company’s name comes from the founder family’s dearest member, Blue, a large breed Airedale that struggled with cancer.
After its painful disappearance, Blue’s family decided to create its own company to provide dogs and cats with a healthier nutrition, only from natural, organic, and premium ingredients.
The Canadian-based company offers a healthy nutrition for cats based on life stage. There are also different product lines containing natural ingredients, grain-free formulas, meat-rich formulas or those that support the digestive system. Blue also offers a wide variety of wet cat foods and treats.
Purina is probably one of the most popular pet food brands in the world, along with Royal Canin and Pedigree. The company is owned by Nestle and has been producing animal food for over 80 years.
There is a wide variety of feline food formulas specifically designed for different life stages, cat breeds, and problems. The kitten food is extremely nutritious and rich in proteins to ensure a healthy growth. The company has decided to purchase farm animal proteins free of antibiotics since the end of 2017 and is committed to providing healthier and more nutritious ingredients.
Manufactured by Spectrum Brands in Europe and Mars, Inc. worldwide, Iams is also a popular brand of pet food. The company sells food for cats and dogs in three main formulas – ProActive Health, Healthy Naturals, and Premium Protection. All these formulas are designed to meet the requirements of different life stages to ensure an appropriate diet.
The company also offers delicious snacks and treats, as well as wet food. Just like most other popular animal food brands, Iams has also invested in a grain-free and natural line of products that provide a carb-limited formula to keep your cat fit and strong.
The company provides delicious, nutritious, and mostly organic food for dogs and cats. All foods for cats are protein-focused and are free of grains, wheat, corn, soy, antibiotics, preservatives or colorings.
There are also different dry and wet recipes available, as well as delicious and healthy snacks and treats.
Wellness Core provides a different type of nutrition based on your cat’s age. Its ingredients are delicious and natural, and the foods are made with deboned chicken or turkey. You can also pick a salmon and herring formula specifically designed for indoor cats.
Can dry cat food be dangerous?
Ever since its appearance on the market, dry food has been both contested and acclaimed by veterinarians and pet owners. In the past few decades, most pets were fed dry foods bought from convenient stores, supermarkets, and pet shops. But how healthy are they in reality?
Each pet is different and, thus, requires a different diet based on its own needs, lifestyle, age, and breed. Cats are by definition predators so they will need large intakes of proteins to sustain a healthy lifestyle and a strong body.
However, the problem with most dry cat foods is that they aren’t as nutritious as they should be. In their everlasting rush to fame and commercial success, plenty of pet food companies choose second-quality ingredients and by-products to provide affordable dry foods.
Most cat foods are filled with carbohydrates, vegetal-source proteins, wheat, soy, meat by-products, starch, and even preservatives and chemical flavors to create artificial kibbles that are fed on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, feeding your cat only dry food of poor quality leads to a series of health problems, including obesity, kidney failure, digestive problems, and others. Not to mention cats are deprived of their main feline characteristic, and that is to hunt.
As a result, most indoor cats spend their lives sleeping or with little to no physical activity which will further increase the risk of overweight, no matter how scarce the daily diet is.
Another problem with dry cat food is that it consists of 25-50% carbohydrates, which exceeds up to ten times the actual requirement of carbs for cats. A high consumption of carbs on a regular basis not only leads to weight gain but can also cause diabetes and other serious health affections.
No matter how natural, organic or premium kibbles are, they will never provide the same nutritional values as a real diet based on real meat and vegetables. Cats usually prey on mice, insects, and birds, which all count for around 2-3% carbs whereas most dry foods are made with low-quality and high-carb ingredients.
Another downside of feeding your cat solely dry food is its low moisture content. Although cats can survive with lower quantities of water as opposed to dogs, this doesn’t mean their diet should be solely based on dry foods.
On the contrary, a fresh piece of meat or fish is about 60-75% moisture as opposed to dry kibbles that require a larger amount of saliva and a healthy digestive system in order to process them correctly. Feeding your cat only dry food also doubles the quantity of water your cat should drink in order to live a healthy life.
So, to answer your question shortly, dry cat food is potentially dangerous, especially when fed in uncontrolled amounts or without combining it with wet food or home cooked food.
How do you solve this problem? The answer is easy and quite cheap in the long term too.
Although dry food has its benefits as it provides a healthy nutrition and all necessary vitamins and nutrients, it should be combined with home cooked food or wet food. Treats and supplements are also required if you want your cat to maintain strong teeth, a fresh breath, and to eliminate furballs easily.