Cats have sensitive digestive tracts, so it’s always important to buy the best dry cat food available to avoid your cat experiencing any of the problems that lesser quality cat foods can cause. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find the best possible dry food for your cat because there are so many competing brands on the market. That’s why we’ve decided to do the research necessary to find all of the ones that not only are made with quality ingredients but are also nutritionally complete for cats. What we’ve found are the following ten products that will give cats the nutrition they need.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Dry Cat Foods:
#10 Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete
Although Rachael Ray is primarily known for being that bubbly television chef who has her own morning cooking show, she’s also quickly becoming known for her line of high-quality pet foods. And one of the pet foods that are beginning to catch people’s attention is this quality dry cat food. This product is made with real chicken being it’s number one ingredient, which gives cats the protein they need in their diet. This food also contains lentils, which gives cat’s sensitive digestive tract a little bit of fiber and it has natural prebiotics in it including dandelion greens and pumpkin.
Pros: Cats love its taste, Comes in a variety of different sizes, Comes in exciting flavors
Cons: Cats tend to eat more of this product than comparable brands, Smell of the food is kind of strong
#9 IAMS Proactive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care
This high-quality cat food has been specially formulated and balanced with the unique needs of cats in mind. This formula is not only designed to help cats achieve and maintain a healthy weight, but it’s also formulated to help control hairballs in cats. It does this with a special blend of fibrous ingredients including beet pulp, as well as L-Carnitine to help with weight control. And this product also has 10% less fat than IAMS Healthy Adult Formula and is made with chicken as its primary ingredient. This makes this dry food suitable for mature cats with specific dietary needs.
Pros: Has less fat than some cat foods, Helps reduce hair balls, Cats love the taste
Cons: Comes in a limited number of different sizes
#8 Blue Buffalo Wilderness High-Protein Formula
Like many other high-quality dry cat food formulas, Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Formula is made with chicken as its number one ingredient, but that’s not the only ingredient that makes this an exceptional food for cats. It’s also packed with special Life Source Bits, a blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have been approved by animal nutritionists and are designed to support a cat’s specific dietary needs. This cat food provides a healthy balance of antioxidants and helps to support immune health in cats. And since it also contains peas and sweet potatoes, it also gives cats the healthy carbohydrates they need to feel like a kitten again.
Pros: Is high in protein, Cats love the taste, Comes in a variety of different sizes
Cons: Food can be too dense for some cats
#7 Crave Grain-Free High-Protein Adult Cat Food
Although some other dry cat foods contain chicken in their formulas, unfortunately, some of them are also packed full of unnecessary grains and fillers. Fortunately, that’s not the case with this food. It’s not only formulated with chicken as its primary ingredient, but it also doesn’t contain many of the grains that lesser cat food formulations contain. No corn, wheat or soy protein is anywhere to be found in this formula. It’s also free of chicken by-product meal but contains a very level of protein. In fact, each serving of this food contains 40% protein, so cats can maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Pros: Comes in an assortment of different sizes and flavors, Is a grain-free formula
Cons: Is more expensive than comparable brands
#6 Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural
While most dry cat foods use chicken as their number one ingredient, Purina Beyond has taken somewhat of a different course. They decided to use regionally sourced Pacific Tuna as their number one ingredient. It’s tuna that’s sourced from sustainable fisheries that are MSC certified, so pet owners can rest assured that they aren’t depleting natural tuna populations. This high-quality ingredient allows this cat food to have a whopping 38% protein level. And since this cat food is also completely grain-free, pet owners don’t really have to worry about this cat food causing severe digestive problems in their indoor cats.
Pros: Is available in a number of different flavors, Has a high-protein formula, Made with quality ingredients
Cons: Is a bit expensive
#5 Purina One Tender Selects Blend
This cat food is designed to give healthy adult cats the balanced nutrition they need. This product is made using chicken as its primary ingredient, and it’s completely free of preservatives or artificial flavors. It also contains a blend of healthy grains to give cats the carbohydrates they need, as well as carrots and peas for added fiber. This product also contains Omega-6 fatty acids that help the cat maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. And it’s has a blend of antioxidants that are also designed to help support the cat’s immune system, so they can remain healthy as they continue to age.
Pros: Made with real chicken, No artificial preservatives or flavor additives, Provides complete nutrition
Cons: This product contains grains
#4 9 Lives Daily Essentials
9 Lives is a cat food company that’s been manufacturing high-quality dry cat foods since 1959, so they might know a thing or two about meeting the nutritional needs of cats. And the product that proves their expertise in this area is their Daily Essential Blend. This formula is made with a combination of beef, chicken, and salmon that’s designed to meet the cat’s dietary needs and promote a healthier life. This formula supports strong muscles, healthy skin and fur, and clear vision. It also supports a healthy immune system and heart and has a taste that cats truly love.
Pros: Cats love the taste of it, Provides complete nutrition, Is easy for cats to eat
Cons: Smaller sizes bags are way more expensive than larger sized bags
#3 Muse Natural Grain-Free Cat Food
Muse is a dry cat food brand from Purina that’s designed to meet the nutritional needs of active cats and do it without all of the unnecessary ingredients that some other cat foods have in their formulations. This product is made using real salmon as its primary ingredient, and that allows this dry food to not only deliver an exceptional quality of protein, but it also allows it to deliver Omega fatty acids to the cat for healthy skin and fur. It’s a food that’s free of preservatives and includes flavor accents of blueberries and spinach. And since it’s a grain-free formula, pet owners can rest assured that there isn’t any hidden corn, soy, or wheat in this product.
Pros: Made with real salmon, Contains no hidden grains, Is free of preservatives
Cons: Costs more than lesser quality brands
#2 Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites
People have always enjoyed combining steak and seafood together, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that most cats like the combination as well. This high-quality food gives cats a little bit of surf and turf, so they can really get excited about their meals. But this formulation just doesn’t have the flavor of beef and seafood, but it also has a nice poultry taste, too. And since it’s nutritionally balanced for cats of all ages, pet owners can rest assured that their cats are getting 100% of their nutritional needs met on a daily basis. These features all come together to make this a cat food that many pet owners really like.
Pros: Is a reasonably priced cat food, Cats love the taste of it, Meets cat’s nutritional needs
Cons: Contains corn gluten meal
#1 Meow Mix Original Choice
Anyone who has seen Meow Mix commercials on television knows that this cat food is supposed to be one that cats simply can’t resist, and judging by this food’s popularity that’s most likely the case. That’s probably due to the fact that this dry cat food not only delivers 100% of the vitamins and minerals that cats need but also because it has a taste that cats love. This formula is made with the flavors of delectable ocean whitefish, meaty chicken, delicious turkey, and scrumptious salmon. Flavors that come together to make this food irresistible to just about any cat that gets a taste of it.
Pros: Contains high protein levels, Cats love the taste of it, Is easy for cats to eat
Cons: It contains ground corn
More products also worth checking out:
Dry Cat Food Buying Guide
Buying dry cat food is harder than it’s ever been before. That’s because there are way more choices nowadays than there were even a decade ago. Every single day, more and more brands are hitting the market, and that can leave any cat owner wondering which brand is really best for their cat. In order to help these cat owners get the best dry cat food available, we decided to write this guide. A guide that will give them the low-down on all things concerning dry cat food. So if you have a few moments and want to find out how to select a dry cat food, then come along with us as we lay out the basics.
Dry Vs. Wet Cat Food
Before you even choose a dry cat food, it may be a good idea to decide if that’s really the type of food that you want to buy in the first place. There are a variety of different cat foods available, but the two main types a consumer is going to have to choose from are dry food and wet food. And while neither of these types of food is inherently better than any other type, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each type.
Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food is a type of food that contains a lower moisture content than wet food and usually has more calories, which may or may not be suitable for your feline friend—depending on their age, health and whether they’re overweight or not.
- High in carbohydrates
- Has more calories
- May contain grains
- Less expensive than wet foods
- Has less moisture
- Might Be hard for some cats to eat
Wet Cat Food
Wet cat food is the type of cat food that’s generally made with a higher concentration of meat than dry cat foods, and is softer and moister. It’s easier for cats to eat, but generally has fewer calories, so it’s a good choice for cats with chewing problems or overweight cats. However, this food also tends to be more expensive than dry brands.
- Easier for cats to eat
- Cats tend to prefer it
- Has fewer calories
- May have fewer carbohydrates
- Tends to be expensive
- Active cats have to eat more to get their caloric needs met
The Truth About Dry Cat Food
Once you determine that dry cat food is the appropriate choice for your cat, it’s time to look at the ingredients listed on the label. And just about everyone believes they know what they’re looking for when scanning the food’s ingredient list. After all, we’re told over and over again that we should avoid cat foods that contain grains, animal by-products, or carbohydrates. However, none of these ingredients are really bad, we’re only told that they are bad. So you can know what we really mean, let’s take a closer look at these 3 ingredients and really see what they’re all about.
As cat owners, we’re told over and over again that grains are bad, but that’s simply not the case. In fact, grains can be a healthy part of just about any cat’s diet. Even though there is a general belief that carnivores shouldn’t eat grains, the truth of the matter is that if the cat doesn’t have a specific grain allergy, then grains can be a part of a healthy diet. And to further clarify the situation, it should be noted that grains are not put into cat food as a filler. No, they actually provide essential vitamins and amino acids that can’t be provided by other types of ingredients.
Another misconception people have about cats and other carnivores are that they shouldn’t have carbohydrates, and that’s simply not the case. Carbohydrates should be a part of any healthy cat’s diet. Of course, if the cat is obese, then you may want to switch to cat food with a lower amount of carbohydrates in them. However, if the cat is healthy and active, then carbohydrates should be a part of their diet.
Animal by-products are also ingredients that get unfairly criticized. Animal by-products, including animal meals, are made from the ground up carcasses of animals. Some of the animal parts that may be included in these by-product and animal meals include bones, hooves, intestines, internal organs, and other animal parts. Although this may sound gross, the truth of the matter is that animal by-products may be healthier than dog foods that only contain meat. That’s because the bones and internal organs that are ground up contains amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that meat products don’t contain.
Buy Cat Food According To Age & Health
The last thing to consider when buying dry cat food is the age and health of the cat. As cats get older, they need more fat. Foods for kittens and adult cats should contain a good source of Omega 3s to help with eye and brain health. Aside from that, it’s really pretty basic to choose cat food. For kittens, buy a kitten food and for seniors buy a senior formula cat food. For all the cats in between, just choose the cat food that is nutritionally complete and one that your cat likes.