Most cat owners opt for dry cat food over wet cat food because they are generally a cheaper option, have a longer shelf life, and are easier to store. There have been several concerns over the lack of hydration that wet cat food offers. Thus, it’s best to always make sure your cat has constant easy access to clean water. In this article, we have analyzed the best dry cat food worth spending on, focusing on their nutritional content. We have also selected our top three best choices based on which products offer the best value, best choice and our premium pick.
The Best Dry Cat Food
We consider Rachael Ray Nutrish Premium Dry Cat Food our best overall pick and a good place to start our review. This dry cat food recipe comes fully packed with all the natural prebiotics that will support your cat’s digestive system. If you are looking for the best dry cat food that provides you with an all-round natural option, then you should be looking at Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food.
No artificial flavors, preservatives, additives, and colors
No poultry by-products or meat fillers
Sourced from real U.S. farm-raised chicken
No ground corn, soy, or wheat ingredients
Up next on our list is Taste Of The Wild Grain-Free Rocky Mountain Premium Dry Cat Food. This dry food for cats is available in a satisfactory fifteen pounds of high-quality protein and grain-free cat food recipe. It is made with smoked salmon and roasted venison to provide not only a high-quality protein cat food but also one that has the right amounts of amino acids.
Available in a fifteen pounds package
Available in two different recipes
A blend of added vitamins and mineral from fruits and vegetables
Contains no grains or artificial ingredients
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food For Adult Indoor Cats is specifically formulated for adult indoor cats, just as its name suggests. Thus, it provides just the right amount of energy an indoor cat needs. Because most indoor cats burn less energy than outdoor cats, this recipe allows you to feed your indoor without worrying about the risk of the unhealthy weight gain that most indoor cats are prone to.
Available in six different sizes
Specifically formulated for adult indoor cats
Made with all-natural ingredients
Special Science Diet Adult Indoor Cat Ocean Fish Entree
Next on our list is Iams Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight And Hairball Control Dry Cat Food. Just like Hill’s Science’s indoor cat food, this brand has also been specially formulated for your indoor cat’s unique nutritional requirements. It is available in three different sizes to choose from – three and a half pounds, seven pounds, and twenty-two pounds. It comes with high-quality natural chicken to provide all the protein your cat needs to fuel its lean muscles.
Available in three different sizes – three and a half pounds, seven pounds, and twenty-two pounds
Contains L Carnitine for a healthy metabolism
Contains ten percent less fat and helps to reduce hairballs
Specially formulated for indoor cats
Let’s talk about premium quality with Orijen Cat And Kitten High-Protein Dry Cat Food. This natural dry cat food is specially formulated for cats and kittens. Thus, this formula will not only support your kitten’s growing nutritional needs, but it will help to maintain your adult cat’s nutritional requirement. It is made up of about forty percent protein, twenty percent fat, and three percent fiber.
Available in three different recipes
Ten percent plant nutrition
Blend of essential minerals and vitamins
Available in three different sizes
Nulo Adult And Kitten Grain-Free Dry Cat Food is made with a formulation that is not only rich in enough protein for the adult cat, but also for a kitten. This cat food recipe is also available in other varieties – turkey-based and duck-based. This formulation is usually made with deboned meat and comes with a mixture of turkey meal as well as chicken meal. This meal has been specially formulated to provide a rich amount of high-protein to make up for not having enough minerals and vitamins that are considered essential for promoting the good health of the cat.
Available in chicken and turkey recipes
Available in two sizes – five and twelve pounds
Patented BC30 probiotic ingredient
Wellness Core Natural Grain-Free Dry Cat Food makes our list as our pick for the best value. First of all, it is available in three different sizes – two pounds, five pounds, and eleven pounds. Aside from that, there is a medium-size bag available that weighs almost six pounds. It contains high-quality protein sourced from duck and turkey bred indoors. The recipe also includes deboned turkey, turkey meal, and duck.
Available in four different sizes
Made with all-natural ingredients
No meat by-products and artificial preservatives
Next on our list is Instinct Ultimate Protein Grain-Free Recipe Natural Cat Food. This dry cat food is available in three different sizes – ten pounds, four pounds, and almost two pounds. It also comes in two dry cat food recipes – chicken recipe and duck recipe. This formula focuses on a high-quality protein dry cat food that helps to feed the cat’s muscles. Instinct Ultimate prides itself with having a dry cat food with unmatched digestibility for optimal absorption of nutrients.
Available in chicken and duck recipes
Made with high-quality protein content
Available in different sizes
Specially formulated for an adult cat
Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball And Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food is next on our list. Just as its name suggests, this cat food is specially formulated for adult indoor cats. It is available in two sizes – three pounds and seven pounds. If you are familiar with the Blue Buffalo brand, you would know by now that it focuses only on real meat as the first ingredient.
Specially formulated for hairball and weight control
Available in two sizes
Contains special LifeSource Bits formula
Made with high-quality real meat
Last but definitely not least is Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredients Dry Cat Food. This grain-free cat food is specially formulated for adult cats and comes with a uniquely balanced formula that supports all breeds of cats. It is available in five different sizes to choose from – two pounds, four and a half pounds, five pounds, eight pounds, and ten pounds. The formula is also available in three recipes – green pea and chicken, green pea and duck, and green pea with salmon.
Limited ingredients formula
Available in three different recipes
Single animal protein source
Available in different sizes
Best Dry Cat Food Buying Guide & FAQ
What To Look For In A Good Dry Cat Food
Before you pull out the cash to purchase some dry cat food, here are a few things you should consider.
- High protein, low carb combination:
The most important nutrient in cat food is protein. Cats do not need a lot of carbohydrates. Always make sure that the kibble you purchase will satisfy your cat’s need for a lot of protein.
- High-quality protein:
High-quality protein is what you should spend money on. Low-value proteins do not offer much. Meat-source protein always offers the best quality protein.
Cat food companies have played on the fears that most cat owners have for corn and wheat. Thus, a lot of dry kibbles clearly indicate no-grain formulas. However, whether grains, peas, or potatoes, there is very little difference in the nutritional value. And, unlike what most people claim, grains are not the cause of cat allergies
- Trusted source:
Always purchase your dry kibble from reputable companies. Take a few minutes to look back into the recall history of each brand before purchasing.
How To Read A Cat Food Label
- The first step is to look for the net weight. This is often abbreviated as “NET WT”. Net weight is the weight of the package. It is usually indicated in ounces (oz), pounds (lb) or grams (g).
- Next, find the statement of purpose. This statement would indicate that the content is meant to be consumed by cats. It also indicates what group of cats the content of the package is meant for. That is whether adult cats, kittens, etc.
- Assess the nutritional information: Take time to check out the nutritional component of the recipe. That is its protein, carbs, and other essential nutritional content.
- Read the feeding instructions: Each packaging comes with feeding information on how many times and how much you should feed your cat.
Dry Vs. Wet Vs. Raw: Which Is The Best Food For Cat?
The argument between which of the two types of cat food is best still rages on. However, most people agree that wet cat food offers better nutritional value than dry kibble. One major disadvantage of dry kibble is that it is…well, dry. It lacks the moisture that can be found in wet or raw cat food. Moreover, dry cat food is made of less potent protein sources when compared to its wet and raw options. The ideal option is to combine all three alternatives, and alternate between.this will give your cat a better-balanced diet.
Best Cat Food Brands
There are so many brands of cat food brands available to choose from. Most people stick to certain brands only because they are more familiar with those brands, and others because of what type of cat food their feline buddies prefer. Despite the vast number of cat food brands available, there a few that stand out. The standard here is not necessarily about how long a particular brand has been in existence. It has to do with how popular that brand is among its users. It is important to note that no two people will have the same brands in their list of best cat food brands. Here are a few names that have garnered quite a reputation among the cat owners' society.
- Wellness Cat Food
- Royal Canin Cat Food
- Nulo Cat Food
- Buffalo Cat Food
- Purina Cat Food
- Hill’s Science Cat Food
- Orijen Cat Food
Best Dry Cat Food FAQ:
Q: How Much Dry Food Should I Feed My Cat?
A: How much dry food to feed your cat? Not too much. Dry cat food alone is not enough to support your cat’s nutritional requirements. Thus it should be fed with wet and raw cat food on a rotational basis. The general rule of thumb is that a healthy, active, ten pounds adult cat requires two hundred and seventy to three hundred and twenty calories per day. It is not advisable to serve that requirement from dry cat food alone. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, alternate between at least one dry, wet, and raw cat food each day.
Q: How Much Water Does My Cat Need A Day?
A: Typically, a cat should have between three and a half and four and a half ounces of water per five pounds of a cat’s body weight. This is a daily requirement. If your cat is ten pounds, for example, it should have at least seven to eight ounces of water every day. This can be equated with about half an average bottle of water per day. Please note that the cat should consume that amount of water, and not just have it available. This is because cats don’t get their water or hydration only by drinking.
Q: Can My Kitty Have “People” Food?
A: The safe thing to do is to avoid feeding human food to your cat as much as possible. Cats have different nutritional requirements from humans. Thus, human food may not meet your cat’s daily nutrition. Aside from that, cats are very picky eaters and have a shorter digestive system from humans. Your cat may be able to eat some foods you serve it. But that does not mean that it will be able to digest the food. In the end, you may be causing more harm than good. Plus, there are so many human foods that are poisonous to cats.
Q: Can Dry Cat Food Go Bad?
A: The simple answer is yes, dry cat food does go bad. Every dry cat food has an expiry date indicated on the package. It is usually six months from the manufacturing date. Dry cat foods also contain preservatives and antioxidants that are supposed to keep the kibble fresh for a longer period of time. However, the preservatives can also degrade into compounds without any use and affect the kibble.
Our Top Pick
Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food is our top pick for this review. Here is a quick recap of what we know about it. It is an all-natural cat food recipe that is available in three different packages - three, six, and fourteen pounds. It provides natural protein sources with added minerals, vitamins, and taurine. It is a non-grain formula and comes with no artificial ingredients.
Related Post: Wet Cat Food