The 30 Best Healthy Dry Cat Foods In 2021
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The best dry cat food honors your cats carnivorous needs with plenty of animal-sourced protein, just the right amount of fat, and low carbohydrate content. Its made from high-quality ingredients and comes from a company with a reputation for integrity.
Coming in at the top of our list is Dr. Elseys cleanprotein Chicken Formula. This food delivers an unexpected combination of crunch, flavor, and carnivore-appropriate nutrition. With plenty of species-appropriate protein and radically low carbohydrate content, this kibble is among the few that honors your cats nutritional needs.
Dry Cat Food For Older Cats: Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Dried Potato, and Peas
Nutritional Info: Protein 38.5%, Fat 12%, Fiber 7.5%, Moisture 11% & 353 kcal/cup Caloric Content
My top dry cat food senior pick in the list is the indoor senior recipe from Merrick. It features animal-based protein from chicken and turkey to support healthy muscles as well as fats for energy. The blend offers great palatability and also includes wholesome products like sweet potatoes that promote easy digestion making it perfect dry cat food for 10 year old.
I love that this recipe is packed with antioxidants and omega fatty acids to promote immune, skin, and coat health, as well as vitamins and minerals plus taurine for heart health. Each bite of this bistro-inspired kibble is perfect for a senior cat that will not eat anything else unless it is dry cat food without grains.
Buy on Chewy or
Standard Dry Cat Food
These are the usual cat foods you find in the supermarket. Standard cat foods can be from manufacturers who are big industry names, such as Purina and Royal Canin.
These tend to be made from the animal part not consumed by human beings. You may see ingredients such as chicken by-product meal listed, which contains the less desirable parts of the chicken and is a lower quality protein.
Standard dry cat foods tend to have a higher carbohydrate, fat, and cereal content. Plant by-products can also be found in standard cat food. An example of plant by-products is pulp and cellulose.
Caution: Standard cat food can cause urinary tract infections and weight gain.
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The Best Dry Food For Kittens
- When buying kibble for your cat, be sure its formulated for kittens by reading the label.
- Look for language that says the food satisfies the nutritional requirements set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials Profiles for growth or for all life stages. AAFCO members regulate pet food at the federal and state levels.
- While large quantities of food may seem like a good deal, dry kitten food should be used within two months of opening the package.
- To keep your kittens dry food from rotting, keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
- Keep the original bag or container tightly closed.
All of these kitten foods selected by us below have received positive feedback from customers and have the following things included in it:
- High in protein.
All About Kittens And Their Food Requirement
Kittens have unique nutritional requirements that cannot be supplied by human food or pet food. Cats, for example, are obligate carnivores, which means they require the amino acids found in meat to exist.
A cats food must be rich in proteins from meat, according to this article from Catnip, the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine newsletter, and a kittens diet must be even higher in protein to support their rapid growth.
Kittens as young as three weeks old can be introduced to a specially prepared kitten diet. You can start feeding your kitten food entirely once it has been weaned .
Allow your kitty to sample a variety of kitten-specific foods.
In the first few months, you may want to feed your kitten a range of textures of foodvarious shapes of dry, different textures of cannedto assist prevent picky behavior down the road, providing this does not create GI upset,
This is especially important because it might be difficult to get kittens to eat different meals after they reach the age of four months or so.
Before we head on further and find everything about the best dry kitten food, lets first have a look at the difference between wet and dry kitten food.
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If Your Cat Is Prone To A Sensitive Digestion
Soaking food softens it making it kinder on a gut that is suffering from inflammation, as a result of vomiting or diarrhea. Soft food also makes the process of digestion easy especially during an illness or the recovery period.
If your pet suffers from acid reflux, soaking food is a possible solution.
Why Trust The Spruce
Theresa Holland is a professional writer and animal lover with extensive experience writing about cats and dogs. In addition to The Spruce, she regularly contributes to MyDomaine and Byrdie.
For this piece, Theresa interviewed Dr. Lewis Singleton, a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital, to obtain more information on dry cat food. Choosing the right cat food can be a daunting task, but consulting with a veterinarian about key ingredients to look for can make the task less intimidating. To make this list, each pick’s flavor and nutrients were considered, as well as the cat’s life stage.
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Cons Of Feeding Dogs And Cats Only Dry Kibble
Its possible for a dry food diet to provide the nutrients that your pet needs, but it doesnt fit the bill for a high-moisture diet. Like the name suggests, dry food goes through a moisture-extraction process to create the compact, crunchy pellets youre familiar with, so it will never be as moist or hydrating as dehydrated or wet food options.
Here are five key reasons why a diet of only dry kibble doesnt keep your pet hydrated or healthy:
We know many pet owners like the convenience of kibble, and your pets may prefer the taste or texture. If youre going to feed a dry diet, its best to choose a high-quality food that hasnt been subjected to extreme heat and pressure, like conventional dry foods.
Is There Cat Food Similar To Tender Vittles
Consequently, cat owners who loved the product are now trying to find answers to their mind-boggling question, Is there a cat food similar to Tender Vittles?
The answer is yes there are cat food similar to Tender Vittles right now on the market. And they are called semi moist cat food or pouch food.
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Understanding Cat Food Labels
These are the main parts of a pet food label you should understand:
The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a non-profit corporation that establishes pet food labeling guidelines and minimum nutritional requirements. Cat food with an AAFCO statement is considered complete and balanced.
Cat food should include an AAFCO statement that states the recipe was:
- Formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for kittens, adults, seniors or gestating/lactating cats. This means the company tested the food’s nutrient profile and compared it to the minimum nutritional values established by AAFCO.
- Underwent animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures to substantiate that it provides complete and balanced nutrition.
- Provides complete and balanced nutrition for a specific life stage and its nutritional adequacy is comparable to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests.
However, do note that AAFCO doesn’t test food, so it can’t fully guarantee its safety and adequacy. Manufacturers are responsible for running lab tests or feeding trials to ensure their products meet AAFCO standards.
The guaranteed analysis includes the minimum or maximum percent of protein, fat, fiber, moisture and ash within a food. Some manufacturers will also list specific vitamins and amino acids.
Dont Rely On Dry Cat Food To Keep Your Cats Teeth Clean
Though it may be better than a soft diet for dental health, dry cat food alone will not prevent periodontal disease. To keep your cats teeth healthy, brush his teeth daily and consider taking them in for professional cleanings. The best dental cat treats may also help. Want to learn more about feline nutrition and choosing the best food for your cat?
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What Are The Downsides Of Dry Cat Food
1. Not as easy to digest
Due to the lack of water in dry cat food it can be more difficult for your cat to digest than wet cat food. This may also impede your cats ability to absorb the vitamins and nutrition in their food.
2. Hard texture can be more difficult to chew
The hard texture of most dry cat foods can be tough on the teeth of older cats or those cats who have dental issues. This can also be an issue for young kittens.
3. Additional Water May Be Required for your Cat
If a large percentage of your cats diet is dry food it is critical that they keep up their water intake. A constant supply of fresh water is necessary. Ideally, your home should have several bowls with fresh water to encourage your cat to drink.
Is There A Semi
Yes, theres such thing as semi-moist cat food. This type of cat food is not as hard, crunchy, and dry as kibbles because it contains more water . Its soft and moist but not with a soup-like consistency as canned food.
Semi-moist cat foods are also called pouch foods since they are typically offered in easy-to-serve and easy-to-store pouches. They are often used as transition food when cats gradually switch from dry to wet food. Some cat owners prefer this option because it is the most convenient.
However, compared to dry foods and wet food from different brands, this food option typically has more sugar and salt. Many semi-moist foods for cats also use artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.
Remember Purinas discontinued Tender Vittles?
The Purina Tender Vittles is perhaps one of the most popular cat foods back in the day. It was introduced in 1976 as the first-ever semi-moist cat food in a pouch, and it quickly gained a huge following among cat owners.
Unfortunately, this famed pet product, like other semi-moist foods for cats, contains potentially harmful ingredients to our furry friends. It was in 2007 when the brand discontinued Tender Vittles due to low sales.
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Hills Science Diet Urinary & Hairball Control Cat Food Best For Urinary Health
For cats that need a helping hand in the urinary department, veterinarians like to reach for Hills. This diet is perfect for cats that are prone to suffering from urinary issues, such as indoor cats and overweight cats. The key feature of this wet cat food is the careful balance of minerals to avoid crystals, sludge, and stones forming in the urinary tract. Struvite is one of the most common crystal types formed in our feline friends, and it is principally made of magnesium, so this is the most important mineral to balance. Being a wet diet, this cat food also encourages a more natural water intake for cats.
Please note that urinary problems can be severe and even fatal in cats. If your cat suffers from urinary issues you should discuss their diet choices with your vet. This food is not a cheaper alternative to the prescription diets, so if your vet prescribes Hills c/d or s/d you should use only that food or ask them for an alternative.
- Not as effective as prescription diets
Dry Food: The Downside
For cats with health conditions, dry food may not be as beneficial as canned partially because it lacks the water content that canned foods provide. This is where a consultation with a veterinarian is essential, helping you choose the best food for your cat’s needs. Keep in mind older cats may have a harder time eating dry food than wet, especially if gum or dental issues have set in. Canned cat food’s soft consistency may be easier for older kitties to eat than the crunchy kibble they ate at a younger age.
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Choose The Right Life Stage For Your Cat
As a cat grows from a kitten to an adult and then ultimately into a senior, their nutritional requirements continually evolve.
Calories, protein, fat and other nutrients will need to be adjusted to meet your cats life stage needs. Thats why you should always choose a cat food that is made for your cats specific life stage, or talk to your veterinarian about the all-life-stages cat food you are considering.
Purina Cat Chow Naturals Dry Cat Food Best Selling Dry Food
Protein: 38.0% | Fat: 9.0% | Fiber: 5.4% | Moisture: 12.0%
At the time of writing this review, Purinas Cat Chow Naturals is the best selling dry cat food around. Its no surprise to us.
It contains plenty of natural fiber that helps to control hairballs by moving hair through your cats system. We love that it has absolutely no artificial flavors or preservatives and is made from real meats that are clearly listed in its ingredients.
The 358 kcal/cup is also very modest, with the right portion control it could definitely be a viable weight control food for your cat. Because of the low caloric density, your cat will feel more full after consuming less calories. As with most of Purinas products, it comes in a variety of flavors and formulas each designed for cats of different age ranges and weights.
The real meat ingredients in this food ensure your cat is getting natural, animal-sourced proteins that are packed full of the building blocks they require to live a healthy life. Dry cat is often guilty of using plant-based proteins which arent as good, but this is a good example of a food containing plenty of animal-based proteins. Purina Cat Chow Indoor Dry food review.
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What Cat Food Is Best For My Cat
Which type or brand of cat food is ideal for your cat depends on its age, lifestyle and overall health. If you’re unsure which food to choose, it’s best to consult a veterinarian who can give you brand recommendations and help you organize a diet plan.
Understanding your cats nutritional needs
Since cats are carnivores, their diets should include high-quality protein, paired with healthy fats and only a small amount of carbohydrates. Most of the nutrients your cat needs for optimal health should come from animal sources, like chicken or fish.
Animal-based proteins are easier to digest and guarantee your cat won’t lack essential nutrients like taurine, an essential amino acid not available in plants. Humans and dogs can produce taurine on their own, but cats can’t, and so they must get it from meat. A lack of taurine can lead to digestive, heart, and immune system issues, for example.
Cats may digest certain plant-based ingredients, but these shouldn’t make up most of their diet. For example, peas and sweet potatoes are often included in cat foods as vitamin and fiber supplements.
It’s important to take your cat to regular vet checkups as some illnesses may change their nutritional requirements. Cats with kidney disease, for example, require less protein. Obesity is another health ailment that requires diet adjustments. Your vet can recommend an ideal food type and weight control regimen.
What to watch out for when shopping for cat food
We Disqualified Foods With Artificial Flavors Colors And Other Ingredients That Might Harm Your Cat Over Time
There are a few common cat food additives that wed rather not see in your cats food. These include artificial dyes, which have been linked to various health issues, artificial flavors, and certain potentially-harmful preservatives. We disqualified any foods that contained BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.
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Heres How We Chose The 30 Best Dry Cat Foods On The Market
Through researching the pet food industry, reviewing dozens of foods, and doing hands-on testing, weve done the work to find the few dry foods that are worth pouring into your cats bowl.
Your typical kibble is loaded with corn, potatoes, rice, and other ingredients few cats would choose on their own. And finding food made from safe, high-quality ingredients? Thats a challenge, too.
As straightforward as those requirements are, finding great dry cat food isnt as simple as it sounds. Most dry foods look more like cereal than a carnivore-appropriate meal.
The following 30 foods are top-notch products that meet our quality standards. Weve included top recommendations for cats and households of all kinds, with options for adult cats, kittens, senior cats, and those with food sensitivities or other dietary needs.