Best Dry Cat Food
Fancy Feast Seafood & Shrimp Dry Cat Food
Weight: 12 pounds
The Fancy Feast Gourmet Filet Mignon Flavor with Seafood & Shrimp Dry Cat Foods contains real seafood and shrimp, which add healthy essential omega fatty acids to your cat’s diet. This food is rich in essential omega fatty acid and contains shrimp and fish. It also includes taurine, which will give your cat an ideal heart health and healthy hair. Lightly baked, the kibble will provide easy-to-eat texture and help to reduce tartar buildup. It is crafted in the U.S.A.
Unfortunately, this food contains a few less-than-ideal ingredients, with poultry by-product meal in the first three ingredients. This food also has corn and artificial colors. Customers reported that the food had a strong smell and their pets didn’t like it.
- Made with real seafood
- Contains essential omega fatty acids
- For a crispy texture, lightly bake the cookies
- Made in America
- Contains poultry by-products
- Corn, artificial colors, and flavors may be present
- Some cats might not like the pungent odor
Getting The Appropriate Amount Of Nutrients
Felines, by nature, are carnivores. For their health and function, felines will need to eat a lot of protein. Cats will need a moderate amount of proteins and carbs, and fats to have a healthy diet. As stated, before if the appropriate protein level is not met, then their bodies try to convert fat, which doesn’t bode well for them. Kittens are susceptible to this as they need more calories than the typical adult cat to develop strong, healthy bones and muscles.
An average 10-pound cat should consume 200 calories per day. If your kitty is very active, they will need to eat a little more to keep up with this energy need.  As your kitty starts to get older, you will need to decrease the amount of food they eat each day to help keep them from gaining weight. Most cats spend their days sleeping by the age of 2 or 3. It is best for them to be less hungry during these years.
Your cat will be considered senior once they reach 7 years of age. You may need to change your pet’s food based on any health problems they might have.
What Is The Shelf Life Of Dry Cat Food Stay?
The best dry cat foods should remain good for up to six months. They are kept fresh by preservatives and antioxidants.
To ensure it stays fresher for longer, store it in its original bag and ensure it is sealed tightly.
Although purchasing bigger bags is more cost-effective, it is worth noting that after 6 weeks the flavor, scent, and nutritional value of the dry food tends to decrease.
One twenty-pound bag will hold approximately 100+ cups of kibble, which means it can last for several months. You might have to throw out food if your bag is larger.
To avoid waste, break a bigger bag into 2 – 3 smaller sizes to freeze.
Rachael Ray nutrish superfood blends dry cat food
This food is made from farm-raised chicken in the US as their first ingredient.
It has more chicken than any other ingredient. Rachael Ray Natural Dry Cat Food doesn’t contain any ground corn, soy or wheat. This formula does not contain any poultry byproduct meals, artificial colors, or preservatives. This makes it a wonderful diet for cats suffering from allergies.
Small-sized kibbles are easy to chew for pets of all sizes. Most cats love the crunch they get with this food when eating. The crunch helps to keep your cat’s teeth white. The option is all-natural and contains many added minerals, vitamins, and taurine needed to help keep your pet healthy. You will be able to keep your cat happy and full with all-natural ingredients. It is specially formulated for your cat’s demanding taste. It is a great choice for cats who require a complete diet.
This diet is great for cats with food allergies. I love that this diet uses chicken that is farm-raised in the USA. This diet also has the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep your cat happy and healthy.
- No corn, soy, wheat, or fillers.
- All natural food.
- Has added vitamins and minerals.
- Ideal for indoor cats
- Kibble of small size
- No fillers.
- Additional nutrients are important for healthy cats.
#11: Best for Growing Kittens: Instinct Original Kitten Recipe with Real Chicken Freezed Raw Coated Dry Cat Food
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Check out our complete Brand Review
- Brand Name: Instinct
- Made In: United States
- Average Cost per Day: $1.00/day
Instinct pet food is committed to incorporating raw foods into all their products. They offer raw-boosted, freeze-dried kibble such as this kitten recipe. The Instinct Original kitten recipes costs approximately $0.36 an ounce. This adds up to around $1 per day.
What makes this recipe unique is that the kibbles are coated with freeze-dried raw chicken and chicken liver. This coating not only adds protein to the kitten’s diet but also enhances its flavor.
Top Recipe: Instinct Original Recipe for Kittens with Grain-Free Chicken Freeze-Dried, Raw Coated Dry Cat Food
It is specifically designed to provide the nutrition necessary for growing kittens. The formula is 81% made from animal ingredients, nutritious oils, and the rest 19% are vegetables, fruits and other ingredients.
This recipe starts with fresh chicken, then turkey meal and menhaden salmon meal. Later on this list, you’ll find additional proteins made from chicken, egg, fish and lamb. Chicken fat is the primary source of added fat which is a nutritious and species-appropriate choice.
This recipe contains a lot of animal protein. However, there are many plant-based ingredients. That being said, the estimated carbohydrate content is under 20% as fed which is lower than the average dry food for cats.
This recipe doesn’t support your cat’s water intake. If you’re set on feeding your kitten dry food, consider using a wet food topper or supplement your kitten’s diet with another high-moisture food.
Specific Protein Source In Ingredients
There are many brands of cat food that advertise high-protein formulas. You need to ensure they understand where it comes from.
Simply saying that it’s sourced from “meat” is not sufficient, it’s best to look for products that explicitly list the source such as salmon, lamb, chicken.
Brands that include liver, for instance, get bonus points.
They are usually of lower quality than other meat sources. These meats are not bad. Even the most respected brands of food use them to increase protein. They just make it harder to track the source meat.
Purina One Tender Blend Adult Dry Cat Food
This food is made with real ingredients, including real carrots and peas. It contains no artificial flavors or preservatives. This formula uses real salmon as the first ingredient to provide your cat’s protein to support their strong muscles. The Omega-6 fatty acid will nourish your cat’s skin, and give you a shiny coat. Your pet will enjoy Purina One Tender Selects Mix Dry Cat Food. It is the best supermarket dry cat food you can always count on.
The product provides all the nutrition required for adult cats.
Also, it contains antioxidants that help supports a strong immune system, and the crunchy kibbles help decrease plaque build-up and help whiten teeth. It does not contain any fillers.
This is my recommendation for people who have a limited budget for cat food. It is also a great diet to feed to stray cats that may be hanging out around your house. It is an affordable diet that still provides all necessary nutrients and does not require you to feed your cat any vitamins.
- Cheaper option.
- Salmon is a favorite of cats.
- Does not contain the best source of protein.
- It does not provide the highest quality protein.
Smalls ‘Raw Water Bird’ Dry Cat Food – Best Overall
If your cat is a fussy eater who resists the standard chicken or fish ingredients in many cat food recipes, you can try Smalls Freeze-Dried ‘Raw Water Bird’. Smalls is a dry recipe that’s not as flavorful and savory than some others. It uses only ground duck for the main ingredient, along with other components of the duck like the heart, liver and gizzard. This Raw Water Bird recipe also includes duck egg, goat’s milk, herring oil, and eggshell membrane. This recipe has 45% of crude protein and 20% crude fat. It also contains 3.0% crude fiber. Your cat will also get essential nutrients such as calcium, taurine and sodium from Raw Bird. Smalls Duck recipe has superior quality ingredients but it contains more fat than other freeze-dried foods.
Taste Of The Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain is a great source of protein, although it’s not always the most nutritious.
The first ingredient is chicken meal, which provides a variety of important nutrients. Beyond that you will find protein from potatoes and peas, which cats can’t digest as well as protein from meat.
There are quite a few other animal proteins inside, such as venison, salmon, and fish meal, but these are lower on the list than the vegetable proteins.
It’s packed with premium fruits and veggies like tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries, and over half the ingredients seem to be probiotics of some kind.
Some of those fruits and veggies (particularly the potatoes) are hard for cats to digest, though, and their litterbox might suffer as a result. The kibble itself tends to be especially crumbly as well.
This doesn’t change the fact that Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain has excellent food. It can’t be ranked among the top of the best.
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Hills Science Diet Indoor Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food is designed specifically for indoor cats, but our outdoor cats love it too!
This balanced nutrition resulted from the combined efforts of over 220 vets, scientists, and pet nutritionists. You can rest assured that the ingredients are of high quality and there is no preservatives or artificial flavoring, as well as that they only contain natural protein sources.
Hill’s Science Diet made our cat’s hair soften significantly after we switched to it. We’ve heard from others who have noticed the same improvement.
It’s a great value price-wise, especially when you consider that it offers the same (or even greater) health benefits as other brands.
The lean protein helps indoor cats maintain their muscle mass and keeps them at a healthy weight. You can also find it in many different forms, all tailored for cats of various ages. ).
We can’t recommend this food highly enough, despite it’s indoor cat label, it’s perfectly suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Review.
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Chicken Adult and Senior Dry Cat Food
NUTRO Indoor Dry Cat Food was created to keep senior cats happy and healthy. The food contains a healthy mix of ingredients such as brown rice and farm-raised chicken. The chicken provides your cat with the protein needed for strong muscles and a great taste that your pet will love. It also is a healthy weight formula that will prevent from becoming overweight. It also includes fatty acids that are necessary for healthy skin, and coat.
To maintain muscle mass and health, senior cats require a higher protein diet than the rest of their family. This is a great brand of cat food to feed older senior cat’s who are having a hard time maintaining their weight. This diet contains all the extra vitamins and minerals to support a healthy coat and supplements to help with heart and joint issues.
- It contains farm-raised chicken and brown rice.
- It contains extra proteins, which are necessary for muscles to be strong.
- Is a healthy weight formula to prevent obesity.
- It contains fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat.
- Ideal for seniors cats.
- Helps fight obesity.
- High-quality chicken.
- The taste is a favorite of cats.
These are the Common Factors We Examined Dry Foods for:
- Protein of high quality
- No fillers or dyes.
- A balanced diet with all the vitamins and minerals you need.
- Meets AAFCO standards. 
- The food should be palatable.
Many diets are available, however many of them contain fillers and fats. Most cats love these diets, but they are not healthy and can cause them to become obese, leading to many other health issues. The diet that you feed is directly linked to your cat’s health. You must ensure your cat has the right nutrients to keep him healthy and happy for many years.
Formulas With Animal Proteins In The Main 5 Ingredients
The following list contains the dry cat foods in which the first 5 ingredients are either meats or meats & fish or meats & fish & eggs. Wellness Core Original is the exception to this rule. This formula has one carb (peas), but because it contains high levels of protein, and informs all 11 essential amino acids, I chose to include it on the list. Side note: I do not recommend formulas that contain only fish for cats with urinary sensitive or cat who doesn’t consume a lot of water.
Petcurean Go Fit + Free Grain-Free contains 46% meat proteins and it’s grain-free. The recipe contains a good amount of meats and fish, such as chicken, turkey, duck, salmon, and trout. Also, it adds chicken fat as a natural source of energy for cats, but not too much to prevent obesity. Listed as the first ingredient, “chicken meal” provides a concentrated source of proteins, and “de-boned chicken” and “de-boned turkey” balance the formula with a crude source of proteins.
- ORIJEN ORIGINAL CAT – NEW FORMULA (Available in the USA)
- ORIJEN ORIGINAL CAT NEW FORMULA (Available USA market)
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Whole Mackerel, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard), Flounder. Find more details in the FULL REVIEW.
New Orijen Cat and Kitten Canada formula has 40% protein and 20% fat. It also contains a small amount of low-glycemic carbohydrate (roughly 19%) from fruits and vegetables. It doesn’t include grains, high-glycemic carbohydrates, like tapioca or rice. This formula prevents sugar spikes. The formula is also gluten-free.
Wellness Core Chicken & Turkey provides your cat with 45% protein from chicken, which is the most similar to a natural cat’s diet. It is free of eggs and grains, which will prevent your cat from becoming obese or putting them at risk for developing allergies.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Adult Dry Cat Food, High Protein and Grain-Free
Blue Buffalo’s line will always include deboned chicken as the main ingredient. It also contains a protein source of chicken meal and fish meal for extra protein for your pet. The product contains antioxidant-rich vegetables and fruits like blueberries and cranberries. This product contains many healthy, complex carbohydrates such as peas, sweet potatoes, and potatoes.
This food never has any fillers, such as chicken by-products meals, corn, soy or wheat or artificial preservatives, and artificial flavors. All Blue Buffalo Wilderness foods contain their exclusive Life Source Bits. This is a precise blend of minerals, vitamins, and other antioxidants needed for a completely balanced diet.
This diet is recommended for cats who need to gain weight. This diet is richer in protein than other options. It contains chicken and fish, and can be fed to older cats who might need extra weight.
- Has deboned chicken as the first ingredient.
- Contains antioxidant rich fruits.
- Has additional protein from chicken meal and fish meal.
- It does not contain any fillers, preservatives or artificial flavor.
- Best for cats who need to gain weight.
- No fillers.
- Higher Prices
- Higher Prices
Purina One Tender Chicken Dry Cat Food — Best Overall
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Stage of life: Adult
Purina ONE Tender Selects Mix is our favourite choice for cat dry food. It has a 34% crude protein and contains real chicken. This dry food is veterinary formulated for adult cats and is free from artificial ingredients. Instead, it contains healthy vitamins and minerals, like vitamin A and calcium, as well as taurine and omega fatty acids for a healthy skin and coat. It contains crunchy bits that keep cats’ teeth white and tender morsels that can be chewed easily.
Our only concern with this food is that it contains unnecessary filler ingredients, including corn, rice flour, and soy.
- Contains real chicken
- Formulation of veterinary medicines
- Healthy vitamins and minerals packed into this bag
- Combination of crunchy and tender kibble
- Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Contains filler ingredients
Certain Fats Source in Ingredients
A named fat source, like the one above, gives you assurance that important nutrients aren’t coming from an artificial source.
You should limit fat intake if you are looking to feed older cats cat food. They can be less active and may have difficulty digesting.
Purina Beyond Simply Chicken & Egg Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Stage of life: Adult
This food has a fairly high carbohydrate content at around 28%, which is almost double what a cat needs and may cause weight gain. Customers reported that their cats dislike the pungent scent of this food.
- Limited-ingredient recipe
- No poultry byproducts
- Contains natural probiotics
- Free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
- Carbohydrates with high amounts
- It may be difficult for some cats to enjoy the experience.
New Zealand Natural Air-Dried Cat Food
- Name of product rule = “recipe”, 25-94.9% of named ingredient
- Carbohydrate amount approximately = 24%. But I believe it to be much lower than that.
- First 5 ingredients = venison, lamb, lamb green tripe, lamb heart, lamb liver
Again, you see specifically named meat ingredients. No general blanket terms.
Consider your cat’s dietary restrictions, needs or conditions, such as allergies or weight issues. Dry cat food can be tailored for specific needs. This will help to maintain your cat’s optimal health. Cat food is often expensive so it’s important to consider cost and value.
We looked at every brand’s recall history to determine whether they were eligible for inclusion.
We also looked at each brand’s reputation with customers. To learn about customer experiences, we referred to Consumer Affairs as well as product listings. Contacting the company directly gave us firsthand knowledge about the customer service. A two-minute phone call can tell you a lot about a cat food company. We gave preference to brands that offered prompt, transparent service.
First, consider your cat’s age. Dry cat foods are often formulated and specifically designed for the age and size of your kitty. So whether you have older or younger cats, you’ll need a formula to provide the right amount of nourishment.
How We Tested It?
We looked at diets and searched for foods that met or exceeded those standards.
To help me determine how cat food tastes, I spoke to many owners of cats at my clinic. All of these foods were loved by the cats at my clinic, despite some cats being picky eaters.
Low Carbohydrates or No Carbohydrates
Dry cat food is especially susceptible to being packed with “filler” ingredients that are often made up of wheat or corn. They act as glue to hold the dry cat food together. However, grains are not an essential part of a cat’s diet.
Your best bet is to aim for natural dry cat food that labels itself as grain free.
You get less carbohydrate and more protein, which is a win-win situation for everyone.
The Tiki Cat is a Carnivore.
Although the product claims to be suitable for all life stages of cats, senior cats may not eat it. Senior cats might find it beneficial to pre-hydrate the product for extra moisture and softness.
Hill’S Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Chicken Recipe
Hill’s Science Diet is complete and balanced nutrition, made for indoor cats. This food is made with real chicken as the number one ingredient with high-quality protein to help to maintain lean muscle. It contains no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
- The main ingredient is chicken.
- Does not contain artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.