10 Best Dry Cat Food

If we talk about the difference between the canned and dry cat food, the only thing that makes the two stand apart is the moisture in their content.

While both food types share almost identical nutritional values, what you decide to feed your pet cats is entirely dependent on your preference. Though, there are a few significant advantages of feeding your cats dry food over canned food. For once, the majority of vets consider it to be much better for the teeth of cats.

But before discussing the other advantages that they offer, let me share with you the list of 10 best dry cat foods that I have compiled.

Top 5 Picks!

ProductFlavorSuitable For 
Hill’s Indoor Dry Cat Food Chicken RecipeChickenCats Over a Year Check Price
Blue Buffalo High Protein Wilderness Grain Free FormulaChickenAll ages Check Price
Purina ONE Selects tender BlendChicken/SalmonCats Over a Year Check Price
IAMS Indoor Hairball CareTurkey and Chicken in oneIndoor Cats of all ages Check Price
Purina Friskies FavoritesBeef, Seafood, and Poultry in oneCats of all types and ages Check Price

1. Hill’s Indoor Dry Cat Food Chicken Recipe

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Hill’s Science Diet
  • Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.7 x 6.3 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Minimum Bag Weight: 3.5 lbs approx

Specially formulated for adult cats, this dry cat food is ideal for indoor feeding and contains nutrients to energize your pet cat to suit its indoor lifestyle. The formula also contains natural fibers that are not only easy to digest but also makes cleaning the litter box a breeze.

All of the Hill’s Science Diet products come highly recommended from vets because they are made with 100% natural products. Their products are completely manufactured in the United States with certain ingredients imported from around the world but from trusted sources. The nutritional contents include high-quality proteins and natural fibers that help your cat feel filled and avoid snacking in between meals.

 Things I really like
  • Contains natural fibers and high-quality proteins
  • Keeps the cat energized throughout the day
  • Specially prepared with fish oil extracts to support eye and brain health development
  • The natural fibers are easy to digest and make litter box cleaning easy
  • All their products are prepared under the strict supervision of experienced and professional vets and food scientists
 Things I don’t like
  • Not ideal for kittens under a year
  • The size of the kibbles is large and can present a biting problem for certain cats

2. Blue Buffalo High Protein Wilderness Grain Free Formula

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Blue Buffalo
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 6.0 x 12.0 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Minimum Bag Weight: 2.5 lbs approx

Keeping in mind the growth, well-being, and health of your cat, the Wilderness from Blue Buffalo is formulated with real Chicken to fulfill the natural proteins and nutrients requirements. The high protein quantity keeps the wild side of your feline alive, so it never loses its natural born instincts. The ingredients are grain free and contain sweet potatoes, peas, and natural carbohydrates along with the omega fatty acids that support the development of the coat and skin of your cat. The dry cat food also contains LifeSource Bits, an exclusive formulation from the manufacturer with a blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals selected carefully by their animal nutritionists and veterinarians to help keep the immune system of your furry felines healthy and active.

 Things I really like
  • Made with natural chicken extracts and meat chunks
  • Contains LifeSource Bits for a balanced diet and precise nutritional needs
  • Totally grain free
  • Made using natural and healthy carbohydrates
  • Helps in maintaining and building muscle mass
 Things I don’t like
  • Not suitable for cats with diabetic tendencies
  • Priced a bit higher and comes in lesser quantities
  • The taste may not be suited for all types of cats

3. Purina ONE Selects Tender Blend

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Purina
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 8.5 x 8.5 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 3.5 lbs approx

The Selects Tender Blend of Purina ONE comes in salmon and chicken flavor so you can add variety to the daily meals of your feline. Regardless of the flavor, you choose to buy, both contain real meat. The servings are high in protein and perfect to support strong muscle growth.

No artificial flavorings or preservatives are added to ensure your cat’s immune system stays healthy and functional. Each crunchy and meaty bite of the Purina ONE is filling and prepared to fulfill all the essential nutritional needs of cats. The product is designed for adult cats and not only helps in reducing the plaque buildup but also whitens the teeth of your pussy cat.

 Things I really like
  • Available in two separate flavors
  • Contains zero preservatives and artificial flavorings
  • Prepared under the guidance of professional vets and food scientists
  • Contains pure protein to help strengthen and build muscles
  • Provides a balanced and complete diet to your cat
  • Good for the teeth and keep the plaque away
 Things I don’t like
  • Not for kittens or cats under a year
  • Not an ideal choice for indoor cats
  • Contains more than 13% fat
  • Cats coming from the old formula will have a hard time accepting this new one

4. IAMS Indoor Hairball Care

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: IAMS Proactive Health
  • Dimensions: 5.4 x 8.6 x 18.2 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 7 lbs approx

One bag contains everything from turkey and chicken to garden greens that makes every bite tasteful and crunchy. This cat food is protein rich and ensures strong and healthy muscle growth and energizes the cat to keep it playful and active through the day. The included L-Carnitine formulation helps your cat maintain its weight.

Their proprietary Blend of fiber and beet pulp is designed to reduce hairballs, making it perfect for all sorts of indoor cats. It contains 10% less fat than IAMS original healthy cat food so your cat can enjoy a meal that is rich in proteins. The brand is perfect if you are looking to keep your indoor cat active and of stable weight while minimizing the hairballs.

 Things I really like
  • The proprietary Blend helps in minimizing hairballs
  • One of the best dry cat foods for indoor cats
  • Fat contents are lesser compared to the manufacturer’s other products
  • Contains chicken and turkey extracts for extra proteins
  • The L-Carnitine in the formulation helps the felines maintain their weight
 Things I don’t like
  • The dry cat food is only for adult cats
  • Can only be fed to indoor cats
  • The L-Carnitine contents can at times lead to weight loss in cats

5. Purina Friskies Favorites

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Purina
  • Dimensions: 3.0 x 1.0 x 2.0 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 3.2 lbs approx

To tickle the taste buds of your kitties, each bag of Purina Friskies contains seafood, beef, and poultry extracts. The Friskies have a rich aroma that attracts the cats toward itself when poured in the dish.

Thanks to its nutrient contents, a different combination of flavors and appealing kibble shapes, the Friskies can be fed to all species of cats in every age. All the vital minerals and vitamins are included in the formulation to support your cat’s healthy growth. It even includes taurine, which helps in promoting a healthy and clear vision. With Friskies in your cabinet, you do not have to search for other types or brands of dry cat food as your feline friend ages. In fact, you can see her grow happy and healthy, just feeding on Purina Friskies for all of its life.

 Things I really like
  • Perfectly suited for cats of all types and ages
  • Contains a combination of flavors to keep your cat hooked
  • Holds a strong aroma that draws the kitties toward it
  • The kibbles inside the bag are of different shapes to keep the curiosity of your cat aroused
  • Includes taurine to help keep the cat’s vision clear
 Things I don’t like
  • Shipping time varies a lot
  • Rarely available in small packaging
  • Contains corn and gluten which are not very healthy for felines

6. Purina Friskies Gravy Swirlers

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Purina
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 16.0 x 22.5 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 22 lbs approx

Another entrant in this list from Purina’s Friskies line is the Gravy Swirlers. The dry cat food comes in 22 lbs packaging and contains the combined flavors of Chicken and salmon.

The contents are specially baked in savory gravy to add more flavor to the food. Kibbles inside are textured and of different shapes to attract the feline to its food bowl. A single serving is enough for a balanced and complete diet and meets the nutritional requirements of your cats.

Since Gravy Swirlers can be fed to adult cats as well as kittens, you don’t have to get two separate foods. All the necessary vitamins and minerals are already included in the formulation. So, you do not have to worry about the health and growth of your pet cat.

 Things I really like
  • Contains the combined flavors of salmon and Chicken to meet the cravings of every cat
  • The food is specially baked in gravy for extra flavor
  • Perfect for kittens and adult cats
  • Provides a well balanced and nutritional diet
  • Includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals to boost the animal’s growth
 Things I don’t like
  • Comes in a rather large packaging
  • Taste can often become repetitive for cats and may need to be mixed with other types of cat food.

7. Purina ONE Advantage

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Purina
  • Dimensions: 4.0 x 7.5 x 8.0 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 3.5 lbs approx

If you think Purina is very repetitively mentioned in this, I don’t blame you. But the fact of the matter is, they are one of the best cat food manufacturers out their so it is only justified that some of their best products are mentioned here. With that said, the Purina ONE Advantage is formulated considering the nutritional needs and requirements of adult felines.

The Advantage is prepared with turkey extracts, while some natural minerals and vitamins are added to provide a well-balanced diet. Omega 6 is also included in the formulation to promote healthy skin and a radiant coat. The ingredients also include a natural blend of fibers that helps in lowering hairballs.

 Things I really like
  • Comes in multiple sized packaging to suit most people’s needs
  • Made with pure 100% turkey extracts
  • Offers a well-balanced diet with natural minerals and vitamins
  • Contains Omega 6 to promote healthier skin and a beautiful coat
  • Includes natural fibers to help lower the hairballs
 Things I don’t like
  • The protein-rich cat food is only suitable for adult cats
  • Some bags may contain larger clumps which can pose a problem for a cat to eat
  • Due to its junk food kind of nature, the cat may need to be fed every couple of hours

8. Purina ONE Urinary Health Formula

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Purina
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 7.5 x 3.9 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 3.5 lbs approx

If you are looking for cat food that helps in maintaining and increasing the health of your cat’s urinary tract, the Purina ONE Urinary Health Formula is for you. The low magnesium contents help reduce the urinary Ph. It is easy to digest made with pure chicken extracts and is specially formulated for adult felines.

Although we are talking about the chicken flavor, the Urinary Health Formula also comes in beef and liver flavor. There are absolutely no fillers in the ingredients, which means each and everything in the contents serves toward the betterment of the health of your pet feline. For a meal that promotes a healthy urinary tract and fulfills your cat’s nutritional requirements, this is the product to get.

 Things I really like
  • Available in two flavors – Chicken and Beef and Liver
  • Comes in multiple sized packaging for convenience
  • Low magnesium helps promote urinary tract health
  • No fillers included in the ingredients means everything serves a purpose
  • Fulfills all the daily nutritional requirements with just a single serving
 Things I don’t like
  • Not suitable for feeding kittens or young adult cats
  • The target Ph is higher than recommended by most vets
  • The food contains 10% moisture

9. Purina Grain Free Natural Real Chicken Formula

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Purina
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 6.3 lbs approx

This Purina product delivers the delicious taste that every cat loves and the nutrition that every cat needs. Each bag contains natural cat chow that is grain free and made with 100% real chicken extracts without any artificial flavors, colors, or added preservatives.

The formula is for adult cats and is especially prepared and cooked in the United States and contains only the highest quality ingredients. Like all other entrants in this list, it was also chosen because it offers a complete nutritional and balanced diet in every serving. If you are looking to feed your cat something natural, the Purina Grain Free Natural Real Chicken Formula is for you.

 Things I really like
  • Contains no artificial flavorings, preservatives or additives
  • Made with the highest quality natural ingredients
  • 100% real chicken is the number one ingredient in the formula
  • Prepared and cooked in the United States
  • Provides a naturally balanced and nutritional diet
  • Perfect for both indoor and outdoor cats
 Things I don’t like
  • Contains peas protein and starch that may not be suitable for all cats
  • If your cats are used to eating the Original formula, they may have a hard time adapting to this new one
  • Can only be fed to adult cats, not kittens
  • In rare circumstances, can make cats barf

10. Blue Buffalo Natural Indoor Health

 

 Key Facts
  • Manufacturer: Blue Buffalo
  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 7.0 x 4.0 Inches
  • Packaging: Bag
  • Bag Weight: 3.0 lbs approx

This Natural Indoor Health dry cat food by Blue Buffalo is available in cats two of the most favorite flavors combined with Brown Rice; including Chicken and Salmon. The recipe is concocted with high-quality protein from the real meat of Chicken and salmon. As the name suggests, this dry food is for indoor cats and contains garden veggies, fruits and whole grain along with the protein to support a healthy and active lifestyle and strong muscle and bone development of your cat.

Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are also included in the ingredients as they help with developing the softness and shine in the feline’s coat. The cat food also contains Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits that keeps your cat’s immune system healthy and balances the oxidative.

 Things I really like
  • Available in Chicken and Salmon flavors with Brown rice combination
  • Contains immune system strengthen Blue Buffalo’s exclusive LifeSource Bits
  • Comes in 3 different packaging sizes of 3 lbs, 7 lbs, and 15 lbs
  • The recipe includes Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to help with the development of the coat
  • Deboned Chicken and salmon offer high protein
  • Best for most species of cats at all ages
 Things I don’t like
  • Especially formulated only for indoor felines
  • Attracts a lot of ants and insects if leftovers are left unattended
  • Is known to cause urinary problems in certain species of female cats

So, since the list has already been shared, let’s continue that discussion about the differences between dry and canned cat foods.

Differences Between Dry and Canned Cat Food

If health is your primary concern, relying on either kind of meal would be okay. However, most people feed their felines dry cat food because it is more affordable than the competition. Other than cheaper costs, dry cat food is also easy to store and does not rot even if left out all day. You may come across some claims that canned cat food helps in developing stronger muscles and bones in felines. Nevertheless, as you will see in the list I have shared with you, some brands of dry cat food also make this claim and even manage to deliver on it.

If we talk about the nutritional values these both food types offer, there isn’t much difference there either. Although dry cat food is much better for the health of a cat’s teeth, but it will be wrong to consider dry food as a substitute of dental care, and it is better left to professional handling. Canned food, on the other hand, has a more pleasant taste and can be used to add variety to the meals of your feline, especially if it is giving you trouble eating.

Another thing about canned food is its moisture content. Moist food can be really good for cats suffering from kidney problems as such they help in keeping the cats hydrated. But just like dry cat food, you cannot rely only on canned food for urinary or kidney problems in your cat.

With all that said, you may now hold a bit of a clearer picture of the differences between the two separate food types. Regardless of what you choose to feed your cat, if it is suffering from any kind of medical condition, do not avoid or delay visiting the vet. In fact, before you decide between dry or canned cat food, consider asking your vet about what you should be feeding your cat to improve its health.

Since we are on the topic of cat food, let me share with you some tips for choosing the right cat food.

Tips for Choosing the Right Cat Food

If you take out the veterinary expenses, the daily meal is the next thing that takes the biggest chunk of money for keeping a cat. While a properly balanced and nutritional diet can keep your cat healthy and lower your veterinary expenses, choosing the right cat food can play a big role in that. But to make that choice, you first need to understand your cat’s daily nutritional needs.

So, here goes:

Daily Nutritional Requirements

A daily balanced diet for a cat needs to have the following to fulfill its nutritional requirements and ensure its healthy growth.

  • High-quality proteins from all or any of the meat sources like fish, poultry, beef, ham, etc.
  • An amino acid named taurine
  • Essential minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids
  • Freshwater

Now that you have a clear idea of your cat’s nutritional needs, it is up to you to ensure that in spite of the type of cat food you choose, it should meet the dietary requirements discussed above. Consider this the first tip.

Cheap Cat Foods

A rookie mistake that I have seen many new cat owners make is opting for a more affordable brand of cat food to keep the expenses in control. This ends up backfiring in more cases than one as cheap brands use more fillers like binders, artificial flavorings, and carbohydrates like rice, corn, and wheat.

Most of these things are not suitable for a cat’s health and do not even fulfill its nutritional requirements. Moreover, it may lead to increased veterinary visits as felines are prone to sickness with increased intake of corn, gluten, or other binders.

So, as a second tip, always steer clear of cheap cat food brands. Despite what you may think, cheap brands of cat food do more harm than good.

Read the Label

Yes, this may seem like an unorthodox way of sharing tips with you, but I want to explain each and everything to you in a crystal clear manner so you can make a sound decision. If you read the information I have shared with you so far, you will realize that I have been as detailed as possible.

Remember to read the label and understand what’s mentioned on it. If it says on the label that a brand offers a “Complete and Balanced” diet, it should be in compliance with and meet the requirements of AAFCO.

Make sure you check the protein source mentioned on the label. If it just says meat, the term should be considered vague and appropriate. The label needs to specify the true protein source clearly, be it lamb, beef, Chicken, or turkey. If it is a canned food that you are buying, protein source has to be the very first ingredient to be listed.

Other things that you need to be careful of includes words like “animal digests,” “by-products,” and “bone meal.” Also, avoid anything with a large quantity of corn fillers. A lot of cheap brands of dry cat foods contain up to 50% of these carbohydrate fillers. Chemical preservatives are also something you should avoid.

And lastly, don’t forget to check the expiration date on the label. If the date is not clearly mentioned or is hard to read, better skip that package.

I hope you don’t find it hard to remember these tips when you go out the next time to buy your feline some delicious and nutritional delicacies to keep active and healthy.

What to Feed Diabetic Cats

Since we are on the subject of cat food, I thought why not share with you some information about diabetic cats and what to feed them as it is one of the most commonly found epidemics among them.

Diabetes in cats is similar to that of what in humans is called type 2. As such, diet and weight management becomes a major factor in controlling the disease from worsening. But before I talk more about the right diet for a diabetic cat, I want you first to understand the basics of diabetes in cats.

Diabetes in Cats

As the blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas starts producing and secreting insulin into the cat’s bloodstream to maintain the sugar levels. But the system of a diabetic cat does not respond to the insulin the way it does for a normal cat. As a result, the blood sugar level keeps rising.

The increased levels of blood sugar push the pancreas harder to produce more insulin and eventually wears out the organ in the process.

Once this stage is reached, the cat needs insulin injections at regular intervals just to survive. This whole thing may seem somewhat strange to understand, but that’s just because I am trying to keep things simple and not using any medical terminologies. However, if you do wish to learn in depth about how diabetes work in cats, I suggest you do some in-depth research on the internet.

Cause of Diabetes

While there may be many reasons for a cat to develop diabetes, the biggest and foremost cause is obesity in the animal. Once the cat starts developing fat, its body starts producing certain hormones that make it less responsive toward insulin. And the more fat a cat gains, the more it produces those hormones.

In most cases, diabetes can be prevented by not overfeeding your cat and maintaining its weight to keep it slim. If the symptoms are caught early on and treatment is started, weight loss can even help provide some respite from diabetes. It is also possible to take your cat off of insulin injections if you can make it lose a significant amount of weight.

So, what will be the best meal for a diabetic cat?

Well, read on to find out.

Best Meal for a Diabetic Cat

When it comes to feeding a diabetic cat, there is no one right or wrong meal. Still, there are specific guidelines you need to remember and follow to ensure that every meal helps in reducing the diabetic symptoms in the cat and lower its weight.

  • Cat food with high carbohydrates are a big NO. Carbs can spike the levels of sugar in the blood which you do not want for a diabetic cat to have. High protein diets can often pose a problem, as well. High protein diets are balanced using higher levels of fat to provide substantial calories. And higher proteins mean more fats will be included in the formulation to balance the equation. Meaning it could cause your cat to gain weight instead of losing it. Unfortunately, carbohydrate levels are not mentioned on the label, but diabetic cats usually require less than 10% to sustain blood sugar levels. But this isn’t a rule of thumb, so it is better to consult a vet and not assume anything.
  • Carbohydrates are one of the most common components of dry cat food. So, if your cat is diabetic, I would advise you against buying it. Certain brands of canned cat foods, however, are free of any carbohydrates or contain them in a very small quantity. Find something accordingly or better yet consult your vet and ask for a recommendation.
  • If your cat is not eating canned food, you can try feeding it kibble. I did mention that most dry cat foods contain carbohydrates; nonetheless, there are a few brands of kibble that are specially formulated for diabetic cats. These brands aren’t readily available as over the counter variety and in most cases require a vets prescription or are exclusively available with them.
  • Achieving weight loss can be a challenge, too if you do not watch the portions you feed your cat. Fatter or obese cats eat a larger portion than more fitter and slimmer cats. Again, larger portions will not help with weight loss. If anything, they would only help your cat put on more weight and increase its chances of getting diabetes or worsen it if the feline already has it. If you are planning to get an over the counter weight loss diet for your cat, that may not be a good idea as well as such cat foods are usually high in carbohydrates. So, monitoring and controlling the daily portions is your best shot at weight loss. The best way to manage the portion is to feed your cat 1% of its total body weight per week until it achieves the ideal body.
  • Making mealtime boring with tasteless prescription based low carbohydrate food can put your cat off. It may even react by completely rejecting to eat the food at all. But you do want them to live a long and healthy life even if that is with diabetes. So, what do you do in such a situation? You find a cat food that is both tasty and diabetes-friendly (is that a word?). Fortunately, there are many such cat foods available in the market. So, if you put in a little research and your time and effort into it, you will be able to find quite a few of these brands. If you want to make the research easy, just post your query on a couple of online cat forums, and you will be flooded with answers in no time.
  • Consistency is also a huge concern when it comes to feeding diabetic cats. Feeding a diabetic cat the same portion at the same time every day is just as important as their insulin injections. An ideal approach is to offer your cat its meal a while before its insulin injection is due. So, if the cat does not consume the full portion of food, you can lower the insulin dosage accordingly. Cats are usually given 2 insulin injections daily that are 12 hours apart. That is how you can plan their meal time. If you are confused about lowering or increasing the insulin dosage depending on the portion consumed, it is better to talk to your vet. Vets usually put together and give you a complete insulin dosage plan with instructions on when to increase the dosage or when to lower it and by how much amount. Refer to it if your vet gave you one.

Conclusion

The post did get a bit lengthier than I wanted it to be, but since we were on the subject of cat food I did not want to leave out any information that you may benefit from. Having said that, I have shared with you my top preferred dry cat foods; I have told you the difference between canned food and kibble and I have told you how to pick the right one for your cat. As an added piece of information, I have also shared with you about the dietary needs of a diabetic cat. So, I suggest you bookmark this post for future referencing and keep coming back to it if you ever get confused about what brand of dry cat food to buy for your cat.

If you think I have forgotten to mention anything or you are unable to find what you were looking for, I suggest you sound off in the comments below so I can help you with what you are looking for. Or better yet, browse through this website and you will most probably find what you are looking for.

Oh! And don’t forget to go through the related questions below to gain some additional information. Ciao.

Related Questions

Is dry cat food bad for cats?

There is no specific answer to this question. Nothing has been proven medically, so a clear answer is impossible to give here. There haven’t been any reports of cats falling sick because of eating dry food. Nor have there been any such reports in regards with wet food. However, it is preferred to feed wet food or canned food to cats who are suffering from kidney problems or urinary tract issues.

Can a cat live on dry food alone?

Yes, they can. Dry cat food does not rot if left unattended, and many cat owners rely on it completely to provide their cat with its daily nutritional needs. But not all dry foods are as reliable. In fact, cheaper brands contain more fillers than nutrition shouldn’t be relied upon entirely. Also, if you want only to feed your cat dry food, make sure it is age appropriate.

Is it okay to mix dry cat food with water?

If you plan to serve it immediately after mixing water then yes, while kibbles don’t rot if left lying outside, once mixed with water, its lifespan shortens, and it may go bad in a matter of hours. There is also a matter of taste. Not every cat might accept watery kibble. Keep in mind that mixing water in dry cat food does not make it the same as canned food. So, if that is your intent, well, you should simply avoid doing it and buy canned food instead.

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