Eating healthy is important for cats, just like humans. As cat owners, it’s our responsibility to feed our feline friends a nutritious diet that will keep them happy and healthy. When it comes to dry cat food, not all brands are created equal. With so many options on the market, how do you know which foods are the best for your cat?
In this guide, we’ll walk through the best dry cat food brands and what to look for when choosing a high-quality kibble. Feeding your cat the right food can help prevent obesity, urinary tract infections, kidney disease, and other medical problems. It can also support a shiny coat, healthy skin, and lots of energy.
How to Choose the Best Dry Cat Food Brands
There are a few key things to consider when shopping for the best dry cat food brands:
- Quality of ingredients: Look for foods with real meat, fish or poultry as the first ingredient, as well as whole vegetables and fruits. Avoid by-products, artificial preservatives and generic ingredients like “meat meal”.
- Nutritional adequacy: The food should meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines for nutritional completeness for all life stages. This ensures the food contains the right balance of proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals.
- Limited ingredients: Some cats do better on foods with fewer ingredients. Limited ingredient diets avoid common allergens.
- Grain-free: Many cats have difficulty digesting grains like corn, wheat and soy. A grain-free diet can reduce stomach issues.
- Manufacturing standards: Look for foods produced in facilities following FDA standards as well as guidelines for quality and food safety.
Keep these factors in mind as we discuss the top 5 best dry cat food brands.
Best Dry Cat Food Brands Reviews
1. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Blue Buffalo Wilderness tops the list of best dry cat food brands for its use of premium natural ingredients. This grain-free formula starts with real meat as the first ingredient. It derives carbohydrates from peas, sweet potatoes and other complex carbs instead of fillers like corn.
- Made with deboned chicken, chicken meal and fish meal
- Grain-free recipe with limited plant-based ingredients
- Enriched with LifeSource Bits for vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Contains NO chicken/poultry by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives
With four stars on Amazon, pet owners praise Wilderness for its ability to reduce shedding and allergies. Negative reviews mention finicky cats disliking the taste. Overall, this brand tops the list for its focus on quality ingredients.
2. Wellness CORE Grain-Free
For a protein-packed formula made in the USA, choose Wellness CORE grain-free indoor cat food. This dry cat food brand lists turkey, chicken and salmon meals as the top ingredients. It’s a great choice for cats with food sensitivities.
- Features turkey, chicken and salmon meals
- Grain-free with no corn, wheat or soy
- Fortified with probiotics and antioxidants
- Manufactured in all-natural, human-grade facilities
With over 7,000 reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon, satisfied buyers say this food helps cats maintain a healthy weight and coat. Some cats dislike the texture while others needed an adjustment period switching foods. Overall, pet owners agree this is a healthy formula made by a trusted brand.
3. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems
Purina ONE receives rave reviews for its sensitive systems blend ideal for cats with food allergies or intolerance. Real salmon is the number one ingredient. Purina adds prebiotic fiber to help promote digestive health.
- Made with real salmon as the first ingredient
- Contains easily digestible ingredients that are gentle on the stomach
- Includes prebiotic fiber to support healthy digestion
- Enriched with antioxidants for a strong immune system
With a 4.6 out of 5 star rating on Chewy, buyers say this food improves digestion and provides a shiny coat. Some cats disliked the taste at first. Overall, pet owners agree this affordable formula is gentle on sensitive stomachs.
4. Nature’s Variety Instinct Original
For a natural, gluten and grain-free formula, Nature’s Variety Instinct earns rave reviews. This high protein kibble starts with real chicken and contains probiotics to support digestion. It’s a bit pricier than other brands but uses quality ingredients.
- Features real chicken as the first ingredient
- Grain-free and gluten-free recipe
- Includes probiotics and natural antioxidants
- 95% of ingredients come from animal sources, limiting carbs
With over 3,000 reviews and 4.5 stars on Chewy, buyers praise the simple but nutrient-rich ingredients. Some cats disliked the texture while others didn’t like the taste. Overall, it earns praise as a natural, meat-packed formula.
5. Purina Pro Plan Savor
For an affordable yet nutritious formula, Purina Pro Plan Savor gets the job done. With real chicken as the first ingredient, it provides a high level of protein. Natural fiber helps control hairballs. The crunchy kibble has a taste cats love.
- Contains real chicken as the number one ingredient
- Lower fat and lower calorie than other dry foods
- Includes prebiotic fiber to control hairballs
- Comes in salmon and ocean fish flavors
With 7,900 reviews and 4.6 stars on Chewy, buyers say it provides a shiny coat and healthy weight. Some buyers did not like the smell. Overall, this budget-friendly brand rates as a high-quality option.
What to Look for in a Dry Cat Food
Keep these factors in mind when choosing between best dry cat food brands:
Quality of Ingredients
Look for real meat, fish or poultry as the first ingredient. Avoid by-products. Check for whole fruits and vegetables versus fillers like corn or soy. Limited ingredient diets can help cats with allergies.
Make sure the food meets AAFCO standards for all life stages. This indicates it passed feeding trials to ensure nutritional completeness. Kittens and seniors have different needs.
Look for brands manufactured in facilities that follow FDA regulations as well as safety and sanitation protocols. Made in the USA labels indicate higher standards in most cases.
Taste and Texture
Pay attention to your cat’s preferences. Cats like foods with a strong aroma and some enjoy crunchy bits. Try different textures and flavors to see what your cat likes best.
By sticking to high-quality ingredients and understanding your cat’s needs, you can find the ideal best dry cat food brand to keep your kitty healthy and happy. Consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns about selecting the right food.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I feed my cat?
Follow the feeding guidelines on the package based on your cat’s weight and age. Kittens need more calories for growth while seniors need fewer calories. Adjust amounts to keep your cat at an ideal weight.
How often should I feed my cat?
Most experts recommend feeding adult cats two or three times a day. Split their daily calories into multiple smaller meals. Avoid leaving food out all day, which can lead to overeating.
Is it ok to mix wet and dry food?
Yes, it’s fine to mix wet and dry options or rotate multiple foods. This provides variety and ensures your cat gets enough moisture. Cats fed only dry food may not drink enough water.
What are signs my cat has a food allergy?
Itching, skin irritation, ear infections, vomiting, and diarrhea can indicate food allergies in cats. Eliminating ingredients like corn, wheat, and chicken can help identify triggers. Consult your vet if symptoms persist.
How can I get my picky cat to try new food?
Transition slowly by mixing a little new food with your cat’s old food. Heat it to release aromas. Offer treats and praise for eating. Distract with playtime after meals. Also try different textures and moisture levels.
Key Takeaways on the Best Dry Cat Food Brands
- Look for premium ingredients like real meat and limited carbs or fillers
- Ensure complete nutrition meeting AAFCO guidelines
- Choose reputable brands that follow FDA regulations
- Cater to your cat’s preferences for taste and texture
- Transition slowly between foods to avoid upsetting your cat’s stomach
Follow these tips to find the healthiest dry cat food for your feline friend within your budget. Consult your veterinarian for tailored recommendations. With quality nutrition, your cat will be happier and healthier for years to come.