What Is The Best Dry Cat Food?

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The debate between wet and dry food will go on for ages. Each cat owner has their own opinions on both food types. Dry food can be very beneficial if you get the right kind. See which ones made the list.
A bowl of dry cat food

When it comes to cat food you need to be sure you’re buying the best product. There are a lot of products out there that honestly, aren’t very healthy for your furry friend. Then, after you pick the right recipe you need to decide if you want wet or dry food. It seems like the decisions never stop! If wet food isn’t your thing, I created this guide for the best dry cat food brands to keep your cat healthy and strong.

There’s always going to be a debate between cat owners on which type of cat food is the best. Some will say that wet food is the best and others will say that dry cat food is the best. Both have a strong list of pros and cons. At the end of the day, it really depends on what your cat will eat and enjoy. There is nothing worse than buying a package of food and your cat doesn’t eat it.

Best Dry Cat Food

Guide For Buying Dry Cat Food

As pet owners you want to buy the best food for your furry little friend. I am the same way when it comes to our pet. I always want to give Watson the best thing money can buy. There are so many choices out there it can be a little bit overwhelming. You don’t know if what the companies are saying is true or just false advertising.

When you’re picking the right dry food you need to understand what your cat needs to maintain a healthy life. I wanted to create this guide to help make your buying process a little bit easier.

Ingredients Really Do Matter

Carbohydrates are actually pretty bad for cats. Their stomachs can’t digest it the same way a dog’s stomach can. Cats are known in the wild as being mostly meat eaters. They thrive on protein and other lean meats to survive. So they are going to need a dry food that matches this kind of diet.

Usually you can check the label on the package to see what ingredients are in your cats dry food. A good rule of thumb is to check the first 5 ingredients on the label. If 3 out of the 5 ingredients are protein based then it is probably a good choice for your feline.

It is easier to check the label then be convinced by what it says on a sign or printed on the bag. The food label is there because it is required by law. Companies would be dumb to list fake items on a food label because they could get into a lot of trouble.

Stay Away From Artificial Ingredients

To keep their costs down, many companies substitute real ingredients for artificial flavors. You should be looking for a dry food that has a small amount of artificial ingredients as possible. Having your pet consume a recipe with man made chemicals is never a good solution even if it is the cheapest food on the shelves.

There are plenty more recipes out there that feature 100% natural ingredients to keep your pet strong and healthy. Don’t settle for mediocre ingredients when there are quality products already out there. Most artificial ingredients can actually be toxic to cats.

Eating tainted products can lead to food sensitivity or urinary tract issues. All of these scenarios can be avoided with a healthy balanced diet. Make sure to always check the food label because it can save you a lot of headaches down the line!

A Dry Food With High Moisture Levels

Hydrations is crucial when it comes to your cat. There are a lot of cats out there that refuse to drink from their water bowls. This all comes from their ancestors that grew up in the wild.

Any kind of standing water is bad, in the eyes of a cat. Bacteria and other harmful contaminants thrive in a puddle of water that hasn’t moved in a while. Cats are smart enough to know, that if they drink this water they have the potential to get really really sick.

The best thing you can do for your cat is get them a water drinking fountain to encourage them to stay hydrated. The sound of running water is appealing to them because they know that the water is healthy and won’t make them sick.

Canned cat food is packed with moisture to keep your cat hydrated throughout the day. Dry cat food is lacking in moisture levels but there are some recipes out there that make up for it.

If you’re feeding your cat dry food, I would recommend leaving out plenty of water for them to drink when they get thirsty.

Benefits Of Dry Cat Food

There are a couple benefits that come along with dry food. The first being how long you can store dry cat food in your cabinets. Dry cat food doesn’t spoil as easy as wet cat food does. You can buy a jumbo bag of dry food and it will last a very long time. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated or require any special treatment.

Another wonderful benefit is the dry food actually cleans the plaque off of your cat’s teeth. The texture of the dried kibble acts as a sort of toothbrush. Every time your cat chews down on the food it is removing any plaque or food buildup on their teeth. A great way to keep your cats breath fresh and clean.

One final benefit is, dry cat food actually has more nutrients packed into one kibble then wet food. Since there isn’t a lot of water needed to make kibble, it leaves more room for vitamins and nutrients. I would have to say that roughly 85% of dry food is comprised of vitamins and nutrients. You won’t need to add in additional supplements during feeding because the dry food should take care of a lot.

Best Dry Cat Food (Top 5)

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE continues to put out quality products every time. Their indoor advantage dry cat food is definitely our winner when it comes to picking the best dry cat food for your furry friend. This dry food blend has so many powerful ingredients your cat will almost certainly grow up strong and healthy.

Real turkey is the main ingredient in this recipe. All of the ingredients are sourced from high quality locations and there are zero fillers in their food blend. You can be confident that what you’re getting is healthy. This dry food also features a higher fiber count to reduce hairballs from forming.

Your cat will also turn more radiant with the addition of Omega-6. The crunchy kibble will reduce plaque and keep your cat’s gums healthy. There are so many wonderful things happening with this dry food. It’s no surprise it earns a top spot on this list.

Pros

  • 100% real turkey makes up the bulk of this recipe. All of the ingredients are of high quality and won't irritate your cat’s stomach.
  • Omega-6 nutrients help your cat’s coat to grow strong and radiant. It will look amazing the more they eat their food.
  • Higher fiber count reduces hairballs from forming in the digestive tract. Another amazing benefit!

Cons

  • The kibble may be a little bit harder to chew on compared to other dry foods on the market.
  • Some cats reported having diarrhea when making the switch to this food. You need to transition them gradually.

Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food

Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food

Meow Mix really elevated the way that dry cat food is made. This isn’t like your regular dry food. This recipe actually has two different layers for your cat to bite down on.

The dry food is called tender centers for a reason. There is a soft tender center in the middle of the kibble and surrounding it is a hard outer shell. The tender centers come in a variety of different flavors. Some combinations include:

  • Chicken & Tuna
  • Salmon & Chicken
  • Salmon & Turkey
  • Tuna & Whitefish

You may need to do some experimenting at first to find out which combination your furry friend will enjoy the most. I’m sure they will like every combination but you never know. This blend is balanced well and features all the essential vitamins and minerals your cat needs. If you’re looking for an all around great product this is it.

Pros

  • The dry food features two different layers of texture. There is a soft chewy center wrapped in a hard outer layer.
  • Dry food comes in a bunch of different flavor combinations. Your cat should be able to choose one that they fall in love with.
  • 100% complete balanced diet and also includes the essential vitamins and minerals.

Cons

  • The packaging is a little bit disappointing. The “Easy Zip” back didn’t really zip at all. Poor execution on that part.
  • The smell of this dry food can be a little bit on the strong side especially with the fish recipes.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food

Rachael Ray is a wonderful chef in the kitchen. It should be no surprise that she is also a wonderful chef for animals. She takes the same practices she uses for humans and implements them into cat and dog food.

The Nutrish line of dry cat food is packed with so many wonderful ingredients. The number one main ingredient in all of her ingredients are either real meat or fish. Rachael refuses to use anything less. Everything is fresh and sourced from reputable dealers. Nothing is made in a factory to add flavor or enhance a certain element in the recipe.

There is also no ground corn, wheat, soy or fillers. All of these ingredients are harmful to your cat’s stomach and can create a lot of issues. Cats normally don’t eat these types of thing out in the wild so adding it to their daily diet can be an issue. Many companies like to cut corners and use these ingredients to “fill in” blanks in their recipe because it is cheap. This food doesn’t do that.

Pros

  • The number one ingredient in any recipe in the Nutrish line is real meat or fish. Nothing is being artificially made in a factory.
  • There is no ground corn, wheat, soy or fillers in any of their recipes. This is great for gluten intolerant cats.
  • No artificial preservatives or poultry by-products to deal with. Everything is fresh and sourced naturally.

Cons

  • This cat food is on the higher end when it comes to price. You’re getting very high quality ingredients so the price reflects this.
  • A couple reviews of this product said that their cats simply didn’t like any of the flavors. This could happen.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Dry Cat Food

The Blue Buffalo brand is a powerhouse in the cat food department. They have really taken a good chunk of the market. Everyone knows that Blue Buffalo is constantly putting out high quality premium recipes. This dry food is no different.

This protein rich dry food is perfect for your cat. It will help them to tune into their ancestral ways and feast on all types of meat. It won’t matter if it’s dry or wet food, your cat is going to love it!

This recipe in particular features a lot of deboned chicken as their main ingredient. The protein will give your cat the energy they need to get through the day. Sweet potatoes are also implemented into the recipe to create a healthy complex combination.

Cranberries, blueberries, and carrots help to support a cat’s antioxidant intake. Not a lot of other companies focus on antioxidants in their food. That’s what takes Blue Buffalo to the next level.

Pros

  • Deboned chicken makes up the majority of the recipe. This protein rich ingredient will have your cat loving their new food.
  • Cranberries, blueberries, and carrots give the food a much needed antioxidant boost.
  • Recipe doesn’t contain any grains, glutens, by-products, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy.

Cons

  • Believe it or not, some cats actually didn’t like that this food was so healthy. Some cat owners reported their furry friends fell in love with another brand.
  • The pieces are a little bit harder. It can be a challenge to chew all the pieces and that may deter them from eating.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Purina Beyond Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Purina Beyond is very similar to the Blue Buffalo line of food. They strive to only pick natural ingredients that a cat would normally eat out in the wild. I picked this food recipe to round off the best dry cat food list for a bunch of different reasons.

There are surprisingly a lot of cats out there that can’t digest grains and other things similar to that. The same goes for humans. There are a lot of humans out there that need to have a restricted diet because their bodies can’t digest all the grains.

Purina Beyond strives to be the best grain free food on the market. Just like all the other dry cat foods on this list, Purina doesn’t put any man made ingredients in. Everything is 100% fresh and healthy. One thing that sets them apart from their competitors is their “traceability guarantee”. This means that each ingredient can be traced back to one of their trusted sources. You can be sure that what they’re putting into your food has been checked and validated.

Pros

  • The beyond line of food is grain free. Grain intolerant cats will love to feast on this blend of ingredients.
  • Each ingredient can be traced back to their source. Purina wants you to feel confident in what you choose to feed your cat.
  • There is nothing fake in this recipe. They don’t try to hide anything with fancy words or guarantees.

Cons

  • There is a very high sodium level in all of this food. Just make sure you have some water close by if your cat gets thirsty.
  • The price can be a little steep for some cat owners. You get what you pay for though.

Overall Conclusion & Winner

Dry cat food can be a good alternative to wet cat food. It lasts so much longer and it’s easier to feed to your cat when they are hungry. The one thing you need to be aware of is the moisture level of the food. If you leave out some water for your furry friend they will be able to do some sipping in between meals. You don’t want your cat to get dehydrated while you’re out.

If I had to make a choice for the best dry cat food it would have to be the Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Dry Cat Food. There are so many good things happening with this recipe. Everything is naturally sourced and fresh. You can be confident knowing that what you’re feeding your cat isn’t harmful to their stomach. Purina is a very powerful brand that is constantly putting out quality products.

Do you feed your cat dry food or wet food? I would love to hear about it in the comments below! What brand does your cat prefer?

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