Dry food can be a very important type of food for your cats. It provides them with additional calories and nutrition. Here is a list of the best dry food for cats so you can make an informed decision and keep your feline pal as happy and healthy as possible.
After finding the perfect wet food for my troublesome cat (the one with the stomach issues) I had to do the same extensive research to find him the perfect dry food. There is a lot of information out there about dry food for cats being bad. The are a few reasons for this; cats teeth are designed for cutting into raw meat and not hard food, there are different types of carbohydrate in dry food which isn’t natural for cats and cats can tend to swallow kibble whole because they don’t want to chew which can lead to stomach issues.
However don’t let this put you off entirely, there are many dry food for cats that try their best to prevent these problems and keep your cat healthy. I have found that there is a very good selection of dry foods on the market and experience shows that it’s easier to find a dry food that your cat likes than it is with wet food. So take a look at this list and rest assured that all of my selections are perfectly healthy for your cat (see my strict list of buying guidelines below).
If you do decide that dry food is not for you and your cat then one issue you may run into is cost. Wet food is more exepensive that dry food and has less calories inside. To maintain the right amount of calories for your cat solely on wet food then you will be paying a lot more. If money is not an issue for you furry friend then have another look at my best wet food for cats article and spoil them rotten!
The Very Best Dry Food For Cats
Merrick – Before Grain
This is hands down the best dry food for cats. Merrick Before Grain follows all of my guidelines for dry cat food to the letter and is such great value for money as well.
My cats devoured this dry food which I honestly thought would not happen. I had watched as my cats had eaten other more ‘premium’ dry foods on the list and just did not think it would happen with Merrick because of the price difference.
The kibble size is perfect for all sizes of cats and both the salmon and the chicken recipes are top quality so rest assured whichever you buy your cats are going to love it. See full review here.
What Makes Merrick Before Grain The Best Dry Food For Cats
Medium Kibble Size
All Life Stages
My Buying Guidelines
When searching for the best dry food for your cat, you’ll want to be sure that the ingredients are of the best quality. To help you, I’ve narrowed down the top foods on the market and included them in my list.
Every single cat food I’ve mentioned follows these guidelines:
|The first two ingredients must be meat.||No poisonous ingredients such as garlic or onion.|
|The food is grain free.||All products in the brand are good.
|No artificial colors.||No artificial preservatives.|
Top 5 Comparison Chart
|Merrick - Before Grain||Acana Regionals||Farmina Natural & Delicious||Orijen Cat and Kitten||Tiki Cat Born Carnivore|
Made in the U.S.A.
Suitable For All Ages
4 Of The Best Dry Food For Cats
Acana Regionals – Meadowland
My cats really do gobble this dry food down. Probably the most of any of the dry foods that I have tested. The pallatability must be outstanding. I would say that the kibbles are quite large so if you have a small cat then this may not be the dry food for you.
Whats quite nice is that it is suitable for all life stages so you won’t have to worry about changing the foods when your cats get older. Whatever the age it is perfectly healthy.
All the ingredients used in Arcana Regionals is locally sourced in the USA, whilst this is a good thing (minimising cost of transport) it has put the price up. This is not the cheapest dry food on the market but the quality is very good. See full review here.
Key Information about Arcana Regionals
All Life Stages
Locally Sourced Ingredients
Farmina Natural & Delicious
My cats certainly appreciated this dry food, bowls were always empty and they always seemed content after the recommended serving. The Kibble sixe is relatively small and this did appear to help with the eating process. However I have read before that if you have a large cat then they might not chew smaller kibbles which can cause problems.
The packaging seal was not the gratest but this can be easily overcome by simply pouring the bag into a storage box of some sort.
Farmina has Italian routes and they pride themselves in this heritage. However this may have increased the price a little due to importing to the USA. Not a problem if you are buying from the E.U. See full review here.
Key Information about Farmina Natural and Delicious
Small Kibble Size
All Life Stages
Orijen Cat & Kitten
I have been feeding my cats Orijen Cat and Kitten for a long time now and they really do like the taste. Whilst trying different wet foods they have even been known to go for this dry food first.
I always get compliments on how healthy my cats look and how soft and shiny their coats are and I really do think it’s down to the top quality of this dry food.
I would advise you however to NOT buy from the USA as there seems to be a lot of issues regarding the USA manufactured Orijen products. If you buy from Canada directly or even the UK then your cats will love you for it. See full review here.
What Makes Orijen Cat and Kitten the Best Dry Food For Cats
Very Palatable Size
Good Sized Kibbles
Top Quality Ingredients
Tiki Cat – Born Carnivore
This is the only brand that features on both my Best Wet Food For Cats and my Best Dry Food For Cats recommendations. I believe this talks for itself when it comes to brand reliability and trust.
This obviously comes at a price and this is at the top end of the cost spectrum. However if you are already using Tiki wet foods then this may compliment it very well.
There were empty bowls all round when I tested Tiki Cat Born Carnivore and I also noticed that bowel movements seemed a lot more consistent, even for my cat with the tummy problems. See full review here.
Key Information About Tiki Cat - Born Carnivore
Good Kibble Size
Very Trustworthy Brand
All Life Stages
Complete Buying Guide Information
You really can get lost in all of the information out there about dry food for cats. I know when I was doing my own research I felt like I would never find the perfect one. Luckily There are some brands out there that make it easy for you. I realise that this particular list is not that long, however I only wanted to recommend the very best dry food for cats. I have explained below all of my parameters which make a good dry food.
You’ll also want to be aware that sometimes your cat simply does not like the food. It doesn’t mean that the food is bad, it simply means that your feline friend is a little picky when it comes to their food. Maybe test your cats on the smaller bags of dry food before going on to the bigger more exepnsive bags.
If you purchase the cheaper less trustworthy brands then this really can have a negative effect on your cat. I have seen with my own cats when testing certain products that their coat, energy and bowel movements are badly affected instantly on a bad dry food.
What You Should Look For When You Next Buy Cat Food
The first two ingredients must be meat.
When you look at the ingredients list, the higher the ingredient on the list the higher the percentgae of that ingredient. Having two meats first in the list means a very high amount of the food is meat. Your cat is a carnivore so this is a must to maintain a healty diet.
Every product is grain free cat food.
Grains really have an affect on your cats stomach. Companies use these to pad out the calories in the food but trust me, you don’t want the side affects from having a high grain diet with your cats. The smell is horrible and it can’t be very nice for your little friends to be in the level of discomfort that grain gives them.
There are no artificial colours or preservatives added.
There are plenty of natural flavours and preservatives out there. Any company still using artificial preservatives and flavours I just wouldn’t trust. If the ingredients are good enough from the start then there should be no need. Also I don’t believe your cat cares what colour the food is.
There are no poisonous ingredients such as garlic.
I was surprised by the amount of cat food out there with ingredients that are mildly poisonous to your cat. Stay away from any of these because, although it won’t kill them, it cant be a very nice experience.
Many of us don’t have the means to purchase the mose expensive premium cat food on the market. Don’t push your budget when you don’t have to. I have included in my list above dry food from a range of prices. Don’t feel the need to spend money that isn’t necessary.
Carry out your own extensive research. I am not a vet, I learnt all of these guidelines from months of research and testing.