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The best dry cat foods of 2024

best dry cat food
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Feeding your cat a high-quality dry cat food is a surefire method of providing them with a balanced diet. Meals full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are necessary for keeping them happy and healthy. Since it can be challenging to find a kibble that satisfies their palates while also being wholesome, we’ve reviewed the best dry cat foods you can find in 2024.

From our top pick, the Crave grain-free food, to a range of other options that prioritize fiber and protein, you’re bound to find an option that your cat will love. Be sure to explore our buying guide for tips on making the right selection for your pet.

The best dry cat foods

crave dry cat food
Amazon

Crave dry cat food – Best overall

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You want only the best for your beloved feline friend—which is why you’ll appreciate the Crave dry cat food. Every delicious kibble contains all-natural, real ingredients inspired by your cat’s ancestral diet. This dry cat food provides your cat with energy from quality carbohydrate sources, as well as vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients. With 40% protein, this meal can help with the development of muscles, aid digestion, and support the immune system.

The recipe for this dry cat food is grain-free and contains real chicken as the #1 ingredient. Moreover, there is no need to worry about unwanted fillers like chicken by-product meal, corn, wheat, or soy protein—they’re not included. Specially formulated to provide a complete and balanced diet for adult cats, this best overall dry cat food is a wise choice for your cat’s overall health and satisfaction.

Pros:

  • Made with real chicken
  • Provides energy and 40% protein
  • Grain-free and no unwanted fillers

Cons:

  • Pieces might be too big for some cats
ziwi dry cat food
Amazon

Ziwi Peak dry cat food – Protein-rich formula

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The Ziwi Peak dry cat food offers optimal nutrition for cats of all life stages and dietary requirements. It’s grain-free, low-carb, and naturally rich in protein, with no added fillers that can lead to obesity, allergies, and other health concerns. Featuring 96% wild-caught mackerel and free-range lamb, organs, bones, and New Zealand green mussels, it provides your cat with a delicious taste and essential nutrients.

This air-dried cat food also offers 10% superfood boost of cold-washed green tripe, New Zealand green mussels, and organic kelp. These ingredients help to support digestion, healthy weight, joint health, reduces shedding, plus taurine to promote heart and brain health. It’s ethically and sustainably sourced from New Zealand farms and pristine oceans without added hormones or antibiotics. This dry cat food is an excellent choice for cats with food sensitivities and picky eaters who still want the nutritional benefits of high-quality cat food.

Pros:

  • Promotes heart and brain health
  • Good for cats with health sensitivities
  • Rich in protein

Cons:

  • Not for all breeds
optimeal dry cat food
Amazon

OPtimeal dry cat food – High fiber content

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OPtimeal’s dry cat food contains chicken meat chunks to supply your cat with easily digestible protein. This comprehensive and well-rounded natural food for adult cats contains the necessary vitamins and minerals to help them live an energetic, content, and happy life. This food is not only fiber-rich containing prebiotic fibers from dried chicory root and FOS to keep your kitty’s digestive tract healthy, but your cat will also find it tasty.

Adding to its health benefits, it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, zinc and copper to keep your cat companion’s fur thick and shiny. It’s a one-of-a-kind recipe for feline health and beauty, containing carefully chosen meats, beneficial herbs, berries and natural antioxidants. This dry cat food is also non-GMO certified and free of artificial colors and preservatives.

Pros:

  • No preservatives or artificial flavor
  • High in fibers
  • Features all the necessary nutrients

Cons:

  •  Slightly more expensive than other brands
purina dry cat food
Amazon

Purina ONE dry cat food – Vet-recommended

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If you’re looking for premium-quality cat food with a short list of ingredients and no known allergens, you should give this popular dry cat food by Purina ONE a try. Packed with protein, this kibble contains tender chicken to provide your cat with the protein they require to sustain their powerful muscles. Featuring natural probiotics, it also promotes gut health and a strong immune system by balancing the good and bad bacteria in your cat’s gut.

Containing no added flavors, by-product meal, artificial colors or preservatives, this food is easy on the digestive system but loaded with nourishment. It’s high in essential nutrients for your cat, including the omega-6 fatty acids that help nourish and maintain healthy skin and a lustrous coat. Plus, this dry cat food’s crunchy bites and morsels help reduce plaque buildup and keep your kitty’s teeth and gums clean and healthy. It’s no surprise that many vets suggest this cat food brand.

Pros:

  • Contains natural prebiotic fiber
  • Promotes a healthy digestive system
  • Free from preservatives

Cons:

  • Packaging could be improved
meow mix dry cat food
Amazon

Meow Mix dry cat food – Great for adult cats

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The Meow Mix dry cat food is specially formulated to keep adult cats healthy and happy. Fully grown cats require sufficient nourishment to stay strong and in shape throughout maturity. High in essential nutrients, this cat food contains top-quality, easily digestible protein and key fatty acids to help maintain muscle strength and keep their coat looking its best.

To add to that, this dry cat food combination has a plethora of nutritional components as well as the delectable flavors of chicken, turkey, salmon and sea fish. This scrumptious option provides wholesome and complete nutrition for adult cats, with all the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimal health.

Pros:

  • Has delicious meat flavors
  • Contains high-quality protein
  • Has a combination of nutrients

Cons:

  • Not recommended for sensitive stomachs
rachel ray dry cat food
Amazon

Rachael Ray Nutrish dry cat food – Organic pick

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The Rachael Ray dry cat food features organic ingredients and offers a range of nutritious advantages. It’s no wonder that this chicken-based option is a favorite among cat owners. It’s an excellent product for fulfilling your cat’s much-needed protein requirements. Plus, the brand uses authentic farm-raised chicken devoid of poultry by-products or contaminants. Packed with natural probiotics, this food ensures your cat’s skin and coat remain shiny and healthy.

The ingredients of this dry cat food help significantly minimize the risk of allergies by only including various natural components. This means it’s free from things like corn, wheat, soy, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives and instead includes brewers rice, corn gluten meal, and dried ground peas to supply carbohydrates. The tiny bits of kibble make it easier to bite and chew, and the crispy and crunchy texture is gentle on your cat’s teeth. This formula does contain a lot of carbohydrates, though, so stick to the recommended portion sizes to avoid overfeeding and putting your cat at risk for obesity.

Pros:

  • No artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Made from farm-raised chickens
  • Full of nutrients and vitamins

Cons:

  • Will need to portion control
lams dry cat food
Amazon

Iams dry cat food – Ideal for strengthening muscles

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Iams’ dry cat food is thoughtfully formulated with adult cats in mind with tiny, bite-sized kibble and enough protein to support the strong muscles of an adult cat. It has an outstanding balance of protein, with chicken as the number one ingredient.

With additional potassium and calcium, it helps to nourish your cat by incorporating omega-6 fatty acids. This product helps your cat retain muscular strength by supplying premium-quality protein and a well-balanced dietary regimen. Its upscale, high-quality formula contains no chemical preservatives, synthetic colors, or wheat.

Pros:

  • Has no added chemicals
  • Contains omega-6 and other nutrients
  • Loaded with prebiotics

Cons:

  • Includes several by-products
best dry cat food
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Dry cat food: a buyer’s guide

Since every cat is unique, there is really no such thing as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to dry cat food. Sensitivities, medical conditions, affordability and even your cat’s pickiness will all play a part in determining the finest dry food for your cat. To simplify things, we’ve gathered all the relevant information on dry cat food in one spot for you to make an informed decision to meet your cat’s dietary needs.

Things to think about when buying dry cat food

Stage of life

Kittens and adult cats have specific dietary requirements as they grow and develop, so it’s essential to feed them according to their age. Provide your feline companion with a balanced diet brimming with nutrients and vitamins to keep them happy and well-nourished. Senior cats’ nutritional requirements will vary from those of the first two life phases, so choose a formula specifically made for your feline’s age.

Flavor

Picking a dry cat food your kitty finds palatable can be a huge challenge, particularly if you’re switching from wet cat food. Though short ingredient lists are beneficial for digestion, they are not necessarily tempting to all cats. To spot a dry cat food that your cat will like, you may have to experiment with various protein sources and additives.

Essential nutrients

Aside from vitamins and minerals, your kitty requires certain essential nutrients to thrive. For example, taurine, an amino acid produced by humans but not by felines, is a key ingredient that cats must obtain through foods like chicken liver and heart. Opt for dry cat food that has a minimal amount of necessary amino acids, vitamins and minerals required for a healthy cat.

Look for high-quality primary ingredients high in protein, including real chicken, lamb, turkey, salmon or tuna. Generally, pay attention to meals high in calcium, lipids and vital vitamins. Also, limit or avoid cat foods that include artificial fillers that are meant to make your cat feel full but have little nutritional benefit.

Dietary restraints

Take into account your cat’s dietary limitations, demands, or ailments, such as stomach sensitivities. Thomas Doyne, a veterinarian and owner of cutepetcare.com, discussed some ingredients to avoid.

Doyne commented, “look for cat foods that are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, such as BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin.” He also recommended that “owners should look for grain-free options or foods that contain alternative sources of carbohydrates, such as potatoes, peas, and lentils,” and “avoid ingredients like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Value for money

Another consideration is affordability and bang for your buck, as cat food can be expensive. Pick a good quality brand that fits your budget while avoiding the current pricey fads.

Common questions about dry cat food

Is dry cat food better than wet cat food?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both dry and wet cat food. The pros of dry cat food are its flexibility, ease of use and lower cost. An obvious disadvantage of dry food is that it does not have the same moisture content as wet.

Cats on a dry cat food diet should have regular access to water, so pet owners frequently consider installing a pet drinking fountain in their house. In contrast, wet cat food can be more costly yet more advantageous for cats who are obese, have lower urinary tract infections or are prone to constipation.

How much dry cat food should I feed my cat?

If you’re uncertain about the quantity of dry food to serve your cat, check the package’s general instructions or consult your veterinarian. Take into account aspects like your cat’s age and weight to get a broad notion.

Can dry cat food go bad?

Dry cat food has a shelf life just like any other pet food. To ensure your food isn’t expired, read the “best before” date carefully. Dry food should be kept in its original packaging for the longest possible shelf life. The packaging is specially designed to keep the food fresh and edible.

Remember to seal the pouch tightly after usage to prevent unnecessary air exposure. Food can degrade when exposed to air. Instead of leaving your food out in the open, where it may heat up and get more humid, keep it somewhere cold and dry.

How much daily protein does my cat need?

Cats are carnivores, so they need to eat meat to survive. They also need a certain amount of protein each day to stay healthy. Cats need relatively more protein per pound of body weight than people do. Try and give cats 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maintain their health.

Can cats eat vegan diets?

In some cases, yes, a cat can survive on a vegan diet. However, if you choose to go this route for your cat, you’ll need to make sure that it’s still getting all of the right nutrients, and this may be tricky. Make sure you know what kind of financial and time investment it will be to switch your cat from a meat-based diet.

Anri Ichimura
Anri, a lifestyle journalist and avid traveler, loves outdoor workouts, scuba-diving, and her dog.
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