Best dry food for cats

Selecting cat food is not always an easy task. It is the duty of the owner to meet the cat’s nutritional needs, which can fluctuate over time. The majority of a cat’s diet must consist of protein since cats are what are known as “obligate carnivores,” according to Dr. Lewis Singleton, a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in South New Jersey. Certain vitamins and amino acids, including taurine, arginine, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and other B vitamins, cannot be produced by cats naturally; thus, they must be provided in their diet.

Following Dr. Singleton’s advice, the following are the healthiest dry cat foods on the market:

Table of Contents

Best Overall: Crave Grain Free High Protein Indoor Adult Cat Food

What we like

  • comes in many flavors.
  • utilizes real meat, which supports immunity.

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

All things considered, Crave Indoor Adult Cat Food is the best premium option. It is available in a variety of flavors, including blends of chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish. Meat is the main component of the diets that cats require to flourish because they are protein-rich.

Pea protein, potato protein, flaxseed, and a number of necessary vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, which studies have shown can support cats’ immune systems, are additional nutritional nutrients. 1 The recipes were developed with high-quality protein and carbs for healthy muscles, energy, and immunological support. They were inspired by your pet’s ancestors’ hunting diets.

Best for weight loss: Blue Buffalo True Solutions Fit & Healthy Natural Weight Control

What we like

  • uses real meat without bones.
  • Grain-free, no artificial preservatives

What We Don’t Like

  • The bag isn’t resealable.

We recommend Blue Buffalo Weight Control as a dry cat food if you’re trying to lose weight. It was created with the appropriate ratio of animal protein to calories, helping your pet attain and maintain a healthy body mass. The first component is real, deboned beef. Brown rice, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vegetables, fruit, and vitamins are the next items on the list. The producer claims that the less-heated processing of the carefully shaped bites in the round kibble helps maintain the nutritional content of the ingredients.

Best for Kittens: Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food

What we like

  • uses fresh ingredients.
  • 85 to 90% of components come from animals.

What We Don’t Like:

  • Expensive

Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food is something we suggest if you have a kitten at home (formerly called Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food). It’s made with fresh, whole foods like cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish, and free-range chicken, giving your growing kitten the nutrition they need to grow. The ingredient list also excludes grains, which some owners choose to avoid. The recipe’s ingredients were all chosen with your cat’s biological requirements in mind.

Best for Adult Cats: Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

What we like

  • Digestion-friendly—rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and protein.
  • It comes in 3-, 7-, or 15-pound bags.

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive

Royal Canin Indoor Dry is the best premium dry cat food for adult cats. It is made with a blend of fiber for digestion and weight maintenance, and Dr. Singleton recommends it. The right amounts of chicken meal, animal fat, vegetable fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are all present in this cat food. The easily metabolized and highly digested nutrients keep your adult cat healthy, active, and full. Since there are apparently counterfeit copies of this pet food, make sure you get it from a trustworthy pet retailer. It’s best to confirm that the goods are being sold and supplied by the manufacturer while purchasing on Amazon.

Best Organic: Castor and Pollux Organix Grain Free Organic Cat Food

What we like

  • Made with free-range chicken
  • USDA Certified Organic

What We Don’t Like

  • Some cats don’t like it.

Get a bag of Castor & Pollux Organix if you want an organic option. This grain-free dry cat food is prepared in a kitchen that is certified organic. The main component is free-range chicken, which is blended with a superfood combination of cranberries, coconut oil, and flaxseed for added nourishment. It doesn’t contain any additional antibiotics, growth hormones, or chemical preservatives.

Best Grain-Free: Wellness Core Grain Free Natural Dry Food for Adult Cats

What we like

  • Various flavors aid in keeping a healthy coat.

What We Don’t Like

  • Uses chicken and turkey meal

Although some cats may be allergic to specific grains, there isn’t much evidence that grain-free diets are better for cats than diets based on commercial cat food. 2 However, some pet owners favor grain-free food. Wellness Core is a grain- and filler-free, natural dry cat food. The recipes incorporate animal proteins, lipids, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and actual fish or poultry as the main ingredient. This cat food is designed to give energy and support healthy digestion, immunity, and fur.

Best Vet-Recommended: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food

What we like

  • made with premium beef, which keeps cats full and supports healthy digestion.

What We Don’t Like

  • More carbs than other formulas

Dr. Singleton also frequently suggests The Hill’s Science Diet as an alternative. It is also the top-rated dry cat food that veterinarians advise for indoor cats due to its unique formulation of components that support energy and are easily digestible. It will satiate your cat’s appetites and keep them satisfied between meals thanks to the high-quality meat, whole grains, fish oil, animal fat, vegetable fibers, and amino acids.

Best with probiotics: Purina Pro Plan Adult Complete Essentials Dry Cat Food with Probiotics

What we like

  • is high in protein.
  • Digestion-friendly food promotes healthy hair and skin.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not grain-free

Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials was created with immune and digestive health in mind. Brewer’s rice, a mixture of live probiotics and prebiotics, and genuine chicken or fish are the main ingredients. Omega-6 fatty acids are included in this dry cat food for healthy hair and skin. Three eggs, animal fat, amino acids, and a variety of vital vitamins and minerals are also included in the ingredient list.

Best Raw: Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Cat Food

What we like

  • Grain-free, friendly probiotics for digestion include antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.

What We Don’t Like

  • Uses game bird and fish meal

Although cats are capable of digesting raw foods, the possibility of cross-contamination generally advises against feeding your cat a raw food diet. However, Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free, which provides a grain-free, raw diet with dry cat food rather than the conventional wet food generally associated with the raw food approach, should be taken into consideration if you have chosen a raw food approach after consulting with your veterinarian.

The meaty dishes from Instinct Raw are stuffed with probiotics, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Chicken raised without cages serves as the primary component of this cat food. The food is always packaged in a sealed bag and has undergone little processing. Additionally offered in genuine duck and real salmon flavors, Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Cat Food comes in packages weighing 2, 4, 5, and 10 pounds.

Final Verdict

Crave Grain Free High Protein Indoor Adult Cat Food is the best overall premium dry cat food. It offers a combination of premium meat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that is strong in protein. It also comes in a variety of poultry and fish dishes that are acceptable to cats. But another excellent option is Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food. The veterinarian-approved recipe is loaded with protein-rich meat, healthy grains, fish oil, and vegetable fibers.

What to Look for in a Premium Dry Cat Food

Life stage

The dry food you select to feed your cat should correspond to the stage of its life. It makes sense to feed kittens appropriately because they have specific nutritional needs as they grow and develop. Feed your cat a balanced food during their active adult years that will provide lots of nutrients and energy to keep them healthy and content. Select a formula that has been created for your cat’s later years because senior cats will have different dietary requirements than either of these initial two life phases.


Although this is a question of preference, it is a reality that some cats are pickier than others. It can be difficult to find a dry cat food that your cat will eat and enjoy, especially if you’re switching from wet cat food. While diets with fewer ingredients are better for digestion, some cats may not always find them to be as enticing. To locate a dry cat food that your cat will eat, you might need to experiment with various protein sources and other components.

Essential nutrients

Amino acids, vitamins, and minerals are among the nutrition your cat needs to thrive. For instance, your cat has to consume taurine, an essential amino acid, in order to absorb it. Look for dry cat food that satisfies the minimal daily needs for vitamins, minerals, and vital amino acids. Despite the lack of research indicating the ideal carbohydrate content for cats, it is important to keep in mind that your cat does not require carbohydrates in his or her diet.


How much dry cat food should you feed a cat?

You can consult the packaging for instructions or contact your veterinarian if you’re unclear of how much dry food to feed your specific cat. You should take things like your cat’s weight and age into account to get an idea. A quarter of a cup of dry food given twice daily can be given to the majority of adult cats (those over one year old). However, older cats or those with special needs could require more frequent feedings. In this situation, you should consult your veterinarian.It’s ideal to feed your cat a mixture of primarily wet food and some dry food mixed in. Cats often don’t require carbs in their diet, and dry food has a greater carb content. In this situation, you can examine the suggested feeding amounts for every type of food and cut them in half.

What ingredients should you look for in premium dry cat food?

It’s crucial to choose a premium dry food that provides the necessary nutrients to suit your cat’s demands. Taurine is one vital amino acid you should always search for in a dry food because it aids in immunity, muscle function, and digestion, as was already mentioned. Protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber are a few additional things to look for. While high-quality protein (turkey, fish, chicken, etc.) keeps your cat active and pleased, fiber aids with digestion and weight management. It is also preferable to eat dry food rich in omega-3 fatty acids because it supports healthy skin and fur.

Can dry cat food go stale?

Dry cat food can expire, just like any other pet food. To make sure your food hasn’t gone bad, always look at the “best by” date. Dry food should be kept in its original packaging for the longest possible shelf life. These bags are made to keep food fresh. After use, make sure to firmly seal the bag to keep out air as well. Food deterioration can be brought on by air exposure. Instead of leaving your food out in the sun, which can raise the warmth and humidity inside the bag, store it somewhere cold and dry.

Is it better for cats to eat dry food or canned food?

There are basically two options for feeding your cat: dry kibble or canned wet food. You might be wondering which is best, and it’s true that there is a lot of disagreement even among vets over whether it’s best for cats to just consume wet food or whether kibble is also a good option. The solution, however, is not simple. The two main criticisms of kibble—that it contains too many carbohydrates and that it dehydrates dogs—are not always true.While cats were not intended to consume a diet high in carbohydrates, they are capable of digesting complex carbohydrates and do, in fact, need some in their diet to maintain good health. A decent cat diet has low to moderate amounts of carbs and a high protein content. Unfortunately, plant-based carbs frequently rank higher on the ingredient list than protein in subpar kibbles. Always check the ingredient list of any potential kibble to ensure that meat-based proteins are the first ingredients and that grains or plants are either absent or included further down. This will help keep your cat healthy.When it comes to dehydration, there isn’t any concrete proof that eating kibble makes cats more or less dehydrated than other felines. There have been conflicting results from studies: some claim cats on kibble-only diets are more dehydrated than cats on wet food, while others claim the opposite. However, every cat should always have access to a source of fresh, clean water, regardless of diet.The conundrum of dry versus wet food is sometimes resolved by giving cats a combination of the two. Maybe kibble for dinner and wet food for breakfast, or vice versa. Whatever you choose, make sure to always look at the list of ingredients in your cat’s food and pick only brands that list a premium, meat-based protein as their first component. It’s also beneficial to ask your vet what food they advise for your particular cat, as your cat may have certain dietary requirements owing to age, health, or weight.