12 Best Dry Cat Food Brands You Should Consider For Your Cat – The Cat Mama

Posted: November 7, 2020 by Anita

best dry cat food brands
This post might contain affiliate links which means I might receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

Looking for the best dry cat food brands for your little munchkin?

I have to admit to you that when I first became a cat owner – I never really gave a lot of thought to the types of cat food and the importance of picking the best quality cat food that I could afford.

It wasn’t until I started researching the best cat food brands for this article that I realized that I was kind of clueless.

There are a lot of top-rated cat foods out there on the market – 28 different names of cat food brands. Each one claims to be the best premium cat food.

Finding the best dry cat food is important to the health of your cat.  Just like humans, the right diet and exercise can mean having your cat around for a long time.  As cat lovers, don’t we all want that?

*Please note: I’m not a cat nutritionist or cat food advisor.  However, I’ve done intensive research on the topic of cat food nutrition for this post because I believe it’s important to have good information when buying cat food.

best dry cat food brands

How to choose a good dry cat food

Each dry cat food brand has different types of dry cat food formulas.  It can be confusing trying to figure out which is the best cat food for your cat.

When choosing the best grocery store dry cat food you want to concentrate on the number of nutrients.  The healthiest dry cat food should have the right proportion of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

You will find the list of nutrients on the cat food label’s “Guaranteed Analysis“.

Proteins then fats should be a huge portion of your cat’s diet.  Cats metabolize proteins and fats and use them as their main source of energy.

The amount of each nutrient needed for your cat is dependent on where your cat sits on the developmental timeline.

  • the best brand of cat food should mention being AAFCO compliant.  Long story short, it means the cat food is “complete and balanced”.  However, this doesn’t imply that the cat food is healthy so still check the nutrients.
  • cat food with meat as the first ingredient.  It should specifically name the source of protein.
  • animal fat, for example, chicken fat.  Again, it should be specific.
  • grain-free is best if your cat is sensitive to grain.
  • The byproducts should come from the organ meat of whatever animal listed as the protein source.  It’s the heart, lungs, liver, etc, which provides vitamin A, the amino acids taurine and arginine, and fatty acids.
  • dry cat food with high moisture content.  The moisture content of dry cat food is 6-8 percent compared to wet food that has a moisture content of 75 to 78 percent. It’s very important that your cat gets plenty of water if your cat’s main source of food is dry food.

A word about low carb cat food

Cat food that is low in carbohydrates is best. Carbohydrates should be present in the form of fiber and should not be the main source of energy.  Too many carbohydrates can lead to a cat becoming overweight because the extra carbs are stored as sugar (just like in humans).

So choose a low carb dry cat food for your cat.

12 Best Dry Cat Food Brands

These days the grocery store aisle is not the only place to pick out good cat food brands.

Cat owners can now buy cat food online from such companies as Chewy.com, Amazon.com, and various farm-based premium cat food brands (like the high-quality cat food brand Open Farm Pet) that can be shipped directly to your home.

In the next section, I have put together a cat food brands list based on the best-rated cat food on Amazon.com.

 NameProteinCalories per cupCat Food Ratings
Purina One Natural  Dry Cat Food34%3644.8

Iams Proactive Healthy Adult32%3414.7

Hill's Science Diet Adult Optimal Care34.7%5044.5

Blue Wilderness40%4434.4

Natural Balance29.5%4104.5

Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural, Ocean Whitefish & Egg Recipe Dry Cat Food, 11Lb Bag35%4674.5

Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dry Cat Food - 16 Lb. Bag46%4274.5
 
Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight And Hairball Care Dry Cat Food, (1) 22 Pound Bag, Real Chicken In Every Bite30%3324.5

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag34%3674.5

Nutro Max Cat Senior Dry Cat Food, Roasted Chicken, (1)6 Lbs.; Rich In Nutrients And Full Of Flavor; Supports Healthy Joints & Healthy Skin And Coat28%3584.5

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Kitten Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 7 Lb. Bag33%5124.5

Hill'S Science Diet Kitten Food, Healthy Development Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food, 15.5 Lb Bag38%6044.5
best dry cat food brands

The Best Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats

 NameProteinFatMoisture ContentCalories per CupCat Food Ratings
Purina One Natural  Dry Cat Food34%15%12%3644.8

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Adult 22 Lb. Bag32%15%10%3414.7

Hill'S Science Diet Adult, Optimal Care, 16 Lb Bag34.7%21.9%?5044.5

What’s the difference between “Adult” cat food and “Indoor” cat food?

It depends on the cat food brand.   The difference between adult cat food and indoor cat food could mean a difference in calories.

One in three cats is carrying around an extra pound or two on their little fur bodies. Inside cats aren’t able to hunt for prey, so obesity can become a big problem.

But what if your cat is undernourished? Go with high-calorie cat food.

Choose the best cat food for indoor cats by choosing one that is low in carbohydrates.   Keep in mind your cat’s activity level and caloric needs when choosing the best dry cat food for indoor cats.

Purina One Natural Dry Cat Food

Purina One Natural  Dry Cat Food is a limited ingredient cat food. Real chicken or Salmon is used to provide high-quality protein, amino acids, Omega 3, and glucosamine to help build, maintain muscles, and promote joint health.

This cat food brand names whole grains as their source of high-quality fiber.

Purina is one of the best brands for cat food.

  • Flavors – Salmon, Chicken
  • Calories – 364 per cup
  • Protein –  34%
  • Fat – 15%
  • Moisture content –  12%.
  • best tasting dry cat food
  • Customer dry cat food ratings – 4.8

Iams Proactive Health Adult

Iams Proactive Healthy Adult is a 100% complete and balanced diet for your cat.  Protein (Chicken or Salmon/Tuna) is Iams Adult formula’s main ingredient.

Essential nutrients such as calcium, potassium, B6, and B12 have been added to protect your cat’s heart and bones.  Iams Proactive has probiotics to promote healthy digestion in your cat.

  • Flavors – Chicken and Salmon/Tuna
  • Calories – 341 per cup
  • Protein –  32%
  • Fat – 15%
  • Moisture content –  10%.
  • Omega 3 for a shiny coat.
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.7

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Optimal Care

Hill’s Science Diet Adult Optimal Care has added vitamin C and E to its optimal recipe to boost the immunity of your cat.  Hill’s has been making pet food since the 1930s and has a dedicated, loyal cat lovers fan base who swears by their clinically proven nutrition.

  • Flavors – Chicken
  • Calories – 504 per cup
  • Protein –  34.7%
  • Fat – 21.9%
  • Moisture content -?
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.5

The Best Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

 NameProteinFatMoisture ContentCalories per CupCat Food Ratings

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Adult Chicken 12-Lb40%18%9%4434.4

Natural Balance L.I.D. Dry Cat Food, Grain Free, Green Pea & Duck, 10-Pound29.5%11.5%10%4104.5

Purina Beyond Grain Free Natural, Ocean Whitefish & Egg Recipe Dry Cat Food, 11Lb Bag35%14%12%4674.5

Let’s clear up a few common misconceptions about the benefits of grain-free dry cat food.

Currently, there’s no clear indication that a grain-free diet is beneficial to the health of your cat.  The only instance where grain-free would be beneficial is if your cat had allergies to grain.

Cat food that is gluten-free isn’t necessarily grain-free.  Wheat, barley, and rye contain gluten.  However, grain-free does mean gluten-free.

Grain-free cat food doesn’t mean it’s low in carbohydrates either.

Usually, grain-free means the cat food is high in protein with carbohydrates coming from complex vegetables such as sweet potatoes, peas, or even fruit (cat food brands use cranberries a lot in their recipes).

Check the calories and amount of carbohydrates per portion if you are concerned about your cat’s weight.

Some cat food dry brands do sneak grains of some sort in their recipe, so read the label.

Most cats that have allergies aren’t allergic to grain but instead have allergies to chicken, eggs, and dairy.

Grain-free cat food almost always means more expensive.  The best grain-free dry cat food doesn’t necessarily mean better nutrition for your cat.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food Grain-Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Dry Cat Food comes in Adult, Senior and Kitten formulas for every stage of your cat’s life.  It is a high protein dry cat food full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, and mineral that will support the immune system health of your furbaby.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness is inspired by the diet of the Lynx.  The Lynx is a direct descendant of the domesticated household cat.

  • Flavors – Chicken, Duck, Salmon, Trout
  • Calories – 504 per cup
  • Protein –  34.7%
  • Fat – 21.9%
  • Moisture content –  9%
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.5

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food has a limited number of protein and carbohydrates sources making it the perfect dry food for the cat who might be plagued with allergies.  Its formula supports healthy digestion and will maintain skin and coat health along with balanced nutrition.

  • Flavors – Salmon, Chicken or Turkey with Chickpea; Duck, Salmon or Venison with Green Peas;
  • Calories – 410 per cup
  • Protein –  30%
  • Fat – 12%
  • Moisture content –  10%
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.4

Purina Beyond Grain-free Natural Dry Cat Food

Purina Beyond prides itself on using high quality natural ingredients in their dry cat food. And there’s no corn, wheat or soy present; a nutritional meal in every bite.

  • Flavors – Chicken and Egg; Salmon, Egg, and Sweet Potato;  Arctic Char and Lentil; Tuna and Lentil;  Ocean Whitefish and Egg
  • Calories – 467 per cup
  • Protein –  35%
  • Fat – 14%
  • Moisture content –  12%
  • Real, recognizable ingredients
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer cat food rating: 4.5
best dry cat food brands

The Best Dry Cat Food for Weight Loss

This type of dry cat food is basically diet food for cats that are overweight.  The best dry cat food for weight loss is a healthy mix of low calories, high protein, and low carbohydrates.

 Name%Protein%Fat%Moisture ContentCaloriesCat Food Ratings

Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula Adult Dry Cat Food - 16 Lb. Bag46%8%12%4274.5
 
Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight And Hairball Care Dry Cat Food, (1) 22 Pound Bag, Real Chicken In Every Bite30%11%10%3324.5

Purina Pro Plan Focus Weight Management Adult Dry Cat Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus is a high protein formula dry cat food that will help protect your cat from muscle mass loss while losing weight.  It has prebiotic fiber to assist with digestion and Omega-3 for a healthy coat and fur.

  • Flavors – Grain-free turkey; Chicken and Rice
  • Calories – 427 per cup
  • Protein –  46%
  • Fat – 8%
  • Moisture content –  12%
  • high-quality dry cat food with protein to protect muscle mass during weight loss
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.5

Iams Proactive Health Indoor Weight and Hairball Control

Iams Proactive for Indoor Weight and Hairball Control helps indoor cats control their weight and reduce hairballs.  100% complete and balanced nutrition in every bite.  Absolutely no fillers!

  • Flavors – Chicken
  • Calories – 332 per cup
  • Protein –  30%
  • Fat – 11%
  • Moisture content –  10%
  • No Fillers
  • Best quality dry cat food for overweight cats
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.5

The Best Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats

There’s no proof that your cat’s nutritional needs are going to change once they’ve become older.  However, if your senior cat is experiencing chronic health issues, a dry cat food formula for older cats might be a good idea.

Also, your cat at this age might need moist dry cat food or soft dry cat food for older cats to make chewing easier.

 Name%Protein%Fat%Moisture ContentCaloriesDry Cat Food Ratings

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 16 Lb. Bag34%17%10%4674.5

Nutro Max Cat Senior Dry Cat Food, Roasted Chicken, (1)6 Lbs.; Rich In Nutrients And Full Of Flavor; Supports Healthy Joints & Healthy Skin And Coat28%12%10%3584.5

Iams Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

Iams Healthy Senior is meant for support your cat’s on-going energetic life so that they can feel their best at any age.  Its formula includes vitamin E and essential nutrients such as calcium; all in a crunchy kibble that reduces plaque build-up.

  • Flavors – Chicken
  • Calories – 467 per cup
  • Protein –  34%
  • Fat – 17%
  • Moisture content –  10%
  • Has calcium to support healthy bones
  • best dry cat food for older cats
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.5

Nutro Max Senior Dry Cat Food

Nutro Max Senior Dry Cat Food was created specifically to meet the needs of your senior cat.  Its formula is made with nourishing natural ingredients and contains essential nutrients to support healthy ageing.

  • Flavors – Chicken
  • Calories – 358 per cup
  • Protein –  28%
  • Fat – 12%
  • Moisture content –  10%
  • Omega 6 for a healthy coat
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.4
best dry cat food brands
Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

Best Dry Cat Food for Kittens

Kittens are a “work in progress”.  Their little bodies are still developing. Thus, it’s important that a good dry cat food supports that development.

 Name%Protein%Fat%Moisture ContentCaloriesDry Cat Food Ratings

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Kitten Dry Cat Food With Chicken, 7 Lb. Bag33%21%10%5124.5

Hill'S Science Diet Kitten Food, Healthy Development Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food, 15.5 Lb Bag38%24.9%6044.5
best dry cat food brands

Iams Proactive Healthy Kitten Dry Cat Food

The Iams Healthy Kitten Dry Cat Food was formulated to nourish and support the development of your kitten.  The nutrients are close to the ingredients found in mother’s milk.  This kitten blend contains vitamin E to maintain a healthy immune system and Omega 6 to promote a healthy coat.

  • Flavors – Chicken
  • Calories – 512 per cup
  • Protein –  33%
  • Fat – 21%
  • Moisture content –  10%
  • Omega 6 for a healthy coat
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Best rated dry cat food for kittens with a customer cat food rating: 4.5

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Kitten Food

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Kitten Food is recommended for kittens from weaning up to 1 year old and for pregnant or nursing cats.  This new and improved formula has DHA for optimal brain and eye development.  And a proven combination of antioxidants to promote a healthy immune system.

  • Flavors – Chicken
  • Calories – 604 per cup
  • Protein –  38%
  • Fat – 25%
  • Moisture content – ?
  • DHA added for optimal brain and eye development
  • A vet recommended cat food
  • Customer dry cat food rating: 4.5

Conclusion

Getting the best dry cat food means opting for a top-rated dry cat food brand that is healthy.  It is important that in choosing the best dry cat food has the necessary nutrition to maintain your cat’s active lifestyle.

Top dry cat food should have the right proportion of proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals.  Proteins then fats should be a huge portion of your cat’s diet.  Cats metabolize proteins and fats and use them as their main source of energy.

Love means doing what’s best for the kitty you love.

Where to go next:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin