It used to be that you had a choice of a few brands of cat food at the grocery store, which made picking one easy. Today, there are so many varieties of food available that choosing the best one for your cat can feel overwhelming. There are even brands made just for cats with special needs such as seniors and cats with medical problems like allergies, sensitive stomachs, and diabetes.
Best Dry Cat Food Brand
You'll get a variety of opinions on the top dry cat food brand, and the perfect formula often depends on your cat and his or her nutritional needs. Wysong Epigen wins high praise as one of the best dry cats foods you can buy. It's high in protein with quality ingredients, and its patent-pending process makes a purely starch-free kibble. The food contains very few fillers and instead relies on ingredients like chia seeds, apple pectin, chicory root, omega fatty acids, and probiotics. Wysong Epigen comes in a regular and Epigen 90 recipe.
- The Epigen basic recipe contains 60% protein, 15% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are organic chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potato protein, and meat protein isolate.
- In comparison, the Epigen 90 recipe contains 63% protein, 16% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are chicken meal, organic chicken, meat protein isolate, chicken fat, and gelatin.
- Epigen comes in a 5 lb bag for about $17, and Epigen 90 sells for about $28.
Best Quality Affordable Dry Cat Food
One of the best quality "budget" dry cat foods is the easy-to-find Rachael Ray Nutrish. It comes in five recipes: real salmon and brown rice, real chicken and brown rice, turkey with chickpeas and salmon, chicken with chickpeas and salmon, and chicken with lentils and salmon. The recipes boast over 5,700 five-star reviews on the Nutrish website.
- The salmon and brown rice recipe contains 34% protein, 14% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are salmon, ground rice, corn gluten meal, fish meal, and brown rice.
- The recipes are made with all-natural ingredients and quality proteins as the number one ingredient, and none contain ground corn, soy, or wheat.
- The food is available in three sizes: about $8 for a 3 lb bag, about $14 for a 6 lb bag, and about $20 for a 14 lb bag.
Best Organic Dry Cat Food
If you're a stickler for organic, high-quality ingredients for your cat, Castor & Pollux Organix Dry Cat Food is one of the best organic cat foods. It's the only line of cat food that is certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The adult cat food comes in two recipes: chicken and sweet potato, and chicken and brown rice. The average customer rating is 4.8 out of 5 stars on the Castor & Pollux website.
- The chicken and brown rice recipe contains 32% protein, 14% crude fat, 3.5% crude fiber, and 11% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic pea protein, organic oatmeal, and organic peas.
- The food is made with no pesticides, artificial preservatives, growth hormones, antibiotics, corn, wheat, or soy, and it's Non-GMO Project Verified.
- You can buy the food in a 10 lb bag for about $48.
Best Limited-Ingredient Dry Cat Food
While limited-ingredient diets have become popular because they can help cats with sensitive stomachs and allergies, cat owners with healthy cats also like them because they tend to have high quality ingredients without any fillers. One of the first foods to begin a LID line is Natural Balance, which the Happy Cat Site recommends as one of the best available. The food comes in six recipes plus three high-protein formulas.
- The green pea and salmon recipe contains 30% protein, 12% crude fat, 4.5% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are green peas, salmon meal, salmon, pea protein, and canola oil.
- The recipes are grain-free and get high reviews from users. The green pea and salmon recipe has a 4.6 out 5 rating with almost 200 reviews on Chewy.com.
- You can purchase the food for about $31 for a 10 lb bag or about $21 for a 5 lb bag.
Best Dry Cat Food for Kittens
Growing kittens require a diet that has more protein and fat compared to adult diets. This is necessary to support their speedy development. A diet formulated for adults won't give them the nutrients they need to develop to be their best adult selves. One of the best kitten foods on the market is Nature's Variety Instinct Original Kitten Grain-Free Recipe. It's an Amazon's Choice product with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 from over 500 reviewers.
- The food contains 42.5% protein, 22.5% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are chicken, turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, peas, and chicken fat.
- The recipe is specially designed for kittens with high quality proteins and natural DHA for proper brain and eye development.
- The food is available for about $20 for a 4.5 lb bag.
Best Dry Cat Food for Senior Cats
Senior cats are less active than their younger counterparts and have different nutritional needs to keep them fit and healthy. One of the best dry foods for senior cats is very affordable Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Mature Cat Food. The food gets a 4.7 out of 5 review from over 200 reviewers on Chewy.com.
- The food contains 32% protein, 15% crude fat, 5% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal.
- It contains a balance of carbohydrates and proteins designed for less active older cats.
- The food sells for about $22 (7 lb bag), $17 (5 lb bag) or $13 (3 lb bag).
Best Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Grain-free foods have become popular with dog owners, and this trend has moved over to cat food as well. Owners often believe cats cannot digest grains properly, and it's responsible for a host of issues like food allergies and skin conditions. This may be true for some cats, and it's best to discuss with your veterinarian first if your cat needs a diet change to help with a medical problem. One of the best grain-free dry cat foods is the series of recipes for Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Adult Cat Food. It comes in nine different formulas using proteins like chicken, duck, salmon, venison, turkey, and quail.
- The chicken recipe contains 40% protein, 18% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, tapioca starch, and peas.
- All the recipes are grain-free and do not contain chicken by-product meals, artificial flavors, preservatives, corn, wheat, or soy.
- It comes in a 6 lb bag and 12 lb bag which sells for about $25 and $43. Petco users give the food five full stars with over 200 reviews.
Best Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats
You might think that there's no difference in nutritional needs for an indoor versus an indoor/outdoor cat. However, cats that live indoors all the time often do not get as much exercise as an indoor/outdoor cat, and obesity can be a common problem. It's important to provide your indoor cat with lots of physical exercise and keeping them on a special diet can ensure they stay trim and happy. Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food is Cat Life Today's top dry cat food for indoor cats. It comes in three different flavors: ocean whitefish and egg, white meat chicken and egg, and wild-caught salmon, egg and sweet potato. Reviewers on the Purina website give the food 4.8 out of 5 stars with over 500 reviews.
- The ocean fish and egg recipe contains 35% protein, 14% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 12% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are ocean whitefish, chicken meal, pea protein, pea starch, and cassava root flour.
- All the recipes contain limited ingredients and natural probiotics to improve digestion.
- It's available in a 5 lb bag and sells for about $17.
Best Dry Cat Food for Cats With Medical Conditions
Cats with specific health problems often can benefit from special diets made for their condition. Often these foods require a prescription from your veterinarian prior to purchase.
Cats With Allergies
If your cat has to deal with allergies, your veterinarian may suggest a change in diet. There are several formulas available that are designed to help cats with allergies, and Royal Canin Feline Hypoallergenic Protein is a premium pick from My Pet Needs That. This recipe contains hydrolyzed proteins, which are easier on a cat's digestive system.
- The food contains 24% protein, 18% crude fat, 6.3% crude fiber, and 8% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are brewers rice, hydrolyzed soy protein, chicken fat, powdered cellulose, and natural flavors.
- It also contains nutrients to help soothe a cat with skin as well as food allergies.
- It comes in a 7.7 lb bag (about $57) and a 17.6 lb bag (about $117) and requires a prescription from a veterinarian to purchase.
Cats With Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections happen often with cats and diet can be a key way to control them. One of the top foods for cats that suffer from UTIs is Wysong Uretic Natural Food for Cats. It's an Amazon's Choice product with an average review of 4.2 out of 5 stars with over 300 reviews.
- The food contains 42% protein, 15% crude fat, 5% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, potato protein, and brown rice.
- The recipe contains high quality proteins, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, omega-3s, and antioxidants designed to ease cats with chronic urinary tract problems.
- It comes in a 5 lb bag and sells for about $17.
Cats With Kidney Disease
Cats with kidney disease typically are fed wet food because of the high moisture content. If your veterinarian advises you to feed a dry diet, perhaps supplemented with wet, a recommended pick is the prescription food Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet K+M Kidney.
- The food contains 26% protein, 18% crude fat, 6% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are deboned chicken, peas, pea starch, potato starch, and dried egg product.
- The recipe is a low-protein diet to ease stress on the kidneys with glucosamine and chondroitin added to assist with mobility.
- It comes in a 7 lb bag and sells for about $43 with a prescription.
Cats With Sensitive Stomachs
Some cats have the misfortune to be afflicted with sensitive tummies, which can lead to frequent diarrhea, vomiting, and other types of stomach upset. This can make even the gentlest cat irritable, and changing their diet can help ease their gastrointestinal issues. One of the best dry foods for cats with sensitive stomachs is the highly rated Purina One Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food. Users on Purina's website give this food 4.7 out of 5 stars.
- The food contains 34% protein, 13% crude fat, 4% crude fiber and 12% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are turkey, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, soybean meal and turkey by-product meal.
- The formula contains 0% fillers and ingredients designed to facilitate digestion while providing high quality nutrition.
- You can purchase this Purina cat food in a 3.5 lb bag (about $8), 7 lb bag (about $14), 16 bag (about $25) and 22 lb bag (about $32).
Cats With Hairballs
Hairballs are a common problem with cats, and some breeds tend to get them more than others either because they have medium to long hair, or they may groom more than normal due to stress and anxiety. There are hairball prevention diets that can do wonders for cats that have constant hairballs. One of the best is Royal Canin Hairball Care Food, recommended by Idle cat. Happy reviewers on Royal Canin's website give the food five full stars.
- The food contains 32% protein, 13% crude fat, 8.4% crude fiber, and 8% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are chicken meal, corn, brewers rice, rice hulls, and corn gluten meal.
- The recipe is designed to provide specific fibers that help move hairs through the stomach and intestinal tract rather than collecting in the stomach to form hairballs.
- It comes in a 3 lb, 6 lb and 14 lb bag, which sell for about $20, $30, and $57.
Obese Cats Who Need to Lose Weight
Obesity is a problem for cats, just as it is with their human owners. A cat that is overweight can suffer from additional health problems such as diabetes, and it can greatly shorten their lifespan. One of the top rated dry foods for cats that need to slim down the pounds is Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Boost Healthy Weight. This food is a mix of freeze-dried raw meat and grain-free, high-protein kibble designed to help your cat lose weight while taking in a high-quality diet. It gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating from reviewers on Instinct's website.
- The food contains 37.5% protein, 12% crude fat, 5.5% crude fiber, and 9% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, salmon meal, and menhaden fish meal.
- The recipe is designed to help cats lose weight by providing a fiber-rich diet.
- It comes in a 4.5 lb (about $25) and 10 lb bag (about $40).
Cats With Diabetes
Living with a cat with diabetes can be difficult as you need to maintain a proper diet and their insulin levels. With help from your vet and the right food, you can actually help a cat with diabetes to no longer need insulin shots, which is stressful for you and the cat. Veterinarians generally prefer wet food for cats with diabetes, but a dry option is Royal Canin Feline Glycobalance Dry, which Cat Life Today picks as the best dry kibble for cats with diabetes.
- The food contains 44% protein, 10% crude fat, 6.8% crude fiber, and 10% moisture.
- The first five ingredients are chicken by-product meal, barley, wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, and soy protein isolate.
- The recipe is designed to help keep glucose levels stable.
- It comes in a 4.4 lb bag and sells for around $38. A prescription is required to purchase.
Choosing the Right Dry Food for Your Cat
If you're not sure what to feed your cat, talk to your veterinarian and read through reviews online to find the food that works best for your particular cat. You'll also want to look at their activity level and overall health to choose a diet that helps them to thrive and remain at a healthy weight.