The Best Dry Cat Food (2021 Reviews)

Skylar Dial
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Reviews of the best dry cat food for 2019 so you can provide your cat with the best nutrition!

When you have a cat, finding the best cat food for your feline friend is very important. They depend on you for all of their basic nutritional needs. To effectively serve in this role, it’s best to be familiar with the different types of cat food on the market today.

While they all fulfill the needs of a typical cat, some of them are good for specific purposes, and others are totally unacceptable.

Below is a guide to the different types of cat food, the differences between them, and what they are best for. Then, we’ll review the best dry cat food for 2019; this way you can choose the best cat food that fulfills your cat’s nutritional and dietary needs.

NameCategoryProduct
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten FoodBest OverallPurina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten FoodBudget PickPurina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Kitten FoodUpgrade PickNatural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Kitten Food

1. Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

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Kittens are known to be picky eaters and parents often spend hours trying to train them to eat healthy. We found Purina to be the best, with the Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food being one of their best products.

This food is specially designed for kittens of all ages, starting from 3 months onward. It has 3 wholesome protein sources – chicken, fish, and turkey – and is made with high-quality ingredients to provide your kitten with the right nutrients.

Apart from its great taste, this product also offers a balanced formula that comes with essential nutrients your kitten needs. It also has a sufficient amount of taurine, a crucial dietary nutrient for your kitten that must have.

2. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control Dry Cat Food

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Although cats love fish, their diet should not consist of just fish. Fish is good for your cat but it does not provide the necessary nutrition they need. Your cat needs meats, vegetables and fibers in order to stay healthy. If your cat does not get the right amount of the aforementioned items, it could lead to health issues in the long run.

On average, cats wean after six or seven weeks and this is around the time that they can start stepping into adulthood. Cats are carnivores; therefore, their diet should be made up of meats, fish, and supplements, among other necessities. Feel free to consult with your vet about specific food choices.

Now that your cat is officially an adult, you need to pay extra attention to their diet. You need to start taking care of their teeth as well as giving them supplements to boost their immune system. Here are a few good foods for your adult cat:

On average, cats wean after six or seven weeks and this is around the time that they can start stepping into adulthood. Cats are carnivores; therefore, their diet should be made up of meats, fish, and supplements, among other necessities. Feel free to consult with your vet about specific food choices.

3. 9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Three flavors to choose from
  • Composed of chicken, turkey, and whole grains
  • It makes a complete meal
  • There are no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
  • The food is high in pure protein and reduced calories
  • It contains high-quality protein which is essential for muscle health
  • The essential vitamins and minerals included help to promote total body well-being
  • It has a high biological value, which is important since you want the ingredients included to be easily digested by your cat
  • There is a balanced level of phosphorus which is essential for strong bones and teeth
  • The food is made in the USA and is a product of Meow Mix

Cons:

  • The dry food is high in calories, so it’s not recommended for long-hair cats
  • Some cats may not appreciate the taste
  • The can’t be fed as a meal replacement, it’s only to be used as a supplement
  • The food has a strong smell

4. Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Free of by-products, wheat, corn, chicken or poultry by-product meals, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
  • Uses natural ingredients
  • Developed by a veterinarian
  • Food contains probiotics and antioxidants that help to maintain healthy skin and coat
  • Gluten-free with no artificial ingredients
  • Free of grain and by-product ingredients
  • Low in fat and calories

Cons:

  • 35.3% moisture

This dry cat food is free of grain and byproduct ingredients. The protein is high, coming from only natural meat sources and the fat is a low 2.1%. This will help keep your cat lean and fit as she watches her weight.

"For small dogs like Yorkies, Morkies, Maltese, and Chihuahuas it is best to feed a small breed indoor dog food such as Science Diet or any of the other top quality 3-star brands such as Merrick, Wellness etc. Larger breeds like Boasteds and German Shepherds should eat high quaity larger breed puppy food such as Fromms, Merrick, Blue Buffalo or Nature’s Variety Instincts.

5. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

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Chicken, 2 lbs.

Our pick for best dry cat food is Hill's Science Diet. This cat food comes in a two-pound bag. This kibble is made from excellent ingredients and is designed to improve your cat’s health.

This Hill’s Science Diet cat food is approved by a licensed vet. It is made from real chicken, so it has a high protein content. This allows it to help your pet have healthy skin and coat.

6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

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(31lb)

Choosing a cat food for your feline is a tough task. There are tons of options available, and they all claim to be the best. So how do you know which one to pick?

The clear winner is Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Dry Cat. This high-quality cat food has all of the right ingredients needed to give your beloved pet everything it needs.

7. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Contains no artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, or any other undesirable ingredients
  • Very affordable compared to other dry cat food brands
  • Ideal for both long haired and short haired cats
  • Easy to digest
  • Kid approved
  • Available in 3, 6, and 14 pound bags
  • Made in the USA

Cons:

  • Some users found the food to be a bit too dry
  • One user reported that his cat lost weight after switching to Hill’s Science Diet Food
  • Another reported that this dry cat food resulted in a decrease in her cat’s saliva production, which resulted in drying out of her cat’s mouth
  • One user reported that her cat has sensitive skin that broke out from this dry cat food.
  • Users agree that Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food is not as flavorful as other dry cat foods.

8. Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

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Kittens are known to be picky eaters and parents often spend hours trying to train them to eat healthy. We found Purina to be the best, with the Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food being one of their best products.

This food is specially designed for kittens of all ages, starting from 3 months onward. It has 3 wholesome protein sources – chicken, fish, and turkey – and is made with high-quality ingredients to provide your kitten with the right nutrients.

Apart from its great taste, this product also offers a balanced formula that comes with essential nutrients your kitten needs. It also has a sufficient amount of taurine, a crucial dietary nutrient for your kitten that must have.

9. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Spayed/Neutered Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Spayed/Neutered Dry Cat Food

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The Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Spayed/Neutered Dry Cat Food is a premium kibble specially designed for indoor cats. It’s the veterinarian-recommended diet for neutered or spayed cats who may not get enough exercise.

Indoor cats are more prone to obesity and weight gain – this food helps to avoid this by providing less fat and more fiber.

All these factors contribute to proper digestive health and weight management.

10. IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Has both high quality meats and protein
  • Low caloric value (for a high protein cat food)
  • Softer stools (due to extra fiber)
  • Gluten free
  • Comes in 5 different flavors

Cons:

  • Not very digestible for cats that have sensitive stomachs
  • May cause weight gain
  • Sometimes cats don’t like the smell

5 lb bag.

11. Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

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Cat owners have yearned for a single food that they can give their cat, worry-free. Just like how they want their babies to grow and stay healthy, while they enjoy playtime. This dry cat food from Purina promises the best food you can give to your cat.

This is ideal for any cat in the household—even seniors, cats with sensitive stomachs, and cats who have allergic reactions to other foods. The food’s main objective is to supply your cat with iron, zinc, and antioxidants that help in skin and eye health.

This food comes in a variety of flavors – beef and chicken, and fish. Each one is jam-packed with the nutrients your cat needs.

12. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

Our rating: 8 / 10

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

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13. Iams Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food Chicken Recipe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Iams Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food Chicken Recipe

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Pros:

  • Strong nutritional profile – high in heart-healthy Omega-6 fatty acid; high in antioxidants
  • 100% nutritionally complete cat food, with Merrick Purina being one of the best cat food brands
  • Contains taurine and L-Carnitine
  • Many highly satisfied customers
  • High quality ingredients – no additives
  • 9 parts protein to 1 part carbohydrate and 3 calories per gram
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Highly digestible ingredients
  • 3-year shelf life until opened
  • The company has been in business for over 60 years

Cons:

  • All of the proprietary blends are a turn off for some customers
  • There is a very limited variety of products

14. Solid Gold

Our rating: 8 / 10

Solid Gold

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15. Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion Dry Adult Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion Dry Adult Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Aims to reduce the incidence of digestive problems
  • ¾ Points
  • Suitable for sensitive or highly allergic cats
  • Small, bite-sized kibbles
  • Available in 40 lb bag to reduce any cost and sustainability concerns for buyers

This product by Royal Canin has been produced to be a food that is not easily digested by cats. It is a specially designed diet of a high-grade nutritional value of natural ingredients.

Cats are carnivorous animals by nature. This means that they have evolved to eat a diet high in animal fats. If you want to keep your cat healthy, they need the right balance of nutrients, and this one ticks all of the right boxes.

Cats love to snack all day, so one of the best decisions you can make for them is to pick out a food that is specifically designed to help with their digestion. This formula has been crafted by real nutritionists, so you can be sure that it is a healthy, nutritious diet for your cat. It comes in a big bag of 40 lbs, so it will last you for ages.

16. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Good for sensitive digestion
  • Largest variety of flavors and sizes
  • Healthiest cat food on the market
  • Comes in both 5.5 lb and 15 lb bags

Cons:

  • A tad pricey
  • Doesn’t contain 100% natural ingredients

With 14 different kinds of cat food available to cater the needs of every individual cat, Nutro definitely stands out from the competition.

Nutro is the number one recommended brand by veterinarians. They’ve been around for more than 80 years and have always put the best interests of pets first. Which explains why their products are so good and well-liked by both cats and humans.

Nutro products contain top-quality organic ingredients and Health, nutrition, love and care are important components of a nutritious day for your cat.

17. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • A comprehensive review of scientific studies shows that there is a connection between diet and the progression of kidney issues in older cats
  • The best diet for kidney health is the one that works for your cat. What works for one, may not for the other

18. Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Kitten Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Kitten Food

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This is a premium Wellness-grade cat food, suitable for all Life Stages and all Breeds.

This originally dried food contains:

  • This formula is Nutrient-rich, containing vitamins, minerals; and essential proteins that are vital for your pet’s health
  • An important note – It Does not contain any grains!
  • This product is approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) of the University of Tennessee
  • This special formula is fortified with Omega 3 and essential Vitamins and Minerals

19. Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Complete Care Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Complete Care Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • The variety of flavors ensures that you have something for all taste types
  • Merrick uses high-quality meat and poultry, so it’s a healthy and easy to digest cat food
  • Meat is sourced from animals raised in the USA and Canada (where regulations are much stricter than in China)
  • Made with high-quality "superfoods"
  • Contains taurine and l-carnitine to help cats maintain lean muscle mass
  • Comes in seven grain-free varieties
  • Ingredients are sourced as locally as possible, reducing the impact on our environment (which cannot be said about most pet stores)
  • Completely free of chicken, grains, carrageenan, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
  • Vegetarian

Cons:

  • Contains only 10% moisture, which means more waste and litter box cleaning
  • The double-zip packaging, although great for sealing in the flavor, may lead to a higher rate of digestive issues
  • While high-quality meat and poultry are used in the diet, this is still considered an ‘artisan’ diet, so it’s not as well-rounded as traditional canned or dry cat food

20. Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula Adult Cat Food

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This dry food is designed to support urinary health due to its high moisture content. It also features a formula with a dual-enzyme system to support healthy digestion from the first bite to the last so that your cat is less likely to develop urinary problems.

The food contains a unique blend of vitamins to help support bladder health. It also includes a blend of real chicken and salmon. High levels of both protein and fat help maintain your kitty’s energy content while helping to support urinary health.

This food is made with several types of protein to help promote urinary health for your cat. It includes chicken meal and herring meal. Both of these ingredients come from natural cat food sources. These foods are high in essential fatty acids that help support healthy digestion.

21. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • High quality meat ingredients
  • Digestive health support
  • Easy on sensitive stomachs
  • All natural and grain free
  • Contains no added sugars, grains, or soy

Whole Earth Farms is one of the leading brands of pet food in the U.S.

As always, we look for products that have no unnecessary additives, colors, or preservatives.

Whole Earth Farms makes this simple for us by proudly stating that their products consist of:

22. Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Recipe Natural Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Recipe Natural Cat Food

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Pros:

  • All natural, grain-free, great taste, healthy, more protein
  • Brand reputation
  • High protein content and protein well-digested
  • Low carb and fat content

Cons:

  • Price is a bit higher
  • Can be too dry, so recommend to mix it with water or to add moistening food to soften it
  • Product not suitable for sensitive pets

We all know that cats are prone to overweight and this is why making the right choice in the food you feed them is a must. If your budget is tight, this natural food for cats is really for you. Because is by far the cheapest and tastiest at the same time.

Made by Instinct, this food for cats is one of the best-selling on Amazon. The brand already has a very strong reputation, so you don’t have to worry about your pet being sick. It’s affordable and high quality.

The brand is also natural, so it’s not refined and bad for your cat’s health. The protein in this food is really good-quality too, because it’s highly digested. Plus, the food has the perfect balance of amino acid.

23. Lucy Pet Formulas

Our rating: 7 / 10

Lucy Pet Formulas

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Pros:

  • Manufactured in the U.S.A
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
  • High protein
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for sensitive stomachs; containing fibre, omega fatty acids, linoleic acid, and taurine
  • Grain-free formula
  • High fish content
  • Contains a mix of fruits and vegetables
  • Contains Probiotics & Enzymes
  • Powdery formula that’s easy to consume for cats with age-related muscle and joint issues

Cons:

  • The product has artificial preservatives and flavors
  • The fish in this variety does not come from sustainable or eco-friendly sources
  • No quality control system in place
  • Artificial dyes are used in the salmon and pumpkin varieties

We reviewed over 1000 customer and expert reviews, of which 164 were about the formula for sensitive stomachs, and over 102 were about the formula for all breeds and life stages.

The rating for this product was above-average.

This brand of cat food is recommended for both adult cats and kittens.

24. Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food

Our rating: 7 / 10

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food

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Our pick for the best dry cat food is Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food. This cat food is formulated to meet the nutritional guidelines for adult cats. This comes at an economical prescription your feline friend will "love” to eat.

This premium cat formula is chock full of protein to help maintain your cat's lean and healthy body. The protein not only provides your cat with all the necessary amino acids and vitamins, but also helps train your cat's digestive track and immune system.

One of the features we love about this cat food is that it additionally includes the bounty of added nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that adult cats need to thrive. It comes loaded with ingredients such as choline, taurine, and vitamin E.

25. Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 7 / 10

Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Excellent value
  • More antioxidants than most brands
  • Rotating flavors to keep cat engaged
  • Ultra-premium ingredients
  • All-natural
  • Made in USA
  • Absence of chicken/poultry products
  • Satisfaction guaranteed
  • No chicken/poultry byproduct meals
  • No animal products

Seafood Meals, Chicken & Turkey Meals.

26. Meow Mix Indoor Health Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 7 / 10

Meow Mix Indoor Health Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Available as 5lb and 10lb bags
  • Grain-free
  • Optimal nutrition to keep your cat healthy
  • Helps with hairball management to keep your cat clean and happy
  • Great for indoor cats
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Relatively inexpensive

According to customer reviews, this is one of the healthiest dry cat food out there. The first ingredient is always chicken or poultry. The food is made without animal byproducts, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It’s also rich in fiber – something that a lot of cat owners love about it.

The added Taurine is designed to keep your cat’s eyes healthy. Plus, it’s gluten-free.

It’s grain-free, which is important as not all cats are tolerant of grains in their diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best dry cat food on the market?

Foods dry foods have a lot of benefits of canned foods, such as the time to eat and clean up less. However, the main drawback of dry foods is that you do not use a lot of water once and eat. Dry foods are relatively insensitive in terms of nutrition. However, today's dry foods are produced using the latest scientific developments in food technology that helps in ensuring a balanced and healthy diet for our beloved furry friends.

What is the best dry cat food for indoor cats?

Tuna & Turkey Flavor Flaked with Tuna is a great option for indoor cats! It’s budget-friendly, low in calories and high in protein which is great for cats that are a little on the chubby side. It’s low in calories, but has made a name for itself by being high in protein, so indoor cats who are looking for something a little more rich in taste will also enjoy this product.

Key to note, is that the package specifies this product is for “mature adult cats”. While your cat might be mature, the product is for adult cats over one year of age, which means, unless your cat is full grown, this product isn’t automatically a great option.

If you’re asking what your vet would suggest you should feed your cat, it is critical to begin by recognizing that cats can be very finicky eaters, and hence would most likely never get fat if humans controlled their meals. The Royal Canin brand is one of the best cat food on the market, with many features that have been tested and proven to cater well to most cats.

If your vet recommends a very specific food, it is only fair to follow their advice. However, keep in mind that their advice will often be limited to nutrition and weight gain. They may not take into account the daily calorie requirement or your cat’s optimal nutrient intake.

A lot of pet owners and veterinarians also overlook dietary preferences. Cats are known to be picky eaters. They often prefer food that they can relate to naturally, such as the one that they would hunt in the wild.

Which dry cat food is best for urinary health?

Out of the lists that I offer, this is the one that has a specific focus on urinary health.

I’ll be shedding some light on how urinary health in cats is affected by the food they eat.

Conclusion

We found the best cat food to be the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula because it’s simple. It’s ideal for any cat regardless of their age and can be used as a regular food or as a meal supplement.

We found the best wet food to be the Friskies Party Mix because it’s rich, it’s made with real chicken not chicken byproduct, it’s a delicious treat for your cat, and it’s cheaper than almost all the other wet cat food on the market.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten FoodBest OverallPurina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten FoodBudget PickPurina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Kitten FoodUpgrade PickNatural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dry Kitten Food