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Best dry cat food: Quality kibble for all kitties

Best dry cat food
(Image credit: Getty)

The best dry cat food provides a fuss-free way of feeding your pet and it comes with a large number of benefits. Aside from ensuring your cat can get a tasty treat throughout the day, there is little mess to clean up afterwards. Kibble can also be kept out all day without spoiling and it's suggested that it's great for helping to keep a cat's teeth free of plaque and tartar too.

Although the best wet cat food offers an abundance of moisture – something largely absent in dry food – so long as you provide your kitty with a plentiful supply of water, you can help ensure your pet is being refreshed. A bowl of water is usually sufficient but investing in one of the best pet water fountains is preferable because your cat will benefit from a clean, free-flowing supply.

Assuming you're providing water, there really are few downsides to quality kibble. Yes, wet food is better for cats who have trouble chewing but dry food still offers a balanced formula that is nutritionally complete. You can also buy kibble in different shapes and sizes, some of which are easier to chew. Most kibble is small, however, which means they can be popped in an automatic pet feeder for greater convenience.

Here we take a look at the best dry cat food on the market in 2022 and, as with best dry dog food, there is no harm in mixing it with wet food for the best of both worlds. If you are looking to change cat food completely, though, transition it safely by reading our guide. 

Expert opinion in this guide is provided by:
Dr Diana Hasler
Expert opinion in this guide is provided by:
Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Dr. Diana Hasler (opens in new tab) graduated with distinction from the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2018. She has experience working as a small animal veterinarian in general practice, where she has treated many dogs, cats, rabbits, and rodents.

PetsRadar's pick of the best dry cat food

best dry cat food

(Image credit: Rachael Ray)

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe Natural Dry Food

Best overall dry cat food

Specifications

Weight: 14lbs
Flavor: Chicken
Calories: 371 per cup
Protein: 34% min
Fat: 14% min

Reasons to buy

+
Made from real US farm-raised chicken and chicken meal
+
Reasonable price
+
Grain-free
+
No artificial flavors or colorings

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy on carbohydrates
-
Cats may be prone to gaining weight

This food contains two protein sources—chicken and salmon—to provide your cat with essential nutrients required to maintain healthy organs and lean muscle mass. Salmon additionally provides omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that benefit cats’ skin, coats, and joints. The food contains lentils and dried pumpkin as sources of fiber to support digestive health.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Founded by the eponymous celebrity chef, the Rachael Ray Nutrish brand is well-known for its natural ingredients and nutritional benefits. It is therefore no surprise that this chicken-based, dry cat food option is a bestseller, and popular among cat owners to boot.

This particular brand uses real US farm-raised chicken  free from poultry by-products. Full of Omega-6 fatty acids – not to mention protein – your cat’s skin and coat will be guaranteed a healthy shine should you choose to purchase it.

Moreover, it’s grain-free, which effectively reduces any risk of allergies for your cat. Further reducing this risk is the fact that this contains a number of natural ingredients, such as brewers rice, corn gluten meal, as well as dried ground peas to contribute on the carbohydrate front. Added vitamins and minerals  aid your cat’s digestion and overall health, and there are no artificial fillers.

The small pieces of kibble make it easier to chew and digest, and the crisp and crunch texture is kinder to cats’ teeth, also ensuring that they are kept clean. Many owners praised it for making great treats when training their kitties, too!

However, it should be mentioned that the recipe does contain corn gluten meal, which could be a potential allergen for your cat. So if your cat does suffer from corn allergies, this is probably not the one for you. Also, bear in mind that the formula is quite high in carbohydrates, so you’d need to keep track if your cat starts getting tubby!

Overall, this is the ultimate in dry cat food that provides natural flavors, nutrition, and bags of protein, as well as representing good value for money compared to other premium cat food brands. And with a winning formula created by cat nutritionists, you can only expect the best balance of flavor and nutrition for your feline friend.

9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food

(Image credit: 9 Lives)

9 Lives Daily Essentials with Chicken, Beef & Salmon Flavor Dry Cat Food

Best budget dry cat food

Specifications

Weight: 3.15lb, 12lbs, 20lbs and 28lbs
Flavors: Chicken, beef, salmon
Fat content: 9%
Protein: 31%

Reasons to buy

+
Nutritionally complete and balanced
+
Good for those on a budget
+
Low-fat formula

Reasons to avoid

-
Contains common allergens

The addition of chicken, beef, and salmon products makes this a tasty food for cats on a budget. Although the ingredients may not be as high quality as those in other foods on this list, this food has been formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of adult cats as established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

It’s not hard to see why this kibble is proving such a hit amongst pet parents with its large bags, delicious recipes, and affordable price - it ticks all the boxes for most feline furkids and their owners.

Offering 100% complete and balanced nutrition, each tasty and crunchy bite of kibble contains all the nourishment your cat needs to thrive. Omega 3 fatty acids help promote healthy skin and a shiny coat, there’s taurine for heart and vision health, and plenty of protein to help build and maintain strong muscles.

Granted, it’s not going to suit every kitty and the low price does mean you get ingredients thrown into the mix that you won’t find in other more high-end brands, like corn, wheat, and soy. So if you have a furkid with a sensitive digestive system or allergies, it might be best to steer clear of this one. 

But if allergies aren't an issue with your cat and you're looking for a tasty formula that won't break the bank, this kibble from 9 Lives offers solid nutrition and outstanding value for money.

Best dry cat food: Purina Beyond Grain FreePets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Purina)

Purina Beyond Simply Grain Free

Best grain-free dry cat food

Specifications

Weight: 5lb and 16lb bags
Flavors: Chicken and fish
Protein: 35%
Fat: 14%

Reasons to buy

+
Real meat
+
High protein
+
Limited ingredients

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

If you prefer to feed your cat grain-free food, Purina Beyond makes three different flavors for cats with different tastes. These diets contain high-quality protein with added fiber, and they are rich in antioxidants to support the immune system and natural probiotics to support gut health. They also contain limited ingredients for cats with potential food intolerances or sensitivities.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If you're looking for a high-quality kibble with a limited ingredient list that's free from many known allergens, then look no further than this popular formula from Purina.

High in protein, with real chicken as the first ingredient, this gluten-free and grain-free kibble comes packed with natural probiotics for a healthy digestive system, making it ideal for cats with sensitive stomachs.

With no corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-product meal, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, it's gentle on the digestive system but comes packed with nutrition. Featuring taurine for heart and vision health, zinc for a robust immune system, and calcium for strong bones, this kibble has everything your kitty needs and none of what they don't. 

It's more expensive than other kibbles, that's for sure, but if you're looking for a clean and limited ingredient list that's free from a lot of the nasties found in inexpensive brands and has a rich and meaty taste your kitty will love, this option from Purina is well worth a try. 

Best dry cat food. Blue Buffalo Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

(Image credit: Blue Buffalo)

Blue Buffalo Weight Control Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Adult Dry Cat Food

Best for weight management

Specifications

Weight: 15lbs
Flavors: Chicken, turkey
Calories: 346 per cup
Protein: 30% min
Fat: 10% min

Reasons to buy

+
Natural ingredients
+
Deboned chicken with no meat by-products
+
No adverse effect on cat behavior

Reasons to avoid

-
Bit more expensive
-
Can upset sensitive stomachs

This diet has been formulated to carefully balance calories for cats who are overweight—that is, as long as the feeding guidelines are followed without the addition of extra foods or treats. The food lists deboned chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients, and it does not contain any unwanted poultry by-products.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your cat tends to overeat on those lovely treats and is looking rather plump, Blue Buffalo Weight Control is the best choice to help slim them down.

Blue Wilderness is a product of the US-based Blue Buffalo company, known for making premium-quality pet foods featuring real meat, fruit, and vegetables. The main feature is the real deboned chicken with no meat by-products. The special formula is packed with whole grains and garden vegetables, as well as having carefully balanced calories to help your kittie maintain a healthy weight.

Since older cats develop difficulty chewing, the small pieces of food make it easy to gobble up, and the key thing is they contain hardly any fat.

Priced at around $21.98 (£15.49) for a 7lb bag, it is slightly costly. However, this can be overlooked if it means a more nutritious and calorie-controlled diet for your pet.

While it may be tricky to know straight away of its affect on weight loss, many owners have stated their cats’ have felt lighter within a couple of months. Some owners have even said their kittie seems more energetic, running and playing more, while their coats have a lovely glossy shine.

Bear in mind, some cats may have trouble digesting the food at first, so it’s advisable to monitor portions. Overall, this is a healthy, filler-free, low carb meal for your food-loving kitty.

Best dry cat food. A packet of IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

(Image credit: Iams)

IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Cat Food

Best dry kitten food

Specifications

Weight: 16lbs
Flavors: Chicken, turkey
Calories: 373per cup
Protein: 34% min
Fat: 22% min

Reasons to buy

+
Formulated for the needs of kittens
+
No harmful additives and fillers
+
High level of protein and essential Omega-3

Reasons to avoid

-
Risk of cats shedding
-
Risk of vomiting after meal

This food has been formulated with kittens in mind, with small, bite-sized kibble and enough protein to support a growing kitten. It contains real chicken as its first ingredient as well as vitamin E to support your kitten’s immune system, among other nutrients that support healthy development.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

When you have little kittens at home, you’d want to take extra care on the meals that you give them. Younger cats especially can be prone to much sensitivity, so it’s important to find the right food that is formulated for the needs of your kitten.

One of the top brands on the market today is IAMS, and it comes highly recommended by vets. Its special formula is created for 1-12 months old or younger kittens that may need to build stronger immune systems. This is also to avoid the risk of different diseases they may develop as they grow.

Packed with all the healthy benefits for a young one, it has prebiotics and pulp to support their developing digestive systems. It contains Omega-3 to aid with healthy brain development and to promote healthy skin and shiny coat. And its high protein and essential minerals help to build strong muscles and bones. This quality formula is essentially designed to help your kitten thrive, and also suitable for pregnant and lactating feline friends.

Kittens really enjoy the flavors, and we liked the fact that the kibbles are small, making it much easier to eat and digest. Another bonus is the kibble soaks up water fast for those kittens that need softer food.

Bear in mind the formula contains corn, so keep an eye out if your kitten may have a potential corn allergy.

Overall, this is packed with all the healthy nutrients to give your young cat the best start in life, and a delicious treat.

best dry cat food

(Image credit: Blue Buffalo)
Best dry food for older cats

Specifications

Weight: 11lbs
Flavors: Salmon
Calories: 117 per 100g
Protein: 40% min
Fat: 18% min

Reasons to buy

+
Packed with real salmon
+
BLUE’S ‘LifeSource Bits’ of vitamins and minerals
+
Grain-free

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly more expensive than other brands
-
Only sold in the US

This food contains real salmon as its first ingredient, which is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids to support your cat’s skin, coat, and joints as they age. It has a high protein content (crude protein: 40%), so this diet should not be fed to cats with kidney disease, as high-protein diets can exacerbate the disease.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

As your feline friend gets older, there are some things to consider. Firstly, their metabolism starts to slow down, as they no longer get as much exercise. As a result, they need fewer calories in their meals, and smaller portions. Another worry with older cats is they may develop specific health problems and not be eating as well as they should be. To care for your senior cat, you would need to tailor their diet to ensure optimum health and a longer life.

The Blue Buffalo formula has been enriched with its special, LifeSource bits (a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and superfoods), and made with the best natural ingredients.

The first ingredient is real salmon. It’s also loaded with antioxidant-rich superfoods to support immunity, Omega-3 for a healthy skin and coat, taurine for vision and heart health, and essential amino acids to fuel all their fun activities. Plus, its fiber blend helps maintain healthy digestion, and is kind to tummies. There are never any grains, gluten, wheat, or by-products. It has the added benefit of having more than 75% moisture content that will help your feline pal stay hydrated much longer.

Cats seem to love this brand, and enjoy the flavors, although a few owners have mentioned the kibble being too small for their older cats, causing them to drop out of their mouths. Others have stated that it has helped to alleviate existing stomach problems, and vomiting from other brands. And many have praised the formula for making their feline friend’s coat super soft and shiny.

Bear in mind that a few owners mentioned that it made their cats sick after eating; however this could be due to an undiagnosed allergy. 

Compared to similar brands, prices are expensive. The brand is also only sold in the US which means you’ll need to order online if you live outside of the US. However, with all the nutritional benefits, you wouldn’t mind paying a little bit more for quality.

A pack of Royal Canin Hairball Care dry cat food

(Image credit: Royal Canin)

Royal Canin Hairball Care

Best for preventing hairballs

Specifications

Weight: 22lbs
Flavors: NA
Protein: 34%

Reasons to buy

+
Special blend of dietary fibers helps prevent vomiting and hairballs
+
High protein and fat content
+
Reduces plaque buildup 

Reasons to avoid

-
Contains wheat and corn

This food claims to contain an exclusive blend of dietary fibers that can benefit cats who have issues with hairballs by stimulating the gastrointestinal tract to pass ingested hairs through the stomach and into the intestines. This allows hairballs to pass through the digestive tract into the feces instead of being vomited back up.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Royal Canin Hairball Care is a specialist food that aims to provide a superior source of nutrition for cats who have a tendency to cough things up. As such, its formula claims to move hairballs on through the body and out of the stomach, rather than all over your floor surfaces.

To do this it uses a blend of insoluble dietary fibres which sweep through the stomach and into the bowels, meaning hairballs are excreted as opposed to being vomited up. They also help stimulate good digestion and the increased absorption of nutrients.

In addition, Royal Canin Hairball Care’s balance of dietary fibres includes psyllium along with other minerals that will aid the digestive health of your cat beyond just preventing hairballs. This includes benefits like a healthier coat and better teeth to name just two.

It seems to be fairly successful at achieving its aim too, with numerous owners of long haired cats leaving glowing reviews that report a noticeable reduction in hairballs. Although some reviewers remarked that it cost more than standard food, most stated they would remain using it despite the extra cost due to its effectiveness. 

Hills Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach And Skin Chicken Dry Cat FoodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Hills)

Hill's Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach And Skin Chicken Dry Cat Food

Best dry cat food for digestive issues

Specifications

Available sizes: 3.5lb, 7lbs, 15.5lbs
Flavors: Chicken
Calories: 524 per cup
Protein: 35%
Fat: 22%

Reasons to buy

+
High in prebiotic fiber
+
Easy to digest
+
Vet recommended

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one flavor choice

This diet has high digestibility to allow optimal absorption of nutrients in cats who have a sensitive tummy. It contains prebiotic fiber to support “good” bacteria in the guts and allow for a balanced microbiome. It also provides vitamin E and omega-6 fatty acids to support skin health in cats who are prone to dry skin.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your kitty struggles with regular digestive upsets then this gentle formula that’s been specially designed for sensitive stomachs could be the perfect solution. With high levels of prebiotic fiber to fuel beneficial gut bacteria and support a balanced microbiome, this kibble is highly digestible for optimal nutrient absorption. 

With plenty of Vitamin E and Omega-6 fatty acids, this nourishing formula is also ideal for cats with skin or coat issues. Designed to help promote and maintain healthy skin and lustrous fur, the soothing blend of ingredients will have your kitty looking their best in no time.

We love that this recipe has recently undergone an overhaul, making real chicken the number one ingredient and introducing a proven antioxidant blend of vitamins and minerals to strengthen your cat’s immune system. 

Best dry cat food: Instinct Limited Ingredient DietPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Instinct)

Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet

Best simple-ingredient dry cat food

Specifications

Available sizes: 4.5lb and 10lb
Flavors: Rabbit, salmon, turkey
Calories: 457 kcal/cup
Protein: 35%
Fat: 19%

Reasons to buy

+
Simple ingredient list
+
Free from many known allergens
+
Raw coated kibble

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

This food contains turkey meal as its first ingredient and is nutritionally balanced according to the AAFCO guidelines for adult cat food. Before making the decision to feed your cat raw food, it is important to note that raw diets increase the risk of your cat developing digestive infections with Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter, among others—this risk also applies to any humans who handle their cat’s raw food.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

With a clean and limited ingredient list that contains only one animal protein and one vegetable, this formula from Instinct is ideal for cats with food sensitivities. Made with farm-raised rabbit or turkey, this nutrient-rich and easily digestible kibble provides all the essential amino acids your kitty needs to thrive.

Made without grain, dairy, eggs, chicken, beef, fish, sweet potato, potato, chickpeas, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors or preservatives, this kibble eliminates all of the common allergens that can prove difficult for kitties with delicate digestive systems and yet it still contains high levels of Omegas and antioxidants for a healthy skin, coat, and immune system.

Perhaps the most unique thing about this formula is that it's the first raw-coated kibble, where every piece is coated in freeze-dried raw rabbit or turkey for extra nutrition and taste. Minimally processed and made with only the highest quality ingredients, this protein-packed kibble is well worth a try.

Solid Gold - Let’s Stay In - Grain-Free - Indoor Formula Dry Cat FoodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Solid Gold)

Solid Gold Let’s Stay In Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food

Best indoor cat food

Specifications

Available sizes: 3lb, 6lb, 12lb
Flavors: Salmon, chicken
Calories: 435 per cup
Protein: 30%
Fat: 10%

Reasons to buy

+
Prevents hairballs
+
Probiotics for gut health
+
Real meat

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited range of flavors

This food is high in protein, with salmon as its main protein source, and it provides probiotics and lentils (a fiber source) to support gut health. It also claims to provide hairball control for cats prone to hairballs. While there is no chicken protein, this food does contain turkey meal, so this diet is not suitable for cats with sensitivities to poultry

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

If your feline furkid spends the bulk of their time indoors and you're looking for a formula that will meet their unique needs and nourish them from the inside out, this kibble from Solid Gold is well worth considering.

Crafted specifically with indoor cats in mind, it features fermentable fiber and probiotics to aid digestion, improve gut health and prevent the formation of hairballs. 

It also contains a powerful superfood blend that includes ingredients like pumpkin, almonds, lentils and broccoli to ensure your kitty gets all the vitamins and minerals they need to stay healthy.

Containing 100% real salmon as the first ingredient, this formula is grain and gluten free and comes packed with omega fatty acids to support skin, coat and immune health.

Best dry cat foodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Hill's)

Hill's Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care

Best for kidney health

Specifications

Weight: 4lb
Flavor: Ocean fish
Calories: 444
Protein: 26% max
Fat: 4% min

Reasons to buy

+
Formulated for kidney health
+
Includes lean muscle support
+
Stimulates a cat's appetite

Reasons to avoid

-
You need vet authorization

This diet contains lower amounts of protein, phosphorus, and sodium to reduce the workload on the kidneys in cats with kidney disease. It compensates for the low protein content with high-quality protein sources to support and maintain your cat’s muscle mass and overall health. It is also extra tasty for cats with kidney conditions who experience decreased appetite. Although kidney damage cannot be reversed, this food can slow the progression of kidney disease. This food should only be fed under the recommendation and supervision of a veterinarian.

Dr. Diana Hasler BVM&S MRCVS

Feeding a cat nothing but kibble isn't generally good for a kitty's health – cats need a daily supply of moisture to keep their kidneys in good shape so a bowl of water is essential. The same is true when buying this dry cat food. You will still need to ensure your cat is enjoying a regular intake of water which will also help avoid urinary tract problems. 

Yet Hill's nutritionists and veterinarians have produced a very special kibble that will improve the life of a cat who has lost some kidney function or is at risk of doing so. This is something that can happen to all of our feline friends when they age so managing the problem through nutrition is something that seriously needs to be considered.

It works by reducing the workload placed on a cat's kidneys so that they are better able to function effectively. At the same time, this cool kibble will build and maintain muscle mass. Indeed, it has been designed to stimulate a cat's appetite so that a moggy eats more and enjoys extra calories. At the same time, the meals control phosphorus and they are low on sodium, high in amino acids and L-carnitine. They are also enriched with omega-3s from fish oil making the kibble as healthy and helpful as it can be.

To buy this dry cat food, however, you will need a prescription from your vet. Yes, it means there's a bit of extra admin involved in obtaining it but the result will be worth the slight inconvenience. Once you have authorization, you can keep ordering automatically the kibble for as long as it allows. 

Whiskas dry cat foodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Whiskas)

Whiskas 1+ Complete Dry Cat Food

Best for easy availability

Specifications

Available sizes: 825g, 2kg, 7kg
Flavors: Chicken, Duck and Turkey, Tuna, Salmon, Lamb
Calories: 378 kcal/100g
Protein: 30%
Fat: 12.4%

Reasons to buy

+
Brand has stood the test of time
+
Complete and balanced
+
Full of vitamins and minerals

Reasons to avoid

-
Cereals listed as main ingredient

Sometimes you can search high and low for new kitty food when an age-old solution is staring you right in the face. In many ways, that's the case with Whiskas – a brand of cat food that dates back to 1936 which means it has stood the test of time, becoming one of the most reliable and well-purchased cat products on the market.

But is that just out of habit? In the UK, the company behind the meals used to say that eight out of 10 cats prefer Whiskas. It had to change that to eight out of 10 cat owners and yet, judging by the number of positive reviews out there, it could actually be more than that! Certainly, in our experience, this dry food does go down well. The bites are crunchy on the outside but soft within and kitties seem to wolf them down.

Whiskas' dry cat food is also great value for money, in this case serving a complete and balanced chicken meal that includes Omega 7 and Zinc for a healthy skin and coat and vitamin A for strong vision. The product also claims to help support the urinary tract although we'd still advise putting out a bowl of water at the very least. Our main concern is that cereals are the main ingredient and there are fewer nutrients like protein but that doesn't make it any kind of danger and it remains a top choice.

Purina Fancy FeastPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Purina)

Purina Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food

Best for fussy felines

Specifications

Available sizes: 3lb - 160z bags
Flavors: Filet Mignon, Chicken & Turkey, Ocean Fish & Salmon
Calories: 476 calories per cup
Protein: 34% min

Reasons to buy

+
Great for fussy eaters
+
Enticing flavors
+
Small kibble size

Reasons to avoid

-
Greedy cats liable to put on excess weight
-
Bad smelling

If your cat won't eat dry food and is on the fussy side when it comes to eating generally, then it's worth taking a look at the Purina Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food range.

Available in a multitude of tantalizing kitty flavors, including Filet Mignon, Ocean Fish & Salmon and Chicken & Turkey it's almost like a gourmet meal in cat land, featuring small morsels of deliciousness that has even the fussiest of felines salivating.

Be aware, however, that Purina Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food has on occasion been described as the 'McDonalds' of the cat food industry; it's almost too tasty that you might find your eager cat gobbling it up without a second thought and heading to the vets a lot heavier than last time they embraced their carrier so it's worth comparing the nutritional values of it with similar brands if your cat isn't so selective with their grub. 

It is a lifesaver for multiple pet owners who find their cat turns their nose up at other foods, however, but you might find yourself wondering why it's so enticing to kitties, especially with the strong smelling scent that wafts from the bag. 

Best dry cat foodPets Radar Approved Award

(Image credit: Chewy)

Crave with Protein from Chicken & Salmon

Best dry cat food for protein

Specifications

Available sizes: 3lb - 10lb bags
Flavors: Chicken & Salmon
Calories: 379 calories per cup
Protein: 40% min

Reasons to buy

+
High in quality protein
+
No artificial ingredients
+
Chicken is number one ingredient

Reasons to avoid

-
Contains a moderate amount of carbs

Crave's selling point is that it taps into a cat's wildcat instinct for food eaten by their ancestors. To that end, it offers an abundance of animal protein which the manufacturer says will provide the nutrients needed for a strong and healthy cat. In this case, the protein comes from chicken and salmon, with the former being the very first ingredient (salmon being a little further down the list).

Made without grain and with no corn, wheat or soy, the meals offer a minimum of 40% high protein. There's no chicken by-product meal or any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. Your cat should gain a lot of energy from this food, ensuring they're at their playful best. It should also help a cat to become lean and enjoy a strong immune system.

That said, it does contain a moderate amount of carbs and some protein is also provided by plants. But the food appears to go down really well with kitties and since the pieces are small, they're easily digested. All the ingredients are sourced in the United States too which helps in terms of freshness and quality.

How to choose the best dry cat food

Cats eat kitten food

(Image credit: Getty)

Finding the right dry cat food to suit your feline friend can be challenging. If you're not sure which is the best dry cat food for your kitty, there are a few important things to consider when purchasing.

Age

First, consider your cat’s age. Dry cat foods are often formulated and specifically designed for the age and size of your kitty. So whether you have older or younger cats, you’ll need a formula to provide the right amount of nourishment.

Protein and fat sources

Look for quality first ingredients such as real chicken, lamb, turkey, salmon and tuna, which are all rich in protein. Chicken liver and heart are both rich in taurine, an amino acid that humans produce but cats cannot. Generally, focus on foods that contain calcium, fats and essential vitamins. And try to avoid those with artificial fillers designed to make your cat feel full, and lack any nutritional value.

Dietary restrictions

Consider your cat’s dietary restrictions, needs or conditions, such as allergies or weight issues. There are some dry cat food brands tailored to specific dietary needs to help maintain optimal health. Cost and value for money is another factor, as cat food can often be expensive.

Value for money

Cost and value for money is another factor, as cat food can often be expensive. Choose a suitable quality brand within your budget and avoid the latest expensive trends. Of course, you need to consider your cat’s tastes and preferences as to what they like and dislike. Whether they prefer chicken or tuna, or large or smaller-sized kibbles, this will influence what you purchase. Plus it will make your beloved cat more happy, healthy and content in the long run!

Is dry cat food better than wet?

Both dry cat food and wet cat food have pros and cons. The benefits of dry cat food includes convenience, ease of use and its typically cheaper cost. 

One of the drawbacks to dry is that it does not provide the same moisture content as its wet counterpart. Felines on a dry cat food diet should have access to a constant supply of water, so pet owners often consider adding a pets drinking fountain to their home. 

Dry cat food does, however, provide a handy addition to a food puzzle dispenser and can also be a very efficient way to provide calories in thin cats with food volume limitations. Wet cat food, on the other hand, can be more expensive but can be beneficial in cats prone to lower urinary tract disease, constipation and that are overweight.  

During routine check-ups, you can ask for a nutritional evaluation from a vet, including diet history and a body condition score, if you're not sure which is best for your feline. Our round up of the best wet cat food or our guide to the best cat food overall can offer some tasty alternatives.