The Best Dry Cat Food: Our Top Picks of the Year

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To live a long and healthy life, your cat needs the proper nutrition provided by the best dry cat food.

The percentage of cat owners is on the rise. The Humane Society reported that 30.4 percent of American households had at least one cat in 2012. However, that number increased to 38 percent in a 2017 to 2018 survey.

In real numbers, that means that 47.1 million households have a minimum of one cat. And that translates into a lot of cat food sales.

Unquestionably, it is crucial that we select the best dry cat food for our beloved pets. After all, they are a member of our family.

However, before we begin our best dry cat food review, we would like to cover some of the basics.

Feeding Your Cat Dry Food

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Selecting the best dry cat food is key to your beloved cat's continued health and welfare.

Below are some things to consider when making that decision, courtesy of the Cornell University College of Veterinarian Medicine.

Necessary nutrients

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Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey. Therefore they require high amounts of protein, moderate fat, and minimal carbohydrates. Naturally, their diet still requires those proportions today. Additionally, cats need more than a dozen other nutrients in their food.

For that reason, it is essential to read the nutritional labels included with all dry cat foods.

The benefits of dry cat food

dry cat food

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Dry cat food is inexpensive compared to wet food. Better yet, you can buy large amounts of dry food, increasing those savings. However, it is vital that you store unused portions in a cool, dry location.

Additionally, dry food is the only option you have for free feeding your cats. That means you can make their food available at all times.

On the plus side, your cat can eat several small meals throughout the day whenever they want.

On the negative side, some cats overeat. So, you will need to keep an eye on any significant weight gain and adjust accordingly.

Providing adequate water for your cat

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Dry cat food contains between 6 to 10 percent water. By comparison, wet food contains between 70 to 80 percent water.

Therefore, cats that eat only dry food need to have a constant supply of fresh, clean water.

However, don't worry about only feeding your cat dry food. Dr. Francis Kallfelz notes that "Dry food is fine as long as it is complete and balanced."

The Review Process

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We created our list of the eight best dry cat food choices this year by researching the top-selling brands available.

As part of this process, we considered price and consumer reviews. Indeed, our list only contains brands receiving 4.5 stars out of 5.0 stars and higher.

Most importantly, we made sure that all of our selections provide correctly balanced nutrition.

Dry Cat Food Costs

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Cat food comes in a variety of price points. For this review, we included dry cat foods ranging from 3.0 pounds to 3.5 pounds. Cats can be picky eaters. For that reason, letting your cat sample a smaller bag to begin is wise.

Our best dry cat food choices ranged in price from about $7 to $25.

Best Dry Cat Food Choices

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Selecting the best dry cat food can be overwhelming with all the available choices on the market these days. We broke down our review of the best dry cat food into three categories of cats: kittens, adults, and seniors.

Kittens

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Kittens aren't merely a smaller version of adult cats. Instead, they are growing babies who need extra nutrients to grow and develop into healthy adult cats. You should feed your little one kitten food until they reach one year of age.

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula

Founded in 1894, Purina is one of the best-known pet food brands on the market.

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula contains a minimum of 40 percent protein and 18 percent crude fat. Remember, protein is vital for muscle development.

Equally important, Purina ONE contains DHA, a nutrient found in mother's milk. This is especially important as DHA assists with brain and vision development.

Lastly, this formula includes an antioxidant-rich blend of vitamins E and A and other nutrients to help support a strong immune system.

The price for this cat food ranges from $7 to $10 for a 3.5-pound bag.

You can find Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Customers love this cat food, particularly its high levels of protein and fat. Additionally, several customers wrote that their vets recommended this brand. A few customers complained their kittens did not like Purina ONE as much as other brands.

Royal Canin Kitten Dry Food

Royal Canin is a newer brand that was founded in 1968 by a French veterinary surgeon.

This cat food contains a minimum of 34 percent protein and 16 percent crude fat.

Also, this dry food choice includes a mix of highly digestible proteins, vitamins, and essential minerals that support your kitten's maturing digestive system.

Lastly, this selection includes an exclusive blend of antioxidants that supports their developing immune system.

The price for this cat food ranges from $15 to $25 for a 3.5-pound bag. Additionally, Royal Canin Kitten comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.

You can find Royal Canin Kitten Dry Food on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Customers praised Royal Canin, saying their kittens love it. Complaints were nominal, but a few customers did complain about the price.

Purina Pro Plan Focus Kitten Food

Purina Pro Plan Focus Kitten Food contains a minimum of 41 percent protein and 18 percent crude fat.

Additionally, like Purina ONE, the Pro Plan formula includes DHA and is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Purina Pro Plan Focus also provides calcium, phosphorus, and other minerals that help build strong teeth and bones.

Most noteworthy, this is an Amazon's Choice product. As per Amazon, " Amazon's Choice recommends highly rated, well-priced products available to ship immediately."

The price of this cat food ranges from $ to $$ for a 3.5-pound bag.

You can find Purina Pro Plan Focus Kitten Food on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Customers praised Purina Pro Plan, writing that their kittens loved it. A few customers complained that it made their kitten's poop smell horrible.

Adults

The best dry cat food choices for adult cats focus on "adult maintenance" instead of "growth and development" like kitten foods. You should feed your cats adult food from one year to seven years of age.

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Original Adult

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Original Adult contains a minimum of 32 percent protein and 15 percent crude fat.

Accordingly, this protein-rich cat food helps support strong muscles and provides good energy for play. Additionally, its tailored fiber blend includes prebiotics and beet pulp to support your cat's digestive health.

Likewise, this cat food contains the optimal Omega-6 to Omega-3 fatty acid ratio for soft, shiny, and healthy coats

Above all, this is an Amazon's Choice product.

The price for this cat food ranges from $7 to $10 for a 3.5-pound bag.

You can find Iams Proactive Health Original Adult on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.7 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Customers like this choice, with several people writing that it is the only dry cat food their cat will eat. Several people complained about the use of corn fillers.

Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult

Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult contains a minimum of 40 percent protein and 16 percent crude fat.

This cat food includes guaranteed live probiotics to support digestive health. Additionally, it contains vitamin A and linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, to help nourish your cat's skin and coat. Lastly, it's antioxidants help to support your pet's immune system health.

The price of this cat food ranges from $ to $$ for a 3.5-pound bag.

You can find Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.6 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Customers love this cat food with one person writing that their cats "devour it like it's nectar from the gods!" A few customers complained about the high number of grain fillers in this cat food.

Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult

Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult contains a minimum of 35 percent protein and 14 percent crude fat.

Like the other selections in our best dry cat food review, Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult provides complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.

Significantly, Purina Beyond is both grain-free and gluten-free. In addition, it contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Similarly, it does not include poultry by-product meal.

To summarize, Purina Beyond Grain-Free Adult is a back-to-basics approach to supporting your cat's health and well-being.

The price for this cat food ranges from $ to $$ for a 3-pound bag.

You can find Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Amazon customers loved this product writing that there is no more litter box smell since switching to this brand. Several customers complained that the cat food itself was a bit smelly compared to other brands.

Seniors

Like kittens, older cats have unique nutritional needs. For example, older cats can put on weight due to less activity. As a result, senior cat foods have lower calories than regular adult cat food.

Additionally, most senior cat foods contain low phosphorus to protect the kidneys of older cats.

You should consider switching to senior cat foods once your cat reaches seven years of age.

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Mature

Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Mature contains a minimum of 32 percent protein and 15 percent crude fat.

This cat food features only the finest natural ingredients such as deboned chicken, whole grains, garden vegetables, and fruit. Plus, its high-quality protein helps your aging cat maintain strong muscles.

Additionally, Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Mature contains taurine to support heart and eye health in aging cats.

Lastly, it contains a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals carefully selected by veterinarians and animal nutritionists. As a result, this cat food supports immune system health, life stage requirements, and a healthy oxidative balance.

The price for this cat food ranges from $ to $$ for a 3-pound bag.

You can find Blue Buffalo Healthy Aging Mature on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.6 out of 5.0 stars.

Customers liked this cat food selection. Several customers wrote that they noticed less waste in the litterbox after switching to this brand. A few customers complained that it made their cats gassy.

Hill's Ideal Balance Mature

Hill's Ideal Balance Mature contains a minimum of 32 percent protein and 22.5 percent crude fat.

This cat food provides natural ingredients perfectly balanced for mature adult cats.

For example, eggs provide amino acids, the building blocks of muscles and organs. Additionally, brown rice supplies fiber to aid digestion. Vegetables contain vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system. Likewise, cranberries furnish antioxidants that promote bladder health.

Lastly, Hill's guarantees the flaxseed in this natural cat food will give your cat a shiny coat within 30 days.

Likewise, it contains no corn, wheat, or soy. Better yet, it has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

The price for this cat food ranges from $10 to $15 for a 3.5-pound bag. Additionally, Hill's Ideal Balance Mature comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee.

You can find Hill's Ideal Balance Mature on Amazon, where it enjoys a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.0 stars.

Customers like this cat food with several of them writing that their veterinarian recommended this brand. A few customers complained that their cats gained weight from eating this selection.

What's the Best Dry Cat Food?

Naming the best dry cat food is impossible.

For example, you don't want to give an adult or senior food to your kitten. Additionally, depending on your cat's weight, you might want to buy food with lower fat content.

If your cats are like mine, young and healthy, I prefer buying the food with the highest fat content available. For that reason, I prefer Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult cat food.

On the other hand, when I am cat sitting Downtown Jerry Brown, all three cats go on a low-fat diet. In this instance, Purina Beyond Grain Free Adult cat food is the obvious choice.

Let us know your thoughts regarding the best dry cat food choice for your feline in the comments section, below.

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Samuel Warde
 

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