The Best Dry Cat Foods (2022 Reviews)

Heather Hill
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There are A LOT of options out there when it comes to choosing the best dry cat food to feed your feline friend.

Let’s start by determining WHY you would be looking to feed your furry friend dry food.

The answer to that question will determine which dry cat food is right for you and if it’s truly the best option in the long run.

NameCategoryProduct
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat FoodBest OverallHill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat FoodBudget PickIams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food
Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat FoodUpgrade PickPurina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food

1. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Rich in Vitamin C
  • High Protein
  • Complete & Balanced Nutrition
  • Cost Efficient
  • Encourages Optimal Weight Gain
  • Contains Taurine
  • Low in fat

Cons:

  • Some cats don’t like the food
  • Can be inconvenient to order online and wait for delivery

Hill’s Science Diet dry cat food is a premium option for kittens. Chock full of vitamins, protein, and nutrients, you’ll be putting your precious kitten on the road to a healthy, long life. Biologically appropriate for their species, the food will help your kitten grow into a happy and healthy cat. The delicate formulas in the food also helps avoid upset tummies that some cats can experience with certain dry and wet foods. Best of all, the dry food is conveniently available online, as well.

2. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Low in calories and fat
  • Less fillers compared to other dry cat food brands
  • High in protein

3. Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Chicken is the primary ingredient
  • Small amount of fiber and fat for easy digestion
  • Recommended for older cats
  • Ideal for cats with sensitive digestive systems

Cons:

  • The large bag is heavy to move
  • The kibble may be a bit tough for cats with sensitive teeth or cat teeth problems

13.2-Pound

The Iams ProActive Health Adult Cat Food is specially designed to be healthy for your senior cat.

If your cat is getting on in years, or is a finicky eater who doesn’t put on pounds well, this may be one of the best choices you can make.

4. Purina Kit & Kaboodle Indoor Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina Kit & Kaboodle Indoor Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Specifically formulated for indoor cats
  • Comes in multiple sizes to suit your cat’s needs

Purina created this food precisely for those cat owners that have cats that live indoors.

Indoor cats should have less energy than other cats, accompanied with an overall lower metabolism. This food provides all the nutrition your indoor cat needs, with 3600 kcals per day. They combine 34% crude protein, (as well as minerals like squid oil and shrimp oil) in this food, as well as canola oil for fat, to make sure that your indoor cat has nutrients they need.

The company also states that they specifically formulate this food to have a lower fiber content; this is great for saving your cats’ digestion. This is an indoor cat food, so it is not formulated to have as much energy as an outdoor cat needs.

5. Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food

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Pros:

  • An affordable way to keep your kitty healthy and happy
  • Variety of flavors
  • Cats love the food

One of the best ways to keep your indoor cat healthy and happy is to provide a diet that encourages their hunting instincts while preventing diseases. You can get these benefits with Purina ONE® Indoor Advantage.

The formula is designed to appeal to cats with both outdoor and indoor lifestyles, offering a holistic, high protein blend of Pro Plan® fines and meats fortified with essential nutrients to help maintain a healthy weight.

It also features DHA, Vitamin E, and Taurine – important ingredients for indoor cats … as well as a Nutrient Blend exclusive to Purina® ONE®. True to their nature, cats do need variety in their feed – and you can give them that with this indoor formula.

6. Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • It’s made with high-quality ingredients
  • Available in a variety of recipes
  • You cans combine it – or substitute it – for your existing food
  • The smell is actually quite appetizing
  • They don’t contain grains

7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein

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Pros:

  • Less expensive than the other Blue Buffalo Cat Food
  • Contains added taurine
  • With chicken as the first ingredient
  • 80-20 Chicken to Turkey the main sources of protein

Cons:

  • Follows a non-traditional recipe for cat food
  • May be hard to find in certain areas

Chicken Recipe.

The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Cat Chicken is a dry cat food formula that is meant to provide your cat with the nutrients needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Blue Buffalo's big thing with their pet food is High Protein. This dried chicken food is the perfect example of a high protein diet for your cat.

8. Purina Fancy Feast Adult Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina Fancy Feast Adult Dry Cat Food

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This is another option that you are sure to be interested in. It is the Purina Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food that is perfect for your cat or kittens.

If you like the idea of feeding your cat something that is easy to manageable to make sure you get fed, this is the product for you. Fancy Feast offers a number of different food options for you to choose from, allowing you to have a variety of foods to pick from.

It is meant to be a healthy diet option for your cat. It includes these qualities to make your cat happy and healthy.

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

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • A great price and high quality product
  • Highly palatable
  • Highly digestible formula
  • Mild on the stomach
  • No objectionable odors or aromas
  • An extensive list of natural ingredients
  • Made with high quality chicken, lamb and salmon meal

Lamb and Salmon Meal Formula.

Kibble Size: Small

This dry cat food is a blend of high-quality ingredients for a healthy, active adult cat. It’s highly digestible and packed with nutrition and energy to help your cat play, kitten and explore.

10. Purina Beyond Grain Free

Our rating: 9 / 10

Purina Beyond Grain Free

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Pros:

  • Fed Up With Your Cat’s Bad Breath
  • Sensitive Stomachs
  • Reliable Company

Purina has a reputation for a quality company that makes great dry cat food. It’s main claim to fame is their brand-wide allergen-free formulas.

Not only can you get trouble-free food for your cat, there are many reasons that you should be opting for a grain-free diet for your cat too.

This recipe is available in both 3 lb and 12 lb bags. This gives you great value for money.

11. Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Variety pack will allow you to see what your cat likes
  • Other flavors include: salmon and tuna

Only 2.2% crude protein

The first ingredient in this dry cat food has been listed as… By-Product Meal. Not a good ingredient to see at the top of the list.

The ingredient after that is Chicken by-product meal. Chicken by-products are the leftover carcasses of slaughtered or fried chickens.

12. 9Lives Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

9Lives Dry Cat Food

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9Lives cat food has always been one of our favorites due to its high quality and variety, and this formula is no different.

It’s a great source of vitamins and minerals. The best part is that it’s easy on your cat’s tummy. It’s made with several popular ingredients like salmon and ocean fish, which are easier for kitty to digest.

The dry offering has a high protein content, so it’s good for weight management. It also contains pumpkin and sunflower seeds for healthy skin and shinier coat.

13. Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Specifically formulated for cats
  • Quality and flavor made with only real ingredients
  • If your cat has a sensitive stomach, this is highly recommended
  • Causes minimal intestinal upset

Whole Earth Farms has always maintained quality and flavor in their food products.

This food promotes urinary and kidney health. It comes in 3 different formulas that are easy to tell apart from the exterior packaging, making it easier for caregivers.

I recommend this brand and product to cat owners. It is easy to use and the price is not too high for the quality of the product.

14. Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Chicken is the primary ingredient
  • Small amount of fiber and fat for easy digestion
  • Recommended for older cats
  • Ideal for cats with sensitive digestive systems

Cons:

  • The large bag is heavy to move
  • The kibble may be a bit tough for cats with sensitive teeth or cat teeth problems

13.2-Pound

The Iams ProActive Health Adult Cat Food is specially designed to be healthy for your senior cat.

If your cat is getting on in years, or is a finicky eater who doesn’t put on pounds well, this may be one of the best choices you can make.

15. Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 9 / 10

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • A mixture of top quality lean proteins
  • Corn, wheat and gluten free
  • Zero artificial colors and preservatives
  • Made in a highly controlled environment

Cons:

  • Not a product for kittens
  • Taking a moderate time to digest
  • A bit costly

2.5-Pound

The Hill's Science diet cat food is a complete and balanced diet food for cats of all ages. The best dry cat food available today.

This food contains: vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids that are controlled throughout the manufacturing process to ensure that the nutrition is consistent and of the highest quality.

16. Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Rocky Mountain Premium Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real Meat Recipe Rocky Mountain Premium Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • High in protein
  • Grain free
  • No poultry

Cons:

  • Higher price
  • Higher protein can dry out cat poop

This is the kibble that I feed my cat. She has no problem eating it, but has only been on it for a couple of years so I can’t say how it will affect her liver in the long run.

Taste of the Wild comes in a variety of formulas, all with only premium ingredients.

Only the best meats and fish, including wild boar, prairie-raised buffalo, and organic salmon.

17. Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food Chicken & Salmon Recipes

Our rating: 8 / 10

Iams Proactive Health Adult Dry Cat Food Chicken & Salmon Recipes

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Pros:

  • These dry cat foods have a great taste
  • Irresistible for finicky kitties
  • It helps to keep your feline’s teeth clean as well as their digestive & urinary tracts
  • Comes in a great range of flavors
  • Delivers great nutritional value
  • Can be quickly mixed with a spoon
  • Iams is a great brand

Cons:

  • Not all cats like the taste of this cat food
  • With some of the flavors it can be difficult to find a skin conditioner that goes along with it
  • Split into two feedings is better than one

The ProActive Health cat food from Iams is a top-of-the-line dry food option containing a healthy blend of premium, natural ingredients. Ideal for adult cats who need to maintain a healthy weight, the ProActive Health is made with nutritious meat ingredients that will strengthen the immune system and help in the elimination process of waste.

18. Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Great value
  • Excellent customer service

Turkey, Chicken & Green Pea Recipe.

This dry cat food company has plenty of awesome positive customer feedback, definitely a good buy. I personally feed my cat the Rachael Ray Nutrish Kitten® Dry Cat Food, which he loves.

19. Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 8 / 10

Purina Pro Plan SAVOR Adult Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Contributes to healthy weight management
  • Nutritionally balanced and complete cat food
  • Key benefits include clinically proven ingredients and prebiotics for healthy digestion
  • Tasty and nutritious cat food
  • No Artificial Colours Or Flavours

Cons:

  • Some cats don’t like the taste so you will need to try multiple brands until you get the one your cat loves
  • Expensive cat food
  • Requires a lot of scooping
  • Some cats are lactose intolerant which may cause digestive problems
  • Some cats may not like the taste which could lead to vomiting, resulting in increased food intake

20. CRAVE Grain Free Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 7 / 10

CRAVE Grain Free Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Lesser amount of grains to fill a cat's stomach means this food is usually very well appreciated
  • High source of protein
  • Food can be served both wet or dry

Cons:

  • Contains ingredients not always considered healthy such as wheat gluten and soybean meal
  • May be more expensive than other cat foods, but is well-worth the money if it is carefully selected and checked regularly for suitability

(4-Pound)

This food is ideal for indoor cat owners who want to provide their pet with both wet and dry food. It contains no grains, so it is quite easy to digest, which makes it less fattening. This way, your pet will maintain a healthy weight.

It is important to note that, even though this food is made from high quality ingredients, it is not nutritional enough for your cat to live off of, so it shouldn’t replace wet food entirely.

21. Meow Mix Indoor Health Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 7 / 10

Meow Mix Indoor Health Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • Great for cats who have allergic reactions to certain types of meats
  • Suitable for daily consumption

Cons:

  • Contains meat by-products
  • Some cats may get bored with this food if not supplemented

A lot of pet owners opt for a dry food formula for their cats because of the “dry food is better” mantra directed at this type of cat food.

Sometimes it’s just hard to find high-quality dry food for your kitty. But we think our top pick will help you out in that area.

This dry cat food is made with high-quality meat and fish, as well as other healthy ingredients. There are also vitamins and minerals added to the food to keep your pet healthy.

22. Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 7 / 10

Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food

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To be sure this…

Was it a coincidence…

Meow Mix is a great option for a few different reasons. Most people who have purchased a bag of this cat food have been very happy with their pet’s response to it.

23. Cat Chow Indoor

Our rating: 6 / 10

Cat Chow Indoor

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Pros:

  • Tasty
  • High-quality ingredients
  • Multiple health benefits
  • Grain-free
  • Good for dental health

Cons:

  • Grain-free can mean less protein
  • May be too rich for some cats
  • Some cats may not like the taste

This dry cat food has been around for a long time, and it’s clear why. With over 40 years of experience in the pet food industry, you can be sure that a brand like this one will probably have resulted in its own set of unique patents, but I’ll let you do your own research on that front.

What I can tell you is that this dry cat food product is designed to be a meal replacement for cats that have renal or kidney issues. Because it’s made using protein-rich foods like chicken and ocean fish, it cuts down on the amount of protein your cat might be missing out on when they don’t eat enough meat.

I can also tell you that this dry food is made to be easily digestible and healthful for cats with dental issues, so your furry friend’s pearly whites will be shimmering and bright in no time.

24. Purina Friskies Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites Adult Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 6 / 10

Purina Friskies Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites Adult Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • This isn't too expensive for a large bag
  • The wet sounds appealing to a cat
  • This is a product that most cats can eat
  • The package doesn't hang on the side of the bowl (I had this problem in the past buying another variety)
  • The flavor is excellent and it's the right size for a cat

Cons:

  • The wet is not that appealing to my cat.
  • The wet doesn't stay out for long before it dries out, and then you need to change it.

The Purina Friskies is the best dry cat food I have ever purchased for my cat. She absolutely loves it.

She has a lot of energy and is very happy with this product.

It isn't too much money, and she is worth every penny.

25. Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food

Our rating: 6 / 10

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food

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Pros:

  • High indoor cat activity rating (as well as an outdoor cat rating)
  • The ingredient list is environmentally friendly and will be suitable for most cats
  • A taste that even picky eaters seem to love
  • Comes in a relatively large bag (3.5 lbs)

This recipe contains real turkey and scallions and promises to help your cat feel like they are getting table scraps.

The protein to fat ratio also seems to have the purrfect balance that most cats need.

Owners also love how easy it is to serve this product to their cats. You can serve it dry or add water and serve it wet.

26. Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Grain-Free Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

Our rating: 6 / 10

Purina ONE SmartBlend True Instinct Natural Grain-Free Formula Adult Dry Dog Food

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Pros:

  • You can feed it to all lifestages of cats (Kittens, Adult, Aging)
  • Natural ingredients
  • It manages your cat's weight
  • High quality ingredients

Cons:

  • Some reviews complain that it's expensive
  • Some reviews complain that cats don't like it

The integrated Smartblend technology that Purina designed into this formula helps break down the ingredients to make it easy to digest for your kitty.

This dry cat food formula includes turkey meal, salmon meal, and herring meal, which make up 20% of the main ingredients of this super premium formula. As we know, salmon and turkey are excellent ingredients for your kitties. They're loaded with a lot of nutrients that will keep your cats healthy and happy.

The formula also has a high amount of fiber and protein. You can feed this to all cat life-stages, which makes it very convenient.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best dry cat food on the market?

There are a lot of reasons why you might choose a dry formula over a wet one, especially if you hate the mess of feeding your cat something that's not entirely dry. It also might be a matter of convenience, since it's easy to just add a scoop to your cat's bowl and know you're providing proper nutrition.

Dry cat food is also a popular option when you want to make a special homemade cat food. While you will still need to add water to make it soft enough, you're free to add any flavor or allergy-friendly ingredient you might want to your homemade concoction.

Whatever reason you have for selecting this option, there are several great options out there to suit your needs. Read on for our five favorite products of this type, as well as a description of the specifications you need to keep in mind when you're selecting dry food.

What is the healthiest cat food on the market?

Just like for humans, there is no magic pill or perfect food for cats. That said, there is science that can guide us. Carbohydrates are one key consideration in the perfect cat food. According to Morris Animal Foundation, a leading feline health care organization, cats can benefit from a food that has less than 45% carbohydrates.

The other consideration is protein and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) information suggests a minimum of 26% protein; with the ideal protein between 25-30%.

The best complete and grain-free food tends to have a high protein percentage, even reaching 47%, so if you are looking for a complete food then high protein likely won't be a concern. However, if you are looking for a grain-free food, then it's likely reducing carbohydrates is the biggest determining factor in the food's effectiveness.

And speaking of grains, cats are true carnivores and expert hunters that need protein to thrive.

What is the best dry cat food for indoor cats?

If you have an indoor cat, then quality dry food is a must. Dry foods typically have a higher quality protein (from chicken, beef, fish, etc.) than canned food. The other benefit of dry food is the lack of moisture which means it is less attractive to pests and is less likely to attract bacteria.

If your cat goes outside or has access to the outdoors, the rules are a bit different. I would take a look at the time of year (or season) to determine the type of food to feed. Feeding wet food in the summer has less to do with moisture and more to do with the fact that your pet will be outdoors more often. It is also easier to feed wet food on-the-go at parks, in the backyard, and at the beach.

Which dry cat food is best for urinary health?

Urinary tract health is so important for keeping cats happy and healthy in the long term. As I mentioned in the video, this is a bit of a sticky issue because different foods will better target different problems. For example, a high-quality grain free diet may be the best food for maintaining crystal-free urinary tract health.

However, if your cat has a diagnosed urinary tract infection, then you'll likely want to try a therapeutic urinary tract formula cat food like Purina Crowded or be prepared to feed both kinds of food at the same time for a little while.

In short, there's no simple answer for what the best dry cat food is. The brand and type of cat food you choose will depend on your cat's individual health issues, preferences, age, and weight.

Conclusion

Cats rule the Internet, because so many adorable cat videos have been posted on YouTube, and because cat lovers have so many photos of their beloved kitties. The best cat food, however, does not come from a video or a picture. It comes from your knowledge and care of your cat.

Follow this guide to find out what is the cat food, where to get it, and how to feed it. All to make sure your cat is healthy, strong, and happy, for many years to come.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat FoodBest OverallHill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food
Iams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat FoodBudget PickIams Proactive Health Healthy Senior Dry Cat Food
Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat FoodUpgrade PickPurina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food