Best Dry Cat Food: Buying Guide & Faqs
We understand the most common mistakes made by most newbie cat owners in selecting the most appropriate food for their pets. Like any other buying endeavor, you should always look for the quality of the products and less on the price. More importantly, however, is for you to determine the purpose of giving dry food to your cat. For example, growing kittens will require different nutrition from a cat that is already in its senior years. Also, some cats are not really active so they will require significantly fewer calories, lest they risk developing obesity. Choosing the right cat food is more about understanding the unique needs of your pet. Weve prepared to guide you through the process of choosing the best dry food for your cat.
You may also like our guide on the Best Dry Food for Senior Cats.
Corn Meal And Carbohydrate Fillers
Any fillers that are added to the cat food have no nutritive value but fill up your cat. So, it wont be long before your cat gets hungry again. As such, fillers and meals can play with your cats blood sugar or lead to a wide range of different problems in the long run. Instead, opt for grain-free, filler-free dry cat food.
How Often And How Much To Feed Your Cat
The amount of food you feed your cat depends on their size and energy output. Typically, feeding twice a day using portion control methods does the trick. Divide the amount of food suggested on the label into two meals served eight to 10 hours apart. You can also limit the amount of time the food is out during each meal. For example, leave the first meal out for 30 minutes and then take it away if the cat hasnt finished it by that time. Free feeding, or leaving food out for cats to graze on all day, can lead to obesity. Free feeding is acceptable if you have a kitten, as they need to eat often.
If your cat has diabetes, its important to coordinate feeding with insulin times. Dosing your cat with insulin right after a meal will ensure that theyll absorb calories at the same time their insulin is peaking. Otherwise, they could get low blood sugar.
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A Companys Recall History Can Tell You A Lot
Use your own judgment to evaluate the circumstances of, and response to, any given recall. A company with a history of constant recalls, deception, and secrecy is not one that you can trust. Theres no need to dismiss a company based on a single minor recall, provided that they responded to it swiftly, honestly, and effectively.
Why You Should Trust Us
Over the last year, weve reviewed more than 115 cat food brands, including almost all of the top names in the industry. To stay on top of the latest cat food science and trends, we read scientific reports, attended industry events, spoke with cat food experts and insiders, and tested foods in the real world.
Based on this knowledge, weve selected the following ten brands and products as the best in the business. Each earns its place with a combination of impressive ingredient quality, nutrient profile, and company reputation.
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Keep Your Kitty Hydrated Consider Investing In Water Fountain
Moisture is needed unless your feline friend can finish its bowl of water within the day. Cats are known to have a very low thirst drive. Their brains are not really wired to recognize thirst. As such, their cells may already be very thirsty and yet they still wont drink. That is why it is imperative to give them access to free-flowing water as the continuous movement of water simulates the movement of prey. This arouses the cats curiosity, making them want to drink. That said, veterinarians actually recommend canned or wet cat food instead of dry kibbles because the moisture content of kibbles is so low, with the maximum typically in 15%. This pales in comparison to wet cat food which can have a moisture content of as much as 70 to 80 percent of its weight. Well have a separate discussion on why dry kibbles are still favorable, though.
Take a look at our review of Cat Water Fountains for more options.
Differentiating Grains From Carbohydrates
A grain is any hard, dry, small seed that is often harvested for both animal and human consumption. Examples of which include wheat, soybeans, barley, and oats, all of which are often used as fillers in commercial cat food. All of these also contain carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates, on the other hand, comes in two forms simple and complex. Both simple and complex carbohydrates are derived from plants.
Carbohydrates in its simple form otherwise known as simple sugars are the type that is easily digested and readily absorbed by the body. You can expect to see these simple sugars to be listed on labels as sucrose, maltose, fructose, dextrose, and the like.
Complex carbohydrates are often called good carbs. These include starches and dietary fibers commonly found in beans and starchy vegetables like squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes.
Since grain-free products are made without grains, this does not mean that these types of diets do not contain carbs. When you check the ingredients, you would soon discover that most of it still contains vegetables and fruits like potatoes and cranberries that contain ample amounts of carbohydrates.
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Sale5 Tiki Pets Aloha Friends Grain Free Wet Food Shredded Chicken For Cat And Kittens Variety Pack 12 Pouches 25oz
- WET CAT FOOD VARIETY PACK POUCHES – 12 pouches and 5 flavors. Variety is the spice of life excite your cat with a new flavor at every meal
- GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD â complete and balanced nutrition in every pouch of Aloha Friends chicken cat food ideal for all your catâs life stages
- 100% Non-GMO ingredients
- HIGH MOISTURE WET CAT FOOD â Count on the high moisture content of ALOHA FRIENDS chicken to give your cat the supplemental water she needs
- ONLY QUALITY INGREDIENTS – grain free, potato free, no carrageenan, no added hormones, no artificial colors or flavors
Hill’s Science Diet Canned Wet Cat Food Adult Tender Chunks & Gravy Recipes 55 Oz Cans
- High-quality protein to help your grown cat maintain muscle
- Made with purposeful, easily digestible ingredients mature cats enjoy
- Delectable chunks with tender tuna with key nutrients to support your cat’s adult stage of life
- Heavenly wet food made with natural ingredients
- Try all three flavors to give your furry feline the variety they crave
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Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Wet Cat Food Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Arctic Char Entree
- Twenty-Four 3 Oz. Pull-Top Can – Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Grain Free Classic Artic Char Entree Adult Wet Cat Food
- High-Quality Protein Sources, Including Real Fish
- Grain-Free Formula To Meet Your Ingredient Preferences
- Highly Digestible Formula
- Helps Promote Her Healthy Skin And Coat
Taste Of The Wild Rocky Mountain Grain
Buy Online : $2.07/lbIn the wild, cats do not eat the same thing every day but their diet balances itself out through variety. The Taste of the Wild line of products uses the principle of a balanced, primal diet for cats to ensure complete and balanced nutrition with minimal risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities. This recipe in particular features chicken meal, roasted venison, and smoked salmon as the primary proteins. For carbohydrates and an additional dose of protein this recipe relies on digestible, grain-free options like sweet potatoes, peas, and pea protein. With chicken fat as the primary fat, this formula also provides a balance of omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat. Lets not forget that Taste of the Wild products are manufactured in the U.S. under rigorous production standards and have not been subject to any concerns regarding recall since 2012.
Pros and Cons of Dry Cat Foods
Along with the issues already mentioned, there are some other things to consider about dry cat food:
Generations of cats lived long lives eating dry cat food and no one knew that it might cause problems so if this is news to you, dont feel bad. If you prefer to feed dry cat food for lifestyle reasons or budget reasons, or because thats what you like, there are some good dry cat foods. Some people like to mix dry cat food with some canned food to get some of the benefits of both kinds of food.
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Popular Wet Cat Food Brands
Not sure what to choose for your pet? Check out these popular cat food brands. Weruva offers a wide selection of delicious cat food options, ranging from cage-free boneless chicken breast to tuna and pork varieties. By its own admission, the brand specializes in creating “awesomely happy and healthy pets.”Ziwi Peak cat food is great for cats with special dietary or nutrient needs. Ziwi Peak Cat Food features high ratios of meat, organs, and bone, all of which are ethically and sustainably sourced and designed to support your cats health and wellness. Go! Cat Food offers expert-formulated solutions for your pet’s unique needs and dietary requirements. Grab a few cans today to see if your kitty likes them.
Todays Common Wisdom About Cat Foods
Heres what most devoted cat lovers will tell you today about choosing the best cat food:
- Wet foods are better than dry foods because cats need more moisture in their diets
- Choose a food that is high in animal/meat protein
- Look for foods with few plant-based ingredients, including plant-based proteins
- Do not buy cat food that contains grains
- Choose cat foods that are low in carbohydrates/starches
- Choose a food that is labeled complete and balanced under AAFCO guidelines.
Yes, we know that AAFCO has its critics, but these are minimum requirements. At least this is a place to start for a pet food manufacturer. Products that are labeled for intermittent or supplemental feeding are not adequate as your cats diet.
If you are in doubt about AAFCOs guidelines for cat food, you can check these tables for cats and kittens.
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Sale10 Waterwipes Original Baby Wipes 999% Water Unscented & Hypoallergenic For Sensitive Newborn Skin 9 Packs
- Clinically proven to clean and protect sensitive skin with simply 2 ingredients: Our fragrance-free baby wipes contain 99.9% purified water with a drop of fruit extract. Suitable for eczema-prone skin and allergy sufferers
- Ideal for sensitive skin: WaterWipes unscented baby wipes are gentle enough for premature, infant, and newborn skin
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Wet Cat Food Benefits
In addition to the high protein content, wet cat food also has other benefits for feline health and wellness.
Cats frequently suffer from bladder and kidney disease, says Carroll. The extra moisture found in wet food can help maintain bladder and kidney health.
Garner adds that wet food can also be beneficial to weaning kittens. Wet cat food can be useful for helping kittens transition from a liquid to a solid diet, she says. As kittens still dont have their permanent teeth until they are around a year old, wet food is much easier for them to chew than kibble.
Because of its softness, wet cat food may also benefit senior cats with dental problems or missing teeth.
Additionally, wet cat food tends to be more pungent and flavorful than dry kibble. So its often used to help cats eat when they are sick or picky about their food.
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Our Best Wet Cat Food For Cats With Skin Allergies Of 2022
|Forza10 Wet Hypoallergenic Cat Food, Canned Wet Cat Food, for Adult Cats with Allergy and Skin and Coat Conditions, 32 Pack Case of 3.5 Ounce Each
|Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin, Chicken & Vegetable Recipe, 2.9 oz. Cans, 24 Pack
|Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Pate Wet Dog Food, FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Salmon & Rice Entree – 13 oz. Cans
|AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Tuna & Crab Entree in Gravy Canned Wet Cat Food, 3-Ounce Cans,
|Forza10 Actiwet Dermo Wet Cat Food Sensitive Stomach and Skin, Fish Flavor Canned Cat Food for Skin, Skin Cat Food to Support Skin Issues and Feline Dermatitis, 3.5 Oz Each Pack, 32 Pack Case
|Pro Plan Focus Wet Grain Free Cat Food Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula 2 Flavor 6 Can Sampler Bundle with Catnip Toy, Each: Arctic Char Fish, Duck Entree
|Salmon Oil for Dogs & Cats, Fish Oil Omega 3 EPA DHA Liquid Food Supplement for Pets, Wild Alaskan, All Natural, Supports Healthy Skin Coat & Joints, Natural Allergy & Inflammation Defense, 8 oz
|Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach Wet Cat Food, FOCUS Sensitive Skin & Stomach Arctic Char Entree – 3 oz. Pull-Top Cans, Brown
Lets Start With Choosing A Cat Food
The first step is giving your cat the best dry and wet food possible. To help you in choosing a good dry cat food as follows you will find a list of the best cat foods which are all meat-based. These cat foods are also classified according to the main 5 ingredients because they represent the most nutritional value in the formula.
Here you will find free-grain cat foods and cat foods with grains because some cat owners dont want any grain, while others dont mind it as long as the cat food is: 1) meat-based, 2) with a high percentage of crude proteins 3) with low or medium glycemic grains/carbs. Besides, some people cannot afford very expensive formulas.
This list has been updated: Brands have been re-classified, not only considering if the main first 5 ingredients are high in proteins but also if the formula informs all the essential amino acids cats need in the foods analysis. Consequently, on this update, the listing of 11 essential amino acids is a very important criterion in these reviews.
A cat food brand is very good when high in proteins, but its excellent if it informs all the essential amino acids cats need. These amino acids are 11 and cats need to get them from food because they cant produce them themselves. These amino acids are arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine, and taurine.
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The 30 Best Healthy Wet Cat Foods
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After months researching, testing, and reviewing countless recipes, weve chosen the following 30 products as the best wet cat food you can buy.
At the top of our list is Smalls Chicken Recipe Wet Cat Food, a fresh food formula that features a prey-inspired blend of animal ingredients, including muscle meat, organs, and blood. Each of the following 30 products brings something different to your cats bowl.
Monge Cat Canned Food 80g
For wet cat food, the Monge Cat Canned Food has an impressive amount of protein. Almost double of what Carnilove wet food provides. This does vary according to the flavour you get.
All of the available flavors incorporate some sort of sea food. The fat content is relative low too.
The price is reasonable. And the Monge Cat Canned Food is a similar-priced alternative to the Fancy Feast Royale range of wet food for cats.
But is rated very high on allaboutcats.com! For its species appropriateness and ingredient quality!
You might think that such a high protein/ low fiber diet is unsuitable for elder cats but on the contrary:
And according to WebMD, senior cats may benefit from the same diet as a younger cat !
Cats dont actually need fiber unless they are overweight and mostly indoors!
- Protein Source Options: Atlantic Tuna, Chicken & Squid, Tuna + Chicken + Beef, Seafood Mixed + Chicken
- Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein 10-19% | Crude Fat 0.3-1% | Crude Fibre 0.5% | Moisture 78-80%
- Suitable For: Adults
- No GMO, dyes, preseravtives, or carrageenan
- Wide variety of flavors
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How To Transition A Kitty To New Cat Food
Cat Food Transition Instructions
In most case a 7-day transition is ideal, but in drastic changes 10 days or more is suggested:
- 2-3 days: 75% old food, 25% new food
- 2-3 days: 50% old food, 50% new food
- 2-3 days: 25% old food, 75% new food
Following this plan gives your kittys digestive tract the needed time to adjust to the new food and minimizes the risk of an upset stomach.
How To Switch To A New Cat Food
First Day: First meal: 3/4 old food with 1/4 new food Second meal: 2/3 old food with 1/3 new food.Second Day: First meal: 1/2 old food with 1/2 new food Second meal: 1/3 old food with 2/3 new food.Third Day: All new food.
NOTE: I have received lots of comments and questions about cat foods. Due to time availability, I wont be able to answer all of them, but I will try to do my best. Thank you for your understanding!
This article is for educational purposes only. The reactions of cats to cat foods are very different and no cat food can be guaranteed to be the best for all cats.
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