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10 Best Dry Cat Foods in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

siamese kitten eating from a stainless bowl

10 Best Dry Cat Foods in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

siamese kitten eating from a stainless bowl Deciding on the best dry cat food for your feline friend can be a bit of a challenge, especially given how many options are available. From flavor to nutritional content, every little detail matters in ensuring that your cat gets the right food to support its overall health and well-being.

So in this ultimate guide for this year, we’ve curated a list of the best dry cat foods for your convenience. Read on to find out which products made the cut and why.

 

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A Quick Look at Our Winners of 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites
  • Crunchy texture helps clean teeth
  • Contains a blend of flavors cats love
  • Rich in protein to support lean muscles
  • Best Value
    Second place
    9 Lives Tuna & Egg Plus Care 9 Lives Tuna & Egg Plus Care
  • Good for digestive and immune systems
  • Reduces urinary pH for urinary tract health
  • Formulated to support the health of older cats
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken
  • High protein content
  • Promotes healthy skin and coat
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats
  • Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Purina Kitten Chow Nurture
  • No artificial colors or flavors
  • Contains DHA for brain and vision development
  • High in protein to support lean muscle development
  • Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe
  • High in protein to support muscle health
  • Grain-free and gluten-free for cats with sensitive stomachs
  • Low glycemic index to manage weight and reduce the risk of diabetes
  • The 10 Best Dry Cat Foods

    1. Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites – Best Overall

    Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites

    Main ingredients: Yellow corn (ground), chicken meal, soybean meal
    Protein content: 30.0% min
    Fat content: 11.0% min
    Calories: 3,573 kcal/kg, 392 kcal/cup

    Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites is specifically formulated to cater to your cat’s wild side, blending the tastes of chicken, ocean whitefish, salmon, and even filet mignon in every bite.

    What’s more, this cat food doesn’t only cater to taste but is loaded with protein to support lean muscles, necessary for those spirited play sessions and high-intensity prowling around the house. It’s also packed with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system and essential vitamins and minerals for overall well-being.

    It’s important to note that while this is the best overall dry cat food, it contains corn and soybean meal, which may not be suitable for cats with certain dietary restrictions or allergies. It’s always best to consult with your vet if you have concerns about these ingredients.

    Pros
    • Rich in protein to support lean muscles
    • Contains a blend of flavors cats love
    • Contains antioxidants for a healthy immune system
    • Crunchy texture helps clean teeth
    Cons
    • Not all cats may enjoy the blend of flavors

    2. 9 Lives Tuna & Egg Plus Care – Best Value

    Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken

    Main ingredients: Whole ground corn, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal
    Protein content: 31.0% min
    Fat content: 9.0% min
    Calories: 3,320 kcal/kg, 295 kcal/cup

    Cats need a diet that’s specifically tailored to their changing needs, and that’s where 9 Lives Tuna & Egg Plus Care comes in. This tasty blend is specially formulated for older cats, delivering the nutrition they need to feel their best.

    This blend goes beyond mere sustenance, addressing specific health issues of aging cats. Its formulation includes a combination of dietary fiber, vitamin E, and selenium, which work together to support your cat’s immune and digestive system health.

    What’s more, this particular cat food has a unique feature: it reduces urinary pH to help maintain your cat’s urinary tract health. This is a critical aspect as many older cats often struggle with urinary tract issues. Considering its price and benefits, this is the best dry cat food for the money.

    Pros
    • Formulated to support the health of older cats
    • Reduces urinary pH for urinary tract health
    • Good for digestive and immune systems
    • Offers flavors of grilled tuna and egg cats love
    Cons
    • Contains color additives and preservatives some pet owners might want to avoid

    3. Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken – Premium Choice

    Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken

    Main ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground whole-grain corn
    Protein content: 32.0% min
    Fat content: 15.0% min
    Calories: 3,746 kcal/kg, 399 kcal/cup

    Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken dry cat food is an exceptional choice for cat owners looking to support their feline friends’ overall health. This recipe’s standout feature is that real chicken is its first ingredient, guaranteeing a protein-rich diet to support lean muscles and provide energy for your cat’s daily adventures.

    What’s more, it’s packed with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to ensure a shiny coat and healthy skin. And if you’re conscious about digestive health, this food is a winner. It contains prebiotics and a natural fiber blend that aid in maintaining a healthy digestive system.

    This American-made cat food is suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats. Plus, the added bonus of its crunchy kibble texture means it not only tastes great but also helps reduce plaque buildup. With its blend of vital nutrients, this cat food stands out as a reliable choice for keeping your cat healthy and active.

    Pros
    • High protein content with chicken as the first ingredient
    • Supports digestive health with prebiotics and natural fiber
    • Promotes healthy skin and coat with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
    • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats
    Cons
    • High protein content might not be suitable for cats with specific dietary restrictions

    4. Purina Kitten Chow Nurture

    Purina Kitten Chow Nurture

    Main ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, rice, soy flour
    Protein content: 40.0% min
    Fat content: 13.5% min
    Calories: 3,705 kcal/kg, 414 kcal/cup

    Purina’s Kitten Chow Nurture is a favorite among cat owners, and it’s easy to see why. The main draw of this particular food is the well-balanced nutrient blend that supports a kitten’s muscular and cognitive development.

    Packed with high-quality ingredients like real chicken and fish meal, your kitty is bound to enjoy meal times. One of the main benefits is that this food contains DHA, which aids in brain and vision development.

    It’s essential for your kitten’s growth, providing a nutritious meal that is comparable to a mother cat’s milk. Furthermore, the high protein content ensures lean muscle development, so your kitten can maintain a healthy weight while growing strong.

    It’s not only about the nutritional content; taste matters, too. With the inclusion of real chicken, liver flavor, and fish meal, it’s quite the feast for your furry friend. We love that this dry cat food is made with no artificial colors or flavors. It’s the whole package, providing a high-protein, tasty, and wholesome meal for your kitten.

    Pros
    • High in protein to support lean muscle development
    • Contains DHA for brain and vision development
    • Made with high-quality, responsibly sourced ingredients
    • No artificial colors or flavors
    Cons
    • May not suit all dietary needs

    5. Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe

    Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe

    Main ingredients: Boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, sweet potatoes
    Protein content: 44.0% min
    Fat content: 20.0% min
    Calories: 1,907 kcal/lb, 412 kcal/cup

    Farmina’s N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe has been crafted for feline friends with a taste for the finer things. It’s an exotic blend of boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, sweet potatoes, and a refreshing burst of pomegranate.

    This Italian-made delicacy is more than just a fancy dish; it’s a nutritional powerhouse for your cat. With protein making up 44% of its total content, it ensures your cat gets the muscle support it needs. It also provides a hefty dose of good fats for a healthy coat and overall well-being.

    It’s made without grains and artificial preservatives, with less than 3% fiber, to make it easy on your cat’s digestive system. And as an added bonus, it’s gluten-free and non-GMO. So, if you’re looking for a cat food that marries taste, health, and ethical sourcing, Farmina’s N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe could be the one you’ve been looking for.

    Pros
    • High in protein to support muscle health
    • Low glycemic index to manage weight and reduce the risk of diabetes
    • Grain-free and gluten-free for cats with sensitive stomachs
    • Contains a mix of dried fruits and vegetables for added nutritional benefits
    Cons
    • Higher price point may not be accessible for all cat owners

    6. Meow Mix Original Choice

    Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Yellow corn (ground), chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: 31.0% min
    Fat content: 11.0% min
    Calories: 3,500 kcal/kg, 308 kcal/cup

    Meow Mix Original Choice is a carefully formulated diet that aims to cater to the nutritional needs of adult cats. With a tantalizing blend of chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish flavors, this food is a likely hit with your feline friend.

    The protein content supports strong muscles, while essential fatty acids promote a healthy coat. This diet ensures your cat’s wellness by offering a range of necessary vitamins and minerals.

    Yet, it’s crucial to bear in mind that this product contains corn and soybean meal. While these are common ingredients in cat food, they might not suit all cats, particularly those with specific dietary restrictions or allergies. Hence, it’s advisable to consult your vet before changing your cat’s diet.

    Pros
    • High protein content for muscle strength
    • Varied flavors for cat’s preference
    • Good for a healthy-looking coat
    • Essential vitamins and minerals for overall health
    Cons
    • Soybean meal could be a potential allergen for some cats

    7. Cat Chow Complete

    Cat Chow Complete

    Main ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, yellow corn (ground)
    Protein content: 32.0% min
    Fat content: 12.0% min
    Calories: 3,801 kcal/kg, 405 kcal/cup

    Looking to support your cat from nose to tail with a healthy and balanced diet? The Purina Cat Chow Complete is worth your consideration. It is a high-protein cat food made with real, farm-raised chicken and a variety of other wholesome ingredients that provide your cat with the essential cornerstones of nutrition.

    One thing to note about this cat food is the attention to detail in the formulation. It comes packed with healthy carbohydrates to keep your feline friend energetic throughout the day, so they can go about their regular play sessions with vigor. Plus, it features omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for maintaining a shiny, healthy coat.

    Despite its impressive features, the Cat Chow Complete does contain some ingredients that may be a concern for some pet parents. It includes ground yellow corn and corn gluten meal, as well as soy flour. So, if your cat has any specific dietary restrictions or allergies, it’s vital to consult your vet before introducing this food into their diet.

    Pros
    • High in protein for muscle support
    • Contains healthy carbs for vital energy
    • Omega-6 fatty acids contribute to a shiny coat
    • Lots of vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Added artificial colors

    8. Fancy Feast Gourmet Filet Mignon & Real Seafood & Shrimp

    Fancy Feast Gourmet Filet Mignon & Real Seafood & Shrimp

    Main ingredients: Rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: 34.0% min
    Fat content: 17.0% min
    Calories: 3959 kcal/kg, 476 kcal/cup

    Cats deserve a touch of luxury, too, and what screams luxury more than filet mignon, seafood, and shrimp? Fancy Feast Gourmet Filet Mignon & Real Seafood & Shrimp offers exactly that—an indulgent and nutrient-rich meal for your kitty.

    This premium dry cat food is designed to provide a complete and balanced diet, sure to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. With high-quality ingredients, it includes real seafood and shrimp with a flavor that echoes fine dining. And there’s more: the crispy morsels add a delightful crunch that cats love, promoting dental health.

    While the focus is on providing a gourmet experience, the nutritional content isn’t compromised. It’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals that support overall feline health, helping your cat to flourish.

    Pros
    • High-quality, luxurious ingredients to satisfy gourmet feline tastes
    • Delivers complete and balanced nutrition
    • Crispy morsels promote dental health
    • Sustainable and responsibly produced
    Cons
    • Some ingredients may not appeal to all cats

    9. Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original

    Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original

    Main ingredients: Chicken, soybean meal, rice, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: 34.0% min
    Fat content: 13.0% min
    Calories: 3,740 kcal/kg, 398 kcal/cup

    When you choose Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original, you’re not just filling your pet’s bowl. You’re feeding your fluffy friend a wholesome and balanced meal. Ingredients include real chicken and salmon, and whole grains. This kibble ensures that your cat gets everything they need and nothing they don’t.

    This formula is designed to serve all life stages of your cat, with lots of essential vitamins and minerals. Omega-6 fatty acids are also included to promote skin and coat health. It’s all about making sure your kitty is healthy and happy.

    Purina also guarantees 100% complete and balanced nutrition in this cat food. It even offers benefits like hairball control, which is a great relief if your cat struggles with that issue. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives in this mix, so your mind can be at ease knowing that your pet is getting a natural diet.

    With the natural liver flavor and added salmon, Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original is likely to please even the pickiest of eaters. This dry cat food is not just a meal; it’s a feast your feline will enjoy every day!

    Pros
    • Real chicken, whole grains, and salmon
    • Contains 25 minerals and vitamins
    • Omega-6 fatty acids promote skin and coat health
    • Free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives
    Cons
    • Some cats may not prefer the taste of natural liver flavor

    10. Purina ONE Tender Selects

    Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food

    Main ingredients: Chicken, rice flour, corn gluten meal
    Protein content: 34.0% min
    Fat content: 15.0% min
    Calories: 3,747 kcal/kg, 366 kcal/cup

    If you’ve been seeking top-notch food for your feline friend, the Purina ONE Tender Selects is definitely worth considering. This dry cat food packs a punch when it comes to protein content, with real chicken as the first ingredient to ensure your cat maintains strong, lean muscles.

    As your cat’s heart is also a muscle, this high-protein diet can help support its health, allowing your cat to lead an active lifestyle full of adventure. This blend also contains accents of real carrots and peas, providing your cat with wholesome nutrition and balanced energy levels. Moreover, it contains prebiotic fiber, vitamins A and E, and omega-6 fatty acids.

    Perhaps more importantly, the combination of crunchy bites and meaty morsels offers a texture your cat will love. And with a flavor profile that includes real chicken, liver flavor, and accents of vegetables, it’s a taste sensation that most cats find irresistible.

    Pros
    • High protein content from real chicken supports strong muscles
    • Contains prebiotic fiber for gut health and immune support
    • Enhanced with vitamins and omega-6 fatty acids for overall health
    • Delicious combination of crunchy bites and meaty morsels
    Cons
    • It’s a bit pricey given the volume

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    Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Dry Cat Food

    When it comes to selecting the best dry cat food, various factors should be taken into account. Here are some crucial considerations and tips to keep in mind during the decision-making process.

    Nutrition to Consider

    Before diving into the myriad of brands available in the market, it’s vital to understand what makes good cat food. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their diet should primarily consist of meat.

    Hence, the first ingredient in any quality cat food should be a real meat source like chicken, fish, or beef. Protein content is essential as it supports muscle growth and maintenance.

    Furthermore, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals are crucial for your cat’s overall health, immune function, and coat condition.

    Types of Dry Cat Foods

    Dry cat foods are generally classified based on the cat’s age, breed, health condition, and dietary needs. You can find kitten-specific, adult cat, and senior cat foods designed to cater to different life stages.

    There are also breed-specific options, weight management foods, and formulas for cats with specific health conditions, such as urinary tract health, hairball control, and more.

    When making a purchase decision, ensure the food you choose aligns with your cat’s specific requirements. If your cat has a medical condition, consult with your vet to find the most suitable dietary plan.

    tabby cat eating from metal bowl
    Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

    Size and Quantity

    Dry cat foods come in various sizes, from small bags to large bulk options. It’s typically more cost-effective to buy in bulk but remember to store the food properly to maintain its freshness.

    Allergies and Intolerances

    Cats can develop food allergies or intolerances. The most common allergens include beef, dairy, and fish. If you notice any unusual symptoms like excessive scratching, vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in coat condition, your cat might be reacting to a food allergen. Always consult with your vet if you suspect an allergy or intolerance.

    Flavor Preferences

    Just like humans, cats have their own flavor preferences. Some cats may prefer fish-flavored foods, while others lean more toward chicken or beef. Experimenting with different flavors may be necessary to find out what your cat prefers.

    Digestibility

    Even if the food is high in protein and other essential nutrients, it’s useless if your cat can’t digest it. High-quality cat foods often have higher digestibility, ensuring that your cat gets the most nutritional value from their food.

    Cute-cat-eating-on-floor-at-home
    Image Credit: Africa Studio_Shutterstock

    Ethical Considerations

    More consumers are considering the ethics of the brands they support. If you are one of them, look for companies that are transparent about their ingredient sourcing and manufacturing practices. Some brands prioritize sustainable and humane practices, so that could factor into your decision-making.

    The best dry cat food will depend on your cat’s unique needs. It’s a decision that should be made with a thorough understanding of your cat’s health, nutritional needs, and personal preferences. These guidelines should help point you in the right direction.

     

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    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Should You Add Wet Food to Dry Kibble?

    A good medium is combining wet food with dry kibble. It’s a cool trick if your cat is too picky to eat the kibble. You add it to the bowl, and your cat will eat both if they’re evenly mixed without much hesitation.

    Realistically, you can do both every day or only offer wet food on occasion. That decision is up to you and your cat. And maybe your vet—if they need to get involved in settling the dispute between the two of you.

    How to Choose Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Cats?

    Cats can suffer from food allergies, just like us.  Especially since grains, artificial additives, and preservatives aren’t part of their natural diet, it can cause some complications in their system. It’s not uncommon for cats to show no symptoms initially.

    The most common allergies cats develop are protein sensitivities from beef, chicken, and fish. Also, since cats are lactose intolerant, they react to dairy products in their food. They can also exhibit bad reactions to artificial dyes, preservatives, and grain fillers like corn, soy, and wheat.

    If you notice after switching their food that something isn’t quite right, make sure to keep an eye on the ingredients.

    cat eating tuna wet cat food
    Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock

    How Will I Know If My Cat Has an Allgery to Dry Food?

    Luckily, noticing signs of allergies is easy, even if it takes a while to pinpoint the trigger. These allergies can display with a wide array of physical signs ranging from mild to severe.

    Signs of allergies commonly include:

    If you suspect your feline has a food allergy, work closely with your veterinarian to find the root cause. You can specially tailor a diet to suit their needs and avoid any further irritation.

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    Conclusion

    After extensive research and comparison, we’ve arrived at our top five picks for the best dry cat foods. Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites came out as the best overall due to its well-rounded nutritional profile and a blend of flavors that cats adore.

    The 9 Lives Plus Care Tuna & Egg emerged as the best value. It’s specifically formulated to cater to the needs of older cats, providing nutritional support for immune and digestive health.

    When it comes to a premium option, Iams ProActive Health Original Chicken stands out. With real chicken as the first ingredient, this cat food promises high protein content and other essential nutrients.

    For kittens, Kitten Chow Nurture Muscle & Brain Development was our top pick. This dry food offers a well-balanced nutrient blend, supporting muscular and cognitive development in growing kittens.

    And lastly, our pick for the vet’s choice was Farmina N&D Prime Chicken & Pomegranate Recipe. It’s a luxury blend with an impressive protein content. It’s also grain-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO, making it easy to digest and suitable for cats with sensitivities.

    You have a lot of excellent dry cat food options available, each designed to cater to different feline needs. As cat owners, it’s our responsibility to make informed choices for our feline friends, ensuring their food not only tastes great but also supports their health and longevity. These 10 picks are sure to do just that.


    Featured Image Credit: Pixel Shot, Shutterstock

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