Many pet owners go for dry cat food instead of wet food, for several reasons. Primarily, dry food is easier to store, more affordable, while being more long-lasting, in comparison with wet food, which is likely to go bad right away. Of course, that isn’t to say that dry food is perfect, and you should dismiss wet food altogether – each option comes with several pros and cons.
I will get into more detail about both food types but first, here are the best dry cat food options in my dry cat food reviews. I am well aware of how difficult it is to choose the most nutritious food to keep your fur baby in the best shape. Therefore, I wanted to share my top picks with you, enjoy!
Best Dry Cat Food Reviews (Updated List)
1. Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food
Most cat owners are already aware that Royal Canin is one of the best dry cat food brands out there. There are numerous benefits associated with this particular food assortment. For one thing, it is specifically designated for domestic cats, which spend most of their time indoors. With that in mind, if you want to regulate your cat’s calorie intake and prevent obesity from becoming an issue, then this dry food might be a good change of pace.
At the same time, another significant benefit is that it includes highly digestible proteins. This has a direct impact on diminishing the stool amount, which equals fewer litter box odors. On a different note, since hairballs are a common issue for most cats, you should note that this adult dry cat food aims at eliminating these hairballs so that your cat’s digestive system functions optimally.
The percentage of crude protein in cat food is approximately 27 percent, whereas the minimum amount of crude fat is 11 percent. As for the number of carbohydrates, it is roughly 45.6 percent.
Furthermore, the formula of this dry cat food is made specifically to address the needs of felines from ages one to seven. Due to the L.I.P digestive science innovation, the formula has a high degree of digestibility. The kibble looks like a triangle.
All in all, this is an excellent option for adult cats that live a relatively slow-paced, lazy lifestyle.
- For ages 1 to 7.
- Lower activity indoor cats.
- Chicken recipe.
- Hairball management.
- Weight control.
- Stool odor reduction.
- Triangle kibble.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food
In my opinion, Hill’s Science Diet is also among the best dry cat food brands. It supplies high-quality, nutritious cat food assortments, such as this one, which aims at addressing your cat’s nutritional specifications.
Each of the ingredients included in the formula has a specific purpose. In essence, a unique characteristic is the inclusion of fresh, whole-food ingredients. These ingredients are chosen based on comprehensive research, some of which are fish oil, carrots, broccoli, dried beet pulp, apples, and others. For example, fish oil is renowned for its astounding health benefits such as the fact that it ensures your cat’s coat is healthy, thus diminishing shedding.
At the same time, fish oil calms itchy skin. Apples, on the other hand, are filled with powerful, natural antioxidants that your cat will definitely benefit from. In the case of broccoli, it is a fantastic source of fiber, which ensures that your cat’s digestive system functions as a clock. In addition to that, broccoli supports the health of the heart, while boosting immunity.
As you can see, each ingredient is chosen carefully so that your feline companion is well and happy. Plus, note that this dry food doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
- For ages 1 to 6.
- Chicken recipe.
- Healthy digestion for easy litter box cleanup.
- Triangle kibble.
- Hairball reduction.
- No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
3. Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Adult Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Adult Dry Cat Food is made from qualitative, natural ingredients. More specifically, real chicken represents the prominent ingredient, which is combined with wholesome brown rice and other nutritional foods such as blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, spinach, and some others.
As you can see, all these ingredients, when combined, offer your cat exactly what it needs to preserve its health over the course of time. Most importantly, this dry food provides your cat with everything it needs, while keeping the calorie intake under control.
Your cat needs protein intake, as this ensures healthy muscle growth and development, among other things. Among all proteins, Blue Buffalo is also loaded with taurine which is an amino acid essential to cat health―to help support eye and heart health. In addition, the wide range of berries aims at supplying a healthy intake of antioxidants. As you probably know, berries are packed with powerful antioxidants that fight against the harmful consequences of free radicals.
Also, if your feline companion is ultra-sensitive or is allergic to corn, wheat, or soy, you might give this food assortment a try, as it doesn’t have anything of the kind in its composition. For more alternatives check out my hypoallergenic cat food reviews.
- Chicken recipe.
- Weight management for indoor cats.
- Taurine for a healthy heart and eyes.
- Healthy skin and coat.
- Cylindrical kibble.
4. Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original Dry Cat Food
Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original Dry Cat Food qualifies as the healthiest dry cat food for several reasons. Primarily, the formula including PreBiotics contributes to ensuring the health of the digestive tract. It goes without saying that a cat’s diet imminently impacts the way in which the digestive system works – on the whole, it also affects its overall health condition.
The main source of protein in this dry cat food is chicken. Protein is important for maintaining your feline’s muscle health. That is not all, getting a sufficient amount of protein is key to regulating your cat’s weight and preventing obesity problems.
The crunchy texture of the kibble will also prevent premature teeth problems as it will reduce tartar issues. Significant mineral intake is also important for the health of the bone system. In the meantime, taurine aims at preserving a healthy heart and eyesight, whereas the presence of fish oils keeps the coat shiny and sleek. What is more, the kibble contains fiber, to provide a balanced diet to your feline companion.
On the whole, this dry cat food offers a balanced blend of ingredients, in order to preserve your cat’s wellbeing and you can give it to your cat once it turns one year old.
- Chicken recipe.
- For cats 1 year and older.
- Healthy bones and joints.
- Omega 6:3 ratio for healthy skin & a shiny coat
- Taurine for heart and eyesight health.
- Unique fiber blend for healthy digestion.
- Crunchy kibble for tartar-free teeth.
5. Cat Chow Indoor Dry Cat Food
Cat Chow Indoor Dry Cat Food is formulated specifically considering the needs of a cat that lives indoors. In other words, in comparison with other assortments, this one has a strict calorie intake, to promote a healthy body weight. Every serving contains natural or added fiber, in order to deter hairballs from becoming an issue, impeding your cat’s digestive processes. If it has already become an issue, maybe you should consider cat food for hairballs, a formula specifically targeting hairballs.
In order to make the assortment more delicious and appealing for your feline, garden greens are included. We all know how our furry pets can sometimes be too picky, which is why you should pay attention to this aspect as well.
Once again, the kibble features antioxidants, thus supporting the immunity of your furry pal. On the whole, there are 25 key vitamins and minerals that your cat gets with each meal. You don’t have to worry about the presence of artificial ingredients or preservatives. Quite the contrary, if you were to choose this food assortment, you can rest assured that your cat gets what it needs for a long and happy life!
- Hairball control.
- Promotes healthy weight.
- Antioxidants support immune health.
- Round kibble.
6 Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food
Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food is specially designated to address the nutritional needs of adult cats. It offers just the right levels of protein and your cat needs protein in order to have strong, powerful muscles.
But protein isn’t the only thing your feline companion needs. On the contrary, it also requires a mix of minerals and vitamins in order to stay healthy. So, to make this food assortment more appealing to felines, it also contains chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish flavors. Therefore, your cat will presumably like this food from the first try.
In addition, the ingredients were chosen in order to address the specifications provided by the AAFO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles – designated for all life stages. The magnesium intake per cup is of roughly 0.12 percent while the ash content is 7.07 percent per cup. We’ve already mentioned that this kibble does a good job of regulating your feline’s calorie intake. With that said, each cup includes 308 calories.
What else should you note? When analyzing the quality of the food, it should present all the amino acids that cats need in order to thrive. According to specialists, the protein is derived from animal-based sources, which is important. This is, in essence, one of the elements you have to consider when comparing different cat food types. On the downside, though, it is likely to contain artificial colors.
- Chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish recipe.
- Strong and lean muscles.
- For adult cats.
- Fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat.
7 Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food
Many pet owners indicate that Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food is one of the best dry cat food brands on the market and that is due to its ingredients. Expressly, the manufacturer indicates that its dry cat food is made from simple, natural ingredients – such as US farm-raised chicken, which is the prominent ingredient.
In contrast with regular chicken, farm-raised chicken is far more nutritional, as it was raised naturally, without artificial hormones and other harmful components. Over the course of time, these elements end up affecting the health status of your furry companion.
On the other hand, many pet owners are oftentimes concerned regarding the presence of by-product meals and fillers in dry cat food. Other ingredients that aren’t necessarily nutritious include soy, wheat, corn or artificial preservatives and flavors. In case these aspects concern you as well, then this natural chicken & brown rice recipe will most likely be down your alley.
Moreover, if you didn’t know this until now, yeast is an excellent natural source of proteins, B vitamins, Biotin, vitamins, and Zinc. All these ingredients aim at supporting the health and natural shine of your cat’s coat while addressing the issue of dry, itchy skin. As for the Omega 6 fatty acids, these are also quintessential for your cat’s overall health and wellbeing.
There is also added beet pulp, which ensures healthy digestion, as we’ve briefly mentioned beforehand. Another important amino acid is Taurine, which preserves healthy eyesight and normal-functioning heart muscles.
- Chicken & brown rice recipe.
- Small, round kibble for easy chew and swallow.
- US farm-raised chicken.
- No ground corn, wheat, soy or fillers.
- No poultry by-product meals, artificial preservatives or flavors.
- Yeast and Omega 6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
- Taurine for heart & eye health.
8 Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites Dry Cat Food
Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites Dry Cat Food has a delicious flavor that will make your cat beg for more! In fact, this will most likely appeal even to the pickiest felines out there. That’s primarily because it contains real fish, real chicken, real salmon, and crab – your cat’s favorites in a bite.
As you can see, it addresses your cat’s protein needs, while supplying an essential range of fatty acids that ensure healthy skin and coat. The presence of vitamin A is also notable, as well as that of taurine. Your cat’s eyesight is primordial, which is why you should always assess the list of ingredients when browsing for the healthiest dry cat food.
Moving on to antioxidants, you can rest assured that this food assortment will offer your feline what it needs to fight against the damage made by free radicals, so to speak. Storing it is effortless: you have to choose a cool and dry place. Also, to preserve the freshness and flavor of the food, you should reseal it after every use. One thing I would like to point out about this food is that it contains ground corn and thus I would not feed it to an overweight cat.
- Fish, chicken, salmon, and crab recipe.
- Packed with protein for lean muscles.
- Supports the immune system.
- Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids for a shiny coat.
- Vitamin A and taurine for eye and heart health.
9 9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food
9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food incorporates the most beloved flavors – namely those of chicken, beef, and salmon. Aside from being delicious, this food is also great for your feline companion – which is the most important thing.
In order to ensure a balanced diet that addresses your cat’s needs, this dry food features just the right levels of omega 3 fatty acids. Concurrently, you should know by now that a high intake of magnesium can lead to the formation of crystals in the urine. This is a common concern, as pointed out by numerous pet owners. The problem is that some manufacturers overlook this when they create their recipes for cat food.
Still, the best dry cat food brands take this into consideration – as it is the case with this specific dry cat food assortment. The thing with urine crystals is that they might end up blocked in the urinary tract. In the worst-case scenario, this might even kill your cat. So, as you can see, this is a serious issue. But this dry cat food doesn’t contain too much magnesium or ash, which is reassuring.
Aside from this, a major selling point is that this kibble is fairly affordable while keeping in mind the needs of an adult cat.
- Chicken, beef, and salmon flavors.
- Strong muscle growth.
- Healthy skin & coat.
- Taurine for heart and vision health.
10 Wellness Complete Health Indoor Dry Cat Food
Wellness Complete Health Indoor Dry Cat Food is also based on a recipe designated exclusively for indoor cats. This means that it should help you regulate your cat’s weight so that this doesn’t become an issue. This is a natural recipe, which doesn’t contain any artificial flavors, or other harmful preservatives that affect your furry companion’s wellbeing in the long run.
One of the special ingredients included in the recipe is L-Carnitine. This is primarily good for less active cats that spend most of their time indoors, grooming, lying around, so on and so forth. As for the Omega 3 fatty acids, they supposedly diminish shedding, while boosting the health and shine of your cat’s coat.
The added glucosamine and chondroitin aim at maintaining the hips and joints of your feline companion in top shape. In the meantime, your cat will get a handful of phytonutrients from three different sources of cranberries.
As for the inclusion of vitamin E and A, they support the immunity of your furry companion. Aside from this, the formula includes a mix of prebiotics and probiotics, in order to support healthy digestion.
- Chicken recipe.
- For indoor cats.
- Shedding support.
- Weight management.
- Healthy hips and joints with added glucosamine and chondroitin.
- Healthy eyes, teeth, and gums.
- No wheat, corn or soy.
- No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.
- Zero meat by-products.
Dry Cat Food Buying Guide
What Ingredients Should Be Present in The Best Dry Cat Food?
It is important to learn what differentiates the best dry cat food from other products. And this usually goes down to the list of ingredients;
First of all, protein is the most important ingredient and cats need ample amounts of protein to stay healthy. Originally, wild cats were carnivores. And even if, nowadays, cats are domestic, this hasn’t changed – they still need meat as a source of protein to thrive.
Protein plays an essential role in building blocks of the body’s organs and tissues. Concurrently, it impacts the health of the hair, skin, blood tendons and muscles. Meat also consists of important amino acids that your cat requires. These amino acids ultimately monitor your cat’s metabolism, providing your pet with the energy resources it needs on a daily basis.
If your cat doesn’t get the necessary levels of amino acids, then its health will imminently suffer as a result. Such a critical amino acid is taurine. If your cat doesn’t get sufficient taurine, it can eventually cope with serious health issues such as heart problems or blindness.
What your cat’s body does is break down these amino acids, thus using them to ensure critical bodily processes. Note that cats have a limited capability of making taurine, this is why the best dry cat food should contain added taurine.
To be straightforward, the source of protein should be named. You don’t want to get a product that isn’t clear regarding the source of the protein, as this could be a bad sign.
- Fatty Acids
Even if obesity might be a concern for domestic cats, this doesn’t mean that your feline companion shouldn’t get its intake of fat. But when we’re referring to fat, we’re actually talking about critical fatty acids for felines which are necessary for the well-functioning of their body.
Note that fatty acids are used in metabolic regulation, as well as in cellular processes. Typically, saturated fat is derived from animal sources, whereas polyunsaturated fat is derived mostly from plants. Some of the most important fatty acids you should look for are Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid.
Fatty acids are essential for your cat’s health, and they must be part of your cat’s diet. Distinct from other animals, cats are physically incapable of transforming plant sources of essential fatty acids to their needed derivatives.
- Minerals and Vitamins
Cats need a daily intake of essential minerals and vitamins just like humans do. In regard to minerals, these are basically involved in almost every process. For instance, minerals play a part in forming enzymes, utilizing nutrients, pH balance, transporting oxygen, so on and so forth.
Some of the minerals you should keep an eye out for when looking for the best dry cat food are calcium, chromium, chloride, copper, cobalt, fluorine, iron, iodine, magnesium, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, silicon, zinc, and sulfur.
As for the vitamins that your cat needs for optimal health, there are fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Moving on to the water-soluble group of vitamins, this group incorporates the vitamins belonging to the C and B complex.
Also, note that your cat isn’t physically capable of converting beta-carotene derived from plants into vitamin A, as it is the case with other animals. This is why they need vitamin A.
- Natural Flavors
Manufacturers aim at making their cat food products as appealing to cats as possible. This is why natural flavors are usually added. You should, of course, look for food that is naturally flavored, as opposed to food containing artificial flavors. When it comes to natural flavors, this refers to flavors derived from the meat source – for instance, chicken flavor, turkey flavor, salmon flavor, etc.
- Natural Preservatives
In order to ensure long shelf life, cat food products must contain preservatives. But there is a major difference between natural and artificial preservatives. With that in mind, look for natural preservatives, which are usually in the form of antioxidants.
What Ingredients Should You Avoid When Browsing for The Healthiest Dry Cat Food?
We couldn’t stress enough the importance of checking a product’s label prior to purchasing it. The thing is that most of the food you can find on the market contains ingredients that don’t bring your pet any good, so to speak, in the sense that they aren’t nutritional. We’re referring to by-products, which are derived from the rendering process and may contain some elements you might find difficult to believe.
In the case of low-quality ingredients, these might lead to various diseases in your pets, not to mention that they might even worsen existing health conditions. Similar to humans, your cat is what it eats. If the quality of the food is poor, its health will suffer. Here’s what you should avoid:
- Artificial or synthetic preservatives – such as BHT, BHA or ethoxyquin.
- Corn, wheat, soy
- Artificial colors and flavors, such as Red 40, Blue 2, Yellow 5 or caramel coloring.
- By-products (by-product is a vague term used to cover a wide range of unidentifiable ingredients)
- Sodium nitrate
- Sodium nitrite
- Vitamin 3K
- Rendered fat – this usually leads to the spread of bacteria or mold
- Non-descript or unspecified meat product – if the source of the protein isn’t named, you cannot determine where it comes from and whether it is good for your cat or not.
As a rule of thumb, if a type of cat food has fewer ingredients, the odds are that it is better for your cat than the ones featuring numerous ingredients that are basically unpronounceable. Also, keep an eye out for words such as all-natural or premium – as such terms aren’t regulated by the FDA.
Therefore, even if a manufacturer indicates that the ingredients in that product are 100% natural, there may still be traces of artificial preservatives and other harmful components. Instead, you should look for legally-regulated words – namely free-range, organic, and grass-fed. Only specific companies might use the term human-grade.
The bottom line is the following: you should know where the food comes from. For example, there are numerous rendering facilities that make use of unspecific terms such as meat meal ingredients. This usually refers to mysterious meat derived from slaughterhouses, factory farms, or even animal shelters.
Low-quality ingredients such as animal by-products, artificial preservatives, and fillers, don’t have a high degree of digestibility or absorption.
Learning How to Read the Label of Cat Food Products
Before purchasing a product, you should determine whether it is the right one for your feline companion or not. And the way in which you can do that is by reading the label of the cat food. Perhaps you don’t normally do this, but it’s high time you turn this into a reflex, to ensure that you choose only what’s best for your pet. Here are some guidelines you’ll most likely find useful.
For whom is the cat food intended?
Usually, each cat food assortment is created with the needs of a specific cat demographic. The product might be specifically formulated for adult cats, kittens, or cats struggling with sensitivity, certain health conditions, so on and so forth. You need to determine that you are getting the right type of food for your pet – whether it is a kitten, an adult cat or an elderly cat. In this respect, you might also want to check out my reviews on the best kitten food and best cat food for older cats.
What’s the recommended serving?
Usually, the recommended serving will indicate the price-quality ratio of that certain product. Aside from this, it will say if a product is actually nutritious for your feline companion or not.
Have a look at the first ingredients!
This is another golden rule. That’s because, usually, the ingredients are arranged according to the ones that are highly prominent in the formula. Ideally, the first ingredient on the list should be meat – and the source of the meat must be specified. Animal meat, organs or boneless meat should be among the first. If you see any mentions of by-products, then perhaps that product isn’t necessarily the best.
Are there any soy products, grains or corn?
The thing is that most domestic cats get more carbohydrates than they actually need. This is one of the main reasons why obesity is such a major concern among many owners. Hence, you should steer clear of products that contain high levels of grains, corn or soy products. If possible, stick to products that don’t have such ingredients at all. My grain-free cat food reviews might also attract your attention.
Investigate the guaranteed analysis chart!
Usually, these charts point out the percentage of each ingredient, to give a clearer picture of the nutritional value of the food for your cat. This makes reference to the percentage of protein, fiber, fat, phosphorus, and other essential nutrients. You can consider consulting with your vet to determine the ideal percentages recommended for your cat’s health condition, age, breed, so on and so forth. For instance, most felines require at least 30 percent crude protein. Read my high-fiber cat food reviews to learn more about a diet rich in fiber.
Consider the level of digestibility!
Determining if the food is digestible or not is really important. If a product isn’t digestible, this means that your cat’s body cannot break it down and absorb the nutrients. If that’s the case, your cat’s feces will usually be loose, too frequent, foul-smelling, irregular or large. Each pet owner should analyze such aspects to monitor their cat’s reaction to food.
Should I Change My Cat’s Food Every Now and Then or Not?
It depends on your individual circumstances and your cat’s preferences and needs. If you think your cat needs something else, or your vet has advised you to implement a change, you should do it gradually. Sudden changes can lead to an upset stomach, vomiting, or even increased sensitivity to certain ingredients.
If vomiting is a recurring issue, consider switching to cat food for sensitive stomach and vomiting.
Is Wet or Dry Cat Food Better?
Some pet owners claim that wet food is best while others claim that dry food is best. To be honest, each of them comes with pros and cons.
For starters, cats are obligate carnivores, in comparison with dogs, which are omnivores and can easily break down a wide range of foods and ingredients. Thus, your feline companion needs muscle-based meat. This is why you should provide it with this type of food on a daily basis.
Another aspect worth pointing out is that the digestive system of carnivores is short. That’s because they don’t have to break down the cellulose that is usually found in plants. Hence, if you were to implement cellulose in your cat’s diet, this will most likely result in digestive issues.
The Dry Cat Food Debate
Many pet owners prefer dry food because they can leave it around for their cats. Even if you go away for a few days, you can fill your cat’s bowl and trust that it will not go bad before you return. Moreover, dry cat food is easier to move and store.
In addition to its convenience, high-quality dry cat food is mostly less pricy than wet cat food. Furthermore, it takes care of your cat’s dental health to some degree because the texture of the kibble prevents plaque formation on your cat’s teeth.
Potential Side Effects Associated with Dry Cat Food
A common concern when it comes to dry cat food is that of dehydration. When wild cats consume prey, it consists of approximately 70 percent water. This ensures that wild cats get hydrated, which is essential for optimal health.
On the other hand, wet cat food contains approximately 78 percent water – which is pretty close. This is, supposedly, the main advantage of wet food. Things are different with dry food; even the healthiest dry cat food contains only 10 percent water. Hence, if your cat eats dry food exclusively, then the likelihood of not getting sufficient water is higher. Dehydration is a real concern, as it may lead to more serious issues such as the formation of urinary crystals or, even worse, health conditions such as Chronic Renal Failure. In case your cat already suffers from struvite or oxalate crystals, you should consult your veterinarian to feed it cat food for urinary crystals.
This is why, if you were to choose dry cat food as it is more convenient for you, or simply because your cat prefers it, then you should ensure that your pet stays hydrated. For every ten pounds of body weight, your cat should get a cup of water – within a 24-hour timeframe. When the temperatures are higher your cat will need more water than that.
As you already know by now, cats tend to be quite picky when it comes to drinking water. So, it is critical to supply a fresh, appealing source of water to your cat – especially if you give it kibble on a day-to-day basis.
There is another potential side effect of dry cat food: obesity. The majority of domestic cats are actually prone to obesity. That’s because they don’t engage in a lot of exercising, as opposed to wild cats that are very active. Another health issue that might become more prevalent is diabetes. In comparison with cats that are on a wet food diet, cats that eat kibble regularly might be more inclined to suffer from this condition. A cat suffering from diabetes should be on a special diet and should be fed cat food for diabetic cats.
That’s because dry cat food generally contains more carbohydrates than wet food. In the wild, a cat’s diet consists mostly of protein and only roughly five percent of carbohydrates. Domestic cats are likely to get more carbohydrates than they need, which might be detrimental to their health.
On the other hand, some cats suffer from weight loss and need more energy. In that case, you should not be cutting down on carbohydrates. On the contrary, you should feed them high-energy cat food, cat food for weight gain.
The Wet Cat Food Debate
Now let’s move our attention to wet cat food. For one thing, wet cat food isn’t better simply because it contains a higher intake of water. If the product is cheaply made and the quality is poor, then your cat will not get the necessary nutrients required for a healthy and happy life. Thus, make a habit out of checking the list of ingredients in the food you’re purchasing for your feline companion.
However, the fact that wet food contains water is beneficial not only because it doesn’t lead to dehydration, but also because it might make your cat experience a feeling of satiety sooner. This is widely due to water intake. However, in the case of dry cat food, your cat might feel the need to eat more kibble in order to feel satisfied.
Cats can be picky eaters and the variety of flavors and more intense odors make wet cat food more appealing to them. Furthermore, wet cat food is easier for cats with missing or sore teeth to chew.
Potential Disadvantages of Wet Cat Food
There are also potential disadvantages of wet cat food. Some argue that canned food might cause dental issues, such as gingivitis because it does not scrape plaque from your cat’s teeth as does dry food. In this respect, you should be doubly careful regarding your cat’s dental hygiene, to keep more serious problems at bay.
Another disadvantage of wet cat food is that it can be quite messy and will definitely not stay fresh as long as dry cat food does. Furthermore, a wet cat food of quality is generally more expensive than quality dry cat food.
The bottom line of this debate is that there is no one-size-fits-all type of answer. There is, however, a golden rule you should abide by, namely examining the list of ingredients of the cat food you’re purchasing.
Can I Just Feed My Cat Dry Food?
This is, supposedly, the second most frequently asked question on the topic of dry cat food vs. wet food.
So, if you were to give your feline companion dry food exclusively, then you would have to make sure that it gets enough water so that it doesn’t struggle with dehydration.
According to some pet owners, some cats thrive even if they are fed dry food exclusively. Therefore, there’s no certainty that wet food is the best. What’s more important is keeping your companion healthy and well, whilst considering the way in which your cat reacts to the food. If your cat does, indeed, enjoy eating dry food, and you provide it with a healthy source of fresh water, then you might give it just dry cat food.
But considering that each option comes with potential pros and cons, another alternative might be combining the two. This would mean giving dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening.
Another alternative is mixing wet and dry food together, in order to increase the amount of moisture your cat gets in a meal. Even so, you will still have to pay attention to its water intake.
Something else we should mention in this discussion is the cat’s personal taste and preferences. Your cat might hesitate to eat wet food because it might not appeal to its taste. In this case, you should provide it with high-quality dry cat food, which addresses its nutritious needs.
How Long Can You Leave Dry Cat Food Out?
As I have already mentioned above, convenience is one of the main highlights of dry cat food. Still, does this mean that you can leave dry cat food out for as much as you want?
The good thing is that dry cat food is processed at really high temperatures. This naturally excludes the presence of harmful contaminants. It is a rare occurrence for kibble to be contaminated with salmonella. Still, the very best dry cat food brands use a wide range of practices to prevent such instances.
So, excluding the few scenarios in which the kibble could be contaminated, dry cat food can be left out for several days.
Still, to keep your cat’s food appealing and refreshing, it’s best to give it small portions only, as opposed to leaving cat food out for days. Although there are no actual risks, it could lead to overeating and, eventually, to obesity, as mentioned beforehand.
How Much Should I Feed My Cat?
As already mentioned, obesity in the case of domestic cats is so widespread that it makes sense to ask how much you should feed your furry companion. Determining the ideal amount of food can be a tricky business.
There are several factors that you should consider, namely the size, age, fitness level, metabolic rate as well as environmental temperatures. Aside from these, whether you are feeding your cat dry food or wet food matters. Did you know that the brand you choose also plays a part in the equation? Basically, the food manufactured by the best dry cat food brands will be nutrient-richer than any other type of food on the market
Therefore, when you are 100% confident that you’re purchasing the healthiest dry cat food, this means that the portions don’t necessarily have to be very large.
In other words, your choice of dry food should be rich in flesh-based protein such as poultry, fish or meat. Also, the percentage of carbohydrates shouldn’t be higher than 10 percent.
But let’s give some specific numbers, to make it clearer for clueless pet owners. In line with a certified Animal Medical Center in New York, a healthy adult cat, weighing roughly eight pounds, needs 30 calories for each pound. Therefore, an average 8-pound cat needs around 240 calories per day.
Normally, a cup of dry food comes with almost 300 calories. On the other hand, a cup of canned food includes about 250 calories – or even less. Considering these guidelines, a cat weighing 8 pounds would need 4/5 of a cup of dry food in 24 hours.
Why Is My Cat Hungry All the Time?
Let’s say that you’ve looked for the best dry cat food brands out there and you’ve chosen the healthiest formula. In spite of this, though, your cat seems to be hungry all the time. What could be the cause of this?
It could be an indicator of several health problems, such as the following:
- Intestinal Parasites
For one thing, when cats are troubled by intestinal parasites, this will imminently impact their behavior towards food. Parasites feed off of whatever your cat eats, eventually leading to a nutritional deficiency. This is what will make a cat feel hungry, even if it has just eaten.
- Diabetes or Hyperthyroidism
These conditions will most likely make your cat want to eat more than usual. That’s because a symptom of diabetes and hyperthyroidism is an increase in appetite. In the case of hyperthyroidism, the cat’s metabolism burns more calories than it should. On the other hand, if your cat has diabetes, then its body is incapable of converting sugar to energy, which leads to other nutritional shortcomings.
- Boredom or Loneliness
Just as humans can eat out of boredom or loneliness, the same can happen to cats. If your cat spends most of its time alone, then this might mean that it needs more stimulation. Or, perhaps, you should consider getting your furry feline a companion, so that it has someone to play with.
Yes – you’ve read that right, cats might struggle with depression as well. The thing is that cats are complex creatures, which is one of the many reasons why we love them, isn’t it? Over-eating is an indicator that your cat is grieving or is depressed.
- The Food Isn’t Nutritious Enough
Another reason why your cat seems to be hungry round the clock is that the quality of the food you’re feeding it isn’t stellar. In other words, the food might not address your cat’s nutritional needs.
When its body doesn’t get what it needs to thrive, then over-eating becomes the norm.
The Bottom Line
I am hopeful that you’ve found my guide on the best dry cat food and my dry cat food reviews inspiring and helpful. Even though I cannot argue that dry food is the best alternative for all case scenarios, it can be a great option for many pet owners and their felines.
On a final note, don’t forget to pay attention to the ingredients written on the food package. Also, make sure that your cat gets enough water, and it will be just fine. Ultimately, as long as you choose the best dry cat food brands over the average ones, you can be sure that your feline companion gets the nutrients it needs to thrive.