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Best dry cat food

Cat eating dry food advice © Pixabay

When it comes to picking pet food, modern cat owners can get overwhelmed with the wide variety of options.  So here’s what you need to know about the best dry cat food brands. We’ll also look at the health benefits of dry cat food and give you some advice on how to supplement a dry cat food diet.

By Ashley Murphy

What is dry cat food? 

The biggest difference between wet cat food and dry cat food is the amount of moisture they contain. Wet food normally comes in tins or cans and is made up of about 70-80% moisture. Unsurprisingly, dry cat food has much less - around 10%

What are the benefits of dry cat food?

Benefit 1# Better quality

High-quality dry cat food brands have the right balance of protein and nutrients. Unfortunately, many cheaper or discount brands are filled with bulking agents, which have very little nutritional value. Cats need protein and processed carbohydrates which are used to bulk out lower quality cat foods. Like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Cat food is no exception; buy the best brand within your budget. 

Benefit 2# It helps keep their teeth clean

Dry food can help keep your cat's teeth clean. The crunchy texture encourages chewing. This produces more saliva which contains anti-bacterial enzymes that contribute to healthy teeth and gums.

Benefit 3# Dry food lasts longer

Dry cat food has a much longer shelf life. Once opened, a bag of dry food will stay fresh for weeks. Tinned or canned food is likely to spoil after just a few days.

Benefit 4# More variety

There's also more choice. Dry food comes in many different shapes and textures. Some cats can get bored of eating the same type of food every day. As most wet food has the same texture, it's harder to add some variety to a cats diet.

Dry cat food can dehydrate your cat

Due to its low moisture content, cats on a dry-food diet are at risk of becoming dehydrated. That's why it's really important to make sure they have access to fresh water. Cats aren't big drinkers. Their ancestors evolved in dry desert environments where water was at a premium. This means they became very efficient at storing any water in the body. 

But you can encourage your cat to drink more by switching from a water bowl to a running water source. Cats tend to prefer fresh, running water. You can also mix some water in with their dried food. Just start off small, increasing the amounts as your cat get used to having a little water with their dinner.

7 best dry cat food 

1# Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food

This high-quality dry cat food comes in a variety of flavours. It's made from premium high-quality protein sources, including chicken, duck, salmon, and venison. It's 100% grain-free and includes the right amounts of fibre, omega 3 fish oils, and vitamins; the perfect fit for your cats dietary needs.

2# Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food by Rachael Ray

Rachel Ray is a popular TV pet chef who has written over 30 books on both animal and human nutrition. Her healthy brand of dry cat food is built upon natural protein sources like chicken and salmon. It's also free of any additives or cheap bulking agents. 

3# Hills Science Ideal Balance No Grain Tuna & Potato

The Hills Ideal Science brand is hypoallergenic, meaning it contains no ingredients that can set off cat allergies. No grains. No bad stuff. Just 70% protein combined with a range of vegetables and nutrients.

4# Natural Balance Fat Cats

Specially designed for felines who have piled on a few pounds, the Natural Balance Fat Cats brand is high in protein and very low in carbohydrates. This dry cat food has a low-calorie content but still contains all the good stuff your cat needs. Combined with the right lifestyle changes, natural balance dry food can help a cat lose up to 25% of its body weight. 

5# Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dry food

This dry cat food comes in three flavours: chicken, duck and rabbit. It combines high-quality protein based kibble with raw, freeze-dried meat. It also includes prebiotics to help aid digestion and is completely free of grain, soy, additives, and preservatives

6# IAMS Proactive Health Kitten Dry Food

IAMS have developed a healthy and tasty dry food just for the little kittens. Designed for cats under one year of age, IAMS kitten food has the same nutritional value as their mother's milk. Ingredients include chicken, omega 3, antioxidants, prebiotics, and beet pulp. In other words, it's got everything a kitten needs to develop into a healthy and happy cat. 

7# Newman’s Own Organic Advance Formula Dried Cat Food

Newmans own have created an organic dry cat food made from chicken, vegetables, and grain. It's packed full of protein and you won't find any additives in this bag of cat food. It is more expensive than most other dry food brands, but many owners are willing to pay extra for healthy, 100% organic ingredients.

Finding the right cat food depends on your cat! It might involve a little bit of trial and error before you find their favourite brand. Whatever you do, focus on the high-quality stuff. They cost more, but they've been designed to match your cat's nutritional needs. Other dry foods are definitely cheaper, but that's because it's made from cheaper ingredients, many of which lack the right balance of protein and vitamins. If you have any concerns about your cat's dietary requirements, speak to a vet for some more advice.