Nourishing cats with the best food is an important responsibility that should be upheld by every cat owner when nurturing their kittens to maturity. From a variety of feeding options to choose from, a crucial choice is dry cat food.
Dry cat foods have always been a favorite preference for a lot of cat owners, especially those with a strict daily schedule.
Usually, it contains about 10% moisture, and it’s coated with fat, vitamins, or other nutritional content like amino acid taurine that would have been reduced during the extrusion process. Therefore, an adequate amount of water should be served with each meal.
This extra layer of nutritional coating provides essential health benefits to cats. Also, it gives the cat kibbles a savory taste.
The production process is done under intense pressure and heat to achieve the well-formed kibble size and texture that easily crunches and digest when ingested by cats.
Why your cat needs dry cat food?
With numerous shoddy dry cat food manufacturers in service, procuring the best dry cat food has become a problematic challenge for first-time cat owners or even experienced ones. So, how can this be made easy? Well, by simply understanding the quality and essentials that make up a nutritious dry cat food.
Just like we humans need to eat meals enriched with nutrients, a quality dry cat food should possess high nutritional value to your fluffy friend.
With dry cat food, feeding times are easily set up, and there is not much mess to clean up after. A benefit for cat owners, but what about cats?
Dry cat foods are a rich source of carbohydrates. This energy-giving nutrient is essential for nursing cats and growing kittens. A cat on a well-balanced carbohydrate diet should have sufficient energy to perform its daily activities without quickly tiring out or becoming a couch potato.
Dry cat food is also an excellent dental benefit. Because of their crunchy texture, each bite puts a beneficial strain on the cat’s jaw, thus strengthening jaw bones and muscles.
Top 5 Best Dry Cat Food: according to vets
#5 9Lives Dry Cat Food: Most affordable
Since 1959, 9Lives produces remarkable dry cat foods that are all targeted for different life stages in cats. The brand features 4 varieties of dry cat foods: Daily Essentials, Protein Plus, Indoor Complete, Lean And Tasty, and Plus Care.
Richly formulated with all the required nutrients and supplements in a single serving that a cat needs for a healthy growth and development. It is flavored with natural fresh ingredients that help develop strong muscles, clear vision, and a healthy skin and fur.
- Contains animal-sourced fat
- Most cats seem to like the food’s flavor
- Animal and poultry by-products
- Corn as the main ingredient
- Contains artificial colors & BHA
Being 45 years in the pet food industry, Meow Mix offers a range of flavorful dry and wet cat food, such as the company’s popular product: Meow Mix Original Choice.
Meow Mix Original Choice is delightfully formulated with the savory taste of chicken, salmon, ocean fish, and turkey (top-notch ingredients rich in proteins and other nutrients).
Just like all Meow Mix products, it is made to meet with the standard nutritional values which have been established by the AAFCO as cat food nutrients. The flavor is simply amazing, and it will surely make this a favorite for your beloved kitten.
- Contains animal-sourced fat
- Includes various minerals, vitamins, and amino acids
- Easy to digest
- Good taste
- Contains some artificial color
- Soy ingredients can cause health problems in some cats
A cat food regarded by many as the best dry cat food for indoor cats, a profound title that the Blue Buffalo brand holds up.
The Blue Buffalo Wilderness Indoor Chicken for Adult Cats is made only from the finest natural ingredients nature has to offer. This is a dry cat food that excludes the use of poultry by-products, grains, wheat, corn, and artificial preservatives.
Formulated with the flavorful taste of carrots, cranberries, blueberries, protein-rich deboned chicken, and enriched with a balanced value of calories to help your cat maintain appropriate healthy body weight.
It also provides antioxidants to support the immune system and amino acid taurine to maintain good heart and eye health.
- Delicious, protein-rich deboned chicken
- Sweet potatoes provide healthy complex carbohydrates
- Cranberries, blueberries, and carrots support antioxidant enrichment
- No grains or glutens
- No chicken (or poultry) by-product meals
- No artificial preservatives and no corn, wheat or soy
- Contains potatoes which are not part of a cat’s natural diet
- Pretty expensive
Founded in 1986, the Purina ONE brand has graciously filled the bellies of cats and dogs with its exquisite ingredients.
Turkey being the primary ingredient it provides your cat with protein essential for her growth. Each cup of this Adult Dry Cat Food contains about 42g of protein, a sufficient amount of nutrition to aid strong muscles, bones, and joints.
Purina makes the nutritional needs of your feline a top priority so she can reach her optimal health, both inside and out.
This cat food is specially designed for adult cats as it provides all the nutrients which are necessary for them.
A combination of high-quality protein and Omega-6 fatty acids results in healthy weight and appearance. As a canine, your cat naturally craves proteins, and the 42 grams found in every cup meet those cravings and support healthy muscles.
- Quality ingredients
- Real meat that makes a cat happy
- Great not only for Cats but Even Hedgehogs
- Some cats do not like the odor of this dry food
#1 IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control
Best Dry Cat Food
IAMS features 3 main formulas that are made available to pets food stores across the world. They are made with high-quality ingredients and nourish your cat with protein, like chicken and turkey, for a stable-proper growth.
Loaded in its formulae are nutritional contents such as L-Carnitine and Omega 6, which keeps your cat’s hair shimmering, helps burn fat and maintain a healthy metabolism.
It features a tailored fiber blend (with prebiotics and beet pulp) to help support healthy digestion, which could be the hairball care your cat requires.
- 0% filler ingredients
- Contains fish oil as a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids
- Natural fiber blend to help reduce hairballs
- L-Carnitine to help burn fat and maintain a healthy weight
- The crunchy texture of kibble helps keep teeth clean and tartar-free
- Made partly with animal by-products, which may not offer optimal digestibility
- Produced with low-value plant ingredients
Buying Guide for Dry Cat Food
Obviously, the first thing you would need is to check the nutritional label for quality ingredients that will keep your pet healthy.
Feeding your pet a high-quality menu helps prevent disease, increase its lifespan, and improve its energy levels. Who would not want that for their furry friend?
Mostly, quality dry food should contain:
- Real animal protein: This includes chicken, beef, eggs, venison, lamb, salmon, sardines, mussels, and duck. Organ meat (e.g., chicken or beef liver) is a bonus.
- Vegetables and fruits: Most of the carbohydrates should be veggies and fruit you might have in your fridge. Look for things like sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, apples, and berries.
- Good fats: These are naturally present in animal proteins but can also be supplemented. It includes omega-3 fatty acids.
But quality nutrition is not just about what goes into the products. It is also about what stays out, too. At best, they are unhealthy and not great for the environment either. At worst, they are potentially toxic to your feline.
Grains are not necessarily bad for cats, but they are not part of their natural diet. For this reason, we tend to see foods that have a high grain or carbohydrate content as containing too much filler ingredients that do not provide any proper nutrition.
A similar thing can be said for by-product meals; they are not always bad, but the source of the meat is often a little hard to determine, so it’s best to avoid it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is it important to buy different food for my cat according to her current life stage?
Like humans, animals have different nutritional and health needs depending on their age. As an example, kittens need diets rich in protein and calories to support fast-paced growth and development. Older cats may need low-calorie food or one with specific nutrients to minimize the risk of weight-gain and age-related health issues. “All life stage” option is not advisable for some animals and may have unintended adverse effects. Many dry cat foods are made explicitly for elder cats. Still, your best bet is to consult with your veterinarian so he or she can help you make a more informed decision.
Should I use the feeding recommendations on the food label?
While helpful as general guidelines, feeding recommendations on the bag labels may not be the right fit for your feline depending on her age, overall health status, and lifestyle.
Again, the best advice would be to consult with your vet.
How much should I feed my cat?
As mentioned, the quantity you feed your pet depends on its age, health standing, activity level, and a couple of alternative factors. Your vet will assist you to verify what quantity is right for your animal. A typical 10-lb kitty desires solely around 250 calories per day to take care of associate degree applicable lean body mass.
How much water should I give my cat?
Always have water out there for your animal. Proper hydration helps to avoid health issues like dehydration and tract infections.
Cats require between 3.5–4.5 ounces of water per 5 pounds of body weight per day.
As you should also feed your cat wet food, which contains ~70% water, that would already be around half of her daily requirement.
Can cat food go bad?
This depends on the food and the way it’s stored:
- All feline food should be used before the expiration date on the label
- If your kitty is “free-fed,” you can leave her dry granules out as long as it isn’t moist or exposed to high heat
- Canned food should be thrown away after it’s been left out for 4+ hours, and opened cans can be stored in the fridge for up to a week
- Wash and refill your pet’s food and water dishes at least weekly.
Should I change up my cat’s food from time to time, or keep it the same?
This is highly individual and depends on the unique preferences and health needs of your furry friend. If you want to change your pet’s food, do it slowly and introduce new things to her diet in small amounts.