The Best Dry Cat Food

The Best Dry Cat Food


As the owner of a cat, you want to know that you are feeding your cat the right type of food. Cats can be a bit finicky, and their tastes vary widely. Some cats prefer wet food, while others will only eat dry food. Dry food has the advantage of being less messy than some wet foods, so many cat owners like to rely on it exclusively. Others offer a mix of food, with dry food being just part of their cats’ diets.

We have taken a close look at dozens of dry cat foods. We’ve separated them into categories and chosen the best of the best to suggest to our readers. We looked at which type of kitties the foods were each best-suited for, how nutritious their ingredients were, and how cat owners seemed to like them.

Best Dry Cat Food Overall

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food

Packed with real chicken, this food is sure to satisfy your cat’s need for protein.

Our top pick went to Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food. This is a grain-free food that is a great source of chicken, a lean protein that cats need for nutrition and energy. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for your cat’s continued good health. This is the 12-lb bag; it also comes in smaller sizes.

The 5 Top-Rated Dry Cat Food

*All ratings are from Amazon and might change over time.

Best Dry Cat Food Overall: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food is our favorite among all of the dry cat foods. Because it contains no grain, there’s plenty of room for the nutritious ingredients your cat needs. The main ingredient is chicken, which provides plenty of lean protein. Carbohydrates, which provide additional energy, include sweet potatoes and peas. This brand also includes Lifesource Bits, a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals developed by holistic veterinarians to improve your cat’s health.

Some of the ways that Blue Buffalo cat food can improve the health of your kitty include helping to develop healthy muscle, boosting skin and coat health, and supporting the immune system. Omega fatty acids, the Lifesource Bits blend, and a high ratio of real meat (in this case, chicken) give your cat the nutritional boost she needs.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Lean protein source
  • No grains
  • Contains healthy veggies
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Improves skin health
  • Supports the immune system

Best Dry Kitten Food: Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

Best Kitten Food

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food
Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food

High protein and no fillers make this food perfect for kittens.

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food made our top pick for dry foods formulated for young cats. Its primary ingredient is chicken, which is a good form of protein for kittens. It also has no fillers, which is important when you need to maximize the nutrition in every bite that your little kitten takes. The kibble is crunchy, making it appealing to cats and also boosting your kitty’s oral health.

One of the ingredients that makes this formula perfect for kittens is DHA. It is the same nutrient found in the milk that they drank before weaning, and it helps to promote good vision and brain development. Another nice feature is that Purina ONE makes cat food for older cats, too, so it will be easy to transition your kitten over when she’s ready.

Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Kitten Food Key Features:

  • Main ingredient is chicken
  • Contains no fillers
  • Crunchy, good for teeth
  • Contains DHA
  • Easy to transition to adult food later

Best Budget Cat Food: 9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food

Best Budget Dry Cat Food

9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food
9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food

Budget-friendly, complete nutrition for your adult cat.

If you are looking for a budget-friendly dry cat food, we recommend 9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food. This is a food for adult cats and offers all of the nutrients a cat needs for good health. It helps maintain good urinary pH, which can keep your cat’s urinary tract healthy. If your cat suffers from urinary problems, ask your veterinarian if this food would be an appropriate choice. The manufacturer recommends that you do not mix this food with other types of food that are not formulated for urinary health, as that could allow your cat to develop urinary issues.

It also contains vitamin E and selenium, two nutrients that help boost your kitty’s immune system. The food is formulated to promote healthy digestion. This version of the 9Lives cat food comes in a delicious tuna and egg flavor that your cat should love.

9Lives Plus Care Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Formulated for urinary health
  • Budget-friendly
  • Contains vitamin E and selenium
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Made for good digestion
  • Tuna and egg flavor

Best Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs: Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Best Dry Cat Food for Sensitive Skin

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin
Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Support your cat’s sensitive digestive system with Hill’s Science Diet.

Does your cat have a sensitive stomach? If so, Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin is our pick for you. It contains a gentle source of fiber that encourages the development of beneficial gut bacteria, and it’s also highly digestible. It can help with nutrient absorption and will also make cleaning out the litter box easier.

In addition to helping with your cat’s sensitive stomach, this food is great for kitty’s skin and coat, thanks to vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids. There are no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors, and it is made in the USA with high-quality global ingredients. The first ingredient is chicken and it has a taste that is appealing to cats.

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Sensitive Stomach & Skin Key Features:

  • Contains prebiotic fiber
  • Encourages the development of beneficial gut bacteria
  • Highly digestible for sensitive stomachs
  • Good for fur and skin
  • Contains vitamin E and omega 6 fatty acids
  • First ingredient is chicken

Best Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats: Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends Dry Cat Food

Best Dry Food for Indoor Cats

Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends Dry Cat Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends Dry Cat Food

Help support a healthy weight with this indoor cat food.

Indoor kitties are sure to love Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends Dry Cat Food, our top pick for dry cat food for indoor cats. This one is made with chicken, lentils, and salmon, for a flavor cats love. The lentils help with your cat’s healthy weight, which is an important consideration when choosing a food for indoor kitties, who are generally less active than cats who go outside.

Pumpkin and dandelion greens are ingredients that contain prebiotics, which foster healthy digestion. The addition of berries boost your cat’s immune system, and it also contains vitamins, minerals, and amino acids your furry friend needs for good overall health. There is no corn, wheat, soy, fillers, or artificial colors or preservatives.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Superfood Blends Dry Cat Food Key Features:

  • Formulated for indoor cats
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Promote healthy digestion and healthy weight
  • Contains prebiotics
  • Nothing artificial

Who Should Buy Dry Cat Food

If you own a cat, you already know that there are a lot of options when it comes to what to feed him! There are food delivery services that deliver food, there’s raw cat food (and you can read a review of the best raw cat foods here), canned cat food, and so on. For cats with special dietary needs, there are urinary health cat foods, some of which are described below. We also have published a review of the best grain-free cat foods.

Dry cat food is simple to use: Just pour it in the bowl and change once or twice daily. You don’t have to worry about it going bad in the span of a day, and it is less likely than wet foods to attract pests. It is also easy to store. If you have a cat, it’s a good idea to have dry cat food on hand, whether it’s a staple of his everyday diet or something you use when you have a catsitter or travel. Many cats prefer dry cat food because they enjoy the crunch, too.

Best Dry Cat Food Overall

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food

Packed with real chicken, this food is sure to satisfy your cat’s need for protein.

Important Features to Consider

When deciding which type of dry cat food to purchase, you’ll want to keep a few considerations in mind. Here are some features to think about.

  • Dietary needs. The most important feature to consider is whether the food you are looking at will meet your cat’s unique needs. If your cat requires a grain-free diet, needs a low-ash food, or is pregnant, you’ll want to be sure that the food you choose will provide the appropriate vitamins and nutrients.
  • Flavor. Cats are notoriously picky, and you’ll need to make sure that your cat likes the flavor of the food you choose. Popular flavors that most cats like include chicken and fish, but you might need to experiment with your cat.
  • Ingredients. Depending on your feelings about nutrition, what your vet recommends, and your cat’s needs, you might need to look for certain ingredients, such as omega fatty acids for coat health or a specific type of fiber for a sensitive stomach.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dry cat food good for cats?

Dry food can be good for cats. It is crunchy, which is great for oral health. It’s also not likely to spoil, which makes it a good choice in a variety of circumstances. And it’s easy for owners to use, which is a plus! The main downside is that dry food can contribute to dehydration. Be sure to offer your cat fresh water at all times to help prevent dehydration. You can also use a cat water fountain, which reminds kitties to drink.

How do you keep dry cat food fresh?

Store your cat food in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as in a pantry. Do not leave the food somewhere damp, like in a basement that is prone to high humidity. Always close up the container completely after scooping or pouring out food. Also, don’t buy bags or boxes of food that you won’t be able to use up within several weeks; once they’re opened, they should be used promptly to prevent staleness.

How much dry cat food should I feed my cat? 

Check the bag of cat food to see what the manufacturer recommends as far as how much to feed your cat. Note that that amount will be how much to feed your cat each day, not at each feeding. There is also usually a range; if your cat is overweight, use the smaller end of the range, and if your cat is underweight, use the larger end of the range. You can let your cat free-feed (put the food out in the morning and let your cat eat what he wants throughout the day) or you might choose to break it up into 3-4 feedings per day, picking up the dish in between meals. Talk to your vet about which approach would be best for your cat.

How can I soften my cat’s dry food?

If your cat requires a softer consistency, you can still use dry cat food and soften it. The easiest way is to simply add a bit of water to the food and allow it to absorb the water. Do this immediately before feeding, and pick up the food after your cat eats. Moistened food will go bad more quickly than dry food. Another way to moisten your cat’s food is to simply add a bit of canned or wet food (preferably one with a gravy) to the dry food.

Other Dry Cat Food We Reviewed

Best Dry Cat Food Overall

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food
Blue Buffalo Wilderness Adult Dry Cat Food

Packed with real chicken, this food is sure to satisfy your cat’s need for protein.

We reviewed 20 other dry cat foods in addition to the ones described above. While these didn’t make our top 5 list, they’re still very good options for any cat. Be sure to read the descriptions, as they provide the information you need to compare the different products.

Dry Cat Food for Indoor Cats

Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control

Blue Buffalo Indoor Hairball & Weight Control

High-quality chicken and natural fiber help keep your indoor kitty’s weight at its healthiest. It also helps prevent hairballs thanks to cellulose and psyllium seed husks.

Key Features:

  • 7-lb bag
  • Includes antioxiants, vitamins, and minerals
  • No corn, wheat, soy, or by-products

Cost: $14

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

This tasty cat food is made to meet the nutritional needs of indoor cats. High-quality protein keeps kitty satisfied between meals.

Key Features:

  • 7-lb bag
  • Natural fiber added
  • Helps make litterbox cleanup easier

Cost: $22

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor

Keep your cat’s weight in check with this food; it contains l-cartinine, which can help kitty lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Key Features:

  • 7-lb bag
  • Good for hairball control
  • 10% less fat than regular cat food

Cost: $13

Meow Mix Indoor Health

Meow Mix Indoor Health

This food contains all of the protein, vitamins, and minerals your adult indoor cat needs. It will also help kitty maintain a healthy weight.

Key Features:

  • 14-lb bag
  • Nutritionally complete
  • Contains poultry and fish flavors

Cost: $11

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage

Made with real turkey and containing the vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients your cat needs, this food also controls weight and hairballs.

Key Features:

  • 7-lb bag
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • No fillers or artificial flavors or preservatives

Cost: $11

Solid Gold – Let’s Stay In

Solid Gold - Let’s Stay In

This is a grain-free, gluten-free food that is specially formulated for indoor cats. Contains superfoods like pumpkin, lentils, almonds, and broccoli.

Key Features:

  • 12-lb bag
  • Contains probiotics
  • Controls hairballs

Cost: $33

Dry Food for Cats With Sensitive Stomachs

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life – Sensitive Stomach & Skin

Lucy Pet Formulas for Life - Sensitive Stomach & Skin

This is a grain-free formula that is perfect for cats with sensitive stomachs. Natural ingredients like salmon, pumpkin, and quinoa improve gut health.

Key Features:

  • 4-lb bag
  • Extremely palatable
  • Good for cats of all ages and sizes

Cost: $18

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Dry Cat Food

Merrick Purrfect Bistro Dry Cat Food

If your kitty has a sensitive tummy, this grain-free food offers prebiotics and probiotics to enhance digestion and make stomach upset a thing of the past.

Key Features:

  • 4-lb bag
  • Contains antioxidants
  • Grain-free

Cost: $19

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion

Real chicken makes this food for sensitive digestion palatable and full of the protein your cat needs. It contains nothing artificial.

Key Features:

  • 5-lb bag
  • Non-GMO ingredients
  • Omega-6 fatty acids

Cost: $15

Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Sensitive Systems Adult Dry Cat Food

This food has an easily digestible turkey-based formula for sensitive stomachs. It is also great for skin and coat health.

Key Features:

  • 22-lb bag
  • Contains 36 grams of protein
  • Nourishes sensitive skin

Cost: $30

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Sensitive Digestion

For cats who don’t have large appetites, this food is a winner because it offers a high concentration of nutrients in a small serving size.

Key Features:

  • 7-lb bag
  • Highly digestible protein
  • Unique kibble shapes

Cost: $26

Urinary Care Dry Cat Food

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food

Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food

This food has the optimal levels of magnesium to support your cat’s urinary health. It also helps with hairballs and will keep your kitty’s coat looking and feeling great.

Key Features:

  • 7-lb bag
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • All natural ingredients

Cost: $25

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health

IAMS PROACTIVE HEALTH Adult Urinary Tract Health

If your cat needs his urinary pH reduced, this food can do that. It also contains calcium and potassium for heart health.

Key Features:

  • 16-lb bag
  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Crunchy kibble, good for teeth

Cost: $24

Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula

Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula

This food offers the combination of low magnesium and the ability to reduce urinary pH for good urinary tract health. It is made with real chicken.

Key Features:

  • 16 lb bag
  • Easy to digest
  • For adult cats

Cost: $22

Dry Kitten Food

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Packed with DHA and ARA, which are fatty acids found in mothers’ milk, this grain-free food is formulated for optimal development.

Key Features:

  • 5 lb bag
  • Made with real chicken
  • Includes vitamins, minerals and antioxidants

Cost: $16

Iams Proactive Health Kitten

Iams Proactive Health Kitten

Help your kitten’s immune system with this food, which has the nutrients found in mothers’ milk as well as vitamin E for a healthy boost.

Key Features:

  • 3.5 lb bag
  • Made with real chicken
  • Small kibble for small mouths

Cost: $8

Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Recipe

Instinct Original Kitten Grain Free Recipe

If you want to give your kitty grain-free, cage-free kitten food, this might be the right one for you. It contains animal ingredients as well as healthy fruits and veggies.

Key Features:

  • 4.5 lb bag
  • No grain, potato, corn, wheat, or soy
  • Raw-coated kibble

Cost: $17

Natural Balance Original Ultra

Natural Balance Original Ultra

Between specially shaped kibble that is the perfect size for tiny mouths and ingredients that support your kitten’s whole body, this is a great food for young cats.

Key Features:

  • 2 lb bag
  • Premium proteins
  • Takes a holistic approach

Cost: $9

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition

Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition

This food is formulated for kittens under one year of age who have already been spayed or neutered. It can help prevent overweight after spay/neuter surgery.

Key Features:

  • 2.5 lb bag
  • Adapted level of fat
  • X-shaped kibble

Cost: $18

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe

This grain-free kitten formula is made from high-quality proteins and fresh fruits and veggies for a wholesome, nutritious diet.

Key Features:

  • 10 lb bag
  • Nothing artificial
  • Real poultry

Cost: $18

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