Cat Food Reviews: Top Healthiest Dry Cat Foods
What’s the best cat food?
Maybe you are expecting to find here some brands that you have read in other reviews, but this is not the case. And I am going to tell you why….
The best cat food is not necessary the winner of the year award or the most expensive brand. Usually these brands known as “healthy” belong to big companies and “pet food” is just a business line between so many others they have. They usually use by-products from other production processes to use in pet foods.
The best cat food is the one made by companies which business is just pet food and they have specialized only in that, working to get the best formula for cat’s needs. These formulas won’t normally contain by-products.
It’s important to mention that all companies producing pet food have to establish formulas to meet the requirements of Food and Drug Administration, (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
What about “Premium” cat food that I saw in other reviews?
“Premium” labeled food is mostly based on corn or wheat which is not the best for your cat. This food will label “MEAT MEAL” as the primary ingredient which means the meat has been weighed only after water has been extracted.
The ideal is a formula with “meat meal” as a secondary ingredient since cats don’t eat naturally meat extract, they need a crude source of proteins. However, “meat meal” has to be part of the ingredients because it makes your cat feel satisfied with less amount of food, it is “concentrated protein” .
What is the best type of cat food then?
It is recommendable to feed your pet Super Premium types of foods. This means they are “meat based” and also more nutritious and good balanced, with a higher quality of proteins than “meat meal” and including a package of “vitamins and minerals” that has been designed to be more thoroughly absorbed by your pet’s body.
What to absolutely avoid in the main 5 ingredients:
- Proteins from corn (“corn gluten meal” “corn meal”)
- Proteins from soy (“soybean meal”, “soy flour”, “soy meal”)
- Grains such as wheat, white rice
- Potatoes (except sweet potatoes)
- Artificial preservatives and colorants
Important Points to Consider About Grain in Cat Foods and Grain-Free Cat Foods
A grain-free dry cat food does not mean is healthier than a cat food which contains grains.
Some grain-free cat foods use starch such as tapioca or potatoes in the main 5 ingredients and that means they have as much carbohydrates as the food which contain quality grain sources (and sometimes even more).
For example, some cat foods contain grains such as peas, oats or barley in the first 5 ingredients, while a grain-free cat food might contain sweet potatoes and potatoes or tapioca in the main 5 ingredients, which means the grain-free recipe has as much carbs as the recipe containing grains.
Finally: Does the “perfect cat food” exist?
There is not a “perfect cat food” because there are so many factors involved when it comes to nutritional needs for cats. The best cat food will depend whether the cat is indoor or outdoors, age, medical conditions, even depends on the breed in some aspects.
Also, let’s keep in mind that no cat food can guarantee your cat will be completely healthy forever. Cats, as people, get sick and we need to try to do our best to keep our cat healthy but nothing can be guaranteed, even stress can get your cat sick to the point of serious illness (Ohio State studies).
The best you can do for your cat (other than trying to get the best food possible, according to your cat needs) is to give him the right food intake, keep him hydrated as much as possible, play with your pet in a daily basis, keep a nice environment with hiding areas, bedding, toys, and a stress-free home. After all, cats weren’t meant to live indoors so there is not a perfect solution in dry cat food, but it will be the best solution we can find.
As follows you will find a list with the best cat foods which are all meat based. They are also classified according to the main 5 ingredients. Some cat owners don’t want any carbohydrates in the main 5 ingredients while other people don’t mind it as long as the cat food is: 1) meat based, 2) with high percentage in crude proteins 3) with low or medium glycemic grains. Plus, some people cannot afford very expensive formulas.
MEAT BASED CAT FOODS WITHOUT GRAINS/CARBS IN MAIN 5 INGREDIENTS:
Orijen (Low glycemic carbohydrates)
The Orijen formula is made with local ingredients, free-run chicken, turkey, with whole eggs and locally caught fish.
All meats used in Orijen formula are fresh, free of preservatives and never frozen.
Orijen recipe is full in proteins (80%) and gives cats a very natural food as they would get in nature.
The formula is also grain-free and contains very few amounts of carbohydrates.
First 5 ingredients: Fresh boneless chicken, chicken meal, fresh boneless salmon, turkey meal, fresh chicken liver. Full review
Nutrience Natural Fish & Duck Formula (Low glycemic carbohydrates)
Nutrience Natural Ocean Fish & Duck is an excellent dry food recipe because it is meat based in the 5 main ingredients of its formula. This cat food achieves a good balance of proteins such as fish and duck, healthy fats, and low glycemic carbohydrates.
Good alternative if you want to feed your cat with dry food and at the same time to obtain a healthy recipe for your pet, with 5 main ingredients based on proteins from fish and duck.
Nutrience is a good formula for cats with stomach sensitivities as well.
First 5 ingredients: Deboned haddock, deboned cod, deboned flounder, deboned pollock, menhaden fish meal. Full review
MEAT BASED CAT FOODS WITH GRAINS IN MAIN 5 INGREDIENTS:
Halo has formula with natural ingredients free of artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
They use fresh meat in the recipe and a complete package of vitamins and minerals designed to be easily absorbed by your cat’s body. They don’t use by-products and either corn, wheat or wheat gluten.
Our top Halo cat foods are “Sensitive Cat-Seafood Medley” and “Spot’s Stew Cat Grain-Free Chicken” recipe.
First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Eggs, Pea Protein, Trout, Oats. Full Review
Precise Holistic uses high nutritional standards for your pet. This particular brand has been recommended by experts to treat itchy skin or ear problems produced by Candida Albicans and Leaky Gut Syndrome in cats.
They don’t use by-products in the formula and it contains real meat as primary ingredient, 32% of crude meat and 20% crude fat, which is very important in natural cat diet.
This formula has vitamins and minerals package easily to be absorbed by your cat’s body.
First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat. Full review
This particular formula contains 31% of crude salmon and 18% of crude fat.
All other brands you will see the label “salmon meal” as the first ingredient on the list which means crude salmon is not the primary ingredient. PureVita contains balanced Omega 3 and 6 and no whole corn.
This formula it is naturally preserved (no artificial preservatives), it has protected Vitamin C and natural antioxidants to be absorbed easily for your cat.
First 5 ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, pea protein, pea starch, sunflower oil. Full review
This is not just “another organic food” for pets. Natural Planet Organics is certified by Oregon Tilth Certified Organic (OTCO), an internationally recognized symbol of organic integrity (this certification exceeds the United States Department of Agriculture USDA organic standards).
This formula doesn’t have by-products an it has organic crude meat as primary ingredient.
If you want your cat to eat completely organic and healthy food, this is the product for you.
First 5 ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, organic yellow peas, organic flax seed, organic barley. Full review
Note: Precise, Pure Vita and Natural Planet Organics have been recommended by DC Ranch Animal Hospital, Arizona and by Nzymes, Corporation dedicated to the health and welfare of people and pets all over the world.
Tips How to Change your Cat Food:
First meal: 3/4 old food with 1/4 new food Second meal: 2/3 old food with 1/3 new food
First meal: 1/2 old food with 1/2 new food Second meal: 1/3 old food with 2/3 new food
All new food