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Cat Food Reviews: Top Healthiest Dry Cat Foods

What’s the best cat food? 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 within the first 5 ingredients which is not the best for your cat. This food will label “MEAT MEAL” as the 1st ingredient which means the meat has been weighed only after water has been extracted. “Meat meal” is highly concentrated protein but lacks of crude proteins and water.

The ideal is a formula with “meat meal” as a 2nd 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.

 

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, 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. They are high in gluten.
  • Rye. It is very harsh to digest and pets don’t like it.
  • When 3 of first 5 ingredients are grains
  • Potatoes (except sweet potatoes). They are high-glycemic, causing peaks in sugar blood.
  • Tapioca, is high-glycemic.
  • Artificial preservatives and colorants

 

What you can do to make your cat healthy and happy

The best you can do for your cat is:

Cute and happy cat

1) Get the best dry and wet food possible, according to your cat needs.

2) Give him/her the right intake.

3) Keep him/her hydrated as much as you can.

4) Play with your pet in a daily basis.

5) Keep a nice environment with hiding areas, bedding and toys.

6) A stress-free home.

The first step is giving your cat the best dry and wet food possible.

To help you in choosing a good dry cat food 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/carbs. Besides, some people cannot afford very expensive formulas.

 

MEAT BASED CAT FOODS WITHOUT GRAINS/CARBS IN MAIN 5 INGREDIENTS:

 

Orijen Cat and Kitten Formula

Orijen Cat and Kitten Formula

Orijen Cat and Kitten (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 that are low glycemic.

First 5 ingredients: Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, boneless turkey. Full review

 

 

Wellness CORE Original Formula Fish & Fowl Adult Cats and Kittens

Wellness CORE Original Fish & Fowl Recipe

Wellness CORE Original Fish & Fowl Recipe

Wellness CORE grain free formula provides your cat a good source of high quality and low-in-ash meats in its first 5 ingredients to satisfy the carnivore diet of your cat.

Wellness CORE formula is free of grains or fillers to ensure a proper nutrition for your cat, free of the unwanted carbohydrates that contribute with obesity and diabetes in pets. Also, this formula is gluten-free.

This formula offers good fats, such as salmon oil and flax seed which helps to maintain a healthy skin in your cat and to improve its coat.

This recipe does not contain meat by-products, wheat, soy, corn, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

First 5 ingredients: Deboned turkey, deboned chicken, chicken meal, whitefish meal, herring meal. Full review.

 

 

Acana Pacifica Regional Fish Formula

Acana Pacifica Regional Fish Formula

Acana Pacifica Cats & Kittens Fish Formula

Acana Pacifica Regional formula is a dry cat food which contains natural ingredients locally grown in Canada. The recipe includes wild caught fish as herring, flounder and pacific hake from North Vancouver Island coast.

Acana Pacifica formula is grain and potato free and it has exclusively fish on the main 5 ingredients with low glycemic formula to reduce excess of carbs in your cat diet, reducing obesity and avoiding peaks in blood sugar levels.

The formula also includes fruits and vegetables delivered fresh and whole from locally grown from sun-drenched orchards and black prairie soils.

First 5 ingredients: Boneless herring, herring meal, pollock meal, boneless flounder, boneless Pacific hake. Full Review

 

 

Nutrience Natural Fish & Duck Formula (Low glycemic carbohydrates)

Nutrience Natural Fish & Duck

Nutrience Natural Fish & Duck

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/CARBS IN MAIN 5 INGREDIENTS:

 

Fromm Four Star Game Bird Recipe

Fromm Grain Free Game Bird Formula

Fromm Grain Free Game Bird Formula

Fromm Grain Free Game Bird recipe gives your cat a tasty entree of duck, chicken, turkey, quail and pheasant, adding real Wisconsin cheese to the formula. Fresh fruits and vegetables give your cat a good source of vitamins and help your cat’s digestion.

This formula helps to reduce most food-related allergies. The chicory root extract enhances digestion functions and avoids worms. Taurine supports the health of your cat’s eyes and heart.

Fromm cat food is made in small batches, which helps to produce a cat food with consistency and quality. The Game Bird formula is balanced and recommended for cats of all ages.

First 5 ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Pea Protein, Turkey, Dried Whole Egg. Full Review

 

 

Chicken Soup For The Soul Cat Food

Chicken Soup For The Soul Cat Food

Chicken Soup For The Soul Dry Cat Food

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Cat has been formulated to meet your cat’s nutritional needs, providing good sources of crude and concentrated protein, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, fatty acids, botanicals and more.

The recipe is tasty so if you have a picky cat with a very strict taste, this is the cat food for you. Your pet will be eating tasty food and at the same time will be getting high nutrition.

Chicken Soup For The Soul contains good quality ingredients and the grain incorporated in the formula it is a very healthy nutritional grain. This is a very good example of a cat food with an excellent value for money.

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), turkey meal. Full Review

 

Evanger’s Pheasant & Whitefish Formula

Evanger's Pheasant & Whitefish

Evanger’s Pheasant & Whitefish

Evanger’s Pheasant and Whitefish is made with high quality ingredients and offers a mix of proteins coming from pheasant, whitefish and duck. This cat food is free of by-products and it does not contain cheap fillers such as corn, wheat or soy.

Evanger’s Pheasant and Whitefish contains high levels of animal and vegetable proteins, good sources of energy, vegetables and fruits for easy digestion. Also, the recipe includes a good source of omega-3 and taurine to support your cat’s heart and eyes health.

Evanger’s Pheasant and Whitefish is very tasty, so it will be easy for your cat to adopt to this new cat food in his/her diet.

First 5 ingredients: Pheasant, Whitefish, Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols),  Peas. Full Review

 

Halo

halo cat food 2

Halo Spot’s Stew Chicken Recipe

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.

The formula “Spot’s Stew Cat Grain-Free Chicken” contains good sources of proteins and sources of energy, plus good natural flavor with vegetable broth.

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Eggs, Pea Protein, Vegetable Broth, Chicken Fat. Full Review

 

 

Wysong Uretic Feline Dry Diet

Wysong Uretic Feline Dry Diet

Wysong Uretic Feline Dry Diet

Wysong Uretic Feline Formula has been specially formulated to improve cats urinary tract system, including healthy and fresh proteins, guarantying a minimum of 36% proteins and 16% fat, satisfying the carnivore cat’s diet.

This recipe contains important micronutrients and nutraceuticals, probiotics, prebiotics, omega-3, antioxidants and more.

The formula does not exceed healthy amounts of minerals and it contains a natural source of methionine, a very important essential amino-acid to improve urinary functions.

First 5 ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Fish Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas. Full Review

 

Precise Holistic

precise holistic

Precise Holistic Complete Formula

Precise Holistic uses high nutritional standards for your pet. This brand (Wild at Heart River Line Salmon formula) has been recommended by experts to treat itchy skin or ear problems produced by Candida Albicans and “Leaky Gut Syndrome” in cats (Nzymes).

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

 

 

Natural Planet Organic

cat food

Natural Planet Organics

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: Orijen, Precise and Natural Planet Organics have been recommended by DC Ranch Animal Hospital, Arizona and recommended to treat some allergies in pets by Nzymes, Corporation dedicated to the health and welfare of people and pets all over the world.

 

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.

Cat eating dry food

Cat eating dry food

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, it will even depend on the breed and genes.

Some cats do very bad with dry foods containing any grain while other cats live until a very old age eating foods with grains with no problem. The important point here is to choose a meat based dry cat food with no by-products or fillers such as corn or soy, wheat, white rice, artificial flavors or colorants, etc.

Also, you need to find: 1) a good balance between dry and wet food, 2) a price that fits in your budget, and 3) a cat food that will make your cat healthy and happy. Most likely you will need to go through the trial-and-error method to find the best dry cat food for your cat.

Sometimes, even with an excellent cat food, cats still get diseases. Cats, as people, get sick and you need to try to do your best to keep your cat healthy but nothing can be guaranteed, even stress can get your cat sick to the point of serious illness (Ohio State studies).

 

Tips How to Change your Cat Food:

Gato comiendo

Barbara Doduk photo.

First Day:

First meal: 3/4 old food with 1/4 new food Second meal: 2/3 old food with 1/3 new food

Second Day:

First meal: 1/2 old food with 1/2 new food Second meal: 1/3 old food with 2/3 new food

Third Day:

All new food

 

 

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13 Responses to “Cat Food Reviews: Top Healthiest Dry Cat Foods”

  1. Debra DiCenso says:

    I was told to feed my multiple cats Blue, cat food. It’s dry food but very high in calories. My mother went into a home with dementia and I took her cat who are very over weight. One of them is a diabetic now. I’m afraid it will happen to more of them. The wet food I feed them is Core, they love it.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      It’s a good thing to give your diabetic cat wet food from now on. I don’t know what Blue cat food your mom fed the cat but for example, Blue Buffalo indoors formula has 3 different grains in the main 5 ingredients and that could be a cause for the cat being overweight and also diabetic. How a dry cat food will affect a cat is unpredictable, metabolisms and activity level are different between cats. In general cats handle well a good quality and high in proteins dry cat food complemented with wet food, also drinking lots of water, exercising a lot and eating only the recommended amount daily. Thanks for your contribution Debra!!

  2. Jody says:

    I am so confused! trying to find the best dry cat food for my 11 cats. I stopped giving them Purina Cat Chow because they were throwing it up. They are doing better now with Good Life, but they have dry skin now so I tried Taste of the Wild but they hate it. I just need a good quality reasonably priced dry cat food! Help! Good Life has too many grains and not enough meat.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hello Jody, the best cat food depends on various factors but in general Orijen Dry cat food (from Canada) is a very good meat based cat food without grains or carbohydrates in the main 5 ingredients, though the price might discourage you from buying it. Cats food with more reasonable prices usually add grain or carbohydrates such as potatoes in the recipe. If you want a less expensive cat food I recommend you to try Fromm, Chicken Soup For the Soul or Precise Holistic Complete Adult Chicken formula and see if one of those goes well with your cats. Good luck Jody!

      • Cheryl says:

        I used to give my cats Orijen because it’s probably the best cat food you can buy. However, my cats got constipated from it. Their vet said that there’s too much protein in it and that’s why my cats were getting constipated. Not all cats get constipated, obviously, but, unfortunately, mine did.

        I then tried Authority from Pet Smart, but my cats have been shedding like crazy. It’s horrible. I decided to try something else. I have just started them on Blue now, but I’m concerned about some of the ingredients. Below are the first 8 ingredients. Is there anything bad in there? I’m not sure which grains are good and which are bad. I read that it’s OK to give them brown rice. I know that white potatoes aren’t good, though. Anyway, here are the first ingredients:

        Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Ground Barley, Fish Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Whole Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols)

        Thanks for your help.

        • Lorena Ávila says:

          Hello Cheryl, grains such as whole ground barley, oatmeal are excellent (considering they are grains, cats don’t eat much grains, only inside preys). I cannot say the same about whole potatoes, they are high glycemic, causing sugar peaks in blood. Also, fish meal may not give all the fatty acid and proteins the cat needs, as they don’t indicate type of fish, not big deal if they include omega-3 in the formula. Average it’s a good formula. Remember to give plenty of water to your cat with any type of dry cat food. Good luck!

          • Cheryl says:

            Thanks, Lorena. I really appreciate the information. I knew that potatoes weren’t good, but since they were only the 8th ingredient, I thought that it wouldn’t be too bad considering the other ingredients are so good. Below is a full list of ingredients. Your opinion would be appreciated because I’ve never dealt with this company before. Thank you.

            Ingredient List*
            Blue Buffalo Cat Food Ingredient List
            Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potato Starch, Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Peas, Potatoes, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Chicken Flavor, Alfalfa Meal, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, Blueberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Turmeric, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

  3. Lorena Ávila says:

    Hello again Cheryl, I personally would not recommend a cat food with potato starch as the 4th main ingredient as this is a cheap filler and could cause digestive problems in your cat and also your pet will gain weight.
    You can try Halo or Wysong if you don’t want to feed your cat with a food that is highly concentrated in meat proteins. Halo may not cause constipation to your cat. Remember that you have to give your cat plenty of water when you feed it with dry food.

    Good luck Cheryl!

  4. AZRA says:

    I bought the Hill’s ideal balance cat food. But my cat refused to eat it. Is there anything wrong with the ingredients?
    Chicken, brown rice, yellow peas, brewers rice, pea protein concentrate, chicken fat, dried egg product, flaxseed, chicken liver flavor, lactic acid, vegetable & fruit blend (green peas, apples, cranberries , carrots, broccoli), fish oil, calcium sulfate , choline chloride, potassium chloride, DL-Methionine, iodized salt, taurine, vitamins (Vitamin E supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2 Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin , vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic asid , Vitamin D3 supplement), minerals (Ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), L-Lysine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, phosphoric acid, beta-carotene, natural flavors.

    My cat prefers to eat the food that contains meat-by-products. I have tried mixing this new food with the old one, but she refused to eat at all. What should I do? I have tried changing three different types of food. But she still wants the meat-by-products dry food. I didn’t want her to starve, so I gave her the old food and some wet food.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hello Azra, your cat does not like that food because it is mostly based in carbohydrates and your cat knows it. The first ingredient, Chicken should be followed by chicken meal as second ingredient because that would have given your cat the highly concentrated source of proteins your cat needs and instead, its second ingredient is brown rice. The rest of main ingredients are grains as well. Regarding meat by-products I don’t recommend you to feed your cat with food based in those because that means the meat is any meat, in any condition, it may even include tumors. Try to feed your cat Fromm Game Bird or Chicken Soup or maybe better, Orijen, and tell me how it goes with your cat. Good luck!

  5. AZRA says:

    Thanks Lorena. So that’s what my cat has been trying to tell me. That the Ideal Balance isn’t good for her as it is full of carbohydrates.

    Is Orijen the best brand compared to Wellness Core?

    It’s really difficult to get these brands in Malaysia. So I just wanna make sure that I’m giving my cat the best food before I make an online purchase from overseas. Most vets here are selling Royal Canin / Science Plan.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hi Azra, Orijen is higher in proteins than Wellness Core and it’s one of the best cat foods. One thing I have to mention is when feeding Orijen or any food that is highly concentrated in proteins your cat will eat less because it will be satisfied with less amount of food. Also, it is VERY important to give your cat plenty of water while eating this cat food as most part of the formula is dried concentrated protein and your cat’s body needs to get the water lacked in the dried meat formula. The best idea is to feed Orijen daily and also feed your cat wet canned food three times a week at least and also give your cat plenty of water.

  6. AZRA says:

    Thank you very much Lorena. I will try it out and let you know the outcome.

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