Kibble is the most popular and convenient food for cats, but is it the best? Learn about the best dry cat food brands to meet your cat's nutritional needs and satisfy your feline's finicky nature.
Modern dry cat foods bear little resemblance to formulas from years ago. Historically, cat food has been high in carbohydrates and lacks sufficient moisture that cats need for health and to support proper urinary tract function. A diet based solely on such dry food formulas causes cats to live in a state of dehydration which takes a toll on the animal’s physical well-being.
Due to the history of previous brands, the important question looms, ‘Is dry food good for cats?’ Luckily times have changed. The best dry cat food brands have refocused their recipes to become an excellent source of nutrition for felines.
In this article, we will examine the best dry cat food formulas. Cats are notoriously finicky, and many develop a fixed food preference, so you want to make sure that whichever cat food brand you pick provides nutritional balance.
Is Dry Food Good for Cats?
Yes and no. While dry cat food is one of the most popular, most convenient, and most affordable types of cat food, there are some downsides to feeding a strictly dry cat food diet. Cat kibble is often regarded as a less-than-appropriate diet for your carnivorous cat. This is because carnivores simply don't need the carbohydrates and filler ingredients that make up the texture of cat kibble.
Cats also require moisture in their diet, something that dry cat foods are missing. For these reasons, dry cat food isn't considered the healthiest option.
That being said, many cats thrive on dry cat food diets, so long as you stick to high-quality cat foods and supplement their diet with high-moisture foods or toppers.
What to Look for in Dry Cat Food
Knowing that dry cat foods have both pros and cons, it's smart to look for a formula that offers the most appropriate nutrition. Here are a few things to look for in dry cat food to ensure that your cat can thrive:
As carnivores, cats need a diet high in animal protein to thrive. Dry cat food is often moderately high in protein, but you should stick to dry foods that are high specifically in animal protein. Plenty of high-quality cat food brands will tell you how much of the food's protein comes from an animal source.
To ensure your cat gets the nutrients they need from the protein, look for foods that have a 70% meat inclusion or higher. This means 70% of the protein is animal protein.
Carbs are a necessary evil when it comes to kibble diets. Grains and starches are a key components and give kibble that crunchy texture and long shelf life that makes it so easy to feed.
This can't be completely avoided, but you can stick to low-carbohydrate diets that use whole grains or low glycemic starches instead of corn, wheat, soy and other inferior-quality carbs.
Essential Fatty Acids
One of the essential nutrients that cats need from their diet is fatty acids. These healthy fats play an important role in your cat's health, including skin and coat, digestion, and immune system.
There are lots of sources of fatty acids, but cats need specific kinds of fatty acids called EPA and DHA, which are very difficult to source from plant oils in sufficient quantities. Good dry cat food should include fish oils, like salmon or mackerel.
Supplement Your Cats Diet with Moisture
Feeding dry cat as a sole diet will leave your cat dehydrated. Cats don't instinctively drink water, and even those that do seek out water sources will still not be getting enough. That's why it's important to find alternative ways to increase the amount of water your cat takes in.
Fresh clean water sources are a good step, but the best way to get your cat to take in more water is to supplement their diet with wet food. Canned cat foods are very flavourful and complement dry cat food diets.
10 Best Dry Cat Foods
There are many excellent dry cat foods to choose from, but finding the right one for your cat requires a little research. You need to consider style, flavour, quality, and even the brand.
Chicken and fish are common protein choices for cats, but cats with allergies or digestive issues may do better on a more unique protein. Or maybe you would prefer a brand that sources its ingredients locally.
No matter what you are looking for in your cat's kibble, Homes Alive Pets can help you find the cat diet that helps your kitty thrive.
1. Acana Dry Cat Food
When it comes to taste, many concur that Acana Dry Cat Foods rule. The award-winning Canadian pet food brand focuses on a combination of taste and nutrition in their recipes. They use regionally sourced ingredients to craft tasty dry cat foods, like Acana Grasslands.
Acana focuses on your cat’s carnivorous needs by providing foods rich in protein. They strive to offer the best dry kitten food and cat food for all stages of the pet’s life.
The Acana Homestead Harvest Adult Cat Food variety is a protein-rich formula that contains human-grade meats, veggies and fruits such as duck, turkey, chicken, eggs, blueberries, and butternut squash. The food has EPA, DHA, and taurine to maintain your cat’s eye and heart health. It also has omega fatty acids for a shiny coat.
If your finicky feline enjoys the taste of seafood, then they will fall in love with Acana Bountiful Catch Adult Cat Food which is made from regionally sourced seafood favourites like hake, trout, herring, and salmon.
2. Boreal Cat Food
Boreal uses only minimally processed fresh Canadian ingredients in their dry cat food formulas to ensure easy digestion and taste quality. The zinc that goes into their foods is also organically sourced. If you are looking for natural cat food, then look no further than Boreal.
If you are shopping for the best dry cat food for indoor cats, then check out Boréal Functional Indoor Cat Food. The low-carb recipe is grain free, with Canadian-raised chicken as the main ingredient.
It also contains sweet potato, blueberries, pumpkin, and cranberries. The food features miscanthus fibre to control hairballs and help with dental abrasion. The cranberries help balance urinary pH while supporting immune health.
Boréal Original Cat Food is a classic charmer with chicken as a sole source of protein which assists cats with allergies. The food also contains low-glycemic carbohydrates like peas and beans instead of grains for improved digestion. The ingredients also include sweet potato, carrots, spinach, cranberries, and blueberries.
FirstMate offers grain-free and grain-friendly dry cat food recipes that feature either single or multiple protein sources. Each food in the FirstMate line has a limited ingredient list to help your cat’s digestion process.
FirstMate Grain Free Chicken with Blueberry Cat Food is formulated at a family-owned facility located in Chilliwack, British Columbia. The formula is suitable for cats during all life stages.
The limited ingredient list provides optimum nutrition and is easily digestible, so a fantastic choice for kitties with allergies. The food’s recipe features free-run chicken, blueberries, and potatoes but has zero grains.
FirstMate Grain Free Chicken with Blueberry Cat Food contains free-run chicken and blueberries to maintain your cat’s immune health, vision, cognitive function, and urinary tract health. It features 92% protein to meet all your feline’s needs and ensure optimum taste.
The Fromm Pet Food Company is a family-owned business that focuses on creating balanced and nutritious food for your cat. They have made pet food for five generations and continue to make each recipe a work of art which contains all the nutrition your cat needs to thrive.
In the 1940s, the Fromm family was one of the first to create a dry pet food kibble using meats and grains. The Fromm family is well-known for founding Fromm Laboratories, which developed the canine distemper vaccine that has saved innumerable animals.
Fromm Cat Food - Salmon À La Veg is one of the best cat food choices if your kitty loves a fresh fish taste. The food also contains apples, carrots, and broccoli with ample omega fatty acids and probiotics. All of the cat food recipes have no wheat, corn, or by-products.
5. GO! Solutions
Petcurean is an independently owned Canadian pet food manufacturer that offers GO! Solutions cat food recipes that focus on essential nutrients like high-quality proteins to give your pet energy. The optimum nutrients mean you can feed your pet a smaller amount of food while resting, assured that the kitty receives optimum nutrients.
Many pet owners are having to pinch-pennies, so are shopping for great food at an affordable price. Why buy cheap dry cat food when you can buy the best dry cat food and simply feed less to save money?
Nutram is a Canadian family-owned business with a team of in-house Certified Nutritionists who develop each recipe to ensure nutrient absorption. The foods contain natural ingredients and are sold in over 30 countries.
If you are seeking one of the best dry food for older cats choices, then check out Nutram Sound S5 - Balanced Wellness Adult & Senior Cat Food features a combination of high-quality ingredients such as salmon meal, chicken meal, salmon oil, celery seeds, cranberries, and pumpkin. The formula is rich in fibre to meet your aging cat’s needs.
Nutram Sound Balanced Wellness S1 Kitten Food is one of the best dry kitten food choices. It will entice your little furry eater with chicken meal and more. It even has tiny, delicious kibble bites for small mouths.
Nulo has risen to the top in pet food and has become one of the largest pet food manufacturers in California. All the foods are made in the USA.
The Nulo Freestyle Indoor Cat Food focuses on the nutrition your indoor cat needs to thrive. The formula is rich in protein, omegas, and vitamin A. The food's proper balance promotes digestion and heart health. The small kibble size ensures that your cat can easily enjoy each bite of kibble.
If your kitty regularly suffers from hairballs, then check out Nulo Freestyle Hairball Management Adult Cat Food. The delicious food features ample animal-based protein combined with other wholesome ingredients, including miscanthus grass, taurine, and a special patented probiotic known as Ganeden BC30.
The food is specially balanced with proteins, minerals, fats, and vitamins to help your cat naturally pass hairballs.
Orijen is a leading Canadian brand that focuses on providing foods based on your cat’s ancestral roots. The best dry food for cats’ recipes is rich in protein with low carbs. All the ingredients in Orijen’s foods focus on maintaining a lean, healthy weight and muscle mass.
If you are looking for an everyday dry kibble that provides your cat with exactly what the pet needs, then Orijen Adult Cat and Kitten Food is an ideal choice. The food is made of 85% prey animals such as turkey, chicken, chicken liver, chicken heart, hake, and herring.
The recipe is free of unwanted fillers like grains. The food meets your cat’s carnivorous needs while supporting the skin, coat, heart, and digestive system.
Farmina blends science and nature to create the perfect cat food. The foods include all-natural ingredients to create delicious meals that felines love.
If you are looking for one of the best dry cat food formulas for urinary tract health, then check out Farmina N&D Quinoa Functional Feline Cat Food - Urinary Duck. The food contains all-natural proteins to help your cat’s urinary tract health.
The recipe contains 96% duck with chamomile, cranberries, and blueberries. The food is rich in vitamins A and C. The ingredients have been specially formulated to maintain your cat’s urinary tract and prevent bladder stones and struvite stones from forming.
Farmina Natural & Delicious Grain-Free Feline Adult Cat Food Formula - Chicken and Pomegranate is a grain-free, low glycemic food that contains 98% free-range chicken along with pomegranate, carrots, blueberries, and apples to assist the immune system and improve the skin/coat.
10. NOW Fresh
The Canadian-owned company NOW Fresh launched in 1999. It is a part of Petcurean, which focuses on creating outstanding pet foods made from fresh ingredients. All the food is made from market fresh meat and fish along with produce.
NOW Fresh offers the best dry cat food for every stage of your cat’s life, such as kitten, adult, and senior. Each of the foods is grain-free. All the meats used are natural, deboned, and hormone-free. NOW Fresh is considered one of the best dry cat food Canada brands.
Best Dry Cat Food FAQs
Is dry cat food actually good for cats?
Yes! High-quality dry cat foods, like the ones in our list above, can be perfectly safe and highly nutritious when properly supplemented with water or other high-moisture foods.
Which dry cat food brand is the healthiest?
It's hard to pick just one. Orijen is widely considered one of the best overall dry cat foods in Canada, but there are many premium brands that offer unique and healthy formulas, like Farmina, Nulo, and FirstMate, just to name a few.
What's the best dry cat food for indoor cats?
Acana Indoor Entree offers carefully balanced calories and essential nutrients to ensure appropriate weight in indoor cats.
For Even the Pickiest Felines!
Luckily, when shopping for the best dry cat food, there is a wide array of brands offering premium ingredients to ensure a lifetime of nutrition for every stage. All the 10 brands above offer outstanding dry cat foods to satisfy even the pickiest feline.
Do you feed dry cat food? Share your favourite brands and your top feeding tips with us in the comments below!