Top Dry Cat Food Brands

What ingredients to look for and avoid


Oirjen Dry Cat Food

  • Completely Natural - grain-free!
  • All ages and breeds
  • 80% rich meats including free-run chicken, whole eggs and fresh wild-caught fish
  • DHA & EPA Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and shiny coat

Evo Grain Free Turkey and Chicken Formula

  • Ancestral recipe featuring omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat health
  • EPA and DHA for healthy development
  • Rich in turkey and chicken-based protein.
  • Source of viable, naturally ocurring microorganisms and has both linoleic acid and Omega-3 fatty acids.

Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free

  • Grain Free
  • Protein focused nutrition - turkey, chicken, whitefish and herring.
  • All natural ingredients
  • Made in USA

It can be overwhelming when picking out your cat's diet due to the variety of choices. In this guide, we'll show you which ingredients to look for, which to avoid, and our top three recommended cat food brands.

What to look for and avoid

Check out the ingredients section located on the back to see the list ordered by weight (the most used ingredients appear first). Here is a list of what you should expect in good cat food:

  • Named meat protein sources.
  • No by-products whatsoever. By-products are the "leftover" pieces of an animal after harvesting all the good parts. This includes spleen, kidneys, brain, blood, bone, heart, intestines.
  • No fillers such as wheat, soy, grain, rye, white rice or corn, as they are high in gluten. It's unnatural for cats to eat these, and often they just serve as fillers to make your cats feel full without much nutritional content. Additionally, they are difficult for cats to digest.
  • No potatoes (besides sweet potatoes), as they are highly glycemic, and may cause sugar peaks.
  • No artificial ingredients or preservatives. These are part of manufacturer's tactics to increase flavor and shelf life.

A note on pricing

Most of the time, the cheaper the food, the less nutrients it contains. Less nutrients means your cats have to eat more, resulting is more poop and litter box cleanup.

Furthermore, cats placed on low-nutrient diets are prone to disease and illnesses, which can rack up the veterinarian bill in the future. Invest in high-quality foods for your cats!

What NOT to buy

Surprisingly, one of the most popular, 4.5+ stars cat foods available from Amazon is Meow Mix. Let's look below in the table to see the first 10 ingredients.

Meow mix, a cat food to avoid.
Meow mix, a cat food to avoid.
Product nameFirst 10 ingredientsWeightList Price
Meow Mix Original ChoiceGround Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Animal Digest, Calcium Carbonate, Turkey By-Product Meal, Salmon Meal, Ocean Fish Meal.16 lbs$ Check price
22.2822.28Amazon 4.5 logo(265+ reviews)

Notice that the first ingredient isn't even a meat product. It's ridden with corn, gluten, by-products, and vague meats. Feeding your cats this would be like feeding mystery meat made from fatty by-products to your children!

Top 3 Recommended Brands

Now let's discuss the top three foods. You should see a stark difference in the quality of ingredients, which justifies the premium pricings.

1) Orijen Dry Cat Food

The brand includes never frozen meat, with a breakdown of 80% protein and 20% fruits and vegetables. Compared to other cat food brands, the quality of meat is superb, and the crude analysis of protein is as good as it can get. Notice how the first five ingredients are all meats - a great indicator for an incredible food brand!

This brand is primarily found in high-end pet stores, so your local pet shop may not carry them. You can purchase them online on Amazon, however.

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Product namesFirst 10 ingredientsWeightList Price
Orijen Cat & KittenBoneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, boneless turkey, turkey meal, turkey liver, whole eggs, boneless walleye, whole salmon.5 lbs$ Check price
53.9553.95Amazon 4.5 logo(210+ reviews)
Orijen 6 FishWhole salmon, whole herring, salmon meal, herring meal, pollock meal, whole flounder, boneless walleye, boneless northern pike, boneless lake whitefish, salmon oil.5 lbs$ Check price
38.9938.99Amazon 4.5 logo(91+ reviews)

2) EVO, the ancestral diet

EVO's goal is to mimic the food your cats' ancestors would have eaten in the wild. This particular diet is rich in turkey and chicken-based protein and is grain-free. In addition, EVO also contains a source of viable, naturally occurring microorganisms and has both linoleic acid (omega-6) and omega-3 fatty acids, important building blocks to your cats' health.

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Product nameFirst 10 ingredientsWeightList Price
EVO Turkey & ChickenTurkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat, Peas, Egg, Turkey Meal, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavors15.4 lbs.$ Check price
60.9960.99Amazon 4.5 logo(95+ reviews)

3) Wellness (core fish and fowl)

The Wellness brand is packed with many nutrients and essential vitamins that cats are able to eat less per meal, while retaining the same or more energy.

As you can see, the first five ingredients are meats, and the sixth is peas (another great source of protein). The Wellness CORE is completely grain-free, and includes probiotics for digestive control, flaxseeds and salmon oils, which are essential fatty acids.

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Product namesDimensionsWeightList Price
Wellness CORE Natural Grain Free Turkey & ChickenDeboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace12 pounds$ Check price
42.9942.99Amazon 4.5 logo(2,182+ reviews)
Wellness Complete Health Salmon & WhitefishSalmon, Whitefish Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Tomato Pomace, Oat Fiber11.5 pounds$ Check price
37.9937.99Amazon 4.5 logo(673+ reviews)

Runner Up: Natural Balance

A good affordable alternative to the three is Natural Balance, which contains meats for the first three of five ingredients. Additionally, it is packed with omega oils and other essential nutrients. The fresh fruits and vegetables such as alfalfa, spinach, chickpeas, cranberries give your cats the balanced diet they deserve.

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Product nameFirst 10 ingredientsWeightList Price
Natural Balance Indoor FormulaSalmon, Whitefish Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Tomato Pomace, Oat Fiber.15 lbs.$ Check price
34.9934.99Amazon 4.5 logo(139+ reviews)

What cat foods do you feed your cats? Comment with your answer below!

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