The Best Premium Dry Cat Food of 2022 on the Market

Choosing cat food isn’t consistently a specific process. It’s an owner’s commitment to providing for a cat’s nutrition needs, varying over time.

“Cats are what we name obligate carnivores, meaning they must have protein as the majority of their diet,” Dr. Lewis Singleton, a vet at Banfield Pet Hospital in South New Jersey, defines. “Cats cannot naturally produce certain amino acids and vitamins such as taurine, arginine, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and other B vitamins, and therefore they must be contained in their diet.”

With Dr. Singleton’s guidance, the best premium dry cat foods are here.

The best dry cat food is wealthy in high-quality protein. It doesn’t include a lot of veggies. And it’s free of additives that might abuse your cat over time.

Great food is easy to explain, but seeing kibble worthy of your cat’s bowl? That’s a little more challenging.

The 10 Best Premium Dry Cat Food

Best Overall: CRAVE Grain Free Indoor Adult High Protein Natural Dry Cat

CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food


The best premium choice overall is Crave Indoor Adult Cat Food.

It comes in different flavors, including chicken, salmon, turkey, salmon with ocean fish, chicken, and duck blend.
Motivated by your pet’s traditional hunting diet, the formulae are made with high-quality protein and carbohydrates for healthy muscles, energy, and immunity.

They cater to the protein-rich diets kittens need to prosper, meat’s number one ingredient. Other nourishing ingredients include pea protein, potato protein, flaxseed, and several essential vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin E, which research shows can help with cats’ immune systems.

What We Like
  • It comes in different flavors
  • Utilizes real meat
  • Provides immunity help
What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Chicken Formula Dry Cat Food, 6.6 Lb


Unlike most grain-free foods, Dr. Elsey’s kibble accomplishes potatoes, legumes, or other plant-sourced ingredients.
Instead, it depends on gelatin as its sole critical agent. This lets Dr. Elsey’s clean protein cat food retain its carbohydrate range under 10%.
That’s almost unheard of among dry foods.
Dr. Elsey’s cat food has never been identified.
This formula features chicken as the main component. Instead of operating starchy ingredients like corn, legumes, or potatoes, the manufacturer depends on gelatin as a binder. Translation? This nutrition is one of the lowest-carbohydrate kibbles you can purchase.
With chicken, pork, and egg protein hermit as its first ingredients, this food is high in protein and easy to digest.

What We Liked
  • Lower in carbohydrates
  • Created mainly from species-appropriate pet ingredients
  • One of the most nutrient thick dry foods on the market
  • It doesn’t include any of the most typical provocative ingredients
What We Didn’t Like
  • Expensive

Best for Weight Loss: Blue Buffalo Weight Control Natural Adult Dry Cat Food


We recommend Blue Buffalo Weight Control if you’re looking for dry cat food to support weight loss.

It is created with an optimal mix of animal protein and calories, which allows your pet to achieve and keep an ideal body mass. Real deboned meat is the first ingredient.

After that, you’ll discover brown rice, omega-3, omega-6 greasy acids, fruit, vegetables, and vitamins.
The round kibble has a blend of specially-formed edges that are processed with less heat, which the manufacturer tells helps keep the nutritional value of the ingredients.

What We Like
  • It uses real deboned meat
  • Grain-free
  • Composed without artificial preservatives
What We Don’t Like
  • The bag isn’t resealable

What Testers Say

“The food is completely free of corn, soy, wheat, synthetic flavors, and preservatives. It even satisfies the nutritional standards specified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), indicating that it’s a well-balanced and complete meal.” N. Ingalls, Product Tester.

Best Ethically-Sourced: Open Farm Wild-Caught Salmon Dry Cat Food


This formula from Open Farm emphasizes animal-derived protein, ocean whitefish meal, featuring salmon and herring meal as its first three ingredients.

Like other grain-free dry foods, it also has legumes and other plant ingredients, and it’s not a significantly low-carbohydrate dry food.

Still, it’s a carnivore-friendly choice compared to the competition.
But what separates this food from other dry products is its ingredient sourcing.

Open Farm’s sourcing policy emphasizes humanely-raised poultry, meat, and fish. Like the one featured here, Fish-based recipes are made from sustainably-harvested wild-caught fish.
Overall, if you’re looking for a high-protein, meat-based dry cat food that’s more eco-friendly than the competition, this food from Open Farm could be a good choice.

What We Liked
  • Features responsibly reaped fish
  • It has herring oil and salmon oil as good sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Parts animal protein sources as its main ingredients
  • It doesn’t include potentially toxic artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors
  • Most cats appear to adore the way this food tastes.
What We Didn’t Like
  • Rather high in carbohydrates
  • Costly compared to some other dry cat foods

Best for Kittens: Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food


If you’ve got a kitty at home, we suggest Orijen Biologically Appropriate Cat Food (previously named Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food).

It’s prepared with fresh, whole ingredients like free-range chicken, wild-caught fish, and cage-free eggs, feeding your developing kitten with the necessary nutrients to thrive.

Likewise, you won’t see any seeds in the ingredients list, which some owners like to avoid. All recipe ingredients are selected with your feline’s biological essentials in mind.

What We Like
  • Utilizes fresh ingredients
  • 85 to 90 percent animal-derived ingredients
What We Don’t Like
  • Expensive

Best For Sensitive Stomach: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Morsels


These freeze-dried particles from Stella & Chewy’s capture the natural nutrient worth of raw meat while eliminating potentially-harmful bacteria.
The freeze-drying method makes the food shelf-stable like kibble and provides a bit of crunch for the morsels.
This food is an excellent choice for kibble addicts transitioning to a high-moisture diet.
You can slowly add warm water to your kitten’s meals until the raw morsels have been wholly rehydrated.
Stella & Chewy’s cat food was remembered twice in 2015 due to possible listeria contamination.
These freeze-dried bits are mostly made from ground chicken meat and bone, gizzard, and liver.
Botanicals complements and probiotics are comprised in addition to nutrient-rich meat.
This is a highly low-carbohydrate food that emphasizes muscle meat, organs, and bone.

If you enjoy something that blends the healthy integrity of raw food with the nicety of kibble, these morsels may be the answer for you.

What We Liked
  • The food of raw meat in a shelf-stable, securer format
  • Great for cats transitioning to a more beneficial moisture-rich diet
  • Low in carbohydrates
What We Didn’t Like
  • Some kittens won’t like the freeze-dried texture

Best Raw: Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Dry Cat Food


If you (or your pet) are partisan to natural ingredients, Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused is your best option. This all-natural dry cat food caters to an ancestral feline diet. It’s full of crave-worthy animal protein, including freeze-dried whole pieces of raw fish or game birds that help your cat’s food taste fresh.
This grain-free and the digestion-friendly recipe is full of taste, texture, and smell your cat will love. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, promoting healthy fur and skin.

What We Like
  • Grain-free
  • Digestion-friendly
  • Rich in omega-3 fatty acids
What We Don’t Like
  • Uses chicken and turkey meal

Best Grain-Free: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Natural Dry Food for Adult Cats


Although some cats may have allergies to specific grains, on the whole, there’s little research indicating that grain-free diets, on the whole, are more nutritious than traditional cat food diets.
Nonetheless, some pet proprietors favor grain-free.
Wellness Core is a natural dry cat food free of grains and fillers. This cat food provides energy, promotes digestion, provides immunity aid, and furnishes a healthy coat.
The recipes include natural poultry or fish as the main ingredient and animal proteins and fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics.

What We Like
  • Various flavors
  • It helps support a healthy coat
What We Don’t Like
  • Uses chicken and turkey meal

Best Vet-Recommended: Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food


Hill’s Science Diet is another choice Dr. Singleton often suggests.
High-quality meat, fish oil, whole grains, animal fat, vegetable fibers, and amino acids will benefit your cat’s desires and maintain them complete between meals.
It’s even the number one vet-recommended dry cat food for its exceptional formula of energy-support and digestible ingredients to fuel an indoor lifestyle.

What We Like
  • Created with high-quality meat
  • Saves cat full
  • Digestion-friendly
What We Don’t Like
  • More carbs than other recipes

Best with Probiotics: Purina Pro Plan Adult Complete Essentials Dry Cat Food with Probiotics


Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials is a high-protein cat food formulated with digestive health and immunity.
The primary component is real chicken or salmon, mixed with brewer’s rice and a blend of live probiotics and prebiotics.
Again, this dry cat food has omega-6 greasy acids for a healthy coat and skin.
The ingredient list even has eggs, animal fat, amino acids, and essential vitamins and minerals.

Final Verdict

The best overall premium dry cat food is the Crave Grain Free High Protein Indoor Adult Cat Food (view on Amazon). It puffs a protein-rich mix of high-quality meat, vitamins, carbs, and minerals. Plus, it arrives in multiple feline-approved poultry and fish formulae. 

Nevertheless, Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food (view on Amazon) is another excellent choice. The veterinary-approved formula is packed with meat, whole grains, animal fat, fish oil, and veggie fibers.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
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What to Examine for in a Premium Dry Cat Food

Life stage

Check your cat’s life stage to the dry food you decide to feed them. Kittens have unique nutritional necessities as they mature and develop, making sense to nourish them accordingly. 

Via the active adult years, provide your cat with a bland diet that will supply plenty of nutrients and energy to stay healthy and happy. 

Senior felines will have additional diet criteria than either of these first two life stages, so pick a recipe that has been developed for your cat’s golden years.


Finding a dry cat food that your kitten will eat and enjoy is sometimes a challenge, particularly if you’re transitioning from wet cat food.
This is a case of taste, but the truth is that some cats are pickier than others.
While limited component foods are good for digestion, they’re not consistently as tasty to some cats.
You may need to test with various protein sources and ingredients to discover a dry cat food that your cat will gobble up.

Essential nutrients

Your cat requires specific nutrients to thrive, including amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. For instance, taurine is a vital amino acid your kitten needs to soak through diet. Peek for dry cat food that satisfies the minimum daily necessities for essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
One thing to mention is that your cat does not require carbohydrates in their diet, although there are no data to indicate the optimal carbohydrate percent for cats.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Dry Adult Cat Food
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How We Picked The Best Dry Cat Food?

Peeked For High-protein, Low-Carbohydrate Dry Cat Food.

While no dry cat food can benefit that water need, we looked for ones that maintained protein and plump on the high side while having minimal carbohydrates.

Dry cat food is infamous for its high carbohydrate content, so few foods satisfy our requirements. 

The Carbohydrate range is not listed on cat food labels making the situation even more difficult. 

We’re pushed to compute it based on other nutrient values. When selecting the cat foods listed above, we used the carbohydrate calculator. If ash content was unknown for a given food, we utilized 6% as a default. Actual carbohydrate values may vary from these estimates.

Are Grain-Free Foods Dangerous?

Over a decade since the anti-grain tendency made a new generation of overpriced junk food, high-carbohydrate grain-free kibble. 

Trading corn and wheat for lovely potatoes and peas do nothing nutritionally crucial for your cat’s health. 

Most cats are not gluten biased, and, contrary to popular belief, grains are not the leading cause of feline allergies.

We Spent Lookout To Protein Quality.

We selected diets that highlighted animal-sourced protein rather than protein from plants. 

Meat includes all the amino acids that kittens need, while plant protein doesn’t. 

And while we don’t have all the facts on the bioavailability of every protein source, most plant proteins are less digestible than their high-quality animal protein counterparts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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How much dry cat food should you feed a cat?

If you’re uncertain how much dry food to provide your particular kitten, you can guide to the packaging for procedures or check with your vet. 

It would aid if you thought about your cat’s weight and age to offer you a general idea. 

Most adult kitties (one year and older) can be fed about a quarter of a cup of dry food twice daily. 

Nevertheless, more aged cats or ones with unique requirements may need to be provided more often. 

This would be a point to review with your veterinarian. Ideally, you should provide your cat with primarily wet food with mixed dry food. Dry nutrition is higher in carbs, and felines don’t generally require carbs in their diet. 

In this topic, you can peek at the suggested feeding amount for each type of food and half them.

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What ingredients should you examine for in premium dry cat food?

When choosing premium dry food, it’s essential to choose one that contains vital nutrients to satisfy your cat’s needs. As noted above, taurine is one essential amino acid you should consistently look for in dry food because it supports digestion, immunity, and muscle function. Look for other components like protein, vitamins, fiber, and minerals.
Fiber helps with digestive function and weight control, while high-quality protein (chicken, turkey, fish, etc.) retains your cat energized and met.
A dry food high in omega-three fatty acids is ideal because it helps stimulate healthy fur and skin.

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What is the best dry cat food for indoor cats?

According to online examinations and our own very selective indoor kittens, these are some of the best indoor cat foods. Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food. Purina Beyond Dry Cat Food (Salmon)

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Is Purina One dry food suitable for cats?

Purina ONE Cat Food Review Summary The 12 reviewed dry foods scored on average 3.4 / 10 paws, making Purina ONE a significantly below-average dry cat food brand compared to all other dry food manufacturer’s products.

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What Are the Best Dry Cat Foods?

If you are looking for high-quality, natural dry cat food that will keep your kitty healthy, there are many options available. These foods are designed to meet the nutritional needs of adult cats and are made with farm-raised chicken and brown rice. Farm-raised chicken is full of protein, which is important for building strong muscles. Its healthy weight formula is also rich in fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food and Puppy Wet Dog Food(Opens in a new browser tab)

Amazon Brand – Wag Treats, Chicken and Waffle Bites

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult Large

Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Adult Dry Dog Food

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