As cat owners, the nutritional requirements of our cats are solely on our hands, and it’s up to us to give our cats the best nutrition that we can. This is not always an easy or straightforward process, and finding the best food for your feline can be a stressful endeavour indeed.
Dry cat food is convenient, relatively inexpensive, and easy to store. Most cats also adore the crunchy texture! The best dry cat foods need to have high amounts of animal-based protein because cats are obligate carnivores and must have good-quality animal protein as the majority of their diet. Of course, your cat’s food needs to be nutritionally balanced and complete with other essential vitamins and minerals, too, and ideally free from artificial and filler ingredients.
Having the responsibility of your cat’s nutritional needs on your shoulders can be stressful, but we’re here to help! We rounded up our 10 favourite dry cat foods in the U.K., complete with in-depth reviews, to help you find the best dry cat food for your feline friend. Let’s dive in!
A Quick Comparison of Our Favourites
10 Best Dry Cat Foods in the U.K. in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks 2021
1. Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food — Best Overall
|First-listed ingredients:||Chicken, dried poultry protein, whole grain wheat|
The Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food is packed with healthy chicken that gives it a 34% protein content, along with additional whole grains to aid digestion, and it is our top choice overall. The food has Purina’s unique Bifensis Dual Defence system, which is scientifically proven to help stimulate your cat’s immune system to secrete antibodies with the addition of lactobacillus bacteria. The crunchy kibble is also proven to reduce tartar build-up by up to 40%, with a balanced mineral content that helps support urinary health. It is packed with healthy nutrients like taurine for cardiac function and eyesight and vitamin D for strong and healthy bones. Plus, the food is free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives.
The only issue that we found with this food is the inclusion of grains. Also, while they are “healthier” whole grains, 17% overall is still unnecessary for cats.
2. Whiskas Cat Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food — Best Value
|First-listed ingredients:||Whole-grain cereals, poultry and poultry by-product, ocean fish|
Whiskas has long been a staple for cat owners, and the company’s Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food is packed with great ingredients and is extremely affordable, making it our favourite dry cat food in the U.K. for the money. The food is formulated with tasty kibble pockets that are soft and palatable for cats of all ages, but the hard outer shell will still gently help reduce tartar build-up. It’s also packed with essential omega fatty acids to support a healthy coat and skin and is formulated with essential minerals to aid in urinary tract health, along with vitamins D3 and E to keep your cat’s immune system strong.
But this food contains grains as the first ingredient, which is disappointing. A large amount of the protein content comes from poultry by-products.
3. IAMS Vitality With Fresh Chicken Dry Cat Food — Premium Option
|First-listed ingredients:||Dried chicken, turkey, maize|
If you’re looking for a premium dry food for your feline, the Vitality dry cat food from IAMS is a great choice. The food has dried chicken and turkey as the primary sources of protein, accounting for 89% of the total protein content. The food is free from wheat, artificial colours, and preservatives and is 100% complete to give your cat all that they need to live a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s also packed with essential omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and a shiny coat, with tailored mineral levels to help support urinary health and a potent antioxidant blend for optimum immune support.
The only issue that we found with this food — besides the high price — is the inclusion of powdered cellulose, an unnecessary filler ingredient.
4. Purina ONE Kitten Chicken & Wholegrain Dry Cat Food — Best for Kittens
|First-listed ingredients:||Chicken, dried poultry protein, whole-grain wheat|
Give your kittens the nutrition that they need for healthy growth and development with the kitten dry food from Purina ONE. The food is packed with 41% protein from chicken for healthy muscle building and development, along with beneficial bacteria that are scientifically proven to aid in healthy digestion. It also contains essential omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health and balanced minerals for skeletal development and urinary health. The crunchy morsels will help keep your kitten’s developing teeth tartar free, and the included DHA — an essential nutrient found in mother’s milk — is proven to help support your kitten’s brain and vision development.
This food contains whole-grain wheat, corn, and soy, which is disappointing, and several customers reported that it causes nausea and vomiting in their kittens.
5. IAMS Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food — Best for Hairball Reduction
|First-listed ingredients:||Dried chicken, turkey, maize|
If your cat suffers from hairballs, look no further than the Vitality Hairball Reduction dry cat food from IAMS. The food has a 35% protein content, 89% of which are animal proteins, which is ideal for muscle maintenance and to give your feline the energy that they need. The food has an adapted mixture of fibres to help reduce hairball formation by up to 21% and help swallowed hair pass easily through the digestive tract. The added prebiotics and beet fibres aid in digestive health and balanced gut flora, and the kibble is rich in antioxidants to help boost your cat’s immune function. Plus, this food is free from wheat fillers, artificial colours, flavours, and GMOs.
While this food is effective at reducing hairballs, many customers reported that it caused nausea and vomiting in their feline. It also contains unnecessary fillers — powdered cellulose and maize — in the ingredients.
6. Harringtons Complete Adult Chicken Dry Cat Food
|First-listed ingredients:||Chicken, meat meals, whole-grain rice|
The Harringtons Complete dry cat food contains chicken as the first ingredient for a great protein source and is 100% complete and balanced to help support your cat’s active lifestyle. The food is enhanced with taurine to support vision and heart health, vitamin D to help maintain healthy teeth and bones, and a balanced ratio of essential omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. It also contains vitamin E for immune support and chicory root to keep your cat’s digestive system functioning properly.
Unfortunately, this food contains maize and oats, which are mostly filler ingredients and may cause diarrhoea and nausea in some cats.
7. James Wellbeloved Complete Turkey and Rice Dry Cat Food
|First-listed ingredients:||Turkey meal, brown rice, turkey fat|
The Complete Turkey and Rice dry cat food from James Wellbeloved contains turkey as the first ingredient, a great single source of natural protein for your feline, and fish oil, a natural source of omega fatty acids to keep your cat’s skin healthy and their coat shiny. The food is packed with prebiotics like chicory root to promote healthy gut flora, natural sources of antioxidants like pomegranate, green tea, and rosemary for immune support, and yucca extract for reduced litter tray odours. This food is also free from artificial ingredients, soy, and wheat.
This food is fairly high in fat (20%), contains rice and maize in the ingredients, and is expensive.
8. Meowing Heads 100% Natural Chicken and Fish Dry Cat Food
|First-listed ingredients:||Chicken, rice, dried fish|
The Meowing Heads Chicken and Fish dry cat food is made using high-quality, natural ingredients, with 70% chicken as the main protein source. The included fish is a great natural source of essential omega fatty acids that will ensure a healthy coat and skin for your feline, and the food is enriched with taurine for great heart and vision health. This food also has a unique anti-hairball formula from the added vegetable fibre that also aids in digestion, cranberries for a natural source of antioxidants, and select minerals to aid in urinary health. The food is also free from artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives.
While the high fibre content is great for hairball control, it may also cause nausea and diarrhoea in some cats. It’s also fairly expensive, and some customers report that it has a strong odour that some cats do not enjoy.
9. Perfect Fit Complete Dry Cat Food
|First-listed ingredients:||Dried poultry protein (including 21% chicken), wheat, soy|
The Perfect Fit dry cat food is packed with a 41% protein content, 21% of which comes from chicken. The food contains natural antioxidants in the form of vitamins C and E for a healthy immune system and a unique balance of minerals for increased urinary health. The kibble also has a great crunchy texture that helps keep your cat’s teeth and gums tartar free, and there’s added taurine for heart and vision health. The included biotin, zinc, and essential omega fatty acids will keep your cat’s skin healthy and their coat shiny, and the added L-carnitine is great for overall energy and muscle maintenance.
This food contains a few questionable ingredients, including wheat, sunflower oil, soya meal, and cellulose, most of which are simply added as fillers. The kibble size is also small, causing some cats not to eat it.
10. Scrumbles All Natural Chicken and Fresh Salmon Dry Cat Food
|First-listed ingredients:||Chicken, rice, salmon|
The All-Natural dry cat food from Scrumbles contains a blend of chicken, chicken liver, and salmon and is almost 75% fresh meat. The chicken is a great source of protein for muscle maintenance and energy, and the included salmon and salmon oil is a great source of omega fatty acids to aid in skin and coat health. The food contains added probiotics for increased gut health and to aid in digestion and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals for increased immune function. The added cranberries help with healthy urinary tract function. We love that the packaging is 100% recyclable!
This food has a pungent odour that many customers reported that their cats did not enjoy. The food is also expensive and the kibble is small, which may make many cats battle to eat it.
As our cat’s sole providers, we are responsible for their health, and it’s up to us to give them the complete and balanced nutrition that they deserve. There are three main factors to look at when choosing the right dry food for your cat.
Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need a high-quality source of animal protein in their diet. This should be the first ingredient that you look for when choosing dry food for your cat. It needs to come predominantly from an animal source, should ideally be the first-listed ingredient, and should be at least 30% of the total nutritional value of the food. The protein source should ideally be named, meaning it should be listed as chicken or turkey rather than just meat. Other vital ingredients to look for are taurine (which is vital for heart and vision health), a good balance of vitamins and minerals, and a natural source of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health, which usually comes from fish or fish oils.
You’ll want to avoid foods with a high carbohydrate content, as cats do not need them to thrive. Most of these ingredients, like wheat corn, and soy, are simply used as fillers to bulk up the food and have little nutritional value. Many foods have healthy sources of carbs, though, including peas and sweet potatoes, which are generally fine. Still, the food that you choose should have a carb content of no more than 10%.
Nutritional values are important factors to look at in dry cat foods. Protein should make up the highest percentage of the food, no lower than 30%, and you’ll want the fat content to be no more than 20%, but ideally around 15%. It’s also important to have probiotics and prebiotics for gut health, along with a natural source of antioxidants, like chicory or cranberries, to aid in immune health.
It’s vital to choose the right food for the life stage of your feline. Kittens and senior cats have different nutritional requirements than adult cats — namely, more protein — so they need food that is specifically formulated for their age. The kibble will also be formulated to be more digestible, softer, and smaller, depending on the age of your cat.
Related Read: 10 Best Wet Cat Foods In The UK: Reviews & Top Picks
This list contains our favourite dry foods for cats, and any one of them is a great choice for your feline. That said, Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food is our top choice overall. The food has Purina’s unique Bifensis Dual Defence system, with a balanced mineral content that helps support urinary health, and it is packed with healthy vitamins and free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives.
The Whiskas Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food is our favourite dry cat food in the U.K. for the money, with tasty kibble pockets that are soft and palatable, added essential omega fatty acids, and essential minerals and vitamins for overall health. If you’re looking for a premium choice of dry food for your feline, the Vitality dry cat food from IAMS is our favourite, with a great protein content from turkey and chicken, essential omega fatty acids, tailored mineral content, and a potent antioxidant blend.
It’s not easy finding the right dry food for your feline, and the task can become overwhelming at times. Hopefully, our in-depth reviews have narrowed down the options and helped you find the best dry cat food in the U.K. for your feline friend!
Featured Image Credit: aleg baranau, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.