Best Dry Cat Food for Adult Cats UK

This guide was written by Joe Francis
Updated: October 23, 2020
The best foods for cats should contain a high amount of protein and moisture whilst maintaining a low level of carbohydrates. Low quality (and generally cheaper) dry cat foods typically have have the opposite make up to this as they generally have a low amount of meat content. In this guide, we explore some of the better options available to you, what you should consider when choosing one, and review the best dry cat foods in the UK.

If you are looking for the best wet cat foods you can check out our best wet cat food guide

Best Dry Cat Food

We've compiled the best rated dry cat foods from this guide for easy viewing. You can view a full breakdown of our reviews here

Overall Best Dry Cat Food

Best Dry Cat Food for Hairballs

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What ingredients should I look for in dry cat food?

Legally, cat food manufacturers are required to list their ingredients in order of the highest proportion first (i.e. the ingredient that makes up the largest percentage of the cat food will be listed first). For this reason, you should take note of the first few ingredients listed on the back of the cat food, paying particular attention to:

  • Large amounts of meat proteinCats are naturally carnivorous and generally thrive on animal proteins. Look for foods with proteins making up 30% or more of the food. The higher the meat content, the better the food (but often the more expensive!). Look for named meats (e.g. chicken, or beef) rather than extracts or derivatives.
  • High amounts of moisture - dry cat foods are typically lower in moisture than wet cat foods (15% vs 70-80% in wet food). Cats are generally poor drinkers, and often don't drink as much as they should. Look for foods with high moisture content and make sure your cat has a fresh source of water (a bowl of water or a water fountain if your cat prefers moving water).
  • Low amounts of Carbohydrates - excess of carbs can cause weight and muscle problems. Look for foods with lower levels of carbs to increase the chance of your cat remaining lean and healthy.

Dry Cat Food Reviews 

These are our top dry cat foods in the UK, including great options for cats with dental health issues, sensitive stomachs or hairballs. We have included major cat food brands in our reviews including Purina, IAMS and Whiskas. Our dry cat food reviews are ordered by overall rating from highest to lowest.

1. Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food Chicken

The Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat food comes out on top of our list as the best overall dry cat food. It is rich in chicken (17%) and whole grain (17%) which will ensure a high level of protein and will ensure your cat gets a wholesome meal.

It has all the essential vitamins and minerals that will guarantee your fussy cats stay healthy. The minerals promote a healthy urinary tract while the omega six fatty acids give your cat a glossy coat and healthy skin.

The food is rich in vitamin D which helps to strengthen your cat’s bones, and it is the best option for indoor cats

since they rarely go out to get their daily vitamin D intake from the sun.  

2. WHISKAS Dry Cat Food for Adult Cats

The Whiskas 1+ Dry Cat Food for Adult Cats comes out as our best value dried cat food. It is a great value option for a complete and balanced dry cat food. Understandably, this cat food has a lower percentage (4%) of animal protein to make it more affordable.

This cat food for adult cats contains various essential oils, vitamins, and minerals that promote the overall health of your cat. Chicken is the main protein and milk is also included in the form of dried milky treats which act as a source of calcium and phosphorous for your cat.

Calcium will help in the strengthening of your cat’s teeth and bones. The Whiskas dry cat food is a good if you want to introduce your cats to dry food. You can mix it once in a while with wet food to help hydrate the cat.

3. IAMS for Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food

IAMs for Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food is our top pick for cats that struggle with hairballs. With 41% dried chicken and turkey as the main ingredient, this food is protein rich (89% animal protein) and one of the highest quality foods on this list.

The food has a tailored fibre blend to minimise hairball formation and to improve digestion. With no fillers, artificial colours or flavours, this crunchy kibble is a high quality food with tailored mineral levels to aid healthy teeth.

Taurine is one of the essential components in Iams, which are useful for maintaining a healthy heart and eyes, and regular consumption of this cat food will give your feline friend a lovely silky coat.

4. James Wellbeloved Dry Cat Food

This brand of dry cat food for adults is loved by many people because it is made from natural foods with no artificial flavours. That makes it a bit pricey compared to the regular cat foods in the market. It comes in a 10kg pack which can feed two adult cats for three months.

Turkey is the main protein which and it has been combined with rice as the carbohydrate to give your cat energy. Protein helps to keep your cat lean and muscular, and that is why most adult dry cat foods contain large portions of protein compared to carbs.

If your cats are battling tooth decay, this is the best brand of dry cat food. Regular consumption will strengthen your cat’s teeth, and on top of that, their overall health will improve significantly.

Your cat will also develop a shiny coat, and you can bid goodbye to smelly cat litter. The pleasant meaty smell will make any fussy cat want to try out these biscuits. So if your cat is the picky type, don’t worry at all. You can go ahead and give this brand a try.

5. Go-Cat Adult Cat Food Tuna Herring and Veg

Most cats love tuna and what better way to make them happy than to buy them cat food made of tuna chunks. This dry cat food is affordable, and it comes in a 10kg bag which makes it economical compared to purchasing smaller packets.

Tuna is the main protein in this dry cat food, and it ensures your cat stays lean. The tuna-shaped biscuits are crunchy, and the different colours also play a significant role in intriguing the cats.

The vegetable proteins help in maintaining the overall health of the cat, and there are added minerals and vitamins like vitamin A which improve your cat’s eyesight, ferrous sulphate which boosts your cat’s blood count, calcium which strengthens bones and taurine which promotes a healthy heart.

The most appealing part of this brand of adult dry cat food is the fact that the tuna biscuits remain moist even after opening the bag. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the quality of the food you are feeding your cat.

6. Harrington’s Cat Food

If your cat is suffering from digestion issues, this is the best dry cat food for them. It has been specially formulated with probiotics that improve your cat’s digestion, and they also get rid of flatulence and bloating.

It is also pocket-friendly, and chicken is the main protein while the rice serves as a carbohydrate. The primary role of carbohydrates is to give your cat energy. However, you should be keen not to feed your cats with too many carbs since they, might become obese, especially if you are keeping an indoor cat.

Omega 3 supplements that boost immunity are also included together with calcium and phosphorous which promote healthy and sharp teeth. This adult dry cat food comes in a 2kg bag which makes it portable in case you have to travel with your cat.

7. Purina Pro Plan Cat Food

This adult dry cat food is one of the best brands in the market for cats with sensitive stomachs. The prebiotics will boost your cat’s digestive system, and the crunchiness of the biscuits will strengthen your cat’s teeth.

Most cats like the chicken flavor and regular consumption of this dry adult cat food will help control the hairball menace. Your cats will end up with beautiful skin and on top that, this brand of dry cat food has been specially formulated to promote healthy kidneys. Therefore, your cat’s urinary system will be in excellent condition.

The price is fair considering the quality of the cat food and most cat owners who purchased it for their cats ended up loving it.

8. Thrive Premium Plus Cat Food

This dry cat food is meant for cats with sensitive stomachs and allergic to certain foodstuffs. It is wheat and gluten free and the protein content is very high to ensure your cat stays lean.

It is a good product if you have an obese cat and you would like them to lose weight. The protein will help build up your cat?s muscles, and in return, they will be able to burn fats faster leading to the weight loss.

The carbohydrates constitute a small percentage, and they are essential for giving your cat energy. The main sugars here are sweet potatoes which are healthy carbs, since they are not refined. Refined carbohydrates typically lead to additional weight gain.

Thrive premium plus cat food is very affordable, and the bag is resalable. Therefore, your cat’s food will remain fresh and moist. Continuous consumption will give your cat a soft, shiny coat and you can mix it once in a while with wet food to ensure your cats stay hydrated at all times.

9. Purina Pro Plan Dry Cat Food – Veterinary Diets

All cats need to have proteins in their diet and like humans too; some cats do get allergic reactions when they eat proteins. Purina Pro Plan dry cat food has factored in those cats, and they can safely consume this product. The proteins have been broken down into very small bits that cannot mediate an allergic reaction.

This adult dry cat food is also famous for boosting urinary tract health, and some clients have given positive reviews of their cat’s urinary tract problems improving after purchasing this product.

It is also recommended for cats with digestive tract problems, and it helps control bloating and smelly cat litter. Regular feeding will improve your cat’s digestion tremendously.

The 3.5kg bag will serve you for at least one month depending on the size of your feline friend, and the best part is that the food resembles rice crispies. Your cat will definitely have a fun time munching.

The price is not too high, and you are guaranteed value for your money. This dry cat food for adult comes with a lot of added benefits in addition to filling up your cat’s stomach.

Why Dry Cat Food?

Dry cat food resembles biscuits, and they do not contain as much water like the wet foods. However, they are equally important, and they have several benefits too. Some of the benefits include;

  • They are more economical to buy. Dry cat foods are far cheaper than canned food, and they last for a longer duration as long as you use a reputable cat food storage container.
  • Dry foods help to strengthen the cats’ teeth compared to wet food which are too moist. Since cats don’t brush teeth like humans (unless you are using a cat toothbrush), the cat biscuits indirectly help to clean the cats’ teeth as they chew.
  • Dry cat foods take a longer time to digest therefore they stay in your cat’s stomach for a long period. Your cat will remain full, and they will not need to keep eating every few minutes.
  • Unlike wet foods, you can leave the dry food on the cat’s bowl without worrying that they will become dry since they are already dry.
  • Dry foods maintain their freshness for an extended period compared to wet foods which should be consumed within two hours of opening the can making them a great option if you use an automatic cat feeder
  • Dry cat foods are not prone to attracting bacteria if they are left in an open bowl compared to regular homemade food or canned food.  After your cat is done eating, the remaining wet food should be discarded since it will not be safe after an extended period of exposure. The bacteria present in the environment may lead to food poisoning.

What else should you consider?

The main drawback of dry food is the lack of moisture that your cat will gain from eating it. Cats naturally aren’t great water drinkers and often get dehydrated.

Vets generally recommend that you feed your cat a mix of both dry and wet cat food to help hydrate your cat.

If you will only be feeding your cat dry cat food, you should ensure your cat has sufficient fresh water, and if your cat doesn’t drink from still water, you could look at a cat water fountain to try to persuade them to drink more.

Bottom line

It is advisable to feed your cat with both dry foods and wet foods. You should strike a balance between the two since too much of each type could come with complications.

Too much of dry food could lead to constipation while too much of wet food can lead to your cat having loose bowel movements. 

You should also note that dry foods contain a much lower amount of protein compared to wet foods. Therefore, you should be feeding your cat with healthy proteins once in a while like homemade chicken. This is to make sure that your cat does not become malnourished.

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