14 Best Premium Dry Foods for Adult Cats in 2017

No By-Products, Chemical Preservatives or Unnamed Protein Sources

Since a number of premium dry cat foods have been introduced recently, my picks have been significantly changed. I would feed most of these foods to my cats, and they rotate through several of these selections, not necessarily in this order. Please note that a number of these foods contain grains, including, but not limited to rice, ground rice, ground barley, and brewers rice.

Alternate with premium canned food for a well-balanced diet for your cat.

Please keep in mind your own cats' age,...MORE medical condition, and nutritional needs, as there is no "one-size-fits-all" solution for feeding our cats. Also keep in mind cats' individual tastes - some cats may dislike some of these foods immediately, and some will tire of the same formula in time.

  • 01 of 14

    Wellness CORE is neck-and-neck with Innova EVO in providing a dry food closely aligned to a raw diet, and my cats enjoyed both equally. CORE is grain-free and has a high protein content.

    Top-Listed Ingredients Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Potatoes.

    Guaranteed Analysis: (Not converted to dry matter)

    Crude Protein: Not Less Than 50.0%, Crude Fat: Not Less Than 18.0%,Crude Fiber: Not More Than 3.0%, Moisture: Not More Than 11.0%, Calcium: Not More Than 1.8%,...MORE Phosphorus: Not More Than 1.45%, sium: Not More Than 0.10%

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  • 02 of 14

    From the Amazon page description:

    • Grain Free
    • Fresh and Regional Ingredients
    • Complete, Balanced, and Natural
    • Infused with Freeze-Dried Meats and Liver


    Boneless wild boar,* boneless lamb,* boneless beef,* beef liver,* boneless pork,* whole herring,* pork liver,* beef meal, lamb meal, herring meal, salmon meal, pollock meal, lamb fat, green lentils, chickpeas, red lentils, bison,* whole egg,* yellow peas, beef tripe,* herring oil, lamb liver,* beef kidney,* alfalfa, kelp, pumpkin,* butternut...MORE squash,* spinach greens,* carrots,* apples,* pears,* cranberries,* mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, dandelion root, chamomile, peppermint leaf, ginger root, caraway seeds, turmeric, rose hips, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried wild boar liver, freeze-dried tripe, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product + vitamins and minerals

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  • 03 of 14

    Innova Evo cat food is closer than other commercial dry cat foods in matching the nutritional quality of a raw food diet. It is very palatable and my test cats eagerly ate it. For cats without a medical intolerance for high protein (such as kidney disease), it's well worth the effort to look for Innova Evo in a feed & grain or another specialty store. My own cats rotate EVO as part of their dry food diet, along with other foods in this list. Top listed ingredients: Turkey, Chicken, Turkey...MORE Meal, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat.

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  • 04 of 14

    I tested this product with my own cats and they loved it. It's now part of their rotation.

    First Listed Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Deboned Turkey, NatUral Chicken Flavor, Natural Fish Flavor, Cranberries, Olive Oil, Chicory Root Extract, Cranberry Extract Powder, Cranberry Fiber, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic...MORE Acid (Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate,

    Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein Min 36.0%, Crude Fat Min 18.0%, Crude Fiber Max 3.0%, Moisture Max 11.0%, Ash Max 6.5%, Magnesium Max 0.098%, Taurine Min 0.2%

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    Continue to 5 of 14 below.
  • 05 of 14

    Natural Balance Ultra Premium contains 34% protein, from four meat sources: chicken (and chicken meal), duck, lamb meal,and fish meal. Natural Balance is rated for all lifestyles, including kittens and lactating queens.

    First named ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Duck, Lamb Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E).

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  • 06 of 14

    Evolve's main protein sources are Chicken and Chicken Meal, and carbohydrates are supplied by Brown Rice and brewers rice. Other interesting additions include menhaden herring meal, flaxseed meal, yogurt, dried kelp, vegetables, and cranberries. Its high protein content of 35% helps reserve a prominent space on this list.

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  • 07 of 14

    Fromm cat foods first came to my attention from discussions by my forum members. The canned foods seemed to be particular favorites, but demand often exceeds supplies. The dry food seems to have decent ingredients if you don't mind grain in dry foods. This formula is completely grain-free, however.  From the description on Amazon:

    • Grain Free Recipe Prepared With Salmon, Tuna, and Anchovy.
    • Includes A Medley of Fresh Mediterranean Garden Vegetables (fresh tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, eggplant,...MORE and olive oil).
    • Prepared In Small Batches To Ensure Consistency, Quality, and Superior Taste.
    • Complete and Balanced Nutrition For Cats Of All Ages.
    • Can Be Alternated With Other Fromm Four Star Recipes.

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  • 08 of 14

    First Listed Ingredients: Duck, Duck Meal, Pearled Barley, White Rice, Sweet Potato, Whole Dried Egg, Dried Tomato Pomace, Turkey Liver, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Potato, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Flaxseed, Ground Oat Hulls, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans, Lecithin, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Cranberries, Blueberries

    Guaranteed Analysis % (Not Converted to Dry...MORE Matter:) Crude Protein (min) 34, Crude Fat (min) 20, Moisture (max) 10, Ash (max) 6.5, Crude Fiber (max) 3.5, Taurine (min) 0.12, Magnesium (max) 0.1

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    Continue to 9 of 14 below.
  • 09 of 14

    First Listed Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Organic Soybean Meal, Fish Meal, Organic Sorghum, Organic Peas, Organic Brown Rice, Organic Millet, Organic Rice, Organic Canola Oil, Chicken Fat (Stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols [a Source of Vitamin E]), Organic Oats, Organic Barley, Chicken Liver, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Carrots, Cranberries, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Sea Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Parsley.

    Guaranteed Analysis (Not converted to dry matter): Crude...MORE Protein 34.0% min, Crude Fat 14.0% min, Crude Fiber 3.0% max, Moisture 10.0% max, Ash 6.5%max, Taurine 0.20% min

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  • 10 of 14

    Nature's Logic is also available in rabbit, duck, and salmon varieties.

    First Listed Ingredients From its Web Site:

    Chicken Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture, Spray Dried Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kelp, Spray Dried Lamb Plasma, Dried Tomato, Almonds, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Carrot, Dried Apple, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Apricot, Dried Blueberry, Dried...MORE Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Cranberry, Parsley, Dried Artichoke, Rosemary, Dried Mushroom 

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  • 11 of 14

    "C&P Organix formulas are made with certified organic chicken meat, from chickens raised without drugs or antibiotics."

    Listed Ingredients: Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Organic Peas, Organic Tapioca, Potato Protein, Organic Pea Protein, Organic Lentils, Organic Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Organic Potatoes, Organic Sunflower Meal, Natural Flavor, Organic Alfalfa Meal, Organic Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 fatty acids), Powdered Cellulose, Organic Chicken Liver,...MORE Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Cranberries, Dried Yeast Culture, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract.

    Guaranteed Analysis (not converted to dry matter): Crude Protein (min.) 34.00% 
    Crude Fat (min.) 13.00% 
    Crude Fiber (max.) 3.5% 
    Moisture (max.) 10.00% 
    Calcium (min.) 1.00% 
    Phosphorus (min.) 0.80% 
    Vitamin E (min.) 100 IU/kg 
    Taurine (min): 0.20% 
    Omega 6 Fatty Acids (min.)* 3.00% 
    Omega 3 Fatty Acids (min.)* 0.35% 
    Bacillus coagulans* (min): 90,000,000 CFU/lb 

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  • 12 of 14

    Ingredients Lamb, Chicken Meal, Millet, Brown Rice, Ocean Fish Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil (source of DHA), Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Amaranth, Parsley Flakes, Spearmint, Almond Oil, Sesame Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Kelp, Thyme, Blueberries, Cranberries, Apples, Lentils, Quinoa, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate,...MORE Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Panthothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid

    Guaranteed Analysis: Protein, Min 34% Fat, Min 12% Fiber, Max 4% Moisture, Max 10% Calories per cup, 323w

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    Continue to 13 of 14 below.
  • 13 of 14

    Cats seem to like the taste, and the company prides itself on maintaining exacting standards. Consumers looking for "natural" cat food will like this product. Top listed ingredients are Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed.

  • 14 of 14

    A special carnivore specific felid diet that promotes low urinary pH and assists in the removal of hairballs.

    First Listed Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Fresh Chicken, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Low Ash Salmon Meal, Potatoes,Tuna Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) Dried Eggs, Dried Chicken Liver, Dried Whole Milk, Dried Whey Extract, Kelp, Hydrated Alfalfa Leaf, Casein, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Lecithin, Taurine, Lysine, Carnitine, Choline Chloride, Creatine,...MORE Probiotics: (Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation, Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Enterobacter Faecium Fermentation Product, Bacillus Subtillus Fermentation Product, Blueberries, Cranberries

    Guaranteed Analysis: Protein: 38%, Fat: 18%, Fiber: 2.5%, Moisture: 9%, ASH: 5%