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10 Best Dry Cat Foods in the UK in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks

grey cat eating food

Whether you feed your cat a combination of wet and dry food or just dry food, getting the right kibble is important. It should meet your cat’s nutritional requirements according to their age, any health conditions they have, and, of course, their picky preferences.

Fortunately, for owners of finicky felines, there are plenty of options available, and below we have listed 10 of the best dry cat foods in the UK, including those for kittens, adults, and seniors.

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A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Purina One Adult Dry Cat Food Purina One Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Feature icon Primary ingredient is chicken
  • Feature icon Includes chicory root as a probiotic
  • Feature icon Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Whiskas 1+ Complete Dry Cat Food Whiskas 1+ Complete Dry Cat Food
  • Feature icon Cheap
  • Feature icon Vitamin A helps maintain good vision
  • Feature icon Omega 6 and zinc promote a healthy coat
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Lily’s Kitchen Chicken  Adult Dry Cat Food Lily’s Kitchen Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Feature icon 68% chicken
  • Feature icon Uses natural ingredients
  • Feature icon Naturally grain-free recipe
  • Best for Kittens
    Burgess Dry Kitten Food Burgess Dry Kitten Food
  • Feature icon 28% meat content
  • Feature icon Affordable
  • Feature icon Smaller kibble is easier for kittens to eat
  • Purina One Senior Chicken Purina One Senior Chicken
  • Feature icon Softer kibble is ideal for ageing teeth
  • Feature icon Vitamins C and E help protect the kidneys
  • Feature icon 35% protein is suitable for ageing felines
  • The 10 Best Dry Cat Foods in the UK

    1. Purina One Adult Dry Cat Food – Best Overall

    1Purina ONE Adult Cat Food Chicken & Wholegrains

    Life stage Adult
    Flavor Chicken
    Volume 6 kilograms
    Protein 34%

    Purina One Adult Dry Cat Food is a chicken-flavored dry kibble. Its primary ingredient is chicken, and it consists of 34% protein, which makes it a high protein food that comes from meat sources. This is a grain-inclusive recipe, so it may not be suitable for any cats that have grain intolerances. Purina claims that owners will notice a positive difference in their cat’s health after 3 weeks of changing to this brand.

    The food is suitable for all adult cats aged 1 year and over. It contains chicory root as a probiotic. Plus, it contains fish oil for healthy skin and fur and is fortified with minerals to ensure a healthy and balanced diet.

    Purina One is about average in terms of price, but it is popular, has a high protein content, and its main ingredient is chicken, so it is our choice as the best dry cat food in the UK.

    • Primary ingredient is chicken
    • Includes chicory root as a probiotic
    • Fish oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids
    • Contains 17% grains
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    2. Whiskas 1+ Complete Dry Cat Food – Best Value

    Whiskas 1+ Complete Dry Cat Food

    Life stage Adult
    Flavor Chicken
    Volume 7 kilograms
    Protein 30%

    Whiskas 1+ Complete Dry Cat Food is a complete food that includes a kibble with a hard outer casing with a softer chewy center, as well as biscuits that contain vegetables and other ingredients. The food is inexpensive and has 30% protein, making it the best dry cat food in the UK. It also has decent levels of omega-6 and zinc that help promote a healthy and luscious coat. There is also vitamin A, which is important for maintaining good vision. The hard kibble shell also helps prevent tartar build-up on the teeth.

    Although the food is inexpensive and has a reasonable protein content, its primary ingredient is cereal, while “meat and animal derivatives” make up 29% of the ingredients. Because cats are obligate carnivores, they should be getting most of their protein from meat-based ingredients. This also means that they can and do eat organs and other parts of the animal, so we would rather see the meat ingredients more clearly listed.

    • Cheap
    • Vitamin A helps maintain good vision
    • Omega 6 and zinc promote a healthy coat
    • Main ingredient is cereal
    • Obscure meat ingredients
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    3. Lily’s Kitchen Chicken Casserole Complete Adult Dry Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Lily's Kitchen Chicken Casserole Complete Adult Dry Cat Food

    Life stage Adult
    Flavor Chicken
    Volume 1 kilograms
    Protein 30%

    Lily’s Kitchen Chicken Casserole Complete Adult Dry Cat Food is a premium dry cat food that consists of 68% chicken and that has 30% protein, most of which comes from meat rather than less beneficial plant-based sources.

    The ingredients also include minerals and added vitamins, including omega fatty acids. The food is expensive but uses natural ingredients with no added sugar. The high meat content is not only beneficial because it meets your cat’s natural dietary requirements but because it makes the food more appealing and palatable to cats, too.

    The high price does mean that Lily’s Kitchen Chicken Casserole Complete Adult Dry Cat Food makes a good choice as a supplement to wet food instead of on its own, but some people might prefer to feed it exclusively to their cats.

    • 68% chicken
    • Uses natural ingredients
    • Naturally grain-free recipe
    • Expensive
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    4. Burgess Dry Kitten Food – Best for Kittens

    Burgess Dry Kitten Food

    Life stage Kitten
    Flavor Chicken
    Volume 1.5 kilograms
    Protein 32%

    Kittens have different dietary requirements than adult cats. They typically need higher levels of protein and calories because they have more energy and burn more calories. They need more calcium and phosphorus to encourage healthy bones and teeth and omega fatty acids for cognitive development and good skin and coat health.

    Burgess Dry Kitten Food is formulated for kittens between the ages of 4 weeks and 1 year old, and it can also be fed to nursing mothers as they will pass the essential vitamins and minerals on in milk. Burgess Dry Kitten Food contains 28% poultry meal, which isn’t as high as premium foods, like Lily’s Kitchen, but is good compared to a lot of other lower-priced brands.

    It also uses grains to help deliver the requisite levels of vitamins and minerals. If you find your kitten showing signs of food sensitivities, it may be worth changing to a grain-free diet.

    However, Burgess Dry Kitten Food is popular and palatable with cats, has good protein and vitamin and mineral levels, and it is an inexpensive kitten food that lasts.

    • 28% meat content
    • Affordable
    • Smaller kibble is easier for kittens to eat
    • Contains lots of grains and could cause upset stomach
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    5. Purina One Senior Chicken & Whole Grain

    Purina ONE Senior Chicken & Whole Grain cat food

    Life stage Senior
    Flavor Chicken & Whole Grain
    Volume 3 kilograms
    Protein 35%

    As a cat approaches its senior years, it slows down and burns fewer calories. As with people, older cats are also more prone to certain health conditions and illnesses. Their teeth tend to be in poor condition, making eating brittle food uncomfortable, and senior cats are especially prone to kidney disease. Typically, senior cat food needs fewer calories but more protein in their diets and the food needs to be easy to eat, easy to digest, and still be appealing to your ageing feline companion.

    Purina One Senior Chicken & Whole Grain is a dry food that targets senior cats. It contains 35% protein, which is higher than the typical 30% found in adult dry cat food. The kibble is softer than adult food, so is suitable for older cats with bad teeth. It also contains 24 vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E that support good kidney health. The food is quite expensive and only contains 17% chicken, but it does target the requirements of senior felines.

    • Softer kibble is ideal for ageing teeth
    • Vitamins C and E help protect the kidneys
    • 35% protein is suitable for ageing felines
    • Only 17% chicken ingredients
    • Expensive
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    6. James Wellbeloved Light Adult Turkey

    James Wellbeloved Adult Light Dry Cat Food

    Life stage Adult
    Flavor Turkey
    Volume 1.5 kilograms
    Protein 34%

    Overweight and obese cats are more prone to diseases, including diabetes and liver disease, as well as physical conditions like arthritis and lameness. But, unlike humans, it is impossible to convince a cat that they should eat less to lose weight. Light cat food has fewer calories and less fat while still offering an appropriate amount of protein and other essential vitamins and minerals. It means that you can still feed an adequate amount of food so that your cat will feel full while helping create the caloric deficit. Ideally, this type of food should be combined with exercise to lose weight.

    James Wellbeloved Light Adult Turkey is a dry cat food that consists of more than 34% turkey, turkey fat, and turkey gravy. Turkey meat is lean and high in iron and other minerals, so it is a good choice for dieting felines. The food does not contain any artificial additives and is described as a hypoallergenic food with a single protein source, so it should be suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs and dietary sensitivities.

    James Wellbeloved food is priced quite high, but this is because of its reasonable meat content levels and natural ingredients.

    • 34% turkey ingredients
    • Hypoallergenic food is suitable for sensitive stomachs
    • Contains yucca extract to reduce stool odors
    • Expensive
    • Best when combined with exercise
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    7. Royal Canin Appetite Control Sterilised Dry Cat Food

    ROYAL CANIN Appet Ctrl Steer Cat Food

    Life stage Adult
    Flavor Poultry
    Volume 10 kilograms
    Protein 34%

    When a cat has been spayed or neutered they tend to be less energetic. What’s more, they are also more prone to urinary tract stones because they move less and consume less water. Certainly, not all fixed cats will suffer from urinary tract stones, but it is worth avoiding food that is high in magnesium. The stones themselves contain a lot of magnesium, so less of this mineral in the food makes it more difficult for the stones to form. Similarly, not all fixed cats need to be put on a diet or light food.

    Royal Canin Appetite Control Sterilised Dry Cat Food has 34% protein while minimizing calories and fat content. Even the kibble itself has been manufactured with a hole in the center so that your cat will feel like it’s eating a lot of food without piling on the calories. Its primary ingredient is dehydrated poultry protein, and there is no magnesium listed, but the food does contain grains, so it may not be suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs.

    The Royal Canin is an expensive food even for this giant 10-kilogram bag. If storage is an issue, this bag is likely too big.

    • No magnesium helps prevent struvite stones
    • Designed to minimize weight gain in fixed cats
    • Primary ingredient is a good protein source
    • Food is expensive
    • Large bag might be difficult to store
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    8. IAMS For Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food

    IAMS for Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food

    Life stage Adult and Senior
    Flavor  Poultry
    Volume 3 kilograms
    Protein 35%

    Hairballs can be a common problem with some long-haired breeds. Although a one-off hairball is not a huge cause for concern, regular hairball production may be a symptom of a bigger problem. Plus, it is never pleasant to find a soft, gooey hairball on the kitchen floor. Common causes include skin conditions that cause excessive grooming and gastrointestinal complaints.

    IAMS For Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food is hypoallergenic and does not contain wheat. A common cause of dermatitis and skin conditions in cats is food sensitivities and allergies. It is also made with 41% dried chicken and turkey, which means that 89% of the total protein in the food comes from meat-based sources. The food is an average price, but if your cat does regularly produce hairballs, it could help.

    • 89% meat-based sourced
    • 6% fiber helps prevent hairballs
    • Contains no wheat
    • Contains maize, which can be difficult to digest
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    9. Harringtons Complete Senior Dry Cat Food

    Harringtons Complete Senior Dry Cat Food

    Life stage Senior
    Flavor Chicken
    Volume  packs, 2 kilograms each
    Protein 30%

    Harringtons Complete Senior Dry Cat Food is an inexpensive dry kibble that is formulated for senior cats. It consists of 33% chicken and meat meals, giving it a 30% protein and 10% fat ratio. It is made using natural ingredients and contains taurine which has proven essential for cats for its benefits to good heart health.

    The food is very reasonably priced, and it does contain natural ingredients, although it can be rich for some senior cats. Try gradually replacing an existing food with the new food over 2–3 weeks. If your cat shows any signs of vomiting or diarrhea, stop feeding them and either slow down the introduction or try changing to a different senior food.

    • Affordable
    • Ideal for senior cats
    • Too rich for some seniors
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    10. Lifelong Complete Dry Cat Food

    Amazon Brand - Lifelong - Complete Dry Cat Food

    Life stage Adult
    Flavor Salmon & Rice
    Volume 10 kilograms
    Protein 34%

    Lifelong Complete Dry Cat Food is a salmon and rice flavored dry food that is suitable for adult cats. It contains approximately 30% meat and fish content and has a 34% protein ratio. The food contains natural prebiotics, which helps maintain good gut health in your cat, while biotin, zinc, and omega-3-rich salmon all help ensure good coat and skin health in your cat, too.

    The food is Amazon’s own brand and has reasonable meat content compared to other cheap brands, but it is roughly average priced and they’re, arguably, better quality foods for less money.

    • 34% protein ratio
    • Biotin, zinc, and salmon encourage good coat health
    • Only 30% meat content
    • Expensive
    • Not a trusted brand

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    Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Dry Cat Foods in the UK

    Getting the right cat food means choosing one that best meets your cat’s dietary requirements and is convenient for you. As well as cost, consider the following when choosing the best dry cat food.

    3 Benefits of Dry Cat Food

    Dry cat food is just one type of cat food. It comes in the form of a biscuit or kibble after the ingredients have been processed and combined with some binding agent to ensure the food retains its shape. There are pros and cons to all types of cat food. Dry food, for example, is not usually as palatable as wet food and is, by definition, dry. You will need to make sure that your cat has a constant and freely available source of drinking water, especially when on a diet of only dry food. The main benefits of dry cat food are:

    • Affordability – Although there are premium dry foods that contain 80% meat or more and have a high price tag, feeding dry food usually costs less than wet food and certainly costs less than a raw food diet.
    • Ease – Open the bag and pour an appropriate amount of food into the bowl. Dry food can be left down while you’re at work, while other food types need to be cleaned up. Plus, it doesn’t need to be hydrated or mixed with other ingredients in most instances.
    • Shelf Life – Once opened, wet food needs to be refrigerated and used within a day or two. Dry food can be stored in the cupboard and will usually keep for weeks or even months before the quality starts to degrade.
    Siamese cat eating dry food from a bowl
    Image Credit: catinrocket, Shutterstock

    Alternatives to Dry Cat Food

    Although dry food is a popular feeding solution, there are alternatives and you should choose the type of food that best suits you and your feline friends. Alternatives include:

    • Wet Food – Wet food contains similar ingredients to dry food but is processed differently. It uses a gravy, jelly, or another source of moisture that sits around the primary ingredients and keeps the food moist. Wet food hydrates, as well as feeds, which can be beneficial because cats don’t always like to drink water from a bowl. Wet food is usually more expensive than dry food and you will need to lift any leftovers away from your cat after a couple of hours.
    • Raw Food – A raw food diet is designed to mimic the natural diet of a cat. It would consist almost solely of meat, and you have to be very careful to ensure that you meet all feline dietary requirements, or your cat could suffer vitamin and mineral deficiencies and become ill. Raw feeding takes more work than dry and wet food alternatives and, as well as being the most labor and research intensive, it can be the most expensive.
    • Combination – A combination diet is one that consists of two or more food types, and it affords you the benefits of each food type. For example, some owners choose to feed wet food at dinner time but leave a bowl of dry food when at work. Alternatively, you can feed a smaller portion of dry food and supplement this with raw food to give a varied and complete diet.

    Cat Food Types

    Gone are the days of having limited cat food options. There are dry cat foods available for different ages of cats, as well as breeds, coat length, health conditions, and more.

    Lifestage-Specific Foods

    Kittens, adult cats, and seniors all have different dietary requirements. Kittens tend to burn more calories than adults. And, while seniors will move around a lot less, they actually need more protein because their body needs it to be able to digest food and perform other essential functions.

    Cats of different ages also have different vitamin and mineral requirements, with kittens benefiting from high levels of calcium and phosphorus, and senior cats benefiting from avoiding magnesium. Although it shouldn’t do any harm to feed a cat the wrong lifestage food as a one-off, regularly feeding the wrong food can lead to deficiencies and health problems.

    cat eating food at home
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Breed Specific Foods

    Different breeds of cat have different characteristics. Some are more energetic than others, while factors such as coat length and likely health conditions also vary according to breed. Breed-specific foods are formulated to meet the specific requirements of your cat, although the rarer the breed, the more difficult it can be to find an appropriate food.

    Dietary Specific Foods

    Some cats have specific dietary requirements. For example, overweight cats benefit from higher fiber and fewer calories in their food. Allergies and sensitivities also carry specific dietary requirements, while conditions like kidney disease demand a very specific dietary formulation. If your cat does have specific dietary requirements, they can usually be met with an appropriate dry cat food.

    Protein & Its Role in Cat Nutrition

    Cats are obligate carnivores which means that, in the wild, they would get all of their dietary needs from meat sources, and the only plant sources they would eat would come from the stomachs of their prey. They get vitamins and minerals from the skin, organs, and other parts of the meat they eat.

    As such, a cat’s digestive system and biological requirements are best met with meat-based protein rather than plant-based, although most foods do contain fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients to help meet taurine requirements.

    Typically, it is recommended that dry cat food has a protein ratio of at least 26% for healthy adult cats, while kittens and growing cats need 30% protein. Senior cats need between 35% and 40% protein levels.

    maine coon cat eating
    Image Credit: Lita Keire, Shutterstock

    How Often Should I Feed My Cat?

    How often you should feed your cat depends on your cat’s age, as well as other factors. Kittens can be fed twice a day but might benefit from smaller meals more often. Adult and senior cats also do well when fed on the same schedule of twice a day, but some research¹ suggests adult cats only need to eat once a day.

    Can I Combine Dry & Wet Food?

    You don’t need to choose between wet and dry cat food. In fact, feeding both can be beneficial for you and your cat because it offers the best of both worlds. Remember that wet food should only be left down for about an hour, so give this to them when you will be around and leave dry food down when you’re not at home. Ensure that you don’t overfeed them, though, because this can cause weight gain and other health problems.

    cat eating dry and wet cat food
    Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

    How Much Should I Feed My Cat?

    The amount your cat should be eating is primarily determined by their size, but you should also feed according to the size you are aiming to achieve, especially if your cat is overweight. Follow the food manufacturer’s guidelines unless your vet has told you to feed a specific amount.

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    Final Thoughts

    Choosing the best dry cat food means finding one that your cat enjoys eating and that meets dietary requirements. Fortunately, there is a huge choice of dry foods on the market, including Purina One Adult Dry, which we believe is the best overall dry cat food in the UK, and Whiskas 1+ Adult Complete, which offers the best value for money for a dry adult cat food.

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    Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock