List of cat foods – 10 dry foods worth knowing

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Cat food is an extensive subject keeping many cat owners awake at night. Some take time to analyze all food labels while others rely on pet stores’ sales personnel to show them the best option. I have written about it few times as well explaining what cats shouldn’t eat, how to understand the information from labels and how much food and when cats should be given. In this post I will provide you with a handy cheat sheet, a list of all dry foods worth buying and also a list of foods you should avoid.
I will start from dry foods and here I want to stress that they should be a supplement to your cats’ diet as the base food should be wet. If you spend time buying food you should give it some thought, as the food price is not a reflection of its quality.
Here is my list.

1. Power of Nature

 in my opinion this is one of the best foods on the market

Advantages

    • Producer says that 95% of the protein in the food comes from chicken meat from eco farms … I do respect that!
    • Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids come from turkey and salmon oils
    • Very high protein content (52%) and low fat content (21%) and all of it of animal origin
    • No potatoes, grains, peas…
    • Contains probiotics crucial for proper functioning of digestive tract
    • High taurine content 3.32mg
    • Carbs content is only 4%!!! – perfect food for diabetic cats
    • Contains vitamins A, D and E and minerals iron, iodine, calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium

Disadvantages

  • Well the price but I guess the quality is worth it
  • A bit too much calcium and phosphorus but with so much protein it is unavoidable

2. ZiwiPeak

Advantages

  • Omega 3 and 6 from New Zealand clams
  • Producer says that meat comes from real lambs – I think they mean the protein comes from lamb meat and not from various body parts – but the expression sounded funny to me
  • No grains, potatoes…
  • High taurine content 2.8mg
  • Meat is air dried so the vitamins and minerals are preserved
  • Carbs content is 10%
  • Contains vitamins A, D and E and minerals iron, iodine, calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium

Disadvantages

  • Considering the high price it should contain a bit more protein (34%) and less fat (26%)
  • Comes in small packages
  • It is difficult to find in the internet stores
  • It is too expensive

3. Orijen

Advantages

  • Various meat sources: fresh chicken meat 20%, dried chicken meat 15%, fresh chicken liver 4%, fresh herring 4%, fresh turkey meat 4%, dried turkey meat 4%, fresh turkey liver 3%, fresh eggs 3%, fresh boneless pikeperch 3%, fresh salmon 3%, fresh poultry hearts 3%, poultry cartilage 3%, dried herring 3%, dried salmon 3%, poultry liver oil 3%, poultry liver fat 2%
  • Good protein (42%) to fat content (20%) ratio
  • Chicken meat comes from free range chickens
  • Omega 3 and 6 come from sea fish
  • High taurine content 2.5mg
  • Contains vitamins A, D and E and minerals iron, iodine, calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium
  • Contains fruits

Disadvantages

  • Contains lentils and peas
  • Too much calcium and phosphorus as is the case with all high protein foods
  • Fairly high carbs content 18%

4. WildCat Karoo

Advantages

  • Fairly high meat content and various meat sources: rabbit and poultry
  • Lots of fruits, vegetables and spices – thyme, marjoram, oregano, parsley and sage
  • High protein content 43% and appropriate fat content 18%
  • Very high taurine content 3.25mg
  • No corn, soya and grains
  • High omega 3 and 6 content
  • Contains vitamins A, D, E, B and C and minerals iron, iodine, copper, zinc, selenium and niacin

Disadvantages

  • Fairly high carbs content 17%
  • Fairly high calcium and phosphorus content

5. Purizon

Advantages

  • Good protein 44% and fat content 20% ratio
  • Good calcium 1.5% and phosphorus 1% ratio
  • High taurine content 4mg
  • Contains vitamins A, D, E and B and minerals iron, iodine, calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium
  • Contains omega 3 and 6
  • Contains lots of fruits, which provide vitamins and antioxidants
  • Contains beer yeast which provides zinc, biotin, and B vitamins
  • Producer says that the meat comes from boneless chicken filet

Disadvantages

  • Contains potatoes and peas
  • 18% carbs content
  • There is no information about the origins of the animals the food is made from … this information was provided by the earlier mentioned brands

6. Acana

Advantages

  • A bit low but still acceptable protein 35% to fat content 17% ratio
  • Contains vitamins A, D, E and B and zinc
  • Good fat 17%
  • Lots of fruits

Disadvantages

  • Contains peas, lentils and chickpeas
  • No iron, iodine, calcium, copper, selenium, potassium
  • Low protein content – only 29%
  • High carb content 33.5%

7. Taste of the Wild

Advantages

  • Good protein 42% and fat content 18% ratio
  • Contains vitamins A, D, E and B and minerals iron, iodine, calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium
  • Contains omega 3 and 6
  • Contains some fruit – dried chicory root, tomatoes, berries, raspberries, yucca extract

Disadvantages

    • The producer boasts adding sweet potatoes and green peas to boost our cats’ vitality… but this addition increases carbs content to 20.7% … too much vitality for domestic cats
    • The name of the food and its description makes us think that the main ingredient will be venison: “Taste of the Wild – Rocky Mountain” is made in the USA from baked venison and smoked salmon…”but the salmon and deer content is only 4% so I feel deceived…
    • Low taurine content of 1mg
    • Canagan Free Run Chicken

8. Canagan Free Run Chicken

Advantages

      • Ok protein 37% and fat content 20% ratio
      • Good taurine level 2.2mg
      • Contains vitamins and minerals: A, D, E, zinc, copper and iron
      • Contains cranberries, marigold, apples, carrots and spinach!

Disadvantages

    • The producer boasts adding sweet potatoes which are excellent source of carbs with low glycemic level but the overall carb content is too high 27%

9. Naturea

Advantages

  • Good protein 32% and fat content 18% ratio
  • Contains vitamins and minerals: A, D, E, B and C, zinc, niacin, copper, iodine, selenium and iron
  • High level of omega 3 and 6
  • Good calcium to phosphorus ratio
  • Lots of fruit and vegetables: seaweed, cranberries, berries, tomatoes

Disadvantages

  • Low taurine level 0.9mg
  • High carbs content 30%

10. Oven Baked Tradition

Advantages

  • Contains lots of fish: fresh fish 26.1% and dehydrated fish 25%
  • Good calcium and phosphorus level 1% each
  • Good level of Omega 3 and 6
  • Contains vitamins and minerals: A, D and E and zinc, copper, iodine, selenium and iron
  • Ok protein 36% and fat content 18% ratio
  • Contains fruits: apples, bananas, berries, broccoli, cranberries, algae
  • Comes in sealable sachets so it means that the fats will not oxidize after the package is open, which is great

Disadvantages

  • High carbs content over 30% probably due to lots of potatoes and peas
  • Low taurine level 1.5mg

Foods you should know about

Below I’m listing foods that didn’t make it to my top ten but I think they are worth mentioning. They are usually cheaper than the foods mentioned above, their ingredients are of worse quality but they are still acceptable and much much better than the ones you should never buy and which I will list later. Here is the list.

Carnilove

After I published this post I received many questions about this food and what I think about it. Well first of all the first ingredients are various meals so I cannot actually tell what is in this food. I don’t know where the proteins come from and the brand website doesn’t mention anything about origin of the animals whose meat is used to make this food. There are more question marks here than answers and that is why I couldn’t put this food among my top ten and I will not write about other ingredients.

 

Feringa

Advantages

  • Protein 31% and fat content 17% ratio is acceptable considering the price
  • Contains vitamins A, D and E and minerals calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium
  • Contains omega 3 and 6
  • Contains eggs

Disadvantages

  • Low taurine level 1.5mg
  • I cannot find information about moisture of this food but assuming standard numbers of 8-10% the carbs content is definitely too high 34-36%

Josera

Advantages

  • Appropriate fat level
  • Contains vitamins A, D and E and minerals calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium
  • Lots of fruits, herbs and presence of yeast
  • Ok calcium and phosphorus ratio

Disadvantages

  • Description reads: “Josera NatureCat with tender salmon…” but there is no salmon among ingredients instead there is salmon meal at 10%
  • Right after potatoes and before peas. I begin to think there should be new food types – grain-less and potato-less
  • High carbs content over 30%
  • Low protein content
  • Low taurine level 1.5mg

Applaws

There seems to be some confusion with this one. Many people pointed out the extremely high level of phosphorus in this food. Such high phosphorus content causes kidney damage so I wrote to the producer to ask where all this phosphorus is coming from. Apparently it is the phosphorus to calcium ratio that is more important than absolute phosphorus level and the ratio here is ok. Well I’m not sure … I sort of lost trust in this food even more so since the protein level has been lowered from 47 to 37%. My cats like this food very much so I checked carbs level, which comes to 24.74% … too high and means that too many potatoes were used. So I wrote again asking for exact carbs content and the answer I got is below 20%. However, according to another website analyzing pet food the carbs content is only 14%. Too many different figures for my taste…

Here is some more info about Applaws

  • Contains vitamins A, D and E and minerals iron, iodine, calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium
  • Protein content 37% – but you can also find 47% which I think is old data
  • Animal fat content 17%
  • Contains omega 3 and 6 from salmon oil
  • Contains taurine 2mg

Disadvantages

  • Too high carbs content 24% – considering calculation based on information from the label
  • There is no grain but instead there are potatoes, beet pulp and plant fibers
  • Important! This food has high phosphorus level so you shouldn’t be giving too much of it to your cats to avoid kidney problems

Sanabelle

I recommend this food to people who are money conscious but want to feed their cats with more than just wheat. This food offers decent quality for good price but unfortunately it is not widely available. If it were as widely stocked as Purina One we would have many more happy cats.

Advantages

  • First ingredient is fresh chicken meat 20% followed by chicken meal
  • Contains flax meal
  • Contains Omega 3 and 6 from fish oil
  • Fairly high content of fruits and vegetables
  • Contains taurine 2mg
  • Contains vitamins A, D, E and B and minerals calcium, copper, zinc, selenium and potassium

Disadvantages

  • How about these pork rinds? For me it’s fried bacon…so it’s pork and cats shouldn’t eat pork at all
  • Unfortunately contains plant oils and beet pulp
  • And 29% of carbs content

And now dry foods you should NEVER buy

What can you tell about Purina One?

  • First ingredient is salmon 15%; however, no information about the salmon and which part of this salmon is used
  • Wheat content equals salmon content 15%
  • Contains soya, corn and beets
  • Contains vitamins A, E, D and C and minerals copper, zinc and iron
  • Small amount of taurine 0.78mg

Overall it is not a good food but if you are on a really tight budget choose this one rather than any of the below foods.

 

 

ROYAL CANIN

Well now let’s talk about Royal Canin – name known to everyone even people who don’t have pets thanks to extensive and intensive marketing and not wonderful quality of the food. Everybody would be happier if the producers moved money from marketing towards improving quality of their product. People who come up with new types of food have amazing imagination as it is absolutely mind blowing how many different types of food they created from practically the same food. Do you think your Ragdoll needs a different kind of food than your neighbor’s British cat? I really doubt that.

But let’s get to the point and the ingredients of Royal Canin:

  • Corn is in the first place
  • Followed by dried poultry protein of unknown origin… maybe from meat? Or bones? Or claws?
  • Then wheat, beet pulp, soya oil
  • Minimal taurine content 0.17mg
  • Carbs content 46%! … the highest so far
  • No fruits or vegetables

I won’t read any further and I feel bad for people who spend a lot of money buying this food hoping to feed their pets something good. Poor animals…

Below are few more foods that should be avoided. I won’t analyze them individually as they all have the same deficiencies and no advantages except for the seemingly low price.

Kitekat

Whiskas

Hills

Felix

Winston (from Rossman)

Coschida (from Lidl)

Kitty (from Biedronka)

Deficiencies

  • Grains are their basic ingredient
  • Negligent amounts or no meat at all and meat should be the main ingredient. Instead there is a little bit of by-products of animal origin
  • No taurine
  • Little or no veggies
  • High carbs content
  • No source of omega 3 and 6

 

 

 

Dry cat’s food

Below is a table listing all foods from the highest quality to the lowest with their price per kg as per one of the cheapest Internet stores. Per kilo price was calculated based on a big 7 and 10kg package price. As you can clearly see for a price of a very low quality food you can buy better food – you just need to read, search a bit and pay attention what you feed your cats. Price does not reflect quality and since now you have a very straightforward cheat sheet, tight budget is no more an excuse to buy awful pet food.

 

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