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10 Best Dry Cat Foods in the U.K. in 2021

Nicole Cosgrove

cat eating dry food

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!

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favourites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Bifensis Dual defence system
  • Reduces tartar build-up by 40%
  • Added taurine, beneficial minerals, and vitamins
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Whiskas Cat Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food Whiskas Cat Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food
  • Packed with omega fatty acids
  • Packed with vitamins E and D3
  • Formulated with tasty kibble pockets
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    IAMS Vitality With Fresh Chicken Dry Cat Food IAMS Vitality With Fresh Chicken Dry Cat Food
  • Powerful antioxidant blend
  • 100% complete and balanced
  • Tailored minerals for urinary health
  • Best for Kittens
    Purina ONE Kitten Chicken & Wholegrain Dry Cat Food Purina ONE Kitten Chicken & Wholegrain Dry Cat Food
  • Included DHA
  • 41% protein from chicken
  • Packed with beneficial bacteria
  • Best for Hairball Reduction
    IAMS Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food IAMS Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • 89% animal proteins
  • Proven hairball reduction
  • 10 Best Dry Cat Foods in the U.K. in 2021 — Reviews & Top Picks 2021

    1. Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food — Best Overall

    Purina ONE Adult Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Chicken, dried poultry protein, whole grain wheat
    Crude Protein: 34%
    Fat Content: 14%

    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.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first listed ingredient
    • Bifensis Dual defence system
    • Reduces tartar build-up by 40%
    • Added taurine, beneficial minerals, and vitamins
    • Free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives
    Cons
    • Contains grains (17%)

    2. Whiskas Cat Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food — Best Value

    Whiskas Cat Complete Chicken Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Whole-grain cereals, poultry and poultry by-product, ocean fish
    Crude Protein: 32%
    Fat Content: 5%

    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.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Formulated with tasty kibble pockets
    • Helps reduce tartar build-up
    • Packed with omega fatty acids
    • Packed with vitamins E and D3
    Cons
    • Contains grains as the first ingredient
    • Contains poultry by-products

    3. IAMS Vitality With Fresh Chicken Dry Cat Food — Premium Option

    IAMS Vitality With Fresh Chicken Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Dried chicken, turkey, maize
    Crude Protein: 5%
    Fat Content: 12%

    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.

    Pros
    • Premium protein from chicken and turkey
    • 100% complete and balanced
    • Packed with omega-3 and -6 fatty acids
    • Powerful antioxidant blend
    • Tailored minerals for urinary health
    • Free from wheat, artificial colours, and preservatives
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Contains powdered cellulose

    4. Purina ONE Kitten Chicken & Wholegrain Dry Cat Food — Best for Kittens

    Purina ONE Kitten Chicken & Wholegrain Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Chicken, dried poultry protein, whole-grain wheat
    Crude Protein: 41%
    Fat Content: 20%

    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.

    Pros
    • Ideal for kittens
    • 41% protein from chicken
    • Packed with beneficial bacteria
    • Added omega fatty acids
    • Included DHA
    Cons
    • Contains wheat, corn, and soy
    • May cause nausea and vomiting

    5. IAMS Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food — Best for Hairball Reduction

    IAMS Vitality Hairball Reduction Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Dried chicken, turkey, maize
    Crude Protein: 35%
    Fat Content: 14%

    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.

    Pros
    • Proven hairball reduction
    • 89% animal proteins
    • Added prebiotics and beet fibre
    • Rich in antioxidants
    • Free from wheat fillers, artificial colours, flavours, and GMOs
    Cons
    • May cause nausea and vomiting in some cats
    • Contains powdered cellulose and maize

    6. Harringtons Complete Adult Chicken Dry Cat Food

    Harringtons Complete Adult Chicken Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Chicken, meat meals, whole-grain rice
    Crude Protein: 30%
    Fat Content: 12%

    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.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the first ingredient
    • 100% complete and balanced
    • Enhanced with taurine and vitamin D
    • Balanced ratio of essential omega fatty acids
    • Vitamin E for immune support
    • Contains dried chicory root to aid in digestion
    Cons
    • Contains maize and oats
    • May cause nausea and diarrhoea

    7. James Wellbeloved Complete Turkey and Rice Dry Cat Food

    James Wellbeloved Complete Turkey and Rice Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Turkey meal, brown rice, turkey fat
    Crude Protein: 31%
    Fat Content: 20%

    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.

    Pros
    • Single protein source (turkey)
    • Natural source of omega fatty acids
    • Packed with prebiotics
    • Natural source of antioxidants
    • Contains yucca extract
    • Free from artificial ingredients, soy, and wheat
    Cons
    • Comparatively high-fat content
    • Expensive

    8. Meowing Heads 100% Natural Chicken and Fish Dry Cat Food

    Meowing Heads 100% Natural Chicken and Fish Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Chicken, rice, dried fish
    Crude Protein: 37%
    Fat Content: 18%

    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.

    Pros
    • Contains real chicken as the first listed ingredient
    • Natural source of essential omega fatty acids
    • Enriched with taurine
    • Unique anti-hairball formula
    • Natural source of antioxidants
    • Free from artificial flavours, colours, and preservatives
    Cons
    • High fibre content may cause diarrhoea
    • Pungent odour
    • Expensive

    9. Perfect Fit Complete Dry Cat Food

    Perfect Fit Complete Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Dried poultry protein (including 21% chicken), wheat, soy
    Crude Protein: 41%
    Fat Content: 5%

    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.

    Pros
    • 41% protein content
    • Contains natural antioxidants
    • Balanced mineral content
    • Included biotin, zinc, and omegas for skin and coat health
    • Added L-carnitine
    Cons
    • Wheat is the second listed ingredient
    • Contains filler ingredients
    • Small kibble size

    10. Scrumbles All Natural Chicken and Fresh Salmon Dry Cat Food

    Scrumbles All Natural Chicken and Fresh Salmon Dry Cat Food

    First-listed ingredients: Chicken, rice, salmon
    Crude Protein: 35%
    Fat Content: 19%

    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.

    Pros
    • 75% fresh meat
    • Real chicken and salmon for a great protein source
    • Added probiotics
    • Cranberries to aid in urinary health
    • 100% recyclable packaging
    Cons
    • Pungent odour
    • Expensive
    • Small kibble size

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    Buyer’s Guide

    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.

    Ingredients

    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%.

    Gray cat eating from the bowl
    Image Credit: Skrypnykov Dmytro, Shutterstock

    Nutritional value

    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.

    Lifestage

    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

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    Conclusion

    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 Cosgrove

    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.