[Cat Food Science] Recommendations On Purchasing Cat Food

We have rounded up 38 cat dry food sold in the United States and made reviews in terms of price, formula, calories, and protein.
The 38 dry foods include several supermarket foods (available at Costco, Safeway, and Walmart), as well as so-called high-end foods (ORIGEN).



According to the data given by Petmed, an adult cat in 10 pounds needs to feed 45-65g of dry food a day. If you feed 65g of dry food a day, you need to feed 4.3 pounds a month.
The cheapest IAM only costs you $10 a month. The most expensive D.else costs you $35 a month. The so-called high-end food ORIGEN costs $30.
Of course, this is the most ideal data. If a 15-pound cat eats 95g of dry food a day, it needs 6.3 pounds of dry food a month.
The cheapest IAMS on the list costs $15 a month, the most expensive D.elsey costs $51, and the more famous Origen costs only $42.5.
It can be seen that the cheapest cat food is actually similar to the high-end big-name cat food, so if there is only one cat in the family, you may wish to consider a cat food with a better reputation. On average, the price is not much different.
But everyone may have a big family of two or three cats or even six or seven cats. It is very important for families with more cats to choose cost-effective cat food.
And for some kittens with special needs, such as fattening/weight loss/urinary tract/breastfeeding during pregnancy, etc., the choice of cat food is quite special.


According to AAFCO’s data, based on dry food, the minimum crude protein required for cat growth and reproduction is 30.0%, and for adult cats, the minimum crude protein should be at least 26.0%.
The general trend is that the higher the price of cat food, the higher the protein content. But here you need to pay attention to whether the source of protein is real meat, meat meal, or vegetable protein.
When choosing the right protein source, remember that cats are carnivores and their ideal diet should mimic the primitive diet they prey on. According to Cornell University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, their food should contain a lot of protein, moderate fat, and a small number of carbohydrates. Dry food should contain up to 10% carbohydrates.
Although Wysong’s protein is as high as 42% and 50%, the number one in ingredient list is chicken powder, which is not a source of high-quality meat.
Although the protein content of instinct is 41%, the first two in the ingredient list are chicken and mixed chicken, and the third is turkey powder.
The protein content of Fromm is less than 40%, but the first and second recipes in the ingredient list are pure meat.
The protein of blue buffalo is as high as 45%, and the top three formulas are all pure meat.

Looking at the top three of the comprehensive protein content and formula table

Origen cat kitten has protein content 46%, recipe boneless chicken, boneless turkey, eggs.
Blue buffalo woodland adult has a protein content of 45%, boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, and boneless turkey.
Instinct original chicken has 41% protein content, formula chicken, mixed chicken, turkey powder.
Acana Meadowland has 35% protein content. The formula is boneless chicken, boneless turkey, and chicken liver.
Fromm game bied 35% protein content, recipe turkey, turkey soup, chicken.
Go chicken has 32% protein content, formula chicken, boneless chicken, brown rice.

If your cat has a good stomach and a healthy diet, you might as well try high-protein, high-quality cat food. It should be noted that too high protein may be unfriendly to some cats with the poor gastrointestinal tract. It is recommended to gradually transition during the food change period.


Fat and calories

Most high-calorie foods are accompanied by high fat content. The more calories per cup, the less food the cat can eat to meet daily needs. But the ingredient list is always the first important criterion, followed by various proportions.
So if your cat is very light or doesn’t like to eat, you can choose high-calorie and high-calorie food for feeding.
Go chicken has 20% fat ratio and 552 calories per cup.
Instinct original chicken has 21% fat and 505 calories per cup.
On the contrary, if your cat is obese or can’t control his mouth, it is recommended to consider choosing foods that are not so high in fat and calories for feeding. Usually, few people strictly calculate how many grams need to be fed according to the weight ratio.



Kitten foods (not considering cat foods of all ages) are ranked in no particular order

instinct original kitten grain-free
The cat food formula is grain-free, and the surface of the dry food has a chicken freeze-dried powder coating to stimulate the appetite of kittens. Cage-free chickens are the first ingredient with high animal protein content. The whole formula includes 81% real animal ingredients and oils. Sufficient protein and natural DHA promote the development of the brain and eyes. Appropriately added probiotics help maintain a healthy digestive system, skin, and immune health.
Palatability 3.5 / 5 Formula 3.5 / 5 Cost-effective 4.5 / 5
Evaluation: Entry-level cat food for kittens.
19% of vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients are slightly too much. The montmorillonite powder contained in the formula is suitable for kittens with the poor gastrointestinal tract and easy soft stools. The granules are hard and are suitable for milk cats that have grown teeth. Because the surface is coated with freeze-dried powder, it is not suitable for long-term foaming and mixing with milk powder.


Royal Canin For young kittens
Suitable for kittens between 4 months and 1 year. The formula provides essential protein and vitamins for kittens.
Palatability 4.5 / 5 Price Formula 2.5 / 5 Cost-effective 3/5
Evaluation: normal kitten food.
The formula looks a bit unsatisfactory, with a small amount of pure meat, a lot of meat powder, and carbohydrates. But in terms of palatability, most kittens maintain a very high degree of acceptance of this cat food, and it is more suitable for kittens who do not like to eat. The uniquely designed dry food pellets make it easier for kittens to chew and prevent swallowing too quickly.


Blue buffalo kitten chicken
Chicken is the first ingredient, without any grains, gluten, wheat or by-products. Use DHA omega-3 fatty acids to promote healthy growth and development, and add essential taurine to promote vision and heart health.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 2.5 / 5 Value for money 3/5
Evaluation: Cat food with too “rich” formula
The formula looks a bit fancy, with too many prebiotics, fiber, probiotics, and nutritional additives, and not much meat. The palatability is very good, and the small pellets are very suitable for cats that have just developed baby teeth. Most of the shoveling officials reported that cats often have strong secretion of fats such as black chins after eating, and the small packaging does not have any sealings, so you need to pay attention to the preservation method.


Wellness CORE kitten
The grain-free formula uses boneless turkey and whitefish as the first two ingredients. It contains DHA omega-3 fatty acids from salmon oil, which can promote the healthy development of the brain and eyes. It also contains taurine, vitamins, and minerals. Enhance immunity and health. The patented ActiCoat probiotic coating helps support healthy digestion, while flaxseed provides nutritious omega-6 fatty acids.
Free of any wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy, egg, or artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
Palatability 3.5 / 5 Formula 4/5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: Kitten food whose palatability is a mystery
The formula is top in several kitten foods, and there are not many fruits and vegetables added. There are also healthy ingredients such as taurine fish oil to maintain the growth of kittens. It’s just that the palatability of wellness has always been fascinating, and the polarization is more serious.


Adult cat food (some for all ages)

Instinct Ultimate Protein
Grain-free cage-free free-range chicken freeze-dried coated cat food, unparalleled digestibility, can achieve the best nutrient absorption. Most of the natural additives contribute to a healthy digestive system, healthy skin and coat, and immune health.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 4/5 Cost-effective 4/5
Evaluation: Cost-effective adult cat food
Pure chicken, ranks first in the ingredient list, and the protein ratio of up to 47%, is very suitable for adult cats in the growing stage. However, the intake of meat varieties is too simple, which is not conducive to ensuring food diversity.


Instinct raw boost
High-protein coarsely ground dry food pellets + freeze-dried pellets, the first place in the ingredient list is cage-free free-range chickens. Free of grains, potatoes, corn, wheat, soybeans, by-product powder, artificial colors or preservatives.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 4/5 Value for money 4/5
Evaluation: The ingenious combination of freeze-drying and dry food
Overall, the recipe is very good, guaranteeing the diversity of meat sources, but also ensuring that pure chicken is the first ingredient in the list of ingredients. There are still too many fruits and vegetables added. It’s suitable as excessive cat food before freeze-dried or raw meat feeding. [ Home cats generally like to pick out the freeze-dried and eat it, leaving dry food.


Blue buffalo woodland
90% of the protein comes from 11 different animal sources, including fresh, raw, and dehydrated chicken, turkey, saltwater fish, and duck. It contains nutrient-rich organs and cartilage and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Does not use grains, peas or potatoes, and does not rely on protein in vegetables
Palatability 3.5 / 5 Formula 4/5 Value for money 4/5
Evaluation: Lan Jue’s Turnover Series
Lan Jue, who has always been criticized for inferior food in the supermarket, fought a battle. This series not only guarantees the diversity of meat sources but also guarantees that the top three in the ingredient list are pure meat. The fly in the ointment is that unnecessary fruits and vegetables are added too much. The high-calorie and the high-fat formula are not suitable for cats who are losing weight.


Blue Buffalo wilderness
The 100% grain-free formula uses high-protein chicken as the first ingredient. Supports healthy digestion through a blend of natural fiber and probiotics, and helps maintain an ideal weight by balancing the calories of protein and fat.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 2.5 / 5 Value for money 3/5
Evaluation: Slightly deceptive
Although it is under the banner of no grain and the ingredient list is pure chicken, but a closer look reveals that the ingredients are not satisfactory. Use too much pea protein as a percentage of total protein. Even grain-free cat food does not make much sense. At the same time, there is a slightly single source of meat and too many additives. The palatability is really good. It should be noted that small particles are suitable for eating and can easily lead to fast eating.



Chicken is the main ingredient, along with brown rice, oatmeal, whole eggs, apples, and cranberries. The formula contains antioxidants to enhance immunity, contains prebiotics to help digestion, and antioxidant superfoods such as kelp and alfalfa. In addition, it’s free of by-products, beef, wheat, corn, or soybeans.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 3.5 / 5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: The fastest fattening cat food
Cat food up to 552Cal/cup has a significant effect on increasing fat. However, the source of meat is relatively single and there are more meat meal, which is not a high-quality protein source. The rest of the additives are too cumbersome. Good palatability.


Suitable for cats from 1 to 7 years old. Grain-free and gluten-free formula, No corn, wheat, soy or fillers. No by-products. The added omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can make the fur soft and shiny. The added prebiotics and probiotics contribute to good digestive health.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 3/5 Cost-effective 3/5
Evaluation: Not worthy of the price
Although the first place in the ingredient list is boneless turkey, the following potato flour, peas, potatoes, and pea fiber drag down the overall recipe. The price of $6 per pound is a bit inflated, of course if the cat likes to eat it. The meat source is relatively simple, and the taste needs to be changed regularly.


Wellness core indoor
The grain-free cat food with boneless chicken as the number one ingredient list contains all the proteins needed to help indoor cats maintain muscle fitness and health. Contains no meat by-products or fillers. Added glucosamine and chondroitin support joint function. L-carnitine helps to use fat, while natural fiber helps maintain a healthy weight. No wheat, wheat gluten, corn, soy, or eggs; no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
Palatability 3.5/5 Formula 3.5/5 Cost-effective 3.5/5
Evaluation: cat food on a tall package
Too much meat powder is added, and the palatability is severely polarized. Reactive is suitable for cats that maintain a healthy body. Not suitable for cats who need to gain weight or hate eating.


It provides 75% high-quality animal ingredients, including free-range chicken and turkey, wild fish, and cage-free eggs.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 4.5/5 Value for Money 4.5/5
Evaluation: Personally recommended cat food
Although not as high as ORIGEN’s protein content, combined with the top three recipes for boneless chicken, boneless turkey, and chicken liver, the high-quality meat protein, moderate calorie and fat content are very outstanding, and the gastrointestinal adaptability The cats of Origen may wish to try it. Large pieces of hard dry food make it easier for cats to chew slowly.


The meat content of ORIJEN is as high as 90%, and its meat is 3 times that of most traditional dry foods. Two-thirds of the meat in each recipe is raw or fresh, and has never been processed or processed. High-quality fresh meat and low-glycemic healthy carbohydrates all come from the United States.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 5/5 Cost-effective 4/5
Evaluation: high-quality dry food
Very high high-quality protein ratio and protein content, it is a good choice for cats that are in the growth period or have a very healthy gastrointestinal system. DHA and Omega and taurine are included. However, cats with poor stomachs are advised not to try. Most owners have reported that their cats have soft stools.


Stella and Chewys Raw coated Kibble
Animal protein is the first place in the ingredient list, guaranteeing 65%-70% animal protein. Grain-free, potato-free, low-carbohydrate diet, no artificial preservatives or colors, and no chicken non-staple food. The surface of dry food is coated with freeze-dried powder.
Palatability 3/5 Formula 3.5 / 5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: Feeling dry food
If I remember correctly, it should be stella & chewy’s new dry food series last year. When I saw it in the store, I bought it home and prepared to give it a try to the kitten. The meat source of the formula is too single and the legume content is high. If you like the sc brand very much, you might as well try it, but my cat doesn’t have a good face. The particles are small and the texture is hard, easy to swallow too quickly.


Stella and Chewys Raw Blend
The same is the grain-free high-protein dry food coated with freeze-dried powder. The only difference from the above dry food is probably the addition of a complete freeze-dried block.
Palatability 3.5 / 5 Formula 3.5 / 5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: Buying a package of SC freeze-dried mixed dry food has the same effect
It is similar to the above one, the difference is the addition of freeze-dried blocks. But the palatability of the dry food itself is still a mystery, and the family cats are unwilling to eat the dry food after taking out the freeze-dried block. It’s better to buy a pack of SC freeze-dried dry food that cats love to eat for topping.


Royal Canin Indoor
Designed specifically for the needs of indoor cats from 1 to 7 years old. Proper fiber content and nutrients help reduce the odor and quantity of feces. Moderate fat content is suitable for low activities of indoor cats to maintain a healthy weight. Use can promote intestinal peristalsis and help manage hair bulb problems.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 3/5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: still improvised
Compared with all the dry foods above, you can find that the protein content is too low and the formula is not very good. The palatability is really good due to the addition of flavor enhancers, but the overall performance is really not so “good-looking”. The use of too many additives is not worthy of mid-range prices. As for the effect of reducing the odor and frequency of feces, there is a question mark. The addition of L-carnitine helps to maintain weight, but simply eating more can not help weight loss.


Fromm game bird
Made from grain-free turkey, turkey soup, goose and duck, pheasant and quail, etc.
Palatability 4.5 / 5 Formula 4.5 / 5 Value for money 4.5 / 5
Evaluation: worth a try
Several kittens in the family are also mixed with fromm’s tastes for feeding. The brand can be given 90 points overall. There are indeed a lot of beans added, but the formula guarantees food diversity and also provides qualified protein percentage, fat percentage and calories. The particles are a bit small and easy to swallow too quickly.


Fromm Surf and turf
Grain-free dry food for fish and chicken.
Palatability 5/5 Formula 4/5 Value for money 4.5 / 5
Evaluation: Soft Poop Buster
Fromm’s Surf and Turf is a well-known soft poop buster at home and abroad. This taste is the same every time the domestic stock is out of stock. The palatability is very good, and almost no cat does not like it, but there is too much fish in the formula. I haven’t figured out why it is obviously fish-based dry food, but it is very friendly to kittens with sensitive stomachs. Many shit shovel officers have feedback that this dry food is not soft or diarrhea after eating. However, too small particles can easily lead to a cat’s swallowing.


Wysong Epigen 90
Wysong Epigen has created a truly starch-free formula that contains 63% protein and 16% fat as well as beneficial probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. A meat-based diet formula containing 63% protein (including real organic chicken) may not be suitable for all pets.
Palatability 4/5 Formula 3/5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: Niche high-protein cat food
Wysong is a cat and dog food company developed and founded by a veterinarian. This cat food has almost the highest protein content on the market. In other words, it is suitable for cats with a good digestion system. Too many preservatives, probiotics, and gelatin in the formula
trouble me a lot.


Royal Canin Savor
Suitable for picky cats from 1 to 7 years old.
It contains two dry food shapes, with different formulas and textures to stimulate cats’ taste preferences. The use of protein with high digestibility helps to reduce the odor of stool and provides complete and balanced nutrition.
Palatability 5/5 Formula 3.5 / 5 Value for money 3.5 / 5
Evaluation: the savior of picky eaters
I have a deep understanding of this cat food. Most people who are familiar with it know that I have a kitten who is a picky eater. He has fought with me for nearly a year. During this period, it tried frozen canned dry food available in the United States and Japan. I gave it all including homemade raw meat and cooked meat. In the end, he showed his high appreciation for this one. The formula is just so so, and the ratio are also the same. The price and the ingredients obviously do not match, but the palatability is good. If you have a picky eater at home, you might as well try it. Regarding the poop smell, it was not effective.

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