Natural Dry Cat Food

Types of natural dry cat food are generally designed to meet feline nutritional needs while avoiding the additives and preservatives often found in commercially processed products. Many natural dry cat foods are marketed as "holistic" and feature "organic" ingredients. They may be good options for pet owners who want the convenience of dry food without the fillers, hormones and by-products that comprise many mass market selections. Here is an overview of some of the more popular brands of natural dry cat food, and a description of some of their most commonly used ingredients.

What Makes Dry Cat Foods Natural

Natural dry cat foods typically promote feline diets free from commercially processed grains, animal proteins and by-products. Many brand-name bagged dry foods found on the shelves of local and chain retailers contain high volumes of filler ingredients like wheat, soy and corn. Some animal nutrition experts believe these grains are difficult for cats to digest and may contribute to obesity and nutrition-related disorders associated with the kidneys, heart and muscles. Natural dry cat foods usually avoid processed filler grains, opting instead for lower-carbohydrate easier-to-digest ingredients like rice, rice bran and oat bran.  

A common philosophy among many natural dry cat food manufacturers is to make products with ingredients that are safe for human and animal consumption. This is often reflected in natural dry foods that are free from widely used slaughterhouse by-products like bone, brains, lungs, intestines, feathers and beaks. Supporters of holistic feline diets often site the low nutritional value and unsavory nature of these and other by-products. Instead of producing products made from such questionable protein sources, natural dry food makers often use organic human-grade chicken, lamb, turkey and fish.

Another distinguishing characteristic of natural dry cat food is the inclusion of healthy sources of important vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids like Arachidonic Acid. Organic fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals are used in many natural dry cat food formulas. Natural feline dry foods may also contain high-quality chicken fat and olive or sunflower oil to provide the fat needed to help cats absorb vitamins like E, A, D and K.

Popular Brands of Natural Dry Cat Food

There are a growing number specialty pet food brands that offer natural dry feline food. Here are two of the most popular brands found in many boutique and chain pet stores:


Wellness brand pet foods are marketed as holistic products that are designed by animal nutrition experts, scientists and veterinarians. Their dry cat food products contain high-quality deboned chicken and fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Wellness dry cat food is available for kittens as well as adult and senior cats. The company also features formulas designed for indoor cats and overweight animals.


Natura produces a wide variety of natural and holistic pet food brands, including Innova, EVO, California Natural and HealthWise. The different brands focus on various nutritional needs, including those of kittens, senior and adult cats, and overweight and indoor felines. Their dry food products contain USDA certified organic ingredients like deboned salmon, herring, chicken and turkey, as well as fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.