Cats often resist food that is ideal for their health. Instead, they prefer what bodes well for their palette. While they might go along with some healthy food options at times, that isn’t always possible.
Cats love to chew on hard or dry food options. However, not all dry food options might be good for your feline’s health, especially if they do not drink enough water.
Ideally, pet parents must try their best to transition the cat to canned options. However, in certain cases, that might not be possible. So, the key is to select a dry dietary product for your cat that is loaded with high-quality nutrients.
But first, let us check out why cats prefer a hard cat diet over canned ones.
The best grain free cat foods are also available in the hard food category so if your feline is allergic to gain then you can buy a grain-free formula.
Why Do Felines Prefer Hard Cat Food?
The prime reason cats prefer a dry or hard dietary option is the ingredients used for the manufacturing process. Unfortunately, some pet diet manufacturing companies don’t practice ethical choices when selecting the best dietary source.
Instead, they tend to coat the hard kibbles with an extremely enticing digest spray meant for animals that is very pleasing for the cats.
However, these add-ons can make the diet very poor in quality but attractive for the pets. Apart from this, cats are picky eaters. They do not like a sudden change in their dietary habit.
So, if they have been relying on a dry diet for a long time, they might not bode well with a sudden change to a canned or wet diet.
They adore the crunchy texture that comes with dry feline food. If your veterinarian suggests switching from a dry diet to a canned one, you shouldn’t immediately change the same. The change must be gradual.
Start by introducing a 25 percent wet diet to the dry diet. Increase this amount gradually through a few weeks until it the cat adjusts to the new diet completely.
Keep in mind that certain cats might experience the stools becoming softer as they transition from a hard to wet diet. This is completely normal due to the diet change. However, if the issue persists for a long time, you must visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Several dry dietary options are low in carbohydrates. However, they are dense in terms of calories and fat. So, it would help if you opted for portion control, or else the pet might end up overweight or obese.
On average, an adult feline needs about 200 to 250 calories per day. Not just that, low-carbohydrate hard food can also be loaded with phosphorus. This high phosphorus content could be detrimental for the cats that suffer from kidney issues.
Moreover, hard cat food contains a small amount of water that isn’t good for maintaining a healthy urinary system.
Today, more and more pet kibble manufacturers are focusing on these problems and introducing hard cat food that tackles all these issues while providing optimum nutrition for the pet.
What Are the Benefits of Hard Food for Cats?
Hard cat food surely has a plethora of benefits that include:
- The texture of hard kibble ensures that the plaque buildup in the teeth of the pet is removed. This helps maintain healthy oral hygiene for the pet.
- The crunchy texture mimics the natural chewing experience of the bones in animals hunted by the cats.
- Adding broth or water into the hard kibble can help compensate for the lack of urinary health moisture.
- Hard food kibbles can also be used as toppers on canned food to entice the pets into finishing their meal.
- Dry feline supplements are available at a cheaper price tag and can be used for a long time instead of the canned variants that get spoiled easily.
- Hard kibbles can easily be added to a cat food dispenser which is an amazing way to attract your pets to eat their meal.
Now that you know everything about hard cat food, let us check out the 3 best hard foods for cats that you can provide your pet without worrying about any nutritional issues.
Top 3 Best Cat Hard Food
1-The Best Hard Cat Food
Felines adore the enticing flavor of chicken and salmon. So, why not get them exactly what they need? The Purina Friskies is an amazing hard food for your pet that packs in the delicious flavor of fresh salmon and chicken.
These gravy swirlers have a savory taste with baked nourishment that packs in a flavor that stays on the cat’s tongue for a long time.
In terms of nutrition, these pellets are formulated with the right amount of vitamins and minerals that help them through different stages of growth in life.
In addition, the kibbles have gravy baked right into it which helps pack in a nutritious punch for the pets.
The Purina Friskies hard cat food is formulated as a complete health-centric dietary choice and is approved by the AAFCO or the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
The grounded yellow corn added to the kibbles is easy to digest and serves as an excellent protein source. So, it is our top recommendation as the best hard cat food.
It also helps replenish your pet’s energy levels by providing the essential minerals, vitamins, & important fatty acids.
- Provides the essential amino acids for better digestion
- Provides high-quality condensed protein with meat & bone meal
- It contains beef tallow which is an ideal source of good-quality fat
- Has gravy inside the kibble, which brings an interesting twist for the cats
- Supports the pet’s immune system and muscle growth
- It contains artificial food colors that could be unhealthy add-ons for the pet
- It contains wheat that might cause allergies in pets with a sensitive stomach
2. Meow Mix Hard Cat Food
The Meow Mix cat food is designed for cats of all age groups. Its complete & balanced nutrition profile provides your pet all the minerals and vitamins that support strong & healthy muscles.
The hard cat kibble consists of flavors from 4 different protein profiles: chicken, salmon, turkey, & ocean fish.
The kibble is ideal for housecats that do not have any known health problems. The taste of this hard pet food is very delicious & would surely bring a big smile on cats that are picky eaters.
In addition, the formula is rich in protein content which is ideal for the maintenance of the muscle mass among the felines.
Given its fish and salmon content, the food is rich in essential and nutritious fatty acids that help maintain a shiny coat & healthy skin. In addition, the crunchy texture ensures that the pet’s teeth are free of plaque and bad smell.
It is a perfect solution for cats that are hard to please in terms of dietary choices.
The Meow Mix consists of 30 percent high-quality protein along with 11 percent essential fat content. In addition, the formula is fortified with all the necessary minerals and vitamins.
- Savory taste with flavors from turkey, chicken, salmon, & ocean fish
- It helps maintain the skin’s health while keeping the coat shiny
- Houses antioxidants that help minimize any cellular-level damage
- Contains 100 percent complete & balanced nutrition
- Provides the pet with essential minerals and vitamins
- The prime protein sources come from plants and not animals
- It might cause constipation issues in certain pets
3. IAMS Hard Dry Cat Food
The IAMS Proactive Health hard cat diet comes in chicken & salmon flavors that help maintain the health of an adult cat that mostly stays indoors. In addition, if your cat isn’t as interested in playing or indulging in other physical activities, this food will provide them with all the necessary nutrients without making them gain weight.
This kibble helps get rid of hairballs while providing your pet with the required nutrition and energy to help them play around without getting tired.
In addition, the formula contains L-carnitine that aids indoor cats to lose unnecessary fat while maintaining a healthy body. That why we recommend it as the best hard cat food.
The cat diet also packs in a proprietary blend of fiber that includes beet pulp to reduce hairballs. Moreover, the kibble consists of 10 percent less fat than any other dietary choices available in the market.
- Nourishes your cat with omega-6 & omega-3 for a shiny and soft coat
- It contains 0 percent fillers and all real chicken components
- Recommended by veterinarians for weight management
- Ideal for cats above one year
- It helps maintain strong muscles and a healthy heart
- It needs to be stored in airtight containers to prevent spoiling issues
- Some cats do not like the smell of the food
You need to store your dry cat food in a proper way so it does not stale. You also can make wet cat food out of dry and it will also help you if you learn how long can a cat go without food, it the times when you are not near you can make better arrangements for your cat.
Purchasing the right hard food for your cat requires you to research and find out what works and what doesn’t. Remember, not all cats are the same.
While some felines will love what you serve them, others would go into starvation mode to get something tasty yet not nutritious to them.
So, make sure you choose hard pet food that is nutritional & tasty as well.