5 Best High Protein Dry Cat Food In 2022

This is our review of the best high protein dry cat food.

Cats are carnivores with digestive systems optimized to thrive on high-protein animal products.

As a feline Nutritionist and pet owner, I have bought various foods for my cats. My main concern always was how to provide the best nutrition for my pets. 

I believe that our pets deserve the best possible food that we can provide.

In this article, I aim to show:

  • top formulas for best high protein dry cat food,
  • what ingredients are in the best high protein dry cat food,
  • What is the best diet for a cat.

So you can make an informed choice if particular cat food is best for your pet.

With so many options available on cat food shelves, it is easy to be overwhelmed, which is the best high protein dry cat food overall.

I recommend ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food as the best high protein dry cat food.

But every cat is different. So I researched the best high protein dry cat food formulas in several categories to help you make the best decision for your cat.

Keep reading for more details.

Our Best High Protein Dry Cat Food

  1. ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best High Protein Dry Cat Food Overall)
  2. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best High Protein Dry Cat Food For Kittens)
  3. Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best High Protein Dry Cat Food For Seniors)
  4. American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food (Best High Protein Dry Cat Food On Budget)
  5. Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Chicken Formula Dry Cat Food (Best High Protein Dry Cat Food For Sensitive Digestion)

5 Best High Protein Dry Cat Food Reviewed

All formulas meet AAFCO Guidelines for pet food.

 Always consult with your veterinarian before making changes to your cat’s diet.

ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Turkey, Whole Mackerel, Turkey Giblets (Liver, Heart, Gizzard), Flounder

Key Feature: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Natural, Raw, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 40%, Crude Fat: 20%, Crude Fiber: 3%, Moisture: 10%

Caloric Content: 515 kcal/cup

Life Stage: Adult

Best For High Protein Dry Cat Food Overall

The 40% protein from chicken helps maintain healthy lean muscle mass for an active lifestyle.

Benefits:

  • The first 5 ingredients are fresh or raw poultry and fish ingredients.
  • Crafted with 40% protein, quality poultry, and fish ingredients, for a strong source of essential protein, vitamins, and minerals. This recipe is made with no added soy, corn, wheat, or tapioca.
  • WholePrey diet featuring the most succulent parts of the prey including poultry or fish, organs, and bone.
  • This product contains 100% fresh, raw, or dehydrated animal ingredients.
  • Orijen’s meat ingredients are certified free of antibiotics and artificial growth hormones.

This Cat Food does not require refrigeration. To ensure freshness, we recommend storing the kibble in a cool, dry place–preferably in an airtight container.

There are approximately 16 cups of food in the 4-pound bag and about 48 cups in the 12-pound bag.

Why does this food contain beans and legumes?

In general, cats can eat most vegetables, and they are excellent as part of a balanced diet. Many vegetables contain magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants despite not being essential. These can be useful for cats’ bodies, helping to boost their immune system and aid digestion.

Reviews show that owners like the food quality and nutrition. However, it can be pricey if you have more than one cat. Some owners feed this as a treat for this reason. Few pet owners noted that this formula has a strong smell, but it does not bother their cats to enjoy this formula.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Tapioca Starch, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids)

Key Feature: High-Protein, Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 40%, Crude Fat: 20%, Crude Fiber: 3.5%, Moisture: 9%

Caloric Content: 457 kcal/cup

Best For Best Dry Grain-Free Kitten Food

This formula is formulated specifically to help meet the essential needs of growing kittens. It’s great for indoor and outdoor kitties.

There are approximately 8 cups of food in the 2-pound bag and 20 cups of food in the 5-pound bag. And the bag is resealable.

This kitten food offers the concentrated nutrition that growing kittens need in a grain-free formula. Boneless chicken is the first ingredient, providing a high-quality protein source rich in vitamins and minerals.

For all of Blue Buffalo’s cat dry food recipes, the kibble size can range from 6 to 8 millimeters.

Benefits:

  • Encourages the development of strong and lean muscles and includes taurine to support brain and eye health.
  • Includes the fatty acids DHA and ARA to promote healthy growth and development.
  • Includes a precise blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support a healthy immune system.
  • Grain-free and made without the use of corn, soy, wheat, meat by-products, or artificial flavors.

Reviews share that owners noticed a considerable difference in kitten’s fur and skin overall. Also, some kittens have increased their healthy weight while eating this formula. Overall, kittens like this formula.

This formula is also available in Wet food formulas.


Nulo Freestyle Senior Alaska Pollock, Duck & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Pollock, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Yellow Peas, Green Lentils

Key Feature: Grain-Free, High-Protein, Low Glycemic, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 38%, Crude Fat: 14%, Crude Fiber: 6%, Moisture: 10%

Caloric Content: 431 kcal/cup

Life Stage: Seniors

Best For Best High Protein Dry Cat Food For Seniors

Benefits:

  • In their senior years, cats need a high-quality, palatable diet with easy to digest protein and a careful balance of nutrients.
  • Nulo provides Carnivore-friendly senior formula which gets 78% of its protein from poultry and fish animal sources.
  • Grain-free and made without carb-heavy white potatoes or tapioca to help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Made with a patented probiotic to support healthy digestion and a strong immune system.
  • Complete and balanced nutrition fortified with antioxidants and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids from Salmon Oil.

Nulo dry cat foods have small, disc-shaped kibble, measuring between 5 and 8 millimeters.

All Nulo 4 pound and 14-pound dry cat food bags include a resealable closure.

Reviews show that cats enjoy this product, and this formula has helped some cats with vomiting and weight issues. Owners have noted that the Nulo brand has more flavors for rotation if their cats get bored with the taste.


American Journey Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product

Key Feature: Grain-Free, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, High-Protein

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 40%, Crude Fat: 15%, Crude Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 10%

Caloric Content: 395 kcal/cup

Life Stage: Adult

Best For Best High Protein Dry Cat Food On Budget

Benefits:

  • Real, deboned turkey as the first ingredient, along with the deboned chicken for the nutrients they need.
  • Provides solid nutrition with 40% protein, and this formula is made without poultry by-product meal or artificial preservatives and flavors.
  • Contains essential amino acids like taurine for heart and eye health, plus antioxidants to support the immune system, and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
  • Do not contain GMOs.
  • Contains probiotics.

Each American Journey Grain-Free Cat Kibble has a built-in Velcro seal to help maintain freshness. However, putting the cat food in a resealable plastic container is also a great option.

This product contains approximately 20 cups of food in the 5-pound bag and 48 cups of food in the 12-pound bag.

The kibble size measures approximately 7.5 millimeters x 4 millimeters which is the size of a pea.

Reviews show that the kibble is on the hard side, so it might not suit a cat with teeth problems. A highly digestible formula even for sensitive stomachs. Most picky eaters like this formula.


Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Chicken Formula Dry Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

Key Feature: Limited Ingredient Diet, Grain-Free, High-Protein, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy

Guaranteed Analysis: Crude Protein: 37%, Crude Fat: 18%, Crude Fiber: 4%, Moisture: 10%

Caloric Content: 436 kcals/cup

Life Stage: Adult

Best For Best High Protein Dry Cat Food For Sensitive Stomach

Benefits:

  • Specially crafted for adult felines with certain food sensitivities or for those on a limited ingredient diet.
  • Real, tasty chicken is listed as the number one ingredient and is also the only source of animal protein.
  • Plant-based ingredients offer a healthy helping of fiber to keep your cat’s digestion running smoothly.
  • High-protein dry cat food contains the essential vitamins and minerals your cats need to feel their best.
  • Designed to provide a balanced diet for adult cats of all breeds and made without grains, potatoes, fillers, artificial flavors, or colors.

Reviews show that the kibble is small and a good size for cats with small mouths. Cats on Limited Ingredient Diets like this brand best and have improved their overall health. Easy to switch over from previous brands, and the price is value for money.


Best Buy Guide

Protein is a vital nutrient for all animals. Many animals’ bodies are made of protein – muscles, organs, hormones, and enzymes critical to normal function.

What is classed as High Protein Dry Cat Food?

The AAFCO nutrient profiles have a minimum protein of 6.5 g/100 kcal for adult cats and 7.5 g/100 kcal for pregnant and nursing cats and kittens. Many commercial dry cat foods contain 1.5 -2 times more protein than the AAFCO minimum for adult cats.

Is High Protein Diet Good For Cats?

Cats are carnivores who depend primarily on protein and fat from their diet. They do not need significant amounts of carbohydrates to stay healthy.

Feeding a higher protein diet than cats need does not result in any health benefits. However, excess protein is unlikely to be harmful to a healthy pet. The extra protein will just be broken down by the body and eliminated in the urine.

However, for some diseases, like kidney and liver, high protein content can be harmful and progress the disease.

Speak to your veterinarian to check if the best high protein dry cat food can benefit your cat.

What To Look For When Buying High Protein Dry Cat food?

Protein

Kittens will need around 30%- 40% crude protein in their diet per day. They are growing fast, so they need as much lean protein as possible to maintain good bone and muscle health. High energy output requires higher protein, minerals, vitamins, and amino acid foods.

Adult cats require 35%- 40% protein in their diet.

Generally, if a cat has a shiny coat, is alert, has normal stool and skin, ideal weight. It probably means that the food is okay. But is it possible to feed too much protein to a cat?

Senior cats

It can be tricky to determine how much protein a senior cat needs. The difficulty is in the fact that elderly cats might develop kidney disease. A high protein diet could harm the kidneys further. On the other hand, a low protein diet will mean muscle mass loss.

The best things to do in this case:

  • See your cats veterinarian for a kidney check-up
  • Focus on quality rather than quantity in protein. 
  • For example, if your cat’s food label has chicken as the first ingredient. This means that your cat is getting quality lean protein.
  • Change your cat’s diet to a lower protein diet 
  • (do it gradually as cats do not like change in diet).

Crude Fat

Cats get their energy from protein and fat and favor a meal where protein and fat are high.

Some owners might be tempted to feed a cat a low-fat diet to ensure obesity is not a problem. However, cats need more fat content and overeat low-fat food to meet their nutritional needs.

Look for actual animal fat in your cat’s food label.

Crude Fiber

The fiber in cat food has become somewhat a controversial topic. It might seem that cats in the wild only eat meat, but actually, they eat all the animals with their prey’s skin, hoves, intestines, and stomach contents. 

This could mean that our felines need a bit of fiber content in their meals.

Your veterinarian might prescribe a low or high-fiber diet if your cat is experiencing digestive problems. 

For example, a high fiber content can help a diabetic cat, and a low fiber diet can help with small intestine problems.

It is always important to speak to your veterinarian for advice on your cat’s diet if digestive problems occur.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for your cat’s overall wellbeing and healthy body. Taurine is especially crucial as cats do not produce this amino acid themselves.

You might be interested in our article 7 Best Cat Vitamins And Supplements.

In Conclusion

Feeding your cat a high protein diet can benefit your cat’s overall health.

I recommend ORIJEN Original Grain-Free Dry Cat Food as the best high protein dry cat food overall. 

They are crafted with 40% protein, quality poultry, and fish ingredients for a vital source of essential protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Talk to your veterinarian today to determine if your cat may benefit from transitioning to the best protein dry cat food formula.


Choose your best high protein dry cat food HERE.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dace Lace

I´m Dace Lace, a strong advocate for dogs and cats wellbeing. A happy pet makes a human happy! I´m an expert in cats behaviour and nutrition. Also, I have been all my life surrounded by cats and dogs, taking care of them

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