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The best dry cat foods are meat-rich -- and grain-free

Most dry cat foods are made largely from grain, with little fresh meat (if any). Some experts say that can cause obesity, diabetes and other diseases in cats, which are strict carnivores that haven't evolved to eat much grain.

But a few companies make dry cat foods that are mostly high-grade meat -- and no grain. It's important to note, though, that some veterinarians say cats shouldn't eat dry food at all, because their low thirst drive doesn't allow them to get enough moisture unless they eat wet food. Other vets have no problem with dry food, however.

Orijen's dry cat food is easily the best you can buy, experts say. This Canadian company hires local farmers and fishermen to deliver the ingredients fresh daily: wild-caught fish, cage-free chicken and turkey, local fruits and veggies. Orijen blends in organs, cartilage and wildflower botanicals to mimic whole prey and wild forage.

But while there's no grain in sight, Orijen dry cat foods can be pricey. Orijen Cat and Kitten Formula (Est. $25 for a 5-lb. bag) is the least expensive variety; Orijen 6 Fish costs $1 more, followed by Orijen Regional Red (Est. $30 for a 5-lb. bag) , which lists "boneless wild boar" as its first ingredient.

However, if a premium food costs significantly less than this, it usually contains grain. Nature's Logic Feline Dry Kibble -- Chicken (Est. $27 for a 7.7-lb. bag) costs less pound-for-pound than Orijen, but it also lists millet as its second ingredient.

Still, Nature's Logic is all-natural -- even its vitamins and minerals come from whole foods like cranberries and blueberries, not synthetic supplements -- and the company says it's "over 60 percent animal protein." Like Orijen, Nature's Logic has a strong food safety testing program. Nature's Logic also makes highly rated canned and frozen raw foods; Orijen produces no wet cat food at all.

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Orijen 6-Fish Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food, 5 lb
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NATURE'S LOGIC/ NL Enterprises - FELINE CHICKEN KIBBLE 7.7LBS
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Orijen Regional Red Dry Dog Food 5 Lb.
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Cat Food Runners Up:

Evo Cat and Kitten Food Est. $1.35 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Nature's Variety Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Est. $21 for a 3-lb. bag

4 picks including: CatInfo.org, PetsumerReport.com…

Wellness Chicken Formula *Est. $1.50 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Merrick Cowboy Cookout Est. $1.40 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Weruva Paw Lickin' Chicken Est. $1.65 for a 5.5-oz. can

4 picks including: About.com, CatInfo.org…

Fancy Feast Classic Chicken Feast Est. 65 cents for a 3-oz. can

3 picks including: Petco.com, CatInfo.org…

Feline's Pride Gourmet Chicken Est. $26 for a 3-lb. bag

3 picks including: CatNutrition.org, CatInfo.org…

Nature's Logic Feline Dry Kibble -- Chicken Est. $27 for a 7.7-lb. bag

3 picks including: About.com, PetsumerReport.com…

Natural Balance Original Ultra Est. $17 for a 6-lb. bag

2 picks including: About.com, Amazon.com…

Canidae All Life Stages Formula Est. $1.60 for a 5.5-oz. can

2 picks including: CatInfo.org, PetsumerReport.com…

Wysong Au Jus Chicken Est. $1.55 for a 5.5-oz. can

2 picks including: PetsumerReport.com, TracieHotchner.com…

Evo Turkey and Chicken Formula Est. $22 for a 6.6-lb. bag

2 picks including: About.com, Christian Science Monitor…

California Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Formula Est. $15 for a 5-lb. bag

2 picks including: About.com, PetsumerReport.com…

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EVO Cat & Kitten Canned Cat Food
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New: $73.62 $42.99   
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Merrick Cowboy Cookout Meat, 5-1/2-Ounce, 24 Count
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New: $34.22   
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The Honest Kitchen Grace - 2 lb
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New: $29.99 $29.49   
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Nature's Logic Canned Food - Chicken - 12 x 5.5 oz
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New: $36.53 $18.99   
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Fancy Feast Gourmet Cat Food, Classic Chicken Feast, 3-Ounce Cans (Pack of 24)
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New: $14.40
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NATURE'S LOGIC/ NL Enterprises - FELINE CHICKEN KIBBLE 7.7LBS
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New: $33.44
In Stock.
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Natural Balance Original Ultra Premium Formula Cat Food, 6-Pound Bag
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New: $16.99 $14.43   
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Wysong Chicken Au Jus Canine/Feline Canned Diet, 5.5-Ounce
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New: $37.09   
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