What Are The 6 Best Soft Dry Cat Foods?

Best Soft Dry Cat Foods

Soft dry cat food is coined as such due to its higher water by weight quantity than other dry food for cats. These alternative meals often have soft centers or a chewier outer layer to take some pressure off of your cat’s teeth. 

These soft alternatives are balanced food for adult cats that can mimic the texture of real chicken meat or raw ground meat. This increases the interest your cat will show in their food while ensuring that any health problem they may struggle with is accommodated with a softer meal. 

Top Picks For Soft Dry Cat Food

Replacing your dry kibble food with soft dry cat food can benefit your cat’s health while still pleasing their taste buds. If you’re ready to trade in your traditional kibble, consider one of these popular soft dry cat foods. 

Best Overall (Recommended)

Purina ONE Natural Dry Cat Food, Tender Selects Blend...
  • One (1) 22 Lb. Of Purina One Tender...
  • Real Salmon Is The #1 Ingredient
  • High Protein Helps Support Strong...

Best On A Budget

Sale
Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food, Salmon & Chicken,...
  • Contains (1) 13.5 Pound Bag of Dry Cat...
  • Kibble combines tender center with...
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition

Best For Kittens

Purina Kitten Chow Dry Kitten Food, Nurture - (4) 3.15...
  • Four (4) 3.15 lb. Bag - Purina Kitten...
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition,...
  • Contains essential nutrients like those...

Best For Senior Cats

Sale
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+, Indoor,...
  • Specially formulated to fuel the energy...
  • Dry cat food with natural fibers to...
  • Provides your mature cat with optimal...

Best For Grain Free

Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken...
  • GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD WITH CAGE FREE...
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: Instinct Original dry...
  • THE FIRST RAW COATED KIBBLE: Our grain...

Best For High Protein

Sale
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult...
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: Made to feed...
  • GRAIN FREE INDOOR CAT FOOD: BLUE...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula...

What Is Soft Dry Cat Food? 

Soft cat food is commercially known as semi-moist cat food. Since it’s not as moist as wet cat food, the moisture level is specified for pet owners. 

Those looking simply for a softer version of their cat’s kibble, you’ll need to make this on your own at home.

An important distinction is that these softer foods don’t contain chunks of meat with sauce in the way that wet food does. 

Types Of Soft Dry Cat Food

Soft dry cat food has enough moisture levels to be gentler on the teeth without being the consistency of wet food. Depending on the moisture level your cat needs, either for palatability or hydration, you’ll want to buy different types of soft food. 

Moist

Moisture dry food has a higher water content than alternative brands. These won’t be labeled as more or less moist rather, you’ll need to check the moisture percentage on the nutrition label. 

You’ll be able to determine if the meal is softer than other soft dry foods by comparing how much moisture your cat will consume per serving. 

Those with a higher percentage are best for older cats or those with missing teeth. 

Semi-moist

Semi-moist cat food generally has between 60 and 65% moisture per serving, meaning more of the meal is made up of water. Because of this, your cat will get a boost of hydration but may also eat a higher portion size.

Should You Buy Soft Dry Cat Food?

Soft dry cat food has its place with cats that cannot eat crunchy kibble for some reason. However, before assuming that this food type is the answer to your cat’s health problems, consider some of the major downfalls of these meals. 

Benefits Of Using A Soft Dry Cat Food

Many cats suffer from dental issues like sensitive gums or missing teeth which makes it challenging to eat. In these cases, it’s most important to give your cat food that they can manage to chew up and swallow. 

Semi-moist food can provide excellent nutrition in these cases. These semi-moist foods can provide relief for cats with dental issues or a hard time digesting hard food. 

These soft foods are often fortified with essential nutrients like folic acid, omega-6 fatty acids, amino acids, and the necessary fatty acids to maintain your cat’s overall health. 

Folic acid is vital in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, which further benefits cats with symptoms of age. This can be a massive boost in immune health and provide natural ingredients and high-quality nutrition to cats that otherwise struggle with dry kibble. 

Disadvantages Of Soft Dry Cat Food

Meals higher in moisture content are generally more expensive per serving. Since upwards of 65% of the diet is water, you’ll spend more on semi-moist foods than you’d spend on canned food, pouch food, or any dry type of food for your cat. 

These foods also tend to be higher in salt and sugar due to the high moisture content in pet food. If your cat is generally healthy without any significant health concerns, this may not be a problem. 

However, if your cat is diabetic or obese, adding additional sugars and salt into their diet can be a big problem.

Buying Guide For Soft Dry Cat Food

Soft dry cat food is an excellent option for cats that require higher moisture and smoother feed. While these foods offer an excellent in-between wet cat food and dry cat food, they can vary in texture and moisture level. 

Moisture Level

The most significant variable in soft dry food is the moisture content. The moisture level of soft foods exists on a sliding scale. You’ll find a variety of textures in this food category. If you opt for moist dry food, it’ll have a higher moisture content than semi-moist food. 

Differing moisture levels have their pros and cons; however, you must consider what moisture level your cat requires. If you’re introducing soft food as a way of getting them to drink more water, you’ll want moist food rather than semi-moist cat food. 

If you’re opting for a softer food because your cat has a problem breaking down hard food, semi-moist may have just enough water content to help your cat’s digestive health. Therefore, identify why your cat needs a higher moisture level before making a purchase, as this will make it easier to narrow down your options. 

Smell

You’ll want to pay close attention to how wet the meal is if you’re sensitive to the smell of your cat’s food. Many pet owners have complained that soft dry food has a stronger smell than crunchy kibble. Cat food with a higher moisture content will also have more of a smell. 

It’s also important to assess how sensitive your cat is to smell. If your cat isn’t attracted to smellier feed, take a look at the variety of flavors offered in softer meals to determine which will be the mildest in smell. 

Palatability 

Cat’s generally love crunchy bits of kibble or soft foods with chunks of real meat. While these options are opposites, the common factor they share is good palatability. Whereas, soggy kibble doesn’t have a good mouthfeel, reducing the likelihood that your cat will be interested. If your cat’s sensitive to the texture of their food, buying a softer food that has a closer consistency to meat chunks may be more enticing. 

Nutrition Content

Maintaining a healthy weight while receiving the essential vitamins is vital in keeping your cat healthy. Check your soft dry foods label to ensure it’s free of artificial flavors, fillers, excessive grains, or byproducts. Real meat should always be the first ingredient in your moist or semi-moist cat food to ensure all the essential vitamins, minerals, and protein needs are being met. 

You don’t need a precise blend to achieve health in your cat, but try to aim for a protein percentage higher than 30. By making the most nutritious food choices, your cat will live a longer life and stay healthier. 

The 6 Best Soft Dry Cat Foods

Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend Adult Dry Cat Food

Purina ONE Natural Dry Cat Food, Tender Selects Blend...
  • One (1) 22 Lb. Of Purina One Tender...
  • Real Salmon Is The #1 Ingredient
  • High Protein Helps Support Strong...

In its recipe, Purina offers meaty bites on top of tender bits, containing 12% moisture – ensuring good digestion and full-blown nutrition. Fresh salmon and chicken byproducts constitute 34% of the protein. While this product does not contain artificial additives, white rice is the main filler.

In addition to vitamins and minerals, it contains phosphorus, zinc, taurine, and folic acid. Generally, this option is recommended for senior cats due to its high vitamin and protein content. However, it does contain 15% fat, so it should be served cautiously to cats prone to obesity.

Pros:

  • Texture suitable for weak-teeth cats
  • Nutliritonaly balanced

Cons:

  • High in fat
  • White rice filler
  • Contains grains

Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food

Sale
Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food, Salmon & Chicken,...
  • Contains (1) 13.5 Pound Bag of Dry Cat...
  • Kibble combines tender center with...
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition

Meow Mix is the perfect soft cat food choice for anyone with a picky kitty. Several delicious, low-calorie foods are included, as well as a good amount of protein. It’s available in chicken and turkey by-products and salmon flavors. 

The food includes a bunch of vitamins and minerals, making it a great choice for daily nutrition. The product contains potassium sorbate, BHA, DL-methionine, and titanium dioxide, which are artificial colorants. It’s recommended for adult cats over kittens or senior pets.

Pros:

  • Great variety of flavors
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Contains artificial colors
  • Wheat and Corn fillers

Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Kitten Dry Cat Food

Purina Kitten Chow Dry Kitten Food, Nurture - (4) 3.15...
  • Four (4) 3.15 lb. Bag - Purina Kitten...
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition,...
  • Contains essential nutrients like those...

Specifically formulated for kittens to meet their unique nutritional needs and contains nutrients like those in mother’s milk, as well as real, farm-raised chicken. 

This kitten food recipe is packed with protein to support lean muscle. Additionally, DHA supports brain and vision development with every serving. 

Pros:

  • Easily swallowed
  • Easy for kittens to digest

Cons:

  • Not suitable for cats with some existing health conditions such as kidney problems

Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food

Instinct Original Grain Free Recipe with Real Chicken...
  • GRAIN FREE CAT FOOD WITH CAGE FREE...
  • NATURAL CAT FOOD: Instinct Original dry...
  • THE FIRST RAW COATED KIBBLE: Our grain...

Formulated for all life stages, the formula from Instinct is pretty soft but crunchy. The small kibbles are easy to chew and digest. This is a protein-rich recipe that is based on chicken, chicken meal, and peas. It also has fiber-rich products, such as tomato pomace, carrots, apples, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.

There’s the whole gamut of vitamins and minerals included together with prebiotics and taurine. Please note that the formula is high in calories, so it’s not recommended for overweight cats.

Pros:

  • Natural formula based on raw meat
  • Optimal amount of fiber
  • No artificial components

Cons:

  • High in calories

Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+ for Senior Cats, Indoor

Sale
Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult 11+, Indoor,...
  • Specially formulated to fuel the energy...
  • Dry cat food with natural fibers to...
  • Provides your mature cat with optimal...

Chicken is the very first ingredient in this recipe, providing your senior indoor cat with high-quality, balanced nutrition that supports their youthful vitality. 

A clinically proven antioxidant blend including vitamins C and E supports strong immunity and youthful vitality.

Added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients deliver antioxidant benefits and gently reduce hairballs, while natural fiber reduces hairballs.

Pros:

  • Perfect texture and shape
  • Made with natural ingredients
  • Contains all essential vitamins and minerals

Cons:

  • Not suitable for allergic/sensitive cats

Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free

Sale
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein, Natural Adult...
  • PACKED WITH REAL CHICKEN: Made to feed...
  • GRAIN FREE INDOOR CAT FOOD: BLUE...
  • WITH LIFESOURCE BITS: This formula...

Great for cats that have allergies or a sensitive stomach. With no artificial colors or flavors, the Blue Buffalo recipe is a great choice for your cat. 

It contains no corn, wheat, soy, dairy products, or by-products. It’s easy to chew for the cats, too, and cat parents say they like the taste. 

In addition to the potato, peas, and carrots, they do use vegetables to add some fiber which aids digestion and healthy bowel movements. 

The recipe contains folic acid as well as many other vitamins, minerals, and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Pros:

  • Has no artificial additives, preservatives, and colors
  • Made with fresh, wholesome real meats
  • Made without any by-products and fillers
  • A viable alternative to a raw diet

Cons:

  • Not for diabetic cats (it contains about 20 % carbs)

Why Do Cats Need Soft Dry Cat Food?

If your cat has a medical issue or has aged out of being able to chew hard food, making the switch to a soft dry cat food may benefit them. 

Old Age

Dry food catering to elderly cats differs in nutritional content rather than texture. Therefore, if your cat needs senior food because of lost teeth or a more sensitive mouth, this food won’t cater to their needs. Getting soft, dry food will be more palatable for your elderly cat, so they don’t have to work so hard for their nutrition. 

Sensitive Stomach

Sensitive gastrointestinal tracts can be exacerbated by tough and under chewed food. Digestive issues can be made more severe if your cat’s food isn’t soft enough. 

Read Related: Sensitive Stomach Cat Food

This can either be because your cat eats too fast or because they’re unable to break the food down entirely in the gut. If this is the case, buying softer food can improve ease of digestion.

From this, you’ll see improvements in your cat’s weight, stool, and overall health. 

Read Related: Best Cat Food For Weight Loss

Once they’re able to break their food down more easily, they can absorb more nutrients which will positively impact the health of all their organs.

Oral Problems

Having tender gums or missing teeth can significantly impact your cat’s ability to eat hard kibble. If you only have access to dry foods, in this case, your cat may suffer from malnutrition or weight loss. Ease of chewing is important to consider when purchasing a food type for your feline. 

If your cat has dental problems, it’ll need softer foods that are easier to chew and break down. For cats that don’t need wet food to accommodate their oral issues, purchasing softer dry food can reduce their discomfort while eating. 

Advice for Cats With Dental Problems

Dental problems in cats can range from plaque buildup to abscesses on the tooth root. Whether your feline is losing teeth due to old age or struggling to maintain good dental hygiene, changing their food can be the logical next step for managing dental problems.

Soften Food

Softening your cat’s food can make it easier for them to eat and absorb the vital nutrients they need. 

However, keep in mind that harder foods do an excellent job of cleaning cats’ teeth by scraping plaque and tartar buildup off. If you’re only feeding wet food to your cat, they’re likely to get worse dental problems! 

When deciding on the food for your furry friend, keep in mind that it should be soft enough for them to chew but hard enough that it continues strengthening their teeth. 

By opting for a softer type of cat food, you may need to clean their teeth more often. 

Brush Teeth Often

Cat owners solely relying on wetter foods generally should be brushing their cat’s teeth at least once per week with cat friendly toothpaste

If your cat is unable to eat anything to strengthen the teeth, it’s critical to clean them manually. Get a cat-specific toothbrush and start desensitizing your feline friend to what it feels like to have their teeth brushed. 

Regular Dental Visits

Managing dental disease can be a lifelong challenge that requires food free of artificial additives, diligent cleaning, and care from a professional. 

Your cat should see a dentist regularly on top of care at home. This may be costly but will buy your cat many more years.

How Can I Soften Dry Cat Food?

The easiest way to soften dry food is to add water to it and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Water is an excellent addition because it adds moisture without adding additional sodium or fat to their food.

If you’re looking to spice up their food a bit more, you can soften their kibble with something like a meat stock or broth. These can be high in sodium, so it’s ideal to buy a low sodium option if you’re using a store-bought one. 

If you’re looking for a lower sodium option, you can also opt to use an oil like olive oil or salmon oil. These are higher in fat which provides benefits to your cat’s coat.

Anything you add to your cat’s food should come from high-quality ingredients to maintain the nutritional integrity of their meal. 

Make sure not to add too many additional elements into your cat’s meal, as you could throw their healthy diet off. Avoid adding things like white rice or grains to their kibble as a means to soften the food.

Adding these kinds of things, even if they’re wholesome grains, increases the carbohydrates in the diet without increasing protein. This can easily cause weight gain as they will no longer have balanced nutrition. 

3 Homemade Soft Food Options

The biggest downfall to making your own blend is that it can be easy to lack nutrients. If you don’t have an antioxidant blend or additional supplements to add, you may be missing some amino acids your cat relies on. This can negatively impact different systems of their body, like their heart health.

When making your blend, consider the healthy fats required for a healthy coat, the level of protein for healthy muscles, and the nutrient density for a healthy heart. 

Ground Meat

Using ground meat is a great way to achieve a semi-moist texture while still providing tender bits to your feline. This blend will maintain a meaty center from the raw meat texture and encourage strong muscle growth as long as you’re utilizing high-quality meat. 

When feeding raw meats, you should always use human consumption grade meat to reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses. 

Fish

Fish generally have a higher moisture content than other animal proteins. This is a great way to make homemade foods softer while still appealing to picky eaters. Since most cats like the taste of fish, you’ll likely have good luck with your cat enjoying the texture and flavor of the blend. 

Fish oils are also excellent for your pets and will encourage a shiny coat. You can add additional fish oil to any homemade blend to make food softer and more full of omega fatty acids. 

Eggs

Adding eggs into a homemade diet can make for a high protein diet while bringing more moisture into the blend. With this, you can add any additional proteins, like real chicken, to add a more appealing flavor. 

Before introducing eggs to your cat, be sure to check for food allergies. You can also protect your cat’s digestive tract by cooking the egg even slightly to reduce the risk of food-borne bacteria that can come from protein sources, like e. coli or salmonella. 

Conclusion On Soft Dry Cat Food

If your pet suffers from dental issues, you do not have to force it to eat wet food. Various kinds of soft dry kibble can be fed to pets of all ages. 

Besides having a high amount of protein, they have all the vitamins and minerals necessary for good nutrition. Once you have established your cat’s nutritional needs, finding the right product with an excellent price/quality ratio is not difficult.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are There Any Commercial Soft Dry Cat Foods?

Unfortunately, commercial dry food known as kibble does not have a softer variant. However, there is commercially available dry food for adult cats that is partially soft, as well as moist or semi-moist cat food. 

Is There A Semi-moist Cat Food?

Semi-moist cat food generally has between 60 and 65% moisture per serving, meaning more of the meal is made up of water. Because of this, your cat will get a boost of hydration but may also eat a higher portion size.

Can Dry Cat Food Be Softened?

The easiest way to soften dry food is to add water to it and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Water is an excellent addition because it adds moisture without adding additional sodium or fat to their food.

Last update on 2021-09-17 at 06:44 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API