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How To Buy The Best Soft Dry Cat Foods

Dry food is an excellent choice for your cats: It's reasonably priced, convenient, and simple to store. However, some cats have difficulty chewing hard dry foods.

Kittens with developing teeth, seniors who have lost a few teeth or have gum problems, or even cats with dental concerns in general might benefit significantly from softer, more palatable dry food.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require a high percentage of animal protein in their diet. Soft dry foods must have a balanced nutrient content, a somewhat higher moisture level, and, ideally, a soft, chewy middle.

Some dry foods are purposely designed to be softer and more tender, and other feeds designed to be simple to digest or intended for seniors are also excellent choices if you want a softer food for your feline.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) understand how tough it may be to sort through all of your cat's dry food options, and we're here to assist!

In this post, we've compiled a list of the %product_count% best soft dry cat foods, complete with in-depth reviews, to assist you in selecting the finest option for your feline buddy.

Let's get started!


Meow Mix Tender Centers Dry Cat Food — Overall Winner

The Meow Mix Tender Centers dry cat chow has a firm, crunchy shell and a soft, chewy, meaty inside and is our overall favorite.

The kibble contains scrumptious chicken and tuna for a flavor that your cat will love, and it is 100% complete and nutritionally balanced.

The included tuna meal will provide your cat with a natural dose of necessary omega fatty acids, which will aid in the maintenance of a healthy coat.

It also contains important vitamins E, A, and D3, as well as minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. This food is suitable for adult and senior cats and is prepared in the United States of America.

The biggest issue we discovered with this food is the use of artificial flavors and colors, as well as filler components such as ground corn and wheat, which are not suitable for cats.


  • Interior is soft and chewy.
  • High moisture content
  • Genuine chicken and tuna
  • Contains important vitamins and minerals


  • Filler substances are present.
  • Artificial substances are included.


Best Value: Friskies Tender & Crunchy Combo Dry Cat Food

The best soft dry cat chow for the money is Friskies Tender and Crunchy Combo. This crunchy and tender kibble has appealing chicken, beef, and turkey flavors that your cat will enjoy.

The diet is high in antioxidants for immune support and vital omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.

The extra vitamin A and taurine promote vision and cardiovascular health, and the formula is completely balanced and created in the United States.

This food has artificial colors and additives, filler grains, and by-product meals, which is unsatisfactory.


  • Inexpensive
  • Tender and crunchy texture
  • High in antioxidants
  • Vitamin A and taurine have been added to help with vision and heart health.
  • Completely balanced


  • Artificial substances are included.
  • Grain and meat byproducts are present.


Tender Selects Blend Dry Cat Food – Premium Option

Purina ONE Tender Selects dry cat food is a great premium alternative for your feline, with chicken as the first listed ingredient, no fillers, and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Your cat will like the food’s combination of firm, crunchy kibble and delicate meaty pieces.

The included real chicken provides lean protein for muscle building and sustained energy, and the vital omega fatty acids are beneficial to your cat’s coat and skin.

This meal is also high in critical vitamins, minerals, and taurine, providing your cat with the balanced nutrition they require in a soft and sensitive dry food.

The only difficulties we have with this food are the high price and the fact that cats, being cats, may not love it.


  • The first ingredient listed is chicken.
  • It has crunchy kibble as well as soft meaty pieces.
  • There are no artificial flavors or preservatives.
  • Void of fillings
  • Essential omega fatty acids have been added.


  • Expensive


Kitten Chow Nurture Dry Cat Food is the best dry cat food for kittens

If you’re seeking for a soft, gentle dry food for your kitten, we recommend Purina Kitten Chow Nurture dry cat chow.

The food comprises actual farm-raised chicken and has a protein content of 40% — excellent for developing kittens — as well as additional DHA to help brain and vision development.

The kibble’s soft texture and pleasant flavor promote a healthy appetite in your growing kitten. The meal is created using naturally sourced ingredients and contains no artificial tastes or colors.

It is completely balanced and ideal for providing the nutrition that growing kittens require. While this meal is free of artificial ingredients, it does contain corn, soy, and wheat, which are not necessary for kitten growth and development.


  • Cats will love it.
  • This product contains farm-raised chicken.
  • Protein-rich diet
  • DHA supplementation
  • The kibble has a soft texture and is tiny and easy to chew.
  • No artificial flavors or colors


  • This product contains corn, soy, and wheat.


Dry Cat Food Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe

Blue Buffalo’s Wilderness Chicken Recipe dry food is an excellent choice of soft dry food, with a minimum protein content of 40% derived mostly from real, deboned chicken.

This kibble is grain-free and free of poultry by-products, as well as artificial flavors and preservatives.

We appreciate that this food has healthy carbs like peas and potatoes, as well as Blue Buffalo’s special “LifeSource Bits,” a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that help boost your cat’s immunological function.

The meal also contains natural vital omega fatty acids, which are beneficial to your cat’s skin and coat. However, this food is quite pricey, and some customers have stated that it causes nausea and vomiting in their cats.

Furthermore, while this food is rather soft, it has a bit lower moisture level than we would prefer.


  • The first component is actual, deboned chicken.
  • Grain-free at all times
  • Essential omega fatty acids have been added.
  • LifeSource Bits are included.
  • Free of poultry byproducts as well as artificial flavors and preservatives.


  • This medication may cause nausea.
  • Expensive
  • Moisture content is low.

Buyer's Manual

While wet food is ideal for cats with dental concerns or elderly cats, it is more expensive and not as convenient as dry food. Dry foods designed specifically for aged cats are softer, have a higher moisture content, and are simpler to chew.

Of course, you may soften dry food yourself with warm water in the form of broth or stock, but this may be too soft for certain cats, so a purpose-made soft dry food is the best alternative.

But how can you discover a nice soft dry food alternative for your feline? We are here to assist you! Here are a few things to consider while selecting soft dry cat chow for your pet.

Moisture level

The moisture percentage of most dry cat kibble is roughly 10-12 percent, and even commercial “soft” dry cat meals contain a similar moisture saturation.

Looking at the moisture content and making sure it’s above 10% can assist, but it won’t guarantee that the meal is softer than usual.

The best bet is to choose kibble with a soft center and a hard shell, which gives your cat a crunchy texture they enjoy while also making chewing simpler.

The components are the issue with this sort of kibble. To manufacture kibble with this squishy center, problematic components are frequently employed, most notably grains, which are not always good for your cat’s health.


Looking at the ingredient list is essential no matter what food you choose to feed your cat. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they require animal protein in their diet to keep healthy.

Because animal protein makes up the majority of the food, it should always be the first element. Soft dry foods frequently contain a lot of grains, which may be fine for certain cats, but avoid soft dry foods with grains listed as the first component.

Protein levels should be around 30-40% ideally, with animal proteins accounting for the majority of this. Meat byproducts and meals are frequently used in soft dry foods.

This is done to make the food more chewy and appealing, but because you don’t know what a by-product or meat meal might contain — anything from organ meats to bones, skin, and even hair — it’s a bit dangerous.

Nutrients that are necessary

Aside from protein, you should ensure that your cat’s food contains all of the other essential nutrients that they require. Your cat’s food should be nutritionally balanced and age-appropriate.

Calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, taurine, and L-carnitine are all important nutrients to look for. Omega fatty acids should also be given for the health of the skin and coat.

Check to see whether the food contains too much fat or too many filler foods, such as grains, and if it contains any artificial substances, such as flavors or colors.

Why not simply feed your cat wet food?

Wet food is an excellent choice for cats who want softer food in their diet owing to dental concerns. It is easy to chew, has a high moisture content, and has a texture that most cats enjoy, making it an excellent choice.

However, dry food has numerous advantages, and many cats prefer it. Dry cat food is easy to store and lasts a long time, whereas wet food must be used immediately after opening.

Dry foods can also benefit oral health since the dry texture of kibble aids in the removal of plaque and tartar buildup. Finally, dry food is far more handy, especially if you have more than one cat, and it is generally less expensive than wet food.


While all of the above soft dry cat foods are excellent choices, the Meow Mix Tender Centers dry cat food is our overall favorite.

It features delectable kibble with a hard, crunchy outside and a soft, chewy, meaty within, as well as vital vitamins and nutrients for a full and balanced diet.

If you’re searching for a slightly more affordable soft dry cat food, the Friskies Tender and Crunchy Combo is the best soft dry cat food for the money.

This kibble is crunchy yet soft, high in antioxidants and omega fatty acids, and completely balanced and full.

Purina ONE Tender Selects dry cat food is an outstanding premium alternative for your feline, with chicken as the first listed ingredient and no artificial flavors or preservatives.

The meal is high in important vitamins and minerals and has both hard, crunchy kibble and tender meaty morsels that your cat will enjoy.

Proper nutrition is critical to your cat’s health and well-being, and it can be difficult to locate the correct diet for them, especially if they want soft, dry kibble.

Hopefully, BestForPets‘ (bestforpets.org) in-depth reviews have assisted you in locating the best soft dry cat foods to meet your specific requirements.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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