Substitute For Dry Cat Food || Best 5 Substitutes For Dry Cat Food

This article will show you the best substitute for dry cat food. This is a key component of most cats’ diets, having been introduced to appeal to their taste and hunger levels.

Dry cat food can be found on the shelves in many stores and online, but what if that’s not an option? Cat owners have found other sources such as handouts from veterinarians, friends, colleagues, or family.

It is often difficult to find the time or money to buy your cat food. You might want to try making some of your own homemade cat food substitutes for dry foods that are easy and cheap.

Substitute For Dry Cat Food

A great substitute recipe is scrambled eggs with milk, cereal, cheese, parsley, and tuna fish. Get a bowl and put in a few spoonsful of cereal at the bottom, then add an egg on top.

Substitute For Dry Cat Food
Substitute For Dry Cat Food

Mix it until all the cereal has been used up, then add a cup of milk and mix again until it’s smooth. Add another cup of milk, but this time mix in with cheese or any other ingredients you have available such as tuna fish if you need more protein for your kitty!

What Is The Substitute For Dry Cat Food?

Canned cat food is a great substitute for many cats. Most cats like the taste, and it’s very affordable. However, canned food does not contain many nutrients that cats need.

Fruits and vegetables are an excellent substitute for most dry cat food. Many cats like the taste, and it can be very healthy. It is inexpensive as well.

However, some fruits and vegetables have the same effects on cats as humans, namely, diarrhea or vomiting. Cats also need protein, so many cats don’t get enough protein from these substitutes.

Grains such as oatmeal are a good substitute for dry cat food. Many cats like the taste, and it’s very healthy too. It is inexpensive, but not all cats can eat it because they might be allergic to specific grains. It is not a good source of protein for cats, though.

What is the substitute for dry cat food
What is the substitute for dry cat food

Dog food can be an inexpensive substitute for dry cat food. However, it is not as nutritious, and cats might not want to eat it because they can taste the difference between dog food and cat food.

Canned tuna fish is a great substitute for most canned cat food. Cats love the taste, but it is very expensive. It does not contain many nutrients that cats need either, so this substitute should only be used as a treat or when money and food are low.

Tuna fish can also be substituted with different kinds of meat that you would find in canned cat foods such as beef, lamb, turkey, or chicken. These types of substitutes are usually inexpensive and very healthy for your cat.

You can find many different recipes containing eggs, cereal, and tuna fish to make other substitutes for dry cat food. Experiment with different ingredients and combinations to see what tastes the best for your feline friend!

Best 5 Substitutes For Dry Cat Food

1. Canned Cat Food

2. Moisture-rich cat food

3. Fresh Water

4. Homemade Soup

5. Canned Vegetables

1) Canned Cat Food

Cats love the taste of canned cat food, and it is easy to create a meal that your cat will appreciate with minimal effort and cost.

You can find canned cat food in pet stores or online, but if you are willing to sacrifice the ease of opening such a product, you should look for other options.

You can easily turn any dry cat food on hand into canned cat food.

Here is a quick recipe for making canned cat food:

1. Combine 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1-2 tbsp of water in a heat-resistant container (such as a plastic tub), and put on the stove over low heat.  Heat mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.  

2. Pour dry cat food into the container, and mix well until all dry product is covered.  If there are moisture pockets, you can use a spoon to stir them out.  

3. Put the container with the wet cat food into an oven-safe dish, and place it into an oven pre-heated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.  

4. Allow cooling before serving your cat.

2) Moisture Rich Cat Food

The easiest way to make a moisture-rich cat food is by purchasing a high moisture pet food. These are available at most pet stores and online.  When looking for these products, you will want to look for words such as “moist,” “soft,” or “wet.”

3) Fresh Water

Keeping fresh water on hand is vital when dealing with cats. The easiest way to provide water to your cats is by using a water fountain.  These fountains can be found at pet stores or online.  

4) Homemade Soup

Making your own soup for your cat is an excellent way to get variety for your cat’s diet.  Soups can easily be made in large batches and frozen to last longer than just a night of dinners.

There are many recipes you can use to make your own homemade soup, and you can find these recipes at the end of the article. Be sure to keep canned cat food on hand when making homemade soup.

5) Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables are inexpensive to provide variety in your cat’s diet.  It would be best to be wary, though, as many canned vegetables are full of salt and preservatives, which may not be what you want for your kitty’s diet.

It should be noted that canned vegetables are an excellent source of water, which is vital to your cat’s health.

Other Items To Keep On Hand

Baking Soda And Vinegar

Baking soda has many uses, including keeping the litter box fresh, giving your cat a homemade scrub down with a little baking soda, and even cleaning the grout or wood floors.

Baking soda can also be used in place of white vinegar for mops and for removing stains from carpets or upholstery.

Baking soda can also clean your kitty’s teeth by placing it on a toothbrush and brushing. Be sure to do it at least once a week since this will help to prevent plaque buildup that might otherwise lead to bad breath.

Buckwheat Pills

Buckwheat is a seed eaten by many feline species and can be used as food for kitties who have allergies or sensitive stomachs.

Buckwheat is also very filling, so kitties are more likely to eat it. You can find buckwheat at most health food stores and online or purchase it at many grocery stores.


Hay can be used as litter for your kitty or made into a meal with some water or canned food. There are many hay recipes out there that you can use to make a meal for your kitty. Hay also makes your kitty’s home more comfortable to live in.


Peas are a food that many cats enjoy and can be dried and used as a meal for your kitty. You can find peas at most grocery stores or purchase them online.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is an excellent ingredient that can be used throughout your home to keep ants away, eliminate bad odors, and even eliminate fleas or ticks on your pets. Apple cider vinegar is available in almost all grocery stores and online.  

What Are Some Natural Alternatives For Cat Food?

1. Vegetables, Fruits, And Herbs

Your cat can be given steamed vegetables for its meals. When giving your kitty fruit, be sure to use a small amount as too much of this can cause diarrhea in cats.

You can also make herbal teas that your kitty can drink.  The simplest tea to make would be by steeping herbs in boiling water. These herbs can include lavender, chamomile, and tulsi.

You can also purchase herbs and spices to add to your kitty’s meals, such as paprika, basil, oregano, or ginger. These are all great ingredients to add so that your cat will have a full and healthy diet.

2. Seafood

Fresh fish and other seafood such as clams, scallops, oysters, and mussels are great for cats.  Some cats will not eat fish due to its smell, but there are many ways to get your kitty to eat it by hiding it in their food. You can give them cod liver oil for an added boost of vitamins which contain A vitamin and vitamin D.  

3. Fats

Giving your kitty some fat in its diet will help it lose weight and feel full longer.  The best fats you can give your cat are duck and salmon oil.

Whole milk or yogurt with live active cultures is also a great source of fats for your kitty. When giving your cat any dairy product, remember that they do not need milk as cats are lactose intolerant.  

4. Grains

Grains are great for your kitty because they provide the body with B vitamins and energy. grain-rich foods include brown rice, barley, millet, cornmeal, and quinoa.  You can find these grains in many grocery stores or online.

What Can I Feed My Cat If I Don’t Have Cat Food?

There are many things that cats can eat if you do not have cat food. The most important thing is that your cat receives a high-quality protein source.

There are a lot of different items that cats can and will eat when you are trying to get your kitty to eat something other than cat food.

Some of these items include:

1) Meat

You can give your cat raw meat as an alternative cat food source. You should never feed your cat undercooked meat, leading to health issues. You can find some great steak recipes online.

2) Avocados

Give your cat some avocados, and they will love it!  Dried fruit and coconut are also acceptable foods for kitties.

3) Cheese

Cheese is a great source of protein for your cat, and all cats love cheese! Cheese can be purchased in all grocery stores or online.

4) Yogurt

Give your cat a little bit of yogurt, and it will be happy! Yogurt is a great source of calcium for your kitty.

5) Eggs

Give your kitty some eggs, especially scrambled, and she will be running to the food bowl. If you have any poultry laying around that you aren’t planning on eating, you’ll want to give the eggs to your cat.

How Can I Make Dry Cat Food At Home?

It is easy to make homemade cat food, and it can be better for your cat than store-bought cat food.  Here are some recipes for your cat.

1) Chicken And Rice Recipe:


  • 10 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup white rice (cooked)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder ½ cup whole milk or cream cheese 2 tbsp butter.


1. Combine your cooked chicken, rice, and egg yolk

2. Add the milk or cream cheese and butter

3. Cook in microwave until heated through

4. Enjoy!

2) Turkey Recipe:


  • Medium turkey breast 10 oz ground turkey
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes
  • 6 oz white yogurt (chopped)


Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and add your ground turkey and seasonings.

Cook while breaking apart with a fork until cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  In the meantime, add your chopped yogurt and egg to a bowl. Set this aside in a warm place.

3) Beef Recipe:


  • 4 oz ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper to taste.
  • ½ cup water.


1. Cook your ground beef and dry spices in a pan over medium heat, breaking down meat while cooking until cooked through.  In the meantime, add your water and egg to a bowl. Set this aside in a warm place.

2. Combine your water and egg with your cooked beef, and pour into a greased casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

3. Enjoy

What Can I Feed My Cat That Won’t Eat Dry Food?

If your cat doesn’t like dry food, you can try some of these:

  • Canned or wet food (a most popular choice)
  • Dog food (but this shouldn’t be the only source of nutrition for a cat. It should still have mainly cat food)
  • Homemade mix with canned and dry foods added (this is my favorite choice)
  • Scrambled eggs with milk, cheese, tuna fish, and vegetables
  • Cooked meat or fish with rice (bonus: this will help with constipation)

Final Thoughts

These alternative cat food at home ingredients will provide your cat with a healthy and nutritious diet. This is a great choice for pets who are allergic to certain foods or for overweight cats who need to be on a diet.

These cat food alternatives will allow you to make your cat’s meals without breaking the bank or going to the store every time you run out of cat food. If you have any questions about cat food or need to know if a particular ingredient is safe for your cat, please feel free to post a comment below, and I will gladly help you.  

I hope this article helped answer some of your questions about what natural alternatives there are for foods for your cats.  

Cat food can be very expensive, and it can be hard to know which kind of food you should feed your cats. With these natural alternatives, you can choose exactly what each meal consists of.


Hi there! My name is Koushik; I am a cat lover. I specialize in writing about pet care & food. I have a wealth of knowledge on cat food niches and related subjects. I have worked in the pet industry for over 5 years and am passionate about helping cat owners provide the best care for their furry friends. With knowledge of cat food and nutrition, I aim to share their insights and help cat owners navigate the world of cat food niches. I enjoy playing with my two cats, reading, and exploring new cat food brands in my free time.

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