Soft Dry Cat Food

Put the arguments and battle of wet vs. dry food behind you and instead settle your cat’s nutritional and dietary needs with a soft, dry, semi-moist cat food instead.  

The easiest part of owning a cat is definitely not feeding your furry friend. The reality is, it is difficult to satisfy the nutritional needs and awkward palate of a carnivorous animal who is dependant on protein. By their very nature, your cats want to hunt and kill their own food. But, their choice is usually a choice between dry kibble or wet, moist meet chunks in gravy.

Many wet cat foods are made with low-quality by-products and fillers which do not offer the correctly balanced nutrition your cat needs. If you’re thinking of moving your kitty off of his or her dry diet, consider a soft dry cat food or semi-moist cat food, paying special attention to the brand you settle on.

What is Soft Dry and Semi Moist Cat Food?

Typically, cat food can be divided into two types: wet and dry. Wet food usually contains around 80% moisture whereas dry food contains around 10%. But, if you look around the market you will find another type of cat food – soft-dry or semi-moist cat food, also known as pouch food. We’ll refer to it as ‘soft dry cat food.’

Soft dry cat food is very similar to dry kibble, except that it has a higher moisture content – typically around 50-60% - and is a great intermediate option between bone-dry and very wet canned cat food; it offers the best of both words.

As is true for both dry and wet cat food brands, some are full of salt, additives and artificial preservatives and are not great for your cat, whereas there are brands which focus on natural ingredients, vitamins, nutrients and don’t stuff their food full of additives. It is important to shop around and consider each brand individually.

Soft dry cat food typically comes in a pouch, which is highly convenient for kitty owners because you can just tear open the pouch and pour it into the bowl – job done. There are many great brands of pouch food which are nutritionally complete and balanced, designed to be fed as a staple food source to replace dry food or canned food. However, many pouch foods are not complete and balanced – they are designed to be used as mixers or occasional treats.

Waggers Tendermoist Chicken Cat Food is not exactly one of the most widely recognised foods on the market – Waggers is still a relatively new brand – but they have ambitions of becoming one of the best treat brands available on the market. At present, Waggers do not have a large variety of products, but they do have a mini range of moist, soft dry cat food.

Waggers Tendermoist is one of the few cat foods available on the market which is actually sold as a semi-moist cat food and is specially formulated to mimic a wild cat’s natural diet by having high levels of moisture and top quality, premium proteins. It is also free from grains, gluten and starch, so this puts it miles above other major competitors.

At the moment, you can get their food in Chicken & Tuna, Chicken & Salmon and just Chicken. Each recipe has fresh, wholesome chicken as its primary ingredient with other supplemental proteins such as salmon and pork. Waggers Tendermoist contain around 30% moisture and up to 90% protein, so it is a brilliant semi-moist, soft dry cat food.


  • Full of probiotics, which ensure maximum nutrient absorption.
  • Made with premium proteins sourced from North America.
  • Mimics the natural diet of a wild cat.


  • There are a limited number of flavours and formulas at the moment.

BLUE Wilderness Tasty Toppers are widely recognized as a top brand in the pet food market and are well-known and praised for the quality of the ingredients in their products on the whole. BLUE Buffalo aim to create the healthiest and most wholesome pet foods possible, and they consistently meet that goal.

The BLUE line of natural products – already widely featured on this website – are made with wholesome, natural and fresh ingredients such as real meats and vegetables. In addition to this, BLUE’s Wilderness line is inspired by the diet of wild cats and is super-high in protein.

BLUE Buffalo offers an awesome range of semi-moist or soft dry pouch foods which they call ‘food toppers.’ Each of these products is made from chunks of tasty, wholesome, real meat in a gravy and are made without any by-products, artificial additives or low-quality ingredients. BLUE’s food toppers are meant to be used as a supplementary food and cannot be fed as a dietary staple.


  • No artificial additives, preservatives or colors.
  • Fresh, wholesome real meats. No by-products or fillers.
  • There are lots of varieties, enough to satisfy all kitty palates.


  • BLUE’s food toppers are supplementary and not a dietary staple.

Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Pouches are loved by cat owners nationwide for the high-quality, all-natural ingredients which Weruva uses in their recipes. Each of their many recipes includes a premium protein as its primary ingredient such as chicken, beef and fish, in addition to fresh fruits and vegetables to balance out the nutritional values.

Weruva only offers semi-moist or wet cat foods for cats, which is a recognition of the importance of a wet, protein-rich diet in cats. Weruva has five product lines which includes canned and pouch foods.

Weruva’s pouch cat food is all-natural and uses protein as the primary ingredient. This means that the recipes are high in protein, low in fat and absolutely loved by cats. There are six different formulas and flavours which are made with real, wholesome fresh meats in gravy.


  • Gluten and grain free.
  • No artificial additives, preservatives or flavourings.
  • A huge range of flavours to satisfy all kitty palates.


  • Weruva does not offer any dry foods in its range.

Dick van Patten’s Natural Balance Cat Food is widely recognised as a quality pet food manufacturer. These soft dry cat foods are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of cats and are made with only fresh, wholesome ingredients. High quality meats, unique proteins and complex carbohydrates are hats on the menu with Dick van Patten’s Natural Balance food, along with nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.

In total, there are 14 different recipes and six of these are specially formulated to satisfy an indoor cat’s nutritional needs. Grain free, rich in protein and smothered in a tasty gravy which cats love, these recipes are balanced for cats of all ages and are free from allergens such as wheat and soy.

Featuring proteins like crab, salmon, tuna, beef, sole, shrimp and chicken, these recipes are typically around 80% moisture, which makes it more of a wet food, but they are still brilliant, easy to eat wholesome kibble-style foods.


  • A huge range of flavours and formulas with a variety of ingredients.
  • Nutritionally balanced.
  • Some of their range is specially designed for indoor cats.


  • Cats may find some of the flavours odd, so stick with the basics at first.

Wellness Healthy Indulgence Cat Food is manufactured by the WellPet Company, who are well-renowned for producing wholesome, high-quality products for both cats and dogs. With a holistic approach to animal nutrition, Wellness uses only the freshest ingredients it can in its formulas which are designed to nourish a pet’s whole body and digestive system.

Each ingredient in Wellness’ food is selected carefully for its specific nutritional benefits, and all Wellness products are free from artificial colors and flavors, as well as corn, wheat and soy.

The Healthy Indulgence line of food pouches contain chunky, succulent morsels which are high-quality proteins such as chicken and turkey, paired with tasty, savoury gravies and sources. In addition to this, the foods are supplemented with fresh vegetables and berries which are rich in antioxidants.


  • High in moisture content, which is around the 80% mark.
  • Contains omega fatty acids for complete and balanced nutrition.
  • Six different, wholesome recipes.


  • Some cats may struggle with the bigger chunks of food.

AvoDerm Natural Wet Cat Food is a unique cat food in that it uses fresh California avocado in all of its recipes. Avocados are rich and ripe, full of beneficial vitamins – A, C and E to be exact – and are full of dietary fiber, folate, niacin and potassium. In addition to this, they are an excellent source of fatty acids which help support your kitty’s coat and skin.

AvoDerm’s pouch food is grain free and comes with a range of options: Chicken & Duck; Ocean Fish; Salmon; and Tuna. All of these recipes are in a tasty gravy which cats love. All of AvoDerm’s pouch foods are also grain and gluten free and use healthy carbohydrates such as peas which are easily digestible, instead of corn and wheat.

In terms of the fatty acids we previously mentioned, AvoDerm uses avocado and sunflower oils in addition to fatty fish like salmon and tuna. As if all of these positives weren’t enough, all of AvoDerm’s pouches are supplemented with additional essential vitamins and minerals to provide complete and balanced nutritional value.


  • Packed full of additional vitamins, minerals and fatty acids.
  • A range of tasty, kitty-friendly flavours.
  • Wholesome, natural ingredients.


  • Some pet owners believe avocado is bad for cats.

Whiskas Tender Bites Food Pouches are a household favourite. Each pouch contains around 8% crude protein with meaty bites which keeps cats strong and friendly. Also, the protein-rich cat food is nutritionally complete and balanced for maintenance of an adult cat. Whiskas’ ‘flavor-lock’ pouches seal in flavour and makes serving extra easy.

Flavours include Ocean Whitefish & Tuna, Turkey & Giblets, Beef and Chicken. Whiskas food is a pretty standard brand. Although it is good and nutritional, the meat sources are not as good as some of the other brands we have looked at, and it does contain some fillers and grains. So, if your cat has allergies, you should avoid Whiskas.


  • A well-known and trusted brand.
  • Simple and standard formulas, such as chicken and beef.
  • Nutritionally balanced.


  • This food does not have the best meat source you can get.

The History of Pouch Food

When pouch foods were first introduced as semi-moist cat foods, they looked like kibble and contained more water. They were more affordable than canned foods, and cats enjoyed them more than dry food – cats would lick their bowls clean. But, unfortunately, the leading brands of these semi-moist pouch foods were pulled from the shelves when it was discovered that the preservatives which were being used caused some serious health problems for cats, such as anaemia.

Additionally, the extra sugars and density of calories were criticized and were not good at all for cats. Today, many semi-moist cat foods are limited to treats and cannot be used as a staple food source, however, there are some brands which can.

Choosing a Good Quality Soft Dry Cat Food

Undoubtedly, the main benefit of soft dry cat food is the convenience of it – all you’ve got to do is tear the pouch open and drop it into your cat’s bowl. This food type is also more palatable for kitties who are picky eaters or older cats who have trouble with kibble and bigger morsels of food. It is also closer in texture to the diet wild cats will follow, so it’s pluses all round.

Some soft dry cat food is also just as likely as any other food to contain artificial additives, preservatives and low quality ingredients, so you need to be very cautious and vigilant about which brand you choose –

  • Start with brands which have a good reputation for quality; stick to the names you know and trust. Store and discount brands usually have low-quality ingredients.
  • Check the list of ingredients and look for high-quality ingredients such as real, whole meats, healthy additives, nutrients and animal-based fats.
  • Avoid products which list carbohydrates as its primary ingredient and which includes little or no animal-based proteins, as these have limited nutritional value.
  • Do not choose a cat food based only on price, and don’t be fooled by claims and promises in big letters. Inexpensive cat foods are made with inexpensive ingredients.
  • We all have smart phones nowadays, and it is so easy to go online whilst shopping and look up information and reviews about a particular brand or food.

Also, be mindful that manufacturers differ in the way they label their products. What one manufacturer will call wet food, another manufacturer will refer to it as moist or soft dry cat food. The key factor is the moisture content – you want to be picking up a food with a moisture content between 50-80%.

Where to Buy Soft Dry or Semi-Moist Cat Food

As we have already covered, what was once referred to – many decades ago – as moist cat food or semi-moist cat food is no longer available, but the product itself still exists. If you are looking for a soft dry cat food similar to semi-moist cat foods, you should consider cat food pouches as these foods have a higher moisture content than dry food s and are very easy to feed your kitty.

Manufacturers have different names for these foods, but they are the same thing in essence. For example, one brand refers to it as ‘pouch cat food’ whereas another brand refers to their soft dry pouch food as a ‘food topper.’

Remember, if you can’t find a soft dry cat food on the market which your cat likes, you can just make your own at home by mixing some regular wet food in with your cat’s dry kibble or moisten his or her dry food with some water or meat broth!

If you’re debating investing in a semi moist cat food for your kitty but you do not know which brands are offering a high-quality product, consider one of these top recommended brands.


If you are tired of feeding your cat a mixture of dry and wet food, you may decide to try and find an intermediary product which ticks all boxes and is the best of both worlds. Whilst soft dry cat food – or semi-moist food – technically doesn’t exist anymore, pouch foods are very similar to these foods which were pulled from the shelves decades ago.

These pouch foods are convenient and come in a huge variety, so you will definitely find something your cat will love. Not all brands are as nutritious and wholesome as they claim to be, though, and you should carefully check out the ingredients and nutritional values of a brand before committing to buying it.

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