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When it comes to dry foods an ingredient such as cranberries would be a trace amount. For a cat with frequent UTIs it’s worth feeding a more wet diet and ensuring they have an adequate water intake (a water fountain might help).
You could rotate between the two 😉
Hi Michelle, yes that’s fine.
Hi Bob, here you go – https://www.petfoodratings.org/about-pet-food-ratings/
It’s a liquid broth from when animals (namely by-products) are rendered. It’s in many foods, either listed as animal digest, palatant, or even “natural flavor”.
Hi Jamie, if you’re feeding s/d then make sure it’s canned. Feeding a dry food to a cat with urinary issues won’t really help, even if it’s designed for “urinary care”. Water intake is important for such conditions
Hi Denise, wet food is a better option than dry. Cats need water intake, especially for preventing crystals which are often caused by a poor diet and lack of moisture. Wet foods also tend to be fresher and they’re less processed than a kibble.
Hi Sally, cat’s don’t need grains period. They’re obligate carnivores. Sadly high carbohydrate foods do cause damage, which is the case for most kibbles especially those high in grains such as rice.
Hi Patricia, a cat’s natural diet doesn’t really include fish as they feed off land-based prey. There’s no harm in feeding fish, but it’s not wise to feed it as an extended diet. Rotation is always good.
The salmon recipe is still available. Here it is on Amazon – http://amzn.to/29Fg8lf
That’s certainly not a good sign Lucy, and you definitely need to seek the advice of a vet. I’d also avoid feeding her dry food if possible. Is she an older cat and has she suffered any illness?
Hi Vicky, as far as I’m aware it’s produced entirely in America
Hi Laura, you can always rotate between foods – something I recommend. In regard to their urinary systems it’s worth ensuring they have a sufficient intake of clean water.
Hi Sakina, it always depends on a number of factors and all cats are different, but Taste of the Wild is the food we rate the most highly of the two.
Hi Dee, here’s a list of our best-rated cat foods. Hopefully you can find something suitable on that list – https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-cat-food/
Hi Susan, if your cat has kidney damage then you’re better off investigating wet and/or fresh diets than a dry food.
Hi Rachel, I try and keep the reviews based on the labeling and guaranteed analysis, but always recommend reading the comments as they say as much about the brand as the review does itself.
Hi Eve, high carbohydrate foods are much more damaging to a cat than high protein foods. There’s very little evidence high protein diets are bad for a feline, with original evidence of protein on kidneys being conducted on rats almost 100 years ago. When it comes to pet foods, quality protein sources (meat) is a more expensive inclusion to carbohydrates (filler grains). Cats are obligate carnivores, so a food dense in meat (and meat protein) is much more in tune with a natural feline diet.
Hi Shelley, you could always rotate between the two! I see rotation of foods to be a great way of balancing a diet and adding variety.
Hi Marisa, 6 fish is a decent quality food. The closest you can get to a natural diet the better, and Hills M/D definitely isn’t a natural diet. If you can supplement with raw meats such as a chicken neck every few days then that would also help, and they’re cheap to buy in the supermarket.
Hi Denise, sorry to hear about the problem with the kibble being too small. I hadn’t heard of anyone with this issue before now, but it seems someone else has had the same problem recently.
Hi Taylor, it’s possibly a grain allergy. Try one of the grain free foods on this list, some are cheaper than Royal Canin – https://www.petfoodratings.org/grain-free-dry-cat-food/
Hi Heather, it might be because they’re confused about it – cats are slightly autistic. If their old food was a poor quality “junk food” kibble then that can cause a cat to become addicted to a food, meaning a new food isn’t that appealing. Try adding something like chicken stock to entice them to eat it, see how it goes.
Hi Hilary, the reviews are from an ingredients and analysis standpoint alone, which unfortunately can’t take into account whether the listed ingredients are false (which is the apparent case with Blue Buffalo). The company made similar false allegations after the melamine contaminations in 2007 – it turned out their foods did contain melamine in ingredients sourced from suppliers. The irony of this situation is Purina were the company to initiate the investigation into Blue Buffalo, and they’re another company who often advertise falsely or claim ignorance about the quality of ingredients from suppliers (or ignorance that ingredients are sourced from slave ships which incur human mistreatment and fatalities).
Hi Dorothy, changing or rotating food brands is something I strongly recommend to keep a diet balanced. Changing the diet isn’t what makes the cat sick, it’s because they’ve been fed a single food for a long period – if that makes sense.
Yes, you’re right Scott. I may remove the price rating from all reviews as it’s no different from comparing a lb of corn to a lb of lamb.
Hi Sumayah, if the bag is opened it’s unlikely you’ll get a refund. If you haven’t opened it you should be ok.
Hi Carol, cats often take a couple of weeks to get used to a new food, so you can ween them off gradually. Try contacting Petcurean and ask for a sample.
They’re both very good high protein/low carb foods. It depends which one works best for you, your cat, and your budget.
Hi Nicole, in general kitten formulas are more expensive as they contain a higher percentage of ingredients such as meat, which is a good thing. You can continue to feed Cat + Kitten and there’s no harm in doing so, but continue to monitor the weight of your older cat just in case.
Hi Miss D, for issues like this it’s hard to find dry foods that cater for the issue as well as providing a nutritional diet. Common prescription claiming to address issues such as bladder stones reduce protein by cutting down on meat, which is essential to retain health and causes other problems. As such many investigate homemade or fresh diets as a better alternative.
Hi Melissa, I would recommend investigating a wet or fresh diet for a dog with kidney problems.
Hi Ouiser, it depends on a number of factors including the lifestyle of your cats, supplemental feeding, water intake, and also your budget which you say is an issue. We rate Regal Cat Bites higher than Royal Canin foods, so I suppose that’s an answer, but you could always mix foods.
Hi Deb, for a diabetic cat you’re looking at a low carb diet, so as far as dry food goes a brand like Orijen (rich in meat proteins) is a good option, but ideally you need to investigate a decent wet or fresh meat diet.
That’s a very good question, I wish I could give you a definitive answer!
Hi Nael, it’s worth ensuring your cats are getting a sufficient water intake. Perhaps mix the dry with wet, or moisten the dry with water or chicken broth. If you think Chicken Soup isn’t working for your cats then have a look at the other foods on our best rated list – https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-cat-food/
Hi Athena, some foods work better for different cats. Innova has had their issues, so if you have any concerns then try another food. Here’s our best rated cat food list – https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-cat-food/
Hi Cathy, any of the foods on our top rated list are a solid start. Also have a look at Canidae Large Breed Puppy and Earthborn. You can also rotate brands, or supplement a dry diet with wet or fresh. Many options.
Yes, it’s very good. It’s based on duck which is a decent lean meat, backed up with chicken. You can always rotate recipes and brands.
Hi Antonella, here’s a review of Young Again dog food. I’m yet to write a review of the cat food but will do so in due course – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-dog-food/young-again-4016/
The cat food is without a doubt a 5 star food as it doesn’t contain the fillers we find in the dog formula.
Hi Pamela, your easiest option with Chicken Soup is to buy it online, such as from Amazon – click here.
Hi Valita, why not feed both?
Hi Arefeen, I find Ideal Balance to be Hill’s answer to the growing awareness of pet food nutrition. The recipes are an improvement on Science Diet.
Hi Evelin, there’s a list here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-dog-food/
Hi Kai, unfortunately like most things “you get what you pay for” to an extent. Have a look at Applaws which can be found in the supermarkets and Kirkland available from CostCo if you have one nearby. Both these foods are great for their price, although more expensive than Meow Mix.
Buying big bags is obviously the most cost effective option. Most online retailers have regular foods on sale, so it’s worth keeping your ear to the ground.
Hi Lisa, they don’t, but they do a great freeze dried range
Hi Amanda, it’s worth noting this food is in our “Worst Dry Cat Food Category” and therefore something we definitely don’t recommend feeding a cat. Only the worst foods contain food colourings or dies of any sort. Yes, there’s Ocean Fish in this food but it’s marginal – it won’t contribute much to the food in flavor or nutrition.
Hi Derek, it’s 100% independent and unbiased. I have no affiliations with any other organisations or manufacturers.
Hi Deborah, sadly the better (smaller) companies don’t have the ability to offer diets specific to conditions, which leaves the likes of Hill’s (Science Diet) and Royal Canin as your only real options. That said, wet is definitely the way to go in this instance, and their wet foods do seem to be of a better quality.
What is she currently eating Barb?
Hi Brandon, there’s a review here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-dog-food/nutrish-by-rachael-ray/
Fromm and Blue Buffalo are both good foods. I don’t review wet, but generally if I rate a dry food highly and they have a wet food range then that’ll be good too.
High carb/filler foods can’t be digested easily by cats which leads to them being overweight as well as unhealthy.
When fruits and veggies are included in trace amounts it mimics a natural diet – what would normally be found in the stomach and intestinal tract of prey.
SubZero is an excellent food. I’ll write a review in due course, but I’m currently away until after Christmas.
Nutrience make good foods and as a company have been pleasant to deal with. They’re a small company which is why there’s a lack of information on their products.
Thanks for your insight.
Hi Margie, I’ll try and write a review of the 4 Health brand in the coming days, but from a brief look it looks good.
Hi Mary, in a case like this I feel the comments are as important as the review. Many cats are fed Indigo Moon without any issues and are in great health, but comments like those above can show a trend.
Hi Rosemary, yes certainly – Regional Red is a great food. I need to write a review.
Hi Jennifer, have a look at our list of best-rated cat foods.
Hi Rosse, sorry I need to review those foods. Yes, it’s fine to feed cats a mix of foods, in fact I encourage it.
Hi Scott, yes, most of the foods on this list will keep your cat healthy and regular (and would likely work out cheaper too).
Hi Marie, it’s a question of quality, and this is often a very poorly manufactured ingredient in a pet food.
Hi Bob, there’s no caffeine in the food? The super-energetic comment is in regard to this being a high protein food, which is great for energy and retaining muscle mass.
Taurine is a good ingredient, essential for cats. It’s underline to give you more information if you hover your mouse over the word.
Hi Liz, the question with such ingredients is regarding quality. Your homemade chicken stock is a different substance entirely to the “not for human consumption” ingredient you’ll find in pet food.
Hi Annette, I always try and raise awareness about the importance of moisture (and fresh, clean water) as part of a cats diet, so your points are very valid.
Hi Tracey, I’ve heard this a few times with Acana and Orijen, but the main thing is your cat is healthy. Alternatively you could try one of the other foods on our best rated list (https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-dog-food/) or rotate between 2 or 3 foods.
Hi Beth, animals were suffering ill health with the arrival of kibble. The reason for that was the poor quality of kibble produced historically. Thankfully now there’s a lot more awareness on pet nutrition which is constantly pushing up the standard of modern day kibbles.
Hi Brian, all the foods on our best rated list can be considered best in class. At Pet Food Ratings we try not to advocate specific brands.
Hi Katrina, yes you can feed it to both. Weight management is as much about feeding quantity and lifestyle, but feeding a decent food that isn’t bulked up with waste products and fillers is a great start whether a cat is underweight or overweight.
You’ve really made me laugh with this comment Jennifer!
As for Jim’s comment, I’m more than happy to be called an idiot if it’s constructive criticism or feedback… which his comment isn’t.
Hi Toria, we don’t review wet food or make specific recommendations, but generally if a dry food on this website is rated highly then their corresponding wet food is of a similar quality. I hope that helps.
Hi Ameri, sorry to hear about your cat and I hope the vet’s given some good advice.
For your project you can pick any foods. I recommend selecting a cheap supermarket own brand, one of the big corporate brands such as Purina, then a couple of high end brands such as Orijen as well as a grain free brand. That should give you a decent variety and a lot to discuss!
Hi Kevin, we often find many foods use cheap fish ingredients or fish meals. With Acana Pacifica we find a better quality source of named fish ingredients such as herring and pollock. The concern with fish, and cheap fish ingredients is the level of phosphorous – that’s an issue for cats suffering urinary tract or kidney issues. I always see a varied diet to be more balanced, so perhaps mix Pacifica with other Acana formulas or other brands – there’s no harm in that.
Hi Tasha, perhaps have a look at Canadian Naturals as another decent Canadian dry food (which I still need to review). Acana, Orijen, and Canadian Naturals only sell dry, not wet.
Hi Jay, Orijen is a high quality kibble and should meet all nutritional requirements of a giant breed.
Oreos must be very healthy. Are their stools firm?
Hi Jana, I agree wet food is a good choice for cats with renal failure. There’s little evidence about the effects of (high) protein diets for suffering cats, but phosphorous levels are an issue and can cause discomfort.
Hi Hannah, yes, I’ve heard a number of reports Orijen foods work well with cats prone to allergies.
Wow, it’s very unusual for a cat to like a dog food!
Thanks for your feedback! I’ve written a review of Regal Cat Bites for you here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-cat-food/regal-cat-bites/
Hi Jaime, yes I often find formulas change over time, often without notification.
Hi Des, I think the main thing is she has a regular water intake. With the wet food it might be she’s just confused by it (i.e. she’s so used to eating dry food). My cat’s the same, he’ll turn his nose up for a week and then start eating a food. I see no harm in the milk either, especially when you’re providing a solid base diet with the Orijen! There’s no harm in giving your cat a treat!
Hi Jean – Nutrience have contacted me regarding your comment. I’ve added their feedback to the end of the review, showing their grain free foods have been certified as Diabetic-Friendly and Low-Glycemic by the Glycemic Research Institute.
That should give you peace of mind!
Hi Jean, both are common ingredients in grain free foods. I’m not concerned with the sugar levels of these ingredients as they’re relatively low down the list. When a food contains an ingredient with a high glycemic index doesn’t mean the food is high glycemic. Orijen for example, contains potato but is one of the few low-glycemic foods available, certified by the Glycemic Research Institute.
Only online I think Justina
Sorry to hear that George. Did they have regular access to fresh water?
Hi Anthony, thanks for your comment – I’ve updated the review to reflect these changes.
Hi Henry, it might be trial an error but any of those foods might work. It depends on what was causing the sensitivity for him in the past.
Hi Ilana, here you go – http://www.amazon.com/Nutrience-Natural-Healthy-18-Pounds-Chicken/dp/B00IDZTGIG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1427160717&sr=8-2&keywords=nutrience+cat
Hi Tom, Life Protection is on par, with excellent meat ingredients backed up by quality grains and the same range of vitamins, minerals, fruits, and veggies we find in other Blue Buffalo foods. I can’t foresee any problems feeding Life Protection Puppy.
Hi Alison, garlic is absolutely fine in small doses so I wouldn’t be overly concerned with this.
Is this in reference to Felidae/Canidae?
Hi Carol, the concern with spinach is it contains small traces of calcium oxalate that are linked with crystals in the urinary tract. I see no concerns with Orijen as it contains a small quantity of spinach. Other ingredients such as kale, leafy greens, soy, and meats also contain calcium oxalates.
Hi Michelle, all I can suggest is you try feeding at regular intervals instead of leaving food out all day. Perhaps seperate them at meal times to ensure they eat what they need?
Hi Shannon, switching his food shouldn’t cause any harm (other than costing you money trying different foods) and the gas might be a temporary thing while he adjusts to food he isn’t used to. Stick with a food, such as the Blue Buffalo, for a couple of weeks.
But if the vet said he’s ill then there could be a good reason he prescribed Science Diet, such as kidney problems require a low phosphorous diet.
Hi Joe, I personally recommend you stop eating Blue Buffalo without mixing in a little gravy.
I hope this helps,
The Pet Food Ratings Team
Hi Krista, that Goodlife recipe is a great improvement on both Special Kitty and the Goodlife recipe reviewed on this page. It has some downsides (brewers rice, by-products, added coloring, etc), but also a lot of positives (chicken and chicken meal is nice to see as the main ingredients plus added fruits and veggies). For the price I’d say go for it, and I always recommend a mixture of foods (wet or dry) for a varied diet, and yes wet food is good for adding moisture to a diet.
Hi Rio, the food meets all requirements for a kitten diet as well as an adult diet, so it’s ok to feed to both your cats. It’s a very good food so worth trying. As with any diet it’s worth monitoring your cat’s weight over time and adjusting how much you feed accordingly.
It can take a couple of weeks for a cat to adjust to a new food. Perhaps the diarrhoea is an intolerance to a specific ingredient, such as chicken. Perhaps try a recipe with a different meat or fish?
Hi Ashley, please refer to my other comment – cats do indeed consume fruits and vegetables in their natural habitat, from eating the internal organs (stomach and intestinal tract) of their prey.
Hi Mamoon, I’ve checked the Nutrience website and they state 78% premium animal ingredients, 22% fruits and vegetables for the Grain Free food. It doesn’t seem to have similar information for Nutrience Natural.
Pet food manufacturers aren’t required to state the percentages, so not many do.
A transition to Orijen or Acana can affect the stools, but generally this should settle down within a couple of weeks.
RJP – are you saying omegas shouldn’t be included in a food because AAFCO doesn’t stipulate they should be?
That’s a great suggestion John. Thanks.
10 years ago I may’ve thought the same! Thankfully there’s much more awareness these days, and a lot more research into pet nutrition.
Have a read of the following resource on kidney disease in Dogs and Cats, particularly regarding special diet – http://www.2ndchance.info/kidney.htm
A low phospherous and low sodium diet is required, with increased omega fatty acids. Protein is dependent on stage of the disease, but it’s worth stating that original testing was conducted on rats which have a vastly different metabolism. Little is known about the continued effect of a high-protein diet on dogs and cats. If you can provide further references I’d be happy to read them.
I maintain the cost of such a prescription diet is not justified given the poor quality of ingredients, but unfortunately for us consumers they have the market sector covered. Feeding sick animals poor quality ingredients doesn’t strike me as the ethical thing to do, they’re a profit-first company.
The best way to treat FLUTD is “water”, so that should be your primary focus. Make sure your cat has access to clean water at all times, and if you find she doesn’t drink enough then it’s worth switching to a wet food or at least adding water to the kibble to add moisture. Feeding an expensive “prescription diet” dry food for a cat with urinary difficulties isn’t focussing on the main requirement, which is moisture. SO isn’t necessarily a bad food although it does have a high corn content, and like you say it’s expensive.
Dogs are scavenging carnivores, not obligate carnivores like cats. Good grains, vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients can provide nutritional value to our dogs in the same way they do us. It’s also worth noting that a native canine diet is primarily meat, but inclusive of intestinal tract and stomach contents of animals that have a grain/vegetable/fruit diet.
The issue with corn is that it’s difficult for dogs to digest unless it’s processed to a high standard, which largely it isn’t in the pet food industry. There have been tests that show corn can produce highly digestible protein, but that doesn’t say the corn in your dog food will.
If you’re looking for reference material I recommend one of the many good books on canine nutrition. They’re much more factual than what you may read on the internet. The following two are worth investing in:
Generally the higher the meat content in a food the more it costs, so feeding a high protein food to an inactive cat is more about budget than anything else.
Petcurean is made in Canada, but that doesn’t necessarily mean all the ingredients are sourced from Canada. It’s worth asking Petcurean direct to see how they respond?
Hi Corinne, yes, Orijen have removed potato from their recipes which is great to see.
I think the main thing to consider with potato is that it’s about the quantity of potato in a food. Having potato included doesn’t necessarily mean the food is high GI. For example, if the food has a high meat content it will likely have more protein than carbs, giving us an indication of the amount of carbs (and potato) in the food.
Hi Hannah, what you’re looking for here is “water”. In this situation I’d recommend looking at wet foods and/or ensuring your cat has clean fresh water available at all times. Royal Canin Urinary SO isn’t a bad food apart from the corn content, it’s about 3 stars in my opinion. If your cat doesn’t seem to drink enough water then it could be worth wetting the kibble and seeing if that works, and perhaps gradually transitioning to a better food over time (such as the Blue Buffalo).
Hi Brenda, Iams is a slight improvement but read my Iams review here.
Hi Cairin, it’s not necessarily about potatoes being in the food but the level of carbs and fat in the food as a whole. Your dog will more likely gain weight on a food that is too high in carbs or fillers.
Hi Lynda, I’m sorry to hear that.
The store may give you a refund, but the only way you can help other pet owners is to raise awareness. Feel free to refer people to this website so they can get an idea of what they’re feeding.
Royal Canin Persian isn’t a bad food, but I’d be inclined to try TOTW. I recommend TOTW more than Royal Canin.
Hi Chris, animal digest is a broth created from cooking up undisclosed animal tissues using chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis to produce a “flavoring”. It’s not a pleasant ingredient, and it provides little to no nutritional value.
Hi Bonnie, this review is for their dry food, but I agree with your sentiments.
Hi Susan, cats become accustomed to a food more than addicted, meaning they may get temporarily confused if you give them something different.
There’s no brewers yeast in this food, so I assume you’re referring to another product?
Yes, there is nutritional merit to brewers yeast, especially in comparison to the more commonly seen brewers rice, which holds almost no nutritional value.
This is a terrible food, but putting that aside it’s not unusual for cats to take time transitioning to a new food.
Personally I’d recommend a better quality food, as Friskies will do nothing for your cat.
Cats will eat to satisfy their nutritional and energy requirements. If they’re getting what they need from the Orijen then that’s likely the reason they’re not finishing the wet food, which isn’t a bad thing.
Thanks for the heads up, this has definitely improved the food. I’ve updated the review to account for the change in formulation.
This isn’t something I personally believe, and there’s little substantial fact. A dog’s native diet is high protein, and the same is generally the case with wet or raw based diets. The same applies to cats. Personally I see more harm in feeding an animal a product based on sub-standard ingredients and fillers.
I’m really sorry to hear that Polly. It makes me sad to hear such things, and I wish the information on this website could reach more people.
I learn something new every day ;o)
Hi Barbara, yes I would personally recommend Orijen as a high quality food. I also recommend you consult with your vet about prescription diets and choose which you believe is right for your cat.
Hi Nadine, we only review dry foods, but I’m sure their canned food is of decent quality. I’ll look into it and ask my contact at Nutrience, as currently they don’t list the ingredients and nutrition analysis of the wet food online. Thanks.
Hi Nadine, here’s a review of Original especially for you – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-cat-food/nutrience-original/
It’s not quite as good, but still very good as far as cat foods go.
Hi Kristen, in many ways wet food can be better – higher protein, lower carbs, fresher/more natural meat, oils, and nutrients. It’s also less convenient and can cost a lot more. Dry food is better for teeth and gums. Personally I’ve always fed dry food, but that’s dry food to a high standard (I only buy the best!). I feed my pets wet occassionally, and also meat as and when I cook it for myself.
Orijen is a great food. You may need to transition your Munchkins gradularly as Orijen is richer than Iams – they won’t be used to it. Soaking it in water is great if they eat it, but the important thing is you ensure your cats have access to fresh water, in their food, in a bowl, or whatever works.
Steve, Purina have similar problems figuring out what’s in their food! – https://twitter.com/PetFoodRatings/status/503817647373307905/photo/1
Here you go –
Hi Justus, yes I definitely recommend the Nutrience products. They’re a small company but they really care about their foods (I talk to them regularly), and as far as price goes they’re good value for money too – cheaper than Wellness.
Hi GT, this recipe is a definite improvement from Goodlife. With the brewers rice, yeast, and by-products I’d give it 3 stars.
Hi Yuki, thanks for your comment.
Cats are carnivores, like you say, but consider the mice, birds, and other animals they would eat in the wild would’ve lived off a diet of berries and vegetables. Yes, a cat’s diet should be meat based, but these other ingredients do have nutritional merit.
Your point about wet food having a much higher water content is very valid, and a risk with dry food. It’s important for a cat to have water readily available, from a bowl, or some people add water to dry food. Not everyone can afford to feed their pets a wet diet. My first cat lived to 21 years old, and that was on Science Diet!
Some of the manufacturers do follow these reviews and contact me occassionally. A few have adjusted their ingredients accordingly, so it’s nice to have some influence. I try and keep the reviews as up to date as possible but unfortunately it isn’t an easy task as I have a day job too!
With Chicken Soup I think the important thing to note is it’s still a good food. It was very good value for money before, now not as much.
You have a very sardonic nature George (I’ve been reading some of your comments on other websites).
Kit ‘N Kaboodle contains a number of ingredients that are known to be very poor quality, not speculatively but fact. I could detail these thoroughly within the review if I so wished, but it’s not necessary. The first five ingredients must be listed in order or prominence. I see it as a 1 star food, and I definitely wouldn’t feed it to my cat. If you think differently then that’s your prerogative.
You’re entitled to your opinion Melissa, and entitled to feed your cat a food such as Friskies which is predominantly corn (uh, is corn a MEAT!?). Yes, cats are carnivores and their native diet is meat, but meat of animals that consume fruit and vegetables in their natural habitat. I see fruit and veg as a good inclusion in a food, giving a balanced diet, and there are certainly far worse ingredients that can be included.
Hi Amber, it isn’t really anything to be too worried about. It’s found in about 12% of dry cat foods, and used to ensure the pH level is within an ideal range. It is an additive however, and not needed if the cat or dog is eating a balanced diet. Some foods are more balanced than others.
I’d always recommend feeding a dog a decent food, and this is a decent food. Give it a try!
It certainly isn’t a bad choice of food Dana, and the protein levels are high with this one.
There are many reasons that cause a cat to vomit or regurgitate their food – change in diet, eating too fast, an intolerance or allergy. If your cat’s otherwise in good health then it probably isn’t serious, but it’s always worth checking with your vet. Perhaps your cat simply doesn’t like Nature’s Variety products, in which case I’d feed her something else.
Hi Selene, is it only Nature’s variety products or has your cat been sick on other foods? Have you spoken to your vet?
Hi Lex, there’s a number of low carb foods on the market, even “no-carb” foods like Young Again. I haven’t reviewed it but it’s pretty good by the looks of it – https://www.youngagainpetfood.com/
The benefits will come from feeding a very good quality food.
Hi Christine, thanks for posting. Refer to our list of best rated dog foods to narrow down your search. Most of them are easily available on Amazon, and most of the bigger names like Canidae, Fromm, TOTW, Orijen & Acana should be easy enough to find locally.
Hi Ree, meat meals are denser protein sources which means they’re better ingredients. Many pet foods list a meat as the top ingredient as it helps sell the product, but in reality it becomes far less prominent once cooked – it’s definitely worth opting for a food with decent meat meals high in the ingredient list. It’s nice to see fruits and veggies in a food and they do provide nutritional and health benefits. The caveat is most of these ingredients are in small proportions so can also be used as a sales gimmic.
Hi Selene, here’s a review of Wilderness – Blue Buffalo Wilderness Dry Cat Food.
Hi Dennis, thanks for your feedback and it’s really nice to know our website helps people.
Sorry, we only review dry foods on Pet Food Ratings, but other websites do review wet foods.
Hi Ali, I had a quick look on Amazon for Taste of the Wild High Prairie Bison and Venison, and it seems the reviews are generally very good:
You’ll find all pet foods seem to have a range of reviews, even the really poor quality foods have rave reviews. Many people assume a food’s good because their pet eats it, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Pet Food Ratings reviews are based on ingredients and nutrition analysis, as well as constant feedback and research, so we hope that’s more useful than what you read on Amazon ;o)
Hi Joan, have you considered a decent quality wet food? Water intake is key, and a wet food is better for that than dry.
Hi Ali, smelly poop isn’t necessarily a bad thing but the bloody stools are – keep your vet involved with that. Food wise perhaps try one of our other top-rated brands – https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-cat-food/
Hi Abby, all feedback is appreciated – thanks. I’ve put Simply Nourish on my list of foods to review in the coming weeks.
Hi Dawn, taurine occurs naturally in animal-based protein sources so isn’t always listed as an ingredient. Acana Grasslands states taurine content is 0.2% so you can rest assured with this food ;o)
Hi Lindsay, both Fromm and Orijen are very good foods. I wouldn’t be concerned about the protein levels. Give one or the other a go for a month or so and see how it goes.
Hi Dee, you should have no concerns with Orijen. It’s a very good food.
Great info Morressa, it’s nice when people add such useful feedback for a food. Kirkland is definitely one of the cheapest “bang for buck” in pet food, still maintaining a quality in ingredients.
Hi Pat, wet food’s an option but if he’s healthy and happy on the dry then perhaps stick with it? I had an old cat, looked like a feline Skelator, but even at 20 he was jumping walls as tall as me!
Good spot Nathan, I’ll edit that! The omega fat content will come from ingredients such as the chicken, animal fat, canola oil etc, but I’d prefer to see the inclusion of flaxseed and fish oils as quality sources of omegas. You can read our Omega Fatty Acid info here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/nutrition/omega-fatty-acids/
Hi Kelly, montmorillonite clay is an anti-caking agent which Nature’s Variety use to remove toxins in the food and to act as a natural source of minerals. There’s some specucaltion about the ingredient as it can potentially contain dioxins (which are bad), but tests conducted on rats and humans have shown no real harm. If the clay is of good quality then there’s no issue. You’ve prompted me to ask Nature’s Variety direct, see how they respond – https://twitter.com/PetFoodRatings/statuses/460632611992244225
Although Australia has a limited pet food market compared to the US, there’s still some good foods around if you search for them. You can buy Artemis at My Pet Warehouse, which is a great grain-free food, and also the Aussie made Black Hawk which is pretty good. Canidae is also available at a number of pet shops and a food I’ve never had any complaints about:
Perhaps you’re right Greg!
Hi Mike, this website primarily focusses on ingredients and nutrition analysis and as such Wellness CORE holds up. However, the amount of complaints with this food is alarming and I hope this is clearly apparent with the review and subsequent comments. Many people associate any illness with their pet to the food they feed, which isn’t necessarily based on fact. Many cats suffer kidney problems, which may be caused by their diet, lack of water, or anything else. Personally I’d be deterred from Wellness CORE by the comments on this page, but will leave it to the readers to decide for themselves. I certainly appreciate your feedback, and that of all the other people who’ve commented – raising awareness is the key. Thanks.
Potato is a good carbohydrate source but as cats are carnivores it’s not a necessity.
The ingredients are good, so definitely no qualms about feeding it (if you’re ok with my slight warning at the top).
Hi Macy, sorry for the delay in replying. I think in this case all I can say is there’s no harm in trying. There’s certainly far worse foods you can try.
I’ve answered your first comment here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-cat-food/taste-of-the-wild/
I’m not a believer in high protein foods causing continuous damage to kidneys, it’s not proven. I see more health benefits in feeding a decent food, and that includes foods such as Blue Buffalo and Orijen. Low phosphorous and low sodium foods should have health benefits. Honest Kitchen might be worth a try – it’s a fresh mix which you add water to.
I would still recommend any decent food. The benefits will outweigh feeding any low quality food. Ensure your cat has lots of water, and if they refuse to eat wet food then try moistening their dry kibble.
I’m not a believer in high protein foods causing continuous damage to kidneys, it’s not proven. I see more health benefits in feeding a decent food, and that includes foods such as Blue Buffalo and Orijen. Low phosphorous and low sodium foods should have health benefits.
Firstly, I always recommend you take the advice of your vet. That being said, yes I don’t rate the Hills products very highly (although they are low in phosphorous). Any cat with kidney problems needs sufficient water intake, which is why wet food is recommended as it contains more water. If you wish to continue with dry food then try wetting it with water to see if your cat continues to eat it. That ensures they’re getting a regular water intake. Always ensure they have water available as well.
Choosing a low phosphorous food will certainly help. There’s excellent information here showing dry foods by phosphorous level – http://www.felinecrf.org/dry_food_usa.htm
I personally wouldn’t be concerned about feeding a decent high protein food to a cat with CKD, it’s not that factual that high protein foods can worsen the kidneys. The benefits of feeding a decent food will outweigh this anyway. Cats don’t need much salt/sodium, so that’s a no brainer.
Hi Karen – that’s an interesting test, I like it!! It’s worth considering that cats can take a while to adjust to a new food. It’s not so much they don’t like a new food, more that they could be confused by it. It smells and tastes different. There’s also little correlation with your test between what the cats like and what’s healthy for them. For example, if you gave a child a McDonalds and a Caesar Salad, you may find they go for the McDonalds first ;o)
People can eat McDonalds as a regular diet and appear to be in good health, but are they? It’s possible that they are, but also unlikely.
The ingredients in Meow Mix are fact, and any professional will tell you most of them serve no nutritional or health benefit to a cat. You statement of “It’s a very good cat food” seems very ignorant to me, but you’re entitled to your opinion.
The recommended level of sodium in a dry cat food is 0.2%. The added salt in Wysong is low in the list, so I really don’t see it as an issue (I’ve amended the review slightly as it seems I made it a more prominent point than necessary). Other, cheaper foods have salt much higher in the ingredients which is disturbing, especially when your cat eats a food every day.
Salt is often added to enhance flavor (or inhibit flavors of sub-standard ingredients). We also find other added flavorings in Wysong, which serve no nutritional benefit to our pets.
Hi Ayla, I’m really glad this review has raised a bit of awareness. Chicken Soup is a fantastic food so I’m sure your cats will be happier, healthier, and love you for it.
Firstly, FortiFlora is a Purina product. I’m not a big fan of Purina period. They claim animal digest is a great ingredient, but not many other sources agree.
In any case, there are other probiotics on the market such as Pet Guard. That uses human grade ingredients, has no animal digest, wheat, soy, corn, or sugar.
Pet food manufacturers change their ingredients often, making it hard to maintain an accurate review. Generally the ingredients don’t change too much, meaning the ratings stay the same. In the case of this food, it’s a definite improvement. I’d say 3 stars, perhaps 3.5.
Hi Kirsti, we’re not a veterinary practice so have to urge you to take the advice of your vet. With your cat being diabetic I assume you’re looking to feed a high protein/low carb food, perhaps wet rather than dry? Whether a cat with kidney failure requires a low protein/low phosphorous diet is a controversial subject and can be regarded as myth. In our opinion you’re better off finding a food with a protein source that is highly digestible, such as a lean chicken or turkey meat. Cats are carnivores and by nature seek a high protein diet. However, if you do wish to feed a lower protein diet then most good brands (Fromm, Candidae, Artemis, AvoDerm, Wellness, etc) offer a lower protein food. Look for anything under 22% approximately.
Hi Laurey, if you scroll to the bottom there are links on the right for Best Dry Dog Foods and also Grain Free Dry Dog Foods. Or you can use the menu at the top. Thanks.
I try and take into account the levels of protein, carbs, and fats in a food. Generally if a food lists a range of meat meals but has a low protein level then we can assume the quantity of those meats isn’t as much as we’re led to believe. Pet food manufacturers also use other ingredients (such as peas) to bulk up protein levels, so we need to be wary of that too. It’s hard to gauge, but generally the levels of proteins, carbs, and fats should tally with the ingredients. In cases where it doesn’t I try and mention this, and it’s been on my mind for a while now to cover these percentages more thoroughly.
Thanks for your feedback, it’s very useful to hear and I will definitely make more of an attempt at doing this from now on. Thanks!
Happy to help. Thanks for the feedback.
Hi Linda, thanks for your feedback – it’s always nice to hear we’ve helped someone, and raised awareness of pet food ingredients.
Hi DJ, yes, this review is quite old and Nutro have revised most of their formulas. I’ve been meaning to finish updating the Nutro reviews for a while but I had a bit of a grievance with a complaining Nutro rep (who refused to comment on whether she thought brewers rice was a nutritious ingredient). The Nutro products aren’t too bad, but I never like to see fillers like brewers rice in a pet food. The Grain Free formulas don’t have that which is great, so that could be worth trying? You could certainly do a lot worse than Nutro.
Hi David, I’ve reviewed Natures Variety Instinct for you. It’s certainly recommended if you’re unable to get Orijen in Israel.
Sadly it still isn’t a good product. The quantity of chicken is deceiving as the weight is measured prior to cooking, so only 30% remains afterwards. That means it’s predominantly wheat, one of the most common causes of allergies in cats!. Corn gluten meal isn’t good, neither is wheat gluten. Brewers rice is a waste product. Yep, it’s still only 2 stars I’m afraid. You don’t get what you pay for with this food.
Hi John, thanks for your comment. Pet food ingredients change over time and it’s hard for me to maintain all the reviews on this website. Blue Buffalo have changed their ingredients only recently so thanks for bringing it to my attention and I’ll update accordingly. It seems they’ve removed whitefish and salmon meal, as well as Herring Oil, which is a shame as all three are very good quality protein and omega sources. They’ve made turkey meal more prominent which goes some way to balance the change. It’s still very good as far as the ingredients go, but I preferred the previous ingredients.
Hi Bonnie, how old is your cat and how active? Orijen has a high amount of protein but it’s also a very good food. That means your cat should get more nutrients per pound than other foods, and may also eat less of it. If you have an older or less active cat then there are other decent foods available with a lower protein percentage if you have that concern. Yes, a decent food will boost a cats immune system in the same way a healthy diet would boost ours, so a food such as Orijen would certainly help prevent future health issues and infections.
Hi Nancy, that’s a difficult question to answer. How long since she had the ear infection, and how much is she scratching it? They can take time to clear up, especially if she’s frantically scratching it. It may be worth switching to another brand of food for a while to see how it goes, then reverting back to Orijen later?
Hi Angela, sorry to hear about Oliver. I’m glad reviews such as this reach people. It only takes a little bit of research to find out what’s in a pet food, but I always find it very difficult to raise such awareness. People are easily taken in by the marketing without any real thought of what’s actually in the food.
Sodium selenite is a common source of selenium in pet foods. If you’re concerned about toxicity then I don’t believe this ingredient has shown any occurrence of that in about three decades. AAFCO set a margin of safety for this, and other minerals, to avoid excessive amounts in pet foods. No pet food manufacturer can 100% guarantee levels of minerals in their products – take for instance the Blue Buffalo recall in 2010 for excessive amounts of vitamin D causing toxicity.
Peas are actually a very good source of protein if processed correctly. I prefer to see meat proteins, but as this is an indoor food I see no reason against this ingredient.
I agree with your point about the unknown manufacturing location aspect of this food – this is information which should be readily available from the company.
That’s good to hear! Thanks for your feedback Dahlia, for both cats and dogs.
Hi Jessica, you can buy it in 6lb and 18lb bags.
Thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough comment, and it’s sorry to hear your cats have suffered. A lot of cats seem to do well on this food, but stories such as yours seem to occur fairly frequently in regard to Wellness CORE. I’ve added a note at the top of the review for people to read these comments and be aware of them.
As for Orijen, I rarely hear a bad word said about it. I couldn’t recommend it enough. The same goes for Acana, also made by Champion.
To roughly calculate carbohydrates in a food you can add up the protein, fat, moisture, and ash content (roughly 5% to 8%), and subtract from 100 to give you an estimated percentage. Not many people realise that dogs don’t need any carbohydrates in their diet!
Neither of those are very good. Have a look at our best-rated list, hopefully something on there fits your budget – https://www.petfoodratings.org/best-dry-dog-food/
On the contrary, the new Orijen formulas have less fiber. The old formulas used russet potatoes as a fairly significant ingredient, but these have been removed in favor of greater meat content. It’s a high protein food, which generally makes it more suitable to younger, active cats. With your senior cats you should find they eat less (because they need less), and would hopefully lose weight. I certainly recommend all foods made by Champion Petfoods, both Orijen and Acana. I seldom hear bad things about the company.
As far as ingredients analysis goes EVO is still a very solid food. What makes it difficult to review a cat/dog food is the integrity of the company, manufacturing standards, and quality of ingredients are all hard to gauge. For example, “chicken” in one food might be far superior to the quality of “chicken” in another food. A company may use quality ingredients but their manufacturing standards might be sub-par. Some companies use a number of different manufacturing facilities, some better standards than others. We can say a food is poor due to a number of recalls, but even that is uncertain. I know some pet food manufactures have made a number of voluntary recalls, and they’ve done this because they have high standards and wish to ensure their product is of a high quality – that to me means they’re a good company. In the case of Innova Evo, it seems apparent the quality of the food has diminished since P&G took over. All I can do is state that information, and leave it up to the readers to consider (or to research further). This is still a better food than many others readily available in your local store.
Orijen is a very good food and can be fed on it’s own, but you may also feed a wet food (Wellness is definitely good). What balance you choose is up to you, but I recommend sticking to a routine.
Very sorry to hear that Bill
I’ve reviewed Actr1um here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-dog-food/actr1um-actrium-holistic/
Firstly, thank you! It’s always nice to know Pet Food Ratings helps people!
Special Kitty is awful, so good to see you’re looking for alternatives. I haven’t much experience with Actr1ium, and it doesn’t help in reviewing foods when Walmart won’t publish information (which is usually suspect). It also only seems to be available in Canada. From the ingredients it looks really good, especially for the price. Could be worth a try?
You can’t go wrong with Chicken Soup, so if it’s within budget then give it a go. If you can buy online, such as Amazon, then you can save money.
I’m very impressed with the new Orijen formulas, especially for cats. It’s still undoubtedly a very high quality food. I see no problems with the amount of Walleye in the food, and it’s a fantastic source of digestible protein and nutrients.
You’re also a victim of faulty punctuation keys, but thanks for your comment.
Hi Anne, I appreciate your point about “dairy products”. Cottage cheese is actually very low in lactose, and in any case the quantity in this food is minimal. It’s actually an excellent source of protein and calcium, and low in carbs and fats.
That’s great to hear. My first cat Rodney was diagnosed at 14 and given 6 months, but lived to 21! It’s great to know a food has kept them healthy for longer, and also that you’ve done your best for them.
I read reports such as that on a daily basis for many foods both good and bad, so it’s hard to say. Crystals (FLUTD) will more likely develop if a cat is fed dry food with cheap grains and fillers, especially corn. Wellness CORE is grain free so that’s a huge plus in that respect. It’s also worth ensuring your cat gets suitable water intake, so perhaps adding water to the dry food may help prevent crystals occurring, or feed a canned food with higher water content.
Well said. I can’t believe people are so easily led.
McDonalds should change their golden M to a huge carrot, then swathes of people will flock in believing the food’s healthy.
Hi Melissa, Pursuit Premium is very high in protein (30%) which is unnecessary for larger breed dogs and can cause joint problems for large breed puppies. Kinesis would be the better choice, but even that’s quite high in protein. Try looking for a food with up to 23% protein, such as Blue Freedom.
Hi Carrie, that’s great to hear and brings a bit of a tear to my eye. My first cat Rodney was diagnosed with renal failure at 14 and was given 6 months, but he lived to the ripe old age of 21! In his last couple of years our other cat had four kittens, and he’d play with them like he was one of them! We didn’t feed him Orijen, but we fed him good foods.
May I refer you to this article on Canola Oil and some of the internet rumours around the ingredient – http://www.greendogpetsupply.com/blog/canola-oil-separating-fact-from-fiction/
Other oil choices (such as olive oil) would be preferable, but lets not forget this ingredient serves as a tertiary source of omega-3 behind flax seed and salmon oil.
I’m always open to constructive opinion rather than comments about my brain being lost.
Is that the Lamb & Rice flavor? I believe the Chicken with Liver flavor has dried chicken and turkey as the main ingredient, and brewers yeast high up the list.
Brewers yeast is a waste product from the beer brewing process. It contains some protein and b-vitamins, but it’s still a cheap product and can be toxic to the liver.
Have a read of the ingredients glossary which will give you more information – https://www.petfoodratings.org/ingredient-glossary/
You can’t really go wrong with Orijen, and the same applies to Acana. They’re very much alike. I’ve reviewed Acana here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/dry-cat-food/acana-grasslands-cat-kitten/
Farmina is a European brand and relatively new to the US market. The ingredients seem quite good, but I don’t have enough experience with the brand to give an accurate review at this stage. It could be worth a try?
Hi Jim, could you elaborate or be a bit more constructive? This is the most negative comment I’ve had on PetFoodRatings, so would appreciate knowing why you think this way. Thank you.
I appreciate your feedback, and yes it is an expensive food. You are, however, paying for “human grade” food so do pay a premium for that. I find with Honest Kitchen the price varies a great deal within the range, so it’s worth looking around a bit. Surely it’s better to add water at home than pay for the weight of the water on the shelf? With Honest Kitchen you know you’re paying for the important stuff!
Here’s a 10lb box on Amazon for $58, about half the price of what you said – Honest Kitchen Keen 10lb.
This is the dog food review, the cat food review is below (sorry, it isn’t always clear at times on this site!)
Firstly, renal failure is one of the most common conditions in older cats (and even middle aged cats). It’s also far more common for cats than it is for dogs. There are a number of reasons why the condition develops, so there’s no point taking the blame yourself!
When a cat has renal failure it’s best to feed them on a low protein wet food diet rather than dry food. When changing their diet you may find them reluctant to eat it, for a number of reasons. Cats get used to a certain food, and changing the food can leave them confused – it may not be because they don’t like the new food. You’ll need to monitor it, as if they continue to refuse to eat the new food then that can be worse than them eating regular food.
Have a read of this article on FabCats, and always seek advice from your vet as well:
Hi Susanne, there would be no harm in trying as it’s a quality food! It’s high protein so great for the kittens, you’re fine there. Is the senior cat an indoor or outdoor cat? With the higher protein food he/she may become more active and actually lose weight, but only time will tell. Generally with a decent food like Orijen you find the cat will eat less as they’re getting more nutrition from less quantity. It’s worth a try…
I have a dog that eats the cats food, and the cat eats the dog food, so I know how hard it is to separate foodstuffs!
“Chicken Meal” is meat weighed after dehydration, so more concentrated than “Chicken”. It therefore has more protein in this condensed form, and is one of the best ingredients to see in a pet food.
Read more in our ingredients glossary here – https://www.petfoodratings.org/ingredient-glossary/
Interesting information – you certainly aren’t a fan of Beneful!!