The 10 Best Cat Foods | Page Two

15 of Our Least Favorite Cat Foods

A total of 78 brands had at least one formula removed due to ingredients. The following 15 brands had all of their formulas removed due to ingredients:

  1. Against the Grain
  2. AvoDerm
  3. BFF
  4. Fancy Feast
  5. Friskies
  6. Fruitables
  7. Go! Natural
  8. Hi-Tek Naturals
  9. HI-TOR
  10. NutriSource
  11. Petite Cuisine
  12. Pinnacle
  13. Rachael Ray Nutrish
  14. Royal Canin
  15. Tiki Cat

A Note on Recalls

Recalls do happen, even to brands with high standards. But think of it this way: The average domestic cat lives to be 12-15 years old (in human years).

If your favorite brand of cat food averages two recalls every five years, your cat would have to successfully dodge four to six recalls over the course of its life.

Your cat may have nine lives, but you shouldn’t gamble six of them on food from an unreliable brand.

That’s why we took a hard stance when it came to brands with multiple recalls. In some cases, a history of recalls was very clear. In other cases, deciding whether or not to remove a brand was really difficult.

For example, one of the decisions we struggled with was how to handle brands that were owned or manufactured by larger pet food corporations — particularly when that larger corporation had a history of recalls.

After many hours of research and much debate, we decided to exclude all brands owned by pet food corporations with a history of recalls, since we could not guarantee that their acquisition or change in ownership had not had a negative impact on their manufacturing processes.

This may mean that some brands with quality ingredients and sound manufacturing were cut at this stage, but we feel much more comfortable erring on the side of caution.
Based on the above criteria, we cut the following brands:
  • Artemis: A Diamond company
  • Blue Buffalo: Failure to correctly label products
  • Castor & Pollux: A Merrick company
  • Chicken Soup: A Diamond company
  • Dave’s Pet Food: Manufacturer unknown
  • Diamond: History of recalls
  • Dr. Harvey’s: Manufacturer unknown
  • Eukanuba: Owned by Mars, which is in a lawsuit regarding slave labor
  • Evanger’s: Lack of transparency, many consumer complaints, and a history of false labeling.
  • EVO: Sold to P&G and also lost a class-action suit over false labeling
  • Farmina: Manufactured in Italy, Brazil, Serbia
  • Fussie Cat: Manufactured in Thailand
  • Halo: Manufacturer unknown
  • Health Extension: Manufacturer unknown
  • Hill’s: Major recalls, generally regarded as low-quality ingredients
  • I and Love and You: Manufacturer unknown
  • Iams: History of recalls
  • Innova: Manufacturer unknown
  • Meow Mix: A Big Heart Pet Brands company (formerly Del Monte, history of recalls)
  • Merrick: History of recalls
  • Natural Balance: A Big Heart Pet Brands company (formerly Del Monte, history of recalls)
  • Nature’s Recipe: A Big Heart Pet Brands company (formerly Del Monte, history of recalls)
  • Nature’s Variety: A history of recalls
  • Newman’s Own Organics: Manufacturer unknown
  • Nulo: Manufacturer unknown
  • Nummy Tum-Tum: Manufacturer unknown
  • Nutrisca: Manufacturer unknown
  • Nutro Max: History of recalls
  • Nutro Natural Choice: History of recalls
  • I and Love and You: Manufacturer unknown
  • PetGuard: Manufacturer unknown
  • Petite Cuisine: Manufacturer unknown
  • Premium Edge: History of recalls
  • Purina: Recent lawsuit over pets that reportedly died from eating Purina’s Beneful
  • Sheba: Owned by Mars, which is in a lawsuit regarding slave labor
  • Solid Gold: A Diamond company
  • Taste of the Wild: A history of recalls
  • The Goodlife Recipe: Owned by Mars, which is in a lawsuit regarding slave labor
  • Tiki Cat: Manufactured in Thailand
  • Weruva: Manufactured in Thailand
  • Whiskas: Owned by Mars, which is in a lawsuit regarding slave labor
  • Whole Earth Farms: A Merrick company
  • Wild Calling: An Evanger’s brand

What to Do Next?

Now that you know the truth about cat food, here are a few steps you can take:

Read the label. If you haven’t done so already, read the label of your preferred cat food brand. If there are any ingredients you don’t recognize, do some research and find out what they are and how they may be impacting your cat’s health. If you don’t like what you see, it could be time to try a new brand.

Chat with your vet. If your cat has special dietary needs or you’re unsure about whether or not certain ingredients are safe, chat with your vet and get their input. There are a lot of factors to consider, and getting some guidance from a trusted vet can help you find the best food for your cat.

Inquire about digestibility. As we mentioned earlier, digestibility (the percentage of food your cat actually absorbs), is an important consideration when selecting a food. 

Unfortunately, brands are not required to publish the digestibility percentage and tracking it down can be difficult. Reach out to your preferred brand; ask about digestibility; and let the brand know it’s a metric you’d like to see on the ingredient label.