4Health Cat Food Review16 min read
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In the world of pet food, it’s usually the case that store brands are not just low in price, they’re also low in quality. When it comes to 4Health, however, this isn’t strictly true.
4Health is the in-store brand of Tractor Supply Company, offering a wide variety of dry and wet cat food options at an affordable price. Though this brand may not offer the same quality as some of the premium products you’ll find in pet stores and online, it is definitely better than the average store brand.
Read on to see what we think of the brand and to see our reviews for 5 of their top products.
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Before we get into the details about the 4Health brand, we want you to understand what we look for in a good cat food so you know you can trust our reviews. All cats require a balanced diet with certain nutrients.
Protein is the most important nutrient and should be the foundation of a healthy diet for cats. Both protein and fat should come from animal sources and the carbohydrate content should be limited.
Cat food made with wholesome, natural ingredients is best for your cat. Fillers like corn, wheat, and soy provide little nutritional value and artificial additives should be avoided at all costs. The better the ingredients, the better the quality of your cat’s nutrition.
Here are some of the other things we look for in a good cat food brand:
- High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
- Rich in healthy animal fats (ex: chicken fat or salmon oil)
- Few to no carbohydrate ingredients (especially within the top 5)
- Limited number of main ingredients plus supplements
- No low-quality fillers, grains, or by-products
Cats can be picky eaters, so we think it is important for a cat food brand to offer a variety of products – having variety gives you more to choose from. We like brands that offer both wet food and dry food options because every cat has his own preference. We also look at the brand’s recall history as a way to gauge quality and safety as a whole.
Overview of the 4Health Brand
The 4Health brand of cat food is owned by the Tractor Supply Company, an American retail chain for home improvement, agriculture, and lawn and garden supplies. The company was founded in 1938 as a mail-order tractor parts business and the first retail store was opened in Minot, North Dakota in 1939.
The 4Health brand launched in 2010, marketed as an affordable line of premium pet foods. As of 2019, livestock and pet product account for nearly 50% of the company’s sales.
All 4Health pet food products are produced by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc., manufactured in the United States in plants in California, Missouri, and South Carolina. These products are sold exclusively at Tractor Supply Co. stores, though you may be able to place an order online for pick-up.
Some products can be found on Amazon, but the 4Health brand isn’t carried by Chewy or other major pet retailers.
Though the Tractor Supply Company doesn’t provide much information about their pet food products on the website, you can find some information on the product packages. Bags of dry food pose the question, “Who better to make food for pets than farmers?”
It goes on to state that Tractor Supply brings their passion for land and animals to the forefront of their products and services. They source the best local produce, utilize superior water purification processes, and thoroughly test their formulas to guarantee excellent quality food for pets.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
4Health offers a wide variety of products for cats including both dry food and wet food options. You’ll find a selection of grain-free and original recipes as well as special recipes for indoor cats, weight management, and urinary tract health.
The original 4Health lineup includes recipes made with classic proteins like chicken and whitefish while the Untamed product line features novel proteins like turkey, salmon, and duck with grain-free carbohydrates like lentils.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories (cal/cup)|
|Grain-Free Whitefish, Pea & Potato with Turkey||34||18||3||10||unlisted|
|Grain-Free Indoor Cat||32||13||8||10||313|
|Original All Life Stages||34||18||3||10||368|
|Original Indoor Cat||32||14||8||10||323|
|Special Care Weight Management||32||9||11||10||288|
|Special Care Urinary Tract Health||30||15||2||10||402|
|Untamed Glacial Stream Salmon & Lentil Recipe||30||13||3||10||333|
|Untamed Deep Woods Turkey & Lentil Recipe||31||13||3||10||331|
|Untamed Stillwater Marsh Duck & Lentil Recipe||30||13||3||10||unlisted|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories (kcal/kg)|
|Untamed Stillwater Marsh Recipe with Duck in Savory Juices||10||4.5||1.5||78||unlisted|
|Untamed Glacial Stream Recipe with Salmon in Savory Juices||9.2||4.5||1.5||82||810|
|Untamed Stillwater Marsh Duck & Lentil Recipe||10||4.5||1.5||78||993|
|Untamed Deep Woods Turkey & Lentil Recipe||10||4.5||1.5||78||993|
|Original Adult Chicken Formula||9||6||1.5||78||1,140|
|Original Indoor Chicken Formula||9||6||1.5||78||1,100|
|Original Chicken & Beef Dinner||9||6||1.5||78||1,120|
|Original Turkey & Salmon Dinner||9||6||1.5||78||1,115|
|Original Chicken & Brown Rice||9||6||1.5||78||1,130|
|Grain-Free Tuna Recipe||12||2||1||78||931|
|Grain-Free Chicken Recipe||9||6.5||1||78||1,214|
|Grain-Free Salmon in Broth||9.5||2.5||1.5||80||942|
|Grain-Free Chicken in Broth||10||3.5||1.5||82||917|
|Grain-Free Turkey & Giblet||9||6.5||1||78||1,240|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Whitefish||9||6.5||1||78||1,150|
|Grain-Free Shredded Salmon Dinner in Gravy||8||4||1.5||82||932|
|Grain-Free Shredded Chicken Dinner in Gravy||8||4||1.5||82||905|
|Special Care Weight Management||9||4||3||78||980|
|Special Care Sensitive Stomach||10||6||2.5||78||1,129|
Product Recall History
Though 4Health may not be one of the biggest brands on the market, it’s important to remember that Tractor Supply Co. outsources production to Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. Diamond one of the largest manufacturers of pet food in the United States, responsible for producing other brands like Taste of the Wild, Kirklands, some Solid Gold recipes, and several Diamond product lines.
Because 4Health outsources their production to such a large company, there is some risk for recalls due to contamination, formulation issues, and labeling problems.
Here is an overview of 4Health pet food recalls:
- February 2017 (possible foreign material) – This recall was issued by the FDA for two canned dog food products and Turkey & Salmon Dinner for cats.
- March 2013 (low thiamine levels) – This recall affected a single recipe, All Life Stages Cat Formula, in both 5lbs. and 18lbs. bags with “best by” dates in August 2013.
- May 2012 (potentially for salmonella) – The largest of the 4Health recalls, this one affected all brands of pet food with a “best before” date of Dec. 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.
While 4Health has only had 3 product recalls in its 10 years of history, they are not insignificant. The first happened in 2012 and affected all brands of 4Health pet food manufactured at the Diamond facility in Gaston, South Carolina due to potential salmonella contamination.
The most recent recall from 2017 hasn’t been widely reported – it was found in an FDA enforcement report originally filed for Simmons Food following consumer complaints about Doctors Foster and Smith food, made in the same facility.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|4Health Grain-Free Whitefish, Pea & Potato with Real Turkey Recipe||Dry||34||18||Whitefish, fish meal, dried ground peas, chicken fat, turkey meal|
|4Health Original Indoor Cat Formula for Adult Cats||Dry||32||14||Chicken, chicken meal, ground white rice, peas, cracked pearled barley|
|4Health Untamed Glacial Stream Recipe Salmon & Lentil Formula Dry Food||Dry||30||13||Salmon, ocean fish meal, lentils, chickpeas, peas|
|4Health Original Cat Adult Chicken Formula Wet Food||Wet||9||6||Chicken, chicken broth, liver, dried egg product, brewer’s rice|
|4Health Grain-Free Chicken & Whitefish Dinner for Cats||Wet||9||6.5||Chicken broth, chicken, poultry liver, whitefish, dried egg product|
This grain-free recipe features fresh whitefish as the primary ingredient, a whole source of animal protein. Fish meal, turkey meal, egg product, and fresh turkey provide supplemental sources of protein as well. While fish meal is certainly a concentrated source of protein, the fact that it doesn’t come from a named source like whitefish meal is concerning, especially considering it is the second ingredient.
As a grain-free recipe, this formula features dried ground peas as the primary carbohydrate. Peas are not necessarily a bad ingredient, but you have to remember they contain a significant concentration of protein. Combined with the fish meal, you can assume that a significant amount of this recipe’s protein comes from unnamed and plant sources.
There are, however, some other beneficial ingredients like dried carrots and cranberries, whole flaxseed, and probiotic supplements. The recipe also contains vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
Formulated to support the needs of indoor adult cats, this recipe contains plenty of animal protein as well as a rich blend of fibers for healthy digestion. It also contains a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat.
Chicken and chicken meal make up the first two ingredients which is a strong start – both of these are considered quality animal proteins. The next three ingredients are ground white rice, peas, and cracked pearled barley.
You’ll find salmon meal and ocean fish meal later in the list, but it’s safe to assume the carbohydrate content of this recipe is fairly high. Ground white rice is less nutritious than brown rice, though cracked pearled barley is a fairly healthy ingredient.
This formula also contains several fresh fruits and vegetables which provide natural sources for key nutrients along with probiotics for digestive support.
Part of the Untamed product lineup, this recipe is packed with real fish flavor from fresh salmon and ocean fish meal. Lentils, chickpeas, and peas makeup the next two ingredients, however, which is a little troublesome.
Not only are these ingredients likely a significant contribution to the protein content of the recipe, but they can be rough on your cat’s digestion. Fortunately, the recipe is supplemented with probiotics to help out with that.
This formula is supplemented with antioxidants and omega fatty acids for strong immunity as well as healthy skin and coat. Both canola oil and salmon oil are included to ensure a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, not to mention the natural fat from the fresh salmon.
This recipe also contains chelated minerals for improved nutrient absorption.
If your cat prefers wet food, this chicken formula could be a decent choice. With fresh chicken as the main ingredient and chicken broth to follow, this formula is rich in natural chicken flavor as well as protein and moisture. Liver provides a supplemental source of protein and essential nutrients, though it’s unclear where it comes from.
In addition to the protein, this recipe contains brewer’s rice, dried potatoes, barley, and peas. It’s a little strange to see so many carbohydrate ingredients in a wet food formula, though none of the ingredients themselves are particularly bad.
This formula also contains dried fruits to provide natural sources for key nutrients with chelated mineral supplements for optimal nutrient absorption.
Slightly more expensive than the previous recipe, this grain-free formula contains both chicken and whitefish as animal sources of protein. Fresh chicken comes in as the second ingredient, though it’s not uncommon for wet food to list a source of moisture first.
This formula doesn’t have any added carbohydrate ingredients which is certainly a benefit, and it still contains chelated minerals. It’s also better to see poultry liver than unnamed liver, but we still can’t say for sure where the liver comes from.
What Do Customers Think of 4Health Cat Food?
When it comes to customer reviews, the only place to see them is on the Tractor Supply Company website. The majority of products seem to carry near 5-star ratings with as many as 500 customer reviews. On average, the dry food products had higher ratings than the wet foods. The newly released Untamed produce line had the fewest reviews but still averaged over 4.5/5 stars.
How Much Does 4Health Cat Food Cost?
Compared to many premium-quality pet foods, 4Health is incredibly affordable. Bags of dry food range in size from 4 to 18 pounds, priced between $7.99 and $24.99. Wet food comes in 3.5-ounce tubs as well as 5.5-ounce and 13.2-ounce cans, ranging from $0.59 to $1.19 per can.
The price per pound or ounce varies depending what size you purchase – the larger sizes generally work out to be the most cost effective. For dry food, you’ll spend as little as $1.22 per pound and, wet food, up to $0.20 per ounce.
To give you a better idea how 4Health stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:
|Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Food||Dry||Low||X||$0.90/pound|
|Friskies Classic Pate Mixed Grill Canned Food||Wet||Low||$0.07/ounce||$1.16/pound|
|Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Dry Cat Food||Dry||Moderate||X||$2.53/pound|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||Moderate||$0.36/ounce||X|
|Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken||Dry||High||X||$3.45/pound|
|Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||High||$1.21/ounce||X|
Where Can You Buy 4Health Cat Food?
When choosing a cat food brand, it’s important to consider convenience. 4Health offers a wide variety of recipes at affordable prices, but your options to purchase it may be a little more limited than some brands.
Because 4Health is the in-house brand for Tractor Supply Co., you’ll have to shop through them to find the most variety. You can shop in-store or order online – simply visit the site to find a store near you. You may also be able to find some recipes online through Amazon or other pet food retailers.
Our Final Thoughts: Is 4Health a Good Brand?
It’s difficult to present a clear picture of quality for the 4Health brand as a whole simply because there isn’t a lot of information about it. Sold exclusively by Tractor Supply Company, there is a dedicated page about the brand – customers must rely on individual product descriptions and the information on the packaging.
The company suggests they use locally sourced ingredients, but no details are provided. The only solid claims 4Health makes is that their products are free from corn, wheat, and soy.
Generally speaking, 4Health seems to be one of the better store brands. It’s a good option if you’re looking for something of decent quality at an affordable price, though you may need to go to an actual Tractor Supply Co. store to find it.
If you’re looking for affordability AND the convenience of online ordering, however, you may want to look elsewhere.