American Journey Cat Food Review16 min read
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If you do any online shopping for pet products, you’re probably familiar with Chewy – you may even be a customer already. Whether you’re a Chewy customer or not, however, you’ve probably come across the American Journey brand.
Chewy’s in-house brand, American Journey provides a wide variety of affordable recipes for dogs and cats. Their products are made with real animal proteins and free from by-products and low-quality fillers like corn, wheat, and soy.
Read on to see what we think of the brand and to see our reviews for their top products.
- How We Review Cat Food Brands
- Overview of the American Journey Brand
- What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
- Product Recall History
- What Do Customers Think of American Journey Cat Food?
- How Much Does American Journey Cat Food Cost?
- Where Can You Buy American Journey Cat Food?
- Our Final Thoughts: Is American Journey a Good Brand?
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Every cat owner wants what’s best for their furry friend, and we’re here to help! We do our best to provide honest, accurate information about the top pet food brands on the market so you can choose the right one for your cat.
We want you to know that we would never recommend a product we wouldn’t purchase for our own cats.
The first thing we look for in cat food is a high-quality source of animal protein like poultry, meat, or fish.
Remember, cats are obligate carnivores by nature, which means they need a meat-based diet. Real animal protein should be the first ingredient in any cat food, though healthy animal-based fats are important as well. Cats also require certain vitamins and minerals.
Most pet food brands on the market meet the basic nutrient requirements for cats, but quality varies. In this review we’ll talk about how American Journey stacks up against the average brand.
Here are some of the 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
In addition to making sure any cat food brand we recommend is made with high-quality ingredients, we evaluate several other factors as well. We prefer brands that offer a wide variety of recipes and those that provide plenty of information about their ingredients and products. We also consider pricing and recalls as well as the availability of the brand as a whole.
Overview of the American Journey Brand
Pet owners who shop for pet products online are likely familiar with Chewy.com as well as American Journey, the in-house brand. This brand is designed for affordability but is still made with real animal protein as the first ingredient – it is also free from by-products and low-quality fillers.
The American Journey brand knows that every pet is unique, so they’ve developed a variety of formulas to meet every need. When it comes to cat food, this includes a selection of grain-free dry foods and a large assortment of wet food formulas.
American Journey focuses on nutrient-dense formulas packed with protein and other nutritious ingredients. All of their cat food products are grain-free, though they do offer some grain-inclusive recipes for dogs.
This brand manufactures their products in the United States, but their ingredients are not all U.S.-sourced. According to Chewy, American Journey uses “trusted pet food ingredients from around the world.” Unfortunately, we couldn’t find specific information about where these ingredients come from.
Overall, American Journey seems to be a trustworthy brand and it is definitely a good option for the price, especially with so many options to choose from.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
The American Journey brand offers a wide variety of wet food and dry food products for cats as well as an assortment of supplements and treats. Their products are divided into two product lines: the original American Journey lineup and the newer Landmark line.
American Journey only offers four different dry food recipes, all of which are grain free. Three of the four or labeled with a single protein, but all contain a secondary source. Though not a problem for most cats, it could be an issue for pet owners looking for a product for cats with food allergies.
The wet food from American Journey offers a much greater variety with a total of nearly 20 recipes split between the two product lines. You’ll find a number of different proteins including classics like chicken and beef as well as less common proteins like tuna, mackerel, and tilapia.
Product Recall History
The American Journey brand is still fairly new – much newer than many of the brands we’ve reviewed. Even so, product recalls are a reality in the pet food industry.
Pet food recalls happen when there’s a problem with a product and it needs to be removed from shelves. This can happen if there’s an issue with the formulation or labeling but is most common due to potential contamination with harmful substances like salmonella.
Having a product recall doesn’t necessarily mean a brand is bad, but it’s certainly a good thing if the brand hasn’t had any. American Journey does not have any product recalls to date.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food||Dry||40||15||Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, tapioca starch, dried egg|
|Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Dry Food||Dry||40||15||Deboned salmon, salmon meal, tapioca starch, menhaden fish meal, dried egg product|
|Minced Chicken Recipe in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Food||Wet||9||4||Chicken, chicken broth, turkey broth, chicken liver, dried egg white|
|Pate Salmon Recipe Grain-Free Canned Food||Wet||10||6||Salmon, chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, natural flavor|
|Landmark Mackerel & Tuna Recipe in Broth Grain-Free||Wet||12||2||Fish broth, mackerel, tuna, sunflower oil, potassium chloride|
When it comes to quality nutrition for cats, it’s all about the protein. This American Journey Turkey & Chicken recipe grain-free dry food has plenty of it from two nutritious animal sources.
This recipe features deboned turkey as the first ingredient, followed by turkey meal and chicken meal as concentrated sources of supplemental protein – you’ll also find eggs, fresh chicken, and menhaden fish meal on the list along with some pea protein.
This formula is grain-free, made with tapioca starch as the primary carbohydrate with peas as the second. You’ll also find flaxseed which provides some supplementary fiber as well as omega-3s.
We’re glad to see fresh fruits and vegetables included in this recipe as well because they provide natural sources for key nutrients. The only trouble is they are listed after salt in the ingredient list which suggests that each of these ingredients makes up less than 1% the total volume.
Overall, however, this recipe provides a rich source of animal protein with digestible carbohydrates, healthy fat, and only a moderate amount of animal protein.
With a similar nutritional profile to the previous recipe, this American Journey Salmon recipe grain-free dry food features fresh salmon and salmon meal as the top two ingredients. Menhaden fish meal provides a supplemental source of concentrated protein.
Like most American Journey dry foods, you’ll see pea protein included in the list as well. Plant proteins are much less biologically valuable for cats than animal proteins, but this ingredient appears further down the list than any of the animal proteins.
This grain-free recipe features tapioca starch and peas as the main carbohydrates with flaxseed and pea fiber for digestive support. You’ll also see an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, though they are likely included in very small amounts.
American Journey dry foods offer balanced nutrition, but they make significant use of synthetic supplements – this is common among cheap and moderately priced pet foods. It’s a benefit, however, to see that the mineral supplements are chelated which helps improve absorption.
One of American Journey’s many wet food formulas, this recipe features fresh chicken in a flavorful poultry broth. Chicken is the only source of protein aside from eggs, though there is a little bit of turkey broth (which is unlikely to trigger food allergies or intolerance).
Not only is this a grain-free recipe like all American Journey cat foods, but it only contains a single carbohydrate ingredient aside from a little guar gum for thickening and flaxseed for fiber and omega-3s.
The primary sources of fat in this recipe are sunflower oil and fish oil. Plant oils are less biologically valuable than animal-based fats, and fish oil doesn’t come from a named source. It’s also a little strange that these two ingredients appear after salt, which suggests a concentration under 1%.
Generally speaking, however, this seems to be a protein-rich formula and the estimated carbohydrate content is under 3% which is very good.
For cats who prefer the pate texture for wet food, this salmon recipe from American Journey is a nutritious option. Featuring fresh salmon as the main ingredient, this recipe has supplemental protein as well from chicken and chicken liver.
This wet food formula is naturally grain free and doesn’t contain any added carbohydrates like the previous recipe, aside from small amounts of flaxseed and gums for thickener. You’ll also find fresh cranberries and blueberries but, again, at a perceivably low concentration.
If you’re looking for a cat food with high protein and low carb content, this is a great option. Just keep in mind that it does contain chicken ingredients, so it may not be the best choice for cats with food allergies or intolerance to common proteins.
The list of synthetic supplements seems to be a little shorter int his recipe and the minerals are still chelated. There are, however, no probiotics added, though it’s difficult to say whether these supplements actually survive the cooking process in pet foods.
The Landmark line of products from American Journey is priced a little higher than other products because these recipes are made with 95% protein and real broth. Like other recipes, they are free from grains like corn, wheat, and soy.
This Landmark Mackerel & Tuna Recipe features just four main ingredients: fish broth, mackerel, tuna, and sunflower oil. The remaining ingredients are supplements, including chelated minerals.
We like to see a cat food that doesn’t contain a long list of ingredients, but it doesn’t look like this formula has any significant natural sources of key nutrients. There aren’t even any fish meals which incorporate bone as a natural source of calcium and phosphorus.
If you’re looking for a protein-rich recipe free from added carbohydrates but still affordable, this Landmark recipe could be a good choice. Just know the main source of fat is plant-based and many of the nutrients are synthetically added.
What Do Customers Think of American Journey Cat Food?
For the most part, American Journey is a popular brand, especially among pet owners who primarily shop online. Because Chewy is one of the biggest online pet retailers, it makes sense that they’d create their own brand – especially considering they already have a large customer base.
Not only does American Journey offer a wide variety of product choices, but their recipes seem to be made with quality ingredients. Most products carry a 4-star rating or higher and many have several hundred reviews. Customers are pleased with the price point and their pets seem to like the products.
How Much Does American Journey Cat Food Cost?
Because American Journey is manufactured by Chewy, one of the largest online retailers for pet products, the company has a great deal of control over pricing. These products are designed for affordability and quality, making them comparable to other major brands on the market.
American Journey dry cat food costs between $2.00 and $2.50 per pound which puts it in a similar price range to brands like Blue Buffalo. Wet food products range from about $0.30 to $0.50 per ounce which, again, is on par with other similar brands.
To give you a better idea how American Journey 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 American Journey Cat Food?
The best place to buy American Journey pet food is online at Chewy.com. The brand is manufactured and sold exclusively by Chewy. You may also be able to find the products at PetSmart as well, considering PetSmart purchased Chewy in 2017 and moved the majority of their online business to Chewy in 2019. While it’s easy to find American Journey online, you probably won’t see it in stores.
Our Final Thoughts: Is American Journey a Good Brand?
Generally speaking, the American Journey brand offers higher quality than many so-called “affordable” pet foods. This brand uses real animal protein as the foundation of all their recipes and they don’t use low-quality fillers and grains like corn, wheat, and soy.
That being said, there are several areas in which it is evident that American Journey is prioritizing price over quality.
Many of the added fats come from plant-based sources or unnamed fish oils, and most recipes contain a long list of synthetic supplements.
If you’re simply looking for a protein-rich recipe for your cat at an affordable price point and you aren’t looking for a single-source protein recipe, American Journey can be a good choice.