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Canidae Cat Food Review17 min read

June 1, 2020 13 min read

Canidae Cat Food Review17 min read

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Reading Time: 13 minutes

When you think of high-quality pet food brands, Canidae probably comes to mind. This brand has a history of producing nutritious formulations made with wholesome, natural ingredients. They are also known for their extensive offering of limited ingredient diets.

Canidae believes it takes quality ingredients to make the best cat food. Every recipe they create is designed to nourish your cat’s health and wellness, whether you choose a limited ingredient diet or one of their All Life Stages formulas.

This brand is one we’ve always loved and trusted, but don’t just take our word for it. In this review you’ll learn the background about the Canidae brand and take a closer look at some of their recipes.

Read on to see what we think of the brand and to see our reviews for their top products.

The Canidae Cat Food Ratings1 min read
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
    Cons
      Variety of Recipes
      10/10
      Ingredient Quality
      10/10
      Price Per Pound
      8/10
      Recall History
      9/10
      Availability
      10/10
      Customer Reviews
      8/10

      How We Review Cat Food Brands

      Quality nutrition comes down to wholesome, natural ingredients. That’s what we look for when reviewing a cat food brand. We understand that your cat’s long-term health and wellness depends on the quality of his diet and we’d never recommend a brand that doesn’t support that.

      Cat food brands are a dime a dozen, so we know how tough it can be to choose one. We do our best to provide you the information and insight you need to make a smart choice.

      We recommend brands that feature high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient and the main inclusion in the recipe. Animal-based ingredients are essential for obligate carnivores like your cat, so we don’t favor formulas that have high carbohydrate content.

      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 brand’s availability.

      Overview of the Canidae Brand

      The Canidae pet food company has been independent and family-owned since 1996. Starting from humble beginnings, Canidae has always been committed to quality.

      This company uses only the best ingredients in their products, and they renewed their commitment to quality in 2012 by opening the Ethos Pet Nutrition facility in Brownwood, Texas. Here, Canidae researches and develops pet foods with safety and integrity as their top priorities.

      When it comes to their products, Canidae offers a wide variety for both dogs and cats.

      Canidae cat food is almost exclusively grain-free – the only exceptions are three of the All Life Stages dry food formulas which contain rice. All of the wet food formulas and dry foods in the PURE line of limited ingredient diets are grain-free.

      What Canidae is really known for is their limited ingredient recipes.

      Limited ingredient diets are important for cats with food allergies and sensitivities. Canidae makes it easy to adjust your cat’s diet by offering an assortment of single-source protein formulas made with fewer than 10 main ingredients.

      Overall, Canidae is a trustworthy brand committed to quality but they still keep in mind the customer’s desire for affordability with the Life Stages line of dry foods and Under the Sun canned foods.

      What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?

      The Canidae brand offers two primary categories of cat food: limited ingredient diets and life stages formulas. They also offer an affordable line of canned foods called Under the Sun and a line of raw-coated dry food called Ancestral Diet.

      Canidae offers twenty different canned food formulas and ten dry food recipes. Every recipe is vet-formulated to deliver optimal nutrition and made with wholesome, natural ingredients.

      Though Canidae only sells about twenty of their cat food recipes on Chewy, you can find the total lineup on their website and may have a greater selection in stores.

      Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:

      Dry Food Recipes

      RecipeProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Calories/Cup
      Grain Free PURE Ancestral Diet Raw Coated Dry Multi-Protein Formula with Real Turkey & Real Salmon391669504
      Grain Free PURE Ancestral Diet Raw Coated Dry Indoor Health Formula with Real Chicken381669497
      Grain Free PURE Ancestral Diet Raw Coated Dry Fish Formula with Salmon & Tuna40183.59523
      Grain Free PURE Elements Dry Formula with Real Chicken351839482
      Grain Free PURE Sea Dry Formula with Real Salmon321739480
      Grain Free PURE Ocean Indoor Dry Formula with Real Tuna361259435
      Grain Free PURE Stream Dry Formula with Real Trout321639470
      All Life Stages Dry Food Chicken, Turkey, Lamb & Fish Formula32202.59521
      All Life Stages Dry Food Chicken Meal & Rice Formula32202.59500
      All Life Stages Indoor Adult Cat Dry Food Turkey, Lamb & Fish Formula30.514.549477

       

      Wet Food Recipes

      RecipeProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Calories
      Adore with Tuna, Chicken, and Mackerel in Broth112184120 kcal/can
      (5.5 oz.)
      Adore with Tuna, Chicken, and Whitefish in Broth101.5185109 kcal/can
      (5.5 oz.)
      Adore with Sardine and Mackerel in Broth82186109 kcal/can
      (5.5 oz.)
      Adore with Chicken & Shrimp in Broth5.50.818788 kcal/can (5.5 oz.)
      Adore with Chicken and Carrots in Broth101.5183117 kcal/can
      (5.5 oz.)
      Adore with Salmon & Whitefish in Broth111.5183121 kcal/can
      (5.5 oz.)
      Grain-Free PURE Wild: Chaparral Canyon with Duck & Chicken104.51.58277 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Grain-Free PURE Wild: Rocky Creek with Trout104.51.58279 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Grain-Free PURE Adore Decadent Delight with Shrimp9.54.51.57893 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Grain-Free PURE Adore Catch Me If You Can with Crab9.54.51.57889 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Grain-Free PURE Adore Enchanted Evening with Roasted Quail in Sauce851.58282 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: A Fish Story Grain Free Wet Cat Food with Salmon8.55.51.57893 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: The Big Catch Grain-Free Flaked Cat Food with Tuna & Sardines12.5318280 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Duck & Cover Grain-Free Wet Cat Food with Turkey & Duck8.551.57892 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Hooked on You Grain-Free Wet Cat Food with Cod & Trout7.54.51.58274 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Rockin’ & Reelin’ Grain-Free Wet Cat Food with Whitefish & Salmon7.54.51.58274 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Ruffle My Feathers Grain-Free Flaked Cat Food with Turkey & Turkey Liver11418289 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Wingin’ It Grain-Free Shredded Cat Food with Chicken & Turkey9318275 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Wish Upon a Fish Grain-Free Wet Cat Food with Tuna8.55.51.57894 kcal/can (3 oz.)

      Product Recall History

      Pet food recalls happen when a problem is discovered with a product, either by the company itself or by the FDA through customer complaints. In many cases, product recalls are issued due to potential contamination, though they can also happen for formulation or labeling issues.

      Canidae puts a great deal of effort into ensuring the quality of their products, but even the best pet food companies sometimes have recalls. Brands that mass-produce their foods or outsource production tend to have more recalls than smaller brands that own their own facilities.

      Here is an overview of Canidae recalls:

      • May 2012 (potential salmonella contamination): This recall was issued for four varieties of Canidae dry dog food due to potential salmonella contamination.

      This recall only affected dog food products and it is worth noting that, at the time, Canidae pet foods were manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. Diamond manufactures food for a variety of brands and has been implicated in numerous recalls.

      In 2012, Canidae opened their Ethos Pet Nutrition facility in Brownwood, Texas. Now they own and operate their own manufacturing facility, but certain aspects of production may still be outsourced.

      Products Included in This Review

      NameTypeProtein %Fat %Top 5 Ingredients
      Grain Free PURE Elements Dry Formula with Real ChickenDry3518Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, peas
      All Life Stages Indoor Adult Cat Dry Food Turkey, Lamb & Fish FormulaDry30.514.5Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, peas
      Grain Free PURE Ancestral Diet Raw Coated Dry Multi-Protein Formula with Real Turkey & Real SalmonDry3816Turkey, salmon, lamb meal, chicken meal, turkey meal
      Adore Wet Cat Food with Salmon & Whitefish in BrothWet111.5Fish broth, salmon, tuna, whitefish, sweet potatoes
      Grain-Free PURE Wild: Rocky Creek with Trout Canned FoodWet104.5Trout, fish broth, vegetable broth, turkey liver, dried egg product

      Grain Free PURE Elements Dry Formula with Real Chicken

      Product Info:

      • Type of Food: Dry
      • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, potatoes, peas
      • Guaranteed Analysis: 35% Protein Min, 18% Fat Min, 3% Fiber Max, 9% Moisture Max
      • Calories per Cup: 482 kcal/cup
      • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $2.99/pound

      Ingredients:

      Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat, Lamb Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Salmon Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract. Contains A Source Of Live Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

      One of Canidae’s limited ingredient recipes, this Grain-Free PURE Elements with Real Chicken formula is packed with protein and free from grains and artificial additives.

      This formula contains just 8 main ingredients, starting with fresh chicken and chicken meal. These ingredients are supplemented with turkey meal, menhaden fish meal, and lamb meal. All of this protein is great, though it may pose an issue for cats sensitive to lamb or fish.

      Made with grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes and peas, this recipe is highly digestible. It also contains probiotic supplements, though it’s difficult to say whether these organisms really survive the cooking process to benefit your cat.

      This recipe contains chelated mineral supplements which help improve absorption, as well as vitamins necessary to ensure nutritional balance.

      All Life Stages Indoor Adult Cat Dry Food Turkey, Lamb & Fish Formula

      Product Info:

      • Type of Food: Dry
      • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, peas
      • Guaranteed Analysis: 30.5% Protein Min, 14.5% Fat Min, 4% Fiber Max, 9% Moisture Max
      • Calories per Cup: 477 kcal/cup
      • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $2.47/pound

      Ingredients:

      Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, White Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Peas, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Turkey Meal, Lamb Meal, Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Ocean Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Sun-cured Alfalfa Meal, Inulin (from Chicory Root), Lecithin, Sage Extract, Cranberries, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Sunflower Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Papaya, Pineapple.

      A little more affordable than the other two dry foods reviewed here, this All Life Stages Indoor Adult Cat Dry food features turkey, lamb, and fish as the main proteins. This is one of Canidae’s few grain-inclusive formulas and it is designed for multi-cat homes.

      This recipe starts with chicken meal as the first ingredient, followed by brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, peas, and millet. Even with all of these grains, however, the estimated carb content of the recipe is well under 10%.

      Supplemental protein comes in the form of turkey meal, lamb meal, egg, and ocean fish meal. These are all quality proteins but, again, cats with food allergies may not tolerate a multi-protein formula well.

      Grain Free PURE Ancestral Diet Raw Coated Dry Multi-Protein Formula with Real Turkey & Real Salmon

      Product Info:

      • Type of Food: Dry
      • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, salmon, lamb meal, chicken meal, turkey meal
      • Guaranteed Analysis: 38% Protein Min, 16% Fat Min, 6% Fiber Max, 9% Moisture Max
      • Calories per Cup: 504 kcal/cup
      • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $3.49/pound

      Ingredients:

      Turkey, Salmon, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Peas, Dried Egg, Duck Meal, Potatoes, Suncured Alfalfa, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Freeze-Dried Pheasant, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract.

      If you’re looking for a high-quality, high-protein diet for your cat and you’re not afraid to spend a little more, consider this Grain-Free PURE Ancestral Diet Raw Coated dry food from Canidae.

      This formula features premium animal proteins like fresh turkey and salmon as well as lamb meal, chicken meal, and turkey meal. In fact, these are the first five ingredients. The crude protein content of this recipe is a whopping 38%.

      In addition to being packed with protein, this recipe is grain-free. Peas and potatoes are the primary carbohydrates, though sun-cured alfalfa is included as well.

      What really makes this recipe different is the inclusion of freeze-dried raw pheasant. This ingredient is used to coat the kibble, boosting both flavor and nutrition.

      Adore Wet Cat Food with Salmon & Whitefish in Broth

      Product Info:

      Type of Food: Wet

      • First 5 Ingredients: Fish broth, salmon, tuna, whitefish, sweet potatoes
      • Guaranteed Analysis: 11% Protein Min, 1.5% Fat Min, 1% Fiber Max, 83% Moisture Max
      • Calories per Cup: 121 kcal/can (5.5 oz.)
      • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $0.42/ounce

      Ingredients:

      Fish Broth, Salmon, Tuna, Whitefish, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavor, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potato Starch, Guar Gum, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Reduced Iron, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide), Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Magnesium Sulfate, Beta-Carotene.

      For cats who prefer wet food, this Adore Wet Cat Food with Salmon and Whitefish in broth is an excellent choice. Real fresh fish make up three of the first four ingredients, the other being fish broth which provides moisture and flavor.

      This canned food recipe is naturally grain-free, made with digestible carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas. The estimated carb content of this formula is under 2%.

      Not only is this formula made with wholesome natural ingredients, but it seems to provide a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which is important for skin and coat health. You’ll also find taurine as an added ingredient which supports eye and heart health.

      Several of the mineral supplements in this recipe are chelated which helps improve absorption and there are only eight main ingredients aside from supplements.

      Grain-Free PURE Wild: Rocky Creek with Trout Canned Food

      Product Info:

      • Type of Food: Wet
      • First 5 Ingredients: Trout, fish broth, vegetable broth, turkey liver, dried egg product
      • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% Protein Min, 4.5% Fat Min, 1.5% Fiber Max, 82% Moisture Max
      • Calories per Cup: 79 kcal/can (3 oz.)
      • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $0.53/ounce

      Ingredients:

      Trout, Fish Broth, Vegetable Broth, Turkey Liver, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavors, Chicken, Agar-Agar, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Niacin, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.

      The PURE Wild line of canned foods from Canidae is formulated for high protein inclusions. This Rocky Creek with Trout recipe features real trout as the main ingredient, supplemented with turkey liver, dried egg product, and chicken.

      This recipe doesn’t contain any added carbohydrates which is a benefit. Agar-agar is used as a natural thickener and the remaining ingredients are vitamin and mineral supplements (some are chelated).

      Overall, this appears to be a protein-rich recipe and the majority of the fat comes from natural sources like the fish and chicken. We love that it’s devoid of added carbs and contains real animal protein. The only potential issue is the use of chicken which could irritate cats with food allergies.

      What Do Customers Think of Canidae Cat Food?

      We were surprised to see that several Canidae recipes received poor ratings on Chewy. Some of the canned food recipes and two of the raw-coated dry foods were rated under 3 stars. Most Canidae formulas are rated more highly, however, averaging 4 stars.

      Upon further review, it seems many of the negative reviews come from owners whose cats simply didn’t like the food. Cats are known for being picky eaters, so it isn’t surprising that some cats wouldn’t like it.

      Overall, it seems customers recognize the quality of Canidae as a brand and they don’t have complaints about the products themselves. Low ratings are primarily from people whose cats didn’t eat the food for whatever reason.

      How Much Does Canidae Cat Food Cost?

      When it comes to pricing for cat food, you’ll find that cost is often equated with quality. High-quality cat foods tend to cost more, though expensive cat foods aren’t always high in quality.

      The Canidae brand uses real animal protein as the foundation of every recipe and they don’t use low-quality fillers or grains like corn, wheat, and soy. The three dry food products we reviewed average between $2.50 and $3.50 per pound which puts this brand on the higher end of the price spectrum.

      Canidae’s canned foods range in price with the Under the Sun line being the most affordable.

      The two canned foods we reviewed above are priced at $0.42 and $0.53 per ounce. This puts them at the higher end of the price spectrum for pet food, but Canidae definitely isn’t the most expensive wet food out there. Under the Sun cat foods are priced around $0.39 per ounce, a little cheaper.

      To give you a better idea how Canidae stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:

      Brand/RecipeTypeQualityPrice/OuncePrice/Pound
      Meow Mix Original Choice Dry FoodDryLowX$0.90/pound
      Friskies Classic Pate Mixed Grill Canned FoodWetLow$0.07/ounce$1.16/pound
      Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Dry Cat FoodDryModerateX$2.53/pound
      Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Pate Recipe Canned Cat FoodWetModerate$0.36/ounceX
      Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real ChickenDryHighX$3.45/pound
      Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe Canned Cat FoodWetHigh$1.21/ounceX


      Where Can You Buy Canidae Cat Food?

      Canidae is a popular pet food brand, particularly among pet owners who are worried about food allergies and sensitivities. You can’t buy Canidae products directly on their website, but each page has a link to show you where you can buy it online or in stores. Canidae products are sold in big box pet stores like Petco and PetSmart as well as small and local stores. You can also shop online for Canidae pet food through Chewy.com and Amazon.

      Our Final Thoughts: Is Canidae a Good Brand?

      Overall, we’re very impressed with the Canidae brand.

      All of their products are packed with protein and free from low-quality ingredients. The price may be a little high for some cat owners, but Canidae is a great option if you’re looking for a limited ingredient diet. We don’t have anything bad to say about the brand!

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      Kate Barrington is avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines
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