Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food Review17 min read
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Some things are good for the body and others are good for the soul. When it comes to pet products, the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand is both.
This brand offers a variety of cat and dog food products made with wholesome, natural ingredients and formulated for balanced nutrition and optimal health.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is “where healthy begins” and the company seeks to celebrate everything pets add to our lives by making food that enriches theirs.
If you’re looking for an affordable brand of cat food with both wet and dry food options, this may be a brand to consider.
Read on to see what we think of the Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food brand and to see our reviews for their top products.
You want what’s best for your cat but sometimes it isn’t easy to know what that is. There are hundreds, even thousands, of cat food recipes to choose from and product labels can be difficult to decipher.
Luckily for you, we’ve tested all the major brands on the market to tell you what you need to know.
- How We Review Cat Food Brands
- Overview of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Brand
- What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
- Product Recall History
- What Do Customers Think of Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food?
- How Much Does Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food Cost?
- Where Can You Buy Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food?
- Our Final Thoughts: Is Chicken Soup for the Soul a Good Brand?
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Before we get into the details about Chicken Soup for the Soul, we want to tell you why you can trust our reviews and recommendations. Simply put, we understand the nutritional requirements of cats and how the information on a pet food product correlates.
We’d never recommend a product we wouldn’t be perfectly confident feeding our own cats.
Cats are obligate carnivores which means they have a biological requirement for meat in their diets.
They simply can’t digest plant products as well, so animal products should make up the majority of the diet. The first ingredient should always be a source of animal protein, not carbohydrate.
When it comes to carbohydrates, whole grains and fresh produce are nutritious options but shouldn’t dominate the recipe.
Natural, whole-food ingredients are best, and your cat’s diet should be complete and balanced with the help of vitamin and mineral supplements.
We avoid recipes that contain low-quality fillers and by-products as well as artificial additives.
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
Not only do we want to make sure that any cat food brand we recommend is made with high-quality ingredients, but we also look for brands that offer a wide variety of recipes and 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. Read on to see what we think of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
Overview of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Brand
You’re probably familiar with Chicken Soup for the Soul as a collection of personal stories organized around a particular theme.
These stories are intended to warm the heart and soul, just like Chicken Soup for the Soul’s pet food. The brand got its start in 1993 thanks to Jack Canfield and Mark Victor.
This brand began over 15 years ago with the goal of making it easy for pet owners to bring home “simple, delicious, healthy food made from high-quality ingredients.”
Chicken Soup for the Soul believes that every pet deserves the benefit of premium nutrition and they seek to make it an easier option.
At Chicken Soup for the Soul, everything is done with a single purpose: to fill your home with inspiration and joy. Your cat has the power to do that, and this brand has the power to help them live their best life.
Chicken Soup for the Soul uses real animal proteins and other wholesome ingredients to produce complete and balanced meals for cats.
They offer a selection of dry food and wet food products made without by-product meals and free from corn, wheat, and soy. Choose from adult cat or kitten recipes as well as a variety of grain-free options for all life stages.
We always recommend doing your own research about a brand, but when it comes to cat food, we would rate Chicken Soup for the Soul above average.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
Chicken Soup for the Soul offers two cat food product lines: Classic and Grain-Free. Both product lines include an assortment of dry food and wet food options.
The Classic line includes five dry food recipes and four canned foods.
You’ll find recipes for kittens and mature cats with a greater selection of products for adult cats. The Grain-Free line includes two dry food and eight canned foods, all of which are formulated for cats in all life stages.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Classic Chicken, Brown Rice & Pea Kitten Recipe Dry Food||36||20||4||10||396|
|Classic Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Recipe Dry Food||34||18||4||10||397|
|Classic Salmon & Brown Rice Adult Recipe Dry Food||34||18||4||10||401|
|Classic Chicken & Brown Rice Indoor Adult Recipe||32||13||7||10||358|
|Classic Chicken & Brown Rice Weight & Mature Care Recipe||34||8||8||10||325|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Legumes||32||15||4.5||10||380|
|Grain-Free Salmon & Legumes||32||15||4.5||10||371|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Can|
|Classic Ocean Fish, Chicken & Turkey Pate Weight & Mature Care Canned Food||9||3||2.5||78||146 (5.5oz.)|
|Classic Chicken & Turkey Pate Kitten Canned Food||11||6||1||78||208 (5.5oz.)|
|Classic Chicken & Turkey Pate Adult Canned Food||10||5.5||1||78||194 (5.5oz.)|
|Classic Chicken & Salmon Pate Indoor Canned Food||10||5.5||3||78||191 (5.5oz.)|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Pate Canned Food||10.5||8||1||78||201 (5.5oz.)|
|Grain-Free Salmon Pate Recipe Canned Food||10.5||8||1||78||180 (5.5oz.)|
|Grain-Free Salmon & Chicken Recipe Cuts in Gravy Canned Food||9||2||1||82||77 (3oz.)|
|Grain-Free Salmon, Red Potato & Spinach Pate Canned Food||11||5||1||78||93 (3oz.)|
|Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Spinach Pate Canned Food||11.5||8||1||78||108 (5.5oz.)|
|Grain-Free Beef, Carrot & Red Potato Pate Canned Food||11||5||1||78||108 (5.5oz.)|
|Grain-Free Beef, Red Potato & Carrot Recipe Minced in Gravy||10||3||0.5||82||78 (3oz.)|
|Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Spinach Recipe Minced in Gravy||10||4.5||0.5||82||77 (3oz.)|
Product Recall History
Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the country. They also manufacture products for Taste of the Wild, Diamond Naturals, and Premium Edge.
Though many Diamond products are manufactured overseas, Chicken Soup for the Soul is made in the United States (according to the brand’s website).
Product recalls happen when there’s an issue with the product or packaging. It sometimes happens when there’s concern about contamination, or it can be for something as simple as a labeling issue.
Here’s an overview of the recalls affecting the Chicken Soup for the Soul Brand:
- April 2007 (potential melamine contamination) – The FDA issued a recall of Menu Foods products which, at the time, included two Chicken Soup for the Soul formulas – a kitten food recipe and a puppy food recipe.
- May 2012 (potential salmonella contamination) – Diamond Pet foods issued a recall for all Chicken Soup for the Soul products due to suspected salmonella contamination.
As you can see, there are only two recalls for the brand. It’s worth noting, however, that one of these recalls was very significant – it affected all of the brand’s products. Fortunately, Chicken Soup for the Soul hasn’t had a recall in the last 8 years (as of June 2020).
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Classic Chicken, Brown Rice & Pea Kitten Recipe Dry Food||Dry||36||20||Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, cracked pearled barley|
|Classic Chicken & Turkey Pate Adult Canned Food||Wet||10||5.5||Chicken, chicken liver, chicken broth, turkey broth, salmon|
|Classic Chicken & Brown Rice Indoor Adult Recipe||Dry||32||13||Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, peas|
|Grain-Free Salmon Pate Recipe Canned Food||Wet||10.5||8||Salmon, turkey liver, salmon broth, chickpeas, peas|
|Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Spinach Recipe Minced in Gravy||Wet||10||4.5||Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, dried egg product, potato starch|
Formulated to deliver the balanced nutrition growing kittens need, this recipe is packed with a protein-rich blend of turkey, duck, and salmon.
This recipe starts off strong with fresh chicken as the first ingredient, followed immediately by both chicken meal and turkey meal.
You’ll also find supplementary proteins like menhaden fish meal and fresh turkey, duck, and salmon later in the list.
Brown rice and cracked pearled barley provide nutritious sources of carbohydrate without overwhelming the animal proteins. You’ll also find fresh fruits and vegetables included to provide natural sources of key nutrients.
This recipe is supplemented with chelated minerals which helps improve absorption as well as probiotic supplements for improved digestion. It’s hard to say, however, whether added probiotics survive the cooking process in pet foods.
Overall, this seems to be a nutritious recipe for kittens.
Wet cat food is often higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates than traditional kibble, which certainly seems to be true for this Classic pate recipe.
With chicken as the first ingredient followed by chicken liver, two broths, and three supplemental sources of protein, the estimated carbohydrate content of this recipe is only about 2%.
Not only is this recipe packed with premium animal protein, but the limited carbohydrate ingredients are very nutritious. Whole-grain brown rice and oatmeal are digestible for most cats and you’ll also find fresh carrots, peas, apples, and cranberries which provide natural sources for key nutrients.
This recipe is supplemented as needed for nutritional balance, but we’re glad to see some of the minerals are chelated for improved absorption.
Similar to the kitten formula dry food, this indoor recipe starts with fresh chicken and is followed by chicken meal, turkey meal, and brown rice. You’ll also find supplementary proteins including fresh turkey, duck, and salmon as well as eggs.
This formula seems to be a little lower in fat and higher in fiber, which is pretty common in formulas designed for indoor cats – these recipes are often lower in calories and higher in fiber to reduce hairballs and support healthy weight maintenance.
Powdered cellulose provides added fiber to this diet, on top of what’s already provided by the grains, peas, and fava beans.
The total fiber content is 7% which many nutrition experts would venture to say is much too high for cats. Even dogs don’t require more than 5% and their bodies are somewhat better able to digest plant products.
Generally speaking, this recipe seems to be high in animal protein, but the estimated carbohydrate content is still around 30%. We also don’t think 7% fiber is necessary for most cats.
Chicken Soup for the Soul offers a larger variety of grain-free wet foods than traditional wet foods. This pate recipe features fresh salmon as the primary ingredient but also contains turkey liver, so it isn’t a single-protein recipe.
It may still be a good option for cats with allergies, however, since turkey is not one of the most common cat food allergens.
This formula contains chickpeas and peas as the only carbohydrate ingredients, aside from some carb content in the flaxseed which is primarily used to balance the omega-6 content of the sunflower oil with omega-3 fatty acids. It would be better to see animal-based fats, but it isn’t a big problem.
Overall, this recipe has an estimated carbohydrate content under 3% and it contains the necessary supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
This wet food recipe is cooked in a flavorful gravy and features chicken as a single source of protein. Chicken broth is technically the first ingredient, but it’s fairly common for wet foods to list the source of moisture first.
Fresh chicken and chicken liver follow it immediately.
This recipe contains potato starch, sweet potatoes, and spinach as the only added carbohydrates aside from the flaxseed, and we generally like these ingredients a little better than legumes when it comes to grain-free carbohydrates.
The estimated carbohydrate content of this recipe is well under 5%.
What Do Customers Think of Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food?
Chicken Soup for the Soul isn’t one of the most popular brands on the market, though most products in the Classic lineup have somewhere between 70 and 150 customer reviews.
The Grain-Free line is newer and less tested. These products have lower ratings but generally have fewer than 10 reviews as well.
Generally speaking, the Chicken Soup for the Soul products that have a significant number of reviews are well-received, averaging about 4 out of 5 stars.
Customers like the quality of the ingredients and the price, though some cats simply wouldn’t eat it. That seems to be fairly common no matter what brand we’re talking about, however. Cats can be picky.
How Much Does Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food Cost?
Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food is moderately priced, but it still isn’t what most cat owners would consider cheap.
The Classic line of dry foods costs about $2.44 per pound. Though we couldn’t find a price for the grain-free dry foods, we assume it is at least somewhat higher.
In terms of wet food, the brand is more affordable than the average brand. We found it interesting that the larger (5.5-ounce) cans of classic wet food and grain-free food were priced similarly around $0.29/ounce while the 3-ounce cans were significantly more expensive at $0.43/ounce.
To give you a better idea how Chicken Soup for the Soul 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 Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food?
When it comes to in-store shopping, this brand is sold at many regional and local pet stores as well as smaller pet supply stores and some feed stores.
You won’t, however, find Chicken Soup for the Soul at big box stores or national chains like Petco or Petsmart online but you may find it in-store, depending on the area.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Chicken Soup for the Soul a Good Brand?
Overall, we’re very pleased with the quality of Chicken Soup for the Soul – both their dry food and wet food options.
We have no major concerns and we find the prices to be reasonable as well. Some of the Classic dry foods are a little higher in carbohydrates than we’d like, but that is to be expected with an affordably priced brand like this.
If you’re in the market for protein-rich cat food made with wholesome, natural ingredients, we can happily recommend Chicken Soup for the Soul.