Crave Cat Food Review16 min read
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The pet food industry is huge, and it seems to grow each and every year.
It is never surprising, then, when big companies come out with their own brands. Mars Petcare, the largest manufacturer in the United States, is behind the Crave cat food brand.
Crave cat food is marketed as high-protein cat food made with real animal protein. Every recipe is free from by-product meals as well as corn, wheat, and soy.
This brand formulates their recipes with your cat’s natural needs and desires in mind, delivering the nutrients he needs for strength and energy.
Read on to see what we think of the Crave brand and to see our reviews for their top products.
How We Review Cat Food Brands
You wouldn’t want to feed your cat something that isn’t good for him, would you? Neither would we!
We’re dedicated to providing you with the information you need to make smart and healthy choices for your cat – that includes the cat food brands we recommend.
All of our recommendations are based on the nutritional requirements of cats. After all, quality nutrition is the key to long-term health and wellness.
Remember, cats are obligate carnivores which means they have a biological need for a high-protein diet.
Most of that protein should come from animal-based sources, so look for real meat, poultry, or fish as the first ingredient. The best food for cats is high in protein with moderate fat content and low in carbs.
Your cat’s food should be made with wholesome, natural ingredients and not loaded with low-quality fillers (like corn, wheat, and soy) or artificial additives. You should expect some synthetic supplements for vitamins and minerals but avoid anything with an ingredients list a mile long.
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 check several other factors as well.
We tend to prefer brands that offer a wide variety of recipes and brands that are open in providing 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 Crave Brand
The Crave brand is manufactured by Mars Petcare, the largest pet food company worldwide. Crave was started in 2017, so it is still a fairly new brand.
Mars created the brand to provide pet owners with easy access to higher quality pet food, particularly high-protein pet food.
In the frequently asked questions section of the website, Crave is described as “a specialty product that is broadly available, giving consumers a convenient and seamless shopping experience.”
Not only can you find Crave online at major pet retailers like Chewy, but also in pet stores and big box stores like Target, Walmart, and more.
What makes Crave unique from other cat food brands is the emphasis on high protein levels, particularly animal protein. Crave cat food is designed to “cater to your pet’s instinctual desires,” so every recipe is made with high-quality animal protein and free from grains – much like the diets of their wolf and wildcat ancestors.
Crave cat food comes in both dry food and wet food formulas, though there are more options in wet food.
Another point that makes Crave unique is that they package their wet food in trays rather than cans. These trays come in twin-packs to make feeding quick and easy.
The brand’s claims of high protein levels and quality ingredients seems to hold true, though no cat food brand is perfect.
Read on to see detailed reviews of popular Crave cat food products.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
Crave offers both dry food and wet food products for cats. Their wet food selection is more extensive than their dry food offerings and these recipes are packages in twin-pack trays rather than cans.
When it comes to dry food, Crave offers five different recipes made with premium proteins like turkey, chicken, salmon, and duck. Most of their dry food recipes seem to be made with multiple proteins – even the recipe that only includes chicken in the name.
Crave’s wet food offerings feature similar protein choices, though there are more options. Choose from 15 different wet food products (10 flavors in total), sold in twin-packs, multi-packs, and variety packs with each portion measuring 1.3 ounces.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular Crave cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Crave with Protein from Turkey, Chicken, and Duck||40||18||4||10||424|
|Crave Kitten with Protein from Chicken||41||18||3||10||479|
|Crave Indoor with Protein from Chicken & Salmon||40||16||6||10||379|
|Crave with Protein from Chicken||40||18||4||10||402|
|Crave with Protein from Salmon & Ocean Fish||40||18||4||10||401|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Serving (1.3 oz)|
|Crave Chicken Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9||3.5||1||82||29|
|Crave Turkey Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9||4.5||1||82||32|
|Crave Chicken and Beef Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9.5||4||1||82||31|
|Crave Turkey and Duck Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9||4.5||1||82||32|
|Crave Salmon & Trout Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9.5||3||1||82||27|
|Crave Turkey Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9||4.5||1||82||32|
|Crave Salmon Recipe Cuts in Gravy||9.5||3||1||82||27|
|Crave Salmon Pate||12||5||1||78||39|
|Crave Chicken Pate||12||6.5||1||78||45|
|Crave Salmon & Trout Pate||12||6||1||78||42|
|Crave Turkey Pate||12||7||1||78||49|
|Crave Chicken & Beef Pate||12||6.5||1||78||45|
|Crave Turkey & Duck Pate||12||7||1||78||49|
Product Recall History
Crave is a brand created and manufactured by Mars Petcare, the largest company in the pet food industry. We often find that the companies who manufacture their products in the greatest quantity (and those who outsource production) tend to have more recalls than those who own their own facilities.
Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to be an issue with Crave – there have been no recalls.
The Crave brand was only created in 2017, so it isn’t too surprising that there haven’t been any recalls. It’s also important to remember that the number of recalls a brand has isn’t necessarily an indication of quality.
Mars Petcare as a whole has their fair share of recalls, though many of the brands they produce are of high quality. When it comes to choosing a cat food, you really need to do your research.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Crave Kitten with Protein from Chicken Dry Food||Dry||41||18||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, chicken fat, split peas|
|Crave with Protein from Chicken||Dry||40||18||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, split peas, chicken fat|
|Crave Indoor with Protein from Chicken & Salmon||Dry||40||16||Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, split peas, chicken fat|
|Crave Turkey Pate||Wet||12||7||Turkey, chicken liver, pork broth, turkey broth, chicken heart|
|Crave Salmon Recipe Cuts in Gravy||Wet||9.5||3||Chicken broth, salmon, chicken liver, chicken, pork plasma|
Specially formulated for kittens up to 12 months old, Crave describes this recipe as protein-rich and full of meaty flavor. It contains the essential nutrients your kitten needs to support strong muscles, regular digestion, and a healthy immune system.
Upon reviewing the ingredients list, we were pleased to see chicken as the first ingredient followed by chicken meal. This recipe also contains fish meal for supplemental protein.
Though this is clearly a high-protein recipe, it is somewhat deceiving because pea protein is the third ingredient – a plant-based protein. It’s difficult to say how much of the 41% crude protein content comes from this ingredient but it is notable that potato protein is included later in the list.
Chicken fat provides a nutritious source of essential fatty acids for your kitten and there are no low-quality grains like corn, wheat, and soy. Peas aren’t our favorite carbohydrate for pets, but they are grain-free as promised and they don’t come into play until the fifth ingredient.
Overall, this seems to be a decent cat food recipe, though we’re not sure it’s worth a price over $3.00 when plant protein is one of the top three ingredients.
Reading the ingredient list for this recipe, we noticed more than a few similarities with the previous recipe for kittens.
In fact, the first five ingredients are identical except that the split peas and chicken fat have swapped positions. The crude protein content of this recipe is 1% lower as well (40%).
Though this recipe seems slightly lower in protein and a little higher in fiber, there are very few differences otherwise. Both recipes contain chelated mineral supplements and added vitamins to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
We estimate the carbohydrate content of this recipe to be around 20% which is about the same as the kitten recipe. This isn’t bad for a commercial dry cat food, but it is still higher than we’d like.
If you’re concerned about the carb content of your cat’s diet, we recommend a high-quality canned food.
Much like the recipe above, this recipe starts off with chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients, followed by pea protein. In fact, the first six ingredients are identical and in the same order.
Where these two recipes start to differ is primarily in the order of the remaining ingredients, as most of them are the same. This formula lists dried beet pulp and potato protein before the supplemental source of protein whereas the previous recipe lists them after.
One benefit this recipe has versus the very similar recipe reviewed above is that the supplemental protein comes from salmon meal rather than unnamed “fish meal.” It’s always our preference to see named ingredients rather than generics like animal fat or fish meal.
Crave wet cat food comes in twin-packs, each with a 1.3-ounce serving of wet food. This recipe features real turkey as the number-1 ingredient and it comes in the traditional pate form, so it isn’t surprising that the moisture content is a little lower than the recipe below which is in gravy.
This formula lists fresh turkey as the first ingredient, followed by chicken liver with chicken heart as a supplemental source of protein.
There are no plant proteins listed which is a benefit and no added carbohydrate with the exception of some tapioca starch which is listed 15th.
Though this recipe is certainly packed with protein, it does contain a few ingredients that could be of higher quality. Fish oil is not preferable to a named source of animal-based fat like chicken fat or salmon oil.
There is also some debate regarding the safety of carrageenan as a thickener in pet foods.
This wet food formula features fresh salmon cooked in a flavorful chicken gravy.
Like the recipe above, it is important to note that while only one protein is listed in the name of the product, this is not a single-protein recipe. Cats who are sensitive to chicken may react to both recipes.
In addition to fresh chicken, this recipe gets additional protein and a healthy dose of nutrients from chicken liver and chicken heart.
You’ll also see pork plasma on the list for both recipes – it is typically used as a natural source of essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals.
This formula also contains tapioca starch like the previous one, but it appears a little higher on the list. The estimated carb content of this recipe is under 2% while the previous had negligible carb content.
What Do Customers Think of Crave Cat Food?
Crave is a fairly popular brand online, especially at Chewy.com. Many recipes have over 100 customer reviews with ratings around 4.5 out of 5 stars.
This brand also received DogFoodAdvisor’s highest rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Most customers are pleased with the products, though there are some comments that it isn’t worth the price or that some cats simply won’t eat it.
How Much Does Crave Cat Food Cost?
The Crave brand is marketed as high-protein cat food and one of its key benefits is being widely available in a variety of stores. That being said, Crave is not one of the cheapest brands out there, despite being sold at big box stores like Walmart and Target.
Crave dry food costs about $3.29 per pound which puts it on the same price level as some of our top-rated brands like Instinct by Nature’s Variety.
Wet food costs about $0.46 per ounce which, again, is on par with high-quality cat food brands. It may have more to do with the packaging than the quality.
To give you a better idea how Crave 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 Crave Cat Food?
The Crave brand of cat food is very easy to find, both online and in-store. This brand is available at major pet food chains like Petco and PetSmart as well as big box stores like Walmart.
You may also be able to find Crave at local and regional chains, though it will depend where you live. Online, Crave products are available at Chewy.com and on Amazon. You may also be able to shop online through other pet stores.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Crave a Good Brand?
Overall, we don’t have many major issues with the Crave cat food brand, though we’re not sure it’s worth the price.
We love the focus on high-quality animal proteins, but many recipes also contain generic ingredients like fish meal and fish oil.
We also hate to see the inclusion of plant-based proteins, especially as a primary ingredient.
If you’re looking for a high-protein cat food that is easy to find, Crave could certainly be a good choice. The carb content is much lower than the average kibble and the quality of the animal proteins seems to be high.
We would also hazard a guess, however, that you could find a slightly better product for a similar price point (or even less).