Health Extension Cat Food Review16 min read
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The best cat food is one that doesn’t just satisfy your cat’s hunger but actually fulfills his nutritional needs and supports his health. Health Extension cat food is formulated to provide balanced nutrition through the use of wholesome, natural ingredients.
This family-owned company produces all their food here in the United States using responsibly sourced ingredients, cooking them in small batches.
If you’re looking for an affordable brand of cat food that offers a decent selection with options for both dry and wet food, consider Health Extension.
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 Health Extension Brand
- What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
- Product Recall History
- What Do Customers Think of Health Extension Cat Food?
- How Much Does Health Extension Cat Food Cost?
- Where Can You Buy Health Extension Cat Food?
- Our Final Thoughts: Is Health Extension a Good Brand?
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Before you take our recommendations, we think you should know how we make them. We’d never recommend to you something we wouldn’t feel confident feeding our own cats. We take into account the nutritional requirements of cats when evaluating any brand or specific product.
The most important thing to remember is that cats are obligate carnivores. They are biologically designed to derive nutrition from meat rather than plants. A diet that doesn’t contain enough protein from animal sources won’t provide optimal nutrition for your cat – it’s really that simple.
When evaluating cat foods, we look for a real source of animal protein as the first ingredient, ideally two of the top three ingredients. We want to make sure the food we recommend isn’t too high in carbohydrates and that it contains natural sources for key nutrients, not just supplements.
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 Health Extension Brand
Health Extension may not be a brand you’ve heard of but it’s definitely one to consider. This brand is a third-generation, family-owned company that produces their food right here in the USA.
The brand is committed to quality, preparing their food in small batches at lower temperatures to ensure safety, digestibility, and optimal nutrition. Plus, they’ve never had a recall.
Not only does Health Extension pride themselves in the quality and safety of their products, but they make every effort to make it taste good too. They offer a satisfaction guarantee, even for picky eaters.
The Health Extension brand uses USDA inspected fresh meats and handpicked non-GMO fruits and veggies that are responsibly sourced. Nothing is ever sourced from China. In fact, they offer an interactive chart on their website that enables you to see where certain ingredients come from.
Of their products, Health Extension says:
When you serve Health Extension canned food to your furry friends, you’ll feel good knowing they’re getting high quality protein in every delectable bite. Made with real meat, poultry or fish as the first ingredient, these recipes are bursting with flavor your cat will adore.”
In terms of their product selection, Health Extension offers dry food, wet food, and treats for cats. They currently only have a total of 15 cat food products and a limited assortment of treats. Health Extension offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes for dry and wet food.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
Health Extension offers a wide variety of pet food products for both dogs and cats. Their dog food selection is a little larger, particularly in dry food, but there are still over a dozen to choose from.
When it comes to their cat food products, Health Extension offers two dry foods and thirteen wet food options. Most of their products are grain free, though they do offer a single grain-inclusive dry food and wet food option. Every recipe starts with a real source of animal protein.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Grain-Free Turkey & Salmon Recipe||33.5||17||6||10||425|
|Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe||36||16||6||10||422|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories (kcal/can)|
|Grain-Free Chicken in a Gravy Recipe Canned Food||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed||99|
|Grain-Free Chicken Pate Recipe Canned Food||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed||58|
|Grain-Free Beef & Salmon Recipe Canned Food||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed||Not Listed||106|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe Canned Food||10||2||1||84||108|
|Grain-Free Tilapia & Tuna Recipe Canned Food||10||2||1||84||108|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Tuna Recipe Canned Food||10||2||1||84||110|
|Grain-Free Tuna & Prawns Recipe Canned Food||10||2||1||84||75|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Salmon Recipe Canned Food||10||2||1||84||108|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Duck Recipe Canned Food||10||2||1||84||108|
|Grain-Free Real Beef Entree Canned Food||10||6||1.5||78||242|
|Grain-Free Real Turkey Entree Canned Food||10||6||1.5||78||215|
|Grain-Free Real Chicken Entree Canned Food||10||6||1.5||78||204|
|Turkey & Chicken Entree||10||6||1.5||78||204|
Product Recall History
Though Health Extension isn’t one of the biggest brands in the pet food industry, they take their job seriously. This brand strives to ensure quality and safety with every product, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the brand hasn’t had a single recall.
Health Extension is a third-generation family-owned company that creates their food in small batches right here in the USA.
Just because a pet food company doesn’t have a recall doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Product recalls can happen for a variety of reasons including labeling errors, formulation issues, and contamination with food-borne pathogens.
Some recalls are understandably more serious than others, but it can only be considered a good thing when a company hasn’t had any.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Grain-Free Turkey & Salmon Recipe||Dry||33.5||17||Deboned turkey, deboned salmon, salmon meal, chicken meal, chickpeas|
|Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe||Dry||36||16||Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, dried egg product|
|Grain-Free Real Chicken Entree Canned Food||Wet||10||6||Chicken, chicken liver, chicken broth, butternut squash, tomato paste|
|Grain-Free Tuna & Prawns Recipe Canned Food||Wet||10||2||Tuna, tuna broth, prawns, sunflower oil, tapioca starch|
|Grain-Free Chicken & Duck Recipe Canned Food||Wet||10||2||Chicken, chicken broth, duck, tapioca starch, pea protein|
Health Extension knows your cat’s health is linked to his diet, which is why they make an effort to pack their products with nutritious ingredients.
This formula starts with fresh turkey and salmon as the top two ingredients, followed by salmon meal and chicken meal. Other supplemental protein comes from turkey meal later in the list.
This recipe is grain free, featuring chickpeas and lentils as the primary carbohydrates with whole sweet potatoes and pumpkin for secondary sources. You’ll also find a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies like peas, carrots, pomegranate, and blackberries on the list.
The estimated carbohydrate content of this formula is about 28% which is a little higher than we’d like to see. We do appreciate, however, that there are so many quality sources of animal protein.
We’d also note that while there is a fairly long list of supplements on this recipe, many of them are dried fermentation products or probiotics. It seems a majority of the nutrition actually comes from the ingredients, not just the supplements.
This chicken and brown rice formula doesn’t contain any corn, wheat, or soy products and it is free from artificial additives. As you’d expect, chicken and brown rice are the main two ingredients. First comes fresh chicken followed by chicken meal and brown rice.
In addition to the chicken, this recipe also contains menhaden fish meal as a supplemental source of protein. Oatmeal and flaxseed provide supplementary carbohydrates while chicken fat is the main source of fat. Chicken fat is a very nutritious and flavorful source of fat for cats.
Somewhat surprisingly, the carbohydrate content of this recipe is estimated at about 26% which is lower than the grain-free formula. This product also contains fresh fruits and veggies with a long list of probiotic supplements, chelated minerals, and vitamins.
This grain-free Real Chicken Entrée canned food is made with real chicken, as promised, and it is actually a single-source protein recipe. Based on the number of ingredients, we’d also call it a limited ingredient recipe, though Health Extension doesn’t make mention of it specifically for cats with allergies.
What Health Extension does say about this product is that its smooth texture and chicken flavor is super-palatable. It provides complete and balanced nutrition for both adult cats and kittens.
This formula starts with fresh chicken followed by chicken liver and chicken broth. Butternut squash is the primary carbohydrate, followed only by tomato paste, guar gum, and flaxseed before we get into the supplements. Guar gum is a thickener and there is some controversy surrounding its use in pet food, but we don’t consider it an automatic red flag.
We appreciate the short list of ingredients here and the low carbohydrate content, estimated under 2%. The quality could be increased a little bit by using chelated minerals instead of traditional mineral supplements but, again, it’s not a problem.
If you’re looking for a cat food formula with a unique flavor, this tuna and prawns recipe might pique your cat’s interest. Fresh tuna is the first ingredient, followed by tuna broth and fresh prawns. These are the only sources of protein in the recipe and there are only two other primary ingredients.
Sunflower oil is the primary source of fat in this recipe, though coconut oil appears a little later on the list. We usually like to see an animal source of fat, but we imagine there’s a significant amount of fat in the fresh tuna. Tapioca starch is the only carbohydrate ingredient and it probably acts partially as a thickener. In terms of nutrition, however, it has little to offer.
As a whole, this recipe doesn’t raise any red flags and we’re pleased with the short list of ingredients packed at the start with real animal proteins.
Made with real chicken and duck, this multi-protein recipe is loaded with poultry flavor. Similar to the previous recipe, this formula contains tapioca starch as the primary carbohydrate, though you’ll also see pea protein on the list – this is a plant-based source of protein.
We tend not to support the use of plant proteins in cat food, but we let it slide when it is listed after at least one, ideally two or more animal proteins. The estimated carbohydrate content of the recipe on the whole is extremely minimal, so we can’t complain too much.
Of the three wet foods we reviewed from Health Extension, this is our least favorite simply because of the pea protein. We don’t love tapioca starch as an ingredient either, but not because it is harmful – it just doesn’t offer your cat much in the way of nutrition.
What Do Customers Think of Health Extension Cat Food?
Health Extension seems to be a lesser known brand, possibly because it isn’t available in major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart. It is, however, sold online and easy to find on Chewy.
Chewy offers a limited selection of dry food and an assortment of wet food products, though most of them have 50 customer reviews or less. For the most part, receive 3 stars or higher.
How Much Does Health Extension Cat Food Cost?
Health Extension is a surprisingly affordable brand for the quality it delivers. Both of the dry food recipes we reviewed were priced under $2.50 per pound and the grain-free recipe was actually cheaper.
All but one of Health Extension’s wet food formulas are grain-free. The price for these ranges from about $0.30 per ounce to almost $0.50 per ounce. It’s definitely more expensive than the average canned food, but it is moderately priced and certainly affordable for what it offers.
To give you a better idea how Health Extension 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 Health Extension Cat Food?
If you prefer to shop in-store, you can find this brand at animal supply stores and some independent local and regional pet stores. You won’t, however, find Health Extension at major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Health Extension a Good Brand?
Generally speaking, we were pleasantly surprised by Health Extension. The brand is clearly dedicated creating a high-quality product and they are very open in providing information about the sourcing and quality of their ingredients.
We like that it’s a family-owned company made here in the USA as well.
In terms of their products, Health Extension uses real animal proteins and makes minimal use of plant proteins. Some of their carbohydrate choices could be a little more nutritious and the dry foods were fairly high in carbs, but the wet foods were all very low-carb.
If you’re in the market for a quality cat food at a moderate price range, we recommend Health Extension. We definitely prefer their wet food to dry food products, but either would be a good choice.