I and Love and You Cat Food Review18 min read
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Every pet owner wants what’s best for their own pet, but I and Love and You takes it one step further by wanting what’s best for ALL pets. Small and large, mixed breed, stray, or rescue, this brand believes that every furry friend deserves a delicious and nutritious diet.
I and Love and You started out small in Boulder, CO but has grown into one of the most popular brands of raw pet food on the market. Though the name may be a little odd, their products are definitely worth a second glance. As they say on the brand website, “It’s not crazy, it’s love.”
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 I and Love and You Brand
- What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
- Product Recall History
- What Do Customers Think of I and Love and You Cat Food?
- How Much Does I and Love and You Cat Food Cost?
- Where Can You Buy I and Love and You Cat Food?
- Our Final Thoughts: Is I and Love and You a Good Brand?
How We Review Cat Food Brands
We understand that your cat is a member of the family and we agree he should be treated as such. The trouble is it can be hard to determine what’s actually good for your cat and what isn’t. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help you wade through the options to make a smart choice.
When we review cat food brands, we ignore all the fancy words and pictures on the label and get right down to the meat – what’s actually in the food. We take a hard look at the ingredients list and the guaranteed analysis for some of the most popular recipes to see if the product is really any good.
All of our evaluations are based on the actual nutritional requirements of cats – we’d never recommend anything to you we wouldn’t be perfectly happy to feed our own cats.
We look for real animal proteins as the first ingredient as well as other animal-based ingredients. We prefer recipes with minimal carbohydrate content and only digestible sources when they’re included. The easier it is for your cat to digest the food, the more nutrition he’ll receive and the more we like the product. It’s actually pretty simple!
Here are some of the other 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 I and Love and You Brand
From humble beginnings in a small pet food store in Boulder, CO, the I and Love and You brand has grown into a nationwide name. The company started with a belief that pets deserve the real thing: raw food made with real, healthy, and wholesome ingredients. They quickly learned they were not alone.
As raw food for pets gained popularity, I and Love and You spread their roots. Though the company is still independent and employee-owned, what started as a simple dream has grown into a mission: “To help all pets live happier, healthier lives.” This company celebrates the incredible bond between humans and pets by making high-quality pet food accessible for all.
The story of I and Love and You began in 2010. Over the last decade, the brand has grown to include a variety of cat and dog food products made with ingredients that are natural, healthy, and grain-free but, most importantly, full of love. Their products are designed to support healthy skin and coat as well as optimal digestion without anything artificial.
At I and Love and You, it’s always love first. They say of their products:
“We create only the highest quality products because we love keeping your pets healthy. Our products are formulated to include optimal the combination of complete, whole-food nutrition, freshness, and premium ingredients that you and your pets will love.”
The I and Love and You brand takes pride in the quality of their products and that’s more than just words – they actually back it up. In fact, the brand has received Dog Food Advisor’s highest rating of five stars out of five. That’s a pretty big accomplishment.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
When it comes to their cat food products, I and Love and You offers a variety of dry food, wet food, and treats.
Their products fall into the following lines:
- Naked Essentials
- Nude Food
- Lovingly Simple
The Naked Essentials line of cat foods only has a single recipe at the moment, but it is the ideal diet for cats with sensitive stomachs. Nude Food is a premium line of cat food supplemented with digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics as well as nutrient-rich superfoods.
Lovingly Simple is a collection of no-nonsense recipes featuring real animal protein with nothing artificial.
In terms of wet cat food, I and Love and You offer nine different recipes as well as a variety pack. Their cans come in 3-ounce and 5-ounce sizes.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Lovingly Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Food||36||16||5.5||12||362|
|Nude Food Poultry A Plenty Recipe Dry Food||44.5||18.25||4||10||519|
|Nude Food Surf ‘n Chick Recipe Dry Food||44.5||18.25||4||10||519|
|Naked Essentials Digestive Support Dry Cat Food||36||15||4||10||425|
|Naked Essentials Chicken + Duck Dry Cat Food||34||14||4||12||462|
|Naked Essentials Salmon + Trout Dry Cat Food||34||14||4||12||462|
|Naked Essentials Indoor Health Dry Cat Food||40||11||6||10||390|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories (kcal/kg)|
|Cat Cans Beef, Right Meow! Pate||10||5||0.75||78||1,082|
|Cat Cans Chicken Me Out Pate||10||7||0.75||78||1,306|
|Cat Cans Chicky Da Lish Stew||9||3.5||0.75||82||918|
|Cat Cans Oh My Cod! Pate||10||4||0.75||78||962|
|Cat Cans Purrky Turkey Pate||10||5||0.75||78||1,232|
|Cat Cans Salmon Chanted Evening Stew||9||2.5||0.75||82||888|
|Cat Cans Savory Salmon Pate||10||6||0.75||78||1,048|
|Cat Cans Tuna Fintastic Stew||9||2||0.75||78||844|
|Cat Cans Whascally Wabbit Pate||10||4||0.75||78||1,113|
Product Recall History
The best thing you can do to gauge the quality of a pet food product is check out the label. Don’t just read the health claims and look at the pictures – actually read the ingredients and review the guaranteed analysis.
In addition to evaluating the product for yourself, however, you should also consider factors that indicate the quality of the brand such as recall history.
Product recalls can happen for a variety of reasons, but they usually indicate an issue with the product or packaging. They can happen for something as simple as a labeling error or something as serious as contaminated ingredients.
Having a recall or two isn’t necessarily an indication of a bad brand, but a long list of recalls is cause for concern.
I and Love and You has just a single recall in their history:
- July 2016 (potential salmonella contamination) – The I and Love and You company issued a voluntary recall for a certain batch of dog treats after the CO Department of Agriculture notified them of a positive test result for salmonella.
This single product recall seems to have affected a small run of products and there were no confirmed reports of illness, so we’re not terribly concerned. I and Love and You acted responsibly in recalling the product when alerted to a potential issue by bringing it to their customers’ attention.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Lovingly Simple Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Food||Dry||36||16||Salmon, menhaden fish meal, ground peas, salmon meal, sunflower oil|
|Nude Food Poultry A Plenty Recipe Dry Food||Dry||44||18||Turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, pea protein, chicken fat|
|Naked Essentials Salmon + Trout Dry Cat Food||Dry||34||14||Salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, chickpeas, lentils|
|Cat Cans Beef, Right Meow! Pate||Wet||10||4||Beef, beef liver, beef broth, cranberries, spinach|
|Cat Cans Whascally Wabbit Pate||Wet||10||4||Rabbit, beef broth, beef liver, cranberries, spinach|
Formulated for cats with sensitive stomach and food allergies, this Lovingly Simple recipe features a limited list of ingredients including an easily digestible source of protein and carbohydrate.
This formula starts with fresh salmon as the primary ingredient, followed immediately by menhaden fish meal. You’ll also find salmon meal listed with in the top four ingredients, making this recipe a protein-packed formula. The only thing we don’t like, as a recipe designed for cats with food allergies and sensitivities, is that it isn’t a single-source protein. It is, however, a fish-only recipe.
Ground peas are the main source of carbohydrate here and the recipe is grain-free and gluten-free. Though sweet potatoes are named in the recipe, ground peas come first. It’s possible some of the protein comes from this source as well, but we’re not too worried given its position.
Sunflower oil is the primary source of fat in this formula which is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Generally, we’d like to see a source of animal protein instead, but it’s likely the fresh salmon and fish meals provide a rich source of omega-3s.
In addition to these primary ingredients, this formula is supplemented with essential vitamins, chelated minerals, and probiotics to support healthy digestion.
The Nude Food line of products is made with wholesome, natural ingredients to provide all the nutrients your cat needs and nothing he doesn’t. This Poultry a Plenty recipe features real turkey as the first ingredient and comes in a grain-free, heart-shaped kibble.
Not only is fresh turkey the first ingredient, but it’s followed by both chicken meal and turkey meal. You’ll also find chicken liver and dried egg later on in the list.
As promised, this recipe is grain-free. Peas, chickpeas, lentils, and sweet potatoes are the main carbohydrates here. The estimated carbohydrate content of this recipe is under 20% which is definitely better than most dry foods on the market but could certainly be lower. We also don’t like the inclusion of pea protein, especially as one of the top 5 ingredients.
Overall, this formula seems to be packed with protein while remaining balanced in both fat and calories. The fiber content may be a little higher than your cat needs, but it might not be a problem.
The Naked Essentials line of products guarantees to be free from low-quality fillers like corn, wheat, and soy as well as artificial additives. Not only does this Salmon + Trout recipe live up to that promise, but it delivers on high-quality protein and nutrition.
Fresh salmon is the first ingredient in this recipe, supplemented with both chicken meal and turkey meal. We’re glad to see this recipe doesn’t include any pea protein, but it does contain both peas and brewers dried yeast which are often sources of supplemental protein and both plant-based.
This formula features chickpeas and lentils as the primary carbohydrates for an estimated carb content around 30%. This is much higher than the previous formula and definitely higher than we like to see.
We also have some concerns about such heavy use of legumes like chickpeas, lentils, and peas in pet food – particularly for cats. Though these foods are nutritious for humans, there’s some concern about their digestibility and high lectin content which can interfere with nutrient absorption.
Generally speaking, however, this recipe doesn’t raise any major red flags. It seems well balanced in terms of nutrition and definitely doesn’t have anything artificial in it.
I and Love and You offers a variety of canned food formulas featuring premium animal proteins. This particular recipe is made with real beef as well as beef liver and beef broth.
In comparison to the dry food recipes we’ve already reviewed, we like this canned food formula a lot better. Not only is it loaded with high-quality ingredients, but it doesn’t contain all the peas and other legumes found in the dry food. Plus, the estimated carb content is around 5% or lower.
We love that this recipe includes superfoods like cranberries, spinach, and apples as natural sources for key nutrients. The total list of ingredients is shorter as well, which implies a reduced reliance on synthetic supplements. That’s always a good thing.
Much like the previous canned food, this recipe is made with real animal protein as the first ingredient. In fact, the ingredients list is very similar aside from that first ingredient: rabbit.
This formula is made with rabbit as the main ingredient, but it seems that a significant amount of the flavor probably comes from the beef broth and beef liver. Again, we see fresh fruits and vegetables included as natural sources for key nutrients with synthetic supplements as needed for balance.
Overall, this recipe seems to be a good source of high-quality protein and balanced nutrition. The estimated carbohydrate content is the same, around 5% or less.
What Do Customers Think of I and Love and You Cat Food?
When it comes to getting a feel for what customers think of a brand, we tend to go with Chewy reviews rather than reviews posted on the brand’s own website. On Chewy, the majority of I and Love and You products have 50 reviews or more, most with 4-star ratings or higher.
Customers love the quality of the products and the trustworthiness of the brand. Negative comments are typically about the price and about picky cats simply not liking the food, as seems to happen with any brand (even some of our favorites).
How Much Does I and Love and You Cat Food Cost?
When shopping for cat food, you’ll notice that higher quality ingredients equate to higher prices. I and Love and You does everything they can to produce the best pet foods possible, so you shouldn’t be surprised to see that the brand is at the higher end of the price spectrum.
Two of the three dry food recipes we reviewed above were priced over $3.25 per pound while one came in around $2.50. The two wet foods were both under $0.50/ounce, which is still fairly high for a wet cat food product. These prices aren’t surprising considering the quality of the food.
To give you a better idea how I and Love and You 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 I and Love and You Cat Food?
Though I and Love and You started small in a pet store in Colorado, they now sell their products online and in pet stores around the country.
You can find I and Love and You online at Chewy and Amazon as well as other major retailers like Walmart, Target, and Thrive Market. In stores, you can find the brand everywhere from big box stores and major grocery chains to national, regional, and local pet stores.
Our Final Thoughts: Is I and Love and You a Good Brand?
Overall, we like I and Love and You. We definitely prefer their canned food formulas to their dry foods, but mainly because of the use of legumes as primary carbohydrates.
These ingredients aren’t necessarily bad, but we have concerns about their digestibility and it’s hard to tell how significantly they contribute to the total protein content. The canned foods are much lower in carbs than the dry foods.
We also love that this brand is made right here in the United States and completely free from controversial ingredients like fillers, artificial additives, and carrageenan. All in all, we heartily recommend this brand but definitely want to push the canned foods over the dry food products.