Lotus Cat Food Review16 min read
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If you want what’s best for your cat, you’ll take the time to shop smart for a high-quality cat food made with real ingredients. If you’re really serious, however, you’ll take it a step further to make sure those ingredients are prepared in a way that preserves the nutritional value.
Lotus is a specialty pet food company that takes great care with their products. Not only do they use the highest quality ingredients, but they oven-bake their dry foods instead of extruding them to preserve nutrition and flavor.
Read on to see what we think of the brand and some of their top products.
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Your only wish for your cat is that he remains happy and healthy for as long as possible. We don’t blame you!
Our pets are more than that – they’re members of the family and we want to enjoy their company for as long as possible. We understand that picking a high-quality pet food is a piece of the puzzle.
The quality of your cat’s diet is directly linked to his health and wellness, both short-term and long. A high-quality diet provides your cat with the nutrients his body needs to function at its optimal level.
Low-quality cat food leaves gaps in your cat’s diet that makes room for nutritional deficiencies and other health problems to settle in. No one wants that.
We make it our goal to help you sort through the options to find a recipe that’s right for your cat’s body and your budget. We take a good hard look at each brand and the recipes they have to offer before we make our recommendation.
The first thing we look for is a real source of animal protein as the first ingredient – that’s non-negotiable. The more protein the better, we say!
Carbohydrates are okay in minimal amounts, as long as they are digestible and nutritious sources, but they definitely shouldn’t outweigh animal ingredients.
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 Lotus Brand
Founded in 2003, Lotus is and always has been a family-owned and -operated company. This company has great love for pets and their mission is to produce the highest quality pet products possible.
To keep true to that mission, they oven-bake their kibble in small batches and limit canned food production in a micro-cannery which gives them the ultimate degree of control.
Lotus takes great pride in their products. Their kibble isn’t your average extruded dry food – it’s actually baked which means it is less processed, lower in starch, and higher in real meat (and flavor).
Of their oven-baked dry food, Lotus says:
“Lotus Oven-Baked kibble for cats is made by a process so uncommonly wholesome it has an “®” after its name. It’s called Baked-in-Goodness®, and it’s the big reason Lotus tastes delicious and is closer to homemade.”
If your cat prefers canned food, Lotus has a wide variety of options. Their canned foods are made in a Southern California micro-cannery with real, holistic ingredients. The Just Juicy line of cat food stews features many of the same premium animal proteins in moisture-rich recipes made with flavorful gravy.
Newly released, Lotus also offers a line of raw cat food products made with real cuts of USDA inspected and New Zealand Ministry inspected meats and poultry. Everything is hormone and antibiotic free and vegetarian fed to ensure, “every time you feed your pet Lotus you can pat yourself on the back for feeding the very best ingredients and doing your part to support the local economy.”
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
Lotus offers a variety of cat food products including dry food, wet food, and raw food. Unlike traditional kibble which is extruded, however, their dry food is oven-baked. There are four protein-rich recipes to choose from.
Lotus canned food comes in two product lines: Pates and Just Juicy. Choose from seven flavorful pates or six juicy, stew-style recipes. In addition to wet and dry foods, Lotus also offers six raw food formulas as well as a variety pack.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Kg|
|Oven Baked Kibble Chicken Recipe||35||19||5||10||3,697|
|Oven Baked Kibble Sardine & Herring Recipe||34||14||5||10||3,457|
|Oven Baked Kibble Duck Recipe||34||15||5.25||10||3,531|
|Oven Baked Kibble Low-Fat Chicken Recipe||30||9||7||10||3,161|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories (kcal/kg)|
|Chicken Pate for Cats||9||5||1||78||1,050|
|Duck Pate for Cats||9||4||0.75||78||990|
|Pork Pate for Cats||9||5||1||78||1,107|
|Rabbit Pate for Cats||9||5||1||78||1,229|
|Salmon Pate for Cats||9||4||1||78||935|
|Sardine Pate for Cats||10||3.5||1.2||78||964|
|Turkey Pate for Cats||9||5||1||78||956|
|Just Juicy Chicken Stew for Cats||13||3||0.5||78||964|
|Just Juicy Pollock Stew for Cats||7||3||0.5||82||753|
|Just Juicy Pork Stew for Cats||13||3||0.5||78||897|
|Just Juicy Salmon Stew for Cats||10||3.5||1.2||78||964|
|Just Juicy Turkey Stew for Cats||13||3||0.5||78||950|
|Just Juicy Venison Stew for Cats||13||3||0.5||78||950|
Raw Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Kg|
|Beef Recipe Raw Cat Food||14||1||6||75||1,245|
|Chicken Recipe Raw Cat Food||13||1||4||77||969|
|Lamb Recipe Raw Cat Food||14||1||6||75||1,470|
|Pork Recipe Raw Cat Food||14||4||1||75||1,470|
|Turkey Recipe Raw Cat Food||14||4||1||75||1,023|
|Venison Recipe Raw Cat Food||14||1||4||77||1,004|
Product Recall History
When it comes to evaluating the quality of a pet food brand, there are many factors to consider. On top of the ingredients in a recipe and the nutritional analysis, you also want to know that the brand pays attention to quality and safety as a whole. That’s where the product recall history comes into play.
Pet food products can be recalled by the FDA or voluntarily withdrawn by the manufacturer for any number of reasons ranging from simple labeling errors to contaminated ingredients.
In our research, we didn’t find evidence of any product recalls since the company was founded in 2003. This isn’t always a guarantee of quality in a brand, but it is never a bad thing. In this case, it is evidence that supports Lotus’ stated commitment to safety and producing the very best pet food possible.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Oven Baked Kibble Duck Recipe||Dry||34||15||Duck, duck meal, pork liver, whole dried green peas, dried egg product|
|Oven Baked Kibble Low-Fat Chicken Recipe||Dry||30||9||Chicken, chicken meal, lentils, chickpeas, tapioca flour|
|Oven Baked Kibble Sardine & Herring Recipe||Dry||34||14||Sardine, herring, herring meal, peas, lentils|
|Rabbit Pate for Cats||Wet||9||5||Rabbit, rabbit broth, peas, salmon oil, agar-agar|
|Just Juicy Turkey Stew for Cats||Wet||13||3||Turkey, turkey broth, carrots, potato starch, calcium carbonate|
This oven-baked dry food formula starts out strong with fresh duck and duck meal as the top two ingredients. It also includes pork liver as an additional source of animal protein, flavor, and nutrients. Additional protein comes from dried egg and turkey meal, and likely some from the brewers yeast.
With whole dried green peas as the primary carbohydrate, this recipe is grain-free as well as gluten-free. We don’t love peas as a main ingredient in cat food because we’re not sure about their digestibility – there’s also the possibility that they contribute to the overall protein content (especially when dried).
There aren’t any major red flags on the ingredient list with the exception of soybean oil. Generally speaking, corn, wheat, and soy products are best avoided in pet food. In this case, however, it’s an oil and not a grain – plus, it’s organic.
We’re not completely excusing the use of soy in this product, but it is better than it could be. Another potential issue is that the estimated carb content is around 30%.
Marketed as a low-fat formula, this chicken recipe dry food does indeed contain about 6% less fat than the previous recipe and a full 10% less fat than the original chicken formula. It is also significantly lower in calories and higher in fiber. Generally speaking, the fiber content of Lotus cat food seems high.
This formula starts with fresh chicken followed by chicken meal. Chicken liver and white fish provide supplemental protein, as does brewers dried yeast, dried egg, and clams.
The primary source of carbohydrate in this recipe is lentils, followed by chickpeas and tapioca flour. Again, these are grain-free ingredients but we’re not sure they’re the best options for cats. Tapioca flour in particular is limited in terms of nutrition and is immediately followed by pea fiber.
This recipe may be a decent choice for indoor or overweight cats as long as your cat tolerates chicken. It’s still important, however, to follow the feeding recommendations on the package.
Of the three oven-baked dry food recipes we’ve reviewed from Lotus, this may be our preference. It starts out with three (rather than two) sources of animal protein at the top of the list, though that’s where it ends. There are no other supplemental proteins aside from the brewers dried yeast.
This recipe also contains peas and lentils, but they come after three animal ingredients and tapioca doesn’t appear until after the primary source of fat which is animal-based. The estimated carbohydrate content of this formula is about 29% which, again, is pretty high.
Overall, we don’t mind this recipe, but we think your cat could probably do better in terms of protein content and the digestibility of the carbohydrate ingredients.
We typically prefer a brand’s wet food to their dry food products and that is certainly the case with Lotus. This rabbit pate is packed with protein, limited in carbohydrates, and nutritionally balanced.
This recipe starts strong with fresh rabbit as the main ingredient and the primary source of animal protein – the only other inclusion is New Zealand green mussels which are typically added as a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.
Peas are the third ingredient, followed by salmon oil. Because this is a wet food rather than a dry food, we’re less concerned about peas being a main ingredient simply by weight – they don’t likely contribute significantly to the total protein content, especially considering the estimated carb content under 5%.
The only red flag in this recipe is the agar-agar which some people find controversial. It is a seaweed-derived thickener used in pet food.
Of the two canned food recipes we’ve reviewed, this turkey pate is our preference. Not only is it significantly higher in protein with moderate fat and low fiber content, but it is made with a very limited list of main ingredients as well – just 5 aside from water and supplements.
This recipe, like the others, contains chelated minerals which is always a good thing. These are mineral supplements which have been chemically bound to protein molecules, increasing their absorption.
What Do Customers Think of Lotus Cat Food?
Lotus offers about 20 different cat food formulas on Chewy which is where we typically look for customer reviews. The canned food formulas were more popular than the dry foods, but none had more than 90 reviews at the time.
The average was around 30 reviews for the more popular canned foods and around 15 for the dry foods. Most products had a 4-star average or higher.
How Much Does Lotus Cat Food Cost?
The price of Lotus cat food varies widely depending on the type of food as well as the recipe. In terms of wet food, Lotus is priced between $0.30 and $0.60 per ounce. This is a fairly wide range, but it ensures that there’s something affordable for most cat owners.
Lotus dry food is much more expensive than the average kibble, largely due to the quality and the production method. The cheapest recipe we reviewed was the low-fat chicken recipe, priced at $4.18 per pound.
The Sardine and Herring recipe was a little more expensive, but the duck was the priciest of the three, priced over $5.00 per pound.
To give you a better idea how Lotus 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 Lotus Cat Food?
Lotus is not one of the biggest brands out there, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see them at big box stores and chain pet retailers. You’re most likely to find Lotus products at specialty pet stores as well as small and independent pet product shops.
Online is probably the best place to buy Lotus pet food, particularly on Chewy. The Lotus website provides a tool to check for retailers near you, including an international option for Canada, Japan, China, and South Korea.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Lotus a Good Brand?
Overall, we think our 4/5 rating is just about right for the Lotus brand. This brand uses high-quality animal proteins and takes great care with their recipes, but there is room for improvement. The carbohydrate content of the dry foods is still a little high and the brand isn’t the easiest to find.
If you’re able to find Lotus in your local pet store, we think it’s a good option, though a bit pricey. It’s definitely worth considering for your cat.