Purina Cat Food Review20 min read
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When you stop into the pet store and start scanning the aisles, you’ll see some of the same names repeated over and over again – Purina is one of them. Not only is Purina one of the oldest names in the pet industry, but they’re one of the most popular as well.
Purina operates under the motto, “Your Pet, Our Passion.” This company offers a wide variety of different products under several brand names, making it easy to find a product that works well for you and for your cat.
Whether you have a kitten, an adult, or a senior cat, Purina makes it their mission to ensure your cat gets the best possible nutrition for his life stage and for his unique dietary needs.
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
Choosing the right products for your pet can be tough, especially with so many options out there. Pet food manufacturers are businesses like any other, so they all do their best to earn your dollar.
As a responsible pet owner, it’s your job to make sure you know what you’re purchasing and to ensure it’s a safe and high-quality product for your pet.
This is particularly true when it comes to your cat’s diet. The food you give your cat is his primary source of nutrition, so the quality matters. A healthy and balanced diet is your cat’s best chance to live a long and healthy life.
We make it our goal to provide you with the information you need to make educated decisions for your pets. We don’t seek to convince you about any particular brand, but we do want you to understand what you’re choosing to make sure it’s a good fit.
When we review cat food brands, we take into consideration important information about the brand as a whole, not just the ingredients in their recipes. We do, of course, perform an analysis of their top products to make sure they provide for your cat’s nutritional needs.
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 Purina Brand
Though Purina is the name you see on most of their pet food packages, the company’s name is officially the Nestle Purina Petcare Company. This company is a subsidiary of Nestle which is bested in St. Louis, Missouri. Nestle Purina Petcare is the result of the merging of the Ralston Purina Company with the Nestle Friskies Petcare Company that occurred in 2001.
The Ralston Purina company was founded back in 1984 by William H. Danforth, owner of the Purina Mills feed company. Danforth went on to release some of the first commercial pet foods including Purina Dog Chow and, later, Purina Cat Chow.
In 1986, Ralston Purina merged with Nestle and in the years since it has become the world’s second-largest pet food company as well as the largest pet food manufacturer in the United States. Some of the other brands that fall under the Purina umbrella include Fancy Feast, Friskies, and Beneful as well as Purina’s product lines Purina Beyond, Purina ONE, Purina Pro Plan, and Purina Veterinary Diets.
Today, Purina offers a wide variety of cat food products for all life stages and for a variety of unique dietary requirements. For the most part, Purina is an affordable brand of cat food and you can find many of their products in pet stores as well as grocery stores and big box stores.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
The Purina Petcare company offers a wide variety of pet food products for both dogs and cats. Because the Purina name is an umbrella for a variety of brands and product lines, it can be tricky to keep track.
Here’s a quick overview of the cat food brands Purina offers:
- Purina Beyond – These recipes are made with natural ingredients without artificial additives in a variety of protein-rich formulas, both wet and dry.
- Deli-Cat – This brand of cat food delivers great taste and balanced nutrition, all at an affordable price point with great variety.
- Fancy Feast – An all-wet food line of cat food, Fancy Feast is thoughtfully prepared with savory broths and gourmet flavors.
- Friskies – These recipes are designed to feed your cat’s playfulness and curious nature with a wide variety of wet food, dry food, and treat options.
- Kit & Kaboodle – This dry food line is simple and affordable, designed to deliver 100% complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats.
- Muse – A natural line of cat food infused with essential nutrients, these foods come in a variety of tastes and textures made with real ingredients you can see.
- Purina ONE – Made to provide pet owners with tailored nutrition for pets, this product line includes both dry food and wet food products for cats.
- Purina Cat Chow – One of Purina’s first product lines, Cat Chow is an affordable brand designed to deliver the taste cats love with the nutrition they need in dry food form.
- Purina Pro Plan – This line of products is designed to provide optimal nutrition for cats to be their best. These recipes are formulated to support healthy skin and coat as well as energy, resiliency, and ideal body condition.
- Veterinary Diets – In addition to a number of conventional product lines, Purina also offers veterinary diets available by prescription to provide nutritional support for health issues.
Because Purina offers such a wide variety of brands and product lines, we can’t possibly cover them all in one review. For this review, we’re going to focus on the product lines that carry the Purina name: Purina Beyond, Purina ONE, Purina Cat Chow, and Purina Pro Plan.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Beyond Grain-Free Arctic Char & Lentil Recipe||38||15||4.5||12||433|
|Beyond Organic Chicken, Egg, & Sweet Potato Recipe||33||15||4||12||414|
|Beyond Simply Salmon & Whole Brown Rice Recipe||33||15||4||12||428|
|Beyond Simply Grain-Free Indoor Wild-Caught Salmon, Egg & Sweet Potato Recipe||33||10||6.5||12||322|
|Purina Cat Chow Complete||32||12||3||12||405|
|Purina Cat Chow Gentle Cat Food for Sensitive Stomachs||34||11||5||12||391|
|Purina Cat Chow Indoor||30||9.5||5.5||12||358|
|Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain-Free||32||11||3||12||363|
|Purina Kitten Chow Nurture Recipe Kitten Food||40||13.5||2.5||12||414|
|Purina ONE Hairball Formula||34||14||4.5||12||445|
|Purina ONE Healthy Kitten Formula Dry Food||40||18||2.5||12||462|
|Purina ONE Healthy Metabolism Formula Dry Food||42||9||5||12||382|
|Purina ONE Indoor Advantage||38||9||5||12||372|
|Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Formula||34||13||4||12||430|
|Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Allergen Reducing Salmon & Rice Formula||36||16||2||12||561|
|Purina Pro Plan Adult Chicken & Rice Formula||36||16||2||12||494|
|Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Indoor Care Salmon & Rice Formula||40||14||4.8||12||518|
|Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken & Rice Formula||42||19||2.5||12||534|
|Purina Pro Plan Adult Weight Management Chicken & Rice Formula||43||9||5||12||437|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Kg|
|Beyond Alaskan Cod Recipe Pate||10||5||1.25||78||1,084|
|Beyond Grain-Free Arctic Char & Spinach Recipe Pate||9||5||1.5||78||1,175|
|Beyond Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe Pate||10||5||1.5||78||1,153|
|Beyond Simple Origins Grain-Free Farm-Raised Chicken & Sweet Potato Recipe||9||5||1.5||78||1,212|
|Beyond Indoor Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Pate||10||5||2.6||78||1,055|
|Purina ONE Grain-Free Classic Beef Recipe Pate||11||5||1.5||78||1,101|
|Purina ONE Grain-Free Classic Chicken Recipe Pate||11||5||1.5||78||1,128|
|Purina ONE Ideal Weight Tender Salmon Recipe in Sauce||11||2||2||82||797|
|Purina ONE Indoor + Hairball Ocean Whitefish & Rice Recipe||8||3||2.5||78||915|
|Purina ONE True Instinct Chicken Recipe in Gravy||11||2||1.5||80||851|
|Purina Pro Plan Beef & Cheese Entrée in Gravy||10||2||1.5||80||861|
|Purina Pro Plan Salmon Entrée with Wild Rice in Sauce||10||2||1.5||80||974|
|Purina Pro Plan Focus Healthy Metabolism Formula Chicken Entrée in Gravy||11||2||1.5||80||978|
|Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Chicken & Beef Entree||10||6||1.5||78||1,101|
|Purina Pro Plan Kitten Chicken Entrée Kitten Food||12||6||1.5||76.5||1,321|
|Purina Pro Plan Prime Plus Adult 7+ Turkey & Giblets Entree||10||7||1.5||78||1,302|
Product Recall History
Though the pet food industry isn’t as closely regulated as the human food industry, the FDA does still play a role in controlling certain aspects of safety and labeling requirements. The FDA can issue a recall for a pet food product if an issue is discovered, typically through product testing or customer complaints. If the manufacturer discovers an issue on their own, they can enact a voluntary recall.
In many cases, pet product recalls happen for issues like contamination with food-borne pathogens but can also be for simpler things like inadequate levels of certain nutrients or even labeling errors.
As you know, mistakes can happen no matter how careful you are. Even when you’re being careful, however, the scale at which the product is produced can influence the potential for mistakes. Brands that mass-produce their pet foods in large batches, especially those that outsource manufacturing to other companies, seem to be the most prone to recalls.
Unfortunately, Purina is one of those brands. Not only does Purina have a number of different product lines under the name Purina, but they make their foods in large batches and often outsource to other manufacturers. This being the case, Purina cat food products have been recalled numerous times.
Here’s an overview of product recalls for Purina cat food:
- May 2016 (inadequate vitamin and mineral levels) – The Purina company issued a voluntary recall in May 2016 for Pro Plan Savory Meals in 10 oz. tubs due to inadequate vitamin and mineral levels revealed in testing.
- May 2012 (possible low thiamine levels) – Cans of Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management cat food were recalled by the FDA due to low thiamine levels.
- July 2011 (potential salmonella contamination) – The Purina company issued a voluntary recall for 3.5- and 7-pound bags of Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ dry cat food due to potential salmonella contamination.
- June 2011 (potential salmonella contamination) – The Purina company issued a voluntary recall for Purina Cat Chow Naturals due to potential salmonella contamination.
In addition to these recalls of products that carry the Purina name, other brands that fall under the Purina heading like Friskies and Fancy Feast have had their fair share of recalls.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain-Free with Real Chicken Dry Food||Dry||32||11||Chicken by-product meal, cassava root flour, soy flour, pea starch, chicken|
|Purina Beyond Simply White Meat Chicken & Whole Oat Meal Recipe||Dry||33||15||Chicken, chicken meal, whole barley, rice, whole oat meal|
|Purina ONE Healthy Metabolism Adult Dry Food||Dry||42||8||Turkey, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soy flour, rice flour|
|Purina Pro Plan Savor Adult Chicken & Rice Entrée in Gravy||Wet||11||2||Water, chicken, wheat gluten, liver, meat by-products|
|Purina Beyond Grain-Free Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe in Gravy||Wet||9||2||Fish broth, salmon, chicken, liver, dried egg product|
This Purina Cat Chow recipe is very affordable and comes in three different sizes, making it a convenient choice for cat owners. It also has the word “natural” in the name which is bound to be a selling point.
Unfortunately, this recipe isn’t as good as the words in the name imply. While the first ingredient is “real chicken” as products, it comes from chicken by-products. By-products are not always bad, but it’s difficult to know exactly what they are. We do like, however, that fresh chicken appears later on.
Another issue with this recipe is the use of soy ingredients (soy flour) and the addition of pea protein. Plant protein concentrates are typically used to boost the crude protein content of the recipe, but they are much cheaper and less biologically valuable than animal proteins.
Overall, this recipe isn’t the worst we’ve seen from Purina but it definitely isn’t our favorite.
This formula is described as a “nutrient rich and limited ingredient recipe.” It’s also made with steroid-free chicken as the first ingredient. Both of these things seem to be true.
The first ingredient in this recipe is, in fact, chicken and it is followed by chicken meal. Next comes an assortment of whole grains like barley and oatmeal with dried eggs and pea protein as supplemental protein sources. Though grain-free, this recipe has a high estimated carb content around 30% or higher.
Compared to the previous recipe, we like this Beyond formula better because it starts with two sources of animal protein, neither of which are by-products. It also doesn’t contain corn, wheat, or soy.
Formulated to support a healthy metabolism, this dry food recipe is made with real turkey as the first ingredient and is free from fillers and artificial additives. The label says it is designed to help “spayed and neutered cats burn fat & maintain healthy weight.”
In reviewing the ingredients for this formula, we find that some of these claims are definitely true. Fresh turkey is the first ingredient and we don’t see any artificial additives. Unfortunately, both corn and soy ingredients are listed, including corn gluten meal which is often used as a plant protein to boost the overall protein content of lower quality foods.
We don’t see anything in this list of ingredients that would specifically support fat burn and healthy metabolism either, so it’s likely just a marketing ploy. The fat content of the recipe is fairly low and the fiber content a little higher than we’d like, though the calorie content is moderate.
Formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for adult cats, this wet food recipe is made with fresh chicken as the primary protein. Unfortunately, wheat gluten comes next and is followed by an unspecified source of “liver” and meat by-products.
While chicken is definitely a good start for the first main ingredient (aside from the water), the rest of the ingredients are nothing to boast about. Wheat gluten is often used as a plant protein filler and there’s nothing good about meat by-products because we have no idea what they are or even what animal they come from. We also don’t like the use of soy flour or artificial flavors and colors.
Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is that the estimated carbohydrate content is very low, around 3%. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell how much of the 11% protein comes from quality sources.
Of the five recipes we’ve reviewed from Purina, this is our favorite. It features both fresh salmon and chicken within the top three ingredients and there are no added plant proteins. We’d prefer to see the liver come from a named source, but we’ll take what we can get.
We don’t really play into the grain-free movement for pets, especially when the alternative carbohydrates used are peas or legumes. In this recipe, however, we’re glad to see sweet potatoes as the primary carbohydrate. The estimated carb content of this recipe is below 3% as well.
What Do Customers Think of Purina Cat Food?
Because Purina products are so easy to find, there are plenty of customer reviews to choose from. We took a closer look at some of the products available on Chewy and found that many of them had well over 500 customer reviews and high ratings over 4 stars.
Purina’s Cat Chow products are extremely popular and highly rated, some as high as 4.7/5 starts with a 98% recommendation rate. Purina customers seem to love the affordable prices and the variety, many also comment that their products seem to be appealing to even picky eaters.
The lower ratings for Purina products seem to be split between comments about poor quality ingredients and some cats having a negative reaction to the food. Some cats experienced vomiting and some cats simply didn’t seem to like the food.
How Much Does Purina Cat Food Cost?
Generally speaking, Purina is a more affordable brand of cat food. You can find their products in grocery stores and big box stores, for example. That being said, Purina offers several different brands and product lines, each with a slightly different price range.
Purina Cat Chow is probably the lowest price for cat foods bearing the Purina name in the title. The Purina ONE line probably comes next on the pricing scale, followed by Purina Pro Plan. Purina Beyond products vary in price and fall somewhere between Purina ONE and Purina Pro Plan pricing.
To give you a better idea how Purina 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 Purina Cat Food?
Because the Purina name is so big, you can find their products just about anywhere you shop for pet food. In addition to major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart (and their online stores), you can find Purina products in local and regional chains.
You can also purchase Purina cat food directly from the brand’s online store. Here you can make a one-time purchase or set up automatic shipments for your convenience.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Purina a Good Brand?
It’s difficult to give a comprehensive rating for Purina because it’s such a big company with a variety of products and product lines. Our numeric rating is a little above average, but it is helped by things like Purina’s low price point and high availability and variety.
Where the brand suffers is in the quality of its ingredients. We generally don’t give brands that use fillers or artificial colors a rating above 1 for quality.
If we were to recommend Purina, we’d probably suggest sticking with the Beyond product line. Not only does this line incorporate more whole animal proteins, but it doesn’t include fillers or artificial additives.
Our preference is for the wet food recipes over the dry foods, primarily for the carb and protein contents.