Whiskas Cat Food Review15 min read
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You want your cat to have the best of the best, but it won’t do any good if he doesn’t also like the food. When it comes to what cats want, Whiskas has the answers. This cat food brand has been around for decades and it’s one many cat owners know. But is it actually any good?
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
What you feed your cat matters. Cats have specific nutritional needs just like you do, only they’re a little different. Because cats are obligate carnivores, protein is the most important nutrient in their diet.
When it comes to shopping for cat food, it’s important to check for animal-based ingredients. Real meat should always be the first ingredient and, ideally, make up two of the first three. We recommend avoiding products that are very plant-heavy, especially if you see low-quality grains and fillers like corn, wheat, and soy. Your cat won’t be able to digest them well and won’t get much nutrition either.
But why should you take our recommendations? Trust us, we wouldn’t recommend anything to you that we wouldn’t feel perfectly confident feeding our own cats.
When we review cat foods, we do our best to look at the company as a whole. We take into account their sourcing, manufacturing, and formulating processes as well as the ingredients and guaranteed analysis for their recipes. We want to give you an objective but in-depth look at the brand and their recipes so you can make an educated decision for yourself and your cat.
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 Whiskas Brand
The brand currently known as Whiskas has a long history that dates all the way back to 1936. When it was first created, the brand was known as KalKan and it was one of the first makers of pet foods. When Forrest Mars and the Mars Candy Company bought KalKan in 1968, their dog food products were rebranded under the name Pedigree and their cat food products as Whiskas.
Since 1991, Mars Petcare has controlled 60% or more of the pet food market in sales and volume with Whiskas as their top brand. In 1999, they aired the first commercial for cats on American TV.
In the decades since Whiskas first his pet store shelves, the brand has grown significantly. Today, Whiskas products are sold everywhere from grocery stores and discount stores to pet stores, big box stores, and online retailers.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to verify where Whiskas sources their ingredients. The brand is widely available in countries outside the United States, so it’s difficult to tell. Our research suggests that some of their products sold in the U.S. are made in Virginia, however, by a co-packing company, a company that manufactures food for multiple brands.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
Because Whiskas is a cat-specific brand, they only sell cat food products. Whiskas offers a variety of wet food and dry food flavors including kibble and savory wet foods. Some of their most popular products are variety packs of wet food flavors like Chicken Dinner and Turkey & Giblets.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Whiskas Chicken & Turkey Flavor Dry Cat Food||35||13||4||12||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Indoor Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food||31.5||9.5||6||12||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Chicken & Turkey Flavor Kitten Dry Food||41||13||4||10||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Seafood Selections Salmon & Shrimp Flavor Dry Food||35||13||4||12||Unlisted|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Kg|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken Chicken & Beef Entrée Wet Food||9||2||2.5||85||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken Chicken & Duck Entrée Wet Food||9||2||2.5||85||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken Chicken Entrée Wet Food||9||2||2.5||85||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish Oceanfish Entrée Wet Food||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish Sardine & Mackerel Entrée Wet Food||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish Tuna & Whitefish Entrée Wet Food||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish Tuna Entrée Wet Food||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish with Salmon Recipe Wet Food||8||2||3||87||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish with Shrimp Recipe Wet Food||8||2||3||87||Unlisted|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish with Snapper Recipe Wet Food||7||2||3||87||Unlisted|
Product Recall History
When researching a cat food brand, it’s important to get a feel for the company as a whole. Of course, you want to evaluate the quality of the products themselves but looking into the company’s history gives you better context to understand them.
One thing you should consider looking into is the brand’s recall history.
A product recall happens when an issue is discovered with the product and it needs to be removed from sale for the protection of pets and consumers. These issues can range from things as minor as labeling errors to things as serious as contaminated ingredients. Recalls can be issued voluntarily by the pet food company or by the FDA.
Having a product recall or two is never a good thing, but it doesn’t necessarily act as a stand-alone indication of a bad brand. Again, it’s important to use this information about the brand in context.
In over 60 years in the business, Whiskas has never had a product recall. If you do some research, however, you’ll find numerous consumer complaints and other Mars Petcare brands have had their fair share of recalls. Complaints should always be taken in stride, but there are some repeated concerns such as cats vomiting after eating the food as well as lethargy and other changes in behavior.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Whiskas Chicken & Turkey Flavor Dry Cat Food||Dry||35||13||Poultry by-product meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, soybean meal|
|Whiskas Seafood Selections Salmon & Shrimp Flavor Dry Food||Dry||35||13||Poultry by-product meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, soybean meal|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken Chicken Entrée Wet Food||Wet||9||2||Water, chicken, liver, corn starch-modified, soy oil|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Chicken Chicken & Beef Entrée Wet Food||Wet||9||2||Water, chicken, beef, corn starch-modified, soy oil|
|Whiskas Purrfectly Fish with Snapper Recipe Wet Food||Wet||7||2||Water, sardines, mackerel, tuna, snapper|
This Meaty Selections Chicken & Turkey Flavor from Whiskas is said to have “the perfect mix of chicken and turkey flavors that your cat won’t be able to resist.” We can only assume this is true, but not for the reason we’d hope – high inclusions of fresh chicken and turkey. Rather, you’ll find “natural chicken and turkey flavor” on the ingredient list.
The primary ingredient in this formula is poultry by-product meal. Meat by-products themselves aren’t necessarily bad, but it’s never a good sign when they come from an unspecific source like poultry rather than chicken or turkey.
On top of the poultry by-product meal, this recipe includes corn, soy, AND wheat ingredients. You’ll even find corn gluten meal as a main ingredient which is often used as a plant-based source of protein (but largely a filler) in inexpensive pet foods.
About the only good thing we can say for this recipe is that it doesn’t contain artificial colors or flavors.
Before reading the ingredients list for this Seafood Selections Salmon & Shrimp Flavor you would probably assume that either salmon or shrimp was the first ingredient, based on the name. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.
The first ingredient in this recipe, like the last, is poultry by-product meal. In fact, the first five ingredients are identical and there’s no mention of salmon or shrimp until the ninth and tenth ingredients on the list.
The one good thing we can say is that the flavor appears to come from actual shrimp and salmon meals rather than simply flavoring.
When you read the description for this recipe, it sounds pretty good. Whiskas promises “real cuts of tender chicken prepared in natural juices.” We were honestly a little surprised to find that chicken is actually the first main ingredient (after water).
Overall, this wet food recipe is a little better than we expected given the list of low-quality ingredients in the dry food recipes above. We don’t love that the product includes unspecified “liver” and it still uses corn, soy, and wheat products.
The biggest issue with this product is the use of artificial flavors and preservatives. Whiskas sells their wet foods in Flavor-Lock pouches that “hold in freshness” and make serving quick and easy. Unfortunately, they also use BHA/BHT to preserve their foods which have been linked to cancer.
Similar to the previous recipe, this formula starts with water as the main ingredient. This isn’t uncommon for wet food, especially with products as high as 85% moisture.
The main ingredients in this formula include chicken and beef, both of which appear within the top three ingredients. We don’t see any meat or poultry by-products here, though we’re not thrilled to see the return of corn, wheat, and soy products. This recipe also includes artificial color and BHA/BHT.
Part of the Purrfectly Fish line of products, this recipe is named “with Snapper” rather than simply being called a snapper recipe. The important thing to know here is that the 3% rule applies. When a pet food is named “with” an ingredient, it means it contains up to 3% of that ingredient. It’s a little confusing in this case considering snapper isn’t the first fish ingredient named.
That being said, we like that there are four animal proteins listed within the first five ingredients. Unfortunately, things go downhill with the inclusion of soy oil, carrageenan, and BHA/BHT.
What Do Customers Think of Whiskas Cat Food?
Whiskas is not only one of the most recognizable cat food brands out there, but also one of the most affordable. That being the case, we have to take customer comments with a grain of salt. Consumers who purchase cheap cat food are often unaware of the poor quality and review the products based primarily on the price and on their cat’s response to the food.
Negative reviews for Whiskas products range from issues with the quality of the ingredients and to cats simply not liking the food. Several customers also complained about the smell of the food and found it to be more liquid than solid.
How Much Does Whiskas Cat Food Cost?
Shopping for cat food is tricky because you have to walk the line between finding something affordable and finding something good. In many cases, the two do not go hand-in-hand.
The price of cat food is often correlated with its quality. It only makes sense that better cat food will cost more, but you must keep in mind that expensive cat food isn’t always good and affordable cat food isn’t always bad. You have to look at the quality of the ingredients and the brand as a whole as well.
When it comes to pricing for Whiskas food, we had some trouble finding their dry food products online. For their wet foods, however, pricing was about $0.19/ounce.
To give you a better idea how Whiskas 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 Whiskas Cat Food?
Not only is Whiskas one of the oldest and most recognizable brands of pet food in the country, but they’re also one of the easiest to find. You can find Whiskas everywhere from your local grocery store to major online retailers.
Shop for Whiskas in grocery stores, discount stores, and big box stores as well as local and national pet store chains. Online, you can find Whiskas at Amazon and Chewy as well as other online pet retailers.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Whiskas a Good Brand?
Overall, we can’t recommend Whiskas cat food in good faith. Some of their wet food recipes were better than we anticipated in terms of whole animal proteins, but we can’t feel good about a recipe that includes corn, wheat, or soy ingredients – especially one that also includes artificial preservatives.
If you’re looking for an affordable brand of cat food or you want something as easy to find as Whiskas, you can honestly do better. Whole Earth Farms (mentioned in the table above) is moderately priced and offers much higher quality.
Check out our other recommendations for affordable cat food here.