Whole Earth Farms Cat Food Review14 min read
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The Whole Earth Farms is fairly new to the pet food scene, but its parent brand isn’t. Merrick Pet Care was founded in 1988 and founded the Whole Earth Farms brand in 2009.
What makes this brand unique is its focus on high-quality ingredients with all recipes made in the United States. It is also a brand that cares about affordability to ensure that as many pets receive a quality diet as possible.
Whole Earth Farms offers a variety of kibble and canned food recipes for cats, all made with high-quality animal protein to meet your cat’s carnivorous needs.
They also promise that their products support easier digestibility, less shedding, shinier coat, higher energy levels, stronger nails, and healthier skin. Read on to see what we think of the Whole Earth Farms brand and its products.
- How We Review Cat Food Brands
- Overview of the Whole Earth Farms Brand
- What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
- Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Food
- Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Turkey Pate Recipe Canned Food
- Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Turkey Dry Food
- What Do Customers Think of Whole Earth Farms Cat Food?
- How Much Does Whole Earth Farms Cat Food Cost?
- Where Can You Buy Whole Earth Farms Cat Food?
- Our Final Thoughts: Is Whole Earth Farms a Good Brand?
How We Review Cat Food Brands
Before we recommend a cat food brand, we do our own research to determine its quality.
We hold all cat food brands to the same high standards, considering first and foremost the nutritional requirements of cats. Cats require a balanced diet in the same way that you do, but their nutritional needs are very different.
As obligate carnivores, cats have a biological need for a high-protein diet and most of that protein should come from animal-based sources.
The best food for cats is high in protein with moderate fat content and low carbohydrate content.
Your cat’s food should be supplemented with nutrients to ensure nutritional balance and should contain no artificial additives or by-products.
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 these requirements, we also look for cat food brands that offer a variety of different recipes for customers to choose from. Cats can be picky eaters, so we think it is important for a cat food brand to offer a variety of products – having variety gives you more to choose from.
The brand’s recall history is a good way to gauge quality and safety as a whole while customer reviews provide insight into the brand’s quality and popularity.
Overview of the Whole Earth Farms Brand
The Whole Earth Farms brand was founded in 2009 by its parent company, Merrick Pet Care.
This brand promises to be, “the perfect choice for pet parents interested in exploring natural pet food.” Every recipe includes high-quality, natural ingredients including real animal protein and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Whole Earth Farms markets their products as “affordable goodness” and says that they are “cooked in America with the earth’s best ingredients.”
They do not, however, provide a lot of details about where their ingredients are sourced from or where their products are manufactured.
Whole Earth Farms offers a very limited list of frequently asked questions and the answers are a little vague. When it comes to their ingredients, they say that they “put in only the best and leave the rest.”
Their recipes include multiple proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, and whitefish with fruits, vegetables, and healthy oils.
They are free from low-quality grains, by-products, and artificial additives but we can’t say for sure where the ingredients are sourced from.
As for where the products are manufactured, the website says little except that it is in the United States.
Though it is difficult to learn the specifics about the Whole Earth Farms brand, they don’t seem to use any highly questionable ingredients and their products do live up to promises of being made with real animal proteins and other digestible ingredients.
The product choice is not quite as extensive as Merrick’s lineup, but there are numerous dry food and wet food options to choose from.
We’re also glad to see that most recipes include chelated minerals and probiotics, both beneficial supplements you would expect to see in any high-quality cat food brand.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
The Whole Earth Farms brand has expanded its product offerings to include over several dozen different recipes. They offer a number of dry food and canned food recipes, all of which now appear to be grain-free.
In addition to recipes formulated specifically for adult cats, Whole Earth Farms also offers recipes for kittens and indoor cats. C
hoose from a wide variety of protein options including chicken, turkey, salmon, duck, whitefish, and tuna.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Food||Dry||35%||12%||Chicken meal, turkey meal, dried potatoes, peas, chicken|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Turkey Pate Recipe Canned Food||Wet||9%||5%||Turkey, turkey broth, chicken, turkey liver, chicken liver|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Turkey Dry Food||Dry||32%||10%||Chicken meal, potatoes, peas, turkey meal, pea fiber|
If you’re looking for a moderately priced cat food that offers good nutritional quality, this grain-free chicken recipe is one to consider. It features real chicken meal as the first ingredient and doesn’t contain any poultry by-products.
The chicken meal is supplemented with turkey meal and fresh chicken, but you’ll also find plant-based proteins like pea protein and dried alfalfa meal on the list.
This is a grain-free recipe, made with digestible carbohydrates like dried potatoes and peas with pea fiber to provide an additional source of dietary fiber. In addition to these ingredients, the recipe is supplemented with probiotics for healthy digestion and chelated minerals to ensure nutritional balanced.
Chelated minerals are chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them more digestible. The only other issue we see with the recipe is the low fat content at 12%, though this could be a benefit for overweight cats.
If your cat prefers wet food, this grain-free real turkey recipe pate could be a good option.
It features fresh turkey as the first ingredient with fresh chicken, turkey liver, and chicken liver as supplemental sources of real animal protein.
Turkey broth provides moisture and natural flavor, making this recipe highly palatable for even picky eaters.
This recipe contains limited carbohydrate content, relying only on dried peas and dehydrated alfalfa meal, though it should be noted that alfalfa meal is a plant source of protein as well.
Flaxseed oil provides a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and coat as well.
Though the carbohydrate content of this recipe is fairly low, it is high in fiber which can be a benefit for some cats but it may be too high for others.
Indoor cats have unique nutritional needs and this Whole Earth Farms recipe is designed to cater to them. This recipe is rich in lean animal protein with low fat and calorie content to help control body weight.
There is also a significant amount of dietary fiber to help reduce hairballs while supporting healthy bodyweight and regular digestion.
The first ingredient is chicken meal, a concentrated source of animal protein, followed by potatoes and peas with turkey meal after that.
This leads us to question the overall carbohydrate content of the recipe, considering the protein content is only 32%. Also, a fat content of 10% is very low, even for overweight cats, because the minimum requirement for adult cats is 9%.
The recipe is, however, supplemented with probiotics and chelated minerals and doesn’t appear to contain a significant amount of plant protein.
What Do Customers Think of Whole Earth Farms Cat Food?
The Whole Earth Farms appeals to cat owners with a limited budget, but not everyone is pleased.
The ingredients list seems to be full of high-quality ingredients, but there are some concerns about changing recipes and some cats simply don’t like the products.
That being said, many of the products available on Chewy have at least a 4-star rating but some had a significant percentage of 1-star ratings among the higher-star reviews.
Positive Customer Reviews
“I am happy with this purchase. My “allergy” cat is doing fine on it. She doesn’t eat it ravenously like her other food, which makes me think she may not like it as well, but she does end up eating it all.”
– CatCrazy, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Food
“I have never had an issue with getting my girls to eat this food. They scream for it when I wake up in the morning and scream again when I get home at night. They both chow down on this brand’s wet and dry food with no problem. The ingredient list is also amazing and there’s really no processed crap added in.”
– CatMom, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Turkey Pate Recipe Canned Food
“I have two indoor cats living in a small city space with me. Weight had become an issue. Initially, they did not like this flavor as much as other Whole Earth Farms flavors but, after a few days, they cleaned their bowls. Their coats are shinier, and they are shedding less. I’m very satisfied with this product.”
– PippinsMom, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Turkey Dry Food
Negative Customer Reviews
“I’ve heard such great reviews about this product. I put it down on the floor and all three cats wouldn’t dare touch it, poor things. I can’t believe none of them would even try it. Must be something wrong with it. I heard it’s good for them and healthy but not for my three. I was really hoping this was the one.”
– Paxx, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Food
“I recently opened up several cans with what looks like mold. I have also had inconsistency issues in the past, sometimes the food is very dry, sometimes it’s very wet, and sometimes it has a lot of fat. Also, there have been times where there’s about a quarter of the food missing.”
– Nmcraven, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Turkey Pate Recipe Canned Food
“My cats love the other flavors by this brand but absolutely hate this one. I couldn’t get them to eat it and they would starve themselves before they touched it. I don’t know what is different about this flavor versus the others, but it’s not a winner for them at all.”
– Jessina, reviewing Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Indoor Chicken & Turkey Dry Food
Product Recall History
Pet food recalls are issued for pet food products when there is a problem with the product itself or with the packaging.
The FDA has the power to issue a recall if they receive customer complaints or notice an issue during independent product testing.
In some cases, the company may issue a voluntary recall for the product itself before it comes to an FDA recall.
Because many pet food manufacturers produce pet food in mass quantities, mistakes are prone to happen and a recall or two does not indicate a low-quality brand.
You’ll be glad to know, however, that Whole Earth Farms has not had any recalls.
How Much Does Whole Earth Farms Cat Food Cost?
Whole Earth Farms is a brand dedicated to affordability while still offering high-quality products.
Though we were unable to determine the exact quality of the ingredients used, the list of ingredients on the recipes reviewed revealed no significant concerns.
The two dry food recipes were moderately priced around $2.50 per pound and the wet food was very affordable at about $0.25 per ounce.
To give you a better idea how Whole Earth Farms 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 Whole Earth Farms Cat Food?
As an affordable brand of cat food, you may be eager to learn where you can find Whole Earth Farms products.
You’ll be glad to know that most major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart carry the products in-store and online.
You can use the website’s local store finder to see what other stores in your area might carry the food.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Whole Earth Farms a Good Brand?
Overall, we appreciate the Whole Earth Farms brand for what it is – a decent quality, mid-priced brand of pet food.
This brand uses real animal proteins as the foundation for all of their recipes, but some recipes utilize significant concentrations of carbohydrates and plant proteins.
We have no doubt that each recipe is complete and balanced, and we were glad to see that most included probiotics and chelated minerals.
We did find, however, that the total protein and fat content in most recipes could be a little higher and that some went overboard on fiber.
If you’re looking for an affordable brand that uses decent ingredients, however, this is one to consider.
Also Read: Best Affordable Cat Food