Wellness Cat Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons


Our Final Verdict

We give Wellness cat food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

With endless pet foods to choose from, it’s no surprise that the market can become overwhelmed with options. For cats, specifically, the isles in the pet store can be enough to drive you and your feline friend wild. That’s when Wellness cat food comes into play. This is one of the many brands you’ll see at most pet stores, focusing on healthy natural pet products.

According to Wellness Pet Food’s mission statement, they promise to provide you with wholesome, natural pet food that is the best it can be. Although they also make dog food recipes, their cat line is one of the more popular on the market, from wet and dry food to toppers and treats for your cat or kitten. We’d say this company is for pet owners who want to move away from artificial ingredients and preservatives, as well as those searching for a more digestive-friendly formula.

Overall, our pet enjoyed the dry foods and treats Wellness provided, so we’d recommend them to anyone wanting a nutrient-rich, grain-free alternative to some of its competitors.  Keep reading for our detailed Wellness cat food review!

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At a Glance: What We Reviewed

Wellness Cat Food Reviewed

wellness cat food recipes and treats

Who Makes Wellness and Where Is It Produced?

The brand is headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, USA, with three facilities in Indiana, Minnesota, and the Netherlands. Wellness makes dry kibble, wet food, and treats for both cats/dogs. Most of its food for the US market is made in Indiana. As mentioned, Wellness has a manufacturing facility in the Netherlands, mainly creating products for their European market.

The global pet food brand sources most of its ingredients from the United States; however, some ingredients are sourced from abroad. Specifically, the taurine and green tea extract in some of the brand’s products come from China. They are not in everything, but that is something to watch. Furthermore, the brand is known to have stringent quality testing and standards, being one of the better options for animals.

Which Types of Cats Is Wellness Best Suited For?

Wellness cat food is suited for cats and kittens who don’t want to eat grain, as well as those who have sensitive digestive systems. One of the brand’s many pros is that its foods focus on a ‘less is more’ mentality, rich in protein, fiber, and nutrients. This cat food is for any pet wanting a more balanced, natural, ingredient-based diet and those who may not like the artificial preservatives in many pet foods.

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Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

Regarding the primary ingredients in Wellness cat food, this is overwhelmingly positive. For example, ingredients like deboned chicken, salmon, turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, peas, and cranberries can often be found in the company’s dry food products. Of course, this depends on which product you buy, with all focusing on protein, zero grains, nutrient-dense formulas, and high quality.

The wet foods are the same, relying heavily on natural ingredients over fillers and preservatives. Wellness pet foods tend to be richer, which can go either way with your feline friend. Some may like the extra flavors, while others will give you the stink eye.

kimora eating wellness cat food

Wellness Cat Food Is Grain-Free

One of the best features of Wellness cat food is its grain-free. Unfortunately, some of the larger cat food brands stuff their dry and wet foods with grain, often causing the animals eating it to get less protein and nutrients from their daily meals.

With Wellness-made products, you can expect a grain-free formula, which is a big deal to us. You wouldn’t want to give your pet subpar recipes, which using Wellness for meals has helped alleviate. Is grain necessarily “bad,” no. But it’s not the first thing you want your cat to eat. Meat and fish will always reign supreme.

Your Cat’s Coat Will Be Healthier

Another major benefit of feeding Wellness to your cat is that its food formulas are meant to improve coat strength and health. For instance, on the brands’ CORE Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food, you can find it contains Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed to help maintain a healthy coat.

The same goes for the Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Salmon & Herring Indoor Dry Cat Food we reviewed, mentioning its Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids and vitamins/minerals will boost a cat’s coat quality.

kimora eating wellness wet food pate

Say Goodbye To Meat By-Products

One of our favorite parts about feeding Wellness food to our cat is that there are ZERO meat by-products. If you’ve ever stopped and read through a pet food label at the store, things like lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, and other not-so-yummy ingredients that no cat should be eating. You don’t have to worry about this with Wellness cat foods, wet or dry; you don’t have to worry about this. The proof is in the recipe.

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A Quick Look at Wellness Cat Food

  • Grain-free
  • Protein-rich
  • Natural ingredients
  • Made mainly in the United States
  • Wet foods have a strong smell
  • Rich flavors could upset sensitive stomachs
  • Often out of stock on Amazon, Chewy, and other retailers
  • May contain extracts sourced from overseas

Recall History

Wellness pet foods have been recalled five times, with March 2017 being the last instance. Only one of these recalls has been cat-related, with the brand choosing to remove a small number of wet foods from shelves because their quality was not up to par with the brand’s regular products. There were no major side effects or incidents leading up to this recall, simply the brand taking accountability for a less-than-satisfactory set of canned foods.

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Reviews of the Wellness Cat Food We Tried

For our review, let’s take a look at our top three foods from Wellness. These include the two dry options and one of the wet canned foods, all of which were a hit in our household.

1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal Indoor Formula

Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal Indoor Formula

The first Wellness cat food we reviewed was the CORE Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal formula. This was the favorite of the products eaten, and our cat asked for more. The main ingredients in this dry food formula are deboned chicken, turkey meal, chicken meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), peas, potatoes, tomato pomace, and ground flaxseed.

Overall, this CORE recipe had a soft scent, which is nice for hesitant cats like ours, and a protein-packed set of ingredients that felt good to give a growing cat. As a pet parent to a younger feline, giving her plenty of meat, fish, and minerals/vitamins is incredibly important to keep everything healthy.

  • Grain-free
  • Supports indoor lifestyle
  • Infused with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals
  • Contains real meat and zero by-products
  • Has extracts sourced from outside the US
  • Is manufactured in a facility that processes grains

2. Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Salmon & Herring Indoor Dry Cat Food

Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain Free Salmon & Herring Indoor Dry Cat Food

The next Wellness cat food we tried was their salmon and herring indoor formula. This product was a close second to the CORE recipe, with our cat enjoying it for both breakfast and dinner. The difference in this cat food is its fish-heavy formula, which may be better for cats inclined to that diet. Our cat is more carnivorous, hence why the CORE meat option went over better. However, some of the standout ingredients in this cat food are salmon, peas, Menhaden fish meal (source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate), potatoes, Herring meal, chickpeas, pea fiber, and tomato pomace.

This food certainly checks the boxes for a hearty meal without being packed with fillers and preservatives. It’s also mentioned how this formula helps with energy, eyes, teeth, gums, coat/skin health, digestion, and immunity. That’s an impressive list of benefits, considering indoor cats miss out on many of the exercise and benefits of those who get outdoors.

  • Grain, wheat, corn, and soy-free
  • Zero artificial ingredients or preservatives
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals
  • Formulated for indoor cats
  • Has a stronger scent
  • Contains extracts from overseas
  • May not be ideal for cats who prefer meat

3. Wellness Natural Premium Canned Cat Wet Food Pate – 12 Pack Cans Variety Bundle

Wellness Natural Premium Canned Cat Wet Food Pate - 12 Pack Cans Variety Bundle

The third Wellness cat food product we reviewed is the canned wet food, which, overall, wasn’t as great as the dry options. Remembering this is a pate, the flavorings weren’t a major hit for our cat, with the beef and chicken recipe being the only one she wanted to eat. Generally, we don’t feed our cat this type of wet food, as it lists many ingredients and smells somewhat strong. However, that’s not to say every cat will avoid these recipes like ours chose to: but it’s a possibility.

Some of the ingredients mentioned throughout these wet canned foods are crude fat, crude fiber, zinc proteinate, vitamin A, D3, B12, and other supplements. These are all good things, so in terms of overall ‘healthiness,’ we’d agree Wellness cat food lives up to our expectations. Dry food is always easier to try for our cat, so the wet food may have just been a lot at once.

The favorite in our household, the beef and chicken recipe, impressed, containing mainly chicken, beef, chicken liver, chicken broth, and carrots. The smell was pleasant, and we noticed our cat go back and eat it periodically throughout the day.

  • Packed with natural meat and fish
  • Vitamins A, D3, and B12
  • Zero meat by-products

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Our Experience With Wellness Cat Food

wellness cat food recipes and treats on the countertop

Feeding Wellness cat food to my cat Kimora was a great experience overall. She’s somewhat of a diva (I named her Kimora, what did I expect?), so finding food she’ll eat is not always easy. However, with Wellness dry and wet food, she could have something different and healthy for breakfast and dinner. Switching recipes is not something she enjoys, and Wellness products made this process seamless. Yes, I’ll admit it took her a few sniffs and laps around the food bowl to try it: but once she did, I couldn’t stop her from finishing the meal.

Between the dry and wet formulas, the two dry ‘kibble’ options were ones I would buy and feed my cat again. In contrast, the wet food recipes were not my top choice, even with their great formulas. The smell was strong, and the consistency wasn’t Kimora’s favorite.

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Conclusion

Overall, Wellness cat food was a positive experience. Between the treats, dry food, and wet formulas, our cat was happy and well-fed. Something that stands out to us is the ingredient list throughout the foods, with natural ingredients being a top priority. With so many cat foods filled with grain, preservatives, and by-products, having Wellness recipes include ZERO was a great feeling. Picky pets are not easy to feed, especially with new brands, so using Wellness made this easier for us as owners and our fur babies.

Of course, it’s a good idea to consult your cat’s vet if they are used to a specific formula, so don’t be afraid to reach out to them before “officially” switching to Wellness products.

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