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Cat food made with avocados? This calls for an in-depth analysis. Get the facts in our Avoderm cat food review.
The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Avoderm on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Avoderm and graded it according to the We’re All About Cats standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. Here’s how it rates in each of these six key areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 7/10
- Ingredient Quality – 7/10
- Product Variety – 7/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 8/10
- Recall History – 5/10
Overall Score: 7.0/10
We give Avoderm cat food a 42 out of 60 rating or a B grade.
Breeder’s Choice has been in the pet food manufacturing business since 1947. In the 1980s, Breeder’s Choice learned that a local avocado farmer had surplus crops. According to Avoderm legend, the company’s extensive research revealed the nutritional benefits of avocado for pets and a partnership was born.
The result was Avoderm, a brand of pet food that includes avocado in every recipe.
Wait…avocados in pet food? If listicles and infographics are to be believed, avocados are up there with chocolate and raisins in terms of foods your cat shouldn’t eat.
Yet for over 30 years, avocados have remained a central part of the brand’s identity and all Avoderm recipes. The inclusion of this ingredient has earned Avoderm fans and controversy. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Avoderm, including facts about the safety of avocados, where Avoderm is made, and where you can buy it.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Avoderm cat food is manufactured by Breeder’s Choice. This company operates one manufacturing facility located in Irwindale, California. Click here to learn more about the plant’s capabilities and standards.
Most of Avoderm’s primary ingredients come from North American suppliers, with some ingredients sourced from France, New Zealand, Thailand, and Peru.
Has Avoderm cat food been recalled?
Avoderm cat food has never been recalled, but their dog food has. In 2012, the FDA announced that Avoderm was recalling their Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Formula dry dog food due to potential salmonella contamination.
What kinds of cat food does Avoderm offer?
Avoderm’s cat food selection is varied. It includes dry and wet recipes. Some come in cans and some come in pouches.
Avoderm offers life stage-specific foods, including recipes for kittens, adults, and all life stages. You’ll also find a selection of health-oriented foods, including products for cats with hairballs, cats who need to lose weight, cats with food intolerances, and food intended to support skin and coat health.
And all of them contain at least a tiny bit of avocado.
The company gushes over this ingredient, claiming that it supports skin and coat health, provides vitamins A, C, E, and B6, and is rich in healthy fat.
But does it provide those benefits for cats? Not quite.
Cats are obligate carnivores. This doesn’t just mean they like to eat animals. It affects the way they digest and metabolize their food. As obligate carnivores, cats aren’t good at utilizing the nutrients in plant ingredients. This fact shows up in their inability to utilize those healthy fats present in avocado and their inability to utilize vitamin A from plants.
So there are a few problems with the idea of avocado as a superfood for cats. But while they’re not the nutritional powerhouses you might want them to be, avocados aren’t toxic, either.
While the pit, stem, and skin of an avocado may be unsafe, its fruit and oil—the components used in Avoderm foods—are generally considered safe for cats.
Avoderm Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Avoderm Natural Grain-Free Tuna & Crab Entree in Gravy Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.35||C+|
|Avoderm Natural Chicken Formula Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.26||B+|
|Avoderm Natural Chicken & Herring Meal Formula Adult Dry Cat Food||Dry||$0.07||B|
Tuna appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This food features a mix of tuna, tuna broth, and crab as its primary protein sources. Fish shouldn’t be a fixture of your cat’s diet—there’s a good chance that it’ll be contaminated with heavy metals or toxins—but it’s a healthy addition to a rotational diet.
Instead of animal-sourced fats, which are inherently more nourishing for cats, the food contains sunflower oil and avocado oil as fat sources. Salmon oil or another animal-sourced fat would be more bioavailable to your carnivore’s body.
The stew is thickened and bound with a mix of tapioca starch, guar gum, and carrageenan. None of these ingredients are ideal inclusions in your cat’s food. Tapioca starch adds nothing but carbohydrates. Guar gum is a fiber source with little nutritional value. Carrageenan is, perhaps, the worst of the bunch—it’s a potential carcinogen and notorious for its potential to fan up inflammation. Note, however, that carrageenan keeps a low profile in this food. It’s the last ingredient on the list, coming after trace amounts of minerals and amino acids.
Overall, this food is high in protein, low in fat, and has moderately high carbohydrate content.
With 94% of customers saying they’d recommend it to a friend and most reviews gushing about how much their cats like the food, customer satisfaction is this product’s strong point.
But it has some serious flaws. It’s higher in carbohydrates than it should be, with about 20% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis. It’s relatively low in fat and most of that fat comes from plants—not ideal for your carnivore.
It’s a relatively low-calorie product with about 23 calories per ounce.
Tuna (Source Of Omega 3), Tuna Broth, Crab, Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Oil, Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate, Avocado Oil, Taurine, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate Monohydrate, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity), Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Carrageenan
|Crude Protein||10% min|
|Crude Fat||2.0% min|
Avoderm Natural Grain-Free Tuna & Crab Entree in Gravy Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Tuna, Crab
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Tapioca Starch, Sunflower Oil, Guar Gum, Avocado Oil, Carrageenan
Common Allergens: Fish
- Cats seem to love this food
- Features animal-sourced protein
- Doesn’t contain potentially-harmful artificial colors
- High in carbohydrates compared to other wet foods
- Relies on plant oils rather than animal-sourced fat
- Contains carrageenan
Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
In contrast to the chunky stew consistency of the first food we reviewed, this food has a creamier paté texture.
Though only chicken makes it into the product’s name, the paté is a lot more than chicken. It also contains ocean fish, turkey, and quite a few additives. We’ll get into those later, but let’s unpack the first few ingredients first.
The ingredient list begins with chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver—the last of which is a particularly nutrient-dense ingredient and a good source of vitamin A—and ocean fish. Ocean fish is a term used to refer to any marine fish used in pet food, with tilefish being the most common species used. Tilefish and other ocean fish, again, may contain heavy metals and other toxins that you probably don’t want your cat to ingest.
Turkey is the food’s third and final animal protein source.
The ingredient list goes on to include oat bran and rice flour, both starchy ingredients that add to the food’s carbohydrate content. Like other Avoderm wet foods, the food contains avocado oil as a source of omega fatty acids.
The food is stabilized with a combination of guar gum and carrageenan. While neither of these ingredients is species-appropriate or intensely nourishing for cats, the latter is particularly noxious. Though it may be harmless, there is some evidence that the wrong type of carrageenan can cause or worsen inflammation.
Overall, this wet food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.
In spite of its oat bran and rice flour, this food remains a low-carbohydrate, meat-rich food with a species-appropriate macronutrient distribution. Aside from the use of carrageenan, this appears to be one of the better foods you could give your cat.
This food has 33 calories per ounce, placing it on the higher-calorie end of the spectrum.
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Ocean Fish, Turkey, Oat Bran, Rice Flour, Avocado Oil, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Carrageenan, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Copper Proteinate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Potassium Iodide, Manganous Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B Complex), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Biotin.
|Crude Protein||10% min|
|Crude Fat||7.0% min|
Avoderm Natural Chicken Formula Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Ocean Fish, Oat Bran, Rice Flour, Avocado Oil, Guar Gum, Carrageenan
Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish
- Rich in animal-sourced protein
- Low carbohydrate content
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, and potentially-toxic preservatives
- One of the most economical wet foods in the Avoderm lineup
- Contains carrageenan
- Relies on plant-sourced oil rather than animal fat
Chicken meal appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
This dry food is among the most popular in the Avoderm lineup. It features nutrient-dense chicken meal as its primary protein source. Later on the ingredient list, the food also contains herring meal and dried egg product as additional protein sources.
Ground whole brown rice and white rice serve as kibble binders and carbohydrate sources. Dried tomato pomace adds fiber. In standard Avoderm fashion, the food contains avocado meal and avocado oil, adding omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids along with an array of other nutrients.
The food contains a mix of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make it nutritionally complete for adult cats.
Overall, this food has moderate protein content with moderate fat and high carbohydrate content.
With an emphasis on clearly-named animal ingredients, animal fat, and no artificial colors or potentially-harmful preservatives, this food is a few steps ahead of a lot of dry foods. But you can’t ignore that this food contains two types of rice as primary ingredients, is high in carbohydrates, and doesn’t provide all the moisture cats need.
Chicken Meal, Ground Whole Brown Rice, Ground Whole White Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Tomato Pomace, Herring Meal, Avocado Meal, Natural Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dried Chicory Root, Salt, Whey, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, A -Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Niacin, Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Riboflavin Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Avocado Oil, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Parsley Flakes, Dried Kelp Meal, Dl-Methionine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Inositol.
|Crude Protein||32% min|
|Crude Fat||20% min|
Avoderm Natural Chicken & Herring Meal Formula Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Herring Meal
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Ground Whole Brown Rice, Ground Whole White Rice, Avocado Meal
Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish, Eggs
- Features an animal protein source as the primary ingredient
- An affordable cat food
- Doesn’t contain any animal by-products or vaguely-named ingredients
- High carbohydrate content
- Doesn’t have adequate moisture
What do customers think of Avoderm cat food?
The brand’s most enthusiastic fans claim that the food’s use of avocado-based ingredients support skin and coat health. Others have a vague respect for the foods’ ingredient quality.
Still, there’s a group of people who refuse to feed Avoderm out of worry that the food will make their cats sick. Disappointed customers usually talk about inconsistent product quality, with more than one customer saying that their cats will eat some cans and not others.
“My long-haired cat Lorenzo had been eating a different brand of high quality food but over the past couple of months his coat was spiky and greasy looking and he had tons of dandruff. Since spiky fur can be a sign of illness, I took him to the vet for a check-up even though he was acting perfectly normal. All tests came back perfect. The vet found no sign of illness. We talked about trying different food and a friend recommended Avoderm. Lorenzo has been eating Avoderm for about a month now and it seems to have taken care of the problem. His coat is fluffy and shiny with no dandruff. It took him a couple of days to get used to the flavor but now he loves it, as do my other 2 cats.” – Chickpanda, reviewing Avoderm Natural Chicken & Herring Meal Dry Cat Food
“Jake, at Chewy, suggested three different foods that my finicky cat might like. I bought all three and the only one she absolutely loves is the AvoDerm. It is the first time in the ten years that I have had her that she has cleaned her plate completely upon eating the food. Usually, if there any liquid in the pate, she will lick it up and leave the food. But there is no liquid in this pate, which is soft and even smells good, and nevertheless, she gobbles it up. I’m in heaven. I had to donate the Miko and the American Journey, two other brands that were suggested, but I am thrilled to have found her something she will eat without having to starve herself into submission. Thanks, Jake!!” – Ebonylight, reviewing Avoderm Natural Chicken Formula Canned Cat Food
“I’ve been buying Avoderm Tuna and crab for at least 8 years and the last 2 years (and probably 3 or more years) there have been too many cans with bad/stinky/no good crab in each case of 24 (small cans). I didn’t say anything until 2019(August).
“After several presentations none of my five cats would have anything to do with it. A real waste of money.” – pickyconsumer22, reviewing Avoderm Natural Chicken Formula Canned Cat Food
How much does Avoderm cat food cost?
Depending on which formulas you buy, Avoderm ranges from economical to expensive. For example, their wet food ranges from about $1.56 to $3.15 per day if you’re feeding a typical 10-lb cat. Their dry food is significantly cheaper, with daily feeding costs adding up to around $0.14 per day.
Overall, is Avoderm a good choice?
Whether or not Avoderm is a good choice depends on which recipe you choose and what you’re looking for. If you pick the right formula—like the chicken formula canned food reviewed above—Avoderm might be an economical, species-appropriate choice.
If you’re interested in Avoderm as a solution for your cat’s skin and coat health, it’s probably not the best choice. You’d be better off exploring brands that feature anti-inflammatory, nourishing omega-3s from animal sources. Consider foods that contain salmon oil, menhaden fish oil, and green-lipped mussel. Many brands fit this description, with Feline Natural, Ziwi Peak, and Vital Essentials standing out as top-rated options.
Where to Buy Avoderm Cat Food
You can buy Avoderm cat food in feed stores and pet specialty retailers. Click here to find a retailer near you. If you’d rather shop online, look for Avoderm on Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart, Petco, Walmart, Jet, PetFlow, or PetProducts.com.
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.