|Ziwi Peak||48||A-||Read Review|
|Hound & Gatos||48||A-||Read Review|
|Purina Beyond||41||B||Read Review|
|Taste of the Wild||38||C+||Read Review|
|Rachael Ray||35||C||Read Review|
|Natural Balance||34||C||Read Review|
|Royal Canin||33||C||Read Review|
|Blue Buffalo||32||C||Read Review|
|9 Lives||31||D||Read Review|
How do we rate cat food brands?
The We’re All About Cats Standard is at the heart of all our brand reviews. This rating system has six equally-weighted dimensions—species appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. Brands are rated in each of these areas on a scale of 1 – 10 for a total score of 6 – 60.
Here’s how we rate cat food brands according to the We’re All About Cats Standard.
Cats are predatory carnivores and therefore, species-appropriateness is determined by a food’s nutritional similarity to a fresh rodent, bird, small reptile, or another prey animal.
A brand selling only dry plant-based foods with no nutritional supplements would score a 1 on our species-appropriateness scale, while a brand selling moisture-rich fresh food made with meat, organs, and supplements would earn 10 points.
We measure ingredient quality by investigating the safety and digestibility of a food’s ingredients. Human-grade foods receive the highest ratings, while brands using animal or plant by-products receive scores of 5 or lower. The use of potentially harmful additives like dyes, artificial flavors, and chemical preservatives further reduce a brand’s ingredient quality score.
We look for a variety of proteins, options for cats with various health needs, and multiple textures to suit unique preferences.
In addition to sheer variety, ingredient quality and species-appropriateness weigh into this rating. A brand with a small selection of excellent foods will score higher than one offering an equally small selection of low-value foods.
The highest ratings are awarded to brands with a broad product variety, including canned, raw, freeze-dried, and multi-textured recipes with varied proteins for a rotational diet.
We evaluate a brand’s value by comparing its daily feeding costs to brands that use similar ingredients. The highest price scores are given to foods that combine great quality with a reasonable price.
Multiple aspects of customer perception and experience play into our final customer experience score.
To evaluate buyer experience, we read customer reviews on Amazon, Chewy, and other retail sites. We look for comments about the food’s texture, packaging quality, and customer service.
Next, we evaluate customer reviews on ConsumerAffairs and browse forums for discussions about the brand. We look for mentions of the brand in media outlets, looking for articles about lawsuits, scandals, and opinions on the brand. While on these sites, we read the comment section to see what readers are saying.
Finally, we may contact the brand by phone or email, evaluating response time, friendliness, and willingness to share information.
The highest ratings go to brands that consistently receive positive reviews, provide great customer service, and aren’t involved in lawsuits or scandals.
To rate a brand on recall history, we take into consideration how many times the company has issued a recall, the severity of the recalls, and how well the company responds to these events.
Brands that have never been recalled receive the highest recall history score. Ratings below 3 are assigned to brands with multiple serious recalls and a history of deception or evasiveness.
After tallying the brand’s scores in all six key dimensions, we convert them to a letter grade for easy reference and comparison to other brands.
|A||51/60 and above|
|A-||48/60 to 50/60|
|B+||45/60 to 47/60|
|B||42/60 to 44/60|
|B-||39/60 to 41/60|
|C+||36/60 to 38/60|
|C||33/60 to 35/60|
|D||30/60 to 32/60|
|F||30/60 or less|
Interpreting Cat Food Ratings
Brands with an A to A- grade should be at the top of your list when shopping for cat food. They stand out with superior nutrition, great customer experience, and high ingredient quality. In many cases, they’ve never been recalled.
Brands between B+ and C score well in some areas and fall short in others. You can find great products from these brands, but it will take more effort compared to top-rated brands.
While brands rated C- or lower may be good choices, they usually have problems. Common flaws include quality control issues, low-value ingredients, or a messy recall history.