Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food Review

Could a syrupy-sweet brand like Chicken Soup for the Soul have the substance it takes to nourish your carnivore? Find out in our unbiased Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food review.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Chicken Soup for the Soul on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Chicken Soup for the Soul 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.

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 7/10
  • Product Variety – 6/10
  • Price – 5/10
  • Customer Experience – 8/10
  • Recall History – 3/10

Overall Score: 6.6/10

We give Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food a 40 out of 60 rating or a B- grade.

About Chicken Soup for the Soul

The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand was created in 1993. Following the success of the original Chicken Soup for the Soul book, the company has published over 250 books and pumps out a new title every month.

In addition to books, the company’s expanded into TV and movies, runs an anti-bullying program, has its own app, and, most relevantly, owns a line of pet food.

Chicken Soup for the Soul says “we’re also inspired by the thousands of stories we receive about the love between pets and people. These stories show that every moment matters between an owner and a pet. Our wholesome pet foods are meant to help you turn your own moments into stories.”

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food was manufactured by Diamond Pet Food through 2012, but is now manufactured by a co-packer headquartered in Utah. All of their foods are made in the United States. The company sources ingredients from around the world, but refuses to source ingredients—including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids—from China.

Has Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food been recalled?

Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food has been recalled twice.

In 2012, a salmonella outbreak forced Diamond Pet Foods to recall multiple brands manufactured in its Gaston, South Carolina plant. All Chicken Soup for the Soul products were pulled. Other recalled brands included Country Value, Diamond, Premium Edge, 4Health, Taste of the Wild, and Professional.

By the time Diamond issued the recall, the bug had infected dozens of people across the United States and Canada. According to the CDC, a total of 49 people in twenty US states were infected with salmonella after handling Diamond-produced pet food.

The company has since severed their relationship with Diamond.

In 2007, several varieties of Chicken Soup for the Soul kitten and puppy food were recalled due to potential melamine contamination. This recall was one of many issued that year after multiple manufacturers received melamine-contaminated vegetable proteins from a major supplier in China.

What kinds of cat food does Chicken Soup for the Soul offer?

Chicken Soup for the Soul offers both dry and wet cat food in grain-inclusive and grain-free formulations.

Though it’s not strictly a grain-free brand, Chicken Soup for the Soul refuses to use the most unpopular grains, including corn, soy, and wheat. With the exception of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, Chicken Soup for the Soul recipes are all-natural without any artificial colors, flavors, or chemical preservatives.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Dry Cat FoodDry$0.11C
Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat FoodDry$0.10C
Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Cat FoodWet$0.15B-

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Dry Cat Food Review

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Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.

This popular recipe features fresh chicken as the first ingredient, followed by chicken meal. The latter is a dehydrated, concentrated form of protein and appears to be just as digestible as fresh chicken. Turkey meal is added as another protein-dense ingredient. After these meat ingredients, the ingredient list turns to grains and legumes, containing brown rice, peas, and fava beans. Cracked pearled barley appears later on the ingredient list, rounding out the food’s selection of grains and increasing its carbohydrate content.

The food contains chicken fat as its primary fat source. It’s a good one. The fatty acids in animal fat are just what your carnivore needs. Flaxseed is added as a source of fiber, which may be valuable to the digestive process. Note that cats need small, ideally animal-derived, doses of fiber and this food may have more fiber than your cat requires.

A few more protein-rich ingredients appear near the bottom of the ingredient list, including dried egg product, potato protein, turkey, duck, and salmon.

The food contains “natural flavor”, which is a flavor concentrate typically made from hydrolyzed animal tissues.

After these primary ingredients, the recipe contains a vitamin mix with all the chelated minerals, vitamins, and amino acids that make the product nutritionally complete. It also contains pinches of on-trend fruits and veggies along with prebiotics and probiotics.

Overall, this food is low in protein with low fat and high carbohydrate content.

The food has 397 calories per cup or roughly 105 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Fava Beans, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Cracked Pearled Barley, Dried Egg Product, Potato Protein, Natural Flavor, Turkey, Duck, Salmon, Sodium Bisulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Citric Acid (Preservative), Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Spinach, Cranberries, Rosemary Extract, Parsley Flakes, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Cobalt Carbonate, Inositol, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein34% min
Crude Fat18% min
Fiber4% max
Moisture10% max
Ashn/a

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat, Turkey, Duck

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Brown Rice, Peas, Fava Beans, Ground Flaxseed, Cracked Pearled Barley, Potato Protein

Common Allergens: Fish, Chicken, Eggs

Pros

  • Contains animal-sourced fat
  • Made without animal by-products
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Very high carbohydrate content
  • Dry food doesn’t provide adequate moisture

Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat Food Review

Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

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Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.

The words “indoor” and “hairball” on a cat food label usually means that the food is low in calories and high in fiber. Some believe that fiber helps to keep indoor cats from eating too much while helping hair to pass through the digestive tract.

With the exception of added fiber, this food is almost identical to the last recipe on our list. The recipe starts with chicken, chicken meal, and turkey meal as the first three ingredients, followed by a bundle of legumes and grains, including brown rice, peas, fava beans, and cracked pearled barley.

The food contains ground flaxseed as its first significant source of fiber, and, after chicken fat and natural flavor, contains powdered cellulose.

This ingredient, also known as wood pulp, is a non-digestible plant fiber. With up to 7% fiber on an as-fed basis, this food contains twice as much fiber as a typical dry food. Though we know that cats do have some capacity for gut fermentation and may benefit from some non-digestible tissues in their diet, they don’t ferment fiber in the same way that humans do. A high-fiber diet like this one might not be ideal.

After we get past the powdered cellulose, the ingredient list looks a lot like the first one we reviewed. It contains small amounts of turkey, duck, and salmon. Dried egg product is added as another source of animal-sourced protein.

The ingredient list concludes with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s supplemented with trace amounts of fruits and vegetables, including apples, carrots, blueberries, and spinach. Prebiotics and probiotics are added to support digestive health, though it’s unclear how viable these probiotics are after processing.

Overall, this dry food has moderate protein content with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.

The food contains about 358 calories per cup or about 98 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Fava Beans, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground Flaxseed, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Powdered Cellulose, Turkey, Duck, Salmon, Dried Egg Product, Sodium Bisulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Citric Acid (Preservative), Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Spinach, Cranberries, Rosemary Extract, Parsley Flakes, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Cobalt Carbonate, Inositol, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein32% min
Crude Fat13% min
Fiber7% max
Moisture10% max
Ashn/a

Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat, Turkey, Duck

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Brown Rice, Peas, Fava Beans, Cracked Pearled Barley, Ground Flaxseed

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish, Eggs

Pros

  • Free of animal by-products
  • Made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Made with animal-sourced fat

Cons

  • High carbohydrate content
  • May have unnecessarily high fiber content
  • Dry food doesn’t provide adequate moisture

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Cat Food Review

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Cat Food

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Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This wet food’s ingredient list starts with chicken. This refers to chicken muscle meat, which is great, but it doesn’t offer all the nutrients your cat needs. That’s where chicken liver comes in. It’s a nutrient-dense ingredient that provides a lot of nutrients in the carnivore-appropriate form your cat needs. In addition to chicken-sourced ingredients, the food contains salmon, turkey, duck, and dried egg product.

The food contains whole grain brown rice, which isn’t particularly better for your cat than white rice. It’s still a species-inappropriate, high-carbohydrate ingredient that doesn’t add much to the recipe. That theme of species-inappropriateness is repeated in the next few ingredients, which are flaxseed, oatmeal, carrots, and peas.

Like most canned foods, the product contains plant-sourced gums as stabilizers. The food contains a combination of cassia gum and xanthan gum. Though neither of these ingredients is species-appropriate, they shouldn’t harm your cat when consumed in small amounts.

The food is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make it nutritionally complete. Like other Chicken Soup for the Soul recipes, the food is also supplemented with apples, cranberries, and dried kelp.

Overall, this food is rich in protein with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.

The food has 194 calories per can or about 35 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Turkey Broth, Salmon, Turkey, Duck, Dried Egg Product, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Flaxseed, Oatmeal, Carrots, Peas, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Taurine, Apples, Cranberries, Dried Kelp, Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Inulin, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Choline Chloride Parsley.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein10% min
Crude Fat5.5% min
Fiber1.0% max
Moisture78% max
Ashn/a

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Turkey, Duck

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Whole Grain Brown Rice, Flaxseed, Oatmeal, Carrots, Peas, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish, Eggs

Pros

  • Uses a combination of muscle meat and organs
  • Rich in animal-sourced protein
  • Thickened without carrageenan
  • Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates compared to other wet foods

What do customers think of Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food?

Most customers seem to like this brand, saying that it delivers the quality they need at a price they can afford. Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food product listings receive generally positive reviews and the brand is seldom criticized elsewhere on the web.

Here’s what a few customers have to say about Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food:

Positive Reviews

“My cats absolutely love this product! They have been eating it for over 5 years. I had 2 cats losing their hair. After being on the Chicken Soup for Cats, their hair came back in, beautifully!”HappyKitties, reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Dry Cat Food

“Great Prices for quality! Cat loves! & still in the lower range of calories. (I try to find under 300/kcup) thus only 4 stars- This would be 5 stars if the calories were a tiny bit lower. Awesome choice for a budget friendly consumer without sacrificing quality.”Tammy, reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

Negative Reviews

“I was looking forward to finding a healthier wet cat food product for my cats. Someone had recommended this and said that her cats love it. Unfortunately neither one of my cats like it. They would rather not eat 🙁 It could be because of the pate texture as they are accustomed to cat food with more gravy. I tried to mash it up, add a little of another cat food, alternate with other foods but they are not interested. Sigh. Still on a quest to find something they like and is healthier.” LF1234, reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Canned Cat Food

“I allowed time to see improvement but after a month and a half the hairballs were still just as violent for my shorthair. Time to try another brand.”misty5, reviewing Chicken Soup for the Soul Indoor with Hairball Care Dry Cat Food

How much does Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food cost?

Chicken Soup for the Soul is an economical brand. Breaking it down by cost per day, the dry food would cost about $0.20 per day if you were feeding the average 10-lb cat. If you opt for Chicken Soup for the Soul wet cat food, it would cost closer to $0.90 per day.

How does that compare to other brands? The cost of Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food is comparable to 4Health and Simply Nourish. Their wet food is some of the cheapest on the market—even cheaper than some wet foods from Meow Mix and Sheba.

Overall, is Chicken Soup for the Soul a good choice?

Chicken Soup for the Soul is doing some things a lot better than other similarly-priced brands. Its foods nix artificial flavors, colors, and chemical preservatives that might harm your cat. Their recipes are free of animal by-products of potentially unsafe origins.

At the same time, this brand doesn’t do anything particularly extraordinary. All of their foods contain carbohydrate-heavy starches and low-value ingredients.

Though they’re not the best brand on the market, Chicken Soup for the Soul is worth putting on your shopping list if you want an economical food without a lot of potentially-harmful additives.

Where to Buy Chicken Soup for the Soul Cat Food

Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food is sold in pet specialty retailers, farm and ranch stores, natural grocery stores, and other brick-and-mortar locations. Click here to find a store near you.

If you’d prefer to shop online, you can order Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food through Chewy, Wag, Amazon, PetFlow, and other online stores that sell cat food.

Click here to shop for Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food on Chewy.

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.