Crave Cat Food Review

Crave cat food review

Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. To stay objective and avoid biases, we don’t accept free products or write sponsored posts. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read More here.

Crave’s tagline is Satisfy Their Nature™ and it’s marketed as ancestrally-inspired, meat-centric food that honors your cat’s carnivorous nature. But is it a healthy, high-quality choice for your cat? Find out in our unbiased Crave cat food review.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Crave on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Crave cat food 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 measures up to our quality standards.

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 6/10
  • Product Variety – 7/10
  • Price – 7/10
  • Customer Experience – 8/10
  • Recall History – 9/10

Overall Score: 7.9/10

We give Crave cat food a 47 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.

About Crave

In a 2017 release published on PR Newswire, Mars Petcare marketing director Eric Huston described Crave as “specialty-quality nutrition at a price designed for the masses, making it affordable and convenient for all pet owners to implement a protein-rich diet that satisfies their dog or cat’s inner animal.”

Crave’s parent company has been in the pet food industry since 1939, when Mars introduced Kit-E-Kat® cat food to the European market. Today, Mars Petcare owns over 40 pet food brands, including Whiskas, Iams, Royal Canin, Nutro, and Sheba. In 2017, the company brought in over 17 billion dollars in revenue, making it the highest-earning pet food company in the world.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Crave cat food is manufactured in several Mars-owned facilities around the United States.

While they don’t specify exactly where they source their ingredients, Mars tries to buy ingredients near their manufacturing facilities. They test every batch for ingredient integrity and audit their suppliers on a regular basis.

Has Crave cat food been recalled?

It doesn’t appear that Crave cat food has been recalled since its creation in 2017.

What kinds of cat food does Crave offer?

The Crave cat food lineup includes both dry and wet cat foods. All of their foods are grain-free with no corn, soy, or wheat and features meat as the first ingredient.

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Crave Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat FoodDry$0.20C
Crave with Protein from Chicken & Salmon Indoor Adult Dry Cat FoodDry$0.20C
Crave Salmon Paté Grain-Free Cat Food TraysWet$0.42B

Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Review

Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat FoodView on Chewy View on Amazon

Chicken and chicken meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food.

Like all Crave recipes, this food features meat as the first ingredient. Chicken leads the ingredient list, followed by chicken meal, which is a concentrated source of animal protein. Further down the ingredient list, the recipe includes fish meal, another concentrated source of animal protein. In addition to meat, the food includes several plant protein concentrates. Pea protein, potato protein, and dehydrated alfalfa meal appear on the ingredient list.

Other plant ingredients include split peas, tapioca meal, and dried plain beet pulp.

All told, Crave with Protein from Chicken is high in protein with low fat and moderate carbohydrate content. It has 402 calories per cup.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Split Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tapioca, Fish Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potato Protein, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein40% min
Crude Fat18% min
Fiber4.0% max
Moisture10% max
Ashn/a

Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Split Peas, Pea Protein, Potato Protein, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Animal protein sources are the first two ingredients
  • Uses chicken fat as a species-appropriate fat source
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Contains several plant protein concentrates
  • Unnecessarily high carbohydrate content

Crave with Protein from Chicken & Salmon Indoor Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Review

Crave with Protein from Chicken & Salmon Indoor Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

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Chicken and chicken meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food.

Crave’s Chicken and Salmon recipe is marketed for indoor cats. Like most indoor cat foods, it has higher-than-average fiber content and has low calorie content. In theory, these qualities help to reduce hairballs and prevent obesity.

Like Crave with Protein from Chicken, this food’s ingredient list begins with chicken and chicken meal, followed by pea protein and split peas. It relies on chicken fat as a species-appropriate primary fat source. Tapioca is an additional source of starch and helps to bind the kibble. Dried plain beet pulp serves as a source of fiber, followed by three additional sources of protein. One is potato protein, followed by salmon meal and dehydrated alfalfa meal.

Overall, this food has moderate protein content, low fat, and high carbohydrate content. It has 379 calories per cup.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Split Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tapioca, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potato Protein, Salmon Meal, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein40% min
Crude Fat16% min
Fiber6% max
Moisture10% max
Ashn/a

Crave with Protein from Chicken & Salmon Indoor Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Crave with Protein from Chicken & Salmon Indoor Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Pea Protein, Split Peas, Tapioca, Dried Beet Pulp, Potato Protein, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Contains several sources of animal protein
  • Includes chicken fat as a species-appropriate fat source
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Contains concentrated sources of plant protein
  • High in carbohydrates

Crave Salmon Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Trays Review

Crave Salmon Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Trays, 2.6-oz, case of 24 twin-packs

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

This Crave salmon paté is made primarily from meat ingredients. Salmon, chicken liver, pork broth, chicken broth, and chicken heart lead the ingredient list.

The food contains fish oil as a species-appropriate source of omega-3s.

Guar gum, tapioca starch, and carrageenan are used as thickeners and binders. These ingredients add to the food’s carbohydrate and fiber content. Carrageenan may contribute to inflammation and cancer.

Carrageenan is the food’s most questionable additive—the food is free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that might make your cat sick.

Overall, this is a meat-based food that’s high in protein with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content. There are 39 calories in each 1.32 oz serving.

Ingredients

Salmon, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Pork Broth, Chicken Broth, Chicken Heart, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Tomatoes, Carrageenan, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Tapioca Starch, Salt, Choline Chloride, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Copper Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K Activity).

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein10% min
Crude Fat5.0% min
Fiber1.5% max
Moisture78% max
Ash3.2% max

Crave Salmon Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Crave Salmon Pate Grain-Free Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Dried Tomatoes, Tapioca Starch, Carrageenan

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Rich in animal-sourced protein
  • Contains muscle meat and organs
  • Free of artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Fish-based foods aren’t ideal for long-term feeding
  • Contains carrageenan
  • High in starch

What do customers think of Crave cat food?

Crave cat food listings consistently receive four and five-star reviews. Customers like that they can buy it at their grocery or convenient big box store. Cats love the way Crave tastes.

Positive Reviews

“We moved to a new apartment and forgot the cats grain free food. When I went to the grocery store I saw this and said ok if he doesn’t like it I’ll buy more of his original food tomorrow at the pet store. It’s been a week and he stalks his bowl while also sitting their staring at his bowl after 1 cup of food for a 12lbs cat. He’s never attacked dry food this heavily before but I sure will keep him going on it.” –  Draco, reviewing Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food

“I received a free sample from Chewy and couldn’t wait to try it out. First, I will say I was impressed with the nice packaging. It isn’t hard to open and you don’t have to worry about cutting your fingers on sharp metal lids like so many packaged wet cat food. I also didn’t mind the smell of it as it really smelled like real food (which makes sense with the natural ingredients) instead of the typical gross cat food smell. I gave Crave to my two cats, ages 9 and 11. They typically eat dry cat food, but I was excited to try this since they are getting older and it would be much easier for them to eat. Not only did they love it and eat every last bite quickly, but they stood at the door waiting for more later in the day. It comes in a good portion size and can be snapped apart to separate the two sides, which was helpful with my two cats. The natural ingredients, size, smell, and way my cats reacted to it would definitely make me recommend Crave to any cat owner.”Brittany, reviewing Crave Salmon Paté

Negative Reviews

“I was so disappointed with this product, I’d chosen it not only for the nutritional content but also the size of the nibbles. I have a cat with no teeth who needs tiny little nibbles, and instead this product looks like dog food, the pieces are so large.” AzPerson, reviewing Crave with Protein from Chicken and Salmon Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food

“My two cats reluctantly ate the food and they vomited. This is the only dry cat food that this has happened to my cats.”Roger, reviewing Crave with Protein from Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food

How much does Crave cat food cost?

Crave dry foods are moderately-priced at around $0.20 per ounce or roughly $0.49 per day for the average 10-lb cat. Crave’s wet recipes are more expensive at around $0.40 per ounce or $2.75 per day.

Overall, is Crave a good choice?

Crave cat food isn’t nutritionally excellent, but it’s better than most other foods sold at discount stores and groceries. It’s easy to find, easy to feed, and a hair more nutritious and species-appropriate than other foods at a similar price point.

To get the best out of Crave, choose their wet foods rather than their dry formulas. Crave’s wet cat food recipes have lower plant content, lower carbohydrate content, and simpler ingredient lists than the dry ones.

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Where can you buy Crave cat food?

You can buy Crave through pet specialty retailers, big box stores, and some grocery stores. Online, Crave is available through Amazon, Chewy, and other web retailers that sell pet food.

Click here to shop for Crave 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.

13 thoughts on “Crave Cat Food Review

  1. AvatarStephanie

    My cats use the chicken and chicken with salmon dry food and they love it and I’m highly disappointed that it is hard to get

    Reply
  2. AvatarSam Carson

    I try to avoid giving her fish cat food and lean more toward chicken and beef. Crave is the only beef dry cat food I have found and she does like it. I didn’t see a review for the beef and was wondering what you and others thought of it. Thank you for your time.

    Reply
  3. AvatarAngie

    We have 2 Ragdolls, 7 and 9 year old. Our 9 year old male started throwing up anytime he ate his regular dry food (other brand). We tried many, many different brands and flavours (indoor, senior, no grain, easy to digest, vet formulas, etc)… he kept throwing up 90% of the dry food (soft food was fine).

    His vet check ups were perfect except for the throwing up (this had been going on for about a year). He was now only eating soft food and was fine. We decided to try one more dry cat food…”Crave”. He hasn’t thrown up once. It’s been 2 months now … not once. Both cats love it (we give the chicken formula). Thank you Crave!

    Reply
  4. Avatarron

    Feed your cats wet not dry. You are destroying your pets. The hard kibble in dry cat food doesnt clean the teeth at all. Wet food provides way more moisture than dry. As dr lisa pierson said ” I would rather feed my cat the worst wet food than the best dry” !!!! Nuff said!

    Reply
  5. AvatarBarb Heischberg

    HI – I just started to feed my diabetic cat Crave can food. This morning I measured his glucose level and it was at 95. I fed him Crave can food this morning and when I get home I will retest his blood glucose to see well he is doing. So I’m hoping this cat food in the cans will be a good replacement for the DM dry cat food (by Hills and by Purina).

    Reply
  6. Mallory CrustaMallory Crusta

    Hello Barb,

    Thanks for the comment!

    It sounds like you’re headed in the right direction. Dry food is inherently high in carbohydrates and even Purina’s DM dry cat food is about 17% carbohydrates on a dry matter basis —well over the 10% or less recommended for diabetic cats. Switching to low-carb wet food is one of the fastest ways to get your cat’s blood glucose under control, so you’re doing the right thing by watching his blood glucose closely and not over-administering insulin.

    These articles may help you further:

    Best Cat Food for Diabetic Cats: https://www.wwwallaboutcats.com/best-cat-food-diabetic-cats
    Best Cheap Cat Food: Top 5 Affordable (and Healthy!) Foods: https://www.wwwallaboutcats.com/best-cheap-cat-food

    Wishing you and your cat all the best!

    – Mallory

    Reply
  7. AvatarKira

    I have an 8 year old with a sensitive stomach. I have to watch what food she gets. She is also extremely picky, and will not take any moist food. But this stuff she loves! She gets mad if we get her anything else. And no problems with her stomach on this. I have her on the adult cat food, she’s an indoor cat, but she doesn’t need weight control, she’s a tiny thing.

    Reply
  8. Avatarjack andrews

    Feeding one of our older cats Crave chicken pate, also salmon/trout pate expecting the quality to be better than what he was getting and noticed lately both food packets when opened have a greenish color on one end of the product. Phoned the Mars Company help line and was told this discoloration was due to air infiltration during the sealing process, but questioned why it was a green color but the person answering my call could only continue to read the same reply over again. If you or I opened a canned food product for our consumption and found a greenish discoloration on that food product we would quickly discard that item. All Crave product cartons opened in the past 2 months show this same green discoloration. We also use the Sheba product made by Mars and have never seen a discoloration on any of those products.
    Could be it is time the appropriate government regulatory agency got involved to investigate why this manufacturers quality control department is not doing it’s job.

    Reply
  9. AvatarJoanne

    Can someone please tell me the salt content? As my cat has had these the last 6 weeks and has been drinking ridiculous amounts, after taking him to the vets we have been advised to go back to his old dry food, he is now back to drinking normally. I know that most cat dry food contains a small amount of sodium (approx 0.02%) but I read that these contain 0.06%? That’s quite a lot. When I looked at the ingredients of the crave biscuits it also stated “salt” in the ingredients but didn’t say how much? Not very impressed to be honest!

    Reply
  10. AvatarJack Andrews

    wrote my comments a few days ago re. Mars Company’s Crave cat food, specifically chicken pate having a greenish discoloring at one end of the food. I called the 800 line at Mars and a woman told me that this happens because air gets in when they are sealing the carton – air infiltration after processing and sealing allows bacteria to breed but they do not seem to care. If you are not going to publish this warning to other consumers then I’ll go to the proper government agency that oversees pet foods.
    Question: would you serve food at your family table that had green discoloring on the product when you opened it?

    Reply
  11. AvatarTabitha Brown

    I had to quit using Crave wet food portions for my cats because I’d discovered every container of it was full of small extremely sharp and spiky bone pieces. I only discovered them because I’d switched my 4 cats to Crave wet food in the portioned containers after one older female cat had a constipation problem and one of the middle-aged male cats and the middle-aged female cat had chronic urinary tract problems. After many many vet bills, I had finally googled that giving cats with these problems a wet cat food with extra water mashed into it could really help. The article also advised to use distilled water in their food and daily-freshened water bowls as well. I had already been using only distilled water in their daily-freshened water bowls, but they still had the problems. That’s when I decided to also try adding a wet cat food to their diets mashed with extra water. I picked Crave wet food in chicken flavour and in turkey flavour. The good news is that adding a wet food to their diet mashed with extra water solved all of their chronic urinary problems and the other cat’s constipation problems. Unfortunately, I started noticing the older cat started having blood in her stools and I started noticing all four of my cats looked liked they were hesitating a lot while eating it. Then I accidentally grabbed a spoon to mash their food one day and I noticed a lot of grittiness when I mashed their food in their bowls. So I extra washed my hands and started pressing the food through my fingers like a sieve and I was shocked to find every container had so many small bones that were so sharp and spiky, I felt like I was going to cut my fingers. If I hadn’t mashed those foods with water, I never would have discovered them because they aren’t anything I would have dreamed of searching for, and my cats weren’t able to tell me their food was full of them. But once I started sieving the food with my fingers, I was separating out those bone pieces, one after another, to hold them up to my eyes and I was in such shock to see how sharp and spiky those bone pieces were! I immediately switched to another wet food I found at the vet office and mashed that with water as well, and all four of my cats are still free of urinary or bowel problems.

    Reply
  12. AvatarMarcia Wilhelmsen

    My male Bengal loved Crave but started to vomit so switched brands. Wish that CRAVE made smaller sized dry kibble for small mouthed cats. It was a great product until too many times vomited whole pieces of undigested pieces.

    Reply

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