Nulo 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. Instead, our research is supported by you, our readers. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.
The name Nulo is a portmanteau of “nutrition” and “love”, but is this brand really a nutritious, safe choice for the cat you love? Find out in our unbiased Nulo review.

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

We’ve analyzed Nulo 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 those six key areas.

Ratings

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

Overall Score: 7.9/10

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

About Nulo

After starting a dog sitting business, Michael Landa was startled by the number of overweight and diabetic pets who required at-home insulin injections. He started investigating the trend and how it related to nutrition. According to the Nulo website, Michael’s research led to more disappointment as he learned about the use of high-glycemic ingredients in pet food. With the help of animal nutritionists, veterinarians, and food formulators, he developed a new brand of food for pets. Nulo was launched in 2009.

The brand is marketed to fitness-conscious people who want high-quality fuel for their animal companions. Nulo’s brand ambassadors include Olympic medalists, professional Crossfit athletes, a fitness trainer, and other fitness icons. It’s the pet food partner for Ironman events. In 2017, Nulo supported the “Squat Your Dog Challenge” at PetSmart.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Nulo is made from ingredients sourced around the world. Most of their fish, poultry, and meat ingredients are sourced from North America, France, and New Zealand. Their plant ingredients and vitamin packs are sourced from North America and other regions around the world. Nulo states that all ingredients are traced and tested for quality and safety before being used in their products.

Most Nulo food is manufactured in the United States with the exception of their wet cat food pouches and purées, which are made in a facility in Thailand.

Has Nulo cat food been recalled?

No. It doesn’t appear that Nulo has ever been recalled.

What kinds of cat food does Nulo offer?

Nulo offers a diverse variety of grain-free wet and dry cat food.

The Nulo Freestyle line includes both dry and wet cat food. All of the Freestyle recipes are grain-free with high meat content. The first 3-4 ingredients in every Freestyle dry cat food are sources of animal protein and their wet foods boast “industry-leading meat levels”.


Nulo’s Limited Ingredient Diet line includes both wet and dry foods for cats with food sensitivities and allergies. The recipes contain up to 38% crude protein and are the only limited ingredient foods that contain the GanedenBC³⁰ probiotic.

Nulo Medalseries is the brand’s PetSmart-exclusive line. Behind the high-contrast dark packaging, Medalseries is similar to the Freestyle line. Like Freestyle, Medalseries includes grain-free kibble, canned food, and pouches of shredded and flaked meat.

Perfect Purées are lickable treats that come in a tube. Nulo Pouches are shredded or flaked recipes that come in a pouch for easy storage and feeding. They’re made without any gums, tapioca, or potato starch. Because they’re not nutritionally supplemented, the contents of these pouches are intended as side dishes, snacks, and food toppers. They’re not complete meals.

All Nulo dry foods are supplemented with the patented BC30 probiotic, a probiotic strain that’s extremely stable due to the cell’s ability to form a protective spore. This spore doesn’t germinate until it’s reached the intestines, allowing it to remain stable during storage.

Get 30% OFF + Free Shipping on Cat Food

Click for Details →

Nulo Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten FoodDry$0.19B
Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat FoodDry$0.20B
Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten FoodWet$0.31A

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food Review

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

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

This Nulo Freestyle recipe is primarily made from deboned chicken and chicken meal with turkey meal as an additional source of poultry-sourced protein. Deboned cod is added as a fourth source of animal-sourced protein. These ingredients contribute to the food’s 80% animal protein content.

Like many grain-free foods, this product contains whole peas and lentils, presumably added to give the kibble its structure and to increase its protein content.

The food contains chicken fat as a primary source of fatty acids, pea fiber and ground flaxseed as sources of fiber, and dried chicory root as a source of prebiotic fiber. The food contains small amounts of dried kelp, dried sweet potato, and dried cranberries. The additive “natural flavor” is added as a concentrated source of the meaty taste cats enjoy. It’s typically made from hydrolyzed animal tissue.

The food is supplemented with probiotics for digestive support.

Overall, this kibble is a meat-based food with high protein, moderate fat, and moderate carbohydrate content.

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe has 486 calories per cup.

Ingredients

Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Dried Sweet Potato, Dried Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxidine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein40% min
Crude Fat20% min
Fiber4% max
Moisture10% max
Ashn/a

Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

 Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Fat

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Whole Peas, Lentils, Pea Fiber

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Primarily made from animal protein
  • Made with named meats rather than vaguely-labeled by-products
  • Relatively low carbohydrate content
  • Supplemented with probiotics

Cons

  • More plant content than cats need

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food Review

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food

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

Duck, chicken meal, turkey meal, and deboned cod are the first four ingredients in this food. Animal ingredients account for 82% of the kibble’s total protein content. Plant contributors to the food’s protein content include whole peas and lentils, both of which feature prominently on the ingredient list. Chicken fat is the food’s primary fat source.

Like other foods formulated for indoor cats, this recipe contains several sources of fiber, including pea fiber and dried chicory root.

It’s supplemented with dried kelp, dried sweet potato, and dried cranberries. Like all Nulo Freestyle dry foods, it’s enhanced with the BC30 Probiotic. It contains “natural flavor”, an additive typically made from hydrolyzed animal tissue and used to improve the food’s palatability.

Overall, this is a meat-based food with moderate protein, moderate fat, and high carbohydrate content.

There are 468 calories in each cup of Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils dry food.

Ingredients

Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Dried Sweet Potato, Dried Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxidine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein40% min
Crude Fat17% min
Fiber5% max
Moisture10% max
Ash7.5%

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Duck, Chicken Fat

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Whole Peas, Lentils, Pea Fiber, Dried Sweet Potato

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Primarily made from meat protein sources
  • Contains named meats rather than vaguely-named meat by-products
  • Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Supplemented with probiotics

Cons

  • High carbohydrate content

Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food Review

nulo 350

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

This Nulo Freestyle canned food is made primarily from animal protein sources, including turkey, chicken, turkey liver, and tuna. In addition to the flavors of these ingredients, the recipe contains an additive called “natural flavor” to increase its palatability. Natural flavor is made from hydrolyzed animal tissues and is a concentrated source of the meaty taste cats love.

The food contains both guar gum and agar-agar, both plant-derived gums that thicken and stabilize the paté. It contains small amounts of pumpkin, cranberries, and dried kelp, all of which Nulo describes as superfoods.

Menhaden fish oil is added as a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help to support healthy skin and coat.

Overall, this is a meat-based food with high protein, high fat, and low carbohydrate content.

This food has 193 calories in each 5.5 ounce can or approximately 35 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Tuna, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Agar Agar, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein11% min
Crude Fat6.5% min
Fiber0.75% max
Moisture78% max
Ash2.5% max

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Menhaden Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Cranberries, Pumpkin

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • A meat-based food
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Primarily made with animal protein

Cons

  • May be on the dry side

What do customers think of Nulo cat food?

Nulo receives positive customer reviews. On Chewy, Nulo’s top recipes receive 4 to 5-star ratings. Happy customers praise the food’s quality and palatability, while most unhappy customers say their cats refused to eat it.

Let’s see what a few real customers have to say about Nulo cat food.

Positive Reviews

“I have four cats and none of them will touch this food. My cats aren’t particularly finicky when I comes to hard food. Perhaps it is the flavor I bought but not spending the money to try another flavor they may or may not like.” –  Crittergirl, reviewing Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food

“I started feeding this food to my old Persian when he was diagnosed with untreatable polycystic kidney disease. He loved the taste and I think the small kibble was easier for him to eat. It improved the look of his coat and seemed to energize him in the last few years of his life. When he passed and I got new cats, I continued feeding Nulo Chicken & Cod to them. They gobble it up and are extremely healthy. The only bummer is that is makes their poop stink like crazy (way worse than normal kitty poo)! It’s like a toxic waste dump in their litter box! However, I will take it to have healthy cats who don’t vomit or have digestion issues!”EDHDUCK, reviewing Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

Negative Reviews

“A pricey, quality food, but beware that the turkey and chicken formula contains tuna. Why? I missed this upon first inspection. I do not feed my cats tuna, ever, nor do I eat it myself, so I feel bad that they’ve been consuming it all this time due to my oversight.” Linph, reviewing Nulo Freestyle Turkey & Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food

“I left my cat with my friend for 12 days and had her feed this cat food according to the package directions. This was the first time I tried feeding my 2 year old Siamese dry cat food and thought this brand was the safest to try. My friend told me my cat ate it ok and seemed to like it when she first started giving it to her. I told her to only feed her 2/3 cup a day which she followed. When I got home, my cat had put on at least 3-5 pounds and she did not have much of an appetite for couple of days like she normally eats. I put her back on canned cat food right away and after about 5 days, she started eating normally again. My friend also told me she drank a lot of water while she was being fed this food. Even though this brand says it is grain free, there is something in it that put on weight on my cat so I will not be feeding her this cat food again.”TripleL, reviewing Nulo Freestyle Chicken & Cod Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat & Kitten Food

How much does Nulo cat food cost?

Nulo cat food is a moderately-priced brand.

According to the company’s feeding guidelines for an average 10-lb cat, Nulo’s wet foods cost $2.55 to $3.54 per day. Nulo’s dry foods would cost roughly $0.50 per day for the same cat.

Overall, is Nulo a good choice?

Nulo is one of the better cat food brands on the market. Their foods are rich in meat protein with relatively low carbohydrate content. They’re free of artificial ingredients and most recipes are supplemented with a high-viability probiotic.

It’s best to opt for the brand’s wet varieties, which have higher percentages of animal ingredients and provide the hydration your cat needs.

Get 30% OFF + Free Shipping on Cat Food

Click for Details →

Where is Nulo cat food sold?

Nulo cat food is sold in independent pet retailers and PetSmart stores. Online, you can buy it through Chewy, Amazon, and PetSmart.com.

Click here to shop for Nulo 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.