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The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Purina ONE on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Purina ONE 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 – 6/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 7/10
- Recall History – 4/10
Overall Score: 6.7/10
We give Purina ONE cat food a 40 out of 60 rating or a B- grade.
About Purina ONE
Purina ONE was introduced in 1986 and was Purina’s first venture into the world of super-premium pet food. It’s marketed as a natural brand and features what Purina calls high-quality ingredients, claiming that these better ingredients can lead to better health.
With so many other Purina brands to choose from, how is Purina ONE different and how does it compare to its siblings in the Purina family?
Compared to other Purina brands, ONE is closest to Pro Plan and Beyond. Purina ONE is the cheapest of the bunch and on average, appears to have the highest protein content. Compared to Beyond, it has more controversial ingredients like artificial colors, corn gluten meal, and animal by-products.
Compared to Pro Plan, it has fewer artificial ingredients and its marketing expert formulation and veterinarian-approved foods.
Ultimately, the differences between Purina ONE and other brands are subtle, varied, and best evaluated on a product-by-product basis.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Like virtually all Purina foods, Purina ONE is primarily manufactured in the United States in Purina-owned facilities. Most Purina ingredients are sourced from North America, but depending on availability and manufacturing location, the company may obtain ingredients from other countries.
Has Purina ONE cat food been recalled?
Purina ONE cat food was recalled twice in 2011 due to potential salmonella contamination. Other Purina brands have been recalled multiple times since the company started making pet food in the 1950s. You can learn about Purina’s full recall history on Petful.
What kinds of cat food does Purina ONE offer?
Purina ONE has a wide variety of wet and dry foods in grain-free and grain-inclusive varieties. You can choose from the standard Purina ONE or Purina ONE True Instinct, a line of dry and wet foods that are rich in protein without any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Purina ONE Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food||Dry||$0.08||C|
|Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food||Dry||$0.09||C|
|Purina ONE Chicken Recipe Pate Grain-Free Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.30||A-|
Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
Each bag of this food contains a combination of crunchy kibble and “meaty tender morsels”.
The food features chicken as the first ingredient, but with rice flour and corn gluten meal the next two ingredients, this doesn’t look like a meat-based food at all.
As an additional source of animal protein, the food contains chicken by-product meal. There are plenty of unknowns here. What’s the chicken by-product meal primarily composed of? Organs? Bones? Connective tissue? Digestibility, nutritional value, and ingredient handling are all in question.
Beef fat is the food’s primary fat source. It’s a good one. Animal fat is rich in the fatty acids that cats need.
The ingredient list goes on to include a series of carbohydrate-heavy plant ingredients, including various forms of soy, wheat, and corn.
Though Purina ONE is touted as a natural brand, this product contains caramel color, that infamous brown dye known to sometimes contain a carcinogenic chemical called 4-MEI.
Overall, this food is low in protein with low fat and high carbohydrate content.
There’s not much about this food that stands out from other kibble products. It’s a corny, wheaty, crunchy food with caramel color and plenty of soy. Cats love the way it tastes and some customers say their cat is thriving on it, but we can’t recommend it as a nutritionally excellent choice.
The food has 366 calories per cup.
Chicken, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine), Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Wheat Flour, Liver Flavor, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Glycerin, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Choline Chloride, Sodium Bisulfate, VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], Taurine, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], L-Cysteine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine.
|Crude Protein||34% min|
|Crude Fat||13% min|
Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Beef Fat
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Wheat Flour, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Caramel Color
Common Allergens: Chicken
- Contains animal-sourced fat
- Very high carbohydrate content
- Contains caramel color
- No dry food delivers the moisture your cat needs
Turkey and chicken by-product meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food.
This Purina ONE food is sold as a solution for cats with sensitive skin and stomachs, claiming that its omega fatty acids help to keep the coat lustrous.
Purina says the food is highly-digestible for sensitive systems, though it’s not clear how it’s any more digestible than other Purina ONE dry foods. Nonetheless, it seems to work for the people who feed it. Five-star reviews represent 88% of the feedback on Chewy and numerous customers believe the food is responsible for solving their cats’ digestive issues.
But what’s this food really made of? The food’s first ingredient is turkey, followed by chicken by-product meal. Considering that chicken by-product meal is a dense, dehydrated ingredient, it appears that this is a meat-based food.
In addition to all that meat, the food contains rice flour, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, oat meal, and ground corn. At 33% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis, this food is definitely on the high-carbohydrate side.
Beef fat serves as the food’s primary fat source. Later on the ingredient list is a touch of soybean oil.
The food is fortified with synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, along with a smidge of dried carrots and peas. It contains caramel color—the same dye so common in cola drinks and so often contaminated with a carcinogenic chemical.
Overall, this dry food has moderate protein content with moderate fat and high carbohydrate content.
Though customers seem to agree that this Purina ONE food is a solution for digestive issues and skin problems, this recipe looks similar to most other grain-inclusive dry foods. With chicken and eggs appearing on the ingredient list, it’s not a limited-ingredient food and probably not a good choice for cats with allergies and food intolerances.
The food has 430 calories per cup.
Turkey, Chicken By-Product Meal, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Oat Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Vitamin E, ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS AND OTHER INGREDIENTS: Minerals (Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Dried Egg Product, Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Caramel Color, Vitamins (Choline, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-5, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3, Vitamin B-7, Vitamin K), Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Taurine, Amino Acids (L-Lysine Monohydrochloride).
|Crude Protein||34% min|
|Crude Fat||13% min|
Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach Dry Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Beef Fat
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Oat Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Caramel Color
Common Allergens: Chicken, Eggs
- Made with animal-sourced fat
- High carbohydrate content
- Contains caramel color
- Contains multiple common food allergens
- No dry food delivers the moisture your cat needs
Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
Finally, let’s review one of Purina ONE’s most popular wet formulas. This product is a chicken-based paté. The grain-free paté is primarily made from animal ingredients, with chicken meat, liver of unspecified origins, pork lungs, and trout leading the ingredient list.
Aside from guar gum as a stabilizer and thickener, this food doesn’t contain any fluffy plant ingredients. No carrots. No peas. No starch.
It contains “natural flavors”, an ingredient usually made from hydrolyzed animal tissues. That’s the last ingredient before a long list of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.
Overall, this food is rich in animal protein with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.
This food has everything we look for in a canned product—low carbohydrate content, plenty of protein from named cuts of meat, a mix of muscle meat and organs for maximal animal-sourced nutrition, and to top it off, the paté is thickened without carrageenan. This is a solid silver-star product.
The food has 91 calories in each 3-ounce can or 30 calories per ounce.
Chicken, Liver, Chicken Broth, Pork Lungs, Trout, Natural Flavors, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Salt, Mono And Dicalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Guar Gum, Vitamins (Choline, Vitamin E, Vitamin B-1, Vitamin B-3, Vitamin B-5, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin B-2, Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-7, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3), Taurine.
|Crude Protein||11% min|
|Crude Fat||5% min|
Purina ONE Chicken Recipe Pate Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Pork Lungs, Trout
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum
Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish
- Rich in animal-sourced protein
- Made without animal by-products
- Low carbohydrate content
- Made without carrageenan
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Contains vaguely-named liver
What do customers think of Purina ONE cat food?
On Amazon and Chewy, Purina ONE product listings receive primarily positive reviews. For example, Purina ONE’s popular Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken dry food has over 500 reviews on Chewy and 97% of reviewers say they’d recommended it to a friend.
What are customers saying about Purina ONE? Let’s take a look at a few positive and critical reviews to see what people are saying about this brand.
“I have always fed my cats Purina which they love! My senior male has always had digestion issues but up until recently he had been throwing up 1-2x per week. He’s a picky eater but after reading the reviews on this formula I decided to make the switch. After few weeks the problem is COMPLETELY gone and my cat really enjoys the food. Both cats are actually really excited to eat now. This has been a life saver! Didn’t have to go to the vet!” – DannyCat, reviewing Purina ONE Sensitive Skin & Stomach
“I like that chicken is the first ingredient listed. Not sure if “grain free” is all that important but I try to offer this as an alternative to their ProPlan chunky chicken entree. I will never understand why cat food manufacturers insist on mixing vegetables into food for carnivores but my kitties are staying with real meat products.” – Rosemary, reviewing Purina ONE Chicken Recipe Paté Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
“Thought this would be soft but it is hard. It says tender,to me that would mean soft. It wasn’t my one cat is 18 yrs old and I needed soft food cause his teeth are almost gone. He can’t eat hard food. He eats can with gravy and that has to have a lot of gravy or sauce. My other one is a kitten and his is all soft and milk.” – Broth, reviewing Purina ONE Tender Selects Blend with Real Chicken Dry Cat Food
“Cats don’t like canned food that doesn’t have a fair amount of Juice, auspice or broth/gelatin. This is a huge fail for many grain free types.I shake the can to before I consider buying it for an idea of liquid ratio. My cats won’t eat chunky meat or carrot bits or peas, but it they are blended to pate’ & there’s plenty of broth I know it will be a hit.” – kdale, reviewing Purina ONE Chicken Recipe Paté Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
How much does Purina ONE cat food cost?
Among Purina brands targeting the super-premium market, Purina ONE is the most economical.
Looking at it in terms of daily feeding costs, it would cost about $2.10 per day to feed a 10-lb cat Purina ONE wet cat food. If you chose a Purina ONE dry formula, your daily costs would be significantly lower at around $0.16 per day.
Overall, is Purina ONE a good choice?
Purina ONE has some great recipes—think the canned chicken paté reviewed above—and some that are little better than the colorful kibble on the grocery store shelf.
If you want to get the best Purina ONE has to offer, opt for their canned food and skip the True Instinct line—True Instinct canned recipes use wheat gluten to plump up the protein content. Not exactly true to the cat’s instinct to eat meat.
Where to Buy Purina ONE Cat Food
Purina ONE is widely-distributed and sold in groceries, big box stores, and pet specialty retailers. If you’d prefer to buy it online, you can order Purina ONE through retailers including Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart, Walmart, and Target.