Rachael Ray Unbiased Cat Food Review

We’ve rated Rachael Ray Nutrish on ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recalls, and more. Read our Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food review to learn how this brand stacks up.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Rachael Ray Nutrish on What Matters

We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.

Overall Score: 5.9/10

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 5/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 5/10
  • Product Variety – 7/10
  • Price – 8/10
  • Customer Experience – 6/10
  • Recall History – 4/10

In total, we give Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food a 35 out of 60 rating or a C grade.

About Rachael Ray Nutrish

Rachael Ray Nutrish is a celebrity brand created by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, a primarily family-owned and operated company based in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

When Ainsworth and celebrity chef Rachael Ray teamed up to create the brand in 2008, the pet food world was ready for change. The 2007 pet food recalls had left consumers suspicious of the industry and were turning to smaller, independent companies in search of safe products for their pets.

Ainsworth had previously focused on the value market, but knew that it was no longer sustainable. Consumers were moving towards “super-premium” foods and Ainsworth needed to find a smart way to move into that space.

They chose celebrity chef Rachael Ray as the ambassador of that transition.

Rachael Ray’s warm, fuzzy, friendly persona and public love of animals made her an ideal face for Ainsworth’s first venture into the premium pet food space. The food was, and still is, marketed as premium food that’s affordable for the average buyer.

It’s also involved in philanthropy. A portion of the proceeds from each Nutrish sale is donated to the Rachael Ray Foundation.

Through June of 2018, the foundation had donated over $27.5 million to animal charities and welfare organizations.

Rachael Ray Nutrish became Ainsworth’s biggest brand. In 2017, it was named the US’s fastest growing pet food.

In 2018, J.M. Smucker bought Ainsworth for approximately $1.7 billion. J.M. Smucker is the massive conglomerate that owns Meow Mix, 9Lives, and Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Rachael Ray Nutrish dry cat food is manufactured in Ainsworth Pet Foods’ manufacturing facilities in Meadville, Pennsylvania and Frontenac, Kansas. Their wet foods are made in Thailand.

Most of their ingredients are sourced from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Rachael Ray Nutrish maintains that none of their ingredients are sourced from China, but recall that most synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids originate from China.

Over decades of producing these supplements, China has established a strong safety record and there’s no indication that they’re inferior to those made elsewhere.

Recall History

Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food was recalled in 2015. Several varieties were pulled due to excessively high levels of Vitamin D.

2018 Class Action Lawsuit—Rachael Ray Cat Food Contains Weed Killer?

In August of 2018, a New Yorker filed a $5 million class action lawsuit against Rachael Ray Nutrish.

According to the plaintiff, Rachael Ray Nutrish is guilty of mislabeling products by claiming that the foods are “natural”. Independent lab testing revealed that the food contained traces of an undisclosed herbicide called glyphosate.

This herbicide, commonly found in Roundup, is described in the lawsuit as “a potent biocide and endocrine disruptor, with detrimental health effects that are still becoming known”.

It’s important to reiterate that this lawsuit doesn’t focus on the hazards of glyphosate residue in the food. It’s about misleading labeling.

The term “natural” has a loose legal definition, but it has a definite meaning in the minds of consumers. According to the lawsuit, a national phone survey in 2014 found that 66% of respondents said that a “natural” label on packaged and processed foods means that no toxic pesticides were used in the making of that product.

In reality, glyphosate is present in many foods, including those labeled as natural. Glyphosate is used to treat many crops, including soybeans, corn, wheat, lentils, peas, and oats. When researchers tested nine popular pet food formulas for glyphosate, they found significant amounts of it in all nine.

These included Purina Cat Chow, Friskies Indoor Complete, 9 Lives, Rachael Ray, and Purina Beyond Natural.

What kinds of cat food does Rachael Ray Nutrish offer?

Rachael Ray Nutrish offers three lines of dry cat food. These are Peak, a line of ultra premium high-protein foods, Zero Grain dry food, and Super Premium dry food, which includes grains and is the brand’s biggest dry food line.

Their wet food selection includes four lines. These are Purrfect Entrees, Peak Ultra Premium, Purrfect Broths, and Grain Free.

What do customers think of Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food?

Most Rachael Ray Nutrish customers seem to like the food, saying that it fits within their budget, their cats enjoy it. They also appreciate the company’s philanthropic efforts.

Negative customers are offended by misleading labeling. While the company claims that Rachael Ray Nutrish foods are free of ground corn, several of their foods contain corn gluten meal, meaning they’re not corn-free products.

Let’s take a look at a few real customer reviews selected from various popular Rachael Ray foods listed online.

Positive Reviews

“This food is awesome! My cats eat way less food are now having more calm day compared to being constantly hyper. Small pieces good for all sizes for cat from adult to kitten. The vomiting for other foods has completely stopped Plus Rachel Ray gives back to help other animals in need. A win win in my book.”Food, reviewing Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete

“I usually rotate in Go! Daily Defence Chicken dry food for my house furbabies, but I use this to feed the neighborhood unsocialized kitties, at least until I catch them for relocation to a safer environ. If you’re pinching pennies you can’t beat this for the money 🙂 Just make sure to rotate some great wet food so their innards don’t get dried out!”Gary, reviewing Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice

Negative Reviews

“Thought this would be a great natural food for my (cat) boys. But as soon as I started to feed this food to one of my cats he was itching non stop. I stopped giving it to him for a day and he stopped scratching. I thought this was an all natural food but saw one main ingredient is corn gluten meal. Sad to say it was a waste of money :(“ – SarahB, reviewing Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete

“It says corn free but has Corn Gluten Meal in the ingredient list? That’s derived from corn, it’s a by-product of corn. Haven’t done a ton of research but technically this isn’t a corn-free food.”jenn, reviewing Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe

Rachael Ray Nutrish Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Natural Chicken & Brown RiceDry$0.09C
Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & SalmonDry$0.09C
Tuna Purrfection Natural Grain-FreeWet$0.31B

All nutritional percentages in this table and hereafter are taken from the manufacturer’s guaranteed analysis. Exact nutritional percentages are not available. All calculated values are determined using these minimum and maximum published values and may differ from actual values. Rachael Ray Nutrish is the ultimate authority on their products, so please contact the company for more nutritional information.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food Review

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Cat Food

This chicken-based dry cat food is one of Rachael Ray Nutrish’s most popular formulas. It’s made primarily from chicken and chicken meal, both species-appropriate sources of protein. It also contains considerable amounts of plant matter, including corn gluten meal as a high-protein plant filler. Ground rice, brown rice, and dried ground peas add to the food’s total carbohydrate content.

In total, this food has moderate protein content from both animal and plant sources, moderate fat, and high carbohydrate content.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken Brown Rice Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken Brown Rice Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Rice, Brown Rice, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Iron Oxide (color), Dried Ground Peas, Dried Carrots, Olive Oil, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Salt, Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate, Potassium Iodide.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Protein: 34% min
  • Fat: 14% min
  • Crude Fiber: 4.0% max
  • Moisture: 9% max
  • Ash: n/a
  • Calories: 359 calories per cup

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Rice, Brown Rice, Dried Ground Peas

Common Allergens: Chicken

Pros

  • An affordable food
  • Contains chicken and chicken meal instead of ambiguous meat by-products
  • Cats like the taste of this kibble
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives

Cons

  • Excessive carbohydrate content

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food Review

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Recipe Natural Dry Cat Food

The food’s ingredient list starts with chicken and chicken meal as species-appropriate protein sources. It also contains corn gluten meal as a concentrated source of plant protein, along with pea protein, another common high-protein concentrate.

As a food marketed for indoor cats, this is a fiber-rich recipe made with lentils, dried beet pulp, and powdered cellulose. Theoretically, these additives help to minimize hairballs and promote satiety, helping indoor cats to stay comfortable and slim.

These fiber sources also add to the food’s approximate 46% dry matter carbohydrate content.  The food is very high in carbohydrates with moderate protein and moderate fat content.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Rachael Ray Nutrish Indoor Complete Chicken with Lentils & Salmon Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Ground Peas, Lentils, Pea Protein, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Powdered Cellulose, Salmon, Ground Rice, Natural Flavor, Salt, Choline Chloride, Iron Oxide (color), Taurine, Dried Cranberry, Dried Blueberry, Dried Pumpkin, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Dandelion, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Cobalt Sulfate, Potassium Iodide.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Protein: 33% min
  • Fat: 12% min
  • Crude Fiber: 8% max
  • Moisture: 9% max
  • Ash: n/a
  • Calories: 354 calories per cup

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Ground Peas, Lentils, Pea Protein, Ground Rice

Common Allergens: Chicken

Pros

  • Uses chicken and chicken meal instead of nameless animal by-products
  • Cats enjoy the taste of this food
  • Affordable
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains multiple plant protein concentrates

Rachael Ray Nutrish Tuna Purrfection Natural Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Review

Rachael Ray Nutrish Tuna Purrfection Natural Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

This cat food is made with flaked tuna in vegetable oil and water. When you pop open a plastic dish, the food looks similar to a can of tuna you might eat yourself. Essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids make the food nutritionally complete.

In addition to the standard variety of necessary additives, the food contains powdered cellulose as a source of fiber, along with several thickeners. One of these thickeners is carrageenan, which is a controversial ingredient thought to worsen inflammation and potentially cause cancer.

According to the food’s guaranteed analysis, the Tuna Purrfection recipe has moderate protein, moderate fat, and high carbohydrate content.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Tuna Purrfection Natural Grain-Free Wet Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Rachael Ray Nutrish Tuna Purrfection Natural Grain-Free Wet Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ingredients

Tuna, Water, Vegetable Oil, Powdered Cellulose, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Celery Powder, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Fructooligosaccharide, Taurine, Paprika Powder, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Pantothenic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity).

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Protein: 9.0% min
  • Fat: 3% min
  • Crude Fiber: 3.5% max
  • Moisture: 79% max
  • Ash: n/a
  • Calories: 69 calories per 2.8oz cup

Ingredients We Liked: Tuna

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Carrageenan, Vegetable Oil

Common Allergens: Fish

Pros

  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and chemical preservatives
  • Packed in a plastic container, so you don’t have to worry about BPA linings
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Contains carrageenan
  • High carbohydrate content

How much does Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food cost?

Rachael Ray Nutrish’s parent company’s mantra is “Pet Store Quality. Supermarket Easy,” and it’s reflected in the Rachael Ray Nutrish brand.

Rachael Ray Nutrish is one of the most low-cost foods available. Their prices are similar to those you’d pay for so-called “grocery brands” like Purina Cat Chow, Meow Mix, and Friskies.

It will cost about $0.45 per day to feed your cat one of the brand’s popular dry foods and around $1.55 daily to feed Rachael Ray wet food.

Overall, is Rachael Ray cat food a good choice?

On the bright side, Rachael Ray cat food is one of the few budget cat foods made from identifiable ingredients rather than anonymous animal by-products.

Theoretically, this means that the animal ingredients are held to a higher standard than those falling into the by-product category, making the foods safer and more digestible than others at the same price point.

That said, Rachael Ray Nutrish foods tend to contain large amounts of plant ingredients. High-carb diets can contribute to diabetes and plant protein is less efficiently digested than protein from animal sources.

Where is Rachael Ray Nutrish cat food sold?

Rachael Ray Nutrish is easy to find in chain retailers including Dollar General, KMart, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Walmart, Target, and more. It’s sold in major grocery chains and pet stores like PetSmart.

Online, you can buy it on Amazon, Chewy, Jet, PetSmart, Target, and Walmart, among others.

Click here to shop for Rachael Ray Nutrish on Chewy.