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The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Wild Calling on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Wild Calling 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 – 9/10
- Ingredient Quality – 8/10
- Product Variety – 7/10
- Price – 7/10
- Customer Experience – 9/10
- Recall History – 10/10
Overall Score: 8.3/10
We give Wild Calling cat food a 50 out of 60 rating or an A- grade.
About Wild Calling
Wild Calling was created in 2012 by Tim Petersen and his two sons, Jeremy and Trevar. Before creating Wild Calling, the northern Colorado family was already active in the pet food industry. Tim operated his own pet food distributorship and his sons worked for the business during the summer.
Wild Calling claims to have taken inspiration from the Wild West in their business philosophy and marketing. When Pet Product News asked about these western values, executive vice president Jeremy Petersen explained that “We’re open, honest and transparent. We’re not trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. When you think of a cowboy or someone in the West, they’re honest; it’s an honest businessperson mentality.”
Is Wild Calling still in business?
After almost eight years on the market, Wild Calling has gone out of business.
This isn’t the first time that Wild Calling has gone off the market. In October of 2017, the company filed for bankruptcy. The brand was briefly discontinued but in mid-2018, Barkstrong, LLC announced that it had acquired Wild Calling.
The acquisition kept Wild Calling alive until spring of 2019, when Barkstrong, LLC also filed for bankruptcy. An article in Pet Business explained that the company’s owner, A.K. Sands, had died and the family chose to dissolve the company rather than go on without Sands.
As of May 2019, you can still buy Wild Calling online, but with the company shutting down, stock is limited.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Back when it was owned by the Petersen family, Wild Calling food was manufactured in the United States.
Early in the company’s history, they partnered with Evanger’s as their manufacturer. You can learn about Evanger’s’ colorful history here. If you don’t have time to read the full rundown of Evanger’s recall history, run-ins with the FDA, and other legal troubles, just know that a lot of customers and would-be customers were disappointed by Wild Calling’s choice of manufacturing partner. Wild Calling ultimately ended the relationship and changed to a new manufacturer.
Regardless of where it was made, the company used ingredients sourced in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, refusing to source anything from China.
Has Wild Calling cat food been recalled?
It doesn’t appear that Wild Calling food has ever been recalled.
What kinds of cat food does Wild Calling offer?
Wild Calling food is meat-centric, grain-free, and made with minimal additives. The company proclaimed that their foods contain a “savagely high proportion of meat”.
The brand offers a slim but diverse selection of canned foods, each featuring 96% meat and organs. With protein sources including beef, rabbit, duck, and salmon, the lineup should have something to offer to cats with or without food sensitivities.
Their dry food selection includes two recipes, both of which are relatively limited-ingredient products.
Wild Calling Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Wild Calling Inland Waters Duck Recipe Grain-Free Adult||Wet||$0.36||A-|
|Wild Calling Jumping Salmon 96% Salmon Grain-Free Adult||Wet||$0.36||A-|
|Wild Calling Western Plains Stampede Rabbit & Sweet Potato Recipe||Dry||$0.32||C+|
Duck appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This canned food doesn’t contain any common allergens, making it appropriate for most cats with food intolerances. It’s made primarily from duck meat with turkey live. Combined, these animal-sourced ingredients account for 96% of the total recipe. The other ingredients include natural flavor—the company says this refers to the natural juices of the proteins used—thickening agents, and synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
A word on thickeners—this product contains three different types of gums as thickeners and stabilizers. These are guar gum, cassia gum, and xanthan gum. While none of these ingredients appear to be harmful in small quantities, larger amounts could cause problems. Regardless of amount, these plant-sourced gums are not species-appropriate ingredients.
Overall, this food has high protein content, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate content.
Wild Calling seems to stay true to their promise of savagely high meat content. The recipe emphasizes nourishing, protein-rich animal ingredients over starch and plants. Instead, it’s a species-appropriate recipe appropriate for cats of all kinds.
The food has 184 calories in each 5.5 ounce can or 33 calories per ounce.
Duck, Water Sufficient for Processing, Turkey Liver, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Salt, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, 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.
|Crude Protein||8.5% min|
|Crude Fat||6% min|
Wild Calling Inland Waters Duck Recipe Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Duck, Turkey Liver
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum
Common Allergens: None
- Appropriate for cats with food intolerances and allergies
- Low in carbohydrates
- Primarily made from animal ingredients
- Contains both muscle meat and organs
- May contain too many thickeners
Salmon appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
Like all Wild Calling canned foods, this recipe is 96% meat and liver. In the case of Jumping Salmon, the primary protein source is salmon and the liver comes from chicken. The remaining portion of the recipe is constituted of natural flavor—which the company claims refers to the natural juices of the food’s protein ingredients—an array of thickeners, sunflower oil as a source of fat, and vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.
The food is thickened with a triad of thickeners, all plant-derived and none particularly species-appropriate. It contains guar gum, cassia gum, and xanthan gum. Though guar gum may cause digestive distress if your cat eats too much and xanthan gum may trigger an allergic reaction if it’s contaminated with traces of its fermentation medium, none of these ingredients appear to be particularly harmful to cats. They’re preferable to carrageenan, another popular thickening agent with potentially carcinogenic properties.
Overall, this dry food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.
In traditional Wild Calling fashion, this food is packed to the brim with meat and organs, mimicking your cat’s natural diet. Overall, this appears to be one of the most carnivore-worthy foods you can buy.
Each can of this food contains 179 calories or 32 calories per ounce.
Salmon, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Potassium Chloride, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum, Taurine, Salt, Choline Chloride, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, 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.
|Crude Protein||8.5% min|
|Crude Fat||5.0% min|
Wild Calling Jumping Salmon 96% Salmon Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Salmon, Chicken Liver
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Cassia Gum, Xanthan Gum
Common Allergens: Fish, Chicken
- Rich in animal meat and organs
- Free of potentially harmful additives
- Low carbohydrate content
- Relies on plant-sourced fat
- May have excessive thickeners
Rabbit appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
Part of Wild Calling’s tiny dry cat food selection, this is a grain-free kibble that features rabbit as its sole animal protein source. Both rabbit meal and fresh rabbit appear prominently on the ingredient list. Later, the food contains a combination of sweet potato, lentils, tapioca, and dried peas as starchy binders.
Turkey fat serves as the food’s primary fat source along with a smaller amount of coconut oil.
The ingredient list concludes with dried seaweed meal as a source of additional vitamins and minerals, probiotics, and an array of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Overall, this food has moderate protein content with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.
This food is a great example of the fact that a limited ingredient list and no grains does not make a species-appropriate food. This food may be a few animal ingredients ahead of the average dry food, but it’s not an ideal choice for most cats.
The food has 474 calories per cup.
Rabbit Meal, Rabbit, Sweet Potato, Lentils, Turkey Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Tapioca, Dried Peas, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Dried Seaweed Meal, Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.
|Crude Protein||32% min|
|Crude Fat||17% min|
Wild Calling Western Plains Stampede Rabbit & Sweet Potato Recipe Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Rabbit, Turkey Fat
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Sweet Potato, Lentils, Tapioca, Dried Peas
Common Allergens: None
- Rich in animal-sourced protein
- Contains nourishing animal-sourced fat
- Made without animal by-products
- A good choice for cats with food intolerances or allergies
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- No dry food is hydrating enough for cats
- High carbohydrate content
What do customers think of Wild Calling cat food?
Most customers seem to like Wild Calling cat food. Their recipes have four-to-five-star ratings on Chewy and the majority of customers have only nice things to say, commenting on the food’s quality, meatiness, and appropriateness for cats with food sensitivities.
“My cats love this stuff. I also give them the turkey flavor. They like the chicken and rabbit also, but this and the turkey get gobbled up completely. I am happy with the ingredients and with the company that makes this. It is a family company that really cares about feeding good food to our four legged family members. I appreciate the consistency between flavors, the cans are filled completely and none are dry or soupy. Just a good smelling soft pate that my cats meow for!” – Lisa, reviewing Wild Calling Inland Waters Duck Recipe Canned Cat Food
“This brand is great, very limited ingredients, grain-free, carrageenan free. I switched my remaining cat over after losing my 13-year-old to intestinal cancer (possibly related to carrageenan in wet food). The texture of this food is wonderful and my cat gobbles it up. I am currently feeding him the turkey and the salmon and he loves them both.” – Laura, reviewing Wild Calling Jumping Salmon 96% Salmon Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
“Wild Calling Jumping Salmon ticks off all the boxes that we want for our pets, yet my three fussy cats walk away from it. Hoping it is just them as grain and color free, no artificial preservatives are all positives. After reading more about Evanger manufacturing, I read that they have been cited for not citing the source of liver in their foods and that the protein does not match the source, for one thing. Why is that? I guess it a trust issue for me.” – catamott, reviewing Wild Calling Jumping Salmon 96% Salmon Grain-Free Adult Canned Cat Food
“I have 5 cats, one of which is a hunter, rabbit is her favorite to catch. None of them would have anything to do with this food. I donated it.Hopefully someone will get some use from it.” – Chipsa, reviewing Wild Calling Western Plains Stampede Rabbit & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
How much does Wild Calling cat food cost?
Wild Calling cat food is more expensive than what you’ll find at the grocery store, but it’s one of the more economical specialty brands. According to the company’s feeding guidelines for a 10-lb cat, Wild Calling dry food costs about $0.64 per day and their wet recipes would cost about $2.40 per day. That puts Wild Calling in the same price bracket as Merrick or Canidae.
Overall, is Wild Calling a good choice?
Wild Calling’s canned cat food stands out from the crowd. They’re meat-rich and adhere to a prey-inspired macronutrient blueprint. They have plenty of protein and animal-sourced fat with minimal carbohydrate content. Their selection, however, is limited and may not have enough options for every household.
Wild Calling dry food isn’t particularly impressive, but it could be a good choice for those kibble junkies who need a limited-ingredient diet.
Best Alternatives to Wild Calling Cat Food
If you’re a fan of Wild Calling and need to find a replacement before it disappears, we recommend Hound & Gatos. Like Wild Calling, Hound & Gatos offers meat-centric paté recipes with minimal ingredient lists.
You might also consider Ziwi Peak paté, which is similarly meat-rich and integrates a mix of muscle meat, organs, bone, and tripe for whole prey-inspired nutrition.
Where to Buy Wild Calling Cat Food
As of May 2019, Wild Calling food is still available in some stores. Wild Calling partners with independent pet specialty retailers in several U.S. states and around western Canada. It’s sold in stores around California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, New York, and British Columbia, Canada. Click here to find a retailer near you.
If you don’t live in one of these states or provinces, you may purchase Wild Calling online through Chewy.