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Overall, we give Wysong cat food a B- grade. It’s a solid and respectable brand in the cat food industry, but it’s not the best.
Read on to learn more about our evaluation methods and how we reached this conclusion.
The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Wysong on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Wysong 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.
After evaluating Wysong in each of these areas, we give the brand a total score of 40 out of 60 points or a B- grade, meaning that it’s an acceptable, but not excellent, cat food brand. Here’s how it scores in each of our key areas:
- Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
- Ingredient Quality – 7/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 7/10
- Customer Experience – 7/10
- Recall History – 5/10
Overall Score: 6.7/10
Wysong offers a wide variety of dry, canned, and raw diets. They’re made from high-quality ingredients and are sold at a good price. Species-appropriateness, however, isn’t Wysong’s strong point, as the company has a tendency to let a love of nutraceuticals and supplementation override the value of fresh, meaty carnivore nutrition.
Wysong was established in 1979 by Dr. Randy Wysong and is billed “The Thinking Person’s Pet Food™”. They describe their animal diets as “scientifically formulated and painstakingly manufactured and packaged for health optimization.”
According to Wysong, this involves foods enriched with nutraceuticals like yogurt, whey, kelp, coconut oil, and other ingredients. Across their diverse product range, you’ll find a consistent emphasis on nutritional enhancement through plant and dairy ingredients.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Wysong is a US company based in Midland, Michigan. Their foods are developed by an in-house team of pet health doctorate professionals.
Though the Wysong website says that they manufacture their own foods, this is only partially true. When asked about the company’s manufacturing, a Wysong representative explained that their dry foods are manufactured in Wisconsin, supplements made at their Midland, Michigan location, and their canned foods are manufactured in the United States by Evanger’s.
All Wysong diets are made fresh to order and never warehoused. The foods are promptly packed in exclusively designed Nutri-Paks™, which help to prevent oxygen and light degradation.
Their ingredients are sourced from the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and Japan, with synthetic amino acids sourced from China.
Over the course of almost 40 years in the industry, Wysong has an exceptional safety record.
Their only known recall took place in 2009, when several lots of dry food were recalled due to unusually high moisture levels. Because these moisture levels could contribute to premature spoilage and might facilitate mold growth, the affected lots were recalled in an abundance of caution.
There were a couple of reports of dogs with diarrhea, but the connection wasn’t confirmed. According to our research, there were no other reports of illness surrounding this recall.
What kinds of cat food does Wysong offer?
Wysong makes and sells a diverse variety of cat foods, including dry, canned, and raw formulations. In addition to a range of product types, Wysong encourages rotational feeding and offers a variety of animal protein sources.
Wysong Dry Cat Food
Wysong Optimize Dry Cat Food
These products are primarily made from real chunks of meat and don’t contain the corn, wheat, soy, and other plant ingredients you’d expect to find in a dry food.
- Optimize Beef Heart & Liver
- Optimize Chicken
- Optimize Wild Caught Salmon
Wysong Original Dry Cat Food
Wysong’s Original line includes a wide variety of foods, several of which target special dietary needs. These special diets target issues including urinary tract health, the effects of aging, and allergies.
- Nurture with Quail
Wysong Optimal Dry Cat Food
According to Wysong, their Optimal Diets™ are the product of “new advanced technology that moves companion animal nutrition closer than ever to archetypal genetic expectation.”
- Optimal Vitality
Wysong Epigen Starch-Free Dry Cat Food
Foods in Wysong’s Epigen line are starch-free and are some of the most species-appropriate kibble foods on the market.
- Epigen 90
Wysong Canned Cat Food
Epigen is available in six varieties, each with a different single protein source. Like its dry equivalent, Epigen canned food is rich in protein with minimal carbohydrate content. Epigen is not a nutritionally complete diet, so your cat shouldn’t rely on it as their sole nutrition source.
This is the canned counterpart to the company’s Uretic dry food. This food is only available in a chicken-based formula.
- Uretic with Chicken
Wysong Raw Cat Food
Wysong is adamant about the benefits of minimally-processed foods and offers a selection of raw products for cats. Their raw diets are freeze-dried and never heated above 118 degrees F at any stage of production.
- Dream Treats
- Archetype Burgers
What Do Customers Think of Wysong Cat Food?
Wysong cat food is divisive.
The brand receives more positive reviews than negative, but according to accounts on Amazon and Consumer Reports, a significant number of cats experience diarrhea, vomiting, and show other symptoms of digestive distress after eating Wysong foods. Wysong maintains that this is a normal reaction to a new food, particularly one that’s rich in comparison to the old diet.
The popular Epigen dry food formula has 110 reviews on Chewy and an overall 4.5 out of 5 star rating. 92% of customers say they’d recommend it. Things aren’t quite so upbeat on Amazon, where the product listing has a 2.5 out of 5 star rating based on 73 customer reviews.
Let’s take a look at a few of those reviews.
“I have a diabetic cat. He NEEDS extra protein. Has refused to eat eggs and cooked beef, chicken livers, etc.. which he did the first 2 years….LOVES this product…YAY…excellent source of protein …4 years ago the vet gave him 6 months !!!” – GrannyD, Chewy customer
“I have two cats: one is FIV+ and the other is pre-diabetic with bad teeth (quite a couple). They are also getting up there in years. I have noticed a consistently higher level of energy, smoother digestion and nicer coat since they started eating this wysong epigen food. They also love the venison version of it although it’s more expensive, so I buy it more as a treat food than a daily food. I highly recommend this food. I think sometimes it takes some getting used to for cats who are more used to “junk” style cat food, but we slowly transitioned our cats over by mixing it in, and now they beg for it!” – A in NYC, Amazon customer
“This food has wonderfully healthy ingredients except that my cats only picked at it and often ate the wet food around it and left the kibble. I don’t pay much attention when I see one person’s cat that doesn’t like something but in this case I have 26 rescues of all ages with various preferences and only 3 or 4 seemed to go for this. Perhaps it was too healthy. If I left it out they would eventually eat it so I’m rating it 3 stars.” – greendivots, Chewy customer
“…My cats aren’t thrilled by this, with only 3 out of 6 willing to eat it. I’ve slowly introduced this food into their old food and it immediately caused them to vomit. The emesis is a bright green color, frothy, and looks unnatural. To top it off, it wasn’t just 1 of my cats that vomited, but rather all 3. There’s something wrong with this food and I won’t feed it to them anymore. I’m very disappointed by this product. Luckily, Amazon is very good about their customer service and immediately refunded the transaction.” – Erica Merrell, Amazon customer
Wysong Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
According to our research, Wysong’s most popular cat food recipes are Epigen dry cat food, Vitality dry, and Uretic dry. Although the dry recipe is apparently more popular, we’ll be reviewing the canned Uretic food to give you a better understanding of the full range of the Wysong cat food selection.
|Product Name||Food Type||Protein||Fat||Crude Fiber||Moisture||Calories Per Ounce||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Epigen||Dry||60% min||15% min||4.0% max||10.0% max||435/cup||$0.33||B-|
|Vitality||Dry||36% min||16% min||5.5% max||10% max||434/cup||$0.20||C|
|Uretic||Wet||10.0% min||7.0% min||2.0% max||75.0% max||31||$0.34||B-|
In a world where most dry foods require starchy binders, it’s exciting to see kibble that doesn’t contain starch.
In addition to organic chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and chicken fat, the recipe includes meat protein isolate as a concentrated source of animal protein. It also contains potato protein, which is far from an ideal protein source for a carnivore like your cat.
The ingredient list includes small amounts of additives like coconut oil, chia seeds, and yeast extract.
On a dry matter basis, this food is approximately 66.7% protein, 16.6% fat, and 16.6% carbohydrates. These levels are significantly better than those found in most dry foods, but it still contains too much carbohydrate matter for an obligate carnivore.
Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Potato Protein, Meat Protein Isolate, Chicken Fat, Gelatin, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Tomato Pomace, Calcium Propionate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Organic Barley Grass Powder, Blueberry, Dried Kelp, Yogurt (Whey, Milk Solids, Yogurt Cultures), Apple Pectin, Fish Oil, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Chicory Root, Hemicellulose Extract, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture, Carrots, Celery, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [Source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus Licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Lactis Fermentation Product, Pepper.
Ingredients We Liked- Organic Chicken, Chicken Fat, Gelatin, Probiotics, Fish Oil
Ingredients We Didn’t Like- Potato Protein, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Tomato Pomace
Common Allergens– Dairy, Chicken
- Starch-free food
- Cats like the flavor
- Made with an abundance of species-appropriate meat ingredients
- Contains concentrated plant protein
- Dry food can never provide adequate hydration
Wysong explains that Vitality is made with fresh, frozen, and dried meats and organs, along with a variety of prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, omega-3’s, and antioxidants. They justify the food’s plant content by explaining that “small quantities of fruits and vegetables mimic what may be consumed in the viscera of prey, and contribute important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients.”
This food contains brown rice and potato protein near the top of the ingredient list. That’s not exactly the equivalent of a teaspoon of partially-digested grass in the stomach of a mouse.
In fact, when we take a closer look at the nutrient analysis, we see that this food is over 40% carbohydrate, including fiber, on a dry matter basis. At 40% protein, the food is relatively high in the protein cats require, but a good chunk of it comes from plant sources. Its 18% fat content is on the lower end of the spectrum.
Overall, this food is high in protein, relatively low in fat, and is high in carbohydrates.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Fish Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Peas, Potato Protein, Chicken Fat, Flaxseeds, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Eggs, Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Flavor, Crab Meal, Sesame Seeds, Whey, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Tomato Pomace, Calcium Propionate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Coconut Oil, Organic Barley Grass, Blueberry, Dried Kelp, Yogurt (Whey, Milk Solids, Yogurt Cultures), Citric Acid, Apple Pectin, Fish Oil, Yeast Extract, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Chicory Root, Hemicellulose Extract, Yeast Culture, Carrots, Celery, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [Source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus Licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Lactis Fermentation Product, Pepper.
Ingredients We Liked– Chicken, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil
Ingredients We Didn’t Like-Brown Rice, Peas, Potato Protein, Flaxseeds
Common Allergens– Chicken, Eggs, Seafood
- Cats seem to enjoy the flavor
- Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
- Made with species-appropriate fat sources
- High plant content
- No dry food can provide the hydration your cat needs
Wysong Uretic is the canned counterpart to the company’s popular Uretic dry cat food. It’s specially formulated for cats prone to lower urinary tract disease and contains a blend of nutraceuticals to promote urinary health. These include DL-methionine, which is an acidifier and may help prevent struvite crystals, and cranberry extract, which may be able to keep bacterial infections from taking hold.
The food has generally good customer reviews, though palatability is a common concern. A significant number of reviewers say that their cat didn’t want to eat the food.
Note that this food has a firm texture and may not be soft enough for some cats. You might need to add warm water to soften it up.
The food has moderate-to-high protein content at 40% on a dry matter basis, moderate fat at 28% on a dry matter basis, and high carbohydrate content at 32% on a dry matter basis.
Organic Chicken, Brown Rice, Blueberry, Dl-Methionine, Cranberry Extract, Taurine, Organic Barley Grass Powder, Dried Kelp, Yeast Extract, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Chicory Root, Hemicellulose Extract, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [Source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Pepper.
Ingredients We Liked-Organic Chicken, DL-Methionine, Cranberry Extract
Ingredients We Didn’t Like– Brown Rice
Common Allergens– Chicken
- Canned products are appropriate for cats prone to FLUTD
- Contains ingredients that may reduce the incidence of urinary health problems
- Slightly more affordable than prescription diets for urinary health
- Primarily made with nourishing animal ingredients
- Contains brown rice, an unnecessary ingredient
- Mixed palatability reports
How much does Wysong cat food cost?
Wysong is moderately priced.
Wysong’s canned recipes are more expensive than the dry formulas. The recipes with more meat are more expensive than the plant-heavy formulas.
Wysong’s Epigen 90 formula, which is 63% protein and completely starch-free, costs about $0.30 per ounce, while Uretic dry food costs about $0.16 per ounce. Uretic’s canned counterpart costs almost twice as much at $0.33 per ounce.
Wysong Archetype freeze-dried raw food costs about $2 per ounce, but recognize that freeze-dried food is very light, so you’ll feed your cat fewer ounces per day.
Overall, is Wysong a good choice?
Maybe. You can easily find foods that offer more animal-sourced protein, fewer carbohydrates, and which have better palatability ratings than most Wysong products. That said, their innovative Epigen line and most Wysong canned or raw foods could be a great choice.
Where can you buy Wysong cat food?
Wysong is available across the United States and Canada. According to a company representative, their products are also distributed in Hong Kong and Singapore. You’ll find it in health food stores, pet specialty retailers, and some hardware stores.
Online, you can find it on Amazon, Chewy, and other retailers. If you’d prefer to buy from Wysong directly, you can also browse their online store.
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.