Young Again Cat Food Review

Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. 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.

Young Again is one of the only low-carbohydrate, meat-based dry food brands on the market. Find out if it’s the right choice for your cat in our Young Again cat food review.

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

We’ve analyzed Young Again 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.

Ratings

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

Overall Score: 8.3/10

We give Young Again cat food a 50 out of 60 rating or an A- grade.

About Young Again

Young Again was formed in 1987 and introduced its first products in 1990. Their foods’ low carbohydrate content has made Young Again a favorite among those who want to feed their cat dry food but don’t want to load their cat up on carbs.

While it’s earned a name for itself through word-of-mouth, the company keeps a low profile, selling directly to consumers through their own website.

I sat down and took a few hours to learn more about Young Again, learning about their manufacturing practices, safety record, and finding out what real customers think about this brand.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Young Again sources ingredients from the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, India, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Finland, and Scotland. All of their meat ingredients are bought from USDA and/or FDA approved human-grade food manufacturing facilities.

Young Again cat food is manufactured in the company’s facility in Stacy, Minnesota.

For more information, read the Young Again website. Their Ingredients & Sourcing page details their ingredient sourcing, ingredient quality standards, and quality control practices. 

Has Young Again cat food been recalled?

No. According to Petful research and Young Again’s website, it doesn’t appear that Young Again pet food has ever been recalled.

What kinds of cat food does Young Again offer?

Young Again’s dry cat food promises whole prey-inspired nutrition that captures the nutritional essence of, in their words, a juvenile mouse.

Young Again cat food contains relatively high levels of nucleotides, organic compounds best known as the building blocks of RNA and DNA. Though research is limited, nucleotides can support immune health and may be able to help repair the liver and gut, reduce your cat’s stress in response to exercise, and soothe irritable bowel syndrome. They also contain probiotics and digestive enzymes.

Their foods are divided into two primary lines—50/22 and ZERO.

  • The 50/22 line is at least 50% protein and 22% fat with less than 6% starch. This lineup includes two recipes. One is the Li’l Bites recipe for kittens up to 10 weeks of age and the Original recipe for both cats and kittens.
  • The ZERO line has virtually zero or less than 1% carbohydrate matter. These foods are available in a few varieties to meet the needs of kittens, adult cats, senior cats in need of controlled mineral levels, and cats with food sensitivities.
  • In addition to the standard lines, Young Again offers a Mature Health recipe, which focuses on calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium content.

Young Again Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Young Again ZERO Cat and Kitten FormulaDry$0.47A-
Young Again Original 50/22 Cat & Kitten FormulaDry$0.34B+
Young Again ZERO Mature Health FormulaDry$0.50A-

Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula Review

Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula

Check Price

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

Young Again’s signature low-carbohydrate cat food is popular among cats with diabetes and others trying to avoid starch.

The food is primarily made from a combination of hydrolyzed—non-allergenic and highly digestible—pork, chicken meal, and chicken fat as a nourishing source of fatty acids. The food contains herring meal as an additional source of protein, so watch out for this one if your cat is sensitive to fish. If your cat is an adult and his bones have stopped growing, you may opt for the Mature variety, which doesn’t contain any fish meal.

While most dry foods use potatoes, corn, wheat, and other high carbohydrate ingredients, this food relies on guar gum to hold the kibble together. Guar gum doesn’t have any digestible carbohydrates and instead is a soluble fiber. Guar gum and other soluble fibers help the stool to retain water, leading to softer stools. Some reviewers say this food gave their cats loose bowels.

In addition to the central ingredients, this food contains several species-appropriate supplements, including fish oil, prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

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

Indeed, this food is a great option for cats with diabetes or, really, any other cat who needs a low carbohydrate diet and won’t eat wet food. The food stays fresh in the bag, has a crunchy texture that cats love, and according to most customers, has a cat-pleasing flavor.

The food contains 650 calories per cup, significantly more than the average cat food. Young Again reminds customers that their cat will only need about ¼ cup of this food each day.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Guar Gum, Herring Meal, DL Methionine, L Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (source of soluble dietary fiber), Potassium Citrate, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-ascorbyl-2polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Salt, Yucca Schidigera Extract,Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Copper Proteinate, Biotin (vitamin B7), Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein54% min
Crude Fat26% min
Crude Fiber3.0% max
Moisture2% min – 10% max
Ash5.5% max

Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula Typical Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula Typical Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Rich in highly-digestible protein
  • A good source of bioavailable animal-sourced fatty acids
  • Supports digestive health
  • Virtually zero carbohydrate content

Cons

  • A dry food, meaning that it’s not hydrating enough for cats

Young Again Original 50/22 Cat & Kitten Formula Review

Young Again Original 50/22 Cat & Kitten Formula

Check Price

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

The original 50/22 food is still low in carbohydrates with just around 6% carbs on a dry matter basis, but it differs from the ZERO recipe in the addition of a small amount of potato starch instead of guar gum. By pushing guar gum lower on the ingredient list, Young Again makes the 50/22 food a better option for those concerned that their cats might develop diarrhea due to too much soluble fiber.

Otherwise, this food’s ingredient list looks almost identical to that of the ZERO food. The recipe begins with hydrolyzed pork as a highly-digestible protein source, chicken meal, chicken fat, chicken liver flavor, and herring meal. The food contains DL-methionine, an essential amino acid that maintains whole-body health and helps bring the food’s pH to a natural prey-inspired level. Additional ingredients include fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.

Overall, this dry food is rich in protein with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

At 647 calories per cup, this is a calorie-dense food. Your cat won’t have to eat much of it to get all the calories she needs each day.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Potato Starch, Chicken Liver Flavor, Herring Meal, DL Methionine, L Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (source of soluble dietary fiber), Potassium Citrate, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-ascorbyl-2polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Guar Gum, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Salt, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Biotin (vitamin B7), Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein50% min
Crude Fat22% min
Crude Fiber3.0% max
Moisture2% min – 10% max
Ash5.6% max

Young Again 50/22 Cat & Kitten Formula Typical Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Young Again 50-22 Cat & Kitten Formula Typical Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Potato Starch, Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Exceptionally low-carbohydrate food
  • Rich in highly-digestible protein
  • Contains animal-sourced fat
  • Supports digestive health

Cons

  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs

Young Again Zero Mature Health Formula Review

Young Again Zero Mature Health Formula

Check Price

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

This ZERO variety is formulated for older adult cats who no longer need high levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other nutrients. Young Again notes that too much of these nutrients may cause health problems among senior cats and those with kidney disease.

It is 0.50% phosphorus, which is well within the recommended range for cats with renal disease.  Additionally, the food is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and discomfort associated with aging.

Unlike other ZERO recipes, the food is free of herring meal and relies instead on a mix of pork and chicken protein. It features guar gum as a kibble binder and source of soluble fiber.

Prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes support healthy digestion and overall condition.

Overall, this food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

This calorie-dense, protein-rich food bucks the senior food status quo with plenty of nourishing meat ingredients and virtually zero carbohydrate content. It has balanced levels of key minerals and highly-digestible protein, both features that may help to reduce kidney strain and help seniors stay spry.

The food contains 654 calories per cup.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Guar Gum,DL Methionine, L-Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (source of soluble dietary fiber), Potassium Citrate, Brewers Yeast, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-ascorbyl-2polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt,  Biotin (vitamin B7), Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract,Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein54% min
Crude Fat24% min
Crude Fiber2.0% max
Moisture10%
Ash4.85% max

Young Again Zero Mature Health Formula Typical Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Young Again Zero Mature Health Formula Typical Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken

Pros

  • Crafted for senior cats, supports senior and kidney health
  • One of the few senior cat foods that deliver high-quality protein
  • Very low carbohydrate content
  • Supports digestive health

Cons

  • Dry food doesn’t provide enough moisture for cats

What do customers think of Young Again cat food?

Young Again’s biggest following? People with diabetic cats. Its low carbohydrate content and satisfying crunch make it an appealing compromise for the kibble-addicted diabetic.

Though most agree that a high-moisture diet is preferable, users on feline diabetes message boards have positive things to say about this brand. More than a few people attribute their cats’ diabetic remission to Young Again cat food.

Because Young Again only sells through their own site, it’s the only place to get formal customer reviews. The customer experiences published on Young Again’s site are more testimonials than reviews, so the following is a mix of those review-testimonials and comments from cat forums.

Let’s hear what these customers have to say.

Positive Reviews

“I give Young Again Pet Food’s Zero Carb Cat Food a 10 out of 10 as the best food for diabetic cats. Ever since we changed his food from a mainstream cat food to the zero carb food there have been several positive changes. Not only did our cat no longer have diabetes, he also no longer has a wheezing cough. He’s more social, his “pay attention to me” kitten antics are back, and he wants to play often. Other than myself and my husband noticing the symptoms of feline diabetes, I give all the credit to Young Again’s Zero Carb Food for curing my cat.”Cathi, blogger at Scratch and Stitch

“I put our ex-feral cat Moon on your food when he got up to 17 lbs on a vet prescribed urinary diet for his crystals and cystitis. He fully blocked at the time. He’s down to a respectable 14 lbs now for his size. His friend Rupert, who is an ex-feral we took in a year ago is FIV positive and had terrible dental issues. We dealt with that and he’s gained and maintained at also 14 lbs.

Feral cats tend to have food insecurities, so I love that I can leave multiple bowls of food out without worrying about them overeating. Moon also has food sensitivities, so I’m thrilled that your new mature LID diet helps both his issues.”Cheryl G., in a testimonial on the Young Again Pet Food website

Negative Reviews

Young Again Zero doesn’t use starch as its binder, it uses guar gum as its binder. This is an soluble fiber that’s also sold for humans as a laxative or stool softener. It has the same effect on my cat — he gets projectile stools with it, very loose. If your cat has constipation, YAZ will certainly solve that problem. (Note that while guar gum is being investigated for its effect upon blood sugar in humans — i.e., it reduces blood sugar in humans and is being investigated as a possible treatment for borderline Type 2 diabetes in humans — there is no evidence that it has any effect on blood sugar in cats).” Badtux, discussing Young Again cat food on Feline Diabetes Forum

“I tried my male cat that had struvite crystals on the zero carb dry food.  He had a relapse of crystals/cystitis with this food. I learned from an alternative vet that dry food of any kind is not good for a cat that has had urinary crystals.  Canned food only with extra water stirred in is what has helped the most. Ideal is an all meat canned food like Natures Variety Instinct, EVO 95%, Hound and Gatos 98%.”skimble, discussing Young Again cat food on TheCatSite Forum

How much does Young Again cat food cost?

Young Again cat food is very calorie-dense, so on a price-per-ounce basis, it looks more expensive than the average kibble. However, if you look at it in terms of cost per day, it doesn’t look quite so pricey.

In fact, the most expensive Young Again ZERO recipe costs about $0.54 per day to feed a 10-lb cat. That’s significantly cheaper than comparable dry recipes from Ziwi Peak or Dr. Elsey’s.

Overall, is Young Again a good choice?

If you have an overweight, diabetic, unhealthy cat who meows up and down that he’ll starve before tucking into a bowl of anything that doesn’t crunch, Young Again might be a low-carbohydrate way to indulge your cat’s passion for kibble.

It’s one of the lowest-carbohydrate dry foods you can buy, competing head-to-head with dry food from brands like Ziwi Peak, Wysong Epigen, and Dr. Elsey’s.

That said, dry food—even a thoughtfully-formulated low carbohydrate dry food like Young Again—is deficient in a vital macronutrient.

All dry food is deficient in water. Water deficiencies result in serious health problems, including urinary tract inflammation, crystals, blockage, and other forms of feline lower urinary tract disease.

Where to Buy Young Again Cat Food

You can only buy Young Again cat food through the manufacturer’s website. You can order a single shipment or, if you like the products, opt for Young Again’s “Bottomless Bag” program and set up a recurring shipment. Shipping is free on all orders over $30.

Click here to shop for Young Again cat food.