Is purina good for cats? – Full analysis and Review

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In Beanietoe’s latest series of articles, we’re doing in-depth brand analysis to help pet parents to find the perfect food for their pets.

In this particular article, we’ll be looking at the Purina line of cat foods to see whether they’re really good for your cats. We’ll dive into the ingredients, nutritional analysis, and give you our opinion of their offerings.

Is Purina One good for cats?

We can’t recommend Purina as a good cat food. When it comes to ingredients, Purina is often the bottom of the barrel. While they have an assortment of “premium” brands, like the Purina One line, the truth is, you’re really just paying more money for the same junk.

Purina uses tons of useless fillers like corn, and they also throw in a lot of unsavory meat by-products, otherwise known as waste. While it may cost a bit more to purchase a better food for your cat, it’s also important to realize that bad food equals health problems and vet bills down the road.

Need help choosing a great food for your cat? We can recommend the below brands instead!

Need a healthier cat food? Try one of these!

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Pet Parent Pro Tip – Sign-Up for auto-ship to save big on quality pet foods! For example, Chewy gives 30% off your first auto-ship, and then 5-10% for every shipment after that. It’s a great way to save money without jumping from brand to brand, which is bad for your pets.

Or, you can keep reading to see our full analysis for the Purina One brand, and see why we don’t like it. We’ll go through the ingredients list, and we’ll take a look at the nutritional breakdown as well.

does purina use healthy ingredients
Purina’s ingredients aren’t great, even for their Purina One brand.

Purina One Tender Selects With Salmon Ingredients List

Salmon, Rice Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Wheat Flour, Liver Flavor, Soy Protein Isolate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Glycerin, Chicken, Calcium Carbonate, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Choline Chloride, Sodium Bisulfate, Taurine, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], 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)], L-Cysteine, DL-Methionine. B415617.

While Purina One starts things off right with whole-meat salmon, things quickly head south from there. The next few ingredients are starches, including rice flour and corn gluten meal, which offer no nutritional value and are really just empty fillers.

This is quickly followed up with some unsavory by-products, which is essentially the waste which the slaughterhouse deems not fit for human consumption. We’re then treated to even more carbohydrates!

In fact, most of this food consists of carbohydrates, so for once, what it says on the bag is likely correct. “With salmon” and not salmon. The rest is really just meat flavored cereal bits for cats.

In short, while the bag says “no fillers”, we’d certainly call having the majority of ingredients as corn, wheat, and rice meal as “fillers”. The fact that the bag claims that this food doesn’t have fillers seems a bit misleading to us, and Purina is preying on consumers ignorance.

Purina One is honestly a cheap cat food masquerading as a premium product. While it’s slightly better than their standard offering, which is almost entirely corn, that’s not setting the bar very high.

Cats are obligate carnivores, and they are meant to eat meat, not corn or wheat. In many cases, cats have trouble digesting foods like this, and due to the glut of carbohydrates and lack of nutrition, many of them become obese, causing many health issues down the road.

Unfortunately, this food will also likely be a bad pick for cats that have any allergies or sensitive stomachs. That’s because there are many ingredients here which are either difficult to digest or could be potential allergy vectors.

If your cat has issues with vomiting, diarrhea, or skin irritation, then it would be best to choose a different food for them. A limited ingredient diet will likely be the best that you can offer them, and it will likely eliminate many of the problems they are experiencing.

Pet Parent Pro Tip: Halo is our go to pick for kitties with digestive problems!

Purina Nutritional Breakdown

The ingredients list doesn’t always tell the whole story as to whether or not a food is healthy, so we’ve also prepared the nutritional breakdown section for you.

This section of the analysis dives a little deeper into the nutritional ratios of the food in an attempt to see how balanced it is, this information could be important if you want to make sure your cat is getting enough protein and not too much in the way of carbs or fat.

Is Purina good for cats?

Below you’ll see a pie chart which breaks down into slices which represent the fat, protein, and the carbohydrates in this food.

While the different recipes in a manufacturer’s line will differ somewhat, for the most part, they tend to stick to similar nutritional profiles. That makes this a pretty reliable method to see what kind of nutrition that the brand offers as a whole.

Is Purina good for cats nutritionally?

purina one nutritional value and information
Is Purina One healthy? Check the nutritional breakdown!

While the nutritional values for this food doesn’t look too bad, it’s important to remember that cats are not humans. As obligate carnivores, we should be feeding our cats as few carbohydrates as possible.

For us, the 36% carbohydrate portion is just too much, and we’d prefer a food with a lot more protein and a lot less carbs.

33% protein isn’t terrible, but since there’s only one meat protein item at the head of the ingredient list, a lot of this protein may actually be coming from vegetarian sources, which is not ideal.

Has Purina ever been recalled?

Yes, Purina has been recalled many times over the years. Various Purina cat and dog foods have been recalled for salmonella, mislabeling, vitamin deficiencies, etc.

While past recalls don’t necessarily make a brand more likely to have recalls in the future, sometimes they can reveal possible quality control issues, so it is important to note them.

  • March 2019 – Muse cat food recalled for containing rubber pieces
  • March 2016 – Dog foods recalled for inadequate vitamin levels
  • August 2013 – Dry dog foods recalled for salmonella contamination
  • May 2012 – Canned cat foods recalled for low thiamine levels
  • July 2011 – Dry cat food recalled for salmonella contamination
  • June 2011 – Dry cat food recalled for salmonella contamination

While this list applies only to Purina, it’s important to note that the company which owns this food, Nestle Purina, also owns many other pet food brands, including Friskies, Deli-Cat, and Go Cat, which all have their own recalls and could easily multiply this list.

Complaints about Purina cat food

Purina has been st the center of several lawsuits over the years, where angry pet parents claim that their foods have killed their beloved pets. While some of these did go to court, it was not able to be proven that the food was in fact killed the animals.

Regardless, due to the outrage, Purina had pulled products and even came to a settlement, which provided funds to the pet owners who believe their dogs were killed due to poor manufacturing processes in China.

They agreed to pay $6.5 million in restitution to pet owners without admitting fault in the incident, and promising to have more rigorous quality standards when manufacturing their foods.

If you do a bit of digging, then it’s likely that this won’t be the only problem you see with Purina and it’s family of brands.

In closing, not only does Purina use sub-par ingredients in their foods, but in many cases, it can be rather iffy that the quality will be consistent. They are notorious for cutting corners with manufacturing, and they don’t seem to be able to keep their ingredient quality under control.

Purina does not get our stamp of approval, and there are countless other better brands out there which will provide your cat better ingredients, consistency, and value to yourself.

If you need a recommendation, then you’ll see a few of our favorite dry cat food brands below which you can try for your feline friends. Remember, spending a little bit more on a high-quality food is an investment in their health and extends the years that you get to spend with them.

So, is Purina good for cats? Not by a long shot.

These are our favorite dry cat food brands!

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Pet Parent Pro Tip – Sign-Up for auto-ship to save big on quality pet foods! For example, Chewy gives 30% off your first auto-ship, and then 5-10% for every shipment after that. It’s a great way to save money without jumping from brand to brand, which is bad for your pets.

Michelle Rei
Michelle Rei
Michelle is a pet parent turned amateur pet product researcher. After adopting a fur baby with digestive issues caused by bad pet food, she's poured hundreds of hours into research to find the best of the best to help him and other pets live happier and healthier lives.
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