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Evolve Cat Food Review 2021 : Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Evolve Cat food a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. 

Introduction

Crafted with premium, whole-food ingredients, starting with quality animal proteins, Evolve cat food contains exactly the nutrition your feline needs to stay in peak health. It’s a bit pricey, but you’re getting some great quality for what you pay. Granted, not all cats love this food. We found that it was hit or miss regarding our cats’ preferences. But across the board, all of the testers loved the quality ingredients and formulas that you can expect from Evolve cat food.

No matter how you choose to feed your cat, you’ll find a fitting food from Evolve. They offer dry foods in standard and grain-free options, plus wet foods available in cans or pouches. The first ingredient on every package is a quality animal protein, and you won’t find any by-products or cheap fillers in Evolve.

As pet owners move away from cheaply produced commercial foods and start looking for healthier alternatives, we expect Evolve to continue growing in popularity, as it represents exactly that space in the market. You have to pay a bit more for the higher quality, but you can tell the extra money is going towards improving your cat’s health, which is something all pet owners can feel good about.

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At a Glance: The Best Evolve Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our Favorite Evolve Classic Turkey Recipe Canned Cat Food Evolve Classic Turkey Recipe Canned Cat Food
  • Made with plenty of quality animal proteins
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • High in taurine
  • Evolve Classic Deboned Salmon, Rice, & Sweet Potato Formula Evolve Classic Deboned Salmon, Rice, & Sweet Potato Formula
  • Deboned salmon is the first ingredient
  • High in essential fatty acids and taurine
  • 3/5 main ingredients are animal-based
  • Evolve Salmon & Sweet Potato Stew in Gravy Grain Free Wet Pouch Cat Fo Evolve Salmon & Sweet Potato Stew in Gravy Grain Free Wet Pouch Cat Fo
  • Contains protein from multiple animal-based sources
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Free of soy, wheat, or corn
  • Evolve Chicken, Pea, & Sweet Potato Recipe Kitten Formula Grain-Free D Evolve Chicken, Pea, & Sweet Potato Recipe Kitten Formula Grain-Free D
  • Main ingredient is real chicken
  • Contains DHA to support brain development in growing kittens
  • Grain-free
  • Evolve Classic Seafood Recipe Canned Cat Food Evolve Classic Seafood Recipe Canned Cat Food
  • Loaded with taurine
  • Made with protein-rich chicken and ocean fish
  • No added sugars or artificial flavors
  • Evolve Cat Food Reviewed

    Evolve cat food is geared towards those who are looking for a convenient yet healthy alternative to commercial cat foods. Their premium foods are produced with quality ingredients in the right proportions. The company also prides itself on using only limited advertising so they can continue to offer premium-quality food that’s not as expensive as some options in the same niche.

    Who makes Evolve and where is it produced?

    Evolve pet foods is owned by Sunshine Mills, a family-owned and operated company that operates within the US. All Evolve pet foods are manufactured by Evolve in their US-based manufacturing facilities. Their plants are SQF certified, which is a rigorous food safety certification to achieve, showing how seriously they take the production of pet foods. Evolve is proud to control the quality of their foods from farm to bowl, as they’ve done for more than 50 years.

    Evolve Classic Dry Cat Food in a bowl

    Which Types of Cats is Evolve Best Suited For?

    Evolve cat food is well suited for just about any healthy cat. They have blends for adult cats and kittens, in both wet and dry formulas. Because of the healthy and natural ingredients used in Evolve, it’s a great choice for feline parents who want to offer their cats something better than the by-products and cheap ingredients found in many commercial cat foods.

    Which Types of Cats Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    Though you can get several different varieties of Evolve cat food, they don’t offer many specialty blends for senior cats or those with health concerns. If you’re looking specifically for senior blend food, you might want to try a different brand. For instance, Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+ Classic Chicken and Beef Entrée Canned Cat Food is specially formulated to provide what older cats need to remain healthy in their late years.

    Evolve also doesn’t offer much in the way of cat food for felines with existing health problems. If your cat has kidney issues, urinary problems, a sensitive stomach, or any other health conditions that require a special diet, then you might consider Hill’s Prescription Diet instead. They offer purpose-built blends like Kidney Care Chicken and Vegetable Stew Canned Cat Food, or Original Skin/Food Sensitivities Dry Cat Food.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and bad)

    When it comes to pet food, or any food for that matter, it’s all about the ingredients. Poor-quality ingredients don’t make for a high-quality finished product. As such, you can learn a lot about the quality of any cat food by looking at its ingredients.

    In this case, we’ll be taking a look at the Evolve Classic Turkey Recipe Canned Cat Food. This food is one of the best-selling options from Evolve, so it should give us a good idea of what Evolve cat foods are like on the whole. We’ll be taking a look at the first five ingredients, which are the ingredients found in the highest concentrations in this blend.

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    Turkey

    Turkey is the very first ingredient on the list, meaning it’s the most prevalent ingredient in this cat food. This isn’t a by-product or turkey meal. Rather, it’s a high-quality animal protein that’s exactly what we like to see as the main ingredient in any cat food. Cats need lots of quality animal protein in their diets, and with turkey listed as the first ingredient, Evolve is off to a good start.

    Turkey Broth

    Almost all canned cat food is 75% moisture or higher. With this particular Evolve blend, the moisture content is 78%. But with turkey broth listed as the second ingredient, we can assume that it’s not just water making up that moisture content; it’s mainly turkey broth, which still carries nutrients that your cat needs.

    Turkey Liver

    Turkey liver is the third ingredient on the list, offering loads of vitamin A for your feline. Cats can’t synthesize vitamin A, so it’s essential for them to get it through their diet. Vitamin A is necessary for proper muscle, skin, coat, and nerve function. Your cat simply can’t be in top health without getting enough vitamin A, so this is a great third ingredient to see.

    bowl of Evolve Classic Seafood Recipe Canned Cat Food

    Chicken

    As we get down to the fourth ingredient contained in this cat food, we realize that there’s a lot of great animal protein included in this formula! So far, everything has been turkey, but the fourth ingredient here is chicken. Notice again that this isn’t a chicken meal or a by-product. You’re getting high-quality whole-food chicken; the same chicken that humans eat regularly. Usually, by this point in the ingredients list, we’ve seen some type of filler or plant-based product, but to see this many quality animal-based ingredients is a great sign.

    Ocean Whitefish

    It’s quite rare to find a cat food where all of the main ingredients are quality whole-food animal-based proteins, but the fifth ingredient in this Evolve wet cat food is ocean whitefish. Cats need a wide range of different amino acids coming from a variety of animal protein sources, and with chicken, turkey, and ocean whitefish all contained in the same meal, you can be certain that your feline is getting a plenty diverse protein assortment.

    Plenty of Animal Protein

    What’s amazing about this food is that it contains so many quality whole-food animal ingredients. In the first five ingredients, you have three different animals. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they get all of their nutrition from animal sources. Most cat foods use plant-based fillers because it’s cheaper and helps to keep costs low and profits high. But with Evolve cat food, we can see that only high-quality ingredients made the cut. There are no cheap fillers here, just excellent whole-food animal-based ingredients that your cat will benefit from.

    cat eating_Lenar Nigmatullin_Shutterstock
    Image Credit: Lenar Nigmatullin, Shutterstock

    High in Taurine

    Taurine is absolutely essential for your cat to get through its diet. This essential amino acid is found only in animal-based proteins. Without it, your cat’s heart, digestive system, eyes, and muscles will fail to function normally, and its immune system will start to weaken. Evolve wet cat foods contain at least 0.10% taurine, and their dry cat food blends usually have 0.15% taurine content.

    No By-Products

    Many cat foods manage to achieve high levels of protein by using second-rate sources. You’ll often see ingredients such as chicken meal, or chicken by-product, or even chicken by-product meal. And it’s not just chicken, these low-grade ingredients can be from any animal. Manufacturers use them to keep costs low while keeping protein content high, but it’s not as good for your cat. With Evolve cat food, there are no by-products and there aren’t even meat meals. You’ll find just high-quality animal-based ingredients, such as chicken, turkey, ocean whitefish, turkey liver, and more.

    It’s Not a Feline Favorite

    We love almost everything about Evolve cat food. There’s enough variety to keep things fresh for our felines. Most importantly, the ingredients are healthy and high-quality, so we feel good about feeding this to our cats, knowing that their nutritional needs are being well met. But after testing Evolve cat food with different cats, we can safely say that many felines simply don’t like Evolve cat food blends. And it’s not just our cats either. Many users reported similar findings. So, if your cat is a picky eater, there’s a good chance that it will turn its nose up at Evolve.

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    A Quick Look at Evolve Cat Food

    Pros
    • They offer dry, wet, canned, and pouched food
    • High in taurine for feline health
    • No by-product meals, wheat, soy, or corn
    • Free from artificial ingredients
    • Loaded with protein for optimal health
    Cons
    • Long ingredient lists
    • It’s rather pricey
    • Many cats dislike it

    Recall History

    Since the early 2000s, Evolve Pet Food has been recalled three total times. Two of those recalls were related to dog food products. The oldest recall, which occurred in 2007, involved Evolve kitten food.

    In 2007, there was a major worldwide recall of pet foods due to melamine contamination. More than 150 brands in total were involved in the recall, including Evolve Pet Foods, which had to recall a kitten food in the incident.

    Seven years later in May of 2014, Sunshine Mills, the parent company of Evolve, issued a voluntary recall on some dog food for being too low in thiamine. Then, in 2018, multiple Evolve dog food formulas had to be recalled for containing too much vitamin D.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Evolve Cat Food Recipes

    1. Evolve Classic Deboned Salmon, Rice, & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Cat Food

    Evolve Classic Deboned Salmon, Rice & Sweet Potato Formula Dry Cat Food

    Dry cat foods always contain far more carbohydrates than wet canned cat foods because they need the carbohydrates to bind everything together. Still, we don’t like to see nearly as many plant-based ingredients in any cat food. Luckily, three of the five main ingredients in this cat food are animal-based, including deboned salmon; a high-quality animal-based protein that’s listed as the number one ingredient.

    Thanks to the many animal-based proteins in this cat food, it’s high in essential fatty acids and taurine, which your cat needs to intake through diet. There’s also plenty of vitamin A; another essential nutrient for felines. You’re paying a bit more for this cat food than dry blends from other brands, but we think the ingredients are of a generally higher quality than most competing cat foods.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    evolve salmon

    Pros
    • Deboned salmon is the first ingredient
    • 3/5 main ingredients are animal-based
    • High in essential fatty acids and taurine
    • Provides plenty of vitamin A
    Cons
    • It’s rather expensive for dry cat food
    • There are many plant-based ingredients

    2. Evolve Classic Turkey Recipe Canned Cat Food

    Evolve Classic Turkey Recipe Canned Cat Food

    This wet cat food from Evolve offers precisely the nutrition that any feline needs for optimal health. It’s loaded with animal proteins, as you can tell from the first five ingredients; all high-quality animal-based protein sources. The first ingredient is turkey, but you’ll also find chicken and ocean whitefish in the main ingredients. You can rest assured that your cat is getting diverse protein with this food.

    Because there are so many quality animal-based ingredients in this cat food, it’s packed with precisely the nutrients that a cat needs, such as taurine, which is essential for feline health and only available from animal sources. Additionally, this formula is also full of other vitamins and minerals that are meant to keep your cat healthy and functioning.

    With 78% moisture, 10% protein, and 6% fat, there’s very little room left for carbohydrates. This is one reason we prefer this blend to the dry kibbles. Granted, this canned food is far pricier than dry kibble alternatives. It’s even more expensive than canned foods from other brands. And not all cats show interest in this food. But for the felines that do, we believe that this blend of Evolve cat food offers excellent nutrition.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    tevolve urkey formula

    Pros
    • Made with plenty of quality animal proteins
    • Low in carbohydrates
    • High in taurine
    • Loaded with vitamins and minerals
    Cons
    • Not all cats are interested in eating it
    • Other brands are more affordable

    3. Evolve Salmon & Sweet Potato Stew in Gravy Grain Free Wet Pouch Cat Food

    Evolve Salmon & Sweet Potato Stew in Gravy Grain-Free Wet Pouch Cat Food

    What impressed us most about Evolve cat food were the quality ingredients they used and the many animal-based protein sources. But looking at this blend of wet cat food, we’re not quite so impressed. The first ingredient of this food is salmon broth. Granted, this blend is more than 80% moisture, but we still prefer to see a whole food animal-based ingredient listed first. Thankfully, the second ingredient is salmon, followed by chicken, so there’s still plenty of whole-food goodness in here.

    Once you get out of the top five ingredients, we did see several carbohydrates listed, including potato starch and sweet potatoes. They’re not bad, but also not our favorite ingredients for cats. Luckily, this blend is devoid of soy, wheat, and corn. It’s a grain-free blend, making it a great choice for cats with sensitive stomachs. You’ll also find no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives inside.

    Our final complaint about this Evolve cat food is the price. The pouches are far more expensive than cans, even though we felt that the food in the cans was of much higher quality. Overall, we don’t think this blend quite lives up to the bar set by other Evolve cat foods.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    evolve grain free

    Pros
    • Contains protein from multiple animal-based sources
    • Grain-free recipe
    • Free of soy, wheat, or corn
    • Contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
    Cons
    • Pouches are far pricier than cans
    • It’s mostly all moisture
    • The ingredients aren’t as quality as other Evolve formulas

    What Other Users Are Saying

    We’ve had the opportunity to test out Evolve cat food and to see how our cats reacted to it. After using it for a while, we’ve formed opinions about Evolve cat food, which we’ve shared throughout this review. However, our opinions aren’t the only ones worth hearing. So, in an effort to bring you the complete story around Evolve cat food, we’ve searched through reviews from other users to see what they thought, and the following quotes are directly from their reviews.

    Positive reviews from Chewy.com:

    “My cat LOVES the food. He runs to the room for breakfast and dinner. It was an easy transition to this food, no complaints”

    “My cats really love this product. Hardly any hairball issues or loose bowels.”

    “This is the first cat food that my cat has finished, at every meal, EVER. He is 12 years old. He loves it. I love that the very first ingredient is actually turkey. Not turkey by-products. Turkey.”

    “Cats loved it and I loved the ingredients! More protein, no grain, no added fake taste or color. Great price too!!”

    Negative reviews from Chewy.com:

    “I have 10 cats, so I believe I have a little expertise with what they like. when I pour it in a bowl, and they sniff and look around, I know they are not excited.”

    “One of them will literally eat anything that isn’t nailed down but even she will not touch this food.”

    To read more reviews like these on Chewy about evolve cat food, follow this link.

    Positive reviews from Amazon:

    “Probably the best cat food my guys have ever tried! Been using it for three years exclusively. They like the taste, I like the ingredients! And the price!”

    “My cat LOVES this food and has lost so much weight! Her temperament is better as well, she’s much more chill. Definitely recommend if you have an indoor cat who gets anxious or needs to drop a few lbs.”

    “Tried several grain free but cats didn’t seem to care for it. This one is well-received–they show up for dinner and don’t hesitate to eat. The change in behavior is amazing: the “lazy” cat has slimmed down a lot and is now quite active”

    If you’d like to read more reviews about Evolve cat food on Amazon, click here.

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    Conclusion

    Altogether, Evolve cat food is a brand we really like, even if our cats don’t always agree. Their cat foods utilize high-quality animal-based ingredients. In fact, in some of our favorite blends, all of the top five primary ingredients are quality animal proteins. This is exactly what cats need in their diet since they’re obligate carnivores.

    Granted, Evolve isn’t one of the cheaper cat foods available. Still, compared to some of the other health-centered brands, it’s rather reasonably priced. You’re getting top-notch nutrition made with outstanding ingredients. As long as your cat enjoys it, there’s not much to dislike about Evolve cat foods.