Halo Cat Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Last Updated on: November 18, 2020

Halo Grain-Free Wild Salmon & Whitefish Adult

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Halo pet food a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. 

Introduction

Halo was established in the 1980s when founder Andi Brown struggled to find a cure for her cat’s array of health problems. Spot was suffering from a flea infestation, urinary tract complaints, and infections in his eyes and ears. Despite trying prescription drugs and premium foods, nothing seemed to help the animal.

Pet chef Voyko Marx said that he could help Spot, and within a week of eating a stew of chicken, garlic, and vegetables from the local greengrocers, Spot’s health conditions started to clear up. Although Andi Brown sold Halo to investors in the early 21st century, it continues to make high-quality food with natural ingredients sourced from the US, Canada, New Zealand, and Europe. Its rigorous quality control has helped ensure a long and successful history.

Today, they have dozens of recipes, including wet and dry food. As well as foods that are suitable for cats at all stages of their life, they also have specialist recipes for kittens and seniors, as well as food formulated for indoor and outdoor cats. Although it is on the expensive side, the quality ingredients and excellent reputation of the brand, make this a desirable and beneficial food for your cat.

At a Glance: The Best Halo Pet Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Best Overall Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Indoor Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Indoor
  • Chicken, chicken liver, and chicken broth are main ingredients
  • Natural ingredients
  • Contains probiotics
  • Best Value Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach
  • Contains additional probiotics, vitamins, and minerals
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Suitable for some sensitive stomachs
  • Premium Choice Halo Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Adult Canned Halo Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Adult Canned
  • Complete and balanced nutrition
  • Provides additional hydration
  • Made with real, whole chicken
  • Halo Grain-Free Wild Salmon & Whitefish Adult Halo Grain-Free Wild Salmon & Whitefish Adult
  • Made with real, whole salmon and whitefish
  • Proprietary DreamCoat supplement
  • Highly palatable and highly digestible formula
  • Halo Grain-Free Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Kitten Food Halo Grain-Free Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Kitten Food
  • Chicken and chicken liver as primary ingredients
  • Natural ingredients
  • 32% protein
  • Halo Pet Food Reviewed

    Halo Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Adult Canned

    Who Makes Halo and Where is it Produced?

    Halo was founded in the 1980s by pet owner Andi Brown when her cat, Spot, was suffering from a host of health complaints, and prescription drugs and premium foods didn’t help. Cat food expert, Voyko Marx, cooked up a feast consisting of chicken, garlic, and vegetables. Within a week, Andi reported improvements in Spot’s health and she took this recipe and formed Halo.

    After 20 years, Andi sold the business to a group of investors and, in 2008, TV star Ellen DeGeneres became part owner of the company. While Andi may not be at the helm, the company retains her aim to provide natural and healthy food that will benefit the health of cats.

    The meat used in Halo foods is sourced from the US, Canada, and New Zealand. The fruit and vegetables come from Europe, where there are strict rules against the use of GMO crops. The company makes a point of stating that no ingredients come from China. All the foods are manufactured in the USA.

    Halo has implemented the OrigiNative program. This program dictates that all of its meat and fish come from sustainable sources and that the animals live in an enriched environment before being used for food.

    Which Types of Pets is Halo Best Suited For?

    Halo offers a wide range of cat foods. This includes a varied selection of both dry and wet foods. They also have various recipes that cater to senior cats, kittens, and those with sensitive stomachs. The company produces grain-free and some grain-inclusive menus, but even those that do include grain do not incorporate corn, wheat, or wheat gluten, which means that they should be suitable for cats with some food intolerance.

     

    With such a wide range of recipes and foods on offer, there are Halo foods that are appropriate for all cats.

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

    It is worth noting that many of the recipes do include garlic or garlic powder. This is a controversial ingredient, and if you do not want to feed your cat this ingredient, ensure that you choose one of the foods that does not include it.

    Notable Ingredients

    Halo has a wide range of recipes to choose from. We have taken a look at some of the most common and controversial and found the following:

    • Soybean Protein Concentrate – Along with dried peas, chickpeas, potatoes, and potato protein, this is considered a low-quality protein filler. It is used to help increase the protein ratio of foods, but it does not offer the same high-quality amino acids that meat protein offers. Soy protein concentrate is made by removing the moisture-filled carbohydrates from soybeans. The recipes would be of higher quality and more beneficial for your cats if they included a better quality protein source.
    • Pea Protein – Pea protein is another low-quality filler that offers minimal benefit other than to increase the protein ratio of the food. Ingredients like this help pad out the food, too, but they do not offer much biological value to your cat.

    The Proof Is In The Poop

    Halo recipes do not include any artificial coloring or other artificial ingredients. They use natural products, which is considered healthier and safer for your cats and mimics the diet of cats when they lived in the wild.

    What’s more, they use fresh meat rather than rendered meat. Halo claims that fresh meats are substantially easier to digest, which helps improve your cat’s stomach health and can prevent them from suffering gastrointestinal complaints. They also say that the proof is in the poop and that your cat’s waste will have less of an odor, will be smaller than with other foods, and it will be easier to scoop out of the litter tray.

    Grain-Free or Grain-Inclusive

    Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they need protein from meat sources. Not only are they healthier when fed a meat diet, but a meat-free diet can lead to ill health. Furthermore, cats would not have eaten grain when they lived wild.

    Even since becoming domesticated, they have not evolved to eat grain. As such, many owners and experts believe cats should not be fed grain-based diets. Halo does offer a range of grain-free diets, and those recipes that do include grains do not include corn, wheat, wheat gluten, or rice: grains that are more difficult to digest. Look for grain-free recipes if you want to avoid other grains completely.

    feline cat eating on a metal bowl_Krakenimages.com_shutterstock

    Probiotics

    Probiotics are essential for your cat’s good health. They ensure good gut health, which means that your cat will better digest food and will suffer from fewer stomach and gastrointestinal health. Probiotics can also improve general health and enable your cat to better metabolize food and convert it into energy.

    The Garlic Controversy

    Halo cat food was born from a recipe that included minced garlic. Some of the company’s recipes still include garlic, in the form of garlic powder. Garlic is a controversial ingredient.

    Proponents claim that it aids in digestion and can even help combat fleas and ticks. Opponents point to the fact that garlic is toxic when fed in sizable doses. Some owners and professionals believe that it should be avoided altogether.

    Several years ago, more than 200 people signed a petition to have Halo remove garlic powder from their ingredients, but the movement was unsuccessful and the company continues to use this ingredient in at least some of its foods. If you do not wish to feed garlic to your cat, check the ingredients of individual recipes before buying.


    A Quick Look at Halo Pet Food

    Pros
    • Typically high in animal protein
    • Natural ingredients
    • No GMO ingredients
    • Recipes include probiotics
    • Use fresh meat, not rendered meat
    Cons
    • Some recipes include garlic powder
    • Quite pricey
    • Some ingredients include fillers like pea and soybean protein

    Recall History

    Halo cat food has been recalled once, in 2015 when a number of bags were recalled because of the potential of mold growth. There have been no other instances of food being recalled.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Halo Pet Food Recipes

    1. Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Halo Dry Cat Food

    Halo Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach

    Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach Halo Dry Cat Food is formulated especially for cats with sensitive stomachs. The company claims that it uses novel proteins that are sympathetic to a cat’s digestive system. Although the ingredients do include grains, these are refined grains that are also easier to digest.

    However, despite these claims, the food lists its primary ingredients as whitefish, salmon, and dried egg. These are all commonly found in cat food, and egg, especially, is one of the ingredients that cats are most often allergic to. The food may be suitable for some cats with sensitive stomachs, but not all.

    Also, fish is not the best foodstuff for cats, because it is comparatively low in B vitamins. Cats need a lot of B vitamins, especially thiamine, which is usually added to food after it is fully prepared.

    As dry matter, the food is made up of 37% protein, 20% fat, and 43% carbohydrates. This is considered to be a reasonable protein level but a high level of carbohydrates.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Holistic Seafood Medley Sensitive Stomach

    Pros
    • Contains additional probiotics, vitamins, and minerals
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Suitable for some sensitive stomachs
    Cons
    • Contains garlic
    • Fish is not actually that healthy for cats

    2. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Cat Food

    Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Indoor

    This Halo cat food has been formulated for adult cats of all ages. It is a grain-free recipe and the meat-based diet lists chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver as its primary ingredients. These are species-appropriate meats and, as well as being high in protein, chicken liver is full of nutrients. Turkey is another named meat and it is considered another appropriate meat source that cats would eat in the wild.

    This food contains garlic powder. Halo and other proponents of the ingredient say that it aids in good digestion and that it is perfectly safe in trace amounts. However, even as little as 1 gram of garlic per kilogram of cat can cause toxicity and many owners prefer to steer clear of the ingredient altogether. This food has a high protein ratio of 51.5% by dry matter. A 9.7% carbohydrate ratio is considered to be a low carb ratio.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Recipe

    Pros
    • Chicken, chicken liver, and chicken broth are main ingredients
    • Natural ingredients
    • Contains probiotics
    Cons
    • Contains garlic powder
    • High in protein

    3. Halo Grain-Free Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Kitten Food

    Halo Grain-Free Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Kitten Food

    Halo Grain-Free Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Kitten Food is for kittens aged under 12 months. It lists chicken and chicken liver, as its primary ingredients. Like all Halo food, it does not use meal meat and uses fresh meat instead. What’s more, they only use cage-free chickens. It does, however, contain dried peas, dried chickpeas, soy protein concentrate, and dried potatoes.

    As well as including probiotics and added vitamins and minerals, the food also contains DreamCoat, which is a combination of botanicals that will help your cat develop and maintain a healthy and shiny looking coat. With this being a kitten food, the kibble is smaller, making it easier for small mouths to chew, bite, and eat.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    halo holistic kitten calorie breakdown

    Pros
    • Chicken and chicken liver as primary ingredients
    • Natural ingredients
    • 32% protein
    • Small kibble for kitten’s mouths
    Cons
    • Contains dried peas, chickpeas, and protein concentrate

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Here’s what others are saying about Halo cat foods:

    • AllAboutCats – “Their wet food is a superior option.”
    • FelineLiving – “Halo enhances your pet’s well-being by offering a top-quality holistic pet food for cat lovers everywhere.”
    • Chewy – To see more reviews, from real buyers on Chewy, click here.

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    Conclusion

    Halo does some things very well. They are committed to using sustainable meat that has been treated humanely. They also use fresh meat, rather than meat meal, which is better for your cats because it is easier to digest and will lead to fewer digestive problems. And they have a wide range of dry and wet foods, as well as those that are designed for all adult cats, foods for kittens, and some recipes for senior cats, that are designed to meet the specific requirements of cats at different stages in their lives.

    However, they don’t get everything right. They continue to include garlic powder in some of their recipes, despite growing concerns over this potentially toxic ingredient. They also incorporate a lot of vegetables into their dry food, which do not naturally form a part of a cat’s diet. Finally, despite relying on some low-quality, low-cost fillers, they are quite expensive even when compared to other premium brands.

    Other than the garlic, the ingredients are of reasonable quality, and your cat may benefit from and enjoy this food.


    Featured Image: Halo, Chewy