ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Hill’s Cat Food Review 2021: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Hill’s cat food a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars. 

Introduction

Today, Hill’s Pet Nutrition is an international pet food brand that’s known for selling scientifically developed foods that are intended to help our pets live their best lives. But that’s not how Hill’s was started. When the company was first founded in 1907 by Burton Hill, they were actually called Hill Rendering Works. They weren’t a pet food company at this point. Rather, they were a rendering service with a contract to dispose of dead and lame animals in Topeka, Kansas.

Hill’s has come a long way from that original rendering plant. They’ve got a giant team of more than 220 veterinarians, nutritionists, technicians, and food scientists developing their pet foods today, performing their research in the world-class Hill research facility that’s still located in Topeka, Kansas, where the Hill’s company first got its start more than 100 years ago.

Committed to creating products to improve our pets’ health, Hill’s puts every ingredient through a stringent testing process to ensure that anything that makes its way into a Hill’s pet food is a high-quality ingredient. They offer premium cat foods for felines of all ages, as well as specialty recipes for cats that need a little extra care.cat face divider 2

At a Glance: The 5 Best Hill’s Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Hill’s Science Diet Wet Adult Cat Food Hill’s Science Diet Wet Adult Cat Food
  • Feature iconGreat choice for picky eaters
  • Feature iconHigh-quality whole-food protein sources
  • Feature iconRich amino acid profile
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Dry Cat Food Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconEasy to digest
  • Feature iconContains prebiotics fiber
  • Feature iconVitamin E and omega fatty acids
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconMade with natural ingredients
  • Feature iconMade in the USA
  • Feature iconHighly digestible
  • Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Cat Food Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconMade with natural ingredients
  • Feature iconMade in the USA
  • Feature iconHigh quality protein
  • Hill’s Science Diet Multiple Benefit Dry Cat Food Hill’s Science Diet Multiple Benefit Dry Cat Food
  • Feature icon30% minimum crude protein
  • Feature iconHelps to maintain a healthy weight
  • Feature iconUses natural fibers
  • 3 cat face divider

    Hill’s Cat Food Reviewed2Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Hairball Control, Chicken Recipe

    Who Produces Hill’s Cat Food?

    Hill’s has undergone a massive metamorphosis since its humble beginnings as a rendering service in Kansas. They’ve become an international corporation with products being sold in 86 countries around the globe.

    Today, Hill’s is owned by the Colgate-Palmolive company; a purchase that took place in 1976. Despite being owned by such a massive corporation, Hill’s still produces all of its food in company-owned manufacturing plants in the United States.

    Which Types of Cats is Hill’s Best Suited For?

    If you take a look at the large catalog of cat food products that Hill’s offers, you’ll notice that they make a wide range of products that are suitable for different cats. For example, they make premium-quality dry and wet cat food for healthy adult cats. But they also make food for kittens and seniors, those with sensitive stomachs, cats with skin problems, and more.

    For cats with serious health concerns, Hill’s offers an entire line of prescription pet foods that require veterinarian authorization to purchase. And cat owners who prefer to feed their feline a special diet are in luck as well with grain-free recipes and more.

    Which Cats and Owners Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    Even though Hill’s makes food to fit any feline, they aren’t the perfect fit for everyone. In reality, there’s no accounting for a cat’s preferences. Some picky eaters might not be interested in Hill’s, even if you try several varieties. That said, we’ve also had good luck getting picky eaters to eat Hill’s when they wouldn’t eat other foods, so it can go either way.

    The other thing that might turn you off from Hill’s cat food is the price. These are marketed as premium pet foods and they’re accompanied by a premium price tag. Expect to pay quite a bit more to feed your cat Hill’s than you’d spend on other brands of food.

    The Primary Ingredients of Hill’s

    The best way to tell whether you want to feed Hill’s to your cat is to take a look at the ingredient list. Ingredients at the top of the list are the most prevalent, with the ingredients at the bottom being present in the smallest amounts.

    In the Hill’s Science Diet Adult Dry Cat Food, one of the main offerings from Hill’s, the first five ingredients are:
    • Chicken
    • Whole Grain Wheat
    • Corn Gluten Meal
    • Pork Fat
    • Chicken Meal

    Animal Protein

    Out of the five main ingredients in this blend, three of them are from animals, which is perfect for cats since they’re obligate carnivores. Cats get all of the nutrition they need from animals; they don’t need to eat carbohydrates.

    Whole Grains

    You’ll also notice two ingredients that aren’t derived from animals. Cats might not need carbohydrates, but all dry cat foods contain them. They provide calories for your cat, though most of them aren’t utilized well since your cat can’t effectively digest carbohydrates. But they also bind the food together and serve as a filler.

    If your cat is going to eat carbohydrates, then whole grains are the best option. As you can see, whole grain wheat is obviously a whole grain, making it one of the better options for a dry cat food filler.

    Cheap Filler Protein

    Corn gluten meal, on the other hand, isn’t an ingredient we like. It’s a cheap filler protein that boosts the overall protein content of the food. However, cats have a hard time making use of the protein from corn since it’s a carbohydrate, so that protein isn’t as beneficial as animal protein.

    Cat ball divider 1A Quick Look at Hill’s Cat Food

    Calorie Breakdown:

    hills science diet sensitive
    ** We’ve chosen Hill’s Science Diet Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin to represent the rest of the products in the line for this review **
    Pros
    • Recipes are created by a team of scientists for optimal nutrition
    • Strict quality control of ingredients ensures consistent cat food quality
    • Many formulas to choose from
    • There are specialty blends for cats with specific needs
    • Quality protein sources are used
    Cons
    • More expensive than other brands
    • Some ingredients aren’t our top choices

    Recall History

    Hill’s has only had a few recalls over the years, including one as recently as 2019.

    Early in 2019, dangerously high levels of vitamin D were found in several batches of Hill’s food, prompting a recall. Two results came of this. First, Hill’s strengthened its stringent quality assurance processes. Next, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Hill’s over the high levels of vitamin D.

    It’s not a true recall, but in 2015, Hill’s voluntarily recalled some of their dog food varieties over labeling issues.

    In 2014, 62 bags of Hill’s pet food were recalled in Nevada, California, and Hawaii due to salmonella contamination.

    Like most pet food brands at the time, Hill’s was also recalled in April 2007 over melamine contamination.

    cat + line dividerReviews of the 3 Best HILL’S Cat Food Recipes

    1. Hill’s Science Diet Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food

    2Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Hairball Control, Chicken Recipe

    For dry cat food, the Hill’s Sensitive Stomach & Skin formula is pretty expensive. But it also offers some benefits you won’t find in most cat foods. For instance, it’s loaded with vitamin E and omega fatty acids that will help keep your cat’s skin and coat healthy and feeling great.

    This food does more than just keep your cat looking great though. It’s also got prebiotic fiber for gut health. Specifically formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs, this recipe is easy to digest and won’t upset your cat’s tummy.

    The first ingredient in this food is chicken, ensuring that your cat is getting quality protein sources. And with a minimum of 29% crude protein, you can be sure that they’re getting plenty of protein overall.

    Pros
    • Vitamin E and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat
    • Contains prebiotics fiber for gut health
    • Easy to digest for sensitive stomachs
    Cons
    • Rather expensive for dry cat food
    thematic break

    2. Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food

    1Hill's Science Diet Wet Cat Food, Adult, Minced Savory

    Perfect for cats from one year old to six, the Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food offers premium nutrition for all adult cats. It’s created with high-quality whole-food protein sources that will provide a wide range of vital amino acids for your feline.

    Almost every major ingredient in this food is an animal product, which is perfect for cats. You’ll find chicken, turkey giblets, pork by-products, pork liver, and more. And these ingredients also happen to be pretty appetizing for picky eaters.

    Though it’s made with plenty of animal-based protein sources, this food still has less protein than other wet cat foods we’ve used. The servings are also pretty large at 5.5 ounces per can. Small and medium-sized cats might not need that much. Still, the quality is excellent, and that’s our main concern.

    Pros
    • Made with high-quality whole-food protein sources
    • Multiple sources of protein provide a rich amino acid profile
    • A great choice for picky eaters
    Cons
    • Lower protein content than other wet cat foods
    • Servings are a little large
    thematic break

    3. Hill’s Science Diet Multiple Benefit Dry Cat Food

    5Hill's Science Diet Dry Cat Food, Adult, Multiple Benefit, Chicken Recipe

    With so many different health-boosting blends to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down all the options to a single Hill’s recipe. But with the multiple benefit cat food, you can get all the benefits you’re looking for in a single blend.

    Hairballs are a common complaint for many cat owners. To help with that problem, this blend contains natural fibers that can reduce the number of hairballs your cat coughs up. It’s also formulated to help maintain a healthy weight so your cat doesn’t become obese.

    A quick check of the nutritional panel reveals that this food contains a minimum of 30% crude protein with chicken listed as the first ingredient. That’s great, but we weren’t so happy with some of the other ingredients, such as corn gluten meal and wheat gluten. But we did like the antioxidants and vitamins that are included for immune system support.

    Pros
    • Uses natural fibers to reduce hairballs
    • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
    • Contains antioxidants and vitamins for immune system support
    • 30% minimum crude protein
    Cons
    • Some of the ingredients aren’t our top choices
    thematic break

    What Other Users Are Saying

    We’ve shared our opinions on Hill’s cat food, but there are thousands of other users with opinions of their own and we think it might be helpful to find out what they’re saying as well. To make that happen, we combed through reviews on Amazon and Chewy to find some valuable observations from other perspectives that we’re going to share with you. If you’d like, you can read more reviews about Hill’s cat food here.

    A common thing that we noticed in user reviews is that many cat owners seem to credit Hill’s cat food with helping their cats to live long lives.

    There were also plenty of people that liked what Hill’s food did for their cats’ coats, stools, and overall energy.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    With a team of qualified experts formulating their products in one of the world’s leading research facilities, it’s no wonder that Hill’s is churning out some premium-quality pet foods. They make blends that are great for cats of all ages, from kittens to seniors. Even cats with unique health concerns or dietary sensitivities are likely to find a suitable match in one of the Hill’s cat food recipes.

    thematic break

    Featured Image: Hill’s Cat Food, Chewy