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Nutrisource Cat Food Review 2021: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Nutrisource Cat food a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Nutrisource is an all-American pet food brand. They’re a small-town company with big-time reach, and they’ve been making pet foods in the same small town of Perham, Minnesota for three generations, starting in 1964.

When it comes to cat foods, Nutrisource offers a wide variety. You can choose from a range of dry kibbles, coming in many different flavors such as chicken and rice, salmon and liver, and even duck. Plus, you can choose special formulas for seniors, kitties, and even grain-free options for those who want to avoid feeding their felines grains.

Of course, dry food isn’t all that Nutrisource does. They also have wet canned cat foods, including several flavors like chicken, turkey, and lamb select or turkey and turkey liver select. But what makes Nutrisource special isn’t their selection, it’s their quality ingredients and well-crafted recipes that are designed to truly meet your cats’ nutritional needs, unlike many commercial foods that utilize cheap fillers and have nutritional content that’s not appropriate for felines.

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At a Glance: The Best Nutrisource Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Nutrisource Chicken And Rice Formula Dry Cat Food Nutrisource Chicken And Rice Formula Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconUses quality whole-food ingredients
  • Feature iconLots of animal-based protein
  • Feature icon32% protein and 19% fat
  • Second place
    Nutrisource Gf Country Select Nutrisource Gf Country Select
  • Feature iconAll-Natural
  • Feature iconLots of animal-based protein
  • Third place
    NutriSource Grain Free Turkey & Turkey Liver Select Canned Cat Food NutriSource Grain Free Turkey & Turkey Liver Select Canned Cat Food
  • Feature iconVery low in carbohydrates
  • Feature iconMade with primarily animal-based ingredients
  • PureVita GrainFree Chicken Entree Dry Cat Food PureVita GrainFree Chicken Entree Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconGreat for cats on a grain-free diet
  • Feature icon3 of 5 main ingredients are animal-based
  • Feature iconHigh in protein
  • Nutri Source Cat Senior Weight Management Chicken-Rice Food Nutri Source Cat Senior Weight Management Chicken-Rice Food
  • Feature iconAll-Natural
  • Feature iconChicken meal is the #1 ingredient
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    Nutrisource Cat Food Reviewed

    Tuffy’s is a major pet food manufacturer that produces pet foods under a variety of different labels. In bigger stores such as supermarkets and feed stores, you might see Tuffy’s Supreme or Tuffy’s Gold. But if you’re looking for premium pet food options, including Nutrisource, you’ll have to look in pet specialty stores. You won’t find this quality cat food in any big box store, that’s for sure. Let’s take a closer look at Nutrisource cat food and see if it’s worth the trip to the specialty pet store and what kind of nutrition it can offer your cat.

    Who Makes Nutrisource and Where is it Produced?

    Nutrisource is produced by Tuffy’s Pet Food Inc., which is owned by KLN Family Brands. Originally started in 1964, Nutrisource has gone through several transitions and sales to end up under the KLN banner. Through it all, they’ve remained a company with small-town values, and have always produced their all-American pet food in Perham, Minnesota.

    Which Types of Cats is Nutrisource Best Suited For?

    Nutrisource cat food is great for cats at all life stages. From kitties to seniors, Nutrisource offers special blends that are formulated to provide precisely the nutrition that healthy cats need. Any healthy cat should excel on Nutrisource foods. Even cats that are fed special diets, such as grain-free or cats that need a weight-management blend will find a cat food that’s the right fit from Nutrisource.

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

    Although Nutrisource is an ideal choice for most healthy cats, it’s probably not the best brand to feed cats that have medical concerns. Nutrisource offers many blends and formulas for healthy felines, and even some specialty blends for kittens, seniors, or overweight cats. However, they don’t offer much in the way of foods intended for cats with medical conditions or other concerns.

    Nutrisource Gf Country Select

    For instance, cats with urinary issues, kidney problems, or that need thyroid support might be better off with a pet food brand that’s meant to help with these medical issues, such as Hill’s Prescription Diet, which makes a Thyroid Care Canned Cat Food, a Kidney Care Cat Food, and many other blends made for cats with similar conditions.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    To get a better idea of the overall quality you can expect from Nutrisource cat food, we’re going to take a close look at the ingredients in one of their premier blends. The Chicken and Rice Dry Cat Food is a popular formula that’s one of Nutrisource’s best-selling cat foods. We’re going to take a close look at the primary ingredients in this particular food; the first five listed on the label. These are the five ingredients found in the highest concentration in this blend, and understanding these ingredients will provide an excellent picture of the overall quality of Nutrisource cat food.

    Remember, when you’re looking at an ingredients list on any pet food, the ingredients are listed in the order of their concentration. So, the first ingredient is the main ingredient in the formula and more of it will be found in the food than any other ingredient. The second ingredient is the second most concentrated ingredient, and so on, down to the last ingredient, which is the ingredient that was used the least in the blend.

    Chicken

    Anytime we check out the ingredients list on a cat food, we want to see a whole animal protein listed as the first, and therefore most prevalent ingredient. Keep in mind, cats are obligate carnivores. The nutrition they need comes from animal sources, which can provide certain nutrients you simply can’t get from plants, such as taurine. If your cat doesn’t get enough taurine, for instance, it could develop dilated cardiomyopathy. Not to mention that cats’ protein needs are substantial, so having quality animal-based ingredients at the top of the list is vital for cat food. In this case, chicken is a top-quality ingredient. It’s not a by-product or a low-quality replacement; it’s real chicken, which is ideal for cats.

    cat eating chicken meat
    Image Credit: Irina Kozorog, Shutterstock

    Chicken Meal

    Chicken meal is listed as the second ingredient in this Nutrisource cat food, which is another win in our book. We prefer to see lots of animal-based ingredients in any cat food since they are obligate carnivores. Chicken meal is a great option, and it’s far better than seeing a lower-quality replacement such as chicken by-product meal.

    But what is chicken meal? It’s a rendered chicken product that’s made from chicken flesh and skin without any of the bone. Basically, it’s the leftovers from the chicken used for human food, which means it’s a high-quality but low-cost animal-based protein for your cat. It’s rendered, which means all the chicken used for the meal was ground up, cooked, and melted together for hours until it dries up and creates a powder that’s then used in dry foods such as this kibble.

    Rice

    47% of commercial dry cat foods include rice as an ingredient. That doesn’t mean it’s a great choice for cats, but it does mean that about half of all dry cat foods use it. Nearly a quarter of wet cat foods also contain rice; 23% to be exact. Rice is considered safe for cats to eat, though it’s not something that they need to intake, such as animal products.

    For the most part, rice is used as a filler and binding agent for cat foods, though it can also aid in digestion thanks to the high amount of fiber that rice introduces. Rice is a grain, so this might be a turnoff for those searching for grain-free foods, of which Nutrisource produces many. It’s still a better choice for cats than corn, soy, or wheat, which you won’t find anywhere on this ingredients list.

    Peas

    Peas are a legume that’s often used in place of grains in grain-free cat food blends. They have a high protein content for vegetables but don’t provide enough protein for cats on their own.

    cat eating food_ Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock
    Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

    Luckily, as the fourth ingredient on this list, peas aren’t used as the main protein in this food. Still, they’re a carbohydrate, and cats as obligate carnivores don’t need many carbohydrates. Plus, the protein from carbohydrates like peas just isn’t as usable for a feline. However, peas are rather high in fiber, which helps this blend to keep the fiber at a reasonable 5%.

    Chicken Fat

    Cats don’t need to eat too much fat in their diet. Rather, protein is their main energy source. Still, when eating animals, cats will consume a decent amount of fat. This blend contains a total of 19% fat, which is reasonable for cat food. Chicken fat is a great source of fat for cats since it’s easily digestible and contains high amounts of essential fatty acids. Plus, it provides lots of flavor to ensure that this cat food is appealing to a cat’s tastes.

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    You’ve Got Plenty of Options

    One of the great things about Nutrisource cat foods is that they provide plenty of options. Whether you just want to offer your feline loads of flavor choices or you’re looking for something specific like a grain-free formula, you’ll find multiple choices that should fit the bill from Nutrisource.

    Excellent Macronutrient Ratios for a Feline

    When looking at any cat food, we always try to gauge its quality from a health standpoint. Aside from the ingredients, which we’ve already taken a look at, you can tell a lot about a cat food from its macronutrient breakdown. Macronutrients are the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in any food, and understanding their ratios can give you an insight into how healthy a particular food is for your feline.

    ragdoll cat lying relaxed in the garden in summer
    Image Credit: absolutimages, Shutterstock

    Cats, as obligate carnivores, need a lot of protein and a decent bit of fat. Carbohydrates are really not necessary for cats, but many commercial cat foods still contain a lot of carbs. This is especially true of dry cat foods that require a carbohydrate binder of some sort to keep the food together.

    When you look at the nutrition label for any cat food from Nutrisource, you’ll see that they include high amounts of protein in every blend; far more than many of their competitors. Since cats require so much protein in their diets, this is something we’re always pleased to see.

    In the Chicken and Rice Dry Cat Food that we looked at above, you’ll find 32% protein and 19% fat. Granted, that still leaves 49% remaining that’s likely filled by carbohydrates, but 32% protein is far more than you’ll find in most dry cat foods. 19% is a reasonable amount of fat, showing that the macronutrient breakdown of this food was really created for cats’ health and not just for maximum profit, as carbohydrate fillers are far cheaper than quality animal proteins and fats.

    Quality Ingredients and Devoid of Cheap Fillers

    Once you start reading ingredients lists on different cat foods, you’ll start to see which brands are cutting corners using cheap fillers in place of quality ingredients. You can’t tell this from the macronutrient breakdown; you have to look at the ingredients. On Nutrisource ingredients lists, you won’t see low-quality ingredients and cheap fillers. There are no by-products and whole ingredients were used instead of cheaper filler materials. The first ingredient listed is always an animal protein, not a cheap substitute.

    Premium Quality Comes With a Premium Price Tag

    While Nutrisource isn’t the most expensive brand out there, it’s certainly not the cheapest either. If you want this quality, you’ll have to be willing to pay a premium for it. But for us, the quality speaks for itself when you look at the ingredients and nutrition label. Few commercial foods offer the level of quality and health you’ll get from Nutrisource.

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    A Quick Look at Nutrisource Cat Food

    Nutri Source Cat Senior Weight Management Chicken-Rice Food

    Pros
    • Many formulas and flavors to choose from
    • Nutritionally constructed for optimal feline health
    • Contains no corn, wheat, or soy
    • The ingredients are all-natural
    Cons
    • It’s pricey

    Recall History

    Despite Nutrisource’s many decades in the pet food industry, they have no recorded recalls that we could find.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Nutrisource Cat Food Recipes

    1. Nutrisource Chicken and Rice Formula Dry Cat Food

    Nutrisource Chicken And Rice Formula Dry Cat Food

    The chicken and rice formula dry cat food blend from Nutrisource is one of their best-selling and most popular cat foods. It’s also one of the brand’s more affordable options. With chicken, chicken meal, and chicken fat all listed within the five main ingredients, this food is ideal for cats and contains plenty of animal-based protein to keep any feline healthy.

    Things look just as good when you check out the nutritional content of this food. With 32% protein, it’s definitely formulated for optimal feline health. There’s also a reasonable 19% fat content, which is mostly coming from quality animal sources like chicken fat. Because of this, there are plenty of essential fatty acids in this food. Plus, the taurine content is a minimum of 0.15%, ensuring your cat doesn’t become taurine-deficient.

    All that said, 49% of this food isn’t made up of fats or proteins, so there’s definitely a rather high carbohydrate content. Still, you’ll find that in any dry cat food, and even the carbohydrates used were quality, whole ingredients like rice and peas.

    Pros
    • Uses quality whole-food ingredients
    • Lots of animal-based protein
    • 32% protein and 19% fat
    • 3 of the top 5 ingredients are animal-based
    • Contains plenty of taurine and essential fatty acids
    Cons
    • Contains up to 49% carbohydrates
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    2. Nutrisource PureVita Grain Free Chicken Entrée Dry Cat Food

    PureVita GrainFree Chicken Entree Dry Cat Food

    PureVita is a grain-free line of premium cat foods from Nutrisource. As a premium offering, these blends are a bit pricier than other options from Nutrisource. Still, they follow the same high-quality standards that other Nutrisource foods are held to. Three of the first five ingredients are animal-based, with chicken and chicken meal occupying the top two spots respectively.

    As you might guess from using so many quality animal-based ingredients, this blend is rather high in protein at 32%. It also contains 18% fat and a minimum of 6.5% crude fiber. Furthermore, there’s 0.15% taurine and 2.9% Omega-6. But this is just on-par with other Nutrisource blends, and we’re not sure it’s really worth the higher price tag, even though it’s still a great cat food altogether.

    Pros
    • Great for cats on a grain-free diet
    • 3 of 5 main ingredients are animal-based
    • High in protein
    • Contains sufficient taurine and essential fatty acids
    Cons
    • It’s one of the more expensive options
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    3. Nutrisource Grain Free Turkey & Turkey Liver Select Canned Cat Food

    NutriSource Grain Free Turkey & Turkey Liver Select Canned Cat Food

    For those that prefer to feed their felines canned wet food rather than dry kibble, Nutrisource offers options like the grain-free turkey and turkey liver select. These blends have far fewer carbohydrates than any of the dry foods, though they’re mainly composed of moisture. With a 78% moisture content, 10% protein, and 9% crude fat, there’s only 3% left for carbohydrates, and since 1% of this blend is fiber, only 2% can be other carbs.

    Looking at the ingredients list you’ll notice that animal-based ingredients still play the main role. The first three ingredients are turkey, turkey broth, and turkey liver, followed by natural flavor. Despite being full of animal-based ingredients, this blend is lower in taurine and essential fatty acids than the Nutrisource dry cat foods.

    Pros
    • Very low in carbohydrates
    • Made with primarily animal-based ingredients
    Cons
    • Lower in taurine and essential fatty acids
    • It’s mostly moisture

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    We’ve spent a lot of time with this food, and we’ve seen how many cats react to it. Over that time, we’ve developed our own opinions about Nutrisource cat food. That said, we understand that our opinions aren’t the most important.

    In an effort to bring you as much information about Nutrisource cat food as possible, we searched through Amazon reviews to see what other cat owners with first-hand experience with this food thought of it.

    The vast majority of reviews were positive for Nutrisource products. Cat owners saw a variety of quick improvements, from a reduction of vomiting and loose stools to shinier, softer coats. While the majority of users commented that their finicky feline eaters enjoyed this food, there were a few who said their cats would not eat it.

    To read more reviews about the Chicken and Rice Formula Dry Cat Food, click here.

    For more reviews regarding the Salmon and Liver Formula Dry Cat Food, follow this link.

    On Chewy, results were largely similar for Nutrisource cat food:

    “My cats and kittens LOVE this food! It doesn’t have any corn, soy, or wheat and they all have solid poos. I am very excited to have found a quality product that I can rely on! I also use this brand for my dogs! They don’t have to eat as much of it to be full and they all have sleek, shiny coats, and are so healthy!”

    For more reviews on NutriSource Cat & Kitten Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Cat Food check out this page.

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    Conclusion

    If you’re looking for a premium cat food that you can trust with your cat’s health and you don’t mind paying a bit more than for cheap foods from a big box store, then Nutrisource is definitely a brand worth checking out. They use quality ingredients and no cheap fillers, offering cats exactly the nutrition they need. Because of this, many cats seem to have a much easier time digesting food from Nutrisource than they do with other brands. Overall, we think it’s an excellent option and well worth the slightly higher price.