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Royal Canin Cat Food Review 2021: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Royal Canin cat food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Royal Canin aims to make cat foods that prioritize what pets need, rather than what their owners think they’d prefer to see on the ingredients list. Their foods are formulated in collaboration with leading scientific, behavioral, and veterinary experts to provide precisely the nutrients that will help pets achieve and maintain optimal health.

All Royal Canin foods are made in their own manufacturing plants all over the world. Strict processes ensure consistent quality across all foods and regions. Likewise, their suppliers undergo rigorous selection processes to guarantee the quality of the ingredients used in Royal Canin foods. Samples from the analysis of every batch of raw ingredients are kept for a full two years, which is the entire duration of the product’s shelf life.

You’ll find food for cats of all ages, sizes, and breeds in the Royal Canin lineup. They’ve even got a large catalog of specialty formulas that are made for specific breeds, lifestyles, or health concerns. This includes recipes like Urinary SO for cats with urinary health issues, the Renal Support blend for supporting healthy kidneys, and the Glycobalance formula for cats with diabetes. Many of their foods, including the Glycobalance formula, require authorization from your veterinarian.cat face divider 2

At a Glance: The 5 Best Royal Canin Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our Favorite Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Adult Instinctive Loaf in Sauce Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Adult Instinctive Loaf in Sauce
  • Even picky eaters like this food
  • For optimal feline wellness
  • Diverse array of protein sources
  • Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Helps to manage hairballs
  • Helps reduce the odor of cat stools
  • Helps indoor cats maintain a healthy weight
  • Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Grav Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition Digest Sensitive Thin Slices in Grav
  • Highly digestible proteins
  • Helps maintain an ideal weight
  • Precisely balanced blend of vitamins and minerals
  • Royal Canin Savor Selective Adult Dry Cat Food Royal Canin Savor Selective Adult Dry Cat Food
  • Minimum of 31% crude protein
  • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
  • The tasty formula is great for picky eaters
  • Royal Canine Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Canned Cat Food Royal Canine Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Canned Cat Food
  • Made with the optimal ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrates
  • Promotes healthy growth and digestion
  • An innovative blend of antioxidants
  • 3 cat face divider

    Royal Canin Cat Food Reviewed

    5Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Kitten Thin Slices In Gravy Canned Cat FoodWho makes Royal Canin Cat Food?

    The Royal Canin pet food brand was originally started by Jean Cathary in 1968 after realizing the profound impact that proper nutrition could have on pets’ health. Jean was from a small French town called Puy-en-Velay, and he decided to keep the country close to home in France, where it’s still based today.

    Though their headquarters are in France, Royal Canin makes all of their own food products in factories across the world. In North America, they have manufacturing plants in Missouri, South Dakota, and one in Canada.

    In 2001, Royal Canin was purchased by Mars Petcare, the largest pet food brand in the world, for about $700 million. Mars Petcare earns over $18 billion annually through such brands as Pedigree, Whiskas, and Eukanuba, on top of Royal Canin.

    Which Types of Cats is Royal Canin Best Suited For?

    Royal Canin is focused on creating cat foods that help keep your furry friend in peak health. Their science-backed blends are great for cats of all ages, sizes, and breeds. Their foods are formulated with cats’ lifestyles in mind. For instance, their food for indoor cats considers their lower levels of exercise and is formulated to help them maintain a healthy weight.

    They’ve even got several lines of foods that are specifically formulated for certain cat populations. There are age-specific blends for kittens, adults, and seniors, as well as breed-specific blends for Persians, Maine Coons, and more. They also offer a line of foods for cats with particular needs, such as the oral care blend or the hair and skin blend. They’ve even got a line of foods that require an authorization from your veterinarian to purchase!

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

    This is a pet food brand that makes scientifically-backed products with your cat’s health in mind. But that doesn’t mean that they’re the perfect fit for all felines or all cat owners. Royal Canin cat food is often the choice for cats that are picky eaters. Cats that don’t want to eat other foods will often gravitate towards Royal Canin, but there will be some cats who don’t like it, and it’s obviously not the best fit for those cats.

    There are other times when this food might be a great fit for a feline, but it’s not the right fit for the owner. Some people are very concerned with the ingredients listed in a food, and rightfully so. But if that’s you, there are some ingredients in the Royal Canin ingredients list that you probably won’t be so fond of. Remember, they make food to keep pets healthy, not to make the owners happy.

    While Royal Canin makes many different specialty blends for cats of all ages, lifestyles, and even felines with various health disorders, they don’t make certain blends that some cat owners like, such as grain-free. The Royal Canin foods all contain grains. You also won’t find a limited ingredients diet-friendly blend from Royal Canin, so if you want to follow one of these diets for your cat, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

    The Primary Ingredients of Royal Canin

    Often, one of the best ways to get an insight into the quality of any cat food is to take a look at the ingredients list. When we look at the ingredients list for the Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Adult Instinctive Canned Cat Food, the first five ingredients we see are pork by-products, chicken by-products, chicken liver, pork liver, and salmon.

    Plenty of Protein

    The first thing you’ll notice when checking out these ingredients is that they’re all protein sources. Technically, the first ingredient is actually water sufficient for processing, but since there’s no nutritional value in water, we’ll skip that one and start with pork by-products.

    Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they get all of their nutrition from animal sources. Knowing this, it’s a great sign that all of the first five ingredients are protein sources. We also see that there’s a diverse array of protein sources, providing a wider range of amino acids that are vital for your cat’s health.

    cat eating in the table
    Image Credit: Okssi, Shutterstock

    The Protein Sources Aren’t the Best

    In general, when we’re looking at the ingredients of any cat food, we prefer to see whole-food protein sources of the type that we might eat. For example, chicken, salmon, turkey, etc. In this list, salmon is listed as the fifth ingredient, but the first two ingredients are by-products.

    While by-products aren’t the best choices of protein, they’re not bad for your cat at all. In fact, they can be quite healthy. Remember, cats get their nutrition from animal sources, and in the wild, they eat the entire animal, bones and all. Many foods aren’t including the organs and entrails that you’ll find in animal by-products. But these can often contain more nutrients than the other meat on the animal.

    Lay off the Liver

    Two of the first five ingredients are animal livers. While these can provide some great nutrients for your cat, they can also pose a potential problem.

    Liver is loaded with vitamin A, which is vital for your cat’s skin, night vision, immune system, and more. But like many things, too much of a good thing can become detrimental. Too much vitamin A leads to toxicity that can result in lethargy, weight loss, loss of appetite, lameness, and more.

    Cat ball divider 1A Quick Look at Royal Canin Cat Food

    Pros
    • Uses multiple sources of protein
    • Science-backed recipes are formulated for optimal health
    • Many specialty foods available
    Cons
    • Some of the ingredients aren’t our top choices
    • Their foods can get pretty expensive

    Recall History

    Royal Canin pet foods has been through three recalls, with the last one occurring in 2007.

    In April and May of 2007, several types of Royal Canin pet food were recalled for Melamine. In April, the recall only affected dog foods, though a single type of cat food was also recalled shortly after with several other dog foods in May.

    Prior to this recall, the brand had gone through another in February of 2006. This time, it was because several batches of food contained too much vitamin D. The 2006 recall affected food in cans and pouches, which was mainly cat food, though there were also a few dog foods recalled at the same time.

    cat + line dividerReviews of the 3 Best Royal Canin Cat Food Recipes

    1. Adult Instinctive Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat food1Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Adult Instinctive Loaf in Sauce Canned Cat Food

    Perfect for any cat from one to seven years old, this formula contains a diverse array of protein sources to ensure that your cat is getting a wide range of amino acids and other nutrients that are crucial to their health. Even cats that turn their noses up at other foods seem to like this blend, which is lucky since it’s precisely formulated to keep cats in optimal health.

    We love how protein-packed this food is, with the first five ingredients listed all being animal protein sources. However, two of those sources are liver, which does contain a lot of nutrients that are healthy for a cat but can also result in vitamin A toxicity if overfed.

    Since indoor cats aren’t the most active of creatures, this food is made to help maintain a healthy weight and aid in digestion. But you will be paying a premium for this formula. At least you can rest assured that it’s formulated by veterinarians and other scientific experts who know exactly what cats need.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    royal canin instinctive

    Pros
    • Even picky eaters like this food
    • Precisely formulated for optimal feline wellness
    • Aids healthy digestion for maintaining ideal weight
    • Contains a diverse array of protein sources
    Cons
    • Some ingredients aren’t our top choices
    • More expensive than competing brands
    • Too much liver can result in vitamin A toxicity

    2. Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry Cat Food2Royal Canin Indoor Adult Dry

    This Royal Canin cat food formula is a dry food blend for adult cats from ages one to seven. It’s made specifically for indoor cats that tend to have a less active lifestyle. For such cats, this recipe will help maintain a healthy weight, helping to prevent obesity; an all too common problem for domestic cats today.

    But this blend does more than just help keep your cat at a healthy weight. It also reduces the odor of your cat’s stools. It’s easy to see how this can improve not just your cat’s life, but yours! Say goodbye to stinky litterboxes with this cat food.

    Another thing you can say goodbye to with this blend is hairballs. This food helps keep things moving in the intestines with a combination of fibers that helps to eliminate hair, therefore reducing the number of hairballs your cat will experience.

    While this recipe is cheaper than some of the other Royal Canin blends, it’s still pricier than foods from other brands. Despite the cost, there are still quite a few carbs in this blend, which aren’t the most optimal choice for cats.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    royal canin indoor

    Pros
    • Helps reduce the odor of cat stools
    • Helps indoor cats maintain a healthy weight
    • Helps to manage hairballs
    Cons
    • Very expensive compared to other dry cat food
    • Contains a lot of carbohydrates

    3. Royal Canin Savor Selective Adult Dry Cat Food4Royal Canin Savor Selective Adult

    Royal Canin is generally a great choice for cats that are known to be picky eaters. But sometimes, the regular blend isn’t enough. For the pickiest of eaters, the Savor Selective adult dry cat food contains two different kibbles to provide textures, tastes, and aromas that will appeal to any palette.

    But this food is more than just a very tasty, aromatic, dry cat food. It’s a scientifically-formulated food that provides complete and balanced nutrition for any adult cat. For indoor cats that don’t get much exercise, it will help them maintain a healthy weight, providing precisely the nutrients they need.

    To keep your cat’s coat looking luxuriant and healthy, this food contains biotin and omega fatty acids. It’s a protein-packed formula with a minimum of 31% crude protein. That said, the first ingredient is, surprisingly, corn. For such expensive food, this is a bit of a disappointment, though it’s certainly no detriment to your cat’s health. We just prefer to see a protein source listed as the first ingredient.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    royal canin savor selective

    Pros
    • The tasty formula is great for picky eaters
    • Provides complete and balanced nutrition
    • Helps to maintain a healthy weight
    • Biotin and omega fatty acids support a healthy coat
    • Minimum of 31% crude protein
    Cons
    • Expensive for dry cat food
    • The first ingredient is corn

    What Other Users Are Saying

    You’ve read our opinions regarding Royal Canin, but we wanted to make sure you got the complete picture. So, we scoured the internet to see what other real-life users of this food thought. You can read these reviews for yourself here.

    Users on Amazon seem pleased that their picky eater pets like this food. Many talked about their cats rejecting other foods but liking the Royal Canin blends.

    Others noted that it really seemed to help reduce the odor of their cats’ litterbox, with one reviewer noting.

    On Chewy, the sentiment seems to be similar. Some people pointed out how this food helped improve their cats’ coats, with one person stating they fed their cats this food and within two days their coats were the softest they have ever been.

    3 cat dividerConclusion

    Royal Canin makes premium pet foods that are formulated to help your pets achieve optimal health. Their recipes are created with the help of veterinary experts, ensuring that every formula provides precisely the nutrition that your pet needs. That said, they’re pretty expensive and some of the ingredients aren’t what you might expect from such a premium food. But the results speak for themselves.

    No matter what age your cat is or what health concerns it’s currently facing, there’s a Royal Canin recipe that’s made to help cats just like yours. Their strict processes ensure that every batch is made to the same exacting standards of quality. So, even though you’re paying a premium for this pet food, what you’re really paying for is peace of mind.


    Featured Image: Royal Canin, Chewy